Monday, August 19, 2013

More Photos from Elbo Room - Chicago 2012

Continuing to sort through all the photos from the past year, now that we're transitioning from the Powder Kegs promotion and into the next batch of recordings.  Dug up a few more cool shots taken from our show at Elbo Room below. (I posted some others taken by Kennedy from this same show in an earlier blog. This set here today was taken by our man Rob Gaczol).

L-R: Matt, Chris (Photo by Gaczol)

L-R: Freddy, Trakan, Roxy (Photo by Gaczol)

L-R: Claire, Freddy (Photo by Gaczol)

Chris (Photo by Gaczol)

Freddy (Photo by Gaczol)

Matt (Photo by Gaczol)

L-R: Trakan, Roxy (Photo by Gaczol)

New music coming early 2014!  Thanks for your interest and support for the project.

Saturday, August 17, 2013

The Bridge Video - Behind The Scenes (Part 3)

(photo by Jackie Sestak)
The video shoot for my most recent video "The Bridge" took three separate days.  I already showed some images from the first day (on a remote farm with explosives) and also from day two (at a factory with devils and angels).

Day three was shot on the shores of the Chicago River with the band, in the weeds.  It was photo-documented by both Rob Gaczol and director Jackie Sestak.

Here is the final video by the way if you want to watch.

And here are a handful of photos I like from the final day of filming "The Bridge":

(photo by Rob Gaczol)

(photo by Jackie Sestak)

(photo by Rob Gaczol)

(photo by Rob Gaczol)

(photo by Rob Gaczol)

(photo by Rob Gaczol)

(photo by Rob Gaczol)

(photo by Rob Gaczol)

(photo by Rob Gaczol)

Again, here's the final video:  The Bridge - Official Video

Or hear the song itself here:  The Bridge

And of course, if you want to know more about the story behind "The Bridge": Story of the Bridge

Monday, August 12, 2013

The Bridge Video - Behind The Scenes (Part 2)

The video shoot for my most recent video "The Bridge" took three separate days.  I already showed some images from the first day.

On Days 2 and 3 we were joined by Rob Gaczol and his camera at the factory where we rehearse, so I have some much better still shots from that day.

(Here is the final video by the way if you want to see how it all turned out.)

Any rate, below are some of my favorite shots documented by Rob Gaczol  on day 2. (Don't forget to check out Rob's photo journal here.  He has so many cool shots of Chicago.)

Above:  We were joined in the video by local artist Emilie Bouvet Boisclair.  She played "the Angel."

Above:  As usual, Sean the Devil played the devil.  You can read about Sean and what his "devil" role means to me and the project here.  He's in all the videos as you know by now.

Above:  Directors Jess Turcios and Jackie Sestak give Emilie direction.

Above:  Jackie filming to iPad.

Above: With the Angel... and Devil.

Above: Ridiculously angelic.

Above: Angels got my back.

Above:  Go to the light and stay out of the corners!

Above:  Some folks you might meet crossing the bridge.

Above:  About to cross the bridge.

Above:   You guessed it - crossing the bridge.

Again, here's the final video:  The Bridge - Official Video

Or hear the song itself here:  The Bridge

And of course, if you want to know more about the story behind "The Bridge": Story of the Bridge

Saturday, August 10, 2013

A Handful of promotional photos from Powder Kegs

Went through some photos this week that we took last summer during our "promotional photo shoot" day with Rob Gazcol.

Here are some of my favorites:

L-R: Chris, Trakan, Roxy, Matt, Freddy, Claire

L-R: Freddy, Roxy, Chris, Claire, Trakan, Chris

L-R: Roxy, Claire, Trakan, Freddy, Chris, Matt

L-R: Claire, Roxy, Trakan, Chris, Matt, Freddy

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Photos from our WLUW promotion for Powder Kegs

While we have a little bit of down-time in the project (currently mixing a new record and writing some new songs), I have a good chance to sort through the thousands of photos that were taken during last year's promotion of Powder Kegs.

Here are some of my favorites from our in-studio interview/performance with The Razor and Die Show on WLUW last June.  You can read about the experience here.

Check out the photographer, Rob Gaczol's amazing photo blog here, and don't forget to stream Razor and Die's super-cool indie radio show Fridays at 4pm on WLUW.

Saturday, May 25, 2013

The Bridge Video - Behind The Scenes (Part 1)

Hey!  Looks like the promotion of my second album, Powder Kegs Beneath Dagger (PKBDT) trees is finally ending in June with one last show and one last video here.

Fittingly, it's a video for the record's first song, The Bridge.  Which I feel is perfect - if you've listened to the record, you know the song's circular story.  But more than that, it's a fitting ending because, just like the record, the video took years - literally - years, to come together.

Co-director and camera-ista, Jackie Sestak
Meet Jackie Sestak, a Chicago-based film-maker and improv artist, who I met on Halloween 2009 playing at a KEXP-Seattle showcase.  We started conceiving the video for The Bridge a month later - yep, almost 4 years ago.  I told you this stuff takes forever sometimes.

Well, she and I are pretty persistent video-makers it turns out, because we finally got to making the video at the end of last summer after revisiting the concept with another film-maker (and the eventual editor), Jessica Turcios.

Made great friends made along the way.  Real proud of the work we did.  As usual we have a ton of photos to share, from the three separate days we shot the video.  I'd like to start sharing them here today in three separate blogs - one for each day.

Here's what happened during the first of three days of shooting:

Sean the Devil, and Jason on the Day 1 set
During "pre-production" (again, if you know the story behind the song), it was obvious that we were going to need to blow up some powder kegs.  Which raised a handful of hurdles.  I turned to my brother Jason whose talents include carpentry (he built the dolly we used to spin the room in the All I Need video, if you recall), as well as pyrotechnics.  We had to figure out how to a) get hold of a real powder keg, b) blow it up, and c) not get arrested doing it in public.

As good fortune had it, our soldier-friend from high school Dave (who has top secret military clearance - serious), was in the country and invited us to shoot at his remote private property about two hours outside the city.

All that was left to do was head to Indiana to get some wick, drop a few bucks on eBay to get a real civil-war era powder keg (from which, Jason fashioned some Styrofoam replicas), locate Sean the Devil (who as you know makes appearances in each video to date), and drive the crew to Dave's farm.

L-R: Noah, Dave, Veek, Dad Trakan, Tristan
Unfortunately, the awesome Rob Gaczol, who photo-documents much of our goings-on (including days two and three of this video's shoot) wasn't with us on this first day, so you're stuck with a handful of crappy photos I took.

Regrettably, I somehow didn't capture photos of the cats, chickens, turkeys, horses, and shooting ranges on the property.

In fact, it seems I didn't take any photos until we got to the shot location - about two acres behind Dave's house.  We had to take a van and a couple ATVs (chauffeured by Dave's super-cool sons, Tristan and Noah), to get there.  (Also supervising that day, my old man, and artist/wife extraordinaire Veek.)

Well... here's how the shoot went:

Above:  Jackie and Jess found the tree where we'd do the shoot.  It was as far away as possible from Dave's house, and surrounded by corn fields (with little black biting 'cornbugs'). I should also point out that, unlike the days we shot the video for Summer,  the weather was freaking perfect.

Above:  We assembled props, and Sean the Devil got the beers... devilishly.

Above:  Sean, my old man and Dave supervise while Jason wires up the explosives.

Above:  Jess directing Sean while Jason continues to wire stuff up

Above:  Jason showing off his pyrotechnics chops, by swallowing the fire, as he sometimes does. (Sean, Jess, Tristan and Noah looking on.)

Above:  Jason setting the charge and putting the final touches on one of the several faux-barrels we blew up.

Above:  Sean of the Corn.  Waiting for "action."  Fire in the hole....

Above:  Success!  No trees were harmed in the making of the video, and all Styrofoam was cleaned up.

Below:  Sean wraps up the video and we pack 'er up...

...and then, Dave and his awesome wife surprised us all with an amazing dinner and a super-unforgettable evening, surrounded by chickens, turkeys, cats, and great friends and family.  All of which I failed to photograph. Rock n roll.

Here's a link to the final video.  I'll share Rob G's photos from the other two video shoot days soon.  Check back.