I wanted to share this on Throwback Thursday but work took me out of town. So here you have a weird #flashbackfriday moment, some words and music made by my friend Ahren and I long ago: When we were in a synth pop long-distance band called For The Benefit. Much love to you all and happy Friday!
Sick to my stomach Sick to mySELF Sick to my surrounding Sick to lesser grace
Oh, this daddy long legs on the wall So watchful, pondering the fall—
Sick to my stomach As the autumn leaves Descend in rows Descend finality
Oh, this daddy long legs on the wall Flies out the window with the baggage Into the fall
Out the window, treading by A suited man Resembles many things— Among them, walrus head A bushy paintbrush under nose And shaven head Who knows? Who knows? Perhaps he’s all alone; Searches for the proper Walrus-lady mate.
Oh, this daddy long legs on the wall Comes close, unlatching ruminating hearts Into the fall
Out the window, treading by A redhead woman Gliding paths surveyed by animals Cyan still hides in her soul I heard she was the dog Who knows? Who knows? Perhaps she’s all alone; Searches for the proper Collar-wielding mate
Oh, this daddy long legs on the wall Comes close, unlatching ruminating hearts Into the fall
Sick to my stomach Sick, the hopeless life-wheel Sick, the window frost: indecency Sick, the lifeless Autumn renovator
Oh, this daddy long legs on the wall Comes close, unlatching condescending farce Into the fall
Who knows? Who knows? This may be all the bliss received Before the fall
The marvel and wonder that is Wyoming’s musical gem and best kept secret, The Oyster Ridge Music Festival. Great fun, outstanding talent from across the country, and the kindest people you’ve ever met, all in Kemmerer, WY!
Lastly, we come to the realization that J’s sister, Brenda, has great TV recommendations. She made us watch Queer Eye and now we can’t stop. Yes, it’s still reality television, but let’s talk about what it has to say!
We’re back at it again folks, dayjob exhaustion has delayed the release of some of our episodes and that just bums me out! Alas, here we have a great conversation Maddie and I had before taking off for the music festival. I’m actually quite proud of myself: As we evaluate where we can focus our attention and energy in our lives, Maddie and I concluded that we need to let the podcast breathe and not over edit each episode into the ground. While I have the hardest time letting go of the edit, I have to practice restraint and tonight, I am pleased to report I did the least amount of cuts I’ve ever done on this podcast. We cram a lot of good stuff in a short amount of time and it turned out to be a fun episode. Come join us!
It’s been a grueling week so far, as I anticipate being gone Friday and Monday for Oyster Ridge, but progress has been made. I’m learning so much at work and feel that the procedures I’m working under are starting to make sense to me. It’s like buying a new pair of shoes, and letting them mold and shape around your feet. It takes time. I’m at the mercy of that constant warning. Don’t get overzealous, don’t be too hard on yourself. Hoping to ease my mind yesterday, I finally buckled and stayed up for a few hours to hash out the latest episode of Our Kid’s Asleep. It’s episode 20!
It may not seem like much, but given our work/life transitions in the last two months, Maddie and I are thrilled to keep working on this show! Shout out to our amazing friends/guests Brad, Teresa, and Steve.
Here’s what it sounds like when friends come over! We’re lucky to have had Steve, Teresa, and Brad come over and celebrate the 20th episode with us in this low-key conversation about Steve’s time in the Air Force, our feel-good movies growing up, and some thoughts on the Simpsons.
Looking forward to one of my favorite video projects coming fast at the end of July: The Oyster Ridge Music Festival!
Truly Wyoming’s Premier Music Festival event, the great folks in Kemmerer, WY host some of the best talent from the folk and bluegrass scene nationwide, and bring them to us FREE! This will be my third year providing videography for the festival and I am just overjoyed to know such a tremendous group of people. This festival, top to bottom, is a complete labor of love. Many of the musicians I have interviewed attest it’s one of the most well-run festivals they’ve played, and time and again, I have heard them say everyone is just so nice around here. I can’t imagine a better message to send out to the rest of the country about what we’re all about in Wyoming.
This will be the 25th anniversary of the festival and I, for one, can’t wait to see this lineup live! Here’s our recap from last year which included the Grammy Award-winning Steeldrivers! Bluegrass is not my default setting, but coming to this festival and surrounding myself in the genre has really made me fall in love with it. There is an earnest quality about the music and undoubtedly an insane amount of talent.
The prep begins!
To me, Oyster Ridge is a one man band videographer’s dream. There is so much happening that without a game plan, it is bound to overwhelm. Lucky for me, I was able to pick up a few tricks from my first trip that now I can simply enjoy the process, the friendly atmosphere, as well as the incredible talent onstage.
When in doubt, I always refer to two of my great inspirations for concert films: The Santana performance in the Woodstock documentary, and Queen’s 1985 performance in Live Aid. I liken that electricity they captured to something perennial and ritualistic and ultimately so gratifying. I’m fortunate this was my introduction to their music and my cassette tape sensibility, which still guides me when it comes to video work. It’s incredibly appealing to hold the camera in my hands as I record the details around me. The imperfections of an un-cinematic zoom, or a panning shot that slightly jitters, are there to remind you there is actually someone behind the camera. I was so hesitant to give up that organic, imperfect feeling that I didn’t feel the need to own a stabilizer until recently. Maybe it’s refusing to adapt, or being honest about what works and doesn’t work for me, but no matter the project, I choose to go handheld most of the time. It’s more immediate to me. More human. That’s what I love about those live broadcasts and now hallowed concert recordings: It really felt like the folks framing the shots really were immersed and invested in what was transpiring right in front of them. I know it’s a tall order to aspire to produce a work like those epic concert films, but it’s fun to revere them and emulate them. In my own way, I want to continue to create videos that highlight the pure joy and freedom of an expertly executed performance. I don’t mean to say great artists who craft technically superb projects using stabilizers can’t connect with their subjects. As artists, we all have an approach that rings uniquely true to each of us. The tools are there for us to create an aesthetic that makes sense to us, and hopefully, will make sense to a viewer. As long as we’re pursuing to deliver something honest.
I’ve been so eager to get back to Kemmerer, I’ve gone back to last year’s footage to remind myself what I’m in for. I like to do a multi-cam setup and work the cuts to amplify the intensity of the performances. I’m moving away from Premiere as well, so I thought this would be a good opportunity to play around with DaVinci Resolve and the other alternatives. The biggest difficulty so far is getting comfortable with the color correction “nodes” in DaVinci, but in due time, I think it will get the job done for me.
Of the many performances we got last year, this closing number from Mike Mangione & the Kin was amazing. Hope you enjoy! More to come,
Please check out the Oyster Ridge site for more information! Did I mention it’s free?!
So it’s hard to believe I blinked and the month of June ceased to be. I have been trying to edit this episode for I kid you not, THREE WEEKS. However, Life called with plans of its own and I opted to go after it. It hasn’t been necessarily tumultuous but I’m glad I finally found an extra hour to wrap up what I had started so long ago. This month was a lesson in time management for sure, and I will make sure I find a better system so the podcast continues to be delivered consistently! So here it is, what might be our most proficient episode so far highlighting some of our favorite things:
It’s FOMO time! J goes on an intermittent social media blackout and we discuss the repercussions of leaving social media for even a day. Let’s discuss how linked to the system we really are!
We finally get to have our long-awaited conversation about HBO’s superb new miniseries, Chernobyl. While we tried to keep the spoilers to a minimum, please consider watching the show before listening to this episode.
And then it’s Tenacious D! On this throwback segment, Madd and I return to one of the bands that defined the coming of age of a generation. Specifically, we focus on their self-titled debut album. Hilarious, foul-mouthed, genius. Hope you join us on this one!
Really happy with the way this episode came out! Come join me as I ruminate on making do with the time we have and the adjustments I am hoping to make to my schedule. It’s all about staying creative! Shoutout to my pal Dust Jones for his mic contribution to the show!
This time around, we welcome to the living room friend of the show and expert on internet things, Catty G: Twitch Streamer extraordinaire. We discuss an app we didn’t know existed called Tik Tok, and Tidying Up with Marie Kondo. That theme song is coming soon.
In other podcast related news, I have finalized my setup for Creative Drive! For all those moments when I’m freezing my ass off in the basement and I want to keep warm by sharing and reciting your short work, I’m keeping it pretty basic, but I did go with my dynamic mic to fend off the horrible sounds of my furnace and space heater. Oh to live in the frozen beauty of Wyoming! Happy Friday friends,
It’s time I upload the music archives in case a fire takes my hard drives and compact discs and engulfs my memories into a hellish red nightmare. That’s just the worst case scenario, but I figured it’s time to share about fifteen years of music that currently collects dust down in the basement. I used to make music as Cultured Animal, but I killed the notion, like a bad habit. Sometimes it takes a while, but eventually, that which is in your veins returns. I’ll write at length about this in the coming year, but suffice it to say at this time: It feels good to listen to myself. That said, it’s time I find a good place online to just leave the archive be, as well as any other new Cultured Animal tracks. Audiomack is free, so I chose to take that option! I’ll try to curate the best of the lot, since there’s a lot of crap in there. It’s a great feeling to let go of the past, air out the things your soul wanted to say long ago. Now that I am feeling more comfortable as an adult, I can exorcise these artifacts of joy and sadness and creative spark that made me smile more often than not. These songs were my journal entries. Today I rip the pages out of the journal and scatter them to the four winds. And that is okay. If there is joy in your heart, don’t hold anything in, don’t hold back.