The latter part of April may as well be ancient to many of us. A naturally occurring focus on the moment, the immediate future and more distant memories often seem to leave the recent past outside our surveillance. When you’re banging out your days and preparing to tackle those approaching, the ones you’ve just passed are easy to forget. This has been my experience, anyway. Ask me if anything mattered last week and I’ll be able to give you a reasonable and honest answer in a couple months.
However, for me, late April 2011 was a departure from these tendencies. It was during this time the Nebraska native members of Kill County came back to Lincoln and performed a series of shows. The string of days I was able to spend with these friends of mine hold moments that I have been reflecting on often. Friends who slow down time and alter reality just by coming home and being nearby are joyful things to have. I hope you can relate.
While Kill County was in town, I had the pleasure of joining them and Love Drunk’s band-filming guru Django Greenblatt-Seay on Ross Brockley’s farm for the one-take shooting of Kill County’s performance of “The Train, The Drink, and the Dawn.” Andrew Norman and Eric Gonzalez were there to help film; Terry McGinn and I hung back and offered moral support; and Brockley provided the shoot's truly remarkable location. The only other occupants of the 60-acre paradise southwest of Lincoln were Brockley’s goats, hogs, chickens, turkeys, llamas and an exceptionally chatty goose.Kill County members partake in song and drink in percussionist Brad Kindler's living room. Kill County members Ringo, Brad Kindler, and Josh Holstein make their way to Brockley Farmaceuticals for their Love Drunk video shoot.
The photographers were placed in Ringo's truck bed with the rest of the inanimate equipment.
I was impressed watching Django and Andrew scour the property looking for the best location to film. There is no shortage of unique structure and backdrop on Brockley’s farm. The filmmakers gave careful consideration to make the most of the scene—a practice that is evident in all of Love Drunk’s presentations. After some deliberation, the skylo became the obvious choice for the video.
Once the setting was determined, the whole shoot was over quickly. Django provided direction and instruction without being overbearing or demanding. The band strapped on their instruments, the cameras rolled, the music played, the goose hollered, and it was over. The shooting process took less than a half an hour, and a day later Django had edited it all into a 6-minute-long video that sparkles with professionalism. The sound, the camerawork, and the feeling of the video rival that of any other music video I can recall. If you haven’t seen it yet, treat yourself immediately.
Brad Kindler, Josh Holstein, Mark Wohlberg, and Eric Gonzalez enjoying the view from the skylo.
Andrew Norman and Django Greenblatt-Seay prepare their cameras for the video shoot.
Love Drunk's Django Greenblatt-Seay films Kill County's performance of their song "The Train, The Drink, and the Dawn" at the top of the skylo.
Terry McGinn looks on from a ledge of the skylo.
After the filming was over, the music continued for hours inside various structures on the farm. Here, Ringo takes a moment to enjoy Terry McGinn's fiddle playing.
Earlier that week, over a cup of coffee, Ringo (Kill County’s banjo player) and I had a conversation about community participation. I was griping about having been to a show in downtown Lincoln the week before and being one of only a half-dozen paying spectators. I complained about the low attendance while noting that the band playing was good enough to, without a doubt in my mind, genuinely entertain at least 10 percent of Lincoln residents. That would amount to approximately 25,000 people. If half of 1 percent of Lincoln residents had tried to come to the show, the Bourbon Theatre would have sold out twice over.
Ringo and I agreed that those involved with music and arts have to work hard and work together to attract participation from the rest of the community. Worthy musical acts grace stages across Lincoln and the rest of the state every week. It’s up to the population to participate. Only through that engagement can the local music and arts community truly bloom into its full potential.
Over the last year, I’ve watched the growth of Love Drunk with great interest. Its work has given us all something to share with those who might otherwise be unaware of the artistic activities in Lincoln, Omaha and the rest of the state. Those who might assume that Nebraska's music communities have nothing worthwhile to offer them suddenly have to try hard to prove such a point. These videos can pop up in homes, offices or classrooms, coffee shops, truck stops, libraries—anywhere there is internet. Each time they do, they generate just a little more attention and interest in the arts that are occurring across our state. The videos may even shock some into realizing that by not participating, by not checking out a show now and again, by not reading about the activities in their city, they’ve been depriving themselves of a slew of wonderful and thoughtful performances offered by folks who might as well live next door.
Being a first-hand witness to the Kill County/Love Drunk video shoot in April gave me the opportunity to comprehend just how valuable these videos are. I think every musician in the area is in debt to the hard working people behind the Love Drunk productions. These videos facilitate a greater participation in the community, and that is something that benefits everyone. They serve the purpose of capturing moments and songs generated by our friends and neighbors, so that we can easily recall the recent endeavors of our city’s artists with a couple clicks and an internet connection. They prevent us from forgetting to pay attention to bands we love when we get caught up in our personal activities of today and tomorrow.
Kill County will be back on Lincoln stages in early July. It will be another great week to be a lover of music in this town. Between now and then, I hope you make some good community-related memories to reflect upon. The opportunities are there. Oh, and while you’re out — if you see someone involved with Love Drunk toting around a camera and an optimistic demeanor, be sure to smile at them and say thanks.
Ross Brockley shares a kiss with his fame-thirsty llama, Lloyd.
Watch Love Drunk Studio's video of Kill County playing "The Train, The Drink, and the Dawn" below:
Jonathon Augustine is a Lincoln resident and plays bass in Masses and Bus Gas. He is well over 200 years old and enjoys taking photographs with his ancient Pentax camera. View more of his photographs at his Tumblr. Leave your comments below or contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.