"OK, I gotta get a beer. You guys decide where we're actually doing this," Brendan Kelly says, walking into The Gingerman Tavern. "I'll show up with the thunder."
A naked woman lies exposed on the back of a black panther on the bar's purple sign — it's a fitting place to shoot The Lawrence Arms frontman playing a brand new song on the third day of the 2012 Love Drunk Tour. Kelly calls the Gingerman, on the southwest corner of Clark and Racine in the Wrigleyville neighborhood of Chicago, a "home away from home." His buddy Toby Jeg (Red Scare Industries boss) and his wife, Katie, live in an apartment above the bar, and Katie manages the place. Kelly lives with his wife and two young children a few blocks down the street, and he brings his daughters here on Tuesdays during beer deliveries, where they eat lunch and the kids run around while he drinks coffee.
"It's set up so people … who stagger around and don't care about breaking things, don't have anything to break," he says. "Perfect for drunks. Perfect for kids."
Cubs fans who'd just watched their team pull out an 11th-inning win against the Dodgers on a bases-loaded walk of David DeJesus, and kids who just got out of an early show at the Metro next door, mill past Kelly who stands on the sidewalk outside his bar with his Gibson dreadnought slung over his shoulder.
Kelly recently released a full-length for his side project, Brendan Kelly and the Wandering Birds, on Red Scare. But tonight, he's solo, playing a new song — in one take — that he assumes will be on the next Lawrence Arms full-length.
"It's about the way human desire impedes human realization of goals," he says. "It's not the police. The 'pigs' are like your base, demon sort of desires inside you that are just hungry. Whether it's to get drunk or play video games or bang random dudes in alleyways. Whatever you're into."
Six Love Drunk videographers are on tour shooting live, one-take videos with bands across the eastern part of the U.S., spreading the word about Nebraska music along the way. This was day three of 17-day tour. Learn more about the project and the tour here. Watch all the videos here.
audio recorded/mixed by Matt Hovanec
video directed/edited by Django G-S
* performed Sunday, May 6, 2012