Over the moon to finally share the video we shot in April – “Modern Jesus” by our very good friends, Portugal. The Man
Like with most projects we do, by the time everything is all said and done and the video is up on the world wide web for everyone to see – i have absolutely no idea how we managed to pull it off. 20 days. 15 cities. 6 cameras. What?
However, also, I do know exactly how it happens. Its the hard work of a very well oiled machine made up of some very talented minds. Its a blessing to work with your best friends.
SOMERSET, TX :: in a small town just south of San Antonio we met up with Alex G and company from ESW. Yes, we kicked off our 20 day shoot with a couple hours of backyard wrestling – these guys were not kidding around. Did you see that barbed wire bat?
Sidenote :: as we left Somerset to head East for Morgan City, LA we ran into 50 men, women, and children on horseback. In my 15 years as a Texas citizen I had never before had such an encounter.
LOUISIANA BAYOU :: We made it to Morgan City late at night but woke up early and excited for a morning on the bayou with the Legendre men. “Get in, Sit down, Shut up” was followed by roaring laughter all around. Fishermen by trade, charmers by nature, the entire Legendre family is true southern hospitality.
NEW ORLEANS :: Later that afternoon we rolled into New Orleans and met up with Rusty Lazer at his home. Two important things to know about Rusty:
He, and his friends, are maybe the most diversely fascinating people I have ever met. He’s a DJ, manager, Sissy Bounce pioneer, artist, musician, and general connoisseur of genuine amazing. I cannot thank him enough for warmly opening his home and network of friends (DJ Paul, Pierre Pressure, Jane… the list goes on) to us.
Rusty lives in an beautiful, traditional New Orleans style row house that sits next to a musical experiment called The Music Box which he put together with his friends. I was a bit heartbroken to find that we didn’t take any proper stills of it, but truth be told a photograph would not do it justice. Its an amazing space built to accommodate musical performances and social gatherings. We were lucky enough to attend one evening and it was pure magic – delicate harp solos, energetic accordian and violin Italian duets, food grilling, dogs running around. Heaven.
Fun Fact : the entire animal cast of Beasts of the Southern Wild lives under The Music Box as their human counterparts live in Rusty’s house and The Music Box itself.
Another Fun Fact: AG, Corbett, and myself all walked away from New Orleans with custom tshirts embossed with spray paint genitalia courtesy of Pierre Pressure. This wasn’t truly a choice, but was truly a gift I will cherish forever.
LOWER NINTH WARD :: Before leaving New Orleans we drove through the lower ninth where we met Otis sitting on the porch with his elderly father. He has the absolute best smile.
In the late morning we headed north to Plaquemine where we met up with Ceddy Bu The Rap Sumo and the rest of the crew from Ruff n Rugged. They were kind enough to feature us in their own music video. Thanks guys.
They were cooking turkey necks in the biggest boiling pot outside. Mike burnt the roof of his mouth.
After Plaquemine we stopped briefly to visit with Lil’ Rent in Byram… and then kept driving.
MURFREESBORO, TN :: South of Nashville we spent the evening with the Maupins and Rothwells. Thomas Maupin is regarded as one of the best buck shoe dancers around and his grandson, Daniel Rothwell, is renowned as one of the best banjo players. He shreds. They both shred. That’s an understatement.
WEST VIRGINIA :: We drove a bit more, got lost deep in the mountains of West Virginia, and emerged the next day to meet up with Brandon Butcher and Nate Broche. We shot guns. Enough said.
DETROIT, MI :: After West Virginia we booked it to Detroit. We were fortunate to have John Grover from detroiturbex.com on board to show us the most amazing spots in Detroit’s ever changing landscape. John can walk down any block and recount the complete history (and at times future) of each and every single building for you.
We met Kyle Morgan at an underground MMA fight and spent the next day with him exploring some soon to be demolished projects.
Later that night we celebrated Mike’s birthday with a classic Detroit steak dinner and casino visit to Greektown. Everyone wore wrinkled collared shirts.
IOWA :: We drove and drove and drove through the midwest, stopping briefly to visit my first home on Waterbury Lane in Des Moines, IA and eat at the Drake Diner (still delicious).
CHEYENNE, WY :: As we moved west I grew a little nervous about finding a ranch to film at as a fierce blizzard swept through the country. Steve Price made our day. We arrived mid-snowstorm and hopped in his truck. As soon as we made it to the field that the cows call home – out came a brand new baby cow, fresh from the other world and into this one! Apparently, when a blizzard moves through the barometric pressure causes the mothers to start birthing so it gets busy fast.
There is absolutely nothing more adorable than a brand new baby cow.
It was a bit tricky getting out of Cheyenne as the blizzard set in, Corbett managed to navigate us down a very precarious two lane road (for reference and context, check out Mike Ragen’s snapshot) as the interstate had been shut down long ago. We saw many overturned Doritos semis. AG put on his seat belt (on day 18) for the first time in the entire trip.
We made it to Denver, and then to Utah where Corbett and I hopped a flight to return gear. AG and Mike hopped their own flight in a WWII era biplane for some aerial shots and barrel rolls before finishing the journey home.
Like I said, it was an amazing adventure. We couldn’t be more thankful to everyone we met along the way.
Thanks for listening, watching, and reading. We’re so happy you liked it. If you didn’t like it – well, we’re happy about that too.
(big thanks to AG, Mike, and Corbett for sharing their photos)