I decided to work through the holiday footage now & get back to other things in the weeks to come. I figured it might be nice to post it while the 2016 holidays aren't quite such a distant memory. For posting to YouTube, I split the footage into four sections. I also included some LIVE footage from shows in December in this post as well as a couple projects I finished or were posted during this time.
Contained in this video is footage of our traveling from Chicago to Warren, Pennsylvania through Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, Pennsylvania, & New York. We got to my parents house just before sunrise on Thanksgiving so we went to bed to get as much sleep as we could before heading to my cousins house for Sorensen Thanksgiving dinner in Clymer, NY. We brought our cat, Stein with us. He pretty much stayed in his crate the entire trip & hid under the bed when we got to Warren. We did get him out to explore in the living room though so I included some of the cat footage (of all the cats, Stein, Mu, & Gracie). On Saturday, we traveled to Pittsburgh for the hockey game between the Penguins vs Devils. Penguins got a last second goal from Sid Crosby then won it in the Shootout!. We made a stop at Klavon’s Ice Cream on the way into the city then at Roland’s Seafood Bar & Grill before we left. On Sunday, after having family dinner, we returned to Chicago.
December in Chicago 2016
On December 3rd, Elphie & I caught the CTA holiday train as we went on a grocery run. We caught it at the Western Orange Line station. This year, there were two trains. We got some footage of each. I played around with editing on some of the footage. On December 4th, we experienced our first snow in Chicago. Elphie documented this for the most part. There are quite a few clips of cat shenanigans with Stein. On December 7th, a new television show, Chicago Justice, was filming outside of my work. That evening Elphie & I went to the International Museum of Surgical Science for a tour. Afterwards, we stopped at Millenium Park to see the Christmas tree. December 9th there was a Catacombs show. That footage will be edited then posted later but I did get some footage of the city Christmas lights. December 16th was a Christmas party at Cornerstone Community Outreach for the staff where Santa Stewart & the Grinch showed up. December 18th, we decided to cook a mystery meat. It turned out to taste great! Thank God! Elphie got some more silly Stein footage as well. On December 19th, we had the coldest day of the year so far which I documented on my commute to work for another Christmas party. On December 21st, we went to the ChristkindlMarket & the Lincoln Park Zoo Lights.
Also in December, I caught a couple concerts. On Friday, December 2nd at Double Door, I went to one of the two Cock Sparrer shows. I decided on the Friday show because the openers were friends - Brick Assassin & Flatfoot 56. It was packed & a bit crazy but a great show.
I decided to film Brick Assassin doing Entitlement Generation because they brought back Kevin Pflanz to do the vocals since he was in town. It was a great performance in a fun set.
I filmed one of Flatfoot56's new tunes from the upcoming album. Sounded great!
I filmed "Working" by Cock Sparrer but easily could have picked just about any song in the set. The crowd was into it the whole night & interacting. This was the first time I had a chance to see Cock Sparrer & the way 2016 has treated celebrities & the music world I figured it might be the only chance to see them. The show had a feel of what I love about punk shows - community. It was a great time crammed in that space hearing lots of good music all night!
Filmed LIVE at Double Door in Wicker Park, Chicago, Illinois on Friday, December 2nd, 2016 using an iPhone 6. Edited using Final Cut Pro on a Mac Mini.
On Thursday December 15th, I rushed out of work to get to the Bottom Lounge so I could see the Farewell Tour of For Today. While I'm not as big of a fan as I was in their early career (I got somewhat bored by the style they play), I did want to see them one last time. It was a good show. The opening acts were My Epic, Silent Planet, & Norma Jean
I got in the door as My Epic was playing their last song. I filmed what I could of it...it isn't much but it's something. It bums me out that I missed this set
Silent Planet was next. I love their social justice message. Their Christian worldview is similar to mine which seems at odds quite often with the Christianity we see portrayed in media, politics, & the mainstream church. They spoke about how hard it must be in Chicago to be homeless with weather that "wants to kill you."
I filmed a song called 10,000 Watts from Norma Jean. It's from a new album they recently put out that I haven't yet heard. It seems to be an interesting song. While the original Norma Jean will always be my favorite lineup & sound that they created, they still do a decent show.
I wasn't sure what I wanted to capture from For Today for the last time that I would see them. I thought it would be fun to get their song (Joel) The Watchman for a couple reasons...the name being one & the message being the other. They did not play it so I ended up getting Devastator which was one of the last songs of the night. I really liked this song when it came out as well as the album it was on as a whole. They played a great set & spoke what was on their hearts as they do.
Filmed LIVE at Bottom Lounge in Near West Side, Chicago, Illinois on Thursday, December 15th, 2016 using an iPhone 6. Edited using Final Cut Pro on a Mac Mini.
I finished a project requested by Wiley Willis of October Bird of Death which was a compilation video of each of their songs from their upcoming release "Death Made It's Offer" early in December. Each of the songs were filmed live at different locations throughout 2016. It was a pretty simple project to make but it was fun!
1. This Is Our Lives LIVE @ An Seanachi (08.14.16)
2. Goons LIVE @ Debonair Social Club (04.08.16)
3. Uproar LIVE @ Take Hold Fest (11.12.16)
4. Fire In Those Eyes LIVE @ Liar's Club (08.24.16)
5. Shed The Grave LIVE @ The Burlington (09.03.16)
6. Art Deco Skull Fracture LIVE @ Audiofeed (07.02.16)
7. Hell To Pay LIVE @ Brauerhouse (10.22.16)
*This is also a promo video for the upcoming release*
Filmed & edited by Joel A. Swanson
A project I finished months ago also found it's way to youtube in December on the page of Destroy Nate Allen. It was a compilation of live clips for the song Vegetables from their last full tour. It became the first "official" music video I've done. It was fun to do!
For further thoughts on this one, check out the previous blog post here.
Southern Christmas 2016 & New Years 2017
We left for our Christmas travels on December 23rd. Santa Stewart saw me off in the morning while I finished some work things. We traveled from Chicago through Indiana. We stopped at a Meijer where another one of Indiana's fine drivers did a hit & run denting my bumper. This extended our stay at the Meijer while I waited for the police to file a report. We stopped at a Skyline Chili in Batesville, Indiana as well before stopping at the Sheehy's in the Cincinnati area for the night. We visited a bit before getting some sleep & resuming our travels on Christmas Eve through Kentucky, Tennessee & into North Carolina. We had a Christmas celebration with the family on Christmas Eve. On Christmas Day we watched the Pittsburgh Steelers clinch the North division versus the Ravens. On December 26th we got some R.O’s Bar-B-Que, & hung out with family some more. December 27th, Elphie & I went to her mom's to do Christmas with them. Our trip was officially extended to deal with Elphie's dad dying so we spent New Year's Eve cleaning out some stuff, watching kids do some go kart riding then rang in the New Year. We attended the funeral & spent more time with family through the rest of the week. We also made our the annual South Carolina fuel stop.
Northern Christmas 2016 (celebrated in 2017)
We made our trip north to my parents home in Warren, PA after the extended southern stay, traveling through the mountains of North Carolina, Virginia, West Virginia & into Pennsylvania. We decided to once again make a pizza stop at Gavino’s in Mckees Rocks near Pittsburgh. After sitting to eat for a bit, we resumed our journey & encountered a bit of snow just north of Pittsburgh. We arrived in Warren after midnight so we unloaded. We celebrated Christmas with family the following evening. We visited with my grandma for a bit then on Friday Elphie gave my northern family a little southern food taste test consisting of RO's Bar-B- Que slaw, Pimento Cheese, & Liver Pudding. Later that evening we played a game with my brother called Exploding Kittens. On Saturday, we returned to Chicago through the snow in New York & Pennsylvania but mostly dry, cold conditions in Ohio, Indiana, & Illinois. We reunited with Stein after being gone for two weeks. He seemed to be happy to see us.
Soundtracks include “The Holidays” by Dear Ephesus, “Doxology” by Spirit & The Bride, “Tracks In The Snow” by The Civil Wars, “Carol Of The Bells” by Jagged Doctrine, “You’re A Mean One, Mr. Grinch” by Grave Robber, “Snow” by Sleeping At Last, “We Three Kings” by The Dingees, “Little Drummer Boy” by The Almost, “Darkness Comes Quickly” by Batzz In The Belfry, “Auld Lang Syne” by The Lonesome Travelers, “Somewhere Over the Rainbow” by Israel “IZ” Kamakawiwo’ole, “Go Tell It On The Mountain” by Citizen Shade, & “Child In The Manger” by Michael W. Smith
Filmed using an iPhone 6 & Sony HD Bloggie by Elphie & Joel A. Swanson. Edited using Final Cut Pro on a Mac Mini by Joel A. Swanson