a TigerRAWk Film

Friday, October 2, 2020

"Goons" by October Bird Of Death - Music Video & A Farewell

When October Bird of Death was starting out in 2015 and onward through the next few years, they played locally in Chicago, their home base, quite frequently. I like their sound and also like the guys in the band so I often would go to the shows to watch and hang out I captured footage as well. Sometimes just a clip and other times the full set. I booked one of their first shows at the Wilson Abbey Catacombs, filming and sharing that entire set. Wiley Willis asked me to create a music video using "Death Made Its Offer" to promote the release of the EP of the same name using the footage from that show but making it black and white so I did. Wiley Willis made a suggestion to put live versions of all the songs from the EP together in order so I created a single video file that had one performance of each song and they all happened to have occurred in 2016.

I had thoughts of trying to do this for the Assemble EP as well but there was one song, "Outlier," which I'm unsure if I ever saw performed live. While I intended to do that, it never was accomplished.

The final show I caught live was Audiofeed 2019. There had been a lineup change and plans to get things going again in 2020 but it would seem those plans were likely derailed somewhat by COVID-19.

It was announced in September 2020 that October Bird of Death was coming to an end after 5 years. There is to be a funeral on October 3rd to mark its end.

While October Bird of Death was very active, besides capturing the footage I've already shared on YouTube, I captured some other live footage that I had not uploaded or shared. I captured that footage with the idea of creating a music video for the song "Goons" in a more traditional sense than just the sharing of a live performance with some minor appearance editing to make it all black and white as I did with the "Death Made Its Offer" promo video. I never got around to doing this though the idea remained in my mind. Between trips, music festivals, other shows, other projects, and life in general, I just never set aside the time to create the concept I had in my mind. My intentions were to use the previously unused  live clips along with some previously unused footage of Chicago and unassuming folks going about their life, including some "working class" folks doing their work. From what I take from the lyrics, The song's message is a tribute to the working class segment of the population as well as those in the punk/hardcore scene. I wanted to take live clips that had some good energy, synced up well with the music, and seemed to represent the band well and mix it in with the footage that showed some working class sentiments as well as Chicago, the home base of the band. The live clips ended up coming from two shows at The Burlington Bar and one from The Chop Shop. My end goal was to create something that could somewhat tell the lyrical story of the song. Appearance wise, in my opinion, this type of music and these types of videos seem like they should be done in black and white so that is what I have done with this as well.

Even though I like the black and white vibe and how it fits with some music styles, I tend to steer away from manipulating the appearance on footage that I share that I had shot live as I like to keep to the original appearance and experience as much as possible. In fact in my editing process, I really do try to change as little as I can on live video, trying to keep the content as close to what I originally shot as I can. Again, my hope in those cases is to capture some of the experience as well, if I can. Often my live footage is one shot from one camera source. The editing process becomes more involved when I have had the opportunity to use multiple angles from multiple camera sources. Still, I tend to not manipulate the appearance too much if I can avoid it and try to keep true to what I originally captured and experienced. The times I have manipulated the appearance has been in very dark settings where I try to overexpose a bit to bring up the image captured better. Really, in those cases, I'm ultimately not sure if I have helped or hindered the viewing quality and experience.

With the opportunities I have had to create punk "music videos," I usually like to go with the black and white vibe. It makes the most sense and just feels right to me. I suppose that's personal preference but it is what I like to go to when I can in these cases. I don't feel the need to try to stick close to the original content in these cases and so I am free to experiment some as well to get the look I want. I actually wanted to have greater contrast of black and white with very little gray but the dark lighting in one of the venues sort of limited how much I could do in that regard. Still, I am happy with how it turned out and feel the mood is set somewhat by the black and white appearance I was able to create.

While this idea had been in my mind over these past few years, I guess the announcement of the end of October Bird of Death and the immediacy of it coming up pushed me into trying to create this music video over this week leading up to the funeral on October 3rd. I did not tell anyone in the band that I was going to create this, I just decided to do it and do it now. If I don't do it now, I probably wouldn't ever get around to doing it. Even if I did, it probably wouldn't have much reach to the intended audience.

While I figured and "budgeted" a few hours after work over the course of several days, it actually only took me one evening over a period of about six hours to complete this music video project. I took one of the live performances and cut what I wanted from it then synced it up to the studio recording as well as I could. I kept Wiley's introduction of the song, adding to it an introduction for the last song of the night. I thought it seemed an appropriate way to introduce the song as though it is the last song in that it is the last project I would be making for October Bird of Death. I also created a little title screen to go with the introduction. I cut a few other clips from some other songs that seemed like they might fit well with the song and the previously picked footage. I then started cutting clips out of the footage I had of the city and people of Chicago and placed them where it seemed appropriate with the lyrics. I realized I had one more file of  an unused performance clip of "Goons" and a few other songs so I went through those as well and cut some more clips out to put into the project. I made a few more adjustments, filled in a few more gaps with other Chicago and people footage. I watched through it, made a few more adjustments then I looked it over one more time and felt it was finished. As is usually the case, I expect at some point I might look at the finished project and think that this or that could have been done differently. But with the self imposed deadline upon me...I am happy with what was created. I am happy to share it.

In a way, this could be viewed as my tribute to October Bird of Death and my way of saying thank you for these few years of music, fun, and good times I included a short clip to express my appreciated at the beginning. I hope you dudes in the band and you who are fans enjoy this! Thanks again! Rest In Peace.

"Goons" by October Bird of Death - aTigerRAWkFilm music video:

All the other October Bird of Death footage can be found below.

A TigerRAWkFilm playlist of all The October Bird of Death video footage:
"Death Made Its Offer" by October Bird of Death Promo Video


October Bird of Death "Death Made Its Offer" EP LIVE Video Collection 2016:

October Bird of Death LIVE @ Wilson Abbey (12.06.2016):

October Bird Of Death LIVE @ Wilson Abbey (10.30.2016):

October Bird of Death LIVE @ Wilson Abbey's Catacombs (04.17.2016):

All footage filmed & edited by Joel A. Swanson.

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