On this day one year ago, the Locavaux crew traveled to Massachusetts to fall in love with a bus. After a few weeks of painting, sawing, hammering, nailing and just a touch of Chase Jackson handy-man magic (remember these?) Georgia the school bus was transformed into the ultimate mobile home and jam-session host for the Locavaux Crew's summer road trip. Just as Georgia needed a bit of sprucing up before hitting the open road, we thought it was high-time to give the Locavaux Project's website a spring cleaning. And so, on the one year anniversary of the purchase of Georgia the bus, we're thrilled to present the new Locavaux Project web platform! Along with our travel log, summer road trip photography and music reviews and recommendations, you'll soon be able to discover and explore local music scenes in the United States by way of the much anticipated Locavaux Project video series. Stay tuned!
We know what you're thinking, and it's not an unreasonable question: where is this documentary the Locavaux Crew has been talking about making since April 2013? What happened to this big production, this Kickstarter wonder-child they've been teasing us with, this big hoopla they've been talking about with every Facebook message, Instagram, and blog post? Well, the Locavaux Crew has been working long and hard these past few months to create a unique and polished product that we would be proud to share with our friends, family, Kickstarter donors and general fans— one that showcases our incredible summer road-trip aboard Georgia the bus, and one that, most importantly, highlights the musically talented and tight-knit communities we discovered on our route. With this ultimate goal in mind, we have decided to pursue a new format in which to feature our project: an online-based, interactive documentary. Anyone and everyone will be able to access our journey online, connecting on an individual basis with a well-curated collection of film clips, still photography, written word, and audio segments. You, the viewer, can explore America’s local music scenes and the communities they inspire just as the Locavaux Project did this past summer. We feel that this new documentary format can most appropriately feature the footage we collected this summer, and also allow for a sense of exploration and musical discovery on the part of the user. This new media documentary will be released in late February, and will be disseminated on the Internet.
So please stay tuned and keep looking out for our official documentary release announcement! We know it's been a long time coming, but we promise--the final Locavaux Project documentary will be well worth the wait.
And what better way to pass the time then to take a look at these other awesome online-based, interactive documentaries? Check out our inspiration as we enter the final days of postproduction!
It is with heavy hearts that we announce that The Locavaux Project has officially sold Georgia, our beloved bus and home of this past summer while on the Locavaux Project roadtrip. As difficult as it was to say goodbye to our girl, Georgia, we know that her new owners, the hip-hop, soul and jazz collective based in Chicago, Illinois, Sidewalk Chalk, will love her just as much as we did. Her musical journey will continue as she serves as a mobile home for the group's upcoming spring tour. Georgia, you might have started out as a retired Massachusetts school bus, but you quickly became the Locavaux crew's mobile home, taking us across the country in search of local music scenes and (literally) driving us right into one of the biggest adventures in our young lives. You had a tendency to be a bit finnicky at times (shall we remind you of that evening in late July you decided to turn your break-line alarm on just as we began our drive over the Bay Bridge in San Francisco?), but the scenic views your 23 windows provided us with of this diverse, crazy country made up for your mechanical mishaps every time. You didn't like the cold (particularly hail storms in Wyoming), but man were you the center of every conversation we had. You were the envy of all other roadwarriors, and our parents' generations understood and appreciated your allusions to Jack Kerouac, Ken Kesey and his Merry Pranksters (remember when we met an actual ex-Merry Prankster outside of Olympics National Park in Washington?). Your roof supported not just an entire rooftop deck, but memorable rooftop parties, late night jam sessions, highway dinners and even car seats for a few joy rides through national parks. Truckers freaking loved you. You maxed out at about 60 miles per hour, but you taught us to slow down and take it all in (and always enjoy a road beer while you're at it). And of course, you were the stage for many a dance party (the best of which featured not just this song, but this one too), sing-along sessions, and endless playlists of music both old and newly found. No one made highway rumble strips sound as good as you did, and because of you, we experienced this country as it should be experienced: from the road. Cheers to seeing your almond-colored self out on the open highway a few years down the road, Georgia. Thanks for one hell of a ride
It's that time of year where everyone and their mother releases 2013 "Best of" Lists, full of superlatives and highlights from the past 365 days. Some of our favorites that have been released so far? A list of all of the things James Franco did that you did not, the top scientific discoveries of 2013, the top things we searched for on Google in 2013, and NPR's list of the best music of 2013. And so, in light of these bullet points and numbered lists, The Locavaux Project thought it might produce it's own "Best of" list, highlighting the most memorable moments, individuals, music, and places the Locavaux Crew has come in contact with over the past few months. It might be a bit lengthy, but hey, this past year has been one of the best we've ever known. Cheers to more moments in 2014 that will make all of your "best of" lists this time next year!
Most Out-of-this-World-Looking National Park: The Badlands, South Dakota
If that’s not what Mars looks like up close and personal, then we don’t know what does.
Best Sandwich: Any Sandwich from Paseo in Seattle, Washington
Baguette + aoli + cilantro + pickled jalapeños + romaine + caramelized onions + meat = why have we never eaten Caribbean food before?
Most Used-Phone App: (two-way tie) GoogleMaps and Shindig
For when we were lost (often) and for when we wanted our friends to be jealous of what cool, new craft beers we’re drinking (often).
Best Beer: (two-way tie) The Alchemist’s Heady Topper from Stowe, Vermont and Good Nature Brewing’s Rabbit in the Rye-PA from Hamilton, New York
We would do terrible, awful things to get our hands on either of these two craft brews again. Trust us.
Most Scenic (and Entertaining) Road Side Dinner: Somewhere on the Coast of Oregon
Georgia pulled up on the sand, mere feet from the Pacific Ocean, with Pat grilling burgers on the Grooler? Yeah, that happened.
Best Highway Travel Feature: Rumble Strips
Ask Chase Jackson and Pat Connolly about the many perks of a rumble strip.
Most Professional Bus Driver: Chase Jackson
We wouldn’t have gotten anywhere without him. Seriously.
Most Underutilized Appliance on the Bus: The Grooler Grill-Cooler
It holds all of our beer and it grills out food? Thank you Frantzen Family for the gift that kept on giving!
Best Bus Dance Partner: Meegan Smith
When we were tired, hungry, and thinking that our brakes weren’t working, Meegan always knew that she could lift our spirits with a little Whitney Houston-inspire song and dance.
Best Bus Greeting: Park City, Utah
Four square underway, friends to wave us in with a saved parking spot, a welcome party raging inside, and house drinks in the Locavaux Project’s honor. Thanks Ryan Gerstner and Crew!
Best Rock Show: West Water Outlaws of Boulder, Colorado playing at Cervantes Other Side in Denver, Colorado
We actually wanted to head bang along with these guys.
Best Bus Dance Party Ever: The last evening of filming in Iowa City, Iowa
Thank you DJ Pat Connolly, Avicii, and Missy Elliott.
Best Kept Secret: Skunk Hollow Tavern Open Mic Night in Hartland Four Corners, Vermont
Sometimes the most talented folks come out of the middle of nowhere.
Most Mouth-Watering Pie: Noon Mark Diner in Keene Valley, New York
That blueberry crumble tastes just as good sober as it does not-so-sober.
Best Bus Fun-Fact Provider: Ellie Schmidt
We’re not kidding—the girl is an endless fountain of “Did you guys know?” trivia. Perfect for long drives through the Western states.
Funniest Interview: (three-way tie) The Olympics of Iowa City, Iowa and Postmadonna of Seattle, Washington and Valentiger of Grand Rapids, Michigan
Ask The Olympics about the history behind their band sticker; Postmadonna about The French Fry song, The Hobbit song, and the Bill of Rights song; Valentiger about why they love hecklers in audience crowds.
Best Highway: The 101 in California, Oregon, and Washington
Busiest Music-Centered Community Event Calendar: Portland, Maine
From battle of the bands to cover band sing-offs, this town has something happening every night of the week. Check out Food Fight Portland Summer 2014!
Cheeriest Morning Person: Hallie Kohler
This is what we like to call a sarcastic award.
Best Collaborative Effort on Stage: Chasing Shade and The Olympics at the Blue Moose in Iowa City, Iowa
A goodbye-concert for Chasing Shade as they headed to Los Angeles, a welcome back-concert for The Olympics after a summer regional tour, and a classic Fleetwood Mac song made for the perfect last evening of the Locavaux bus tour.
Friendliest Bar: Green Lantern Pub in Copalis Beach, Washington
Thank you for the giant box of Pop Tarts—you fed us breakfast for the rest of the trip!
Most Mesmerizing Live Music Act: Billy Strings & Don Julen of Traverse City, Michigan
True talent is incredible finger picking while playing on a catamaran on Lake Michigan.
CD Played on the Bus on Repeat: Tabled Fables by Rabbit in the Rye of Hamilton, New York
If you haven’t listened to their EP yet, be prepared to become obsessed. Fast.
Best Bridge: (two-way tie) Golden Gate Bridge, San Francisco, California and Astoria-Megler Bridge in Astoria, Oregon
Bridges are more fun when seen from a bus seat.
Most Consumed Food on Bus: Hard-boiled eggs
Yes—weird, but so true.
Best Boom Mike Guy: Pat Connolly
He even had the creepy beard to prove it.
Best Farmer’s Market: Ferry Plaza Farmer’s Market in San Francisco, California
Hallie and Katie’s paradise.
Most Inspiring Not-For-Profit: (two-way tie) The VERA Project in Seattle, Washington and Hear Nebraska in Omaha, Nebraska
We’ll always get behind people who support their community’s own local music.
Most Entertaining Dogs: (two-way tie) Postmadonna’s Finn of Seattle, Washington and Dave Worthen’s Lucy of Seattle, Washington
What the Locavaux Crew would have done to have its own bus dog…
Best Underdog of a City: (two-way tie) Omaha, Nebraska and Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Our new favorite US cities!
Most Adventurous Bus Companion: Nora Edmonds
Seriously, the girl was down to do anything, at all times.
Best Cover Song: Mr. Wacky of Wacky’s Warhouse in Pacific Beach, Washington play John Prine’s “Angel From Montgomery”
A wacky man with a talent to make us all pause and listen.
Most Likely to be Found at a Bar Talking to Complete Strangers: Katie Scribner
She has a knack for getting herself into odd conversations with odd people.
Best Way to See The United States: Through the many windows of a school bus.
Trust us on this one.
It’s been a few weeks since we last wrote to you all on the Locavaux blog. We’re sorry for the lack of communication on our part! We haven’t been online as of late because of our numerous meetings of the mind—the project is growing and taking new directions, and we can’t wait to share some of those new plans with you soon. In the meantime, we thought we’d share what we’re thankful for these past few months, because, as they say, ‘tis the season. The Locavaux Crew is thankful for many things, really. In specific? We’re thankful for break fluid, smooth highways and park rangers that turn a blind eye. We’re thankful for those warriors of the road who came before us, like Ken Kesey and Neil Cassidy, who proved that life seen through the window of a moving vehicle is worthwhile. We’re also thankful for “free” overnight parking, road beers and the kindness of strangers. We’re thankful for music venues, from dive bars to bonfires, historic theatres to sidewalks. We’re thankful for sandwiches from Seattle’s Paseo, too.
But what we’re most thankful for? The people we surround ourselves with these days. We’re thankful for the friends and family that have supported the Locavaux Project, and our passion for local music, from the beginning; new friends and fans gathered on the road this past summer; the talented musicians from all across the country we’re honored to feature in our project; the bar owners and venue managers who support those local musicians and the communities they inspire; those individuals we met for just a few fleeting moments who listened to our tales of life on the road and bought us a drink in celebration. We’re thankful for community, because we feel like we’re part of one big, local music-loving family that spans the entire width of this country. So take a cue from the Locavaux Crew and surround yourself with good music and close company this holiday season. Happy Thanksgiving!
With Halloween and the first days of November behind us, the Locavaux Project is celebrating two months of postproduction now under our belt! The film is slowly but surely coming along with a loose and rough sketch of the entire film to be completed in the next few weeks. There are plenty more teaser videos to come as well, so stay tuned! The reception to our first teaser was so incredibly positive, we couldn't be more excited to give you all even more glimpses of the sounds and sights from the bus tour this summer. As first-time filmmakers, Chase, Hallie and I have looked to a number of sources for inspiration, guidance and instruction as we edit and produce the official Locavaux Project film. With this in mind, Chase, Hallie and I gather at Chase's cabin most Sunday evenings to watch musically-inspired documentaries.** What has become a Locavaux Crew tradition of sorts, this weekly screening helps to not only broaden our musical knowledge but also enlighten the team on how documentary film makers document, present and narrate musicians' stories and their live music. So far, it's been a great way for the three of us to understand and approach our own footage. Here are a few documentaries we've enjoyed thus far and a few on our "to watch" list that you might enjoy in the comfort of your own homes as the temperature steadily drops outside.
**Chase would most likely have me clarify that Hallie and I are not the best at gracing the weekly screenings with our presence--but when we can make the drive out to the cabin, we're there!
Sound City (2013), Dave Grohl
Having recorded the album, Nevermind, with Nirvana years earlier at the famous recording studio, Sound City Studio, in Los Angeles, Dave Grohl returns to the now run-down studio to unearth its rich history of analogue recording and talk to the cast of characters, such as Fleetwood Mac, Rick Springfield, Neil Young, Tom Petty and Slipknot , who once recorded there.
Shut Up and Play the Hits (2012), Dylan Southern and Will Lovelace
This documentary follows LCD Soundsystem frontman James Murphy over a 48-hour period, from the day of the band's final concert at Madison Square Garden to the morning after the show. The film features intermittent segments from an extended interview between Murphy and pop culture journalist Chuck Klosterman.
Big Easy Express (2012), Emmett Malloy
3 bands, 6 cities, and thousands of miles in between... Big Easy Express documents indie folk heroes Old Crow Medicine Show, Mumford & Sons, and Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeroes after they climb aboard a vintage train in California and travel towards New Orleans, Louisiana on a "tour of dreams."
Searching for Sugarman (2013), Malik Bendjelloul
Searching for Sugarman details the efforts of two Cape Town fans in the late 1990s, to find out whether the rumoured death of American musician Sixto Rodriguez was true, and, if not, to discover what had become of him--Rodriguez's music, which never became popular in the United States, had become wildly popular in South Africa, but little was known of him there.
How to Grow a Band (2011), Mark Meatto
Filmed over a two-year period, Meatto's documentary tells the story of how ex-Nickel Creek member Chris Thile worked his way through a divorce and made a creative leap by forming the high-regarded folk quintet, The Punch Brothers.
Doc Pomus, paralyzed with polio as a child in 1920s Brooklyn, reinvented himself as a songwriter later in life, creating some of the greatest hits of the early rock and roll era. The penman for such classic songs as "Save the Last Dance for Me," "This Magic Moment," "A Teenager in Love," and "Viva Las Vegas," Doc Pomus was widely unacknowledged for his contributions to the music of the 1950s and 60s and largely unknown to the public until Hechter and Miller's documentary, AKA Doc Pomus.
And here are a few classic music documentaries that no music buff should go without seeing: Gimme Shelter, the 1970 feature chronicling the last weeks of The Rolling Stones' 1969 US tour which culminated in the disastrous Altamont Free Concert; No Direction Home, the 2005 Martin Scorsese film examining the life and times of Bob Dylan; Stop Making Sense, the famous concert movie by Johnathan Demme featuring the Talking Heads performing live on stage in 1983.
The moment we've all been waiting for is finally here--the very first TEASER VIDEO for the Locavaux Project Documentary! With this glimpse, you'll get just a sampling of the many hours of footage we shot during our journey, as well as the wide range of music we listened to and the countless stories we gathered along while traveling. We hope to give you a taste of life on the road and an idea of what's to come! Enjoy! Stay tuned for more updates in the coming weeks...
Hello Locavaux friends and family! Exciting things are happening over here in Hamilton, New York: we’re all moved in for the fall (Hallie and Katie in their in-town attic apartment and Chase in his cabin-in-the-woods getaway) and postproduction has officially begun! We’re sorting through footage now (did we ever turn that camera off?) and beginning to piece together our special story of local music in the United States. As we reflect on our trip and relive countless memories on camera, we can’t help but think of what made this unforgettable trip happen: YOU! Thanks to the incredible crowd-funding on Kickstarter, we were able to give Georgia the fuel she needed so that we could see as much of the United States, and the incredible people that populate its small towns, big cities and everything in between, as possible. Kickstarter proved to be an incredible resource for us, inspiring in its goal to help small, independent companies make their dreams a reality and humbling with regard to the outreach we personally received from friends, family and strangers alike. As our bus made its way across the country, we made a number of friends who were inspired by our experience with Kickstarter’s unique approach to interactive, creative support, in turn choosing to launch their own Kickstarter campaigns in the hopes of achieving their musical dreams. Here are a few currently in the midst of their funding period that you should take a look at—why not continue your support of local music scenes around the United States?
We met Postmadonna while visiting Seattle in early August, and they introduced us to a rad new music genre we had never even heard of: Math Rock! Combining experimental rock with a progressive, instrumental indie-rock sound, these guys know how to create music that is as catchy as it is complex. The Locavaux Crew can confirm just how awesome Postmadonna’s unique sound is: we heard them play a practice set in their Seattle basement and were blown away by their guitar-playing and drumming talent (read our review of them here!). This group of four talented friends just launched a Kickstarter to help fund their collaborative tour, “Does It Please,” with So Much Light. Check out their unique sound on their premiere LP, “Introducing Postmadonna” and help these Seattle locals pay for a touring van and gas. Trust us, we feel their pain—providing for a gas guzzling mobile home is not cheap. Good luck, guys!
In the Basement Theatre Co. & Rabbit in the Rye
We’re incredibly excited to announce that two musical groups we interviewed while on the road—Pittsburgh’s In The Basement Theatre Co. and Hamilton’s Rabbit in the Rye—are joining forces in Brooklyn and producing a stunning sensory experience, “The Lady in Red Converses with Diablo.” In The Basement Theatre’s own troupe of multi-talented actors are turning a ten-room former hospital basement into an interactive, progressive theatre space in which audience members will walk hand in hand with an estranged orphan as she tears through a diabolic bayou searching for her desired skin. The progressive folk-rock trio, Rabbit in the Rye (our dear Hamilton friends, whose music review of ours you can read here!), is providing the soundtrack to this dance-driven, interactive and immersive theatre experience. This expansive project, which features weekly concerts featuring musicians from around New York City, could benefit from further funding for general production costs, including set design and costumes. So support local acting talent and music and check out Diablo’s Kickstarter! The Locavaux Project can vauch for their awesomeness, as we attending one of their weekly concert series just two weekends ago—Rabbit in the Rye, you get us every time!
Will Houlihan of Haunt the House
You might remember reading our (ecstatically enthusiastic) review here of Providence, Rhode Island’s own Will Houlihan, known on stage as Haunt the House, here way back in June, and so you can’t even imagine our excitement when we heard our favorite Bob Dylan-Elliot Smith hybrid was announcing the release of his second album! Will, a gentle soul with the lyricism and guitar skills of a seasoned vet, recorded his first album, Rural Introspection Study Group, as a solo effort; for his second album, he plans to put together an entire band featuring other accomplished artists in the Providence area. So help our dear friend, Will, out and support his musical endeavors on IndieGoGo (a crowd-funding site similar to Kickstarter)! Trust us, he’ll soon be on your autumn-inspired, indie-folk 8tracks playlist in the near future, we just know it…
So come on, feel the Kickstarter love and help support these projects! From personal experience, we know how wonderful it is to feel supported by friends and fans nation-wide.