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I’m constantly looking for interesting nooks and crannies in and around Austin where to shoot bands. Just a stone’s throw from sixth street there’s a spot that’s a longtime favorite but I’ve never had a chance to shoot there. It’s literally in the middle of downtown Austin but when the light hits it just right it feels like you’re in an old eastern European city.
It turned out to be the perfect spot for the song that singer Nathan “Nato” Bardeen and accordionist Gabriel Messer played for me. They’re two of the five guys that make up the Oceanside CA band, the Drowning Men. It’s a full-fledged rock band but there was something very gypsy folky about the song they played. The first take was good but the camera mounted microphone that I used didn’t really capture Nato’s voice over the guitar and accordion. Luckily there was a vagabond-ish young man close by who sheepishly agreed to help out by holding a boom microphone. His name was David and he saved my butt on the shoot. The second take was much better.

Last week I shot series of short video interviews about the Texas Dream Act. I, like all of the students in this video, came to the United States because my parents wanted something for me that I maybe wasn’t possible in Chile. The difference between them and myself is that I had a permanent alien card when I got here. 

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