INTRODUCING THE PIER’S LIVE ACOUSTIC SERIES…
The Pier’s Live Acoustic Series: From Conception to Creation
The vision of the Pier’s “Live Acoustic Series” is to provide Reggae-Rock fans with an intimate, stripped down acoustic experience featuring the genre’s most recognizable bands, along with some new faces. The concept is simple. First, get the genre’s best talent to play an acoustic version of a new or unreleased song. Second, create a production concept that is visually appealing and recognizable. Third, film the band’s performing the songs.
While the concept is simple, the execution is much more difficult. The Series required the coming together of a video director, crew, sound, venue, equipment, The Pier’s network, and, the bands—all with a common vision. Ultimately, this concept aims to produce quality music videos that are unmatched by any other outlet dedicated to covering Reggae-Rock.
The Debut: Cas Haley
The Pier is proud to feature Easy Star Record’s recording artist Cas Haley as the Series’ debut musician. The Pier specifically targeted Haley as the debut artist because of his natural fit for the Series’ overall vision—namely, a musician known for delivering solid acoustic sets. In addition to Haley’s natural fit, he is also working on his second full-length album—meaning there were several new songs to debut for the Series.
The Shoot: “Crazy Good Woman”
In June 2012 all the moving parts came together to produce the Series’ first video. The production team was in place, the venue and artist were confirmed, and the song chosen. The song was filmed during Haley’s stop at Cervantes Other Side in Denver, CO. Known as the “Other Side,” or the little brother to Cervantes Masterpiece Theatre, the venue has a long history in the Denver music scene. It’s the place where jazz legends like Duke Ellington and Count Bassie stopped as they toured through the city. The venue has also hosted B.B. King, James Brown and is a frequent stop of Reggae-Rock bands, from Easy Star Allstars, to Katchafire, Tribal Seeds & more.
For the video, Haley selected new song “Crazy Good Woman”—a reggae infused, singer songwriter inspired tune with a catchy chorus. “I came up with the melody and the ‘Crazy Good Woman’ hook while singing over a 77 Jefferson rhythm. It (the song) sat on the back burner for a couple of months until you guys at the Pier asked if I would like to film a new tune,” says Haley. On the day of the shoot, the song was so new that Haley was literately finishing the song as the production crew worked to organize the set. “I finished up this version the day of filming by using some lyrics from a tune Kemar McGregor and I wrote called ‘Neva Gonna Let You Go’,” reflects Haley.
As the lights were being adjusted, the cameras set and the sound tested, Haley sat on a chair in the empty venue and worked through the song with Denver-based percussionist Brian McRae. It was magical to watch as Haley played through the melody, while McRae improvised with hand drums, cymbals and shakers. This was a rare and unique opportunity to witness a song literally being created on the spot.
Like most things in life, music is always changing and evolving. “Crazy Good Woman” is no exception. The song is featured on Haley’s new, and nearly finished, record—but will sound a little different than the version filmed for the Series. “The lyrics to ‘Crazy Good Woman’ ended up being different on the album version, once I had more time to play with them and shape them,” says Haley.
Haley’s new album is currently being mixed and mastered by Rob Fraboni (Eric Claption, The Band, Bob Marley, Bob Dylan). Although not present during the recording of the album, Haley cites Fraboni as an influencing force. “In theory, I self-produced this record, but not really…. Rob wasn’t present in the studio, but the engineering and production methods we used were influenced by him. He consulted from afar as I planned the sessions and even when we were in there (the studio) setting up microphones,” says Haley.
For the new album, Haley took a purist, old-school approach to the recording process, with very few overdubs, no edits and no plug-ins. True to his singer songwriter roots, Haley recorded the songs live in single takes. Haley’s much anticipated album is due out the first half of 2013.
About The Director and Producer: Tage Plantell
The creative force behind the Live Acoustic Series is Denver-based Director/Producer/Video Editor and Musician, Tage (pronounced Taw-Guh) Plantell. A graduate of the University of Colorado in Film Production, Plantell has been involved with film and music most of his life. He started as an eight-year-old, filming adventure movies with his brother and has since worked on everything from feature films, to commercials, to corporate videos. Plantell currently works a video editor and motion graphics designer for Mark Cuban’s AXS TV. In addition to working in the video/production field, Plantell is an accomplished musician and songwriter.
Plantell’s unique background as a director/producer and musician, bring together experiences that allow him to create professional music videos by seamlessly blending the two arts. “I’ve been a musician most of my life as well as a film-making enthusiast, so making music videos is a logical mix of my two loves in life,” says Plantell. As a musician Plantell has a unique perspective and understanding of music that most video directors simply don’t have.
“Understanding things like song structure and music theory, from a musician’s point of view, really helps me shoot other musicians. I am able to predict their next moves during a shoot and gives me an acute sense of rhythm when editing in post-production,” says Plantell. Plantell’s experience on the stage, in the studio and behind the lens is sure to provide fans, and musicians alike, with a visual experience that is both unique and fitting for the Pier’s Live Acoustic Series.
Come Back Tues, Nov 20th, 2012 For The Video Premiere!
The Pier “Live Acoustic Series” Credits
Director/Producer/Editor/Videographer: Tage Plantell
Assistant Producer: Kit Chalberg
Sound Engineer: Kyle Zender
Article & Photos By: Kit Chalberg