The Pier’s Live Acoustic Series: The Dirty Heads

The Pier’s Live Acoustic Series: The Dirty Heads

The Pier’s Live Acoustic Series
Featuring The Dirty Heads Performing “Cabin By The Sea”

Video: The Dirty Heads – “Cabin By The Sea” (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 rock-reggae 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, record the band’s performing the song. 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 first video in the series debuted on Nov. 12, 2012 with Cas Haley performing an unreleased song at the time with “Crazy Good Woman”.

Next Up: The Dirty Heads
The Pier is proud to feature reggae rock mainstays the Dirty Heads as the Series’ second featured band to the series performing their single “Cabin By The Sea”. Given the Dirty Heads prominent position within the genre and recently released album, we made it our mission to lock down Duddy, Jared and the band for the Series. Similar to the series debut artist Cas Haley, the Dirty Heads were a natural fit for the Series’ concept.

The Dirty Heads started as an acoustic act, and the Live Acoustic Series version of “Cabin By the Sea” further demonstrates the band’s comfort when stripping down their songs. “They easily slipped into their acoustic roles. (Drummer) Matt Ochoa became the lead guitar player and (keyboard player) Shawn Hagood was just as comfortable as a harmony singer as he is on his keys during their full-blown stage production,” says Series Director & Editor Tage Plantell.

Back-story: The Shoot
In April 2013 we met one of our many goals with the Live Acoustic Series by securing one of our target bands—namely the Dirty Heads. We wouldn’t be doing justice to this incredible collaboration if we didn’t take a little time to explain the complexities behind the effort. At the time, the Dirty Heads were on a national tour, and for those who are familiar with the complexities of a national tour, you understand the challenges. The Dirty Heads were making the 10-plus hour drive between Utah and Colorado. This hectic schedule left the band with very limited down time and a very small window to shoot the video.

In addition to the tour complexities, we also had to coordinate with Boulder, CO’s Fox Theatre. Shooting a video at an operational venue added additional challenges, because they can’t just shut-down the venue for a video shoot. After communicating for days between the venue, management, tour management and even band members, we were able to narrow down a window of time. However, this window of time interfered with the venue’s production schedule, sound checks and security.

Long story short, with great flexibility from the Fox Theatre staff and band members, everyone was able to make the video happen. Once the Dirty Heads arrived at the venue, we waited for the guys to wake-up from an overnight drive from Utah, locate their guitars and gather themselves. Camera, lights and sound were set as the guys slowly filtered in. The Dirty Heads plugged-in, ran through the song a couple of times and then we hit record. The rest is music history.

The Shoot: “Cabin By the Sea”
“Cabin By The Sea,” the title track from the band’s 2012 second full-length album, was chosen for the video. Like most of the album, the song offers an accessible story with a laid back, Cali-acoustic vibe. “…the idea behind the whole album is that ‘Cabin By The Sea’ is sort of a place where you can go to in your head…you can escape for an hour and go on a trip and just get away,” shares percussionist Jon Olazabal.

The song’s arrangement is simple sounding, yet full of many musical layers. The melody and rhythm are catchy, fun and full of life. “The inherent laid-back rhythm and extremely accessible melody combine to make “Cabin By The Sea” completely infectious…I found myself singing the song over and over in my head for days following the shoot,” reflects Plantell.

Along with the song’s sound, there is an obvious connection between the six members that we filmed. “They love to laugh and it’s obvious that they love what they do, and it came across in the video,” says Plantell.

The guys even had the opportunity to clown The Pier’s Mike Patti. Patti was in charge of the clapboard, which helps to sync the video sound with the footage. At the beginning of one of the takes, Patti signaled action with the clapboard and began to walk away, and once his back was turned, the band all began to simulate the clapboard with their hands. “…when I tried to sync the footage with the music, it took me FOREVER to find the right CLAP. I have the shot somewhere, I should post it, because…it was pretty funny,” laughs Plantell.

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 & corporate videos. In addition to working in the video/production field, Plantell is an accomplished musician and songwriter. Prior to leading his current band Dusty Radio, Plantell was a member of “On Second Thought” and toured the country with bands like Vertical Horizon, Guster, Bob Schneider, The Samples and many others.

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 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.


Video: The Dirty Heads – “Cabin By The Sea” (The Pier’s Live Acoustic Series)

The Pier “Live Acoustic Series” Credits
Director/Producer/Editor/Videographer: Tage Plantell
Assistant Producer: Kit Chalberg
Sound Engineer: Kyle Zender
Filmed On Location: The Fox Theatre. Boulder, CO

Dirty Heads Links:
Dirty Heads Blog
Dirty Heads Website
Dirty Heads Facebook

Article By: Kit Chalberg

Video: Cas Haley – “Crazy Good Woman” (The Pier’s Live Acoustic Series Debut)