mewithoutYou - "Red Cow & Dorothy" premiere on by daniel davison

The mewithoutYou video I directed premiered today via and can be seen below.  This was a very special project for me.  My first music video ever was for mewithoutYou.  It was made as a spur of the moment birthday gift for the bands singer, Aaron.  My friend Casey and I were bored late one night (probably tired from dumpster diving at the Doritos factory or at the Kodak warehouse, haha) sometime early January 2003, and decided to make a stop motion video to one of the songs from mewithoutYou's then new record "Catch for us the foxes".  We made a stop motion video using a shitty minidv camera, and mailed it to Aaron a few days later.  The band and label ended up loving it and decided to use it as the official video for "Disaster Tourism".

Anyhow, it was special to get to work with long time friends.  We toured the US and Europe together multiple times back in 2002-2004, and have also done some traveling and exploring together outside of music.  So to create something together was a real treat... especially a project that lightly involved doing some very open ended travel.  These guys have always been an inspiring and amazing group of people/musicians.  I'm grateful to call them friends. 

For fun, you can see the very old (circa 2003) video I made for "Disaster Tourism" here.  Enjoy. 

Chicago cycling = medicine for the mind, body, spirit, and creativity by daniel davison

I recently returned from a US tour with ETID.  We were supporting The Used.  Marmozets and The Eeries were also on the tour.  Marmozets are the best band that I've had the privilege of touring with in a very long time.  And the best people, we instantly became great friends.  It was really nice being back on tour in the US.  Got to see lots of friends and family, and get back to some cities that I hadn't visited in some time, which was fantastic. 

Touching John Hancock Center

Touching John Hancock Center

But alas, I'm home in Chicago.  I'd been really missing Chicago and Lake Michigan, especially toward the end of the tour.  Biking to the Lake was first thing on my agenda when I returned home.   So a couple times in the last few days I've been able to go out for long bikes rides through the city and along the Lakefront Trail.  It's absolutely the best way to see Chicago.  Everything about it is so good; finding new (to you) hidden corners of the city that you might otherwise have never noticed, getting to see all of the public and street art in the city, riding beneath the towering and beautiful architecture of downtown, and riding along Lake Michigan for miles and miles.  It's also inspiring to see how many people are out doing the same exact thing.  I love it.  It really is medicine for me in so many ways.

I stop at multiple points along the way to have a walk around and take photos with my phone, maybe have a cig, or maybe a cup of coffee.  These photos were taken today (Saturday, May 9) and 2 days ago (Thursday, May 7).  The juxtaposition of the weather and vibe of these two days was pretty incredible.  Today was supremely foggy, windy, and cold, while Thursday was literally the absolute perfect Chicago day one could ask for.  85 degrees, sunny, with a nice constant breeze.  That's one of the things that I love so much about Chicago, you can never really guess what the weather is going to be like on any given day... or even at any given hour, really.  It's always changing.  I like that. 

SWEDEN: 2 shows, old friends, Sunshine, beers, and lots of coffee. by daniel davison

I love Sweden.  I've loved Sweden since my first trip here in 2006.  I came here with Norma Jean in the Fall of '06 to shoot two music videos for songs from "Redeemer" ("songs sound much sadder" and "Blueprints for future homes").  We stayed in Skellefteå for a few days shooting videos with the bad ass guys from Popcore Films.  The highlight of the trip was the last night BBQ at one of the directors parents houses, on the Baltic Sea.  This is where I first experienced a wood burning hot tub.  We soaked in the hot tub, then would jump in the freezing cold Sea, then back into the tub.  Repeat.  How could one not love Sweden?

My second trip to Sweden was a quick stop in July 2011 with Underoath to play the Peace and Love Festival.  Had a great time even though it was such a short stay.  Got to see The Stokes, M.I.A., and Atmosphere play.  A quick Google to remember when this fest was resulted in finding this dumb photo of me while playing the fest, haha: 

So yesterday was my first time back to Sweden since 2011.  This was my first show in Stockholm.  Had a great time!  Here's a little video from the show.

Got to see some old friends from Blindside, whom I hadn't seen in years.  It was so good to see them.  Before the show they took me for a beer in the Södermalm neighborhood of Stockholm, which was really nice.  After the show we went to a great bar called Gondolen, which overlooked all of downtown Stockholm.  Was a very inspiring and life giving evening. 

Today I woke up in Gothenburg.  Immediately headed out in search of Coffee.  Ended up spending a few hours reading, drinking coffee, and eating amazing pastry at a fantastic little cafe De Matteo.  Was a perfectly crisp day outside, the sun shining bright. 

Before the show I was able to explore the city a bit, walking toward the sun for a mile or two.  The light was incredible.  Found a perfect patio bar at Barabicu.  Enjoyed a beer while the sun set.

On the way back to the club, I couldn't help but stop for another coffee at De Matteo.  The show was another great one.  Had a ton of fun playing to a bunch of new people.  Stoked to come back, hopefully soon! 

Now we are off to Antwerp. 

OSLO by daniel davison

Had a fantastic day in Oslo.  The weather couldn't have been any better.  The high afternoon sunshine created brilliant night/day high contrast shadows all over the city.  The sun seemed to stand still for most of the afternoon hours.  It seemed to be always in my eyes.  It was a welcomed brightness. 

Spent a few hours walking around and exploring the city.  Walked up to the top of the beautifully designed Oslo Opera House.  Walked a footpath through a really quaint residential area for a stop at Tim Wendelboe the supposed best coffee in Oslo.  It definitely did not disappoint.  By far my favorite cup of coffee that I've had on the whole tour.  The shop was tiny and very welcoming.  The 3 baristas were so nice and helpful. 

We played a show at Rockefeller, which was really nice and centrally located in the city center.  The show ended up being one of my favorites of the tour. 

Afterward I met an old friend I hadn't seen in many many years.  He booked Norma Jean to play his Festival in Norway, which was our first ever show outside of North America, way back in 2001.  We walked about 20 steps from the venue to Bar Robinet to catch up over a few drinks.  The bar was exactly what I want in a bar.  Small, dark, simple tasty drinks, and good music.  It was the perfect end to the night.  The company and conversation were inimitable. 

Already can't wait to get back to Oslo this June.

Oslo Harbor

Oslo Harbor

Buffalo / 4 shows into my first ETID tour by daniel davison

To prepare for my first tour with ETID, I spent a few days in Buffalo, NY.  It snowed basically the whole time, snowed a lot.  Was strange to realize that it felt pretty normal, since I've gotten quite accustomed to constant snow having lived in Chicago now for two winters. 

On Valentines Day we were scheduled to fly to Paris to start our tour with Architects, but the flight was cancelled due to a snowstorm.  We ended up with an extra day in town.  I decided to wander around a few blocks of downtown, and break in my new GoPro.  I stayed out until I could no longer feel my hands.  The next morning me and two of the guys ended up having to drive to Newark to catch our flight to Paris, since our flight couldn't get out of Buffalo. 

I edited together the Buffalo footage on the flight to Paris, not getting a wink of sleep.  It actually felt like the shortest flight ever, I guess because I was so into editing this stuff.  You can see the final product of the footage here: "Until it blots out the sun and the warm bodies bite".  After Keith and Steve tweeted about it, lots of folks and a few social media outlets in Buffalo have shown the piece some love, which is really cool.  One post can be seen here: The Public.  I've only spent a few days in Buffalo so far, on two different trips to jam with ETID, and so far I've really found the city to be very welcoming and inspiring.  Nice people, amazing architecture, and good food. 

We are now 4 shows into our EU/UK tour with Architects.  We've played Paris, Frankfurt, Prague, and Vienna so far.  I'm writing this post from Munich.  I couldn't have asked for a better first tour, getting to play and explore so many fantastic cities and hang with such a solid group of people for a month.  During the tour I'll be updating my VSCO grid and photos section with photos from every day of the tour.