[Echo Chamber (′ek·ō ′chām·bər): noun, 1. a dedicated space for the purposes of transmission and repetition of sound 2. a video segment that features your favorite bands playing your favorite songs 3. a video segment where your favorite bands blow your mind].
Band / Boca Chica
Songs / “Snow Angels” & “Not on Christmas Eve”
Location / Living room in Regent Square
Time / Tuesday evening before Thanksgiving
The week of Thanksgiving. Already? How did we get here? It seemed like just a week before we were filming Lohio on Halloween and now we’re dealing with the winter holidays. A few days before, Emily, Hallie, and I spent a night decorating the living room for the shoot. Tinsel and Christmas bulbs from Big Lots. We borrowed a tree from Andy (thanks Andy!). I hung a ridiculous amount of bulbs from the ceiling and wrapped random records and books to look like presents. The room had a festive demeanor. We planned on starting around 6 pm, but traffic in the city wasn’t in that generous holiday mood just yet. I texted my downstairs neighbors to let them know we would be making some Christmas music and they should stop up. The band arrived in shifts and, after braving rush hour traffic through the city, weren’t shy about accepting a few cold beers from the fridge. Blake arrived a few minutes after Hallie did with Justin and his gear in tow. Todd was going to be there shortly, so we started setting up and checking sound. The band ran through some Boca Chica standards. Ricky was the last from the band to get in, complete with sleigh bells jingling in his book bag. Christmas had officially arrived on set. When Todd came up the steps, he apologized for being late, and thrusted a light-up Santa into my hands. We definitely had to find a place for this guy.
The band decided to ease into it with “Snow Angels”, the lower key of the two songs. Time to get the jitters out. James and Jay hit a few wrong notes. Justin wasn’t happy with mic placement. A lav mic fell off a winter scarf. Hallie’s hair was muffling her vocals. Blake and I sat back and let everyone do their jobs, trying to not get in the way, and staying out of the shots. We whispered about when to grab pizza as people were getting hungry with each take we completed. It was cold outside, but hot in the apartment, especially with ten people sitting about, most of them wearing festive hats, scarves, and coats. We opened up the windows and let the holiday music escape out onto Celeron Street. After a pizza break in the kicthen, we started into “Not on Christmas Eve” which helped us shake off the mid-work week malaise and think forward to Thanksgiving and the coming holiday season. The band really hit the song hard, laying down three or four equally tight and impressive takes in the blink of an eye. Jay impressed us with little guitar blips of Jingle Bells and Ring of Fire, almost like Christmas gifts for the active listener.
We called it quits as we started inching closer to 10 pm. I had taken off work the next day for the Thanksgiving holiday, but everyone else was back to the daily grind for just a few more days. James thanked me for letting him play my National guitar. I thanked him for being a badass slide player. We collected beer bottles, put mandolins away, talked about upcoming shows, packed up guitars, and unplugged the illuminated Santa. For four hours or so, it really felt like we were existing in that hazy week around Christmas when it’s no work and all play. Funny, that now, it’s almost that exact time we tried to emulated a few weeks ago. Boca Chica successfully pulled me into a holiday mood that night and watching them do it all over again here only gets me more excited for home, roaring fireplaces, cookies, that Christmas Tree smell, and family. I hope these songs do the same to you as they did to us.