There’s No Ransom If You Don’t Have A Fucking Hostage.

Jose Gonzalez was one of those rare showcases not at the Rams Head in Annapolis. Being only the 2nd showcase of the year, it was a great early change of pace. Jose was going to play the showcase in Annapolis, but when your country calls you, you damn well answer the phone. At least when it’s Sweden we’re talking about. Surprise- Jose Gonzalez, of Argentinian descent, is actually Swedish. The Embassy of Sweden in DC is one of the most amazing buildings I’ve ever been in. It’s right off of Water Street where it turns into K and sits overlooking the Potomac. It had just completed major renovations prior to the concert and it showed. Water runs through clear tubes in that artistic but structurally sound kind of way, angles are set up to be soothing, and the elevator is completely transparent. It’s basically Ikea’s profits turned into some real 21st century style Scandinavian architecture.

We shot the concert with 3 cameras- 2 HV20s and a PD 150. Sound was recorded into a Marantz through a Press Box. The HV20s were handheld and the PD 150 sat in the back on a tri-pod. We had Alex C hit play when the MC came on and then just let it run, as there were only two shooters.  The MC made mention of a high ranking Embassy official who had just died. The whole concert was going to be a dedication to him. The small auditorium in the embassy’s basement held about 100 people and was a perfect setting. It was just Jose dressed in black with his broke looking acoustic guitar. He stepped on stage, sat down, mumbled some nearly unintelligible English and started playing:

Heartbeats

After the show Jose signed a bunch of stuff for audience members and was very approachable. We finally tore him away from the crowd for an interview. He accompanied us upstairs with his Mute Records label rep and tour management to do the interview with Alex C. (RNR’s Morning Show Host). Before we even got on the elevator the tour manager said, “We don’t have much time, how long will this take?” “10 minutes tops”, I lied to her. Tour managers always say their artist has no time to do anything and we’ve got to be done as quickly as possible. God forbid we don’t all feel rushed. We walked into a break room with some refreshments set aside for Jose and company and did the interview. Hopefully, I’ll get to do a full version of the show with interview segments cut in a la Michael Franti. Until then, lets remember the most significant things Sweden has given American culture in the last 40ish years- Jose Gonzalez and Stockholm Syndrome.

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