Believe it or not, I am working on a few different posts, but writing is coming slower than usual these days. I was never a very quick or succinct writer, and now I’m bogged down with my new twin obsessions of video making and photography. Discovering that using a camera involves more than pointing it and pressing a button has been both the most rewarding and frustrating things I’ve done recently, but at least I’m getting a better grasp of what I’m doing (and not doing.)
This picture is from this past DCLX where I also undertook a pretty ambitious video project of coordinating three other camera operators to try to capture the triple bill of Bria Skonberg, The Boilermaker Jazz Band, and DC’s own Blue Crescent Syncopators all playing on one stage. I even got to sit down and do an interview with the very talented Ms.Skonberg. I’m just starting the process of going through the footage to put together something . . . fun? Educational? Yes. Hopefully.
Although it doesn’t seem like there’s much going on here on this blog, I’m relatively busy updating across “platforms” as the kids like to say these days. This is quick run down of what I’m up to around the ether:
- As always, the Facebook page for this blog is updated regularly. I aim for at least two posts a day (one article and one video) Monday-Thursday, one on Friday, and the odd weekend posting depending on what’s going down. Posts are usually links for and about the dance community around the world.
- My YouTube channel is probably the next busiest with a new video every few weeks. It’s either an old dance video from the vault, or more often these days, something I’ve recorded. My most recent adventure to the wilds of The Mobtown Ballroom captured the elusive Laura Glaess and Mike Roberts cavorting to the sounds of the Boilermaker Jazz Band.
- The Tumblr blog, New Old School Swing, hasn’t seen too much action, although I did post a couple of weeks ago about the epic Basie Ball Hellzapoppin contest in 2004.
- My Twitter handle is J_S_Almonte, but has only seen links to new posts on this blog. I’m going to try to make it more of a habit of posting my 140 character thoughts.
- Also, I have a vimeo page now. There’s only one video there, a short video I took at the White House in the aftermath of the 2012 US Presidential Election, but I’m going to post some of my more creative video projects there eventually.
- A Word on Swing is still a thing as a blog and a YouTube channel. Mr. Bobby White has been busy traveling which is just as well since we have a back log of content. The delay is on me because I’m overwhelming myself with learning every aspect of video recording and editing. I should probably just throw the multitude of interviews we have in the can up there, but the last shreds of my dignity still demands some sort of quality. I did put up the complete interview with Nina Gilkenson as one video, and I’m still proud of episode we did about the musicians at Lindy Focus. Although, I still have a place in my heart for our review and discussion of The Dark Knight rises.
- I’m also contributing news items to Yehoodi’s Swing Nation, a weekly video show hosted by Manu Smith, Nicole Zuckerman, and Rik Panganiban (I refuse to refer to anyone by their Yehoodi usernames. That’s so last decade.) They talk about the current goings on across Lindy Hop and it’s extended family. I don’t actively participate in the production of the show, but I was a guest on one of the first episodes.
Speaking of news, I recently scouted out a possible new hotel for the International Lindy Hop Championships for 2014. The event gets bigger and bigger every year. We’re already past 500 registrations and on track to sell out this year. If you’re not registered, then I suggest you get on that like a duck in heat.
With all this talk of video, I should also mention that I'm honored to be part of the judging panel for this years Jazz Dance Film Festival. It's really one of the more unique opportunities in our scene, so if you have any inkling of putting together a short video for this year's festival, head over to the website and check it out. Putting together a short film sounds like a big deal, but you'd be surprised at how accessible they make it. At the very least, watch all the really cool videos from past festivals.
Other than a recent vacation with the family to the United Arab Emirates, I’m not travelling as much this year, so ILHC will be the next event I’ll be attending. I still DJ regularly around the DC-Baltimore area at exotic places like Chevy Chase Ballroom, The Jam Cellar, and The Mobtown Ballroom. If you can’t hang out at any of those places, then you can always drop me a message through the Facebook page for this blog.