(First of a several part photo essay based on the shooting of Plain Songs by Daniel Levine with Brian Spellman. Enjoy.)
In a small town called Salem. Mostly farms. Nearest gas station is 20 minutes away.
Building in Sunset Park, Brooklyn, NY.
It was very hard to film in malls because all malls consider themselves to be high risk terrorism threats, even if they only have two or three still functioning storefronts and no anchor. In ten to fifteen years shopping malls will no longer exist.
On the road Brian and I saw a lot of graffiti relating to the recent middle eastern wars on the windows of parked vans and on buildings and in alleyways.
The midwest is filled with abandoned mines. The residents often mention that the unfiltered tap water is dangerous to drink. Oddly though in between small towns there will frequently be billboards advertising water parks.
Some towns were mostly abandoned or demolished buildings. This one used to call itself the cotton capital of the United States.
The entire town of Bayou Korne in Louisiana has been evacuated for roughly two years because of an oil drilling accident that created the country’s largest sinkhole. People drive through. It’s a remarkably well preserved ghost town.
Valparaiso used to host the main factory producing Orville Redenbacker microwave popcorn. Though the factory closed three years ago the town stills holds an annual Orville Redenbacker Festival with live music and memorializes him in this bench statue.
The specter of racial tension still lies over Birmingham Alabama but now takes a much more mournful introspective tone. A sculpture garden dedicated to Martin Luther King’s march there is in a park near the church that was built after the 1953 bombing.
The Mormon culture in Utah represents the most advanced utopian advance of the Weberian Protestant Ethic. The streets are empty by 9pm. A few bars cater mostly to children of Mormons who cut off their parents when they reached adulthood. They dress like people did at ska shows in the 1990s.