The Crackerfarm Aesthetic

Lindsay Rome & Mike Beyer AKA Crackerfarm

The formidable husband and wife photography team Crackerfarm creates work that is cutting edge and passion directed in all areas of their domain. The essence of Crackerfarm is their fine art. Whether they are creating commercial work in music portraiture, fashion, music video or fine art photography, their aesthetic framework scaffolds seamlessly.Featured on the Crackerfarm website is an intriguing photo series of masked individuals posed stoically in a variety of settings. It is simultaneously unsettling and humorous. The individual subjects identity is hidden and therefore altered presenting a visual play. The internal identity and branded identity intertwine and form a contextual perception. Other photos juxtapose inanimate objects to construct a forbidden territory of taboo and edgy affectation.

In the field of music, most notable is their photographs and videos of La
nghorne Slim and the Avett Brothers that follow both groups journey from grassroots to their rise to the national stage. Producing work out of passion and love has derived superb results. While their photographs are provocative, they also beckon the viewer with their humanity and warmth.

Their more recent entry into the world of music video and music film documentation is a welcome addition. Crackerfarm’
s "EPK" of the Avett Brothers is a production that was assembled with snippets from their ongoing full-length documentary. It combines the grainy quality of old reel-to-reel film footage with a warm afterglow seen in vintage Photographs. They lovingly intersperse color shots with black and white without sacrificing the overall sensibility.

Crackerfarm’s more impromptu footage of Langhorne Slim and the Avett Brothers create an authentic moment in time. The viewer doesn’t sense the camera. It is deliberately there to capture. It is what the eye sees from a certain point of view but specifically it is what Crackerfarm sees.

The impact of the Crackerfarm aesthetic will continue to contribute to the world of art and music and broaden our perception with their artistry.

OC Educational background? How did you meet?
CF In Ohio, I went to vocational school for photography my junior and senior years of high school in photography. I moved to New York for college after that. I went to SVA... that's where Mike and I met.

OC In what way does working as collaborative team effect the outcome of your work?

CF We have a very similar aesthetic and similar taste overall...our work might be the same if we made things separately.. but we pretty much collaborate in all ways on all the things that we do make..

OC Does it work more like a collaborative negotiation of sorts?

CF We really like the same things most of the time, but there is always negotiation...making pictures, and now video, is the thing we agree on the easiest in our relationship I think.

OC Is your art photography a separate entity from your music and commercial work?
CF Yes and no..we've always wanted the line to blend between the two and sometimes it starts to blur a little..that's certainly a goal of ours.

OC Does your commercial affiliations whether shooting for Urban Outfitters or going on a music assignment conflict or add to your artistic goals?

CF Commercial work is our bread and butter....we think of photography as both art and commerce..knowing how to take pictures is a trade for us sometimes and a meaningful form of expression other times.

OC It seems to me that people hire you for your aesthetic.
CF Thanks:).. for the most part maybe they do..but we try to work harder than most and to do it with a good attitude too so hopefully that comes across..

OC Are you ever concerned that becoming commercially successful will effect Crackerfarm's
artistic goals? Do you take precautions?
CF I would feel happy and fortunate to become successful commercially..it would just allow us more financial freedom to make art or movies...or whatever else, babies?

OC When people hire Crackerfarm, how much control do you have in how your photograghs
are represented?
CF Again, it sort of depends on the job.. sometimes we have total control and opportunity to see a project through to the end..other times though, we just take the pictures and whomever hired us does the rest...either way is cool with us..

OC Your music photography and video are presentations are obviously your aesthetic but also create iconic images that represent others. Is that aspect important you? Which comes first?

CF I think it ends up being very collaborative most of the time...we bring a little and they bring a little and when the interaction is harmonious and awesome I feel like that's when the work is at it's best..That's sorta the ideal situation..

OC What brought you to the music of the Avett Brothers and Langhorne Slim? Is this personal and outside of commercial endeavors?

CF We fell in love with Langhorne the first time we saw him perform..He was sharing a bill with Kimya Dawson and Regina Spektor at Tonic..he stole the show in my eyes. They were all great but I remember being entirely blown away by Slim. That was in 2001 or 2002..We met the Avetts because they hired us to do a photo shoot and we hit it off immediately. We went to see them play that night for the first time at The Living Room and were blown away in the same way that we were at that first Slim show..Both the Avetts and Langhorne are like family to us now..In that way it's extremely personal work because we really care about them as people. The work we do with them is as much about having a really good record of this exciting time in all of our lives as it is about photographing them because we have a career as photographers..if that makes sense..

OC Was music always a passion aside from photography?

CF For me it was.my big brother is a musician and since I was a little kid music has been extremely important to me.very cathartic and theraputic...I am not a talented musician however..so I find my ways of expressing my love of music I guess, visually..

OC Langhorne Slim "Rebel Side of Heaven" and the Jamie Lidell "Little Bit Of Feel Good" videos are quite a departure from the videos featured on your site, what does the Crakerfarm team bring to commercial videos, like art direction etc....?

CF We have started to venture into that world of motion pictures and it's exciting..those videos are ones that we conceived with the musicians and everything else we did ourselves.. with some help from an awesome team of course..

OC DIY Ethic, the Internet, offering work for free, do you think it leads to opportunities?

CF Yes indeed..those have all been important elements of our business growth for sure..very important ones..

OC Do you have future goals about video production and directing as it relates to music, and the EPK of Avett Brothers, is there a documentary in the making?

CF Yes we have many projects in the works..we have been shooting an Avett Brothers documentary for over a year now..Our goal is to release it at the same time as their next full length album..dunno exactly when that'll be but we're filming all the while.. We think that this will be an ongoing documentary, the afore mentioned release being the first of a series.

OC Anything I left out that you would like to say?

CF Thank you!!!:)

Avett Brothers sing "For Today"

Langhorne Slim Singing "We love the Animals"

Crackerfarm You Tube Channel


Langhorne Slim Sold Out Send Off @ The Mercury Lounge

Belated Review: Home at 2:45 up at 6:00 for work. Worth It!

In my other life, I am perpetually late, but not when it comes to going to see live music. So Wednesday night, sitting at the Pink Pony listening to the Clash on the jukebox and savoring my last taste of creme brulee, I was finished stalling. So I ventured around the corner to the Mercury Lounge for Langhorne Slim’s sold-out show. Defiantly t
oo early!

One benefit, I watched the arrival of a slew of important people on a guest list to see the band J. Roddy Watson and the Business. All saying, “I’m on the List.” The back room was filled with about thirty people. The young man on the piano, with his support players on guitar, bass, and drums, was about to give the show of a lifetime, regardless of the statuesque audience. I’ve been to only one other “tryout,” and they are a bit awkward.

J. Roddy, with curly long locks, has a great voice and magnetic delivery of southern rip-roaring rock and roll. I’ve never seen anyone literally hump a piano. I wasn’t sure if the piano stool would slip under him or if the piano would slide across the stage from all the pounding and movement. Leon
Russell on meth comes to mind! It was uproariously loud and resurrected the sound of classic rockn’ roll in the highest order. Dated, who cares. Oh soo good!
WOXY Session

                                                            Hoots and Hellmouth

I was there to socialize and see Langhorne Slim but decided to make a commitment to see
Hoots and Hellmouth’s very enjoyable set. The trio of Sean (guitar), Andrew (Mandolin), and Rob (guitar) with the addition of stand-up bass and Bob Beach, a fierce harmonica player.

The set up of two wooden platforms in lieu of percussion offered a muffled stomp beat that worked nicely with the acoustic instruments. Authenticity abounds. Their instruments resonated while the gospelesque roots rock, soulful vocals, and rich harmonies rose to create a surround-sound effect. Hoots and Hellmouth's unpredictable styling provide a marvelous listening juxtaposition with acoustics that are both soft and furious. And when they come on strong, their flowing hair head-bangs to the rhythm, building a joyful experience to watch and hear!

Flickr Set

Langhorne Slim and the War Eagles

The lounge was packed for Langhorne Slim and the War Eagles with friends, fans, and those that helped along the way. The long-awaited release had finally arrived. We were all there, including five pals from Bermuda who flew in for the night to wish them well on their first headlining tour across the US.

The set began with Langhorne saying, “I promised myself I wouldn't cry.” This show was a tender affair with guitar tuning incidents and some sweet slim banter. The crowd ate it up and smiled, sweated, danced, sang along, clapped, and stomped to the love fest sendoff.

They worked the crowd up and slowed things down. When Langhorne sang Hummingbird unaccompanied, the crowd enjoyed silence with each heartfelt word. “We Love The Animals” was quite a rollicking affair. I had only heard the acoustic version recently uploaded by Crackerfarm on YouTube. The long set left the audience in a sweaty, smiling frenzy and slim invited some of the audience to join them on stage for a grand finale.

As the War Eagles left the stage, the last song of the night, “Rebel Side of Heaven,” was a bait and switch that worked its magic on the crowd, and was delivered with Slim, guitar in hand, and no mic. During the instrumental, he shyly smiled and said, “here’s my solo, guys.” And then, without the usual soulful swagger, he wittily and sweetly sang the closing line. / We ain’t going to hell / well we’re going to the rebel side of heaven /.

And heaven it was, maybe Slim didn’t cry, but many had tears of joy, including me. A night to savor!

Flickr Set

Slim singing "Hummingbird" @ The Mercury Lounge

"Rebel Side of Heaven," directed by Crackerfarm
My review of Self Titled


Langhorne Slim; Self Titled, kick-ass good

Langhorne Slims Self Titled release on Kemado Records is what I need in my life. All thirteen tracks posses the soulful conduit that that goes to the heart and exhilarating energy that can jump-start the spirit. Times are tough and these finely written songs are a welcome reality.

Langhorne’s signature voice is sweet but on this recording the rough edges reek with soulful timber. It is no surprise that his inspirational music hero is Otis Redding.
Bringing this inspiration to fruition is Slims hard guitar pickn’, the duo The War Eagles Paul Defiglia on stand-up bass, Malichi DeLorenzo on drums, with guest player Sam Kassirer on Wurlitzer, piano and accordion. The tuba and trombone are bonus entries.

Combined, create a soulful hoedown, rollicking folk raucous, swaggerific bluesy folkabilly and fierce exhilarating mix. DeLorenzo’s drumming is kick-ass good, his acute timing accelerates to take you higher.
Creative treatments by the production efforts of Malachi Delorenzo and Sam Kassirer lend distinct detailing to the sound, like in the song “Sometimes” a distant sequence of noises descend and artful clapping ensues, or the choral ooh ooh's in “Hello Sunshine”. This band is tight and the added textures, sparkle.

The bowing of the stand-up bass is innovatively accented on the first track “Spinning Compass” and zydeco style accordion accompanies the sing-along conclusion. The wit and philosophical leanings kills in “Rebel Side Of Heaven” / though we have sinned / we ain’t going to hell / we’re going to the rebel side of heaven /. The tuba blows as bass accents, the trombones short repetitive styling, humming chord progression of the Wurlitzer, banging piano keys and vocals that relish the sentiment expressed with a giant wink.
“She’s Gone” starts with a cool cooing sound. Midway the clink and clank percussion breaks up the song and the soulful screaming, bluesy keys and incredible drumming bring on the great chorus / she’s gone / I’m staying / I’m nobody /. I need to come up for air and then comes Colette….

Colette, Shit this song rules. Slims voice is the best I’ve ever heard it. Slow and steady it slowly comes on. / All I wanted was a song and a close friend / we stepped into the light and took pictures of each other / some are in black and white / the others in color / . Then it steps up with a soulful exuberance / Here she comes! / Here she comes! / Here she comes! / with accordion right on queue. Expressing new love and the breathless moment of anticipation, wow even I want to see Colette.

The slow and soulful “Diamonds and Gold” is my new mantra. / You can have all the diamonds / you can have all the gold / but someday your still going to get old / you got to learn to get happy along the way /.
“Tipping Point” is rootsy folky and rollicking with fast paced zany rappin’, guitar pluckin’ hard-ass stand-up and amazing shuffle drumming. / I got so hung up / I said HI_DE _HO / the tipping point / the tipping point / WOWWW…. In keeping with folk styling “Oh Honey” is aligned with the best folk standards focusing on guitar, bass and vocals. / We must walk alone sometimes but oh honey / won’t you let me be / I just love it!

Ending slow and softly with “Hummingbird”. / I’ve been leaning on you without reason or truth / I’m leaving my demons / and the first one I’m leaving is you /. Well love can pull you through but sometimes you got to go it alone.

Yes I am a fan, but I also have ears that hear and a heart that still can be moved. I’m in love with this collection of songs, they make me happy along the way, and that is a basic necessity.

I've seen this group eight times live. Press labels and read more about the hardest working band around!!!!

View headlining tour dates on:
Langhorne Slim MySpace

Shot by Andrew David Watson freelance filmmaker


If You Make It; Awesome DIY Music Site

If You Make it is a thoughtfully entitled Website that will realize the self-fulfilling prophecy that if you make it, they will come. Dave Garwacke's site features friends who love and make music. He films bands that have created a history, memory, and soundtrack in the lives of a broad music community he has been a part of. Dave has been recording them at shows, in garages, apartments, outdoor festivals, and the special The Pink Couch Sessions. He is creating an archival record of current bands and disbanded outfits to be filed on the Web.

What started out as a simple idea is growing, and although it is a labor of love, it has turned out to be a labor of hard work. Dave’s undeniable web programming talent defies the very nature of his philosophical bent. Despite its best intentions to be a makeshift low-key affair, it has seen a lot of traffic. This is a Web community!

Since its inception If You Make It has gone through many design configurations. Right now, he is settling on its current format, but I suggest don’t get too comfortable. I am sure there will be more changes.

The Pink Couch Sessions' quality has stepped up, without losing its downright homey nature. The footage captures the way musicians are rather than just highlighting the music. It presents people true to form. It is as if you, the viewer, are just hanging out, and the music is in your living space. It is close-up and personal and definitely not staged.

One of the most unique things about the site is the music. These bands are not the latest or on anybody's buzz list of up-and-coming bands. They have little web history but are well known within certain music communities, grassroots, word of mouth, and DIY culture.

I am glad Dave took the time and has the ambition of his convictions and wherewithal to know how to present what he loves in the best way possible. This kind of work ethic is unusual for someone who is Twenty-five.

Dave Garwacke's love of music is apparent. I am grateful that he will put forth the time and effort to share this love with all of us.

My interest and affiliation started when I realized Dave was embedding my writing along with the videos he was presenting. His forte is in web development and not writing. So as he started this site I’ve been watching from the sidelines.


Your background education/web programming combined with a love of music.

DG I went to SUNY New Paltz for Computer Engineering, but the whole time I was teaching myself web design and programming. I worked on a couple of local things, including a website for the house I lived in, which had shows in our basement. A ton of bands came through there, and I saw it as a way to get the word out about shows and document all of the things going on there. Unfortunately, our landlord shut it down when he saw an article in the school paper about it. Afterwards I realized that no physical evidence existed of the things that we did there. When I moved to Brooklyn, I wanted to make sure that sort of thing wouldn't happen again.

Philosophical mission of site?

DG I want to expose people to my friend's music through channels that they might not have access to. It's also a fun experiment for me to fool around with.

OC Other possible directions, or wish List for future endeavors.

DG Recently I added in the Pink Couch Sessions which features artists in my Brooklyn apartment performing 2 songs. The next project will be more dynamic and involve artists performing different places in their home communities. Through touring I've seen a lot of communities being sustained by one or two bands that act as parents, fostering new bands and venues into the scene. I want to capture those bands somewhere iconic to them and their community.

Affiliation with Plan-it-x (designing their new site) plus other connections to the bands etc.

DG The majority of the bands on the site are my friends, along with the folks from Plan-it-X. A band I'm in, Halo Fauna, is also on the label. I saw that Chris (owner of PIX) needed an update, I mentioned it to him, and got to work on the site. Other than that, most of the friendships were formed through touring and helping other bands with shows at my old house in New Paltz. For Pink Couch Sessions, I usually just shoot people an email when they come into town, or talk to them at the show about coming over afterwards.

Is part of your goal to keep the music you love alive and exposed?

DG I worry that bands will break up before people have a chance to get into them. Also the ability to see the band in a show atmosphere adds so much more to the song. When you witness the energy the crowd and artists put in it adds something that you never get from a record. Having the videos online also let's younger viewers, who may not be of show age, keep in touch with bands their into.

Any commercial considerations? My philosophy is to expose great music and hopefully help musicians have a viable income from their music without being distracted by other jobs.

DG I'm all about getting help running the site (i.e.; hosting, pr), but I want to make sure that it represents the music first and me second. Hopefully I can get some help from labels that are trying to promote these bands, but the main goal is to help them get attention that may not come naturally. I also had the luck to pick a camera that does an amazing job at recording audio in a live environment. I think it has to do with its lack of bass pickup, which tends to distort other cameras, even ones that cost more. It's a Panasonic GS320, if Panasonic is listening and wants to help a poor boy out.

Has your perspective changed since starting the site and realizing the impact it can have on music?

DG I've noticed throughout the course of the site that the videos on it fall into a special niche. They represent a new group of talent that is up and coming on the east coast. IYMI is in a unique situation because it doesn't come off as commercial, or inversely, poorly done. I want to make sure that the videos are of good quality, but don't want to come off as cheesy or exploitive. MTV already exists and it's a flawed vehicle, only pushing music that has been enhanced and misrepresented.

OC Anything else you wish to mention?

DG Some friends with new releases worth checking out;
Get Bent (NYC), Tin Armor (OH) and Cheeky (NYC).


Drink Up Buttercup @ Less Artists –More Condos

Enthusiastic Female Fan Joining Drink Up Buttercup on stage

I love alterna
tive venues and the people associated with such endeavors. The line-up Saturday night was coordinated by The Rats of Nimh and presented at Less Artists - More Condos. Booked as an underage show, it has a very grown-up atmosphere. This is a great loft space with comfortable furniture and a nice size area for music. So you can socialize while listening to the music or venture into the closed-off music space and get personal. Perfect!! I specifically wanted my friends to see Drink Up Buttercup. They never disappoint. To me, the highlight was their acoustic set at the end. The audience did a stomp and clap as Drink Up brought forth their marvelous gift of harmony, singing “The Lovers Play Dead.” While they warmly sang, Ben Money made deviant time beating a trash can lid to the floor. My astute and musically credentialed friend described their music with one awesome idiom, “Campfire Metal.” Shit, wish I had come up with that one.
 Acoustic Campfire Circle Video, filmed at The Moose in Doylestown, PA

Flickr Set Here to keep up to date with all ages events go to Sleep When Dead NYC

Art and Politics

Art that provokes; Shepard Fairey has been working in the street culture of art to effect change for many years. Working with iconic imagery, he creates confrontational art that provokes thinking. He exploits the advertising culture's tool of aligning a subliminal message with an image to effectively proliferate a lasting impression.

Mission: Manufacturing Quality Dissent since 1989 Propaganda Engineering
“I wanted to make an art piece of Barack Obama because I thought an iconic portrait of him could symbolize and amplify the importance of his mission. I believe Obama will guide this country to a future where everyone can thrive and I should support him vigorously for the sake of my two young daughters. I have made art opposing the Iraq war for several years, and making art of Obama, who opposed the war from the start, is like making art for peace. I know I have an audience of young art fans and I’m delighted if I can encourage them to see the merits of Barack Obama.”

-Shepard Fairey

purchase poster here (100% contribution for the Obama Campaign).


Novice Theory; The Magic of Delivery @ Joe’s Pub 4 /5 /08

Novice Theory’s first headlining show at Joe’s Pub was sold out. The young Geo Wyeth rose to the occasion and delivered a charismatic captivating set exhibiting performance acumen, timing and delivery.

Novice Theory’s theatrical entry accelerated the anticipation, as he walked through the upper balcony playing the accordion. He turned to face the crowd to sing above the stairway as the patrons in the reserved dinner section raised their heads in an upward gaze. He descended the stairway towards the stage, the stoic presence of the baby grand awaited.

Without restraint he hit the keys in breakout classical mode, abstract chords and rough-cut jazz. Bringing on vocals of authenticity and forceful finesse creating an edge of the unexpected.
His charismatic performance style was revealed as he broadly struck the piano keys adding expressive facial mannerisms and head-moves resembling involuntary whiplash.

While the songs content are emotional and centered around his core identity, he juxtaposes them with buoyant keys and short scats leading to provocative lyrics. / I am not an idol / you can rub me down / I live in this fiction, but this is reality to me / this is skin with a capital T.

Ten glorious songs in, Geo took a brief intermission and came back up through the bleacher section for act two. Once again accordion in tow, singing a trance Irish-style ballad called “About A Dream” conveying a father and son forging the frontier of maleness in battle and hero fantasy. Not a sound could be heard only the wayward voice of grit.

He continued on stage singing “I’ve Been Riding With The Ghost” (a Magnolia Electric Company accordion cover) Followed by a very original take on piano of the Cat Power song “I Don’t Blame You”. The closing song “In The End We Listen” was a showstopper…/ praise all the holy names / save some from my fall from grace / ……in the fire / in the fire / in the fire……. The audience clapped in time to the striking build up.

The crowd rose to their feet as Geo left the stage, only to return saying he would do one more. Hitting a piano key for pitch he sang a rap with stompn’ snap, displaying his broad repertoire. With confidence and flair he kept the audience fully enthralled.

Special guest Carol Lipnik opened with a short but memorable set accompanied by Dred Scott on piano. She is a vocalist and songwriter with a dramatic stage style. Her vocal range soars and applies a broad strokes to the images she paints in song. The ground beneath me is slipping again / I’m not falling / I must be floating /. I have never heard a range so dynamic. Her deep resonating alto and a high octave range is not operatic but artistic and mesmerizing.

Flickr Photo Set

Before the show I asked my husband how I looked. He said, “You’re overdressed. It’s a jeans crowd. It’s the Village”. Well I looked nice but not nearly as colorful as the crowd assembled. They reminded me of the John Waters Pink Flamingos release party I attended in the early seventies in Baltimore. Get the picture!


Spreading Music; one reader at a time

Obsession Collection Blog Site is a Labor of Love.
* Created June 06.
* I have a full time job. This is my second and third shift.
* Quality over Quantity.
* I really care about music and the people who make it.

ALMOST ONE THOUSAND HITS A MONTH. Slowly one reader at a time...

I would really appreciate some encouragement. We all need it sometimes. Being an old gal it is difficult to get support from my peers. They are sleeping when I am writing or out seeing music live.

So.....if you can spread the word about Obsession Collection I would appreciate it. I don't have a facebook page because for now I am anonymous. I plan to come out of the closet. I am slowly doing just that. here original song
...It tells the story in song about the origins of this blog. About seven years ago I heard music that changed my life.

So stay here and read you will see the LOVE................


Artifact (in the virtual world)


David Dondero Video; Rothko Chapel

Just Love this song and Dondero! New video directed and animated by Alexandra Valenti and Holly Bronko. Read all my ramblings about this great songwriter.


 Also, see as part of a collection: Hoonan TV YouTube Channel with cool videos from Apollo Sunshine, David Dondero, and The Grouch hosted by Hoonan and Dat Phan. Getting hits and nice exposure for David Dondero's music.


Saturday Night Treat; Novice Theory at Joe's Pub

Saturday night......Oh, what’s an old "girl" to do?
I'll be at
Joe's Pub seeing Novice Theory's first headlining show!! There are about 40 tickets left, and some at the door.

Earl Dax is a producer extraordinaire (Weimar, New York). To my delight and surprise, he has been spreading Obsession Collections words all over town. So it is cool when someone knows how to WORK IT. Earl ends all his promotional mailings...............

As always, thank you for your support of alternative performance, nightlife and culture. ~earl

Dax amore Time Out article
My words......Novice Theory