It’s a new year and my website has a new look. Many thanks go to Joshua Ballard (Ballard Computing) and the Mississippi Arts Commission for making the transformation possible. This project is supported by funding from the Mississippi Arts Commission, a state agency.
My hope for the website is that it will be a place to find out what’s happening with my music – new tour dates, new music & video content, new merch items, etc. Another new feature will be a monthly blog. The topics I plan to explore are, like my scientific interests of meteorology and astronomy, truly up in the air. My suspicion is that I’ll elaborate on what’s happening musically (plans for upcoming shows), but I’m also likely to reflect on songwriting and scientific influences. Here’s also where I’ll try to answer any questions from friends and fans. Curious about where some of my songwriting ideas come from? Curious to learn more about some of the weather/space themes that I touch on in my songs? Ask away – I’ll do my best to answer as thoroughly and honestly as I can. When I don’t have an answer, I’ll let you know that as well and try to point you in the direction of resources or others far smarter than me.
For those of you familiar with my YouTube channel (http://www.youtube.com/storminswanson), you may have noticed a flurry of activity recently. Two new music videos were posted of which I am particularly proud. “Whale of a Tail” is a sea shanty I wrote more than a decade ago, but have never released. It’s not really a science song – it’s just about a little dog with a very large tail. It’s fun to play for an audience of kids.
Since I’m trying to become more social media savvy, I’m paying more attention to platforms like Twitter, Facebook and Tik-Tok. Since there has been a sea shanty renaissance on Tik-Tok, I thought it would be a good time to work up a video for “Whale of a Tail.” My eldest son is a very talented artist, so I tasked him with making some drawings of me and my fictional dog, Blue. Not only did this get his creative juices flowing, but it was a nice project to work on together to both learn some animation and video editing skills.
My wife, a former television producer, is getting into the music-video making as well. She was the mind behind the “Weather Riddle Song” video. That is a song off my CD, “Do the Weather Wiggle with Stormin’ Bob Swanson,” that had no music video . . . until now.
My wife wanted to make a video inspired by the INXS video, “Mediate.” Of course, that video was itself an homage to Bob Dylan’s “Subterranean Homesick Blues.” And, for me, the best part of the process of planning the video shoot was discovering that Weird Al Yankovic had made his own homage video back in 2012 for his song, “Bob.” I’m a big Weird Al fan . . . next time I’ll talk about novelty songs (including Weird Al’s parodies) played a part in my musical upbringing, and how the accordion has entered my instrumental arsenal.