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Music Video to be Filmed with Depot as Backdrop

 Giddings TX (The past year has brought several positive changes to the Giddings Economic Development Corporation-owned Depot Complex, including the renovation of the freight station and the lease agreement with the soon-to-be-open Dime Box Distillery. 

 The Complex is also expected to gain additional visibility this February when it is slated to be featured as the backdrop of a new music video by the alternative-rock band, Darwin’s Finches.

The band made its entrance on the Giddings scene by a chance encounter with GEDC Director Tonya Britton.  While mulling over ideas on how to cost-effectively maintain the property around the recently vacated Depot Building, Britton received a call from the band’s manager, Richard Tomcala, who was seeking a location where band members, who hail from Austin and Houston, could meet up on weekends for practice.  

After thoroughly vetting the group, Britton was able to negotiate a temporary agreement:  While the GEDC is preparing the front of the building for the new Depot Museum, which is expected to open this summer, the band would be allowed to use the back room of the Depot Building for practice without charge so long as they mowed the grass and picked up trash that may find its way onto the property. 

The GEDC would still be responsible for cleaning up and landscaping the flower beds, but would benefit from the free mowing and the temporary occupancy which helps discourage vagrants and others from setting up camp behind the building and in the rear courtyard.  Additionally, the band has volunteered to play at future events hosted on the property so long as their performance schedule allows.

Band to shoot music video at Depot complex 

The band, which has kept to its agreement, began practice in November and its rehearsal time is paying off.  Darwin’s Finches has just released a new album, ‘Good Morning Creatures Vol 2’ on Artificial Head Records. 

 The group is now planning to shoot a music video of one of the album’s featured songs, ‘Hwy 787,’ with the live portion of the shoot being held at the Depot in February and the remainder being shot on the  ‘Ghost Road’ in Saratoga, Texas.

The song features the legend of the ghost lights that are often said to be seen on the small strip of a former train right of way in the Big Thicket area in east Texas. According to locals a lineman working for the railroad was involved in an accident and has since spent nights walking the line with a lantern.  

Locals invited to watch, be in audience ‘shots’

To facilitate the live portion of the video, the band is requesting/inviting locals to come hear them play at the Depot Complex and to star as extras in the video. 

The band is seeking 10-15 people who can stand in front of the band for audience shots. For information concerning the video or general/booking information contact Richard Tomcala 832-258-6626 or email darwinsfinchestheband@gmail.com.

“As a Texas band, it is central to the band to tell Texas stories and to shoot in locations that have retained an authentic ‘Texas’ feel about them. Shooting in Giddings was a no brainer,” stated Tomcala. 

A win for both the band and Giddings EDC

“While the Distillery is paying for utilities throughout the complex and for the maintenance around the Freight Station, the company is not responsible for maintaining the land around the Depot or the Sterling Theater. 

After the departure of the Chamber of Commerce from the Depot Building last summer, the property was left without a caretaker on site and the property needed to be kept free of weeds and debris, while plans for the new Depot Museum are underway. 

“The partnership with Darwin’s Finches was a win for both the GEDC and for the band, and we are looking forward to seeing what other benefits can come out of it,” said Britton.

Darwin’s Finches formed as part band, part prank

Darwin’s Finches was formed in 2006 by Justin Clay as part band, part prank. Joined originally by friends in his Biology class, Clay and a rotating cast of players have played everything from pop-up shows at biker bars (to mixed reviews), art museums, random national parks, shows at clubs that ended with fruit fights and a culminating three-hour show at the legendary Balinese Room that ended with a guitar sacrificed to the Gulf of Mexico. 

Justin took a break from music in 2012 for two years to enjoy his family and the birth of his son, Odin. When he returned to music in 2014, he joined long-time friend and fellow Texas folk psych master Jandek for shows in the UK as a solo act. 

Upon his return home, Justin formed Darwin’s Finches with long-time music partners, Cody Honey on drums and Morgan Moody on bass. 

Band members include: 

Justin Clay – Guitar and vocals. Justin is 37 years old and is an environmental supervisor at the Houston Arboretum. He has a son and owns a home in Magnolia, Texas.

Cody Honey - Drums. Cody is a chemist in Austin , Texas where he lives with his wife and son. 

Morgan Moody – Bass. Morgan is a special needs teacher for Austin Independent School District where he works with troubled youth. 

Richard Tomcala – Manager. Richard has owned and operated American Storm Roofing for the past 13 years in Houston, Texas where he lives with his youngest daughter.

 

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