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Directed by
Vincent Moon
In Portland

Jens Lekman

I opened the door to the camper van and there was Jens Lekman, a cocktail in one hand and a flower in the other, quizzically looking down at me. This was the first time I'd seen Jens in person. I had intruded on the band's pre-show activities in order to confirm our shoot in Portland the following night. After saying sorry multiple times, I shut the door and walked away feeling somewhat embarrassed.

The next night, after the 3-hour drive south, we found ourselves at The Someday Lounge in Portland, Oregon. Jens and his band have a dedicated following. Both shows I attended were sold out and the crowds were extremely enthusiastic and engaged which comes as no surprise considering Jens' charming showmanship. We had scheduled to shoot at his hotel after the show but when Jens brought out his guitar to play a song for his fans, we grabbed our gear. The lighting was good, there were interesting angles, plus it was warm inside. By about 2am the crowd had dispersed leaving just us and the closing staff. We were fortunate enough to get the endearing accordionist, Kristin Lidell, to accompany Jens and, as if bundled up in some wintery abode, they played these two cozy takes of "Shirin" and "Into Eternity"

A little later we met at the Jupiter Hotel. We were all getting exhausted as it was 2:30 in the morning, but we wanted just a few more songs. Jens called us over to the gravel parking lot across the street and suggested shooting under the lamp in front of the brick wall... this was the first time I'd heard this beautiful, nostalgic b-side, "Radio NRJ", and what a treat it was! So gorgeous, so intimate.

In light of the amazing Arthur Russell cover Jens did with Vincent Moon; I thought it would be interesting for this 'extended' Take-Away Show to have him play yet another cover surrounded again by a pattern. So as if heightening all comparisons, I asked if he knew any Jonathan Richman songs. He said he used to know one but has forgotten it. And with that, our session had come to an end. After all, it was late, it was cold, Jens needed rest, and we had another long drive ahead of us. Earlier, I asked about his experience shooting the very 2nd Take-Away Show with Vincent... of course, he said it was wonderful and also noted that Vincent wanted to take him somewhere exotic like Antarctica. God, I hope that it happens one day!

Nonetheless, thank you Jens for taking the time with us out here in the Pacific Northwest.