• David Ullman

20 Years of "Dreaming Out Loud"

Updated: Aug 31


7/31/98 "Cabin Concert" Blueprint

July 31, 1998—Twenty years ago tonight—I was part of a well-attended private show my friends and I put on and played at a place we called "The Cabin." It was a spot where we hung out every Friday night that spring and summer. Playing music around the campfire; drinking Coca-Cola classic; smoking cheap cigars; and having long talks about "love, sex, religion, and U2;" we formed friendships that nourish me to this day. It was a place of life-changing acceptance we often talk about on the podcast LONG WALK SHORT DRINK—especially the "Cabin Kids" episodes (1, 11, 31, 35, 48, and counting).


Normally, the music was impromptu, but this night was different. It was the last time everyone who'd been coming there regularly could be in attendance before many of the group started going off to college, military service, or off along any number of avenues that would take us each down different paths. Eight of us played music in some way, and a lineup was organized that weaved us together in different combinations to form a three hour program of our favorite cover tunes—and just two originals. I played a selection of Pearl Jam, U2, and Dave Matthews songs.



In an effort to capture this one-of-a-kind event, I checked out three cameras from the local cable access center and attempted a multi-cam concert film. The evening was everything I'd hoped for and more, but the resulting footage was often too dark and out of focus. Eventually, I'd go on to add interviews that helped create a structure and edited it all into my first documentary: DREAMING OUT LOUD.


Dreaming Out Loud documentary VHS

That evening, that doc, and those people really set the blueprint for how I'd build the things I wanted to see and make. I still use the moniker Dreaming Out Loud for the things I create with those folks. I'm grateful to still have many of them in my life. Decades have passed, but the spirit of this night persists.


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UPDATE (August 31, 2021)


In conjunction with LWSD Ep. 93 - Cabin Kids Vol. 5: Jackson, which contains a lot of DREAMING OUT LOUD footage, I created the following extended/highlight clips. Aside from the "One Video" at the bottom, the clip segments are expanded and altered to include more shots of what's being discussed in the interviews from the time. The musical performance clips are condensed and intercut with the interview segments. It's a little more sophisticated than what I was able to do at the time—especially given that to do a dissolve, the shots would have to come from two different tapes! I've been wanting to do this for years, so I'm grateful the new LWSD "Cabin Kid" episode gave me the excuse to make it happen.


DREAMING OUT LOUD (EXPANDED OPENING / TRAILER) - This highlight-clip extension of mood-setting sunset scenery and expository introductory interviews combines several key sections from the feature-length VHS documentary.


NICKNAMES & "GANGSTA'S PARADISE" - This expanded clip from the Dreaming Out Loud ("Cabin Kid") documentary includes origin stories for the nicknames "Jacko," "Kramms," "Chimney," and "Pumps," as well as part of Pumps' acoustic cover of rapper Coolio's biggest hit song.


“WEIRD KID IN THE CORNER” - This expanded clip from the Dreaming Out Loud ("Cabin Kid") documentary details the debut of Kramms' first original song, which was a surprise addition to the "Cabin Fest Concert" on July 31, 1998.


“ONE” (Cabin Kid Montage) - Comprised of VHS-C footage filmed from May through August* of 1998, this montage set to U2’s “One” originally appeared after the closing dedication to the DREAMING OUT LOUD documentary (1999). *The first 5 seconds were captured in early 1998.