Mildly Amusing Musings & Some Photographs

Posts tagged “asbury park


Self Portrait in chrome

Self Portrait in chrome

I could have shot this Cadillac all day. Besides my reflection, you can also see Asbury Park’s Paramount Theatre / Convention Hall.
Oh, how I miss chrome.



Reflection in a Cadillac

Reflection in a Cadillac

A simpler black & white might have worked better. Here is a reflection of Asbury Park’s Paramount Convention Hall in the window of a mid 50’s 56? Cadillac limo.

Let’s Have a Party! Wooooooo!

(C) Conn!

Pictured here is Wanda Jackson at The Wonder Bar in Asbury Park, NJ on August 25, 2012.

This is one of the first photos I edited with my new computer & Lightroom 4.  Phase One of Operation Conn! has begun.  My old pc decided he wasn’t going to connect with our new internet provider so I took him for a checkup.  Said checkup revealed that his capacitors were dying.  The technician said I may have a few more weeks without glitches or a few months.  His last upgrade was about 15 years ago & there was also no easy way to revamp his system to make way for the extra speed & power a new camera will require.  Despite knowing that a mac or at least a laptop would be more practical, I opted for a touchscreen desktop HP.  I waited nearly a week to disconnect my old pal, buy Lightroom, and hook up my new friend.  My old friend served me well & I still didn’t throw him out.  I left him just where he has been for the past 15 years & set up the new pc in front of him.

Prior to the upgrade, Photoshop Elements 5 was my editing program but I kept reading about Lightroom 4 & how great it was so I made sure it was my first purchase (especially when I heard Wanda was coming to town).  I meant to write immediately to document my return to the future (or at least the today) but, of course, I didn’t so now I am writing as a fly has landed on my screen & continues to mess with my typing & as I have 400 photos open in LR waiting to be edited.  400?!  That is insane.  I used to only be able to open about 20 at a time.  With a week of LR editing behind me now, I definitely do not hate it the way I did on first use.  I still dislike that simple terms like “open,” “save” & “close” are “import,” “export” & “delete” in LR.  I also dislike not being able to add text or multiple layers but I now have Elements 10 to take care of that.  I am fairly certain that all sounds pretty amateur to whomever is still reading & didn’t stop when I kept referring to my old pc as a him or didn’t stop at the mere mention of *GASP* editing photos on a pc!

What else is new?


I LOVE Gaslight Anthem’s new album, “Handwritten” & cannot stop listening to it. I am currently eating a Fruit Roll Up.  Despite not watching them, the Olympics did what they have done to me every fourth summer since I was little; they made me start swimming laps again.  I broke my second lawnmower of the summer & had to weedwhack the entire lawn.  I ordered new red boots for my Wonder Woman costume.  addicted to “Entourage” & watched the whole series in less than two weeks & have not stopped watching for over a month.   I do not blog often enough but did start an Instagram to also not keep up to date.

That is about all.  I am hoping Phase Two, buying a new camera, begins within the next few weeks.  I am definitely leaning toward the Canon 5D MkIII but the Nikon D800 is also an option.  I will have to weigh the cost of lenses & batteries for both.

Oh, that isn’t all!  I love Wanda Jackson.  She rocked my socks off.

“It’s in the silence, you can hear the same words…” – BEST of 2012

I’m only 17 days late to the new year.   Oops.

Best Albums of 2011 – “Virgins of Menace” – The Disciplines

& “Elsie” – The Horrible Crowes

Best 7″ – BIG STAR With John Davis:  Live Tribute to Alex Chilton – “Don’t Lie to Me”/”In the Street”/”When My Baby’s Beside Me”

The above also represents my proudest photographic accomplishment thus far.  To have one of my photos on the label of such sonic beauty makes me incredibly happy.

My VERY favorite photo of the year –

Boyd Tinsley - By Conni Freestone

In a year that I lost count of all the shows I could not shoot (due to lack of money, credentials or both), being able to shoot Dave Matthews Caravan was an extraordinary experience.   There are shots from the festival that are technically better than this shot of Boyd Tinsley but this one is my favorite.  It was the third night of DMB & they were playing “Seek Up.”  I just happened to be positioned right where Boyd stepped forward.  Looking at this, I can still recall my shaking knees.  I wanted to drop the camera & just dance along to the music and, at the same time, I wanted to make sure the settings accounted for the different lighting downstage.  I wanted that moment to last forever & now it can & that is why I love shooting concerts.

Runners-up for favorite moments &/or photos include:

Jody Stephens drumming "September Gurls"

Watching Jody Stephens drum  “September Gurls” at the Big Star Third show March 26, 2012.   From the balcony, I could see just how the sticks hit the drums & cymbals.  I was mesmerized.  Where was my video camera?!


Snowball 37

September 19 – Snowball 37 & Nick Clemons Band at Sullivan Hall – One of the most fun shows of the year.  This marked the live debut of SB37 with sax & the energy of the show was really high.   This is one of my favorite pictures because James looks like a cartoon eagle.  I love the shadows & absolutely could have cropped it differently, but it is still one of my favorites.  This show also rocked because Binky & Tony were there.


Snowball 37 - Conn!

Snowball 37’s Family (Re)Union Show with five of the six Fagan siblings & one next generation Fagan.  January 21, 2012  They played my favorite part of “Across the Sea” in a Weezer medley.  Ahhhhh…


Nick Clemons - Conni

November 5 –  Nick Clemons Band & Snowball 37 at Tiki Stadium.   Nick has an incredible voice & a band full of talented musicians.  This was another high energy show.  I love both of these bands.

Flaming Lips - Conni Freestone

Shooting the Flaming Lips gave me chills even though it was 85 degrees outside.


November 14 – That is my skirt & Ken Stringfellow’s shoe.  While I am sad to have not seen the Posies as a whole in over a year, it was more than pleasant to be sitting so close as he sang & played.   I do regret not having a camera that can shoot noiselessly over ISO800.  Too much flash was too rude so the actual photos of this show are not the best.    Good thing Ken has a new album coming out.


brian fallon - conni freestone

September 8 – The Horrible Crowes – I couldn’t afford the Gaslight Anthem shows this year & I would have missed this were it not for the great people at The Aquarian Weekly.


jonathan tiersten & david fagan - Conn!

Any time Jonathan Tiersten & David Fagan play together is great.  This particular shot is of their “Under Pressure” duet on September 11.  I chose this show because of JT’s performance of his song “Underbelly” that night.   Just go to the video & let him take you to church (or as much church as you can be taken to when Ayn Rand inspired the song).


My favorite show of 2012

Bruce Springsteen & JT Bowen - Conni Freestone

Twice this year, we found ourselves watching Bruce Springsteen play the Wonder Bar in Asbury Park (for $10 each).  The second time, July 17, was a tribute to Clarence Clemons and featured The Sensational Soul Cruisers with J.T. Bowen (pictured above).   Listening to J.T. Bowen, I was transported to the Memphis of my dreams, especially when he sang “Try A Little Tenderness.”  I wanted to melt right into the floor.   I can’t find video of that song but you can watch this instead.  Forward about halfway through & you can hear “Shake.”*   He absolutely, positively stole the show for me.  His performance alone would have made this my favorite show.  Other reasons this was my favorite – hearing them talk about Asbury in the old days reminded me of my dad, JT Bowen reminded me of my dad (looks, not voice), the music was so damn good, I had my honey with me AND, because of this show we now have another extremely talented, awesome friend.

*Please let me know why you would ever shake a bowl of soup though

All my life, you’re a friend of mine…

Ever since I was little, I wanted a hug from Clarence Clemons.  The sad news of his passing reached me in the middle of Jonathan Tiersten’s show in Philly.  He passed the guitar to Dave & an impromptu tribute was given.  As soon as we came home, I went to the record player & played “You’re A Friend of Mine” while dancing.  Since I have no words, please enjoy some of the beautiful tributes that were left outside The Stone Pony in Asbury Park, NJ.

For the complete series, please visit my flickr page.

Rest in Peace, Clarence.

“Give me the fevers that just won’t break… Tell me ’bout the cool he sings you in those songs…”

For my birthday in June, I bought tickets to see The Gaslight Anthem at The Stone Pony on August 5, 2010 & tickets to see them play with Weezer at the Allentown State Fair (PA) on September 1.   With all of the Ticketmaster fees, this nearly bankrupted me but seeing concerts is always more fun than having good credit & paying student loans, right? 

So, the August show… was full of the Gaslight fans who really like to mosh & crowd surf.  This makes taking pictures & having a good time difficult.  Plus, during my favorite new song, “Bring It On,” the lady behind me decided to start a fight with the girls behind me – pushing, punching & homophobic words were all pleasantly shared.   As with the Terminal 5 show, I had some moments of wanting to never see them again live, through no fault of their own.  We started walking to the car during the first encore & realized that the sound was actually way better from there (it was an outdoor stage & the car was about 40 feet to the side of the stage) & I loved them again. 

the gaslight anthem stone pony summer stage

Cut to:
September 1 – Allentown

I thought for sure the crowd would be full of people to see both Weezer & The Gaslight Anthem.  I like  love them both, so why shouldn’t everyone?  Oh, that’s right because people today need to be told who to like.   The only thing that could have made this show better would be if some version of Big Star/The Posies were playing too.  (Weezer pics will be in a separate post)…

(c) conni freestone conn!

The Gaslight Anthem played a whirlwind set comprised of almost 20 of my favorite songs.  Since my last attempt at rocking out to “Bring It On” was a failure, this was the exact opposite.  When they started it, I let out a whooping scream that made those around me laugh.  Sorry for being excited.  What a crime!  It was SOOOO nice to be able to dance to these songs.  SOOOOO nice.   I even had the freedom to cry during “American Slang.”  I didn’t cry a lot but sometimes when I really get into it, my emotions get the best of me when he sings “We called for our fathers but our fathers had died…”  I love The Gaslight Anthem. 

brian fallon gaslight anthem by conn!

brian fallon gaslight anthem (C)conn! freestone

gaslight anthem (C) conn! freestone

gaslight anthem (C) conn! freestone

gaslight anthem (C) conn! freestone

gaslight anthem (C) conn! freestone

gaslight anthem (C) conn! freestone

gaslight anthem (C) conn! freestone

gaslight anthem (C) conn! freestone

gaslight anthem (C) conn! freestone

gaslight anthem (C) conn! freestone

gaslight anthem (C) conn! freestone

gaslight anthem (C) conn! freestone

gaslight anthem (C) conn! freestone

Compared to other shows of theirs I have seen, I would rank this pretty high up there just based on being able to really rock out & sing along.  It was a bummer that more people around me didn’t seem very into it.  How can you hear these songs & not at least tap your foot?!   Not to mention that this incredible show was to be followed by Weezer!

The State Fair setting made it even cooler when they played “The Backseat” – “Come July, we’ll ride the ferris wheel, go round & round & round & if you never let me go, well I will never let you down…”

(C) conni freestone conn!

Technically speaking, my close proximity to the stage & the lack of flying feet into my head & camera (except for the last song) would have made this show pretty easy to shoot if I wasn’t so busy enjoying it.  Brian, Alex, Alex & Benny are all enjoyable to watch & highly photographable.   I did have some trouble making adjustments as the sun was setting, until they turned the big lights on.  See how technical I am with terms like “big lights…?”