Mildly Amusing Musings & Some Photographs

Posts tagged “pictures

Flava in Ya Ear – May 15, 2012

I just uploaded my pictures to ADAY.ORG for their worldwide photo project.  The goal was to capture your daily life in ten photos shot on May 15, 2012.  I worked that day but I also had to to take Big Papi to Mini to have his power steering replaced.

My loaner was a 2012 Mini Countryman.  I loved the color & the SiriusXM.  I didn’t have anyone with me to take advantage of the extra roomy backseats but they looked really nice.   There was a sunroof for the front & a moon roof for the rear but I still prefer the full convertible.

Most of the day was grey & rainy & my workload was so spread out that I didn’t have much time during work to shoot anything outside of my route.  Around noon, I decided to take advantage of the loaner Mini’s SiriusXM radio & I started shooting what I was listening to as well as a photo of what was outside at that time.  Syncing the photos to the radio photos was a task I would never complete in a timely fashion & I couldn’t find just ten that worked well for the project.   This made me miss SiriusXM & it also made me want a radio that displayed all the titles of what I listen to.  I suppose an iPod would work too but I liked the idea of selecting from 100+ stations that I didn’t control.  I did take a break from the radio for a little bit to re-take the “There’s A Law” shot I missed last time I had a loaner.

Subsequently, I tested some of the other CDs I had with me to see which would register the song titles.  Besides those few, here is what I listened to May 15 between 11:57am & 6:13pm when I returned the loaner.

I wound up not getting the power steering repaired because they saw my brakes & tires as a bigger safety issue & I just couldn’t afford both.  Big Papi & I are in a very abusive relationship.  Whenever something breaks, I feel like I should sell him & get something cheaper to fix but then I see him & drop his top & our love affair continues…

I really love my expensive, little buddy. His brakes, two tires, a belt and an oil change came to $1100.  The power steering & new related hoses will be in excess of $1500 but they said I can’t damage it anymore than it already is & I can continue to drive him without power steering.  K turns are now Super Triple W turns but otherwise I almost prefer the tighter steering & my arms really could use the workout.  Already the driving muscles I used to have from driving the Dart are coming back.  I wish the Dart would come back too.

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“I’ll close my eyes & listen to you read the story…”

I keep not finishing any of the SXSW posts that I start writing because I am too lazy to upload the photos for the third time (they’re already on facebook & flickr) SO I am just going to post a bunch of highlights, starting with my most favorite moment.

During the BLURT Magazine/ Dogfish Head IPA party at The Ginger Man on Friday, March 16, 2012 at SXSW…

This is Jon Auer & Ken Stringfellow playing/singing “Solar Sister” about five feet away from me.   I am not able to post my own video of this event because someone (me) was screaming a bit too loudly.  I get excited. I can’t help it, especially when I’m in an open space & may have consumed a few glasses of wine.  You can see a great video of it here & be sure to listen up for a special name change in the middle.  When I heard it live, I thought it was just my imagination.  Actually, this whole night was nearly out of my imagination.

Earlier in the evening, Ken started his set with my most favorite of his songs, “Any Love (Cassandra et Lune)” & also played my second favorite, “One Morning” as well as a boatload of great new songs whose titles I don’t know.

Mmmmm… Gretsch.  I love Gretsch.

I have continued my trend of being too close to get good shots.  Luckily, I have great memories despite having a crappy memory.  I shot this with my newly acquired Sony Mavica CD-400.   When we stopped in Delaware on the way to Texas, my brother gave me it because he wasn’t using it anymore.  I had previously had the 300, 400 & 500.  As my dad upgraded, I would get the old one.  I would then find a way to crack the LCD screen.  One time it was because someone said they saw a snake & I fell while running away.  Motherfuckin’ snakes.   Unfortunately, we weren’t in any one place long enough to charge the batteries fully so I didn’t shoot too much with this.

This was also our first time seeing Jon Auer solo.  His “Burn & Shine” medley was particularly exceptional.  He didn’t break any strings though. This might be the first time we’ve seen him play & not break a string.

His open hand was begging for a glowing orb.

I know driving to Texas isn’t free, but did I mention this was a free show?  It was AND there was more greatness to follow when Jody Stephens joined in for some rollicking Big Star songs.

Many special guests came out, including some of the great “Third” singers/players, John Doe, the guy from Blitzen Trapper, Ian Moore & Peter Buck from R.E.M.  I kept thinking Peter Buck looked like Bill Murray so I couldn’t say hello because I kept laughing, expecting him to start reciting “Groundhog’s Day” lines (because I am sure that is what the real Bill Murray does when he isn’t loading Tia Carrere’s band van).

I should start taking notes of set lists or get a new battery for my video camera so I can at least have a poor recording to reference.  Suffice it to say that this only fed my frenzy of adoration for these guys.  Every time we see them together, I fear it will be the last time & I don’t ever want that to be the case.  I do want the next show to be somewhere where it is ok to dance though.  The sitters behind me weren’t too keen on my desire to dance to “September Gurls.”  I hate sitting down almost as much as I hate being quiet.

These guys are the greatest.  Induct them into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame now please (& don’t forget John Fry).


“I’ll bring home the turkey if you bring home the bacon!”

On September 1, 2010, I saw Weezer at The Great Allentown State Fair where another of my favorites, The Gaslight Anthem, opened for them.

I should forewarn you that these are perhaps the best photos I have taken since I first took the D70 to see Green Day.  What a huge difference a giant spotlight makes on concert photos!  It didn’t hurt that I could not take my eyes off of Rivers.  He is quite the showman.  Apologies to Brian, Pat, Scott, & Josh – you are all superb musicians but with the spotlight on Rivers most of the time, it was impossible to not keep my camera fixed on him.   This made me even more pissed that I missed the Williamsburg Waterfront show that my brother in law sang “I Want You To” with Rivers 😦 

weezer (C) conni freestone conn!

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The only problem I experienced was when Rivers came into the crowd & caused a bit of a push… It jarred the memory card in the Nikon & rendered some of those photos un-openable.  This happened again when a crowd surfer landed their boot on my Nikon.*  If most people in the audience are wearing flip flops or Converse, why is it that the ones who choose to crowd surf inevitably are wearing hiking boots?  I know, I shouldn’t have a camera in the crowd but until some outlet decides that it is ok for a female who is under 65 & actually likes music to have a photo pass, I will have to stick to sneaking my cameras in & hoping for the best.  

weezer (C) conni freestone conn!

This photo above is my absolute favorite from the show.  I will do (nearly) anything to be able to shoot the Blinkerton tour, even if it was just for “Across the Sea” & I was kicked out right after 🙂  I cannot wait to see Weezer again, especially in a venue with great lights, great sound & an ability for me to be so close.

By the way, if you have not already purchased “Hurley,” I encourage you to do so yesterday!   My favorites so far are “Unspoken,” “Smart Girls” & “I Want To Be Something.”  Oh, & “Where’s My Sex?” & “Represent” & “All My Friends are Insects.”  Ok, so I like the whole darned thing!

All photos (C) Conn!  Unless you are Weezer, please do not use them without permission.

*Anyone know a way to open Nikon RAW files that give an “end-of-file” error in PhotoShop?  I can see the thumbnails in the preview so it makes it worse to know that they are there & they look good.  I do not have the Nikon software to open these files.  I tried adding them to the hard drive three different times.


“If demons come while you’re under, I’ll be a blue moon in the dark”

Since I waited so long to write about this, I have lost a majority of the minor details pertaining to my initial reactions.  That is not nearly as important as the music anyway.  I have included links to the video that accompanies some of these songs.  Please keep in mind that my video camera is crap & likes to turn itself off.  Also, I like to be as close as possible & I do not possess a wide-angle lens.  Sorry.  Just listen to the music & pretend the quality is better.  Then, go to a live show because live music is better for you anyway. 

The show opened with Chris Stamey, Sondre Lerche, Laura Chilton and others performing “Kanga Roo.”  It was absolutely beautiful. 

This was followed by Yo La Tengo’s set of  “Take Care,” Windows Hotel” & “My Baby Just Cares For Me.”  I had heard great things about YLT & they did not disappoint.  I would certainly see them again if given the chance.  Ira truly channeled his inner Alex for “Windows Hotel” & Georgia’s “Take Care” made me cry.

YLT also backed Jon Spencer on “Rock Hard” & Bangkok,” two of my favorite solo rockers from Alex.   I have never heard Jon Spencer’s music but if he always performs with such enthusiasm, I would gladly see him again as well.  In another venue, I would have been dancing but the City Winery is a bit tight for that. 

Alan Vega joined YLT & Jon Spencer for “Rubber Room” & “Dreambaby Dream.” 

Next up was a set by Gary Talley & Bill Cunningham from The Box Tops, Terry Manning (mix master extraordinaire) & Richard Dworkin.  They played “Free Again,” “Choo Choo Train,” “Neon Rainbow,” “Cry Like a Baby” “Soul Deep” & “The Letter.”  I absolutely could not believe how great they sounded.  Gary Talley has the voice to keep these songs alive.  I would definitely see a Bill Cunningham/Gary Talley Box Tops show.  Once again, I really wanted to dance.  Curses on tight seating!

Ronnie Spector then came out to sing “Walkin in the Rain.”  This was odd because I had no idea what correlation she had to Alex &, in all honesty, she seemed to be there more for herself whereas everyone else seemed to be there to honor Alex.  Such being the case, I would have liked to have heard “Be My Baby” since I remember playing it over & over again on my cassette player when I got the “Dirty Dancing” soundtrack.  My best friend & I would carry it around when we took the dog for a walk, intentionally walking near the house of the boy she had a crush on hoping he would hear.  Back on topic, she then sang a song Alex wrote, “Baby, You’re Okay” with Fran Kowalski.   I love this style of music so I did enjoy both songs.

Danny Kroha from The Gories then sang “Tinaninanoo.”  

Then, Marshall Krenshaw sang “Guantanamerika,” “Dalai Lama” & “Little GTO.”  I was most partial to “Little GTO.”  I would say it was because I am not as familiar with the other two songs but I had never heard the two Alex Chilton solo songs YLT did & I loved them…

Having read some of the stories surrounding the making of “Third/Sister Lovers,” I was excited to see (Elizabeth) Lesa Aldridge (Hoehn).   She was beautiful & it was so enjoyable to watch her perform “Downs” & “Jesus Christ.”  It was particularly nice to hear her tell of the origins of “Jesus Christ.”

Once I saw this guitar on stage, I knew my favorite part of the show was about to begin – the Big Star segments!

Jody Stephens & Jon Auer were joined by Chris Stamey, Gene Holder & Terry Manning.  They performed “In the Street,” “When My Baby’s Beside Me,” “Back of a Car” & “Way Out West” (which was even more heart wrenching in light of Andy Hummel’s recent passing & the touching, heartfelt introduction Jody gave).

jon auer is awesome

jody stephens is a great drummer

terry manning

Evan Dando sang “Nighttime.”  Sorry, Evan, Susan Marshall will forever reign supreme as the premier coverer (I don’t care if that isn’t a word) of this song.  Unfortunately, her version is not on youtube.  I should change that.

evan dando

Jon Auer followed that (thank God) with “Thirteen.”  I missed Ken Stringfellow’s high harmonies so I sang them from my seat (poorly).

jan auer star filter

This was followed by most favorite part of the entire evening.  Jody singing “Blue Moon” while Jon played guitar & sang harmonies.  The video link is from someone else whose camera recording did this far more justice than mine.   I don’t have any words to describe how beautiful this was so please just watch the video & dream like I do that Jody, Jon & Ken will get together to play some more & Jody will sing more because he should.

jody stephens singing blue moon

jody stephens sings

jody stephens & jon auer are awesome

Sondre Lerche came back out (actually he came through the audience) to sing “The Ballad of El Goodo.”  I was still coming down from a “Blue Moon” high but I think this was probably good 🙂 I know the drums were awesome.

sondre lerche

jody stephens

Last up was “September Gurls” followed by Jesse Malin leading everyone in The Replacements’ “Alex Chilton.”  I wish Jon & Jody or anyone else sang it.  Sorry.  I’m not trying to be mean.  I just didn’t get the Jesse Malin/Alex Chilton connection & I like Jon and Jody a lot more. 

Overall, it was an incredible evening & it was truly amazing to hear the variety in the music that Alex wrote & performed.  I do believe his friends gave him a most proper tribute.   My very favorite moment of the night was definitely “Blue Moon.” 

Getting a gorgeous print of one of Stephanie Chernikowski’s photos of Alex was a really nice memento too 🙂  I wish I could have met her & picked her brain for some advice.  Her rock photos are gorgeous.


“I’ll never drown my sorrow in the warm glow of your wine…”

I completely forgot to post these pictures from Wanda Jackson’s February 11, 2010 show at The Knitting Factory – Brooklyn. 

I found out about Wanda Jackson in 2007 when we went to TN for the first time.  We were in the Country Music Hall of Fame when I saw her playing “Hard Headed Woman” on the video loop.  I had no idea that any woman was rockin’ like that in the 1950’s.  It is with great pleasure that I must say she still has “it” at 72 years old.  What an amazing show!

The Lustre Kings opened for her & served as her backing band.

Of course, the record sold out before I got one 😦

 


Driving into spring…

I would much rather sit and mess around with pictures or watch a movie than take the time to update this so here are some Jan/Feb driving shots mixed with some fixed shots from “the shore.” 

I had a terrible headache the other night & didn’t feel like doing much so I decided to play with some pictures.  This started off as a black & white photo.  I was originally going to just paint color onto the sign. Then, I wanted to paint the car.  Then, I got lost in my head & wound up with this.  I wish my license plate really was a pair of lips.


“Crazy for tryin’ & crazy for cryin’…”

It is official.  I need to meet Willie Nelson.  I forgot to publicly mention that my photo of him from a 2006 show was selected for use in his 2010 calendar.  I shot this with a Sony Mavica (the 5 megapixel, mini cd one).

This photo is extra special because my dad really liked it.  When he saw it, he said, “You’re getting pretty good.”  He died two weeks later.  “Crazy” was one of his favorite songs.  Maybe his most favorite.