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 grew up listening to “oldies” music & always loved this song, especially when my dad explained that it was about prostitutes. Who can resist a song about prostitutes, especially ones that save men from boring sex?!
Ah, so here I sit, a year after the passing of Alex Chilton, wondering what I would be listening to if we had not gone to that Big Star show November 18, 2009. My Big Star love affair began quite slowly. In the beginning, I only knew the “Theme from ‘That 70’s Show'” & the song my boyfriend would play me that I knew was either Big Star or Elliott Smith that had the word “going” in it. Soon, the “going” song was fully realized as “The Ballad of El Goodo” & it became my favorite. Then, I learned that Jody Stephens is a very nice person when he was the only one to write back when I sent SXSW photos to him even though they were the worst photos I took all week. So, that was Big Star prior to November 18, 2009. I liked it but I didn’t “get” it.
I prepped for the show by listening to Big Star all day. I decided that “Watch The Sunrise” would be my second favorite song until the show started… Everything changed. I really felt as though there could never be music any more wonderful than what I was hearing. My mind was in overdrive trying to hold on to every second of what I was experiencing. I imagined this must have been the way people felt when they first saw the Beatles. It isn’t anything I can describe. All I know is that it was special & important & a moment that I hope lives forever. A friend of ours traded his ticket stub to someone after the show & I had an odd sense that it would be a mistake but I never expected it to be a mistake because that would be the last formal Big Star show….
Everything I have experienced as a result of loving Big Star has only led to more amazing experiences. I never understood when musicians said that if it weren’t for _____________ band, they would never have started a band. I get it now. It isn’t something I can describe, but I really get it. Big Star makes me want to play, certainly not because it is easy (it isn’t) but because of the way the music makes me feel. I believe Jody, Jon & Ken can keep Big Star alive for as long as they want. I also really hope they get inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. (Please sign the petition ) I understand there is a lot of criticism surrounding the HoF. I have read where people have said “Alex wouldn’t have wanted it” & “the HoF is useless anyway.” Well, maybe a band like Kiss who will sell millions of albums with or without the nomination doesn’t need the HoF but for a band like Big Star, it would open up their music to new fans & secure a place for them in a history much larger than the current cult following. I am not very good at being selfish… I want the whole world to know & love their music.
So, as March 17 rapidly approaches, I will be spending my day listening to Big Star, The Box Tops & Alex Chilton, shedding tears for a man I never met, a man whose music & musical friends deserve nothing but the best. Big Star fans who may be reading this, I declare March 17 “Introduce a friend to Big Star” day 🙂
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.
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)…
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.
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…”
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…?”
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 😦
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.
At last, here are some more shots from Brian Fallon’s Bowery Ballroom show January 15, 2010. Brian was awesome despite a crowd of comedians insistent upon interrupting every break in song with their incessant attempts at changing the setlist. In plain English, there were a lot of assholes who kept shouting song requests. My favorite was when someone yelled for “We Came To Dance.” Brian responded by saying, “No, you came to scream [from the balcony]…” It was a real shame because the stories Brian was telling before & after the songs were pretty special. Also, while I love a good cover here & there, I really enjoy Brian’s music so the cries for covers were even more obnoxious. This crowd was horrendous. I have no idea why they were there. All I know is that Brian Fallon was a real professional about it & I cannot wait to see/hear him again. I am eagerly awaiting a new album of songs to keep my radio happy this summer.
With Dave Hause from The Loved Ones
In the spirit of trying to stay up to date, I figured I would post this. It is the first photo I have edited from 2010’s first rock & roll weekend. Friday was Brian Fallon, Saturday was Snowball 37 & Tourmaline & tonight* was Dinosaur Jr. w/ Kurt Vile.