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 –
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:
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?!
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’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…
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.
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.
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.
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
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
That is Monster at Denny’s. He came with me to see Run Robot Saturday night. Run Robot is a kick ass rock band. This is Mike. He is the lead singer and is also the bass player for another of my favorite bands, Binky Bianca .
This is Chet. He plays guitar for Run Robot & Trick Bag (who I have yet to see live) & he is also one of my favorite photographers.
They’re both awesome people who I am grateful to count as friends. A wise, talented, successful musician* recently said to me, “Wow, you really support your friends.” I responded by telling him that I really love music and am afraid that live music is going to die. Also, I really believe that these friends of mine are incredibly talented. In most cases, I became their friends after I already was a fan of the music.
Here is Binky from Binky Bianca at Uncle Mike’s on Mischief Night. Her talents are too many to count.
This is Crow from The Vile All Stars performing at Don Hill’s on Halloween night.
This is Misha at the same show. While she performed solo on this night, she also has a band – Grace Beats Karma.
This is Greg from Snowball 37.
Regular readers may recognize this as Dave from Snowball 37.
These are my five favorite bands.
This is one of my favorite kitties, Bullety.
*Rivers Cuomo rocks. Let it be stated here that I cannot get enough of the “Words & dreams & a million screams…” part of “Across The Sea.” wow.
So, apparently the wedding pictures I took weren’t too horrible because my friends presented me with a very unexpected thank you gift in the form of the most awesome Lensbaby 2.0 (maybe they’re just really nice, awesome people). I have had it for less than a week & have yet to dedicate sufficient time to fooling around with it but preliminary results are extraordinary. The only downfall is that I cannot just shoot while driving unless the subject is about two feet away. Here are some fun early pictures.
Below is Anthony, from Binky Bianca. He is half of the aforementioned couple. For this shot, I was borrowing a color splash flash that I intend to add to my repertoire as soon as I am done writing this. For the record, Binky Bianca is one helluvan amazing band. I have had their song, “Absolute” stuck in my head for months now.
Snowball 37 shared Saturday’s bill with Binky Bianca.
For more on Lensbaby, Binky Bianca, Binky (whose married to Anthony & thus responsible for making Lensbaby a part of my life), and all other cool artsy things, please visit mimeographic.com. I seriously don’t know where this girl finds the time… I still haven’t posted all my photos from SXSW nor have I really begun the documentary editing process.
This week the theme found me. My subjects were most cooperative in offering me instances of them hiding.
I did not pick Zoey (above) because of her hide/fur. I took this because she was hiding in her litter box in the back of the cage. While I have not researched the matter, it seems to me that the shelter cats find some comfort in their litter boxes. Unfortunately, this makes it more difficult for them to be noticed and subsequently adopted. This is where the volunteers play a big role by helping cats like Zoey warm up to human contact and/or letting prospective adopters know that there is a shy kitty that may fit their needs.
Midnight (above) is not shy. Her red tag means that she is not quite ready for adoption. She may have just recovered from an illness or she may be awaiting test results. Any which way, this meant I could not take her out which was probably a good thing because she looks like a troublemaker.
I did not quite catch the hiding aspect of the napkin on my niece’s head but I figured I would include this for those people who like babies more than animals. I am not one of them, but I do think Kaylee is cute.
Has anyone seen the new Pedigree commercial? It’s the one where dogs are in the shelter looking sad while voice over David Duchovny (sp) says something like, “I can sit, I can play fetch… so why am I here?” Well, if that’s not reflection, I do not know what is. When I went to Liberty Humane this weekend, those words kept echoing in my mind. I will spare you ALL of the pictures & just post this one. This is James. He is a pitbull mix available for adoption at Liberty Humane Society in Jersey City, NJ. He is adorable & very sweet.
This next shot is “backstage” at the Snowball 37 show at Maxwell’s in Hoboken. By backstage, I am referring to the downstairs storage area not a fancy green room with a spread of little bread and oversized cold cuts (“This Is Spinal Tap” anyone?). I did not stage this shot. The greathing about always taking pictures is that those around you get used to it eventually and forget you are taking their pictures. This is David Fagan from Snowball 37 reflecting on his upcoming show.
In my attempts to clear room on my hard drive, I accidentally deleted the RAW file for my entry. The original photo was supposed to be the food face but when I saw the image on the screen, the reflection of Babe Ruth was so clear that I forgot about the food face. Babe Ruth was not there & this is not altered. I tried thinking it looked like Johnny Cash, but it really looks alot more like Babe Ruth. What do you think?
I was a slacker last week & did not leave comments on all of the other entries. I apologize. I have been actively researching SXSW for my upcoming trip & working a bunch.
Other SAPCC reflectors: