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).
When I am feeling particularly down, I listen to this song by Daniel Johnston for inspiration. This is a picture from Daniel’s performance at Emo’s on Saturday, March 21. The venue was amazing. It was indoors but the fourth wall opened to a side patio & in the back, there was another patio with a laminated wall of old concert posters. Prior to Daniel’s show, Grupo Fantasma played. They were a rockin’ Tex Mex band* with a horn section; three drummers; another percussionist; a bassist and at least two guitar players. It was a performance worthy of a wide angle lens that I do not have. If you heard them and were not at least a little tempted to join the people who were dancing in the way too packed for dancing crowd, then you are dead on the inside. Even with my heavy bag o’gear & the inability to move more than two inches in any direction, I found myself wanting to shake my groove thing.
Daniel followed them and, much to my surprise, many Grupo Fantasma members joined him for a few songs in the end. Hearing Daniel sing “Live & Let Die” was only made more amazing by the addition of Grupo Fantasma’s horn section. Wow.
*Wikipedia calls them “an 11-piece Latin funk orchestra.”
I love old cars. I think they are beautiful – the lines, the colors, the chrome, the nostalgia… Well, I have a new love – guitars. I always enjoy going to Guitar Center or Sam Ash with my honey. The more guitars I see, the more I love them. My very favorite is the Gretsch silver guitar that my honey’s dad once owned. I did not find one of those to photograph, but we did go to the guitar show at SXSW & I did see many guitars that struck my fancy. If you haveany questions about them, you will have to ask my honey. While I can now almost tell the difference between a Telecaster & a Stratocaster, I could not tell you what makes them sound different or anything like that. Oh, I know what a Humbucker is. I have two of those on my guitar & a single pickup. They help me rock out. Well, they will help me rock out once I learn how to play. Ahhh, that’s the point of this post. Pretty guitars encourage me to learn guitar. I cannot wait to be able to use that wahhh wahhh on a Gretsch.
The guitars above are James Trussart originals. I have no idea what they were before he made them look like this but each one was unique and fabulous. According to my honey, they also sounded really good.
Again, that is not the silver one that I love, nor is it the reissued shiney black one that I play with at Guitar Center but I look at that silver whammy bar & I want to play. I want to rock!
Here is another version of a Gretsch. It probably isn’t $15,000 but it sure is pretty.
Before we left for Texas, I made a mental note to take pictures of the people, the crowds, the things that were happening off stage. Several factors collided to make that an easy note to forget. First, we were always on the move. Most of our venues were within walking distance but you had to walk at a fair pace to make it there on time. Often, there were lines so the earlier you got there, the better. Also, on the busier streets (like 6th Street), it was pretty crowded so stopping in the middle of the street to take a photo put you at risk for being plowed down. I often found myself with the wrong camera out too. When I wanted the Nikon, I had the 1.8 Canon & vice versa. It gets heavy carrying two of those cameras, extra batteries, an extra lens, and the video camera that I rarely used because I was “saving” the battery for the shows even tho the mic cannot handle most live music). I also carried a notebook, a bottle of water, ear plugs (they’re heavy), a few cds & all sorts of other stuff that I figured were essential. We would come back to the room at night pretty sore.
Anyway, here is some motion… Sometimes I get this shot right. Not quite so much here. Oh, that was my other issue – remembering to change my ISO from concert settings to regular ones & remembering to switch back to automatic focus (the Nikon hates to focus in the dark).
My other motion shot actually froze motion but I love it. On our last trip to TN, I had an old school fisheye lens with me & I took a similar shot but the exposure was kinda blah so I was happy to get this one more right. Words cannot express how much I love the open road. I love to drive. I love seeing parts of the country I have never seen before. Once I catch up with SAPCC, please expect a plethora of images related to new places. I cannot wait to hit the open road again. I love travelling with my honey, the PT Cruiser & three seasons of “The Office” on the Ipod.*
I believe those are the Blue Ridge mountains & this is probably about 30 miles into southern VA via I-81.
*”The Dark Knight” was fun to listen to at night too but it works better when it is the beginning of the drive. You really do not appreciate the score until you are on a dark, foggy road in the middle of PA. Spooky. I heart that movie.
Roky Erickson did not play that song but he played “You’re Gonna Miss Me.”
A fully chromed bike with bull horn handlebars. Rock on.
In preparation for sxsw, let me share some Daniel Johnston with you. If you are at all interested in any form of the arts, you must see “The Devil & Daniel Johnston.” It will have you wishing you taped your entire life on cassettes & you will want to buy a Super 8 camera. Then, you will realize that it is a pain in the ass to find film & even more difficult to get it processed. Anyway, Daniel may not technically have the best voice or he may not be the best guitar player/organist, but his music moves me as much as any other artist I love, if not more sometimes. I love him & I cannot wait to see/hear him again next week 🙂 He & Roky Erickson top our “must see” list. Roky Erickson has a great documentary as well – “You’re Gonna Miss Me.” Both Daniel & Roky have been compared to Brian Wilson because of their battles with manic depression. Both documentaries are sad yet hopeful. I have never seen Roky in concert but I did catch Daniel last February.
The lights in the next picture looked like eyes so I added Jeremiah to the picture. It would look much better if Daniel did it, but I didn’t get to ask him.