Archive for the ‘music’ Category

Photo: Beauty Bar Austin

Took this photo many months ago during a show at the Beauty Bar in Austin, Texas.

The Beauty Bar in Austin

Inside the Monsters of Folk

mof
Connor, for the last time, I’m not trading with you, I get to be George and thats final.

Look we all agreed we were gonna pull names out of Mogis’s military hat and that was who we were gonna get to be. Everyone’s been real cool about it, and we even agreed to one round of trading cause you threw a huge shitfit, but this is getting ridiculous.

I know you don’t want to be Bob, everyone knows you don’t want to be Bob, cause you’ve been freaking out about it for hours. I know its soooo obvious that your Bob, but an hour ago you were bitching about having to be Jeff Lynne, so we let you trade with Mogis, but if now your insisting on being George, i’m just gonna let you know there is no way I am trading with you, cause I love George and I really think of all of us, I’m the most like him.

Look.  Jim picked Roy, and that’s awesome cause Jim just nails Roy.  Then Mogis picked Bob, then I picked George, and you freaked out.  Then you wouldn’t pick so we picked for you and now your saying its not fair cause you didn’t get to pick….I mean, c’mon man!

Look. We wouldn’t of had to pick out of the hat in the first place if you didn’t freak out about everyone agreeing that I get to be George, and you have to be Bob.  Alright.  For the millionth time, I know it’s Totally Obvious that you would get to be Bob, but who cares if it’s obvious? I mean nobody cares except you!

I’m done talkin about this! We’ve been over this a billion times already and its final, your Bob, I’m George, Jim is Roy and Mogis is Jeff Lynne!  Look Connor, if you want, you can be Tom Petty, whatever, just run it by the other guys, but there’s just no way were doing a redraw.

The Point of Ecstasis

‘To be outside ones’ self’ is ecstasis. I felt outside myself last night.  I went to a show to see Ume and The Laughing at the Highball.

The Laughing (photographer : Cory Ryan)

 

The Laughing were really good.  The very precise drums and heavy bass seemed to set the tone for the very rhythmic and melodic songs.  These guys put on a good show and they’re a good  band with a hell of a lot of upside.

I have to add that the PA quality of the venue wasn’t that great.  The vocals, for both bands, were hindered by the equipment, but both made do fairly well.  And the fact that they’re two bands grounded by the music helps, ’cause the instruments sounded fine.

Ume (ooo-may)

 

 

 

 

Ume, was definitely the highlight of the night.  That whole band is talented and they do put on a hell of a live show. Lauren Larson is something else on

the guitar.  I was basically right in front of her, and every time I opened my eyes, and found myself in it’s body, I noticed me studying her hands to try to learn how the hell she makes those damn good guitar sounds.  Hell, she was probably outside herself too.

Lauren Larson of Ume

 

 

 

 

It’s nice to find talented peers of mine.  And so close to home.  I can’t wait to see these bands again at SXSW.  I recommend giving them a listen.

I don’t think I explained the point of ecstasis but, it’s really just something realized when you’re outside yourself.

http://www.umemusic.com

http://www.wearethelaughing.com


Nashville 2000

Beware its siren beauty

Gary, Jay and Joe Don sat in their Nashville apartment trying to figure out how to get the next months rent.  They had pooled all their money and were still 200 short.  Gary looked at Jay, who looked at Joe Don, who looked at his shoes.
“Well, we could…” Gary started, but was quickly glared at by Jay and Joe Don.
“Well, I guess we decided we’re not doing that, man, so forget about it…” Joe Don cooly drawled.

Still, they all sat there, knowing exactly what the others were thinking.
“It’s just that,” Gary started to a vicious glare from Jay, “you know what the Nashville executive said and….”
“Shut Up Gary!! That’s crazy talk, we’re not doing that!!!” Jay screamed.  His neck was taut, bolstered with adrenaline.

The intensity in the room was at fever pitch, an awkward silence permeated.
“Well, y’know it’s this or get jobs….”
“Get Jobs? Are you crazy Gary? We didn’t move to Nashville to wait tables??? We moved here to start a band!!!”
“Yeah, Jay, and the only way we’re going to make that kind of money is by…”
“By what Gary, why don’t you just say it? By What??”
“By doing what the record executive said we’d have to….”
“But if the record executive meant that…. then…..”
Silence.

“I think we should do it,”Joe Don whispered.  Jay immediately turned on him.
“Are you all going crazy!!! I mean, am I losing my mind or are you guys really….” Jay’s voice trailed off as he saw his answer in Gary and Joe Dons eyes.

“This is Nuts,” Jay intoned, “I mean this is Crazy Talk. Do you hear yourself?! Gary?!? Joe Don?!? I mean, what would the guys at home say…”
“The guys at home are working at gas stations Jay, that’s why we moved to Nashville!” Gary countered.
“He doesn’t even want to do it with all of us,” Jay screamed in a panic,” he just wants to do it with Joe Don anyway, why can’t he just do it with Joe Don ?!? I mean why can’t me and Gary just watch?!?”

“Look Jay, calm down buddy..” Joe Don said placing a reassuring hand on Jay’s knee, ” we want you to be a part of this, we really do…but me and Gary talked about it earlier, and were going to do this with or without you,” Joe Don coyly drawled slowly removing his hand.
“And besides, Jay,” Gary continued, “it will probably only last a couple of minutes anyway, and who knows, maybe you’ll end up liking it…and than its over…no big deal, y’know?”
Suddenly Jay jumped from his seat, “I’ll do it!”
“Yes!!!” the three jumped in the air in euphoria.  The three triumphantly group hugged.  Right at the moment the phone rang.

Ring
The three stared at each other.
Ring
Utter silence.
Ring
Joe Don hesitantly answers,
“Rascall Flats Band”
“Be at my office at the stroke of midnight….(click).”
Joe Don turned and looked at Jay and Gary, the phone slowly fell from his hand…

Justin doesn't mind

GO TO THIS: Frantic Clam EP Release Party at Beauty Bar

Local rockers Frantic Clam are finally releasing their long-awaited EP titled Lolita: Singles.  It is a superb record with incredible songs, including the highly acclaimed Sasha Grey which received national attention when it was initially leaked.

The party is going to kick some serious ass.  Here are the details:

  • When: This Thursday (Jan 14, 2010)
  • Where: Beauty Bar, Austin
  • Who’s Playing: FRANTIC CLAM, The Pons, Motel Avivi, Candi and the Strangers, DJ Czech One
  • Drinks: Free Treaty Oak rum after 10pm!

And the best part about this show is that you can get in for only $3 if you RSVP here.  So you get to see a bunch of awesome bands, drink free Treaty Oak rum, and hang out with weirdos like me, Tyler Groover, and Frantic Clam, for only three dollars!  You aren’t going to find a better deal than this on Thursday night!

Western Ghost House – Free Week 2010

Free Week in Austin is great.  It’s almost too good to be true, actually.  I even a feel a little guilty for going to so many free shows and taking advantage of the opportunity to practice photography without paying for more than a couple of drinks.  And it’s a great time to discover new local bands, bulk style.

I have been going out all week taking pictures of bands at various Free Week venues and I am finally starting to feel a bit more comfortable with my camera and my ability to capture something worth looking at during poorly-lit live performances.  In case you don’t already know, I suck at live music photography, but I’m trying to get better, and I really enjoy doing it, so I’m going to keep trying until I figure out how to get nice shots at live events in dimly lit bars and venues.  And I am going to subject my readers to all my mistakes and practice runs.  Sorry!

Anyway, Sunday night I went to Emo’s to see a series of bands I had never heard of.  Western Ghost House was first on the stage, and they were great, really fun to watch and they have a great sound.  If you get a chance to see them play, I highly recommend it!

The photos.  I am not happy with these.  I kind of like the picture of the drummer, but I don’t like that I had to ditch all the color in order to make it acceptable.  The other two photos are very disappointing to me, and I am determined to learn from these mistakes and figure out how to better deal with that type of lighting in the future.  It was the inside stage at Emo’s.

I Used to Be in a Band

i used to be in a band

I used to be in a band

Did I used to be in a band? Yeah, don’t worry about it, I get it all the time.  Sometimes its hard to beleive it really happened, kinda seems like a dream y’know, but we were pretty popular back then… good times for sure… oh yeah, we got the rockstar treatment for sure, thought we’d be rich and famous.  Huh?  What happened?  I don’t know, people just get older, move on, just decided it was time to get while the getting was good.

Hey, you wanted this on wheat right?

No way!  You were there that time our bass player threw up on stage at Antone’s?  Boy oh boy those were the days.   You said light on the Veganaise right?

Nowadays?  Not much.  Just working here, y’know my old lady is the manager…  Just kinda getting back to my roots…  You want chips and a drink with that?  No?  Alright then, that’ll be $6.49.

Hey you should really come check out my new band, it’s me and alot of the guys from our old band… Oh yeah if you like that old shit you’ll love it, Hole in the Wall on Monday.  Yeah seriously man if you come I’ll put you on the guest list…

I Suck At Live Music Photography

There, I said it.  I’m an amateur when it comes to photography, a true newb.  I can’t afford the best equipment and I just can’t seem to get the results I want out of the gear I do have.  But I don’t blame the gear, not at all.  It’s more of a pebkac-style problem, I just haven’t figured out how to get nice clean shots in the dimly lit rooms of Austin’s various staple venues.

Slowtrain

Slowtrain

I have done much reading on the topic, consuming a few dozen articles and blog posts from pros who have SEO’d their websites enough to make it into the top page or so of various Google search results.  I have read books, and I have done a lot of experimenting with my limited gear (though probably not enough).  There have been breakthroughs, sure, and I have a few photos I like, but nothing I’m truly happy with yet.

But I live in Austin, Texas, the Live Music Capital of the World, so I’m taking the “practice makes perfect” approach to this creative outlet and hitting up as many shows as I can, determined to learn how to use my camera to get the results I want.  Wannabe photographers like myself residing in and around Austin are at a distinct advantage in this field due to the endless opportunities to practice the art of live music photography, not only because there are dozens of shows around town every night of the year, but also because smaller Austin venues don’t mind us bringing in our DSLRs and camera bags and clicking away near the front of the stage.  This is something to be very thankful for.

Anyway, I was at Hole in the Wall a couple of weeks ago to see The Preservation play their first show ever, and I had a new lens to play with, a 50mm f/1.4 that I hoped would be much, much better than my old 50mm f/1.8.  This is the most expensive piece of glass I have ever purchased, and I will surely experience marked anguish and remorse with each interest-laden payment I make to my credit card.  And while the lens certainly does not make me a better photographer, it is easier to use and more adaptable in the painful low light conditions of Hole in the Wall’s front-room stage than my old 50mm f/1.8.

For all those hundreds of dollars, there were only two photos I was even close to happy with when I got home that night, and the colors and noise were so bad I ended up converting them to black and white in an attempt to spare myself some embarassment.

Tip Bucketthe-preservation-20091221-av-1

Perhaps more importantly, The Preservation, made up of Mario Matteoli (of Weary Boys fame) and his wife Cayce Marsh, Andy Bianculli, Ben Burdick, and Josh Weinholt (of Slowtrain), was a pleasure to hear.  They play some nice mellow rock, and it’s really fun to see Andy Bianculli’s guitar style meshed with Mario’s leads.  I’ll probably cover these guys in more depth later this year, as I am sure they will only get better as they play more gigs.

Anyway, I’m going to keep practicing live music photography because I enjoy it and I am determined to get those clean, crisp shots like the pros, and I will very likely continue to share the results with the readers of this blog.  Hopefully you will give me some feedback and possibly even throw some tips at me if you happen to be experienced with this medium.