The water is too cold for me, so I would much rather just sit by the shore and people watch. If I had a wet suit, I’d totally pick up surfing. In fact, I think once things settle down a bit with my new job and apartment decorating, I will do some surfing lessons, because it just seems like the right thing to do in Southern California. Amen.
Friends introduced me to some fun spots around town. The photo below was at the Foundation Room of the House of Blues, where we were treated to an incredible dinner. I met several characters such as the guy who, when asked “what do you do?”, answered in a variety of ways including “I can’t tell you” or “I’m in the music business”; then there was the Russian actress who just moved to town and was ‘shopping around’ for agents and managers (what does that means?); and people who call Snoop Dog just Snoop, because that makes it sound like they know each other (maybe they do, maybe they’re neighbors and share the same pool cleaners).
I also realized that my celebrity-spotting skills are pretty appalling. The entire dinner, this guy James is sitting right across from me, and it was not until after he left that someone mentioned he was in Heroes. Considering I watched that show (before it started being terrible), I should’ve noticed. He played Ando, Hiro’s sidekick, for those of you familiar with Heroes. I’m glad I didn’t realize it while he was there, because I might have been compelled to ask him where did it all go so wrong?
Steve Earle was playing that evening at the HOB. Fun fact: Obama was there the night before, and there was an excited buzz about that still. Plus, a couple at the dinner table had been there and had their photos taken with him, which they proudly showed around.
My friends also took me to Pizzeria Mozza in Hollywood. I’m so glad I found this place, because it was perfect to take my parents while they were in town. And to wrap up my initial Tour de Force, later that week, I attended my first Jewish New Years celebration (L’shanah tovah!), and we swung by to check out Jimmy Eat World at the Wiltern. Those photos are in my phone, but I don’t know how to get them out of there. Eh, they’re probably not good photos anyways.
For those of you not aware, I’m starting a new job with USC, which I’m incredibly excited about — not only because of the job itself but the possibility of getting my Masters there. Also, I found a cute little apartment in Santa Monica which you are all invited to visit! I would like to thank everyone who not only inquired about my apartment hunting, but actively helped me with leads for places and roommates — some of you as far as D.C. and Phoenix, mobilized contacts out here to help me out. It is true, that in our greatest times of need, we realize who are not only our true friends, but genuinely good-hearted people. Thank you to all. Many of you have asked, and I promise photos of the apartment are coming.
As you can see, there’s been a lot of music in my life lately, so I leave you with a song that’s been on repeat at my household for the past few weeks — Angel from Montgomery by Old Crow Medicine Show.
Because I know several of my friends are Colin Hay fans, he’s playing at El Cajon this Friday, here’s the info. I’m excited to be in a town with so much live music, and I’m hoping to check out some of the greats acts at this venue, which is right around the corner from my apartment. Catie Curtis will be stopping by, and she was my first concert at Cave Creek Coffee Company, which brings back great memories.
Ok, I think that’s enough updating for now, I’ve got some busy days ahead — it’s fun busy though, so hopefully some good photos and posts in the horizon.
I could not have asked for a better first show since departing in February to sail the seas. Sharon Jones & the Dap-Kings at the Orpheum Theater in downtown Phoenix, Sunday September 26. There was never a thought in the house to sit down. There was too much heart and soul in Sharon Jones and the music, leaving the audience no choice but dance, move, stand and feel. Sharon Jones actively encouraged audience members to come onstage, to show their dance moves, to seduce them.
The entire show, from beginning to end, filled the Orpheum with energy and rhythm. As the crowd walked out, they probably blessed their lucky stars for the pleasure of attending instead of going to bed early or watching TV at home.
I got a ton of great photos from the Judas Priest show on Friday. Even though it was at the Dodge Theatre, which usually doesn’t have a pit for photographers. But since it was a heavy metal show, I guess they do put a barrier and some space between the crowd and the stage. The guys worked it out with goodwill, even with our cameras right in their noses. I love shooting these type of shows. Rob Halford and company were jumping around with tons of energy, making for easy good shots. There are a ton more photos over at azcentral.com, and you can go see them (but come back!) by clicking here.
Now, I’m sure you’ve noticed the website is looking different. Love it or hate it, I just wanted to try something radically different, and it’s a proven fact that photos look better on black backgrounds, or so I vaguely remember hearing at school. At any rate, I’m sure I’ll get tired of it soon enough and try something new again. The banner was inspired by the sticker/photo pass that photographers get at every show. They’re all different, and some are pretty cool. I really liked the shape of the Judas Priest one, so I nabbed that one and Photoshoped the hell out of it.
I was excited about shooting the Bob Dylan show on Tuesday, but it was canceled because of the ‘heat’. WTF@3$%^ were the organizers expecting in an outdoor venue at 5 p.m. in AUGUST in PHOENIX? Did they think it was going to be mid-70s with a light breeze?
I appreciate that you, as a music superstar or superstar associate, have the right to dictate all aspects of media relations. For example, you can determine where photographers stand during your shows, how many songs they can shoot, etc. Perhaps there are certain aspects about photography that you are unaware of, which is totally acceptable since you’re not a photographer. I’m interested in clarifying this. If you place photographers 50 rows back at the same floor level as everyone else, it makes it rather difficult if not impossible to get a decent shot of the performer that doesn’t include at least half dozen heads. Not to mention that it’s rather discriminatory to height-challenged photogs, such as myself.
Listen, maybe you do understand all that and you just don’t care. I’m not being facetious when I say that I get that maybe you just don’t care to have photographers bobbing up and down in your face at the start of your concert and you would rather have them at a considerable distance. I am, personally, completely ok with that. It is after all about the music. But give us a ledge, some stools or just let us stand on empty chairs. You can place me two miles away if you’d like but at least allow me a relatively clear view of the stage. All I’m asking is to be given a chance, some hope of at least one good picture.
Why even invite photographers when you’re going to treat them so shabbily? You don’t invite people to your house and then make them sit in the laundry room (although I’m sure Mr. Urban’s laundry room is a palatial abode compared to most places I visit or live in).
That said, I must praise you on the nice hi-definition screens you had at the venue. Very nice. Still and all, I must politely ask for a reimbursement of the $27.13 I spent to rent a lens that ended up being useless, it not being submarine telescope. Feel free to contact me through this website. Thanks!
Your most humble servant,
Now that we’ve gotten that out of the way, here are some (mediocre) photos from the Blondie show @ Dodge Theatre. I freely admit I did not procure the right lenses, feeling a little burned out after the Keith Urban and Kid Cudi/Asher Roth debacles (the latter one didn’t have photo passes for me). I crossed my fingers and hoped there would be good enough lighting and unfortunately that was a major FAIL.
Very much enjoyed shooting this concert. Say what you will about the big corporate machine that is American Idol but they do manage to find some people who are really good singers and performers. I can’t say that I religiously watch the show (nor that I bother to vote) since it airs on TV, oh, around 7 p.m. while I’m still at work. Everything airs so early here in Phoenix… our theory is that stations cater to the large retired population who MUST get their nightly news in at 8 p.m. before they go to bed. Some seasons of American Idol I follow more than others, as in read the reviews and maybe try to catch the better performances online. Entertainment Weekly puts together some hilarious video recaps of each episode that are probably just as good as watching the actual show.
We ran into Kris Allen and Adam Lambert backstage, but since we technically weren’t supposed to be there, approaching the “talent” would’ve been a big no-no. Not that I would’ve anyways. I’m too chicken for that kinda stuff.
The interesting thing about this concert was that instead of shooting the first two or three songs as usual, we were allowed to shoot the last three, since those are the songs that included Kris Allen (the winner), followed by two group numbers that included everyone. Otherwise, the first few songs only include certain Idols. I also appreciated that the Media people were kind enough to take us to our spots with enough time to scope out the lighting and the overall layout of the stage (and enjoy a few songs from an awesome spot!). Downside? We were leaving at the same time as the crowd, so I had to deal with a little bit of traffic. Not too bad, since we managed to bolt from the arena pretty fast, and Jobing.com really takes care of their media people when in comes to parking.
My only complaint from a performance perspective was that the Idols were mostly just signing covers of overly-played, sugary pop culture songs, which, I know, is kinda expected with their target audience, but some of them could do much better, I’m sure. Oh well, I’ll be excited to catch Allen, Lambert and Allison Iraheta when they come out with their own stuff.
Gotta run. Going by Tempe Camera to pick up a lens, and then Keith Urban tonight if all goes well.