Categories
Graphics Music Tempe

Things I do

Another graphic that went well with editors.

Two things that they wanted to show: geographical zip codes and home value data. I thought making a map at some sort of perspective would serve both purposes. Anyways, it was good to get some positive feedback.

I shot this concert a few weekends ago. I didn’t think any of the shots were spectacular, so I was in no hurry to post them, but since Christina asked.

Ask and you shall receive….

The main band was Anberlin. I didn’t think they there terrible. Sounded the same as most middle of the road rock bands, to be quite honest. But they were nicely dressed! Which is not only rare to see nowadays, but after experiencing the band right before them, it was a nice surprise.


I wanted to give them more of a chance, but really, I was slightly annoyed because a) security at the entrance made me feel 25 percent molested. Not even at the freaking airport have I been patted like that, and I had to take of my shoes! WTF? I asked why the security crackdown, and I pointed out it had not been like this when I came to see Sigur Ros. The guy goes “well, it depends on the type of crowd we think we’re going to get.” This made even less sense when I got inside and discovered that the crowd consisted of tweens and teens, some with their mothers. And b) the local band that came right before Anberlin, some guys called Scary Kids, Scaring Kids, was just down right awful. I’ll preface that we saying that I personally don’t like bands that make only “noise” instead of music-related noise. Obviously I had to stay for their whole set, but I couldn’t really tell you where one song started and the next one ended, it was all a continuous combination of screaming, running around like a crazy chicken, shirtless-ness and more noise.

So let’s just say that by the time it was Anberlin’s turn, my patience and tolerance was at an all time low. But I did have one slightly interesting shot from this bunch…

That was before the keyboardist decided to lose the shirt. Combined with the extreme low-rise jeans, I was thinking we’d have a guaranteed wardrobe malfunction. PS: flip flops are not very rock ‘n roll. Put some damn shoes on.

But I want to conclude on a good note, and say thanks to the security guys by the stage, who are always very nice and helpful. They prevent me from getting crushed by the people they pull from the crowd… always a plus. And they even recommend some good upcoming shows. One mentioned a metal band with cellos!? Interesting…

Categories
Music Tempe

Sigur Ros

Now, here’s a show that was worth every penny. Icelandic band Sigur Rós brought their unique style of rock n roll to the Marquee Theater in Tempe. The guys just put on an amazing show, with confetti and all! What more can you ask for? If you’ve never heard of them, do yourself a favor and go google them.

The lighting was amazing for very moody, dramatic photos. Not quite so good for faces. I just had so many favorites, it was tough to narrow them down.


Yes, you’re seeing correctly, Jonsi Birgisson, left, is playing his guitar with what I thought was a violin bow, but Wikipedia tells me it’s a cello bow. But man, he was playing that guitar so energetically and passionately, very cool.


Jonsi had by far the best lighting of any member on stage with him, therefore I have more photos of him. Either the other guys like the literal obscurity, or they need to have a word with the lighting guy.


He was “singing” into the guitar, which created a real different and cool reverberation.


A band called Parachutes opened for Sigur Ros, and towards the end of the concert they came back onstage to play together. (I still haven’t edited the Parachute photos, sorry!) They were an alright band, pretty good actually, but at one point I counted nine people on stage, so with that many band members, you better make good music. Geez, can you imagine? Nine people in a band? The fights they must!? I believe those are called riots.


Confetti.

The azcentral.com slideshow has a few more photos here.

I only shot for three songs, which was supposed to be only two, but security didn’t kick me and the other photog out of the pit. But even after the first three songs, I got to stay the rest of the show and just enjoy. Sigur Ros was one of the best bands I’ve seen this year, for sure. Only complain: Parking. Not that I mind paying $5 to park, but the fact that the deck had only ONE entrance, manned by ONE person, creating ONE heck of a line of cars. Took us over 30 minutes to just park. Get. It. Together. Tempe.

Categories
Music Phoenix

Alicia Keys

I have two sets of photos to post, which I should’ve done last week, but everything was just too hectic. I’ll write about it more later. But let’s get to the good stuff that keeps ya coming back!

In this post, I have Alicia Key’s concert at the Dodge Theater last Saturday. I’ve shot at that venue several times, and I’m convince that I hate it, mainly because they put chairs RIGHT by the stage. I mean, everyone who’s gone to concerts know that more often than not there’s some sort of “pit” between the stage and the first row of seats/people. Usually, it’s where security stands, and where photographers are allowed to stand for the first couple of songs. Well, the Dodge is anti-pit apparently, so we have to stand on the far sides.  

Honestly, those first rows of seats are SO close to the stage that, other than proximity to your performers of choice, it has as many perks as that first row of seats at movie theaters. I don’t care how big a fan I am, I wouldn’t want to sit THAT close for several hours and have terrible neck pain by the end of it. I don’t even know why performers allow that! Whatever, those are my two-cents on that.

Mohammad Ali, the legend, the boxer, the man, was in the crowd, and I got to walk right by him; only about five feet and six mountains of men from security separated us! Sorry, we were specifically forbidden to take photos of the crowd, and it was kind of hard to be discreet with the 300mm lens. But people in the audience where definitely getting up and going right infront of him and taking pictures. They weren’t even being discreet about it. I don’t know. It seemed kinda disrespectful. He’s not an animal on exhibit, ya know? He’s just there trying to enjoy the show with his family… well, if he’s even aware of where he is. He did look kinda rough. I guess these celebrities are used to it, but man, it must get annoying at some point… Can you tell I would an awful paparazzi?


I didn’t think those were flattering pants…

There are few more photos on an azcentral slideshow Here. Go check ’em out. 

Recap. Only three songs to shoot, from the sides, I was very eh with the variety of shots I got. Overall, I really didn’t have many shots that I thought were that great or different. 

Also, I’ve gotten a few comments that I can’t really tell if they’re spam. And I don’t know if I should approve them because then anyone with that email address can leave comments, which, if it is spam, I’m not interested in. So if you’ve left a comment and you’re NOT spam, just leave another comment, maybe hinting at the fact that you’re not a robot, but an honest human being. 

Categories
Music Travels

SND Vegas

Here’s a timelines of what happened at SND Vegas:
Alcohol, pool, Mel Melendez, Elvis, the boss smuggling alcohol in his jacket pocket, Robin Leach, food, alcohol. Oh and there were some seminars in between. On a serious note, it was a great place to networks and meet some amazing industry people, plus really informative seminars. Good place to get inspired.

On our way there, we stopped at the Hoover Dam, where a small Asian tourist attempted to steal Bill’s car while we were standing RIGHT IN FRONT of it… 


Ok, maybe he was just confused as to which vehicle really belonged to him, but it was really funny. He tried several locked doors before giving up, and realizing that wasn’t his vehicle. Or maybe it was the fact that Joey was leaning on the car taking a photo of us?


Bellagio fountains. I wish I remembered more… 


Cool bar in the middle of the casino. 


Da pool of the Red Rock. Where I unceremoniously dropped my business cards. Nothing like soggy, wet cards to make you stand out from the masses! In my defense, I did try drying them with the blow dryer in the room, where I promptly knocked out the power. 


Me: “Elvis, you’re looking good!”
Elvis: “Thank you, thank you very much, you’re not looking too bad yourself Patricia.”

…And then he gave me his business card. Cuz you never know. Random fact: did you know that Elvis impersonators prefer the term “Tribute Artist”? At least that’s what it says on his card.

Robin Leach was at the awards dinner, though he seemed slightly uninterested about being there. I have no good quality photos of that. In my humble opinion, no Robin Leach is better than a blurry Robin Leach. 

That’s it for now. I’ll try to dig up some more website worthy photos of Vegas.

Again, I can’t say enough about SND. There are very few places where one would get the chance to rub elbows with such great talent. I wish I had been more proactive as a student, and actually attended some of these conferences while still in school.  Though, it is expensive for sure, especially on the non-salary of a student. Heck, I have a full time job and I struggled till the last minute about  whether I should really go. Totally worth it.   

I almost forgot, I have a kick ass photo from Hall & Oates… 

God bless 15mms

Categories
First Friday Music Travels

Seattle part 4: Music edition plus First Fridays

I’ll be heading to Vegas tomorrow, so I want to sort of wrap up the Seattle trip before I leave. You know, to get some closure. This week has been a blur of busyness and confusion, I hadn’t realized how close together my trips were, and how stressful unpacking, packing, preparing can be while trying to have a job and life. 

 Along with the guys from the hostel, we participated in some clandestine “midnight crabbing” hence why we were constantly joking that Hostel Seattle gave us crabs. 


Our leader, General Lee preparing the crab cages. Or maybe about to shove a misbehaving international guest in there? 

I’m trying to climb over the fence without falling into the water, and Lee is all “look this way, look over here, smile, look here!” Good times, good times…

Calling out to the crab.  But on a serious note, this is why it’s freaking awesome to stay at a hostel. We wouldn’t have gotten to do cool, of-the-beaten-path stuff like this if why had stayed in a normal hotel. 


How ominous looking is that? Loves it. 


Looks like a great place to sit and think

Moving on the music part of the trip. On our last night, Christina was game enough to come along with me to an Oasis concert at the WaMu Theater. This was a good thing because I don’t think I would’ve felt my trip was complete unless there had been some live music!

Unfortunate things: obviously having no press pass, I had to settle with crappy shots from our seats with my point-and-shoot. Not ideal to say the least, but I was kind a peeved when I saw some dude seating behind us with his SLR. WTF? I’ve always thought SLRs were banned from concerts unless you had a press pass or some sort of access pass, neither of which I saw on this guy. 


The guys were preceded by Matt Costas, who had a pretty awesome acoustic set. I totally googled that shit when I got home. Also, Ryan Adams and the Cardinals. I was very ‘eh’ about them, they had some good guitar solos, but otherwise very blah. Ryan Adams looked and sounded sort of inebriated. Not that I’m judging or anything, just an observation…


Oasis was pretty good. I was surprised that the venue looked sold out… never thought they were that popular in the States. Obviously everyone was eating it up during their older songs. I’m not too familiar with their newer stuff either, but overall the entire show was pretty electric. 


Surprisingly clear considering my lil camera was zooming in digitally at this point. A big no-no, and I’m ashamed to admit I did it.  The best review of the show came from Christina, who doesn’t really know anything about Oasis, when she said “I thought the singer with the guitar (Noel) was a much better singer.” Somewhere backstage Liam was having an inexplicable surge of rage…

I can’t say enough about this trip. It was an amazing time, and the fact that we got a good mixture of experiences, from illegal crabbing to live music, and we managed to still do the usual touristic stuff. When I travel, part of me wants to feel like a local, if that makes any sense. I think we totally accomplished that! 

I have to run. Shooting a Hall and Oates concert tonight at the U.S. Airways center, which I have never shot anything at. I rented a wicked 15mm lens from Tempe Camera, so we’ll see how that goes. For now, I’ll leave you with some photos from last night’s First Fridays, and a band called The Hooves.

Show’s over. Be back next week!

Categories
Arizona Music Phoenix Random

I’ve been trying to find stuff!

Props go out to Michelle for calling me out on my lack of posting. In all fairness, it is a combination of lazyness and nothing too exciting happening here at Chateau Lapadula. I haven’t covered any major concerts, but I’ll ask Meister about shooting Sigur Ros in September, though they hate the media and would not shock me if they didn’t allow any photogs in.

But there are some exciting things coming up! I’m heading up to Seattle on the 23rd for a much needed vacation, and I think many an exciting photo will come out of that. Also, get ready people, I will be making my Las Vegas debut in September for the SND conference. Now that is sure up the level of crazy on this website.

Last Friday, thanks to a tip from Dana, we headed over to the San Carlos hotel in downtown Phoenix for a pool party slash concert with two bands I’ve featured on this site before, Princess Ladyfriend (they have an actual website and not just some MySpace! Go them!) and, my personal favorite, Black Carl. This was Princess Ladyfriend’s last gig ever here in Phoenix, since they’re relocating to Seattle, apparently. And, sadly, Black Carl’s guitarist/keyboardist is departing the band, though I hope they don’t totally break up. Both bands were great, but Princess took a long ass time to get going… I wouldn’t personally go in a bathing suit and get in the pool like some people did, but it was nice to dip our feet in it.


Princess Ladyfriend’s last Phoenix show.


Black Carl’s Emma Pew inciting the sweaty, half naked crowd


He had the skinniest jeans I have ever seen on a male. Not flattering at all! He makes it up though with awesome guitar playing.

I few months ago I went over to Modified Arts to check out Tilly and the Wall, who in theory sounded like an pretty different and interesting band. They have a tap dancer instead of a drummer, how cool is that!? Unfortunately, the show was riddled with technical difficulties, combined with the absurd heat inside Modified, it was tough to find the motivation to try and get better photos, because moving might have meant death by dehydration.

I did capture this bit of unfortunate fashion…

Last but not least…. a photo of the yet-to-start Lightrail here in the PHX. This is their latest attempt in making the downtown a more accessible and vibrant one, I guess. Let’s hope it works…

Categories
Arizona Graphics Music Tempe

Where are all the graphics?

Anyone who comes to this website probably thinks that I’m a photographer for the Republic, and that is an understandable assumption. My official title is Page Designer/Artist… not that I do any significant or creative page design. So I’m 99% a graphic artist, including multimedia flash projects. That said, I spend a lot of my time taking care of necessary yet unexciting graphics (locator maps, wire restyles, charts, etc.) which is why I seldom post any of them. But I’ve decided to be more proactive about posting graphics. It would be great to get some feedback from the few people who come by here!

Here’s one of the few that I’ve been really proud of, and that I put a lot of work into. It was supposed to be an A1 Centerpiece, but that all fell through.


Still, I loved being able to play with textures, colors and my 3D Illustrator/Photoshop skills. That’s really the only one that jumps out at me right now, but I’ll keep my eyes open for other semi cool graphics that I’ve done. I’m still working on that Flash project related to the puppies photoshoot, but unfortunately one of the other graphic artist was on vacation (well, unfortunate for me, not him), so this past week was pretty hectic and I didn’t have much time to work on Flash.

Back to photos. I don’t have much time, so I’ll keep it brief. It was a concert for Cute is What We Aim for, and, from my research, I gather is a emo-ish, Fall Out Boy type band that appeals to the punk-rock teens? I actually liked the band before them better, Ace Enders and a Million Different People. It was hot hot hot in there, but not as bad as Modified.

I wasn’t particularly excited about any of the photos. I was struggling with my shitty lens (I wasn’t able to procure one from photo). And the Flash I borrowed was acting up too. But I think that was me over heating it. The photo above is maybe the only one I kinda liked. Oh and the wicked guitar down below, I just had to get a close up!

Categories
Music Phoenix

True Colors Tour

Oh yes, I get the oldies but goodies. Let’s see, Joan Jett, The B52’s, Cyndi Lauper, and some other people, including Wanda Sykes? Yeah, and that dude from Queer Eye, Carson Kressley. There were a few more acts, though I was only able to make it to the last two (The B52’s and Cyndi). Apparently Joan Jett was getting electrocuted by her mic, a sight I was distraught to miss.

We were told we could shoot the first two songs (from the soundboard, no less… I guess Cyndi is not a fan of those damn close-ups) and the encore. I love it when they do that, because it means we’re allowed to stay the whole show as long as we sit like quiet little children with our cameras down. Granted, I wouldn’t have been devastated to get the boot, since the lineup was not really down my alley. Maybe Coldplay will let me shoot the encore? Yeah right… maybe they’ll even pull a Kanye. Although to be quite honest, Coldplay has been slightly overplayed lately. I don’t think I’ve seen hype like this since…. Jesus, is that you?

Anyways, here are a few photos from the concert…


This is how far away we were. Ideal distance for shooting acts of a certain generation, I suppose… Good thing I was hooked up with a mighty 400mm 2.8 lens. Woohoo! Not woohoo for the bruises on my shoulder the next day from carrying that thing. Not complaining too much though, I would love to borrow it more often!

Cyndi left the stage after Girls just want to have fun, could’ve been a song after that, not too sure, but my point is that she clearly played one of her major hits, so we’re thinking “Ok, she’s closing with that, and is going to start her encore” because she clearly walked off the stage, the lights on stage turned off and a few minutes passed. People had started exiting, and I’m pretty sure they were screaming for an encore as usual. So she comes back out and we look at the media rep (who is super nice!) and she kind of nods that we can start shooting again. I walked a few steps with my telescope, I mean, lens, and start shooting, when a lady comes by and asks me “who are you with?”. I tell her, and she asks somewhat rudely whether I was told that I could only shoot the first two songs. Yes, I was, but also the encore, correct? “Oh, this is NOT the encore!” At that point she sees the other photogs shooting away and goes toward them trying to get everyone to stop! I guess she was one of Cyndi’s people. It’s funny how they make such a big deal out of it… No harm, no foul, it was an honest mistake from the media person, but to her credit, it did LOOK like an encore.


Nothing against Wanda Sykes, but what the hell is she doing there? I have shots from some of the other folks there but I’m feeling blah about those. Maybe for a later post… Also, interesting, Perez Hilton, who I’m about to take off my links because his posts suck lately, just put up a photo of a naked Kate Pierson (the redhead gal in the photo) from The B52’s.

Again, I only caught the last two acts, and from where I was, they seemed alright…energetic, working the stage. Cyndi went into the crowd, got up on chairs, high-fived “the gays”… their words, not mine, and when one lady asked for her autograph, Cyndi politely said, “I’m working baby”. Yes, I hated it when people do that when I’m working…. The crowd was eating up the whole thing, especially the one dude emphatically agreeing that YES, girls do in fact want to have fun while flailing his limbs in an uncalled for manner.

I haven’t been to any other concerts recently, but I want to get back out there again this weekend and see what’s smaller gigs are going on locally.

Categories
Music Phoenix

Crosby, Stills and Nash

I only got to shoot for two songs. Better than nothing, I suppose…


I heard that David Crosby donated his baby-making juice to Melissa Ethredrige and her lesbian partner. Discuss…

 


Graham Nash, another barefooted offender.  

Coming up, True Colors Tour. Got some sweets shots of The B52’s (Love Shack!) and stories about getting scolded by Cyndi Lauper’s people and carrying around a freaking telescope. 

Categories
Arizona First Friday Music Phoenix

Puppy photoshoot and First Fridays

I recently got a new multimedia project about “Pampering your Puppy”, in which visitors will be able to pick and choose outfits and accessories for their doggie (well, not exactly their dog, but to give them an idea…). With the help of one of the wonderful Features writers, I was able to organize a photoshoot in our studio, get a lovely little pup in and have her model a variety of outfits.

Slowly but surely, I’m getting things going on that project, but so far it seems we got awesome shots that I’ll be able to take into Photoshop and make cutouts of. Big props to Gretel, our little pup, and her owner for their amazing patience. I needed Gretel to pose in a certain way with every outfit, and well, you can imagine, that’s not an easy task. 

Here are some out takes from the shoots. I should point out that I took these behind-the-scenes shots, but our Arizona Republic Features photog took care of the studio lighting and all the photos that will be used in the project.  

 
Let’s not kid ourselves here, if I had a dog, I would dress it like that…. Just for my own amusement.  

Switching gears. Some photos from First Fridays… I had the good luck of having Amy and Carlos with me, which was a lifesaving, since I was carrying a lot of gear. 

By far one of the best local bands I’ve seen so far:Black Carl. Fronted by a female singer with a soulful voice, their sounds was crisp and different from the run-of-the-mill indie bands out there. Case in point, I was listening to a We Are Scientists CD, which I borrowed from our music critics’ massive pile of CDs, and while they aren’t bad, by the seventh song, I was wondering if it really wasn’t suppose to be one long song. Then I pop in another CD by Your Vegas.  Ten minutes later, I swear, I thought I was still listening to that first CD. Both bands had the same sound and the same-style male vocals, even their tone was so similar I eventually had to stop by madness. Anyways, I guess my point is that a band can be good, but boring. There was something about Black Carl that really stood out, and I ended up loving singer Emma Pew’s raspy voice. ‘Nuff ranting, onto the photos…


A fashion upgrade ala Amy Winehouse pre-drugs-booze-incarcerated husband-irregular heartbeat-Bond reject-insert anything that could be considered a fuck-up- days, and we’d have an awesome look on Ms. Pew. Also, it’s cool to wear shoes… no really, you guys should get into the habit, so when you’re big and famous, you won’t have to worry about stepping on your drummer’s used needles*  


I thought this was a different shot from the usual, swirly-lights madness. 


In all seriousness, go check out their myspace… now.  

*I know NOTHING about their drummer’s needle use. Why you gotta think bad thoughts? Maybe he’s a tattoo artist on the side, or a diabetic? 

This last band was almost done with their set by the time we stumbled across them so I have little to say about their music. From San Diego, ladies and gentlemen, Lanterns

I was talking to singer/guitarist Lowell Heflin after their set, and he mentioned that they brought down the stage… literary, the stage came crashing down mid-way through. Sorta bummed I missed that… 

This Saturday I’ll hopefully be shooting Crosby, Stills and Nash… Hey, I take what I can get (props to photo editor Mike for hooking me up, and always having me in mind for concerts!)