Arizona Celebration Music

A long weekend, brought to you by…

Furlough: live your life unpaid.

Phoenix Pride went down this weekend, and as part of Metromix’s coverage I headed over to Stratus to photograph the nightlife, the crowd, and the performer: Kat DeLuna, who you may not remember from that one single a summer ago, Whine Up. It’s still unclear to me what whine up means. To drink a lot of wine? Ponder about this at your leisure. 

I arrived at the venue with what I thought would be just enough time to snap plenty of photos of the crowd, get names and all that. Turns out that Ms. DeLuna was not going to perform till 2:30am… Yes, you read that right,  2:30am. I was conflicted between flinging it all to hell and leaving, or staying and fulfilling my duty. There were quite a bit of interesting people and sights going on, mostly involving half-naked “dancers”, although I’d say strippers is more the mark, so I stayed. 

Notice how a hand seems to be going up her skirt in that photo above. 

Frankee, Lola and Lex said “Hi”

I had a while to wander around and take in the scene. While equality is not where some of us would like it to be as far as gay rights, it was amazing to see all the people there, who despite whatever pressures or stigmas associated with their choices, were openly and bravely celebrating who they are. 

Then on Sunday (which I had requested off to go sailing but can’t really afford right now) I was supposed to go photograph M. Ward, who by the way is freaking great. The ridiculous stuff he was doing with his guitar was so amazing that the audience would break into cheers even before he was done with his riffs. He alternated between acoustic and electric, and the piano, playing all equally well. Do yourself a favor and go check out his music here. Anyways, I didn’t get to photograph him because the box office did not have a photo pass for me. It wasn’t a lost cause entirely since they did have my name on the band list, so I did get to enjoy M. Ward’s superb skills. 

The same cannot be said for the act he had going on before him. Because it cannot really be called a musical effort of any level. I’m not even going to bother looking up who they were, but their sound was a combination of poetry, caterwauling and, God help us all, signing. At one point, I thought that this was a comedic act, practicing upon the audience’s innocent expectations of, well, music. It was painful, and when they were finally, finally done, the people behind me were clapping out of mere relief, as if the waterboarding session had just ended.

Maybe it was yet another one of those super-progressive musical efforts that are just not meant to be understood or enjoyed in any fashion. 

Monday: I celebrated my last day off by getting into a car accident. I was dutifully waiting to make a right turn, with my blinkers on, while people were walking on the crosswalk, when a guy slammed full speed into the car behind me, with such force that that car then hit my car, pushing it forward into the intersection and knocking the living sunglasses of my face. So I’m thinking, clearly my car was damaged, only to get out and see the completely undamaged back of my car. Damn, who knew that the little Mazda could take such hits, the beast! I’ll probably still take it in to the dealer to see if there’s any internal damage. The car in the middle (the one that hit me) was pretty shattered in the back, and the car of the dude at fault was pretty much totaled, I’d say: airbags deployed, entire front scrunched in and, best of all, he doesn’t have insurance. 

Finally, Bill Starr, sailing instructor extraordinaire, asked me to write a piece on my experiences learning to sail. I don’t think it’ll be particularly enlightening, but anyways, I wrote it a few day ago and I’m letting it simmer in it’s own juices for a while before I go back for another edit. Here’s to hoping some actual sailing goes down soon. 

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