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!

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!)

First Friday Music Phoenix Random

More local music

I mentioned before that First Fridays is a great place to listen to some good music (and free too!). Unfortunately this past First Friday, I was too tired, after spending much of the day moving to my new apartment, so I could barely stand up long enough to enjoy many of the acts.

Static Management set up a stage outside their offices, which had been converted into a sort of art gallery just for the evening. Their offices being another of those converted houses in the Roosevelt area. I don’t remember if they said they put on shows every First Friday, but it seemed like it. One of the cool things about small shows like these, is being able to just see the bands standing on the curb with a crappy pick-up full of equipment, waiting for their turn, and then setting up everything themselves.

First up was Coats and Villa. A two-man act composed of Wayne Coats and Nick Villa. As one would expect from a very young looking duo with a guitar and a set of drum, their sound was very rough, particularly the vocals, which seemed slurred most of the time. 

They were just having a good time, I suppose. And judging by the smell coming from drummer Wayne Coats, he was not drinking water out of that red cup onstage. 

Next up was Princess Ladyfriend, whose bizarre name makes them no justice. They had a good sound, but when I was asked who they sounded like, I found myself at a lost for words. They had your usual setup, including keyboards and what seemed like other pre-recorded sounds.  If I have been able to stick around longer, I would have gotten more of a scoop on that.

Go try figure out for yourself who they sound like at their MySpace . I think if this band was to get a little more serious about it, and got someone to work with them on their lyrics, they could potentially do bigger and better gigs. 

And finally, because my brain is fried with all these lights, here are some other photos from the street party…

These people were promoting something called Spectrum (it was hard to get information out of them because they refused to talk. As you can see, though, the red fella in the bottom photo is talking on an imaginary phone).  They were handing out postcards that said Spectrum would “surprise and delight audiences transforming the street into a stage, revealing the poetry and beauty of the mundane.”

Sounds pretty cool. Check it out


First Friday Music Phoenix

First time @ First Friday

I’d heard of this event from several people, and even though I was off on Fridays, I somehow didn’t go until the April one. Every month, downtown Phoenix hosts a sort of ‘Art Walk’ on the first Friday of the month. Not only is there wicked good local art, but music aficionados will be happy to hear different sounds coming from random places.

I heard a pretty decent band, and found a gig on the front porch of a old-looking house in the heart of downtown. The band playing was called The White Tie Affair, who is touring with PHX favorites Medic Droid.

Though TWTA put on a great sounding show, they were instantly reminiscent of Fall Out Boy, which made even more sense when I talked to the band members and they mentioned hailing from Chicago. Their myspace in case you’re interested,

This was their first performance in a house’s front porch, they admitted. That’s the cool thing about First Fridays, I guess.