When Jess Pfohl tells me something awesome is going down, I pay attention. That girl only knows the best and most talented peeps. So when she hit me up and said that one of her friends was going to be creating a mural on the side of The Roxy, I knew I had to be a part of saving the magic. It became even more evident how special this mural was when I met the artist, Michael Owen. The LOVE mural is a tribute for Lauren Freeman, a young lady from Baltimore who was killed in a hit and run in 2010 outside of the Roxy Theater. Her family and friends came to watch Michael paint the mural.
Michael Owen created the Baltimore Love Project to bring communities together by spreading love through street art. & he is doing that.
Director, Brandon Nicholas turned Play LA into a visual playground of awesome to create a video for The Conduit’s new song “Brain Wash Me.” The day was an adventure in reflective insulation blankets, body paint and awesome. After hearing “Brain Wash Me” over and over and over, I was still into hearing it another time! The song is catchy and cool. I cannot wait to see the video once it is finished. It was a joy to be the still photographer for this talented team.
Unexpected awesome in NYC helping BA Miale and Anna Copa Cabanna make video magic for Turn to Crime’s video for “Light.” Anything BA does has magic to it, her projections and creations are beautiful, cool and mesmerizing and this night I found out the same applies to Anna Copa Cabanna. She is beautiful, cool and mesmerizing and watching her dance in front of BA’s beautiful, cool and mesmerizing projects was almost too much awesome to handle. BA makes badass music videos and I was tickled pink that she asked me to come lend her a hand at the shoot at Big Sky Works (one of my fave Brooklyn venues.)
Had a blast making some stills and shooting some video for BA. She makes everything look so cool.
It was a beautiful thing to be outside enjoying the sunshine in February. These west coasters have figured that whole winter thing out! My west coast fam took me on an adventure to Sagebrush Cantina to watch Skin Deep get the afternoon crowd up and rocking to their mix of just about everything. They are a cover band that pretty much spans all the decades in their musical library.
Seeing a new band makes me giddy. I love not knowing what I am about to experience. I feel the same way about new venues and this was going to be both of those joys. The Spare Room is located inside The Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel, which was the site of the very first Academy Awards back in 1929 and apparently Marilyn Monroe and Errol Flynn still hang out and do a little haunting on occasion. I didn’t see any ghosts but I sure did hear some great music in an awesome space. The Spare Room is a splendid cocktail lounge with two lanes for bowling and full of welcoming couches and chairs. I was digging on the ambience of the wooden paneling and the beautiful lighting when Blackwater Jukebox started rocking out and then I was instantly pulled into their revelry. I was instantly taken back to when I stumbled into Mehanata on Ludlow Street in NYC sometime in 2000 &?one late, late night or early, early morn, depending on how you want to look at it and discovered the incredible sound of Gogol Bordello.
Blackwater Jukebox has that energy and that thrill, the only thing lacking was the crowd from Mehanata. The crowd at The Spare Room was lame and somehow missing what was going on right in front of them. How could they not see this music mischief happening? How could they not hear the magic of this voodoo circus??? Those people who refuse to hear and see awesome are the reason we cannot have nice things and The Spare Room cut the set short due to the lame people who wanted to sip cocktails in silence. I just don’t get it. Blackwater Jukebox rocks and I want to see them again. Soon. I need a full set of their sounds to be bouncing around in my head. They are fucking awesome.
The Whigs were the first show on The Rock and Roll Highway adventure that I found myself having last summer. They were also one of my top 5 favorites of the 26 bands that I created images of in 16 different cities. I was very excited when I found out that they would be performing at The Broadberry, one of the best venues in Richmond, VA. They are awesome. They are exciting. They are rock. Their show was just as raucous and groovy as I remembered. The Whigs somehow have managed to blend a perfect mix between tight hooks and raw energy & I am a huge fan. They also wrote one of my favorite lines
“there’s too many towns that I never have met and there’s too many people to find”
I’m glad I found The Whigs.
Emma Oakley is quickly become a force to be reckoned with in the RVA music scene. She is still in high school but has already logged in time on most of the best stages in RVA. Her bands have rocked The National, Cap Ale House, The Camel, Canal Club, etc etc… When I heard she had formed a new band, President Sam, I was very excited. She would be fronting this band! Singing her own songs with a talented group behind her. Sam Partridge on drums, Mason Lloyd on bass and Rick Heretick on guitar. I have to admit that I felt terrible on the cold night of their debut. I’ve been under the weather but had to put on my big boy pants to make it to their first show and I am so happy that I did. As soon as they started rocking, I started to feel better. Emma is dedicated to making music and I am excited to see all the places this girl is going to go. So proud of you Emma!
Thanks so much to Kim of Kim Turner Photography for sending me a message back in November letting me know about an exhibition for Rock & Roll photography happening at MPLS Photo Center . The deadline for submission was THAT NIGHT! But I figured why not, and pulled out a few images to send in for consideration! A few months went by and then I got the email letting me know that TWO of my images had been selected to hang in the show. Very excited to announce the opening of the exhibition in Minneapolis. If you find yourself there between now and March 1st, stop by and check out all the rocking images. Keep an eye out for my images of Bob Miller of Fear of Music and Moby outside his NYC apt!
The Southern Belles make me want to learn to hula hoop, they make me want to roll around in the grass and put flowers in my hair. They are exactly what I want on a summer day, or on a really freakin’ cold winter’s day in Charlottesville. It was a happy day to realize that I could join them at their monthly gig at Rapture in Charlottesville, VA. The Southern Belles vigorously crank out a combination of psychedelic funky rock with a firm foundation in country. The night at Rapture would be even fuller with the addition of the musical genius that is Stephen Kuester on his lap steel. I love the twang and how rich the sound can be with a lap steel (and a master playing it.) The boys are all chock full of talent, each one of them sings and I’m always blown away when Tommy belts out Floyd while his fingers nimbly run up and down his keyboard. Damn, Tommy! Do IT!
Russell Lacy. Russell Lacy. What can I say about Russell Lacy. Well, he is my favorite male vocalist as well as one of my favorite humans. Whenever I create images of gals, I usually throw on Russell’s cd and it quickly became the most requested cd in my studio. “Start that cd over again” is what I would always hear after the last note played. And there is a good reason for it. Russell sings with his soul, he puts it all right out there and he engages every single person in the room. His voice and his songs pull the listener in and you can’t help but get caught up in his stories.
It was my first time seeing Matt Jones and the Bobs and they did not disappoint. Great lyrics, terrific vocals and superb playing. They are a high energy good time based in the sounds of folk and good ole americana. Hard slot to be sandwiched between two of my favorite musical acts and they more than held their own. Great music and great times!
Jackass Flats!!!!!!! YES!!! I could not miss the chance to see Jackass Flats tackle and CONQUER the music of The Beatles, so I scheduled a flight back to RVA to make it in time for the New Years Eve celebration at The Camel. Jackass Flats has been one of my favorite bands for over a decade now. Wow. I’ve seen so many of their lineups and I think they have evolved into the perfect mix of bluegrass, rock, excitement and all around awesome. For New Years they were going to take it up to the top of all musical notches by rocking an entire night of The Beatles. And when I say a rocking night, I mean a ROCKING night! They made the incredibly hard music of The Beatles seem effortless and entirely their own. They spruced it with the sounds of Jackass Flats and had a little help from their RVA music friends. The incredible saxaphonist, Gordon Saxman Jones, Andrew Trongone of The Trongone Band and Tim Beavers & Matt Volkes of Peoples Blues of Richmond switched in and out for a few songs. The perfect end to 2014.
RVA came out in abundance for the night of music and seeing so many loved ones in The Camel kept me smiling all night. I love you all 🙂
Want to see all the pics from the night? Go here and scroll for the band you want to see.