Managed to escape from the recent Green Day show I shot for the Washington Post and make it back to Baltimore to catch one of my favorite bands, Thou, at the Sidebar. Bryan Funck, Thou’s vocalist, is an old friend and one of the best people in punk & diy. Thou’s work ethic is really inspiring, they’ve released so many great records and toured consistently without any sort of compromises. Love seeing bands who still do it right.
Every year I try and post a “Best Of” the year. It’s a good exercise, looking through all your work for the previous year and can only help you going forward. When I started, I would get them done in late december or early January. The last few years… it’s been more like the middle of the next year. 2015’s list is no exception! I started with a big list of photos I liked, then narrowed it down to a smaller list of photos. Maybe next year these won’t show up until 2018. Here are my final picks for 2015, in no particular order:
Baltimore band Dope Body played their last show this past Saturday. I’ve been following their creative output for years, having met Andrew, the vocalist years ago at Sonar and quickly became a fan of their wild live performances, as well as their sound which developed from album to album. A great group of guys who managed to capture a specific and primal sound with their band and also build a devoted following in the area. Sad to see them go, excited to see what they all come up with next. Here are some of my favorite photos of the band I’ve taken over the years, both live shots as well as band photos. UPDATE: City Paper published these as a gallery!
The end of an era. RIP to one of Baltimore’s longest running bands. This was a great show at one of the city’s best DIY venues. Lots of feelings about this, but it was a really nice way for four awesome people to put a cap on eight years of creativity and musical expression. Wonderful to see so many old heads come out for this, what a good night. Go start your own band.
Also: I was going to add them to this post, but it’d be too much so check back tomorrow, when I’ll be posting a retrospective assortment of photos I’ve take over the band over the years.
This show was great. I didn’t know much about Spalding going it but it turns out she is quite the performer – both in a musical sense and the dramatic. The concert was more like a musical stage play, performed to a absolutely sold-out 9:30 Club. If you are a fan of her music I would say don’t miss out on the chance to see her live; I thought it was great and I was just some guy off the street, essentially.
This show was pretty tough. I’ve been to a lot of pop shows over the years and though I rarely enjoy the music, usually artists at the arena or stadium level seem to be pure entertainers, like Usher, vibing with the crowd and their fans, like Ke$ha, or in complete control of the crowd like Kylie Minogue. Not Bieber. He just seemed bored, or something. Not sure if it was an off night or what, but my only thought after walking out of this show was “man, that guy really didn’t want to be up there, did he?” Too bad, because it was a hell of a light show and stage setup, and a full house.
I shot Integrity (featuring Dom Romeo from A389 Records/Pulling Teeth/etc on guitar) awhile back. Great show, as always. Integrity is one of the bands from my youth that have stuck with me. I wouldn’t have guessed in then, but I find myself listening to them just as much or more now as I did when I had first heard them. Dwid also is always a fun frontman, and obviously really gets his audience. Good show!
The other day I was at this packed show at the Ottobar. The Snails is a Baltimore supergroup, and Frogman has to be seen to be believed/understood. I was just there for fun, but I snapped a few pics anyway… CLICK HERE TO SEE THE WHOLE PHOTOSET
CORROSION OF CONFORMITY (with Pepper Keenan)
As I noted here, I’ve been shooting a LOT with my Fuji x100t lately, and have even started shooting shows with it. It’s a surprisingly robust camera, I’m liking the results. Here are some images from Housecore Horror Fest 2015 I pulled off of one my cards…
I’ve been using a Fuji x100t – a rangerfinder-esque camera – as my walk around camera, and also doing some concert shooting with it, with what I think are some pretty decent results. Here are some shots from the recent (and awesome) Watain & Mayhem show at Baltimore Soundstage – pretty good for a little camera, I think.
You can see more of these and compare them with my DSLR photos from the show HERE.
Big Mouth is one of my absolute favorite Baltimore live bands, they hadn’t played a show for awhile before this one, so I was really stoked to go. I’ve been carrying my Fuji x100t lately, a smaller camera, and I took this show as an opportunity to try and shoot a show entirely with it. It was super challenging, but fun, and I think it came out pretty well.
Watain never disappoints. Always a great show, always a terrible smelling show. I had heard they wouldn’t be as vigorous with the blood and animal carcasses on this tour, but that proved to be wrong. The next day at Thanksgiving Dinner, someone asked me if I had spilled food on my jeans and I had to admit that it was congealed pig’s blood.
Finally got to see Mayhem!
Killer show for a good cause – helping a local member of the metal scene out with some extensive medical bills. Incantation and Old Lines were great this night, as was Putrisect, though my camera wasn’t cooperating for their set.
This week marked the relaunch of a Baltimore institution: the Ed Schrader Show! Long before Ed helmed Ed Schrader’s Music Beat, he was known for hosting the always-unpredictable Ed Schrader Show, a live talk show held at various spots around Baltimore. The show would present various notable (and often unsung) people of Baltimore and sitting them down for a chat with Ed in his unique interview style.
After taking some time to focus on music pursuits, this week Ed brought the show back to Metro Gallery and interviewed artist Dina Kelberman (check out her project I‘m Google) and rapper DDM (who is also in the stellar group Bond Street District), both long-time members of the creative scene here in Baltimore.
It was a great show, full of funny moments as well as heartfelt, insightful ones. I’ll add a podcast link here when it goes up- this is just the first in a monthly series of new shows, so you can come to Metro Gallery in march for next month’s taping.
Trying to catch up on posting photos after an autumnal lull due to life stuff and an ailing laptop – this is one of the more fun shows I’ve been to in awhile, it felt like a wild Baltimore rager that doesn’t seem to happen as much anymore. Dope Body shows in Baltimore are always fun as hell, but this one was an especially great night.
Constant audio innovators Matmos are releasing a new album, Ultimate Care II, that was completely sound-sourced from their washing machine. For the release, their label Thrill Jockey had me work with them to create a series of promotional portraits. I have worked with Drew and Martin before and they are (of course) extremely creative as well as easy to work with, so I was really excited about this shoot. We played with some of things and tried to create a mix of images that ranged from your normal “band photo” to ones that were a bit more oblique or playful. Pretty happy with how this came out, and can’t wait for the album to be out – it’s really good!
This weekend, I headed out to scenic Sparks, MD for a photoshoot with my friends in Baltimore metal band Putrisect. It was a great time, featuring classic suburban fun like sneaking into an abandoned building, drinking beer next to cars and being harassed by local teens. You can check out all the photos HERE and check out Putrisect’s tunes at their BANDCAMP PAGE. As always, get in touch if you need some band photos or portraits taken.