Wow, this is my first photo post since the pandemic. And at the first show at the newly opened Metro Gallery. Felt really good to be here. At some point, maybe, I’ll write some sort of bloggy post reflecting on the last year or so, but for now, it’s just cool to post these photos.
We are spending a LOT more time inside due to current events, and we are all getting a bit stir crazy already, so I thought I would do a little write up about this fun activity we’ve been doing – playing Jackbox Party pack (from the makers of You Don’t Know Jack) with friends in their houses.
Jackbox is a great game for this, since even if you are playing all together in the same room, everyone uses their phone as the controller. So playing over the internet, you just need a way to see one person’s screen, and for everyone to be able to hear each other, which Discord can provide. One person will need a copy of the game, but everyone else just needs a single computer or tablet with Discord (so they can see the game) and then each player just needs a smartphone or tablet (so they can play the game).
Here’s how we set it up:
Step 1: Create (or Join) a Discord Discord is free and is basically like Slack for gaming – with the added features of being able to make voice channels where everyone in them can talk, and the ability for people to “go live” and show their screen to everyone else. I recommend the person running the game on their computer run the Discord app on their computer, but there is a web interface as well. It’s probably okay if the players just use the web version.
Step 2: Join a Voice Channel Everyone playing needs to be in a voice channel in Discord, which means that any one in that voice channel can talk to each other using their microphone and hear through their speakers. Every Discord server should start with a “General” voice channel, but you can make more.
You can, depending on your computer’s setup, adjust your audio to do different things. For example, we plugged our laptop into our TV and had the video and audio output through the TV. But we set the audio input to be via a pair of bluetooth wireless earbuds (we each had one earbud).
Step 3: Go Live Then the person actually running the game needs to click the “go live” button which streams the game to everyone else in that channel. Everyone should be able to see their screen (aka the game), and everyone should be able to talk and hear each other now!
Step 4: Join the Game The last thing that makes it all possible is that how Jackbox works is that the game displays a 4-letter code that you punch into a website, JACKBOX.TV to log into the game. Do this on a phone or tablet and the device becomes the game controller – it lets you answer questions, buzz in etc. I recommend setting your device to not shut the screen off while you play, sometimes you lose connection if the screen goes to sleep.
That’s it! Now everyone should be able to hear each other talk, and see the person hosting the game’s screen!
What to Play? i recommend Fibbage, which is in the Jackbox Party Pack as a great game to use since it doesn’t involve reaction time – everyone just compete to make up the best sounding answer to questions, using their phone as controller/keyboard. But Jackbox has plenty of other games, though games where someone has to buzz in first may be tricky since the person hosting the game will have much better odds of going first due to lag. And, of course, you can play other stuff too!
Comment below or tweet at @joshsisk if you have any corrections or suggestions!
Sunday I photographed the Carly Rae Jepsen show at Fillmore Silver Spring for the Washington Post , and I was super excited for this because, for one, Carly Rae rules, and two I was quite sure she would be a great and photogenic performer. I was right! it was a great time, and she was a pleasure to watch – her and all her band/stage people all seemed to be having a great time, too, which was nice. I am not an expert on her music, so not much to add besides it’s nice to see a pop star that seems to have a great relationship with their fans and really seems to enjoy what they do – that’s surprisingly rare, I’ve found. A really fun night!
There are a bunch more photos in the album below, so check em out!
Trucked down to scenic Bristow VA for this show, which was the show where Lil Wayne made some controversial statements about quitting the tour, and his place on it (though I believe it all worked out in the end) and only played a few songs, which disappointed some. The show was pretty sparsely attended when Tunechi went on, but I think a lot of that was just the insane rainstorm keeping people from making it on time, because it looked a lot more crowded by the time Blink-182 played.
I accepted this assignment mainly because I had never seen Lil Wayne, so was a bit disappointed that it seemed like he wasn’t really giving it his all, and the reviewer seemed to agree. However, I thought a bit more of the Blink-182 set (though I only saw the first 3 songs, of course). I am not at all a Blink fan, but was struck by the fact that the band seemed to be having fun – poking fun at each other, and just in general enjoying themselves – which is more than you can expect from a LOT of bands tour after 20+ years.
This was a fun shoot – Prosthetic Records wanted some photos to commemorate the addition of Adam Clemans to the Skeletonwitch line-up, and they were in town recording with Kevin Bernsten of Developing Nations, so we did a quick session. They ended up needing to shoot a live video of them in the studio as well, so I helped out with that also, so some of my footage ended up in this:
A little while back, I photographed Baltimore musician and artist TRNSGNDR/VHS at a special performance at the Walters Art Museum. It was part of the Art/Sound/Now series, which brings in artists to do site-specific performances in the Walters’ space. Quite an experience, it was interesting to see the crowd move in and out of the space full of classical works, while listening to Alexandra’s very contemporary piece.
I recently got a chance to tag along to Baltimore’s annual Free Ball – a vogue dancing event that supports HIV awareness and testing among the city’s LGBT community. It’s a fun event that engages the Vogue community by hosting a free contest, but to enter you have to get tested, and there are a lot of various health resources on site, seems like a great and surprisingly “with it” city-funded event. For more information on Vogue dancing and this event, you can read this article about last year’s event.
I love this band. One of the brightest spots on the Maryland heavy music scene, and a bunch of really awesome dudes as well. It’s been super cool to watch their careers rise, and it’s totally deserved as their records rip (and each one is better and more nuanced than the last). Always fun to hang out and take photos for a couple of hours with this crew, and I think this set shows it.
Been sitting on some older photos from Hopscotch Music Festival 2015. Hopscotch is one of my favorite music fests, located in Raleigh, North Carolina. The close proximity of all the venues and the great staff and locals make it a super fun time, year after year… here are some photos of Prurient, one of the more famous noise artists. He played in the big opera house venue in downtown Raleigh, an odd setting for this performance, perhaps, but it was cool to see him there. I noticed the various ushers and staff of the venue shaking their heads in confusion – I assume they normally don’t host this kind of show there.
Right after this, at another venue, I got to check out Chelsea Wolfe, who I’d been waiting to see for quite awhile – great performance (with a guest appearance from Mike Sullivan from Russian Circles, pictured above). Her album Apokalypsis is one of my favorites, highly recommended!
Another catch-up post! Two classic metal bands who have been touring a lot lately, it was good to catch them at Soundstage, though, one of my favorite places to see shows these days. Crowbar really put on a good show this evening, was stoked since there were issues with their MDF set the last time I saw them in Baltimore. Great band. Carcass is a band I never expected to be touring again like this, and each time could be the last time seeing them so I was super stoked to catch them again as well… right now feels like the best time to be seeing heavy bands play since the late 90s or early 00s.
Gabriel Deloach‘s documentary about Double Dagger, one of the all-time great Baltimore punk bands, is finally streaming on Amazon. I am biased since I am friends with everyone involved in this project, and contributed photography which appears in the film (and was even interviewed, though I unsurprisingly did not make the cut), but I truly think this is a great music doc and worth watching even if you are somehow going in not knowing who Double Dagger was. It’s full of insightful moments and plenty of great live footage from the band’s last tour, a tour I also documented:
“An inside look at the Baltimore underground music scene through one of its most pivotal bands, Double Dagger, this intimate and entertaining portrait follows the band as they complete their final tour and album, tracing the history and growth of the band and of Baltimore’s underground music scene.”
Another catch-up post. This was a great show, two modern classic bands that I hadn’t ever seen before somehow (or, at least I don’t recall seeing them before, anyway!) Brujeria led the crowd in a Fuck Donal Trump chant and brought out a fake Trump on stage, pretty fun antics for the election season. Cattle Decapitation showed off their ever-broadening sound, they really impressed me live, and their newest record backs those live chops up.
Digging through the stacks on this Thanksgiving eve and finding lots of old gems I haven’t posted. Here are some photos of my pals PURE JUNK from last year, playing a show at the Ottobar. Perhaps opening for Fred & Toody of Dead Moon? This was a fun night. Look for more posts soon (I always say that, but for real this time).
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.