Van Halen @ Verizon Center.

Van Halen @ Verizon Center
Van Halen @ Verizon Center
Van Halen @ Verizon Center

This was a fun show. Everyone was in good form, DLR looked and sounded good (maybe a bit less acrobatics than the old days, but what can ya do), Eddie seemed healthy, Alex was a machine and… well, then there’s Wolfgang. He seemed to be having fun, at least.
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SXSW 2012 Day 2: Sleepytime Trio Reunion.

Sleepytime Trio Reunion @ SXSW 2012
Sleepytime Trio Reunion @ SXSW 2012
Sleepytime Trio Reunion @ SXSW 2012
Sleepytime Trio Reunion @ SXSW 2012
Sleepytime Trio Reunion @ SXSW 2012

See many more photos from this show HERE.

This was fucking awesome. One of the few things I said going into this SXSW that I had to be there for and, I think, the only one of those things I made it to (besides the always-amazing bridge party, which was shut down by the cops). Sleepytime Trio was a band I loved in my younger years, but never got to see, not sure if they ever even played Baton Rouge or not.

The show was great, completly chaotic and spastic… in the backyard of a dingy blues bar on the eastside of Austin. So fun. Jason Hamacher threw people around and did wrestling moves, so it felt like old times. Brian Lowit even got on the mic…. One of the most fun times I had this year at SXSW.

SXSW 2012: Day 1 – Mean Jeans, Night Beats, White Mystery.

Mean Jeans @ Trailer Space - SXSW 2012
Mean Jeans @ Trailer Space - SXSW 2012
Mean Jeans @ Trailer Space - SXSW 2012
Mean Jeans @ Trailer Space - SXSW 2012
The Mean Jeans

The Night Beats @ Trailer Space - SXSW 2012
The Night Beats

White Mystery @ Trailer Space - SXSW 2012
White Mystery

See more photos of these bands and more here!

Three fun bands at one of my favorite places to see shows in Austin, Trailer Space Records. Trailer Space is my FAVORITE place to see shows at SXSW – always unofficial, always cool bands, always a chill/fun vibe, always no bullshit. This year I was there for the Burger Records Fest on Wednesday and it was great – flying beer (at one point a store worker/owner/person came up to the mic to declare “we sell records, so do not pour beer on the records”), fireworks, a dancing dog, tons of kids having fun and great music. So awesome.

A sad note is that I spoke to someone from Trailer Space over email and it seems as though they are in some hard times… so buy records there if you are in Austin! I asked if maybe they would have shirts for sale on their site again and they said they would let me know, I’ll post about it if they do… great place, I hope I can go again next year!

Washington Post Mean Jeans tearsheet Washington Post White Mystery tearsheet

Psychic TV & Celebration @ Sonar.

Psychic TV @ Sonar
Celebration @ Sonar.

See the rest of the Psychic TV & Celebration photos here.

This show was a real surprise. I knew what to expect from Celebration, one of the best (and most long-lived, at this point) current band in Baltimore… I have seen them many times, own all their records… so I knew they were gonna be great. But Psychic TV… that’s another matter. Genesis P-Orridge’s project post-Throbbing Gristle has gone through so many manifestations through the years (and I honestly lost track a long time ago), so I didn’t know what to expect. I was honestly expecting some 80s “I.C. Water”-era proto-rave… instead, what I got was 90 minutes of rollicking prog-rock, including at least two Hawkwind covers (but maybe three?) and some great banter by Orridge, include a claim (which I don’t think is true?) of actually having been a member of Hawkwind. Anyway, great, really unexpected show.

My Top 15 Concert Photos of 2011.

In the grand tradition I’ve been following for the last few years (see 2010, 2009, 2008, and 2007), every year I try and make a photo set of my favorite shots from the year. It’s a good exercise, I recommend it for all creative types, it lets you see how your work changes and grows over time.

This year, I am doing it a little differently… I am breaking it up into this post, which is my Top 15 Concert Photos of 2011, and another post of my Top 12 Photos (non-concert) of 2011 (check back tomorrow for that one). Cheating, maybe, but shooting more non-concert stuff is a goal of mine, so I decided to break them up. I’m also going to try and write a little about each… so here goes!
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Dan Deacon Ensemble, Celebration, Matmos @ Ottobar.

Dan Deacon Ensemble @ Ottobar
Dan Deacon Ensemble @ Ottobar
Dan Deacon Ensemble @ Ottobar
Dan Deacon Ensemble @ Ottobar   Dan Deacon Ensemble @ Ottobar
Celebration @ Ottobar
Celebration @ Ottobar   Matmos @ Ottobar

Awesome show, from beginning to end. 3 very different, yet complimentary Baltimore music groups, all on one bill! A great weekend for the Ottobar, who also hosted a sold out Wye Oak show the following night… anyway…

I have seen Matmos several times, and they are always different. This night, they chose to create a droning/grooving sort of atmosphere with a Caribbean (to my uninformed ears) feeling type of beat, very noddable and swayable. One of their songs got pretty minimal industrial, again to my uniformed ears, and I would SWEAR that on one song they used the same sample as Ministry does on one of their “Land of Rape And Honey” era records… but maybe I am just a goth.

Celebration remains one of my absolute favorite bands to see live in Baltimore… I love their old material and their newer stuff is growing on me more and more now that I have seen it played live a few times. Their set has morphed into only having one or two songs from the “The Modern Tribe” era, and they are still a treat to watch.

Dan Deacon used this show to introduce his new five piece ensemble (who I have posted about here recently) , and I really enjoyed the additional instrumentation. I think it worked best on the newer songs, ones that I assume were written for this group, but even on the classic Deacon songs, I think they added alot, especially the dual percussion. Live drums really can create a feeling like nothing else. The crowd seemed to agree, they went CRAZY, which is too be expected, and it was a really really fun set. Somehow I managed to stick it out the whole time at the front… a bit of a while since I managed that, but I was having a blast!

See the rest of the photos here!

Art Department, Quiet Hooves, Dave Fell, Other Colors @ Golden West

The Art Department.
Quiet Hooves
Other Colors   Dave Fell

Last week, I went to an (I think) all-local Unregistered Nurse show at Golden West, featuring : The Art Department, Other Colors, Dave Fell, and Quiet Hooves. I had only ever seen The Art Department before, and this was their first show in awhile – perhaps after some sort of hiatus (great journalism, I know). Of the other bands, I though that Quiet Hooves were particularly interesting.

I am at my parents for the holidays, so stay tuned for many updates with photos from the last few months (and perhaps beyond…)

Daybreak reunion @ Golden West

Daybreak reunion
Daybreak reunion   Daybreak reunion
Daybreak reunion

Saturday was something I thought I would never see… the reunion of Baltimore band Daybreak. They were a late 90s/early 2000s power violence band who put out records on Reptilian Records and Robodog Records (now Robotic Empire). I never saw them, but their records made their way to Baton Rouge by way of Page 99’s distro table and the Robodog’s Geocities-era website. Me and my friends appreciated the music, extreme but approachable and with musicianship, and even more, we appreciated the humorous piss-takes at “the scene” and the feeling of a crew of punks that we got from their record art and inserts… I thought it was cool that there was enough people who liked this music there to even HAVE a crew!

Anyway, somehow, someway, 10+ years later and I am friends with alot of the people involved with the making of these records, and they are all great and I am thankful they decided to do this reunion show so me and others had the chance to finally see this band! It was a fun night, and for a good cause – to help pay for a friend of the band’s cancer-related medical bills.

CMA Songwriter’s Series with Patty Loveless, Clint Black.

Patty Loveless @ CMA Songwriters Series
Clint Black @ CMA Songwriters Series
CMA Songwriters Series

I shot the CMA Songwriter’s Series at the Library of Congress. It was an intimate show where some top country songwriters – the guys who write the songs for the stars – got a chance to shine, tell stories about their songs, and have the chance to perform them along side stars like Clint Black and Patty Loveless.

  • See all the CMA Songwriter’s Series @ Library of Congress photos on Flickr.
  • Read the Washington Post review here.
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    Total Control & Thee Oh Sees @ Sonar

    Thee Oh Sees

    Total Control   Total Control

    Total Control

    Great show the other day at Sonar, courtesy of Unregistered Nurse. Australia’s Total Control (featuring at least one member of Eddy Current Suppression Ring) and California’s Thee Oh Sees.