Wednesday, July 28, 2010
Tuesday, July 27, 2010
Thursday, July 22, 2010
Monday, July 19, 2010
Friday, July 16, 2010
Wednesday, July 14, 2010
Tuesday, July 13, 2010
Wednesday, July 7, 2010
2006. I was excited to get a chance to see The Fall for the first time. They are a highly influential English punk band that started in the late 70's, if you didn't know. The singer, Mark E. Smith is The Fall and the only original member and is notoriously difficult to work with but he is one of my favorite singers.
The Fall were touring across the US and I heard a report that the band had quit in Arizona only days before their show in Los Angeles. But the tour was not cancelled. Mark E. Smith simply recruited musicians from California and continued to tour. The bassist and guitarist were from the LA band Darker My Love and I think the drummer was from a San Francisco band. The only member of the band who hadn't quit was the keyboardist who I think was Mark E. Smith's wife. Given that the band was thrown together only days before the show I had my doubts on how good it would be. It did turn out to be a very interesting night.
I got to The Knitting Factory in Hollywood a little late and only caught one opening band who happened to be a dj who mixed video and music together. It was kind of interesting for about 15 minutes but then it became very repetitive. The audience who were mostly in their 30's and 40's grew very impatient with this dj. I've never seen an audience become so openly vocal against an act. After each song of the dj's 45 minute set more and more people were yelling "You suck" and "Get off the stage". I felt bad for the guy but he was in the wrong place playing to people who wanted to see a band, not a dj. Each time he started the last few songs of his set I thought people might jump onstage and kick him out of the club.
The Fall finally took the stage and I was prepared for the worst seeing how the band had just been thrown together. To my surprise the band was able to play a full set and played it well. As hard as it must have been to learn all those songs so quickly, Mark E. Smith didn't make things easy for the band during their performance. During many of the songs Smith would wander over to the guitarist and bassist and change the controls on their amps or turn the tuning keys on their guitars causing them to go out of tune. It was bizarre to see this happen and the band handled it well. They didn't get mad, they just kept playing and would reset things when Smith would return to the mic. I guess they figured they had this wonderful chance to play with a legend so they just went with it.
Having never seen The Fall before I think the show was actually pretty good considering everything that had gone on. I had seen a legend perform and was happy to have had the chance. If they ever play LA again I'll be there to see the circus.
Tuesday, July 6, 2010
I occasionally worked with Mark Laita between 2003 and 2006. Every once in a while I was there when he was just returning from a trip to some new part of the country. He would show me 8x10 polaroids of portraits of people he was shooting in a personal project. His plan was to shoot in all 50 states. He told me stories of shooting inbreed hillbillies in West Virginia, Beverly Hills real estate agents. I even gave him suggestions when he was planning to visit the Carolinas. I never knew the theme of the project so when I finally saw the show in a gallery I was really impressed. Mark was a great product and still life photographer so I was a little surprised when I found out about this portrait project called "Created Equal". The images are beautiful and all the people are real. They aren't models and they aren't costumes. They are the real thing, shot where they live. Check out his work.
Monday, July 5, 2010
Saturday, July 3, 2010
Canada and I ventured down to Orange County to see Chuck Berry and Jerry Lee Lewis at the Hootenany festival. At the ticket booth we learned Jerry Lee had to cancel, so a coin flip prevented us from spending a little too much to see Chuck Berry. We did manage to make good use of our time in the OC.