Category Archives: photographs

CMJ 2012: Day 2 – JJAMZ @ Bowery Electric

I remember a time when I would be headed out to a show around 9 or 10 and someone in my family would say with exasperation, “I can’t believe you’re going out this late!” and I would kinda scoff and roll my eyes and think, “OMG, IT’S NOT EVEN LATE!” as I rushed out the door to meet my friends.

Today, as I was putting on my Chucks in my apartment at 8:50pm in preparation to head over to Bowery Electric to catch a 9:20 set by JJAMZ for CMJ, I found myself thinking, “OH MY GOD it’s so late! I CAN’T BELIEVE I’M GOING OUTSIDE.” As I made my way over to the venue this was the running loop of commentary:

“Why are there so many people outside?”

“How can that girl walk in those shoes?”

“Aren’t those girls cold? They’re not even wearing jackets!”

“Are those people eating ice cream? Should they be eating so close to their bedtime?”

“That girl looks like she’s on her way to a nightclub!”

The reason I found myself asking those questions has one very simple answer: I am old and never go out, so the idea that other people are out when I’m normally in bed watching last night’s “Daily Show” on Hulu is kinda a foreign concept to me. (BTW – The answers to those questions are: “Because it’s not even 9 o’clock.” “She can’t.” “They are drunk.” “Their bedtime is nowhere near.” “I believe it’s called a ‘bar’.”)

Anyhoo, as I approached Bowery Electric, I noticed a mass of people outside: people in bands, people who looked like groupies of bands, people who looked like they might be from LA — yup, I was in the right place.

I headed down the stairs and up to the front of the stage just as JJAMZ was starting. Perfect tardy timing!

What can I say about JJAMZ that I haven’t already said? As predicted, the band was a pop-tastic experiment in peppy, toe-tapping tunes. That’s the great thing about supergroups — you’re pretty much guaranteed a solid time — these people have proven themselves in other musical outfits, and you kinda know what you are getting.

I’ve known about The Like for quite some time, but have never actually seen them perform, so much of my observation was focused on Elizabeth “Z” Berg, lead vocalist of The Like and more relevantly, of JJAMZ. It wouldn’t take a genius to make comparisons between the physical likeness that Z Berg has with rock icon Debbie Harry, but I’m going have to go on record right now as noticing because it is a bit uncanny.

The chin-length blonde hair, the defined cheekbones, the perfectly pursed lipsticked lips, the lone lady in a band of dudes — all the pieces are all there. Wearing a pair of fire engine red hot pants, a snug fitting short-sleeved sweater with a bicycle printed on it, and a pair of deadly stiletto boots, Z Berg seemed to unabashedly be playing the part of indie rock pin-up girl, which for some reason (justified or not) seemed to me to be appropriate “LA” of her.

With a girlish voice, that got rough around the edges during the end of phrases, even vocally Berg seemed to be channeling her patron saint of music. (My assumption that Debbie Harry is someone she looks up to is not without proof — earlier this year she told Harper’s Bazaar that her personal style is “somewhere between Twiggy, Debbie Harry and Cher Horowitz.”) I’m not sure if her onstage pouts, frequent hair tousling, satisfied just-woke-up-from-bed stretches were designed to give me a clear indication of what Berg must be like in bed, but that’s what they achieved.

At one point a dubious beer-bellied character wearing no shirt, got on stage between songs and soy bombed the JJAMZ set with a plug for a booze for charity event he (or someone) was running at the upstairs bar, after which Michael Runion quipped, “Hey Z Berg, someone who is wearing less clothes than you on stage!”

There set was over after 7 or so songs — their time was up, and they were headed to Santos for another gig. I was headed towards the door as soon as the last chord was strummed by Alex Greenwald.

February Update: Photo Show, Worth Kitchen, Gotye, DC

Hey everyone — know it’s been a long while since I’ve blogged, but a lot has gone on…

the group photo show I was in, 120db, was a major success!

120db photo show packed venue

Fort Useless was packed non-stop the entire night. What a thrilling experience!

In case you couldn’t make it to the opening party, here are the shots I showed:

Shot of my 5 photos on display
Photo courtesy of Maryanne Ventrice

The White Stripes – Union Square Park – October 1, 2002
Yeah Yeah Yeahs – Santos Party House – April 12, 2009
Jenny Lewis and the Watson Twins – Angel Orensanz Foundation – February 5, 2006
Ryan Adams and the Cardinals as “Cold Roses, Inc.” – Bowery Ballroom – June 23, 2006
The Strokes – Madison Square Garden – April 1, 2011

Other things that have gone on of late:

Had some amazing food at Worth Kitchen supper club at the City Grit space.

Worth Kitchen

I became obsessed with Gotye and got to see him perform at Jimmy Kimmel Live in LA:

Gotye
No cameras allowed at the taping, hence the crappy cell phone shot

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120 dB Concert Photography Show Opening: Tonight! (1/27/12)

Yes, that’s right — tonight is the opening of the concert photography group show that I’m proud to be a part of: 120 dB, curated by Maryanne Ventrice. Alongside some other totally amazing lady concert photogs and friends like Abbey Braden and Diana Wong, I’ll be exhibiting five of my favorite concert photos from the archives, from 2002-2011.

If you haven’t read any of the awesome buzz we’ve already gotten from Brooklyn Vegan, NYC Taper, Prefix Mag, or Bumpershine, here are the details:

120 dB Concert Photography flyer

Please join us at Fort Useless on January 27th from 6-10 pm for our opening reception — FREE

RSVP on our Facebook page

Fort Useless
36 Ditmars Street, Brooklyn

Map:

View Larger Map

Hope to see you there!

Things I Ate During Christmas Break

This Christmas I didn’t go anywhere on vacation, but rather participated in a NYC-based “staycation.” I basically spent a week stuffing my face with some of my favorite foods:

Chicken Pad See Ew from Pongsri (Chinatown, Bayard Street location)

The Greenpointer with prosciutto from Paulie Gee’s in Greenpoint, Brooklyn

A journey to Flushing, Queens to try out Nan Xiang Dumpling House. Tried the cucumber and garlic, beef scallion pancake (with hoisin sauce), and of course, the pork and crab soup dumplings.

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Ryan Adams Live on Letterman in NYC – 12/5/11

Who loves Ryan Adams? I do! I do!

As you may have already figured out from my tweets, just as I was lucky a few months ago when Coldplay was in town, I was again blessed enough to sit in on Ry Ry’s intimate performance at the Ed Sullivan Theater for Live on Letterman.

According to Ryan, for this tour he is doing all solo sets (yup, no Cardinals) because… he is. But he still has the classic crazy Ryan Adams between song banter — this time hypothesizing what would happen if you came to a Live on Letterman taping and KISS was performing, the “real” pyrotechnic show that is usually on display during “Lucky Now”, and an in-depth rant on the failings of the fourth season of “Moonlighting.”

Vocally, Ry Ry has never sounded better. Clear, crisp, and in control, I thought his voice was beautiful during the whole performance. He did an understated version of “New York, New York” on the piano — after which the guy a row in front of me shouted, “We still love you too, Ryan!” Another song of note was a cover of Bob Mould’s “Black Sheets of Rain.”

It’s been quite a while since I’ve seen Ryan perform (was at the last time the 2008 Cafe Select show????), so I was delighted when he played some older hits — especially “English Girls Approximately” — as soon as he hit the chorus of the song I was reminded how MUCH I love that song. (The playing of “Love Is Hell” will be occurring all day today.)

More classic Adams details included Ry dressed in a black tee with red design, jeans, brown workbooks — but most importantly, one impossibly expensive looking black leather jacket with an homage to Iron Maiden painted along the entire back. (Of course!!)

Can’t wait to see him tonight at the big Carnegie Hall show!

Setlist via the Ryan Adams Archive:

Oh My Sweet Carolina
Ashes & Fire
If I Am A Stranger
Dirty Rain
New York, New York (piano)
Do I Wait
Lucky Now
Jacksonville Skyline
Black Sheets of Rain (Bob Mould cover)
English Girls Approximately
16 Days

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CMJ 2011: Day 3 – 10/20/11 – Guards, Grimes, Beat Connection, and More

Day 3 of CMJ was an all-day affair at the I Guess I’m Floating/ Tell All Your Friends PR showcase at Pianos.

The lineup

My personal music marathon started out with the Seattle-based upstarts, Beat Connection, who were fresh off the red-eye from the Left Coast. Their set started off with a bit of a bumpy start — with the laptop not cooperating just a couple songs in. While the band waited for the Mac to kick back in, they explained that they were super excited to be at CMJ, because it was their first time ever at the festival (as performers or attendees). Awww!


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CMJ 2011: Day 2 – 10/19/11 – Stop the Virgens and Twin Sister

Day two of CMJ turned out to be a free form day. A few weeks ago my friend Kathryn got us tickets to the new Karen O psycho rock opera at St. Ann’s Warehouse, Stop the Virgens, with me totally not realizing it was smack dab in the middle of CMJ. Whoopsies!

After the show, I decided to push it and headed over to Williamsburg to try to catch King Krule at Glasslands, but by the time I got there they were no longer letting badges in. As I was standing there, I heard someone call my name, and low-and-behold it was Scott Stereogum, who then invited to come into the ‘Gum showcase next door at 285 Kent.

Before heading in, Scott warned me that it was extremely hot indoors and sure enough, it was in fact a “hipster sauna” inside. So who were the kids all waiting to see? Strong Island (seriously???) buzz band, Twin Sister. Dreamy disco music, with a lead singer who looks like an Olsen, it’s not hard to understand why the room was 75% Sausage Fest.


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