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Jan 112012
 

I normally steer pretty wide around the Grammys, cynical old broad I tend to be, but this year I got myself tangled in what I have now dubbed Chorney-gate. For those who don’t know, there is a segment of the Americana crowd in an uproar about the nomination of a previously unknown artist, Linda Chorney, in that category. Sure, there are disagreements with the nominees every year, but this “debate” has taken on a particularly nasty, personal tone that is downright appalling — some are going as far as calling for Chorney to give up her nomination.

Imagine if you will, working at your music for 30 years in relative obscurity, getting the chance to make the album you always wanted to make in a last-ditch-hail-Mary twist of fate, getting a nod for that album with one of the greatest recognitions in music…then getting kicked mercilessly by the very community that is supposed to be about embracing the “outsider.”

Of course, also imagine you’ve been around the block long enough to not really give a shit. That’s obviously the kinda gal I want to talk to, and I did here.

You know, some people won’t like her music, and that’s okay. I am critical of things as well, whether music or movies or whatever. But one thing I can tell you — observing this whole mess has been a sharp reminder to keep in mind that these things we critique are often something a person put their heart and soul into. And anytime someone does that, the least we can do is dislike it or disagree with it respectfully.

* I cannot lay claim to the clever headline, which I blatantly stole from this guy.

 January 11, 2012  Posted by livenuncensored Behind the Scenes No Responses »
 

(I was wandering through the wasteland of my painfully neglected photography blog and saw this post, which I thought I should bring out where someone might actually…read it. So it’s a bit dated. But always relevant…)

Okay, I know I have another blog for my band work, but to not
mention it on this one would be leaving out the very thing I love most
and am most known for. Now, lest you think I’m some young, tattooed
hipster, I’m a chubby 42 year old woman. I look so not rock and
roll. Nor do I dress like a teenager — I’ve already told people if I
ever become one of those women who try to dress and act half her age,
to shoot me. Please.

So imagine how odd I look at these shows.
And how odd I often feel. Or used to…I’ve gotten pretty comfortable
with being the old fart in the crowd.

So, anyway, part of what I do involves getting in the pit. I get my ass kicked. A lot.

And
one thing I’ve learned out in Arizona, is those kids from the Rez are
crazy in the pit. For reals. So I knew when I went up to Window Rock,
NM with my boys The Koffin Kats, it was going to be rough. An audience
entirely of Rez kids, on their own turf (at Day’s Customs, an auto body
shop.)

This is what the boys had to work with — a flatbed trailer for a “stage.”

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I
love behind the scenes shots and catching candids of guys offstage.
Especially the Kats. They’re great guys and have three very different
– and QUITE interesting — personalities.

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Food run (Tommy’s hair before he fixed it.)

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Tommy’s hair after he fixed it.

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Continue reading “It’s only rock and roll but I like it…” »

 February 9, 2010  Posted by livenuncensored Behind the Scenes No Responses »
Feb 042010
 

You would think with my interest in music, I would have this vast knowledge of a range of genres, but actually, nothing could be further from the truth. I grew up in a small redneck town in Indiana, down thar close to Kentucky. I only had top 40 radio and classic rock at my disposal until I went to college. I didn’t even have MTV, which was just starting out and actually still played…music.

So you have to excuse me when I discover bands for the first time many of y’all have known about for years.

But then, some of you may not know about The Gits, except in passing references. Last night I watched the documentary about the band, chronicling perhaps one of the greatest tragedies in rock and roll, when lead singer Mia Zapata was raped and murdered July 7, 1993.

I remember the whole “Home Alive” movement, but honestly never sat down and listed to The Gits till last night. Hell, I had it in my head it was Stephanie Sargent of 7 Year Bitch that had been killed…but she was another rock and roll overdose.

The great tragedy was the loss of Zapata’s life, no doubt, but that doesn’t minimize the loss of all the songs she would have written, and all the great performances that never were. And how the members of her band were on the verge of living their dream on their first national tour and signing to Atlantic Records. Or how her murder ripped apart more than a Seattle music “scene,” but a family built around the “Rathouse” they all shared.

The love — and pain — for those who knew her is palpable in this documentary. Even after all these years, Selene Vigil of 7 Year Bitch is visibly shaken talking about the murder, and about how she and so many others are haunted by the fact that she was beaten so brutally and the suffering she endured in her last moments.

The other thing that is palpable is the raw energy and commanding voice of Zapata. This is a film that makes your heart heavy, but will inspire you with the pureness of a group of people who really loved what they were doing, and really loved Zapata.

As her father said in the film, I only had her on loan for a short time, now she belongs to all of you.

 February 4, 2010  Posted by livenuncensored Behind the Scenes No Responses »
 

Well, not really, but yeah, some of you may recognize the dork shooting photos in this interview clip of Dez Fafara. And those who don't will now know why I work on the other side of the camera. Haha.

Anyway, more important than that, this is a great interview of DevilDriver's Fafara by my new media pal, James R. Chesna, and really illustrates what a great work ethic this band has. I admit I'm getting back into the metal scene after MANY years away (I last listened to Ozzy's "Blizzard of Oz"…when it first came out) so I'm still getting to know the new metal bands musically, but really like this band on a personal level. Hard working guys with none of the ego bullshit, living their dream on the road and not in a five-star-hotel-glamorous way.


This is what's it's all about kids. People who do it for the love of it and not to become famous or have a gazillion dollar house.

I especially like this taken from their myspace:

"Since first forming in 2003, the Santa Barbara metal quintet has
stuck resolutely to this mission, even though it's often meant
traveling a rougher, less glamorous road than most musicians would
prefer to endure. Rather than cashing in on the popularity of his
previous successes, frontman Dez Fafara
insisted from
the get-go that DevilDriver should not only forge their own unique
sound, but should also start at the proverbial bottom of the bill and
work their way up through endless touring, earning the music world's
respect one fan at a time.

"I get that hard-working attitude from my father," says Dez. "I
believe in gnawing at the bit, you know? It's taken its toll on us,
sure – but hard work, road work and belief in ourselves is what we're
based on."

Preach it, brother…

Here's a few live shots from Friday…

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 January 26, 2010  Posted by livenuncensored Behind the Scenes No Responses »
 

I think this is pretty cool, and I would love to see music coverage go back to its roots with more behind the scenes, documentary type coverage rather than the glossy posed stills that fill all the magazines these days.

I’ve shot Killswitch Engage live a couple of times, and like these guys. They seem like a fun, down to earth bunch of guys, and Howard Jones even tried to get me to give him my camera to take a shot of the crowd when I shot them in Kalamazoo opening for Disturbed.

Nice as he seems to be, no one touches my camera but me, baby.

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Anyway, here’s the first clip of footage courtesy of Roadrunner Records. Killswitch Engage
will be playing the Royal Oak Music Theatre Feb 20 with The Devil Wears Prada.
I will be shooting some TDWP promos that night and likely KsE as well, so I’m pretty damn excited.

From the Roadrunner website:

This past October, Killswitch Engage
embarked on their first ever tour of South America. With stops in
Brazil, Argentina, Ecuador, Chile and Colombia, the Massachusetts
natives played in front of ravenous crowds eager to catch the rare
glimpse of KsE live in their respective countries. 

The landmark trek was documented by the band, and starting today
we will be releasing one behind-the-scenes clip every Monday over the
course of the next six weeks.

While the videos range from tour bus shenanigans to backstage
experiences, the band can be seen interacting with fans and engaging in
some typical, hilarious Killswitch fare. The first offering (below) sees the band arriving on Brazilian soil and being greeted by their mass of eager fans.

Watch as Killswitch conquer new territory and don’t miss the band on tour starting February 4th as they embark on a US headlining run with The Devil Wears Prada.






Love Killswitch Engage? Check out this awsome selection of authentic Killswitch Engage apparel and gear from Rock.com!

 

The_graves_love_comics-440x679 Among the films featured this year in the After Dark Horrorfest is the Brian Pulido directed flick "The Graves," starring Tony Todd, Bill Moseley, Clare Grant and Jillian Murphy. I was lucky enough to get to shoot some studio shots for the website. The movie also features a cameo appearance by Calabrese, a great horror punk band based in Phoenix and one of my first clients.

From the website:

Present
day. Arizona. Megan and Abby Graves are inseparable sisters that
couldn’t be less alike. Megan is a self-assured, naturally attractive,
ass kicker. Abby is a cute, caustic, Hot Topic Goth who’s afraid of her
own shadow.

They do share a few things in common: a life-long
obsession with comics, pop culture and rock ‘n’ roll. Simply put, they
are beautiful geeks.

In a few days, Megan will start a new job
in New York. To send her off in style, the Graves sisters go on a wild,
pop culture bender that includes a trip to uncharted Arizona in search
of a kitschy roadside attraction.

Instead, they’re lured to
Skull City Mine, a weather-beaten, abandoned mine town that harbors
terrifying secrets. It appears to be haunted — Its twisted caretakers
are murderous — Victim’s souls are ripped right out of their bodies –
and that is only the beginning…

When Megan suffers a mortal
wound, Abby must save her sister, but to do so, she must confront her
fears and unlock the mystery of Skull City alone.

Can Abby survive Skull City’s threats? Can she rescue Megan or are they doomed to a fate much worse than death?

This didn't end up being the official poster, but created quite a stir, including Mr. Gaiman himself posting it on his blog.

If you want to check out the trailer, go to the official website.

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Brian Pulido directing Clare Grant and Jillian Murphy at the photo shoot. And the final result:

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And for the record, not only can pretty girls be geeky and in to comics, but they can be silly too. You have to love photo shoot outtakes.

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I’m doing my first cut edit of the Stitch Hopeless and the Sea Legs
shoot last weekend, and of course I’m looking for the technical stuff
and trying to find the best shot. But I also find myself waxing a bit
poetic about the medium of photography in general, and having one of
those moments when I realize how much I love it. I mean really, really love it.

I
love the feeling of capturing a moment, or a place or a person in a way
that really shows something about them — in that little fraction of a
second in time — and freezing that moment for eternity. And once I
capture a little piece of that person, I sorta can’t help but fall in
love in a way. Annie Leibovitz noted this same phenomenon when she
said, "A thing that you see in my pictures is that I was not afraid to fall in love with these people."

Yeah…I totally get that. I know exactly what she means.

And,
you know, the thing with these guys, is they’re not just a band, but a
traveling party of close knit people. Every time they play, they bring
a whole crowd with them. And the thing I have discovered in the last
week or two, is that that crowd is not "fans" but friends.

For
the record, let it be known when you mix copious amounts of alcohol and
rowdy Irish boys, beer will be spilled and glassware broken. Thanks to
the Pub and Grub for allowing me to shoot from behind the bar and
Hollywood Alley for putting up with our jackassery, and being the
coolest fucking bar on the planet.

So anyway, enough soppy, sentimental bullshit. Here are a few outtakes

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