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I have been revisiting some work I've been doing in the past year - glitter-makeup studio shoots with makeup artist (and videographer, and all-around creatively awesome lady) Natalyn McCants. So here's some of that to look at. Models: Alexandria Hampton, Lexi Nimmo, Pamela Fuller, and Rachel Vanderpool.
Sparkle and shine this week, mes amis.
Welcome to June! Here's your #guitarmonday song for this week - Welsh band The Joy Formidable. I kick myself on the regular for missing their Nashville show last year.
So what have I been doing in June? As ever, trying to get my sh*t together. I also photographed a show for the Silver Cord Cinema and Nashville Psych Alliance folks on Friday night. Here's some photos of that - bands were Z, The Inscape, Timothy Eerie, and The Holifields.
Ciao for now - be awesome this week.
Your #guitarmonday song this week is from the Skids, a Scottish punk group that featured Stuart Adamson (RIP) before he left to form the wonderful (and slightly better-known) group Big Country.
So Memorial Day is the day to remember the people who died serving in the military forces. And Veteran's Day is to remember the people who served and lived. In my world these are both occasions to listen to anti-war songs. Here's the saddest one I know.
This is the second year in a row that I've done an Ellie Monster Western Wear photoshoot during the weekend of the Nashville Boogie Vintage Weekender. It's now a tradition, because Ellie & I & the models & anyone else who pitches in have the most fun EVER. Maybe some year we'll sell tickets, or start recording it live as well. Here's some photos from that. Working with this crew is PURE MAGIC of the best kind I know.
Ciao for now and keep on rockin'.
We saw Industrial Accident: The Story of Wax Trax! Records at the Nashville Film Festival last week. It was terrific, and chock full of great music. We were dancing in our seats. Early in the film, Dr. Nick turned to me and said "We were born too late", and to an extent he's not wrong. We'd have liked to be older during the time some of our favorite music was released - but you know, people are still making new music, new favorites. And we have what came before. So much music (books, art, movies, etc), so little time.
I didn't start clubbing until the late 90s, but even then I danced to a lot of Wax Trax! Releases, so the film was a bit of happy time travel. We have since pulled out our Wax Trax! (and Wax Trax!-adjacent) vinyl at home for turntable listening. Here's another of my favorite Wax Trax! releases: Acid Horse.
"Uncle Al" Jourgenson of Ministry fame is quite a character - and Chris Connelly does a GREAT impression of him.
And I will always love Coil.
It's a catch-up/prep week for me going into a busy weekend of shooting, but I took some time to play with a ring-light and a remote shutter release to make some self-portraits. I need some because REASONS.
So hi. Hope your week's going well. Here's one more Wax Trax! track for you. Ciao for now - find something to dance to this week.
Last Sunday I went to see a live show in Nashville, camera in hand. I knew The Bad Signs would be awesome, of course, but I didn't know anything about Mayflower Madame so I looked up their music before the show. Holy wow. This band from Oslo, Norway (my ancestral homeland!) ROCKS. In honor of how great they were live, your #guitarmonday song is "Weightless" by Mayflower Madame.
I love this stuff! It is, how the kids say, IN MY WHEELHOUSE, and UP MY ALLEY. I made some photos at the show with the psychedelic lights and I love those too. Check it.
I'm pretty excited for their Premonition album coming out.
It's been a while since I've been out to a show. I had a great time at Nashville's East Room, seeing The Bad Signs and Mayflower Madame. I couldn't stay for the third band because I'm old and I walked, like, ten miles yesterday and then stood on concrete making photos.
Anyway, it went so well that I might even go to other shows. Anything could happen! For now, have a look at some images from last night. All I see are BAAAAAAD SIIIIIIGNS
And let's try to be excellent to each other this week, ok?
Here's your song for #guitarmonday song this week, from my darling Raincoats.
So where've I been? Well, we had to complete our moving (and the internet out here was slooooooo-oooo-wwww until today when we switched providers) and cleaning at the apartment. We closed on the house we owned in West Virginia (finally!) since 2007. I had to hold down the fort while Dr. Nick went on a work trip, and do many artist administration things.
And we had to bid farewell to our beloved Blixa von Blixenstein III, Destroyer of Worlds (RIP). We're still kind of wrecked about it. He may have been old, but that doesn't make it easier. We miss his furry face.
But I did manage to get in two photoshoots last week. One was a portrait shoot for a friend/client who hand-dyes fabric (check out her work at Stipples Etc.):
And the other was in my #UrbanGoddesses series, Iðunn the Norse Goddess of youth and keeper of the apples of immortality.
My mundane life's been harshing my creative life this past month, but I'm coming out of that slump and lots of change is on the way. I haven't forgotten all five of you who read this blog. There will be editorials and more editions of Frequently Asked Questions. Bear with me, friends.
So maybe you don't know about Rob Rufus - author, musician, cancer survivor, advocate, & activist - but you really should. Read his book, Die Young With Me: A Memoir; listen to the music he makes with bands The Blacklist Royals and The Bad Signs; follow him around on Instagram. You'll be glad you did.
Rob & I sat down in East Nashville in March and we: a) had a great chat b) made some kickass photos. This is not your standard interview. I didn't record any of our conversation, and I asked a couple questions via email. I am your unreliable narrator - and this is my first profile of punks I know and meet in Nashville. All factual mistakes are mine, and all photographs too.
In no particular order, here are some of the things we talked about:
-life in West Virginia (Rob grew up there, in Huntington, and I lived in Charleston for six years)
-dogs (Rob has two, I have one)
- how I hate the f'in Eagles, but love the Documentary Now spoof "The Blue Jean Committee", and we agree that it is great
- how terrific the movie Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox story is - Rob says it's the most accurate portrayal of life on tour that he has seen
- book recommendations (I recommended Jenny Lawson, aka 'The Bloggess' and her memoir Let's Pretend This Never Happened). I asked Rob about five favorite/important books in his life, and his five are: Born on the 4th of July, by Ron Kovic; IT, by Stephen King; Post Office, by Charles Bukowski; On The Road, by Jack Kerouac; and A Prayer For Owen Meany, by John Irving. Look them up yourself or find them at your local library because
- Libraries and librarians are awesome and do more than people know to keep free speech alive (Librarians are more punk rock than you! Ahem but I'm not biased)
-His next book, which is fiction (ooh!), and the publishing process in these interesting times that we live in.
- Creativity, process, working in different creative mediums, and his writing process:
"My normal writing process is to get up early, and watch the news until I'm disgusted enough to check out of the world for the day. Then I sit in my pajamas with my dog Boots at my side and zone out into make believe for the next 5-10 hours. I used to listen to music while I wrote when I first started, but now I can't. I find it hard to concentrate. I turn on white noise to help my stay in my own head, and try to get in that zone."
- How much cancer sucks (Rob is a survivor, which you can read about in his book, and I used to work for a cancer research group in Madison, Wisconsin)
- Strange business ideas (look for our collaborative obituary business - Rob will write your obituary for you and I'll make the great photo they'll publish in the paper!)
1. Bruce Springsteen in Nashville, when he threw me his harmonica and danced with my mom on stage during Dancing in the Dark (I have proof!)
2. The Descendents somewhere in Europe.
3. The Dwarves when they played two songs, broke all the equipment and walked off stage.
4. River City Rebels in Pittsburgh back in '99 or so.
5. Green Day in '97
6. Rancid every single time.
7. AFI when "All Hallows EP" came out
8. Brian Wilson doing "Pet Sounds" at the Ryman
-Rob's favorite tour story: "When we played a Women's Prison in Germany. It was, as I'm sure you can imagine, weird as shit. I was thinking it'd be like Johnny Cash in Folsom, but it was more like 4 scared man-children in the prison yard with a bunch of hard ass German women...they ended up being really sweet though! One of them even kissed my brother on the lips! They were so nice, he didn't even get mad when a weird rash appeared there the very next day..."
-The double-edged sword of the internet. We live in interesting times, indeed. Self-promotion, internet dating, Facebook. The fate of poor catalog underwear models.
-The joys and perils of living a nonlinear life, by circumstance and by choice.
- Some of my DJ stories from back in the day that I will not repeat here.
Stay tuned for more #punkNashville profile stories! And if you know someone I should talk to and photograph for this series, please send them my way. Keep on rockin', friends.
My dog, Blixa von Blixenstein III (Destroyer of Worlds - retired) woke me around 4:30 a.m. today to take him out for a stroll in the rain, so the day's moving before I was ready. We're also moving residences this week, with attendant feelings of excitement and dread, anxiety and panic, and being ready but never being ready.
So, life as usual. I need fast music for today, and probably all week. So here's some Dream Wife for you - I've listened to this song like five times in a row this morning. Shut up.
And here's a few photos of lady musicians who rock, whether their instruments are voice, guitar, bass, or all of the above. You know I'm all about the ladies who rock (and want to photograph more, always and forever). Also, I got to spend some time with my friend Jane Rose last week, which always makes me feel peppier. Photos below: Cara Lippman of Cara Being Blue, and Jane Rose.