It's been a hot minute! Instead of beating on myself because my most recent blog post was in July, I'm going to remind myself that I've been most very occupied with the future of Punk Rock Photography & this blog. I'm also sure that with all the words and music and photos on the internet, you haven't really missed me. Regardless, we're here now.
Your song is by Nation of Language, a band I love that combines synthpop with live guitar. I was delighted to see them in Nashville in early November. "Weak in Your Light" is my favorite from their new album.
I want to tell you (and show you) about the sugar sk*-*lls "Star Time" album release show I was at last week. I've been loving "Star Time" since it was first available, and I was super-pumped when I heard that Sarah Saturday (entered into the Queens of Noise series this year!) was performing as Gardening, Not Architecture to open the show. I wasn't familiar with Zook, either. So I was looking forward to this show, and it started well with a venue full of Nashville indie-rock folks I knew and I liked.
Gardening, Not Architecture performed their "Absence of Me" show, which I had seen before but appreciated all over again. The thing about a G,NA show is not just the music - it's a whole multimedia experience including Sarah's lights, video projections, and the music. While her "Voyage" show released this year was the most ambitious to date, "Absence of Me" has a lovely simplicity that struck me right in the heart.
Zook's music was a groovy mix of psychedelic folk rock with Zach Tittel at the helm, including live violin by Rowen Merrill and synth elements along with the standard guitar, bass, drums combo. I would say it inhabits the same space as Beck in his more experimental phases. Dig Deep Light Show provided excellent liquid light & other effects for both Zook & sugar sk*-*lls. Y'all know it's always fun for me as a photographer to photograph interesting light and projection, and I cut my photographic teeth in this very venue (The East Room) with liquid light shows in 2018.
sugar sk*-*lls bills the Star Time album as "ecstatic explorations in dream time", and I think that's about as good of a description as you can find. I love this album! I love electronic pop/synthpop music to begin with, and this album is at times very cinematic and like a soundtrack to a dystopian movie. I'll be listening to this one for a long time, I just know it. As ever, I encourage you to check it out for yourself and not just take my word for it. The live performance on November 29th included guests Matt Glassmeyer playing live trumpet & tambourine, and the great Robbie Hunsinger on saxophone. I love the inclusion of analog instruments with primarily electronic music, and I know that's not the last time I'll say that.
I recently purchased a prism that can be held in front of the lens of the camera to provide light bending effects - so I brought it to the show and tried it out on live music for the first time (I've used a different prism in the studio this fall). I've included a few of these photos of Gardening, Not Architecture and sugar sk*-*lls. I enjoy the effect of the prism but it's best used sparingly, like many in-camera (or post processing) effects. It's just one tool among many to use to tell the story.
As usual, I'll repeat that music in Nashville is WAY more than just country (but also country), as my work and music taste is WAY more than punk rock (but also punk rock).
Be excellent to each other until I talk to you again. It won't be four months between posts again I hope - I've learned not to make promises I can't keep, or to say "never".