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My photos from the Roots Picnic are up over on Pitchfork. Check 'em out. I will have a bunch more photos as well as my thoughts on the event (it was AWESOME) online soon.
Busy week this week. Shooting at the Kennedy Center tonight and also doing the Nine Inch Nails / Jane's Addiction show on Tuesday at Merriweather. NIN goes on FIRST. Plan accordingly.
Also, I love Philadelphia.
You might think I haven't been updating the leafblower because I am lazy.
Far from it.
Here are a few of the things I've done since updating the blog last week.
Last night I had the amazing experience of shooting Bruce Springsteen at the Verizon Center for DCist. See the full photo set here.
Sunday night I shot Dan Deacon & Future Islands at the 9:30 Club for washingtonpost.com. See the full photo set here.
I spent Saturday fighting the heat and the rain while shooting the DC101 Chili Cookoff for DCist for the third year in a row. It's one of my favorite events in DC. See the full photo set here.
Late last week I shot Mastodon at the 9:30 Club for washingtonpost.com. See the full photo set here.
In case you hadn't noticed, my photography services are in increasingly high demand, which is an absolutely amazing feeling. However, it doesn't leave much time for blogging (especially when you factor the day job in there too). Not sure what the future holds for the leafblower. I don't want to give it up completely but something's got to give. Stay tuned true believers...
Even though I used to know him back in the day (when he was a nobody, his lawyer shared office space with my company at my first job in NYC. He came by the office all the time. Really nice guy.) I can't say I am huge Fiddy fan. But his set at Merriweather a couple of weeks ago opening for Fall Out Boy was great. High energy with lots of singalongs. Basically everything you want from a hip hop show.
[Photo Gallery] 50 Cent @ Merriweather Post Pavilion
I had been looking forward to Friday's set by Cut Off Your Hands for a while. I watched a YouTube clip or two over at Torr's website a few months ago and really liked "Oh Girl." I found their album You & I after a quick perusal of eMusic and I've been rocking the record in heavy rotation ever since. Their record is a bit more Smiths-y than their live show, which is more blunt and reminded me a bit of Iggy Pop, mostly because of the lead singers similar stage moves. The backing vocals were more prominent in the live show as well, showcasing the band's pop instincts. There was a lot to like. Unfortunately the place was virtually empty when they went on, there were maybe 100 people there, but the band played as if the venue was full. Respect.
They are back in town in a few weeks at Iota, opening for Viva Voce, a show I would love to attend but can't. I will hopefully be covering the PJ Harvey show that night before heading up to Philly for the Roots Picnic the next day. Dean & Britta are also at the Black Cat that night. Sigh. I fear it will be ages before they come back. Dappled Cities, the last band from their part of the world that I fell in love with, played a great show at the Cat, came back a few weeks later for a gig I couldn't attend and I haven't heard from them since. I hope history does not repeat. This is a band worth checking out.
[Photos] Cut Off Your Hands @ Black Cat
Honestly I was too busy running around taking photos to write up yesterday's free concert on the mall. So instead I will point you to Josh's Washington Post review, Dave's Flaming Lips review from Post Rock and Amanda's excellent (and spot on) recap on DCist.
As for the Lips, they were a tad underwhelming. After opening with "Race For The Prize" they played slowed down versions of their next three or four songs and lost any momentum they had. Long pauses in between songs, etc. It wasn't until the last bit of the set that the audience got the sturm and drang they had been waiting all day for. But when the Lips decided to turn it up a notch, they were spectacular.
Also, I got to chat a bit with Wayne backstage. Nicest guy ever. Answered every question asked of him and was just generating good vibes everywhere he went. Respect.
DJ Spooky's set got cut short, which was a shame, because he was killing it mixing Radiohead, Jimi Hendrix and MLK Jr. into one big mash-up. Sadly, moe got a full set. It was 35 minutes but seemed three times longer. Ugh.
I was on assignment for Washingtonian, so head over there to see my photos from yesterday.
I have heard alot about Matt & Kim before finally seeing them a few weeks ago opening for Cut Copy. Their energy on stage in infectious, but I didn't think the songs they played were anything special. They seem like great people to hang out with, but not the best band in the world by any means. That said, I'd go shoot them again in a second. If only other bands were so expressive on stage.
[Photo Gallery] Matt & Kim @ 9:30 Club
Last time was the second time I have seen Glasvegas in DC and I have come away with the same feeling both times. I really like the album, but as far as the live show goes, there is just something about it that's a bit off. The band and their show both seem a bit contrived. I get that they think they are big rock stars and that they play to 3000+ each night in the UK, but if that's the case, they should totally own a gig at a cozy place like the Black Cat, but they didn't even come close last night. Thinking you deserve it is one thing, showing you deserve it is another. The band has attitude to spare but the songs (especially the lyrics) just don't hold up. Opening the set with "Geraldine" was a ballsy move, but it backfired on them because James Allan's vocals sounded very rough (and that's me being kind). He ultimately got it together about halfway through the set ("Flowers and Football Tops" sounded much better), but it wasn't enough to salvage the gig in my mind. I've seen plenty of sold out shows at the Black Cat, but this was one of the least exciting. But not as bad as this.
Last night turned out to be a bummer all the way around since Duke crashed and burned against Villanova. I DVR'ed the game and will go back and watch it later (caught most of the second half before they cut away to watch Mizzou shoot free throws) and will offer my thoughts then.
No rest for the weary tonight. Primal Scream at the 9:30 Club! The Scream have long been one of my favorite bands and I am super excited for this show. I fully expect my face to be melted off by "Shoot Speed (Kill Light)" or "Swastika Eyes." The set from their L.A. gig looks incredible. The club is running a two-for-one special on tickets, so there is no excuse not to come!
I've always been pretty meh about Longwave. All style and no substance. I would constantly hear people talk about how great they were but none of their recorded material did a thing for me. I remember being very excited to hear their 2005 album There's A Fire because the great and wonderful John Leckie produced it but it didn't do it for me. They piqued my interest again a few months later when they picked up former Sea Ray (RIP) keyboardist and all-around good guy Jeff Sheinkopf for a while, but he eventually left the band and my interest faded.
Anyways, I had still never seen them live so I thought I would give them a shot on Sunday at the 9:30 and I am so very glad I did. Not sure what has happened to them in the last few years, but man, they were straight fire. I was gobsmacked! Gone were the breezy pop songs I remembered, in their place was a wall of guitar effects that Ride or Spooky-era Lush would be proud of. And lead singer Steve Schiltz has the pipes to keep up too. They were amazing. Wikipedia says they put out a record at the end of last year. I'm going to have to track that down ASAP.
Also, the band said they were recording the gig for future use. There were quite a few video cameras set up around the venue. Hopefully they share that with all of us before too long.
[Photo Gallery] Longwave @ 9:30 Club
I wrote up a quickie review on DCist earlier int he week, but here are a few other thoughts on the Bloc Party show from Sunday.
- It was way sold out. Shoulder to shoulder all the way to the back of the venue.
- They didn't play "Waiting for the 7.18" Boo!
- "Ion Square" was pretty mind-blowing. The slinky keyboards from Gordon provided a nice respite from a very guitar heavy set. Definitely my new fave song.
- The seamless segue from "Song for Clay (Disappear Here) into "Banquet" was pretty awesome.
- Best lighting and best sound I've experienced from a 9:30 show in a long time.
- I love it when headliners go on before 9:30. We stayed through the firt encore and still got home a little after 11. Yes, I'm old.
[Photo Gallery] Bloc Pary @ 9:30 Club
Got some killer shots of Longwave. Will post those tomorrow.
Bloc Party put on a killer show at the 9:30 Club last night. Kele came out onstage wearing a Clinton Portis jersey! Pretty awesome. Head over to DCist for a short review and more photos. I'll have the full set up in a few days. Loving my new 5D, BTW.