July 27, 2008

The Heavy Hearts, Capitol Hill Block Party 2008

Filed under: music,photography,rock,seattle — sparkrobot @ 5:34 pm

The Heavy Hearts at King Cobra, Seattle.

King Cobra was busy, but it was a welcome retreat the street party that clogged the arteries of Pike street and the banks of its swelling tributaries. When The Heavy Hearts took the stage at King Cobra I wasn’t sure what to expect. I’d neither seen the band nor previewed any of their available tracks on the interwebs. Wow. A dual bass guitar assault of low end and a wave of trebled up post punk heavy rock washed over the room. Almost immediately (after busting out ear protection), I decided to pull out the flash and run it hand held off camera to try to capture some of the maniacal energy unfolding on stage. I took long exposures, about 1-2 seconds and set the flash to fire on the rear curtain. Some of the results are online in The Heavy Hearts photo gallery.

So, that’s it. That was the Capitol Hill Block Party for me. After experiencing the crowds on Friday, I skipped Saturday. I guess I’ll stick to taking photos of bands before they get huge… or don’t get huge. Fine by me.

Les Savy Fav, Capitol Hill Block Party 2008

Filed under: music,photography,rock,seattle — sparkrobot @ 4:58 pm

I put the camera over my head and took one crappy photo of Les Savy Fav. Too bad, this was one of the bands I was really looking forward to seeing. Unfortunately, I hate crowds of drunken jerk offs more than I care to grin and bear it. Onward to King Cobra to see The Heavy Hearts.

The Dodos, Capitol Hill Block Party 2008

Filed under: music,photography,rock,seattle — sparkrobot @ 4:49 pm

The Dodos are a three piece from San Francisco with a refreshing approach to song craft. Slide guitars in alternate tunings, live loop sampling, foot tapping tambourine on an unconventional drum setup, trombones, trumpets, vibraphones… even a whipped garbage can as an auxiliary percussive addition. At one point, as the band stomped along, the entire live room at Neumo’s was bobbing to the beat. The floor was a boat in the ocean rocking up and down in perfect four over four. I found it an incommunicable experience — more of a moment. Sometimes live music is more about just “being there”. This was one of those moments. Outside in the beer garden, I chatted with a guy who intended to tape The Dodos’ block party set with his mini disc player. I hope he finds this post, because I’d really like to hear that.

There was a mostly unused mic stand right in front of me I wish I could have moved, because some of these shots would have been brilliant… Check out the photo gallery of The Dodos. A side note for anyone who might be interested, I took these photos at 4000 ISO with the Nikon D300. Yes, 4000.

Thee Emergency, Capitol Hill Block Party 2008

Filed under: music,photography,rock,seattle — sparkrobot @ 4:19 pm

thee emergency live at Nuemo\'s, Capitol Hill Block Party, July 2008
On arrival at the Capitol Hill Block Party Friday night I quickly realized it was going to be quite a bit bigger than I expected. The block was packed tight and it was difficult to move around. I didn’t have it in me to try to fight the crowd for good photo vantage and I only had a 17-55… Ultimately, I headed over to Neumo’s where I caught Thee Emergency performing an inspired set of retro, soulful garage rock from a decent position stage right. Check out the photo gallery of Thee Emergency at Neumo’s.

July 16, 2008

Mazzy, 1995-2008

Filed under: photography,seattle,tacoma — sparkrobot @ 3:03 am

I visited to the Humane Society n Tucson, Arizona so many years ago. I went four weekends in a row. I had designs on finding a companion for myself. I was looking for a Dalmatian. I visited on Sundays, every week, searching for a pal. After four visits in four weeks, I found the smartest little Siberian Husky. She was so sweet and so incredibly darling. Though she was not Dalmatian, and not spotted at all, after walking around with her for a few moments in the summer desert sun, I knew this girl was going to be my bud. For sixty six dollars, this small, underweight dog was coming home with me. At this time, I was obsessed with the sounds from the record, “So Tonight That I Might See” I’d discovered recently. Her name became Mazzy.

Though for the first week I had her, she mostly laid around recovering from her surgery, Mazzy turned out to be a wild one. She was born ready to run. Due to repeat performances of her Houdini act, I lost her several times (sometimes for days at at time), but she always made her way back. Eventually—and not without significant effort—she was broken of her tendency to run the streets of Tucson.

Mazzy and I spent about five years in Tucson when she decided she had had enough of the heat of the desert sun. She convinced me to move to Tacoma, Washington where some of our friends lived. In 2003, she adopted her younger sister stoutpup and showed her many a rope. She loved Tacoma where she hung with with Mr. Buddy Cox for quite some time, but ultimately decided she wanted to get in on the city action in Seattle. In February of 2008, we moved there. Sadly, she’d live out her remaining days in Seattle when she ultimately succumbed to organ dysfunction. She was probably about 13 years old.

In case you still have any doubt, Mazzy was the best dog in the world. Ever. In her honor, here is a gallery of recent photographs. I wish I was into photography years earlier, because she was quite the chick magnet in her day. (When I met her, I’m almost certain my wife was more into Mazzy than me.)

Mazzy loved rock n’ roooowl. She also loved Souwwwl. Her favorite candy was always Rooohlooowws. She never missed an opportunity to wear a bohlooow tie, nor ever turn down the opportunity to let you know when a situation bloooooooohowed.

Because of her love for rock n’ roll, it only seems fair to send her out with this Jerry Lee Lewis performance of the song, I Know What It Means. Take a listen and spin the gallery.

Thanks Mazzy, for all the kicks. You were the best dog a young man could have ever asked for. I miss you already and always kid.