Lollapalooza day two, one day down, two to go

Yesterday was my first experience photographing with a press pass at Lollapalooza. I’m one of several photographers working for Time Out Chicago, and we have been given schedules of bands to shoot throughout the day.

Friday, I had six bands on my roster. Three of the band photos were edited and uploaded by staff at Time Out. You can check out Totally Enormous Extinct Dinosaurs and The GrowlersMore of the work I did will post this morning, I’m sure.

I would have edited the images more, but our team is trying to upload pictures the day of for every band playing. And I can see how we need to just get the work out.

Time Out also published a tons of my crowd photos, which you can see here. I can say that the direct sunlight was a bitch to work with.

My thoughts on day one were these: 

Continue reading


Blog Maintenance, death, loss and fanboy obsession

There are a couple of items that I need to address, at least for myself.

A few of you let me know about troll John A Davison’s passing. He went quiet a while ago when he and some other guy jumped in on this conversation. And I wrote a post after receiving email from him here.

George said he got in a last word with him, and I’m wondering which response that was exactly.

Davison never returned after I blasted him on the Skatje post, in which I had reached the end of my rope and dug deep to verbally bitch slap him like an MMA superstar.

Whatever the case, John A. Davison is dead now. And since George got in the last word, it’s all his fault.


I’m not sure what that means to me. I didn’t ask him to stop by and I didn’t care that he was here. I didn’t care when he left.

I have, however, read back over my bitch slap a few times wondering how it was I came up with some of that stuff.

Rest assured, we’ll miss you MCA

Speaking of death, Beastie Boy Adam Yauch aka MCA passed away recently, too. And if you know me well, Beastie Boys are one of my favorite bands of all time. My glory days concert boasting rights seem to always go back to seeing the Beastie Boys at Lollapalooza back in the 90s with regular-reading Aaron, my brother Jon and my then girlfriend Wendy.

It was the best concert I’ve ever been to. I couldn’t stop moving the entire time they were on stage. We had great seats.

In fact, Aaron, Wendy and I were standing on the arms of our chairs which were probably 30 feet from the stage. My brother on the other hand decided to go into the pit as close as he could get. I remember watching him head for the crowd and never seeing him again until after they finished.

MCA was my favorite Beastie Boy, and when the announcement came that he died, I backburned it. I don’t know what to do with it. I don’t know how to memorialize him. We weren’t friends. And his life was never more than songs and photos, which I still have.

So in a way, I haven’t lost the guy. I wasn’t a huge fan of their recent work. It is a loss, though, so I have to figure out how I’m going to deal with that.

If you’re wondering what my favorite Beastie Boy track is, it’s “Get it together” from Ill Communication.

I think one of the reasons why MCA was my favorite Beastie was because he was the one that played bass on their instrumental tracks.

Flea-bitten flea bag

That brings me to my next fanboy obsession that will be coming to a major head at the end of the month.

One of my other all-time favorite bands is the Red Hot Chili Peppers. Back in high school, I played bass in a band called Creamy Velour with my brother and two other guys. When I was learning to play, I would listen to RHCP bass playing maniac Flea over and over wanting to slap and pop like him. I wanted to run around the fret board like him.

I wanted to whip my head around like him.

I loved watching Point Break because of Flea and Anthony Kiedis’ cameos.

That’s all to say that my photography partner Bill had an unfortunate turn of events that is preventing him from shooting RHCP at the end of the month. So when he learned that he had conflict a few weeks ago, he mentioned he might have to give up the show, and asked if I might want it.

You should have seen the superman strength it took to hold back utter excitement.

Long story short, I got the gig. I’ll be shooting one of my favorite bands of all time. And I just can’t fucking wait.

The other great thing about it is that I told Bill that I was going to pray to Allah that I would get the gig.

So the cosmic battle is finally come to a truce. Allah is the living god who answers prayers.

The art of watch and rewatch, read and reread

Cover of "The Sting [HD DVD]"

There’s a criticism that non-religious people have about religious people. It’s that religious people turn to the same book and read passages over and over.

The faithful say, “At different times, the Biblical text means different things.”

That’s not to say, they think the Biblical message is changed. It means that at that point in their life’s trajectory, they have found a nuance in meaning that affects them differently. The same message they’ve read a 100 times suddenly gives them a new perspective.

I was trained in this mindset. My teachers at church and school taught us to read the bible and find these nuances. They showed us that something that affected us one way at 5, might inform us differently at 10. After all, five years had passed and we were five years smarter, wiser, different.

Lately I’ve wondered if that’s why I love video editing. I wonder if that’s why I love to watch the same movie over and over. If that’s why I can stare at the same photo for long periods of time.

I re-watched The Sting over the last two nights. Perhaps you’ve seen it. It’s a classic staring Robert Redford and Paul Newman about big cons and kickass wardrobes. The first time I saw it, I was 7 or 8. I loved the movie then. I thought I was in the know, and I started rubbing my finger past the side of my nose at complete strangers hoping that they knew that I knew we were secretly con artists working together.

Through the years, I’ve watched it several more times. And each time, I get something new out of the movie. Or I’m reminded of something that makes me happy or inspires me for the next time I take a photograph or photograph for motion.

After thinking about this a little more, I thought maybe it’s a human trait to watch and rewatch. Read and reread. Some people are more prone than others to do it.

Maybe it’s religion that understood this idea and used it to psychologically rope in its adherents.

For me, my analytical mind took over. I look for aspects of the things I watch and rewatch, read and reread that are excellent, inspirational, moral and immoral. If I read and reread the bible, I can’t help but furrow my brow by all the negative messages.

Yet, so many of the people I love can read the same book and see messages of nurture, of help, of encouragement and love.

That’s the rub. That’s where the challenge lies.

You can’t tell anyone that you hate something they love

Say you’re in public, and someone says, “OMG! I love the new Red Hot Chili Peppers song. It’s awesome! Have you heard it yet?”

And you think, “Yeah, I’ve heard it. It sucks. I can’t believe RHCP put out such a dismal failure of a song.”

When I’m in public, I’ve become the guy that doesn’t say, “Oh shit! I hate that song.”

Perhaps it’s passive aggressive, but I say, “You know, maybe I haven’t given that song a chance yet. I’ll listen to it again.”

Passions are contagious, and deflating those passions (at least in face-to-face, public style), I remain neutral. I do it with TV shows. Movies.

My blog is another thing. I can hide behind my monitor and say just about whatever I want. I realize that. I realize I do it.

I can use (you can use) all the best arguments, metaphors and pleading. But if someone has their mindset, their “heart set”, on loving or hating something that you don’t love or hate, changing their mind is more impossible than light escaping a black hole.

So with this post, I’m retiring from blogging. It’s over. There’s no use.


Changing minds is not why I blog. I blog to work through this bullshit. I blog for the attention. I blog for the ego. I blog for the shoop. Shoop des doop.