Thursday, January 21, 2010

Vampire Weekend at United Palace

It was really good to see these guys again. I also saw the show at Webster the next day.
More photos from United Palace at Brooklyn Vegan!
Their album is now #1 on the Billboard charts! I say this again and again: I still can't believe
how huge they've gotten.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Don't Mess with Texas

I had to skip the Drums and Gang Gang Dance because of a family trip to Sugar Land and Houston, Texas. Here's my favorite photo:
Kinda crazy, right? As a urbanite who doesn't know how to drive, I felt extremely out of place there. I always forget how spacious America is and how that space is often poorly planned. How many strip malls and cul-de-sacs does this nation really need? I know it is unrealistic for every American to subscribe to high-density city living, but I couldn't help but be disheartened by the urban sprawl and car culture I encountered in the southwest.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Late List-o-Mania: Best Shots of 2009

Late to the party! Here are my favorite shots (and some honorable mentions) of 2009. I was going to shoot the Drums and Gang Gang Dance next week (and christen my Canon 5D Mark II!!) but I have to be in Texas

Many shots are familiar since I don't post entire sets here, but it's nice to have these pics in one place...

10. The Rakes | Bowery Ballroom | April 19

They broke up. I remember being completely underwhelmed by this show because I felt like front man Alan was just going through the motions. It's easy to speculate about reasons that led to the split, but in this moment, they look like they're having fun.

9. Phoenix | Rumsey Playfield, Central Park | September 25

I always like these little moments of pensiveness.

8. Peaches | Terminal 5 | November 14

I'm fond of this photo because there are great details. Talk about hair piece. The show was entertaining but it was drawn out awkwardly; there were multiple encores, and by the time Peaches left the stage, the crowd had waned considerably. There were also a lot of confused, half-naked people because at one point, Peaches asked people to disrobe. (She later ran off stage with the clothes tossed on stage, joking saying that she always gets new clothes at each show.) A half-full venue with shivering people in various states of undress - a bit disconcerting.

7. Fever Ray | Webster Hall | September 29

Fever Ray was incredibly hard to photograph because Karin Dreijer performs in the dark. Essentially. As soon as I saw how horribly back lit she was during the "brighter" moments in the set, I knew I needed to get a silhouette shot.

6. !!! | Terminal 5 | September 5

That front man was dancing around the photo pit, and I tried desperately to avoid him so I won't be sweated on. Read the piece for Sup Magazine here.

5. Sonic Youth | Music Hall of Williamsburg | May 16

You can't see his bloodied fingers from this angle.

4. Mew | Music Hall of Williamsburg | August 24

If I were doing a top ten concerts of 2009 list, this concert would be, unequivocally, the best concert. Their lighting situation is also somewhat difficult -- the band uses tons of visual projections and they are often back lit. Check out the interview and photo shoot for Sup Magazine here. I knew I had to get an atmospheric shot to capture the ethereal dream state that is the Mew experience.

3. The Decemberists | Terminal 5 | September 19

Oh, Colin Meloy! My camera was somewhat sputtering at this moment because I was taking a slew of photos -- I was so afraid that I didn't catch this! (That is another reason why I'm upgrading.)

2. Peter, Bjorn and John | Webster Hall | November 9

I almost didn't go to this one, so I'm particularly glad I caught an air shot. Write up and more photos at Sup.

1. Pissed Jeans | Music Hall of Williamsburg | October 3

This photo is not particularly well-composed and it's pretty disgusting, but it is sensational. I've had friends randomly bring up this photo, only for me to mention that I took it... Anyway, I've grown to like this band. Prior to seeing them live -and they're a great live act- I was pretty apathetic about this band's brand of sludgy rawk. But no, they're great! If you were wondering, the drummer later told me that he had bad Indian food that night.

Honorable Mentions

Mew | Music Hall of Williamsburg | August 24

Lykke Li | Webster Hall | July 30

I was so jet lagged at this concert. I just flew in from Hong Kong late in the previous evening. I was supposed to shoot this for Interview online but I just couldn't make it through the show. (Knowing that Kanye would make a surprise appearance couldn't assuage my brain dead state.)

Erin Wasson | WBAR BBQ, Barnard College | April 26

I decided to go "street style photographer" to humor some friends who are fans of this model. This photo has been getting a lot of views on my Flickr (considering that I am very selective about how I share my photos).

Talib Kweli | Columbia University | April 18

This printed very well on the front page of the Columbia Daily Spectator. The reason this isn't in the actual top ten is that this is too Columbia-centric; If it weren't for the reflection of Low Library on Talib's sunglasses -something any Columbia student would recognize- this would just be a decapitation.

Vampire Weekend | Low Library Steps, Columbia University | April 18

This was the same concert as the Talib Kweli gig (Vampire Weekend was opening). I still can't believe how big they've gotten. 100,000+ friends on Myspace! I remember when they were playing the dingy basement of the now-demolished Barnard student center. Took this side stage.

Have a happy and healthy New Year!