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March 29, 2011

Recently on Examiner: Pharoahe Monch at SOBs

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I've decided that it's about time for me to get back out and shooting for Examiner.com again. Thursday night, I shot Pharoahe Monch perform at the release party for his new album, WAR. One of my earliest shoots for Examiner was a show of his celebrating the 10th anniversary of his first solo at Sputnik. I'm thinking of it as sort of a new beginning.

Examiner doesn't pay particularly well, but the practice of shooting events regularly is really useful. It's been a couple of months since shooting a show and I was surprised at how many little mistakes I made in my preparation that I had down when I was shooting regularly. None of it was insurmountable, but it was all stuff I should have known better. It was a good reminder of why the best thing you can do in photography is to just keep shooting.

September 9, 2010

Greg Stamper Sings

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Last month, my friend Greg Stamper gathered friend and family to the release party for his new album, "One with You." Greg is a talented singer, which is something I had no idea about when we worked together as computer techs years ago.

As I pursue my own passions beyond the office life that I've lived for the last decade, it's completely inspiring to see Greg doing his thing.

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June 4, 2010

On Examiner: Summer Concert Season Begins

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With City Seen up, I've finally got some time and attention to get shooting for my nightlife column on Examiner.

And just in time for summer concert season to begun. The same day I put up the show, I headed out to Red Hook Park to catch Jay Electronica open up The Summerstage series.

The summer looks like it will be a good one for shows. Big Daddy Kane is playing at Von King (Marcy) Park in Bed-Stuy, Antibalas, the band behind Fela! is playing as part of the River to River festival and all sorts of acts will be in Williamsburg as part of the Northside Festival.

I'm hoping to get out to as many as I can over the course of the summer to put my new camera through its paces. I also want to take another crack at shooting street musicians in the parks around the city.

April 5, 2010

Bar Sputnik Closed Down

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I was disappointed this weekend to find Sputnik, on the Bed-Stuy/Clinton Hill border shuttered with an 'out of business' sign on the door.

After years of wanting to go, I only ended up there twice. Last fall, I was there two weeks in a row, shooting Pharoahe Monch and Brand Nubian for some of my first Examiner columns. With Evil D on the turntables and legends literally inches away, it was Hip-hop at its finest.

I wasn't anywhere near a regular, but I'm sad to see it go.

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March 28, 2010

Recently on Examiner: Jam Bands, Food Fests and Hip-Hop

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Woo! It's been a busy week. I've jumped back into the Examiner gig with both feet. Last Sunday night, after Cochon 555, I headed to Brooklyn to shoot The Disco Biscuits play Brooklyn Bowl. The night before, I covered the opening for Make It Fit at Brooklynite Gallery and the next night, I was at Choice Eats for Midtown Lunch. In one of my better attempts at synergy (without recycling, thank you), I managed to squeeze a Food Fest post together about Cochon 555 and Choice Eats, as well.

K-OS at Le Poisson Rouge

Besides all that, my Examiner column over the last couple weeks had recaps of a K-OS show in The Village, the third anniversary Mixer at Cakeshop and recommended Mé Bar for outdoor drinks on a Friday night when the weather was nice.

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This weekend, I've taken some much needed downtime at home with Tammi, but as the weather warms up, the activities in the city tend to multiply, so I expect to stay busy.

March 9, 2010

Recently on Examiner: Bowlive!

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Apologies for the hiatus, some things have been going on in the real world that have taken me away from electronic life. I'll be back up by the end of the week with posts and photos and all that good stuff.

In the meantime, here's what was going on last week on Examiner. Brooklyn Bowl, which has become one of my favorite venues in town is in the middle of hosting a two week residency with Soulive. It's called, cleverly, Bowlive.

I'd heard of the group before, but never really knew their music. They are an instrumental band that blurs the boundaries between funk, soul, rock and jazz and they throw a great party.

For five nights last week and another five nights this week, they are performing with some great guest acts, starting last week with Vernon Reid and continuing this week with guests including Questlove and Rahzel on Thursday and Charlie Hunter tonight.

It was a hugely fun show and I wish I could stop in again before it's all done to see them perform again.

When things settle down a bit, I plan to get back to some of the regular posting I had been doing for my column. Expect a return to the Brokelyn 25 and maybe even an attempt to start up my Late Night Snacks feature again.

February 24, 2010

It's A Family Affair

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So, you thought your parents were embarrassing when you were a kid? How many times did they drag you out to sit on a bucket while they played drums and sang on the subway platform?

February 20, 2010

This Week in Examiner: Beer and Bands in Brooklyn

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I know, the alliteration is awesome, right? Wait, it's not? Oh well. There's more coming. I've launched a series on Examiner based on Brokelyn's Beer Book that I mentioned in last week's Examiner round up. I'm calling it The Brokelyn 25 and the plan is to go through all 25 of the bars included in the Beer Book and post about them.

It's a pretty great excuse to explore some of the cool bars that I've always meant to check out and more than a few that I'd never heard of before. So far, I've posted about my Williamsburg crawl.

I've mixed the new with the old favorites and enjoyed some time at each place taking in the atmosphere and color of each place. There was Thrash Metal, pizza and a shot of Jim Beam at The Charleston. That place completely took me back to my days hanging out at dives in the East Village ten years ago.

The Brooklyn Brewery is still the same as ever, picnic tables, beer tokens and folks hanging out with friends. It was my first destination in Williamsburg and is still a good time.

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I finished up with Brooklyn Bowl, which I get out to often for shows, but rarely get to just sit at the bar. While there I had my most entertaining moment thus far, when this guy decided to take his share of a pitcher with a straw. Who needs a glass?

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The only music photography I've done recently has been last week when I covered the Brooklyn Tea Party. No, it's not a political group. It's a lot more interesting than that. BTP is a loft apartment that has been transformed into a music studio and performance space by the guys who live there. All three are in music in some way or another and they use their expertise and network of friends to put together a regular party where friends and fans come together and share music with one another.

When I first heard about it through a friend who was performing, I rolled my eyes and thought it was elitist hipster bullshit. But after experiencing it, I'm really impressed by the love and effort that goes into it. The music was interesting and eclectic and the performances all balanced one another very well.

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Continue reading "This Week in Examiner: Beer and Bands in Brooklyn" »

January 31, 2010

Aspen: Monster Energy Drink's X Games Party

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Last night, I got a pass to go up to the top of Aspen Mountain for the Monster Energy Drink Party. In all my years coming out to X Games Events, this was my first sponsor party. It was a good time, if not my usual scene.

On stage, Mix Master Mike of the Beastie Boys warmed the crowd up and Del The Funky Homosapien performed old and new songs from his current album all the way back to his 1990 debut. Up front a crowd of hyped up fans bounced to the sounds of Mister Dobalina and Doctor Bombay.

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It was fun to get into a crowd again and keep my music photography going after a little while away. The snowboarder kids are an interesting bunch. Their typical dress is often already pretty outlandish, so when they go all out, it's quite the spectacle. I just wish I had an excuse to post it on Examiner.

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More photos after the jump.

Continue reading "Aspen: Monster Energy Drink's X Games Party" »

January 23, 2010

This Week on Examiner: Adding some culture

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This week I went a little outside my usual area of coverage on Examiner. Jazz and Poetry are both art forms that I respect, yet know little about. So, I jumped in and covered a bit of both.

Nearly every venue in town this week has been hosting benefits for charities providing aid and service to Haiti's Earthquake victims. With so much else going on this week, I only got to cover one of them, L'Union Fait Force at Le Poisson Rouge.

The coolest part of the show was watching the Doctor Lonnie Smith Trio perform with Trumpeter Roy Hargrove. Smith (top) is a great showman whose flair added excitement to the show. Hargrove on the horn was wonderful.

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There was plenty more going on: Dance, Haitian drums, a pair of guitarists and the Vijay Iyer Trio, which is actually what drew me to the event. That morning, WNYC announced the event and played some of the Trio's take on Mystic Brew - better known to those of a 'certain age' as the basis of the classic "Electric Relaxation" by A Tribe Called Quest.

The show was fun and eclectic and went late into the night. I was so wiped out, I had to take off before the last set even started, missing hosts Groove Collective perform with Bernie Worrell of Funkadelic.

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On Wednesday, I changed things up a bit with by covering the Mixer Series at Cake Shop in the Lower East Side. It's a monthly series that hosts poets and authors reading their recent work. And first up was Tess Taylor, above, a classmate in college. We hadn't seen each other in at least the 10 years since graduation, but it was good to catch up, however briefly.

I don't know the first thing about poetry and I don't read books nearly as much as I should, but it was a great experience being surrounded by smart people enjoying intelligent things. I really hope to keep going to future Mixers.

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Among the other readers was Steve Geng, who read scenes from his new book, Bop City about Paris during the Algerian war. Just in the 15 minutes he was up there, he touched on themes of terrorism, sex, race, and French culture that fascinated me.

After the jump, more photos from both events...

Continue reading "This Week on Examiner: Adding some culture" »

December 2, 2009

Hawai'i: Music

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Every place we went in Hawaii, regardless of which island, there was live music. Every hotel bar, out on the beach and along the sidewalks of Waikiki. Most of it was so-so, not a lot to write home about, but with my recent experience shooting music, I tried to keep in practice where I could.

November 15, 2009

Recently on the Examiner: Shooting Music

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It's funny how things work out. Months ago, at the beginning of the summer, I hoped to spend the summer taking photos of street musicians around the city. But between all the rain and a hectic schedule, I didn't get much opportunity for all that.

Now, over the last couple months I've found myself in the front row of show after show shooting musical performances for The Examiner. From hip hop acts I've known since I was a kid to indie bands I've never heard of. It's pretty amazing and I'm just getting started.

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It's not so recent anymore, but the week before leaving for Hawaii, I saw the Dirty Dozen Brass Band play Brooklyn Bowl in a fun, festive show opened by the band Turkauz, which I'm going to keep my eye out for in the future.

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Then, that weekend, the Brooklyn Museum celebrated it's new rock photography exhibit with performances by some Indie Bands, which I got to photograph.

The photo show itself is amazing and inspiring. As a developing (heh) photographer, seeing how both the musicians and the photographers started out before creating the iconic works that have shaped our understanding of an intrinsic part of our culture.

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On a technical level, shooting in the dynamic and frenetic environment is educational every time. Different lights, different personalities, different settings add to the challenge of capturing the moment as I want it.

I hope to spend more time shooting concerts and performances going forward.

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