Selling Live Water

Every time I update this I think that this is going to be where I start updating at least once a week, but that has yet to happen.

I spent most of the last month taking care of personal issues and decided that, for the moment, to shoot less while I iron said issues out. This meant missing some great shows like the Aquabats and Circa Survive. The photos from which have not impressed me.

Dead To Me

Dead To Me

Cobra Skulls

Cobra Skulls

Last Vegas

Last Vegas

Tally Hall

Tally Hall

Tally Hall ended up being my last show for a couple weeks and when I came to shoot Sole, a personal favorite of mine, I found myself a bit rusty. I’ve always known that I have a particular taste in music but I really have proof that isn’t so abstract. Most of the shows where I can’t imagine that the type of music being played still draws will get at least 300 bodies through the door and the shows that I get stoked about typically only get maybe 30-40 people by the last act. No insult to The Firebird, most of the bands that aren’t my thing usually put on a good show and look good in front of my camera.

I’m sure you already know where I am going with this so I will be blunt: the show was severely under-attended. On the surface it looks like the venue didn’t promote the show but it comes down to the youth culture of St. Louis, which seems to have a hard time with entertainment if it isn’t an image of an image of an image… of an image. It’s always been a frustration of mine with this city that things rarely meet approval until they’ve become a source of alienation. I am aware how I play within these things and outside of my desire to make a few bucks and help support myself, my main interest is find beauty and moments of authenticity. Of course, those photos themselves may very well become images that end up being a source of alienation.

It is very tricky and it annoys me a great deal when “real photographers” see my work as boring or pedestrian, as if there is no forethought to what I am doing. They see someone with a digital camera trying to express their ego through limited talent, I see people holding onto old notions and of them many irrelevant. The truth, of course, resides somewhere in the middle.

Does it feel hopeless and meaningless at times? Sure, but we live in a world constantly assaulted by boredom, where the finality of our existence leaves us always hoping we’ll stay in the memory of the world as long as possible. Earth existed without much thought or need of man and in our desire to outsmart nature we very well may have wrecked things to the point of no return. We all know about global warming but very rarely does anyone talk about global dimming. You can find yourself feeling very tiny and insignificant knowing that the world exists without you. Knowing this, some people understand how to move within the flow and some choose to pull grass out of the ground and pound the dirt with their fists until they have no more energy to do such.

Photography is, for the time being, my main attempt to starve off boredom and to craft a memory of not just myself but the world as I see it. Writing, particularly about music, doesn’t come to me as naturally as it should these days so I have reserved my energy for things other than objectively perfect sentence structure. I am aware that these things I capture, say, or create can outlive me for a good while or I may outlive them. To me, what is very important in life is to know both the profound and trivial notions of your actions and to be content with both.

Sole & The Skyrider Band

Looking through my shots from the night I realized that I never got to capture Sole as I see him and that struck me as a bit funny. I hold him and his music in high esteem and it troubled me a decent amount that I couldn’t distill that respect and warmth into an image. The way he moves and uses the stage isn’t the typical hip hop posturing and it creates weird angles and shadows, as evident in the photo above. Perhaps, technology has a ways to go to properly capture Tim Holland. Perhaps.

Astronautalis

I should mention that the full roster was great, which included Dark Time Sunshine, Ceschi Ramos and Astronautalis. Astronautalis, above, really hammered in how unfortunate the low turnout really way. He exists somewhere between Buck 65 and Beck and the stories he used at banter sometimes made you forget that he did songs, too. What saved the night was that there is a strong sense of comradely among them. The sense of play and musicianship expressed, top notch.

So, that’s catch up. A lot of words.

Leave a Reply