Sunday, August 28, 2011

Kim Boekbinder's (Im)possible Tour




Kim Boekbinder is an absolutely wonderful New York City artist. Shes under that bright pink mop of hair, I swear. I could write some words about the sort of music she makes or how shiny her outfits are or how cool she is in reaching out to her fans, but all of these things are better shown than explained.

Firstly, her music. Stop reading for a second and click this and listen to a few tracks as you continue reading:



Pretty awesome, right? A supremely talented musician and songwriter, Kim Boekbinder is reinventing the way people get to see her play live. Rather than book a gig and then try desperately (and sometimes without much help) to promote the performance and get people to attend, shes pre-selling the shows through Kickstarter and then tailoring each show of her country-wide tour based on how many people donate which amount of money. This way she can pull on the crowd-sourcing powers of the Internets to both fund and promote her shows. If a ton of people pitch in to attend, she'll play a big venue. If a few people donate a lot in a city, she'll play a small intimate show for them somewhere.

Kim Boekbinder

Shes already done it once in New York City, and it was an absolutely amazing show. As great as the recordings above are, she puts on an amazing show live. The show was in the somewhat stuffy 100 degree workshop of Makerbot, and I hardly noticed. Her performance was so exciting and energetic, I forgot it all. And there was a real sense among the audience that we all really wanted to see her and enjoy it, that we were there for her, which isn't always the case with other kinds of performances. But the way Kim is doing it guarantees that she'll get a crowd that's invested in the show.

(I didn't take many pictures at the show because someone else already was, but I knew when the squeaky alligator got pulled out that I had to get a shot of it. My hand just reflexively went up.)

Now shes expanding that initial idea to a wider tour, with dates stretching all the way from here to Portland. Please check and see if there is a date near you, and pitch in as much as you can to attend. I can't wait to see her play here again in November, and I know I won't be going alone!

Click below for details on shows and what cool swag you can get!

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Have a Hope

Sifting

I Wish For Love and Happiness

I Hope the Tea Party Gets Boiled Over

I Hope That I Am Always As Happy and Carefree As I Like To Be

I Hope To Trust

Hope Posting


Sunday, August 7, 2011

Hydraulic Mountains

Mountains

A step to the left or the right, and the mountains always look different. Go far away, and they become a backdrop. Go close and they seem to loom above you like some sort of overweight deity. Go close enough, to the top, and you can look down and see the world from its perspective. "Stand on the shoulders of giants". Gain perspective.

Mountains Framed

Even the things you move around on the ground in the view of the mountain change the way it looks.

Friday, August 5, 2011

First Crush

First Flight

I wasn't expecting to enjoy the food and drink of Anchorage so much when I was planning my trip. I didn't expect to not like it, but I didn't expect to be floored by it either. But I was summarily put to ground on going to Crush. For how great it is, Crush is settled in an odd place. Set in front of a mall across the street from a Nordstrom, the quality food and drink being served there would feel more at home in downtown New York. That last statement might just be a secret wish that the restaurant were closer to me, thought.

Sheep's Feta Stuffed Dates

Crush offers a wide array of flights - a selection of three wines - that are meant to pair well with different foods. I tried the Pinot noir flight, which had a good mix of light and more complex wines.

My tasting notes: The Franz Keller was like unexpected analingus accompanied by burning pitch on the elbow. The second, the Okanogan, smelled like a respectable old man's smoking jacket and tasted like bark. Which went very well with the figs. The last, the J Vineyards, tasted like and filled me with a feeling of existential doubt.

Baked Mac & Cheese

I'm not the sort of person that usually cares too much about what wine I'm drinking with what food, so I was glad that our server was knowledgeable enough to help plan our meal. Alana (who drank tea) basically picked all of our food and let our server suggest a wine, and all of the pairings felt really good. The baked mac & cheese was really savory and spicy and worked well with the lighter Franz Keller, and the white bean pate worked with pretty much anything. There was nothing on the table that I wouldn't like to have piped directly into my brain.

Truffled White Bean Patte

In all, the meal was pretty surprising, and surprisingly affordable - just 33 dollars before tip.

More surprising food and nature to come.

Flattop Mountain

Flattop View

Just got back from a ten day trip to visit Alana (+Adelyse) and James up in Anchorage. Had what you might refer to in idle conversation as a "good time", but that phrase doesn't do any justice to the things I experienced. It was the first time I've ever seen mountains which was a little shocking at first, having a constant backdrop far in the distance. I imagine it was very much like the experience someone growing up on a farm might have if flung forcefully into Times Square.

Path

It initially felt like I was in a movie set, like you could just reach out and touch the mountains and tip over a very detailed painting. That illusion was shattered pretty quickly when James and I hiked up to the top of Flattop Mountain. I'd never hiked at all. 'Hiking' wasn't even a verb that I could recall ever having used. James was extremely hospitable on the way up, stopping when my lower body threatened to shut down in response to the climb. He'd mentioned before we started that this was the kind of thing that he regularly ran up for exercise, cementing my belief that he was probably some sort of alien or magician.

Flattop View

All the burning and aching on the way up quickly went away - or at least temporarily subsided - when we reached the top. Partly because of the much colder winds at the summit numbed some of the pain, but mostly because of the amazing views of Anchorage and surrounding mountains, which I'm told are also climbable. By people with magical amulets or powers as the result of experiments gone awry, I'm sure.

Guide's Guide

The views were more than worth the climb. Thanks to my guides (both human and animal) on the way up for these photos, and many more that will be coming during the next few weeks.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

City Frames

Window Box

Wall Frame

Living Frame

New York frames its own art.

Monday, July 4, 2011

She Will Carry Them All

The Bird

The Bird

The Message

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Wood Writ

Perched

Birch trees have short fibers, making the bark easily usable as paper. Some Gandharan Buddhist texts from the first century were written on birch bark. In Russia we've found fragments of birch bark with an archaic dialect of Karelian written on it, unspoken for hundreds of years.The Ojibwa people of North America used the tree's bark to record their rituals, their families and the motion of the stars.

It's a tree with special significance to writers, so it's only fitting to shoot Sara on one. A writer and a poet with a real ability to conjure up feelings in people, Sara's been a real inspiration over the past week.

Content

She oozes ideas, and we haven't properly sat down to plan a shoot yet. At least not very far in advance. Everything's been straight up improvised and off the cuff based on the location and light that was available, in addition to some wardrobe pilfering. She took to being in front of the camera really easily, like she was made for it.

Laze

I can't wait to try some more experimental things. I want to bring some lights on our next shoot and see what can be done with them - this series was a little limited by the setting sun. We moved indoors to the D'Angelo Center to continue, but I'd like to return to that location again with some more equipment.

So excited.

More to come.

Friday, April 22, 2011

How's the Earth Fare?

Bottle Earth

It's Earth Day today, and as good a time as any to show off some pictures from the Earth Fair that was held at St. John's University this week before Easter break. They had a bunch of cool pieces of art on display that incorporated bits of trash and repurposed it to make it into something beautiful. Tin can lanterns and chains of milk jugs hung from posts, making a kind of drum music on the Great Lawn. This piece above, a globe with painted bottles affixed to it, really caught my eye. I suggested they have an auction to raise funds for charity with these pieces, mostly because I really wanted to own that bottle sculpture.

Emily

There weren't a lot of people milling through the fair due to the rain, even though they had speakers and announcements going through a bullhorn all around campus. Emily toughed out the weather to talk to people about the importance of pollinators. She chatted about bee extinctions and cocaine addicted bats excitedly despite the cold drizzle.

Erin

Erin was handing out basil, marjoram and chive plants in halved cans for people to take home for free. She agreed to pose with my newly liberated basil plant which I've named John Cleese.


Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Face It

Shift

Hes been here before, but I'm not sure if I've ever mentioned how consistently awesome Tom looks in front of a camera. It's not even that he pulls faces - although he can definitely pull some great ones - hes expressive all the time. Some people just have faces that hold interesting feelings and have lines that always work. You can train yourself to be like this, spend a lot of time looking in a mirror and seeing what your face can do, trying to look expressive in conversation. It's a skill that can definitely be acquired, but some people just do it naturally. I like to think of these people all being in the same club: The Cool Face Club.

Tom is definitely in the Cool Face Club.

Here is a sequence of faces he made Skype-ing to a friend:

Ugh
Intense
Nearg!
Grumph!
Hey
Neutral
Hrmph

Monday, April 4, 2011

Len(d)s

Cyclops

Went on an adventure to Brooklyn last week to hand off an old lens to an old friend. Was pretty cool, seeing Roxanne in her new digs. Got to see Pratt and the surrounding sketch area. It's the sort of place you hear stuff about but don't see very often - hipster central. Bastions of craft and care next to untended lots and packed apartments. It's the kind of thing I'd rather show than tell, which means I'll probably be taking a trip back sometime soon.

Besides art, the real reason I want to go back is because of some biscuits I had while there. Roxanne took me to a place called Maggie Browne, and before we even got there the biscuits had been talked of with a kind of holy reverence. When they finally arrived, I almost didn't want to eat them because that would mean I could no longer smell them. I got over it though, and they disappeared before any pictures could be taken. I forget the rest of the meal - I think I had a fried fish po boy and Roxanne had some fried egg jalapeƱo on top of grits thing that I wound up finishing.

But those biscuits..

Monday, February 7, 2011

Rabbit Run!

Dragon

Had a blast at Chinese New Years Parade this past Sunday. First time going to it at all, and I was amazed at how many people pack into the tiny streets. Streets that, frankly, are hard to navigate with a normal amount of foot traffic.

Precocious

Packed ten deep on streets, a lot of times all I could do was hold my camera straight up and hope it caught something worthwhile. It worked well enough here I think.

Down Below

This group on the fire escape had the best view of the whole parade. As it went past them, they'd let off the screw-operated confetti guns onto the cheering people below.

Dragon

The dragon dance follows circuitous paths, reminiscent of a winding river. It's so fluid it makes you forget that it's ten people hoisting poles underneath some canvas and not a real dragon.

Sunday Vest

The best bits were the people, especially the children, dressed in their best and cheering in celebration.


Dress

Celebrant

Window

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Cold Fusion

Cold Fusion

Will need a lot of energy in the coming days, weeks, months. Lofty goals of travel and exploration. Alaska is pretty far. Hoping I can find enough fun work to pay my way there.

If you want a photographer for anything, feel free to contact me via e-mail

Thursday, January 27, 2011

January-ists

Wasteland

Had a good time braving the "wintry mix" during the walk home after the Decemberists show last night. Was a really amazing show in the awesomely interior-d Beacon Theatre.

Flare

The walk home was lovely; it looked like diamonds falling from the sky and it was coming down heavily enough to not turn instantly into city slush. A Grey's Papaya nearby was the perfect vantage point to watch passersby with Mary over sugary fruit drinks.

Clucks

On the way home, we had an impromptu photo shoot in a busy train station. Mary is very good at posing for impromptu photo shoots when she isn't unconsciously making 'crazy eyes'. Shes studying history with an eye towards costume design for stage productions, has a bag that is a rubber chicken and may be the Kwisatz Haderach.