Daisy Lowe, daughter of Gavin Rossdale and step-daughter of Gwen Stefani, djs in NYC last Saturday. Pretty solid party. When not shooting, I spent my time in the kitchen talking about the Steelers and trading, uh, interesting stories about Plaxico Burress with some sweet dudes/employees. Haha, figures.
Monday, January 26, 2009
Friday, January 16, 2009
Now here's a group of funny guys.
Covering Saturday's events of the New York Times Arts and Leisure Weekend, I was super stoked to hang at the Times Center all day to shoot and hear interviews from Tavis Smiley, Keith Olbermann, Vampire Weekend and Lewis Black.
Keith was pretty funny and Lewis Black is hard to beat in any comedic realm, but naturally, Vampire Weekend stole the show for me... even though Ben Sisario spent half the sesh talking about Paul Simon and the other half about the origin of madras. I guess that's what makes good music journalism these days ... good God Lester, Hunter, where are you when we need you??
These guys stylistically have somehow perfectly written lyrics to match their fascinating arrangements of underrated instruments, such as the cello and the harpsichord. And come on! No one's rocked out on harpsichord like this since Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, so you've got to at least give them credit for that. However, as intriguing as their sound is, you really can't ignore the pretentious drips of prep/ivy undertones, but really, it's ok. For once, the marketing overkill on image is actually who these dudes are. They are preppy, they did go to an Ivy League and they are attempting to set a tone for a genre. Now, Ben! Shut up about Graceland already!
One of my favorite lines is from the song One (Blake's Got a New Face) off of their self-titled freshmen album. It goes as follows: "English Breakfast tastes like Darjeeling, but she's too cute to even ask..."
Not the cute part, but a line I can obviously love and relate to. And guess what, I'm not a prep and I went to a state school! And come to think of it, Ben, I DO love Paul Simon!
This image is one of those "ride the flash" moments, as Roger Kisby would say, and I think the light from the right totally adds to this particular moment with the boys of Vampire Weekend.
Wednesday, January 14, 2009
It's 4 a.m. on a Wednesday morning and this face believes in love. Eyes wide open, with much to lose. Experience has taught her that it's quite easy to be independent, but extraordinarily difficult to be in love. Difficult, wondrously difficult, in recognizing the responsibility of holding another on the same plane as you hold yourself. But she doesn't forget that she can't force the simple to be hard.
This smile knows that love is seemingly the swiftest, but is the slowest of all growths. Perhaps she's read too much Twain (if there is such a thing), but perhaps just notes the words of observers past. Her notions of love spill out of the trillions of re-printed copies of history's most cherished authors, those whose works eventually deteriorated many years of arrogant walls and watchtowers. With her generally impenetrable exteriors broken down, kindness and understanding seep up from an often deliberately, hidden core.
Through those eyes, she knows that she was offered the world, right at her finger tips, but it meant nothing without other life. Though she will always be fascinated by the majesty of the universe through her eyes alone, without a human to ever tell and touch, she unknowingly would decrease that experience's value. A stark realization that other lives, many lives, gave her life purpose in the most beautiful way imaginable.
That smile, those eyes, her face believe in love.
Tuesday, January 13, 2009
Monday, January 12, 2009
Bull-riding load-in! Yeeeeehaaww!
I know we are a bit out of event order here, as I already mentioned the bull-riding competition, but I think this experience deserves its own image.
There's a lot of things as equally entertaining as watching a rock band load into the arena, but not many things quite as "once in a lifetime" as watching sixty bulls run up the Garden's ramp. I really wish the light would have been better at the top of the ramp to show the "around the bend" shot, but well, it wasn't.
After I posted on Friday, I did go upstairs to catch a bit of said event. Just in case you were wondering, it really was quite silly, but at the same time, fascinating. Cowboys in the middle of New York City? I think I like the event for that reason alone. Simply the fact that it can happen. I mean, these fellas drew a substantial audience too!
On another note, the event was nationally broadcast by Versus, possibly the worst sports network in the history of television. I have a serious vendetta against them for 1) their selection of reporters/commentators and 2) not broadcasting the NHL playoffs in HD.
Uhh eh hehh...
I 've been meaning to get my mini-statement about Versus on my blog for a while now, and bull-riding gave me a way to do that. So thanks Professional Bull Riders Inc.!
Haha anywho, I feel like a good way to end this entry is:
LET'S GO PENS!
Sunday, January 11, 2009
Friday, January 09, 2009
It's Friday night and I'm in one of my favorite places in the entire world. I sit here on this Friday evening in Madison Square Garden's production office. My co-workers have gone home, the union-workers have obviously gone home, my boss has gone home and I have absolutely no desire to leave.
To most, the idea of lingering in one's work place beyond the required amount of time is undesirable and often in conflict with the ideas of serenity, fun and excitement. I find myself most excited, as well as calm, when in this venue. In this city, it's in this room that I feel most comfortable. Some may consider it sad, but I consider this small office quite grand.
Although this office is but one tiny room in the alpha-venue that is Madison Square Garden, the number of things that have altered my life here over the past four months is astounding. Not only that, but it's unusual to see a day of work where most of us aren't shedding tears in laughter. It's hard for me to say that I love things, but this... I truly love. I love the people, I love the place, I love the production.
With Cirque's Wintuk wrapped and the cast and crew having all gone back to their respective sectors of the globe, it's nice to just sit here and take in the silence of a season past. You don't ever quite know when you will see any of these people again, if ever, but such is the nature of this business. I get selectively attached, then realize that with the next production, hopefully, comes more great times and more interesting people.
Speaking of interesting people, we have some professional bull riders, a lot of dirt and some pretty feisty bulls putting on an 8-second show upstairs, so I'm going to pack up my things and go check it out. Even if I had seen such a spectacle a thousand times before, the fact that the arena was transformed into a bull-riding pen from a hockey rink, more or less overnight, will never cease to amaze me. To sit and take in this place with each different event has certainly become one of my favorite things to do in New York City. I am extraordinarily fortunate that I can say such a thing.
"My, people come and go so quickly around here!" - Wizard of Oz (1939)
Photo: Taken last night at the Sonny/Innerpartysystem show at Mercury Lounge. Obviously, the photo has very little to do with my ramblings, but you do find brilliance, in shape and color, in the tiniest items on stage. Same idea with this little office in a enormous venue.
Wednesday, January 07, 2009
Friday, January 02, 2009
I could be completely wrong, but it seems to me that people who are either in the profession of entertaining or saving lives, most often don't spend holidays with friends and/or families. I'm sure there are many professions that fall outside of both realms that are bound to work these days as well, but for the sake of analysis, let's just run with this. Not that stepping outside of your usual social circles is a bad thing, in fact I'm quite the advocate of such things, but I find the conflicting necessities of each "industry" pretty interesting. I certainly would never argue that they are equally important, but you have one side pleasing the masses and the other taking care of a comparatively smaller group. One group exists to fulfill desires, the other to fulfill needs. Entertaining, saving lives, entertaining, saving lives. Not to tangent, but what's really fun is when the two intersect. I mean if this was ER, we'd be watching a holiday montage, cutting back and forth between a surgeon running with a gurney and the happy nuclear family of a secondary character on either Christmas or NYE. Although those of us in entertainment are certainly not running with gurneys and trying to resuscitate people, we still are creating an experience that I still would deem necessary.
By default, of course, when creating a world for someone else, you are creating your own as well. I love working holidays. That's not to say I don't enjoy familiar company, but I really like seeing how other people spend these days. You become a stranger's friend for a few brief hours, a short lapse in time that perhaps they and you will remember all of your life. Will you ever see them again? Probably not, but it's quite perfect that way. You learn just enough, but never too much.
Photo: Rad Electric Violinist at Nikki Midtown on the first morning of 2009 in NYC. I like to call this shot: New Years Eve, Asian with a Violin, Take 2. I think I've just started a new tradition in my 12/31 shoots. See: New Years Eve, Asian with a Violin, Take 1.