Last night at the Fillmore I got a chance to shoot a big show with lots of lights; such a treat when you aren’t fighting for every little bit of light in the hopes of one clear shot. Nicki Bluhm and the Gramblers opened, bringing that Grateful Dead country funk sound together with her clear as a bell powerhouse vocals; it was my first time seeing them and I thought they were incredible, authentic and fun. More in-depth review Monday at Westword.
The Monday before Thanksgiving I got a chance to review and shoot Black Joe Lewis for the Westword. As a long time fan, I thought the new material sounded great live, and breathed fresh takes to old material as well. Read my review here, and scroll down for some more photos. It’s time for a better lens.
I was supposed to write an article for the Westword about the ten best songs of Fall Tour, but they played so well I could have gone to twenty. Here is a link to the article, including photos I took wandering the Boardwalk early mornings while everyone else slept. I was really excited to go to Steel Pier, as that is where W.C. Fields got his start and I love all things circus and carnival and W. C. Fields. When I went it was completely isolated, and very cool for getting pictures. It was also a little dangerous with the rides all unlocked, and I quickly found out that was because it was NOT open and I was trespassing. I was told “if we don’t stop unlatching the gate, they are going to start ticketing!” Silly wooks.
This month I was fortunate enough to be near Queens, NY to see the famed street art Mecca before it was torn down to be turned into condos. The place had a couple guys taking pics of their cars up on the sidewalk, and you had to get out of the way of delivery trucks (the place still has companies doing business inside), but otherwise it was fairly empty and magical. The owner whitewashed the building last Tuesday, saying it would break his heart to see the art go down with the building, an excuse not very well-received. Recent news is that he may have to pay damage costs to the artists, and numerous people have been arrested for tagging the white washed building. End of an era.
For decades artists came here to legally paint on the walls, from elaborate bubble letters to giant Biggie murals, the styles displayed on the place reached far in variation. Leased to a company that made 8-tracks then cd covers, the digital world left business slowing down, and art then going up.
Since Banksy was in town when I went, I was on the hunt. I had a mini heart attack when I saw this little boy with dynamite stencil, thinking I’d found one early. Alas, upon closer inspection, it had been there for awhile. Anyone know who did this?
Luckily, I was near Coney Island and managed to get a pic with the Banksy piece that day an hour before they put a metal gate over it. Street art is temporary, get out there!
What 5 Pointz looks like now: whitewashed 5 Pointz