Sunday, July 31, 2011

Kazakhstan - 13 Years Ago

I spent the summer of 1998 living in Kazakhstan. I worked with university students studying English, and traveled the Trans-Siberian and Silk Road railway systems from the capital of Almaty to the Siberian city of Semipalatinsk, known both for it's Cold-War nuclear testing site and the exiled home of Dostoevsky.

There isn't enough film in the world to do justice to this place that changed my life so much. These are pictures that, for me, at least come close. Many are of people I knew, or captured a mood or feeling that seemed to embody the cities and the people. At the time, it was a place that was beautiful and tragic and hopeful all at once. I don't expect it would be the same today. So much has changed, and I would probably find it unrecognizable. In a way, I never came back from that trip, and most what you see here isn't around to go back to anymore... But to me, that's the most properly Russian experience of it I could imagine.

These were all shot on film, and I see them, collectively, as defining indicators of the direction my eye would go ever since this time. The aesthetic preferences and compositional decisions I was forming with these has stayed with me. Those senses hang with me a little like their subject matter does, defining something for me. I'm incredibly grateful for their influence...
Click to see more:

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

The Cadillac Black

If you've never seen The Cadillac Black live, you've missed out on one of two possible experiences. If you don't get Southern Rock, you will think you just slid into a scene from Deliverance, and the raging guitars have come to drag your soul into a bayou hell. If you're from the South, however, and Lynard Skynard makes sense to you, you might think you've died and gone to a rock heaven filled with Zeus-like amplifiers and drums forged by Thor. What you can't miss either way is just how big-city their deep-South sound is. Take what (little) you like about Kid Rock and add a heavy dose of Ted Nugent, and you'll have some idea of where to begin. But I can't say there's anything quite like The Cadillac Black experience (you can't confuse them with anyone else), and once your brain recovers, you'll thank them and ask for more.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Stereographic Cave Images

Like ducks, it's hard to take a picture of a cave that isn't boring. So in an attempt to make something from a recent tour of Cumberland Caverns, I decided that stereographic images were the way to go. After all, caves are about size and depth - wondering what's around the next corner.

If you've never seen one of these, I recommend clicking on the image to make it larger first. Then sit a comfortable distance away and begin to cross your eyes as you stare at the image. You will begin to see that the two sides move away from each other and toward each other in the middle. Relax and focus on them in a way that allows the two to converge in the middle, making what seems like a third image. Once your eyes begin to focus, you will be able to see the scene in 3-D with great detail. It takes practice for some people.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Empires - The Basement

Gotta love The Basement for bringing out some of the best music to grace the streets of Nashville. Friday night's performance from Chicago's Empires was one of those times that make you want to send Christmas cards to the management. Both loud and raucous, they managed to achieve the coveted hipster "headbob of approval". From the energy on stage, I almost expected a mosh pit to break out. "Bang" is the appropriate title for their album, because from the first note, the place lit up and there was not a dull moment until the hike off stage and the audience request for "4 more!". Yes, in a nutshell, they kicked ass and unless you find ass-kicking distasteful, you should visit their website and find out why I was so darn impressed:

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Music in Film Showcase: The Rutledge, Nashville

Two days of the Music in Film Showcase with SESAC held at The Rutledge last month. Many really fantastic artists, including Sierra Noble with Michael Logen, Nashville's The Honeymoon Thrillers, the odd and wonderful Patrick Watson (who played the entire set acoustically with only one mic), Canada's Breaking Laces, and the very talented Sean Locke. There were many more, but that's who you'll get to see here. It was two nights of great music, and really talented, gracious musicians. This is absolutely on the calendar again for next year.

Thanks for visiting, and don't forget to check out: The Rutledge, Sierra Noble, Michael Logen, The Honeymoon Thrillers, Patrick Watson, Breaking Laces, Sean Locke, and Kip Moore.