Rock ‘n’ Roll Photog: Butch Walker and the Black Widows/Locksley

This week, Jennifer takes a chance on Butch Walker, with some lovely results.

Butch Walker and the Black Widows/Locksley, Webster Hall, 5/20/2010

I kind of decided to go to this show on a whim. Up until relatively recently I’d been neutral to indifferent about the music of Butch Walker, but then he came out with I Liked You Better When You Had No Heart and I developed a fondness for Pretty Melody, because, well, it does have a pretty melody. And it kind of sounds like a backwoods orchestra creaking to life, one instrument at a time. So when his name popped up in one of my concert alerts I thought all right, let’s go see what this is all about.

I am really, really glad I went, because it was an incredible evening. He played a variety of instruments, including a banjolele – an actual cowbell also made an appearance, though it was played by guitarist Chris Unck – and we danced in the pit, singing along and clapping. He covered Weezer and Hall & Oates, and at one point towards the end, jumped in to the crowd and led us in a variation on the Twist, in order … Continue reading

Rock ‘n’ Roll Photog: An NYC Hodgepodge

Today, rock ‘n’ roll photog Jennifer shares a collection of her favorite locals (her locus being New York City).

A selection of my favorite New York City bands:

Atomic Tom (Brooklyn)
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Luke White
These were taken at the Canal Room last fall, and I was actually too busy dancing to take that many pictures. I’ve picked my two favorites to share today: the lead singer, striking a classic rock star pose, and the drummer, because I’m particularly fond of the light in that picture. The music is more rock than pop, and they have a new record coming out sometime soon. In the meantime you can listen to their new single at their MySpace.
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Tobias Smith
Black Gold (Brooklyn)
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Eric Ronick
These are from a show at the (new) Knitting Factory in Brooklyn. Also on the bill: Hunter Valentine, Des Roar (more on them below), and Girl in Coma. I really didn’t … Continue reading

Rock ‘n’ Roll Photog: HIM/We Are The Fallen/Dommin/Drive A

Usenet, anyone remember that? That’s where the Rock ‘n’ Roll Photog, Jennifer, and I met, at a little place called alt.gothic. This week, Jennifer goes back to her gothy roots.

And now, jumping back to the present, with a show I just went to last week: HIM, along with We Are The Fallen, Dommin and Drive A, at Irving Plaza. I was shooting from the balcony, so there are probably better pictures out there. But these are mine, and here are some of my favorites:

Drive A was the lone punk band on the bill. They bounced around the equipment-crowded stage to the best of their ability, and they got the only proper mosh pit of the evening. (Tangent: I love watching the pit form and surge from the balcony. My black little heart grows three sizes when the crowd bells out and the circle coalesces and starts to spin.) At one point the lead singer hopped down to stand on the barrier:

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and later he jumped into the crowd:

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Next … Continue reading

Rock ‘n’ Roll Photog: The Felice Brothers

This week Jennifer brings the extra-happy by featuring NTSIB favorite the Felice Brothers. I’ll be seeing the boys again on Monday, and Jennifer and I both look forward to rocking Lebowski Fest with them (and the wonderful Digger from Take This Bread) in July.

The week after I saw the Gin Blossoms, I continued my January theme of “wandering around unfamiliar places in the dark and bitter cold looking for concerts” with a trip to the Boulton YMCA in Bay Shore, Long Island to catch the Felice Brothers. There were no scantily-clad college students or gigantic mixers, but I did encounter a lighthouse small enough to fit on a traffic island. It did not light my way home, or, more importantly to the venue, and I was both lost and running late, so I didn’t take its picture. Perhaps next time, Bay Shore. Anyway, I did eventually make it to the show:

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I was expecting Ian Felice to be about twice as old as he actually is, and three times as grizzled. I was really, truly sure they were the opening band until he … Continue reading

Rock ‘n’ Roll Photog: Michael Runion

Jennifer the Rock ‘n’ Roll Photog is so excited about her featured artist today that she’s not even waiting until she has pictures to tell you all about him.

Michael Runion is an artist I discovered entirely due to Twitter. According to his MySpace, his genre is “Visual/Folk/Pop”. (Tangentially, I really do love MySpace genre descriptions; some of them are generic things like “rock/pop” and some of them are more interesting things like “2-step/experimental/country” and finding out who is accurate with their self-labeling is always a good time.) But getting back to the subject at hand: left to my own devices, I think I’d tell you that Runion specializes in beautiful, delicate melodies wrapped around razor-sharp lyrics. The result is songs that are good company for filing as well as long train rides to the beach. (I’ll let you know how they do with the car stereo test after this summer.) I’m particularly fond of Drunk as I’ve Ever Been and Don’t Let Her Hold You Down, the latter of which would be the perfect tune for dancing a barefoot two-step with a cowboy before sending him back out on the rodeo circuit. If that … Continue reading

Rock ‘n’ Roll Photog: The Gin Blossoms

For this week’s installment of Rock ‘n’ Roll Photog, Jennifer shoots a band who might send you on a nostalgia trip.

One of the upsides of getting old is when the bands that were dear to your teenage heart put out new records and tour on them, you are finally able to see them play live.

For example: The Gin Blossoms and Soul Asylum, who were featured heavily on my high school and college mix-tapes, are both working on new music AND touring together this summer. They’re stopping through New Jersey in July, and I am SO EXCITED.

I have seen both bands before, though separately, and only relatively recently: Soul Asylum in 2008, when they opened for Everclear (!) at Webster Hall (also on the bill: Cracker, though I missed them due to class), and the Gin Blossoms just this past January, at the Outpost in the ‘Burbs, in Montclair, New Jersey. I didn’t take any pictures at the Webster Hall show, but I did get a few in Montclair:

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Jesse Valenzuela, Robin Wilson, and Bill Leen

The show was in a church and we … Continue reading

Rock ‘n’ Roll Photog: A.A. Bondy, Brendon Urie/Pete Wentz

Now here’s DJ Jen to take you into the all-request hour…

Total Request (Not Quite Live)

For April, from Ohio: A.A. Bondy

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I took this one last winter, during soundcheck at the Bowery Ballroom. (Also on the bill: Willy Mason, The Duke & The King.) It is probably the best picture I took all night, of anyone. It is certainly the best lit picture of Bondy that I have, because he seems to like to sing in the dark, or at least in extremely low light, and I don’t use a flash.

I had (slightly) better luck when I saw him again earlier this year at Union Hall, in Brooklyn. He still confined himself to four red stage lights, but I was closer to him, which made it easier to work with the low light. The shot below, a variation on the “tuning my guitar” pose, is my favorite from the evening. It is, again, a moment of stillness amid a flurry of activity. And there’s the totally incongruous picture of the colonial lady above his head, as if he’s in someone’s very fancy … Continue reading

Rock ‘n’ Roll Photog: Bad Rabbits/The Young Veins/Foxy Shazam

NTSIB is very pleased to introduce a new series to the blog. Our good friend and rock ‘n’ roll photographer Jennifer will highlight some of her favorite photos from her various rock ‘n’ roll escapades and talk about the photos, the musicians and related minutiae. Please enjoy the first installment.

HELLO INTERNET,

My name is Jennifer, and I’ll be one of April’s partners-in-shenanigans in Mississippi this summer. I live in New York. I go to a lot of shows. I take a lot of pictures. This past week the Foxy Shazam/The Young Veins/Bad Rabbits tour stopped at Webster Hall in the East Village in Manhattan and also at the (new) Knitting Factory, in Brooklyn. The tour continues through April, and all of you should see them if they pass through your neighborhood.

These are some of my favorite pictures from those shows:

Bad Rabbits

These gentlemen from Boston really bring the funk. (Their MySpace sound really does not do them justice at all. Let me put it this way: I walked in having never heard them before, I walked out willing to pay money to see them at their own show.) Most of the … Continue reading