WAAAY back in March (12 years ago in indie rock time) I saw a band called Passion Pit at an industry thing called SXSW.
They were good, playing in a hot tent in Austin, part of a BrooklynVegan showcase. I was there, I liked them, I photographed them. The rent-a-stage bounced like a trampoline as Michael Angelakos jumped about singing in high falsetto, leading a charge of three keyboard set-ups and assorted samplers. I remember thinking, "this indie keyboard shit isn't all bad I guess." Halfway into the show at the beginning of a song, the drummer (Nate) stopped the proceedings to re-jig a buggy laptop. A couple more bad starts and Nate just about turned green, Ayad and Jeff cajoled him to continue without it, and it sounded fine. Michael, standing on top of his keyboard bench, was twisting the mic cord around his neck and whipping the mic around like a mace. It caught Jeff on the head and he almost passed out from the combination of heat, fatigue and the blow of a tethered Shure SM-58.
The band was on a list of acts that Rolling Stone wanted covered, speculatively, so I talked to thier manager after the show to see if I could get them toegther for a quick portrait. I like the way musicians look and act after a show, sweaty, blissful and bewildered, but everyone was frazzled, it wasn't the right time and Jeff was still about to faint. The manager handed me a pass for the Spin party the next day, so I would maybe try something there. I had a bit of conversation with Ayad, who was smiling and friendly- but quickly they were off, the boys rolling carts of gear down the alley to the next load-in.
The next day I ran into a couple of them at Stubbs, managed to find thier manager, and we were able to set up a few moments in the back stage area. Most bands are amicable, but you got to push and wait for the right moment to get them all together. Had maybe 3 minutes before the manager was whisking them off someplace else. Good guys, wish them the best.
Tuesday, May 19, 2009
Thursday, May 14, 2009
Sunday, May 10, 2009
Vampire Weekend at Happy Endings with John Wray (reading + cookies) Wells Tower (reading +tattoo) Arthur Phillips (reading + bull fighting) and Amanda Stern (host)
Photo Gallery Here
Tuesday, May 05, 2009
Sunday, May 03, 2009
I was prouder than ever to be involved with the Ponderosa Stomp, this was my fourth year down there. So many unforgettable performances - the first night featured Howard Tate (who was on fire), legendary producer, songwriter and singer Cowboy Jack Clement, Otis Clay with the original Hi Rhythm Section, The Legendary Stardust Cowboy (PARALYZED!) and Dale Hawkins sharing the stage with guitar phenom (and original session player) James Burton for the first time in 30-odd years.
I went down to help out, make portraits, document the panels and shows and I loved every second of it. Normally I can't wait to do it all over again, but our prayers have been answered: The Ponderosa Stomp is programming 3 nights this summer with Lincoln Center (July 16, 17, 19) so I better see every one of you nuts out paying your respect.
enjoy the photos, link to gallery below...
Otis Clay with Teenie Hodges of the Hi Rhythm Secion
The Legendary Stardust Cowboy
PONDEROSA STOMP NIGHT 1 PHOTO GALLERY