| currently listening to: Light Rail Coyote, Sleater-Kinney, One Beat, 2002 | LINK
so we snuck down to mexico recently with a group of friends. all-inclusive travel is something new to me so i really did not know what to expect. amazingly? i loved it. now i’m not a “let’s go sit by the pool for 8 hours and drink foofy drinks till we need a nap” type of guy but as i learned rather quickly, i can be persuaded. the weather was perfect, our friends were great, and the wedding was amazingly beautiful. it’s always fun to meet new people, reconnect with good friends, and just be relaxed and happy.
one of the best parts of the trip was the wedding. it was gorgeous. a beautiful setting with wonderful people and the perfect weather. i hate to say it but i’m not always a happy camper when i’m behind the camera at weddings. don’t get me wrong, i’ll do it graciously for strangers (or friends of friends) but when you know the entire wedding party and many of the guests, the dance floor becomes a minefield of aunts who feel the need to pull on your sleeve to let you know that you should be photographing their 11 year old who is doing something remotely funny somewhere NOT near the bride or groom. it can be really really hard. thankfully i was just an innocent bystander for these nuptials. which also means that i also took the photos that i wanted to take. which is fun.
without any bad sun burns and without falling on my face from the tequila, the only downside came the morning we left when i got sick. throwing up in the Cancun airport is nothing new. in fact, i’m pretty sure i wasn’t the only one in the bathroom partaking in the ritual, known to my brother and myself as, ‘shouting for huey’ (just try not to laugh by adding the name ‘huey’ while making vomiting noises, it’s tough). flying with a stomach bug is really not fun but nothing could ruin the rest and relaxation that comes from not having a schedule for six days and five nights. did i miss my son? more than anything in the world. but you know what? he had a blast entertaining his grandparents with all of his squawks and walking abilities. quality family time indeed. i’m thinking we could try to do something like this once a year as it does a body good.
there is something amazing about sleater-kinney. there is a lot going into the music of this outfit: inter-band relationships, the pacific northwest, straight love lives, ridiculous breakups, gay love lives, the rise and fall of grunge, riot grrrrl power, anti-stupid, punk rawk, and DIY ethics all siphoned through two distinct voices, two distinct guitars, and one heavy-ass drummer (in style, not IRL). it’s epic, truly epic.
and through it all, they made some great records. and hats off to them for going out on top. they saved their best record for last and they took an incredible stage show and made their impression lasting. sure they’ll probably do a reunion tour in five years but i, for one, will buy tickets. because they were that good. suggested listening: the entire catalog. this song is one of my personal faves.
| currently listening to: Tiny Island, Leo Kotke, Greenhouse, 1972 | LINK
most nights i come home from a long day at work and i feed and walk the dog. after he chomps down his nightly meal, we head out on (depending on the weather) a fantastic voyage that leads us past barking dogs, crazy ladies on porches, and right past one rather weird church. it is a ritual of ours to soak in all of the local sites and for him to relieve himself. me, i just bask in the glow of his charming swagger, his puppy-ish good looks, and his knack for scaring the crap out of sheepish dog owners who think he’s tough. it’s cathartic and wonderful and i do it every day i am home. i look forward to our time together and today was no exception. we are like a couple of school kids on the way home from a long day of art class and gym. we always take the long way home and he loves to stop and sniff the dirt. it’s great.
when i got married a couple of years ago my friends came out to the far northeastern part of the country to support me on my big day. i returned the favor for some good friends a year or so later. we traveled down to north carolina to witness something really special. i grabbed a ton of candid shots from the crowd. it is really fun to go to weddings when you know you are not on the clock. this wedding in particular had it all, perfect weather, a perfect crowd, a great ceremony, and it was a fantastic spot. awesome indeed.
i love leo kotke. he may not be the only musician that my father and i agree on but he is probably the only living musician that we love for the same reasons. also, he’s one of the few performers that my father, my brother and i have seen independently of each other. this song shows off not only his virtuosity as a musician but also his pipes as a singer (a rarity). it’s a truly beautiful song.
| currently listening to: Skinny Love, Bon Iver, For Emma, Forever Ago, 2008 | LINK
weddings are delicate matters that should be taken seriously. especially when you are the hired photographer. i enjoy photographing weddings. they are truly celebrations of family and friends and of each other. they are almost always full of personal and group outpourings of emotion. there is inevitably some gorgeous older lady in the corner who is crying her eyes out with tears of joy. it’s usually someone’s grandmother. weddings are perfect for portraits. they are also perfect for practicing your photojournalism skills.
man oh man… what can i say about justin vernon that hasn’t been said a thousand times in the indie press. i met justin 3 years ago when he was the front man for deyarmond edison. it was deyarmond’s last tour before they imploded and called it quits as a band. that night they played a show at the fort in front of something like 30 people. it was a special night indeed that will be a shiny moment in my personal history. justin spent the afternoon warming up by strumming my old 50’s harmony archtop in the corner singing softly to himself. sigh, swoon, sigh.