If you’ve been paying attention, you might notice that I’ve discontinued a feature I started back in April of 2020. “United By” was the skeleton for a book featuring many of the concert/show images I had taken over the years. After a spirited start, reality set in, and the idea went into the “Maybe someday.” to do file; however, after finding a template where I could build my project at my own pace. Things picked up rapidly. After seeing the right person to pen the books foreward and an incredible editor, I began reaching out to band members and people involved in putting on shows, putting out records, and giving a voice to those who create. The responses and thoughts added much-needed yet previously void of life to both the images and my little project’s purpose. Work continues as I wait for the final images to be digitized and downloadable. Though things seem to be wrapping up on my side, I know there is still a lot of work to do before figuring out how to submit it to publishers. Here’s to a long wait.
I first met Al when he was playing bass for New Jersey’s Dog Tired. A punk band heavily influenced by bands such as the Pogues and Still Little Fingers with lyrical muscle that might find itself swimming with more emotive bands such as Dischord Records Rites of Spring and Embrace.
When I moved to Manhattan in 1994, I began to see more and more of Al. I always and still do, consider him a good friend. Enjoying going to see him in a number of bands including The Fury’s (Who eventually changed their name to The Truents.) and (pictured here.) The Deviators. Though I haven’t seen Al in years, I’m sure if we ran int0 one another, we’d be able to pick up just where we left off. If interested, you can find more information about Dog Tired, The Truents and The Deviators on Discogs. I’ll leave a link just below.
Formed in 1988 and existing until 1998, Yuppicide were the first band I can remember to appeal to both the punks and the hardcore kids. Their music merged punk and hardcore with tongue in cheek lyrics that were humorous, yet intelligent. I still break out my Yuppicide records discs and especially, my copy of ‘Look at all the Children Now…’ compilation more than twenty years after their disbanding and almost thirty years after this ABC- No-Rio picture was taken. I feel very lucky in that I got to see so many amazing band while the collective was still putting shows on in their basement. While there was always a sense of community and intimacy about the Rivington St. space., being in the basement next to all those pipes always felt special to me. If you’d like to find out more about Yuppicide. I suggest you visit their website linked below.
I originally got to learn about Tim Singer through his outstanding hardcore fanzine ‘Boiling Point’. However, it wasn’t until I heard his newly formed band No Escape on the 1990 hardcore compilation ‘ Rebuilding’. Though it was an awkward time for NYHC. There were a crop of new acts that were bending the rules while reshaping the sound and the approach of a sound and scene that had run out of ideas and originality. I was lucky enough to see No Escape once before Tim went on to the bands Deadguy and Kiss it Goodbye. Something I feel very lucky to have taken part of. While I’m not sure what camera I used here. I am sure that my long time friend, Casey accompanied me to the show.
Due in large to the recent calls for social distancing and the fact many states have called for a primary lockdown, I’ve had more free time than I know what to do with. I’ve regularly found myself going through images I took of bands I went out to see in basements, bars, venues, and concert halls. In doing so, I’ve come to the conclusion that I might not ever be able to do much with more with them than I already have. So instead of just calling it a day and closing the door on that chapter in my life,
I can take some of my favorites and use them to start an addition to my blog. Being that I took my first music image at my sixteenth birthday party and have worked in film, chrome, and digital with numerous cameras and lenses over the years. Finding enough photos to post might keep me busy while refreshing my memories regarding the shows I attended and just why I decided to bring a camera. The hardest part thus far was deciding whether to post images chronologically or in some sort of spirited randomness. In the end, I decided to randomly post pictures and stories from the two or so decades I was actively shooting. Considering the number of shows I’ve attended and acts I’ve photographed, I’ve got plenty of ammunition to keep things going. Along with the images and anecdotes, I hope to include links where, if interested, you can find more information about the artists. Until then.
Though most of my friends and family know. I’ve rarely shared my passion for music or vinyl records on this log very often. Having sold all of my original collection of LP’s, EP’s and cassettes on Ebay in the months prior to my initial three week trip to Japan in 2001. I soon learned that my choice to do so, might have been a bad one. Though having just about everything I sold on CD’s or CDR’s. I did not think that the crates of records and boxes of cassettes would be missed. I later found that my decision might have been a hasty one.
Starting only a few years ago. I slowly started to purchase and collect vinyl again. Since that time, I’ve managed to recollect most of the records I originally owned and sold. I’ve also eclipsed the original size of what I once thought of as too many records. I’m at a point now where I’ve become a bit more selective with what I buy, often reminding myself that I’m getting older and will someday have to pack them up and move. Still, my obsession and my wife’s support of my weekly trips to various vinyl record outlets doesn’t look to be slowing down anytime soon.
For some time now, i’ve been meaning to share my music column with this blog’s readers. I started writing as a kid and wrote my first published article from my hospital bed at the age of twelve. I started and published my first music print fanzine when I was sixteen and well, the rest is history. Back in 2016, as a music blog I co-created was coming to and end. I was offered my own column writing for a website that I was a major fan of since it’s print days. I’ve headed up the column for a year now, writing reviews and doing interviews. Having my own column has given me the opportunity to expand my taste in music, reach out to and engage people who have inspired me with their art and even given me the courage to start writing my own stories. Below is a link to my column, as well as some of my recent interviews for the site.
This week I took it upon myself to start a new photo project. Take the bands and musicians that inspire me and invite them over for a session and do my best to take the band photo out of the box. Take the band out of it’s normal comfort zone (the stage, the studio) and do something more creative than lining them up against a wall as if they were about to face a firing squad. To start my project on the best note possible, I got in touch with Brooklyn’s experimental noise rockers Cinema Cinema.
I first met Ev (Guitar/Vocals) and Paul (Drums) during a local music festival in 2011. To be cuttingly honest, their performance that night scared the freaking Bajeezus out of me. It was intense. I mean, like a roller coaster ride through the seventh layer of hell intense. Since then Ev and Paul have been featured on my music blog numerous times in record and show reviews, an interview and even as contributors. Needless to say, we’ve become good friends. The guys arrived on time and though it was a short set. I never felt as if we were rushing through the shots. I had specific ideas not only were they were they on board. They helped me steer the ship. We drank dirty water, listened to Fugazi and got some memorable images that will serve as the groundwork for what I hope will be an ongoing series. I really can’t say enough about Ev or Paul. I’ll let the pictures speak for themselves.
After months of toiling and tweaking I’ve launched a new WIX site that focuses on my music photography. It features live and studio work with numerous bands and musicians. Be sure to stop by and visit. Thanks
When I was originally contacted to be interviewed for the premier issue of Lamplighter Magazine I was more than pleased to be involved. I had known Patrick and Nadia (the magazines Editor in Chief and Director of Social Media) for a few months and respected their hard work in what they were attempting and had already achieved. Despite all my blogging and internet shenanigans I have a great deal of fondness for print media. The interview was very professionally done and I was really impressed with the questions their writer Laety Maireville asked. I was however freaked out a bit when Patrick told me that the interview, along with my seldom photographed self was going to be the cover story.
Throughout my history as a writer and photographer I’ve interviewed countless bands and artists. Yet it’s very seldom when the tables are turned and the focus on my life or work is the topic of interest. Being behind the scenes is something I find comfort in. As the cover of the magazine shows, I’ve always been uncomfortable in front of the camera. Always feeling that work and art should be my calling card. Getting my work out there, being able to share and expand my audience is important to me. I’ve felt comfortable and confident in my work for a while now and getting a little credit for it is a really special feeling. I’m humbled and grateful to be a part of Lamplighter and hope to be a consistent contributor to the magazine in the future. For now, I’m going to bask in the glory of my own five minutes of fame.
Extra special thanks to bruno bruyes of New York Newsday for taking time from his very busy schedule to photograph me.