Sunday, November 30, 2008

The New World


This is what he did.

He was on NBC right before the election (October 28th) and sang a song he wrote in 1984 that IS more poignant now than when he wrote it.

"Don't forget the Motor City..."

Well, I guess "we" did...good luck, guys.

John Doe makes everything better...

I got drunk with him one night at The Bottom Line (RIP) and it was glorious. The next time I saw him, shooting him in L.A., he said to me, "Hey man, the last time I saw you, you were high!"

So was he.

As my friend Tracy once said to me, "I want to marry John Doe."

I know I do. You do too.

And check out the pumpkin...and Billy Zoom.

Cover Star: X
Headlining Band: X

Saturday, November 29, 2008

One Of The Two Bars We Know

And on a lighter note:

I just bought 127 film on eBay for this camera - 5 rolls.

Soon, an image you see here will be shot by this camera, the Kodak Brownie Reflex Synchro Model.

Which means that you will have to wait a while.

Like you fucking care.

Cover Star: The New Camera
Headlining Band: Swearing At Motorists

Friday, November 28, 2008


I saw Charlie Kaufman's "Synecdoche, New York" several weeks ago.

If you are familiar with his work, one of his favorite themes is "what is identity?" He began questioning it in the script for "Being John Malkovich" and continued exploring it in both "Adaptation" and "Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind." But in his new film, he really spins the concept of "identity" inward upon itself until it basically produces a black hole. He even touches on "being defined by what one does creatively" as a cornerpiece of identity.

"Synecdoche, New York" is a very funny, extremely depressing masterpiece. Like all of Kaufman's scripts/films.

Lately, I've become acutely aware of some would-be photographers that seem to have no identity or "style" - which is fine as everyone has to begin somewhere and usually with a blank slate. But there is a fine line between being inspired by and ripping off. And both of those terms are relative as "everything" pretty much has been done - but not really. There are plenty of photographers that I admire that have amassed everything in the world, but spit it out as an unmistakable signature image. The stuff I'm talking about is an attempt at direct imitation - carbon copies. Notice that I wrote "an attempt" - that's the really sad part, since most of these would-be guys simply do not possess the ability to even recreate another's image faithfully. What I've been seeing looks like a Spinal Tap cover band playing on Bleecker Street for a $4.00 cover charge.

Think about that last sentence really, really hard. That's how good this stuff is...

Do I have a remedy? No, of course not. I just hate to see others passing off sub-standard copied work as their own "idea" - their own "identity" if you will.

I'm always flattered by imitation, but sometimes, when it goes to "eleven" it's just too fucking loud. Instead, think about the best cover songs you've ever heard - where the band makes the original song THEIR OWN.

These guys should all be spanked while listening to Chan Marshall.

Cover Star: Celia
Headlining Band: Cat Power

Safe Inside The Covers And Freezing

One year ago, things changed drastically. Black Friday. I think I had a doctor's appointment regarding my stomach, then I bought two pairs of shoes, neither of which I've ever worn. I saw the Richard Prince show at the Guggenheim. I wandered around in the photography section of The Strand, aimlessly. Lower Manhattan seemed empty and desolate and grey even though it was covered with the greedy throng of shoppers. Can't remember what I did that night, but it probably wasn't healthy. A mercy call to a good friend or two. Maybe I just ordered food and fell asleep in front of static, cat waking me up at 4am...

I was invisible.
A year ago.

Compare and contrast: New friends, new lovers, new acquaintances, a whole new body of work photographically. More heartbreak, some joy, some new music to fall in love with and the death of loved ones. Strengthening friendships to the point that there are some that I feel are amongst my best now that weren't then, necessarily.

Turmoil, exhilaration, pain and insight.
God, I hope there's been insight.

Better place now, for a number of reasons, but ultimately I made them happen, with help. Control from complete and utter chaos.

The big first step. And up the ladder I go...visible again. With a pretty good pool game to boot.


THE HAT project is almost complete. A little tweak left on one of the shots and it is money. I cannot thank THE HAT enough. These are tough times and sometimes one needs the intervention of THE HAT. Now if I could just get a job shooting SOME HATS each month...

So, if you are A HAT and you need photos, please contact me through my website.

That's all for now. Don't buy anything tomorrow, especially two dumb pairs of shoes...or a hat.

Cover Star: Bloody Light Switch
Headlining Band: Team Sleep

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Paper Thin Walls


1. Without any name acknowledged, as that of author, contributor, or the like: an anonymous letter to the editor; an anonymous donation.
2. Of unknown name; whose name is withheld: an anonymous author.
3. Lacking individuality, unique character, or distinction: an endless row of drab, anonymous house
4. Given the leeway the Internet offers one, not having enough balls to stand beside what you write

Tappy Hanksgiving.

Fucking Pilgrims...

Cover Star: Molly
Headlining Band: Mr. John "Sometimes feeling like shit is all you got." Doe

Monday, November 24, 2008

Everyone Moves Too Slow, Guaranteed

Spent the afternoon and evening with my dear friend Sita.
She wanted real NYC pizza. So I took her to Lombardi's.
We waited outside in the cold for half an hour before they let us in. Sunday afternoon, 5pm.

Worth it.

Then a walk though SoHo to the (closed) film lab and down to the wine store and then over to Toad Hall where we sat for hours and shared. And talked and laughed.

I pick friends really well.

Last night she had a "party" at The Slipper Room.
I was dressed to the 9's and was "on."

First time in a long time. Thanks, Stu.

Cover Star: Anna
Headlining Band: STT

Sunday, November 23, 2008

The Hammer

Sometimes it has to come down.


Cover Star: Anna
Headlining Band: John Doe

Learn To Forget

Cover Star: Tia
Headlining Band: X

Saturday, November 22, 2008

When It All Falls Away

He dragged himself out of bed and took a shower. Made some tea and tried to fully become - awake. It was Saturday, a day not unlike the past seven and not unlike the following infinity. He took his medicine, the stuff he takes when he is sick and fed the cat hers. Suited up in his black leather uniform, he ventured out onto the street, a place he feared like no other. Dodging the hoards of holiday shopping zombies, he ducked into the music store to pick up his guitar. Music store man was grumpy, but relinquished the newly set-up Danelctro, barn red and beautiful. On the way back home, people looked at him with that "you're a musician" look that people look at musicians with. He just stared straight ahead or at the sidewalk, since he really didn't like people or the way they looked at him very much. Not much went through his head anymore, just a wash of grey and white and black. Sometimes songs or melodies popped to mind, other people's, never his own, and he would hum a few notes and wonder where it came from. Where in the deep recesses of his memory were these useless things stored and what had triggered that song now. Like some celestial being dropping a quarter into a jukebox and selecting A67, John Doe's "Tragedy By Definition" one of the saddest songs ever recorded. He was not particularly sad and not that happy either. What was the diagnosis? Major depressive disorder, recurrent 296.31. Or something. Upon arriving home, he put the guitar case next to the garbage cans behind the gate and sat down on the stoop and lit a cigarette. It didn't taste good and made his stomach convulse ever so slightly. He was no musician. Hell, he was barely what you would call a smoker. He sat there for a good, long while and tried to think a productive thought. Looking down at his boots, he realized they were scuffed up a bit. Maybe he would go upstairs and shine them. Who was it, Bukowski, that said 'never trust a man with shiny shoes'? Maybe he would ask his neighbor to take a picture of him instead...

Cover Star: Not Bukowski
Headlining Band: John Doe

Friday, November 21, 2008

This is...

..the hottest thing I've ever seen.

OK, the hottest thing I've ever seen on the Internets...

Where do I get a jacket like that? And those pants? And that guitar? And that woman?

I want to shoot PJ more than anyone, except maybe Patti Smith...

Happy Friday!

Thursday Night In The Universe

Happy, for once...


Wednesday, November 19, 2008

We Turn The Corner Safe And Sound...

Today, Al Qaeda deputy, Ayman al-Zawahri referred to Barack Obama as a "House Negro."

We're stronger than insults, I think...I hope. I really hope that we are. It's officially "on" even before it's officially started.

...the rest of our lives are going to be hard.
Not like what our Momma's told us.


But I prefer this world, my reality, to Eisenhower's.
It is now. For better or worse.
Scary as it may be. And it is...
...but it is ours.

Another "Hat" shot...just because I'm distracted, upset and bored.
ALL at the same time.
Time for some wine.

Good afternoon...

Cover Star: Cristi, stapled in the face and cut in half by my lab.
I miss the other half of her face. But I like what happened...
Headlining Band: The Silversun Pickups

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Menacing Piece...

...of Space Junk.

Oh yeah...
...we went to the moon. No doubt about it...

So, besides all that supposedly conspiracy shit ~

People really matter. Here's a person:

Cover Star: Cristi
Shot with a Hawkeye Brownie. On earth, 2008 with my fingers.
Not a Hasselblad on "the moon," circa 1969 with astronaut gloves on, mind you...

Headlining Band: Tom Fucking Verlaine

Bow down to Tom, bitches.
I do.

Questions, Questions, Questions...

...if you don't have questions... are...


Cover Star: Sibyl
Headlining Band: Shudder To Think

Friday, November 14, 2008

A Cinq Heures Cinquante-Cinq

Good afternoon...

Cover Star: Cristi
Headlining Band: Charlotte Gainsbourg

The Truth, It Wears Sharp Clothes

I was given a Kodak Brownie Hawkeye by my downstairs neighbor.

It was modified by camera genius Sanders.

I shot a roll. Color.

Focus is still a problem, as is the grime on the lens, etc...

But man, this is fun.

It just goes "click."

And I have to deal with it.

And once again, I am reminded that I just love taking photographs.

Cover Star: CRG
Headlining Band: Shudder To Think

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Smoke Is A Ring But You'll Grow

I love the Fall. The season, I mean (ok, I like the band, too). Last night, to attend a Photo Editors conference at FIT, I pulled out the cashmere Calvin Klein long grey overcoat for the first time. I felt complete and warm.

After taking some friends (ok, insisting that we go) to Mustang Sally's (Hi, Rich!), I was all bundled up on the long ride home on the 2 train and feeling good. Really good. Which was noticeably odd, as I haven't felt that way since last November.
One year.

The leaves on the sidewalks of Park Slope are all yellow and crinkly. My mother would love to see them.

Her birthday is in two weeks as is my late Grandmother's. Thanksgiving.

The hat shoot has commenced and will continue over the next week.

And I was right: It didn't say a damn word as I was directing it last night...

...of course, it didn't sign a release either.

Cover Star: The Hat
Headlining Band: Shudder To Think

Sunday, November 09, 2008

You Chew A Little Foil

Shopping at B&H tomorrow for portable flash accessories, and then I'm gonna shoot the fuck out of that hat. As I told my downstairs neighbor tonight (who was asking me if I might want to shoot a "model" apartment for her real estate business) the hat will not talk back. The hat will not blink. The hat will not say "I don't feel good" and the hat will not need to go to the bathroom.

The shot above is not of a hat. The shot above is of an agency model in Seattle back in May of 2007 that trusted me and wanted to do something a little different. The shot involved me and two "assistants" who took the fluorescent bulbs out of the stairwell lights in a hotel, ran electricity down the hall for my lighting and acted as lookouts. The shot took about two minutes. I love it. I keep hoping that she'll move to NYC and sign with an agency so that I can shoot her all the time. Although, I have access to a lot of talent here...

...but I fell in love with her a little bit. Professionally, of course.

Sunday night in the universe, music up loud, glass of wine and submitting photos to exhibitions across the country.

Making. Stuff. Happen.


And no more Obama hating on my blog, ok? He's here for four years, motherfuckers. Let's make the best of it...

Cover Star: Stacee
Headlining Band: Shudder To Think

Friday, November 07, 2008

It's Not About Compromise...

It's a rare thing when you see a band on the same tour three times and they are phenomenal each time. A rare thing, indeed.

I saw The Gutter Twins tonight at The Warsaw in Greenpoint, Brooklyn. It was the next to last show of their year-long tour. I saw their very first live show ever, which was in Manhattan, and then about six months ago they came through and played Manhattan again.

The first show was sloppy, but great (there is a review of it somewhere on this mess I call a blog). Their second show was more tight and Greg and Mark traded vocal duties - sometimes even singing each others parts. And they started adding covers - Massive Attack's "Live With Me" and the traditional "St. James Infirmary" being the most outstanding.

Tonight it was more intimate. Two microphones, Greg and Mark side by side, and the band in the background, almost hard to see. They did plenty from "Saturnalia," several from their new covers EP "Adorata," three off of Mark's masterpiece, "Bubblegum," and a bunch of Twilight Singers stuff too.

But the gem of the evening was a cover of Dulli's former Afghan Whigs' "When We Two Parted" which brought the fucking house down.

That evil little fucking song holds a very special place in my black little heart.

Greg is 43 and Mark is 44.

Mark is just like me and sorta like Obama. And Greg is not far behind...

My favorite moment from the show tonight: When Dulli put on his sunglasses and asked "How do I look?" And everyone laughed really loud.

He could stand to lose about 30 pounds.
Jus' sayin'.

Cover Star: "Hurricane" Rebecca
Headlining Band: The Gutter Twins (a Jose Gonzalez cover)

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Random Shit, Vol. XLIV

- The Roman numeral above is "44."

- Most of the evil in the world is caused by these people: Straight Old White Men.

- The Baby Kitty wants food now. It is a good three hours before her feeding time. Will someone explain that to her? Does Dr. Doolittle read this blog?

- My Father pulled "R" despite me egging him on to "make history." My parents live in North Carolina and my Mother always pulls "D" thereby canceling my Father's (and her) vote out. When I was last home, I asked him why they even bothered going to vote at all. He said something like it was his civic duty, or something. I shook my head. I sent him an email this morning saying that I hoped he pulled "D" like most of us did. He responded that of course he didn't, but that "the American people have spoken loud and clear with a 338 to 141 electoral count. I sincerely hope they are right. We shall see." I was proud of the old man...

- The hat is dark blue fuzzy suede and I've "secured" the model to shoot it on. Stay tuned.

- About Obama: I know that all politicians are corrupt. I know that anyone who wants to be President doesn't actually deserve the job. I know that campaign promises are all bullshit. I know I'll most likely end up yelling at him in March of 2009. But dig this: we elected a black man to be our Commander in Chief. That's bad ass. I never thought I'd live long enough to see those racial barriers knocked down with a vengeance. As an artist, I care about my right to freedom of expression. As a person, I care about every human being's right to decide what they do with their bodies. I care about the economy and unnecessary loss of life. I don't believe that anyone should ever kill anyone else, under any circumstances. I care about the United States of America. And I hope that Mr. Obama will do his best to further the things that I care about. As my Father said, "We shall see." In the meantime, I sure hope the guy doesn't get assassinated...that would set us back to pre-civil rights days.

- Apartment hunting is depressing. While none of us are making any more money (thanks Mr. Bush!) the NYC real estate market does not reflect that. What the fuck am I doing here? After seeing two shit-holes today for, respectively $1600 and $1800 a month, I may have just decided to stay where I am and suck it up. I have a beautiful place, I just need to make a little more money. Gallery show anyone? We shall see.

- I kicked ass at pool last night at Toad Hall.

- All the states that went for McCain should go away. I don't know exactly what that means, but I'm thinking about it and I'll get back to you...

- The Gutter Twins tomorrow night in Williamsburg. I'm going with a friend I haven't seen in years.

- It's quiet here.

Cover Star: Barack Obama (Stolen from the Internets)
Headlining Band: Smashing Pumpkins

"Todd, we ain't gonna be in the White House, baby."

Thank fucking god.

Sunday, November 02, 2008

It Was Never My Intention To Stay So Long...

I was just given a photo assignment to shoot a hat.

And that's about all I know.

More details to come...

Cover Star:Kellie
Headlining Band: Lloyd Cole & The Commotions