La Jolla Children’s Pool 6/27/09

Even though the last twenty posts might lead you to believe that I shoot nothing but live shows, I don’t consider myself a music photographer. I have other photographic passions, it’s just that it’s tough to get up in time to shoot a sunrise when I got to bed at 2am after a night at the Casbah. I meant to get down to the children’s pool in La Jolla on Saturday morning, but after stopping at both Nelson’s Photo locations, parking, realizing I left my neutral density filters at home, going back to pick them up, coming back and battling for parking again, I only got my tripod set up after noon.

La Jolla Children's Pool 22709 © Michael Klayman-001

ND filters tend to flatten colors so I bumped up the saturation, perhaps a bit more than I should have. The polarizer cuts light by another 2.5 stops and makes the water look nice and blue without a lot of the midday glare that can ruin the look.

La Jolla Children's Pool 22709 © Michael Klayman-009

La Jolla Children's Pool 22709 © Michael Klayman-003

My trip to Nelsons was for picking up a filter adapter so that I could use my 77mm ND filters on my 58mm telephoto lens. Best $12.95 I ever spent. This opens up a whole world of possibilities.

La Jolla Children's Pool 22709 © Michael Klayman-005

La Jolla Children's Pool 22709 © Michael Klayman-008

La Jolla Children's Pool 22709 © Michael Klayman-006

I do want to try this again with the sun a bit lower in the sky, I think I might be able to get some spectacular shots with some more appealing lighting.

La Jolla Children's Pool 22709 © Michael Klayman-007

Full moon is next week, anybody want to make a nighttime trip here with me?

Bright Light Fever, By Sunlight, Modern Rifles at the Che Cafe 6/17/09

By Sunlight came through town again and played two shows- one at the Che Cafe, and the next night at Bar Pink. I’ve never been to either place so I didn’t know which venue it might better, but Modern Rifles was playing with them at the Che, so that sealed the deal. First up were By Sunlight’s touring partner, Bright Light Fever.

Bright Light Fever at the Che Cafe 61709© Michael Klayman-001

Only heard a couple songs, so I only have a total of four shots of them. Che Cafe doesn’t serve alcohol so as soon as our beer runner arrived, several people made use of the picnic table and trashcan in a dark part of the back yard. Sorry guys.

Bright Light Fever at the Che Cafe 61709© Michael Klayman-002

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I got By Sunlight’s album from them last time they were in town and playing at the Soda Bar. It’s worth checking out- very lush and dreamy with some brief math-y sections.

By Sunlight at the Che Cafe 61709© Michael Klayman-001

There’s no front lighting here, so everything is backlit. Not so fun, since I can’t get any of their faces.

By Sunlight at the Che Cafe 61709© Michael Klayman-002

Except the drummers, they’re actually lit the best for once.

By Sunlight at the Che Cafe 61709© Michael Klayman-016

By Sunlight at the Che Cafe 61709© Michael Klayman-020

Trying to shoot with extremely low shutter speeds in order to get some detail in the faces made getting sharp images tough, but there were some interesting side effects.

By Sunlight at the Che Cafe 61709© Michael Klayman-021

The 1/8 second motion blur can be nice 0.1% of the time.  But mostly, I stuck to silhouettes.

By Sunlight at the Che Cafe 61709© Michael Klayman-028

Backlighting emphasizes texture, something Jack’s curly hair has plenty of.

By Sunlight at the Che Cafe 61709© Michael Klayman-006

By Sunlight at the Che Cafe 61709© Michael Klayman-004

They’ll be back in town in September and they’re a good band to bring your girl to see too, even if she’s not into indie rock.

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Modern Rifles are a harder band with singalong vocals. In my opinion they have the best sounding recording to come out of Black Box Studios, from a production/tone standpoint.

Modern Rifles at the Che Cafe 61709© Michael Klayman-001

The bass player, Daryl, is from North Carolina so we chatted about Polvo for a bit. Polvo’s got a new album coming out in September, and they’ll make a stop in San Diego on their next tour. A lot of the Rifles’ friends have spent time in Cleveland, it was weird to hear the names of old clubs I used to go to in high school like the Grog Shop, Phantasy, and Peabody’s Downunder.
 
Modern Rifles at the Che Cafe 61709© Michael Klayman-004

Modern Rifles at the Che Cafe 61709© Michael Klayman-008

Modern Rifles at the Che Cafe 61709© Michael Klayman-010

Being a heavier band, they move around a lot more too so not many sharp photos.

Modern Rifles at the Che Cafe 61709© Michael Klayman-011

Except for Brian, the drummer.

Modern Rifles at the Che Cafe 61709© Michael Klayman-017

Modern Rifles at the Che Cafe 61709© Michael Klayman-022

It was a fun show to see despite the sparse crowd, but having to sneak Miller Lite like a teenager and deal with crappy lighting means I’m not shooting here again. This place and The Office are on my Don’t Bother list.

The best part of this place is the bathroom. It’s bright and colorful and I got what I thought was a unique shot.

Bathroom at the Che Cafe 61709© Michael Klayman-024

And then I found that Natalie beat me to it by almost two years with the girl’s bathroom which looks almost identical.

Jeff Miles Quartet at the South Park Bar and Grill, 6/14/09

The last time I saw Jeff Miles here, he played a gig with a mature group of players and put on a great show. This was also a stellar night, only the band members are all under 25. Talent strikes early.

Jeff Miles Quartet at South Park Bar and Grill 61409 © Michael Klayman-026

Jeff Miles Quartet at South Park Bar and Grill 61409 © Michael Klayman-009

Jeff only learned some the tunes in the minutes before the gig. My guess is that they included some of the Ornette Coleman songs that Joshua brought in from his recent Dizzy’s show. They still sounded well rehearsed.

Jeff Miles Quartet at South Park Bar and Grill 61409 © Michael Klayman-011

Jeff Miles Quartet at South Park Bar and Grill 61409 © Michael Klayman-014

Jeff Miles Quartet at South Park Bar and Grill 61409 © Michael Klayman-013

Jeff Miles Quartet at South Park Bar and Grill 61409 © Michael Klayman-010

Danny Weller was in dark part of the stage, but his bass was lit well enough to get a solo of its own.

Jeff Miles Quartet at South Park Bar and Grill 61409 © Michael Klayman-021

I like shooting this stage because of all the possibilities.  Here’s a shot that almost looks like a huge stage with spotlights from behind, which are really just some track lights located outside. They add a bit of depth to an otherwise flat image.

Jeff Miles Quartet at South Park Bar and Grill 61409 © Michael Klayman-025

Danny and Charlie’s dad, Bob, came on for a couple songs. He played with major power and confidence, showing the youngsters what a few years of experience can do to hone your sound.

Jeff Miles Quartet at South Park Bar and Grill 61409 © Michael Klayman-029

Heather and I were joined by Channing and Brenda Booth during the second set. They’re the parents of a pair of cute two year old twin boys, so they don’t make it out as often as we do, so it’s taken a while for us to finally meet in person, but I’m glad we did. They’re both photographers too and Channing is an accomplished pianist who is a childhood friend and college roomate of Gilbert Castellanos. I’m looking forward to the day he recovers from some recent elbow surgery and we get to see him return to the stage.

Jeff Miles Quartet at South Park Bar and Grill 61409 © Michael Klayman-020

As if fine music and new friends weren’t enough, this was also the first weekend of my South Park Bar and Grill exhibition of jazz photography, most of which was shot right here too.  If I’ve shot you on this stage, it might be one of the images that are on a couple of the walls facing the bar, but you’ll have to find out for yourself. I hope to add more as the current ones are purchased by jazz fans, players, and their family (hint hint). They’d make an excellent belated Father’s Day gift!

Jeff Miles Quartet Promo Shoot 6/14/09

I’m still working on the live photos, but after their show, I shot some promos for Jeff Miles and his cohorts. Jeff let me know that he wouldn’t have time to do a session before the gig, since he still had to learn a bunch of the music! Nighttime proved to be better anyway, since I could use the hanging lights as the main light source.

From left to right, Joshua White, Danny Weller, Jeff Miles, Charlie Weller.

Jeff Miles Quartet Promo Shoot 61409 © Michael Klayman-006

Setting the white balance to the awning color gave me a great neutral color, if a bit sterile. I also had to reduce the green saturation of the streetlamps shining from the back since they looked unnatural.

Jeff Miles Quartet Promo Shoot 61409 © Michael Klayman-003

Without a flash, I have to rely on ambient light, and luckily there’s plenty on the back patio at the South Park Bar and Grill. I can see myself shooting quite a few more of these sessions right here.

Jeff Miles Quartet Promo Shoot 61409 © Michael Klayman-005

I think these came out much better than my train shots since I could focus on the people instead of the passing trolley. I could try out some different angles and shoot a few frames in order to get it right. I also tried to keep the session short- I don’t want to take up half an hour after their gig when they just want to relax. This was about 7 minutes worth of shooting. I hope it was worth it to them. If any other bands want some promo shots, just let me know. I need more guinea pigs to experiment with!

The Long and Short of It, Tarrakian, Gort at the Soda Bar 6/6/09

Sorry about taking so long to get this set up, we’ve been pretty busy with house hunting and I’ve had some session musician work lately that’s paid better than the average photo gig, which hasn’t left me with a lot of time to post.

Once again, I found myself at the Soda Bar only this time it was hardcore metal night. Whether I’m shooting at a jazz club or metal club, I never feel like I quite fit in with the crowd, and especially so when the crowd has lots of Iron Maiden tees and tattoos. This doesn’t bug me at all anymore, unlike a few years ago when I’d feel pretty self-conscious about being the lone dork. 99% of the people I meet at these shows are totally cool, no matter what they wear or what kind of music they like. In the end, a music fan is a music fan, and bands are happy to know someone liked their music enough to listen to it intently.

Gort is a noisy two-piece that plays short, loud, and dirty.

Gort at the Soda Bar 60609 © Michael Klayman-002 

It’s not a refined sound, but it’s not as empty as it might seem since the guitar is actually a baritone, giving a deeper, sludgier sound. The huge bass drum helps to bridge that gap too.

Gort at the Soda Bar 60609 © Michael Klayman-003

I didn’t take many pictures this night since Imy battery was close to empty and I forgot to pack a spare in my little bag, so I tried to limit my shots. Sorry Gort, you got less than 10 shots tonight.

Gort at the Soda Bar 60609 © Michael Klayman-005

I worked at NASA for about a year during college doing imaging research on materials used on the next generation of solid rocket boosters. I can’t say much more about what I did there so when someone asks, I just say that I spent the time there blotting aliens out of photographs. I did get to work on a million dollar scanning electron microscope, which was an incredible experience. I’ve worked with a couple other SEMs at various institutions since then, but NASA had a closet of free 4×5 Polaroid film to save the images (this was before digital sensors were cost effective) and I was in heaven. Even back in 1996, each sheet of film was $1. Now they’re probably $5 each since they’re not made anymore.

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I don’t know why, but it seems that if a band has one female member who isn’t the singer, she’ll probably be the bass player. That’s the Tarrakian way too.

Tarrakian at the Soda Bar 60609 © Michael Klayman-001

Tarrakian at the Soda Bar 60609 © Michael Klayman-002

Music is a universal language. I chatted with this guitarist for a minute after their set, and he’s from Italy. People may have an accent but their guitars don’t.

Tarrakian at the Soda Bar 60609 © Michael Klayman-004

It’s no secret that I’m partial to long-haired brunettes. Strap a bass to one, and she’ll be the main thing I’ll take pictures of. I didn’t realize this until I started editing the photos, but there were only about 15 or so that didn’t have her as the main subject.

Tarrakian at the Soda Bar 60609 © Michael Klayman-006

Tarrakian at the Soda Bar 60609 © Michael Klayman-009

Heather has nothing to worry about, but damn! Cutie!

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I’ve been rocking their CD quite a bit since getting it at their last show, so I was excited to be able to hear The Long and Short of It’s songs again now that I was familiar with them.

The Long and Short of It at the Soda Bar 60609 © Michael Klayman-003

Ben Johnson is just about as dynamic a front person as you can get. Today, 6/16, is his birthday. I’ll bet when he blows out his birthday candles tonight, he’ll scorch the room with the ferocity of his breath.

The Long and Short of It at the Soda Bar 60609 © Michael Klayman-006

My battery finally died after just a couple songs so I don’t have a decent group shot, but it’s just as well since I was banging my head the whole time anyway, and so was everyone else.

The Long and Short of It at the Soda Bar 60609 © Michael Klayman-017

The Long and Short of It at the Soda Bar 60609 © Michael Klayman-018

The Long and Short of It at the Soda Bar 60609 © Michael Klayman-020

One of these days I’m going to get a shot with the bassist smiling. Not tonight though.

The Long and Short of It at the Soda Bar 60609 © Michael Klayman-012

The Long and Short of It at the Soda Bar 60609 © Michael Klayman-011

The Long and Short of It at the Soda Bar 60609 © Michael Klayman-019

If you’d like to hear what face-melting sounds like, go see these guys. Even if the music doesn’t do it for you, you will be in awe of the showmanship.

The Long and Short of It at the Soda Bar 60609 © Michael Klayman-002

Most bands will run their own merch booth, but Ben makes it a family affair. Last time I met his wife Monique at the booth, this time, I met his mom Ellen and her friend. I do see the resemblance.

The Long and Short of It at the Soda Bar 60609 © Michael Klayman-001

When I told her how much I liked the CD, she asked me which song was my favorite. “Calamity at Sea of Calamity”, I replied. “Yeah that one’s got a great breakdown in it, doesn’t it?” she asked. Wow, I couldn’t even get my mom to come to my soccer games as a kid, much less know my music inside and out.  She also asked me to take this photo of them, which I can’t recall anybody else ever asking me for at a show. Ellen, my blood type is B-, let me know if you ever need a kidney.

Danny Green and Joshua White promo shoots, 6/5/09

Before the show at Dizzy’s, I got a chance to do some promo shots for the musicians.

Joshua White Promo Shoot 60509© Michael Klayman-002

My idea was to get the trolley passing by Dizzy’s into the background, which went ok, but I think I’ll try a longer focal length lens next time and fill the frame with the red blur. Joshua’s full band hadn’t made it to Dizz’ys yet att his point in the evening, so we just shot him solo.

I tried the same thing for Danny’s band, but the buildings got in the way, I think.

Danny Green Promo Shoot 60509 © Michael Klayman-004

A low angle shot pointed up at the tower made a much better shot.

Danny Green Promo Shoot 60509 © Michael Klayman-003

Danny Green Quartet, Joshua White Quintet at Dizzy’s, 6/5/09

It’s not often that Dizzy’s has more than two piano-led groups in one night, but it’s easy to switch between two bands when they share a rhythm section. Heather came with me tonight too, which always makes it more fun.

Danny Green started the evening off with a quartet playing originals.

Danny Green At Dizzy's 60509 © Michael Klayman-001

Danny Green At Dizzy's 60509 © Michael Klayman-005

Danny writes some intricate compositions- you can tell by all the sheet music on stage. Even though he’s the composer, he still need them spread out at the piano for reference.

Danny Green At Dizzy's 60509 © Michael Klayman-013

Danny Green At Dizzy's 60509 © Michael Klayman-009

It’s always a pleasure to see Rob Thorsen on bass.

Danny Green At Dizzy's 60509 © Michael Klayman-004

Tripp Sprague plays several types of horns, so he was able to change up the sound of the band at will.

Danny Green At Dizzy's 60509 © Michael Klayman-011

Danny is getting married to Emily tomorrow, 6/14/09, and she had a smile on her face during his entire set. That’s love! I can’t get Heather to even sit through an entire set of my photos anymore. Congratulations Danny and Emily!

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I’ve seen Joshua White play in several groups, but this was the first time I’ve seen him tackle the challenging music of Thelonius Monk and Ornette Coleman.

Joshua White at Dizzy's 60509 © Michael Klayman-017

Joshua White at Dizzy's 60509 © Michael Klayman-004

I can understand why Joshua would present Monk’s music since they’re both piano players. As an exceptional pianist, Joshua can do justice to the music without sounding like a Monk clone by reinterpreting it into his own style.

Joshua White at Dizzy's 60509 © Michael Klayman-022

But Ornette Coleman refused to use piano players in any of his groups. Only his debut album has piano, which he was talked into using for the date. Ornette developed his own branch of jazz that relied on total freedom for the soloist, even freedom from having to play over established chord changes. Piano, being a chordal instrument, had no place in his music. This made the music appear to be an odd choice for a piano player to explore, but maybe that’s the exact challenge Joshua made for himself.

Joshua focused on Coleman’s earlier-era work, which is the best in my opinion. His later work in the ’70s and ’80s can get a bit abstract.

 Joshua White at Dizzy's 60509 © Michael Klayman-016

Anchoring it down again was Rob Thorsen and Duncan Moore. I’ve shot Duncan a couple times before, but this was my first time actually meeting him. He’s a photographer too (so is Rob), so hopefully we’ll get a chance to do some shooting together at some point.

Joshua White at Dizzy's 60509 © Michael Klayman-008

Joshua White at Dizzy's 60509 © Michael Klayman-002

On tenor was Jason Robinson, who I shot for the first time the previous week. Ian Tordella played alto sax, Coleman’s instrument of choice.

Joshua White at Dizzy's 60509 © Michael Klayman-012

Jason has a Ph.D. in music, but his playing goes beyond mere theory. At a certain point, a sufficiently advanced artist, in any art, can forget what they have learned and just use their experience to create something new. A master can make it look easy.

Joshua White at Dizzy's 60509 © Michael Klayman-025

Ian doesn’t play with the same airy sound that Coleman uses, but the liveliness and skittering passages are there.

Joshua White at Dizzy's 60509 © Michael Klayman-029

Joshua White at Dizzy's 60509 © Michael Klayman-033

All in all, it was an evening of mesmerizing music that made me feel fortunate to be able to hear it.

Boyscout, Child Bite at the Soda Bar 6/2/09

I just realized this is blog entry #102. A few have been short video posts, but mostly they’re full show posts or other photo entries. I’m proud of myself for being able to stick to blogging this long, even though I have about 5 subscribers. Thanks for sticking with me!

I ventured out on a Tuesday night to the Soda Bar, which seems to be the new hot club for good shows these days. My first time there was just a few months ago, but lately it’s been a frequent destination. Good beers on tap and friendly bartenders help. This was a last minute show, and only had two bands on the bill.

Child Bite from Detroit, MI was up first. Sounded like Kyuss-meets-Andrew W.K. Fast, heavy, but fit for partying.

Child Bite at the Soda Bar 60209© Michael Klayman-019

The most obvious thing about this band is how much hair they sport. They whipped those lush manes around from start to finish.

Child Bite at the Soda Bar 60209© Michael Klayman-014

The bass player kept losing his hat with all the headbanging, but somehow kept his glasses on.

Child Bite at the Soda Bar 60209© Michael Klayman-011

The singer played a keyboard with interesting lights on the front. It even came with its own joystick.

Child Bite at the Soda Bar 60209© Michael Klayman-010

Child Bite at the Soda Bar 60209© Michael Klayman-009

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Boyscout is composed of members of Hialeah, Marasol, and Transfer. This was their second show.

Boyscout at the Soda Bar 60209© Michael Klayman-001

I was headed into the bathroom right when they opened the back door, carrying Lain to the stage on a huge tennis racket. I ended up holding it for their set. My bladder, not the racket.

Boyscout at the Soda Bar 60209© Michael Klayman-004

I’ve never been a big fan of the two drummer setup since it seems redundant at best, and cacaphonus at worst. These guys are doing this more as a fun change from their more serious bands, so I don’t fault them for squeezing in the extra drum sounds. Since they’re all good musicians, they pull it off well.

Boyscout at the Soda Bar 60209© Michael Klayman-007

I don’t usually get to shoot drummers from right next to them, so I gave Justin some extra attention.

Boyscout at the Soda Bar 60209© Michael Klayman-005

Boyscout at the Soda Bar 60209© Michael Klayman-010

Boyscout at the Soda Bar 60209© Michael Klayman-011

Two guitars with no bassist and two drummers would normally equal two strikes against a band for me, but the songs are more jammy and with as much fun as they were having on stage, it was easy to get into it. There were smiles all around. They played with some major low end in the guitars to take up some sonic space. 

Boyscout at the Soda Bar 60209© Michael Klayman-019

Boyscout at the Soda Bar 60209© Michael Klayman-013

Boyscout at the Soda Bar 60209© Michael Klayman-017

Boyscout at the Soda Bar 60209© Michael Klayman-018

Mario seemed to be having the most fun on an instrument he doesn’t get to play often enough.

Boyscout at the Soda Bar 60209© Michael Klayman-020

I’d like to provide a link to their myspace, but they haven’t created one yet. hopefully they will soon!

Fever Sleeves, Hotel St. George, Team Abraham at the Soda Bar 5/30/09

Soda Bar time again, this time to see some bands I’ve heard about for a while as well as old friends.

Team Abraham was already playing when I got there, sounding pretty folksy. Not what I was expecting at all.

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I was expecting to see Fkenal’s drummer, who is incredible, and instead it was someone else who looks familiar, but I can’t recall which band I’ve seen him with. Another surprise was to see Matt from Long and Short of It playing. There will be a set of them showing up soon on here.

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“Team Abraham” is a movie reference to being Jewish, and Abraham is half Jewish. I guess that means he plays for both teams.

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I met Brian from Hotel St. George a couple months ago at the Whistle Stop and he was nice enough to give me a couple CDs.

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They’re really good, with snotty vocals over peppy 60’s garage rock.

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As you can see, the lighting was changing. This presented a number of exposure and timing challenges for me, but even though I had a smaller yield, I like the effect of the variable, incredibly color-saturated lighting.

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Instead of trying to neutralize the color, I just went with it. Well, for the most part.

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They have a lot of fun on stage and trade off instruments every couple songs. The songs are bouncy and catchy, I was surprised I was able to sing along a bit to some of the ones I’ve heard just a few times. They played some new stuff too, probably songs off their upcoming CD, “City Boy Lemon”.

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Great fun guys! You’ll see me again.

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How can I shoot Fever Sleeves in a new way after half a dozen shows? By not shooting them.

Fever Sleeves at the Soda Bar 53009© Michael Klayman-004

Fever Sleeves at the Soda Bar 53009© Michael Klayman-008

McHank and Justin- two peas in one crazy pod.

Fever Sleeves at the Soda Bar 53009© Michael Klayman-009

I did practice a few things though, like getting closer to the band while shooting, even sitting/leaning over the stage. Heather was driving, so I had lots of liquid courage in me by this point.

Fever Sleeves at the Soda Bar 53009© Michael Klayman-005

It’s been said that if your photos aren’t good enough, you’re not close enough. I’m beginning to think that’s true.

Fever Sleeves at the Soda Bar 53009© Michael Klayman-006

I also practiced some zoom blur. By zooming the lens during a slightly longer exposure than normal, it
creates motion in the shot by maginfying the image over the course of
the exposure. With a continuous light source, this shows up as a ghost
image that appears to emanate from the slightly smaller subject in the
center- when zooming in, which is my preference. By zooming out, the
ghost is on the inside, which doesn’t look quite as good to my eye.
With a strobe like the Soda Bar, zoom blur creates something more like
a multiple exposure, since there are dark gaps which function as an
environmental shutter speed- little flashes which only illuminate a
slice in time.

Fever Sleeves at the Soda Bar 53009© Michael Klayman-011

Fun stuff, but doesn’t work for every band.

Vinyl Film, A Scribe Amidst the Lions, Bella Novela at the Radio Room 5/29/09

I got to the Radio Room a bit later than I wanted to on Friday night, missing the first band completely and getting there midway through Bella Novela’s set.

Bella Novela at the Radio Room 52909© Michael Klayman-002

I didn’t take a lot of photos and I don’t have a decent group shot since both sides of the stage are much dimmer, (by about 2-3 stops).  The bass player stayed out of the lights, so unfortunately, he’s missing in this set. I hate being incomplete.

Bella Novela at the Radio Room 52909© Michael Klayman-003

The singer is very animated, both physically and vocally. She wrings every drop of emotion out of every lyric. She sings with her hands too, which was lovely,but I totally didn’t capture them very well.

Bella Novela at the Radio Room 52909© Michael Klayman-008

Bella Novela at the Radio Room 52909© Michael Klayman-012

This set took on an almost theatrical quality for me, and I’d like to see them do their thing next time they come to town. The bubbly way the drummer counts off the songs is worth the cover charge alone. So cute.

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My main reason for coming to the show was to see local psych-prog rockers A Scribe Amidst the Lions. Finally.

A Scribe Amidst the Lions at the Radio Room 52909© Michael Klayman-023

I’ve missed all their shows for the past year for a variety of reasons. I somehow always had other shows or plans. I’ve been meaning to see them for about a year, and it wasn’t until now that I finally did. They play one more show this week before taking a break from San Diego shows with some short tours.

A Scribe Amidst the Lions at the Radio Room 52909© Michael Klayman-019

For some reason, I thought they’d be a bit more jammy, which wasn’t the cae at all. They bring a pop sensibility to prog music, reminding me a bit of ’80s era King Crimson in the songwriting department, if not guitar gymnastics. The psychedelic influence is obvious, but with all the stops and changes, it doesn’t dominate the sound, which surprised me a bit.

A Scribe Amidst the Lions at the Radio Room 52909© Michael Klayman-021

The spectrum of musical influences is reflected in the members too. They just don’t look like they’d all be in the same band, but the guitarists and bassist are childhood friends who moved to San Diego a few years ago. The whole front row was jammed with girls dancing, something I would not expect for this kind of music. I guess they have wide-ranging appeal for the ladies.

A Scribe Amidst the Lions at the Radio Room 52909© Michael Klayman-002

A Scribe Amidst the Lions at the Radio Room 52909© Michael Klayman-016

Bob plays with the same black nylon-wound acoustic bass strings I do.  I’ve never seen someone else use them on an electric. He coaxes quite a variety of tones out of his rig while still serving the music. Most bass players who use effects go overboard with them, but Bob knows how to make them enhance the music instead of simply choking the low end out of it.

There’s more unorthodoxy on display than just black strings.

A Scribe Amidst the Lions at the Radio Room 52909© Michael Klayman-018

A Scribe Amidst the Lions at the Radio Room 52909© Michael Klayman-026

They take risks with the music and also the ceiling fans, possibly coming across as too obtuse or convoluted, but I really like the CD now that I’ve heard it several times.

A Scribe Amidst the Lions at the Radio Room 52909© Michael Klayman-009

They made a fan out of me, and I won’t be waiting so long to see them again.

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Shooting a trio like Vinyl Film was a lot easier since they didn’t cover the entire stage and the lights went to bright white for their set. I wonder if Ziggy did that for me.

Vinyl Film at the Radio Room 52909© Michael Klayman-002

I met their friend T-Rex who was also shooting them, but I didn’t get his contact info. If anyone has his email address, could you let me know?

Vinyl Film at the Radio Room 52909© Michael Klayman-006

They’re a more straightahead rock band than ASATL, which was a tough act to follow to my ears at least. They weren’t super heavy, just kinda like good-time punk.

Vinyl Film at the Radio Room 52909© Michael Klayman-007

Vinyl Film at the Radio Room 52909© Michael Klayman-016

Right before they started their set, the singer said he just had to pay a $100 bribe to release his car from the back of a tow truck. If it has to happen, at least there’s no better time like this- when you can work out your frustrations in front of an audience doing what you love to do.
 

Vinyl Film at the Radio Room 52909© Michael Klayman-001

Vinyl Film at the Radio Room 52909© Michael Klayman-012

They’re playing this weekend at Art Around Adams, go check ’em out.