Jason Robinson Quintet at Dizzy’s, 12/18/10

After a massive group shot at Black Box Studios, Heather and I found
ourselves with a couple hours to kill before Dizzy’s. We ended up at the
Yardhouse simply because we found parking, but I was in love before I
even sat down. 100 taps, with Fuller’s ESB right next to the Kostritzer! Of course I had to have one of each, and then Heather found the Dogfish Head 90 minute IPA on tap. I got her into watching Bremasters, so she had to try the beer she’s seen on the show. It’s strong. Needless to say, by the time we got to Dizzy’s (she drove), I was a bit tipsy.

I’m telling a long story up front because:

1. The Yardhouse is awesome.

2. I can’t  really say much about the music, now that this show was almost two weeks ago. At the time, I was paying all of my attention to keeping my hands steady as I held the camera. Image stabilized lenses help.

Click on a photo to go to the full gallery.

Jason Robinson Quintet at Dizzy's 121810 © Michael Klayman-001

Any other night, I would have just left the camera in the car and enjoyed the show, but I’ve never had a chance to hear my two favorite San Diego horn players share a stage.

Jason Robinson Quintet at Dizzy's 121810 © Michael Klayman-020

Jason Robinson is on winter break from the snows of western Mass, so he put together a show to celebrate Wayne Shorter’s mid-60s music. Hearing Gilbert’s take on Miles’s lines is cool, remembering them would be even better.

Jason Robinson Quintet at Dizzy's 121810 © Michael Klayman-019

As my own tribute to the 60s, I processed my shots as a nod to the famous monotone color schemes of all those Blue Note records. I did this for the first time on Ian Tordella’s show at Dizzy’s, but this time went with a more restrained look. Ian played a few songs this night as well, but the camera was away by that point.

Jason Robinson Quintet at Dizzy's 121810 © Michael Klayman-016

Jason Robinson Quintet at Dizzy's 121810 © Michael Klayman-006

People seem to like the detail shots, so here’s a few.

Jason Robinson Quintet at Dizzy's 121810 © Michael Klayman-011

Jason Robinson Quintet at Dizzy's 121810 © Michael Klayman-012

Jason Robinson Quintet at Dizzy's 121810 © Michael Klayman-021

You can catch Jason at one of his upcoming SoCal gigs with Cosmologic, and you can catch Gilbert tomorrow night at El Camino!

Jason Robinson Quintet at Dizzy's 121810 © Michael Klayman-018

Kenseth Thibodeaux at Til Two Club, 12/17/10

After leaving Eleven, I drove down the road to the New Til Two Club. Which is really a throwback to the original name of the place, way beforer it was the Beauty Bar. Whatever, the only difference I could see was the new booths in place of hair dryers. The stage lighting is just as bad as ever.

Click on a photo to go to the full gallery.

Kenseth Thibodeaux at Til Two 121710 © Michael Klayman-001

Kenseth Thibodeaux has surrounded himself with friends to create a sonic tapestry of interwoven lines. My drummer friend Nathan Hubbard shows up yet again in a non-traditional musical setting.

Kenseth Thibodeaux at Til Two 121710 © Michael Klayman-011

One thing you don’t see very often is 3 bass orchestration. The sound was thick. Kenseth also provided whispered vocals in places.

Kenseth Thibodeaux at Til Two 121710 © Michael Klayman-007

Kenseth Thibodeaux at Til Two 121710 © Michael Klayman-013

Kenseth Thibodeaux at Til Two 121710 © Michael Klayman-010

Kenseth Thibodeaux at Til Two 121710 © Michael Klayman-003

In the Red at Eleven, 12/17/10

In the Red at Eleven 121710 © Michael Klayman-001

I’m really impressed with what I’ve heard at a couple In The Red shows. Killer metal.

In the Red at Eleven 121710 © Michael Klayman-007

In the Red at Eleven 121710 © Michael Klayman-009

Next time I’ll ask them where the name In The Red came from. I kept things pretty red in the photos in honor of that name, regardless of its origins.

In the Red at Eleven 121710 © Michael Klayman-008

In the Red at Eleven 121710 © Michael Klayman-010

I was really bummed to miss Archons’ set, but I needed to be on my way to the next club to check out some new music.

Just so you know, most of what I shoot is all done for free, for my own enjoyment. I’m flattered that people think I’m a pro and making a living at this, but sadly that’s not the case.

I need to pay some holiday bills, just like everybody else, so if you’d be at all interested in having me come out and shoot your band, please let me know. I can do live shots and promos. My fee is pretty much the equivalent of each member buying me a couple drinks.  Basically, not free but not expensive.

Miss Erika Davies at Riviera Supper Club, 12/13/10

Miss Erika Davies at Riviera 121310 © Michael Klayman-005

Monday nights aren’t for going out often, but Riviera had a brat and beer special, and I’ve been looking for an excuse to go see Miss Erika Davies. I’ve heard good things. Click on a photo to go to the full gallery.

Miss Erika Davies at Riviera 121310 © Michael Klayman-002

One thing I’ve learned from shooting Nena Anderson here a while back is that I really have to embrace the slow shutter speed blur, unless I use a little bit of flash, as above.

Miss Erika Davies at Riviera 121310 © Michael Klayman-018

I think it works better in this case, because Erika’s voice and look are both beautifully imperfect. Notes flow into each other in unexpected ways and it’s the slightly cracks and slurs which lend an endearing quality to the songs.

Miss Erika Davies at Riviera 121310 © Michael Klayman-019

Holding it down behind her was Jon Ji and the Wheeler twins from Scarlet Symphony. Having shot Scarlet Symphony a couple times before, I thought I had their sound pegged, but they’re more than just crazy rockers, they can lay down a jazzy groove too.

Miss Erika Davies at Riviera 121310 © Michael Klayman-014

Erika is very emotive in her use of hands too. For a photographer, it’s a joy to try and capture the gestures and facial expressions.

Miss Erika Davies at Riviera 121310 © Michael Klayman-012

Miss Erika Davies at Riviera 121310 © Michael Klayman-011

Miss Erika Davies at Riviera 121310 © Michael Klayman-015

Miss Erika Davies at Riviera 121310 © Michael Klayman-003

Next time, I hope to see her on a stage with some lights. Then I’ll be able to make her really look like the star that she is.

Miss Erika Davies at Riviera 121310 © Michael Klayman-009

The Bad Plus at Anthology, 12/8/10

Anthology 120810 © Michael Klayman-003

The Bad Plus is a controversial group in Jazz circles. Just like when Ornette Coleman threw chord changes out the window, these guys have been labeled jazz punks for throwing the Great American Songbook out the very same window and playing the music that they grew up with.

Click on a photo to go to the full gallery.

Anthology 120810 © Michael Klayman-016

Defenstration would be a great name for a TBP tune.

Anthology 120810 © Michael Klayman-008

Jazz musicians are always full of surprises, starting with the opening tune, “Everywhere You Turn”, off of their Vistas album. A slow building creeper which smolders in its restraint. It was the oppposite of what I expected.

Anthology 120810 © Michael Klayman-006

Drummer Dave King is the most outgoing of the group. He had no problem letting people know how much he enjoyed his job.

Anthology 120810 © Michael Klayman-009

Anthology 120810 © Michael Klayman-015

Midway through the show, I realized that they hadn’t played a cover yet. For a band who’s known for using old rock tunes as inspiration, this was a bold statement. Their new album, Never Stop, has no covers either.

Anthology 120810 © Michael Klayman-033

Anthology 120810 © Michael Klayman-034

The amount of interplay and listening going on among the trio was palpable. The only other trio that can turn on a dime like them would be the rhythm section in Miles’ second quintet in the 60s. They drew from their entire (original) catalog until the second encore, when they finally broke the tension with Aphex Twin’s, “Flim”.

Anthology 120810 © Michael Klayman-010

Being this close to this music is absolutely electric.

Anthology 120810 © Michael Klayman-017

Thanks to Owl and Bear for the pass.

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Dinner and tour at Stone Brewery Gardens, 11/4/10

My parents visited last month, and for my b-day dinner we went to Stone Brewery’s Gardens in Escondido. We started with a flight of Stone beer, all the regular stuff most San Diegans know and love. My dad was not a fan.

Mom and Dad Visit 110410 © Michael Klayman-002

But my mom liked the Levitation ale.

Mom and Dad Visit 110410 © Michael Klayman-003

Heather was quite happy sipping her Belgian beer with an unpronouncable name.

Mom and Dad Visit 110410 © Michael Klayman-004

Heather can’t resist a pretzel on a menu, but I was feeling adventurous and started with the Beer Cheese Soup, made with Stone IPA. Next time I make brats at home, I’ll try using it as my braising liquid.

Mom and Dad Visit 110410 © Michael Klayman-006

Mom and Dad Visit 110410 © Michael Klayman-007

Mom and Dad Visit 110410 © Michael Klayman-008

Mom and Dad Visit 110410 © Michael Klayman-011

Mom and Dad Visit 110410 © Michael Klayman-012

For dessert, we all shared a brownie explosion.

Mom and Dad Visit 110410 © Michael Klayman-013

We timed our exit so that we could slip in to the next group going on the brewery tour.

Mom and Dad Visit 110410 © Michael Klayman-014

Phil MacNitt, guitar player for the E-Team, was our tour guide. He started the tour by saying how happy he is to be working at a job where it’s expected that he drink beer. I just can’t seem to get away from musicians, even in Escondido.

Mom and Dad Visit 110410 © Michael Klayman-015

Mom and Dad Visit 110410 © Michael Klayman-016

My mom, being the precise microbiologist that she is, was very interested in how they handle the yeast and conrtol the various brewing processes. Most everyone else just wanted to get through so they could get the free beer at the end. Free beer is always the sweetest, even if it is incredibly bitter.

Mom and Dad Visit 110410 © Michael Klayman-018

Bob Boss Trio at Harry’s Bar, Cucina Urbana, 12/4/10

Heather and I went on a mission to hit as many fun things as we could on Saturday night before dinner. One thing that’s amazing to me is how we can see world class musicians playing a casual gig at a bar.

Click on a photo to go to the full gallery.

Harrys Bar 120410 © Michael Klayman-001

Duncan Moore, Bob Magnusson, and Bob Boss weren’t playing in just any old bar, though. This is Harry’s Bar in across the street from the UTC mall. It’s a bit more upscale than most of the bars I find myself in, but the wine is good, and the music sublime.

Harrys Bar 120410 © Michael Klayman-004

I saw Bob Boss play at Gilbert’s jam a couple weeks ago, so when I saw he was playing 5 minutes from our house, I knew this would be a good place to get our first drink of the night.

Harrys Bar 120410 © Michael Klayman-003

Harrys Bar 120410 © Michael Klayman-002

From La Jolla, we went to South Park to say hi to my friend Alisha at her photo show. Then, on to South Park Abbey so Heather could try some new Belgian beers, which she’s developing a taste for. Allagash Curieaux is awesome.

The main event of the night was meeting our friends John and Laura for dinner at Cucina Urbana.

Cucina Urbana 120410 © Michael Klayman-001

We all shared the Burnt Brussel Sprouts appetizer. The char was quite tasty, but the sprouts were swimming in a curiously spicy sauce which we found overwhelming.

Cucina Urbana 120410 © Michael Klayman-002

We tried one of the cheese vasi before dinner too. The crusty bread complimented the creamy spread very well. It was a tame choice, and I would have liked to try one of the more exotic options. Next time.

Cucina Urbana 120410 © Michael Klayman-004

The dinners are freshly made with the freshest ingredients. I’m not a big fan of Italian food at restaurants, but this was flavorful without being heavy and dense.

Cucina Urbana 120410 © Michael Klayman-005
 

Cucina Urbana 120410 © Michael Klayman-006

Heather got the flat iron steak, but I thought the onion was prettier.

Cucina Urbana 120410 © Michael Klayman-007

My lasagna was great, and big enough to leave me lunch the next day.

Cucina Urbana 120410 © Michael Klayman-008

Dessert was a chocolate boudin with chocolate whipped cream and a salted chocolate cookie. A sweet way to end a wonderful evening.

Cucina Urbana 120410 © Michael Klayman-009

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Fire Eaters at Bar Pink, 12/1/10

Last week’s soul revue at Bar Pink brought out many of San Diego’s best ensembles. But it was a Wednesday and my back was killing me, so I only shot one band- the Fire Eaters.

Fire Eaters at Bar Pink 120110 © Michael Klayman-003

You’ve seen me shoot 80% of the members in other bands around town, including Bankhead Press, MutantSpaceBoy, and Blackout Party.  Click on a photo to go to the full gallery.

Fire Eaters at Bar Pink 120110 © Michael Klayman-010

Fire Eaters at Bar Pink 120110 © Michael Klayman-031

The first time I heard Jesse Bowen play with Silverleaf, it didn’t strike me as too special a band, but he’s a really good bass player who can hold it down with Blackout Party as well.

Fire Eaters at Bar Pink 120110 © Michael Klayman-020

Fire Eaters at Bar Pink 120110 © Michael Klayman-029

Fire Eaters at Bar Pink 120110 © Michael Klayman-023

Fire Eaters at Bar Pink 120110 © Michael Klayman-025

Soul is alive and well in San Diego these days. I owe it to myself to see Styletones here for one of their last Monday night shows at Bar Pink. It sounds like a huge party.

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Red Fox Tails, Mattson 2 at Soda Bar, 11/27/10

Red Fox Tails Group Shots at Soda Bar 112710 © Michael Klayman-001

The Red Fox Tails chilling at the Soda Bar before the show. Click on any photo to go to the full gallery.

Red Fox Tails Group Shots at Soda Bar 112710 © Michael Klayman-003

Red Fox Tails Group Shots at Soda Bar 112710 © Michael Klayman-004

I was interested in seeing the Mattson 2 perform. They’ve got their own brand of surf jazz going on, and have been heralded by many publications and fellow musicians. Even Bert Turetzky is a fan.

Mattson 2 at Soda Bar 112710 © Michael Klayman-001

The casual nature of the gig let the young twins leave the suits at home and wear something more comfortable. Jared used a looper to create backing lines which he could solo over.

Mattson 2 at Soda Bar 112710 © Michael Klayman-009

Mattson 2 at Soda Bar 112710 © Michael Klayman-005

Last time I shot a doubleneck guitar was El Ten Eleven, so I repeated one of my favorite shots from that set.

Mattson 2 at Soda Bar 112710 © Michael Klayman-007

They put on a really fun show and hopefully I can check them out in suits next time.

Mattson 2 at Soda Bar 112710 © Michael Klayman-011

I experimented with a few new  post processing techniques that I haven’t worked with too much. I tried to take the color as far away from the original for both bands, while still retaining the spirit of the music. Less noticeably, I switched from a rule of thirds crop overlay to a golden ratio overlay, which moves the power points of the intersecting lines to slightly different positions. With this new ratio in mind, the crops should feel a little different, as the intersections happen a bit closer to the center.

Red Fox at Soda Bar 112710 © Michael Klayman-003

With Red Fox Tails, I used the same crop overlay with a different color scheme in mind. This time converting to B&W and using heavy split toning to create the look.

Red Fox at Soda Bar 112710 © Michael Klayman-006

Drummers don’t usually get a lot of photo love, so I paid special attention to Ron this time. I even hopped up on stage for a minute to get right up to him.

Red Fox at Soda Bar 112710 © Michael Klayman-007

Red Fox at Soda Bar 112710 © Michael Klayman-001

Red Fox at Soda Bar 112710 © Michael Klayman-008

It’s always a blast seeing friends play.

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