Inch at Casbah, 2/16/11

Inch at Casbah 21611 © Michael Klayman-003

To see Inch play the songs I’ve loved for years was truly special. Family, friends, and special guests abounded. Click on a photo to go to the full gallery.

Inch at Casbah 21611 © Michael Klayman-005

And to see it where it was born was even better. Stimy’s presense was everywhere, and even though they had all the lyrics printed out big on stage, I didn’t need any of them to sing along.

Inch at Casbah 21611 © Michael Klayman-006

Inch at Casbah 21611 © Michael Klayman-008

Gimbel and McHank led the singalong for everyone else.

Inch at Casbah 21611 © Michael Klayman-009

Inch at Casbah 21611 © Michael Klayman-016

Inch at Casbah 21611 © Michael Klayman-015

Inch at Casbah 21611 © Michael Klayman-017

Inch at Casbah 21611 © Michael Klayman-012

Death is tough on the living and never comes at the right time. Some people are taken way too young and it seems especially cruel when it is someone who had so much possibility ahead of them. All we can do is numb our pain with the best medicine we have- their reflection in the music they left for us as well as in our friends’ eyes.

Click on a photo to go to the full gallery.

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All Images Copyright © Michael Klayman 2011, All Rights Reserved.
It’s nice to ask for permission before downloading or linking to them.

Creedle at Casbah, 2/16/11

Creedle played a much tighter show for Stimy’s memorial than the last time they played at the Casbah. Click on a photo to go to the full gallery.

Creedle at Casbah 21611 © Michael Klayman-008

Creedle at Casbah 21611 © Michael Klayman-010

With so many other photographers popping flashes all night, I did some experiments in off-camera flash using a sync-cable. What follows is a much different look than the usual.

Creedle at Casbah 21611 © Michael Klayman-011

Creedle at Casbah 21611 © Michael Klayman-012

Creedle at Casbah 21611 © Michael Klayman-013

Creedle at Casbah 21611 © Michael Klayman-016

Just like during a sunset, the most dramatic lighting comes in low and from the side. By holding the flash just out of the left side of the frame, I could get a bright subject with lots of texture in front of a dark background.

Creedle at Casbah 21611 © Michael Klayman-017

I’m no Marty Watson, but I try. Click on a photo to go to the full gallery.

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All Images Copyright © Michael Klayman 2011, All Rights Reserved.
It’s nice to ask for permission before downloading or linking to them.

Fluf at Casbah, 2/16/11

This was my first chance to see Fluf. They were amazing. Click on a photo to go to the full gallery.

Fluf at Casbah 21611 © Michael Klayman-001

O. is just one of those people who is good at anything he touches.

Fluf at Casbah 21611 © Michael Klayman-005

TMNT drums. I wouldn’t believe it if I didn’t see it for myself.

Fluf at Casbah 21611 © Michael Klayman-010

They brought up a guest bassist for some songs.

Fluf at Casbah 21611 © Michael Klayman-007

Fluf at Casbah 21611 © Michael Klayman-009

Fluf at Casbah 21611 © Michael Klayman-014

Fluf at Casbah 21611 © Michael Klayman-016

Click on a photo to go to the full gallery.

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All Images Copyright © Michael Klayman 2011, All Rights Reserved.
It’s nice to ask for permission before downloading or linking to them.

Shutterspeed at Eleven, 2/8/11

After Sunless played in my post last week I got up on stage with my band, the very hastily named and thrown together Shutterspeed. I jammed once with Nathan Hubbard the previous week, and we threw together a group in a matter of hours to fill a slot and help out Sal. Since I was playing I wasn’t shooting, but my friend Tim Fears captured the moment. He also lent me his distortion pedal for the gig, what a guy!

 I don’t post other people’s images on this blog, so if you want to see how funny I look on stage, check out the photos and the Full HD video on his website.

Thanks TIm!

Skydiver at Casbah, 2/16/11

Stimy’s Memorial show happened last week at the Casbah, and I was honored to be asked to shoot the show for Kira and Joe. My photos of the people at the show are already up on Facebook, but I’m not sure if I want to put them up on Flickr or not. I shot most of the bands that night too, and I’ll post the photos one band at a time.

I’ll save my usual “witty banter” and photo geekery for some other time. Some of these bands haven’t played together in many years and they were missing a key member too, so there’s no need to critique the music. It was greatifying to see all these people able to get together and celebrate Stimy in the best possible way.

First up was Skydiver. Click on a photo to go to the full gallery.

Skydiver at Casbah 21611 © Michael Klayman-001

Skydiver at Casbah 21611 © Michael Klayman-003

OK, just a little photo geekery. I left this set pretty much as I saw it so that I would have a visible
record of what it looks like almost straight out of the camera. Casbah, you MUST install these lights permanently. They are gorgeous! I know you changed out the gels in the front spots and they are brighter than they used to be, thanks, but this is just so much better. These lights, this stage, and me- we could all make such beautiful music together.

Skydiver at Casbah 21611 © Michael Klayman-004

Skydiver at Casbah 21611 © Michael Klayman-007

Skydiver at Casbah 21611 © Michael Klayman-021

Skydiver at Casbah 21611 © Michael Klayman-010

Skydiver at Casbah 21611 © Michael Klayman-008

Skydiver at Casbah 21611 © Michael Klayman-016

I also did a quick group shot of them as they were loading out.

People at Stimy Memorial Show at Casbah 21611 © Michael Klayman-020

Click on a photo to go to the full gallery.

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All Images Copyright © Michael Klayman 2011, All Rights Reserved.
It’s nice to ask for permission before downloading or linking to them.

Sunless at Eleven, 2/8/11

It’s funny how things work out sometimes. I got a message from Sal at Eleven saying that he had two bands cancel on him for that night, and did I know anyone that could play last minute? A couple emails later, and I found myself playing the show that night in a totally thrown together group with Nathan Hubbard, Harley Magsino, and another guitarist named Joe. At this point, Shutterspeed was a one-time thing, unless someone needs an opener on a saturday night, but only for the next 3-4 months. So yeah, probably a one-time thing.

Sal ended up booking himself on the bill too, along with a few of his Dead Ghosts bandmates. Tonight, they played a set consisting of one 45-minute song, full of guitar noodling and chuffage. This was the perfect night to play as Sunless.

Click on a photo to go to the full gallery.

Sunless at Eleven 20811 © Michael Klayman-001

Yup, as in Earthless. They wrote the set in 3.5 minutes that afternoon and then proceeded to jam out to space.

Sunless at Eleven 20811 © Michael Klayman-003

It was pretty dim and the picnic tables were still out, so I just shot a couple normal shots, and then tinkered with my roto-panning.

Sunless at Eleven 20811 © Michael Klayman-005

Sunless at Eleven 20811 © Michael Klayman-006

It gets easier as you practice, just keep the subject in the very center of the frame and rotate along the lens axis.

Sunless at Eleven 20811 © Michael Klayman-008

While it was a really sparse audience that night, but the few who were there were interesting.

Sunless at Eleven 20811 © Michael Klayman-009

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All Images Copyright © Michael Klayman 2011, All Rights Reserved.
It’s nice to ask for permission before downloading or linking to them.

Goodbye Blue Monday, Manuok at Casbah, 2/4/11

By the time I was ready to shoot, John Meeks was off the stage and Manuok was starting.

Click on a photo to go to the full gallery. Like my Facebook page to get notified of new shows as I post them!

Manuok at Casbah 20411 © Michael Klayman-001

Scott Mercado and Co. delivered a really rocking set, much more uptempo than some of his recent music.

Manuok at Casbah 20411 © Michael Klayman-008 

Manuok at Casbah 20411 © Michael Klayman-005

Manuok at Casbah 20411 © Michael Klayman-011

I can’t wait to hear it again.

Manuok at Casbah 20411 © Michael Klayman-006

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I wasn’t going to many shows back when Goodbye Blue Monday was playing a few years ago, and I never had a chance to see them. I’ve heard enough of their stuff to know they would have been a favorite, though.

Goodbye Blue Monday at Casbah 20411 © Michael Klayman-001

Goodbye Blue Monday at Casbah 20411 © Michael Klayman-008

Goodbye Blue Monday at Casbah 20411 © Michael Klayman-009

Since I might never see them on stage together again, I tried several post-processing looks with this one set.

Goodbye Blue Monday at Casbah 20411 © Michael Klayman-013

I really dig that shirt. If someone can get me one of them, I’ll be eternally greateful. Maybe look in your closet or basement.

Goodbye Blue Monday at Casbah 20411 © Michael Klayman-019

Goodbye Blue Monday at Casbah 20411 © Michael Klayman-007

Goodbye Blue Monday at Casbah 20411 © Michael Klayman-014

I’m happy to have a chance to see them, even if it’s just once.

Click on a photo to go to the full gallery. Like my Facebook page to get notified of new shows as I post them!

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All Images Copyright © Michael Klayman 2011, All Rights Reserved.
It’s nice to ask for permission before downloading or linking to them.

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Swim Party, X-Ray Press at Tin Can Alehouse, 2/3/11

What can get me out of the house on a Thursday night? How about seeing the first time Fever Sleeves and Swim Party share a stage? I chose to drink and chat with friends while enjoying Fever Sleeves’ set. It was quite death metal.

Sandwiched in between was Seattle’s X-Ray Press, who brought down Mike Sparks from Mister Metaphor and By Sunlight.

Click on a photo to go to the full gallery.

X-Ray Press at Tin Can 20311 © Michael Klayman-001

Mike gave me a few albums of his that I haven’t been able to find elsewhere. That was very nice of him.

X-Ray Press at Tin Can 20311 © Michael Klayman-003

These guys are pure math rock. It’s impossible to keep the beat straight when they do their best to confuse the rhythm. I think one metric to rate success in this style is by how well the group can sound as tight as possible while playing rhythms as random as possible.

X-Ray Press at Tin Can 20311 © Michael Klayman-006

Their CD makes more sense with each subsequent listen. I’m just beginning to enjoy it now.

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After my last post, Natalie asked for more photo-geekery, and she’s going to get it. It works out well that she plays in Swim Party and I can embarrasss her twice with one post. Let’s talk about this photo:

Swim Party at Tin Can 20311 © Michael Klayman-013

The photo above has a few compositional elements that any beginning photographer will recognize. Placing the subject’s face a third of the way up and to the right of the frame, also known as a power point. It’s the quickest way to make an image more dynamic. The intersection of lines at the face also creates a strong lead for the eye to follow to the subject. I also tried to create balance by having Natalie be a big subject on one side of the frame and Petro being a small secondary subject on the other side of the frame. A small subject can balance a larger subject as if they were on a seesaw. It just depends where they sit.

Diagonal lines are much more powerful than straight lines. I made a choice a couple years ago to give my self a certain amount of freedom in tilting the camera to create more diagonals when I can make it adhere more closely to the other “rules” of photography. Besides the highest contrast line of the edge of the ceiling, there are also diagonals in the keyboard, beads, and mic stand. The mic stand visually closes off the top left corner, keeping the eye moving inwards towards the subject. I could mention the light stand, but they do the same thing compositionally. The keyboard and beads not only fulfill the same role, but they are made up of repeating lines, also a strong compositional element. Bonus: the keys’ repeating pattern points towards the subject, which is also interacting with it by Natalie having her hand on it, playing. This helps to relate foreground to background, once again drawing the eye through the image.

If we look at the high contrast areas of the scene, the dark subject is rimmed by brighter areas. Natalie’s face is set off from the background, in this case the light ceiling. Her right arm is set off by the bright light stand next to it. I could have improved this image a bit more by darkening the edges of the frame to draw the eye in even more. I could have added even more contrast, but my opinion is that effects should be too subtle to be able to point out.

Triangles are a strong shape in photography. The more you can incorporate into an image, especially ones that relate to the main subject, the better. I can count about 20 triangles in this image, thanks to having more diagonal lines by tilting the camera. You can see an obvious triangle in the ceiling, but there are also triangles in the lines created between the keyboard and Natalie, her arms and the keyboard, the mic stand and the edge of the frame, and the upper and lower parts of her left arm.

The color did not support what I was trying to achieve compositionally, so I chose to convert to B&W. I love the colors on this stage, but sometimes they distract from an image rather than adding meaning to it.

I have a bad joke about how important timing is to photography, music, and comedy. Basically, timing is everything. What the greats call “the decisive moment” is something that I’ll be spending my life trying to capture more often. No matter how expensive a camera is, it can’t do three incredibly important things:

1. Where to stand
2. Where to point it
3. When to click the shutter

In this case, I kept the camera low in order to achieve the framing I wanted. Ntalie was shaking a, well, shaker, so I took a few shots both on and off the beat to get different hand positions. I do this with drummers a lot to place their sticks where I want them, and with guitarists I try to get their fingers playing the better looking chord shapes. Power chords are good, G chords look like they’re flipping the bird, so I try to avoid those.

And yes, I go through this mental process with every photo. I know I’m beginning to get the hang of this because I spend less time thinking about it and more time doing it. Let’s move on.

Swim Party at Tin Can 20311 © Michael Klayman-003

 
Petro is awesome, by the way.

Swim Party at Tin Can 20311 © Michael Klayman-008

I couldn’t help giving him some hair.

Swim Party at Tin Can 20311 © Michael Klayman-020

On their own, the next three shots of Alex are fine, but as a tryptch, they work better.

Swim Party at Tin Can 20311 © Michael Klayman-023

Swim Party at Tin Can 20311 © Michael Klayman-024

Swim Party at Tin Can 20311 © Michael Klayman-025

Despite being a little soft, that last shot of Alex might be my favorite capture of him.

Swim Party at Tin Can 20311 © Michael Klayman-006

Swim Party at Tin Can 20311 © Michael Klayman-007

Should we talk about playing warm vs. cool colors, contrasting shapes and sizes, and setting the background brightness to provide context without stealing focus from the subject? No? Ok, then I’ll just let this photo talk about it:

Swim Party at Tin Can 20311 © Michael Klayman-019

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All Images Copyright © Michael Klayman 2008-2011, All Rights Reserved.
Please ask for permission before downloading or linking to them.