U.K producer Jamie Smith has stepped out from the shadows of his role with moody trio The xx this year to release his solo debut, the vibrant and appropriately titled In Colour. Though he holds onto the ‘xx’ surname as a solo artist, his own work is of a much more upbeat, dancefloor-appropriate nature. He brought all this into focus last Sunday night at a sold-out Royale gig, performing a 90-plus minute set that seamlessly blended certified summer anthems like “Gosh” and the prominently-Young Thug-featuring ”I Know There’s Gonna Be (Good Times)” with remixes and crate-digging obscurities (on actual vinyl, to boot). Plus, he earned style points with a room full of mirror balls and an elaborate light show. Check out photos from the evening after the jump. Read the rest of this entry →
It’s been rough going for a Sonic Youth fan since 2011. The band’s indefinite hiatus in the wake of Thurston Moore and Kim Gordon’s separation has gradually revealed itself to be a permanent dissolution, much to our collective disappointment. Although 2009’s The Eternal was a solid record to go out on, the simultaneous dissolution of one of alternative rock’s great bands and power couples can’t help but feel like a story with a downer ending. Thankfully, though, there has been an upside to all this. Time apart has given the former Youths time to delve into a diverse and rewarding body of solo work. Lee Ranaldo has pursued his inner Neil Young with The Dust, Steve Shelley’s spent time in the studio and on the road with Sun Kil Moon (as well as multiple ex-bandmates), Kim has continued pushing the envelope with her noise/drone project Body/Head, and Thurston has only pushed further toward peak-Thurstonism with Chelsea Light Moving and, now, The Thurston Moore Band. Read the rest of this entry →
August 2, 2015 in Photos
Remember last September? Kind of a while ago. I shot 3 rolls of Ilford 400 on my Elan at the fall edition of Boston Calling and got them developed…last month. Someday I’ll get into a proper schedule for shooting and developing film, but obviously not today. Anyway, enjoy a throwback to one of BC’s stronger lineups, including The National, The Replacements, Spoon, Lorde, Nas, The Hold Steady and many more. I tend to set my journalistic objectivity aside when shooting film for myself at events like this, so the ratio of photographs of Paul Westerberg to those of Twenty-One Pilots is naturally a bit skewed. Read the rest of this entry →
August 1, 2015 in Photos
Wilco’s Solid Sound Festival returned to the MASS MOCA back in June, featuring two headlining sets from its hosts along with performances from Real Estate, Mac DeMarco, Speedy Ortiz, Parquet Courts and many more. I photographed the weekend for Tastemakers, and took some 35mm shots for posterity. I opted for a pocket-sized option rather than lugging around a third SLR all weekend, so these were captured with a manual focus/aperture-priority Olympus XA. It’s a tricky device to nail focus on, but after a year and a half of owning it I feel I’m sort of getting the hang of it. Film is your standard Fuji 400. Read the rest of this entry →
July 8, 2015 in Photos
Ah June. A strange month of music-going. In-between steady shooting gigs and in the midst of moving, I managed to catch a strange combination of newspaper assignments and last-minute shows which covered everything from Rush to Richard Thompson and Refused before concluding at a sweaty Ceremony show at Somerville’s Cuisine en Locale. I left the concluding set of Wilco’s Solid Sound Festival in Western Mass early in order to drive straight back to Boston and make this show, fortuitously aided by a fire alarm that pushed the set times back a good 45 minutes. Michigan’s Pity Sex opened with an agreeable set of shoegaze-y noise-pop before Ceremony utterly decimated the place. Somehow striking a coherent balance between the teeth-baring hardcore of their early records and the ghostly post-punk of May’s The L Shaped Man, the Rohnert Park, CA crew moved deftly between tensely coiled new songs and old ones that started the kind of mosh pits that make you genuinely fear for your safety. Try not to feel at least a slight surge of terror-fueled adrenaline when a swarm of people nearly knocks over a very tall and very heavy P.A. stack you happened to be shooting in the shadows of. Photos of all the glorious chaos below. Read the rest of this entry →
May 29, 2015 in Photos
Sometimes there are three shows happening on one night that you’d want to shoot. Sometimes you decide that Mastodon would be cool but you don’t actually want to see Clutch. Sometimes you can’t find an email address for Primal Scream’s North American publicist. Sometimes you decide you’ll just go to the Lightning Bolt show because what the hell, you’ve been waiting too long to see Lightning Bolt. Sometime the Lightning Bolt show sells out. Sometimes a kind man hands you a ticket to the Lighting Bolt show and you scramble inside to take some photos an hour later than planned. Sometimes you post those photos (which sometimes also feature (New England) Patriots and Skimask).
January 17, 2015 in Photos
Genre-bending Brooklyn experimentalists Zs played one of the early shows I reviewed for this blog way back at the end of 2012. They were mindblowing then, and they’re mindblowing now. The cramped confines of the packed basement at JP’s Deep Thoughts offered a different experience than the cavernous space at Studio Soto did last time around, but seeing the band in a more intimate space only reinforced how impressive their live show is. And who doesn’t dig that single red lightbulb aesthetic?
Zs have a new record out on Northern Spy real soon. Click on for more photos from the show.
January 7, 2015 in Photos
It was a busy end of summer, a busy entirety of fall and a busy beginning of winter – I did not have very much time to scan film. Now, however, the mystery of the 6 rolls of Ilford 400 I shot at my two big summer festivals this year have been revealed. Enjoy Chicago’s Pitchfork Music Festival below (featuring Beck, Kendrick Lamar, St. Vincent, Real Estate, Slowdive, Deafheaven, Sun Kil Moon and numerous others), and the Newport Folk Fest in the following post. Read the rest of this entry →
July 24, 2014 in Photos
The inaugural Deathwish Fest, a 2-night extravaganza celebrating New England’s preeminent metal/hardcore label, went down at Cambridge’s Middle East Downstairs this week. The mini-festival hosted a total of 14 bands, highlighted by two headlining sets each from Converge and Trap Them. I was thoroughly dismayed to learn that my trip to Chicago for Pitchfork Festival would overlap with most of it, but I did manage to make it into Boston for the final four sets of last night. I don’t have time to write about them now but suffice to say they ruled. Check out some photos below. Read the rest of this entry →