Thursday, September 30, 2010

Image Of The Day-"Lewis Takes Off His Shirt"

Owen Pallett
Carnegie Music Hall
Saturday September 25, 2010

Owen opened for The National and I have to say I was pleasantly surprised. I didn't think I would be into his music but I was. I am starting to really love this venue. Lately the acoustics have been superb and as a photog, I am fortunate enough to get a front row perspective of the beautiful surroundings.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Image Of The Day-"The Moth"

Aimee Mann
Blake Hazard
New Hazlett Theater
Wednesday September 22, 2010

So I was shooting this show for WYEP and as custom, I had to secure a photo pass beforehand. As is more common than not, no one at the venue knew of such pass. These situations take patience and tact and I finally got the go ahead a few minutes before she came on that I had one song to shoot, no flash. As I think I've said before, flash is for amateurs and I was able to get a couple decent shots with no problem. Her three piece band sounded really good and she was surprisingly jovial. As an aside, I attempted to shoot the JP, Chrissie & The Fairground Boys show last night and never got a reply for my photo pass request. My buddy who went noticed that my name was indeed on the list and if I would have known, I would have been there. Oh well. More photos here, here and here.

Opener Blake Hazard

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

First/Last-Van Dyke Parks

Photo courtesy Big Hassle/Roman Cho

Van Dyke Parks w/Clare & The Reasons
The Andy Warhol Museum
Tuesday September 28, 2010

Van Dyke Parks is playing a show tonight at the Warhol Museum and he was so cool to participate in this installment of First/Last.

The first album you ever bought?
An EP- Mozart's Eine Kleine Nachtmusik and Divertimento in D.

Your last album bought?
Paolo Conte "Reveries" on Nonesuch.

Favorite album of all time?
Yo Yo Ma---Bach Cello Suites.

Least favorite/most disappointing album?
My lips are sealed.

First concert attended?

Last concert?
Rufus Wainwright at Hollywood Bowl.

Favorite concert ever?
Toscanini Mephistophele Prologue, Carnegie Hall '54.

Least favorite concert?

Any thoughts, experiences about Pittsburgh?
Parks Township, inc. 1742, a 10 Sq. mile tract, was granted to
my direct ancestor Robert Parks, by Wm Pitt the Elder, by George II.
It sits on Delaware land. On the banks if the mighty Kiskiminetas
River, whose waters spill into the scenic Youghiogheny--from thence
to the Monongahela, the Allegheny, and Ohio.
Parks waters quench the historic thirst of this metropolis.
If anyone asks you the secret of Pittsburgh's enlightenment, just say
"'s the water."!
I went to Carnegie Tech. Although I never graduated, I adopted Carnegie's
motto early on, to wit:
"My heart is in the work".

Thank you so much Mr. Parks. So that is what's up with the water here!

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Image Of The Day-"Bad Reputation"

Rock The Block
Alejandro Escovedo
Colonizing The Cosmos
Freedy Johnston
WYEP Community Broadcast Center
Saturday September 18, 2010
Bedford Square

This was my first time shooting WYEP's annual outdoor party and I have to say that I had a blast. You really couldn't have asked for a nicer night weather-wise and all three bands brought it. Can't wait till next year already. You can scroll through a bunch more of my (along with John's and Jennifer's) photos here.

Friday, September 24, 2010

First/Last-Joe Melba

Photo courtesy the band's myspace.

Ash Dinosaur

Howler's Coyote Cafe
Friday September 24, 2010

Ash Dinosaur is a local band that's playing Howler's tonight with Onodrim and Deprator. Go out and see live music people. You will thank me for it! Joe plays bass in the band and was cool enough to participate in this latest edition of First/Last Friday.

The first album you ever bought?
Excluding Weird Al records, it'd be The Outfield's "Rockeye". I liked one of their jams that was in a SPORTS ILLUSTRATED commercial from my youth.

Your last album bought?
Good Luck's "Into Lake Griffy’".

Favorite album of all time?
That's tough, but I'll go with The Minutemen's "double nickles on the dime".

Least favorite/most disappointing album?
Well, I can't say I have a "least favorite", but I've been pretty disappointed by the majority of Paul Westerberg's solo work.

First concert attended?
Metallica/Fight/Suicidal Tendencies, Starlake Amphitheatre, August 1994.

Last concert?
The last show I went to was The Harlan Twins @ fair in the park. In terms of "concerts" (ie: stuff @ big corporate venues), it'd be Flaming Lips @ Station Square in July.

Favorite concert ever?
Bonnaroo 2009, great lineup, met good people and went with my favorite person ever.

Least favorite concert?
I dunno, I've been to a lot of really terrible shows. I do remember seeing The Psychedelic Furs at the arts festival a few years back and noting that they just played horribly.

Favorite thoughts, experiences about Pittsburgh?
Pittsburgh rules. Anyone that says otherwise sucks!

Thanks Joe. I was actually at both of the last gigs you saw (Flaming Lips, Harlan Twins). Both great in their own way.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Image Of The Day-"Summer Wings"

Nik Westman & The Central Plains
WYEP Studios
Thursday September 16, 2010

This was such a great set. It was recorded for a podcast which you can grab here soon. The band was so tight. Plus, without the added distraction of a crowded, smoky bar full of noisy people, I could really get into the music. Nik is the man! More photos here and here.

Friday, September 17, 2010

First/Last-Don Miggs-Ticket Giveaway

Photo courtesy The Miggs

The Miggs
Ed Kowalcyzk
Thriving Ivory
Jack To My Friends
The Altar Bar
Sunday September 19, 2010
Strip District

So it's Friday and well, this train cannot be stopped. Looks like these little Q&A's are gonna continue on. The Miggs are rock band from Florida and are coming to town this weekend as support for Ed Kowalcyzk of Live fame. Courtesy of Rock Ridge Music, I have a pair of passes to give away to a lucky reader of this blog. To enter, just email me at with the subject line 'The Miggs'. Please supply your name for the folks at will call that will be good for two passes to the show on Sunday. The winner will be randomly chosen and contacted by tomorrow. As always, good luck. As a preview of sorts, bandleader Don Miggs was kind enough to participate in this, the return of First/Last Friday!

The first album you ever bought?
Cheap Trick-Dream Police.

Your last album bought?
Big Boi-Sir Luscious Left Foot, Ed Kowalczyk-Alive, Mumford & Sons-Sigh No More, Brandon Flowers-Flamingo. I tend to buy in bulk! LOL

Favorite album of all time?
1965 by the Afghan Whigs or U2’s Achtung Baby

Least favorite/most disappointing album?
Hmm, I have to insult someone? I tried but just didn’t get the first TV On The Radio CD, even with all the hype.

First concert attended?
Night Ranger with 38 Special. Thanks Uncle John.

Last concert?
Maroon 5 with Miggs!

Favorite concert ever?
Tough one! Stadium- U2, Arena- Michael Jackson, Club- Twilight Singers, House- Gareth Asher.

Least favorite concert?
Mandy Moore. Like watching paint dry but less exciting.

Any thoughts, experiences about Pittsburgh?
The people are like family. They will hug you as soon they hit you and are open to hearing good music. And the snow gets deep but that doesn’t stop the faithful from coming out.

Thanks Don. Better not run into Ryan Adams, dude! I also like your perceptions of Pittsburgh people. Maybe that's one reason I never left?

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Image Of The Day-"These Are The Days"

The Harlan Twins
A Fair in the Park
Mellon Park
Saturday September 11, 2010

I really do love this band. It's no accident that the first thing you see visiting this blog is a photo of them. Even though I've seen them play in daylight before, it's still so strange to see them rock out in front of sober people, me (and them) included. They are working on new material and I guarantee it's gonna be sweet!

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Image Of The Day-"City Lights"

Race The Ghost
A Fair in the Park
Mellon Park
Saturday September 11, 2010

I have never seen these guys play. Unfortunately, we were packing up kids for an afternoon in the park and arrived on their next to last song. That's officially the second time I missed them. Bummer, cause they sounded good. Next time fellas. More photos here.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Image Of The Day-"Cryin' Rooster"

Boom Chick
Thunderbird Cafe
Friday August 13, 2010

This Brooklyn based duo was sandwiched between a few local acts and were stunned at the energetic reception they got. Hey, a Friday night in Lawrenceville almost certainly gets a good response no matter who you are nowadays. Not taking anything away from them at all. They were surprisingly enjoyable, bashing through their 'garage blues' set as best they could being a two-piece and all.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Ticket Giveaway-Sea Wolf/Sera Cahoone/Patrick Park

Sea Wolf
Sera Cahoone
Patrick Park
Altar Bar
Friday September 24, 2010
Strip District

This is one great bill. I easily would have seen any of these artists by themselves. The fact that they are playing together makes this a must see show for me. Thanks to Drusky Entertainment, I have a pair of passes to give away.
As always, entering is really easy. Just email me at with the subject line 'Sea Wolf' and provide the name in the message that you want for the folks at will call the night of the show. This is good for you and a friend to attend. The show is all ages. The winner will be randomly picked and contacted on Saturday September 18. Good luck and I will hopefully see you there.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Image Of The Day-"World Sick"

Broken Social Scene
Byham Theater
Wednesday September 9, 2010

I have to admit, I was disappointed in this show. Their latest album is a top ten contender for me and my expectations were maybe too high for that reason. Several things marred this performance for me, first and foremost is that the band just didn't seem to be into it, despite the fact that Kevin came out and announced that he and Brendan were celebrating recent birthdays. Could they have been hung over? Last time they played here, Brendan was jumping all over the stage. This night he was a zombie. Four songs in, Lisa Lobsinger came out and sucked whatever minuscule life was left in the room to bring the performance to a dead stop. The other off thing was the room. I love the Byham. I just don't think it's suited for a rock show. Some people want to dance, some want to sit. This isn't the venue to accommodate for both. Maybe I am a bit too harsh but I was hoping for a stellar show and did not get one by a long shot. They were good, not great. More photos here.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Image Of The Day-"Jah Come Down"

Sierra Leone's Refugee All Stars
WYEP Studios
Thursday September 9, 2010

I didn't know anything about this band before this session and both my wife and I were blown away by their story. Many bands complain about lousy food or stinky vans while touring and these guys have dealt with losing family and friends in their home country. It sometimes takes a little perspective to understand how much most of us have here to appreciate it more. What's so remarkable is their music is just so joyous. First time I have seen audience members wanting to boogie so bad. The simple power of music is awesome. More photos here and here. The set will be up soon here.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Image Of The Day-"Got Such A Supple Wrist"

World Pinball Championship
Professional/Amateur Pinball Association Headquarters
Thursday August 12-Sunday August 15, 2010

So did you realize that the World Championship of pinball is held in an old warehouse every year in Carnegie? Yeah, I didn't either until I stumbled upon this event through a few different sources. I certainly had no idea what to expect but quickly found out this was serious business for the contestants. You can get all kinds of info in the above links but just being there as a spectator, I have to say it was a blast. The annual event is open to the public and I didn't realize in playing a few games how my childhood memories of spending countless hours (and quarters) in the neighborhood arcade came flooding back. I totally recommend visiting next year because remarkably the place is only open during the four days of the tournament.

Monday, September 6, 2010

Image Of The Day-"I'm Amazed"

My Morning Jacket
Trib Total Media Amphitheatre
Friday August 27, 2010
Station Square

I was really psyched to see this show because I have never seen them live before. The first time I had ever even heard of the band was when they were going to open for Guided By Voices at Rosebud in 2001. Unfortunately, the concert was cancelled and for some reason or another, I could never make any of their shows here since then. I have to say that they were incredible. What really struck me was that the sound was extremely loud and equally as clear. I cannot remember a more perfect 'sounding' show as this one. Add to the fact that they are all killer musicians backing Jim James voice and it easily turned out to be one of the best shows of the year for me. More photos here.