Monday, May 31, 2010

Image Of The Day-"Shut My Mouth"

Chet Vincent & The Big Bend
Mr. Smalls Studio
Wednesday May 26, 2010

Chet, along with Big Benders Andy and Abe, were in the studio (with Nate engineering) recording for an upcoming EP. As Chet was singing, I was in the room and I could only hear his vocals. It was an extremely melancholy song to begin with and without the music added there was a sadness to it that was compelling. I just love getting the opportunity to be able to experience things like that. More images here.

Friday, May 28, 2010

Ticket Giveaway-Brandi Carlile

Brandi Carlile
w/ The Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra
Wednesday June 30, 2010
Heinz Hall

I hardly ever do ticket giveaways here but this is a huge exception. My dear friends at the PSO are offering up a pair of passes for readers of this blog to the one off performance with Brandi. Now, just to put this in perspective, her band will be playing with an orchestra. Our world class orchestra! Her next gig will be her first of two dates on the long awaited Lilith Fair the following week. Thinking back, I can't believe I missed the Ben Folds show with them, which by some accounts was a contender for the concert of the year. This will be just as special. I am thrilled that the symphony folks are teaming contemporary 'rock' stars in a classical setting. Imagine the future possibilities!

Please send an email to my other with the subject line Brandi.
I know am I going to get a ton of responses and don't fret if you aren't randomly picked.Well, do fret because as with my past experience, these will be primo seats! The contest will close on June 23rd when I contact the winner. Good luck!

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Image Of The Day-"The Saturnine Starfarer's Society"

Colonizing The Cosmos
WYEP Studios
Thursday May 20, 2010

Going into this show, I thought from the press photos that this band was a trio. I was taken aback when TEN people ambled onstage for a fantastic set. They sounded incredible as a live band. The debut album is equally as great and although I sound like a broken record at times when describing some of these bands, I cannot wait to see them again. I also want to point out that I have never seen the studio packed with as many people that came to see this band. I am sure I am not the only one in town expecting some exciting things from them in the future. Listen to the show here.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

First/Last-Chad Sipes

The Chad Sipes Stereo

The band has a gig at Howlers coming up June 12. Chad was kind enough to participate in this latest edition of First/Last.

The first album you ever bought?
Peter Gabriel's SO. On cassette.
Your last album bought?
Autumn of the Seraphs, by Pinback.

Favorite album of all time?
Fables of the Reconstruction by R.E.M.. Or is it Document?

Least favorite/most disappointing album?
See "Last Album Bought".

First concert attended?
The Cure @ Starlake. Friday I'm in Love tour. 7th grade.

Last concert?
Real concert, or local? Clutch @ Mr. Small's I think. Been a while.

Favorite concert ever ?
Drive by Truckers CD Release party for "Dirty South" Album. 40 Watt Club, Athens, Ga. Saw Modest Mouse the very next night at the same club.

Least favorite concert?
Meat Puppets opening for Primus at the Beaver Dome.

Favorite local releases of all-time:
5. SodaJerk-Can't put You Down (before I joined the band)
4. Ritual Space Travel Agency - Volume 1
3. Karl Hendricks Trio- Songs about Misery and Women
2. The Cynics- Rock n' Roll
1. Vale and Year- Create a Perfect History
Honorable Mention: The brand new, just released Horse or Cycle Record. Wow, you gotta hear this.

Quick thoughts, experiences about Pittsburgh?
Born here, bought my house here, gonna die here.

Thanks Chad. BTW-It's Fables!

Monday, May 24, 2010

Image Of The Day-"Girl In The War"

Josh Ritter
Tuesday May 18, 2010

So even though this isn't the first time I have seen Josh play, it has been a few years and a few remarkable albums later since the last time. What amazed me was the huge crowd that has discovered him since he played Club Cafe in 2005. This show was unbelievably PACKED. I suppose for good reason, he and his band were great. I don't think I will ever see a more enthusiastically happy performer on stage than him. The guy exudes joy. He is also probably the nicest guy in show biz to his fans. I have heard stories of fans meeting him after shows and he will talk forever with everybody, even though there is a line of people waiting. That's the way to build and keep a fan base. Setlist here.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Image Of The Day-"Two Hearts"

Horse Or Cycle
Friday May 14, 2010

This release show was unconventional in the sense that there was no physical CD available. Instead, the band is looking towards the future and has a limited amount of vinyl for sale and the option of a download card, which, let's face it, is what everyone is converting their CD's to anyway. Are compact discs really becoming irrelevant? Maybe so. Regardless of the format, the 'album' is killer and I highly recommend it. Get yours by contacting the band at
I also wanted to point out that in the audience there were various members of several different local bands, which is not an uncommon sight to see. It always amazes me the support everyone shows for each other in this community.
Boca Chica opened the night and Hallie wrote about it here.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Image Of The Day-"Albatross"

Public Image Ltd
Club Zoo
Friday May 14, 2010
Strip District

Let me start out by apologizing about these pictures. I was beyond thrilled to be able to shoot this show. I am by no means the punk aficionado, but the guy is a legend in my eyes and I was so psyched. Usually we photogs get three songs, no flash. No problem. I ask Rambo how many tunes I get in the pit? He's, five. FIVE?!? SWEET! I'm sure to get a bunch. The band comes out and's darker than Brillobox. No kidding, I am trying all my tricks and nothing. Where's the light, lighting guy? So I snap like crazy just to hopefully get a few and my camera bunks out because I am pushing it. Bummer. Not to be dismayed I still have THREE songs left and hopefully salvage something out of this night.
That being said, I think these pictures are AWESOME! I love them. What a character he was. I actually had the chance to meet him and he couldn't have been nicer and funny and cool as I could have never imagined. I have met countless musicians over the years and he definitely ranks at the top as the sweetest of them. Kind of strange.
I also have to give a shout out to my man Joshua who, along with some other super gracious people who really take care of me in this city, allows me to actually live out a dream and I am sincerely and forever grateful for that. Merv's review here. More photos here.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Image Of The Day-"Found Out"

Big Hurry
Saturday April 17, 2010

I actually don't recall who contacted who but the band and I decided to do some promo shots together and it really couldn't have gone any smoother. Being relatively new to the experience, they informed me that doing publicity 'poses' is usually a drag, at least for them. Couldn't tell from the time we spent together. These people are awesome. I can say for myself that I was having a blast. We were loose, laughing and open to any ideas that came up. It just solidified my feelings that Pittsburgh musicians are some of the coolest people. The final image also had a photo by Kristi Hoover and was completed by David Klug. I think it rocks!

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Image Of The Day-"Lady Godiva & Me"

Grant Lee Phillips
Club Cafe
Saturday May 8, 2010

My ninth time seeing him play and he did not disappoint. My all time favorite album is Grant Lee Buffalo's 'Mighty Joe Moon' and he played Rock of Ages, Mighty Joe Moon, Lady Godiva & Me, Honey Don't Think, and Mockingbirds from the album. The whole set was wonderful with requests, old tunes, new tunes, and as always, the best stage banter. Classic show.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Image Of The Day-"Beesting"

Club Cafe
Saturday May 8, 2010

I like this band. They were very enjoyable. If this doesn't sound like the most ringing of endorsements, well...maybe I would have liked to see them with a full band? I don't know, I dug the trio vibe, I really did. Or maybe I was just anticipating GLP too much to get into them wholeheartedly. Either way, I would see them again, hopefully with their bassist and drummer.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Image Of The Day-"Truly, Truly"

Grant Lee Phillips
WYEP Studios
Saturday May 8, 2010

Think for a moment of your all-time favorite musician, the one who's music has changed your life in a way that no other has. For me, that person is Grant. I suppose I could wax poetically for some time about the endless hours of discovery and solace I took in his music (I'll spare you my dear readers). Let's just say that I jump at every opportunity to see him play. This short session (at times backed by the Winterpills) was just a tease for the fantastic show he put on later that night. Listen to the set here.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Image Of The Day-"Fine Time"

Small Cities
Lava Lounge
Thursday May 6, 2010

Another big reason I wanted to hit Justin's show was that I would finally be seeing Small Cities play. I wasn't too familiar with what they were all about having only heard a few songs of the myspace but man were they great. They have a southern rock boogie vibe to them that is always welcome to these ears. Listing Carl Radle as an influence? Yeah, I'm in! I personally can't wait to hear them play again. More photos here.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Image Of The Day-"Be Still Don't Cry"

Justin Andrew Band
Lava Lounge
Thursday May 6, 2010

Justin contacted me to witness his first ever band show. Comprising members of bands around town including The Red Western, Big Hurry, and The Hood Gang to back him up, I couldn't pass up the invite. There was no way you could tell it was their debut set. They sounded like they've been playing forever. Great stuff. More photos here.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Image Of The Day-"The Dead Don't Heal"

Emily Rodgers Band
Schenley Plaza
Friday April 30, 2010

Nothing better than to get outside on a beautiful night with the family and enjoy live local music. Tonight, the usually mellow band was, dare I say it...ROCKING!?! Seriously, they brought some fire to Emily's tunes. Very nice.

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Image Of The Day-"Do You Compute?"

For many reasons, the above image being one, I am so glad I live in Pittsburgh!

Monday, May 3, 2010

Image Of The Day-"During The Event"

DJ Responsibility
Carnegie Museum Main Branch
Saturday May 1, 2010

Of all the musicians we have in town, I think none are more creative than David Bernabo. For years he has been integrating his music with art, literature, and performance like no one else. His latest project is DJ Responsibility and his first endeavor under the moniker is Formalism. He produced an album. One copy only. The only way you can hear it is to visit the library and listen to it. You cannot check it out and you cannot find it anywhere else. You can read more about it
here. When I first heard about it I was fascinated. Dave was kind enough to meet me at the library as I wanted to 'document' his latest idea. I was sort of expecting to photograph a bunch of people listening to the music and possibly producing a collage of some sort. When it was apparent that it was going to be just me and him, I gave Dave the camera to photograph me while I listened to the 19 minute album before I took shots of him. Sitting there, I was kinda blown away by the utter simplicity of the project but started thinking of the realms of participation by an 'audience' member, and to exponentially add the fact that the composer himself was documenting me for ideas I had, yeah, I am sure Dave would be the first to say, "Hugh, chill". All I can say is please do yourself a favor and swing by Oakland before May 31st to at least hear the piece. After that, it's going to be gone forever. What is also exciting is the fact that this will not be the last DJ Responsibility 'experience' and hopefully, I will be able to feature some of them here, that is, if I am quick enough!

Sunday, May 2, 2010

First/Last-Gold Motel

Gold Motel
Garfield Artworks
Friday May 7, 2010

Greta Morgan used to be in a band called The Hush Sound. Her new band is playing GA with Family of the Year and locals Emily Rodgers Band, and summer-winter. She was kind enough to participate in this latest edition of First/Last.

The first album you ever bought?
The Get Up Kids "Red Letter Day EP" - I was eleven years old and bought it with allowance money.

Your last album bought?
I bought the Vampire Weekend album for my dad.

Favorite album of all time?
"Harvest" by Neil Young may be my most listened to album of all time.

Least favorite/most disappointing album?
I just don't pay attention to the bad albums. Focusing on the good stuff is more fun.

First concert attended?
Weezer at the United Center in Chicago.

Last concert?
Julian Casablancas at The Vic in Chicago.

Favorite concert ever?
This Is Me Smiling at Lincoln Hall on February 12th, 2010. They are my favorite Chicago band and good friends and they made the whole audience sing Happy Birthday to me.

Least favorite concert?
Yo La Tengo at The Vic. I wanted to hear their album "And Then Nothing Turned Itself Inside Out" but they only played one song.

Any thoughts, experiences about Pittsburgh?
I love playing Mr. Smalls in Pittsburgh because it's a reconstructed church and the venue allows bands to stay in the old rectory. It's super creepy, creaky, and seems haunted. Always makes for a good slumber party.

Thanks Greta. Should be a dreamy night on Friday. I should definitely investigate This Is Me Smiling further.

Saturday, May 1, 2010

First/Last-Jacob Jones

Jacob Jones
Thursday May 20, 2010

Jacob is a country/folk singer from Nashville who will be playing an in-store set at Decade boutique in the Southside. He was cool enough to participate in this latest edition of First/Last.

The first album you ever bought?
I would like to say something like "Born to Run:" or "Blonde on Blonde", but in actuality it was MC Hammer "Hammer Don't Hurt 'em".

Your last album bought?
Merle Travis "In Boston 1959".

Favorite album of all time?
As far as whole albums go, "Darkness On The Edge Of Town" Bruce Springsteen.

Least favorite/most disappointing album?
All hip hop AFTER "The Chronic" came out. All pop country AFTER Garth Brooks came out.

First concert attended?
John Cougar Mellancamp, I was 8.

Last concert?
I caught some shows at SXSW, mainly Joe Pug. The last "real" concert I saw that I wasn’t a part of was Justin Townes Earle in Nashville.

Favorite concert ever?
Bruce Springsteen live in Atlanta, 2003.

Least favorite concert?
Any festivals like Bonnaroo and Coachella are usually terrible experiences.

Any thoughts, experiences about Pittsburgh?
Yes, I really like East Carson street. My friend Steve Ford owns a clothing store there called Decade. Also, Permanti Brothers might have the best drunk sandwich of all time.

Thanks Jacob. And do me a favor, please hammer, don't hurt them! Nice!