Wednesday, January 27, 2010

The Love Me Nots @ Martini Ranch

Booked as the premiere of their new music video, the Love Me Nots managed to nearly fill the Martini Ranch on Friday night. I've heard OF this band, and remembered seeing them on the cover of the New Times a while back... but have never actually seen them live. Two people I mentioned the band to both said "Oh, everyone loves the Love Me Nots". To clarify, they are a local Phoenix band that has made good, and scored a deal on one of the smaller labels.

Helmed by a sparkle stocking-clad, dark haired, Farfisa playing, animated female lead singer... the band takes on a fairly unique look outside of today's boring rock fads. All four members add to the 60's throwback aesthetic, and all brought their own entertaining feel to the stage. I was more intrigued by this band than I thought I'd be. The band calls their sound “spy-surf-fuzz-gogo.”

I stayed for most of the set., partially because the lighting made it tricky to get good shots of Nicole Laurenne, lead vocals... lots of back lighting on this stage... so I had to snap photos every chance I got. But I did have a good time listening to the music. It was all very catchy and uppity... even if it did start to get slightly repetitive... but it kept the crowd happy. I don't think you can have much of a lull in the set when drunk Scottsdalieans are involved.

All in all it was a good show. You can really tell the difference between the 86 million local bands that just throw themselves on any stage in this city, and the 5 or 6 who are polished enough to get signed. You can tell the ones who've taken the time to put something special together. Good on you Love Me Nots.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Sonic Youth @ Marquee Theatre

Chairs set up at the Marquee Theatre... that usually means old and broken people will be at the show... or people that just want to chill out and nod along to the songs. Is Sonic Youth THAT old??

From what I saw on stage... no. For a long time, going to concerts as a lad I found it disrespectful for people to sit down at a rock show. Apparently, I still do. This band, however old they may be... were still able to stand up and rock their set, guitars flailing around on stage... we should at least be courteous and stand with them. Be part of the moment.

Ok, enough of that. I never listened to Sonic Youth... but I always had a feeling I'd like them. And this show was no disappointment. Lots of noises and sound effects and feedback. (Done right, it can work) I enjoyed it. They even brought their own lights to the Marquee. Whee!

Unfortunately, slightly, their lights were all behind them. Which, for the audience, looks cool... but for actual photos... it makes getting clear shots difficult. When you're attempting to capture the correct exposure on someone's face or guitar, and a large box of flash bulbs go off behind them, scorching the rest of the photo... it can get frustrating. But that's all part of the game.

Too bad tho... there were a few times when Thurston Moore (guitar) would be right in front of me really playing up to the camera... and most of the time it was just too dark or awkwardly lit for me to get anything worth using. That is sort of my story with the Marquee in general. At the start of this show, I remember thinking "I have very few photos from this venue in my portfolio". I think I may have got one tonight... very top photo of Thurston.

Pretty much all night the 5D was set to ISO6400... and the shutter would jump around from 1/30 - 1/500 depending on the lights.