Wednesday, December 2, 2009

All Blues

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December...
Borders Café...
Coffee...
Laptop running...
Miles Davis on my iPod...
Camera sitting next to me, at the ready.

Pretty college girls work on their homework.
Old women in Christmas sweaters sip cappuccino and talk of bargains.
Men sit flipping through magazines while "Blue-teeth" blink in their ears.
Pages turn...
Pens move...
Sips are taken.

Espresso machine calls out with the "WOOSH" sound of milk frothing...
Mixing with the snare-like sound of gift-wrap being torn at the wrapping table...
And the clicking of light taps on keyboards...
As Miles' horn blows in my ears...
and Coltrane tears the world up with a flutter of fingers dancing across well-worn brass.

The parking lot lights come on... catching my attention.
A blonde with a fake Louis Vuitton bag walks past the window at a speed that says "It's much colder than I thought it'd be".
A large woman with two large children gazes at the dessert case, as if the answer is somewhere behind the carrot cake.
The Regulars start to pour in... staking their claim to tables near electrical outlets that help to power-up their thoughts and confusions...

And I sit right smack in the middle...
Smiling...
the only one who can hear the music of it all.

* * *

Monday, November 30, 2009

Capturing Joel Meyerowitz



Last night I dreamt I ran into Joel Meyerowitz.

I was wandering around Manhattan, snapping photos of people who had no idea I was shooting them. Heading west on 42nd Street from Grand Central, I get to 5th Ave, and pause... watching the blur of people around me... waiting for "the moment" to come. I look across the street - and there I see a tall, bald man - dressed all in black... holding a black Leica - apparently doing the same thing I'm doing. I look down in my hands, and see that, rather than my Canon D-SLR, the camera I'm holding is a black Leica M8 (the camera I've wanted for a while - and plan to buy next year). I bring the camera up to my eye... and look towards the man. He brings his camera to his eye - and looks toward me. There we stand, staring each other down through our viewfinders. It was then that I realized that this was no "ordinary man" - it was one of my favorite photographers... Joel Meyerowitz. Everything around me gets extremely quiet - even though there is a crowd of tourists surrounding me... and traffic blowing by. All is quiet... until the silence is broken by the very distinct sound of two Leica shutters firing at the same time. The traffic lights change... the "WALK" sign is given... we lower our cameras and begin to walk towards one another. As we pass one another, our hands extend - not to shake, but to exchange cards. No words... no other form of acknowledgement - just the exchange of cards. I tuck the card into my jacket pocket and keep walking toward the next block - never looking back. I glance down at the screen on the back of my camera... looking at the perfect shot of Joel taking the perfect shot of me. Knowing that I've "captured" him (and that he has "captured" me as well) - I feel a smile, as I bring the camera to my eye and point it towards the next "victim"...

* * *

Saturday, January 31, 2009

METALLICA!!! METALLICA!!! METALLICA!!!



JANUARY 29, 2009

NASSAU COLISEUM - LONG ISLAND, NY


THE SET-LIST...


THAT WAS JUST YOUR LIFE

THE END OF THE LINE

CREEPING DEATH

THE THING THAT SHOULD NOT BE

ONE

BROKEN, BEAT & SCARRED

CYANIDE

SAD BUT TRUE

THE UNFORGIVEN

ALL NIGHTMARE LONG

(KIRK HAMMETT GUITAR SOLO #1)

THE DAY THAT NEVER COMES

MASTER OF PUPPETS

DAMAGE, INC.

(KIRK HAMMETT GUITAR SOLO #2)

NOTHING ELSE MATTERS

ENTER SANDMAN


ENCORE #1...

STONE COLD CRAZY

PHANTOM LORD


ENCORE #2...

SEEK AND DESTROY


* * *



This was one hell of a concert!

Sold out show... over 15,000 fans... and over four hours of music!

The opening bands were "The Sword" and "Machine Head" - both of which are bands that I love and have been listening to a lot lately.

The Sword played a great set... mainly songs from their newest album ("Gods of the Earth") - but they played some "classics" from "Age of Winters" too - including "Iron Swan", which is my favorite of theirs.

Machine Head completely kicked ass! They mainly played songs from "The Blackening", including the songs "Clenching the Fists of Dissent" and "Halo". They also played their cover of Iron Maiden's "Hallowed Be Thy Name" - which had the entire arena going crazy and singing along - (and which made me very happy, of course!).

Then the arena goes dark... the heartbeat pulse starts... a few laser lights start scanning the center-stage... the first chords of "That Was Just Your Life" begin... and with the first vocals, a single spotlight shines on James - while the rest of the band remains in darkness for the entire song. The arena goes wild... but not nearly as wild as they do when the song ends... and all the lights come on - and we see the entire band for the first time, as they begin to play "The End of the Line".

The stage was set up in the center of the arena. Lars was on a circular platform at the exact center of the stage... and every few songs it would turn so that he'd face a different direction. The rest of the band moved all around... with James stopping to sing at one of the eight microphones they had around the stage.

Suspended over the stage were four HUGE metal coffins with lights - which would lower over the band and move around and such during some songs. There were four even larger ones at the corners of the arena.

There were flames shooting up from the stage...

There were lasers...

There were a couple-hundred big-ass black beach balls with Metallica logos on them, which dropped from the ceiling during "Seek And Destroy" (which the band performed with ALL of the house lights on - so they could see the entire audience).

There were mosh-pits all over the floor...

There was a pretty violent fight just before Metallica went on, which resulted in one guy being dragged out of the arena by a dozen security guards...

There were kids...

There were old dudes with long gray hair...

There was a ton of beer...

... and clouds of 'smoke' in the air.

And the music...

lets just say that Metallica was at their peak!

I'm not going to bore you with a complete song-by-song play-by-play. If you're really interested in how it was - go to www.livemetallica.com and you can purchase a download of the entire concert. (I already have it on my iPod!) Suffice it to say that this concert just kicked ass!

Bottom line...

While this show wasn't even close to comparing with either of the Iron Maiden "Somewhere Back In Time Tour" shows Holly and I went to last year (the one at Madison Square Garden last June still reigns supreme as the single-best concert I've seen) - last night's show was definitely freakin' awesome... and is definitely in the Top 5 concerts I've seen... perhaps even making that #3 spot.

Basically - Metallica fuckin' rules!

* * *



Sunday, January 25, 2009

Thankful... (01/25/09)

* * *

Today I am thankful for...

... a new year...

... a blank slate...

... and a world of possibilities.


Today I am thankful for...

... having a job that I actually love.

... great bosses and awesome co-workers.

... being given more hours...

... being given more responsibilities...

... getting a raise.


Today I am thankful for...

... my amazingly wonderful and beautiful wife.


Today I am thankful for...

... my amazingly wonderful and beautiful children.


Today I am thankful for...

... knowing that in just a handful of days Holly and I will be standing among 20,000 other metalheads... watching Metallica kick ass.


Today I am thankful for...

... my iPhone - and the moments of "connectedness" it brings.

... my iPod - and the moments of "sanity" it brings.

... my camera - and the side of me it brings out.


Today I am thankful for...

... my first pint of Guinness in almost a year.

(Sweet, wonderful Guinness! How I love you so!)


Today I am thankful for...

... the self-promise of monthly trips to Manhattan.

... the self-promise of art school photography classes.

... the self-promise of licenses... and perhaps a Piaggio.


Today I am thankful for...

... over 20 different Iron Maiden albums...

(and still having more to go!)


Today I am thankful for...

... a sense of Self.

... confidence.

... creativity.

... inspiration.

... desire.

... passion.

... dreams.

... music.

... and an intense "need" to express myself.


Today I am thankful for...

... now...

... this moment...

... and the possibility of the next.

(and the immense beauty inherent in that).


Today I am thankful for...

... Walt's words (Whitman... not Disney)

... and the fact that, yes - even I, get to contribute a verse.


Today I am thankful...

Today...

... I AM...

... thankful.

* * *