Sunday, October 31, 2004

McGruff the Crime Dog takes a bite outta me!

Originally uploaded by Charrmer.
Larisa and husband Willie threw a Halloween party they call Freakfest 2004 and all sorts of interesting guests showed up, including McGruff the Crime Dog who spent a few moments nibbling on my neck. It's kinda weird talking to strangers in masks because you have no idea what they really look like... This guy is absolutely adorable under his mask too and talented-- he made it. The mouth moves when he talks so it's unbelievably realistic.
I went as Tatiana, Queen of the Fairies.

The F***ing Wood Nymph

Originally uploaded by Charrmer.
K, walking down the oddly quiet street towards the Halloween party Saturday night, went as a fairy-- or as he preferred to call himself "a f***ing wood nymph". Within moments of the wood nymph arriving at the party a guy came up to him and said with his eyebrows raised "Dude, that's a bold statement." We took third place in the costume contest (we actually shared the prize). He really did look hilarious and colorful-- and he played it to the hilt all night long. In fact he had the line of the night... A wonderful woman, an actress in a children's theatre group was performing Shakespearean monologues. At the end of one particularly long and amusing one K breaks the pause with "The wood nymph has a hard on", at which point the actress bolts to her right in mock horror as the room erupted in laughter.

Dio Does Horns!

Originally uploaded by Charrmer.
Ronnie James Dio, the man who popularized the devil horns gesture to the metal crowd, headlined the Fireball Ministry and Anthrax show Friday night at The Grand in San Francisco. For a whole host of reasons I got roped into doing a review of the Fireball Ministry set for California Bands with the added bonus of shooting all three bands as well-- none of which I have ever seen live before.
This man is adored!

Wednesday, October 27, 2004

Leapin' Mike Farrell!

Originally uploaded by Charrmer.
Conversation with Kevin:
C-- What's that guys name again, you know, the guitarist in Th' Losin' Streaks? (Yes, I have the memory of a snow pea at times.)
K-- It's Mike Farrell! Remember that name because if you don't I will cease to be friends with you!
C-- Why would remembering Mike Farrells name be of such importance to you that you would end a friendship over it?
K-- Because Mike Farrell is God!
C-- According to who?
K-- According to me and many other people!
C-- Why?
K-- Because he's a phenomenal guitar player and he floats in the air.
...See Mike Farrell float...

Damian, Thend

Originally uploaded by Charrmer.
Damian of Thend is over the top fun to watch because he really cuts loose, no holds barred and is having such a good time being the talented musician that he is that it translates to a great show for everyone. Thend was one of the opening bands at the recent Dope show and according to the press stuff on their website they are described as "heavy hook bounce metal". Loud and heavy is very true and if you give a listen to one of their very compelling songs "Normal People" you might even agree with the bounce assessment. The song has a recurring line hanging around in the background... 'here come the freaks now'... in a hi- pitched whiny voice. There is something fascinating about it with it's catchy riffs and a back beat that is almost a march. LOVED that song!!!

Another horrible photo...

Another horrible photo...
Originally uploaded by Charrmer.
of me and Fee...
Fee Waybill has that larger than life appearance that some people have. He commands the stage and holds the rapt attention of everyone in the room. I spoke to one man, probably in his 40's, who brought his young son to see The Tubes for the very first time. Turns out dad has seen them 25 times since they started out in the 70's. (I stand corrected by a wiser reader, thanks!)
I caught up with Fee after the show and managed to get his attention just long enough to turn the camera around for a quick self-portrait. Fee took one look at my plan, stated matter of factly "Awww, that'll never work", gave a smile anyway and as soon as the flash went off he was gone before I could even show him the results. He was bemoaning the fact that no one on his guest list had shown up for the show and he was off to sign autographs.

Fee Waybill, The Tubes

Originally uploaded by Charrmer.
Fee Waybill and the Tubes headlined the Boardwalk a few nights ago. What a show! Although when I mentioned The Tubes to some people they mostly looked at me like it was impossible, but I assure you, they tour, they are great and yes, they are not spring chickens!
These are great musicians and Fee has honed this show to a fine point with multiple costume changes-- costuming ranging from a carnival barker to Quay Lewd, a tranny in heels so tall I still can't figure out how he managed to stay upright on them.
After the show I found myself near one of the bandmembers talking about the band to some of his close friends who came to visit... talking about how great they all are, what talented musicians... But the band is going downhill he said, gesturing with his hands like a plane going down. Suddenly he is aware of me and spins around with his finger pointing inches from my face-- "You didn't hear that! If you ever repeat that I will HUNT YOU DOWN! I swear I will HUNT YOU DOWN!!!" Laughter ensued, smiles all around, but somehow I don't doubt the truth of what he was telling his friends.

Wednesday, October 13, 2004

Breaking Benajmin

Originally uploaded by Charrmer.
Breaking Benjamin live at The Empire last night and I think this may have been the biggest crowd I've seen there-- next to Social Distortion. The line to get in was around the block and past the light rail tracks by the bus stop. They put on a great show, loved the crowd and gave everyone what they wanted-- great music. The lead singer even climbed into the crowd, albeit briefly, and threw loads of guitar picks out to fans too. One fell into the pit while I was shooting and a girl on the rail asked me to pick it up for her. I did and when I handed it to her I thought she would never let go of my hand! Of course when I gave it to her some of the other girls around loudly lamented their own loss.

Aaron Fink and me

Originally uploaded by Charrmer.
Aaron Fink is the energetic guitarist for Breaking Benjamin. We had a long chat after the show too. He says he hasn't had a day job in six years, has been doing the music thing for 15 and never gets nervous. "If I had to go onstage and read poetry I might get nervous but I'm a good guitarist, I just go out there and do my job." He was a lot of fun. I showed him a quick view of some of the digital images I shot, many of which happened to be of him. "They're all of me! I think maybe you have a little crush on me!" he teased.


Originally uploaded by Charrmer.
Local band Nephilim had the honor of opening up for the Thornley and Breaking Benjamin show at The Empire last night. Nephilim won the spot when they took first place in Skip's Music Stairway to Stardom competition this year. They came out and head banged like the best of them!

Tuesday, October 12, 2004

"Ladies, Get out of the street!"

Originally uploaded by Charrmer.
The crush of girls was large and lively and they were running all over the place, including into the street all around the tour bus prompting security to yell a warning. This was the last stop on Hanson's tour which has been going about three months and covered both the East and West coasts. Dozens of hopeful girls waited outside the back entrance hoping for a glimpse of Hanson members on their way back into their tour bus. Taylor Hanson swung around behind the utility pole to avoid the crush, but one crafty girl did get a brief handful of his shirt. The shirt touching was soon a hot topic of conversation once the bus door swung closed.

Isaac and Taylor Hanson

Originally uploaded by Charrmer.
Hanson, the popular trio of brothers played The Empire a couple of nights ago and delighted the almost entirely teenage girl crowd. (The third brother is Zack, not shown.) Before they went on there were moments of excited screaming if a flutter was seen backstage. The girls were on their best behavior when the band did come out though and they played a fairly long set with an encore.

Friday, October 08, 2004

Dr. Frank N. Furter

Originally uploaded by Charrmer.
He really took possession of the part, inflections, body language, singing, attitude and most importantly-- confidence.
Tim Curry landed the role of Dr. Frank N. Furter in the original 1973 London production of The Rocky Horror Show and later starred in the movie version entitled THE ROCKY HORROR PICTURE SHOW, which was his motion picture debut.
Rocky Horror, created by Richard O'Brien, the original Riff Raff, wrote the book, music and lyrics and calls it 'something any ten-year old could enjoy.' The stage production opened in London at the Royal Court's experimental Theatre Upstairs as a six-week workshop project in June, 1973. O'Brien said in an interview "I think I invested it with my psyche and that subliminally it feeds the audience psyche. It has a hypnotic hold, like a fairy tale invested with psychological tremors 'Daddy, won't you tell me the story again?'. You never tire of hearing the fairy story as a child and that's why you never tire of ROCKY."

Hula hooping for Frankenfurter

Originally uploaded by Charrmer.
The simple things in life we take for granted... that we can hula hoop. Well, yeah I could do that when I was a kid, but try it now and I'm lost and goofy looking. Imagine all the things one has to learn to do well to take on an acting job-- Hula Hoops! This guy had it nailed!
There are about 30 people in this cast including a crew of ushers that stay back mainly in the audience and provide an extra litle something. Watching movies I guess I often take the entertainment factor for granted. It's just all there telling a story and we sit back and relax and let it all unfold. Of course we root for the star or bemoan the bad guy etc. but when you stop and take a different point of view of the entirety of a thing you realize that no part, however big or small, is unimportant. Each part is critical to the staging of a performance. Yeah, I get a bit philosophical now and then... :)

Magenta and Riff Raff

Originally uploaded by Charrmer.
This pair performing as Magenta and Riff Raff blew me away. Great chemistry together! Sexy and fun, full of life and a wicked weirdness. The costumes are colorful but costuming for the entire cast is all based on pink in a myriad of shades-- from mauve to neon. This couple even died their hair pink. His is quite electrifyingly. Hers is a much softer hue.
I had not seen or met anyone prior to arriving to shoot and the first thing I did was go into the dressing rooms for some behind the scenes getting ready kind of stuff. The transformation was so interesting to think back on because I had no idea who the principals would be and even as they were all getting dressed and made up there were no egos flying around at all to give any indication of a "star" or a "lead". This was a great crowd of people having a blast together.

Magenta in the Mirror

Originally uploaded by Charrmer.
I saw a piece about it in a Bee column this week and sought them out because I knew the possibilities for great pics was there. Boy oh boy was it. I spoke to the people putting the show on and they agreed to give me full access-- backstage, front stage and even shooting from the rafters.
This is the character Magenta putting her make up on pre-show.
It should be noted that American River College is feeling brave to be putting on a very lively, sexy NC17 rated production of the cult classic Rocky Horror Show. In fact they are not even video taping this show, which they normally do, because according to a couple of family members I spoke to in the audience they are concerned that the tape may fall into the wrong hands or possibly put a shadow on someone's future career as a politician... :)

Rocky, Sword of Damacles

Originally uploaded by Charrmer.
I spent the first half of the Rocky Horror Show at American River College laying on the dirty wood floor on my stomach high above the stage in the rafters shooting pics, surrounded by cords, plugs and lighting equipment in pitch black darkness. Not easy, pretty uncomfortable but I was thrilled and exhilarated. It's not so easy to get that kind of access. It certainly made for a great and unusual angle for a change!
Check this show out, it's a blast!

Friday, October 01, 2004

The Helicopter

Originally uploaded by Charrmer.
This is the helicopter we flew on and walking towards it is Obadiah, my client, and Rick, the pilot. In order for me to get pictures the door has been removed entirely so I can sit and lean out as needed. It was cold but awesome! We flew over Cal Expo where a car show is going on, we were over the Capitol, Tower Bridge and Raley Field and nearby Ziggeraut, Arco Arena, the confulence of the Sacramento and American Rivers and a myriad of other locations not as well known.

The Capitol

Originally uploaded by Charrmer.
Do you ever wonder why helicopters fly overhead? Sometimes it's for people like me to shoot aerial images. Woo Hoo! Today I spent about two hours in the air shooting building tops for one of my clients. I wish the day were clearer, it was quite smoggy, but this angle is a good one of the downtown capitol building and the surrounding skyline. I found it interesting how the capitol is so clearly surrounded by the park, which is far more visible from the air.

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