Monday, May 30, 2005


Originally uploaded by Charrmer.
Pogus is the lead singer for popular Sacramento band Shortie posing for pics during a recent interview and photo session. I saw potential in this painting they had hanging in their rehearsal studio and it was a labor of true cooperation with my vision when the guys agreed to clear the area so we could use it as our backdrop. In front of it had been a couch and hundreds of magazines in bundles all piled in front of it. Pogus saw the potential too and immediately set himself up as if he's regurgitating the art... love it! Shortie has just released a CD and are on the cusp of a 20+ tour with Adema.

Is there anyone out there who can do this kind of work interested in a trade for a photo session? I would love to have a colorful, vibrant, arty backdrop for my studio!

Snoop Doggy Doggggggggg

Originally uploaded by Charrmer.
Snoop Dogg and his St. Lunatics swaggered across the Sleep Train Ampitheater stage a few nights ago and it was all too brief a time that I got to shoot pics from the photo pit as usual. Three songs, the standard of course, but I really wanted more. Not just to shoot, but to listen. There is just something about him.
Snoop came onto the stage in a puff of smoke from the cigarette just leaving his lips and with the intense backlighting it was very dramatic to see. The crowd was already on their feet in anticipation and I doubt they ever sat back down!
Even in the car on the way home I was singing-- out loud-- Snoop Doggy Dogg-o -oggg. LOL.
He stood alone on the stage for the first couple of songs but by the third he was joined by his guys and subtly took a back seat to them. I could be reading into this but it seemed to me that something a bit different came over his face and persona as he watched them... singing along, gesturing, moving to the groove. It was almost like an internal spark was quietly ignited... an appreciation of them, a love of the music and the experience of being on stage with them.
Snoop Doggy Dogg-o-ogggg... :)

Friday, May 27, 2005

Audioslave, Chris Cornell

Originally uploaded by Charrmer.
A small aside about Chris Cornell... Cornell has an interesting superstition. He says it's bad luck to soundcheck using a song that will be in the show...

Though I can't speak to the local show I read that Cornell performed a cover of the Beatles song "You've Got to Hide Your Love Away" during a soundcheck before their historic free performance for 50,000 fans in Havana Cuba. It was the largest crowd an American band has ever played to over there!

A couple of asides about the Beatle song in question...
The line "feeling 2 foot small" was originally written "feeling 2 foot tall." John Lennon sang it wrong but left it that way because he liked it better. Session musicians played flutes, it was the first time outside musicians ever played on a Beatles record. And one last thing... John Lennon said "That's me in my Dylan period."
;) To see a gallery of images from the Sacramento Audioslave show click here Audioslave for eMusiConnect

Audioslave at Memorial Auditorium

There is nothing particularly showy or pretentious about Audioslave as seen during the Memorial Auditorium show May 15, 2005, but they are making strong music, the fans love them and it’s just great entertainment overall. The crowds attention was entirely captivated as Chris Cornell connected with the sold out audience, which thrust devil horns into the air with a mighty and appreciative salute.

After finishing up shooting the show I took a seat in the second tier balcony to observe and enjoy. There was a definite contrast that happened over the course of the show. On the front end was the musical intensity one would expect with the mosh pit full of thrash happy fans slamming into each other. In the second half of the evening the mosh pit moved a bit differently. There appeared to be more of a swaying back and forth, red light spilling onto the audience casting a glow. One memorable moment was when Audioslave played a new song called Zero, which Cornell announced is the second time they have ever played it. Zero has an intense bass and is vocally a bit on the softer side. As the song wound it’s way through the hall a spontaneous wave of something sweet happened, illustrated by at least two unrelated couples I saw sitting nearby who began to kiss, to nuzzle and snuggle. There seemed to be a collective deep breath that lasted just a moment before everyone leapt to their feet, clapping with the beat and all jumping up and down.

Guitarist Tom Morello showed off his fancy fingering all night, showing the audience his playful side as well as charming them with his prowess on guitar.

The show was peppered with songs from Soundgarden and Rage Against the Machine, other bands this group of guys have been with. As a music commentator I did the research so I know where these guys come from. I’ve heard the music and it’s great! But there is a part of me that likes to know just enough so I can still be surprised. That said there was a particular moment when Chris Cornell came out for the first song in the encore set, Black Hole Sun. As I sat back and listened to the soulful croon I was reminded of Nirvana. Small wonder since Cornell and Nirvana are both from Seattle and were friends. For me it was one of the highlights of the show.

Although I heard someone comment that they thought the sound was muddy it didn’t seem to affect the fan enjoyment factor as they sang right along on Outshined, a Soundgarden song written for a friend who died.

Together in this new grouping Cornell, Morello, Brad Wilk and Tim Commerford put on a great show and showed the fans that Audioslave has a very strong future.
To see a gallery of images from the show click here Audioslave for eMusiConnect

Thursday, May 26, 2005

TI and the fans who wouldn't leave

Originally uploaded by Charrmer.
“TI had me doing therapy!” said Roosevelt Johnson Jr. between hip-hop performers at Memorial Auditorium where Nelly headlined May 16th, 2005. Also on the bill was TI, Fat Joe and several other hip-hop performers. It was a long and steady night of booty shaking chatter. Johnson, who is in a wheelchair due to an “urban accident” refers to himself as a 50-year-old hip-hopper and although he can’t walk without assistance he does enjoy standing up and moving to the music.

Towards the end of the set TI told the audience that MTV was making a video. Within minutes a sudden rush of roughly a hundred female fans surged onto the stage, many of whom later refused to leave even when TI asked them to, causing security more than a little bit of a problem. Commenting on the wild exhibition on stage Johnson said “When TI said 'Show me what you got', they just showed him. It’s just beautiful”.

But it looked frenzied and chaotic. I finally managed to squeeze, with no small effort, out of the intense crush that doubled us over the steel bar just one foot from the stage. Women were climbing all over each other, reaching up and grabbing the performers by their clothes, body parts—public and private, and anything else they could get their hands on!

Musically it’s poetry, it’s hypnotically rhythmic, wonderfully danceable, melodic and its entirely without a single instrument on stage except for the guy with a turntable in the background. Then on the sides and hanging around the back of the stage are people, friends, family-- just there to watch and be part of the scene. It’s a family, a community, a party and no one is ever alone.

TI and Fat Joe clearly commanded the stage when they were on it. To an outsiders point of view it would have been hard to determine who the star was. One guy has his name on the bill but six might show up on the stage, microphone in hand, singing their parts, in baseball caps and baggy clothes, taking equal time and presence on the stage.

Fat Joe is clearly a ladies man and struts his stuff back and forth across the stage followed by a guy who’s one job appears to be to keep two things handy-- a bottle of water in case Fat Joe gets thirsty and a fluffy white towel to mop Fat Joe’s shaved head as he works up a good sweat.

Nelly commanded the stage with his supporting posse the St. Lunatics, and a foursome of gorgeous dancing girls, each one eagerly strutting her stuff at every opportunity. When he sang “Hot in Herre” the temperature in the room truly did go up a few notches.
To see a gallery of images from this show click here-- eMusiConnect.

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