Monday, January 16, 2006

Just Shoot!

“We had divided the world into two categories: there was flyers and there was the gig. You’re either doing the gig, which is like an hour of your life, or everything else to get people to the gig.” …Mike Watt (Our band Could Be Your Life by Micahel Azerrad)

The photo shoot for the February 18th Rudz show went surprisingly well. I woke up early to run to El Carrousel on Hilcroft to get some tamales for the troops; it was a bit of a trip but a dozen really good tamales for $7.00 is hard to beat. I made it back and, to my surprise, everyone pretty much made it on time: The Jonx, The Powers of Light and Darkness, Linus Pauling and the Red and the White. The Jonx arrived first. Nice lads and you have to admire a band that refers to their car as the Jonxmobile. The Red and the White appeared not long after. You have to love a band whose first conversation with you is one in which they try to convince you that one of the most expensive coffees in the world is excreted from an animal’s ass. [It turns out it’s true - see this article] John Cramer arrived with family in tow while the LP4 arrived here and there. Steve, easily the most rock and roll member of the LP4, was hardly happy about having to arrive for a photo shoot at 10:30am. To wake up before midday is such a rarity for him that I believe that the ancestors of the Ngati Kahungunu iwi of New Zealand were said to greet such an unusual event with trepidation if not despair. Combining the early awakening with the fact that he had a 1pm studio session was simply a recipe for one bitchy dude. Luckily, he was tired enough to make his frequent announcements of “You got me for another XX minutes.” almost inaudible.

The shoot itself was pretty straightforward. I’d grown tired of the hacky idea of taking a still, painting, or photo and putting text on it. Photos seemed be a good way to highlight, not just the closing band but, all the bands and since Rosa just got into photography it seemed foolish not to try this approach. Here the idea was pretty simple, have the opening band (John Cramer’s solo effort The Powers of Light and Darkness) be the main focus simply to turn the whole poster-listing thing on its head. We decided to cast John in the Toshiro Mifune role and have the other bands “go at him”. Simple idea, but try and get 3 bands and one guy to follow instructions and it can be a bit tricky. The classic example was Will (of the Red and the White) menacing John by putting his hands in his pocket or hiding behind Lucas. But I will say that it’s pretty hard to do a shoot when you are in the East End of Houston with guys slowly driving by in pick-up trucks looking at you like you are from planet Pendejo or Maricon. Such is the price of trying to get people to come to a rock show.

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