Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Happy Mardi Gras!

May you fling many beads and be flashed repeatedly tonight... here's Engel demonstrating what can happen if enough beads are thrown.

Monday, February 23, 2009

I'm Proud To Say I Shook His Hand

One of my favorite musicians has long been folk/rock singer Peter Case, a real troubadour in the old school tradition. (No mention of Pete seems complete without a reference to his 80s band, The Plimsouls, featured prominently in the archetypal 80's movie, Valley Girl, doing their biggest hit, "A Million Miles Away." There, now that's out of the way.)

Like way too many other musicians and artists, Peter doesn't really have health insurance, so when he experienced a serious heart attack back in January, he managed to rack up huge medical bills. He's on his way to recovery, but as can be expected he's not working while the medical bills continue to roll in, and let's face it, there ain't much money in troubadouring these days. A relief fund has been started by his friends and colleagues to help raise money to cover the bills, called "Hidden Love" after one of his songs. Any amount will help, but a $35 donation gets you a copy of the 3-disc tribute CD, A Case for Case, featuring performances by John Prine, Todd Snider, Amy Rigby, Dave Alvin, Chuck Prophet, Richard Buckner, and many other folk/rock luminaries.

Back in my "rock writer" days, I got to interview Peter for a little Columbus paper, and he was really fascinating, winding his stories in with his personal philosophy and observations. Maybe he was just experienced with interviews, but I think he's truly a natural-born story teller, which I think is why he moved from playing 'new wave' to making folk albums that, as he put it, weren't expensive enough to be sold by major labels. He said that he got paid for the traveling, but played the music for free. I have to believe that. I saw one of his shows around the time of the OJ Simpson white Bronco fiasco, and he pointed out how, when he was a kid, cool things like the Beatles on Ed Sullivan, or the moon landing would happen on TV one time, and you'd never see them again. Now, nothing cool ever happens, but you see it over and over again.

"Beyond the Blues", "Poor Old Tom", "Travelin' Light", "Two Angels", and "Icewater" are some of my favorite Peter Case tunes. You can check them out here... I'm sure he'd appreciate a little extra in his royalty checks about now. And I know things are tough all over, but if you can send even a few bucks to help Peter out, you'll help make the world a more interesting place.

Thursday, February 19, 2009


That's the number of visitors who have clicked through to this blog from my OneModelPlace portfolio, according to their counter. Seems a little on the low side, considering, but then again it's buried in with a bunch of other clutter on that page, so I'm sure most people don't even see it. I generally only notice things like that when they're round numbers. Guess it's a remnant from my old baseball card collecting days, when the best players' cards would be numbered 100, 200, 350, etc. Or just the society's general numerology fetish... anyway...

Sorry to have been so absent here, but things have just been scattered and smothered around here, with work concerns, increased shooting activity, Dirty Show travel, personal matters and of course, politics and death. I used to try to sort some of these distractions out here, but that doesn't seem wise anymore, so I just carry them around in my head, where they carom around like the inside of a pachinko machine. The upside is that my editing backlog is getting close to reasonable, so I'll be picking up the camera a bit more as the weather improves.

The shot above is Whitney, who was kind enough to pose for me back in August of last year. And when I got to her turn in the editing process, her shots were nowhere to be found. Not on hard drives, or back-ups of hard drives, not on DVD, not on memory cards, no place. Poof! All I could do was apologize and tell her that I would keep searching. I couldn't imagine that I'd erased them, but could NOT find them. To her credit, she was very kind about it.

Fast forward to the first week of this month, preparing for a group shoot on the 6th and 7th. I knew I might shoot a lot and need to offload images from memory cards onto a hard drive or something, so I looked at my PhotoSafe gadget to see if it had space on it. It was almost full, so I went through and checked what was there, and sure enough, among a variety of safety copies of other stuff were the files from the shoot with Whitney. I immediately copied them off to a hard drive and backed-up to DVD. This week I found time to edit the shots, and I'm quite pleased with how they turned out.

So, another "rescued photos" story for you... As my memory gets worse, I can sort of imagine this blog being something of a catalog of my descent into full-on dementia.

Monday, February 9, 2009

Erotic Review "Reader's Choice" Voting

I entered about a dozen images into the Erotic Review contest this year, with the judges prizes to be announced this weekend (I think) March 16, but they're also doing their "Reader's Choice" voting again. So if you want to express yourselves by scoring a few (or a whole lot) of erotic images, create a free membership (basically an e-mail verification), and then visit their voting page. It's very simple to score the images on a 1-9 scale (just hit the number on your keyboard) so you can zip through the good (and the bad) and make a difference. I was 2nd runner-up in last year's voting, so hopefully I can improve on that this year. I'm very pleased with the selection of images I submitted, including this one of Aveda Marie. There are no watermarks or other identification on the images, so just vote for what you like best.

Last year's contest book is also available through the site. It's about the size of a TV guide, so not a coffee table volume, but actually a nice size and well printed. Check it out.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Lux Means Bux, Remember the Name

Well, more death in my little blog here... Lux Interior passed away yesterday at age 62-ish. Lux was the lead singer of The Cramps, a punk band that managed to combine goth, gore, punk, pop, and rockabilly, all slathered in sexual deviance. Sure it was a schtick, a novelty, but they did seriously rock. Lux was something like Iggy Pop in stiletto heels, with each show some sort of mission to destroy himself while never missing a beat. I once saw him nearly beat the hell out of some fan or reporter in the back alley behind the Newport Music Hall, shouting "No means NO!" That's Lux, second from the right, looking uncharacteristically innocent on the cover of their debut album, Songs the Lord Taught Us -- the title being a corruption of an old Everly Brothers album. Here's one of their "hit" singles... goodbye Lux.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Recovery Continues

Three more semi-randoms from the recovered hard drive...

Got a lot on my plate at the moment, some good stuff, some not so good, and have a big weekend coming up with Dirty Show and a group shoot event... that seemed like it was still a long time off, but here it is, barreling towards me! But I'm looking forward to it, seeing friends, meeting new people, seeing cool work, trying to make new cool work.

Look forward to seeing everyone there! Bring plenty of extra cash to buy art AND booze this time.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Death and Politics

I was recently accused of running a "death and politics" blog instead of a photography blog. So, here's a photograph of Buddy Holly, who died along with Ritchie Valens and The Big Bopper, 50 years ago today because they took the small plane instead of the freezing bus. Odd how it's always beloved performers/athletes or liberal politicians that die in private plane crashes, and never mass murderers or corrupt politicians or other evil bastards. Hrmm...

So, now that death has been covered, on to politics... saw this story about things the Republicrats are bitching about from the "Stimulus Bill." I won't reprint the list here, but the things they are complaining about are things that DO need to get done, to one degree or another, and will either generate jobs or protect existing jobs, improve public safety, or help increase our energy independence. Seems the GOP has a problem with ANYTHING that isn't a tax cut or military spending.

For instance, according to this list, they're objecting to funding for fire stations, as well as woodland fire prevention? Seems that would either protect or create jobs as firefighters, or possibly fund construction of new firestations, which would create jobs, right? Or perhaps they're counting on greater job creation when homes and businesses burn to the ground and they have to be rebuilt.

Funding our infrastructure projects create jobs that can't be outsourced (well, provided the contractors aren't employing illegal workers) and the resulting projects will help improve the quality of life for people here. Military spending is just burning money for the most part because the products are destroyed or abandoned, and result in us spending trillions to rebuild the infrastructure of Iraq and Afghanistan. Federal tax cuts mean little to the average person, especially if it's going to result in funding shortfalls for schools, public safety, highways, health research, etc. -- Federal tax cuts, estate tax cuts, capital gains tax cuts primarily benefit the wealthiest among us, who are less likely to put the money back into our real economy. Some may be inspired to put money into the Wall St casino, but that only directly benefits other investors and their long-term estate building. The reason businesses aren't expanding and building facilities and hiring people is NOT because they're afraid they're going to make SO much money they're going to have to pay a lot of taxes. They know that nobody has money to buy products and services, so they're cutting jobs and closing facilities in an effort to "trim the fat" and hopefully survive this depression.

The past 8 years have shown us that sucking up to corporate and moneyed interests does NOT create that "rising tide that lifts all boats" -- it merely widens the gap between the extremely wealthy, and the rest of us. I heard a right-wing talk radio bozo this morning decrying the proposal to limit executive pay to $400,000 a year in companies who are accepting federal bailout money. His argument was "how can you get the best executives to turn a business around if you can't provide competitive salaries?" Well, I'm sure there are plenty of quite capable people out there ready to go to work for a LOT less than $400,000...