Friday, November 14, 2008


Do you know why it is important to shoot pictures like this?

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Velouria. Simple.

This is neither my favorite video, nor the best. But it represents something important. In what would become a medium where the picture is often the hero over the song, this video props up the song first, and the artists second, while using video as an instrument. 

The concept is simple. Almost inane. And it reflects the gestalt of the band: independant, low budget, fun-loving, and loose. There's nothing to it. But in that way, it's more like looking out the window of a moving car (while listening to the radio) than watching a film where the song is the soundtrack. It asks very little of you. Only for you to hear the song, and watch the band "not acting". This is a very 90's approach to video-making. And I kind of love it. 

There is so much breathing room for you to presume, rightly or wrongly, but in a narrative way, how this honest, unscripted, relatively un-blocked, performance functions as a metaphor for the bands' personalities and dynamic. Frank is quick to show himself first and biggest, the victor, king of the hill. Joey blazes his own trail and almost immediately vanishes from the pissing contest Frank has just initiated. Only to return at the end with a dynamic, unique version of his role. David stumbles, and gets up, and trudges forth. But always has his head up, and maintains somewhat steadfast in his enthusiasm, or at least, responsibility. And then there's Kim. Darling, fearful, but positive. Apprehensive about the danger of the endeavor, but neither rejecting it, nor championing it. She'll get there. She'll make it. She will fall, but falling is not the end of her. Be patient, and you will cheer for her. Cheer for the Pixies!  

Friday, November 7, 2008


When I was six I saw my first music video, Billie Jean. My response? "They should make these for ALL songs!" I had thought that it was the only one ever made, yet. The next one I saw was Rick Springfield's "Human Touch", and I was hooked. In high school, I wondered why we don't have access to all the videos ever made. MTV was cool (then), but they only played what they wanted to play. Couldn't there be a library where we could grab a tape of whichever one we wanted? Then there was MTV2, but it's value had a weak shelf life. And we've been in a void ever since. Yes, there have been excellent videos since MTV2 aired JACKASS, but not enough, and not like this. Now, for the first time since they took Jesse Camp off the air, MTV has done something right. Here it is... MTVMusic.

Somethin' BIT me!

There's something strange and moving about cheering for marathon runners. You only see each one for about 4 seconds, but that window represents in some way the entire experience of the marathon. You show up having already heard descriptions and anecdotes in person or on tv. But this is good, because it means you don't have to figure out what's happening, and you can focus on what's most important - exactly what is going on with each person whom you can fix your focus on at that precise moment. A second wind. A strained calf. Focus. Disbelief. Total cake walk. Sore feet. The realization that one can only feel his bleeding nipples just enough to know that he's got to push through the last quarter mile so that it can all be over. It's brutal. It's human. It's lovely. 

The best thing to do, as a spectator, is to go out and cheer for strangers, and call their names. Many have them written on their body somewhere. And to see a runner's eyes dart briefly in your general direction, or auto-pilot out a weak grimace, or especially, pick up the pace, even if just a little bit, gets me choked up. "You can do it Gert!"(of which there were many this year) can really make a difference to someone who seems to be struggling. Even more so if his name is Gert. 

But there's this weird feeling of transportation when you cheer for these runners. And it's totally different than cheering at a professional sporting event. You hear the words come out of your own mouth, but they sound like someone is yelling to YOU as YOU run the race. And you well up with tears at how encouraged it makes you feel, that strangers believe in you, and want you to succeed. And then you remember that you are the stranger, and that you feel weird and good that you want some stranger to succeed. And at what? Simply, something that takes hard work and has meaning to each individual. It's a very raw experience. And wonderful. And the way I describe it, very self-centered.

Character Moustache