Music


Media&Movie TV DVD Review&Music24 Feb 2008 12:32 pm

Gun Club DVDGhost on the Highway: A Portrait of Jeffrey Lee Pierce and the Gun Club is out on DVD.

For me, viewing the DVD was a highly entertaining experience on many levels. Before his show at Merlyns Club in Madison, WI, Jeffrey was sitting quietly at a table. I asked if I could take a few photos. At the time I was at the top of my Tri-X shooting and lab processing game, and the resulting shots are still stunning to this day (see photo below with links to more from that date). Only after watching this excellent documentary by Andrew R. Powell and Kurt Voss did I make the connection, that Jeffrey was a huge Marlon Brando fan. Hence the intense brooding captured in this photo (part of collage left), complete with the leather jacket.

The DVD features many interviews with ex Gun Club band members Kid Congo Powers, Ward Dotson, Terry Graham, Jim Duckworth and Dee Pop, as well as close friends John Doe, Dave Alvin, Henry Rollins, Mike Martt and Peter Case that render a fascinating portrait of the complex personality of Jeffrey Lee Pierce.

Jeffrey Lee Pierce of The Gun ClubOn another level it was fun to watch the DVD and see where Powell and Voss chose to weave my photos of Pierce into the narrative. The filmmakers effectively resurrected one of the murkier, yet dramatic, photos of the batch (right) to describe Jeffrey’s collapse into alcohol abuse.

In the end, it is the intense recollections by those who knew Pierce that makes this a fascinating character study and interesting addition to the legends of modern pop, rock and punk music history. I was not a big fan and did not know much about Pierce, and I am grateful to the filmmakers to learn much more about the intense brooding character whose image I captured back then.

You can read more about the DVD and see video clips of the trailer at GhostontheHighway.com.


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Media&Music09 Feb 2008 10:35 am

KPFA Grateful Dead Marathon Banner

The Annual KPFA Grateful Dead Marathon is scheduled for Saturday, February 9, 10am to 1am Pacific Time. Support KPFA by calling toll free: 1-800-439-5732 or 510 848-5732.

They will webcasting Grateful Dead music all day via kpfa.org, DeadNet, nugs.net, gdradio.net.

Many musical treats, of course, and a fine array of thank-you gifts including CDs, DVDs, books, and DeadNet Store gift cards. Mark your calendars and spread the word! Deadheads (and others) can call any time to volunteer to work in the phone room: 848-6767, x618. It’s a lot of fun, and the food is usually pretty good, too.

MediaSpin.com is a proud supporter of KPFA radio.

Check out our Grateful Dead concert photos!

Grateful Dead Concert banner

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Music02 Sep 2007 08:43 pm

Old Flowr Child at Summer of Love 40th Anniversary Festival in Golden Gate Park

A huge crowd of happy, peaceful people gathered for the free concert celebrating the 40th anniversary of the Summer of Love that had a created a definitive home in the San Francisco Golden Gate Park neighborhood in 1967. Many from back in the day were there or honored and remembered, such as Chet Helms. The music and the vibes today were great. You had to be there. I shot nearly 2 hours of video and a few photos, to help preserve the mood.

Summer of Love 2007 stage

As a dumbed down convenience, the mass media brands the celebration as just a bunch of old hippies, etc. I do not agree with SF Chronicle radio columnist Ben Fong-Torres, quoted in a CW Nevius article, “We anniversary everything to death. Hopefully this will be the last of it.” Whoa, cynical grinch! Where is your humanity, dude? This is a rallying occasion for many voices to speak out. Far more mindful than an everyday baseball game, football game, etc. This gathering has a serious tone, a seeking for answers and connections, since it is so abundantly clear this country has been misled in a ominously wrong direction.

Golden Gate Park Summer of Love 2007 Festival

Unfortunately, shallow reporters who are not truly engaged in events taking place in front of them miss the point. Forty years ago and today [enter cynical, negative label here] the movement holds many concerns far above music. There are many who seek positive solutions and a consciousness awakening. Embrace the light and shake off the dark, repetitive history of fear, hate and war!

Update: Joel Selvin of the SF Chronicle gives a well detailed review of the day at SFGate.com

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Internet&Music25 Aug 2007 09:55 am

Google search for grateful dead concert

When I first asked Joel Eisenberg about posting a few of his Grateful Dead concert photos on a few back pages, Rockpix, at this here Media Spin web site, I added that it might take awhile for folks to find us. Well, in less than two years, two of his images have risen to positions #1 and #2 on the Google image search engine when entering “Grateful Dead Concert“. Of course this is an ever-changing statistic, but for now, as Walter Cronkite would say, that’s the way it is.

A Google search for simply “Grateful Dead” yields us the #8 and #9 spots. The image appearing in both searches has ghostly lettering “Grateful Dead” which I added using Photoshop techniques.

Grateful Dead on Google

I’ve seen a number of these images linked at large sites such as Myspace, and music forums all over the world, so I suppose that is how these receive such high rankings. Other than running Google ads, Joel and I are curious about how to monetize the images. We’ve taken a few requests for photo prints on an individual basis, but merchant sites such as CafePress.com do not allow the marketing of celebrity images.

Bob Weir and Jerry Garcia of the Grateful Dead, May 1982, Berkeley, CA

As exciting as this is, it reminds me that I must soon build a new web site for my own professional design work. Mediaspin.com has organically sprawled into my own little multi-purpose fun site, since Media Spin Interactive, Inc. closed its doors in 2003. I’m planning to use a new domainname for my professional design website, and maintain Media Spin as the random fun web site. That way professional business contacts will not be confused by the diversity and commercial nature of the current Media Spin site. What a long, strange trip it’s been!

See the video! Joel and I do a show and tell on Tubular TV about his concert photos.

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Media&Movie TV DVD Review&Music07 Feb 2007 09:41 am

Beer Bottle Inspector, Wisconsin

With the advent of the audio CD, copy protection of digital media has become a major concern for the media business. Napster’s peer-to-peer file sharing of music across the Internet created a firestorm, lawsuits and new efforts to get the genie back into the bottle.

Encryption codes and DRM (Digital Rights Management) software have been created to protect DVDs, CDs and their respective filtypes from copying, and there are always ambitious hackers who enjoy the challenge of cracking the secret codes.

The iPod and its iTunes music and movie download system has been a great success. Part of that success means working with the content owners so that they do not get ripped off. Steve Jobs recently published his views on music and DRM on the Apple web site. It is a clear and interesting view on digital media and concludes that DRM really is unnecessary. There are 2 settings to every bit, so that discussion will go on for some time.

To shoot film or to shoot bits, that is the future Hollywood is confronting. Clearly, digital distribution to mall screens or iPods is the direction we are heading. New Yorker film critic gives a deeper look in his recent article, Big Pictures: Hollywood looks for a future.

Innovative filmmaker David Lynch seems to love the speed and control of DV production tools in making his new movie, Inland Empire. See details in this Videography article.

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Music20 Jan 2007 09:42 pm

Bohemia Punjabi Rapper Photo shoot
Here’s a craigslist story for you.

Recently placing ads for synthesizer composers and videoblog mates turned up about 10 times more musicians than video journalists. A very diverse and well developed group, the musicians are clearly a traditionally itinerant profession, whereas the videoblog journalist is currently an emerging identity.

One of the more interesting synth respondents was the Punjabi Rapper, Bohemia. Raja aka Bohemia invited me to a photoshoot for his upcoming recording, so I followed up on it. What occurred was a fun filled day where I shot about 80 minutes of video. And somehow I get the feeling this is only the beginning.

Bohemia in Lamborghini

The photo shoot by Bay Area photograher Jonathan Marks went down at a 3 Million plus house in Ruby Hill and just to make things a bit more lively, a Lamborghini, a Ferrari and four gorgeous model babes made the scene. What would a photo shoot be without all that?

Bohemia and Punk Revolution Babes

We shot an number of video sequences that are in editorial process now. This is the second hip hop movement my video lens has been turned on to within a short time. Very well, it is a lively relationship happening very much now in the moment.

Bohemia and the Four Babes of the Apocalypse

Update… see my new Tubular TV video of  the wild and crazy hip hop party scene in Sunnyvale, CA where Bohemia was the headliner attraction.

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Humor&Music05 Jan 2007 08:53 am

Jesus H Christ CD coverDo you need a suburban morning wake up call? Go to this web site and listen to these edgy, nasty power pop songs by Jesus H Christ and the Four Hornsmen of the Apocalypse. It will restore your attitude where The B-52’s and R.E.M. left off awhile ago. The girl singer Risa Mickenberg sings naughty things that make me smile. These characters have surpassed They Might Be Giants as a well co-ordinated nut job band with horns in my musicologic mindscape.

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Music&Personal25 Dec 2006 03:25 pm

James Brown memorial

The sudden passing of James Brown reminded me that I have an number of photographs I shot of him in a concert performance at the Madison (WI) Civic Center in April of 1981. So here are a few of the photos displayed in fond memory of a dynamic, energetic character.

James Brown - Hot Pants

His singing style was one that I could vocally imitate, and get friends laughing at my explosive delivery of the James Brown catch phrases, “Hot Pants!” “Popcorn” and of course a big “Huh!” from the diaphragm… or the gut for you rednecks.

James Brown - God Bless

James Brown in concert

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