Saturday, September 7, 2013

Summer Concerts

It seems that summertime and music go hand in hand. Witness the plethora of outdoor venues for bands to strut their stuff. A few drinks, some rock 'n roll... what could be better? As wonderful as summer concerts are, the last one I attended was 11 years ago. For some reason, concerts just weren't on my radar. Until this year. I've been to 3 concerts this summer. Three! I go 11 years without seeing a concert and - bam! - I hit three of them this year. What gives? I don't have a clue... all I can say is I've had a blast.

First up: The Eagles at Summerfest on July 7th. We had grass seats, which is the perfect way to ease into the concert scene after a long absence. My favorite Eagles song: Take It to the Limit

Next: Sir Paul McCartney at Miller stadium on July 16th. We had great seats, but it was hot as blazes, with high humidity. Only thing to do was to lean into the sweat running down my back and enjoy the show. My favorite McCartney song: Band on the Run.

Last, but by no means least: Aerosmith at the Marcus Amphitheater on August 30th. What a FABULOUS concert. Full disclosure: I LOVE Aerosmith. I've loved Aerosmith ever since their 1975 Toys In The Attic album. I know each and every one of these songs intimately. I was just barely a teenager and vividly remember lying, many a night, on the floor of our living room, my head close to my parents' console stereo, listening to this album. These songs saw me through scads of teenage angst. And then some. And, after Steven Tyler's stint on American Idol, I feel like I know him, somehow. Watching him week after week afforded me an opportunity to see that he's a regular schmo with a flair for the quirky and over-the-top and a wry sense of humor. Seeing him in concert (in fantastically close seats no less) felt personal to me, and when they played Sweet Emotion (my all-time favorite song), I swear they were playing it just for me.

As great as the iPhone is, it sucks when it comes to taking pictures at concerts. It took me three concerts to figure out that the best results come if you wait until the lights shine DIRECTLY at you and then snap the picture. Contrary to the mechanics of everything I've learned as a photographer, it somehow works. Here are some of my memories:

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Great read:

I read a couple of terrific stories in the latest issue (Volume 13, Spring 2013) of The Los Angeles Review:

* "Landfall" by Robert P. Kaye - This is wonderfully understated so that it sneaks up on you, grabs hold in a powerful way. I admire the ability to take a world news event and make it relatable.

* "Losing the Title" by David Elliot - This is told in a second person POV, and I, as a rule, don't care for this POV. But, holy cow, this is magnificently rendered. Powerful. Mesmerizing.

* "Confounding Variables" by Rachael Warecki - This is smart and clever and well-crafted.