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I need a kamera...

with what I see, what jumps out and says hello, for that to translate so poorly at these live shows - it almost makes me not want to write (gasp!) because my photos have not captured what they are all capable of. so I'm posting in the gallery, and here's the summations:

1. the cloud room with pela and foreign born at the mercury lounge:

jesus fucking christ. there was the kexp gig that started the whole thing, then the mini-set at cafe nine, and then this. a full set of the cloud room, complete with sweating rock stars, spilled beer, and much photogenic momentry. totally mindblowing.

foreign born was a decent indie band, the lead singer strutting and shaking all over the stage like mick jagger. black and white lights. pela took us to the reds and blues... a bass player with a broken foot, perched on a stool, and a lead singer who looked like a football player - his outsides and insides just didn't match. when he really got going, this energy just exploded out of him, and you stood with your mouth open wondering where the hell this guy came from. we talked to him outside after his set and told him this, and he told us that he wanted to hear other people's symphonies. the mta worker, the cab driver, the girl walking down the street - what do they hear? what kind of music do they make inside? I fell in love with him a little bit, and he ambled away and sat on the sidewalk a few feet away from us to have a cigarette. unexpected and perfect.

and then, of course, full frontal cloud room chaos. I will venture to say that I have not seen such energy from a group of boys since - since I don't know what. I don't even have anything to compare it to. they just took over, up on stage, controlling the room... the music was tight and perfect and it flowed right through you, and it backed up j just right but was perfect alone, maybe like a well balanced wine, or that moment when you look in the mirror and all of the parts of you just say "yes" all at once. turn that up a hundred notches, those perfect moments, and do it at full volume for over a half hour. I was starstruck, stammered, and said a bunch of dumb stuff I'm sure. guys this on usually aren't so tangible, and there's jon partway into beautiful mess yelling to me from the side of the stage because he knew it was what I wanted to hear. my head was, is, and continues to explode.

as I type, chacha naps, curled in the middle of the air mattress, while I've got the stereo throwing out the barsuk compilation pretty damn loud, and I'm brought back to sleeping through band practice on the black couch.

so, on top of that, I managed to get some other great shots, feet and some other stuff. if you haven't seen the cloud room yet, get to a show immediately. if you can't get to see them live, buy the cd. buy ten of them and give them to all of your friends. blare beautiful mess as loud as it will go and thrash around in your kitchen. go.

2. the jon rodgers neuftet with kate callahan at the space:

this one I actually wrote nine pages about in my notebook, which I'm sure I'll have time to post from work tomorrow. bliss, and much holding up of the phone to send songs across the continent to kristin.

next.

3. death cab for cutie with the decemberists and stars, central park summerstage:

this was like, last week. and since then I've fallen madly for death cab. I think colin meloy has a girlfriend.

so we leave new haven pretty late, and when we get to central park and to where this show is, I fucking lose it. now, I'm not expecting simon and garfunkel capacity here, but I'm thinking that it's going to be pretty fucking big. bordering on whoa, or wow at least. what I got was a mere "that's it? are you kidding?" we walked into the stage part of the park and it maybe had a few thousand person capacity. two, three? five, tops. no, less than that. remember those shots at the shins show in the yale courtyard? a little bigger than that, with a better stage.

stars were good but under mic-ed and a little drowned out, but good and leaving me wanting. we pushed through the crowd to get closer for the decemberists, and were treated with a full set at the sun set and the day bled into nighttime. kacia turned around at one point and laughed out loud at me, because when colin meloy is just doing his colin meloy thing, I've got this huge grin on my face and I'm perpetually convinced that he's talking to and looking at me. I know he's not, of course, but a girl can dream, no? great set, having been to a full live show plus colin's solo gig, I was jaded and not expecting much for an outdoor show but they well exceeded my doubts. I've seen colin enough now to go, oh, they got haircuts - I'm going to get arrested for stalking. especially since they're coming to new haven.

as for death cab, the change happened yesterday, so the show echoed through the night from afar as I wandered around and wondered what it sounded like echoing through the park, to people who knew and people who didn't, among postcards and stickers and indie rock extravaganza everywhere you turned. I'd never survive on the west coast, these kids are just so trendy - at least for now, the low key of new england suits me, with the city waiting for me when I need her - arms open, dirt under her fingernails, but in a good way, like she was working on a really cool project or something. so I recognized a few songs, held the phone out when I remembered to, and caught the end of the set with encores from side stage. they had like a vip pen of sorts set up, with vip folding chairs and a vip port-a-potty. it had a light, and possibly an attendant inside to help you wipe. we were laughing hysterically at this point, all high with summertime and show, and were thrown to our feet dancing when the decemberists came on for the encore and rocked us through "you can go your own way". we were laughing and screaming and colin sang the second verse out of the corner of his mouth and we cheered for every moment. dirty feet and odd numbered streets, and a good time was had by all.

now go look at how poorly my photographs capture these moments (well, if it's thursday. if it's still wednesday, you'll have to come back and check it out tomorrow). if you're so inclined, I'm accepting donations so I can get a decent used digital slr at milford photo. or, if you happen to have one, I've got $420.00 to put down and I can make payments. just thought I'd put it out there.

*sigh*

with love and stage light goodness, and those few pictures that came out just right staring back,

~vvb

Victoria Uhl