Category Archives: music

Jamie Forsyth Studio

Engineering Room ©2013 Gary Livingston

Engineering Room ©2013 Gary Livingston

I did a fun photo shoot for Jamie Forsyth, an amazing guy and incredibly talented composer, a little while back. I’m just now getting to put a few shots up here due to the site working again.

It was a real fun time with Paul Mocey-Hanton assisting me both on the shoot and taking the lead on the compositing of the images.

If you don’t know much about architectural photography you can do it one of two ways. In camera or in post.

If you do it in camera, the old school film way usually did it like this, you have to gel all the lights and/or windows to get the color casts correct. You need to bring a whole ton of different lights to get the space lit the way you want it to be. You do a whole bunch of time consuming work before you even take a photo.

 ©2013 Gary Livingston

©2013 Gary Livingston

If you do it in post, you are focusing on just one piece of the space at a time and you take a different photo for each piece. Then, in photoshop (or whatever) you create a composite image of all the photos stacked together into a single image. This is much faster to do during the shooting portion of things and requires much fewer lights because you can just light one area at a time and not everything at once. You end up spending more time afterwards though. But, it’s the way to do things if you don’t have a huge budget and lots of assistants and equipment.

At any rate, Paul did a fantastic job helping me out and these are the images that were created. I’m pretty stoked on them. It was a real good time.

 ©2013 Gary Livingston

©2013 Gary Livingston

My First Photoshoot For DrumSmack! : Marvin “Smitty” Smith

Smitty Smith

Marvin “Smitty” Smith ©2015 Gary Livingston

I probably won’t write much in the following posts regarding DrumSmack! but, since it is the first one I want to share a little bit about what I encountered.

I had the double pleasure of experiencing what an amazing show DrumSmack! is in addition to getting to meet/photograph the great “Smitty” Smith on March 4. First, the entire staff of DrumSmack! are very fun, positive, and loving people. I really didn’t know what to expect once I was at the studio. In the past when I have been on sets it’s been a super anxious, strict, closed off vibe. Everyone involved is open, eager to listen and share, and excited about the show and everyone around them.

That sort of mentality is present in the format of the show. It is really focused on getting the most out of their guests in order to help give the listeners/viewers the ability to grow and learn. It isn’t a boring, shallow, just scraping the surface show. There is a rich assortment of wisdom offered up. It spans from the professional to the personal to the creative nature of being an artist.

Smitty Smith

Marvin “Smitty” Smith ©2015 Gary Livingston

This is where the second big perk showed itself. Marvin “Smitty” Smith is a very incredible person. His stories and jubilation in his every word was a bit shocking. I didn’t go into this expecting to get so much out of it. Especially, since this was all focused on drummers. But, each of his tales had very clear messages and lessons to take away from them that could easily be applied to any craft, business, or passion a person may have. The man was very humble and oozed professionalism. I found myself thinking many times about an assortment of my own experiences and those of others in random unrelated industries. If you watch his episode you’ll see him discuss knowing his role in the Tonight Show Band and his joy in supporting Kevin Eubanks. He sounds like a world class hockey player in the olympics, happy to be relegated to the fourth line instead of the usual first line they would be on if the entire team wasn’t made up of all-stars, prideful and willing to do anything to help the team win. Anyhow, it was a real treat.

I’m really excited to be around Murph, Jeff, and Brad more as I help capture their many amazing guests.

Radical Face 10.11.2011

©2011 Gary Livingston©2011 Gary Livingston©2011 Gary Livingston©2011 Gary Livingston©2011 Gary Livingston©2011 Gary Livingston©2011 Gary Livingston©2011 Gary Livingston

I spent Tuesday night with my friend Marc seeing a great musician called Radical Face that he introduced me to a few years ago.

Radical Face is a project by Ben Cooper. He played with two great musicians (**Update** I’m told they are Jackie Stranger and Jeremiah Johnson) and the Easterly Singers (a choir). The two musicians were great. They jumped around instruments throughout the show for brief moments and made it interesting.

It was also my first time at the Bootleg Theater’s main room. The front room is a total shit dive bar atmosphere. It is where I saw and photographed Ancestors. It completely sucks ass. But, the main room was really intimate and well lit and a great vibe!

The sound was a little harsh on the treble but, pretty good overall!

The energy and interaction was really fun. Ben was really good at talking to the crowd in-between songs and being honest about his potential mistakes. The drummer was really charming to watch. He even did some amazing yo-yo tricks while some gear was on the fritz!

Radical Face is making a few more stops with choirs from the city they are visiting. Be sure to check it out the show if you can!

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Dark Angels featuring Omar Rodriguez-Lopez at The Del Monte Speakeasy

©2011 Gary Livingston©2011 Gary Livingston©2011 Gary Livingston©2011 Gary Livingston©2011 Gary Livingston©2011 Gary Livingston©2011 Gary Livingston
I got a call this evening from my brother, Jason, at about 8pm that Omar Rodriguez-Lopez (At The Drive-In, The Mars Volta, & countless other great projects) was playing a free show with Dark Angels tonight at 10pm. A good friend of my brother’s, Chad Marshall, tipped him off and he passed the info to me. Thanks, Chad and Jason!!!

Being that I now live in Santa Monica I could not pass up the opportunity to watch Omar play and be exposed to a new band I have not heard before. Especially, since it was down the street at The Del Monte Speakeasy in the basement of the Townhouse in Venice.

It turned out that Omar was playing along with Darks Angels on a few songs. Rather than Omar playing his own set. Either way, it was exciting and totally worth dropping everything to attend.

Comprised of two members not counting Omar’s sometimes involvment, Dark Angels features Nicci Kasper on keyboards, percussion, effects, samples, production and Deantoni Parks on drums, keyboards, percussion, effects, samples, production.

A reader just pointed out that Deantoni Parks is a member of the Mars Volta and also performs with the Omar Rodriguez-Lopez Group. Shows you all how in touch I am with the current music scene. haha. Thanks, Boyd.

Dark Angels is not typically what I spend my time listening to or going to see live. It is very electronic heavy music. However, it is very organic in how they build their soundscapes. It was really a blast witnessing them. I highly recommend making it out to a show and exploring their music.

Be sure to check them out:

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Infantree at the Satellite, Silver Lake, Ca

©2011 Gary Livingston©2011 Gary Livingston©2011 Gary Livingston©2011 Gary Livingston©2011 Gary Livingston©2011 Gary Livingston©2011 Gary Livingston©2011 Gary Livingston©2011 Gary Livingston

Infantree played a free show Monday August 9th opening up for Whispering Pines (look them up,their drummer is rad).

It was a fun friend affair. I headed out with my brother, Blake, photographer/cinematographer, Paul Mocey-Hanton, and “Steech” Steve Davis. It was a blast just hanging out before the show and would have been a great night no matter what. But, it turned out to be an amazing night.

Infantree played the best show I’ve ever seen them put on. Not only was it their best but I think it is in my top 25 list of concerts. When you are like me and you have seen well over 500 concerts with many bands performing at each concert that really counts for something.

The band put on a performance that kept the energy flowing. Almost all the songs they played were re-crafted in a manner to allow them to seamlessly transition into the next one without stopping.

They also seemed to be jamming a bit more than I had seen before. It was fantastic!

They play pretty often around LA and are slowly touring more and more so be sure to keep your eye out for them. =)

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The Hunt Club at Three Clubs in Hollywood, Ca 7.20.11

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This past Wednesday night I went out with some friends to catch our good buddies’ new band, The Hunt Club. The songs are written by Jaco Caraco and Cass Dillon and featured Jacob Fatoorechi and Sean Winchester as support. They are all really incredible musicians and are often playing in the studio and on tour with big names like Miley Cyrus, Ashley Tisdale, and Everclear.

It’s always a treat to see something one of these guys are creating for themselves instead of for someone else. They always put on a fantastic show with anyone they play with but, seeing something they are doing personally brings a different vibe to the performance that you can connect with easier. You just know what they are doing means the world to them and you want to support that.

For one of their first times out the show was really fun and energetic. The songs were all solid and I am excited to see how this project develops. Keep your ears/eyes out for The Hunt Club. =)

It was really wonderful to catch up with some old friends too. I’m specifically speaking to James and John on this. ^_^

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The Dear Hunter – In Studio Making The Yellow EP

Here is some more teaser footage. This time shot in Casey’s home studio in Southern California. For this EP a great group of musicians in a band, called Naive Thieves, joined in.

You can check out Naive Thieves here:

Remember to purchase The Dear Hunter’s “The Color Spectrum” =)

The Dear Hunter – Making of The Orange EP

Here is a teaser video of some travel footage and in studio footage from the documentary I filmed of The Dear Hunter making “The Color Spectrum” project.

Remember to purchase The Dear Hunter’s “The Color Spectrum.” It’s out now! =)

Andrew W.K. at Echoplex 5.10.11

©2011 Gary Livingston©2011 Gary Livingston©2011 Gary Livingston©2011 Gary Livingston©2011 Gary Livingston©2011 Gary Livingston©2011 Gary Livingston©2011 Gary Livingston

I got to check out Andrew W.K. this Tuesday at the Echoplex. It was the rowdiest group of concert goers I have encountered in a long time. And, it made for a really fun night even with a few set backs.

Andrew W.K. performed solo and while one would expect a show to lack energy at the sight of a lone keyboard on stage, energy was one thing not missing from the show.

The venue has a small photo pit in front of the stage. When I say small, I mean there is not enough room to freely walk in front of the stage. You must climb above or crawl under stage lights in front of the stage pressed against the barrier. But, it was nice to have even that much space between stage diving/crowd surfing fans and myself. It was a welcomed difference from the Roxy.

There was no short supply of fans cycling through the crowd and onto the stage and back into the crowd. Andrew was really happy to have them join him and sing along.

While shooting Andrew’s set something went wrong with my camera (what’s new?). This time there is something wrong with the batteries or more likely, the system chip that recognizes the batteries are connected. No more than one song in I was only able to fire off a single frame before the camera error would appear and I was forced to take out the batteries and reset the camera. I ended up getting really frustrated and trying all kinds of combinations with my batteries and external grip/battery pack. Nothing fixed it.

I lost a lot of time for shooting trying to fix my camera and when I finally moved to a good spot to get some long lens shots the show was already over.

It was Andrew W.K.’s birthday as well. Which added some extra elements to the night. Among them a great looking cake in the shape of A.W.K.’s face. I think the fact of it being his birthday may have hastened the set reaching its end.

It was a very fun performance but, a bit disappointing. Andrew was on stage for only 30 minutes (and that is being very generous). I was expecting more for sure. I have no idea if he came back out. It did not seem as though he was going to. No announcement was made and I didn’t leave for 15 minutes after he left the stage and most of the venue was empty.

It was very confusing though. The DJ kept spinning and the lights stayed down. Even other fans were confused and hesitant to leave.

All in all, it was a great time and the place truly did party hard. Note a kind fan holding up a pair of lost shoes in hopes of reuniting them with their owner. These shoes were only one of many items exploded from their counterpart during the show.

I can’t wait to party hard again. =)

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Ancestors at Bootleg Theater 5.8.11

©2011 Gary Livingston©2011 Gary Livingston©2011 Gary Livingston©2011 Gary Livingston©2011 Gary Livingston©2011 Gary Livingston©2011 Gary Livingston©2011 Gary Livingston©2011 Gary Livingston

I went and saw Ancestors play at the Bootleg Theater on Sunday the 8th. It was a pretty fun time. Even though three of my friends bailed on coming out after saying they would.

Ancestors is a sweet heavy band. I don’t know genres too well but I think they classify as droney stoner metal. haha. They played a fun set with a mix of instrumentals and vocal songs. There was one person in particular that was entirely consumed by the music. In fact, you’ll see a few images of him slithering around on the stage. haha. It added an extra element of entertainment to the show.

And, yes, the venue was that naturally orange. >_< The band is about to release a 3 song EP in June. After that they'll be in the studio working on a new full length. Be sure to check them out!

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