Monthly Archives: October 2008

LA Kings Practice 10.29.08

I woke up early this morning and headed over to the Toyota Center to catch the LA Kings practicing for their game tomorrow against the Vancouver Canucks.

The goal was to get some more shots to put together a little portfolio when I send this proposal over to AEG about gaining more access to the team. Hopefully, I made out with some shots you enjoy.

Let me know which you like most so I get have a different perspective to think about when I do put this mini portfolio together. Thanks =)

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I kinda lag.

It would appear I need to step it up on adding content here. Good thing this is an exciting week for me. Hopefully, I can use it to transition into being more productive.

I will be going to Vegas on Thursday for Halloween. Friday night should be great fun as I run around in my Animal (from the muppets) costume and attend a Steel Panther concert. Halloween is by far my favorite holiday too. SO EXCITED. I just need to finish making the body portion of my costume so I am ready to rock at the show.

(If you know who took this promo shot tell me. It is on their myspace and I’d like to credit the photographer)

This is Steel Panther if you don’t know. They started out as a metal cover band playing gigs around Hollywood. After a few name changes, great success, and some time writing their own original tunes they became Steel Panther.

I have NOT ONCE held any real respect for a cover band until I saw these guys a few years ago. They put on an amazing show, are incredible musicians, and just get it. They get what they are doing. It is exciting to watch these guys transition from cover band to artists. I’m excited about the release of their upcoming CD and will be sure to keep you informed about it. Conveniently, I play pick up soccer with the drummer these days. I never would have known until someone told me it was him though. haha.

After I get back from Vegas on Saturday I’m immediately heading to the Palladium which has reopened. I am going to be photographing Thrice! I can’t wait for that. Those guys are keeping with this theme of transitions. They started out as this kinda thrashy metal punk band and now I would rank them up there with Dredg in terms of artistic vision. They have been creating some really amazing concept albums and put on an crazy energetic show. I haven’t seen them in about three years now too. It will be a great night for sure!

Sunday will have me waking up at 8am to play some hockey. I have just started to play goalie for a friends’ team at the Tri Valley Roller Hockey League. Playing on this team is another transition move to help me recover from surgery and hopefully get myself ready to play on an ice hockey team. I really need to figure out a way to work that into this blog more too.

I am working on sending a proposal off to AEG. They own the LA Kings and I’m looking to gain some access to be able to photograph the team in more intimate moments like in the locker room. I will be sure to keep an update on that as it progresses. Even if I fail I am sure someone could walk away knowing a bit more of how to go about doing such a thing.

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FAR part II. More wow.

The second night of Far was much like the first. The main difference was I got to spend it with two great friends that are big Far fans too. I met up with Dave Levine and Andy Ellsworth right as the first band was getting off the stage.

I forget their name but, what little I saw was pretty awesome. They were kids and maybe 17 at the oldest. They put on a wonderful show and had great interaction with the crowd. One of my favorite parts of the night was watching them scurry through the Troubadour holding their ears during Bangkok Five’s set, watching Far with HUGE smiles, and observing other people.

Far’s set changed a little bit. I wish I had photographed the set lists from each concert. I’m a little rusty and it totally slipped my mind. It felt like there were more songs from “Tin Cans With Strings to You” than the first night. I started out in the mosh pit and had to fight my way out. I never thought it would be so intense. I’ve been to metal shows plenty but, it was pretty crazy to say the least. I think I had a 200lb guy on my shoulders singing into Jonah’s face at one point haha.

The Troubadour show felt a little bit more energetic than the Glass House. That is more of an incredible feat than a dig about the first night lacking energy. Maybe it was because the Troubadour is smaller and was a lot more dense with people. In any case, it was amazing. A lot harder to photograph though. I was just as stuck in my position to photograph the concert but, no afforded a nice spot to do so like at the Glass House. I think the images came out alright non the less and I did get to play with my smaller lens a little bit.

It was a joy to watch these guys together. I dunno what happened or if there ever was any bit of animosity when the band decided to break up. It really doesn’t seem that there was. The guys all seem to be having a wonderful time on stage together and very excited to be playing to their fans again. There is not a lot of things more inspiring to me than watching people do what they love and know their heart is in it. If these first two shows are a preview of things to come I have no doubt Far will be back for long enough to create a new album and tour the states.

Now if only Sunny Day Real Estate and Underwood could follow this trend…

If you do not own a FAR CD be sure to check out “Water And Solutions.” It has influenced countless bands since its release that range from Thursday to Deftones to well probably your favorite band.

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FAR part I. Wow.

FAR at the Glass House in Pomona, CA

The first FAR concert was at the Glass House. It was a hellish drive through traffic from Agoura to Pomona. I think I may have fallen asleep for five seconds during one of the complete stops on the 210 east bound. haha.

It took me two and a half hours to get there but, it was completely worth it and more. I mean, I had only been waiting for this day for ten years or so. What was another two hours?

It was kinda whacky when I first got there. Other than being berated by a homeless drug addict looking to score some change there was maybe 30 people at the venue.

Two bands opened to a crowd that stayed that size. The first was Division Day. They put on an interesting show. I don’t know how much I enjoyed their music. There were moments of awesome but, it seemed like there was a lot of filler. It may have just been that I was not familiar with them and their music requires one to know what to expect.

The next opener was Bangkok Five. These guys put on a fun show but, the music is pretty lame. It is typical “I wanna be a rockstar!” content. Sex, Drugs, Partying, ROCK AND ROLL! But, nothing of it comes off remotely sincere. At least Division Day’s music had a feeling of sincerity in it. It wouldn’t surprise me if these guys end up on MTV soon. After what felt like a long thirty minute set it was Far’s turn.

No less than five minutes after Bangkok Five got off the stage about 300 people came shuffling into the Glass House. I have no idea where they all were leading up to Far’s set. Thankfully, I was in a good spot that didn’t require me to need to move around much to get some decent shots.

The lights went down and the song on the Hot Little Pony myspace page began to play. I was expecting something exciting like the band sneaking onto the stage while the lights were out and then playing along to the track only to have it turned off and the band to continue on from there. Annoyingly, the track continued, finished, and then another pretty guitar track began as the band made their way onto the stage. This is where the bad comments end.

The band erupted into songs off “Water and Solutions” and “Tin Cans With Strings to You.” The crowd was singing along from the first word that rang out of Jonah’s lips until the last. If anyone were to stumble into the club that night they never would have guessed they were watching a band that was missing for the last ten years. It looked like a scene from a Dashboard Confessional concert when they were the BIG BAND. Except, Jonah only for a moment let the crowd take over to seemingly take in just how astounding their fans are.

It was one of the best concerts I have been to. Ranked up there along side of At The Drive-In, Incubus (in 1997 when the band was not afraid to let loose), and Ben Folds. There was an amazing energy being exchanged from the artists to the fans and back to the artists. One of those perpetual cycles of energy that fuels itself and continues to grow.

Without a doubt it was a dream come true and I was lucky enough to do it again the next night.

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Far preview

Day II is tonight (Thursday) I’ll have a whole review and lots more photos up then.

Until then here are a couple shots from Wednesday’s concert at the Glass House.

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LA Kings season opens tomorrow!

Coach Murray bringing the team together.  ©2008 Gary Livingston

Coach Murray bringing the team together. ©2008 Gary Livingston

With the new season opening tomorrow night there is a lot to be excited about when you think LA Kings. That almost feels strange to say after so many seasons of uncertainty about the future of the team.

For the first time in a very long time the LA Kings seem to have an identity as a team. Coach Murray has been working hard to bring everyone together on the same page stressing the importance of defense and checking. I was very excited the first time I read about Murray’s focus for the team and after attending some days at training camp and preseason games it was apparent his philosophy had taken root with the team.

I saw a total of eight fights in two preseason games and one training camp practice. The LA Kings are certainly tougher and every bit ready to fight hard if not for a playoff spot, at the very least recognition as being a tough competitor.

Tomorrow will say a lot. It is the first night the LA Kings are playing as an official team. Patrick O’Sullivan is back in the line up and all the cuts in training camp have been made. In interviews the entire team shows a renewed sense of passion and excitement for the game.

It should be exciting to see how well the preseason experiences carry over into the season. Tune in tomorrow at 7:30 on FSN to watch them knock some Sharks around!

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These Arms Are Snakes released “Tail Swallower and Dove” yesterday

Right now is a great time to check them out if you do not know who they are. They are currently in my list of favorite bands. Their last album was a masterpiece of suspense.

The entire album attacked you on a subconscious level and brought about feelings of anxiety and suspense as you listened to it. Every build up brought you to the edge and right when you expected an explosive climax they delivered a break in the music to leave you hanging. That CD, “Easter”, did not leave my car since Randy Strohmeyer sent it to me two+ years ago. Until I got “Tail Swallower and Dove” that is.

“Tail Swallower and Dove” is just as much of a mental barrage as “Easter” but with a stronger sense of melody. It seems as though the songs are a bit more finished than on the last album. The production is great and the songs really hold their own. But, the thing I love about this band is how as noisy as the songs are they really do compliment one another and form a body of work. They seem to be very keen on putting out true albums rather than some singles and filler. Even as weak as a song may seem it still contributes well to the album as a whole.

Be sure to pick up one of their albums and if you see them in concert stand back. It may be hard to stay away from them once they start but, you’ll thank me when you aren’t the one getting head butted or drooled on. haha. I know that sounds band. They really are sweet guys.

Steve Snere leading the band and room through an anxiety attack. Santa Barbara, Ca. Image © 2008 Gary Livingston

Steve Snere leading the band and room through an anxiety attack. Santa Barbara, Ca. Image © 2008 Gary Livingston

These Arms Are Snakes: These Arms Are Snakes

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FAR returns as Hot Little Pony.

And, to be quite honest I’m fighting off a boner due to excitement.

Jonah just ok’d me for photo passes to both shows. I have been a huge fan of Far since I was 15. The band broke up shortly after my friend showed me who they were. Thankfully, I didn’t have as bad of luck after that same friend showed me At The Drive-in. I at least got in two ATDI shows before they imploded.

The last 11 years have been a bit depressing each time I found myself listening to Water and Solutions or Tin Cans With Strings to You. I have seen Jonah play in a few other bands since that fateful day and knew how energetic and fun he is as a performer. The depressing part is that all those other bands didn’t come close to the intensity that Far’s music was. I knew I was missing out on an incredible experience.

Finally, thanks to Dave Levine, I am getting a chance to say “I SAW FAR!!!!!!”

Expect some fun photos from The Glasshouse and The Troubadour next week =)

Go check out Far: FAR*

And, a new track put out under the moniker Hot Little Pony: http://filter-mag.com/index.php?id=17617&c=1

*I fucking hate myspace.

Upcoming Shows:
Oct 15 2008 7:00P Glass House Pomona, California
Oct 16 2008 7:00P Troubadour Los Angeles, California

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W.I.P. This!

 

This should be a fun adventure.

This should be a fun adventure.

As one could guess from the title this is a work in progress.  That is not as much a description of this blog as it is about my real project, aRefuge.com (or my entire life for that matter, haha).  

The goal for this blog is to provide a fun little stream of creativity to the world as I work as a freelance photographer, come across art and artists, and of course explore Los Angeles.  

Expect some random photos from my social life too.  For being a hermit at heart I do find myself in some fun social situations with my friends.  

From time to time I will probably post small updates about A.Refuge and my pursuit of funding.

Well.  That’s it as far as intros go.  Stay tuned for more.

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