As I mentioned in the previous post, this past Wednesday I got to meet some of my musical heroes in the form of The Afghan Whigs. It got me thinking about how I got to this place. It all starts with Jason Behrends. Jason produces a wonderful, exhaustively updated pop culture blog called What To Wear During An Orange Alert. He was listening to Bon Iver before any of you knew who Bonnie Bear was. He did an artist’s Q&A with me a full year before I started contributing to his blog. We both happened to be going to the very first Pitchfork Music Festival the day after my sister and brother-in-law were married. Jens Lekman was on the bill, The National were playing the opening noon slot. I remember him being way up on the new music than me, and I thought I knew a lot of the interesting new bands.
Fast forward to January of 2008, I’m in New York trying to figure out how to make my way as a freelance photog and assistant while working at a bookstore on the Upper West Side. Jason contacts me and says he wants to start a live music segment called Paint The Town Orange and would I like to contribute photos. I say yes and find myself photographing St. Vincent at the Music Hall of Williamsburg in late February. I was hooked. I was packing a 20D, a crappy kit lens - and couple months later a nifty 50mm/1.8 - but I felt like fucking Danny Clinch. I was melding the two things I loved: live music and photography. And I also started writing reviews; my first published work since I had left the Fort Worth Star-Telegram in 1999.
From Orange Alert I hooked on with Venuszine and that led to BrooklynVegan. My photo of CW Stoneking that’s in Rolling Stone Australia Jan. ‘09 was originally shot for OA. My first licensed photo. I’ve experienced some great moments doing the whole live music thing (like seeing Lykke Li (above) open for El Perro Del Mar and watch everyone in the crowd collectively say, “Whoa”) seen some amazing shows, befriended some wonderful musicians and fellow photogs… But I will forever be indebted to Jason for setting me on this path. Thank you, sir.
Pictured: Lykke Li at the Bowery Ballroom, May 8, 2008. © Dominick Mastrangelo. Photos and review here.