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Less Stripes more Zags

I shall not forget the first time the White Stripes invaded my brain. Jack White is a brilliant songwriter / musician and Meg is the kind of drummer that demonstrates how less can be more. Together, the White Stripes are (in my mind anyway) the Beck of this period of music – oddly familiar, yet ground-breaking-ly unique. Yes, that’s a word.

Jack White

It’s rock baby! This is elemental rock’n’roll. Then along comes the album Get Behind Me Satan. It starts out innocently enough with Blue Orchid and you’re thinking, “OK, more of the same…….” Then The Nurse throws you a curve ball with marimbas – yes you read that right – marimbas. But tucked in there is that unmistakable rock punctuation. It’s almost as if Jack is trying to say, “OK….. OK……. It’s different, yes, but it’s still rock……..”

Forever for Her is as close to a piano ballad as you’ll ever get from this dynamic duo. This is powerful, powerful stuff. But more importantly, it’s proof that Jack’s wish to try new stuff wasn’t going to be limited to his production of Loretta Lynn’s Van Lear Rose. But my favourite track on this album is My Doorbell. It screams fun like no other song they’ve written. I want to see this song redone by an R&B outfit. Anyone?…

18 Days

I had the privilege this week of photographing a family during this army dad’s 18 day leave.  He’s been serving our country in Iraq and will soon be there again until March.  What a wonderful way to document a homecoming.

 

“Chopper” promptly stole the show (and see the great smiling expressions from the family?  that’s because I’m practically laying on the ground – making cat noises… I always say, anything for a great picture!)

The girls were so much fun… and I think from the expression on dad’s face, he was just soaking it all in.

I think this look says it all.

My favorite shot of the session.  

Thanks to the Hafer family for being so great to work with, and thanks especially to Josh.  Your sacrifices make life better for us all.

Just a note:  at Scott Photography those serving our country in the armed forces never pay a session fee for photos with their family.  Contact us if you know a military family we can serve.…

STEVE PARKS + 3 PIECES: GROOVIN’ IN THE RIGHT DIRECTION

parkspieces

Steve Parks: Movin’ In The Right Direction
From Movin’ In the Right Direction (Solid Smoke, 1980)

The 3 Pieces: Backed Up Against the Wall
From Vibes of Truth (Fantasy, 1975)

I don’t profess to know much about so-called “modern soul.” In fact, I think one sure sign of knowing nothing about modern soul is actually using the term. Well, maybe that’s not exactly right…our valued colleague over at The Number One Songs In Heaven has a “brief history of modern soul” which defines the genre vis a vis Northern Soul.

When I use the term, I’m mostly talking about a sound – it’s a style of soul that’s slicker than the R&B of the early ’70s, more “shiny” if that makes any sense. It’s timeline and style definitely brushes up on disco but it’s not disco. Confused yet? Just listen to the songs and maybe that will make more sense.

Wish I knew more about the Steve Parks LP…it’s a local, Bay Area album whose title track has gotten a lot of play on comps and want lists. And…that’s about all I know. Song is great though – buttery smooth and though it might be Bay LP, it sounds like something more apt for a cruise down HWY 1 in Southern Cali.

The 3 Pieces were a Washington D.C. group that Donald Byrd helped assemble in the mid-1970s. Apparently, group member Lincoln Ross was a student of Byrd’s at Howard University and helped bring in two friends of his, percussionist Andre Richardson and vocalist Jerry Wilder, all of whom were in the their early 20s (I think) when the went off to Fantasy Studios in Berkeley to record Vibes of Truth. The album is a mix of both more straightforward soul cuts like “Backed Up…” and a few instrumental pieces that loosely resemble something the Blackbyrds might have done. Nice stuff, especially “Backed Up…”…

When the kids are away…

What does a parent do with three wild days of freedom while the kids are away at “Gramp Camp”?  Why, she blogs about them, of course.  Looking into each sweet sun-kissed face, practically hearing the laughter in their play (conveniently forgetting the messes associated with potty-training and the endless bouts of whining just a few hours ago as we were pushing them out the door).  But then, I guess that’s just the plight of a parent.  Gritting your teeth to get through to the end of the day, holding tightly to your heart while they’re away.

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Summer to me, is a misery.  That happens when you don’t like to sweat.  But to kids, it’s magical.  I remember that.  I know the delight behind these eyes, the joy of discovering this new, bright squirting ball of fun.  _MG_1010

Because when you’re young, it’s all about possibility._MG_1012

And the smallest experiences make you happy._MG_1105

like playing in dirty bird bath water…._MG_1099And you’re not yet to the age of worrying about your thighs, tan lines, or the funky frizzy way your hair will look when it dries.
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You’re just experiencing the sweet spot in life… and when you get older, it’s so much more difficult to find.  Which is why… we have kids…

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and why I miss mine.…

WHITEOUT / WHITEOUT / Friday October 30th

“THE LAST OPEN STUDIOS” WHITEOUT
doors open at 6pm—WHITEOUT unveiling at 6:30pm SHARP!
…………
Please click here to RSVP if you can join us at the WHITEOUT.
Click here to read the hoodline post about the Last Open STUDIO WHITEOUT.
……..
 Whiteout
For artists, WHITE  is the absence of color.
Artist studios and cultural spaces are being replaced by tech offices at alarming rates. San Francisco is losing artists and cultural diversity. As a result, the color and magic is being drained from our city.

The closing of SOMA Artist Studios after 26 years marks yet another of the many studios and cultural spaces to be replaced by market-rate renters. To focus attention on the rapid disappearance of our city’s art and culture, SOMA artists concerned for our city will simulate a “ WHITEOUT ”  by covering the art hanging in the studio’s two main halls.

Doors open Friday evening at 6pm…
At 6:30pm sharp on Friday evening, you can participate in the “unveiling” of 90 works of art. Show your support, wear  WHITE ! 
(or WHITE armbands—we’ll have some armbands)
Once the  WHITEOUT  material is removed from the art,
it will be draped in studios, on artists, and distributed to the visitors.
The WHITEOUT and LAST OPEN STUDIOS events takes place on the third of four weekends during ArtSpan’s annual SF Open Studios. This year is the 40th anniversary of San Francisco Open Studios.
The Last Open Studios at SOMA Artists studios continues through the weekend: Fri Oct 30th to 9pm, Sat Oct 31st & Sun Nov 1st, 11am–6pm