January 20, 2009
I shall continue where I left off in Part the First, no less tired this time around, but a scant few hours before my self-imposed bedtime — and if I don’t finish it now, then when? Indeed.
Once again, the full gallery of my Year in Review photographs can be seen here — I have selected one photo per thousand I shot all year (45,000 in all), picking ones I thought particularly interesting in the story they told, amusing somehow, or just a personal favorite.
The first image is Magdelene Veen, formerly of Abney Park, at the Emerging Illusions fashion show with Creatureform Designs; she reposted several of these photos titled “I am some sort of demon crow.” Her act was that of a ballerina; and this shot, though backstage, reminds me of the same flow and movement (though I’m not sure she even knew I took this).
We of course love the Dresden Dolls, those purveyors of punk cabaret and one of the first mainstream underground (yes, I’m aware of the contradiction) acts to combine musical and non-musical performance acts on their stage — for, in 2005, as a fan of the Dresden Dolls, how else would I have been introduced to Vau de Vire Society but by seeing them perform onstage alongside a favorite band? The rest is history. Pictured here is Brian Viglione at the Fillmore, where I was brought in to shoot the show (and I had dinner with Brian, Amanda and Meredith Yayanos beforehand: they’re all amazing sweethearts).
Hiding ‘neath the swirl of the skirt here is Leila Bazzani of Black and Blue Burlesque, performing with the Yard Dogs Roadshow at Lightning in a Bottle 2008. You may notice a similarity to a certain other photo of mine, which just so happens to be her partner in crime, Tuesday Blue.
Please see the rest after the cut (even if it’s just to browse the photos…).
Pictured is Kelsey of Vau de Vire Society at Bohemian Carnival, during a hip-hop dance routine with an array of stunningly beautiful women (but I said Vau de Vire already, so I repeat myself); at some point during this number I proclaimed to a friend “I have the best job in the world,” and coincidentally then received a kiss from one of said girls. I rest my case.
Two contestants clash during a dome fight at Death Guild Thunderdome’s June fundraiser for Burning Man. A tragedy that it is now closed, Ace Auto wrecking yard in San Francisco was one of the more unique venues (and we’ve lost the Xenodrome, too — a bad year for underground haunts, it has been). Appalled I missed it, I heard John Law and Maid Marian fought later that eve (an epic, epic battle it must have been).
I am honored to say I am a photographer for the inimitable villainous herself, the chanteuse Jill Tracy (who again headlines the Edwardian Ball this year); she’s using this photo on her site, taken during her CD release party for The Bittersweet Constrain.
Some of you may not recognize the man himself, but you’ve likely seen his work: between his amazing art pieces such as the Tasseograph Trash Tea Temple and Basura Sagrada, the Temple at Burning Man this year, and his performances with Lucent Dossier Vaudeville Cirque and Vau de Vire Society or his rogue murals in Los Angeles (or my car!), Shrine does amazing work. This was taken at the fundraiser for the Temple.
Still startled I went and braved the skull-crushing volume of the awful techno that was the jailbait candy-raver infested Electric Daisy Carnival, I like how this photo of TT Robson came out from her performance with Vau de Vire Society.
They’re Gibbous Fashions, purveyors of delightful tatterdamalion couture, and I love wearing their clothes. This was shot very hastily just post-performance at the Stellar Fashion Show.
A belly dancer from Lapsus breathes fire at KSea’s circus Revolution show at Fat City in August.
I have much I could say about this amazing clown miss Bex of Burning Man Senior Staff, but I’ll let her modular protest against the wind at Burning Man 2008 tell most of the story. (Other days it was a protestation against “Working in the Dirt” and “
Bad Techno Music”).
Every year I see photographs of the naked man slowly dancing with his two umbrellas (sometimes white, sometimes blue). This year I stumbled across not one, but three: he was joined by two lovely ladies similarly clad. It was the image where you could see nothing at all that I found most arresting, however.
This is an ode to anyone who considers Burning Man to be comprised exclusively of hippies and techno music. I not-so-humbly submit, right out of Mad Max, the incredible DPW for your consideration (oh please call them hippies when they can hear you). From the second most fun escapade at Burning Man this year was the DPW Parade — Slim was just leaving my camp when he stopped and did an about-face: he spoke to me only “DPW Parade. Now-plus-thirty (minutes).” I grabbed my gear and ran after him. We braved hours of white-outs well-prepared, with plenty of Pabst, whiskey, and attitude. F*cking hippies.
Becca of Vau de Vire Society brandishes an American Flag at our September Bohemian Carnival (today is a good day to be an American, I must declare (yes we can has!)).
I am surprised and somewhat bemused at the photographer roles I sometimes fill, as especially when it comes to performances such as this — Displayed Labors (nicknamed “Sideshow”) at the DNA Lounge featured an array of pokey hookey stabby things through flesh (some softer than others). Here, Chi Kitty Andy circles above the crowd via four hooks in his back.
The Folsom Street Fair is the largest leather event in the world, and I’m sure sports more hateful hairy man ass and exposed penises than I care to see; but we, being good San Franciscans (and troublemakers at heart) do appreciate the open and accepting atmosphere this City caters to, and certainly wish to not only show our support but revel in our own “fetish” (of sorts) — for, in the words of the lovely Lady Nifer (of NifNaks fame): “Modesty is the new Kink.” So, teacups in hand and hats (sometimes tiny) on head, we braved the Folsom Street Fair, stalwart pinkies proudly extended (just not at this moment by Colin, above).
Eric Gradman is right this very moment, I’m sure, doing the exact same thing with his Mutaytor brethren at the Inaugral Ball at the Mayan in Los Angeles — congratulations on a sold-out show, my friends (1400 tickets!). This shot was grabbed at LA’s Decompression in October.
Just a single exposure, no photoshop, no trickery, shown here is the ghost of my friend Lily in the blighted industrial shore of the San Francisco Bay off of 3rd street.
My lovely friend and quiet companion Eli (often known as 10-9) joined me in New Orleans for shenanigans during Halloween and Day of the Dead with Jill Tracy and the Ghosts Project (both of whom perform this weekend!). Here she’s wearing my mask and hat (and a Dark Garden corset). I need my hat back, Eli. :P (but you can keep it if you wear it). I love that town.
Taken on Halloween, I felt this photo of Sasha at the Queen of the Damned vampire ball in New Orleans summed it up rather well.
This is your humble narrator at the House of Blues in the French Quarter of New Orleans on Day of the Dead, just before the Ghosts Project went on. I frequently have to take my own photo (for otherwise I wouldn’t have any), but I liked this one in particular. That’s all. :P (The mask was purchased the day prior in the Quarter).
November 4th was an incredibly momentous day, and I told my coworkers if the results came back poor not to expect me before noon, for there was a bottle of whiskey with my name on it. I’m very glad that wasn’t necessary. Here we have 19th and Valencia, overwhelmed with a crowd of a thousand people including Extra Action Marching Band (who, at this very moment, are loudly celebrating in the streets of the Mission for today too is a momentous one!). The police were very polite and accommodating, politely asking — with smiles! — for Extra Action to wrap it up after midnight had passed.
I’m glad how her cello case came out. It was painted by Shrine.
I was hired to shoot GWAR in concert at the SF Regency Ballroom. Never having heard of them before, I did my research: needless to say, I was prepared (with plastic bags, goggles, and all-black (no stains possible!) clothes). GWAAAAARRRRR. They were hilarious. (To the uninitiated: they’re kind of like Kiss for death metal, only 100x more ridiculous. At least they — unlike the other three bands playing that evening — knew they were a joke).
I was asked to set up a photo studio at the Bentley Reserve for the Black Rock Art Foundation’s (BRAF) Artumnal Gathering party and fundraiser. Hollyhoo tried to sneak up on me over a bench at the side of my little station while I was taking another photo, but I whipped over and snapped this shot of her while she stepped down. Ironically enough, it was the shot with no background and with sub-optimal lighting that I enjoyed the most, which I suppose is a metaphor of sorts for the kind of photography I do primarily (events and off-the-cuff in-the-moment chaos).
My penultimate image is an absinthe fountain from Zak’s absinthe bar at the last day of Dickens Christmas Fair at the Cow Palace in Daly City. I like absinthe. There was a time — before the ban was lifted — where I was known for it, or perhaps better for always having some bottle or another on-hand (and none of that Czech Republic swill — stick to beer, people!).
My new place. I live here now. It’s like something out of a movie. Buried in the industrial blight of south Oakland, I now have room for a photo studio. Expect new and exciting (well, for me) developments in that regard in the near future.
That’s it. A year’s worth of work in two little blog posts. Only about half the events I worked are represented with little vignettes here, but I had to pare it down somehow. Thanks for reading this far, and now, to 2009; but first, blurredly tired, to bed.