Sunday, September 28, 2008

A Difficult Goodbye to Shea Stadium

It's a somber day for Mets fans stuck closing out Shea Stadium with a devastating loss that killed our postseason hopes- difficult but not entirely unexpected. I love the Mets and I know it's a team you have to love because there's no other way to stomach the ups and predictable downs that we deal with through the years.

Sure Yankee fans have the dead heros and the miles of championship banners but they don't have the gritty determination of the Mets fans. Only a Red Sox or Cub fan can really understand our drama. It's strange seeing Shea Stadium, the park where I saw my first game, close after taking it for granted through the years but I guess that's progress.

Something tells me that if I can ever get a hold of seats to the new Citi Field Park and have a cup of Starbucks and a gourmet meal (that I'm sure will burn through my wallet) I'll learn to love it- at least we have Santana next year...

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Perfect From Now On

Last night I saw one of my favorite band's- Built to Spill perform at Terminal 5 in Manhattan. It was great to see them perform their quintessential album Perfect From Now On as well a few of their classics such as The Plan and Carry the Zero which was followed by a half hour jam with Dinosaur Jr. and the Meat Puppets.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Arnold Newman

I posted some new photographs up on JPG's website including a sentimental photo I took a few years ago of the great photographer Arnold Newman. I had a chance to meet Arnold Newman up in Maine shortly before he died. He was always an inspiration for me with his ability to bring photography to the realm of fine art and have the two medias interact. He was also a wonderful person and his positive attitude was terrific to be around. This image shows him getting his slides ready for a lecture and I always liked it because it captured a little bit of his jovial personality.

Friday, September 19, 2008

IF: Clique

As a high school teacher I know something about cliques. I've found that in a big school every social group has it's own clique.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Shea Stadium's last days

This weekend I went to my last regular season game at Shea Stadium to see the Mets in the first game of their doubleheader against the Braves. It's strange to see the stadium where I came to see my first game scheduled for demolition and it doesn't help that the Mets are faltering and our playoff hopes remain just that- hopes. Citifield sits right beyond the outfield looming and in appearance it seems dwarfed by Shea's height but I guess that's progress...

Thursday, September 11, 2008

JPG Magazine: Nighttime

I entered a few photographs into JPG magazine's conpetiton this month including the image above entitled "Station" for the nighttime theme. Check it out and vote, there's some awesome photos!

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

VOTE NEEDLES 2008! (for Billboard Magazine)

I entered this photo of James Dewees (singer and keyboardist of Reggie and the Full Effect and My Chemical Romance) into Billboard Magazine's Summer Photo Contest today. If you like it please cast a VOTE!

Reggie and crew will be playing the Crazy Donkey tomorrow in what may be their last Long Island show so be sure to check out!

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Kevin Devine at The Bowery Ballroom 9.5.2008

Kevin Devine played for a packed house at the Bowery Ballroom in Manhattan last night as the begining of Tropical Storm Hanna began to take hold over the city. The show was part of an ongoing tour featuring Matt Pryor (formerly of The Get Up Kids) along with Scott Matthew (of anime themesong fame).

Beer and Ballads were the theme of the night as the copious amount of plastic cups of lager were consumed leading to the ballroom actually smelling of alcohol. Matt Pryor proved to be a better live artist then his most recent album illustrated but after a half hour I felt like I may have contracted ballad sickness- a change of pace or an additional instrument could've saved the set. The songs were good but monotony began to set in as his set was ending around 11pm.

The main attraction began with a funny mock political speech about Kevin by a suit wearing friend who played it straight. Kevin took the stage with a vintage New York Mets jersey and two accompanying musicians and set the tone immediately with a fuller more layered sound. He really is a terrific songwriter and I have to give him credit for varying the topics of his songs and not letting relationships dominate all of his songs like so many others. The show featured songs with a variety of subjects- he covered everything from the current war and state of America in "Another Bag of Bones" to growing up in the boroughs in "Brooklyn Boy".

As the concert continued he brought a number of friends out on stage as the music drew into the early morning hours such as Carrie Brandenburg and the always soulful Jaymay. More than anything else Kevin has a strength in being relateable live and talked to the audience about everything from the Mets loss against the Phillies to his family to how McCain and Palin seemed creepy and out of touch (followed by a great rendition of "No Time Flat"). I had to leave before hearing my favorite song "It's Only Your Life" but the show was a great performance by a singer-songwriter who I expect to see more and more of in the coming years.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

New Music Reviews

I've been reviewing some new albums for the blog Short & Sweet NYC and one of my favorites of the bunch has been What Doesn’t Kill Us by the band What Made Milwaukee Famous. The album has a few tracks such as “Sultan”, “And the Grief Goes On...,”, and “To Each His Own” that really stayed with me and ended up in the regular rotation on my Ipod. I can really see this band becoming a force to recon with in the coming years.

I also reviewed Matt Pryor's new album Confidence Man which wasn't as cohesive. Matt clearly has something to offer but it only comes together a few times on the album. The title track is the one to listen if you want to check it out. I'm going to his performance Friday with Kevin Devine and Scott Matthew at the Bowery Ballroom. Kevin's always puts on a great show and from the album I suspect Matt might be good live performer as well so it should be a good show. I also hear that there may be a reunion of his former band The Get Up Kids someday soon which would be awesome.

Monday, September 1, 2008

Kristoffer Ragnstam at Piano's 8.27.08

Earlier this week I reviewed a great show by Swedish musician Kristoffer Ragnstam at Piano's Bar on Ludow Street in Manhattan. When I think of Swedish music ABBA comes to mind but Sweden is actually the 3rd largest exporter of music these days behind the US and UK. Kris has a unique progressive sound and is definitely friendly to the modern rock palette. I loved how the band was so high energy and melodic featuring elements of pop, rock, electronica. Definitely check out a few of his new tracks from his album Wrong Side of the Room and you can see my full review at the Short and Sweet NYC blog.