(photos from SXSW 2008, Matt & Kim, The Death Set, Parts & Labor, The Death Set at Todd P's midnight acoustic BBQ show, Dan Deacon + Jimmy Joe Roche's Ultimate Reality, Team Robespierre, High On Fire, Motorhead, Children, The Death Set (portrait), Dark Meat, Juiceboxxx, Best Fwends, Ninjasonik, Best Fwends + Matt, The Death Set, Diplo, Hot Water Music, Mika Miko, Matt & Kim, Newmore Switchblades (group portrait), 1349, X, World Inferno Friendship Society, Mr. Free, Mark and Johnny, Monotonix, NOFX, Knyfe, Hyts, Annihilation Time, GZA, Dark Meat, Mixhell, Spank Rock + Diplo + Blaq Starr, Spank Rock, Ninjasonik,a larger gallery can be found here)

This post from SXSW is only a few months late (thanks to shitty iPods who like to lose my files). Kind of takes the wind out of it's sails, a lot. But hey, better late than never. With the 5-minute lifespan the internet affords anything, you kind of just have to think of it in the context of "posterity," I guess.

SXSW 2008

The List:

- Already bleeding the first two days there. Day 1: stabbed by a cactus while rushing to show, blood oozes down arm and hand. Day 2: cracked good by a crowd surfer at Motorhead, small head wound.
- Huge blisters on my pinkie toes (love you Vans, but you're shitty shoes for doing a lot of walking in).
- Finding that the $600 badges don't actually help with much if you tend to go to unofficial shows.
- Waiting in line for two hours to see High On Fire and Motorhead.
- Walking forever and getting lost trying to find Todd P's midnight acoustic show.
- Getting tricked into getting up way too early to see Hot Water Music, who turned out to be playing seven hours later than listed.
- Team Robespierre inserting my name into a song, and it still rhymed!
- All the young kids being confused after Dan Deacon's set with Jimmy Joe Roche's Ultimate Reality as to when Dan Deacon was going to play.
- Todd P. sharing his ice cream in the middle of the Matt & Kim craziness.
- After-party with Diplo DJing and rooftop-into-pool jumping.
- Seeing X perform in a giant TV studio.
- Naked guy (Mr. Free) performing with a rubber chicken head over his junk at the late night bridge show.
- Getting totally soaked (as in SOAKED) in beer at Dark Meat.
- Picking up the So So Glos (who were walking) a couple miles outside of town on their way to Todd P's super-secet after-after-party, it was still a good few miles to go.
- Todd P's super-secet after-after-party in a parking lot with perfomances by Spank Rock, Diplo, Blaq Starr, Ninjasonik and Deer Tick.

The Awards:

- Best new band: Monotonix.
- Bands I was most excited to see: tie between X and Motorhead.
- Best unexpected surprise: seeing 1349.
- Nicest staff: Emo's.
- Nastiest staff: the Vice after party (duh).
- Most over-the-top aggro security: Mohawk.
- Most annoying: aggressive audience members and even one photographer grabbing at my camera during shows.
- Most useful thing about me for others: designated driver.
- Biggest surprise: that the Vice "after party" started before midnight while all the other shows were still going on (dudes must be getting too old to stay out late anymore).
- Best quote: "What do you get when you take frat boys, dress them up in Urban Outfitters, and then get them wasted on free booze? The Vice after party."
- Most hated on: JellyNYC.
- Most complimented: Todd P.
- Best large-scale show: Mess With Texas.
- Best small-scale show: Todd P.
- Best moment I only heard about: Johnny from the Death Set throwing his amp into the pool while performing at the Garage.
- Best moment I was actually there for: Diplo, Spank Rock and Blaq Starr perfoming together in a parking lot at Todd P's super-secret after-after-party.
- Most attractive crowd: Metal Mansion.
- Best food: Best Wurst.
- Worst food: nowhere to get breakfast after 11am.
- Nicest amenity: tie between having an official press badge and getting to stay in Death Set's hotel room (thanks again guys!).
- Amenity most needed: shoes that didn't give me blisters.
- Band that reminds me how much I like them every time I see them: tie between Matt & Kim and Bon Iver.
- Biggest realization: that pursuing concert photography is a big waste of my time (So if you're getting sick of all the live band shots, relief is on the way). Unfortunately I'm kind of serious. I think I take decent photos, and get pretty good feedback, but figuring out a way to get a tiny slice of the modestly-paying pie has turned out to be too elusive for me. It's something I love to do, so I can't see myself hanging it up, but a re-evalutaion of how I spend my time and energy is in order. I never asked for or expected much, but zero is a lot less than not much. So I guess we'll see what happens. Do I even know how to take anything besides band photos anymore?


This is one of my favorite local bands to go see in crowded basements. Okay, favorite local bands to see in crowded basements where I DON'T get moshed into oblivion.

• Rejouissance - Our War With Faith

• Rejouissance - The Race

A band's place in myspace.


  1. Seriously seriously seriously thee best photo of Lemmy! Totally going to post it over on my blog.

    Tod have you seen Children yet? Did you make it to the streets show at cake shop?

  2. bout freaking time dude!

  3. i know we talked about this, but holy shit dude, those pics slay anything that ended up being "paid for"-- remember that.

  4. Your photos are totally awesome! I know it sounds really lame, but you provide a vital service with all the pictures you take at these shows. Not only are they some of the best around, but a lot of times they seem like the only ones.

    That being said, you're just a kick ass photographer! Getting to read about all of the stories that go with these shots is always a highlight for me.

    Fuck the bands, just have fun and take pictures!

  5. Yeah, well it's not the bands that are an issue. I don't expect any money from them of course.

    It's an issue of tapping in to some media sources to help me make rent and otherwise squeek by. But that's really an issue of contacts and competition I guess. Being a nice guy and taking good photos isn't enough. Should it be? Maybe that's a question?

    And yes Jen, I've seen Children. They are as good as I hoped. I wasn't at the S.T.R.E.E.T.S. show at Cake Shop. I was still out of town. Still haven't worked out the be-everywhere-at-once trick enough.

  6. I've been following you for years, and for photos that capture those high energy shows, of the crowd and artist going mental - you're the best in the business.

    It's damn hard trying to make any money from concert photos, so i'm not surprised it's getting you down.

    I realised some time ago that it's no way to make a living.

    But you're on the right path, and take killer photos. You're niche may be in the art world rather than selling music photos. I don't know how to make a living that way, even if you are the best in the biz.

    I don't mean to sound preachy, just trying to offer sympathy and encouragement.

    I hope you succeed either way, because i look to your work as inspiration.

  7. To hear you talk about not taking music photos anymore breaks my heart. I don't think you realize what you are in the music realm. I have been reading your blog since the beginning and you have introduced so many bands to the world that are now huge. CSS, Matt & Kim, Parts & Labor, O'Death, Team Robespierre, Deathset. All of these bands got their first mention on your site, both in music and photos. I'm not saying you launched their careers, but you may have helped. You do more than share the songs though, you create an image of these bands, and image of insane fun, energy, and excitement. You make them look as good as it gets. Your music photography is a mark that everyone else is trying to match now. You shooting a band's show is some of the best PR they can get because you always make it look great. i understand that none of this helps you with your current gripe, but I also don't think you should sell yourself short on what you do. I remember many years ago hearing about some band called Japanther, looking for them online and the only thing I could find were some photos credited to you. But they were amazing photos, I looked at them and thought, "Now this is punk." I have been a fan ever since, but may not have sought out the band without seeing the photos. I guess if you can't sustain yourself doing this you don't have a choice. But the music world, small bands that rock, and fans like me will all lose for it. Whatever you shoot comes out amazingly, so I have no doubts there. Just remember that all your years of shooting bands were not a waste, rather a massive inspiration. And I at least thank you.

  8. i have so many things to say in response to your biggest realization that i don't even know where to start.

    but you do take a amazing band photos and i know i am not the only one who feels that way. i have seen your other work and it is also beautiful, so i think there are a lot of directions for you that you can pursue. and you don't have to give up the band work, cuz it seems that where your heart is. but why be really good at one thing when you can be really good at a alot of things?!? i think you may surprise yourself...take some risks, you never know...

  9. i was at that house party that diplo was spinning at. i had shot 14 hours straight before i got there and both my batteries were dead so I shot it with my point and shoot camera. i would have taken more shots had i known shooting through that screen worked so well.


  10. Your photos are amazing, but I see your point.

    I read all these comments - and I agree. Great blog, been reading it for a while, and amazing pictures, just really stunning.