*This will be my last post this week, and today will be my last day of web presence until after Bonnaroo.*

As I’ve said before, I’m going to Bonnaroo this year. I’m not going the way I’ve gone the past 2 years, however, as the Scene/SouthComm is sending their staff photographers to cover it this year, obviously the result of a rough economy/tight budget. (They are full-time staff photographers, so in the end SouthComm isn’t having to pay them anymore than they would have already, whereas my work would be an extra expense to them since I’m freelance.) Let me say that I’m in no way irked at them for doing this, as they have to do what makes financial sense in these times especially, and if I were in their shoes, I’d probably do the same. Since they weren’t sending me, I had to work a little harder to acquire a pass, but I did. So, don’t expect any photos from me this year, as I won’t be able to get into the photo pits, and honestly don’t want to have to lug the expensive/heavy equipment around and keep up with it unless I have to. My only real goal is to see LCD Soundsystem, since this is expected to be their last year of live shows, ever.

I’ve heard a lot of ridiculous rumors that there’s going to be a monsoon in Manchester this year. THIS IS BALONEY. The weather forecast looks exactly like every other June forecast in TN has since the beginning of time. It’s going to be hot, humid, and there’s a slight chance (20-30%) of scattered showers and storms in the afternoon. I’d say there will be at least 1 or 2 of those showers/storms that happen across Bonnaroo, but it will by no means equate to a monsoon. The cause of this rumor is probably the fact that most weather apps and “forecast-at-a-glance” sources don’t include the probability of precipitation (PoP). They just show a small icon that has the sun covered partially by a storm cloud, a few rain drops, and a lightning bolt. It still shows that icon, even if the PoP is only 10%. This is a problem in my opinion, because sadly the vast majority of people will probably look at those icons on each day and think that it means it’s going to rain all day, everyday. So if you’re going this year, of course be prepared for rain and mud- it’s going to rain at some point, but it’s not going to rain the whole time. Remember to drink plenty of water and you’ll be fine.

I must also point you to Nashvillest’s 2nd (I think) annual CMA Bingo card. With the “CMApocalypse” quickly approaching, this little bit of local humor/snark is all but necessary to keep your sanity if you’re a Nashvillian who hates this annual gathering of:

AND

Have a great rest of the week/Bonnaroo if you’re going, and I will see you here sometime next week.

The flood waters that have turned Nashville into “Nashlantis” came close to our house but thankfully spared us. There are many, MANY who were not so lucky, so first and foremost I want to direct you to this post on Nashvillest, where they are continuously and tirelessly updating info about where volunteers are needeed, where they’re not, where supplies are needed, where they’re not, and just about anything else about how to help. Seriously, those girls deserve a medal of honor for their awesome work aggregating information and putting it all in one easy place. Morgan/Christy- I’m buying you both a drink next time I see you out. If manual labor is not your thing, the best thing you can do right now is CONSERVE WATER. As of now the water supply is perfectly fine and safe to drink, however officials are concerned that with one water treatment plant flooded and another threatened, Nashville may end up with a clean water shortage. LIMIT YOUR WATER USAGE TO ONLY THE ABSOLUTE NECESSITIES. WHEN YOU TAKE SHOWERS, LIMIT THEM TO 3 MINUTES OR LESS, AND DON’T USE DISHWASHERS OR LAUNDRY WASHING MACHINES. DON’T EVEN WADE THROUGH FLOOD WATER UNLESS YOU HAVE TO, BECAUSE IT IS LIKELY CONTAMINATED WITH RAW SEWAGE.

Relating this to the local music scene: there will be many benefit shows in the next few weeks, the first of which is happening at Mercy Lounge tomorrow (Wed.) night. They have turned their Cinco De Mayo party into a benefit show, and it will feature Paper Route, How I Became the Bomb, the Dozen Dimes, Hillbilly Casino, and possibly more. Please come out and donate some $$$ to help out. Also, my band Powerbrrrd had our first show in many months booked this Sat. May 8th at the End, and we’ve all decided to turn it into a benefit show as well. Other bands are Diarrhea Planet, Frank the Fuck Out, and Bad Cop, and Spanish Candles. We’re gonna try to start right at 9 since we’ve got 5 bands. It’s Diarrhea Planet’s EP release show as well.

If you’re interested in some of the statistics on this event, check out this public information statement from the National Weather Service containing most of the records that were set/broken this past weekend.

In dire times like these, it’s good to lighten the load on your mind for a minute and just laugh at something. So in case you haven’t already seen it, I give you the Great Nashville Weather Penis.

Here are a few select photos I took Sunday and Monday at the Farmer’s Market and in my neighborhood in north Nashville. The full set is on my flickr.

May ’08 ‘stache

January 5, 2010

So it looks like the ladies of Nashvillest decided to make my May 2008 ‘stache famous by putting my ugly mug on their blog this morning (probably yesterday morning by the time you read this). Due to the fact that I’m in the midst of moving into a new house with Megan, I haven’t kept up with the blogosphere for the past few days. I actually find it quite hilarious. There are much worse photos of me out there, so I can’t really complain. I could try to find a funny picture of Morgan or Christy (though I’ve only actually met Christy in person, ha…) but no one would really care because let’s face it, they have at least 10x as many readers because they’re a “real” blog. If you don’t read Nashvillest, you’re either a) several years behind the curve in local interwebz happenings, or b) not from Nashville. But even if you aren’t from here, there’s plenty of interesting stuff on there for non-locals, so get over there!

I hope everyone is prepared for the Great Nashville Blizzard of 2010. (A.K.A. a couple inches of snow) I really can’t wait to see Nashville drivers on Thursday. I’m probably going to take a video camera around with me everywhere I go…

The most important thing for you to do/know about today is my 8 off 8th tonight. It’s the 3rd one I’ve done and I sincerely hope that if you’re in the Nashville area, you’ll come out tonight and check out these great bands. The flyer was designed by the awesome Cara Charlton. Click on each band to learn more about them. The Cream also gave me a shout-out.

Dixie Whiskey
Cody Blaine & the Whole Fam Damnly
The Comfies
Joel J. Dahl
Tristen
Pineapple Explode
Overzealous
Jug Huggers

While you’re at the Cream, please do checkout my photos from the Green Day show Friday. Those haven’t lost their touch and if the rest of the show was as awesome as the first 2 songs, then I’m really sad that I couldn’t stay for the whole thing. They made those 2 songs into a 20 minute spectacle that had me running around chasing BJA quite a bit, and I loved every minute of it.

In some other local news:

Nashvillest got voted best local blog in the Toast of Music City awards. Way to go!

Some local dudes started a beer review blog a year or so ago, and while they’ve been dormant for a few months, they’re back in business. Check out the Beer School Blog. They’ll try just about any beer and give it a score. They also talk about the bar itself sometimes, so if you like beer and want to find a new beer to check out, have a look through their archives.

Speaking of beer, I’m officially going to start brewing my own beer. After I get back from my vacation next week, I plan to hit up the two places I know of in town that sell brewing ingredients, and I’m gonna give it a try. I’ve found myself getting increasingly more interested in the multitude of beer styles so as I brew, I’m also going to expand my palette and try some of the more obscure styles out there, such as a Rauchbier, Biere de Garde, or Faro.

This past weekend we managed to see both Moon and 500 Days of Summer. I thoroughly enjoyed them both. Here’s a quick blurb on each-

500 Days of Summer: 6.5 out 0f 10. By all means go see this movie. I’m no film critic but here’s my two cents… It’s really just another one of those indie-cutesy-warm-fuzzy romantic movies, with a bittersweet twist. The acting is great- Zooey Deschanel is as beautiful as ever, and is the perfect fit for her character, as is Joseph Gordon-Levitt. I guess it’s a bit of guilty pleasure, because there have been many films of this variety to come out in the last few years and their target demographic is basically me. But as I said, there’s a bittersweet twist. They do a great job of really making you root for Joseph Gordon-Levitt’s character throughout, and the tension is finally resolved, just not in the way most movies resolve it.

Moon: 7.5 our of 10. For a directorial debut, this is one heck of a film. And visually, it’s quite remarkable considering the budget. I never though a movie with so few characters could be so great. David Bowie’s son Duncan Jones deserves some sort of award for this one. The ending seemed a bit rushed to me, and it made me wish for more of a build-up somehow, but overall it came together well. Again, I am not by any means a film critic, so these are just my humble opinions.

Now, don’t forget to come to my 8 off 8th tonight! But before you do that, feast your eyes on this awesome poster by Monkey Ink Design for the upcoming Drive By Truckers/Glossary show at Cannery Ballroom.

Today I found a smattering of random links worth posting.

Google announced that they’re going to be developing a “Google Chrome OS”… basically a whole new open-source operating system for notebooks. As a Mac user I’ve yet to experience the Google Chrome web browser (it’s not available for Mac), so I don’t really know what to expect here. (Via Yewknee)

yazoologo02Nashville brewers Yazoo are going to be re-locating to the Gulch neighborhood next year. The new facility will allow the company to produce 4 times as much beer, which means they’ll be able to expand distribution to several neighboring states. They’ll also have a taproom at the new location, with the same hours they have now plus the possibility of opening a full-on pub if the demand is there. I must say I’ll miss the charm of the current taproom in the old Marathon Motor Works building, but it’s good to see a local brewery doing so well. (Via Bites/Nashville Scene)

In other local news, Nashvillest has a sexy new look to their website. Go check it out. I also found some disturbing news while exploring said new look- even though GM rid itself of Hummer, the brand still exists and it was bought by a Chinese machinery manufacturing company, and thus the Hummer executives need a new HQ. Unfortunately it looks like Franklin could be it. Honestly though, they’d fit right in, what with Nissan HQ there and the GM plant just down the road in Spring Hill. Why won’t these things just die? More at the Tennessean article.

Science is getting closer and closer to making invisibility possible. A new breakthrough in metamaterial technology may soon allow one to see through solid steel, or even become invisible. Furthermore, one could make one object look like another. The example they use is making a cup look like a spoon. The cup is sitting there, but when you look at it through a layer of the special metamaterial, you would see a spoon. One of the biggest applications that I can see with this technology would be in spaceships. The scientists behind this research say that it would be possible to make an otherwise opaque material transparent. This would eliminate the need for traditional windows on a spaceship- you could just install one of these devices made of metamaterials on a solid aluminum (or other metal) hull, which is much safer than cutting a hole in the hull to install a glass window, which is much more susceptible to the inevitable impacts from micro-meteors and other space junk. (Via NewScientist)

It’s pretty obvious that hydrogen is fuel of the future. It’s the most abundant element in the universe, and when it’s burned the only byproduct is pure water. Even though it’s abundant, it’s still hard to make here on earth. Up until now the best way was through electrolysis of water, but that’s very expensive, so unfortunately most of it today is made from fossil fuels, which kind of defeats the whole purpose (to get away from fossil fuels!). But that may be changing. Researchers at Ohio University found a way to make it from urea, which is the main compound in urine. Crazy eh? It’s not the most practical idea, but it could be made practical eventually… (Via EcoGeek)

The fine folks over at Nashvillest have attempted to top their famous reader-submitted “CMA Bingo” game this year by having a submission contest for this year’s. By the time you read this the contest will have closed, but look on Nashvillest.com tomorrow to see the winner. I don’t know if anyone can top last year’s though:

Some quick science tidbits before I get into my “rant”….

The Japanese Kayuga probe has been orbiting/studying the moon since 2007 and will make a controlled impact on the lunar surface today. No, it’s not landing, it’s actually going to crash into the surface at full orbital velocity. In other words, it’s going to make a crater. It’s done its duty, so might as well go out with a bang eh?

Remember when I told you about project VORTEX 2? A quick refresher- it’s a huge team of scientists that are currently chasing tornadoes out in the plains to gather data and improve on warning systems/prediction. Actually I think it ended today. But they did capture one piece of truly phenomenal footage when a twister they were filming turned/roped sideways and gave their videographer a view straight down the throat of the funnel. Check it out here. Absolutely amazing! Via Live Science.

Fair warning: I’m about to rant on something. But it’s very much worth ranting on.

As you know if you’ve read this blog before, I’m a photographer for the Nashville Scene. Last year I covered Bonnaroo for them and this year I’m doing it again, only this time my photos will be used across most of the blogs and papers owned by Village Voice Media. Photo contracts are quite commonplace at concerts involving big-name artists/bands. Bonnaroo, being the biggest festival in the country, is obviously no exception. They have a blanket contract that photographers have to sign in order to cover the festival at all. Last year its was a pretty basic contract just limiting the usage of your photos to whatever specific publication or wire service the photographer was shooting for. Without any kind of contract, legally a photographer can sell his/her images of a band or artist’s performance to any agency or news publication without a model release from the people in the photos because that is considered editorial usage, which is different from commercial usage (which requires a model release from anyone in the photo). In recent years, as the music industry has crumbled due to its unwillingness to adapt to technology, labels and artist management firms have introduced what are known as “rights-grabbing” contracts that get shoved in a photographer’s face right before they go in to photograph a show. These contracts have gotten more and more outrageous in the last few years, and this year I got my first taste of a full copyright-grabbing contract. I won’t say which artist/s I’m referring to, but suffice it to say that there are a few specific artists every year at Bonnaroo that have a separate contract than the overall festival photo contract, and they also have a restricted list of photographers who will be allowed to photograph them. This year there were 4 that did this. (So far I’ve been approved for 3 of them.) This particular artist’s contract stated that I would have to turnover the full image rights to the label, and that the images could be used only once for the specific publication I was shooting for. After that, the label would then own the images and wouldn’t have to pay me a dime for them. Furthermore, this meant that the label could then use my images in merch, promotional items, or whatever they please, and I wouldn’t get a penny of royalties or any other compensation. If I don’t sign it then I won’t be allowed to photograph the artist. Let it be known that I will certainly NOT be signing such an outrageous contract and that thankfully VV is backing me up on it. They agreed that the terms of the contract were completely unreasonable and didn’t expect me to sign it, and were fine doing without photos of said artist. It’s really pathetic that these record labels are not only screwing their artists out of money, they’re now trying to screw the photographers who cover their artists’ concerts. These people literally must have no shame or dignity. What these contracts do is essentially steal and then exploit. If you’re a music photographer, please read these contracts before you sign them. If an artist insists on such a ridiculous contract, then they are NOT WORTH YOUR TIME IN THE FIRST PLACE! And if the publication for which you’re shooting does not back you up on this, then you are working for the wrong publication, and they are not worth your time either!

Thank you and good night.

P.S. Don’t expect to see many posts on there over the next few days. I have no idea if I’ll have time to blog at all, and if I do it’ll be a very quick blurb about something crazy I witnessed.