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If you’re a Nashvillian you no doubt know about the massive snowball fight that occurred in Centennial Park Monday night. Snow is somewhat of rarity around here, so the young (and the young at heart) never miss the chance to enjoy it. Luckily technology has advanced to the point that it’s quite easy to make gorgeous imagery, both still photography and film, even in such low-light conditions. Behold this awesome slo-mo video created by Winston Hearn. I know, I know, using a Jonsi song is so obvious for slo-mo footage of hipsters throwing snowballs… but it really hits the perfect mood and sometimes you have to throw the snark out window and enjoy something for what it is.

I must also mention the great set of photos from the event taken by Lance Conzett over on Dixie Downturn.

In other news, local indie rock/punk staple club The End has finally joined the 21st century and gotten a website. You can also pre-order tickets to some select shows. As much as we Nashville rock promoters/musicians love owner Bruce Fitzpatrick, the guy is very old-school. The venue has been around for 30 some years, and as far as I know, he’s been the owner the whole time. (Someone correct me if I’m wrong about that.) I’m just happy that it’s now relatively easy to see who’s playing there and when. (Via the Cream)

Nashville’s Dead became a bonafide record label a few months ago, and their first two releases are now up on the webstore. They are both 7″ singles, one by Useless Eaters and the other by The Paperhead (formerly known as The Looking Glass). (Via Nashville’s Dead)

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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.

Not much time today, but here’s the skinny for the weekend:

Tonight the Armed Forces play the first installment of the Poolapalooza series at the Opryland Hotel. This could be an interesting one… but I’ll be heading to Exit/In to photograph Black Moth Super Rainbow. I love the band name, but I’m honestly not that familiar with them. Also, How I Became the Bomb will be releasing the last installment of their 3-song digital EP series called Through Adversity to the Stars! at Mercy Lounge. They’ll be joined by Chattanooga’s Coral Castles and Pineapple Explode. Wait… what? Yes I agree, P.E. is by far the odd-man-out on the bill. But I’m really glad those guys/girl are getting to play for such a big crowd as opposed their usual basement shows.

Tomorrow I’m photographing Coldplay/Snow Patrol at the Sommet Center. Whatevs on the bands…. it’s always fun to shoot big stadium sized tours though. Snow Patrol is also doing a free in-store show at Grimey’s at 2pm. Sorry Grimey’s but I won’t be anywhere near your store tomorrow. I have a feeling the resulting clusterfuck on 8th Ave will rival that of Record Store Day.

Be sure to pick up a copy of the Scene before next week’s edition hits the stands and read Tracy Moore’s feature article “Almost Famous.” The article follows the story of 4 local-ish bands/artists who essentially got ground up and quickly spit back out of the major label music industry, and it’s damn good. Bands beware indeed. I honestly hadn’t a clue that Eureka Gold had come so close to a major record deal. Makes sense they kept it kinda quiet though.

I’m somewhat excited about a new sci-fi movie coming out called Moon. It’s set in the future where humans have a mining outpost on the Moon to extract Helium-3, which will solve the answer to earth’s energy crisis. The mining base is run by one solitary man, and the film follows him through his last 2 weeks of a 3-year stint working on the base. For a more detailed synopsis, check out the IMDB page. I’m not quite convinced it’ll really all that good, but it certainly shows promise. It comes out July 17th.

Speaking of moons, I came across this article on the Daily Galaxy about Saturn’s moon Titan. Astronomers are very interested in Titan because it’s one of the few places in the solar system that has the potential for life. The others being Mars, Saturn’s moon Enceladus, and Jupiter’s moon Europa. Titan is basically a much colder analog of earth. It has oceans, land, clouds, mountains, and even a nitrogen-rich atmosphere. The difference is the temperature. Obviously it’s much colder than earth because it’s so much farther away from the Sun, which means the oceans and clouds are mostly made of liquid methane, not water. But still, even with the extreme cold and all the methane/nitrogen, it still could harbor microbial life. We even have a few pictures of the surface of Titan, thanks to the Huygens probe which was part of the Cassini mission. I highly suggest reading the Daily Galaxy article. The surface of Titan:

Have a great weekend!

Jack White’s label Third Man Records has just opened its new office in downtown Nashville, Stereogum and Nashville Cream reports. Included in the new space is a custom designed recording studio. Damn… I’d love to see that. Apparently the opening party featured a performance from yet another JW supergroup side-project called The Dead Weather. This new band features Jack on drums, Raconteur Jack Lawrence on bass, Stonage Queen Dean Fertita on guitar, and the Kills’ Allison Mosshart on vocals. Not only is the space an office and studio, but it will (does?) house a record store and photo studio. Is the photo studio hiring? If so I’m first in line.

Blogging is Serious Business reports on the new Friday night series kicking off May 8th, and lasting all summer, called Noise to Nashville. It’s being put on by Ultimo & Disco and Beatport. “A fusion of indie, pop, electronica and nu disco, Noise will bring artists by the likes of A-Trak, Cut Copy, Chromeo, The Presets, Crookers, Diplo, Little Boots and the best local and regional residents.” Wow. If you had come up to me 5 years ago and said that such large national electronic artists/DJs would be hitting Nashville on a weekly basis in 2009, I’d have laughed in your face. It’s really amazing how far Leon Jackson, Justin Kase, Principal & Coach, Jensen Sportag, and the many others involved in our electronic scene have taken it.

In other music news, BrooklynVegan and Bob Lefsetz chime in on the Ticketmaster/Live Nation fiasco. I’ve said all I can say about it… but I thought you might find both of these posts interesting.

David Friedman of Ironic Sans has a good idea for progressive food packaging. I may just do a little of my own progressive packaging next time I go to the grocery store…

Space Shuttle Discovery had its launch scrubbed yesterday due to a hydrogen leak in one of the fuel lines. Apparently this has nothing to do with the valve issues that caused the earlier delays. They have a tentative launch set for March 15th, this Sunday.

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