February Favorites and Show Recommendations

I am really lucky that I have the ability to experience the music scene here in Iowa City. As a student, I have the freedom to go to whatever shows I want, and the pleasure of sharing what I do informally on the Little Village Mag blog. I keep making attempts at blogging a bit more personally and then months go by and I do nothing with this. So here is yet another attempt to get this blog rolling a little.

I bought my first DSLR in February which is more than a little intimidating, but is coming along little by little as I try to learn the technical aspects of photography. I’ve had a lot of encouragement and help from some unexpected people and situations and I am trying to glean as much as I can from all of this.

My new camera is a Nikon D5000.  I was terrified of it when I first took it out of the box. Both because I have never used an SLR and because I am not accustomed to holding items that cost as much as my monthly rent. She and I are getting to know each other and I have moved on from fear to excitement.  I am realistic about all this though. I don’t think my shots will be great right out of the gate, but I look forward to getting better as I learn how to use this baby.


February Recap: The Highlights

Some of these photos I chose to single out because I really like the way they look, others I like because they represent some nice memory now and not necessarily because they are great photos.  I only shot seven shows this month, since school and the cold have kept me in most nights. I look forward to a more saturated schedule this month…March means Mission Creek!!! Before looking ahead, let’s look back real quick.

February 17th, 2011: Sam Locke Ward played the Blue Moose Tap House with Liberty Leg, Coolzey and The Whether Report. It happened to be Doug’s birthday and one of the first shows I shot with my new camera. The photo is dark and Sam is pretty red from the stage lights, but here he is singing his song Ketamine at Doug’s request.

I took this on one of my first evenings with my Nikon. It was chilly, it was damp outside, there was snow on the ground. But I wandered downtown for, like, an hour just taking photos of everything anyway. My fingertips were frozen, but I just love the sound of the “shutter” click. I like this photo mostly because it includes a teeny skyline of the University Hospital, where I have spent the last 5 years working all sorts of insane hours doing loads of crazy things.

On Valentine’s Day, I threw a ladies only clothing swap. Ten of us packed into my tiny living room which we all filled with our unwanted clothes, accessories, shoes and coats for a giant finders-keepers session. When all claims were finalized, we had nine bags of really nice women’s clothes which were donated to the Domestic Violence Shelter here in town. For those of you who didn’t know, you can make donations to the Women’s Shelter via Gloria Dei Lutheran Church on Market and Dubuque.

February 11th, 2011: Slut River played with Acoustic Guillotine for Larry Sievers’ tape release at the Mill. This was literally one of the first photos that I took with my Nikon, and clearly I had no idea what I was doing. So this is labeled a happy accident. Yes the photo basically sucks on technical merit, but I still kinda like it. And, by the way, Slut River is seriously in my top 5 for favorite local bands. Maybe even top 3. no lie.

Anybody setting fire to anything is going to be a spectacle. Taterbug makes spectacles. So I snapped this shot before escaping the black smoke and stepping into the bone-chilling night air. Honorable mention: taterbug laughed out and entire ‘song’

Call me biased, but I had to include my fella in here both because I like the photo and because I want to give him props for his music. This self-taught musician makes earnest, genuine songs about some of life’s harder topics. Someone once said his music “breathes” and I think that is right on the mark. His name is Douglas Kramer Nye and I am sure he will be playing a show again soon.

This was taken at Public Space One during Pete Schulte’s Oceans and Sky exhibition which ran the entire month of February. I like this shot especially because it is one of the few photos that I have ‘staged’. Playfully, titled Cristin and Kristen (their real names), I felt the complete discomfort of telling someone how to stand while I took this picture. A first for me. The posing, not the discomfort. I much prefer catching people who are bouncing all over a stage, though this was a nice exercise in something unfamiliar.

The country in general had a very blizzardy winter this year. The day after our big blizzard, I took this. I have lived in the midwest my whole life. I will never get used to this shit. As of the time of this posting, I have irises poking up in my front yard. The end of this frozen misery is in sight.

Photographers get onstage with bands all the time. It is not earth-shaking news. But this was a first for me. The Wailers performed at the Blue Moose during Bob Marley’s birthday weekend and it was my maiden voyage to shoot on an actual stage with a band that could draw that big of a crowd. So this shot just represents a special moment for me, like most of these photos.

Not a bad month. Shows on my radar for this month include Brooks Strause, the Land of Blood and Sunshine and Mondo Drag at the Wherehouse tomorrow. Menomena at the Mill on Sunday the 6th. Liberty Leg, the Boxknifes and Solid Attitude at the Wherehouse on the 7th

Other shows on my radar:
3/11 Miracles of God, Wolf Wars, Ed Gray at the Blue Moose
3/13 Sam Knutson and Dan Bern at the Mill
3/17 Bitch at the Mill for St Patty’s Day!! (I am busting out the green stateen jacket for this one!)

Beyond that, Mission Creek is going to need a whole separate blog post. I’ll try to muster that one soon.
I don’t know if anyone besides my mother and my friends are reading this, but these shows are high priority in my opinion and you should try to make it to many of them.

Thanks for reading. Leave me comments so I know you are!

What shows will YOU be going to this month??




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