fullcontactmuse: (Miss Violet DeVille - Parasol Down)
This weekend I am enjoying the weekend "off" for a change. No shoots. No shows. I can put off planning for shows. Nothing I need to do. It will be grand and glorious. I just need to pack for Westercon and relax.

Right. Like that'll happen.

Here's what I'm doing over the next four weeks.

Busy is as busy goes. )

August is a little slower, but I'll talk about that one later.
fullcontactmuse: (Default)
End of Days by Abney Park

Where to begin? I know I'll start with a single word: disappointed. Let me be clear, it's not a bad album. There is no track that makes want to toss the disc in a fire or anything, but there are only three songs that grab me.

The first six songs were just there. "Victorian Vigilante" was the first track to hook me and drag me in, tapping my toes and humming along. "Chronofax" is probably the coolest bit of exposition I've heard on an album in a long time. "Letters Between A Little Boy & His Older Self" tugged at my heart with all the determination of the family dog who won't stop trying to convince you that you're wrong and the steak was his from the beginning. "Beautiful Decline", a song that creeps its way into my head far too often than is probably healthy; not that I'm complaining, the song is amazing. The song also marks the last sign post of the good songs.

My initial thoughts on the album were to call it Abney Park's "The Wall". As a dyed in the wool fan of Pink Floyd, I should probably clarify the statement a bit. "The Wall", in my mind, is not Pink Floyd's best album like many people say. Sure, it is probably their best executed concept album. The iconography and the story arc of the album are crystal clear. But musically, "The Wall" is not the best. It sits behind "Dark Side of the Moon" and "Wish You Were Here". Mind you, there are some gems on the two disc set, but most of the album's tracks don't stand out.

My hope is that the songs themselves will improve as the band plays them at live shows, tweak them, and infuse that energy which can only be found on the stage. We've seen great songs made even better, let's see if the same magic can be applied to the nine other tracks on the disc.
fullcontactmuse: (Industrial Strength Gears)
Willow (a.k.a. [livejournal.com profile] lunargypsie) told me last night that if we can get the money together, Abney Park at Edison for New Years would be my Yule present again. So I have a list of things that I need to purchase and about how much I expect to spend when everything is said and done.

Last year I stayed at the Kawada Hotel, about two blocks from the Edison. I met a fair number of people last year from L.A. and the surrounding region. My question to those down there, would you be willing to either have a guest crash on your couch for a night or go in on a hotel room for a night?

Is anyone interested in such a venture?
fullcontactmuse: (Preemptive Salvage Specialist)
Because this song has been running through my head all day long--even before I made it my ring tone--I figured I would share.

It was 1906, but we screwed the timeline up.
It wasn't just for kicks but I'm afraid that the gig is up.
I jumped through time, at the count of jump (Yeah, kinda like a pun)
Smashed the past and messed the whole thing up,
Now there's nothing left but Post-Apocalypse Punk.

Tried makin' a buck but we can barely stay aloft.
Tried to swing a deal but we pissed the wrong guys off.
Clock-Work guitar and a flintlock bass,
We blasted the past all over the place,
And there's nothing left but Post-Apocalypse Punk.

Just when I thought we had won,
we were back to the start again.
With no wind in our sails and the doldrums settin' in.
Now I'm covered in grease from my head to toes,
Slappin' the iron, but the engine's froze,
And there's nothing left but Post-Apocalypse Punk.

It was 1906, but we screwed the timeline up.
It wasn't just for kicks but I'm afraid that the gig is up.
I jumped through time, at the count of jump
Smashed the past and messed the whole thing up,
Now there's nothing left but Post-Apocalypse Punk.

You tube link.
fullcontactmuse: (Preemptive Salvage Specialist)
Why am I so excited? This is why. Robert announced that Abney Park is releasing their new album, Aehter Shanties, some time this summer. I know, it's all in the details. But I can't wait.
fullcontactmuse: (Brass Gear Drive)
Cross posted to [livejournal.com profile] activegnome, [livejournal.com profile] patternsource, and [livejournal.com profile] sewingsteam.

I've had this idea brewing in my head for about a month or so, a holster style camera bag. The idea came to while photographing the last Abney Park show here in Seattle on 2/6. The goal, in the end, is to create a belt that will hold my camera, two lens, a hot seat flash, and assorted equipment.

So, I am looking for a base gun holster patter, something with an old west feel and I will modify it from there.

Thanks for any help!
fullcontactmuse: (Default)
Especially those that like Abney Park or Steampunk. They're doing a show.

Rather than retype everything, here's a link to the [livejournal.com profile] abneypark community post. :)
fullcontactmuse: (Preemptive Salvage Specialist)
(Cross posted to my journal, [livejournal.com profile] abneypark, and [livejournal.com profile] steamfashion)

More behind the cut )

All of the pictures from the concert can be viewed here and pictures from the runway can be viewed here.
fullcontactmuse: (Default)
Abney Park has a couple of all ages shows coming up and they need help getting the word out about it. To do that, [livejournal.com profile] robert_from_ap is looking for help getting these images all over the web. As a fan I am more than happy to do this. Their music is first rate with a unique, but familliar world beat sound and their live shows great. If you've never heard them before, go to the Vault and listen to some of their stuff.

To repost this:

<a href="http://www.slimstickets.com/evinfo.php?eventid=31645&sid="><img src="http://www.abneypark.com/slims.jpg"></a>

To repost this:

<a href="http://www.ticketweb.com/t3/sale/SaleEventDetail?dispatch=loadSelectionData&pl=&eventId=946104"><img src="http://www.abneypark.com/knittingfactory.jpg"></a>
fullcontactmuse: (Stopped Motion Runner)
What I accomplished today:
  • Correct my mast disc label template in photoshop so it actually fits the regions on the printed media
  • I produced all of the disc labels for the High School Musical PhotoDiscs. All I need to do now is assemble the discs and e-mail Cathy.
  • Finished up the last of the "Kid Simple" photos for Macha Monkey Productions.
  • Finished all of the Abney Park concert photos. I'll pick out my favorites tomorrow.
  • Finished all of the Steampunk Fashion Show runway pictures.
  • Complete one set of photos for a designer in the fashion show.
I'm going to go take some Nyquil and pass out now.
fullcontactmuse: (Preemptive Salvage Specialist)
I am poking all of you on my friend's list to see who is going to the show! Yes, I can be quite nosy sometimes. Deal with it. ;)

Here's the information about the show:

What: Seattle Steampunk Party II
Where: Heaven Night Club
When: Doors open at 9pm, Abney Park starts their first set at 10pm.
How Much: $17. Tickets available online from BrownPaperTickets.com.

With all of that out of the way, who's going? :)
fullcontactmuse: (Industrial Strength Gears)
The Nautilist's Ball

This was awesome! I'm sure you're getting really tired of hearing that from me right about now, but you can skip past it if you don't want to read it.

"Gentleman, this fallen angel is the illegitimate daughter of art and science."

Copyright 2008, Stopped Motion Photography The Edison is a visual wonderland filled with artifacts from the building's heyday when it served power to the Los Angeles area and decorated in a fashion reminiscent of when the twentieth century was merely a baby among the centuries. Can you see those high back chairs and ottomans upholstered in leather and a fine dark lacquer? Good. Now, add an element of the fantastic, old Edison electric lamps and bulbs turned down low for a warm, amber light.

Copyright 2008, Stopped Motion Photography The street level entrance includes a gated area when men and women can smoke and relax while the rest of the club remains smoke free. I was greeted by a lady who played a rip saw with the bow of a violin. The sounds were both haunting and melodious. Even at this first level of the Edison, the lighting is mostly indirect. Our musician here had two small lamps that provided warm light and high contrast shadows that only added to the mystique of her performance. Join me while we walk down the impressive stair case from the street level to the subterranean area that makes up the bulk of the club.

Copyright 2008, Stopped Motion Photography The colors are muted; industrial steel, polished copper and brass. Glass vials suspended from wrought iron trees filled with pale blue and green liquids. Plasma discs embedded into the doors of the old coal fired boilers, hint at the power generation found in the building. Behind glass, old work conduits still run under the city streets. Projectors throw images from an independent films and silent movies of old while televisions gives us glimpses into stories that lend themselves well to steam punk. An old brick walled furnace has been converted into a sitting room, lit with electric glow of Edison's candles, and an organ from the late nineteenth century adorns the back wall.

"A modern marvel of engineering; clockworks elevated to the very natural process which even now sends your blood racing. Your eyes flash at such irreproachable beauty."

Copyright 2008, Stopped Motion Photography The space is large and the ceiling is high as evidenced by the three flights of stairs to reach the main club floor. The space is used very efficiently, proving to be well laid out, providing nooks and crannies that littler the space, making this cavernous space small and intimate. In corner of the space stands an old movie project ready to light the screen with its celluloid images of old. Green potted plants accent the deep, rich reds that surround them.

"Walls of iron, bolted with steel, two miles high should hide how we feel."

Copyright 2008, Stopped Motion Photography The troupe Lucent Dossier provide the entertainment if you didn't wish to stand in the throng of people listening to the music or if the band was taking a break. The troupe was sometimes funny, sometimes quite serious, but they were always fascinating and would occasionally drag member of the audience into the act, including me, camera and all. Gypsy belly dancers, clockwork girls that dispensed cotton candy from her breasts while gliding through the space, a very accomplished aerialist that performed some of the most amazing work I've seen in a long time. Scenes played out to music and dance, telling stories of abstract struggles and sometimes just for the art of it. There was even a girl a red sleeper, her hair in pig tails who was scared and would cling to people to help "save her" from this mad house, though she was never without her stuffed bunny, "Bear."

"We're a crew of drunken pirates. We're the only airship pirates."

Copyright 2008, Stopped Motion PhotographyCopyright 2008, Stopped Motion Photography The stage was high enough off the ground that the band, Abney Park, could be seen from almost any angel, well, except for when Daniel kept hiding behind one of the plants on stage. This area was probably my only real area of disappointment with the space. The plants on the stage limited visibility and seemed to be not quite big enough for five people. On top of that, like all of the club venues I've been to, a precious few as it has been, the stage lighting was hit or miss. Frequently, Nathaniel was shrouded in darkness, standing on stage right like he normally does. Down stage center, however, was beautifully lit and each of them shined when they reached that coveted spot. The problem lessoned somewhat with the addition of an another riser to the stage area that shared the same light that downstage center did. I would hazard a guess that these venues tend not to refocus the lights when different live acts come in.

"It was just for kicks, but I'm afraid the gig is up."

Copyright 2008, Stopped Motion PhotographyCopyright 2008, Stopped Motion Photography Robert and the band were in their usual entertaining form. Robert's smooth and rich voice lead the band through their numbers. Nathaniel's expert violin and guitar work stands in its own voice. Finn's backing vocals and on stage dance work hits all of the right notes as a balance to Robert. Daniel continues to show us just what he can do with his electric bass. Kristina shows us just why her work is key to the sound and the experience we have come to expect and love from the band. Excellent music and a lot of self deprecating humor provided the bookends between the songs, which included at least three new songs from the next disc. One of those new songs didn't really stick well with me, but the one that "not really ready for this show" was really fun and I like it a lot. It had a good beat and made moving the body easier. It appeared that it was loaded up by Kristina as an executive decision. The audience seemed to thoroughly approve of her decision making skills. I did not catch the song names, I don't think their names were mentioned, but I would love to know.

"Sacrilege, but you keep on dancing. Heretic, you spin round and round."

Copyright 2008, Stopped Motion Photography When you combine all of the elements from the evening, the event was truly amazing. While I will not likely do it again for any number of reasons, I am very fortunate to have experienced it and do not regret it in the slightest.

Copyright 2008, Stopped Motion Photography
More photos from the Nautilist's Ball

fullcontactmuse: (Industrial Strength Gears)
This place, the Edison in L.A. is just amazing. It is filled with lots of really cool things that I can even begin to go into.

But fear not, I will have photos!

Abney Park has finished their first set and have played at least three new songs!
fullcontactmuse: (Zombie Apocalypse)
For the record, there are just way too many people here at the airport at 5:30 in the morning. Of course it's kind of surreal that my gate is out on the tarmac today. Yes, here at SeaTac there are gates that do not use an umbilicus. How very odd. Maybe I'm just spoiled.

How fitting it should be that I have Abney Park's Airship Pirate, from the "Lost Horizons" CD, stuck in my head this morning while waiting for the TSA to do their thing. It was the first song I listened to when I fired up the laptop this morning.

Of course, we get on the freeway and I realize I forgot my goggles this morning. Bah. That's what I get for not putting them on my check list.

[livejournal.com profile] evaleastaristev, I found a back of my music this morning. On the laptop. Yea!

I am so very excited about the show tonight.
fullcontactmuse: (Twu Wuv)
[livejournal.com profile] lunargypsie gave me my Yule present today, a ticket to go see Abney Park in L.A. where they will be performing during the Nautilist Ball on New Years Eve at the Edison.

To be honest, she said, "Do you want to go?"

I said, "Yes!"

She said, "Go get your ticket."

She's awesome! :) I have my ticket for the show, my air fare, my hotel, and I even found a good deal on a rental car which is only a little more expensive than getting catching a shuttle bus or a taxi to and from the airport.
fullcontactmuse: (Industrial Strength Gears)
Who's up for the show? There's no information for it up yet, but the date is marked out at both abneypark.com and heavenseattle.com.
fullcontactmuse: (Preemptive Salvage Specialist)
Last night I was doing some volunteer work at a fundraiser for a local non-profit. After everything was done and I was getting ready to go when one of the bartenders asked if she could get a ride to Capital Hill.

As it was pretty cold out last night I said to her, "Sure, I can do it." She asked several times if I was okay with going out of my way. "It's okay. It's like taking the scenic route to 520," I said. After the car warmed up--it's cranky if I don't let it let warm up since cylinder number three is currently misfiring for some unknown reason, but that's another story--we were off on our way. She asked what I did for a living, and told her about my work as a software developer and a photographer and I asked her if she was just a bartender or if she did. She responded that she was more than just a bartender and that she did choreography as well when not doing shows or working on things for her band.

We talked about the bar she worked in and the events they had scheduled to come up. The New Years event at the bar is fast approaching and that would be more than just a DJ spinning top 40 hits, but she wouldn't be there. You see, her band would be down in L.A. performing at the Edison for New Years.

I asked what seemed like the logical next question at the time, "Oh, is your band going to go perform with Abney Park?"

"I'm in Abney Park."

It was that moment that I focused every ounce of will to not stomp on the brakes and just gawk that I had Finn von Claret in my car! She was very sweet and asked me to join her for a drink to show her appreciation for the ride. I had to bed off as I had to work in the morning, but she was very sweet and down to earth; an absolute joy to chat with.

It was a nice cap to a good night.
fullcontactmuse: (Self Portrait (Photo Boy))
One of the many talented musicians that took part in this performance was Nathaniel Johnstone (a.k.a. [livejournal.com profile] nathan_fhtagn), the guitarist and violinist of Abney Park, and Jean Paul (who I believe has a LiveJournal, but I can't find it), the former bassist of Abney Park.

All of the musicians were very impressive. I enjoyed the show and enjoyed taking the photos.

More beneath the cut... )

Here is a link to the full photo set on my website.
fullcontactmuse: (Camera Love)
I finished the last of the Abney Park - Seattle Steampunk concert.

If you want to see all 180 photos, the web gallery is here.

Abney Park - Seattle Steampunk. Copyright 2008, Stopped Motion Photography.Eight more under the cut. )
fullcontactmuse: (Preemptive Salvage Specialist)
What was I celebrating? Why I was celebrating my birthday three days early by seeing a group of musicians whose music I love and who put on a—dare I say—kick ass show. As an aside, I used the concert to illustrate the difference between acting and performing. Acting is the skill of feigning emotions and bringing a character to life. Performing is what you do for and with the audience. The performers in Abney Park sure know how to perform.

Read more and more photos... )

More photos can be viewed in the Print Shop gallery on my web site. Of course, I'm still working on more of the photos, but I should have them done by the end of the week.

February 2015

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