After 9 years of listening to these fellow East Bayers from Oakland, California, I finally saw the Clams live at the Music Hall of Wiliamsburg. It was as dreamy as I imagined it would be. They were recently picked up on Dan Auerbach's label, Easy Eye Sound. Their new album Onion brought out the best sounds out of them to date. I felt completely star-struck by Shannon Shaw. I recently sold all my digital cameras and went back to shooting photos exclusively on film. I was happy to capture the Clams on 35mm. These are unedited.
Met up with some friends that evening. I introduced them to the band accompanied by my usual ravings and gushings over Shannon.
Love Strike from their last album Onion captured on video
Into a Dream from their album Gone by the Dawn by Hardy Art Record, produced by Sonny Smith who is also now on Auerbach's label.
My favorite moment of the night. Shannon Shaw wearing her heart on her sleeve and wiping tears away after singing Don’t Close your Eyes from their latest album Onion. That same vulnerability drew me to their songs 9 years ago. I love Cody's guitar stylings here
2018 has been pretty awesome so far in terms of concerts, seeing La Luz, Radiohead and now Shannon and the Clams live this year.
As with almost every aspect of my life this year, I've completely changed my approach to playing the guitar. After years of studying dance, yoga, zen, art and design, I've learned that the best way to gain strength and balance is to find ease and softness in movement so that it becomes a sort of moving meditation. I can't stress how important it is to release all the posing, rigidity and tension that is so much a part of our lives today, not just while playing the guitar but in every facet of our lives. As with photography, dance, yoga, or any artistic, physical or creative endeavor, what we want is real strength, not a show or a set of poses. This approach forces me to slow down considerably while playing, moving instead towards softness and ease. I get to a point where I feel like there's no need to hurry anymore because anything that is important to me is worth my time. And this little mexican strat is worth every bit of my time by at least a few years. It's important to be patient and take my time with it as much as I am patient with myself.
some scenes from the 4th during our long walk home. the more i think about freedom, the more i’m drawn to the hermitic life of a secluded recluse. celebrating freedom from work today.
La Luz is easily my favorite band today. I’ve been a fan since 2015 when they released their 2nd album Weirdo Shrine (produced by Ty Segall). At the time I was listening to LOTS of surf music and my usual favorites like Link Wray, The Beach Boys, Sam Cooke, Shannon and the Clams and Irma Thomas. I came across La Luz and found that their darker surf tones blended all the elements that drew me to each of the artists listed above and immediately fell in love. They're top notch musicians and somehow they make everything look easy. Their vocals are easy, none of that belting stuff that I can't stand. Singers who scream and belt through a song like mad are just not my thing. La Luz's california surf-doo-wop-space-noir is exactly the type of music I've been dreaming of writing and listening to for years.
I watched them perform live at Public Arts in the city. As usual I brought the wrong gear with me. These were shot with a rangefinder camera with the smallest rangefinder patch, making it nearly impossible to focus in dim light. I had to zone focus most of the night (yuck). I also brought the wrong film speed, a 200 rated at 100. No flash of course. (What was I thinking?!?) Photos were severely undexposed. I had to rely on quick spot metering as soon as I found a spotlight waiting to flare through. But the photos have an interesting mood and captured something magical about this band. I love the way these turned out anyhow.
They played my favorite song and happy I had the chance to record :)
“I was inventing a language for people to see the everyday things that I also see... and show them something different, simply the other side.”
- F. Woodman
Barbarian Days contains personal projects in art, photography and music. My photos are primarily self-processed using traditional printing techniques in the darkroom. Art has a wonderful way of slowing things down and allow for a much needed opportunity to spend time in my head, tapping into mysterious surfs of sine waves in a quiet and unhurried space. I enjoy finding poetry and narrative in small moments of everyday life, simple gestures, intimacy and detachment. My personal work explores the basic properties of form, color and space to find quiet and unsophisticated simplicity.