Goals and Guitars

So, tonight I’ll be back at the judges’ table for the second night of Jammin Java’s Mid-Atlantic Band Battle #11. It’s a twice yearly thing at the club now, and I’ve been happy to be asked to take part in many of the preceding events. Always a good time watching good regional musicians and seeing area pals who work at the club and on the local music scene.

Although the USA vs. Belgium World Cup game is highly distracting at the moment, I thought it would be a good idea to stop in here at the (long-neglected) blog to update some of my recent activities since, when the judges are introduced, the host/MC (hoping it’s Nate Ihara again) usually mentions the blog, where I’ll be posting photos and saying a little bit about each performer – but I won’t reveal the thoughts behind the judges’ scoring.

Because it sounds good, it’s usually mentioned that I write for Rolling Stone and The Washington Post. The correct tense should be have written, as it’s been some time since I’ve had a byline in either. RS was back when I lived in NYC, many years ago. As for the Post, I had a nice 5-year run doing a local arts events (mostly concerts) column for the Fairfax and Arlington regional sections, but when those were switched to a generic “Local Living” section, I lost that gig. And, as anyone who follows media knows, newspapers have been shrinking their staffs for some time now and freelancers like myself are the first to be shown out.

But I still writing about music, albeit online, where the pay is lousy and junk journalism runs free. I keep my hand in the game and my body in the photo pit by writing features and reviews and creating concert photo slideshows for examiner.com. I have two columns there:

Digital Music –  interviews and album reviews, plus links to free, legal downloads

DC Concert Photography – concert previews, reviews and live photo slideshows

There will be a new review up soon – country/rock/punk from Nikki Lane, whom I saw, and thoroughly enjoyed, this past Friday at Gypsy Sally’s in Georgetown. Here’s a pair of pics as preview:

whassup, Nikki Lane?

whassup, Nikki Lane?

Lane was down to a terry-cloth bathing suit by show's end. (The club was hot.)

Lane was down to a terry-cloth bathing suit by show’s end. (The club was hot.)

And then there’s my own special “baby,” a web site that I designed and run, dedicated to concert photography and the sharing of my personal holy grail at shows – the set list. Like a fingerprint, each one is different. Like a mixtape/CD, how it’s put together gives you insight into a band or artist’s own feelings about his/her/their music. Here, for example, is one from a recent Foo Fighters show:

Foos

The web site is called Whatcha Gonna Play.com and I hope you’ll take a look.

We’ve just hit the mid-game break and the score is Nil-Nil. (I know a kid named Nils and he’s not nothing.) Gonna wrap this up and concentrate on sending the US team my positive karma for the second half.

Thanks for dropping by. Band Battle words and pics coming soon!

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