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Houston Free Press Summer Fest


I spent the last weekend at the Houston Free Press Summer Fest. Even though I dont usually review concerts, I am going to go ahead a touch on a few of the highlights of the festival all in one post as opposed to splitting them up individually. For me they were just memorable.

 

Guitar Wolf

This may have been one of the top 3 shows of the whole weekend. From Japan, they are a mix of the Ramones, Garage Rock, Rockabilly and a touch of blues. The band consists of  Seiji (Guitar Wolf): U.G. (Bass Wolf); and Toru (Drum Wolf). Yes that’s right. Their stage names are the instrument they play followed by “Wolf.” A few listens to their music online will likely leave you disappointed. Its raw, unedited, and very unrefined. It almost too rough to enjoy. Their live show however is a completely different story. Simply put, they go 100mph and never let up. Clad in black leather and dark shades, they have quite a coolness factor about them even if it is somewhat dated style-wise. Part way through the set, Seiji takes a beer fromt he crowd chugs half of it and throws the rest down his back to cool off. As the show progressed, the music and antics got even more out of hand, in a good way. The highlight of the show though has to be Seiji standing on the shoulders of concert goers and continuing to play through it all. Quite impressive. They may not be polished or even have a good grasp of the english language. One thing is certain though, Guitar Wolf is pure unadulterated rock.

Harry and the Potters

I realize many people my call into question my tastes in music by even mentioning this band and that clearly they must be a joke. Allow me to show you why you’re wrong. First off, the band is primarily comprised of two brothers, Joe and Paul. On stage they go by Harry year 4 and Harry year 7. Thats really just the start of the clever tie ins. Obviously, their music is centered around the wildly popular book series. Any hack could right a few lines about the book and throw in a melody and call it a song. The brother manage to write well crafted songs  that show off their great knowledge of the books and manage to keep it musically pleasing. They single-handedly spawned the sub-genre known as Wizard Rock . Many of the songs are short, maybe 45 seconds. Perfect for someone with A. D.D. And let me tell you, these guys know how to work a crowd.  Even though they were on a small side stage, they had a couple hundred people drawn in. Dressed as Mr. Potter himself, the duo really had everyone into the show with audience participation (thanks to a long ass mic cable) and even showers of confetti. Aside from the theme, I really cant find a reason that anyone would dislike the band. Clever songs, good  melodies, and entertaining shows. Oh and did I mention they play libraries? Yes libraries. In fact, I did manage to pick up their only LP which was actually recorded live in the New York Public Library. They aren’t going to be everyone’s scene. But if you ever get a chance, go see them live. I promise one way or another it will be an unforgettable show.

 

Weezer

Weezer was the headliner of the entire weekend. I happen to be a big fan of Weezer and the were my primary reason for going. Let me level with you: I was disappointed. Thats not to say they didnt play a good show. By all accounts it was great, but it left me wanting more. The biggest problem was song choice. Now I know when you have been around almost 20 years, you are going to have a lot of music to pick from. And being that its a concert, its not going to be a deep cuts only situation(although that sounds delightful). However, the majority of their set was over 10 years old.   * total songs were from their blue album in 94. Now I know they are  in the middle of their Memories tour. But seeing how this was a one stop deal I figured they would at least play some stuff off their latest album “Hurley.” No dice. It was all the classic hits. I really think they put out a great album in Hurley and based on how its plastered all over their website, I can tell they think the same. It just a shame really that they didnt balance the set list more. It was still a good show but fell short of my expectations. The ending fireworks show however, was quite spectacular.

-I

 

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LOMO LC-WIDE


PRESS CONTACT
Lomographic Society International
communications@lomography.com
T + 43-1-899-44-650
http://www.lomography.com

LOMO LC-A LEGACY
It’s been 27 years since the Lomo LC-A entered our analogue life and took our hearts by storm with its shadowy framing, super saturated colours, sharp contrast and multiple exposures. To cherish this little camera in the past we even plated it with gold but never before expanded its lens. Now the day has come and we are welcoming the new offspring of the Lomo LC-A Legacy: The Lomo LC-Wide, that will challenge your Lomographic perception. It is a passionate celebration of the ultra-wide-angle: Still celebrating the classical features of the Lomo LC-A+, the Lomo LC-Wide adds a new dimension of format frenzy to its specially developed ultra-wide-angle 17 mm Minigon glass lens. Switch from half-frame, to square to full format and enjoy a new quality of wide-angle Lomography!

GO EXTREME
Go close, even closer than your perception of closeness tells you to and watch your favourite caterpillar being sucked into the vortex of this 17 mm glass genius. Go wild, even wilder than your mother ever allowed you to and dive into Ultra-Wide-Angle- Lomography! To up the ante a little bit we equipped the Lomo LC-Wide with three formats to choose from: full-, square- or half- format. If you don’t want to think too much while you are shooting, switch to half-frame-format and fit an amazing amount of 72 shots onto one roll of 36 shots film. Fans of retro will stick to the classic square format while panoramic shots are most effective on the full format.

ULTRA-WIDE-LOMOGRAPHY
No matter if you are hooked on breathtaking panoramic shots or if you are more the-closer-the-better-type, we designed the Lomo LC-Wide to satisfy lovers of all extremes. Its delicate 17 mm Minigon glass lens combines the classical features of the Lomo LC-A with an ultra-wide-angle that will open your eyes to an unknown extent. Follow your curiosity and let the Lomo LC-Wide take you into the wide! With all this options, the Lomo LC-Wide catapults you in a format frenzy that triggers unbeliev- able creativity and proves itself to be a trusty offspring of the Lomo LC-A Legacy.

TECHNICAL DETAILS
Exposure area: 36 x 24mm, 24x 24mm (square format), 17 x 24mm (half frame format)
Film Type: Standard 135 roll film
Lens focal length: 17 mm
Maximum aperture: 1:4.5
Angle of view: 103 degrees, 89 degrees (square format) 81 degrees (half frame format)
Focusing range: 0.4m – infinity
Maximum shutter speed: 1/500
Minimum shutter speed: Unlimited
Auto exposure mode: Programmatic
Exposure range: Unlimited ~ EV18
Multiple exposure: Manual shutter cocking with independent MX switch
Film sensitivity supports (ASA/ISO): 100, 200, 400, 800, 1600
Flash: X-type synchronization hot-shoe
Tripod socket thread: Standard 1⁄4″ tripod socket
Cable release: Universal cable release socket
Overall dimensions: 108 x 68 x 44.5mm
Weight: 220g (film and battery not included)

WHAT THE HELL IS LOMOGRAPHY
The Lomographic Society International is a globally active organization dedicated to experimental and creative snapshot photography. Boasting over a half-million members across the world, the concept of Lomography encompasses an interactive, vivid, blurred and crazy way of life.
Through our constantly expanding selection of innovative cameras & photographic accessories, we promote analog photography as a creative approach to com- municate, absorb, and capture the world.
Through the efforts and skill of our Lomographic Society members, we seek to document the incredible planet around us in a never-ending stream of snapshots – literally a global “Lomographic” portrait as seen through the eyes of countless individuals and cultures.

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Beastie Boys- Make Some Noise (single)


          This was another Record Store Day purchase of mine. It was a bit of a mess to begin with. The singles were not going to make it to stores in time so in a rare movie, the RSD website decided to sell them online starting at 6am on Record Store Day. Supposedly it was a limited run of 500-1000. And, the deciding factor in making them available online was that all proceeds would go towards a Japan Relief Fund. So, I rolled out of bed and got one before they sold out in about 10 minutes.  Mine finally came in the mail today after a shipping snafu.  Let me make this clear, it is pure gold. Makes Some Noise is off their new album Hot Sauce Committee Part 2.  Its back with the the remix by Passion Pit. It’s classic Beastie Boys at its finest. I really dont know how else to describe it. I suppose I should also mention the supremely kick ass Music video they created. It picks up directly where “Fight For Your Right” left off when it debuted in 1986. It has a ton of cameos and stars Elijah Wood, Seth Rogen, and Danny McBride. Now I know you don’t doubt me but just in case, I’ve included the music video below.

And, as if that wasnt enough to satisfy your thirst for funky beats and clothes from the 80’s they took it a step further. They basically made the music video into a 30 minute short. Enjoy.

-I

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Daft Punk-Tron Soundtrack


The vinyl is the obvious draw to this record. Its translucent with a color overlay designed to look like the power disc. It comes in three varieties and is just plain awesome to look at. No need for an album cover with this one as the record comes in clear protective sleeve. As stunning as it is visually, the audio doesn’t disappoint either. Its Daft Punk. Its everything that comes to mind when you think of them. The futuristic  electronic sound they are so well known for is once again present in full force. Its hard to tell if I am listening to an album, movie soundtrack, or video game. And its because of this that many people will find it appealing. Its all three at the same time and something completely different. I think you would be hard pressed to find someone who doesn’t move their head or body to the beat when you put this one on. I was expecting a lot overall from this record and it did not disappoint.

-I

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Peter Tosh- Legalize it B/W Equal Rights


        Nothing terribly new here. This is a re-release of the two song recorded in 76 and 77. Its your basic Reggae Activism type music. Beyond the lyrics, its just enjoyable to listen to. Its got great rhythm and beat. Just hearing it make things slow down just a little. The great thing about this single is the vinyl. As part of Record Store Day, it was released in three colors: red, yellow, and green. After seeing all three at the store, I opted for the green based on my own personal preference. In reality, all of them are great. Bright vibrant color set off with just a little bit of swirl to round it out. definitely worth picking up if you are a collector or fan.

-I

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