Rob Drabkin was one of the first Denver musicians I ever met, way before I started photographing them, so I never miss his January Birthday Bash at the Bluebird Theater. This year was extra special because Keaton Simons came in from LA to celebrate Rob's special day. I was able to look up the first time I photographed Keaton: 2011, with Megan Burtt - another Denver musician I know well and photographed separately just last week. The venn diagram of all this makes my head spin. Denver band Chimney Choir opened for these guys, and it was my first time photographing them (but not my last). Rob has been making a lot of beautiful videos lately, the lastest, "Down To Fate" and "Stay (Till The Morning Light Fades)," are featured on his Vevo page. As for Keaton? He is playing with Chris Cornell right now. You know, that dude from Soundgarden.
If you have been around the Denver music scene for any length of time, you have probably seen one of Dan Aid's bands. I have photographed his most recent group, Wiredogs, on many occasions and was excited to hear his solo EP, The Quiet Place. It's different from his punk rock roots. Moody. Mellow. Dare I say... pretty? Very cool to see a different side of someone you would think, from a Wiredogs show, is a aggressive person. But he's not. He's very approachable. Humble. Dare I say... nice? We met up last week during Rachael Yamagata's show at Larimer Lounge to chat.
The Denver music family really is a family. Recently, when My Body Sings Electric members Brandon and Nick jokingly started a Twitter fight (mostly about being in a van together for a long time), my response was to put them in online time-out. What these guys don't realize is that it's hard on us too when they tour because we don't like to share. So it was a packed house when MBSE returned to the Bluebird Theater recently, with also-awesome opening band Red Fox Run. Brandon had recently broken his foot (which had him wobbling in a boot), yet he still managed to jump around with the rest of the guys pretty well. The set list was a treat for long-time fans and included "Doctor," "Step Into The Light," as well as my two favorite songs back to back: "End of Summer" (which was used on a Kodak Times Square video) and "Oceancrest." I like to pretend that was done for me. But either way, you know a band loves you when you get the middle finger right into the camera.
This is probably going to sound very self-pitying and whiny, but trust me, I am grateful for my life. It's just that things have shifted so greatly over the last few years, it's hard not to be reflective. Given our work and hobbies, not to mention the kid, we've had friendships that cross into several different groups of people. Primarily, for me, that has meant mom bloggers, musicians, tech/social media peeps and PTA parents. Our connections within those groups swelled so much that they crossed over within each other and life was pretty frenetic. Almost every single night there was one, two, three or more possibilities for going out in any one, two or more of these areas. Foursquare was roaring because you could check in, and regularly find out a friend was not only nearby, but often times was in the same bar. If I went to see a local band, I could expect to know many people there. Heck, we used to run into people, all the time, all over.
I know I met Gabrielle Blair at SXSW Interactive. It was really early in this blog, and she had Kirtsy with Laura and Laurie. I loved all three of them instantly and I'm proud to call all of them good friends. Then there was the time that Gabby lived in Colorado and I got to see her (slightly) more often - but most times, I just stalk her online like everyone else does. Gracious. That is one word that I have seen used to describe Gaby's book, but I would say that is pretty much her whole being. If anyone can float around the room and make you more calm with her presence, it's her. So *OF COURSE* her book feels just like that too. Even though you marvel at how she manages life with six kids. And creates such a beautiful site. With all those lovely photos. And kick-butt ideas.
You know Ben Roy? Most of Denver does, as a comedian from The Grawlix. But his band SPELLS is also gaining attention - only partially because Ben yells about them a lot. I like to go see them a lot, because they are awesome. And loud. Denver is becoming a hotbed for comedy as well as music, so I love how the two are intertwining like some magical unicorn horn. You can often see comedians at local musicians' shows and vice versa. When I asked Ben if I could come shoot their recent Hi-Dive show, he promised not to smash my camera in the process. As you can see from the photos, he came close, but really it was my fault for putting myself in the middle of these guys. Hell, that is part of the fun.