Thursday, August 28, 2008

The thing about razor blade sandwiches is, they taste a lot like you. (as promised)

what i meant to say was, I like them very much.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

after this post I will go back to writing about razor blade sandwiches

but seriously - one more plug about the concert TONIGHT at workplay:

the spots are playing at workplay, opening for our friend drew holcomb. this is the first time the spots have ever played workplay, and we are happy to be there supporting drew for his cd release concert. drew has been a friend of red mountain for several years now, and has participated on our last three records. drew even came down to help us when we had our "help my unbeleif" cd release concert at workplay a couple years ago...all you red mountain people need to make this your community group activity for the week (I'm serious) - it's going to be a great show, and this is a great way to support a musician who has contributed so much to the music of our church. and if nothing else, you need to come hear the way drew's voice blends with his wife ellie. it's surreal.

and of course, the spots, at workplay. it's going to be sick.

look forward to being apart of some great music, and seeing everybody out! come say hey!

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

music you seriously do not want to miss

friday night, clint and I are playing with our friend jon black, and opening for mark kozelek at the sloss stokin' the fire event. I really cannot stress how happy I am to be playing with such good friends, and on top of that opening for mark kozelek - I've never met the guy but his music has been seriously carrying me for about three years now. jon goes on at 6:30. mark kozelek immediately after. jon black is of course a red mountain guy, sings on our last record, and regularly helps out when he is in town. if you can make it out friday night, I promise you will not be disappointed.

saturday night, spots play the speakeasy. I think this is only our 2nd show at the speakeasy this year, and we don't have any more on the books. always a good time down at the speakeasy. cheap $5 cover, great drinks, and a great place to hang out and spend a saturday night.

a week from today, wednesday august 27, the spots are playing at workplay, opening for our friend drew holcomb. this is the first time the spots have ever played workplay, and we are happy to be there supporting drew for his cd release concert. drew has been a friend of red mountain for several years now, and has participated on our last three records. drew even came down to help us when we had our "help my unbeleif" cd release concert at workplay a couple years ago...all you red mountain people need to make this your community group activity for the week (I'm serious) - it's going to be a great show, and this is a great way to support a musician who has contributed so much to the music of our church. and if nothing else, you need to come hear the way drew's voice blends with his wife ellie. it's surreal.

look forward to being apart of some great music, and seeing everybody out! come say hey!

Thursday, August 14, 2008

James Chapin

when red mountain was just beginning as a church, when we were nothing but a few families and friends, all wondering what the new church was going to look like, james was with us.

he was impossible to miss. he drove a motorized wheelchair, an orange flag firmly attached to the end. his head was covered in thin grey hair, and he had a massive dent in his skull, and a glass eye that would sometimes not be in. he spoke often and obtrusively, and loudly. and nobody could forget what came to be known as "the rising of james". he would inevitably, at some point during the service, rise out of his wheelchair, stand up and look around as if to say "I've been healed" and then he would sit back down and usually drive away. he was the most distracting man I've ever known. and those who would visit would often think that a man was being healed here in our church service, just as we all did during the first rising.

I got to know james as well as he would let me. he was apart of a group of friends that met every week over at charles and andrea's apartment. and then again, he was apart of another group of friends that met at john and molly's house. we would all take turns going to pick him up and bring him to join us. I remember how frustrating james was. I remember how he would always interrupt. I remember how the conversation was always about him. I remember how much we would talk about him behind his back, and how happy we were on the weeks when he wasn't with us. being friends with james was like being friends with sickness.

and I remember also, the things that kept me in friendship with james for several years. the moments in the car when he was still, when he would turn and ask me a real question. and when I would respond and he would sit and be still for a moment, listening. and the times when he would tell me about his life before the accident. most of it was made up. apparently he couldn't remember anything so he just made up his life. he had the best life ever. he drove a fleet of ferraris and lamborghinis and he dated famous, beautiful women, and he did every drug imaginable and he was a great athlete and of course, an excellent musician, though he was always careful to add that he was not as good a musician as me. and actually, remembering now, I remember how clearly he would communicate that to me. he would grab my hand and tell me how much he loved to hear me play the piano. and it meant more coming from james than just about anybody. thinking about that now makes me cry.

and his stories, though incredible, ultimately were sad, because after the stories was a man you could never know. james was a man who always looked like he was waiting to die.

james health deteriorated, and we helped him move from a bad apartment to a worse one, and then ultimately to a nursing home where I never went to visit him.

I used to think of visiting. brooke and I would talk about it. but we never went.

and then this week, I found out in an email newsletter, small print at the very bottom, that james had died. it was right between the announcement about a book club and someone trying to sell their house in crestwood.

James is dead. His funeral is tomorrow.

And I can't help but think that red mountain's failures (which are many) are very summed up in the idea that there are so fewer james chapin's among us than there used to be.

I haven't recorded solo piano in a long time, but tonight the mics were already set up in the house from a recording session I've been working on this week, and so I decided to turn them on while I was playing. this is some of the music that was on my mind as I thought about james. its not as good as I want it to be. it never is.





if for some reason the music doesn't play, click here.

wall street photos

my brother asked me to take some pictures of wall street while I was in new york. this is because my brother is like a real professional person with an office and a fax machine and everything. and he wanted some sweet NYSE action to spruce up the place. I did what I could. I only had about 30 minutes to get these shots.

and wall street is a major tourist attraction, so it was fun to look like a complete psycho tourist with my D300 and multiple lens changes.

usually I just play that game in my hometown.




Sunday, August 10, 2008

laura and josh

so I realize this is kind of becoming a photo blog. but the thing is, I've been doing a lot of photography work lately. here are some wedding photos I just finished editing. shot this one with t.scott down in fairhope last weekend.








Thursday, August 7, 2008

red mountain music video: BTM responds

weary of criticism from clint, BTM lashes out.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

music in august that is going to be awesome

mark your calendars:

august 22: me and clint are playing with jon black at sloss, opening for mark kozelek. that's right. MARK KOZELEK. I've been freaking out about this gig for about a month now.
august 23: spots play speakeasy
august 27: spots at workplay, opening for drew holcomb's cd release concert.
august 29: billy bob thornton playing at zydeco with his blues band.


(drew and jon are both good friends of red mountain. they play on our records, are good people and good songwriters - really looking forward to these gigs)

feel free to comment and tell me what I'm leaving out.

also this month we are hard at work on our new christmas record. please enjoy this riveting making-of video.

Monday, August 4, 2008

the hildebrands

last week while I was in new york, I spent some time with my friends jeannie and chris, and their son owen. they live in williamsburg, so after about 90 minutes of getting lost in brooklyn, I finally ended up at their place and we got lunch, walked around and took some photos. I got some really cool shots of old industrial willamsburg that I have posted on my flickr, but here I'll just share some of the shots of their family. it's always great to visit with old friends...








Friday, August 1, 2008

last night in new york

it's been a great week in new york. I came here to learn about / spend a week thinking about / working on photography, and as far as that goes, I got to sit and absorb some of the best ideas and artistic philosophies I could have ever imagined. I feel really encouraged about what I'm doing and where I'm heading. I've got a lot of photography work coming up, and I'm really looking forward to seeing what I can do. hopefully I'll keep moving forward.

got to meet up with a lot of people this week. I met with steve hardy and spent several hours with him on wednesday. steve is a brilliant mix engineer who works with steve lillywhite (that's right, steve lillywhite). I really like steve, and even though my friendship with him is only beginning, I appreciate his work and I respect his opinions and I look forward to making music with him very soon.

I also enjoyed getting to know the people in my photography classes. there were people there from literally all over the world, but the two people I was most excited to meet were caleb chancey and bryan johnson. both these guys are from birmingham, (bryan is the reason I'm in new york this week) and both of them are talented photographers who I have a ton of respect for. it was a pleasure to ride the train out to greenwhich village tonight and sit out on the street and talk for a long time.

and of course, it's always a pleasure to reconnect with old friends. manu and cammie sancheti (you may remember manu as my friend of the month back in april 2006) have been letting me crash in their apartment this week, and I've barely gotten to see them at all. which is a shame because I really like these sanchetis. we did get a couple nights where they stayed up way too late talking to me, and I was thankful for that.

and I got to connect with old friends throughout the week: shane and kory, amanda, and jeannie and chris, as well as their boy owen. I took some really cool photos of them while we walked through brooklyn this morning and I might post those later on.

I ended up not taking many photos while I was here. this was partly because I was so busy just trekking all through the city to see all the different people and make it to my classes. and it was also because new york is kind of a hard place for me to photograph because there are so many people in it. and I feel like it's all already been done.

but here's a few I got of times square. nothing too special, but I like them.