Monday, November 24, 2008

Crystal Stilts at More Condos Less Artists 11-21-08 - (an open letter to photographers)

Take a look at that picture...I have a shitty iphone, and I'm happy with whatever dumb picture gets taken because I could care less.... Brooklyn vegan posts really annoy me when it's pages and pages of pics...who cares. Was the show even good?
I guess you don't give a fuck.
I was shooting in the dark by the way, but there were so many flashes gong off that I got at least 5 pics just lit by other peoples flashes....what the fuck people.

I'm sure Cheap Time and the Crystal Stilts have no problem with getting a little press, having people take their picture for their online music sites... whatever... but this show was seizure inducing.
Who cares if you fucking getting another shot for your portfolio?
This is about the band, and you are fucking with their performance, you are effecting the show for the audience and the band. You are a fucking distraction that has nothing to do with the music, you are a visual artist, you don't belong here.
You know why you have to take 9000 pictures? Because you are a shitty photographer.

I kept hoping the moshing crowd was going to break your fucking lens, push you over into the PA speakers. Dicks, reaching over people's heads holding the flash button down.... I just wanted to see someone accidentally dance jump up and smash the lens into your teeth.

You aren't a photographer if you get lucky once every 100 pictures. I see you going through the pics on the LCD, it's a god damn flip book.... fuck it shoot a movie, pull some stills....that would make more sense.
They are just fucking weird leeches who stare at their LCD's doing.... I don't know what.....hoping to sell a shot to some music publication down the road?...There has to be money in it for these asshole to be clambering over each other with bags and bags of equipment...I guess if you're really lucky someday you'll sell 8x10's on your website for $20, or have a show at some half ass gallery.
You make a name for yourself documenting other peoples performances. It's sad.

Where's the fucking skill in any of it? You show up at a show and point your're doing nothing but fucking up the performers and the show actually.
The heckler was less annoying...the dude chanting Arliss...I'd take 5 more of him over you trying to get a good shot. I wish crowds would start kicking these assholes....crack a few lenses, break some shit...let the photographer fucks shoot with zoom from the back row or risk getting their shit fucked up.
If I was fucking epileptic I would take it out on your camera...if I am epileptic and I don't know it yet, I'll take it out on your camera.
Fuck you.

That being said, Cheap Time opened and was a fucking powerhouse kick ass trio. With great pauses in rocking the shit out for a second of silence then jump back on the mic and into the sound. Like the NY Dolls and the Ramones dream band, they have as many hooks and harmonies and choruses to keep you up for weeks. Tight and satisfying, they don't give you a second to applaud, it's one song into another for a punishing 45 minute set.

The Crystal Stilts then set up... all kinds of weird black boxes perched on suitcases. Cardigans all around...guitarist JB stares at the back wall, either that or he's monitoring some kind of custom tube pedal and barely strums, just quick additions. One chorus strum here and there, or in that Velvet Underground monotony. It's hard to really decide what's making this sound come together...Frankie has the signature sound for sure, she banging away with the caveman drummer approach, hunched over staring at the top of the snare, hidden by ponytails....holding some kind of woodblock sticks...I swear. The tamborine on top of a tom, that's the thing that works so well on Vivian Girls and the Stilts, it's this ever present sleigh bell time sound that adds another layer of rhythm to the snare kick snare kick 1,2,3,4 time.

Brad Hargett is huge, with crazy robert smith fucked hair, holding the mic with both hands, and barely moving...this isn't a doom and gloom band, but everything would lead you to believe that so far. It's almost like a Brian Wilson's sad and hopeful somehow. Like that sad bastard in art class who out of nowhere makes something really nice.
The vocals of course are buried thanks to some effect box he would reach down and adjust here and there. But this is fast, even danceable...really Velvets influenced again, especially this choice of venue, the overhead projector casting a mesh fence shadow across the wall in someone's apartment in the village...really is this a joke? It's too perfect.
They sound like a crappy recording so it's perfect, it's a wall of sound, all bass and echo vocals...with Frankie harmony here and there. It's like they unabashedly took the best parts of JAMC, Velvet Underground and just go with it...there's nothing not to's the perfect homage to the sound... time period, making it seem new again because they do it so well.

In Summary:
Photographers: Chill the fuck out, have some respect for the people there to watch the show, not further their career, especially if there isn't a press area like you fucks should be corralled in. More Condos Less Artists isn't the venue for you...go to terminal 5.
Bands: I don't know where you stand. Cheap Time said something at the end about having a seizure, and please stop, so he can't be the only one. I know you want coverage, so you probably side with the photogs, but maybe that band of horses dude had a point? Then again there's a lot of hype with the Stilts, they could have been in bed with every one of these people, what do I know?
Audience: Kick the shit out of annoying photographers, or at least mosh into their lens, maybe cause some damage. You don't have to make it obvious.

I'll post the show Friday...look for that.....and I'm not cutting out the heckler dude. Anyone that just yells 'Larry Sanders season 2!' or 'Anyone who likes Jimmy James from News Radio, make some mutherfucking noise!' is pretty awesome in my book.

Crystal Stilts have a 12" that
Compiles their s/t 12" and the Shattered Shine 7" and it can be had all over place or from Insound. Cheap time has a couple singles that are sold out at the source, but Insound looks like they have some copies as well as the usual distos to the right there...


  1. when im playing i dont really notice flashes, but i get bummed if i find out afterwards that the audience felt like they were inhibited by camera dudes. if an audience member shouted something about it durring a show, i would def tell the camera dudes to make room for the actual audience.

  2. You are completely spot on with this post. As Mr Make Up once said : "some evil people think something's only worth doings if there's a tape recorder rollin'"