Saturday, August 29, 2009

Get To Know Lindsey Byrnes!

1. Formal dress, ninja and balloons are not words you expect to see in a photo shoot description (on a beach no less)-unless it involves Amanda Palmer, we've come to expect these things from AFP. However, this was all you. What inspired such an unconventional shoot?

The inspiration for the shoot of course was Amanda Palmer. It really was not and is not ever all me. I like to collaborate and shooting photos is always a collaboration. With some people things just click into place. Amanda is so vivacious she really has the most incredible energy and such a balls to the wall approach to everything. She called me and was like "I am having a beach gig, you wanna shoot it?" And I was like "YES! Tell them all to bring this and that" and that was it. That shoot has actually become a launching pad for a big project that I'm working on with Juxtapoz Magazine. I will be announcing details at a later date and will be sure to let you know

2. Another very interesting project you worked on recently was the "Vans Book". How did you get involved in that? What was that experience like?

I got involved with the Vans book because they were looking for someone who could photo edit the project. I worked for many years for High Speed Productions, Inc. the publisher of Thrasher Magazine. Over the years I have worked with Vans in different ways. Doug Palladini who authored the book, put a lot of trust in me. This was so fun, I feel honored that I was chosen to help. Jeremy Taylor was in charge of the design and working with him was amazing!

3. I love ALL your work! I am particularly fond of your live/action shots. Of course your organized are amazing as well, do you prefer one over the other?

I really don't prefer one over the other. I think that it just depends on my mood. I like shooting live music because I get to capture part of a performance, the musicians know they are being photographed and are happy about that. It also depends on the subject. I like collaborating with the artists. I like shooting photos of people because like people

4. One of my favorite photographers, David Lachapelle, also directs videos. I've known of a few photographers to do this. Is that something you're interested in at all?

I love David LaChapelle's work. He is also one of my favorite photographers. Yes I am very interested in music videos and film! It is hard not to be interested, at the moment I'm trying to stay focussed on what is in front of me and who knows what happens down the road.

5. Your "Mexico" photo album on myspace is beautiful! What are some other places you want to travel to and get some shots of?

I want to travel everywhere. The easier question might be "where don't you want to go?". My whole life I have wanted to travel and see new places and when I am shooting travel photos it is like everything looks like a postcard.

6. Your most recent shots of Tegan & Sara, the monochromatic ones, are my favorite of them! Period! I don't even have anything to ask you about that. Just...DAMN! You're so awesome please do this forever! ok?

Thank you! I appreciate all the encouragement. I think everyone feels insecure and scared at times and then there are those of us who are insecure most of the time...So again, Thank you!

7. If you could go back in time and photograph any legendary band, who would it be?

I would love to have been able to see the Beatles perform, holy crap that would have been insane, and to have been at Woodstock. Okay, so I guess that makes me a hippie at heart... so what?

8. The people would like you to "Twitpic" more. So, I told the people that I would ask you to "Twitpic" more. Lindsey Byrnes, could you please "Twitpic" more???

I really want a new phone, one that has a camera attached, then I would TwitPic all the time. Any suggestions for those of us with out a camera-phone?

9. Any big photo shoots or projects coming up for you soon?

See answer #1

10. That's all I have, but odd numbers make me cringe so here's my random 10th question, another one for the people:
What is your favorite Tegan & Sara song? You can give us a "Top 5" if that's easier!

I have never been one who could answer what my favorite color is let alone a favorite band or song from one of my favorite bands. I can honestly say that I love Tegan and Sara's songwriting and listen to their music all the time. I go through different phases of which song or CD I listen to more...

Photo of Lindsey Byrnes: Windy Tien
Photo of Tegan & Sara: Lindsey Byrnes

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Aaliyah Dana Haughton: January 16, 1979 - August 25, 2001

You never know how you're going to feel when someone dies. I think we all assume if we don't personally know the person, then we won't feel too torn up about it. That's what I thought. I was wrong, I was so very very wrong.
Aaliyah died 8 years ago and I've never gotten over it. I can't....I don't listen to her music or watch her movies cause whenever I try it makes me so depressed. Every year I remember how I felt on this day. Every year it's like she dies all over again, except every year it has a little less impact on me emotionally, but it still hurts like hell.
So I don't want to focus on the pain. But rather do what I usually do: introduce or further educate some people on an artist they may not know about. And this is extra special because I think most people that read my blog are mostly into Indie Rock, as am I. But if you want to know what I listened to before I discovered Rock, Aaliyah is a good place to start.
I was 7 when I became a die hard Aaliyah fan! Tiny little fanboy I was! She was a hardcore tomboy yet SO pretty and graceful! I wanted to be just like her! I was in awe of everything she did! I couldn't believe she was from Detroit. I had hometown pride at a young age! Then in 1996 when One In A Million came out and she was everywhere, living in Detroit was like living on a fan base. Everyone had her poster in their room and everyone said only positive things about her. In 1999 she performed at the Oscars in a dress she got at Eastland! Eastland Mall, if you lived in "The D" you would know how hood that is. I mean it was the Oscars and she was huge she didn't have to do that but to her, a dress was a dress.
That one act was a testament to who she was. She was "cool". Everyone wanted to be her friend. I've run into so many of her friends from high school and they say she never let the success get to her head. I remember the day after she died someone said on a radio call in that she came to their birthday party and as a present got them something they had casually mentioned to her in passing. I mean at this point she has sold over 10 million records and she's in Detroit attending an old friend's birthday party! Amazing! She even continued to go school here through all this; graduated with honors!
She always did the opposite of what was considered cool at the time. Dressing like a boy, DEFINITELY not cool when she started doing it back in '94. Also around the time One In A Million came out there was all this controversy surrounding Tommy Hilfiger's clothing line. It was rumored that he said he only made his clothes for white people. So what does Aaliyah do? She models for Tommy Hilfiger...again..AMAZING!
In 2000 Aaliyah made history as the first artist to top the Billboard 100 chart solely on radio airplay with "Try Again", a song that also earned her a Grammy nomination. The video for that same song also earned her a MTV VMA. I've never heard an Aaliyah track I didn't at least like a little bit lol. Artists like that are so rare.
Her last record was doing well, but as expected upon her death sales sky rocketed, reaching over 24 million, why can't we appreciate people while they're here? She died in a plane crash with 8 other people, including the pilot after shooting a video for "Rock The Boat", off her last record.
She was indeed phenomenal if you're keeping up; her debut record went double platinum, her sophomore record sold ever 8 million worldwide and her last over 24 million worldwide. She was so much more than R&B, constantly experimenting with Pop and Rock elements in her music. Perhaps this is why she was deemed the "Queen of Urban Pop".
Here's my favorite song off her last record, Aaliyah:

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Feel It In My HEAD: The Good, The Bad...The Tegan, The Sara & The Tiesto

The Good:

Well "Feel It In My Bones" started streaming on yesterday. You can imagine the excitement this sparked among the TnS fan community who has been eagerly, and not so patiently waiting on new material from the band.
And this also was a big deal for any fan of Tiesto who loved his remix of Tegan & Sara's "Back In Your Head". I've watched a few Youtube videos of Tiesto spinning his remix of the hit and from what I can tell, the remixed track has a hell of a lot of fans. The mix itself I think made a lot of people wonder what Sara would sound like if she actually did a techno track, some might even say her voice was made for such a genre-I wouldn't, some might (some have).
After hearing (obsessively listening to...whatever you like to do...) The Con, Tegan & Sara's 2007 release, it was obvious some experimentation was done with the production. The main experimental element had to be the multiple keyboard tracks. Cranking the pop up multiple levels. Even with this somewhat new sound being widely accepted by fans, no one wants a Tegan & Sara Techno record. So, how do we hear a Tegan & Sara techno song-just one!?
Well my friends, all we needed was for Tiesto to come out with another record and ask TnS to be on it. Being the control freaks they are and knowing what they can do with their voices and with their writing they probably suggested that THEY write the song.
And the end result is amazing, as many of us knew it would be. Sara's voice is just perfect on the track! She shines, and the lyrics are 100% Tegan (...I take my heart out of my chest I just don't need it anymore...) and 100% Sara (what rushes into my heart and my skull)! What I mean is Sara's lyrics are always a bit strange, yet awesome! And Tegan's lyrics are always simply heartbreaking, yet awesome! And the vocal collaboration between Tegan & Sara themselves is unlike anything they've ever released, it's also something fans have been waiting for them to do. So overall, the song would appear to be a win; for us, for Tegan & Sara, and for Tiesto.

The Bad:
The dark clouds mostly form over on Where lots of people seem to not only dislike the song, but also seem to dislike Tegan & Sara and Tiesto. Which begs the question: Why would one click a link with the words "Tegan and Sara" and "Tiesto" in it if they in fact do not care for these artists? I don't know what the answer could be other than: They don't like Tegan & Sara but they like to argue and debate. And well, they got what they wanted, I myself have taken part in some debate on the site. But I felt I had no choice things where being said about my girls that just were not true.
One that really got me heated was comments saying that they had "PR agents". One individual even going as far as to say that they were commenting under aliases just to fuel the arguments and debates. This is a lie but what's really outrageous is that this song is not Tegan & Sara's nor is it for ANY of their records, including their upcoming record Sainthood. As explained in a video posted on the band's website, the song is a song they wrote with Tiesto a year ago exclusively for his record, Kaleidoscope. The song is also NOT a remix of a Tegan & Sara song. That's actually the only thing I'm going to touch on regarding the negativity.
If someone doesn't like the song, that's fine. There will NEVER be a piece of music that everyone agrees on! NEVER! No one should ever tell anyone that they are wrong for liking or not liking something.

That Is All! End Rant!