Monthly Archives: April 2006

xara

a deep beat rings out rhythmic over fields, bounces off jagged mountain tops. the sun sets crisp behind fast moving clouds and roo drills burnt metal into the stage. i wander into wildflowers, pin wheels and the low eaves of trees.

toil turns into a jam session. i jump on a drum kit and matty and i play along with the dj. he stops time with symbols and encourages me to do the same. i’m too hell-bent on successive crashes to stop their escalating noise.


photo by roo
mutaytor camp is a safe place to be. i hover there often.. the wind calls me down twisting paths… i always return… paintings on easels are encircled… flutes now and tibetan flags, pirate mugs and homemade ice cream. decorated camps, playa coats, poi loves in nature. car ports and ez-ups. the descending sun turns mountains like sorbee candies and a chill breeze is a sign of weather to come. russell is lost in a book, hiding under his hood. wheelbarrows are tent transport. i am intrigued by men in high heels. i hug people every five feet… i love everyone here… tony and i take a walk with our cameras. we call ourselves ‘moment hunters’… there and there and there… every beautiful person that comes into our path is our new day. instinctively we get different angles and depths.

instantly it gets cold. heavier velvet is required. sleepy mutaynts after toiling sit around an unlit fire… sleep is planned but not acted upon… night comes now…

nyc


mickey hart, baba mal, buck, atom, john, josh, kj, vix, jenn and mike gordon, the bassist from phish
a day after the jammy awards show and i’m waiting for the shock to subside… being backstage at madison square garden all day and night yesterday was amazing… the day began with rushing and waiting… our dressing room consisted of a couch, a bathroom and corners that proved useful for napping, boxing myself in with backpacks and gear and trying to reset. the night before at a sold-out show at canal room with mickey hart was insane enough… but this msg event was all out experience. i kissed john popper from blues traveler, hung out with peter frampton, members of phish, moe, stephen perkins from janes addiction, the grateful dead, baba mal… spent some time with the msg production crew as well as the editors of various magazines, all of which are my relentless targets for publication come monday morning. “it’s like a dream…” i whisper to matty from my perch on stage and he smiles wide, nodding…

the kewlest part of the experience was realizing that we are not much different than most of the ascending artists we are collaboring with lately. we all live for that stage moment, we get into our zones, share that zone, that perfect space where it’s welcome and safe to sync, to test out and perfect what feels right in the name of experimental curiousity… this is the jam band world… a step further and we find ourselves on stage at madison square garden with these legends… ‘surreal’ doesn’t cut it.. ‘epic’, ‘legendary’, ‘the beginning of things to come’… that seems more suitable to say…

rehearsals were intriguing introductions to rock legends like richie havens, who opened woodstock and bill kreutzmann from grateful dead… we couldn’t believe who we were standing next to, let alone sharing a stage with… during the day, the dressing room turned into a rehearsal space with mickey hart leading the jam. mutaynt dancers were converted into back-up singers. the mirror was used as a note board and in a circle, phrases were repeated and rehearsed. voices formed an acceptable blanket and took to the stage for soundcheck. afterwards as i lay in the corner communing with my laptop, watching over sprawling masses of sleeping mutaynts, in walks richie havens of woodstock fame… the hallway light reflected in his white beard and as he walked into the darkened room, i poked out from my makeshift fort and we shared a silent smile. with everyone still asleep, i left to follow him to the stage, mesmerized by him… people would later talk about his kindness, his glow… but in those moments that i followed him to the stage he was simply a man with stories that my camera laid claim to…

standing alone in the theater watching his soundcheck, i wondered again at my fascination of the origins of rockstar lives. ordinary people doing extra-ordinary things. people that take leaps by circumstance and desire into this world of connection and artistry. there are musicians like moby and others that make albums in bedrooms, retreating from the world and emerging with a pearl… and then there are the collaborative artists that come with ingredients eager to share,a plate of various fruits made sweeter by the bowl containing them. synergy being the thermometer… this is my impression of my introduction to the jam band world.

music is my life… i live constantly in a music video… i have playlists for various moods, for photo shoots, for travel, for rejuvination. in concert photography i anticipate the beats, the glances. i am sensitive to stage lighting… i wait for it, i crave patterns and brightness… constant red lighting makes me angry… blue lights are usually moody angel glows i love to shoot in. a strategic mix of colors, white being dominant, golden opportunities to preserve faces just as they are… their moods unaltered, no trickery of production. just energy purely illuminated… the lighting at msg was perfect… i noticed this during endless rehearsals and soundchecks in the daytime… i wandered around the theater, befriended the cameramen and found myself on a hunt for staircases up to the catwalk in search of angles and perspectives. a labyrinth of stairs later and i found myself up way too high, dizzy from the height, seemingly held by grated walkways… instinct led me to a spot in the audience though… exhaustion kept me there for most of the performance. i glittered minimally, the dressing rooms filled up with more rockstars… blues traveler arrived, etta james, bela fleck, savion glover, dweezil zappa, little feat, charlie musselwhite… the crew began to stir, to move quicker.. hallways got thicker, 4/20 was in full effect.

i retreated from it all to sit in a vacant row in the audience with the audio guys, prefering to feel as one of the just-arrived-not-knowing- what-to-expect… in cognito isn’t an option now though. people look at my ponytails and my camera and smile… some whisper to their friends and point. some come up to me and introduce themselves… some even quote dates, cities and events i’ve nearly forgotten in favor of all the madness currently escalating… the compliments are flattering but surreal… i look behind me to see who they are talking to… this whole life now is surreal to me… but this life phase is the most important one yet. from art student, to traveler, to lost, to found, to lost more, to found more, to married, to divorced, to relocation and back… this time is sacred, it counts, it matters… i will be fully present with it…

this career is a life style… there is no separation now between what i do and who i am… i am an observer 24 hours a day… i am instigator, a brat… i choose to spend most of my awake hours where magic happens… i make my own schedule. i answer to myself. i work hard and pay dues… soon i will thrive… nights like last night tell me so.

i learn through watching… watching how people handle business… i am repelled by people that are constantly overwhelmed… it’s a bad trait in business, ill-effective, insincere and hurtful… being constantly overwhelmed closes people to the full experience…

in one week, pixie vision productions will be one year old officially… 5/5/05… the auspicious date where intentions were solidified in the form of action… the day that i applied for my business license, trademark, business bank account… it’s only been a year… i am still paying dues… i will be patient… in the meantime, i savor these shocking evenings with the people that i love and see most often, my traveling circus of mutaynts who fill my days and my lenses with such happiness… we are reverberating staccatto now… i am thankful for these days…


photo by roo

nyc with brady

i have had more classic new york city experiences in the past 72 hours than i have had in all the years i’ve lived here… the highlight being a day in central park with brady. no call times, no photo shoots, nothing to do but be with each other. we rode the carousel, hand painted wooden horses and excited children. we were none the different, side by side on horses kissing, wanting more of the round and round. we ate honey covered peanuts, bought from a vendor, something i never did but always wanted to. we ran our hands along bronze caterpillars of the alice and wonderland statue, watched boats in the lake, saw where john lennon died, ate dippin dots staring at volcano shrapnel at the museum of natural history. i cartwheeled on the great lawn and read the translations from beginning to end at the obelisk, cleopatra’s needle, another thing i always wanted to do. dogwoods held us in springtime love and we ignored our pained feet in favor of more adventures. we navigated by the shadow of bethesda’s fountain, played with dogs and children. we climbed up into belvedere castle and looked out over the park. at night, brady and i plotted how to get away with taking a photo of him breathing fire in times square. it was either coney island in front of the cyclone or right in the middle of times square… both were risky… we casually accepted offers from friends and family to bail us out but in the minutes before he actually did it, i had to fight an escalating internal panic… “there’s the cop on this beat, there’s a fire truck, there’s the police headquarters. what the fuck are we doing? what if we DO get arrested?” these thoughts disappeared as the one cop turned his back. ‘DO IT!’ and so he lit up and blew two fire balls in times square. i got the shot and then the mad escape ensued. ‘go baby go!’ and we hurried away like vietnam. half way down 43rd street, we realized we had gotten away with it and the adrenaline rush was insane. we giggled fiendishly showing off the image to doormen and parking attendents. “is this from a movie?” one of them asked… no, this is our life…

san francisco

san francisco, an eventful playground, a debaucherous weekend… “every party in san francisco ends in a hot tub!” i heard someone say thru a wall at 8am sunday morning as brady and i tried to fall asleep. the sun had come up in full force and my last energy burst had come way before in the blue tint of dawn in the form of a trampoline rampage with mike from vau de vire in a towel. i sat cross-legged and he bounced me to the sky. “ok now YOU be the popcorn!!” i suggested but my attempt at propelling this 7 foot giant proved unsuccessful. instead we opted to talk about our childhood until he burned a hole in the trampoline with his cigarette and i got cold… we talked about being 4 years old… i told him how i used to crawl inside my holly hobbie house and sleep there after my parents thought they’d put me to bed… i told him how i still like to sleep in a box, currently an enclosed fort of velvet and feathers… he told me he only remembered being 10 years old… ‘dig deeper’ i flared into him sifting thru his walls in his head… cold and exhaustion was settling in but still we sat there, in the middle of the trampoline as the sun was coming up… after some time, his face lit up… ‘4 years old!’ he remembered the time and painted a portrait of a little boy bagging groceries at a store that his family owned in joshua tree… satiated, we ran inside to warmth and more hot tubbing…

the night had begun as insane as it ended… a klown at a door of a warehouse party laughing knowingly about nothing in particular… one room with bleachers and a stage, another room with a loft and tiny lights where dj’s played… gooferman played after reading their supposed ‘proclamation’ from the mayor’s office declaring 4/1 as the official ‘gooferman day’. band members rejoiced with pumped fists int he air and a confused giggling and gullible audience played along. several planned acts took place before everything went insane and hybrid bands formed and floors were humped by many a stripey klown… cirque berzerk, xeno, brady breathed fire… then all hell broke loose… vau de vire went wild, bands started fusing and dissipating and fusing again… drummers grabbed microphones, singers grabbed bass guitars, strange sounds and smiles instantly flickered… party-goers made odd, mobile pretzels to entertain the bands in some mad conga line. at one point when brady and kevin (also from mutaytor) played with some gooferman members i took a break from the dozens of sweet (yet successive) people that i tried to hold a convorsation with in my camera-laden haze of hyperness and rum, to hide behind a speaker wrapped in boenobo’s red kimono sitting on a soft guitar case to sit and watch… feet up on a speaker absorbing sound… wickedly right collaborations happened then… i was so happy that brady not only met my other projects, gooferman and vau de vire, of which i am becoming more and more intricately involved with, but he just jumped in and is now collaborating with them as well, feeling them as i do now… ah, my partner in crime in all ways… buddhamonkey caught me in a stare across the room as brady played and called me on my mush… “this… is the love gaze..’ he said dramatically with sweeping hands to where brady was…