Tuesday, December 30, 2008

My Year-End List

So, tomorrow's New Years Eve and I felt like it's about time I posted my year-end music list. But first, I want to make a disclaimer to all readers. I didn't hear every record or go to every show of '08, so I feel like it'd be really improper of me to call any of these lists "best of" lists. I feel this way about all the year end lists that everyone puts out. So, for right now, let's call these the "Max's Favorite Things That He Was Exposed To In '08" lists, k? Ok. Here they come.

Ten Favorite Records of '08 [In No Particular Order]:

Vivian Girls - Vivian Girls


Alot of hype around this band, and in my opinion, they lived up to it.

Pwrfl Power - Pwrfl Power


So, this wasn't that well received, but I love Kaz. I saw him play with the Vonneguts almost a year ago at a show that only me and one other guy showed up to besides the promoter and the other band.

Jay Reatard - Matador Singles '08


A poppier side of Jay Reatard in a year I got really into poppier sounds? Perfect match.

Lemuria - Get Better


This gets my vote for "cutest record of '08."

The Mountain Goats - Heretic Pride


John Darnielle's return to non-autobiographical albums marks a return to form for The Mountain Goats. I love every second of this album just like I love every second of everything he's ever done. No-brainer.

Bonnie "Prince" Billy - Lie Down in the Light


Not my favorite Bonnie record, but that's like saying The Darjeeling Limited wasn't my favorite Wes Anderson film. It's still better than 90% of what other people are coming out with.

Atlas Sound - Let The Blind Lead Those Who Can See But Cannot Feel


I'm not sure what it is about this album, but I just like this so much more than Deerhunter.

Boris - Smile


Every album Boris has released has been pretty radically different than the last, and in no way is that a bad thing.

Andrew Jackson Jihad - Only God Can Judge Me


These guys caught me so off guard when I saw them in Wilkes-Barre in the summer. This is their darkest release yet, but somehow they still always manage to put a smile on my jaded face.

Darkthrone - Dark Thrones and Black Flags


C'mon. You really though I wasn't gonna slip a black metal album in here? Over the last couple releases, these guys have gotten progressively more punk sounding, but they are still the biggest nerds in metal. Nothing they do is going to top A Blaze in the Northern Sky, but damn is this record good.

3 Favorite Live Sets of '08:

Birth Control @ 46 Madison

Every now and then, there's a set that reminds me why I love punk so much. This was that set. See them as soon as you can.

Boris @ The First U

This was the first time I saw Boris and it was soooooooo good. Boris and Michio Kurihara performing more than just the stuff off rainbow together. The only way this could've been better would have been if Wolves in the Throne Room hadn't canceled.

The Catalyst @ 198 Madison

So good. Why isn't this band bigger? Now maybe my memory is skewed because I was utterly and drunk, but maybe that made it that much better.

Best Record I Didn't Hear Until '08:

Kamikaze - Destroy Everything You Think You Know

Not anything unusal for a hardcore release, but I love it all the same.

Best Find Of '08:

I found the original French pressing of Dead Boys - Younger, Louder, and Snottyer from Necrophilia Records on pink vinyl in Repo Records on South St. in perfect condition.

Record That I'm Most Upset That I Didn't Get To Hear In '08:

Dillinger Four - Civil War


Something keeps getting in the way of me getting this album.

Favorite New Band Of '08:

Ba-Durr! (Newark, DE)

Ok, it's my friend's band, but dammit are they good. Great pop-punk in the vein of The Ergs!

Best Discovery of '08:

Putting Cinnamon in my Coffee

It doesn't really change the taste, but it smells good.

Goodbye 2008! I won't miss you!

Take care all,

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Cold Pizza vs. Doing Something Productive?


So, that's from the wedding that I shot this past Sunday. One of only two shots that I was really happy with. Everything came out fine, but I didn't do anything that I felt was really "post-worthy."

I just shot another roll of black and whites yesterday down at Rehoboth on the beach with Heather. I was a bit worried that there wouldn't be enough light what with the rain and the dark clouds, but it turned out to be perfect. Hopefully within the week those pictures will be up, but it may be a bit longer because I don't know when I'll be able to get to a film scanner.

Yesterday was the first time I got to use my new camera too. I just bought a used Canon EOS A2 with a grip attached. I found it in Camera's ETC. right by my house amongst the used cameras they have in there. I'd originally gone in to look at the two Leica M2s that they had, but got talked into the A2 because it works with all my Canon EF lenses that I already have so I don't have to start all over with that.

Music related news, I finally picked up Andrew Jackson Jihad's Only God Can Judge Me 10". The first songs threw me a little bit because AJJ has this habit of putting one song on each release that sounds exactly like another song from a previous album. Other than that though the album is great. It's darker than their other stuff, but the production is great and the singer's voice seems to have gotten a bit better. The songwriting, as always, is fantastic. Pick it up.

Take care,

Thursday, December 11, 2008

To hell with your pyramids. I'm building an igloo instead.

So, I finally picked up this roll of film that's been sitting at the shop for about a month. Ran by at 9:15 this morning and then ran down to Cecil College to scan it all in. Here are the results. These are the last photos I ever took at the Korner Diner before it closed down for good. There's some other stuff mixed in too, but consider this a document of what once was my second home.









So, that's it. Goodbye diner. You were a good friend.

And here's the leftovers.

Some outtakes from hanging out with Chris back in November.





And that's that.

More stuff to come soon. Night photography session tonight, so we'll see what comes of that.

Take care of yourselves out there,

Night photography got canceled by the rain. However, I did stumble across this.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

I felt it was time for some change...

So, I redid the blog layout. Sort of...

It's essentially the same with some different colors and a different header. I think I like it, but I'm not sure.

I'm shooting my first wedding this weekend. A bit nervous about that. It should be fine. Most of the techniques are very similar to the work that I do for Spark. External flash with my homemade Gary Fong should be all I need for most of it. Ideally, I'd like a longer, faster lens for shooting in the church. Right now, I'm just working with a 18-55mm f/3.5 (the standard lens we all got with our first camera) and a 50mm f/1.8. However, being the second photographer, I can just shoot the wide stuff while Kalen (check out his stuff) shoots the rest.

I know it'll come out all right, but the idea of the bride freaking out on me because I didn't get the one shot she wanted from her "special day" scares the hell out of me.

In other news, I'm a bit pissed that I didn't have my camera with me the other night. Cloak/Dagger played at 46 Madison with a couple other bands, including Birth Control from Philly. Dear lord, if anything has gotten me motivated to take band photos again, it's Birth Control's set this past Sunday. If you get the chance to see these guys, go. Even if punk/hardcore's not your thing, go. It's been a long time since I've seen a singer in a band that animated. Seriously. Go. I tried to find some videos for you guys of their sets, but no luck, so you'll just have to see for yourself.

Finally, I've been spinning the new Deerhunter album, Microcastle at least once a day for the past week and really enjoying it. It's been awhile since I've heard anything new that I really enjoyed. It didn't blow me away, but it's still a really enjoyable album for the colder months. Check it out.

Ok. I'm gonna go get another cup of coffee, drown it in cinammon, and go to my last class for a couple weeks.

Enjoy the warmer, but still miserable, weather while you can,

Friday, December 5, 2008


Thanks to those who came out to the opening tonight. Sorry for missing some of you, but I think after two hours, I'd absorbed the gallery as much as I could.

Oddly enough though, apparently the is not open all through the month, but if you do really want to see the show, you can contact Christina Fabris and let her know you're interested in seeing the exhibit. She's there most afternoon's around lunch time.

Again, thanks everyone. I appreciate the support.


Tuesday, December 2, 2008

You're coming to my exhibit.

Notice that wasn't a question.

See you there,