11.30.2009

using the flash in low light...


he may be focused on the wet and cold
I know I was on my ride home from work

my ride was short and I was under dressed


respect is taught

curiosity needs to dance with respect

respect for life needs to be taught

catch and release and learning to give others their space is important

some things need to be reminded and reinforced

accept the blur... embrace the blur...

I accept the blur
I embrace the blur
rather than fight the blur
I try to use the blur

the blur is good
I like the blur

these are some photographs from the Modest Proposal show at Comet Ping Pong
really I wanted to take more photos
but instead of hiding behind the camera I decided to experience the show rather than document the show
but of course... I could not help myself
had I not had my camera I would have certainly regretted it
in some ways I regret not taking more photos

if I could shoot portraits it could have been cool to snap a few faceshots
something more than a snap shot for facebook
alas... I wanted to dance
I wanted to see the band... I wanted to feel the band... I wanted to dance

there was not room to dance
it was tight... the space was not big... and that space was filled to the gills whatever that means
it was tough to walk around and stand in front of different people to capture the shots I captured

below is something I was going to post with these images
but the loading of the images jumbled my punctuationless style
and well... those words are not worth cleaning up
I hate cleaning up
there is not the time and I do not have the energy for cleaning up




I like the blur when shooting live performances I have come to like to shoot without the flash the usual results of the flash on my glorified point and shoot tend not to please me things get blown out I have not learned to use the flash instead I try to learn the best settings for shooting in the dark without the flash holding the camera still is one of those vital variables Neal is such an energetic front man that I feel that the blur captures him better than the way a flash would capture him still but the same goes for most live music if they were more interesting standing like statues well... then they would stand like statues there are moments when it is cool to capture the moment with the characters in the image standing like statues honestly... I would have liked to have taken more photos I was more focused on experiencing the moment than capturing the moment on camera it is not the same experiencing things from behind the camera while taking the photos I worked hard to stay still with the slow electronic shutter in some cases I got lucky and another person's flash from their digital camera worked its way into my shot early on I discovered that this moments had the potential to be the best shots not just the blur but a moment where the action is almost captured... not quite a wireless flash... a little luck so much of photography is the luck of capturing the shot oh... I hate being that guy with the digital camera worse than being taller than the people behind me I am also that guy who pulls out their digital camera which makes my viewfinder a very small and somewhat distracting MEGATRON oh... I also like shooting without the flash because I get tired of the flash of all the cameras capturing the moment again... I don't want to be that guy

not quite the shot...

me, camera, and the mirror

many people capturing the same shot

a crowd of would be photographers all gathered around this vain little bird who patiently posed for so many pictures

and... I was no different
I saw the bird and the reflection in the water
and I had to stop for this would be photograph

DC RATS

a response to the ANTI-CYCLING bantor in Philly

here
www.philly.com

and again here
www.philly.com

11.29.2009

I hope kenny does not mind my sharing this... but I thought it might jumpstart my holiday mood


apparently this was SOUNDGARDEN'S Christmas Card in 1990
thanks kenny!

this totally cracks me up!

.



genius... fricking genius
I HAVE A BLOG
www.xtranormal.com

this video is a documentary of so many bicycle blogger's lives


.


Modest Proposal had its 25 Year Reunion Show at Comet Ping Pong last night

one... two... three...
READY... STEADY... GO!

let me try to throw down some words to accompany the images on the page


last Saturday night I went to Comet Ping Pong to catch a band called Modest Proposal
this band, Modest Proposal was returning to the stage after a 25 year hiatus

the images tell a better story than the words... I am going to throw down some words just the same
maybe some words about the other night... maybe some words about something that happened 25 years ago
who knows...


Some quick background information...
Washington DC is a music town...
people from Austin say that Austin is a music town... people from New Orleans say that New Orleans is a music town... I am (pretty much) from Washington DC and well... I believe that DC is a music town


back in the 80's Washington DC was experiencing its own version of what was known as HARDCORE music or HARDCORE PUNK
all over the country in a pre-digital age many cities independently expressed itself through a subset of punk rock known as HARDCORE
each city did this in a different way... each city having its own personality or identity

a trailer from AMERICAN HARDCORE could explain this more accurately

or if you choose a paper version than paging through Banned in DC or Dance of Days may work better for you
then there is the lesser known Yellow Arrow Walking Tour:The Capitol of Punk maybe be the most immediate because it is an electronic o
ption
no matter where you get it... you will need to get that information elsewhere... because I do not have what it takes to write this glossary of local music

yet... I will continue with this brief introduction

long music history lesson short...
within the genre of of PUNK ROCK there are a multitude of sub-genres...
sub genres which are then broken up deeper into sub-sub genres

back in the 50-60's in England there was a movement called Mod
Mod being short for Moderism or Modism
Mod was about music and fashion... head to toe... from the haircut to t
he shoes... don't forget the shoes... the shoes are often the defining accessory of any subculture
okay... rather than my trying to talk about a history that I did not experience
or a subculture that I neither studied nor documented I turn the few readers that have made it this far to the movie Quadrophenia
if only we had Modest Proposal's first bass player's PHd dissertation... perhaps that cold clear things up
until then you will have to reference Quadrophenia


Quadrophenia may well be the Modern Mod Bible
www.quadrophenia.net

early Mod bands would be The Kinks or The High Numbers
The High Number only having one 7" Single before changing their name to The Who

some trademark articles of the Mod identity would be Scooters; Vespa or Lambretta, and green parkas worn over the business attire of a working cl
ass; three button suits, skinny ties, and the shoes... don't forget the shoes

this Mod movement had a resurgence in the late 1970's with bands like The Jam

in the 80's this resurgence of the Mod Movement continued to a level where they made claims like DOZENS LIKE US
the scooter even made its way into the subculture of the Modern Mod Movement here in DC

in Washington DC as clubs and community centers were hosting DC Punk and DC Hardcore bands you could also find a number of clubs hosting shows with a few local Mod bands on the bill
Modest Proposal was one of these bands

Modest Proposal was born from a previous DC Mod band known as Mach Five


the following of Modest Proposal was scattered
there were small pockets of Mod culture found around the city... young and old... old being somewhere in the mid to late 20's
private schools like GDS (Georgetown Day School) seemed to be Mod making machines

while Mod may have been a sub genre of Punk there was some tension... some people crossed lines... while others figured such line crossing as unacceptable
that tension may have been a tongue and cheek attempt at living up to the Mod Versus Rocker sentiment as taught in the previously mentioned Modern M
od Movement Bible Quadrophenia

to the adolescent boy who was clinging to be tough the notion of being M
od may have been too soft

the "pro-us" mentality can often equate to "anti-them" but this is not a sociology class and I am not qualified to teach a sociology class... so I ramble on

boys will be boys
teenage boys are often looking for something to fight about
so... if there was any anti-Mod sentiment... it was all fabricated so that someone would have something to complain about
because we all know that the DC version was just a fashion show... much in the same way that a kid would dress "punk" or "skin"

it does not make sense for a kid from DC to be clinging to a set of ideals from a country that they have never been to
again.. I am not the sociologist trying to sort this stuff out... so on with the story


there was an overlap in these two "scenes"
more than likely to the point that the Modest Proposal name graced the Marque
e of the time... that Marquee being the Xerox Flyer pasted on the telephone pole or the construction site wall

the Mod Kids were Punk Kids
it was just a different costume and maybe a few different cassettes in the tape player
but to the outsider the Mod Kids just looked like Punk Kids

Modest Proposal was a band out of Washington DC
much like many bands they practiced, played shows, and fought for that bi
g break
they never scored
not sure what it takes for a band to score a record deal... but most of this subculture music never made it to the large distribution labels
instead they released their music themselves on small local releases as in the case of Dischord Records

the DC music of the 80's can not be discussed without mention
of Dischord Records
while there may not have been any Mod bands on the Dischord label DC is a small enough town that the actions of each tribe was on the other tribes radar
while getting on Dischord records may have been an honor and a great way to get exposure... Dischord Records was no big record deal either... as it was not a money driven machine... but that is a story for another blog
Dischord mention on the Gwadzilla Blog

back to Modest Proposal...
Modest Proposal was a band for a few years in the 1980's
during that time the band had various member changes which more than likely contained some Spinal Tap dynamics minus the big hair and the exploding drummer
I do recall my ears still ringing on Wednesday after a "show*" on a Saturday where they must
have cranked it up to "eleven"
I do not know the reasons for band break ups or musician changes

*SHOW: big rock bands played concerts in arenas while smaller bands played "shows" in bars, clubs, and community centers
knowing the difference between a concert and a show was an early lesson in music culture for me


the music and lyrics of Modest Proposal was Hip and Clever... maybe a bit campy and cool... cool if Mod was your flavor... perhaps not so cool if you were a member of an opposing or closed minded tribe
the music has a squeaky clean flavor
a rhythm and a beat that made the listeners want to get up and dance
a music that may express its anger in anthems

there may have been some aggression... but it was a more cerebral angst

so last Saturday Night there was a reunion show for Modest Proposal
after a 25 year hiatus the band was getting back together
except for a few problems... adult life... time... space... and perhaps the realities of life
yes... jobs.. wives... children

for a series of reasons unknown to me there could not be a regrouping of the original line up of Modest Proposal... two MP of the former bass players were invited.. one declined while another was across the pond in the Motherland of the Mod Movement and could not make it... again... reasons unknown to me

with short notice and two slots to fill somehow someway two people who were members of the DC Punk\DC Hardcore Movement back in the '80s
Danny Ingram stepped in and sat in on drums and Steve Hansgen picked up the bass

Danny Ingram on the WIKI page
Steve Hansgen on the WIKI page

the shows are often about more than just the music... so often the "show" is also about the scene
in the weeks leading up to the "show" I wondered about the scene
I wondered what the scene would be like... what sort of people would come out to see THE RETURN OF MODEST PROPOSAL? I thought about the people that went to their shows "back in the day" and the people who identified with the Modern Mod Movement during the DC Mod Resergence
I wondered how the music would sound and how the band would look and how the crowd would respond
I wondered if the music would would move me in such a way that I would get up and dance..
. I knew I wanted to get up and dance

When I thought of the band I laughed to myself as I thought about their quest for the perfect outfit... the attire that makes the statement without saying too much
that mod outfit that looks natural and does not appear questioned whether
to dress up but not appear dressed up

I wondered... if the band's larger than life front man would still have that manic energy on stage... I wondered if a man half a century old could still holler and sing like that 20 something year old kid had some 25 years ago
and the musicians... new and old... would they remember the songs... could they learn the songs... how would they sound together


then when I thought more about the scene I tried to figure who might show up
what Mod was loyal to the tribe... what DC music fan of that era was loyal to this band of that era
who was going to be in town... and who was lucky enough to get one of those one hundred and 50 golden tickets
my mind went through a series of mental images of who from my era lived that "dc mod lifestyle"
a number of people appeared in my mind in the most hip of "dc mod fashion"

shamefully I got this far... but have lost my steam
not enough to finish this thought
not enough to give this rant a proper re-read\re-write
started this with a different thought a few days ago... time to just PUBLISH AND POST

City Paper mention of Modest Proposal along with a YOUTUBE video that has some still photos of various members of Modest Proposal
www.washingtoncitypaper.com


YOUTUBE VIDEO of MODEST PROPOSAL doing the song off one of their vinyl singles, "nobody says no"
www.youtube.com


Modest Proposal's front man Neal Augenstein kept a short online journal of the months leading up to the reunion show at Comet Ping Pong
http://wtop.com

technology

some geeky technology stuff....


a map of the pre-reg data for DCCX 2009

a less than original thought...

it was a less than original thought...
yesterday as we finished our drive back from visiting the inlaws in pittsburgh it was discussed that we spend our Sunday taking the boys and our black dog Brutus to Great Falls on the Maryland side of the Potomac to hike The Billygoat Trail
there was talk of an early rise which was to include a healthy breakfast

well... a late Saturday night and a slow morning that was occupied with all sorts of LEGOS had us leaving out of the house well after lunch...
in fact late enough that I was sort of worried about the remaining sunlight of the day

fearing a shortage of time and considering avoiding the drive I proposed hiking local in the woods of Rock Creek Park but we were drawn to the notion of The Billygoat Trail and all of its rocks and scramble potential
so... we stuck to our original plan

while I packed a bag of snacks Lisa called to see if the we could my brother's wife and their two kids to join us
we knew my brother was our racing his cyclocross bike
sure enough... we caught them in between activities... they were game
we loaded up the car and headed out of the city

it was a short drive with no traffic to speak of
when we arrived at Old Angler's Inn there was no where to park

each lot was full... so full that kayakers were carrying their boats far further than usual
cars lined MacArthur Blvd blocking the bike path
it was like trying to find a parking space at the mall on Black Friday!
Lisa dropped us off and drove around looking for a space
the dog pooped and the boys played as we looked for the cousins
there was a parade of people marching down the towpath towards the trail

without any argument I swayed our party of three adults, four children, and two dogs to take the path less traveled

we headed towards the trails that weave about the land between Old Angler's Inn and Great Falls in between the C&O and MacArthur
it was a good choice the boys were free to run and I felt a lot less guilty about letting my dog run leash less
it should have been obvious that on a 65 degree day at the end of the Thanksgiving Holiday Weekend that the trails would be packed
yet somehow we did not factor that into the plan

the alternate plan worked out well
the boys and the dogs got to run wild while the parents walked a steady pace and managed to keep up

we hiked one larger loop that took us through some moderately deep woods of leafless trees
the apex of our hike was a high point that gave a good view of the river and the falls
with our shortage of time and a group of boys that were sure to soon lose strength we took the tow path back

the tow path was crowed with a parade of people
so we migrated to the lesser known service road that runs parallel to the tow path between Old Anglers Inn and Great Falls

to keep the boys moving and entertained I staged a few foot races

it was a good day
no time on the bike... but a good day just the same

the Billy Goat Trail may be reserved for week days or cold days in winter...
this is not the same world I grew up in

11.27.2009

TIME'S UP!


TIME'S UP!
www.timesonline.co.uk

did Mike of Mike's Bikes do his Thanksgiving Turkey Give Away this year?

Mike of Mike's Bikes in Lexington Park is a complex character

each year Mike gives away food to the needy on Thanksgiving Day

I wonder if that happened this year?

funny...



this animated gif is over a decade old
the photo.... even older

the photo looks as it is stagnant
taken with my Canon AE-1 back in the days of film
had the shutter open
the room was dark
had the flash in my left hand and let it recharge between strobes

messing with the camera was much more expensive in the days of film
which may be why I never got very good with the camera

maybe I should take some shots and assemble some mini motion shots


over at HeavyFalls skate blog I saw these animated gifs
not sure if this copy and repost will move
www.heavyfalls.blogspot.com

he says he used GIF MAKER
what is the best free animated gif assembly application
in the early days I used GIF BUILDER

Jonathan Blum Portraits...


Jonathan Blum...
DC to NYC
we all love the work of Jonathan Blum!
www.jonathanblumportraits.com

I have blogged about Jonathan before...
gwadzilla + jonathan blum

11.26.2009

BFF: The Bicycle Film Festival is here in Washington DC!


I have been meaning to remind people that the Bicycle Film Festival is here in Washington DC
chris reminded me to remind you
here is chris' reminder
roadthrash.blogspot.com

or go straight to the source
BFF December 5th in Washington DC
www.bicyclefilmfestival.com

ah... Urban Old Faithful!

mid day...
clear sky? chance of showers?

Urban Old Faithful at 20th and M Street in Northwest DC

THE BIG MAC

THE BIG MAC!
(a very funny cyclocross video... let me know if it is funny to those not in the Mid-Atlantic)

this must be from the same brain that brought us
Hipsters Discussing Cyclocross

11.25.2009

sore shoulder and an empty wallet...

visiting the inlaws for the holiday weekend
after dinner with the inlaws and some nephews we broke the party up into a smaller group
I took my boys and three of the four cousins to go bowling... Lisa showed up a few minutes late

we bowled a bit
the kids had the barrier blocking the gutters
I could have used the barrier blocking the gutters

they cut us a brake on the shoes and it was still sixty eight bucks
and that does not count the cheap beer and video games

YIKES!
note to self... bowling is expensive and tough on the body

11.24.2009

another shot of the same women...

on my way home from work...
bummer about the shorter days
I miss it being light out after work!

looking a bit Beastly after the Rockburn Cyclocross Race


a shot of looking a little beastly after phase two of Howard County's Double Cross
photo by In The Crosshairs
http://www.cxhairs.com/

note the In the Crosshairs cycling cap... he also has t-shirts

FIGHT THE POWER!

and of course... GWADZILLA VIDEOS BY In the Cross Hairs
those are some short ones... there is also some decent footage of me trying my hardest in the Men's Masters B if you scroll down his page and check some of the Men's Masters B in the MABRA Series

DOUBLE BIRD

WHAT!

Gwadzilla + In The Crosshairs

at Rockburn Cross I fought to stay in front of the camera... then I tried to catch up to the camera
at one point in the final laps my brother Marc cheered from the sidelines, "the camera is over here!"
of course trying to inspire me to make up the spaces that I was rapidly losing

leash laws for snowboards?

the brake on the bike law is much like the leash on the snowboard law
http://www.philly.com

11.23.2009

LARRY! He is OLD SCHOOL and he is on the move!


larry has been doing this messenger gig for as long as I can remember
this guy pushes the pedals hard
someone get me a reading with a power tap
I bet he could power a small village with the wattage that he is putting out

I thought about raking the sand for the later races... it was less than a sand trap later in the day







the sandpit at Howard County Double Cross' Rockburn Cyclocross Race
some shots from the Master's Elite... those guys are always an exciting bunch to watch
thick with talent... lots of racers hungry for the podium
lots of racers working very hard to earn their position

Rockburn delivered... I had heard good things about it
sure enough... but I think I missed out on the pie
how was the pie?

Adventures for the Cure

Lyme Disease

Everybody's Favorite Shogren

two shots of Kevin... I always enjoy seeing Kevin


it seems that these types of shops are becoming more common

here in Washington DC there is a high end bicycle shop called Cyclelife
Cyclelife is more than a bicycle shop... it is more like a "bicycle spa"

in Minneapolis there is FIX STUDIOS which aims to improve your health and optimize your performance!

THE FIXED STUDIO
www.thefixstudio.com
an article on THE FIXED STUDIO
www.startribune.com
and DC's CYCLELIFE
www.cyclelifeusa.com

a few more photos from Howard County Double Cross... ROCBURN