Wednesday, December 12, 2018

Minus The Bear Brings 17 Amazing Years To A Celebratory Close.

Minus The Bear plays Emo's. Austin, TX.
Minus The Bear bids us all farewell. Austin, TX

Goodbyes aren't ever easy. However, some are very satisfying even in the pain of a farewell. Such was the case for me at my first [and possibly last] Minus The Bear show. Recently, the Seattle-grown band has embarked on their farewell tour and made a stop through Austin, TX. Thankfully I was there, camera in hand, soaking in the melodic tunes through eager and soulful ears. Torn between my youthful excitement and the growing inevitability that this is ending. I'm not crying, you're crying.

Dave Knudson doing the damn thing.
Dave Knudson bringing the heat.

Set designers did a fantastic job.
Dreamy ceilings. Incredible set design.

Minus The Bear is a band that seems to ebb and flow throughout my playlists and my listenings overall. Usually a song or two here or there, maybe I'm feeling good and just need a break from rap, and then it's sudden floods of relentless replays trying to further dive into the emotions of each song that I seem to swim in so effortlessly. There's something very relaxing about the pinpoint accuracy in the lyrics Jake Snider puts together. His words have a knack for sounding very peacefully soothing only to realize the hurtful longing that hides within each bar. Yet it's somehow still all so comforting. For myself, it's always, "This guy gets it." Songs like Last Kiss and Excuses just have a way of reminding you that someone out there understands the feelings without knowing you or your story.

This guy gets it.
 The vocal legend Jake Snider. Such an honor.

Alex Rose lurking the keys in the shadows.
Alex Rose spreading the melodies across many keys.

I've photographed a ton of acts and I'm glad I was able to finally capture this band. First time seeing the band, I get to photograph them, AND they're closing the chapter as this band? Talk about a tidal wave of emotions! I've been wanting to see this band for quite sometime and their live presence brought a huge smile to my face. My biggest challenge this evening was seeing the barricade pushed so close to the stage and realizing I may not have the right glass on me for the change in distance. Also though, make best use of what you got, so we make it work. I hope these images capture as close they can of the evening. Although nothing beats the real thing!

Dreamiest of melodies.

Cory Murchy's dope ass boots.
 Killer boots, man!

Farewell, Minus The Bear, and THANK YOU.
Farewell, Minus The Bear, and THANK YOU.

Farewell and goodbye, guys. Thank you for very emotion you put into every note of every song. The ups, the downs, the yearning, the celebrating--they're all so amazing. Best to you all in your next chapters of life. Cheers to an incredible seventeen years!


Stay Creative,
BLUE731.

Wednesday, December 5, 2018

Fractions.

#sk8life. Corpus Christi, TX.


Skate Dad. Corpus Christi, TX.


Stay Creative,
BLUE731.

Monday, December 3, 2018

Strand Music--Decades Long and Ever-strong.

Tech N9ne & Big Krizz Kalkio. Austin, TX.
Tech N9ne and Krizz Kaliko always come correct. Austin, TX

Double-oooo-N9na! 

Strange Music was back in the building earlier this month with the Independent Grind Tour 2018, on the birthday of none other than the King/the Clown/the G himself, Tech N9ne. I've been attending Tech's shows for almost 15 years and it's been incredible watching him grow as an artist. I've "outgrown" a lot of my early music favorites of that time. Some because I didn't like the direction the music went, some because it simply represented a chapter in my life that was closed and no longer serves me to re-read (or re-listen). So there aren't a ton of music acts I follow today that I did back then. Tech is one of those few that just keeps making great music.

Aaron Dontez Yates aka Tech N9ne.

Samuel William Christopher Watson IV aka Big Krizz Kaliko.
Tech's partner in rhyme, Krizz Kaliko.

When Tech N9ne hits the stage, you can almost guarantee that Big Krizz Kaliko will be along for the ride. Watching these two trade verses, back each other's vocals, and move in unison on time and in rhythm is something of a masterpiece to watch. There's an art to the way these two share the stage, almost like a really dope rap ballet. They've only tightened their synchronicity over the years.

Kaliko with the commanding presence.

RAP.
Named after the gun, this be the one them call Tech N9ne. 

Absolute Power 2018.

The crowd sizes have ebbed and flowed over the years I've been attending Tech's shows, the remaining constant is that all those in attendance are just as stoked on the floor as they are on stage. For the decades that Tech has been putting in work, he most certainly has Absolute Power with  crowds. Every Tech show delivers and it was a super fun night revisiting some of his classics as wel as experiencing his new joints. Thank you, Strange Music!

Kaliko is ferocious.

Tech pulls you in with every verse.

Thank you, Strange Music.
Welcome to The Midwest.


Stay Creative,
BLUE731.

Friday, November 30, 2018

Almost Real Things Is Hosting A Tremendous Block Party!

Almost Real Things Block Party.


It's time for a block party! The weather's dope, the lineup is stacked, and there will be a TON of artists in the marketplace. Almost Real Things has put together an expansive spread with live music, good food, and amazing people. For two days Almost Real Things will provide you with an amazing space to party with and support local artists, getting you involved with the community. (Tickets HERE, discount code below!)

All night, all day.

Personally, I'll have a grip of new printed goods for you, exclusive to this party. I'm debuting some new works on Sunday of some old and new pieces, created and printed by yours truly. Stickers, apparel, and prints, I got something for all of you--and your boo, too. I look forward to seeing you all, it's been a minute since I've posted up. This is a great opportunity to meet your favorite artists face-to-face, too. I am happy to meet any and all of you!

Bringing out some ladies!

Reviving this old chap!

For tickets to the dopest event before the year ends, visit universe.com/artclub and use the code ARTFRIEND to save $10.00 off and use that for the coffee you're gonna need Monday morning because you went hard in the paint at the block party all weekend.

Come thru!


Stay Creative,
BLUE731.

Sunday, October 14, 2018

Fractions.

Downtown Austin in the wee hours. Austin, TX.


Stay Creative,
BLUE731.

Thursday, October 4, 2018

Texas Turns Out For Beto In Powerful Austin Gathering.

Beto Rally. Austin, TX.
Peaceful rally at Auditorium Shores for Senate candidate Beto O'Rourke. Austin, TX

There's something I find very fascinating about politicians. Whether outright awful, boring af mediocre, or our next hero who will save our state, our country, etc., I find it enamoring how influential someone in such a position can be. Beto O'Rourke certainly swings on the far side of that spectrum toward border-line saint in many people's eyes. In fact, this past Sunday night at Auditorium Shores here in Austin, in one of the largest single-candidate rallies this country has seen since 2016 (according to The El Paso Times), there were 55,000 people uniting at the Turnout For Texas rally to celebrate Beto and to show their support for all he is wanting to achieve. You tell me how that isn't captivating, from the outside looking in, to see such massive unity, essentially, for one person's ideals. Ideals many of us can and do agree on.

There's strength in numbers.

Thousands gather at the Turn Out For Texas Rally.

Most of you know I see too many flaws in our political system to even bother anymore. I've expressed that thought many times. However, that doesn't mean I don't believe in people. While he wasn't perfect, I am very proud to have had Obama lead this country for 8 solid years, entering office after one of the biggest shit-shows in political history (certainly in my lifetime). As our leader, Obama was eloquent, headstrong, and willing to shoulder the weight of the entire country many times over. While I did not agree with everything he did, I did for the most part agree with his overall view of the bigger picture. Something we fail to do too often is to look beyond the smaller bits. We fixate on the daily minutiae of life without realizing these moments are simply smaller collective sections of a much bigger painting happening all around us. Take a step back. Think bigger.

Love & politics.
It was super sweet to see these two cuddled up like this. 

I've struggled with our political system for many years seeing many flaws within it but, admittedly, I've never seen any solutions. That's been tough. So, I often refrain from the discussions, the participation in a super outdated system, and simply watch the entire thing unfold as it will. Like a Nat Geo photographer watching animals hunt each other down, often eaten alive in agony or starving to death from failure. I wanted to believe in Bernie, I really did. And we got to see his path trampled on and saw him effectively tossed out of any possibility of changing this wacky country in favor of another candidate regardless of what the people wanted. It's getting harder to believe.

Evan Voyles x Marc Ferrino.
I fucking love neon and Austin keeps surprising and impressing me with this art.

Now we have Beto. I've watched Beto's popularity rise ever quickly in my city, my state, and in my social media feeds over the past few months. Eager to take the high road by denying super PACs and relying solely on the individuals throughout Texas, Beto has spent much of his time traveling through endless counties in Texas meeting as many people as possible urging them to register, vote, and help propel his beliefs for a better country into office. The power of speech is incredible and a good orator can enact some rather influential change. People are getting fed up with the prehistoric thinking of the privileged looking out for the privileged while casting the rest of us aside. People are pushing for change, for inclusion and equality. And people like Beto are exciting us all to do just that.

Lovebirds and such.
My favorite photo of the night. I'm a sucker for love and romance.

I initially wanted to attend this rally to see what kind of turnout this would be and snap some photos along the way. It would be my first large scale activist event in Austin since the Women's March of 2017. I did not expect to see this many people gathered across the same lawns I walk my dog through. The same quiet, peaceful space I run through to clear my head was now flooded with tons of people showing their support for Beto and all he stands for. Surprised is an understatement. The energy was palpable. The cannabis, plentiful. The support, undeniable. I had the opportunity to listen to O'Rourke speak in public to a crowd of thousands of people in full attention. I happily spent most of his speech watching the people facing him. Their cheers. Their quietly hang on to his every word. The kids bored out of their minds and their parents adamant to have them be a part of history by staying til the end. Watching their eyes light up with belief, support, and hope.

Hope.

A woman watches the big screen as Beto addresses the crowd.
Hope was written all over her face, so deep in her eyes.

Hope was stricken on everyone's face as Beto spoke throughout the night. As I scanned the crowd of strangers before me, it was everywhere. On the young, the old, on female, on male, on child, on damn near everyone I could see. Halfway through his speech, I put my camera down and turned around to give him my full attention. To allow his thoughts in and let my mind process the words as well as the intent behind them. In his voice I heard what I see in so many of his supporters...I heard fire. That fire that Beto supporters cheer with. That fire they create signs and shirts and murals with. That fire they use to fuel their tireless volunteer efforts in his campaign. It is all the same fire in his voice when he speaks. It's eerie, man. In the best way possible. I really couldn't put into words what it felt like. You just had to be there.


I want to believe in Beto, in his words and promises. I want to believe in the 55,000+ in attendance this night, and in the countless others all across Texas and the U.S. I want everyone to prove me wrong. To show me that hope can turn into faith and that faith can turn into change. I believe you can change this place for the better, Beto. I hope our system will support your plans to uplift our society, our state, and our country. Our people wholeheartedly believe in you. And I certainly believe in people's power to improve our machine and not just those people in office. Eventually, the common people will grow tired of the outdated ways in which we operate our country, just as they are tiring of old patriarchal ideas, and demand and enact positive change once again. As we so often do when we are pushed to our limits. Word to #metoo.

So while we may live in a movie simulation where a famous celebrity with zero political experience--and the most childish Twitter fingers I've ever witnessed--can be our president, we can also have good characters in this story of the United States like Obama, Bernie, and now Beto who can continue to improve our lives and have just as strong of an impact for the better.

But it all starts with you. YOU reading this right now. Take change into your own hands. Be the change you wish to see.

Take the power back. Word to RATM.


Stay Creative and Stay Informed,
BLUE731.

Saturday, September 8, 2018

Fractions.

Youngblood. Austin, TX.
Skateboarding Is Forever. Austin, TX.

Girl Power.


Stay Creative,
BLUE731.