Archive for the ‘shows’ Category

10 years of Sunspot Pictures (the band, not the sun)

Posted by matt on June 11, 2009

SunspotIt’s hard to believe, but I’ve been friends with Madison, WI rock band Sunspot for over 10 years!  Since tomorrow they are releasing their 5th full-length album, Singularity, I thought I would post some of my favorite pictures I’ve taken of Mike, Ben and Wendy over the last decade.  Out of over 8000 (!) that I’ve taken, here are 130 ordered chronologically that are my favorites.  Check it.

Almost as crazy as attending one of their live shows is the number of digital cameras I’ve owned over this same time frame…it’s pretty nuts:

  • 1999-2001 Largan Lmini 350 – 0.6 MegaPixel – this thing was terrible in most every way, but it was digital, which is what a digital guy needs.  Yeah, 0.6MP.
  • 2001-2003 Sony FD-90 – 1.6MP – Great optics, but sloooow camera.  Made you slow down, but almost too much.  I still have some pictures I really like from this camera.  If it only had 10x the sensor quality.
  • 2003-2005 Olympus 5050z – 5.0MP – My first prosumer camera, this taught me the photo basics, mainly aperture, shutter speed and ISO.
  • 2005-2006 Canon Digital Rebel -  6.3MP – The first in a crazy-upgrade cycle of Rebels.
  • 2006-2007 Canon Digital Rebel XT – 8.0MP – I started selling stock photos and the upgrades in both lenses and cameras now were ‘funded’.  It’s nice when your hobbies pay for themselves.
  • 2007-2008 Canon Digital Rebel XTi – 10.1MP – Sensor cleaning = good!  A great camera, I only really upgraded because in stock photography it helps to have higher MegaPixel for increased size for increased $$.
  • 2008-2009 Canon Digital Rebel XSi – 12.2MP – While still a very capable camera, I’ve vowed this is the last Rebel I’d buy… the 50D (or 60D) or 5D MarkII product line is next for me, but I’ve been investing in lenses lately.
  • I had a Casio Exilm EX-Z57 which I used only for a couple of shots at shows (since I had the Rebel then).  What’s most interesting about this camera, is it is what Wendy uses for her “Drummercam” photos!

Finally, I also have a video of Sunspot from their March 2009 show at the Frequency. They are playing their song “Neanderthal” and they segue into some Megadeth.

It’s shot with my Canon Vixia HF100 HD video camera.  It’s flash based, small with a great quality picture, even in low light.

Be sure to check out Sunspot live if you get a chance–they don’t disappoint!  Pick up their new album too!

Posted under music, photos, reviews, shows

Review of Max Raabe & the Palast Orchester in Madison, WI

Posted by matt on October 4, 2008

max_raabe_palast_orchester2.jpgSara and I had the privilege to see Max Raabe & the Palast Orchester at the Overture Center in Madison, WI tonight.  Immediately we were transported back to a pre-WWII time in Germany when the music was beautiful, ironic and a little creepy.  The closing credits to Stanley Kubrick’s The Shining (Midnight, Stars and You) immediately came to mind.

The musicianship was outstanding and Max Raabe is just fun to watch.  Standing on stage leaning on the piano, hair slicked back while wearing a tux with full tails, your band playing while you wait to sing–you can’t look much cooler.  It was a solid show and the sound at the Overture didn’t disappoint.

Playing a lot of big band songs in high school as well as the UW Band, I have an appreciation of the tightness of the 12 piece Palast Orchester surrounding Max.  Many of the members played 2 or 3 instruments, crossing from trombone to violin with ease.  The crowd at the Overture, while by no means packed, was also very appreciative.  Max and company did a couple of enthusiastic encores.  The fact that most of the songs were in German added a mysticism to it all.

If you have a chance to see them live, I’d highly recommend it.  I don’t know of an act touring that is anything like them, especially at their level of ability.  I bought their live CD at Carnegie Hall, but they also have a DVD available.   Good stuff.

Posted under music, reviews, shows

Untitled 17: A Photo Midwest 2008 Show, October 12, 2008

Posted by matt on September 16, 2008

red_speedo_man_hedges_lg.jpgWhat: “Untitled 17″ a Photo Midwest Show
Opening Reception: Sunday, October 12th, 2008 @ 1:00pm – 3:00pm
Other Viewing Hours: October 13 – October 31, 2008 M-F 10am – 5pm
Why:
a chance to see some of Matt Apps’ photography!
Why #2: You can see other students of Madison photographer, Tom McInvaille
Where: Commonwealth Gallery (Madison Enterprise Center)
Address: 100 South Baldwin Street, Madison, WI 53703
Cost: FREE!

Every other year, Madison hosts a celebration of photography called “Photo Midwest” in the month of October.  This year, I have the privilege of showing my work in one of the exhibits with 17 or so other students who have taken a Master Photography class with Madison great, Tom McInvaille of Studio M in Madison, WI.  Since the style and theme of the show is guaranteed to be all over the map, we decided to name the show “Untitled 17“.

I’ve taken Tom’s class 3 times and the series I’m showing would probably be considered my most ‘successful’, if also not the most bizarre.  A sample (untitled currently) is included above…

Mark your calendars for Sunday afternoon October 12th, 2008 from 1-3pm, the reception is free, and you can see some interesting photography.  I think there may even be some food!

This is my first time showing my photography in a gallery, so I’m quite excited–hope to see you there!

Posted under photos, shows

Poison, Dokken, Sebastian Bach Concert in Madison, WI

Posted by matt on July 13, 2008

poison_ballad_madison_wi_willow_island_2008_tour.jpgCaught the Poison show last night in Madison, WI, with Sara and some friends.  Not a bad show–a decent, albeit strange crowd of blasted out 30 and 40+ year olds reliving their high-school years in the 80′s.  There was more than one real mullet in the crowd.  If I were to rank the music, it would look something like this:

1. Dokken – They rocked!  I was surprised at how good their sound was.  No George Lynch on guitar, but whomever they got to fill his shoes could really tear it up.

2. Guns ‘n Roses playing on the PA – Before Poison played, they played GNR on the sound system.  Yes, this was better than…

3. Poison – They aren’t known for their musicianship, and they proved that tonight.  But they can put on a good show, and everyone was having a good time, so it was fun.

4. Sebastian Bach – He has a good voice, but he didn’t prove it tonight.  His sound was terrible and his band awful.  Thank goodness I missed most of this.

Some pictures from the show, in order of how they played (Sebastian Bach, Dokken and  Poison):

sebastian_bach_madison_wi_willow_island.jpg  dokken_madison_wi_willow_island.jpg  poison_madison_wi_willow_island_2008_tour.jpg

I also shot some videos at the show.  Here’s Poison doing “Talk dirty to me”:

Posted under music, reviews, shows

Hanging with Chris Pirillo and the New Pornographers

Posted by matt on April 22, 2008

Further showing the power of Twitter, Sara and I were going to the New Pornographers show at the Orpheum last night and my friend Nemolian clued me in that Chris Pirillo of TechTV fame was enroute to Madison to go to the show via this twitter post. A few hours later, we went to the show (which was awesome!) and then met up with Chris and his brother Adam after the gig to do a little bar hopping in Madison.

We ended up to my favorite dive bar in Madison, The Paradise, and surprisingly who walked in but the New Pornographers! (great band, naughty name) We chatted with them for awhile before going off to Paul’s Club, enroute to a failed attempt to get some food.

This is where the night got a little weird as some guy wearing a Jack Daniels bandanna (that he no doubt earned that night) was running around yelling HASTA LASAGNA at people… Tragically, Adam ended up getting his coveted New Pornographer’s setlist stolen! Luckily, we did find it though, but not until after we found some other guy who was bizarrely scribing a white-boy rap song ode to “Paul’s Club” rhyming “Guinness” with “Chemist”… (?!) on the back of the setlist. I guess the setlist is more memorable now at least.

All-in-all a very good night, and a pleasure to meet the New Pornographers. Awesome to hang with Chris Pirillo and his brother Adam who are totally cool, stand-up guys. Look us up if you come back to Madison again!

Posted under music, shows