Show Review: Dirty Honey, Parish Austin

Photography & Show Review: Kail Rose

I was first introduced to Dirty Honey while sitting backstage with fellow rockers, Blacktop Mojo. As I customarily do, I asked my artist friends for new music recommendations – who had they seen on their tours that was new, upcoming and totally worth checking out? Unanimously, they answered “Dirty Honey.”

On my way home, I found a couple of their songs on Spotify and clicked play. They were right to recommend them – energetic rock reminiscent of Zeppelin and Aerosmith, with incredible vocals and catchy lyrics. This was everything a hit was made of. I followed, kept them on my playlist (I highly recommend adding When I’m Gone to your workout playlist) and looked forward to seeing them live as soon as possible.

I lucked out at Exit 111 Festival, just a few months later; a Tennessee rock festival I was already scheduled to photograph. Commanding a massive mid-afternoon crowd, their high-energy set and explosive vocals bought them a great number of new fans. Word on the street; Dirty Honey was the hot new band on the 111 lineup. Crowds packed early on, and the front row was buzzing with die-hard fans, homemade signs and more than a few DH shirts and hats. I later caught the band in the media lounge for a quick chat. It was apparent that despite being new to the scene, they were seasoned professionals and wholly committed to their music.

“The tracks on Dirty Honey bang with the kind of organic grit that could bring hard rock back to the mainstream, which would be an amazingly good thing. The New Classic Rock movement is building up steam and Dirty Honey is in an excellent position to help shape its leading edge.” – Mike O’Cull, Rock and Blues Muse

Hailing from Los Angeles, the band consists of singer Marc Labelle, guitarist John Notto, bassist Justin Smolian, and drummer Corey Coverstone. The band formed only very recently, in 2017, but has very quickly gained notoriety and a sizeable, enthusiastic fanbase in the rock genre. They self-released a self-titled EP in March of 2019. Their single When I’m Gone quickly topped the Billboard Mainstream Rock Songs chart, making them the very first unsigned band to achieve such accolades. 

“For years, the term ‘saviors of rock and roll’ has been handed out too easily, with very few in recent years, barring Rival Sons, getting anywhere close. But, with the backing Dirty Honey have from established stars and iconic producers, a major label is sure to come calling soon. If that happens, the potential of this band is infinite.” – Adam Keys, Rush on Rock

I recently caught their January show at The Parish Austin, just one of their multi-city US tour dates. They’d enticed a formidable crowd. I quickly learned that Dirty Honey has quickly amassed a group of hardcore fans – many of which had been travelling along, city-to-city, to catch more than one show. All were clad in DH merch, and could barely contain their excitement. Their Friday evening show kicked off with Scars, a bluesy, groovy tune, and quickly accelerated through Break You to hit Fire Away. The ten-song set was over before we knew it, but not before a flawless rendition of Aerosmith’s Last Child (Marc sure can hit those delicious notes), wrapping with When I’m Gone and Rolling 7’s.

As we left the venue, I overheard several parties commenting on how excited they were to hit their Dallas show the very next day. Others commented that they were prepared to travel up to Pryor, OK for their Rocklahoma festival set May 22-24. We predict big things for these guys – and rightfully so. The talent is humbling, and their energy and prowess on stage is unmatched. If you haven’t taken a quick listen, we highly recommend you do. Check out their upcoming tour schedule here.

News: Boston Calling Lineup announced!

Must-see or Meh? Vote below!!

⭐⭐⭐

Meh (1) – – – – > Must-See (5)

We were entirely stoked when the full BC lineup landed this Tuesday… we already knew we were in for Foo Fighters and RHCP, who are always a good time (did you see this clip of Flea in free-spirited interpretive dance mode?). But then they dropped the RATM bomb on us, and if we weren’t already sold by the “small-type” supporting acts (I mean, come ON..! The 1975? LP!? Struts? Run the Jewels!? Angels & Airwaves!?!? …for real, yo??) we lost it when we found out Rage will be there. So we will be, too. This one rates a solid 5 stars in our books – a definite Must-See for 2020.

Our pick for most-underrated artist on the lineup?

Andrew W.K. (nerdy, excellent, high-energy ROCK) Recent Tweet:

BOSTON: Andrew is bringing his full band to @BostonCalling for maximum partying on Friday, May 22nd, 2020. TICKETS: http://bit.ly/2RxUypW

Let us know your thoughts – is this a must-see or a meh? Vote above!

Cobracast Birthday bash 2020

This weekend saw yet another successful CobraCast Birthday Bash Slamboree at Come and Take It Live… starring School of Rock99 CrimesRoc HolidayBlack Heart SaintsMadam RadarThree33, Vallejo, Dirty Wormz and Dangerous Toys it was a nonstop high-octane birthday blowout for Bobby Sharron and the CobraCast.

Bobby has been a pivotal figure in the music industry here in Austin for many years – from his successful multi-genre music podcast, to his tireless support of Austin bands. Our music community would be amiss if it weren’t for Bobby’s contributions. To thank him for his hard work and the send a slightly-belated HBD, here’s a recap of Saturday’s celebrations.

Video by Kail Rose / dRiFFt. Song credits (used with permission): Black Heart Saints “Gasoline.” Thank you to Bobby and CATIL. You guys rock! 🤘Celebrating Bobby Sharron and Cobracast’s birthday, presented by Come and Take It Live.

G(irl)photographer: Nikon Music Video Bootcamp

Precision Camera hosted the three-day Nikon Music Video Bootcamp class last weekend at their north location. It was a jam-packed weekend of inspiration, information and hands-on learning, led by Chicago-based filmmaker, photographer and Nikon Ambassador Chris Hershman

Having worked with bands like Switchfoot and Company of Thieves, Chris has swiftly amassed a portfolio of big names and exceptional work. His work in film is visually engaging, terrifically creative, and stunningly beautiful – an artist and a storyteller who does not need to rely on expensive technology or high-dollar effects. I was stoked and slightly intimidated to be learning from a standout entrepreneur in the industry. But Chris is as approachable as he is brilliant, pairing inspiration and real-life anecdotes with practical, useful material that is valuable for students of all levels. It is clear that he desires to see his students grow and find success in their respective niches.

My interest in the class was a no-brainer, given my personal background in concert photography. I’ve dabbled in film, but I’ll be the first to admit that I am nowhere close to an ‘expert.’ I was suitably excited to expand my filmmaking horizons, particularly with an instructor of such caliber. 

I stepped into our first Friday evening class to discover I was surrounded by an exceptional group of peers, all equally as enthusiastic. Friday’s evening session set the stage for the full-day classes ahead. We learned a little about Chris’ background, discussed some basic principles of film and music video creation, examined production timelines and workflows, and took a behind-the-scenes look into some of Chris’ bigger film projects with Shure, Nikon, and artists Emily Blue and Company of Thieves. His down-to-earth narrative of first-hand experiences made the learning curve surmountable and our class time thoroughly enjoyable.

Saturday’s class began with an immersive discussion about camera gear, followed by a walk-through of camera settings appropriate for filming live music videos. Once we’d squared away basics like shutter speed, audio, ISO and aperture, Chris walked us through his own camera rig, patiently explaining how and why he’d built it that way. This segment was particularly valuable in demystifying the technology barrier many of us encountered stepping into this class. Conversation continued; stabilization tools, tripods, gimbals, and techniques for filming with multiple cameras. 

Finally we brought in our guest musician, Houston-based Steven Wells of Birthday Club. Chris walked us through the setup of 3-point lighting on set, as well as how to pair your camera to various color temperatures. This was immeasurably valuable to me, as I’d entirely ‘winged it’ where most previous video lighting was concerned. Good to know I wasn’t completely off-track! Finally, we were set to start filming. A highlight for me was the chance to command Chris’s camera. Sitting behind a ‘real’ camera rig was an opportunity to see myself in a place I’d only ever daydreamed about.

I was effervescently sold on the deal by the time I relinquished that camera to the next student. It was the first time I’d really thought of filmmaking as something truly possible for me, and not just a far-off pipe dream. After numerous takes, several of Steven’s best acoustic renditions of his current hits (the guy is insanely talented – check him out), a handful fails and a few more successes, we wrapped for the day and I headed home with a memory card full of my very own music video content.

I later chatted with Chris, eager to learn a bit more about his background, inspirations and motivation; and, well, figure out how to be exactly like him when I grow up. He chatted enthusiastically through some of his own experiences filmmaking; creating unprecedented concepts, following and documenting the one and only Joe McNally, running high-dollar/high-stress productions, and sharing the joy and successes he’d seen in teaching other aspiring filmmakers. 

I asked him what he hoped to impart on his students, particularly those that felt a little out of their league in taking his class. Without skipping a beat; “I’d tell them that everything is figure-out-able. It’s all possible.” He went on to give examples of his own sources of doubt, stating; “if it can happen to me, it can happen to anyone.” His unwavering faith in his students’ abilities is a rare trait. I predict that Chris will also see unprecedented success in further educational endeavors – as if he needed to add that to a mountain of accelerating film accolades. 

Sunday was our ‘Post-Production’ day, where we walked through the intricacies and workflow of taking raw video content and transposing it into a work of art with Adobe Premiere. We discussed both hardware and software, efficient workflows and the actual process of piecing together a video. This was the area of filmmaking that I had the most experience, so it was immeasurably useful to tack on Chris’ workflow tips, shortcuts, and expertise to my previous experience. As a self-taught nerd, it also made me feel a little more confident in my own working knowledge, like I was on the right path.

To be entirely honest, the class was over far too soon. I learned so much and could have sat in that classroom a full week. Which probably means that I need to immerse myself in similar classes — which I fully plan on doing. I am incredibly grateful to Precision Camera for bringing us yet another incredible learning opportunity – one that also happened to coincide so relevantly to my own passions in the music world.

As a self-taught and incredibly over-enthusiastic photographer, I generally suffer from impostor syndrome of the worst variety. I know that my passion for photo and video work far outweighs my actual life experience and sometimes I wonder if I deserve to be where I am today. Handling a ‘real’ camera rig and subsequently walking through everything necessary to create a finished product made me feel like this was something I could really, actually do. 

And having the opportunity to sit among others who come from a similar background makes me realize that we’re all on a learning curve, and that it’s okay to know what you don’t know. It’s a good thing. When I can walk out of a classroom and feel more at home in my chosen passion, and more driven to continue learning and growing as a Creative, I can thank only the folk that put together the opportunity in the first place. Classes like this are such a tremendously valuable resource for our creative community. Once again, I am absolutely floored that I can just walk into Precision Camera and take part any time I choose.  

Now if you’ll excuse me, I’ve got to go harass all of my music industry friends to find someone who might tolerate me following them around with a camera for a few hours…

News: Upheaval Fest Lineup announced!

Must-see or Meh? Vote below!!

⭐⭐⭐

Meh (1) – – – – > Must-See (5)

What’s that? A newbie to the rock festival world you say? SOLD! In an ever-changing rock fest universe, this Grand Rapids, MI newb promises big things. Headliners Disturbed, Skillet, Staind and Chevelle are not tiny names to balk at… a solid lineup for their first year.

We’ll be curious to see how this one plays out in 2020. Will you be there?

Our pick for most-underrated artist on the lineup?

Joyous Wolf and Blacktop Mojo… I’ll let you get there, watch them both and battle it out for this title. I won’t be boring.

Just Announced! We will be performing at the @UpheavalFestival July 17, so get your tickets now! It’s a killer lineup, so we expect see you out there! https://eventbrite.com/e/upheaval-festival-tickets-89131955077?aff=JoyousWolf…

https://twitter.com/JoyousWolfMusic/status/1220386918443245568?s=20

Let us know your thoughts – is this a must-see or a meh? Vote above!

A Good Rogering: My favorite band you’ve never heard of

Photography: Josh Wolfer, Story: Kail Rose

Celebrating the 10th Anniversary of their 2010 EP, Long Overdue, January 11th saw an absurdly excellent evening of music, rainbow penguins, and rock & roll debauchery with Austin’s own A Good Rogering. One of the few Austin bands I’ve seen more than a handful of times, I’ve yet to witness them perform a less-than-stellar show. 

No AGR set is the same. Expect eclectic acts of disobedience, an abundance of flying hair, and likely a few f-bombs. But excellence is the standard in everything they touch – be it 2017’s This is Death Metal, or something decidedly ‘funkier,’ a-la the more recent Mr. Peanut (seriously, check this one out).

Frontman Skunk Manhattan reeks brilliance on a myriad of instruments, but on lead vocals he brings an unpredictably grizzled, pitch-perfect showman-esque stature to the whole production. Clad this time in suit and tie (as is the entire band), you never quite know what he’ll do next. From “snailing” along the pit rail (you kinda had to be there…), gnawing on a cymbal or licking the plushie penguin before throwing himself into the crowd; it’s epic, it’s rock n’ roll, it’s a certain je-ne-sais-quois. All the while, lead guitarist Tim Driscoll takes us through a veritable wonderland of perfect riffs and slick solos. He’s flawless. Bassist Sammiard Alvarado trades holding down the low end with showing off some of the most beautiful hand-made basses I’ve seen. This multi-talented human also moonlights as a luthier, creating incredible works of art that happen to also sound amazing. This evening, the lineup includes John Takanikos on keys and another favorite local, Marc Coronado of The Crowned on drums. Through the evening we see cameos -including Blaine Matte of Eyetooth, who was once AGR’s bassist- and unexpected twists and turns; none of which overshadow the musical brilliance that is AGR live. 

This is one of those bands that leads you to consistently ask; “why the hell aren’t these guys touring internationally?” With a smorgasbord of music available on popular streaming platforms, they’re certainly not new to the scene. Some of their music is deliciously reminiscent of 80s rock, while other songs slip toward gritty heavy metal. Their many EP’s are dotted with deliciously frivolous sounds from pretty much every genre. When asked what their primary genre is, they’ll reply; “We call ourselves ‘eclectic rock’ because not much else really fits.” And that’s part of why we love them: there’s nothing they can’t do.

While almost all of the current band lineup moonlights in other musical projects (fully worth checking out), we can only sate our appetite by looking forward to their next rare appearance. What’s next for these eclectic rock geniuses? Will it be a brand new love song? A tribute show? Or a brand new EP, featuring songs of who-knows-what genre? Will it be their enormously popular summer rock festival, Skunkfest? The latter is guaranteed, and if 2019 was any indication, Skunkfest 2020 will be bigger, better, louder and crazier than ever before. Save the date: June 19 & 20 at Come and Take It Live in Austin, Texas. 

Spring 2020 Festivals: Must-Sees & Mehs

Innings Festival Temp AZ full lineup 2020

Innings Festival – Must See

This will be our first fest of the decade, and it’s a no-brainer. Held in Tempe AZ (Phoenix area, for those not familiar) from Feb 29-Mar 1 – because where else would you want to be on Leap Year day? With headliners Dave Matthews Band and Weezer, we’re stoked already. But the lineup goes beyond that to include so many great artists. It’s probably the only baseball-themed festival in existence, and promises batting cages, a chance to make an epic game-saving catch, and you can even watch Ryan Dempster interview some of your favorite MLB legends. This one is so cool and so unique – and we’re pretty excited. 

Okeechobee Music Festival full 2020 lineup Sunshine Grove Florida

Okeechobee Music Fest – Must See. 

Held in Sunshine Grove, Okeechobee FL from March 5 -8, OMF goes beyond your average music festival. Their mantra is more than just words—it’s a way of life. Each year, this community comes together to live, laugh, listen, sing, dance, learn, create, meditate, downward-dog, eat & drink, explore, give back, and “Be Here Now.” If you want a festival that combines a killer lineup, laid-back environment, out-of-this-world-art and the beach… look no further.

www.okeechobeefest.com

Coachella Music Festival 2020 lineup Indio California

Coachella – Meh. 

I can’t believe we’re saying this for the second year in a row, but Meh. Major meh. Not much in the lineup really stands out when you consider that most of the big names are playing elsewhere at more accessible festivals where you can actually get within a mile of the stage. It’s kind of that old “too big for its’ britches” phenomena… I just don’t really have a reason to want to go. I don’t even have enough FOMO here to pretend I’d be interested In Coachella this year. For one, their crowds inspire a sense of general dread, since I’m not a lover of standing in a giant dusty field full of teenagers who just can’t take enough selfies, while I crane to see a stage in the far distance and gobble down a $25 slice of pizza. Which is now coated in dust. And with that thought… I’m glad I’m not scheduled to attend this year. 

SXSW South by Southwest festival Austin logo

SXSW – Must See. 

This is our yearly pilgrimage to the center of the Live Music Capital of the world… where better to see an astonishing array of incredible musicians handpicked by industry leaders? If you want to find your new favorite act, this is the place to do it. Yes, it’s a big festival, but the venues are many; and they’re small, intimate and full of character. There will be no standing in a dusty field at this one, guaranteed. Running March 13 through 22nd, you’ll have many chances to explore the city, soak up all that Austin has to offer, see (many) great bands and eat all the tacos your heart desires. Because I probably will be doing that myself. So book that AirBnB, indulge in the beautiful spring weather at Zilker Park, grab dinner on 2nd or Congress, and come get weird with us. 

Sand Jam Music Festival 2020 Panama City Beach Florida Lineup

Sand Jam – Must See. 

Because Shinedown, 311 and Weezer on the beach in Panama City, FL is one opportunity we just can’t pass up. April 24-26 is when the 2nd annual alt rock fest goes down, which means you’ve got just over 100 days to grab a ticket and pick out your best beach gear. There’s practically nobody on this lineup we don’t want to see, so come join us in the front row for a weekend of sunshine and killer music.

Welcome to Rockville Daytona Beach Florida 2020 Lineup

Welcome to Rockville – Meh. 

Once upon a time, Rockville really had something to offer… but it seems to have grown out of it’s “Unique little FL rock fest” and into something almost completely unrecognizable. Piggybacking off just about the exact same lineup as every other DWP festival this year, we just can’t really justify this one. The recycled lineup, inflated ticket prices and poor organization of year’s past just have us saying “thanks, but no thanks.” (P.S. If you want a better rock option, stay tuned for Rockfest later in the year). 

Hangout Fest Gulf Shores Alabama Full lineup festival 2020

Hangout Fest – Must See. 

Their lineup this year is HUGE! I mean… are we for real here? Even some of the small-print bands are going to be out of this world and since it’s another beach fest, this time held on the expansive sunny beaches of Gulf Shores, AL from May 15-17, we just can’t really find a reason to say no. What a perfect start to summer.

https://www.hangoutmusicfest.com/

Shaky Knees Music Festival 2020 Atlanta Georgia lineup

Shaky Knees – Definite Must-See

If those headliners aren’t enough to convince you, does the rest of the lineup do it? No? How about perfect springtime weather taking place May 1-3 in Atlanta’s Central Park, situated between their bubbling downtown and the Fourth Ward District? I mean… The Smashing Pumpkins, The Strokes and The Black Keys do it for me. But what do I know about great music?

Bottle rock Napa Valley Music and Wine Festival 2020 full lineup

Bottlerock vs Boston Calling – how can we even choose?

These are both on our must-see list but sadly, they happen on the exact same weekend so we’re gonna have to make some tough choices. The full BC lineup isn’t released yet, but we’ll share when it‘s released. Miraculously, they will both feature Red Hot Chili Peppers, and BC also promises Foo Fighters. Either way, you can’t go wrong – whether you want the old-school historic charm of Boston, or the laid-back wine country kitsch of Napa, it’s your pick for the weekend of May 22-24.

Which will it be? https://bostoncalling.com/ or https://www.bottlerocknapavalley.com/ ?

Want to join our team at some of these festivals? We need writers and photographers! Send us an email.

G(irl)photographer: New Year’s Resolution

Like most of us, I sat down around New Year and attempted to write out my list of New Year’s Resolutions. They varied from the usual “go running at least three days a week,” “eat healthy” and “drink less wine” (ha… we’ll see how that one goes) to the exceptionally over-ambitious “start an independent media revolution.” But somewhere in-between, sparked partially by my time spent at the Sony Alpha photography classes in late fall, was one simple resolution: 

Learn.

It’s no secret that I’m a total dweeb for educational things. But somehow adulting led me to seriously neglect these things in recent times. That needs to change. So I set out to research some easily accessible, not-too-time-consuming opportunities to get this brain working again. 

  1. Nikon Music Video Bootcamp

As a photographer deeply entrenched in the music world, learning more about music video production is another pursuit I have sorely neglected. And a really fun one. In searching Precision Camera’s database of upcoming classes, I stumbled across the Nikon Music Video Bootcamp and signed up on the spot. It’s a three-day series of classes held at Precision’s North location (did you hear they opened a second store on William Cannon and Manchaca?). It’s hosted by filmmaker and Nikon Ambassador Chris Hershman and covers planning, filming, editing and post-production for music videos. It runs the evening of Jan 17th, and then all day Saturday January 18 and Sunday January 19th. While I’m really not a video guru (though I hope to be one day…), this class sounds rock-solid and I can’t wait to jump in. 

  1. Nerd Nite #122: New Year, Nerd You!

All puns aside, Nerd Nite is amazing. And I kind of think their dad jokes are, too. I’ve loved NN since I first discovered this motley crew of avid learners and self-professed geeks back in, oh, 2017 or so? It’s been a while since my schedule allowed me to attend one of their coveted evenings, but there’s one coming up on Wednesday, January 8th and you can bet I’ll be there. 

Here’s the deets: Head to the North Door for 7:30ish (talks start at 8pm). It’s free, so don’t even worry about breaking the bank. Grab a drink and/or tacos from Pueblo Viejo (you won’t regret it, I promise) and make some new friends. There’s even an Ambassador program, where you can sign up for a friend-making meet & greet prior to the show (NOT speed dating, Full Disclosure). There will be three talks: “The Joy of Eating” by Drew Castillo, “Calming Down Like a Child” by Eley Escandell and “The (Mostly) Painless Way to Improve Your Life And Make it Stick” by Angela Arnold. Read more about all of these here. And since I’ll be there, make sure to say hello if you see me and let’s all have an amazingly nerdy time!

  1. Photo Tour on AirBnB

I’ll be the first to admit I got a little wildly aspirational on this search…. Finding a Photo Tour through the Vatican City in Italy and The Northern Lights Pro Photographer tour will do that to you. But then I also found lots of local (US-based options). Since I love to travel and shoot, why not find a pro who has devoted their business to guiding people unfamiliar with their town to the most photogenic spots available? I say yes. Most of these tours cost between $50-$100, usually depending on the time involved. Since I’ll be in the area later this year, I think I might start with the Miami Design District Photowalk.

As usual, I have a million additional ideas to add to my list. But mom always says “make your goals attainable and you will succeed.” Dangit, you’re right mom… so here we are. This is my to-do list of learning opportunities for the near future. Hope you might consider joining me for some of them.

The Photo Pit: Sevendust with Deepfall and Stitched Up Heart

Article by Bernard Cana / Talon Kane Photography Published Jan 3, 2020 on thephotopit.com

From The Pit To The Crowd: Sevendust with Deepfall and Stitched Up Heart – House of Blues Orlando – Lake Buena Vista FL – December 29, 2019

On November 9, 2014 before I started photographing and reviewing concerts, I attended a show at House of Blues Orlando I would never forget. One of my favorite bands, Sevendust, was performing an acoustic show of their music. Getting to hear songs I love in a stripped-down format was incredible. And seeing them in this very intimate format was something I would never forget. Skip ahead to Winter 2019 where I remember commenting on a post on the Sevendust Facebook page that I wished they’d do another acoustic show. Literally days after that, the band announced their Acoustic Xmas shows with three dates with one of them being at House of Blues Orlando, a place the band considers a second home for performances. There was no way I was going to miss this show and was blessed to be able to cover it for The Photo Pit. It was a show I will truly never forget.

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