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The Big Takeover Issue #93
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Is This Thing On?

11 July 2007

My obsession with music can be directly traced to the Secret Treaties LP I bought at Lechmere’s department store, back in 1974 or so. My brother was a BLUE ÖYSTER CULT fan, so I decided to follow suit with my first music-related purchase. I’ve still got that LP, tucked away in my record shelves, but in the three decades+ since then, it’s gotten a lot of neighbors. Though most people probably have their formative musical experiences in their late teens/early twenties, I like to think that this is a never-ending discovery phase; from country to hip-hop, krautrock to free jazz, indie rock to black metal, I have a wide-ranging palate and eagerly seek new stuff all the time (a search made much easier in the advent of the internet; this was much harder 10-15 years ago, trust me…). However, if push came to shove and I could only retain a sliver of my record collection, I could never part w/ my New Zealand-related stuff (Flying Nun, Xpressway, Propeller, Ripper, Onset/Offset, South Indies, etc… so much great music came out of that tiny country). After doing some writing for The Big Takeover in the ‘90s, I ended up working a bit more locally and wrote for LESLIE GAFFNEY’s Popwatch from about issue 6-10, when she folded it in the mid-1990s. After that, I really didn’t do anything with respect to commenting about music until a camera landed under the X-mas tree in 2005.

Photography is a recent phenomenon for me; a few years of point and shoot action was about the extent of it until my lovely wife got me the aforementioned camera (Canon Rebel XT; since upgraded to a 30D) and I was on my way. As a side effect, it really rekindled my desire to see live music, and I saw more bands in 2006 than in the previous several years combined (the arrival of my two sons in that interim took a fair chunk of free time away, and moving out of the city to the ‘burbs also didn’t help matters). Along the way of the last year or so, I got a decent idea of what works and what doesn’t when behind the camera, and how best to capture the intensity and personality of the performer on stage. During that phase, Jack also graciously accepted my offer to provide photos for The Big Takeover (both print and online), and I’m honored to be back on the staff of the best mag going.

So, the main gist of what I plan on covering in this blog will be live reviews with accompanying photos, but don’t discount my raves about particular records or CDs which I think demand a bit of attention, and these will certainly include older or recently reissued dusty treasures from the past; it’s certainly worthwhile to review what’s come before, since there are always great records you missed the first time around.