Kirin J Callinan + Nite Fields + DCM @ Black Bear Lodge, 21.06.2012

Recent months have seen an apparent dearth of gigs in Brisbane. It’s not that I’ve lost interest in photographing but just that I am becoming more picky about the acts I want to give up a night for. Looking through the recent listings of gigs in recent weeks (and for upcoming weeks) there’s very little that’s been grabbing my attention. That there’s been an abundance of triple j MOR (Missy Higgins, The Jezabels, Boy & Bear etc) hasn’t helped matters. It’s the first time I’ve brought the camera out for a night since the Nicki Minaj show more than a month ago.

Gigs are like buses though; there’s nothing for ages and then a whole load all at once, as is the case tonight with the Kirin J Callinan show clashing with the annual I Used to Skate Once show at The Zoo. Luckily the times of all the bands are staggered enough to be able to get to see a bit of everything, even though, as usual, the night doesn’t stick to the advertised times.

I get to Black bear Lodge in time for the opening act, DCM, only to find that there’s only about a dozen people in the venue. They might have been waiting to see if a few more people arrived and start 20 mins behind time, which of course puts the plan for the rest of the night out of sync. I only catch a couple of songs before heading back to The Zoo and then only a couple of songs of Nite Fields when I next come back. The review of the night said that Nite Fields only played three songs in twenty minutes so although at the time I think I’m missing out, I actually see the majority of their set.

There’s one thing and only one thing that’s brought me out to Black Bear Lodge (my first time photographing here since it changed from being The Troubadour) to see Kirin J Callinan: the video to Way II War.

It’s a brilliantly simple and simply brilliant video clip, so effective and one of the best clips I’ve seen in a while.  As such a big fan of photography (obviously…), it’s always interesting to see when photography gets used creatively in music videos, This video makes heavy use of stereoscopic photography, which is an very old technique used to make 3D images using two ordinary 2D images.  Although it’s commonly experience with the use of 3D glasses, the images can be combined to create a two image animation.

It’s a fairly easy technique to experiment with.   I’ve never tried it although I’m tempted to now just to have a play around with the effect.  You photograph the scene twice, taking the first photo and then moving the camera to one side for the second image.  A distance of about an eye width apart (about four inches from pupil to pupil) is suggested, which means you can frame the scene with one eye open, take the first photo, and then swap to the other  eye and take the second photo.  By keeping the subject in the same place in the viewfinder, the background and foreground elements will move to some degree and make the whole effect possible.

I think it gives a real gothic creepiness to the animations and it has a late 60s/early 70s horror vibe, especially in this case when it’s combined with the music.  The music reminds me a bit of some of the music Jimmy Page created for Kenneth Anger’s Lucifer Rising film.

The downside to a late starting first act is that the time is never, ever made up.  Although scheduled to start at 10:55pm, it’s more like 11:35pm by the time the headliner takes to the stage and by 12:10am, even though the show is still going on, I really need to get home.  There had been a plan to get up early to watch  the European Championship match but by the time I get home, there’s less than 3 1/2 hours before kick-off and needing to get up and go to work, the extra few hours of sleep is more pressing.  It’s a shame as I really enjoy it.  Sometimes you see something that’s really interesting in terms of the music, words, song structure and sound that really stands out and you realise that however bad it seems at times, not everyone in Australia is producing unexciting, derivative indie landfill fodder to get on triple j.

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