During SXSW last week I was hired to shoot production stills for an interactive brunch video shoot sponsored by General Electric.
The discussion included founders and leaders of the tech industry including Tumblr’s David Karp, the Onion’s Baratunde Thurston, OK Go’s Damian Kulash, Vimeo’s Jake Lodwick, roboticist Carla Diana, Makerbot’s Bre Pettis. I shot on the set without a blimp using the silent mode of the canon 5D III silent drive mode, which I’ve grown to rely on for lots of events.
…speaking of events, there was a media reception after the shoot that was a lot of fun also.
Here’s the video that was shot at the event, followed by some of my production stills:
On Jan 9th 2013 the Blanton Museum invited 10 monks from the Drepung Loseling Monastery to create a 5-foot sand mandala in the museum’s Rapoport Atrium as a part of the museum’s Into the Sacred City exhibit.
The word “mandala” is Sanskrit loosely translated to mean “circle,” a mandala is far more than a simple shape. It represents wholeness, and can be seen as a model for the organizational structure of life itself–a cosmic diagram that reminds us of our relation to the infinite, the world that extends both beyond and within our bodies and minds. Tibetan Buddhists say that a mandala consists of five “excellencies”:The teacher, The message, The audience, The site, The time
The lamas begin the work by drawing an outline of the mandala on the wooden platform, which requires the remainder of the day. The following days see the laying of the colored sands, which is effected by pouring the sand from traditional metal funnels called chak-purs. Each monk holds a chak-pur in one hand, while running a metal rod on its grated surface; the vibration causes the sands to flow like liquid.
The destruction of a sand mandala is also highly ceremonial. Even the deity syllables are removed in a specific order The sands are swept up and placed in an urn; to fulfill the function of healing, half is distributed to the audience the remainder of the sand is collected in a jar which is then wrapped in silk and transported to a river (or any place with moving water), and from there it spreads throughout the world for planetary healing.
all images copyright © 2013 brianbirzer.com | more photos on my flickr set
Here are some GrulkeFest Photos: a celebration of Brent Grulke which included an amazing line up seminal Austin Bands: the Wannabes, Sixteen Deluxe, Fastball, Wild Seeds, the Reivers, Doctors’ Mob, Glass Eye, and the True Believers
From ACL Live
GrulkeFest: A CELEBRATION OF BRENT / 1961-2012
With:Doctors’ Mob, Fastball, Glass Eye, the Reivers, Sixteen Deluxe, True Believers, the Wannabes, Wild Seeds and more.
All proceeds to the Graham Grulke Education Fund.
The Austin music scene is invited to join the many friends, family and co-workers of SXSW creative director Brent
Grulke for a public memorial and benefit concert at ACL Live at the Moody Theater on September 8.
“Grulkefest: A CELEBRATION OF BRENT / 1961-2012″ will feature Doctors’ Mob, Fastball, Glass Eye, the Reivers,
Sixteen Deluxe, True Believers, the Wannabes, Wild Seeds and other special guests. A beloved figure amongst Austin bands and fellow fans for more than 30 years, Grulke died of a heart attack atthe age of 51 on August 13. He is survived by his wife, Kristen Brock Grulke, and a seven year-old son, Graham. All proceeds from the concert will go to the Graham Grulke Education Fund.
“The Grulke family has been amazed and consoled by the outpouring of support from Brent’s friends and colleagues,” says Brent’s brother, Bradley Grulke. “I admired Brent’s professional accomplishments, but I really loved him as just my brother. I’ll miss his passion and his laughter.” Says SXSW director Roland Swenson: “SXSW is very grateful to the Moody Theater for providing a large space for the huge number of Brent’s friends, and people whose lives he touched through his work, to get together in one place to remember him in a way that he would have enjoyed.”
Most of the bands on the bill date back to Austin’s “New Sincerity” era, a scene that Grulke played a major part in, including his involvement as the co-producer (and liner notes writer) of the 1985 compilation album “Bands on the Block.”
“These are all bands Brent had something to do with, either directly–as sound man, road manager, coach–or indirectly, just by the fact that they wouldn’t have been around if Brent hadn’t been around,” says Wild Seeds frontman Michael Hall. Doctors’ Mob, Glass Eye, the Reivers, True Believers and Wild Seeds are all reuniting for the first time in several years specifically to play this show. “Brent is the connector for all these bands–he was the guy behind the soundboard when they played, he was the guy behind the wheel when they toured,” says Hall. “He was friends with all of them, and he stayed friends with all of them until he died.” And while Sixteen Deluxe belongs to a later Austin music generation, “bands like ours were the direct beneficiaries of Brent’s talent and enthusiasm,” says bassist Jeff Copas. “He and SXSW gave us a stage where the whole world could see us play. That opportunity led us all over the map. We’re honored to have the chance to try and repay part of that gift to his family.” While back in the day you would have found the line-up (and Brent himself) at the Beach, the Continental Club or Liberty Lunch, having Austin’s current showcase music venue as the host of “GrulkeFest” is meaningful as well.As Roland Swenson says, “the last concert many of us attended with Brent was also one of his greatest achievements: coaxing Bruce Springsteen to come to SXSW last March to perform at ACL Live.”
photos from Bruce Springsteen SXSW showcase:
Bruce had an amazing guest list including Jimmy Cliff (3 songs!),Eric Burden, Alejandro Escovedo, Joe Ely, along with members of Arcade Fire and the Low Anthem, Garland Jeffreys and Tom Morello from Rage Against the Machine.
Billboard had a great review of the show: His show with the E Street Band on Thursday night at ACL Live at Moody Theater was a two-hour and 50-minute barn-burner that might have had, as Springsteen said, “a story to tell” based around his socially and politically conscious new album “Wrecking Ball” — which just a day earlier debuted atop the Billboard 200. But that ultimately gave way to a high-spirited and raucous revue marked by a parade of surprise guests and one-off song selections. Tom Morello joined in to recreate his contributions to the “Wrecking Ball” tracks “Death to My Hometown” and “Jack of All Trades,” while he pulled out his bag of guitar tricks while jamming with Springsteen on “The Ghost of Tom Joad.” A red-clad Jimmy Cliff joined the E Street gang for “The Harder They Come,” “Time Will Tell” and “Many Rivers to Cross” — and surprisingly NOT “Trapped” — while the Animals’ Eric Burdon, whose influence Springsteen chronicled during his SXSW keynote speech earlier in the day, roared through “We Gotta Get Out of This Place.”
The closing rendition of Woody Guthrie’s “This Land is Your Land,” meanwhile, was a spirited, all-hands-on-deck finale with Morello, Arcade Fire, Joe Ely and the evening’s opening acts, Alejandro Escovedo and the Low Anthem.
Here’s the The NY Times review of the show.
I shot Fun Fun Fun Fest 2011 Photos last weekend with famous writer Steve Birmingham for Chunklet Magazine.
It was a dusty weekend, but a lot of fun. Highlights included shooting Black Lips and one of my favorite bands Boris.
But the most infamous memoment of the weekend was an incodent with Danzig as Birmingham writes:
Undoubtedly, gentle Chunklet reader, you have heard about the Danzig diva fiasco and you’ve likely read festival booker Graham Williams’ devastating missive, so I would just add how surreal it was being in the crowd not yet having that backstory. Foremost, it’s gauche to be 45 minutes late with a 10pm city noise ordinance. Watching roadies dither with blue plastic tarp for makeshift wind shields was pure Keystone Kops. Surely that heater being lugged around had to be a special smoke machine that just looked like a space heater? Wow, no dice and no one packs Glenn a sweater or some emergency extra leather layers? Apparently it’s more about iconography than actual legacy, but am I the cheese here in thinking that Danzig could totally rock a Cosby sweater? Perhaps Spencer Moody of preceding act the Murder City Devils would have lent Glenn his red Elmer Fudd hat and knit sweater hadn’t the MCDs been banished from looking on from their side of the stage?
Maybe the real historic footnote was the sublime joy of Danzig’s demand for “French onion soup” becoming a universal pejorative/goof (and at no fault of the cheesy broth). The phrase became a communal bonding agent and a running punch line for the likes of The Damned, Black Lips, Hot Snakes, Ted Leo and the Pharmacists, Slayer, and Brian Posehn (whose Danzig impression is on YouTube). I believe the phrase “French onion soup” will endure in the Western lexicon as much as “Let them eat cake” and “Heckuva job!”
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