Posts Tagged ‘Music’

Dorothy … And a Band to Sing With

I have wanted to photograph the band Dorothy since I received an email from their publicist last year. Unfortunately, I missed last year’s shows, but I finally saw them at Sacramento’s Ace of Spades on January 19th. It was worth the wait and the trip. I even saw a cool opening band Spirit Animal.

Below are the galleries and some thoughts.

Dorothy Photo Gallery / Slideshow

 (bryan farley)

I wish my positive review would help Dorothy Martin and her “can’t miss” band succeed, but I worry that I am not the best judge of contemporary music trends, and my review will only hurt. Dorothy has the music and the musicians to make it, but I don’t know if it’s their time.

 (bryan farley)

When I saw Dorothy on January 19th, I was aware that Janis Joplin and Dolly Parton both shared that birthday. The music business is difficult, and leading women singers have had special challenges.Read the rest

Skinny Lister – San Francisco

Last month, I photographed Skinny Lister during their current United States tour. Will Varley opened at The Independent in San Francisco.

Photo Gallery Here.

 (bryan farley)

This was my third time seeing Skinny Lister. Before the show, I asked people at The Independent how they had become fans. Many people had similar experiences to my own. We had seen Skinny Lister perform as an opening band or at a music festival. One person saw Skinny Lister play during the 2012 SXSW in Austin; they played on the sidewalk.

 (bryan farley)

I first saw Skinny Lister in the Summer of 2012 during the Vans Warped Tour. I photographed about 30 bands that day. At a festival known for unusual performances, Skinny Lister was different. I wanted to see them again. In 2016, I saw them in San Francisco. I photographed their show and wrote an article.

Despite the dark venue, I took some decent pictures.Read the rest

15 Years After – Nina Diaz

I photographed Nina Diaz one week ago in San Francisco at the DNA Lounge. It was the third time I have photographed Nina. The first time I photographed Nina, she was with her band Girl in a Coma.  Last year, I photographed her when she performed as a solo artist.

 (bryan farley)

This time she was touring ahead of her new solo album, The Beat is Dead. The album will be available October 28. A new single, titled “January 9th” is available now. “January 9th” was inspired by the loss of her grandmother fifteen years earlier. At the time of this post, the single can be heard on Nina’s site.

 (bryan farley)

In the other two posts, I have written enthusiastically about Nina. My opinion has not changed. She is talented and charismatic.

 (bryan farley)

She has been performing since she was 13. Most of that time was with her old band. With her new band, she does not need to play guitar (though she still does).… Read the rest

In Search of Treasure Island

“The beauty that shimmers in the yellow afternoons of October, who could ever clutch it?” Ralph Waldo Emerson

I found the Emerson quote in the new National Geographic book Life in Color. I bought the book a few days before this year’s Treasure Island Musical Festival. I photographed the two previous festivals and I was looking for inspiration. TIMF is a colorful festival and I needed expert photographers to explain color.

 (bryan farley)

I attend this event with one of the vendors, so I do not shoot many of the musicians. When I attended the first time, I was disappointed, but I quickly realized that I was able to see the event better. This year, I took more than 700 pictures each day, which is not many considering how many musicians performed. You can see my edited pictures from 2014 day 1.

 (bryan farley)

I spend most of my day with the artists at the Painted Wonderland body paint booth.… Read the rest

Treasure Island Music Festival Day 2

By the second day of the 2012 Treasure Island Music Festival, I was prepared to photograph fun. (Here is the gallery from Day 2 of Treasure Island Music Festival.)

I spent most of the days at the Painted Wonderland booth. I photographed a few bands and several vendors, but I mostly photographed the people of TIMF. After the first day, I was exhausted. Yet, I processed photographs until nearly 3:00. Each image energized me. Even the bad photos were alive. I woke up early last Sunday, so that I could continue uploading photos before I left for the second day.

On Day 2, there were more bubbles, brighter sunsets, bigger statues and a taller Ferris Wheel. I searched for The Samba Stilt Circus, but they were replaced by an eight piece band El Radio Fantastique. El Radio Fantastique was a hidden treasure.

 I also saw the best water balloon contest ever on Day 2.  … Read the rest

Treasure Island and Painted Wonderland Day 1

On Saturday October 13, I attended the first day of the Treasure Island Music Festival.  For the last few years, I have photographed hundreds of musicians, at concerts and music festivals.  This year I assumed I would photograph several more acts during the two day festival. Instead, I spent most of the festival with my friends at the Painted Wonderland tent.

I also remembered something about concerts. Concerts are fun. The Treasure Island Music Festival is a whole lot of fun.


The first few hours I felt out of place. Everyone was happy and I was sulking. I realized that I usually work concerts, and I had missed the point. Concerts are fun. Fortunately, some guy started blowing bubbles. Bubbles are fun. It is impossible to frown and see bubbles. There were a lot of bubbles.

At the Painted Wonderland tent, several talented artists created unique designs. The customers entered the tent happy and left happier.… Read the rest

Melrose Leadership Academy Music Expo

I placed these photos in the music category, but I could have put them in any of the other sections. The Music Expo is an education event, so I could have categorized the photos into either Education or Events. Melrose Leadership Academy’s after school program is also newsworthy. The elementary students attend a Spanish immersion public school in Oakland Unified. The students learn language and culture in a diverse setting.

On Wednesday June 6, 2012, the kindergarten, first and second grade students performed their Spring 2012 Music Expo. The after school program is operated by Asprianet.… Read the rest

MLA 2012 Winter Performance Expo

On January 25 and 26, the Melrose Leadership Academy community assembled for the Winter performance expo in Oakland, California. Students danced, sang and played instruments. Kindergarten students through 8th graders danced traditional Mexican dances, such as ballet folklorico. Parents and educators helped students prepare.

Before the expo, students dressed for the performance. Once dressed, all the students shared the same “backstage” area. The bigger kids teach the smaller children. The adults teach the children how to prepare and learn. Meanwhile, the children remind us why we invest our time helping them grow.


Because the school continues growing, the organizers added a second January show. Photos from the top are from day one (and here). Photos just above are from the second day.… Read the rest

MLA Community Bridges Student Dance Expo

Today is the first day of the Melrose Leadership Academy music and performance expo. For the kindergarten students and parents, this week will be their first of many music and dance performances. Since MLA added the elementary school Spanish dual immersion program in 2009-2010, there have been four previous performance expos hosted by MLA and the Community Bridges program.  During the first two, I did not photograph much of the event. Last year, I was prepared. To prepare some of the new parents and potential MLA parents who may attend our school next year, I created this post.

In January 2010, the first kindergarten class danced in a circle. By the end of the first year, the students had learned different cultural dances and songs. By the fourth Expo, all the lower grade students participated. The middle school students were role models and the entire MLA community seemed to dance as part of a much larger circle.… Read the rest

Bomba Estereo Cumbia Concert

Melrose Leadership music and art educators are amazing. Juan Carlos Angulo, who is the leader of  Cumbia Tokeson, tours internationally. He also introduced me to cumbia and the world famous Columbian quartet Bomba Estereo. Bomba Estereo won MTV Iggy’s 2010 Best New Band winner.

This week, Melrose Leadership Academy students will perform their twice annual music expo. Some of my photographs displayed at a downtown “coffee art house” document the event. Coincidentally, the coffee shop is called Farley’s East. (no relation.) The photography exhibition is also a small part of a larger fundraising effort to save MLA’s music program. 

Cumbia Tokeson performed at Oakland's The New Parish in May 2011 with headliner Bomba Estereo. (bryan farley)

I photographed Cumbia Tokeson and Bomba Estereo at Oakland’s The New Parish in May of 2011.

Photo GalleryRead the rest