Open Letter To The New York Islanders

Dear New York Islanders.

Congrats on the win today. Great game on the ice despite the outcome. Would have liked to see a little more overtime but that’s hockey. Unfortunately the fan experience left something to be desired. In fact it was the worst experience I have had in 30 years of attending sporting events.

NYC Caps Fans

I am a member of the New York City Capitals Fans and a dozen of us decided to take a trip to Long Island to see our Capitals play. We paid $158 each for terrible seats way up top with an obstructed view of the score boards but not quite high enough that we didn’t have drunk Islanders fans screaming at us to shut up.

Anyway, the day started out well. We got there early and tailgated and were greeted with plenty of smack talk but 90% of it was good natured. We had a great time before the game and even got to meet up with Caps play by play announcer John Walton who interviewed us for Caps Radio.

NYC Caps Fans

Unfortunately once the game started things went decidedly downhill. We were told to shut up and yelled all manor of things at us. The fans directly around us were pretty friendly but the people a few rows in front and a few rows behind were not. When the Islanders scored their first goal one of the guys behind me poured beer all over me. Homophobic bullshit was shouted at us all game and my friend Fatou had a number of racist comments directed at her.

Our group had bought seats in two different sections so during the second intermission we all met up at one of the out door smoking areas. We walked in together and were booed by everyone. It seemed good natured at first but then we were surrounded and things took a much darker turn. We were surrounded by several dozens of Islanders fans, some of whom blew smoke into the girls in our group’s faces. Several of them were actually pushing us but we clearly weren’t about to start a fight with that many people. I just held my Caps “Unleash The Fury” towel above my head (as seen in the above photos) and just took all the boos and chants of asshole and fun stuff like “fuck you faggot”.

At some point a drunk Islanders fan grabbed the rally towel out of my hands and as I tried to get it back Islanders fans swarmed me and it looked like it was going to turn into a brawl but security was quick to break it up. Of course the security guard blamed it on me for “instigating a fight” when all I was doing was silently holding a rally towel and smiling. When someone threw a bottle at our group I told the same security guard about it and he said “no one is throwing anything at you” despite the bottle landing at his feet.

It should be noted that a few Islanders fans defended us and gave us props for holding our ground but the racism and homophobia and near violence wasn’t exactly a positive experience… and of course it would get worse.

When the game went to overtime and the Islanders won the fans around us started kicking our chairs and pounding on the seat backs on either side of our heads. The guys in front of us turned around and gave us the middle finger. As we left I had people yell “FUCK YOU” in my face and of course more “faggots” and comments about Fatou’s “black hair”.

When we made it to our cars we noticed that our friend Justin’s car had been keyed twice and his rear license plate had been stolen. A few Islanders fans could’t believe it and were pretty great about it but another drunk fan started screaming and bumping up into the face of several of our crew. At some point one of our members pushed him away after he jumped into us and that nearly started another brawl. I fortunately broke it up since I had no interest in going to jail but the guys still pissed right next to my friends car so that he had to stand in a puddle of urine to get into his car.

There was of course almost no security in the parking lot so when a couple of security guards finally came by in a golf cart we stopped them to let them know what happened to Justin’s car. They just told him to call the cops and as they drove off I saw one of them turn to the other and started laughing about the stolen license plate. It was pretty infuriating.

Caps Fans Car Keyed

On top of that some of Islanders fans we had tailgated with earlier said they saw the guys who did it. As soon as we left they keyed the car and said “Fuck these Caps fans” as they took the plates off in front of a bunch of other fans who did nothing to stop them. I don’t know why they told us they saw it because they wouldn’t tell us who took it.

I have been to hundreds of professional sporting events in my life, mostly as an away team fan. While I have had some problems with fans in the past (Jets fans mostly) I have never had so many people be so shitty to me and my friends. There were a ton of Islanders fans that were cool to us but we had incident after incident today in a way that I have never seen. The combination of racism, sexism, homophobia, vandalism and violence was something almost impressive to behold. I even heard that some Isles fans were abusing a disabled child in an Ovechkin jersey.

Hopefully when you guys come to Brooklyn, the city I have lived for the last decade, you will do a much better job of controlling your drunk abusive fans and hire some security guards who do their jobs instead of just treating the visiting fans as the enemy. At the very least I am glad there won’t be any seats where you have to duck to see how much time is left in the game.

Thanks and I hope we are the last team to ever play in that awful “barn” you currently call home,

Nate “Igor” Smith
NYC Caps Fans

Update: Since this post blew up on the Internet I had a bunch of Islanders fans point out that I Tweeted that “These assholes should move to Brooklyn”. I could have deleted this Tweet but I am not going to. I am going to link to it instead. I talked plenty of smack today and I got a lot of smack talk back. 90% of it was fun. The other 10% was over the line. I could deal with most of it. What I don’t find acceptable is the vandalism, the shitty security or the racism/homophobia. I don’t care if some drunk asshole calls me a “faggot” that just looks bad on them. I do care when they say racist shit to my friends, pour beer on me and fuck up my friends car. And if any one of those things happened. I never would have written this post. But all of those things happened in one day. And I paid $158 for that experience.

I am a loud fan and I certainly don’t back down from anything, but calling all Islanders fans assholes is a very different thing from walking up to someone’s face and calling them an asshole. I never put a hand on an Islander fan and we certainly didn’t do anything to deserve any of the vandalism/ threats of violence or bigotry. Let’s Go Caps!

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Video Friday

Hey, it’s Friday and I don’t want to sit in front of my computer all day doing actual work so instead I am just gonna do an video post B-Side update. Seems like a reasonable thing to do right?

To start with we have another super weird music video from  my friend Philippe Grenade for The Midnight Hollow’s song Her Morning Glow. Shot on 16mm this video is sure to give you some sort of nightmare.

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Up next we have a video promo for a BBC show Almost Royal that my brother apparently edited. I haven’t quite figured out what the show is about but the promo is a hilarious train wreck of accents and makes a pretty good case against joining the EU.

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And lastly have you watched the new Gathering of the Juggalos infomercial yet? Did you know God loves juggalos? I just booked my ticket to what will be my 5th straight Gathering. The GOTJ has moved to Ohio this year! Whoop whoop, etc.

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Sailor Jerry Day

Tattoo legend Norman “Sailor Jerry” Collins died forty one years ago but his American traditional style of tattooing is more popular than ever. On Thursday, the exact anniversary of his death, the rum company named after him will be throwing a free party in NYC. As someone who has more than a dozen of his designs tattooed to them and coincidentally counts SJ Rum as one of his best clients I can’t think of anywhere I would rather be than Houston Hall on Thursday.

There will be free Sailor Jerry tattoos by the guys over at Three Kings. I have several tattoos by those guys and clearly you need some too. There will also be cheap rum drinks, burlesque and DJ’s by members of punk rock bands the Bouncing Souls & The Casualties. The party starts at 6pm and I would get there early if you wanna get tattooed. The list fills up fast!

Anyway, this is one of the busiest weeks of my life but I am still gonna make this party even though for once I am not even working it. I actually have to work another event early but I will be coming by late to hang out and probably end up with another new tattoo… See you Thursday!

Sailor Jerry Day

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DolfansNYC MetLife Takeover Video

It’s been a while since I have done a B-Side but today seemed like the perfect occasion. The idea of the B-Side blog is so that I can post smaller updates that don’t push any of my actual content to the bottom and still blog about things I want to post about that aren’t the standard photo updates I normally do.

Today I wanted to share with you this video that my Miami Dolphins fan club, DolfansNYC, put together. Featuring and edited by our friend Alex Bente it’s a mini movie about the giant tailgate we through on December 1st when the Dolphins played the Jets in New Jersey. We organized over 750 people to go to the game together and threw a huge tailgate party. We took four busses from our bar Slattery’s and rolled into Metlife Stadium super deep. I got PBR and Sailor Jerry to provide a bunch of booze and we had the whole thing catered. The thing was pretty amazing and if you are at all interested in any of this check out the video below!

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Zak Smith’s Tips For Art Critics

Yesterday infamous painter Zak Smith went on a bit of a Twitter rant outlying 67 tips for art critics. Zak is good people, a great artist and has some really interesting thoughts on art and art criticism. He’s a successful fine artist and I’m sure he has an MFA from Yale so if you care about that sort of thing you might think he’s not completely talking out of his ass. As someone who’s love of art was destroyed by a combination of art school and disgust at the contemporary art scene I really enjoyed reading his Twitter manifesto. Here are Zak’s points in their entirety. Some of the Tweets have been edited for better organization, but not for content. Let me know what you think.

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Teddy Blanks’ Lonely Sinner

When Teddy Blanks released his album Therapy I loved the album but I didn’t love the track Lonely Sinner. At first listen my least favorite track on the album. I generally prefer Teddy’s higher energy tracks and Lonely Sinner is kinda slow and pretty chill. I didn’t hate it, but at first it just wasn’t for me… and then something happened. Every time I listened to the song it would get stuck in my head and I would find myself singing it hours later so I started listening to it over and over again. The part where the beat drops out at the end of the song before the last hook might be my favorite bit on the whole album.

So when I heard Teddy would be filming a video for Lonely Sinner I was pretty excited. It was directed by M Blash who directed the SXSW hit The Wait.  I met and photographed him during the festival this year while he was promoting the film so I thought it was that he and Teddy would be collaborating. The video is a weird one with Teddy dancing around his apartment in drag for most of the video. He explained to Interview Magazine that the song was based on the character of a transexual pop singer a film called the Exhibitionists that Teddy did the score for. He even bleached his eyebrows for the video which really adds an amazing touch of creepy. The whole thing is pretty amazing.

Anyway, check out the video below and give it a few chances. This song is a damn hit.

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I Have Instagram Again

After that long rant I did about how pissed I was about getting banned from Instagram I stewed for a few days and then I just sucked it up and got a new Instagram. I am still really pissed about losing nearly 9000 followers (at the moment I have about 600 of them back) but I decided I can’t go to the Gathering of the Juggalos without Instagram. It just wouldn’t be right.

So yeah, follow me on Instagram and if I have ever taken a photo of you that you love will you post it on your Instagram and drop my new Instagram name and tell people to follow me? I want my damn followers back. Thanks champ!

My new name is @nateigorsmith. It’s terrible branding not being @drivenbyboredom but such is life. I can only dwell on my first world problems for so long.

Driven By Boredom Instagram Is Back

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Here Are Some Weird Pictures From 2002

Many years ago I went to LA for the first time to hang out with my little brother who was trying to make a movie that never got made. While we were there some weird parties were thrown. 10 years later several of these people run actual businesses, one of them is a Hollywood producer, two of the people who met at these parties are now married and are about to give birth to a human child, my brother has moved to LA permanently and I had sex with one of the girls in the pictures in 2010ish. The bongkey lives on.

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Teddy Blanks’ Therapy

One of my favorite musicians Teddy Blanks just released his album Therapy yesterday. He has been working on it for years and it’s his musical response to several emotional blows he suffered in 2010 and 2011. One of those being the death of our mutual close friend and collaborator Ross Harman. The final track on Therapy “This That And The Other” is a song dedicated to Ross which I had to listen to a half dozen times before I could get through it without crying. The track was available on the Ross Harman tribute album but it was never available digitally until now.

Therapy takes incredibly painful moments and translates them into dancey 80s influenced synth pop gems that will have you dancing and smiling if you don’t listen to carefully to the lyrics. I think the best pop music takes feelings of loss, sadness, anger and depression and turns them into catchy feel good tunes that help you deal with your own problems. I know that there have been a lot of records that have helped me through the worst times in my life. Certainly Teddy’s music helped a lot after we lost such a good friend.

For Lena Dunham friends, Teddy composed the score for her first film Tiny Furniture and this album also features “When You Come Home” which was the song featured in the Tiny Furniture trailer. The score for the film is available on Teddy’s Bandcamp for free.

I love this record Therapy and I am so glad Teddy finally put it out in the world. So check it out now and if you love it, spread the word and cough up a few dollars for the download.

PS. YouTube superstar Casey Neistat turned the second track, Famous Friends into a pretty epic music video that was actually edited by my brother. Check it out.

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Dolfans NYC NFL Draft Video

Yesterday over on the main blog I posted pictures from the Dolfans NYC NFL draft event. Well now we have a video! I don’t expect you guys to care, but I look pretty sexy in it so I figured I had to share it with you. Plus it has Ray Finkle references and some weirdness that you might dig even if you don’t care about football… but then again probably not, so just skip this post and go back to doing cocaine or listening to Skrillex or whatever the hip kids are doing these days.

 

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How Not To Suck At Twitter

Lily Is Doing It All Wrong!

There are a million websites out there that teach you how to gain users on Twitter or how to be “engaging” and nonsense like that, but very few of them teach you how not to be a fucking idiot. I guess they take for granted that you are not a moron even though they are giving you advice like “interact with people” and “provide thoughtful content”. I am gonna teach you a few things that will keep you from looking like a complete asshole on Twitter despite your ridiculous avatar.

I am not a social media expert or “guru”. No one has ever asked me to be on a pannel at SXSW or asked me to give a talk at TED. My personal Twitter, @drivenbyboredom has over 7,000 followers but that is more of a result of me posting naked photos than any social networking skill. In fact, I would probably have a lot more followers if I didn’t constantly post insane Tweets 20 times a day.

I do run several Twitter accounts, the most popular of which is @TinyFurniture, the Lena Dunham film that predated her HBO show Girls. I also work for numerous clients in my professional photography life and constantly deal with people who run social media accounts for major brands. I have been on Twitter since 2008 and have seen Twitter rise and change and seen the way people interact with Twitter change. But in all that time there are a few mistakes people make over and over again that blow my mind. So I decided I would address them and create a simple article that I can send people when they are doing Twitter wrong. If you run a brand and hire an intern or even a social media “expert” send them here first.

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Famous Hill II

I am shooting this Famous Hill party (the sequel) on Saturday and I have no idea what I am in for. A friend of mine put me in touch with these guys and told me their parties were out of control. Then I got an email suggesting people dress up like they are in Game of Thrones and you win a prize for best Game of Thrones costume or prop. What? Sounds weird and I love weird. There is live painting and a bunch of DJs that are probably going to play some music and I am going to be taking photos of stuff. Come get your photo taken and hang out. It’s at Spike Hill right by the Bedford L stop so it’s real easy for hipsters to find.  Look at this flyer and check out the event on Facebook and I will see you on Saturday.

Famous Hill II

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See Some Of My Arts Saturday

I have so many photos that exist in the world yet very rarely does anyone ask me to put them on walls. That seems like a mistake cause they look pretty awesome outside of a computer. And once in a while people actually buy my photos. Just today my photo in the The Dirty Show in Detroit sold. Huzzah. Coincidently two of my photos are in shows/parties tomorrow (Saturday).

My friends over at Troma are doing a fundraiser for the follow up to their insane documentary about the Cannes Film Festival. They have raised over 20k over on Indigogo and hopefully they will raise a bunch of money tomorrow. I photographed Troma founder Lloyd Kaufman for the cover of the Village Voice and one of the photos from that shoot plus a copy of the Voice the photo is in will be on sale. The event is all day long from noon to 2AM so you have plenty of time to come by and check out all the Tromatic art. The show is in the Lower East Side at Culture Fix. Occupy Cannes!

The other show is more of a party but there will be a bunch of art on the wall. My friend Chris over at Brooklyn Wildlife is doing a Valentines Day themed party/art show and I put a photo of me having sex in a bathroom in it. Seriously. It’s not super graphic, you can only see my hand in it, but it’s a lot edgier than anything I would post on Driven By Boredom despite the lack of any actual nudity. It’s a pretty hot shot and it should be a fun party. The party is at Free Candy Gallery in Crown Heights.

The flyers are below. Hopefully I will see you guys Saturday!

We Cannes Do It Love & Eros

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Happiness Is Irrelevant

My whole life I have had depression. When I was younger it was really bad but it really hit it’s peak when I was about 20. I remember thinking how great things were going in my life. I had a girlfriend, a lot of friends and I was working a bullshit summer job but I enjoyed it. Despite this I felt overwhelming depression and when things in my life got worse my depression got worse. A break up and two break downs later I had dropped out of college and found myself on some anti-depressant meds that ended up working pretty well. I went back to college, got my degree and by the time I was 27 I was living in NYC and I had stopped taking the meds completely and had never been “happier”.

So what changed? The meds helped for a while… they at least stabilized me when I was at my worse and the move to NYC was fantastic for me. I had always wanted to live in NYC and pretty much the moment I moved here I knew it was at home. But I’ve been off meds for more than 5 years and New York’s charm has worn off a bit, but I am still “happier” than I have ever been. How did I do it? I made a conscious decision to not prioritize happiness. I decided living an interesting life was far more important than being happy. If I have depression, I am always going to be depressed so why try to fight that? I decided just to live an interesting life and if bad things happen I can just write it off as a new experience. The horrible break up I went through when I was 21 made me realize that even the worst pain fades eventually and that when bad shit happens you can to some degree move past it. Humans are very adaptive and can deal with anything. You just keep moving and everything will be fine.

I just decided that I didn’t care about happiness and that somehow made me happier. I was able to deal with depression with a realization that in the future whatever was bothering me wouldn’t make that much difference. If I get mugged tonight I might have a black eye and $100 less dollars but a year from now all that I will have is a cool story about getting mugged. I don’t let myself get upset about parking tickets and broken cell phones and the little bullshit in life because I know that in 6 months none of that shit will have any effect on my life. I go to events I hate because I know that the great photos I get will be all that remains and the lack of sleep and bullshit I had to deal with won’t make any difference in the long run.

The whole thing sounds pretty stupid and fairly reminiscent of a t-shirt worn by one of the kids on my high school wrestling team had “Pain is temporary but glory lasts forever”. The idea of just ignoring happiness and wishing away sadness is easier said than done, but it has some real scientific basis. I recently read The Upside of Irrationality by Dan Ariely. Ariely was burned severely as a teen and has spent his entire life dealing with crippling pain but he was able to deal with it and lead a reasonably happy life. Much of his book is about the adaptability of man and how no matter how good or bad things are in life they eventually average out. He talks about how people who move from a cold weather climate to a warm weather climate are much happier for a few months but eventually they get used to it. The same thing works in reverse. If you move from LA to North Dakota you might hate it for a while but you eventually get used to it.

I had this idea in my head that if you are a innately happy person you are going to be happy no matter what your situation and if you are an unhappy person, nothing material is going to make you happy. Ariely’s research seemed to back this up but it wasn’t until I saw a TED talk by Dan Gilbert about happiness did I want to blog about it.

Gilbert talks about the science of happiness and how you can trick yourself into being happy and that false happiness is just as valid as natural happiness. Humans overestimate how happy or unhappy things will make them. He talks about how a year after someone wins the lottery or becomes a paraplegic their happiness returns to where they were before their change in fortune. His argument is that you can trick yourself into being happy. My argument is that happiness is bullshit and you just shouldn’t prioritize it.

If you aren’t happy, don’t look for happiness. Look for something else that give you meaning. Ignore happiness. Lead an interesting or meaningful life and in the long run you might end up happier than you think you can be.

Ps. Sorry for this rant but this is exactly what these new DBB B-Sides are all about. It’s a place that I can blog about anything without fucking up the main page of my site.

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Hockey Is Back!

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It’s been a minute since I added a new B-Side because there have been some delays in my site redesign but since we are getting closer to the redesign I wanted to start posting more of these. B Sides are going to be a big part of this blog in the future as a way for me to post non photography related content without dragging the main photography content down to the bottom.

I wanted to post today because 95% of my friends and fans do not care about hockey and for this I hate you. Hockey is amazing and you guys are missing out. I am so glad hockey is back because football is the only other sport I actually care about and the Miami Dolphins are not in the playoffs again. The only good part about a non Dolphins playoffs is watching the New England Patriots lose. I sort of had a feeling the Pats were going to choke. I should have gone to one of those sports betting sites and put down some cash. I need the money.

Since football is dead to me I am so glad hockey is back. I thought the lockout was going to deprive me of another season of hockey and I was going to have a miserable few months before the NFL Draft, but fortunately they figured it out and we have hockey again. I was out of town for a week and I missed my Washington Capitals first three games, but I finally got to watch them play last night. Despite them losing in overtime to the hated NJ Devils it was still so great to watch hockey again and you guys should get on board because the game is god damned amazing.

Anyway, I just wrote this post as an excuse to post this video of Alexander Ovechkin who is one of my favorite hockey players and pretty much the funniest guy in sports. Enjoy.

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The Other American Dream Art Show

The Other American Dream

Tonight, at Galapagos Art Space, I have a bunch of photos in an art show called “The Other American Dream” which is described as “A night of burlesque, acclaimed nude photography, music, magic, and more in celebration of figures on the frontier of the New American Sexuality”. Now while I realize that any event with magic and burlesque sounds like there are going to be a lot of people there dressed like it’s the 1890’s I assure you this will be an event not to be missed. Aside from having a chance to buy art from some of the best contemporary nude photographers for insanely cheap prices you will get to see Stoya do naked acrobatics and there is a kissing booth and Buck Angel is going to be there and um tons of weird deviant things that you will tell your grandchildren about. Also Stormy Leather and Madame Rosebud are two of the best burlesque performers in NYC and I would know because I have seen more burlesque than I have ever wanted to. Most of it is garbage but Stormy and Rosebud kill it every time. Plus the last Darling House art show was a really good time. Do not sleep on this.

The show is at 8pm tonight which I realize is in just a few hours and it also costs $20 which is more than I have paid to get into a party this century BUT it will be worth it and you get a free drink. Also all the money goes to putting out a nude art magazine of some sort which seems important somehow.

So yeah. Go to this tonight.

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Fucking Bullshit Sandy Fundraiser Tonight!

Ahoy! My punk rock cover band Fucking Bullshit doesn’t play very often, but we are playing tonight at Hank’s Saloon in Park Slope! Not only that but we are playing for free AND it’s a Sandy relief benefit so we are accepting donations of both cash and supplies. If you have warm weather gear, food, batteries, baby supplies or anything else bring it out and come see some fun punk rock covers. PLUS there is a sideshow act (Donny Vomit) and Legs Malone is going to do some burlesque thing and that will be awesome. There is more info on Facebook but you should just come even if you have a personal vendetta with the opening act (unlikely). The show starts at 8 and we probably play at 9 but honestly I have no idea. Whatever the case it will be fun and I will be drunk and violent.. but in a good way!  Above is some video of us doing what we do.

 

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Danny Brown Goes To The Gathering Of The Juggalos

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Danny Brown was one of my favorite parts of the Gathering of the Juggalos. He’s hilarious, I dig his music and I totally did not exepect him to be at the Gathering of the Juggalos. Maybe I should have. He and ICP are both from Detroit and they clearly have a mutual respect for each other. This video of Danny Brown at the Gathering is a better view of what the Gathering is like than that American Juggalo documentary.  Every time I go there I always think about how I wish I could be in the car of some of these rap acts as they are driving into the Gathering and this shows that experience perfectly. The Gathering is a special place, as fucked up as it is, and it’s awesome to see someone like Danny Brown appreciate how fucking wild the Gathering really is.

On top of that there is a real good shot of me taking Danny’s photo at the 3:54 mark…

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Black Light Burns. How To Look Naked: Chapter 2

Check out the new Black Light Burns video “How To Look Naked: Chapter 2” directed by my friend Agata Alexander. I got to watch a rough draft of it at her place a few weeks ago and it’s really wild. Agata clearly knows what she is doing even if the music isn’t exactly my cup of tea. Plus my girlfriend Kimberly Kane is in it naked and crying and there is a bunch of other NSFW stuff in it like my pal Aiden Starr rolling around naked with my girlfriend. Good times. Watch it!

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Alison Pill Topless

Alison Pill Topless

When I first started Driven By Boredom up again in 2007 after a break of a year or two I used to post nudes of celebrities because people like them and it draws a lot of Google traffic (Vanessa Hudgens comes to mind). I stopped posting them when I started doing photography full time for a living because it looks pretty unprofessional and all that. This new DBB B-Side blog seems like a perfect solution where I can still post these celebrity nude photos but I can keep it off the main page.

So with that in mind here is a picture of Alison Pill topless. She was in Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World but more importantly she is one of the main characters in Newsroom which is pretty much my favorite show on TV right now. She accidentally posted the photo to Twitter which seems like a pretty hard thing to do. She apologized to her Twitter followers but she is a total babe so I don’t think anyone minds.

Click the photo of Alison above to see the uncensored photo.

 

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Famous Republicans And Their Monkey Movies

Well technically they are ape movies, but that lacks alliteration.

After Clint Eastwood gave  his crazy talking to an invisible Obama speech last night at the republican convention it was a good reminder that famous republicans have a history of starring in movies with apes. Clint Eastwood starred in not one but two movies with an Orangutan named Clyde… Every Which Way But Loose and Any Which Way You Can. Every Which Way is actually a fantastic movie but it doesn’t compare to the classic Planet Of The Apes starring gun nut and diseased GOP loving lunatic Charlton Heston. The original Planet Of The Apes is honestly one of my favorite movies and both Eastwood and Heston are two of my favorite actors despite my hatred for their political views. The third famous republican who starred in a movie with an Ape is of course Ronald Reagan and his infamous film Bedtime For Bonzo where he starred across from a chimp. Now I don’t care for Reagan’s acting or his politics but if you haven’t seen Bedtime For Bonzo you really need to just for the weirdness of it if nothing else. How the hell did we elect this clown?

I hope this is all a coincidence and not some sort of GOP/APE plan to take over the planet. Whatever the case watch these trailers and if you haven’t seen any of the movies you should immediately do so and then go register to vote.

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Sleepwalk With Me Video With Ira Glass & Mike Birbiglia

I got a chance to see Mike Birbiglia’s mostly autobiographical film Sleepwalk With Me at SXSW this year and it was fantastic. It’s based off his one man show of the same name and it was produced by Ira Glass of This American Life Fame. I have seen Mike do stand up in NYC several times over the years but I first heard of his hilarious and some times terrifying bouts of sleepwalking on This American Life. Mike has terrible problems with sleepwalking and, not to give too much away, once jumped out a hotel window in his sleep. Seriously. That happened in real life.

I am a big fan both Ira Glass and Mike Birbiglia. When I worked a job where I could listen to head phones all day I listened to over 300 episodes of This American Life in under six months. I got laid off the day after I finished the last episode. Mike actually introduced me to Ira Glass at a party and I got to talk to him for an entire five minutes which was sort of a highlight of my year. They made a short film to promote the opening weekend(s) of their movie and it’s pretty delightful. (I don’t think I would use the word delightful unless under the spell of NPR.) You should watch the video and then if you live in New York you should go to the IFC Center this weekend and watch it. The film will also be opening in LA and Chicago next weekend. At least one of them will be at all the opening weekend screenings to do a Q&A which they claim (while dressed as ushers) will be better than the actual movie itself.

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Hussle Club – Children Of The Underground

Hussle Club - Children Of The Underground

My dude Prince Terrence is at it again. The debut Hussle Club EP, Children Of The Underground, is out for free thanks to Scion AV. If you follow this blog you know about Hussle Club already and if not all you need to do is click here for a little refresher. As scary as it is to brand music and art with corporate logos it’s great when you can find someone to sponsor a release so you can just give it away instead of trying to sell it to people who are just going to download it for free somewhere anyway. This record is rad and you need to click here to download it for free.

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Fucking Bullshit Covers Black Flag

My punk cover band Fucking Bullshit hasn’t played a show since we played the Brooklyn Zombie Crawl after party in late May. Between us all of us traveling and our guitarist having to animate the new season of Metalocalypse we haven’t even had time to practice since then. About to head to our first practice in almost two months and I am fucking psyched. Our next show is on August 3rd at Don Pedro’s in Brooklyn so put that on your calendar if you haven’t seen us yet or for some reason want to see us again.  But more importantly you need to check out this video of us doing Black Flag’s song Nervous Breakdown at the zombie crawl. The video was edited and photographed by Daniel Huskey. Chris Carr and Backseat Conceptions provided additional footage. Shit looks pretty wild and it clearly proves that I am the greatest punk rock cover band front man of all time.

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Why Music Festivals Suck For Photographers

Every time I shoot a music festival I have a bunch of kids come up to me and ask me how I get my press pass. They want to stand in front of the stage and get access to their favorite bands and are envious of the photographers who get paid to do it. I just want to break it down for everyone and explain why I hate covering music festivals and why they are often the hardest and most annoying things I have to photograph.

First the good stuff. I get to take photos for a living and I should stop my complaining right here. But I won’t. There are some things I really enjoy about covering music festivals. I love to travel and I love to get paid well for my work. I get to fly all over the US to shoot these things and I get paid pretty well to do it because they are usually long and full of billable hours. Plus airline miles! I like to see my friends who are in the music industry who I only get to see at these things and often I get to see a band I really dig. Plus they are hard work and that makes me feel like I am doing an honest days work instead of shooting a party for three hours and then going home to edit photos in my underwear. That being said, music festivals are a huge pain in my ass.

Music Festivals Are Huge– Often music festivals are spread out over a massive area, some times in the case of SXSW or CMJ over a whole city. When you are carrying two cameras, three lenses (including a huge telephoto), extra batteries, memory cards, chargers, a jacket, food & water and your camera bag it gets fucking draining. Think about how tired you are after a day at a festival and add 50lbs and the fact you pretty much have to run everywhere to get to the next stage. Fun times.

This Is Only One Of Lollapalooza's Many Stages

This Is Only One Of Lollapalooza’s Many Stages

Long Hours – I know I just told you how I actually enjoy the long hours and hard work but I don’t enjoy that stuff until it’s over and I am looking back. When I am on day three of working from noon to four AM and then editing photos until 8am I am not happy about it. I am in fact miserable. Which brings me to clients.

Dances With White Girls Naps At WMC

Take Naps When You Can – DJ Dances With White Girls Naps At WMC

Clients Need Photos Right Away – Most of the time I shoot an event a client needs the photos by 8am the next day if not sooner. So when everyone else is going out to party you are stuck in a hotel room or on a friends couch editing and uploading photos. Clients don’t understand why you can barely keep your eyes open the next day and half the time they don’t even do anything with your images until Monday. Still, I always make sure to have a fast turn around to keep clients happy. Nothing pisses off a client more than a photographer taking forever to get them photos.

The Weather – No matter what happens you are expected to get the shot so if it rains you better be prepared. I don’t mind getting wet so I rarely bring a poncho but I have weather gear for my camera and my camera bag. Music festivals are often in the summer so the sun can be brutal, but then it can get freezing at night so you better have a jacket because you sure as hell can’t go back to your hotel. If the sun is bright your photos can suck, if there’s no sun your photos can suck. No matter what festival you are photographing something nature is going to do to you is going to make your job harder.

Don't Forget Your Rain Gear!

Don’t Forget Your Rain Gear!

Festival Press People – Before I bash all these PR people that work music festivals I have to point out that they have a hard job. It’s not always their fault that shit is fucked up and they are dealing with journalist after journalist yelling at them for the same things. Because of this they tend to be extremely bitchy and unhelpful especially if you are working for a smaller outlet. Fortunately, I shoot a lot of this stuff for Village Voice Media and I have a little more pull than if I was shooting for my blog, but it’s still a huge pain in the ass dealing with getting credentials, getting the right credentials, getting access to whatever you need access too, etc. An amazing amount of stress is put on a photographer just because we have to deal with people who for some reason want to make our jobs really difficult for seemingly no reason.

Band Press People – Music publicists are often a weird breed of people and the more successful they are the harder they are to deal with. I don’t even run a music blog and I get hundreds of emails a week from these people but when you need a favor from them they often don’t respond to emails or give you a hard time. Some of them are great at their jobs and a pleasure to deal with, but I have dealt with so many bad ones it’s hard not to include them on this list. The biggest problem though is with these insane contracts PR people try to get you to sign if you want to shoot bigger bands. Acts like Foo Fighters, Lady Gaga and Britney Spears all have these crazy contracts that say the band owns the photographs once you take them. They are total bullshit, legally suspect and I never sign them. All other photographers should do the same.

Then Again Maybe Dealing With PR Girls Isn't All Bad...

Then Again Maybe Dealing With PR Girls Isn’t All Bad…

Photo Pits – Photo pits are the bane of my existence. They are the three feet in front of the stage full of photographers. At big festivals like Lollapalooza the stage is 15 feet in the air and you can’t even shoot the bands without a telephoto lens shooting straight up at them. Often you can only enter them from the far side of the stage so you have to walk through a crowd of thousands of kids just to get to the pit. They are filled with photographers who all are getting the exact same shot and you have to pretty much shove people out of the way just to get an unblocked. I am generally a very friendly photographer to work with in a pit and always there to help people and make sure everyone gets a good shot, but recently as more and more amateurs show up in photo pits I have started to become a dick. Which brings me to my next point.

Nothing Like A Bunch Of Photographers To Ruin A Shot - Fishbone At Voodoo Fest

Nothing Like A Bunch Of Photographers To “Enhance” A Shot – Fishbone At Voodoo Fest

Other Photographers – I have been shooting music festivals for more than 15 years and I started shooting bands for a little zine I published when I was in high school. I didn’t really know how this shit worked but I was trying. I am sure I pissed off some of the seasoned pros, but it wasn’t as big of a deal because there were never more than a handful of us in the pit. With the advent of blogs and digital cameras more and more people are getting media access to music festivals and most of them have no idea what they are doing. So many kids who have no experience are willing to shoot these things for free because they want to go to the festival but they have no idea how to act in the pit. Now I truly believe that if you are a good photographer you can get the shot you need with nearly any camera but filling up the photo pit with kids with kit lenses, point and shoot cameras and iPhones is insane. If you are shooting with a lens that can’t even fill the frame you are just wasting everyone’s time and getting in the way.

Nicki Minaj Being Charmingly Blocked By Cell Phone Cameras

Nicki Minaj Being Charmingly Blocked By Cell Phone Cameras

Other Photographers Part II – Some photographers are so obnoxious they need a second section. For some reason people with no photo pit experience decide they need to lift their cameras in the air to get a better shot. Doing this gets in everyone’s fucking way and ruins shots for everyone behind them. If you need to lift to get the shot do it from the back of the pit so you aren’t in anyone’s way. 90% of the time you are going to get a horribly composed shot anyway because you are just guessing wildly. When I see people do this I will grab their arms down because I don’t really respect them enough to ask nicely. Keep your fucking cameras at eye level. On this same point, almost every festival has a no flash rule so take your flash off your camera so it’s not in anyone’s way. Also, if you have a good place in the pit shoot a song there and move so someone else can get their shot. You want a variety of angels anyway, not just a shot right in front of the lead singer.

I Know You Love DFA 1979 But Keep Your Damn Camera Down!

I Know You Love DFA 1979 But Keep Your Damn Camera Down!

Videographers – I have a lot of the same complaints with videographers as I do amateur photographers but the videographers are worse. They hold their cameras up in the air and look through their monitors and get in everyone’s way. Often they have fuzzy microphones or big lights attached to the top of their cameras and it ruins shot after shot of the photographers behind them. On top of that 99% they aren’t even supposed to be shooting video and if they get in my way I will rat those mother fuckers out so fast.

Not You Too Joel McHale! You Are So Great On Community!

Not You Too Joel McHale! I Love You On Community!

Three Songs, No Flash – Three songs, no flash is the standard rule at most big concerts and festivals. Basically it means that the photographers get to be in the pit for three songs and they can’t shoot with flash. The flash part makes perfect sense as most concerts should be lit well enough that you don’t need one. Flashes get in the way of other photographers and they are distracting to performers. The three songs part completely sucks. I get the idea. You can easily shoot 100 photos in three songs and then you get the hell out of the fans way… the problem is that the first three songs are never the songs you want to shoot. I would take the last three songs every time. If you are dealing with a rap group some times the whole group won’t come out until half way through the set. You are never going to get a photo of a special guest performer or an amazing encore. Imagine if three songs and out was the rule in the 60s. No one would have ever caught Jimmy Hendrix setting his guitar on fire or the Who smashing their equipment. On top of that every photographer gets the same exact shots and they don’t capture the real essence of the performance. Plus you only get to hear three songs and then you move on to the next one. I have photographed so many bands multiple times but I couldn’t tell you anything about their set from the fourth song on.

My Only Decent Shot Of A$AP Rocky At Pitchfork Because He Came Out During Song Four

My Only Decent Shot Of A$AP Rocky At Pitchfork Because He Came Out During Song Four

Photographing DJs – DJs are usually boring to shoot anyway but if you can’t shoot them from the stage you are just waisting your time anyway. Photographing a DJ from the photo pit is completely pointless because you can just see the top of their head over the table and their laptop. My favorite DJ’s to shoot put on a show and get away from their table. I will shoot Steve Aoki, Girl Talk or Major Lazer any day because they put on a better show than most bands, but for most DJ’s I don’t even bother. I just turn my camera away from them and shoot the crowd.

Steve Aoki Is One Of The Few DJs That Puts On A Show Worth Photographing

Steve Aoki Is One Of The Few DJs That Puts On A Show Worth Photographing

Bands Suck – One of the most over looked things about music fests is that most bands suck and a lot of the ones that don’t suck are really boring to photograph. If you are just going to stand there and play music you might as well stay home and just have someone play your CD for us. 75% of bands have terrible live shows and 75% of those make awful music anyway. If you are working for a festival for a client you often have to shoot band after band that you hate that you don’t even want to look at much less photograph.

Say What You Will About The Insane Clown Posse... At Least They Know How To Put On A Show

Say What You Will About The Insane Clown Posse… At Least They Know How To Put On A Show

I am going to stop whining now. But If this article stops one 20 year old kid from agreeing to shoot photos with their brand new $400 digital SLR for free fo some mediocre music blog I will have done my job. In fact, I will make a promise to any music blogger right now. If I am covering a music festival I will let you run my images FOR FREE if you apply for a photo pass, get the pass and then don’t give it to anyone. One less photographer in the pit will be well worth it to me.

Now it should be said that if any photographer is coming to a music festival for the first time, or just wants some advice I am not here to give you shit. If you come to these things excited about photography and music and willing to listen to some of the pros in the pit we will welcome you with open arms. We all started because we loved this stuff and we respect young photographers with passion. We just need you to not make our jobs any harder than they already are.

I recommend to anyone just getting started in music photographer to check out the book Concert And Live Music Photography: Pro Tips From The Pit by J. Dennis Thomas. It has great tips on everything you would need to shoot music from equipment to post processing but most importantly it has a fantastic chapter on photo pit etiquette that everyone should have to read before they shoot a concert for the first time. It will go along way to helping you gain acceptance from pro photographers plus if you are ever in Austin J. Dennis Thomas WILL be in the photo pit with him, and he is a dude you do not want on your bad side.

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Snakatak Vs. Great Tiger – Wheelies Everywhere

Snakatak And Great Tiger - Wheelies Everywhere

My friends in the really fun band Great Tiger released a new EP with the producer Snakatak called “Wheelies Everywhere”. You can listen to it for free on Great Tiger’s band camp or download it for actual monies on iTunes. My friend Grier is one half of Great Tiger. I met him in like 2005 when he directed this amazing video for The Gaskets a band I was managing at the time. He presumably made this insane animated video from just stock photo images for the song “I Just Quit My Job”.  Watch this shit. It’s fucking wild.

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2012 Gathering Of The Juggalos Infomercial

Everyone keeps asking me if I am going back to the Gathering of the Juggalos and I still haven’t quite figured it out yet. I should probably know by next week but I really want to go. If anyone wants photos for your magazine or website or whatever let me know cause I want to go back but I gotta figure out how to pay for this shit. Getting out in the middle of no where is fucking expensive. Whoop Whoop my ninjas.

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Don’t Start A Tweet With An @

I feel like I have to explain this to people so often that I need to make a page for it so I can just send a link. I have no idea how people can be on Twitter for years and not figure this out, but at the same time I don’t know why Twitter doesn’t explain it better when you sign up.

If you start a Tweet with an @reply the only people who can see that are the people following both you and that person you are @ing. So for example if you Tweet “@drivenbyboredom is the greatest photographer and human to ever live” the only people who will see that Tweet in their Twitter stream are people who follow both you and me. Now if they go to your actual Twitter page they will see the Tweet but no one ever does that. They just look at their stream.

The reason Twitter does this is because no one wants to read their friends Tweeting back and forth with strangers. So if you are replying to your friend that I don’t know, then I don’t have to read it. But if I follow both of you then I am in on the conversation. But even if you aren’t replying to a Tweet Twitter doesn’t distinguish and so no @replies show up in feeds unless you follow both people.

So Don’t start a Tweet with an @ sign unless you are replying to someone. If you want to tell people how amazing I am you can start with a word like “So…” or “Hey…” or you can just put a period in front of it if you are out of characters. So you could do “So @drivenbyboredom is pretty much the best thing to happen to my life” or you could say “.@drivenbyboredom looks amazing naked!”  Either way everyone you follow will see it and they will thank you with money and oral sex because you introduced them to the greatest thing about Twitter… me.

 

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Ernest Borgnine On The Bus

Ernest Borgnine on the Bus from Jeff Krulik on Vimeo.

Ernest Borgnine died today at the age of 95. While most people might remember him from Poseidon Adventure or McHale’s Navy I will never forget him because of a film he made with Jeff Krulik called Ernest Borgnine On The Bus. I met Jeff Krulik years ago at a screening of a film he made called Hitler’s Hat. I told him I never received the copy of his classic Heavy Metal Parking Lot that I had ordered from him and he apologized and along with Heavy Metal Parking Lot he gave me a VHS tape that had pretty much every film he had made on it. One of those films was Ernest Borgnine On The Bus. It is a hilarious and amazingly interesting documentary that follows Borgnine on a cross country bus trip. It’s a great portrait of Borgnine and really worth watching today to celebrate the brilliant actors life. RIP.

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An Idiot Abroad

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KRAcpq92L8Q

As a general rule I don’t think British people are funny. I love Monty Python but I grew up on them and I am sure that if I didn’t see a Monty Python sketch until I was an adult I probably would have hated them. So when several years ago my friend tried to get me to listen to the Ricky Gervais podcast on a road trip I was really hesitant. I instantly fell in love with it, and not because of Gervais or his partner Steve Merchant, but because of their round headed producer Karl Pilkington. With the success of The Ricky Gervais show I think most people in the US are at least vaguely aware of Karl, but if you don’t you need to spend some time with man. He is both the dumbest and most brilliant human on Earth. On the podcast you get the idea that he could just be a character but Karl did two seasons of a travel show called An Idiot Abroad and you really get a much better sense of who Karl is. The show is brilliant and features Karl visiting some of the most amazing places on earth and absolutely hating it. 15 of the 16 episodes are available in their full length on YouTube.  Start watching, you will be amazed.

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Trans Manna Ray – Woman Killed, Fetus Removed

My friend Philippe Grenade is a weird dude, but this video he directed, stars in and wrote the music for has gotta be his weirdest move  yet… You really need to watch it all the way through. Although if mangina’s scare you maybe not…

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How To Make A Street Art Stencil

My friend Rick runs Unseen Denver a street art blog in Colorado that uses all user submitted street art images to populate the site. It’s a pretty awesome thing and he has brought it to a bunch of cities including NYC. I actually helped him start Unseen NYC and any of my local fans should submit to that shit. Anyway Rick got interviewed by someone from a site called Craft Ninjas about how to make a stencil. So if you ever wanted to vandalize some shit without any artistic skill whatsoever here is the way to do it.

Just a personal tip… If you want to paint stencils on the sidewalk, cut your stencil into the bottom of a shopping bag, put your paint can inside and then bend down like you are reaching for something in the bag and paint away…

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Motion City Soundtrack – True Romance

So no offense to Motion City Soundtrack but there are few things that offend me more than watered down punk rock. Pretty much the entire genres of pop punk and emo and everything associated with either offend me to the core.  That being said Motion City Soundtrack released a pretty fun video for their song True Romance and it features my friend and Burning Angel porn star Kleio Valentien in her underwear. It also is filmed backwards and seemingly in one take. I actually have to say it works better as a backwards video than Spike Jonze revolutionary Pharcyde “Drop” video but then again he did it first and Pharcyde are one of my favorite rap groups of all time. Whatever the case both videos are well worth watching.

 

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Welcome to the B-Sides

This is the first of many changes that are going to be happening to Driven By Boredom over the next few months. I have been hinting at a site redesign for a long time and my hope is that it is actually on it’s way. I am supposed to have a new draft of the design in a few days and once it gets pretty close to where it needs to be we are going to start implementing it. That is going to be a huge process because it means reuploading 30+ gigs of photos one gallery at a time but once it’s done everything is going to work so much better.

One of the big new features to the site is what I am calling B-Sides. B-Sides is a separate blog that will show up on the main site right under the newest photo gallery and will feature a variety of content from site news and events to videos and music. It will give me a chance to update the site as often as I want without bumping important content down the page.  If I am out of town and don’t have time to get up full galleries I can still post my friends new music video or let you know about why the hell I haven’t updated. It’s going to lead to a lot more content and I am pretty excited about it.

I want to get people used to the B-Sides now so I will be posting on here a couple of times a week just to get a bit of content on this blog before the new page launches but once the site does launch you should see me updating this a lot more. I hope you guys are at least 15% as excited about this as I am. It should be fun.

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