Throwback Thursday: Best Of 2009

Over the past I have no fucking clue how long I have been organizing every photo I have taken since I moved to NYC in 2006. The idea is to eventually have a big fucking folder of images with all the best stuff from the last 8 years and to have things organized so that I can pull images that I need. I also notice I have found a ton of stuff that didn’t stand out at the time, for example just today I found a photo of Adam Scott I took before I even knew who Adam Scott was.

Since I started this project I have done a great job of organizing my 35mm archives. I worked pretty much 10 hours a day on that for a couple weeks and got it done. The digital stuff is a lot harder to do because of the sheer volume of the images. On a slow month I might shoot 4000 photos but during an event like South By Southwest I might shoot twice that many in five days. Getting through stuff has been fun, but I can only do so much a day without going insane.

Just today I finished going through 2009 which is a pretty serious accomplishment because in early 2008 I had a shitty camera so could go through that stuff very quickly and by the end of 2010 I had started shooting a bit less nightlife. In 2009 however I was going out nearly every night and sometimes shooting two or three events a night. So despite having more than five years to go I think I am nearly halfway through my digital archives. The last couple years are pretty organized anyway…

So, in celebration of finishing 2009 I decided a Throwback Thursday post was in order. I have put up a pretty massive gallery (over 300 images!) from 2009 that includes a lot of my favorite shots from the year. It’s probably less than a third of the images I pulled, but it gives you a nice look at one of my best years photographically. It’s amazing to see how far I progressed. The early 2009 stuff is terrible while the late 2009 work is better than anything I am doing now. It’s inspired me to work harder when shooting nightlife and makes me miss how much fun I used to have.

In this gallery you will find mostly party photos although there is some random stuff thrown in including a few old school naked girls in bathroom photo shoots. There are a ton of photos from the party Playhouse at Cain that was a really great party both photographically and on a hot babes I made out with kinda level. Unfortunately they stopped paying me and still fucking owe me money. There are also a bunch of images in here of kinda celebrity stuff or blast from the past images that are noteworthy for whatever reason. They might not all be fantastic photographically but they are cool to look at.

I think the big winner of 2009 was Roxy Cottontail who through two parties that were some of the most fun times I had in ’09. Check out her birthday party that year and the Pepsi party with Diplo that she through that year. Both great events. Speaking of Diplo… I photographed him and Steve Aoki a weird amount of times in 2009. Ninjasonik comes up a lot too and I shot a couple of great shows by Monotonix and Spank Rock who both happened to play the best Siren Fest I ever went to. A lot of girls show up a bunch in 2009 Alex Magnetic, Jocelyn and Chloe are particularly muse-worthy. Since then Alex was my intern and Chloe is a super famous model so that all rules.

Honestly there is way too much in here to cover… tons from Webster Hall when Trash and Boys & Girls were both happening on the same night… a bunch of big events like SXSW, Sundance, AVN Awards… live bands… burlesque… zombie crawls… comedy… fashion… Driven By Boredom tattoos… the list goes on and on.

But lastly I will mention there are a lot of pictures of my good friend Ease DaMan who sadly died recently. I met him in 2009 and took so many photos of the guy that year. He was so fun and so photogenic, rarely had his shirt on and once I showed up to a  party and the cops had shut it down because a fight broke out and Ease fucking bit someone. We all miss you tons Ease. Rest in peace.

I have no idea how I am going to come up with selects since I love so many of these photos, so I am just gonna put some random shit below here. Just make sure you look at the full gallery… and yeah, these photos are significantly NSFW.

Click here to see a bunch of photo highlights from 2009!

Playhouse

Macaulay Culkin

Amanda Lepore & Caswell

The First Ever DBB Tattoo

Theophilus London

Jersey Shore

Star City & Johnny Nelson

Alex Magnetic

Prince Terrence & Maluca

Chloe

Ease DaMan

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The Last Invite Them Up

It’s not Flashback Friday or Throwback Thursday or whatever bullshit alliteration thing that exists on the internets. I am however going to take you guys back in time to February 2008 with some very cool, but very terrible photos from the last two shows of the underground comedy show Invite Them Up. I had an awful early digital camera at the time, but I think these are worth looking at anyway.

I had been living in NYC for about a year and a half and I was shooting party photos every day and all that shit, but I also was going to underground comedy shows a couple nights a week. For some reason I rarely took photos at these events but there are a couple of exceptions.

In late February the legendary Invite Them Upended. Eugene Mirman and Bobby Tisdale had been hosting it for five years and for the last year I was a constant regular. The show was at the Rififi nightclub (the original home of the party Trash) and Rififi was going to be closing and Invite Them Up decided to get ahead of that and end early. (Brett Gelman and Jon Daly took over Wednesday nights until they escaped to LA.)

To end the run Invite Them Up held three farewell shows so they could invite all their favorite comics to play. And the line up was impressive at the time, but even more so looking back on it. It’s amazing how many people have gone on to huge things. John Oliver, Dimitri Martin, Jon Benjamin, Pete Holmes, Brett Gelman and Seth Herzog all have had their own TV shows since then. Mike Birbiglia turned his hit one man show into a fantastic movie. Zach Galifinakis was a big name at the time but I don’t think anyone would have predicted his post Hangover fame. Todd Barry played all three and did one of best comedy sets I have ever seen just making fun of Rififi off the top of his head. He also played drums with Yo La Tengo. Chelsea Peretti and Kristen Schaal are two of the funniest women on TV and Leo Alan and Jon Glaser seem to be on everything that exists on Comedy Central. Oh yeah and Jim Gaffigan and Michael Showalter performed too… you may have heard of them. Seriously when I found the flyers to these shows in a box recently I couldn’t believe how good the line up was.

Also, just in the crowd shots after the show there are pictures of Reggie Watts, Kumail Nanjiani (probably a year before I actually met him), Jon Daly, Larry Murphy and a bunch of other hilarious humans. And I only photographed two of the days!

At the end of the third show, Eugene and Bobby brought up a time capsule that everyone could put stuff in to be opened five years later in 2013. I wonder if they ever opened it because I am pretty sure that Jon Benjamin put a vile of his urine in it. I don’t even remember what I put in it. Whatever the case I think these photos serve as a pretty good time capsule of the last nights of a legendary comedy show that will never happen again.

Now click here to see photos from the last two Invite Them Up comedy shows in February 2008!

Eugene Mirman & Bobby Tisdale's Invite Them Up

Mike Birbiglia

Zach Galifinakis

Kristen Schaal

Bobby Tisdale & Pete Holmes

Jim Gaffigan

Brett Gelman & John Daly

Jon Benjamin

Todd Barry & Yo La Tengo

 

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Four Years Ago Today…

As I work through organizing my massive photo library I keep stumbling on gems from the past. Building a portfolio website has become a massive undertaking but it’s going to be fantastic to eventually have my work organized. During the process I keep finding amazing events and crazy moments in my life that are worth resharing. Some of my Throwback Thursday posts on Instagram have done very well and since I am shooting less and less nightlife I feel like it’s worth taking a look back at some of the better nightlife moments from the past. So this might become a new feature of the site… perhaps even on Thursdays…

Today it’s Monday and if the internet can come up with dumb things like Throwback Thursday and Flashback Friday I don’t see why I can’t call today Moveback Monday. I realize that’s insanely stupid but I am highly caffeinated and found some amazing photos from exactly four years ago. Well, okay, the images aren’t actually that amazing from a photography standpoint but it was a pretty incredible event and one that can never happen again.

Four years ago I shot a benefit for the Anthology Film Archives celebrating their 40th anniversary. The Virgins opened for Sonic Youth and Lou Reed an Hiro Ballroom. The Virgins and Sonic Youth have split up and of course Lou Reed has died. Philip Seymour Hoffman introduced Lou Reed and he has sadly passed as well. Amazingly the 91 year old avant garde film legend Jonas Mekas is still alive. Badass filmmaker and writer Keneth Anger also is still living and played the theremin to end the evening. Moby DJ’d and Julian Schnabel spoke as well. Ben Foster hosted the evening and I got to take a photo of Nan Goldin which V Magazine ran. All and all it was a pretty epic night.

So take a look back at this amazing night four years ago. Click here to see all the photos from the Anthology Film Archives benefit from May 19th, 2010.

Philip Seymour Hoffman

Jonas Mekas

Lou Reed

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5 Years Ago Today…

Five years ago my SB-800 flash came in the mail. I had an old manual flash and my camera came with a flash but without the high tech lasers that shoot out of flashes these days it’s really hard to use auto focus in the dark. When I got the flash my photographs got a lot better and when I relaunched Driven By Boredom as the version of the site it is today I only uploaded the galleries that I photographed post SB-800.

A few months ago when Tyga was blowing up the charts with his Top 40 hit Rack City I went back to my archives to pull a photo of him that I knew I had from 2007.  When I opened that folder on my 2007 hard drive I realized that not only was it the first night that I got the flash but it was also just a really great night.  I realized that the 5th anniversary of the night was coming up and I planned to reedit the pictures and repost them today.  So let’s get into it.

Back in the day pretty much every Wednesday I would go to two events, Invite Them Up at Rififi and High Voltage at Sutra. Invite Them Up was a legendary night in downtown “alternative comedy” hosted by Eugene Mirman and Bobby Tisdale. On April 25th, 2007 they were hosting a comedy auction to raise money for the show because Rififi was falling apart and they needed new lights and things. Looking back on that night it was a pretty amazing crowd with a lot of comics that were big at the time and a lot of comics who have blown up since. I remembered getting in a bidding war with now reasonably famous Nick Kroll over a theme song written by Stella member and director David Wain. I ended up losing, but I did win Jon Benjamin’s fake mustache who now has his on TV show. Jenny Slate was looking adorable that night and she went on to make a name for herself as a Saturday Night Live cast member who accidentally said fuck on the air in her very first episode. Kristen Schaal was there and I had a crush on her at the time and she went on to steal the show regularly during the two seasons of Flight of the Concords and pretty much everything else she’s been in. I had no idea who Hannibal Buress was back then and now he’s one of the funniest comics in NYC. And I still haven’t mentioned Michael Showalter, Todd Barry, Morgan Murphy, Brett Gelman, Kurt Braunohler, Leo Allen, Jon Glaser, Seth Herzog, Joe Mande, etc, etc… It was a pretty amazing party.

After that I headed to High Voltage at Sutra which was one of my favorite parties in NYC ever. I met so many friends at that party and made out with so many girls and got so many people naked in bathrooms there. It was awesome. The party then moved to 200 Orchard where it got a little bit worse and then to Annex where it got a lot worse Dimitry finally pulled the plug on it after a few months there. I showed Dimitry these pictures recently and he told me that he had to sneak Tyga in because he was underage and he rolled to the party with Travis McCoy who was at the time in the Gym Class Heroes. I remember Travie being there but I didn’t know who he was at the time so I didn’t take his photo because he had a camera with him and I pretty much never take photos of photographers unless I know them. Looking back at these pictures there are a ton of people in there now that I didn’t know at the time but I later became good friends with (and perhaps saw naked) later.

After High Voltage I headed over to Manor for the short lived Misshapes spin off Bleach. The party got shut down because they constantly let in underage kids and I was really psyched it got shut down because the week after this they told me they would kick me out if I took any photos because the Misshapes are super serious people. Whatever, the party was a lot of fun and there are so many pictures of people here I didn’t know at all at the time and am friends with. I had just met Sophia Lamar and Raquel Reed and the band VIP was hosting and there is a pretty funny shot of Johnny Makeup wearing a Mouseketeers and holding my business card in his mouth. There are some Ruff Kids and Misshapes in this gallery and a bunch of cute girls who I may or may not have made out with at some point in the next two years. I think I might have gone home with a girl I met that night. Those were the days…

Anyway that was five years ago when I loved doing this shit and I did it for free while I was working as a bus boy at a hotel in midtown. I am old and jaded now and won’t leave my house unless you are paying me five times what I would have been psyched to make back then. But this is life: you get old, you stop enjoying partying with college kids downtown and then you die. See you all in Hell.

Click here to see the photos I took five years ago today on a really fun Wednesday night.

Eugene Mirman, Leo Allen & Bobby Tisdale

Michael Showalter

Nick Kroll & Kristen Schaal

Jenny Slate, Hannibal Burress And Joe Mande

Tyga

5 Years Ago

Johnny Makeup

Sophia Lamar & Leigh Lezark

Raquel Reed

 

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