Friday, November 16, 2007

A Dispatch From The Ostentation Station Agent

Many (2) of you know that at some point between 31 and 33, as evidenced by my NPR time extending well past the legal limit, I've aged 20 years and have put all that rips and shreds on the bottom shelf next to that Sacco & Vanzetti book I never opened. I can usually be found (like you're lookin) slouching in the Prius, going 65 on the Turnpike, sprinkled liberally with crumbs from various Kisses Knishes and taking pedantic, never-to-be-accessed notes in my head while Brian Lehrer interviews Vali Nasr.

A few weeks ago my stylus fell in my $13 Whole Foods salad. There's so much wrong with that scenario, I could shit the bed... the Crate & Barrel duvet-adorned bed.

I make no more money than I did several years ago, so what crappened? Yeah, it's totally natural for a once-culturally incendiary (hi, Eric Boehme) man in his early 30s to find, for example, holding sway over the once mighty kingdom of shit and shinola that was the mid-90s New Brunswick hardcore scene far less emotionally relevant than.. ooooo, a This American Life archive on sad pet stories, but somehow, I became profoundly stuffy and in need of a waterboarding session somethin awful.

The above "paragraph" (just by virtue of it existing) should be proof enough, but for the one of you (hi Kevin!... maybe) who are still reading, here's some further bullet-earning bullet points:

1) More than once, while out with my lady friend (who, like me, has an extensive and diverse ibrain library full of great musics) I set the mood with a jaunty episode of All Things Considered, only to realize that neither of us could give a crud and that I haven't listened to any new music in 2 years.

2) My solution to that severely un-diabolical display was to switch to a dry 'n grumpy 45 minute Tom Scharpling rant.

Fuh huh huck. The kid once referenced Dark Angel in a romantic letter to me and this is my date behavior?!

Since I just made fun of a friend for over-explaining his flickr uploads, while I somehow take myself more seriously the less cool I become, it's time to kick this shit. As the first step in the 2 step program I'm pretty much totally ruling, here is an amazing parody of This American Life by Kasper Hauser and I'm even including this Onion article on TAL's recent achievement.

Thanks for scrolling, and someone introduce me to a new band that doesn't sound like Ben Gibbard caressing a Casio with a Members Only jacket or some Meshuggah/Pere Ubu hybrid.

I'm gonna kick tomorrow.

Derik Moore
Grassroots Sales Rep
Subcultural Suicide 'n Things

Monday, September 24, 2007

The Sociology of the Crowd Shot.

(Serious insular-ass essay warning. Apply gauze. .. This is being submitted to JPG Magazine, so I took it for serious.)

* All the photos below got cut off. Until I can figure this out, the link below leads to them all, if you're curious.

Stories Told Around the Mosh Fire.


After 15 years of being part of what [despite our individual and collective efforts] often amounted to "The Spectacle," my recent time spent observing from this perspective has gone further into breaking down the 'us and them' dynamic between "the kids"/fans/the audience/the crowd/... and the "performers" to my mind [than playing in punk bands that refused to grant legitimacy to this paradigm] ever did.


In the case of Ozzfest, I was between the barrier and the stage and was the only photographer that broke from capturing the bands to acknowledging the crowd and the ways they processed the chaos... in the air and within themselves. Unique, in this case, is the way they reacted to the lens, since, as far as they knew, I could have easily been in a position to publish them in Rolling Stone or the like. When I was noticed, the desire for the story of their mood to be told, publicly rose up. In the most [seemingly] randomly composed shot, the kid dead center, reminiscent of "Dwane" from Little Miss Sunshine, wanted me (and, more so, whomever might view the image) to know that he was distinct in his composure; that his weight should be shared.


In my experience playing in bands for half my life, the spectators are never just that. The degree to which they consciously participate in their own temporary emotional transformation varies greatly along with their respective needs- conscious or otherwise. Some want to be noticed (by bands or media) and some earnestly pretend that they're the only one in the crowd active in their desire to heal themselves... if for just that show... that song... that chorus.



Behemothcrowd_Mos Eisley Cantina

Some will never emotionally activate beyond following orders from bands who instruct them to, "Put your (their) middle fingers/horns/fists/lighters in the air!" We'll probably never know who is who and how much was carried away from this catharsis. This is what's endlessly fascinating and what keeps me from writing off humanity in darker times.

***Here is a slideshow of all my Ozzfest (crowd and band) shots.***