april mixxxx

alamosa cowz

april is almost over - only a couple days to go until may is underway. so exciting.
in honor of spring moving forward i have made a super sweet mix. check out these jams to carry you through sunny afternoon walks and picnics in the grass:

1. we tigers . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . animal collective
2. verbs before nouns . . . . . . matt & kim
3. oxygen . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . sleater kinney
4. stockholm syndrome . . . . yo la tengo
5. weight of the world . . . . . . patrick watson
6. gut feeling . . . . . . . . . . . . . devo
7. car seat (god's presents) . . . . . . blind melon
8. chores . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . animal collective
9. inside & out . . . . . . . . . . . . feist
10. master of none . . . . . . . . beach house
11. back of your head . . . . . . cat power
12. bird . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . jana hunter
13. thirteen . . . . . . . . . . . . . . elliot smith
14. plans . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . band of horses
15. poor old dirt farmer . . . . . . . levon helm
16. the good red road . . . . . . . . devendra banhart
17. childhood . . . . . . . beach house
18. derek . . . . . . . animal collective


more milagros jam photos

the open mic night at milagros was ripe with talent and this particular musician seriously blew me away. katey byrd, pictured here with her guitar and kick ass work boots, sang a handful of crowd bumpin political songs. she has one of the most beautiful voices i've ever heard. i really feel like there is no reference to compare her to, but if i had to i'd say she's some where above and beyond joanna newsome meets devendra banhart. but really, this lady is all on her own.

wayne the train performed some delicate and melodic original songs. his guitar playing is superb, and although a quiet man, wayne definitely had a solid but gentle stage presence.

we have not seen the last of donovan. this alamosa high school junior is one of the most talented teenagers i've ever met. alongside his guitar skills and awkward wit is a voice with depth and maturity. and he can scream, too.

donovan and laurelin, another alamosa high school student, performed the postal service/jenny lewis duet 'nothing better. laurelin also performed rilo kiley's 'a better son/daughter' solo.

open mic night @ milagros

this week is hunger education week here at la puente and we've been super busy with activities and events to raise awareness about the issues of hunger and malnutrition. the culmination of the week will be the crop walk at cole park to raise money for the food bank network of the san luis valley.
last night was open mic night at milagros coffeehouse. it was pretty much one of the best nights ever. we had an awesome turn out and some really great performances. who knew there was so much talent right here in the SLV?

some photo documentation:

donovan and his band, the popcorn trees, played a number of sweet of jams. milagros has never been so rockin.

the ever so talented eric shiveley was generous enough to provide sound equipment and manage all the sound needs for the event. after some cajoling we were able to get him up on stage. his sweet, smooth voice delivered the classic patsy cline 'crazy'. eric's documentary everyone but you just premiered at the oxford film festival in ohio and will be at the colorado springs indie spirit festival tonight.

more open mic night photos to come . . .


southside alamosa

i took the following polaroids on sunday as i rode my bike around town. i often worry that there will not be enough sun to take the perfect polaroids, but in this case i think there may have been too much sun. oh well. live and learn.

the saddest thing about this set of 'roids is that they are the last of my bulk of polaroid film. i am 100% dry. no film to speak of. if you were thinking you wanted to get me a really really early birthday present feel free to send some film my way. or jump the next tourist you see and send their goods to colorado. sound good?

the remaining yard furniture of an abonandoned home lost to a fire. look at post below for a shot of the house.

so sad you cant read the scan of this photo. the space above the walkway reads:
parking for pastor salazar only.

im in love with this junkyard. unfortunately something really funky happened in the processing and that strange gak appeared as well as a dark bar along the bottom. but look at how sweet those cars are.

st. vincent de paul thrift: helping others to help themselves.

and me! happy spring, friends!


sunday bike cruise

another lovely sunday bike ride. the weather has been so nice; sunny and bright, perfect for cruising around town and taking in the views. below are some photos from the afternoon:

an abandoned house in the southside of town. this house fell apart after a fire not too long ago.

southside alamosa.

the blinding and beautiful sun.

the old junkyard on the southside of town. i love this place. there is something so beautiful about a mass of discarded and defunked vehicles; mangled metal, rusted wheels.

the bike path along el rio grande.


vermillion lies

on tuesday jenna and i ventured up to denver to see the sister cabaret act 'vermillion lies'. as super awesome djs at krza community radio here in alamosa we got free tickets to the show. so we got in the car, dropped off our friend eric in colorado springs and then headed up to the mercury cafe in downtown denver.

the mercury cafe is like a hidden eden in the middle of the city - all organic foods with many vegetarian options and a laid back bohemian atmosphere that makes you forget chain restaurants even exist. the food was amazing, although i made the terrible choice of having four cups of coffee with my vegetarian enchilada plate. not a good idea.

vermillion lies was great. the sisters, zoe and kim, performed mostly songs from their new album what's in the box? which range in genre from folksy ballads to rambunctious circus sing alongs. their conventional instruments of choice include the piano and guitar but what makes them so fun is their use of bells, kazoos, a typewriter, a bbq grill, a toy piano, the tool box, a lobster and a small mexican man marionette named pete. and not only are they incredibly creative but they can also sing. kim has a full yet softly sultry voice while zoe belts out an almost cartoonishly old-timey sonance (think triplettes of belleville). seeing them live was like traveling back in time to a place where performance is more than gnarly guitar solos and bright lights. these ladies are sexy, funny, clever and talented. and their show is just as much about storytelling as it is about music.

after the show jenna and i got to chat with vermillion for a few minutes. not gonna lie, they are so cool that i was fairly intimidated. and i definitely stuck my foot in my mouth a couple times. cause im a fool.

check out their website and listen to their jams. my favorite songs are: global warming, done wrong, blue and take off your shirt.

"global warming... it's hot! global warming ... it's not cool! global warming ... it's too warm for school!"


bike ride through alamosa

on sunday i took a most joyous bike ride around town. it was the nicest day yet; the day we have all been waiting for. after a tumultuously cold winter it seemed a sunny, hot day would never come. but it did. i thought it was the perfect opportunity to do something i hadn't yet tried much; polaroid bike cruising. usually i hop in my car and drive to more far off places to get sweet shots. but there is much material right here in the heart of my little town.

here are sunday's highlights:

the old alamosa power plant. this is one of my favorite structures here in alamosa. it's not totally abandoned; i often see trucks and various machinery parked here. im not exactly sure what they're up to but luckily they were nowhere to be seen on this particular sunday afternoon. this shot is my favorite from the day. the sky could not be bluer.

a half assed cardboard 'closed' sign hangs on the fence that runs along the old power plant.

the alamosa christian science society. i love those weird green stairs.

the shrugging trees on third street. they look like they're saying "sure, why not?"

and more shrugging trees. an old man smoking his pipe and walking his dog wondered what i was up to as i crouched down to take this photo.



somehow winter has passed and now spring is underway with fierce winds and unpredictable skies. part of me was sad to see winter end. with the night sky creeping in around 4:30 in the afternoon i felt some solace in the dark hibernation of december, january and february. now the sun doesn't set until close to eight and suddenly the world feels full of people, full of light. the part of me that loves afternoon bike rides and polaroid photo ops revels in this flood of luminosity. but another part of me just feels guilt in my desire for solitude, my want of back to back film screenings and sketching sessions in the comfort of my cave-like room. but i suppose that's what spring is all about. emergence. rebirth. the ability to fully exist and experience life.

so here i am on a sunny saturday afternoon filling myself with coffee and soymilk at milagros coffeehouse. a woman with a messy pseudo-mohawk just drove by in her suv, smoking a cigarette, and a gentle but mangy chocolate pup is wandering the sidewalks, collarless and lost. today doesn't feel any different from any other day in alamosa. beautiful, quiet, colorful and calm. with roughly only three and a half months left in the valley i am at a point where all i can do is emerge, exist and fully enjoy the time i have left in this magical place. this whole experience has been amazingly surreal, like living in a movie or a diorama built inside a blue-lined shoe box. part of me is so ready to pack up and bust out of here. the other doesn't want to ever leave for fear of forgetting everything.

with a compulsive desire to hold my memories in my hands i am embarking on a couple projects to put everything ive seen and heard into beautiful context:

1. i've begun cataloging the very best of my polaroids dating back to the fall of 2004. my plan is to compile the photos into defining categories and then arrange them in a cohesive collection in book form. the book will be a mixed-media compilation of photos, drawings, collage and text together telling the narrative of my personal experience with polaroid photograpahy.

2. i am in the beginning stages of writing a screenplay telling the story of my experience here in alamosa as well as the shared experience of being an americorps volunteer. part of these beginning stages involves me watching a lot of movies that i love to better envision how my film will share narrative tools with other films and how it will differ.

this neurotic need to document stems partly from the recent news that has rattled my vision of the future. i was accepted to san francisco state's cinema m.f.a. program and will be attending the university in august of this year. suddenly i see things only as pieces of larger narratives; images coexisting with sounds; moments of movement within human experience. the three year program will equip me with all the academic and artistic tools i need to further my existence as a storyteller and movie-lover. and on top of it all i get to live in the great city of san francisco.

i feel affirmed, excited and motivated.
nothing has ever felt so right.


for the love of color

while i will always love and appreciate the art of black and white photography i gotta say it's COLOR that really gets me jazzed. in the following photos polly captures the vibrancy of color in the dullest of places. the first is the same forgotten ford i captured with the polaroid, the second a portrait of patrick and ethan and lastly, me, emerging from a left behind trailer. i will say it is strange for me to be on the other side of the camera but that's what partnership is all about.


this blog has been, for the most part, a place for me to showcase my photographs both digital and polaroid. well i finally got my hands on some of polly's prints from our adventure days during her visit. she also sent me some other photos shes taken in the great cities of new york and st.louis. i have a feeling someday soon polly and i will collaborate our creative energies in a big beautiful project. i don't know exactly how that will manifest itself quite yet but i am confident that whatever it is will be awesome.
anyway, check out these beautiful black and white's from my favorite photographer and dear dear friend. i will be posting some of her color shots as well.
the work of ms. paulette kissinger omura:

male model


all is not lost

by the end of 2008 polaroid will be no more. i am in the process of gathering as much film as i can but that won't solve the inevitable question: is this really the end of instant film?? many polaroid enthusiasts all over the world, myself included, are finding this to be a hard reality to grapple with. the response: incite a movement to get the formula for instant film licensed to another party so that the art of instant is not lost. at first i felt like this was slightly futile. change is inevitable and the death of polaroid should be no different. but after reading an article in the new york times magazine,(http://www.nytimes.com/2008/03/16/magazine/16wwlnConsumed-t.html?_r=1&scp=1&sq=polaroid&st=nyt&oref=slogin)
i realized how detrimental this change is. instant film is its own medium - it's not digital, it's not 35mm. it is unlike any other form of photography. instant film captures a moment without haste and leaves no negative, no remnants of its existence. in my travels across the united states i have found polaroids to be a sharply direct and honest way to capture space and land. the transitory nature of polaroid photography allows the immediacy of the moment and memory to be solidified. and unlike a memory card full of digital photos you can delete and duplicate at will, instant film is something to be savored and appreciated. on a roll of polaroid 600 film you are limited to 10 shots; each photo you take is a one time opportunity for greatness. you do not have the luxury of shooting something ten times to pick out the best shot later. there is a certain deliberateness to polariods that makes the whole experience that much more valuable.
with that in mind i have decided that all is not lost in the future of instant film. the new york times article led me to this wonderful site: http://savepolaroid.com/ where a number of other polaroid lovers have put together an effort to urge the higher ups to live and let live. go to the site, download an action pack and start making a ruckus.

on another note:
climbing haystacks may result in tiny cuts on the palms of your hands.