Monthly Archive for June, 2008

Ladytron @ Terminal 5

light

Ladytron performing at Terminal 5.

I’ve been known to make some blanket pronouncements over the years – such as, “I don’t like cover bands,” only to be proven wrong later. What I discovered was that I quite loved cover bands when they play music that I like, as opposed to the baby boomer prog rock and frat boy drivel that you usually hear.

Apply the same lesson to light shows… fancy lights at rock shows always seemed ridiculous to me; a stoner cliché. Ahh, but fancy light shows accompanying music that I love? That’s awesome!

Ladytron is one such band. As good as many of their records are, their live shows are something bordering on the transcendent. Now, I realize that it is nothing new for electronic bands to have light shows synced to the music, but what is impressive to me about them is their seriousness about playing real instruments, live, in the room. It brings a lot more energy to the show.

But, it has me wondering… how do they sync the lights so perfectly? It’s almost like there is a computer with a line-in feed, processing everything as it’s played.

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The Big Picture

NYTimes.com isn’t the only NYT property that’s doing interesting things with blogs these days – Boston.com launched a different kind of photo blog earlier this month, The Big Picture. With its oversized photos, minimal ads, and hardly a promo to other site content, the presentation is clear and striking – and praise is pouring in.

California Fires

Firefighters work to contain the Humboldt fire which started Wednesday, had grown to 19,000 acres and threatened more than 5,000 structures. (AP Photo/Jason Halley – Chico Enterprise-Record)

Another interesting facet about the blog is that it not written by a Globe photographer or photo editor, but by one of their website developers. Andy Baio posted a great interview with the blog’s creator and author, Alan Taylor, where he discusses his inspiration, methodology, and what it’s like being a web developer working in a journalist’s world. When asked why more newspaper sites haven’t done this before, he replied:

“Even some of my favorite photo sites are often limited to ‘Photo of the Day’ or ‘24 Hours in Pictures’ features. That’s interesting, and you can find some mind-blowing images there, but I always felt like it lacked context, depth, story.”

Iowa Floods

Brandon Smith carries his two cats, Fry and Bender, to dry land from their flooded and evacuated home on June 12, 2008 in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. (Photo by David Greedy/Getty Images)

As we move to an age where motion graphics and video regularly enhance our traditional news presentation, it’s interesting to take a step back and consider the power still photography has to tell a story. And working online without the space constraint of print, news organizations have an opportunity to bring more depth and context to readers, through excellent photojournalism.

Infographics

I completed a three-day intensive newsroom orientation last week, in which the new faces at the Times are trained on policies, practices, and quirks of the paper. It’s an onboarding procedure the likes of which I’ve never gone through in my career, and I think it’s a credit to the organization that they care so much about its traditions and culture to invest so much time and energy welcoming new people.

In addition to the seminars on sourcing, ethics and background, it was especially interesting to meet all of the Desk Editors and learn how they run their teams both online and in print. One-by-one, they filed in from National, Style, Travel, Foreign, the Magazines… it was a whirlwind 3 days.

infographic
Deadly Rampage at Virginia Tech, updated April 23, 2007

One of the most interesting half-hours was presented by Archie Tse, a Graphics editor. Archie explained how the Times Graphics Desk is really unique among news organizations, in that they go out and do reporting before sitting down at their computer.

When you consider that newspapers are cutting back on coverage of everything these days, this is remarkable.

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Love is All @ Market Hotel

Josephine

Josephine Olausson, singer and keyboardist for the Swedish Indie band Love Is All, performing in Bushwick last Saturday.

Despite the heavy rains, thunder and lightening last saturday night, I ventured out to Bushwick on the J train to catch one of my favorite bands, Love Is All. They’ve acquired something of a good live reputation over the past couple of years, and though it was a short set, they didn’t disappoint.

One glance at these photos and video, and it should be clear that this was a very hot and sweaty show. And given that I found myself in the “pit” for the first time since my grunge days in high school, I’m pretty sure that I left the Market Hotel that night with a lot of other peoples’ sweat on me.

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Alain Robert, climbing the New York Times Building

Never a dull moment here at the Times… Today, we witnessed Alain Robert climb the New York Times Building on 8th Avenue facing 41st street. I took this with my iPhone on the 21st floor:

Alain Robert

He scaled up the ceramic rods that are affixed to the outside of the building, attracting hundreds of onlookers inside the building, as well as down the street.

City Room has more about Alain and this stunt, including the news that he was arrested by NYPD after reaching the roof – 52 floors up from the street.

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