Tag Archives: san francisco

JetLag RocknRoll: The Video Travel Guide Series

I’ve been so wrapped up in multiple projects that I forgot to update this blog with JetLag RocknRoll’s latest incarnation! Years ago I attempted to produce online travel guides with wanderlustful rocknroll aficionados in mind but writing each listing was incredibly time consuming and a bit too ambitious for just one person. Last year, C suggested we make it a video form instead and ask local bands about their favorite spots in the places they call home. Well, the first episode is now live! It spotlights the San Francisco East Bay and features Shannon & the Clams, Tina Lucchesi of the Trashwomen, and Jesse Townley of Blatz. You can watch the video above and get more details about the businesses, places, and bands covered here.

Other destinations in the works include San Francisco, Tokyo, and Chicago. Check back here or jetlagrnr.com for new episodes!

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Wish You Were Hear: Toy Dolls in San Francisco

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Toy Dolls, 14 April 14 | Regency Ballroom, San Francisco

The first time I saw the Toy Dolls was in May 1997, when they blazed through San Francisco on their One More Mega-Tour. They returned in 1998 so, up until last night’s show at the Regency Ballroom, their last San Francisco show was 16 ago!

Olga and the Toy Dolls may have been playing since 1979, but their performance is as energetic and electrifying as ever. Olga hasn’t slowed down one whit on guitar and missed nary a note as he bounded and skipped across the stage with bassist Tommy Goober. With the entire room pogoing and singing along in appreciation, Olga, Tommy, and the Amazing Duncan cranked out classics like “Spiders in the Dressing Room,” “Olga…I Cannot,” “Nellie the Elephant,” “Glenda and the Test Tube Baby,” Bach’s “Toccata in D Minor,” “Dig That Groove Baby,” and “Idle Gossip.” At one point, Olga brought out an enormous bottle of Lambrusco, which he aimed at the audience and showered with confetti (cue “The Lambrusco Kid”).

After three encores and just as many wardrobe changes, the Toy Dolls ended the night with “She Goes to Finos” (or so I think! My short-term memory is on the fritz. Please correct me if I’m wrong!). So much fun! Here are some of my favorite moments, captured with two cameras: a Canon 5D Mark III and an Olympus PEN E-P2.

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Wish You Were Hear: Crowdsurfing with the Black Lips & Coathangers

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Black Lips, 24 Mar 14 | Great American Music Hall, San Francisco

Last week the Black Lips returned to San Francisco’s Great American Music Hall with fellow Atlantans the Coathangers to promote Underneath the Rainbow, their latest release on Vice Records. (Incidentally, the Coathangers have their own new album out as well. It’s called Suck My Shirt on Suicide Squeeze.) It’s been three years since their last full-length Arabia Mountain came out and a few years since I’ve seen them live, so it was nice to see what garage punk’s bad boys have been up to.

The Black Lips are known for boisterous shows often splattered with booze, saliva, phlegm, urine, and blood. Having shot them at least half a dozen times in the past eight years (a couple of them at this very venue) and enduring countless kicks to the head, punches to the face, and haphazard crushing of my internal organs, I felt no special urgency to make my way to the front of the stage this time to witness their antics up close and personal. In fact, I didn’t plan to take any photos at all but, once they jumped on stage, I couldn’t not whip out my camera. The Black Lips are as dynamic and photogenic as ever, and I was pleased to see that Cole has perfected his ability to release and catch his own loogies from a variety of positions, without missing a note. They also added Zumi to saxophone and other assorted instruments to round out their sound.

From the side of the stage, it was fascinating to watch the seemingly endless procession of stagedivers and the reactions of those poor souls caught unawares by dirty Converses to the face. Were there always this many at a Black Lips show? And how does their jangly rock ‘n’ roll compel someone to jump headfirst into a crowd of strangers? But then I remembered: I did my share of stagediving and crowdsurfing when I first started going to shows as a teenager, regardless of the kind of music being played. In addition to being a rush, it was a way to physically connect with the music. On some occasions, it was the only escape out of the center of the pit in a very large arena.

For the encore, both Jared and Cole took turns surfing the crowd, and I’m sure the folks who were underneath and near them will remember those moments for the rest of their lives. On the off-chance they got a concussion and have very vague recollections of the night, they can turn to the following photos for proof.

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The Coathangers, 24 Mar 14 | Great American Music Hall, San Francisco

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The Coathangers, 24 Mar 14 | Great American Music Hall, San Francisco

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The Coathangers, 24 Mar 14 | Great American Music Hall, San Francisco

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The Coathangers, 24 Mar 14 | Great American Music Hall, San Francisco

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The Coathangers, 24 Mar 14 | Great American Music Hall, San Francisco

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The Coathangers, 24 Mar 14 | Great American Music Hall, San Francisco

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The Coathangers, 24 Mar 14 | Great American Music Hall, San Francisco

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The Coathangers, 24 Mar 14 | Great American Music Hall, San Francisco

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Black Lips, 24 Mar 14 | Great American Music Hall, San Francisco

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Black Lips, 24 Mar 14 | Great American Music Hall, San Francisco

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Black Lips, 24 Mar 14 | Great American Music Hall, San Francisco

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Black Lips, 24 Mar 14 | Great American Music Hall, San Francisco

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Black Lips, 24 Mar 14 | Great American Music Hall, San Francisco

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Black Lips, 24 Mar 14 | Great American Music Hall, San Francisco

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Black Lips, 24 Mar 14 | Great American Music Hall, San Francisco

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Black Lips, 24 Mar 14 | Great American Music Hall, San Francisco

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Black Lips, 24 Mar 14 | Great American Music Hall, San Francisco

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Black Lips, 24 Mar 14 | Great American Music Hall, San Francisco

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Black Lips, 24 Mar 14 | Great American Music Hall, San Francisco

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Black Lips, 24 Mar 14 | Great American Music Hall, San Francisco

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Black Lips, 24 Mar 14 | Great American Music Hall, San Francisco

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Black Lips, 24 Mar 14 | Great American Music Hall, San Francisco

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Black Lips, 24 Mar 14 | Great American Music Hall, San Francisco

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Black Lips, 24 Mar 14 | Great American Music Hall, San Francisco

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The Coathangers, 24 Mar 14 | Great American Music Hall, San Francisco

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The Coathangers, 24 Mar 14 | Great American Music Hall, San Francisco

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Black Lips, 24 Mar 14 | Great American Music Hall, San Francisco

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Black Lips, 24 Mar 14 | Great American Music Hall, San Francisco

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Black Lips, 24 Mar 14 | Great American Music Hall, San Francisco

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Black Lips, 24 Mar 14 | Great American Music Hall, San Francisco

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Black Lips, 24 Mar 14 | Great American Music Hall, San Francisco

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Black Lips, 24 Mar 14 | Great American Music Hall, San Francisco

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Black Lips, 24 Mar 14 | Great American Music Hall, San Francisco

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Black Lips, 24 Mar 14 | Great American Music Hall, San Francisco

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Black Lips, 24 Mar 14 | Great American Music Hall, San Francisco

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Black Lips, 24 Mar 14 | Great American Music Hall, San Francisco

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Black Lips, 24 Mar 14 | Great American Music Hall, San Francisco

 

 

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Wish You Were Hear: Kid Congo & the Pink Monkey Birds, Wax Idols & Dancer at Slim’s

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Kid Congo & the Pink Monkey Birds, 11 Feb 14 | Slim’s, San Francisco

Kid Congo Powers has been cranking out the devil’s music since the late 1970s, when he first joined the Gun Club. He has since slung his axe with the Cramps and Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds, among others. Last week he stopped in San Francisco with the Pink Monkey Birds in support of their new album Haunted Head (In the Red Records). With guitarist Mark Cisneros and drummer Ron Miller, Kid Congo blew through a slew of swampy garage punk tracks from Haunted Head and also treated the crowd to several Gun Club songs, including “She’s like Heroin to Me,” “Jack on Fire,” and “For the Love of Ivy.” Kid Congo’s a seasoned performer and a real treat to finally behold in person.

One audience member, who apparently had come specifically because of Kid Congo’s involvement with the Gun Club, magically appeared at the front of the stage at the start of every Gun Club song. He stayed up front for the duration of the song–pumping his fists, whipping his long blond hair, shaking his beer, attempting to mosh with anyone within reach–before quietly disappearing to the back when the song ended. In hindsight I should’ve taken photos of him but oh well! At least I got photos of Dancer and Wax Idols, who opened the show. I arrived during Dancer’s last song, alas, but caught Wax Idols’ entire Siouxsie & the Bansheesinspired set. Here’s how the night went down.

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Dancer, 11 Feb 14 | Slim’s, San Francisco

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Wax Idols, 11 Feb 14 | Slim’s, San Francisco

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Wax Idols, 11 Feb 14 | Slim’s, San Francisco

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Wax Idols, 11 Feb 14 | Slim’s, San Francisco

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Wax Idols, 11 Feb 14 | Slim’s, San Francisco

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Wax Idols, 11 Feb 14 | Slim’s, San Francisco

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Wax Idols, 11 Feb 14 | Slim’s, San Francisco

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Kid Congo & the Pink Monkey Birds, 11 Feb 14 | Slim’s, San Francisco

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Kid Congo & the Pink Monkey Birds, 11 Feb 14 | Slim’s, San Francisco

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Kid Congo & the Pink Monkey Birds, 11 Feb 14 | Slim’s, San Francisco

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Kid Congo & the Pink Monkey Birds, 11 Feb 14 | Slim’s, San Francisco

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Kid Congo & the Pink Monkey Birds, 11 Feb 14 | Slim’s, San Francisco

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Kid Congo & the Pink Monkey Birds, 11 Feb 14 | Slim’s, San Francisco

Kid Congo & the Pink Monkey Birds, 11 Feb 14 | Slim’s, San Francisco

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Kid Congo & the Pink Monkey Birds, 11 Feb 14 | Slim’s, San Francisco

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Kid Congo & the Pink Monkey Birds, 11 Feb 14 | Slim’s, San Francisco

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Kid Congo & the Pink Monkey Birds, 11 Feb 14 | Slim’s, San Francisco

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Kid Congo & the Pink Monkey Birds, 11 Feb 14 | Slim’s, San Francisco

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Kid Congo & the Pink Monkey Birds, 11 Feb 14 | Slim’s, San Francisco

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Wish You Were Hear: Mikal Cronin, Cool Ghouls & Cocktails at the Rickshaw Stop

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Mikal Cronin, 8 Jan 14 | Rickshaw Stop, San Francisco

One of my new year’s resolutions is to post show photos within a week of taking them. So let’s start with the stellar sold-out Mikal Cronin, Cool Ghouls, and Cocktails show I saw last night at the Rickshaw Stop. Dan Strachota, Rickshaw Stop’s talent buyer, turned me on to Cocktails’ power popinspired 7″ on Father/Daughter Records earlier last year and they’ve since become one of my favorite newish local bands. Coincidentally, so are Cool Ghouls. For whatever reason, though, despite both bands playing fairly regularly around town I’d never seen them live…until last night. Thanks to Dan for booking both of them to play one of the Rickshaw Stop’s 10th-anniversary celebration shows! I might not have been as hysterical as the time I saw Blur on my birthday during their Leisure tour, but I was excited nonetheless. It was also good to finally see Mikal Cronin rock out sans Moonhearts. Here are some images from the night, as well as a few animated GIFs, including one of Mikal blowing on a saxamaphone during Cool Ghouls’ set.

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Mikal Cronin and his saxophone join Cool Ghouls on stage

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The Night I Could’ve Held Nick Cave’s Sweaty Hand

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Wild man Nick Cave

(Note: I’m basically posting this for my friend Laura, who’s been a huge Nick Cave fan for nearly four decades. Please check out this excellent write-up by Ian S. Port of the SF Weekly if you crave coherent, relevant words to accompany these pictures.)

I finally saw Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds when they performed on April 9 at Bill Graham Civic Auditorium…and they were pretty incredible. Unfortunately, I arrived too late to get front and center so I hung out next to the pulsating speakers at the edge of the stage for a while. Had I stayed, good ol’ Nick might’ve clutched my hand during “Papa Won’t Leave You, Henry” (see video below for a glimpse of the frenzy), but alas I had shimmied closer toward center stage by that point, hoping for better angles for my little Olympus PEN E-P2. At the very least, from my new vantage point I could behold Warren Ellis’s mesmerizing violin assaults more clearly, even if I couldn’t make out Barry Adamson and the Saints’ Ed Kuepper. I captured one of these assaults (see clip below) during “Deanna,” which I was surprised and thrilled they did since it was the most upbeat song of the evening and one of the handful that wasn’t from their latest album Push the Sky Away. Hope you enjoy!

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OFF! Bay Area 2012

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OFF!, Slim’s (May 11, 2012) | Canon 60D, 24mm, 1/80, f2.8, ISO 2500

Had I made any resolutions this year, one of them would’ve been to post photos I take in a timely fashion. As it currently stands, my usual turnaround time (Wild About You projects excluded) is six months, twelve months, sometimes never.

Case in point: OFF! is a supergroup featuring Keith Morris (Black Flag, Circle Jerks), Steve McDonald (Redd Kross), Mario Rubalcaba (Rocket from the Crypt, Hot Snakes), and Dimitri Coats (Burning Brides). They essentially sound like early Black Flag/Circle Jerks—classic American punk. I saw them twice last May when they passed through the Bay Area, but it wasn’t until I heard they were playing San Francisco this Saturday that I realized I hadn’t done anything with the photos I’d shot. And then I thought, “What does it even matter? There were so many  photographers there. No one’s gonna miss these.”

True, but my poor excuse for a memory very well might five, ten years down the line, assuming these blog things still exist. It’s only been nine months since OFF! nearly obliterated the stage at Slim’s and possibly violated a few fire codes in Amoeba Berkeley’s small performance space, but it might as well have been nine years ago.

Fortunately, looking at these photos helped me remember a couple of things:

  • I got two cameras into the Slim’s show, a Canon 60D and Olympus E-P2.
  • Spider Fever (with Mario on guitar and vocals) and Fidlar opened. I was excited to see Spider Fever, having enjoyed their HoZac single. I was impressed by Fidlar—I hadn’t yet heard of them but they were apparently popular enough for a large, enthusiastic crowd to come specifically for them and leave when they finished.
  • Keith Morris was a seasoned showman, followed closely by Steve and Dimitri. He really roused the audience, judging by the crush of flailing bodies behind me and the nonstop stage-diving mostly by heavy, middle-aged men. I was right against the stage but somehow managed to avoid most of the wayward fists, spikes, and boots. The older mohawked woman next to me wasn’t so lucky and took quite a beating. I seriously thought she had a broken nose after someone kicked her in the face in their eagerness to heave themselves into the pit. Ah, just like old times!

Incidentally, OFF! has cancelled their current West Coast tour, which is a bummer if you were planning to see them. Hopefully these will tide you over until they reschedule.

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OFF!, Slim’s (May 11, 2012) | Canon 60D, 24mm, 1/80, f2.8, ISO 2500

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OFF!, Slim’s (May 11, 2012) | Olympus PEN E-P2, 25mm, 1/250, f1.4, ISO 1000

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OFF!, Slim’s (May 11, 2012) | Olympus PEN E-P2, 25mm, 1/125, f1.4, ISO 1000

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OFF!, Slim’s (May 11, 2012) | Canon 60D, 24mm, 1/100, f2.8, ISO 2500

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OFF!, Slim’s (May 11, 2012) | Canon 60D, 24mm, 1/80, f2.8, ISO 2500

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OFF!, Slim’s (May 11, 2012) | Canon 60D, 24mm, 1/100, f2.8, ISO 2500

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OFF!, Slim’s (May 11, 2012) | Canon 60D, 24mm, 1/80, f2.8, ISO 2500

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OFF!, Slim’s (May 11, 2012) | Canon 60D, 24mm, 1/80, f2.8, ISO 2500

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OFF!, Slim’s (May 11, 2012) | Olympus PEN E-P2, 25mm, 1/125, f1.4, ISO 1000

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OFF!, Slim’s (May 11, 2012) | Olympus PEN E-P2, 25mm, 1/125, f1.4, ISO 1000

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OFF!, Slim’s (May 11, 2012) | Olympus PEN E-P2, 25mm, 1/125, f1.4, ISO 1000

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Spider Fever, Slim’s (May 11, 2012) | Canon 60D, 24mm, 1/40, f2.8, ISO 1250

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Spider Fever, Slim’s (May 11, 2012) | Olympus PEN E-P2, 25mm, 1/125, f1.4, ISO 1000

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Spider Fever, Slim’s (May 11, 2012) | Olympus PEN E-P2, 25mm, 1/125, f1.4, ISO 1250

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Fidlar, Slim’s (May 11, 2012) | Olympus PEN E-P2, 25mm, 1/125, f1.4, ISO 1000

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Fidlar, Slim’s (May 11, 2012) | Canon 60D, 24mm, 1/60, f2.8, ISO 1600

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Fidlar, Slim’s (May 11, 2012) | Canon 60D, 24mm, 1/60, f2.8, ISO 1600

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OFF!, Amoeba Berkeley (May 12, 2012) | Canon 5D, 24mm, 1/100, f4, ISO 1250

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OFF!, Amoeba Berkeley (May 12, 2012) | Canon 5D, 24mm, 1/100, f4, ISO 1250

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OFF!, Amoeba Berkeley (May 12, 2012) | Canon 5D, 85mm, 1/80, f4, ISO 1250

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OFF!, Amoeba Berkeley (May 12, 2012) | Canon 5D, 105mm, 1/100, f4, ISO 1250

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OFF!, Amoeba Berkeley (May 12, 2012) | Canon 5D, 24mm, 1/100, f4, ISO 1250

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OFF!, Amoeba Berkeley (May 12, 2012) | Canon 5D, 24mm, 1/100, f4, ISO 1250

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OFF!, Amoeba Berkeley (May 12, 2012) | Canon 5D, 90mm, 1/100, f4, ISO 1250

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OFF!, Amoeba Berkeley (May 12, 2012) | Canon 5D, 24mm, 1/100, f4, ISO 1250

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OFF!, Amoeba Berkeley (May 12, 2012) | Canon 5D, 24mm, 1/100, f4, ISO 1250

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OFF!, Amoeba Berkeley (May 12, 2012) | Canon 5D, 90mm, 1/100, f4, ISO 1250

Canon 60D, 24mm, 1/80, f2.8, ISO 2500

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