Journalism pay is crap. As journalists, we work long hours, grind out work we can be proud of, and more often than not, there's always someone that hates what we do. None of these things are secrets. However, there are reasons I love what I do. Every day is something different and new. My job doesn't start at 9am or end at 5pm; my hours depend on what I may be working on. Some weeks I work right around 40 hours, other weeks I'm reporting or writing or taking photos later than usual, and I'll be on the job for almost 60 hours. I actually prefer the longer hours because it typically means I'm working on something I'm excited about. This profession also enables me to meet new and exciting or unique or troublesome people. You never know which it will be. And, lastly, you see the results of your work. They show up on websites or in print and you can point to it and say, "Yeah, I did that, that's my name right there." It's fulfilling in that way.
What exactly does any of that have to do with two pictures of concerts? Occasionally there are perks. Travel, swag, event access, etc. And, for instance, one of the perks of working for an Alt. Weekly is that a big part of its coverage has to do with happenings around whatever town it covers. And music is a major one of those happenings. And because venues know we cover their stuff, they thank us by providing tickets to shows and events and whatever else. Which is how I ended up with three consecutive, amazing days of music in early October: Local Natives (top left), LCD Soundsystem (top right), and Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zer0s (video below).
Each show was passing through Houston on its way to Austin for a huge yearly show, ACL. I got to see some of the biggest name bands for the festival, without having to endure the heat, the lack of sanitation or the long, soul-sucking days that do come with those settings (they can be fun, I know). I was a fan of each of the bands before I went to see them. It'd been a while since I'd last attended a live show, and in that time, I had managed to forget why I ever enjoyed them. Between Local Natives' energy, LCD Soundsystems' unique light-strobe presentation and unconventional vocalist (James Murphy), and the free-love, hippydom of the Edward Sharpe audience, I've been reawakened to my enjoyment of attending concerts.
For your viewing pleasure, below is a brief video of Edward Sharpe vocalist Alex Ebert's I'm-trapped-in-a-box-and-must-get-out dance moves. As if the hairdo and attire weren't enough, the dance moves seriously odd. And entertaining. The moves start up at 0:22 and he seems fit for a straight-jacket right around 0:38. (NOTE: Apologies for the poor sound quality; it was recorded on a little point-and-shoot Canon.)