Tuesday, February 02, 2010

Five More Shots from Deep South 09

Deep South was 2009's megatrip, a nearly two-week road odyssey through SC, GA, AL, MS, LA, and even DC and MD. The purpose was, as it always is, to shoot photos while gathering stories and knowledge. We always strike gold, and we never use GPS.

Click any photo to see it on Flickr.

Gone Fishin', Death Beach, Biloxi, Miss. (DH09/DS09)

Fish, Death Beach, Biloxi, Miss. (DS09)

George Wallace Tunnel, Mobile, Ala. (DS09)

Saturday Morning Warning, Laura S. Walker State Park, Waycross, Ga. (DS09)

Papa's Bar-B-Que, Savannah, Ga. (DS09)

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Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Real Hephzibah People, Take Two, Hephzibah, Ga. (DS09/DH09)

As soon as I saw a town called Hephzibah on the map, I wanted to go there. It was kind of on the way from Augusta to Savannah, so we stopped at the one gas station in town to take on fuel. One couple was making out at the c-store, the boy seated on the curb and his young lady leaning over him. Next to the gas station was a brilliantly painted wood and cinder block restaurant, THE BURGER SHACK, desolate and bathing in the moonlight and the weak fluorescence emanating from the gas station.

I tried shooting the shack with two or three different lenses, and I wasn't getting it right. Of my three companions, at least two were already in the air-conditioned car and itching to go. It was just before ten, and the drive was going to take over two hours. We thought that our chances of drinking in Savannah were just about to die in this lonely country town.

Just as I was about to walk back to the car with my camera bag, I heard an engine revving up in the unlit, adjoining parking lot. Suddenly, a Dodge pickup came tearing out of the darkness, directly at me, with just its parking lights on. Meade's eyes registered the fast-approaching truck. Being from Queens, we thought we were in for some type of altercation, a good ol' street standoff.

The truck screeched to a stop about ten yards from us. A voice came from the blackness behind the wheel of the pickup: "Y'all take a picture of us!"

Out stepped three teenage Hephzibans into one of my favorite shots of Deep South 2009, Real Hephzibah People:

We chatted with these kids for a while. They were kind of shocked by our ambitious roadtrip plans; none of them got out of town often. They were just whiling away this hot, humid, late spring Thursday night in the Family Dollar parking lot. Meade and I brought them over to our vehicle to introduce everyone.

There were two girls and a boy. I've forgotten two out of three names, but the girl pictured at the top of the post was named Savannah.

"Y'all be careful, especially in the city," she said just before we shipped off. "People are crazy out there."

We got to Savannah after midnight but stayed up til 3 or 4. A couple nights later, when we made a late-night fuel stop deep in the Florida panhandle, and almost a dozen teens were found in and around the gas station, it just made sense.

Cross-posted to Flickr.

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Tuesday, January 19, 2010

INFRATOUR: Will it happen this summer?

FACT: The band will have by next month 11 original songs.
FACT: The live show rocks.
FACT: Dan Meade and Rob Bellinger are professional roadtrippers.
FACT: We know people all over America.
FACT: We want to play American music for them.
FACT: We can afford to do so.

So what's to stop us?

Do you have any suggestions for additions or deletions to the map...or venues where our sound would go over well? Please comment below.

View INFRAtour `10 in a larger map

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Sunday, January 03, 2010

Snow's BBQ, Lexington, Texas: 2009 Visit

Snow's serves the best barbecue in Texas, as judged by Texas Monthly (not the New Yorker). The Manic American team visits Snow's every December to have brisket for breakfast and check in with the crew.

Please check out the photos from this year's visit on Flickr. Here are my three favorites:

Tootsie Tomanetz, Pitmaster

Brisket, Pork Shoulder, Jalapeno, Sauce

Owner Kerry Bexley Explaining His Art

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Saturday, December 05, 2009

Twelve Shots from Day Two of Deep South 09

When it comes to photography, the B-roll is more important than you might think. They might not be the best shots, but B-roll photos are the journal--my journal--of my endless travels throughout North America. Here are some shots from Deep South 09, Day 2 of 12, that are important to me. Seeing these images jogs my memories of rolling through north Georgia and southern South Carolina; once jogged, my mind will deliver the minutest memories.

Full set on Flickr.

Next, I think I will post the photos (some A-list) from the Brothers' trip to Austin in May 08, in preparation for ABBQII next weekend.

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Sunday, October 25, 2009

Escape to San Diego, 2008, Part I: The Coast

I am a manic American. When I tire of America, I escape into America. My brain tells me to go somewhere, and I go. I am a slave to the landscape, less so to the people. I photograph everything. I also write about what I see, in little spiral notebooks and blog posts and lyrics, and set the lyrics to music, and play the songs in rock clubs. This is how I live.

A year ago, I grew very tired of whatever I had been doing. I decided to engage some temporary manifest destiny and go west. Thanks to the graciousness of my host, I was able to explore San Diego and its vast desert backyard. This is what I saw.

I found this guy hard at work in Pacific Beach. Somehow, seeing him made having the day off even more awesome.

Arrival at the beach, Wednesday morning. A welcome sight to a denizen of the miserable northeast.

Get down tonite!

Looks like I started writing the lyrics for the INFRASTRUCTURE song "Republic, Michigan" while having a burger for lunch at this Irish pub. We just played the song for the first time at Harper's Ferry two weeks ago.


Car window sunset.

Ocean Beach street scene.

That's me, yo. I'm about to ascend Iron Mountain in 95° weather. Iron Mountain is in Poway, northeast of San Diego.

The summit.

You can see the entire San Diego skyline from Iron Mountain's peak.

Looking away from the city, you can see a big cross erected among the rocks.

This is what doing homework at San Diego State looks like. I read an entire noir novel on the beach the first day, Kenneth Fearing's The Big Clock. Tremendously impressive. I wish I'd been aware of it when I taught my literary noir course at Tufts.

The military industrial complex is a huge part of the San Diego economy.

San Diego lifeguard.

San Diego FD.

Friday evening, Mission Beach.

Green house, Mission Beach.

These four Hispanic guys were working their asses off in ninety degree weather, while frat parties began to rage and vacationers whizzed by on beach cruisers. They were covered from head to toe in sun-blocking gear.


Part II: The Desert, soon.

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Wednesday, September 02, 2009

Two Photos for Wednesday Morning:

1. Dignity Hunt XX: Late Lunch in Morehead City.

2. Under the Boardwalk, Surf City, NC.

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Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Icon of the American Roadside, Exit 34, Gulfport, Ms. (DS09)

The title should really be "Wafflehawks." The full size photo is amazing in that it captures so much detail inside the restaurant. But if I post that, assholes will steal it and post it on their blogs--or, worse, news websites--and not credit me or even ask permission.

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Thursday, July 02, 2009

Biloxi Death Beach Triptych, Frame One: The Nap

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Biloxi Death Beach Triptych, Frame Two: After the Fall

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Biloxi Death Beach Triptych, Frame Three: Resurrection

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Thursday, June 18, 2009

Savannah, 3 a.m. ("Youthful and Exuberant") (DS09/DH09)

All four of us retired to the hotel, but Dan and I knew that there was still life outside, so we took to the streets at about 2:30. We got into town at about 12:30 and expected nothing to be going on. We were happy to be wrong.

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Real Hephzibah People, Hephzibah, Ga. (DS09/DH09)

We found gas stations to be popular teenage hangouts throughout the rural south, much like delis are popular hangouts in Queens.

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Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Abandoned Catfish Stand, McCormack, S.C. (DS09)

I have no strategy for posting or exhibiting Deep South photographs. When I shot the Upper Peninsula last year, I said I'd use photos to tell the story of the trip. I posted 248, but still haven't finished. I also don't think that anyone cared.

Working from the 2300+ film and digital images I shot in the Deep South, I'm just going to post images that speak to me. I hope you (pl) enjoy some of them.

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