This is the place to view some of my concert photos, and to start: Mekons

This blog is named after the song by the Mekons, because this is where *I* was, when I was taking these photographs that will be displayed on this blog. For more details on where I was, on certain dates, in the past, go here:

“Where Was I?” I was here, on these dates: [ongoing]

If you do not know the music of The Mekons, you should take the time to get to know some.  Varied, is the best description of their long career.

None other than the late Lester Bangs, the late, great American rock critic, was an early champion [see here]:

http://www.furious.com/perfect/mekons-bangs.html

And, if you liked that short piece, there are plenty more of Mr. Bangs’ observations found here:

http://www.rocksbackpages.com/Library/Writer/lester-bangs/

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I had written a lengthy piece on my original blog, concerning these photos, before it was taken down [on another site], and I did not take the precaution of saving those thoughts, so, I could not edit them onto this page/post, making this page not so “thoughtful”….. but, I will remedy that some time in the near-future!

A good place for some info on the band, and their many side-projects can be found here:

http://www.mekons.de/mekonhom.htm

And keep your eyes out for the documentary on the band, which is now completed:

http://www.mekonsmovie.com/Revenge_of_the_Mekons/HOME.html

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Now that the movie has been released [three years after I first posted this collection of photos], here are a few links related to reviews on the film, itself:

From the Rotten Tomatoes site:

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To show some “balance”, your typical “entertainment-based” review is found here >_<

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From a far more nuanced review…

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From a theatre website with a smattering of blurbs on the film, as well as an audio link for an interview with the director:

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I suppose some may be interested to read this short “review” of the group by another polarizing American rock critic, Robert Christgau:

http://www.robertchristgau.com/xg/cdrev/mekons-11.php

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The link to the Mekons Facebook page [Thanks for mentioning these photos!]:

https://www.facebook.com/mekons

A recent post from another WordPress blogger worth your reading time:

http://sensemadehere.wordpress.com/2014/11/12/open-up-doors-and-rooms-appear-like-magic/

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And, from a recent review of their 2015 tour of North America, which is pretty “spot-on” as to what their shows can be like:

http://www.thepaleodrummer.com/2015/07/it-looks-like-accident-live-review.html

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Wish it were possible to have attended, but, I’m s-o-o far away from such activities, these days…..

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As far as the pictures are concerned, here are some technical details:

All of the negatives and slides were digitally scanned, using a Canoscan FS4000US, at an average of 2000 dpi per image.  They were then minimally cleaned up and edited, using Photoshop.  This is why I refer to them as “proofs” of the negatives, because I will later determine which ones to scan at a larger bit-rate, and spend the extra time and care on the retouching or editing of, as I have nearly 15 years of concerts to go through, in this manner.

I sincerely hope that you like what you see here, whether it is because you already like the performers, or, at least that you judge the images worthwhile, based on their own merits.

Enjoy!

michael

Love the fact that after having a few, in tandem with the band, that my decision to play with the exposures and shutter speed would yield some fun results. Probably taken during “Hard to be Human”, or another from “Fear and Whiskey”, as best I can recall. Surprised I could contain myself, actually…… From the Club DV8 show, in San Francisco, Ca June 27, 1986

An acoustic in-store appearance [minus the drummer, Steve Goulding], which yielded a few nice photos. They required a lot of work, with the back-lighting, but have their charms. Taken at Reckless Records, on the afternoon of June 27, 1986, to the best of my recollection.

Nice moment captured, once again without using a flash, as the lighting was very good, for the most part, on this night. Live at the I-Beam, in SF, May 4, 1987.

Early on, from the show at the I-Beam, in SF, May 4, 1987. Had to stay on the left side of the stage for the duration. Experience taught me to use this side for taking photos, most of the time — if I was lucky enough to get an early spot to claim as my own…

Another shot from the Berkeley Square show, Berkeley, California, May 6, 1987. No need for flash, thank you!

Again, good lighting meant I did not have to use a flash here. At the I-Beam, SF May 4, 1987

The band in motion again, but this time, Kevin Lycett is helming the main vocals. From the Club DV8 show, from June 27, 1986, in San Francisco, California

 

Mr. Langford about to inform the audience of some matter or another, between songs. Note the “Nuke Reagan” sticker! This will date the picture somewhat, but how much has really changed in the meantime? From the I-Beam, SF on May 4, 1987

An image I think works, in spite of the back-lighting coming through so strongly. I decided to take the black & white image and make it a sepia-tone image, essentially, but I feel that it works. From the Club DV8 performance, of June 27, 1986

Another image of Ms. Honeyman that I am fond of, this time in color. It is nicely framed; abundant in color; and full of small details – like her hair, and the antique mirror in the background… From the show at Club DV8, in SF, June 27, 1986

A good portion of the band, more or less in frame, for a moment…. From the Club DV8 show, in San Francisco, June 27, 1986

Another image of Mr. Goulding supplying the rhythm that is the glue of the band… From the Berkeley Square, Berkeley, Ca May 6, 1987

 

Nice image of one of the founding members of the band, who rarely tours with them any longer. Nice guy as well: gave me a “Honky Tonkin’ with the Mekons” cap that I still have, in return for a stack of cassettes for them to play on the road…. Live at the I-Beam, SF May 4, 1987

Ms. Honeyman in the shadows, but I really like this image, in spite of its graininess… at the Berkeley Square, Berkeley Ca May 6, 1987

Live at the I-Beam, San Francisco, May 4, 1987, featuring Ms. Sally Timms and Tom Greenhalgh

Jon Langford drawing your attention, as he naturally does… In this case, emphasizing a point for the audience. No flash, as I always preferred it. Live from Club DV8, in San Francisco, June 27, 1986

Sally Timms, in the corner, and Tom Greenhalgh seem to be enjoying themselves as the band get going…. at the I-Beam, in San Francisco, May 4, 1987

Choice moment, trying to angle between the mic stands, captures a grin, and I thought I’d treat it a bit with color, as the image had a bit of a wash in the faces…. From the Club DV8 show, in San Francisco, June 27, 1986

Ms. Sally Timms in the spotlight, while Ms. Susan Honeyman plays her part in the background. Nice lighting meant no need to use a flash again, thank goodness. Live at the Berkeley Square, Berkeley, Ca May 6, 1987

The rhythm section of the band are featured here, from the Berkeley Square show, Berkeley, California, on the second of dates in the Bay Area, from this tour. May 6, 1987

The “quiet one” of the band, whose contribution has been an essential element of the band for some time now. No flash necessary here, and all the better for it, as the lighting and framing work very well together here. Live from Club DV8, SF on June 27, 1986

Mr. Goulding keeps the whole sound on track, having had extensive experience backing Graham Parker, as a member of The Rumour….. From Club DV8, in SF, June 27, 1986

A black & white snapshot that was taken with a bit of time-lapse exposure in mind…retouched just a bit. Live from Club DV8, in San Francisco, June 27, 1986

Live from Club DV8, in San Francisco, June 27, 1986

Live at the I-Beam, in San Francisco, May 4, 1987. Good lighting helped with this moment.

NOTE:  A FEW WORDS ABOUT THE WATERMARKS ON MY WORK

While many of you who arrive here, to look at these photographs may get turned off to my use of watermarks [thinking they ruin the image], let me explain why I choose to do this.

No one paid for my camera equipment but me. No one paid for the film I used to take these photographs.  On occasion, when I free-lanced for a free monthly newsletter, and they published a photo of mine, the payment for each photograph barely paid for the fuel to get my vehicle to the show [when I *did* have a vehicle], and the film I used on that night. 

Not too many of my photos were published, at the time, because the artists I chose to capture images of, were not hugely popular then.  Hence, the old dictum, “Supply and Demand”; I had the supply, but the demand [pre-Internet], was not there. You can argue the relative merits of the quality of my work, and that is precisely what a blog offers:  a venue for discussion.

Back to the watermarks: no one is subsidizing my time to scan and then clean up the images I am presenting here. Start to finish, each negative will take approximately an hour-and-a-half to reach “proof” quality – which is what you will see here.  This is my labor of love, and until there is some measurable return on my efforts, what you see is what you get.

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One response to “This is the place to view some of my concert photos, and to start: Mekons

  1. Pingback: The Three Johns, at The I-Beam, San Francisco [May 5, 1986] | michaelconen "where were you?"·

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