The year started out typically enough. But the way it began and how it’s ending are startlingly different. By the end of March, so many plans and hopes were dashed that now, as we race toward 2020’s conclusion, many of us feel they may never be realized.
Like so many others in this Year of Covid, I’ve had a chance to reflect, reassess, and reset for the coming year, sorting out what is, and isn’t, important. I enjoy photographing people, whether it be portraiture, cultural documentation, or musical performance. As a photographer, I strive to become invisible and capture moments as they are, not as I or the subject, would like them to be. Although photographing live music has been challenging as of late, I’ve been afforded the luxury of time to go through my archives and, as a result, have made a belated but important discovery: the final image must also render the photographer invisible.
Near Northeast performs at Comet Ping Pong on Jan. 9, 2020. (Photo by Mark Caicedo)
Watching and hearing Near Northeast’s evolution has been a wonderful musical journey. Since 2016, when I first became acquainted with this DC-based quartet, I’ve become a devoted fan of their extraordinarily crafted music.
Sarah Shook fronts The Disarmers at Pearl Street Warehouse on Sept. 12, 2018. Mark Caicedo chose a picture from this show (but not this one) as one of his Top 10 of 2018. (Photo by Mark Caicedo)
Editor’s Note: This year, we asked our bloggers to name their Top 10 shows of 2018 or choose their Top 10 photos of the year. We will run them over the course of mid-December as our Best of the Year posts.
Women have long been major influences in music history, going back to the jazz greats like Nina Simone Billie Holiday, and Ella Fitzgerald; through country legends Patsy Cline, Loretta Lynn, and Dolly; pop icons like Bette Midler, Madonna, and Cyndi Lauper; and the rock and blues greats Janis Joplin, Joan Jett, Deborah Harry and Chrissie Hynde.
Today, while female musicians like Beyonce, Lady Gaga, Pink, and Adele continue to break boundaries, local and regional bands feature women whose talent, drive and influence is just as powerful as the superstars.
My Top 10 concert photos of the year salute 2018 as the Year of Women.
Alejandro Castaño performs as The Red Fetish at Capital Fringe on Jan. 20, 2017. (Photo by Mark Caicedo)
The Basque word “etxe” means “domicile” or “shelter.” For eight recording artists, many of them based in DC, Etxe Records is home to a diverse musical family. Celebrating its 10th anniversary in 2018, Etxe (pronounced et-CHAY) released “Etxe Records at 10 Years: A Compilation.” And to mark the occasion, Capital Fringe hosted a 10th anniversary showcase concert on Jan. 20, featuring The Red Fetish, Silo Halo, Near Northeast, and Teething Veils.
Etxe Records, named for the word for “shelter” or “home” in Basque, celebrates its 10th anniversary in 2018. To mark the occasion, the label released Etxe Records at 10 Years: A Compilation on Thursday, Jan. 18. Bands from Etxe Records also will perform in a Etxe Records 10th Anniversary Showcase at Capital Fringe (Logan Fringe Arts Space, 1358 Florida Ave. NE, DC) on Saturday, Jan. 20.
To explore the label and its bands in its 10th year, Parklife DC chatted via email with Chris Goett of Silo Halo and Avy Mallik of Near Northeast, the first of whom also is a co-founder of Etxe Records. Near Northeast and Silo Halo will be joined by fellow labelmates The Red Fetish and Teething Veils for the anniversary showcase concert.
I can safely say that all the concerts I attended in 2017 exceeded my expectations, but of course I say that about all live music. I was fortunate to photograph over 80 shows in 2017, from artists both well known to those just starting out. I’m truly inspired watching these talented musicians and their courage in getting up on a stage to lay their souls bare. Or as the L.A. Times’ David Ackert so eloquently put it, “…musicians and singers are willing to give their entire lives to a moment — to that melody, that lyric, that chord, or that interpretation that will stir the audience’s soul.” Continue Reading
Near Northeast performs at Songbyrd Music House on Oct. 8, 2017. (Photo by Mark Caicedo)
October’s first weekend was a frantic one for Near Northeast. On Saturday, the band performed at Porchfest in Adams Morgan, then loaded up their gear for a quick trip to Norfolk, Virginia, for a secret SoFar show. Then it was back up to the District to support headliner Sam Amidon at the Songbyrd Music House Sunday.
The quartet, named for the D.C. neighborhood where it originated, takes its work and art seriously: relentlessly performing whenever and wherever a gig is to be had.