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7 Lessons Anyone [YOU] Can Learn from Macklemore & Ryan Lewis

macklemore grammysThe Grammys are a usually a lovely nightcap to the previous year’s music. Some celebration, some tension, a little drama and some nice performances. And whether or not you agree with where the Grammy Committee’s voting ended up in any category – one thing is for sure: 4 Grammy’s from Macklemore & Ryan Lewis – who to this day are not signed to a record label – is impressive. And perhaps what’s more impressive IMHO is that they built their success on their own ethos, according to their own plan, from when there were no “opportunities” coming at them from every direction.

Am I biased because I’ve known these cats for a while…Yes. Probably. (disclosure they played #chasejarvisLIVE in 2011 and first performed some of the tracks a capella at a little dinner party at my studio ) Yes, they are they wildly talented (Ryan’s actually a great photographer too), but IMHO that’s not what made their meteoric rise to 15x platinum and 4 Grammys possible. What made it possible was certainly some real talent BUT it’s also a handful of things they know that YOU can begin applying to your life/career/passion right now. Here’s 7 things:

1. Freedom is More Important Than Money
Sure having some baseline amount of money is helpful, but there is no denying that the freedom to say what you want through your art, to call your own shots and control your own destiny is supreme. Had M&RL not kept their independence (and the key it to keep it gracefully – no need to be an ass…), they’d be nowhere near the success that they are today. Releasing a single about marriage equality on a hip-hop album? The “label” would never have “permitted” such a thing if they weren’t independant. So whose ass are you kissing right now that you shouldn’t be? I’m banking that if you kept your freedom (and kept it positive -i’m not talking about being a grump) that the rest will follow. And this isn’t just about money really either…I’m talking about all the upside.

I’m guessing that there are decisions you could be making to keep your ability to be nimble – to play to the beat of your own drum…to scratch your own itch (even if that itch is being in the service of others). Follow those freedoms, not the other stuff.

2. Setbacks are Temporary
When I first met Ben in 2009 he was living in his parents basement having just come out of rehab. He had found some local success with an earlier, locally released EP but soon found himself resting on his (albeit local) laurels, only to find that he was hitting the peace pipe and drinking cough syrup instead of diving into his work. He’s said on lots of occasions how low he felt – that he might never be able to make music again, but that he would give it everything he had with a fresh outlook on life. He found Ryan and boom. If you’re like me, there are setbacks everywhere. They never end. It might take living in your parent’s basement to realize your dreams. It always feels like I’m moving 2 steps forward and 1 (or sometimes 2) steps back. Shed the voices in your head that are keeping you down. Setbacks are temporary. They are meant to keep everybody else out, not you. The breakthroughs happen just when you think your at the end of the line. Trust M&RL on this one.

chase jarvis macklemore and ryan lewis3. Only YOU Are in Charge of Your Personal Brand
I remember when I realized HOW in touch Ben & Ryan were with their brand M&RL when the emailed me one day asking if I had a RED camera they could borrow to shoot their next video video. They’d had some good vids to date, but they wanted creative control – they know how they wanted their creative vision realized and they wanted to own it front to back. That was for the video shoot of Thrift Shop. Seems like they…um…pretty much nailed it (487 MILLION views and counting….). That they had a)the desire; b) the balls to go for their vision says it all. Throw in the fact that they put their physical CD is a box made of alligator leather for god’s sake and you get the point.

What are you doing to make your brand different – not better? I bet you can think of 5 things in the next 5 minutes that helps your brand stand out from the noise. When you finish that list, nail it to your bedroom wall and reference it often.

4. Have a Point of View
In a world of mass messaging, right and left points of view, and chest thumping me-ism, I see so many artists who are reluctant to let their true colors shine. They’re worried that having a point of view might alienate a subset of fans or followers. Well, that’s bullshit. Because the only reason you’d want fans and followers is to genuinely connect with a community of like minded people – connect your authentic self with theirs. Referencing #1 above – you think it didn’t take balls to stand up for a belief in marriage equality amidst the typical hiphop anti-gay mindset? Sure it took balls, but that’s wht M&RL believe and so they found it a perfect thing to write about – with confidence. I spoke to them about it here. THAT is called having a point of view.

I’m guessing there’s a few things in your world (I know there are in mine…) that you’ve been scared to put out there. Dimes to donuts that this thing you’re holding inside will be a huge benefit when you get out of your own way and share that thing, own that thing, have a point of view. The people that will care about that thing are the people you’ll want to connect with anyone. So what are you waiting for?

chase jarvis ryan lewis cjlive macklemore5. Collaborating with Your Friends is a Good Thing – surround yourself with good people
When M&RL put out The Heist, they made it local. They made it with their friends. The solo’s and featured artists on their album? Almost entirely local talent…friends, people they admired, and by and large people without name recognition. But that didn’t matter – they made their album and their art with their circle of friends. Their tour and merch manager Tricia is Mack’s fiancé. Why chase the party when you can make your own.

So instead of waiting around to collaborate with Bono – why don’t you collaborate with your best friend, your makeup artist pal, your uber-talented homie from around the way. Again, why chase the party when you can make your own?

6. Don’t Let Them Put You in a Box
When I first heard Ben’s rap – it put me off balance. “Whoa – this is different” I thought. Which is part of why it works. I noticed it. Throw in Ryan’s beats and the whole thing goes to a different level where your brain doesn’t quite know which box to put that in… Our brains are pattern recognizers – which is why when you don’t fit into a typical pattern you STAND OUT. One Grammy committee almost didn’t let their music be classified as Rap – they wanted it filed under Pop. It caused controversy. But it didn’t matter. Ultimately it got the rap nod and then…lo and behold…claimed Best Rap Album and Best Rap song, Best Rap performance. They just made music they wanted to make and then let the world comment on it. The rest took care of itself.

So many creatives have spent too much time studying their peers our neighbors and reading the rule books written by others. Here’s a little secret – those people who wrote the rule books did so to keep you out. Break those rules, ditch that box as best you can.

7. Community is King
In their Grammy acceptance speech, Ben opens with [paraphrase] “Wow, we’re on this stage…And we could never have been on this stage without our fans.” This is true for the Grammys, but it’s also true for life. M&RL have connected with their audience in a way that I’ve rarely seen in this age of pop culture. It’s authentic, it’s humble, and it’s hard working.

The same can be said for your approach. I’ve said it here and here before: Things don’t make things happen, people do.  The world of achieving career success is a world where community is front and center – whether you’re building your own business as an independent artist or you’re making a dent from within the machine of a bigger company.  Your friends, supporters, fans, network – however you define it – is a huge is a requirement to unlock your future. What are you doing to build your community? In what ways are you giving back and asking for nothing in return? Don’t just reach up…be sure to reach sideways and down as often as you can muster.

Much respect to M&RL. Now I recommend we all get back to work at tackling our dreams.

chase jarvis macklemore ryan lewis

[NEW] Free Music Downloads from chasejarvisLIVE bands

chasejarvis_mygoodnessI’ve heard through your shout-outs + tweets + views + comments n such that most of you love what we’re doing with music on #cjLIVE. Those of you who pay attention to the show might have noticed that we have been on a bit of a hot streak with new music over the past couple of years. Here’s a few of my fav highlights from the very earliest moments of these now well-known musicians:

_Macklemore & Ryan Lewis brought down the #cjLIVE house before you knew their name with tracks from their 10 million singles sold + independent platinum album The Heist such as “Can’t Hold Us”

_The Lumineers delivered a gorgeous version of their platinum hit “Ho Hey” 6 months before it was a hit.

_We Are Augustines rocked the studio with a series of live sets from “Rise Ye Sunken Ships.” and kicked off a worldwide tour with sold out dates across the US and Europe.

_Reignwolf melted our faces with a crushing performance “Bicycle” as part of our special Capitol Hill Block Party episode. Now he’s on fire too…

For years I’ve heard – ‘hey chase = why don’t you start a music label’… And truth be told, I thought about it for about a quarter of a hot second and then remembered that the music business is a gnarly business and…oh yeah…I’m a photographer. Duh. BUT… that doesn’t keep us from continuing to collaborate with emerging bands to highlight and distribute their music. So, while we’ve been all YouTube and uStream distribution to date, we are happy and proud to announce we will now be offering free downloads of some of this amazing music. First up in this endeavor is –MY GOODNESS– where we are offering downloads of their tracks filmed on our show, direct to you….Their performance on cjLIVE is here in video form, but now you can also download all these My Goodness audio tracks on SoundCloud FOR FREE. Please enjoy – go grab a track and share w your friends – it’s an amazing summer rock album.

Our plans include doing more of this in the future. Hope you dig it and thanks for being a part of our own little tiny #NoLabel movement.

my goodness chase jarvis

addendum for the music lovers….

Collaborating with these musicians and others has always been one of my favorite parts of the gig – exploring new music and sharing it with my friends. Little known fact: Macklemore first performed “Wings,” formerly known as “Air Jordans”, in my studio as a part of my Songs For Eating and Drinking underground series… The project is on hold right now, but the music and vids are still out there online. Check it.

Happy Friday: Some New Music + Fresh Visuals

If you’re a regular here, you’ll know exactly want I mean when I say please enjoy some new SFEAD vids here on this lovely Friday, skip the next paragraph and head straight to the music.

If you’ve not been around for a while then you should know I’m passionate about music. And you’ll want to know (or be reminded) that SFEAD stands for Song For Eating And Drinking, a project I created with my pal Michael Hebb, where we invite world class musicians to a huge dinner table in a remarkable setting, we feed them well, we encourage them to sing songs to one another, and then we record these songs–video, stills, and audio–to share them with you and the rest of the world online. It’s about music, art, food and new media. See the most intimate side of some of your favorite musicians from huge bands like Pearl Jam and The Dandy Warhols and discover new music from emerging bands like Head Like a Kite, Blue Scholars, The Dutchess & The Duke and dozens more.

These tracks are from a recent SFEAD evening… above is from emerging artist the Pica Beats. Catch my stills from the recent evening, visit the SFEAD site, or after the jump catch 3 videos…Steve Turner from Mudhoney, John Roderick from The Long Winters, and Peter Holmstrom from The Dandy Warhols playing his side project Pete International Airport with Jason Adams [click the ‘continue reading’ link below…]

Related Posts:
[Brand New Songs For Eating and Drinking!]
[Songs for Eating and Drinking on the Boob Tube]
[Songs for Eating and Drinking #2.0 – Hip Hop]
[Songs for Eating and Drinking – Arthur & Yu]
[Stone Gossard of Pearl Jam, Songs For Eating And Drinking]
[The official Songs for Eating and Drinking site]

Get my every move: Follow Chase Jarvis on Twitter
Get exclusive content: Become a Fan on Facebook

Brand New Songs For Eating And Drinking!

In our most amazing Songs For Eating and Drinking evening to date (they keep getting better, but maybe that’s just my bias…), my partner Hebb and I today bow down to the greatness of these musicians. And what a lineup we had… The splendor of this night a couple Wednesday’s ago – the hottest day in Seattle’s history – will be forever burned into my beanie little brain. Sample of the bands represented on this evening:

The Blakes, The Dandy Warhols, Mudhoney, Throw Me The Statue, The Long Winters, The Pica Beats, Rocky Votolato, Say Hi, David Bazan, Sarah Cahoone, Pete International Airport, The Dutchess & The Duke, The Moondoggies.

I’m leaving all four of these performances above the jump in hopes that you’ll check them all out. #3.1 above, Rocky Votolato – wow wow. #3.2 David Bazan (now himself, former lead of Pedro the Lion) – one of the most arresting performer’s I’ve ever seen live. #3.3 Throw Me The Statue – these guys will go huge, I’ll bet a limb. #3.4 Mudhoney – the seminal grunge band is back, and seriously better than ever. Here they’re plugged in as we eat desert at 1am on the rooftop deck. Holy smokes…

And don’t forget: links to these performers on iTunes, 6 or 7 of my favorite stills after the jump [AND 100 more at this gallery here. Please check them out.]

[please click the ‘continue reading’ link below…]

The epic John Roderick of The Long Winters:

Peter Holmstrom of The Dandy Warhols and Pete International Airport

David Bazan as himself. Formerly Pedro the Lion.

Kevin from the Moondoggies:

Kimberly Morrison of The Dutchess and The Duke.

Mark Arm. Mudhoney:


Buy music from these performers via iTunes.

Rock Votolato
David Bazan
Throw Me The Statue

Last reminder…100 more stills at this gallery here. Check ‘em!

Get my every move: Follow Chase Jarvis on Twitter
Get exclusive content: Become a Fan on Facebook

Viva La France! Prix De La Photography Paris Winners

Major props to the overall winners of the prestigious Prix De La Photographie Paris prize: Erwin Olaf for staking claim to the Photographer of the Year title, and also to Annett Reimer for owning up to Best New Talent. I highly encourage popping over to the Px# site for a through the honorable mentions if you have a chance. Plenty to oogle.

And I’ll try not break my arm from patting myself on the back here, but I wanted to say how honored and grateful I am to “the people” for having awarded me 1st Prize in the People’s Choice music category. Winning images were from my Songs For Eating and Drinking series…the selection of submitted pics after the jump. Thank you thank you!

[And if you’re doubting the power of Twitter, I actually found out I’d won in my Twitter stream (following me? @chasejarvis) before hearing from anybody at Px3. Thanks @m_hagedorn!]
[Above image by Erwin Olaf.]


Songs For Eating And Drinking on The Boob Tube

Psyched (and happily surprised) that our Songs for Eating and Drinking project was deemed worthy of a 30 minute television special last week. Sample it here or if you prefer the boob tube, it runs several more times this month on The Local Music Show with John Richards (The Seattle Channel – cable 21) at 8:30pm on Thursdays and some other late night slots too. With any luck, this sucker is going global. Booyah-kashah.

Songs For Eating and Drinking #2.0 – Hip Hop

You know the Songs for Eating and Drinking project I’ve got going with my buddy Hebb. (If not, check here.)

Long story short, we followed up our foiled attempt to get to our Portland S.F.E.A.D two weeks ago, with a night I’ll never forget. Last Saturday, after a year in the making and some gracious help from our beloved Sabzi, we were able to briefly unite Seattle’s once-underground-but-now-erupting hip-hop community–at a dinner table set for 50–for a humble evening of lamb stew, a French red, and a tidal wave of raw and intimate performances. I was awestruck. The Seattle paper, The Stranger, wrote:

“Last week I saw something incredible. Jake One, DV One, Tha Stahi Bros, Fatal Lucciauno, Spaceman, the Saturday Knights, Grayskul, Cancer Rising, Nite Owls, J.Pinder, Dyme Def, GMK, Blue Scholars, Grynch, Macklemore, Common Market, Piece, the Physics, Mad Rad, and others all sat in a room, ate a crackin’-ass dinner, drank like fuckin’ fish, and gave a series of short, intimate, straight-up-thrilling performances. It was definitely one of the favorite experiences I’ve had since being involved in music—and this is coming from someone who got to fucking meet Marvin Gaye…”

With 4 HD video cameras rolling, 10 channels of audio into the board, Nikon digis ripping frames at high ISO, and an old Hasselblad winding through some Delta 3200, we shared in the evening and captured the evening to share it. And we will continue pour it out for the coming weeks.

Enjoy the a-capella performance above delivered by Geologic of Blue Scholars (turn your ears down if you’re sensitive to the occasional f-bomb), hit the jump to see the full post, another video featuring Macklemore‘s Air Jordans, lots of still photos, and a sneak peak behind the scenes. [click ‘continue reading’ below]

And here’s a few still images from the evening:

Grynch, backlit.

Mad Rad, screaming mad.

Vitamin D drops knowledge.

RA Scion of Common Market.

and here’s a link to 100 more still images from the evening, plus behind the scenes and pre-production.

In case you care, here’s how we captured the visuals…

Cameras video: 4 Canon XHA-1’s
Cameras digital still: Nikon D3
ISO: 3200
Cameras film still: Hasselblad 503cm
Film: Ilford Delta 3200
Approximate ambient exposures for both still cameras: f4, 1/60
Lighting: candles + mix of Lowel and Arri spots with barn doors

Stay tuned here and at the Songs for Eating and Drinking site for additional performances added weekly. There’s some seriously cool shiznit coming down the pipe from this evening.

[Here’s another 100 images from S.F.E.A.D. #1.0 featuring performers from Pearl Jam, Head Like a Kite, Arthur & Yu, and others.]
[Original blog post about S.F.E.A.D.]

Life, Death, and Dinner in 1968

The year was 1968. My uncle was killed in Vietnam, and this was the camera that he carried into war.

But this isn’t a sad story, nor is it the end of a story, it’s a sort of a cool new beginning–not for my uncle Rick unfortunately, but it is for this little camera.

Enter stage right: Seattle’s largest cultural festival, Bumbershoot. Hundreds of bands, theater, performance, food, it’s a 3 day festival in September. Very cool. Enter stage left: my good friend, renowned food guru Michael Hebb (he’s my partner in our project). Hebb was an artist in residence at this festival, and he chose to do what he does so well – host open dinners for 50 people to share, discuss, and revive ideas. The topic for this series of dinners?…the ideas behind arguably the most revolutionary year in US history (and certainly a huge year worldwide), 1968. And to this dinner, guests were required to bring something to share – a story, a poem, memory, an artifact – from or about 1968 in exchange for this meal that he would prepare. From Hebb:

greetings – you are here at one pot at bumbershoot so that i can feed you – but also so that i can get something from you – the basic request is one of reciprocation – I cook you dinner and you bring me something – it seems to be that this basic exchange is the root of most culture. money is an unfortunate substitution for basic reciprocity – it is silent, and generally rather dirty, “it don’t sing and dance and it don’t walk” – many cultures have (had) great ritual in the matters of the table and the guest/host relationship – the greeks in the classical era were famous for long treatises on the importance of proper exchange – the table was central to this – the collapses of this code often resulted in calamity. take for instance when paris decided to take more than food from the the table of menelaus (he slipped helen of troy into his pocket) the result was the most mythologized war of all time. so don’t steel my woman – I will burn down your village. restaurant tables do not offer this kind of currency. this table was built as a kind of modern agora for an exchange about a very important time – 68 changed our world – I don’t profess to be of high knowledge about this era – this year – in fact I wasn’t even born – but I launched this project to learn about how it came to pass that all the way around the globe thought and ideas turned into action – the world is filled with ideas – and yet the world has arguably never seen as much action as it did in 1968.

As you’ve already guessed, I brought the this little camera to the table along with the story of my uncle’s passing. And I brought it all three nights, along with a handful of Ilford Delta 3200 film, taking a snapshop portrait of every person in attendance, largely total strangers, over their shoulders, in near total darkness. [More story and photos after the jump. Click ‘continue reading’ below…]

So, aside from this being my uncle’s war camera, the other interesting things about this camera are:
1. It hadn’t seen a roll of film since my uncle’s death in that year of revolution, 1968, and I was keen to change that.
2. The camera is called a “half-frame”, meaning that it takes 35mm film, but takes photos that fill only half of a 35mm frame. As such it gets 72 “portrait” images on a roll.
3. It has presets for 160 and 200 ASA film only.
4. It has a built-in ring flash (can you imagine how stoked David Hobby would be?!)
[Update – turns out it’s not a ring flash, but a selenium light meter..]

With that information, I formulated the following plan:
1. I wasn’t going to “check” my work after the first night. I planned to just snapping portraits all three nights and see what I got. I WANTED – was desperately looking for – unique, awkward snapshots of total strangers bonding beautifully, strangely over dinner. Eerie pictures, weird pictures.
2. I couldn’t locate the appropriate power source for the ring flash given the short time between when I tracked down the camera in my family and the event. As such, I was forced to go natural light – when there was none. Hence, I’d shoot 3200 iso, and I’d push it.
3. Since there’s only a single dial on the front of the camera with shutter speeds, aperture, and ISO all on the same dial, I had no idea how to get 3200 thru there “properly”. As such, I decided to shoot a test roll. Since the room was going to be “lit” the same for all three nights, I’d be ok. I just clicked off 35 pictures of the room right when I get in there on the first night. When it came time to process the film, the lab could then “snip” this roll — develop a bunch of different pieces of the film for different lengths of time — and decide what the right development time in the tank would be for the remainder of the “real” rolls.

Well, the plan was a reasonable one. And I got a pile of fascinating, simple, bizarre images from the dark dinner table. They are indeed blurry, weird, old-looking, but cool. And I think they’re cool because of what they recorded and how and why. And now they’re a part of the permanent Bumbershoot festival collection. Here’s a sample:

So I’m looking forward to my new beginning with this weird little camera. Sure I love my iphone, but this is something different. It can’t be used, but it has it’s special place. Here’s a couple more snaps of this neat old camera below, and then a whole lot of pictures from dinner–150 or more. Keep in mind that a lot didn’t turn out. The camera misfired, or people were unrecognizable, or I blew it. Many of these suck beautifully, and some suck poorly. I’m fine with that and hopefully you are too. There’s some well known people tucked in these pictures if you care about that stuff. There’s the good snaps, crap ones and everything indecipherable and in between–the bulk of which can be found at this link here.

I learned a lot about 1968 that weekend from poems, songs and first hand accounts. I learned more deeply what revolution stands for, how it works, and how it fails. And I learned how to shoot this cool little camera. I love the power of the story or the image and a meaningful meal. I hope you enjoy these photos in a not-so-perfect sort of way. They are a slice of a strange and powerful dinner in 2008, of half-frames, and 3200 Ilford Delta film pushed like mad.

UPDATE: posted an online version of a giant print composite (4ft by 7ft) that we’ve made with the images to celebrate this series of evenings. View it in this online gallery here

[Full gallery of blur, 3 pages long, begins here.]

Photo(s) of the Day 9_28_08

Diabetes_Fences. From my Songs for Eating and Drinking project.

I mentioned in a recent post that I’d soon be occasionally including personal work shots here in a photoblog style. Well, here we go. I’ll supply some photographs and you can supply some words or questions in the comments below if you like. I’m excited to be sharing these little personal gems amidst the normal blog stuff. Two more images related to this one after the jump…

Hassie 503cm. Ilford 3200. This is actually the first shot in the series. Snagged it as he was pulling on his shirt, showing some of us.

The is just after. Ghoulish smoke break. I think the architecture in the background is stunning as well.

Chase Jarvis RAW: Kung Fu (Featuring Superfad)

Move over Ninjas. Replace those swords, smoke machines and bikini-clad women with a new, fiercer battle featuring a Kung Fu master who uses his bare knuckles to fend off fire, earth, wind and water.

This behind the scenes vid highlights my recent great fortune of collaborating with the design and live action wizards over at Superfad. I’ve written about their amazing work before… Thanks again guys for bringing me on board to shoot the stills for this one along side your amazing motion work. Hats off to the whole Superfad crew. Credits on the Kung Fu piece: Will Hyde (Superfad Founder, CD); Dade Orgeron (Concept + Director); Rob Sanborn (Exec Prod); Stephen McGehee (DOP); David Viau and Luke Allen (Designers); Phiphat “P” Pinyosophon (Sim Artist); Ryan Haug (Editor); Nate Barr (Producer). And of course the Kung Fu Master: Paul Gutierrez.

In this Chase Jarvis RAW, I’ve attempted to detail the entire process, with an emphasis on the capture, the set building, styling, and the creative methodology for making this project come together.

I’m also hoping to highlight the increasing trend in the advertising world where broadcast TV campaigns unite with their print and online cousins to put forward one cohesive vision. The stills match the motion matches the stills… This trend is here to stay me thinks. To get more background on one of my favorite shoots of the year, plus some final still images from the day – even a before and after – hit the ‘continue reading’ link below.

Actually, before we jump to some of the final images – I gotta call out something: don’t forget to pay special attention in that vid to the magic behind The Phantom camera, featured here. It’s a mind blowing video camera that captures HD resolution at an astonishing 1000fps. We all love the Red Camera. Indeed. This is it’s big brother. Isn’t this sucker just amazing? I’m smitten.

Ok, so some photos that we eeked outta this thing:

Here’s our master fighting FIRE:

And here, he’s fighting WATER:

Here’s EARTH:

And not to forget, WIND:

You can see from the vid that there was a ton of compositing and post production on this stuff, which made it really fun and interesting to say the least. As a little nugget, below you’ll see an early peek at where we were playing with the water layer composites before we went to work on the backdrop and such… Crazy how far some of this commercial stuff goes sometimes, but in reality this is the tip of the iceberg compared to some of the ultra shiney campaigns. (And frankly, even THAT it’s a fraction of what motion folks like Superfad have to do in post for the their stuff…whew.)

Oh ya, on that note, a little horn tooting here: just Friday learned that this series landed International Photography Awards 1st Prize for the subcategory Special Effects. Woot! Scott logged some extra work on these shots to make em look nice and buttery – big ups. And I recall that, as we worked this suckers up, at least a couple of the files were pushing 2GB! Lordie. Big ups to the whole team on this one, in fact. It was a hell of a production.

(BTW, you should check out the award site for the other winners’ work. I’m blown away by so many images. Spend some time there… The quest for the Lucie is a tall one! )

Lastly, this video post wouldn’t be complete without a huge shoutout to the kickass music in this piece. Please join me in celebrating another one of my favorite bands, The Black Angels. This tune rocks, as does damn near every song in their repertoire. It’s like crack. Please support them and buy their music on iTunes.

Other Chase Jarvis: RAW behind the scenes vids you might enjoy:
[Chase Jarvis RAW: Advance Testing the Nikon D90]
[Chase Jarvis RAW: Ninjas]
[Chase Jarvis RAW: New Zealand Spring]

Songs For Eating And Drinking: Arthur & Yu

If you missed my earlier post about my favorite project in a while, Songs for Eating and Drinking, you’ll want to pay that entry a visit for some backstory. If you’re already in the know, please enjoy. This is Arthur & Yu (Subpop) performing “3 Horses”. Keep in mind that we’re posting a couple new performances from #1.0 over at S.F.E.A.D. every week or so until our next evening in Portland.

A New Project: Songs For Eating And Drinking

Okay, I’m really excited to share.

Throw some big-time musicians around a table with some amazing up and comers, feed ‘em like kings and queens, and what do you get? You get some stunning musical performances and a bunch of honest and richly textured video–like this one above–where Stone Gossard of Pearl Jam and Barb Ireland cover “Cool Water” by Hank Williams. You also get a whole bunch of beautifully intimate still images and a really fun project that a friend and I have pulled together… Introducing: Songs For Eating And Drinking.

Okay, here’s the concept: Get a bunch of insanely talented musicians together, and let them share songs, food, and drink. Many a musical career starts with small audiences, impromptu performances, late night mutterings; and then the lucky end up on large stages and tucked deep inside recording studios – often vastly disconnected from those that love their music. My friends in the music industry have bellyached that industry folk hardly ever share food in a meaningful way – or rarely just get together and effin chill. So my good friend Michael, who has been putting amazing people at big dinner tables for a several years now, reached out to me… We connected and decided to take this to the next level, creating these evenings for our musician friends built around long tables, remarkable locations, sturdy drinking food, and bottles of wine and whiskey – with the hope that throughout each night songs would rise up from the table…and with the hope that we could share that music with the world.

I think we’re onto something.

My favorite part? Both Michael and I are physically at the table, eating, chilling, hanging out. Michael had gotten all the food lined up–an absolutely amazing job, I might add…ribs, succotash, sangria…a feast–and then he’s able to just sort of direct a small but zesty staff of helpers. I photograph from the table and immediate surrounds, as the night leads us along… 3200 iso, using a D3 and an old Hassie 503cm. I’m also directing my amazing video and audio crew from the table, popping up here and there, but fully IN the evening. We’ve got a great plan going in, but we also keep it loose and raw and real, low profile – the crew does a spectacular job… Talk about a fun personal project. I’ve always longed to photograph my musician friends in this way – from within an evening rather than from outside it – and without the annoyances sometimes associated with a handcuffed music industry budget and without the cold distance of concert halls. With this project, we’re able to really get in there. Simple, gritty, real, honest. But there’s more…

I sure hope you want to see more videos, still photos, and get some more background on the project. If so, click the ‘Continue Reading’ link below.

Songs For Eating and Drinking is the bringing together of the world’s most talented musicians and letting them share songs, food, and drink. Many a musical career starts with small audiences, impromptu performances, and late night mutterings. These cozy and soulful evenings are a return to those days.

If I can talk you into checking out our S.F.E.A.D. site thoroughly, you won’t be disappointed. There are two other video performances from bands that, if you’re in the uber know, you’ll have heard of: Head Like a Kite (so cool – we’ve used their music in our vids before) and Fences(a remarkable new band that has yet to release a full length album, but will do so very soon and it will rule) and if you’re not in the uber-know, well, now you are.

And guess what, there’s more. We’ll be posting two or three videos from our last evening each week or so for the next month or two, so check in here with us (I’ll be embedding some here at, but also stay tuned to the SFEAD site via RSS or subscribe via email. The full roster of artists at our table a few nights ago:

-Stone Gossard (Pearl Jam) and Barb Ireland (The Fags)
-The Saturday Knights
-Loch Lomond
-Tiny Vipers
-Head Like A Kite
-Sarah Rudinoff
-Arthur and Yu

And of course, I’d also love for you to check out some of my images from the evening. There’s a handful here below, but you can get a hundred more by clicking through to this page (don’t forget there are two pages…).

Lastly, before you get onto the still images …just a heads up: we’ve got a whole series of these evenings planned. Many amazing musicians. I hope you get to enjoy some of your favorites in future posts, as well as learn about some new bands. Buy some of these bands’ music. Support them. New, fresh music puts a bounce in your step. There’s a huge range of artist in this project, from hipster, to pop, to folk, hip hop, and good old rock n roll. Also be sure to visit Michael’s page – he’s a great guy and doing really brilliant stuff.

And stay tuned for more. Thanks for letting me gush – this is a really fun one ;)

Fences. Diabetes.

Tilson and Barfly from The Saturday Knights laying lyrics over Pearl Jam’s Stone Gossard

Headlike a kite, backlit.

The wonderful and elegant, Karen Loria… Pearl Jam’s photographer, Ten Club champion. Shot with the good ol’ Hassie.

My partner in crime, Micheal Hebb.

Jesse from Subpop’s Tiny Vipers.

Early in the night, ace music writer, Jonathan Zwickel.

The amazingly cool Cheryl Waters of KEXP, along with our very own Cody and Trent from Head Like a Kite.

100 more photos here

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