Jon Crispin's Notebook

Victory Players / Whippy Dip / Fenway

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I had fun last week photographing a new musical ensemble that is sponsored by the Massachusetts International Festival of the Arts.  The Victory Players are (from left to right) Han Chen, Giovanni Perez, Elly Toyoda, Robert Rocheteau, Eric Schultz, YuMi Bae, and Conductor Tian Ng.

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The top photograph was made at the Victory Theatre in Holyoke, which is about to be restored to its former glory, but currently has an abandoned feel to it.  The photo with the piano was shot on the Mount Holyoke College campus and in spite of looking totally staged, was really quite spontaneous.  Robert Rocheteau was taking selfies and it just sort of fell together for me.

Victory Ensemble.  Robert Rocheteau

I also did individual shots of each of the musicians.  There is something about this photograph of Robert Rocheteau that really grabs me.  He has fabulous hair.

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On Friday night I went to a performance of the ensemble in Holyoke and stopped on the way home at Cindy’s in Granby for an ice cream.  I made it just before closing.  My friend Alex always referred to every summer roadside stand as a “Whippy Dip”, and this one is a classic.

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To end the week, my friend Lisa and I went to a Red Sox / White Sox game on Saturday.  She had gotten amazing seats for us and the weather was perfect for a 4:05 start.  I took this from our seats just after a J.D. Martinez home run, and I think he was still rounding the bases as I fired the shutter.  The (Red) Sox won 4-2.

Vegetable Stock / Dinosaur Jr.

Posted in Music, Uncategorized by joncrispin on 10/09/2017

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Today was a good day to make a vegetable stock.  I have been saving scraps all summer and the bag in the freezer was full to bursting.  Here is some history.  It smells great and will make a nice risotto.

My friend Tom from Outer Stylie told me last week that Dinosaur Jr. would be playing an unannounced set on the Amherst Town Common today at 3.00 as a warm up for Riot Fest in Chicago.

Dinosaur Jr on the Amherst Town Common

I have been wanting to see these guys locally for a long time.  J Mascis grew up in Amherst and started the band just after high school.  I see him around town all the time riding his bike or at the coffee shop or walking his dog (this is a great video).

Dinosaur Jr on the Amherst Town Common

They are LOUD live.  They played a gig on the top floor of  Laughing Dog Bicycles once that I missed but that apparently shook the building to its foundations.

Dinosaur Jr on the Amherst Town Common

J plays these great old Fender Jazzmasters.

Dinosaur Jr on the Amherst Town Common

Lou Barlow plays his bass almost like a rhythm guitar.  Love the hair.

Dinosaur Jr on the Amherst Town Common

They were set up on the town common under some trees, and Murph’s drum kit kept moving around.  At one point his tom fell over and this symbol lost its footing.  Some guy came up from the crowd and reset it for him.

It was particularly exciting to see a band that is so seminal in rock and really quite famous setting up in the middle of town and playing a set for anyone who happened by.  It is nice to be reminded that well known, creative people live lives very much like the rest of us.  They live in towns, they have families and friends, and occasionally they play a very loud set on the Amherst  Town Common. I wonder what the folks staying at the Lord Jeffrey Inn thought.

 

Willard Suitcases / Julianne Wick Davis

Posted in Music, Uncategorized, Willard Asylum, Willard Suitcases by joncrispin on 07/01/2017

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I flew up to New York City on Wednesday to sit in on an early rehearsal of a song cycle that Julianne Wick Davis is composing.  She came across the suitcases project a couple of years ago and asked permission to use my photographs as inspiration.  She hopes to end up with 20 songs, and had nine ready for the run through.  This was the first time she had heard them with voices other than her own.

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Julianne put together an amazing group of six actors and four musicians to perform the songs in a rehearsal room at NYU.

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Here she is working with Xander Rovang who was musical director for the day.

I was so pleased to be included, and came away feeling super excited about collaborating with her.  It is always a bit humbling to inspire creativity in others.  I am very excited about where this will end up.

Octoberfest!

Posted in Music, Uncategorized by joncrispin on 21/09/2016

play the accordion, go to jail

I spent an amazing day at the New York State Archives photographing patient records for the Willard Suitcases Project (I’ll post about that soon).  As Peg Ross, Karen Miller, and I were walking to lunch on the concours under the capitol buildings, this guy was there to help celebrate Octoberfest.  / Cristine once saw a bumper sticker that said “Play the accordion, go to jail”.  Hard to see in this small photo, but that is an A & W Root Beer on his accordion case to keep him hydrated.

Chickens / Transperformance

Posted in Music, Uncategorized by joncrispin on 30/08/2016

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 I have been seeing these chickens and their mobile home in Hadley for a while now and the light was nice tonight so I stopped.

I passed them as I was driving over to Northampton to see my friend Tom Schack’s band Outer Stylie perform as Talking Heads in the annual Transperformance show at Look Park. It is an annual event that benefits the Northampton Arts Council and is huge fun.

©2016 Jon Crispin
Outer Stylie

Here’s Tom rocking out dressed as Tina Weymouth.  He is the sweetest guy in the world.

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And here’s the full band.  They sounded great!

3 County Fair / Outer Stylie

Posted in county fairs, farm animals, ferris wheels, Music, piglets, pigs, psychedelic bands by joncrispin on 08/09/2015

I went over to Northampton yesterday to catch the end of the 3 County Fair.  My friend Tom Schack’s band Outer Stylie were playing, which was my main reason for going.

Here’s Tom lookin’ good. He is the nicest guy in the world.

I haven’t been to a county fair in a very long time and it was fun to walk around.  This looks like the second place okra winner.

Here’s Henry, a massive Yorkshire Boar.

What a stud!

It is very likely that Henry is responsible for these little guys.

It was very hot and muggy and the ride operators seemed eager to shut things down.  This was the final ride on the Ferris Wheel.  Not quite the London Eye, but still pretty cool.

Feist / Peter Pan

Posted in Music by joncrispin on 09/04/2014

I have been a huge fan of the Canadian singer Leslie Feist for a long time.  When I heard she was playing the Calvin Theatre in Northampton, I got online and scored two tickets.  When I looked at the date, I saw that I was also scheduled to shoot the final dress rehearsal of the UMASS production of “Peter Pan”.  A bit of a bummer, but since I have to work, Cris is going with one of her grad students.  I am sure it will be great.

Check out these two videos.  Here and here.

Tom Schack / Outerstylie

Posted in Friends, Music by joncrispin on 10/10/2013

My good bud Tom Schack just  got the first pressing of his band Outerstylie’s new CD.  He was kind enough to give me a copy (#2) which he is holding in his hand.  He was totally stoked to finally have it.  I’m listening to it now and it sounds great.  Here he is at his “day job”.

Utopia Parkway

Posted in Art, Dance, Music by joncrispin on 19/09/2012

Utopia Parkway

I just got back from shooting a great dance piece by Angie Hauser and Chris Aiken who are new dance faculty members at Smith.  Their piece “Utopia Parkway” is totally improvised, as is the live music that goes along with it (Jesse Manno and Robert Benford).  It only runs tomorrow night and Friday at Smith (20+21 September).  It is totally great and shouldn’t be missed.  If you in the area, go see it.

Something New

Posted in Baseball, Buildings, Cities, Family, Flowers, Food, Friends, Jon Crispin, Music, Nature, People, Plants, Rivers, Sport, Travel, Water by joncrispin on 01/09/2012

 

 

 

 

 

This post is a way to jump-start my brain.  I have been so preoccupied with Peter that it has been difficult to concentrate on anything else.  It feels great to be focusing on photographs again.  None of these pictures seem so interesting on their own, but together reflect what’s been going on for the past month.

Above is Tom Schack’s birthday cake from the now infamous “Schackstock” at Snowzies in Sunderland.  Bands started playing at 1 pm and things shut down at closing time.  His Mom, Dad, and Sister were there as well as lots of his friends.

He is just about the nicest guy in the world, and was really enjoying himself.

This flower starts showing up partway down the drive in early August.

When I was shooting the Tilghman project in August I made sure to visit Miss Pigsley.  She lives down the street from Jennifer, has an air conditioner in her shed and will never be bacon.  I took this for Peter because we are both huge P.G. Wodehouse fans and any stories with Lord Emsworth feature his obsession with “The Empress”.  This pig is magnificent and is very happy to have visitors.  She used to drink massive amounts of Kool-Aid until the vet put her on a diet.

On the Sunday morning before Peter Carroll and I left the island, we went to the church to document a service.  This gentleman was in the pew in front of me.

I have always liked cattails.

When Cris, Pete, and I went to see the Sox in August, the Olympics were going on and this guy was checking out the US Women’s Soccer action.  Technology!

I had a hard time getting the white balance right in this shot.  I walk past this box on my way to shoot the suitcases.  It always reminds me of  this Little Feat song.

Going back to Meadville means more than hot dogs and ice cream but two stops are essential; Eddie’s and Hank’s Frozen Custard.

I have been going to Hank’s since it opened in 1952.

Peter loves it too.

There is only one reason to post this photo.  It might be the only time you can see Red Sox pitcher Clayton Mortensen at bat in an American League Park.  At this point the Sox were up something like 12-1 and I still can’t figure out why Bobby Valentine had him at the plate.  Kind of cool though.

When we were at Pymatuning watching the ducks walk on the fishes backs we met the woman I posted about earlier.  She was wearing this shirt which got us talking.  I’d like to visit sometime.

It is very rare to be in on an historical moment, but I can say I was there when one of my neighborhood friends coined the term “Rat Lake” for the body of water that appeared after the flood control dam was built.

I usually help Thom Kendall out with the photos on media day for the UMASS football team.  The new coach is a really great guy.  This picture pretty much tells you most of what you need to know about Charley Molnar.

The Pearl out on the deck.

Cris and I went to Amherst Coffee today.  I often take a shot of my cappuccino for some reason.

Never one to hide my emotions, I have been mentioning to just about anyone I talk to about my feelings of having Peter off in DC.  So many of you have told me that he will be fine, and I want to thank you all for your support.  One of the best bits of encouragement came from Leamuse in France as a comment on my earlier post.  “Bon courage et bon chance.”  Thank you so much; it really helps.

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