CMJ 2014: The Delta Riggs @ Pianos

I will be covering “Southern Exposure” in two parts: today’s post (which highlights The Delta Riggs), and a later recap of the whole showcase.

If time travel were a thing, I would 100% send myself to New York City in the 1970s so I could spend my evening watching The Ramones, Blondie, Talking Heads, and Television perfect their music while watching Hilly Kristal’s dog shit on the floor of CBGB.  Unfortunately time travel isn’t a thing, but that doesn’t stop me from pretending…

My last assignment of the 2014 CMJ Music Marathon was down on the Lower East Side at Pianos––a venue on Ludlow which was at one point a two-story piano dealership.  The façade of Pianos seems to have been left relatively unchanged since the 70s, so it was off to a good start.  The showcase I was covering on October 23rd was called “Southern Exposure,” highlighting various musical acts from Australia.  The show was a challenge to shoot; there was little available light from Pianos’ rep plot and there was little space to move around.  Against my better judgment, I shot at ISO4000 on my Canon 7D with an attached EF50mm ƒ/1.2L USM rented from BorrowLenses.

The Delta Riggs took the stage midway through the six-hour-long showcase.  A five-member rock band from Melbourne, they immediately launched into an electric set that once again, transported me back to the 1970s LES rock club scene.  Suddenly I didn’t care about the ISO noise, the low shutter speed or the shitty lights.  Because when a band moves this much (frontman Elliott Hammond chipped his tooth on the microphone at one point… I’m serious), bring on the motion blur!

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