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a personal collection of original music, photographs, observations and other random stuff that happens inside my head…

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Artist Portrait Series #3 – Lee “Scratch” Perry

Known as the “Godfather” of Reggae and Dub music, Lee “Scratch” Perry flew in from Switzerland on his 75th birthday to perform at a private benefit concert held on behalf of the Project Rhythm Seed Music Foundation at the Culy Warehouse in San Diego. Joining the stage with London’s DJ Bailey, and San Diego’s International Rhythm Kings, Perry commanded the stage and rocked the house during his short set March 17.

While I had envisioned him as a much taller man, everything about Perry’s persona was larger-than-life and thoroughly steeped in mysticism and illusion. To “take in” Lee “Scratch” Perry required the full attention of all of my senses, starting with the immediately spiritual smell of incense that permeated the air the minute he walked onstage. It struck me as I was attempting to photograph him that every part of Perry that you could identify with as a fellow human being was designed to either shock you, befuddle and amaze you, or disappear altogether. His well-worn hands were smothered in enormous bauble-encrusted rings, and his eyes were constantly shaded by the brim of his well-decorated hat, which was pulled down low. His beard, which was dyed a bright iridescent red, was usually the only part of his face that was visible. Even then, he would tuck his chin down into the deep collar of his military-style jacket, thrusting his face into shadow and creating the illusion that all you were supposed to see of this performer was an enormous voice emanating from within a carefully decorated shell. It was a rare, mesmerizing performance. Happy Birthday, Lee.

Posted April 12th, 2011.

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Six Rivers National Park, Northern California

These images were taken along Hwy 199, which stretches from Crescent City, CA to Grant’s Pass, OR.  It is some of the most breathtaking land  I’ve ever seen.  The water and the land contain high levels of Serpentine, which is a mineral that is strikingly gray-green in color.  High quality Serpentine is sometimes used to replicate jade in jewelry and art pieces – it is no wonder that the rivers that cut through the gorges here boast a deep jade-like hue.  Although the river runs hundreds of feet down steep gorges that are heavily shaded, at times the sun would find its way down the cliffs, turning the eddies into surreal-looking emerald-colored pools.

Highway 199 is mostly a narrow, two-lane, intensely winding stretch of road that cuts through a portion of the Six Rivers National Park.  While it’s challenging to drive, it’s even more challenging to keep your eyes on the road, as there’s so much to look at.  Thankfully, there are lots of places to pull off the road and explore.  One of the most fantastic and completely unexpected finds we made was a botanical trail that we initially thought would be a manzanita forest.  What we discovered was a Cobra Lily bog.  Otherwise known as “Darlingtonia californica”, the California Pitcher Plant (or Cobra Lily) grows in the middle of an otherwise “normal” looking forest.  Hundreds of stalks grow off of one main parent plant, and, each of the stalks looks exactly like a cobra ready to strike.  Each new “pitcher” twists itself in such a way while it’s growing that its final adult position directs its “hood” away from all the others, guaranteeing maximum insect-catching potential.

I could have spent a month on this one stretch of road…  maybe one day I will do just that.

Posted April 1st, 2011.

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Artist Portrait Series #2 – The Upside Down

Artist Portrait Series #2 - The Upside Down

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Posted March 15th, 2011.

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Artist Portrait Series #1 – Josiah Leming

Last summer we had the unexpected pleasure of hosting American Idol contestant, singer-songwriter Josiah Leming and his road manager, Josef at our home as they prepared to launch Josiah’s 2010 US tour. I took these images at Lestat’s in San Diego.

Posted March 5th, 2011.

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Rosario Beach, Northern Washington State, January 1, 2011

Posted March 1st, 2011.

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Lunar Eclipse on Winter Solstice, 2010

Posted February 28th, 2011.

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