i never thought about love when i thought about home

We always see with memory. — David Hockney

Jim Marshall, one of the premier rock and roll photographers in the world, passed away today at the age of 74. Marshall shot everyone from Hendrix to the jazz greats to the ’70s San Francisco scene, to the moment he was the only photographer backstage at the Beatles’ final show in 1966. He was amazing, and it is a tremendous loss. (NYTimes has a slideshow of some of Marshall’s most iconic images here.)

2010, stop killing my heroes.

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keep an eye on the sky

I had originally planned to post my most-Fridays list of inspiration today, but with Alex Chilton’s passing on Wednesday evening, I think the day is better devoted to rounding up some of the best writing about Chilton out there.

Alex Chilton had a hit at 16, fronting the Box Tops for “The Letter”, and paved the way for college rock by bridging between the Beatles and R.E.M. with the tragically underknown Memphis/Ardent Studios band Big Star. (You actually know them; “In The Street”, a Big Star song, is the theme music for That ’70s Show, in the form of a Cheap Trick cover.) Big Star invented “power pop” and have been the soundtrack to my life countless hours and days over the last few years, after Patterson Hood of the Drive-By Truckers turned me on to them in 2008.

Continue reading “keep an eye on the sky”

south holston lake, holston mountains, tennessee

Hugh Morton is pretty much the granddaddy of all photographers in the state of North Carolina; he worked as a photographer from 1933 to the early 21st century, capturing some of the most iconic images in the history of the NC. The North Carolina Collection at the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill was gifted with Morton’s entire career archive in 2007 by his widow, and they’ve been digitizing, cataloging, organizing and sharing it ever since.

A View To Hugh is one of my favorite photography blogs in my feed reader, mostly because it’s inspiring to see what someone who worked and shot here for such a long period of time saw and continued over the years to see in the state.  The NCC just received a grant to commission essays on the life and work of Morton, which are being collected and posted as Worth 1000 Words: Essays on the Photos of Hugh Morton from now until July. You can read the first essay here, and then it’s worth poking around the blog to see some of what Hugh Morton was doing. Even if you aren’t interested in photography, some of his subjects are absolutely inspiring.

Thinking about people who are gone today: Hugh Morton, though of course that wasn’t recent; Howard Zinn; J.D. Salinger. That’s a lot of great minds that are not here anymore.

old smithville burying ground, southport, nc

“in 1991 i moved to athens georgia in search of god, but what I discovered instead was vic chesnutt. hearing his music completely transformed the way i thought about writing songs, and i will forever be in his debt.” — Jeff Mangum, Neutral Milk Hotel

The loss of Vic Chestnutt is heartbreakingly sad.

rock and roll means well tour


rock and roll means well tour, originally uploaded by minervacat.

What follows are two loosely related paragraphs, a single sentence, and a disclaimer:

This one’s for cee. It’s one of only a few shots I took with my point-and-click during last fall’s Rock & Roll Means Well tour. It’s appropriate today, if not something that could be classified under the word “good”, because Jim Carroll, author of The Basketball Diaries, passed away over the weekend; when I think of Jim Carroll, I think of the Truckers, too, and their cover of Carroll’s “People Who Died” (11/03/2008, Lincoln Theatre, Raleigh, NC; feat. the Hold Steady). That man could write, that’s for sure. He’ll be missed.

I have decided, that when I am free of the shackles of a day job and am off being a famous rock and roll photographer, I shall work only in tank tops, a smokin’ collection of pajama pants, and flip-flops. Hoodies and jackets added as weather dictates. I’ve mostly given up wearing heels to the office, at least until the weather gets cold again and I have to switch back to close-toed shoes — the backseat of my Corolla: where outerwear, government training manuals, and high heels go to die — but I’m sort of tired of dress pants and professional tops five days a week, I’m not going to lie.

Thank God for consecutive four day work weeks and paid vacation; I am also not going to lie about that.

(MP3s are for sampling purposes only; if you enjoy what you hear, please support the artists by purchasing their music. Files are available for a limited time only. If you represent an artist or a label and would prefer that I remove a link to an mp3, please email me at asdonkar at gmail dot com and I will immediately remove the file.)

charleston, south carolina


charleston, south carolina, originally uploaded by minervacat.

Tremendously sad about Ted Kennedy; two of the best posts I saw on the subject today — that you might not have already seen — were this one and this one.

RIP, Teddy. You will be terrifically missed.