Small Black @ The Luminary Center for the Arts w/Wise Blood and .e } 03.22.11

Small Black @ The Luminary Center - 03.22.11

The Luminary’s 2011 Elevator Series kicked off in fine fashion with a two acts stopping through town post-SXSW, Brooklyn’s Small Black and Pittsburgh’s Wise Blood.

.e @ The Luminary Center for the Arts - 03.22.11
.e @ The Luminary Center for the Arts - 03.22.11 Local act .e opened up the evening, constructing and looping together a quick set of songs to entertain the incoming crowd. While I dig her stage name, it unfortunately makes it impossible to find anything about her on the Internet (anyone who has info on a website, feel free to post it in the comments!).

Wise Blood @ The Luminary Center for the Arts - 03.22.11
Wise Blood @ The Luminary Center for the Arts - 03.22.11
Wise Blood @ The Luminary Center for the Arts - 03.22.11
Wise Blood @ The Luminary Center for the Arts - 03.22.11Chris Laufan (aka Wise Blood) was the big question mark going in, with only a few spatterings of press (including the Pitchfork buzz) and his `+` EP on Bandcamp floating around to be found. His sample-composed songs (think less clubby Girl Talk with his vocals) made me expect just Laufan working behind a table, but his live performance turned out to be VERY different. Wise Blood had two on stage (live drummer and electronics worker) and Laufan prowled off-stage on the left side of the room with a mic in one hand and bottle of whiskey in another.

In person, his vocals were much more harsher (like rapping) than they are on the recordings; it was different, but still interesting. The young performer was certainly unpredictable too, flipping over a table and tossing around a few water bottles. It wasn’t anything malicious (word is he’s incredibly nice in person), but I’ll admit to being nervous something was going to happen to my camera every time he passed by. With a limited amount of material at the moment, the set was pretty short, but certainly one that got people talking. In interviews, he seems to be a super ambitious guy so I’m definitely curious to see where he goes from here.

Photography notes: Offstage, Laufan remained almost entirely in darkness except for the few times he wandered closer to the center. Combining that with his constant movement, the 30mm f1.4 was pretty much the only workable lens to use. I haven’t used my f1.4 in a while and so it was a nice reminder how much light that sucker can pull out. You may have noticed that this set is different than the one posted on the Luminary’s Facebook. I subsequently scrapped the entire photo set and redid the pictures having learned some lessons from recently processing the equally dark Class Actress show.

Small Black @ The Luminary Center - 03.22.11
Small Black @ The Luminary Center - 03.22.11
Small Black @ The Luminary Center - 03.22.11
Small Black @ The Luminary Center - 03.22.11Small Black’s set was fantastically filled with dreamy synth pop, the kind that you can easily get into even if you’ve never heard their music before (hand raised!). An obliging crowd moved closer to the stage when asked and Small Black made their set a danceable one to enjoy, with the bassist even wandering into the crowd for a song.  Their 2010 release, New Chain, is out on Jagjaguwar and available for pickup. If you’re a fan of Cut Copy (the stage setup reminded me a bit of their last show at The Gargoyle) or Phantogram, you may want to check out Small Black.

Photography notes: With the only lighting coming from the two color tubes on the end of the stage, the projected image on the back wall and a flashing box behind the bassist, it made for a pretty rough shoot. For the most part it was about getting up close and hoping to time a shot with some light flashes.

Thanks for reading! Head over here to see the full photo set.

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One thought on “Small Black @ The Luminary Center for the Arts w/Wise Blood and .e } 03.22.11

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