[Photo] Laundry Love Berkeley Cafe Night

Laundry Love Berkeley Cafe Night I've posted about Laundry Love Project Berkeley a while ago. Recently, they held a Cafe Night with some great performers including For Christ's Sake, Soulfull, Mickey Cho, and Tim Be Told. Here are some photos from that night.

Laundry Love Berkeley

Laundry Love Berkeley Shirt

Laundry Love Berkeley

Laundry Love Berkeley

Laundry Love Berkeley

The emcees for the night.

For Christ's Sake Acapella

FCS, UC Berkeley's Christian A Cappella group.

For Christ's Sake Acapella


Soulfull, Kollaboration SF 2012's People's Choice Award winners and my friends.




Here's a video of Soulfull's original song from the Cafe Night, shot by my good friend, Michelle.

Mickey Cho

Mickey Cho, Bay Area hip-hop artist, who I've shot a few times before.

Mickey Cho

Mickey Cho

Mickey Cho

Mickey Cho Sam

Mickey Cho

Tim Be Told

Tim and Andrew of Tim Be Told performing an acoustic set.

Tim Be Told

Tim Be Told

Tim Be Told

Tim Be Told

Tim Be Told

[Music] House of Blues Anaheim Show

Two weeks ago today (July 5), I played a show at the House of Blues Anaheim with some friends of mine. Just to think that I would be playing on the same stage that so many big names played on made it an honor for me. I was asked to play second guitar with my friend, Peter Chun, but I didn't feel very adequate because guitar is not my main instrument (the drums are). Not to mention, this was the biggest gig I've played, so it was nerve wracking. Nevertheless, I accepted the offer and was excited.

After all the long (and not so long) rehearsals, the day came. We loaded up one car with our gear, sans drum set and amps, and drove off. We got to park in the rear VIP lot and we all got cool passes with Mickey's silhouette on it (this House of Blues is in Downtown Disney). After taking the elevator up, we were in the backstage area. Boy, it was much smaller than I thought. There were somewhere between six and seven bands playing that night and the narrow hallways were even narrower with all the gear in them. The greenroom had a bathroom, a television set showing live feed from the stage, and was well stocked with water. All of these things were of the highest importance (slight bit a sarcasm).

During all the waiting time (there was a lot of it) before our set, we mingled with some of the other bands and watched the bands that played before us. Pretty much everyone there sounded great. We met some really awesome, down-to-earth guys from the headlining band, Iron Sharpens Iron. They are a super talented local metal band, but have a nice melodic side to them. I actually enjoyed their soundcheck even though I'm not a fan of metal.

Our set came up. We set up and had a quick monitor check (not everyone got to soundcheck), and we were on. But before I talk about our set, I want to spend a little while talking about the backline gear. I'm a gearhead, forgive me and/or read on if you aren't interested. I'll start with the drums because that's my home. They had an awesome DW kit in a silver glass glitter finish in pretty much any size you can imagine. From what I saw, they had 20" and 22" kicks, toms from 8" to 18", and a sick little Pork Pie throne. As per standard gig etiquette, all drummers brought their own snare drum, cymbals, and pedals. I played through a Marshall JCM 2000 and a 4x12 cab, Peter played through a Fender Twin Reverb, and Eric, our bassist, played through an Ampeg SVT head and a 8x10 cab. I'm not too sure about the bass head because I didn't get to look at it closely. My signal chain went something like this: G&L Tribute ASAT Semi-Hollowbody Bluesboy -> TC Electronic Polytune -> Boss ME-10 -> Marshall JCM 2000. Ok, now that the gear section is over, let's continue on.

Here's our set list: "Use Somebody" by Kings of Leon, "Ms. ICA," an original by Peter, "Fix My Heart," another original by Peter, "Lazy Song" by Bruno Mars, "Neon" by John Mayer, and "Bold as Love" by Jimi Hendrix. There's so much I want to talk about, but it would take forever, so I'll briefly mention the main points I want to hit. The sound and lighting were super professional. I know it's expected because it's a big venue, but it's nothing like I've experienced before. For me, it was pretty revolutionary and I'll definitely miss it when I play smaller shows. We each had our own custom monitor mixes and everything sounded...good. That's pretty unusual for someone like me' whose only played small shows.

Our set went really well. We opened with the lights out and crazy spaceship-like modulation sounds from Peter's guitar going straight into a huge intro with lights in "Use Somebody." The other songs were fun, but "Bold as Love" was just ridiculous. As the closer, we did it big. Peter did all sorts of crazy stuff like playing behind his head, putting the guitar down on the floor and playing it like a lap steel, and whatnot. Overall, the show was definitely a fun, memorable one.

Well, that was the show in a nutshell. My writing may be a bit sloppy, but please excuse that, there were just too many things to talk about.

Note: I didn't have my camera with me, so all photos are courtesy of our friends, Jason Watanabe and Samuel Choo.

[Music] The Nehemiah Band and Mickey Cho at Cal

The Nehemiah Band and Mickey Cho played at New Church here in Berkeley, CA on Saturday, Feb. 5. Knowing that the Nehemiah Band boys were coming up, I contacted Ki, their manager, to see if I could take photos. In the back of my head I was hoping that they would have their own photographer so that I could just second shoot and not have so much pressure...but of course their in house photographer couldn't make it. Fantastic! I got to the venue surprisingly early and met some awesome people that were helping out. The guys were a bit surprised to see me. I am a LA native and they probably didn't expect to see me in Norcal of all places.

This was my first time actually hearing Mickey's music. I had heard of him before, but wow, this guy can spit. His songs are powerful and flow so well. "Not For Sale" was especially moving. It's a song about modern day human sex trafficking. His friends Hanna Baek and "The Legend" were also amazing. Check him out at www.mickeycho.com and support him by buying his music.

The Nehemiah Band put on an energetic live show as always. Every time I see them play, I'm blown away. You don't always see a band with stage presence like these guys. Oh yeah, and they're Korean. Say whattttttttt!? They played some of their standard meat and potatoes songs, which you can't ever go wrong with. However, they also threw in "Chinese Girl," which is their version of "I'll Make a Man Out of You" from Disney's Mulan, and "Rice, Kimchi, and Eggs" with their new Power Rangers intro. Pure greatness.

After the show, some of us went to Nation's for burgers and pies with Mickey and TNB. Expect a (favorable) review of Nation's in the near future.

Some notes on the photos: The lighting conditions weren't the best, but I was able to work around it. When TNB came on, there was almost no light on John (the drummer) and Gilbert (the bassist), so there are far fewer photos of them. I shot with my D7000 and 35mm f1.8 between ISO 4000 and 6400, f/1.8-2.2, and 1/100 and 1/200 shutter speeds. There's quite a bit of noise in some of the photos, but I did what I could to clean most of them up (e.g. go black and white).


[Music] Hieroglyphics at UC Berkeley

The smell of weed permeates the air. Wisps of cigarette smoke rise from the crowd. The bass kicks in and you feel it in your body.

The Hieroglyphics Crew came to Cal on February 2 thanks to SUPERB Productions. Sproul was packed, but then again, I did get there about 10 minutes late. As I walked around before the show started, people came up to me and asked "who are these people?" and "are they a new group?" Obviously, the majority of the people watch were just rolling through and decided to watch. To answer your questions, Hieroglyphics is an underground rap group that started in 1991 in Oakland, CA. Why they asked some random Asian kid about the group, I'll never know.

The group was scheduled to come on at 5 pm, but of course they didn't start playing until later. I only stayed for an hour or so because there were too many people, so I didn't get to witness the greatness of the whole show. However, while I was there, it was excellent.

Quick note on the last photo. Notice the symbolism of three here? Three lights, three doors, three eyes. (This sentence would have been at the end, but it was acting glitchy and now showing up.)

[Photo] Wiguna Project Album Release Concert Preview

Here's a little preview of the most recent show I shot for my friends over at the Wiguna Project. They just released their debut album, Give Us the Weekend. I'll have the full album up soon, I just need to figure out how to process the RAW files from my D7000, which I used as a second camera during the show. That might take a couple days.

Ben Clement opening up

Frontman Jeff

Little brother Justin playing a song for his girl

Anthony Chatman, frontman from their old band

[Photo] All Day with the Nehemiah Band

I had a glorious opportunity this past Saturday to spend all day with my favorite local band, The Nehemiah Band. For one low price, you got a concert, seminars, a Clippers game, AND hang out time with the band. Now, I have never met a band that works so hard to build relationships with their fan base. It's pretty cool when the band knows you by first name. Sweet. The Nehemiah Band is probably one of the most creative groups out there. For one, their music. Wow. I don't know how to categorize it, but simply put, its pure, passionate sonic bliss. And then, what other band out there throws an event like this one? Spending ALL DAY with the band?

[EDIT] Seems like I forgot to add that the sans facial hair Alex Hwang emceed the event and Stephen from Feats in Inches ran sound. They are both wonderful musicians as well. Make sure you check out Alex Hwang and Feats in Inches!

Back to the actual event now. My good buddy, Ben Bae, opened up with his friend accompanying him on vocals and keys. Ben was great as always.

The Nehemiah Band played their set next. It was filled with energy and awesomeness.

They included plenty of crowd interaction and free merch as well.

After the concert portion of the event, we were able to attend 2 seminars of our choice. Each member of the band taught in their fields of specialty. Mike Whang did one on Acoustic Guitar and another on Songwriting, Gilbert did one on Bass and the History of Music in the Church, DJ Descry, the married man, did one on Dating, Kevin Kim did one on Electric Guitar, and John Chong did one on the Music Industry. I attended the latter two, but I wanted to go to all of them.

We grabbed dinner, then it was off to the Clippers game. I'm not the biggest sports fan in general, but wow, that was one heck of a game to go to. Even though the beloved Clippers lost to the Knicks, we witnessed Blake Griffin in all of his blazing greatness. 44 points and some monster dunks. Holy shmoly that was a fun game to watch. I don't have any photos from the game because I realized I was shooting JPEGs the whole day and switched to RAW. My software doesn't support the D7000's RAW files quite yet, so those photos are just sitting on my disk waiting to be converted. Good thing I accidentally shot JPEG!

Raffles were held throughout the day and I won a ticket to tonight's Clippers game against the Hornets as well as play time on the Staples Center floor, but I couldn't make it, so I gave the ticket to one of my friends. Hopefully he'll use it well.

Well that was All Day with the Nehemiah Band in a nutshell.

For all you photo geeks out there like me, I shot most of the show between ISO 800 and 1600. I started out at 800 on Ben's performance and slowly crept up to 1600 during TNB's set. I was shooting on a Nikon D7000 with a 35mm f1.8 at around f2.8 for most of the show.