The first show / concert I ever saw was friends’ band in a backyard in Bridgeport, West Virginia some time around 1994. It was the start of many years of being very involved in live music in many ways. I’ve been to a lot of shows over the past couple decades, but only a few of them were documented. I’ve managed, though, to find at least five shows I attended and enjoyed that I’ve found video of on YouTube. Photograph of Fugazi (Pittsburgh, 2001) by me.
Hot Water Music, Indecision, AFI, Sick of It All (Louisville, Kentucky; 2000)
!!! (Wayne, Michigan; 2002)
Fugazi (Huntington, West Virginia; 2002)
Eddy Current Suppression Ring (Austin, Texas; 2010)
Sturgill Simpson (Bakersfield, California; 2015)
Freelancing for a small newspaper outside of Austin, I once shot the Texas Swimming & Diving State Meet. My assignment was to photograph one particular swimmer, but having been on the swim team in high school, being there took me back and I took some random shots as I wandered around the pool. Here are a few of those images.
Continue reading “Texas Swimming State Meet (2011)”
Last night I saw the James Brown biopic “Get On Up.” I’m a big fan of Mr. Brown and his music. If I could see any musician at any point in history, he’d be in my top three. Much of my appreciation of the Godfather of Soul has to be credited to my graduate school friend Thomas, who is quite the connoisseur of Mr. Brown and as well as all things soulful and funky. So when I saw “Get On Up” last night, I naturally thought of Thomas, who also took me to the show pictured above. The image is of Blowfly — the sex-based parody funk rap persona of Clarence Reid, who like Mr. Brown is from Georgia. Though Blowfly is no Soul Brother No. 1, it was still quite an entertaining performance. Thanks, Thomas.
Most days when I share something on this blog, my father posts a comment — about how he thinks I’m talented, thinks I live a crazy life he doesn’t understand, or thinks my girlfriend is beautiful and that I should tell her I love her more often. I’m lucky to have parents who have supported me in many ways throughout my life and still today. So here’s are a pair of images of them from a visit they made to Austin. They’re pretty rad parents. Thanks for everything, Phil and Beck.
I have so many images from Femme et vélo shoots that never saw the light of day, I figured I’d post another. Lindsey was the third model we shot for the project, which simply didn’t have enough (or any) pups in the photos. This is much better.
This past weekend, I visited the Annenberg Space for Photography to see the Country: Portraits of an American Sound exhibition. The exhibition included some fantastic images of iconic country musicians by the likes of Elmer Williams, Raeanne Rubenstein and Henry Horenstein. Also part of the exhibition was a short documentary by Horenstein about the Broken Spoke in Austin. The film took me back to the days when I practically lived behind the legendary Austin dance hall. I visited the Spoke a few times with my camera, and here’s an image of a couple before they headed out to the dance floor.
In January 2011, my friend Rebecca was visiting Austin, and invited me to a house show. Rebecca, with whom I went to grad school, is better about being a photographer than me and had brought her camera. When the bands started playing, it felt like old times, and I couldn’t help but borrow the camera and start shooting. Leg Sweeper and ELVIS (who became my favorite Austin band) played that night before the cops shows up — so it truly felt like I was 18 again. Here are some images from that night — first of Leg Sweeper, then ELVIS and lastly the cops showing up and ending the fun. (Note: A post with this same content appeared on my old West Virginia music blog.) Also, check out ELVIS’s 2011 album “Crime of the Scene.” It’s so good.
Taking place on Saturday is the annual Push/Pull at Hyde Park Gym in Austin. Many of my good friends will be competing to outdo one another in the bench press and deadlift. I wish I could be there — it will be the first time I’ve missed the event in four years. Though I, too, was competing, here’s an image I managed to capture of Luke Goebel pulling what looks like 575 pounds. Best of luck to my friends in their attempts to lift heavy things.
Photograph by Darin Johnson
The image above was not taken by me, but is of me — singing in the hardcore punk band Old Poets. Around 2011-2012, my friends Desmond, Jess, Tim and I tapped into our angst-fueled youth, wrote songs, and played a few shows around Austin. The band was short-lived but we had fun. Now all that we have to show for it is some photographs and a half-assed demo recording, which you can listen to below. Though I’ll be using this new website to primarily share my photographs, from time to time I will post music, videos or other content I find relevant.
From April 2011 until early 2012, my friend Zach and I produced a portrait project in Austin called Femme et vélo. The concept was simple — photographs of women on bicycles (with some vintage styling thrown in). It gave Zach and me the opportunity to be creative, but having to force the bike into all the images we published was limiting. So here’s one the last frames I captured on our shoot with model Cecilia — one without a bike. Click here for photographs with bikes.