The FULL GAMUT of images from my shoot for The Pitchfork Review of the captivating, exquisite, charming, Esperanza Spalding…

Our connection is symbiotic.  She is a badass accomplished female artist musician in her own right, marching the flag for jazz, redefining it into her own sound with her latest album D+Evolution.  Spalding is a prodigy; age 5 playing the violin for the Chamber Music Society of Oregon, winning 4 Grammies, and being the first jazz artist to be awarded for Best New Artist.  She’s a force of nature; there is no doubt about it.  On top of all of her prowess, she is a lovely kind human being.  We had a GREAT time playing around in my studio, making dynamic energetic portraits for The Pitchfork Review.  

Thank you to a awesome crew!! Stylist: Anna Su, Hair: Joseph Henry, Makeup: David Josie; Assistants: Vedant Gupta & Evan O’Brien!


“When I met M.I.A… I told her, “Just photograph yourself in front of the mixing desk in the studio, and people will go, ‘Oh, OK! A woman with a tool, like a man with a guitar.’”I remember seeing a photo of Missy Elliott at the mixing desk in the studio and being like, a-ha!”

-Bjork, interviewed by Jessica Hopper for the winter 2015 issue of The Pitchfork Review

Bjork continues on to say that while creating music, she doesn’t want to be photographed, because of how solitary and sometimes manic the experience is. She’s focused and can’t be bothered with appearances, but the lack of photographic evidence of her in the studio has lead people to question whether she actually wrote her music or if a man did.

While Bjork, or any woman, shouldn’t have to prove that they’re responsible for their own work, photographs of women working are empowering and help demystify the process for those interested in making music themselves. So, this is a photo of me, in my room, doing my thing. What do you look like when you’re working?

most iconic pitchfork reviews
  1. The experience and emotions tied to listening to Kid A are like witnessing the stillborn birth of a child while simultaneously having the opportunity to see her play in the afterlife on Imax.
  2. jet - shine on
  3. jet - get born
  4. when they rated i get wet 0.6/10 upon release in 2002 but gave the tenth anniversary release an 8.6 and best new reissue 
  5. talib kweli - indie 500; see also talib kweli’s “my review of pitchfork’s ‘indie 500′ album review”
  6. Ours is a generation overwhelmed by frustration, unrest, dread, and tragedy. Fear is wholly pervasive in American society, but we manage nonetheless to build our defenses in subtle ways– we scoff at arbitrary, color-coded "threat” levels; we receive our information from comedians and laugh at politicians. Upon the turn of the 21st century, we have come to know our isolation well. Our self-imposed solitude renders us politically and spiritually inert, but rather than take steps to heal our emotional and existential wounds, we have chosen to revel in them. We consume the affected martyrdom of our purported idols and spit it back in mocking defiance. We forget that “emo” was once derived from emotion, and that in our buying and selling of personal pain, or the cynical approximation of it, we feel nothing.
Since Beat the Champ, Darnielle has shared several new Mountain Goats tracks, including “Going Back to California” and “The Ultimate Jedi Who Wastes All the Other Jedi and Eats Their Bones,”

this is a real thing that john darnielle made be true and now serious music review website pitchfork dot com has been forced to write these words about it on account of how it is a 100% actual fact about the world in which we all live

Interview With Artist Midas Charles; Premiering “Woolgather.”

Woke up early this morning, grabbed myself a cup of coffee in the kitchen then made my way to the computer. As I check my email, I noticed this message from Roatan, Bay Islands; an Island off of the coast of Honduras (place I’ve never received any sort of media from to begin with) I guess you can say something smelt fishy.

The cryptic email has photos attached, barely any text but just the words November 30th + a link. A google drive link redirects me to a 7 minute montage full of very strange elements, combined and altered into different colour schemes and scenery. Monsters, sea life, video game references, drugs, sexuality all blended to a rapidly changing and morphing soundscape that runs the operation.  I’m thinking this isn’t the final version of whatever Midas might be cooking.

1000+ questions go through my mind like “Who is this guy?”  - “Who produced all of this?” - “Is there a download link anywhere?” So I decided to email sir Charles himself to ask him a couple of questions.

Greetings Midas Charles, How are you? I have received your email and wanted to ask you a couple of questions if you don’t mind. First off,  do you have a name preference between Midas, Midas Charles or Charles? 

- Thank you! I’m glad it made you want to speak about it and open dialogue. I don’t have a preference, I’ve always had nicknames. Either one is acceptable.

How would you even describe your music to be? How would you describe the visuals? The first few times I saw the video, I was a little confused about how things blended together, is this the final version?

- I would portray my music as, I guess the word I can think of would be potent. Potent is a neutral way to express it… I wouldn’t say my music is neutral but depending on who listens the opinion differs, but it’s still strong in my judgement.

The visuals you saw are out of context as of now, later they will make a little more sense. This isn’t the final form, the project is evolving as things fall into place I suppose.

How has growing up in the Caribbean influenced you? What are your influences in general?

It has influenced me greatly, nature has been very present in my life as of now. Growing up in an island was truly a magical experience, mostly because of how real everything was. Reality for me isn’t a city or something manufactured by multiple systems, that is someone else’s reality that I don’t understand yet. There’s nothing wrong with either one, I’m just grateful for what I have and what the outcome will be. My influences are everything that have I have gathered up until now I guess, the yings and yangs. They’re pretty present in what I’m creating, just open the eyes.

What was the first album you ever listened to fully / first album you’ve ever bought?

first album in full: Aquarious - Aqua and the first album I bought was a black metal album by Cradle Of Filth - Nymphetamine haha, totally parallel. 

What happens November 30th?

woolgathered so close, so far.


You can stream Woolgather via Soundcloud and watch out for november 30th for the audiovisual premiere of it: here

Silver & Gold, Sufjan Stevens’ holiday-themed follow-up to 2006’s 42-song-long Songs for Christmas collection, stretches 59 tracks across nearly three hours. The box set includes a fold-it-yourself paper star ornament. And stickers. Also: temporary tattoos and a poster. There’s an 80-page booklet, too. All of which may make you think: “Wow, Sufjan is really, really, really fucking obsessed with Christmas.” And you would be correct.

Any other amateur musicians who struggle with finding their own sound like to imagine what a pretentious 10.0 pitchfork review about your album would read like?

Weezer: Weezer (Blue Album) Album Review | Pitchfork

“For all the talk about Rivers Cuomo’s anemic masculinity, The Blue Album has a unifying thread of identity that supersedes gender. An essay on the Smiths pointed out that, “Asking people about their interest in the Smiths is another way of asking this question: ‘How did you survive your teenage years?’” The same could be said of Weezer’s debut.”