Every year I discover a new record that I play more than anything else - even if it gets annoying for everyone around me. This year, that record was Magician's Hat by Bo Hansson. I strongly suggest checking this one out (maybe you won't connect with it the way I did), but if you listen to music at all - I think you'll really appreciate it regardless. I hope you all have a very happy New Year.
I've been making an effort to shoot and develop at least one roll of film every month since I started back in the darkroom this year. It's really been producing some of my favorite work to date. I've also been incorporating more instant film into my work, which has given me a lot of freedom to have fun and experiment. Yanira is one of the kindest people I know, and she makes some of the coolest print work I've ever seen. Her style is incredible and I had to get it down on film. Enjoy some of these selections from our shoot in her studio at Fort Houston in Nashville, TN.
I wanted to wish everyone a very happy holiday and send my love out to the world. Our world needs as much love as it can get right now. It hasn't been an easy year, but if we keep our minds and our hearts open to each other, we can really go far. Remember to do something good for someone else in need this year, and I promise that you'll get it back ten-fold.
I came across this record and bought it based off of the cover art alone. Little did I know what an amazing story there was behind the man holding that beautiful guitar. This amazing story is written on the back cover and I had to share it with you.
REMEMBER Les Paul - the first genius of "home grown" multi-guitar dubbing?
Today, he has a rival, and his techniques have been surpassed. Wout Steenhuis,
the Dutch-born guitar wizard who looks like he's becoming one of the big stars of 1964,
learnt his jazz the hard way - in Holland under the German occupation. When he
was a student he listened to black market jazz records - banned by the Germans
as "decadent" - every day, using "illegal" equipment centered around a radio glued
under a bookshelf which he used as an amplifier. Every bar of jazz that he heard
could have spelled his death warrant, for radios were confiscated and the unceasing
quest for them resulted in house-to-house searches almost every day in The Hague,
where Wout lived.
Nevertheless, the young jazz fan not only heard illicit records: he helped to
found the famous Dutch Swing College Band in 1943, played his guitar at secret
parties, and moved into a flat with Peter Schilperoort, the band's leader, to start
on the road to becoming one of the country's top jazz musicians. Wout had planned
originally to take a science degree, but, in 1940, the Germans forbade him going to
university because his father was in England. "We formed the band," says Wout,
"with the idea of helping young people in The Hague to keep in touch with music
and cultures which the Nazis would not tolerate." Often there were police raids,
and once the band had to leave so quickly that they were forced to sacrifice their
instruments - including Wout's pride and joy, a Hawaiian guitar he had made
himself from that bookshelf!
By 1944, there was no public transport, no electricity and hardly any food.
Life in the city was intolerable - and jazz became forgotten in the search for necessities.
Wout joined a resistance group and exchanged his guitar for a sten gun and grenades.
He was captured by the Germans at Christmas, 1944, and sent to a concentration
camp at Amersfoort. He was among a lorry load of prisoners condemned to death
when he escaped by leaping over the side, running across a minefield, and hiding in
a wood. Soon he was back with the resistance near his home town.
In May, 1945, the day before liberation, Steenhuis's right elbow was shattered
by a bullet in a battle with the Germans. He was unconscious for 4 days and awoke
to find that his arm had been set in such a way that he could never again play the
guitar. Eventually he cojoled the busy surgeon into breaking the arm again and
re-setting it so that he could return to music when he was discharged from the hospital.
In time, he re-joined the Dutch Swing College Band and became one of its most
In 1948, he went to England to join his father as co-director of a fruit preserving
business on the Kent coast. Music was relegated to the position of a hobby until
some of his experiments, recording his own multi-track guitar "ensembles" on tape,
interested a radio producer. There followed a long radio series, many TV engage-
ments, and a series of successful one night stands which resulted last year in a peak-
hour show on Southern Television, "Three Of A Kind."
Today, married, with a 12-year-old son, Wout Steenhuis is a master of the
Hawaiian guitar, the electric bass, the electric jazz guitar, the acoustic Spanish
guitar, the ukelele - and of a black-horned monstrosity frequently used by the noisier
popular record groups . . . all of which, with the aid of his tape recorder, he uses
on this incredibly accomplished and wildly swinging album. The return of the
Hawaiian guitar, coupled with Steenhuis's mastery of its rhythmic fellows, makes
this dynamic collection of the current "surf music" rave in fact "the greatest one-
WOODS • LIVE AT THIRD MAN RECORDS is now available for pre-order! I love these guys, and I'm honored to have one of my photographs on their live album cover. You really can't go wrong with these guys, pick one of these up and enjoy the vibes.
I've put a small selection of prints up for sale on my website: www.jamiegoodsell.com/store If there's anything you've been wanting in the tangible form, send me a message and we can work something out!
This is an extract from The Photographer's Playbook that Aperture put out a couple of years back. If you don't read the whole thing, just know that it really speaks to the importance of documentation...I really dig that.
When I was eighteen, I studied documentary photography at the School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, with the very brilliant photographer Bill Burke. On the last day of class, he told us to make extra prints of our photographs, put them in a box, and not to look at them for twenty years. That is, he asked us to make a time capsule of sorts. I turned thirty-eight a few weeks ago, and so it was time to open the box. Inside the Kodak box was a stack of one hundred or so 8-by-10-inch color prints, mostly yellowing at the edges, dusty and printed paper. They were mostly photographs of young undergrads at private women's colleges in Massachusetts. These girls were half-dressed in their mid-'90s riot grrrl wear, red lipstick, hanging out in the dorm rooms and hanging out of cars, pissing in the woods outside Mount Holyoke, vomiting illegally obtained alcohol not common-space trash cans, dancing on old oak luxury couches at the Wellesley feminist co-op, and reading Emily Dickinson while listening to Ani DiFranco, Belly, and Hole. There is so much adolescent ache in these pictures. There is so much lost time. And there is so much photographic thinking happening within the frames; so much witnessing and so much not looking away. It's true I have looked at some of these images over the years-sometimes I'll show them when I speak at schools. I know that I used them when I applied to grad school at Yale. But, mostly, I have not opened the box. And I certainly haven't looked at all of them together, not in twenty years.
So, what does Bill Burke's assignment teach? What is there to take from this time capsule assignment? Perhaps this assignment teaches us that time changes everything and because of that, it is important to make photographs, because photographs, among their other virtues, are markers of time. Perhaps this assignment teaches us to remember our younger selves, and the SLR, 35mm analog world that those younger brains and bodies fumbled around inside of, and the excitement and innocence of our naive youths. Perhaps the assignment just reminds us of the cars with only radios and no heat or cruise control, and emergency blankets in the back seat where we slept; why we started out in the first place; and why we ever picked up a camera. Perhaps the assignment is to teach us that nothing stays the same and everything important will go away and no one we love will be here forever. Perhaps it is to teach us that no building will be spared, no human body will not ultimately begin to fail, no family will travel together forever without losing someone who once held the center. Perhaps the assignment teaches us that the products of that maddening light bleed on the right-hand side of our light box in 1995, which always caused a ghostly red haze on our test prints, would one day inflict great feelings of nostalgia. Perhaps it is to teach us that one day we will yearn for the late nights in the old color darkroom that always made us feel chemical and itchy, with the one boom box, owned by the darkroom manager, blaring Nirvana and then Jonathan Richman and then, 90.9 or 90.3 or 95.3 FM. Perhaps the assignment is to remind us that photographs are witnesses, unreliable yet loyal guides with perfect memories for exactly how we wanted it to be.
The prints in that box, when I looked at them, felt like old friends, lost at a party for twenty years, still in their sequined bikinis and platform '90s grunge boots, old friends who suddenly located me online after a long silence to ask how I am, as if nothing had happened between then and now. With their innocent faces, their clear memories, their romantic achy loss. In the box, there is also a print of a dear friend who was in Bill's class that year who was for a time my roommate, and went with me once or twice to Wellesley. A few years ago that friend died by suicide, but there he is, in that box. I wish I could peel him out from the paper and bring him back. And another photograph of a woman, a professor I also studied with during that time, taken during one of my trips out to western Massachusetts, probably on my way to Mount Holyoke, who was so knowing and raw and generous and open to the world that she leaped from a great height and did not survive. That box, that assignment, could not have predicted how time would define it, but what Bill knows is that what we have now will not look like anything else we will ever have, and photographs are always about things that are already missing. What to do with that box now? The box with pictures of dead friends and mentors, girls who are now just outlines of bodies, young women who went on to make more mistakes and win more prizes, girls who barely knew anything and behaved as if everything was possible. Time kept its promise to chance. What to do with the box of photographs that remembers everything?
I haven't worked in a darkroom since high school - so over fifteen years ago? That class was what made me aware of photography as an art form, and was a huge part of what put me on the path I'm on now. This was a test roll I did at Ruby Falls a couple of weeks ago, and the first roll of film I've developed on my own in a long time. I'm excited to be doing more of this kind of thing - there really isn't anything else like it.
We're losing another staple next month and it hurts. Melrose was the place you couldn't really find, you had to kind of just know where to look. It was positioned in the middle of this abandoned plaza, where all you could see was a door that said billiards on it. It's the first place I would hang out when I moved here, and next month it will be permanently closed for the sake of "progress." I'm hoping that the new owners keep some of its charm intact and it can still be an okay place to go play some damn pool. Link: NASHVILLE SCENE
Refueled Magazine is putting out a photo book by one of my favorite humans on the planet! He co-owns Stereo Skateboards with Chris Pastras, and they've always incorporated their own love for the arts into the aesthetic of that company. For me, this is a no-brainer to pick up - especially being limited to 500 copies and signed by the man himself. Currently, they are saying there's only around 20 copies left, so don't sleep on it! Get it here: www.refueledmagazine.com
One of the more comical things to me as I get older, is realizing that there are now people I converse with, work with, etc. on a daily basis that were just babies when I was well into my angsty exploration of adolescence. I'm not sure why it surprises me, I mean everyone had to be born sometime, you know? I guess it could go the other way with me as well, like someone who grew up in the '70s - remembering what it was like hearing The Damned for the first time. I can't relate with that nostalgia, just like they couldn't relate to mine. I remember stealing my step-dads flannel shirts, I remember the first time I heard Nirvana, and I remember what it was like to be a '90s kid. I'm damn proud of that and I feel really lucky to be apart of that generation. One of my fondest memories was when my mom split with my step-dad, (he'd been in the picture since I was a baby). I was about 12 years old, and at that point I was going back and forth - staying in separate places. Whenever I would stay at "dads", I would be in my old room, but without any of my stuff in it. It was like I moved out of an apartment, but went back every weekend and made half-attempts to make it feel like it was still mine. One of the things I remember vividly is taking the Polaroid replicas out of my No Code cd and tacking them onto my empty bedroom walls. It made holes, and I'm sure it pissed him off - which still makes me laugh to be honest - but it made the room feel like home for a weekend. That record helped get me through a lot back then.
I'm still completely reeling from this experience, and I couldn't be more proud of everyone involved with this project. Third Man Records is releasing a very special Vault package, including the entire live set that Pearl Jam unleashed on our stage, a 7" recording from Eddie Vedder that was recorded in our record booth, a commemorative patch and pin, and a hard cover photo book full of my pictures from the entire day. July 31st is the last day to sign up to get a copy of your own. Link: Pearl Jam • Live At Third Man Records • Vault #29
The next issue of FLOOD got my attention very quickly. You've got a great cover with Neil Young, photographed by Michael Muller - who you definitely need to check out as well. It's got an entire article on The Feelies in there! On the flip side, you've got an incredibly disturbing interview on fashion - of all things - with John C. Reilly's character Dr. Steve Brule that will leave you feeling very awkward and confused. But it's worth it. It's only 10 bucks and you'll get a beautiful, tangible thing that you can keep or pass along to your friends.