Every Opposite

Zaki Ibrahim performing in Johannesburg

Zaki Ibrahim in Johannesburg
I have a folder on my computer very unimaginatively named “Randoms to edit”. It contains a bizarre selection of photos I have taken over the past year which never got edited because they weren’t attached to anything special. These two photos are part of that collection and they finally got a quick once-over in Lightroom after I decided that I couldn’t think of a better subject for my first post of 2013 than Zaki Ibrahim.

Zaki is a South African singer and she is absolutely amazing.I first saw her live in Johannesburg at the very event in Greenside where I took these fabulously average photos. (The reason why she is behind glass in these photos because she was in a recording studio – part of 5fm’s live performance feature)

Listening to Zaki while living in New York always makes me really happy, but it makes me miss Joburg at the same time.

Zaki’s album Every Opposite is available on Spotify if you want to take a listen. Draw the Line, Something in the Water, The Do, The Brave Ones are my favourites, although the number one spot belongs to the most sultry sexy song ever – Conjure.

Happy Fri-yay.

Live music lives on

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A couple of weeks ago I saw that one of my favourite SA bands – the Kongos – had tweeted that they were coming to play in New York. I got ridiculously excited because I have missed their last two appearances in SA (including at Oppikoppi), so I spammed all my friends here in the city and told them we have to go. The Kongos played as part of the CMJ music marathon – an annual event that is designed to showcase emerging talent. They were really great, particularly since its tough to get a crowd going at 6.15 pm although they didn’t play my favourite song.

We had no clue who any of the other performers in the line up for that evening were, but we decided to stay on for a bit. The act following the Kongos was Maya Solovey, who is an absolutely adorable and talented young woman. She signs in 3 languages, has the sweetest personality and she even baked cornbread for everyone to enjoy. That’s probably the first and last time I will ever go to a gig where the artists makes the food herself (or himself).

After Maya was DAWNS from Montana. Really beautiful voice and songs.

I had so much fun taking photos – I never thought I would enjoy concert photography so much. But I definitely need better kit for this. Shooting at 1600 ISO was tough because the light was so poor in there and the lowest aperture setting I could go to with the Nikkor 18-105mm was 3.5. I definitely think it is time to treat myself to that Nikon D7000 I have been wanting to get for months….

Oh the horror

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I’ve been a bit lazy in getting around to editing these photos – with all the travel and revelry I just haven’t had the energy to transfer these from my iPhone to my computer to edit in Lightroom, and then on to the iPad to blog. But now I am sitting in bed with a twinged neck, so figured it was the best thing I could do.

These were taken just over a week ago on my iPhone at a Friday 13th party called Oh the Horror, which took place at Emonti on Bree street in Newtown. Emonti is quite possibly the crustiest venue I have been to for a while, and when I arrived there I literally thought I was only going to stay for one drink. I was running very low on sleep and wasn’t in the mood for a smokey dingy venue, especially after a long argument with the car guard as to why I wasn’t going to pay R40 to park on a public road.

But then The Frown started playing and somehow I found my second wind and the night took on a completely different feel. The Frown are the band in the first 4 photos. They are based in Johannesburg and I see their lead singer Eve everywhere (usually wearing that same coat/jacket). I have been to a couple of events where they have performed, but I never really paid much attention to them until last Friday. And I enjoyed them so much that I even went to buy the album the next day – although it turned out to be a bit of a letdown as it only has 5 songs on it, yet it’s the same price as a normal album. That aside, the 5 songs are really cool, especially The Frown’s cover of NERD’s Rockstar. I would definitely recommend seeing them live.

I was also once again really impressed with the camera on the 4s. Of course given the light conditions the was a fair amount of noise in the photos which I touched up in Lightroom, but still think they came out great. The camera is really quick to focus and take pics, and really in a situation like that, when you’re out with friends having fun, you won’t ever have your SLR with you.

I also learnt that going out wearing cat ears (we all went as black cats in honor of Friday 13) will get you more attention from drunk men than anything I have experienced before.

Last bit of Cape Town, friends, and some beach party

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This really is a mishmash of photos if I’ve ever seen one, but I wanted to blog some of the pics from my weekend that didn’t fit into my other posts – I mean how could I not include some sunset, some panning, a cute puppy on the beach and my beautiful best friend?

Also, thought this would be a good opportunity to post about a Cape Town based band – Beach Party – who my friend introduced me to. They have a really cool music video all shot on lomokino cameras for their song Water, and they will be playing in Joburg and Pretoria at the end of the month – see here for details.

For the cool music video click here.

Party in Pretoria in the park…

I have been working in what some would call South Africa’s rather ‘uninspiring’ capital city – Pretoria – for more than 4 years now. My general attitude has always been to get into my car and get out of here as quickly as possible when the work day in done.

I have never had anything nice to say about Pretoria until one of my best friends, Mandy, introduced me to Park Acoustics last year. It is an out-door concert that takes places at a very old military fort (Fort Schanskop) as you enter Pretoria, near the Voortrekker Monument. Yesterday was my second time there, and even though I did not know any of the acts who were performing, it was the perfect way to spend a Sunday afternoon, sipping wine, enjoying great company and the perfect weather.

One of my favourite thing about Park Acoustics, in comparison to other out-door concerts, is that they have proper, clean and large bathrooms – so no queing at those horrible plastic contraptions. There is also a great view of the whole of Pretoria from the hill.

The Park Acoustics concerts take place every month or so. Join their Facebook page to keep up to date and give the capital city a chance next time around.

This is the main area where people sit to listen to the bands, but we usually sit higher up where the music isn't as loud.

Nothing beats an afternoon of good weather, music, food and friends.

A rather average photo of the great view of Pretoria from Fort Schanskop