28 March 2015: The Paul Duane Show LIVE On Stage

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28 March 2015: The Paul Duane Show LIVE On Stage


On 28 March 2015, I had the opportunity to present an awesome lineup to my audience in a private edition of The Paul Duane Show.  The evening consisted of the always brilliant comedy of Levi Rounds, an informative segment from henna artist AJ Rasmussen – and then the walking canvas of AJ’s work, the infamous Kendra Sunderland.

For those that don’t know the story behind the meteoric fame of “The Library Girl”, here it is in a nutshell:

Sunderland, a freshman at Oregon State University, was dabbling in the world of webcam modeling. For the uninitiated: a model, such as Sunderland, will engage in a video chat session with a viewer / customer. The viewer will request the model to do various provocative things on camera. The more daring, the more they have to pay to see it happen. Think of it as a web enabled peep-show.   Kendra was performing a webcam show in the library at Oregon State. Though she had several close calls, her 30 minute webcam session went undetected.  Until a short time later, that is.  She began getting unexpected attention on social media and soon discovered that the video had been leaked, shared, and proliferated. It wasn’t long before the video found it’s way into the hands of university administrators, police, and ultimately, the media.  Between the efforts of the police, and the resulting media reports, Kendra Sunderland has become an overnight sensation in the adult entertainment world.

I had the opportunity to have Kendra live, in the studio, for a show.  We had a full house of Salt Lake City’s most beautiful, and most interesting people.  Check out the photo gallery below. After having spent the day with Kendra prior to the show and having extensive conversations with her, I am left to wonder: Who did the best job of leveraging the higher education system for the purpose of starting a career: Kendra, or the rest of the students there who will graduate drowning in school debt with a degree that probably won’t lead to any lucrative job prospects?

March 2015 live show flier draft 1

Many thanks to the Photo Collective Studios, Five Wives Vodka, and Bohemian Brewery for making the event possible. Giving some LOVE to : Venue: Photo Collective Studios | refreshments by Five Wives Vodka and Bohemian Brewery | custom suit by H.M. Cole | hosiery by Cecila de Rafael |

Prior to the show, Kendra joined me in the studio for a gorgeous photo shoot. You can see those images here. (NSFW)

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Paul interviews Jake, Jake interviews Paul

Today I am joined in the studio by my dear friend, photographer-not-astronaut, Jake Garn.  Jake joins me often in the studio. He’s one of my favorite people in the world to have deep and ridiculous conversations with.  On past episodes, we have tromped through the headlines, making fun of them, tossed around various conspiracy theories, and just laughed a lot at the expense of those who wear their tinfoil hats too much.  Today it was our intention to provide a discussion with a little more substance than usual. In the first half of the show, I interviewed Jake about the value of passion and how that informs his work with Shoot For Love.  In the second half of the show, Jake interviewed me.

Here are some links to things we referenced during the show:

Language of inspiration – B&H Superstore in Manhattan

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sKxnY9T-_60

http://www.ted.com/talks/arthur_benjamin_the_magic_of_fibonacci_numbers.html

Lazy Rule of Thirds

http://jakegarn.com/the-rule-of-thirds/

http://www.ted.com/talks/elizabeth_gilbert_on_genius.html

 

“Nobody tells this to people who are beginners, I wish someone told me. All of us who do creative work, we get into it because we have good taste. But there is this gap. For the first couple years you make stuff, it’s just not that good. It’s trying to be good, it has potential, but it’s not. But your taste, the thing that got you into the game, is still killer. And your taste is why your work disappoints you. A lot of people never get past this phase, they quit. Most people I know who do interesting, creative work went through years of this. We know our work doesn’t have this special thing that we want it to have. We all go through this. And if you are just starting out or you are still in this phase, you gotta know its normal and the most important thing you can do is do a lot of work. Put yourself on a deadline so that every week you will finish one story. It is only by going through a volume of work that you will close that gap, and your work will be as good as your ambitions. And I took longer to figure out how to do this than anyone I’ve ever met. It’s gonna take awhile. It’s normal to take awhile. You’ve just gotta fight your way through.”

Ira Glass

 

War of Art by Steven Pressfield

http://www.amazon.com/The-War-Art-Through-Creative/dp/1936891026

www.ShootForLove.com

“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, ‘Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous?’ Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It’s not just in some of us; it’s in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.”

– Marianne Williamson

 

Keith Jeffery of Atlas Genius

Atlas Genius
22 Oct 2013
by Paul Duane
paul@pauduane.net

Atlas Genius is the latest indie rock radio darling hailing from Adelaide, Australia. Their freshman release, When It Was Now (2013), has seen healthy airplay by virtue of two solid pop singles, “Trojans” and “If So”.  I interviewed founding member and frontman Keith Jeffery about the state of affairs in Atlas Genius.

Paul Duane:  How’s the tour going?

Keith Jeffery: We are in in Houston TX, at the moment.  This is the second time we’ve done a headline tour. We toured for the first year doing support for Imagine Dragons. We’re actually going out with Imagine Dragons again in England next month.  That whole support thing was great. It’s also really nice to do your own shows.  We get to play all the songs, there’s no restrictions on the set list.

PD: What are the venues looking like on this tour?

KJ: The smallest rooms are like 800 (seats) to… some of the bigger rooms are around 2000. We got to play the legendary Fillmore and it sold out. That’s a nice feeling for a band.

PD: What do you attribute the success to?

KJ: American radio has reacted well. We’re getting lots of love from radio around the country.  That Imagine Dragons tour was really great for us because it’s a similar kind of demographic, the same people that like their music seem to react to ours as well.  The show we did with Imagine Dragons was the first time we played SLC. and it was one of the last cities for us to get to. We played this huge, cavernous room, [The Complex], 3 or 4 thousand people.  And then we went to the smallest show we’ve ever played in America the second time we came back, we went to Kilby Court, which holds about 2 people. Our studio is bigger than that, you know?

PD: What did that feel like to go from the Imagine Dragons show to the Kilby Court show?

KJ: Smaller shows are a lot of fun… You are up in each other’s face. The crowd is up in your face and vice versa. I like the intimate thing. It’s a whole different beast than playing a big show. In some ways it’s almost more daunting to play small shows because you can see everyone’s face. When you play to 4,000 people, there’s almost a faceless nature that happens with the crowd. They’re both good for different reasons.  I think we’ve got a bit of a big room this next time in Salt Lake City.

PD: The record is full of great pop songs. What’s the single selection process and who’s in charge of it?

KJ: The first single was Trojans, we never thought of it it as a single, it was just the first song we put out. We were wholly independent at that point.  We were the record label, we were the A & R, we were the producers.  After that we signed, and then you have a bigger team, so everyone kind of weighs in.  “If So” was one of the more immediate songs from the album, so it’s a bit of a no brainer. It’s a process where the label weights in, we all talk about what we want to do, and that’s how it goes.

PD: Do you ever disagree with the single selection process?

KJ: Not so far. “If So” is still the main single. We are working out the next single. There hasn’t been any conflict.

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PD: You have an interesting origin story…

KJ: We were all in college. I was studying architecture. Music has always been our main passion, but it wasn’t a viable career path; there are a trillion bands out there. There’s so much noise, it’s hard to get noticed. We thought, we can’t just keep beating our head against the wall, thinking the music is going to turn into something; let’s just be realistic and have a safe career.  We put the song out during that period with very little expectation that anyone would ever hear the song.   We paid $20 or $30; there are companies that if you send the mp3 and $30, they put it up on iTunes, Spotify, Soundcloud, etc, so you don’t have to go through all that mess.  We paid that $20, whatever it was, didn’t really tell anyone about the song, and kind of forgot that it was out there.  We showed a few of our friends and some of the friends reactions were positive, some were like, “it’s not really my scene”.  We had no expectations of the song doing anything.

PD: At what point  did it become obvious that you had something substantial on your hands?

KJ: The fortunate thing for us was that the first blog that wrote about it was Neon Gold from NYC. It’s been voted one of the top 10 influential music blogs in America. They blogged about it, and  because it is such a widely read blog, we started getting approached. Emails were coming in daily from record companies, lawyers and managers around the world. In the end it was 30 record companies that had approached us as a result of that song.  It was a pretty crazy time.

PD: At what point did you decide to put college on hold?

KJ: As soon as that exam period was finished.

PD: What bands are you excited about these days?

KJ: The new Cage The Elephant album. I saw them play the other day in New York. We played with them a few days before that at a festival. They are an incredible band live. Little Comets, who we are actually touring with at the moment, an English band, and also Tycho.  Those are three bands that are really doing it for me at the moment.

PD: What is the future of Atlas Genius?

KJ: We are thinking about getting this second album out. Looking forward to having some time at the beginning of next year to get into the studio… we’ve had a lot of influences. We’ve toured with a bunch of huge American bands… we are always influenced by recordings. When you get to tour with bands and get to see what they are doing live, it’s really interesting to see those songs night after night and see how that works with the crowd, that whole dynamic. Certain songs are great on the record but not live.  That certainly influences the next record.

PD: Are there things you would do different this time in the writing process?

KJ: What we did with that first album: everything was very concise… we trimmed all the fat away. These are concise pop songs. Pop can be a dirty word, but it’s indie pop, I guess. I feel like we will let our hair down a bit with the next album and extend certain sections.  Most of the songs we play live now there’s some part that we extend, that we can travel in the song a bit. I’d like to do a bit of that in the recording of this next album. A lot of that only exists live, I’d like to record some of that.

PD: Are you ever afraid to break out of the 3 ½  minute radio song structure?

KJ: It was a conscious sort of thing, to create songs that dont’ take 2 minutes to get into it.  Not every song has to be a concise 3 ½ minute song.  There probably will be a few psychedelic moments on the next album.

PD: Any closing words for the SLC fans?

KJ: We are excited to see you Salt Lakians! It’s been a few months.

Atlas Genius will be performing at In The Venue on 30 October at 7pm. Tickets are available at Smith’s Tix, $16 Adv/$18 day of show.

Original interview published here:  http://www.slugmag.com/articles/6485/Atlas-Genius-are-Pop-Trojans.html

3 Things: The ladies of Jouissance

I recently joined my friend Nick James at his hair salon, Jouissance, in Salt Lake City.  I asked his clients the question:

Imagine that I handed you a microphone; when you speak into it, the whole world can understand and hear you at the same time.  You can make 3 statements. What would you say?

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Burning Stan

Okay. I just had to share something awesome with you…

Some of you may have seen the little photo essay I did while at Burning Man, the “3 Things” project:  http://www.paulduane.net/2013/09/3-things-burning-man-2013/

Two weeks later, I got word that a teacher in North Carolina had seen my project and was inspired to have her kids do likewise: http://olivetorun.com/2013/09/19/what-would-you-say/

Today, the Official Burning Man Blog featured this whole story: http://blog.burningman.com/2013/09/culture-art-music/3-things/

Before I share what happened next, I should explain one aspect of the Burning Man experience for those who have not yet been.  The drive into Black Rock City is arduous. From SLC, it’s an 8 hour drive along I-80 toward Reno.  Just before arriving into Reno, you exit onto a small road called Route 447 that proceeds north for 97 miles, deep into the northern Nevada desert.  That 97 mile drive happens along a 2 lane road (one lane each direction) and 68,000 other Burners are making the same trek. It took me from 6 pm until 3 am to complete that leg of the journey.  When you arrive at the Black Rock Desert, you can start to see the lights of Burning Man off in the distance. the anticipation is tedious yet kind of delicious. The one lane of traffic divides into 4 lanes, which divides into 8, and into 12, or something close to that. A huge swath of vehicles slowly proceed along the entrance route toward the gate. After presenting your ticket, you proceed to the final stage of the journey before finding your camp: the welcome gate. The person at the welcome gate asks you to get out of your car, and gives you a HUGE hug and says, “Welcome Home!” It’s quite a remarkable initiation into what will prove to be the most remarkable week of your year. You are given a map of the city and a schedule of all the happenings – and then you drive toward your camp.   Hopefully this next part will make more sense now.

A few minutes ago, I received the following email:

Hi Paul —

Just wanted to share a brief anecdote about the guy in this picture (Caveat: I’m 98% certain it was this guy, but with the burn… sometimes hard to be 100% on anything):

http://www.paulduane.net/2013/09/3-things-burning-man-2013/_DSC2615/

It was my third year at the burn. Our camp always does a greeter shift. This was my third. This year it was Wednesday 4am-8am. In the “organizer” role for my camp, I didn’t actually man a gate — I spent most of my time walking back and forth, directing traffic, making sure everything was moving fine.  What that really means is: anytime a line of cars started to develop I’d talk to the people in cars to keep their stress level low.

This guy was in a truck. I walked up, started talking, and it was his turn to pull up to the greeter gate.

I asked if he wanted a hug.

“Sure!” He didn’t just say it, he sort of flung it out there. At greeter gate, not everyone actually wants to get out for a hug. But this guy… He was downright gleeful on the prospect.

He opens his car door and then starts to pull pieces of metal from the passenger seat. It takes me a moment to realize…

…this guy is putting together his wheelchair.

In my cumulative 12 hours working greeter shift, he is the only guy I have ever seen who is wheelchair bound and drove himself into BRC [Black Rock City].

He hoists himself from the driver’s seat to the wheelchair, gives us all hugs, then gets back into the car, disassembles the wheelchair, and drives off into the city.

And he was *boisterous* — literally, filled with JOY — the entire time.

I’ve greeted bus loads of people. I’ve greeted hundreds of virgins. Hundreds and hundreds of Burners.

But this guy will always stand out in my mind. Because he didn’t just overcome his hardship, he straight up murdered it; and because he was so filled with joy at being home, at being back in BRC, at being part of the community.

Thanks again for reminding me, and of giving me a picture of him to keep.

In that vein…

Thanks so much for your project!  I hope you had an amazing virgin burn and hope to see you out on the Playa next year — my camp is the Mystikal Misfits and we are generally located at either 4:30 & B or (as was the case this year) at 4:30 & C.

With hugs,

Monday

 Here is the photo that he was referring to:

This is Stan Clawson. He is a burner from Salt Lake City, and was one of the participants in my “3 Things” photo essay. Though I’ve only met him twice, I can vouch for the abundant good energy this guy packs along. I was really moved by this story, especially because I was in such a crabby mood when I got to the welcome gate where this story took place, where Stan was so joyous.

I was hesitant to blog and talk about Burning Man yet AGAIN… but how could I get an email like this and not share it with you guys? This is just another small slice of heaven that happens out on the Playa. Stan is an awesome guy, and I had to share this. I hope it doesn’t embarrass him too much.  I am so grateful to everyone and everything that made it possible for me to experience Burning Man this year.  The moral of the story here?

Always say YES, especially to hugs and guys with cameras that want to take your picture.

Share your gift, whatever it is.

You never know how your story, your smile, hug,  or experience, will help someone out.

Be like Stan.

)'(

Allen Stone

I’ll be honest. I totally judged this guy before hearing a single note. Seriously, look at him:

He looks like Napoleon Dynamite, raised on an Amish farm and gone hipster during Rumshpringa. I’m not terribly fond of the hipster movement, so anyone that shows up in glasses that look like something my little sister wore in 1983, automatically has an uphill climb with me. (Pretty ironic considering that I dress like a circus sideshow. ) I was certain that the next 2 hours (hopefully only 70 min, if we are lucky), would be like fingernails on a chalkboard.

A modest crowd energetically swelled with cheers when the lights dimmed.

The bass player walked out, strapped on a 4 string, and started plunking a simple line. From the first note, I started smiling. The next 5 notes from the bass player made it clear to me that I was wildly mistaken about the goofy looking guy that was about to hit the stage.

The guitarist and drummer came out on stage. They proceeded to climb deep into the pocket and did not leave for the next 2 hours. Soon the hammond B-3 was manned. Lastly, the other keyboard player came on stage, took the mic, and roused the crowd to welcome Allen Stone.

As he took his seat, Allen came bounding onto the stage, launching the band into a couple of numbers that pulled from soul, R&B, and a bit of rock at times. He started singing and bestowed the revelation on all of us: Allen must be the reincarnated spirit of a would-have-been legendary soul singer from the 70’s that was given a second chance at glory. Stone is making very, very good on that chance.

Allen Stone, 2012. www.PaulDuanePhoto.com

Allen Stone ministered to that crowd with an evangelistic zeal that can only come from someone who is positive he’s found the truth. This pastor preached the gospel of smiling and dancing like a fool. Or a pro. Standing still was his only “thou shalt not”… but even then, his punishment for such a transgression was to bellow out even more tunes that were very hard to hold still around.

Allen Stone, 2012. www.PaulDuanePhoto.com

A great cover tune is one of the hallmarks of a true artist, because it forces one to express one’s self on the canvas of a song that everyone knows. Allen Stone and band completely owned “Tell Me Something Good” by Chaka Khan. (written by Stevie Wonder, but made famous by Khan), and then reinvented Bob Marley’s “Is This Love?”.

Allen Stone, 2012. www.PaulDuanePhoto.com

It does not matter what kind of music you think you like – you WILL have fun at an Allen Stone show. Next time he’s in your town, bring a fun date, and Allen Stone will make sure that you’ll walk away with fantastic memories.

See the rest of the concert photos here: http://www.paulduanephoto.com/2012/11/allen-stone-concert/