Leica Mmm…

leica m3 with lenses

I wasn’t really looking to get a Leica any time in the near future. I’ve always admired them and thought, “Someday I’ll get a used one.” But then I saw a listing in, of all places, Craigslist. A listing with a price that seemed too good to be true. So I met the seller today and examined the camera. Everything seems to be working just fine. So I pulled the trigger and picked it up.

It’s a 1956 Leica M3, double-stroke film advance converted to single-stroke. It came with a Leica screw-mount adapter and these two lenses:
1. A Voigtlander Heliar 15mm with accessory viewfinder. This lens is multicoated and has a reputation for being incredibly rectilinear. We’ll see…
2. The seller threw this in extra – a Leica Elmar 90mm f/4. The aperture is stuck mostly open which is why he included it extra, but I’m betting I can figure out how to fix it. If not, the Heliar and the M3 were still a great deal (if my roll of film turns out okay).

So I have a roll of Tri-X in this puppy right now, and I plan to start shooting tomorrow. If it all works out, I hope to have some shots up next weekend. And then I start saving for a 50mm Summicron 🙂

sufjan stevens in concert

The second post on this website, back in July 2005, was about Sufjan Stevens. I’ve been a pretty huge fan ever since that time, but I’ve never yet made it to one of his shows. Couldn’t make the 9:30 Club in DC a few years ago because of the week combined with it being at least 1.5 hours away. Couldn’t make it to see one of the BQE performances because, well, they were exclusively in Brooklyn. Last night I finally made it, though, and caught Mr. Stevens at The National Theater right here in Richmond, VA.

This was one of the best concerts I’ve ever attended. Each musician was spot on, from the wonderful backup singers to the double drummers, and of course Sufjan himself. The visuals projected on screen reinforced the mood of many songs, and the sound was mixed quite well. It was still a proper loud show in a concert hall, but I could actually hear each instrument and singer clearly and distinctly. The whole set – including a several song encore – lasted around 2.5 glorious hours.

Most exciting, however, was how this show reshaped my appreciation of The Age of Adz as an album. I have to admit that, while I certainly enjoyed some tracks before the show, I was a little let down by Sufjan’s latest effort. I’m not sure if it’s because of the seemingly heightened sonic bombast or something else, but it was a slight step below The BQE on my ranking of Stevens’ work. This concert, somehow, shifted my opinion. Perhaps it’s my fond impression of the live performances, or maybe it’s the way these touring arrangements seemed to have highlighted what made these songs good to begin with.

Whatever the case, I listened to a few tracks on Adz this morning with renewed ears. I sure hope Sufjan comes through Richmond again in the future, too. I’ll be there.

Ben Folds + Nick Hornby + Pomplamoose = Ear Joy

I feel like this has been posted all over the Internet today, but this video (as of this writing) still has fewer than 4000 views. Let your ears be glad as you see all the people mentioned in the title of this post get down to musical business in the best way.


(via too many people to list, but it bears posting everywhere)

my dinner may have been better than yours

hanger steak dinner

Oh, this was only PART of my dinner at Secco tonight.

This is the speck-wrapped hanger steak with charred local vegetables (field peas, I think, and carrots, squash, zucchini, and green beans), shaved summer truffles, and summer truffle sauce.

Uh-mazing.

Also, try the sea urchin dish. It’ll rock your mouth’s world.

New EP from Sufjan Stevens

Mercy!

Sufjan Stevens has released a new EP called All Delighted People, and you can listen to the whole thing for free on Bandcamp (or at the bottom of this post)! From there you can buy the entire EP for five bucks, or you can wait until next week to digitally purchase it elsewhere. Or you can wait until later this year to snag a physical copy.

Just listen! So much majesty!

http://bandcamp.com/EmbeddedPlayer.swf/album=670192006/size=venti/bgcol=FFFFFF/linkcol=000000/