Nick Murphy AKA Chet Faker

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I recently got to spend a day with Australian singer/songwriter Nick Murphy, better known by his stage name, Chet Faker. The Sydney Morning Herald was doing a cover story for their Sunday magazine that talked about his new album and how he was going to use his real name after five years as Faker. Tegan Sadlier, the photo editor at the Herald, and I tossed around a bunch of ideas before deciding on “Will The Real Nick Murphy Please Stand Up?” as our cover headline. More on that later, but here’s how the shoot went…

I have long had Ruby Bird Studios in Greenpoint on my radar, but haven’t had the right subject to take advantage of the wonderful grunge they have to offer…Nick was that subject! The old warehouse on the Brooklyn waterfront was made for a day of rock star portraits…

While studio 520 can hardly be described as a daylight space, it does have a cool casement window…

…that with minimal lighting (one big umbrella directly over Nick’s head) made for a nice, moody start…

Just to the left of the window was a beat up old sliding metal door that I liked for some tight portraits…

To the right of the window was an even more interesting door, but this one was recessed in a brick wall that would make for a frame around Nick…

…and that furry green coat…perfect!!!

Finally, for our cover concept…I convinced Tegan I could do a multiple image photo of Nick in different positions, wearing different outfits, to illustrate the ‘Will The Real Nick Murphy Please Stand Up?’ idea…

This wall was our base…

Next, we had to place our ‘Nicks’ in different spots in the frame…

And when that was done, all that was left was for me to spend a day at the computer making a group shot…with the ‘real’ Nick standing up!

…and here’s our final cover…

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Suite Judy Blue Eyes

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Judy Collins…!!!

When Ronnie Weil called and offered me this one, all I could say was, “Wow!”. For five decades…my entire life…she’s been making music…beautiful music. Now Judy is recording a new CD that is tentatively titled “Duets with Guys”, an album that will feature her signing with Jeff Bridges, Jimmy Buffett, Don McLean and Kris Kristofferson, and Alexandra Wolfe was writing a profile on her for the Wall Street Journal. Here is how our day went…

Kaz sitting in for our first shot…

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Ms. Collins in the makeup chair…

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And our shooting day begins…

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We also had a Journal video crew following us around…

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Here are a couple of final images…

Judy Collins

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For the next setup, I wanted to do something dark & dramatic, and more etherial. And while it doesn’t look like much with Kaz in place…

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…once Judy stepped on set, things got dialed in pretty fast…

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Judy Collins

…and our final image…

Judy Collins

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As a little bonus, follow the link below for Ali Wolfe’s interview with Judy…

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…as well as some more behind-the-scenes from our shoot:

Judy Collins Interview & Behind-the-Scenes footage

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Song of the Day

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KATE TUCKER & THE SONS OF SWEDEN
Hangover


DOWNLOAD: Hangover

It should come as no surprise to long-time SOTD listeners that with me being back in the groove of kickin’ out free music for you guys, a new song from Kate Tucker wouldn’t be long in coming. Since ditching all her of dear, dear friends in New York for Nashville a couple of years ago, Ms. Tucker has been bouncing between her solo work and the K+NIKKU project with Nic Danielson, but she recently decided to reform The Sons of Sweden with a new group of Sons…Matthew Thompson on bass, Wes Chandler playing guitar and Ethan Place on drums. Kate and the Sons have been recording new material for a while and have just launched a Kickstarter Campaign to help them release “The Shape, The Color, The Feel”, described as a collaborative audio/visual venture to record the album, release it on vinyl, complete with music videos or short films accompanying each song. ‘Hangover’ is the little tease she’s dropping to get you interested, so give it a listen, head on over to the Sons of Sweden Facebook page and hit the ‘LIKE’ button, and if you have a few extra bucks burning a hole in your pocket, don’t waste it on a Powerball ticket…why not help them out on the Kickstarter campaign?

Click HERE and donate until your wallet is empty!

Song of the Day

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ELECTRIC EEL SHOCK
Metal Man


DOWNLOAD: Metal Man

Electric Eel Shock… a three-piece garage metal band that have been kicking around Tokyo since the late 90’s…are self-described as being “the BEST Japanese Metal Band”, and since my experience with Japanese Metal is pretty damned limited, I’m gonna hafta take their word for it. But I was trolling the Daytrotter site this morning and came across a live session they just did and figured it was just the kind of fun, exuberant thing I needed as a ‘Welcome Back!” to the Song of the Day!

Let’s not kid ourselves…these guys ain’t exactly Van Halen…but without any kind of significant record label success, they’ve still managed to plug along all this time and put together a pretty impressive fan base outside of Japan, and I kinda like that. So enjoy the song and when you’re done, give ’em a look over on their website.

Video of the Day

This is pretty great. Aimee Mann did a shot-for-shot remake (with John Hamm as the Director!) of ‘Til Tuesday’s ‘Voices Carry’ to her new single, ‘Labrador’, from this years Charmer album…

You just gotta love Mountain Goats drummer Jon Wurster as the scummy boyfriend and brief shot of Ted Leo in a fright wig!

Song of the Day

RICHARD HAWLEY
Down in the Woods


DOWNLOAD:Down in the Woods

Richard Hawley is probably destined to be one of those over-talented Brits who never cracks the American market, and that’s really a shame, ‘cuz he’s awfully damned good. Back in the 90’s he was in the Britpop band Longpigs before hooking up with Jarvis Cocker’s Pulp, but on his own, Hawley has released seven truly inspiring solo albums. And while he’s probably known as being more of a rockabilly-styled singer, his latest album, Standing At The Sky’s Edge…with walls of fuzzy feedback, processed vocals and dark lyrics…is downright psychedelic. And for a guy who’s said he’d “never, ever been interested in fashion or being fashionable”, he’s put out a very hip record. Head on over to his website to check him out, and here he is doing ‘Down in the Woods’ live on Jools Holland’s show…

Song of the Day

SOPHIE BARKER
Say Goodbye


DOWNLOAD: Say Goodbye

Remember Zero 7…??? Of course you do…who didn’t have the album Simple Things on the top of their iTunes list when it came out?!! It practically defined the entire Chillout genre of music. As luck would have it, Sia got crazy famous because of ‘Destiny’, but for some reason the same didn’t happen to Sophie Barker who sang lead on ‘In The Waiting Line’. But Sophie’s had three solo albums of her own material, the latest…Seagull…was released in the UK late last year, and even though you can pick it up on iTunes, it hasn’t had any kind of publicity over here. However…since ‘Say Goodbye’ has been dropped on a bunch of music blogs recently…it showed up in my email box this morning…I’m thinkin’ it’s about to get a stateside release soon. You can follow Sophie on her website or over on facebook