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The #TaxDay Protests In DC: A Gallery

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , on April 15, 2017 by johnbuckley100

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All images Leica M10 and 35mm Summilux.

The April 15th Tax March in Washington should scare Republicans even more than their narrow victory this week in the Kansas special election.  Oh sure, the crowds were smaller than the Womens’ March on January 21st.  But they were still large, and beyond their size was the enthusiasm, the anger, the joy in being able to protest against Trump.

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Republicans used to own Tax Day, and now, so long as Trump doesn’t release his taxes, April 15th is symbolic of how taxpayers are screwed, not by high taxes, but by people like Trump.  It’s a stunning reversal, as important in its way as the appropriation of patriotism as the American flag was by Democrats at last summer’s Democratic National Convention.

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The signs continue to show creativity, the demographics continue to span age and racial groups.  And as the Trump team continues to make missteps — announcing they won’t release White House visitor logs one day before a national series of marches and protests against Trump’s refusal to release his tax returns — the promise of the 2018 elections continues undiminished.  Herewith some images from the event today in the Nation’s Capital.

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The Tulip Frenzy, 2017 Edition

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , on April 11, 2017 by johnbuckley100

Washington had an unfortunate month of March, and we’re not just talking about the Trump Administration.  First it was warm, and then it was cold.  By April it was warm again, but the damage was done, first to the cherry blossoms, then to the tulips.  We didn’t take pictures of tulips the week of March 31 because they weren’t ready, and by the 7th, they were overripe.  But in a secret spot where our beloved tulips congregate, Tulip Frenzy found these.  All images taken with a Leica SL and the 50mm Summilux SL, with an ND filter.

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What His Administration Must Look Like To “The Closer”

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , on March 26, 2017 by johnbuckley100

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Leica SL, Vario-Elmarit SL 24-90, Kamokuna Lava Flow, Big Island

With The Arrival Of Cosmonauts And The Molochs In D.C., Our Long Miserable Winter May Be Over

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , on March 24, 2017 by johnbuckley100

CosmonautsLast night may have signaled the turn, a more meaningful sign than that groundhog in Pennsylvania giving the thumbs up, letting those of us who’ve suffered through the invasion of our city by Trump’s clown posse know the end of our misery is nigh.  We are  of course talking about two of the coolest bands in the land hitting DC9, both of ’em playing sets that left us smiling, maybe even exultant.  Cosmonauts and The Molochs on a double bill signals the end of winter, a reason to quit moping about what’s happened to our country, our city. It was, in a word, sublime.

You can tell we are as out of touch as the Republicans in Congress because when the rumor first circulated through the Tulip Frenzy office complex that the Cosmonauts and Molochs were coming to DC — and playing together — we went to the Verizon Center ticket counter, only to learn they weren’t playing there.  So we figured it had to be a chilly outdoor show at FedEx Field, or Nats Park, or maybe RFK Stadium?  We were shocked they were playing a small club like DC9, our single favorite upstairs rumpus room.  But we gave the Tulip Frenzy staff the night off and encouraged everyone to go.  After an argument broke out about whether the Cosmonauts had pulled a crowd bigger than Beyonce, a former Park Service employee threatened to do a comparison of photos, like Obama’s inauguration crowd vs. Trump’s.  But then our official statistician settled matters by simply declaring the crowd size at “less than 1000.”  So there you have it.

We ranked A-Ok, the fourth Cosmonauts album, as #6 on Tulip Frenzy’s 2016 Best Recs list, and it really was an incredible album, both in its own right and as a London Calling vs. Give ‘Em Enough Rope step up from 2013’s wonderful Persona Non Grata. So we were really happy when they began their set with “Short Wave Communication” and all but three of the songs they played were from A-Ok.  Just as good, the two songs they played from Persona Non Grata were a medley of “Shaker” and “What Me Worry,” and the lone offering from If You Wanna Die Then I Wanna Die was the coolest T. Rex homage this side of fellow O.C. bro Ty Segall, “Super Reverb.”

When Cosmonauts started out, they rode the slipstream behind John Dwyer’s Thee Oh Sees, a band whose name gave away its Orange County roots.  But since their move to L.A. and with the extraordinary A-OK under their belt, Cosmonauts have done something remarkable: they have broken new ground, transcended their influences, and now they are a band that younger bands will be compared to.  In their own way, they have become peerless.  Last night live, their psych roots were showing, and for a band that used to describe themselves as “drug punk” — a near perfect description — the sound of a 12-string Fender posted against a lone Strat, with a throbbing, sinuous, groove-oriented rhythm section, all added up to sonic nirvana, even as maybe they were as loud as Nirvana playing an arena. Um, though they were in DC9…  All in, a fantastic band, and their arrival in D.C. — at long last — was an epochal event, even if the crowd was “less than 1000.”

Cosmonauts Molochs

Before the great Cosmonaut’s set, The Molochs brought their blend of Brian-Jones-era-Stones-play-the-Whiskey-A-Go-Go to an adoring crowd.  We loved America’s Velvet Glory, as readers of Tulip Frenzy know from our January ravings.  Live, The Molochs are as interesting as any band playing Shindig circa 1967, though we miss the girls in the fishnet stockings dancing in suspended cages. There is a period-perfect jangle to their version of garage rock that skips right over LA progenitors from the Paisley Underground and goes straight to the ’60s sources.  Less than two months after the release of their album, The Molochs have just released a new E.P., which we didn’t know about ’til they told us afterwards when we asked where we could find that final song of their set — the one that blends “Sympathy For The Devil” with the Velvets’ “What Goes On”… yeah, think about that… — and they told us AVG Sessions EP was out now on iTunes.  Go, at once, and download their whole catalogue.

So on a morning when we woke up to the first Jesus and Mary Chain album since the Clinton Administration… and as word further circulates that Trumpcare and its authors are royally screwed… it may still be cold out, but things are looking up.

An Argument In Behalf Of Kauai’s Nomination For Most Beautiful Place On Earth

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , on March 20, 2017 by johnbuckley100

Napali Heli WB-23

It has been our enormous privilege to see what many consider among the world’s most beautiful places.  It is a privilege, but not necessarily one stemming from income, to see these sites, as Americans have, in our parks and public lands, a bounty inexpensive to visit, if far from free.  No doubt there are spots on the planet not in the United States vying for the title of the most beautiful place on Earth, but it isn’t just jingoism to believe that some of the strongest competitors for that title exist here, and are, for now at least, accessible to all.

We once believed that Grand Teton National Park was the most beautiful place we’d ever seen, until we saw the Grand Canyon.  But we have always wanted to visit Kauai, and in particular, the Na Pali Coast, wondering if, when the votes came in, it would take the contest.  We’ve spent the past five nights on the island, and as we leave we think we have photographic evidence in support of its candidacy.  Herewith, some pictures to back up the claim, all taken with the Leica SL, from above (by helicopter), at ground level (hiking), and by sea (boat.)

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Napali Heli WB-10Last Day-4Napali Heli WB-16Napali Heli WB-14Waimea WB-7

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The Peaceful Spot In Georgetown That Is The Setting For George Saunders’ “Lincoln In The Bardo”

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , on February 13, 2017 by johnbuckley100

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Today is the pub date for George Saunders’ first novel, Lincoln In The Bardo, which is set in Oak Hill Cemetery, above Georgetown.  In the novel, the spirit of Willie Lincoln, dead at age 11 in 1862, exists along with others in that netherworld between life and Buddhist reincarnation.  President Lincoln, convulsed in mourning, visits his son, and is observed by the other spirits.  We have visited Oak Hill Cemetery many times, and it is situated next to Dumbarton Oaks, its front entrance looking down upon Georgetown and the Potomac, its back acreage looking down upon Rock Creek Park.  It is a gorgeous, peaceful spot, and a lovely place to visit on a Sunday afternoon in turbulent times.  All images Leica M10.

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Immigrants Welcome

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , on February 6, 2017 by johnbuckley100

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