Great Peacock at the Bottletree Cafe in Birmingham, Alabama

A few weeks back, I photographed a band I really love photographing, Great Peacock, at a venue I really love, The Bottletree Cafe in Birmingham. It's been a busy few weeks here at the Aimless Skylarking headquarters, and I'm just now finished with the photos. With spring here, there's been lots of skylarking and several hours of aimless, well, whatever aimless is, but I haven't had my butt behind the computer screen too much. Can you blame me? 

Anyway, I really like the guys in Great Peacock, they're earnest, hard working and just really nice folks. And, they put on one hell of an energetic show. If you're a fan of southern rock with lots of dashes of country and a few sprinkles of folk mixed in, you're going to love these guys. Their debut LP, Making Ghosts, is slated for a May 12th release via This Is American Music. Stream my favorite song by the band, 'Desert Lark', while checking out my photos from their March 1st performance. 

If you'd like to see the rest of the photos I processed, about 25 in all, you can find them on my Flickr page.

Photos of And The Echo at Bottletree Cafe in Birmingham

Sometimes things just don't work out as smoothly as you'd like them to. That was the case when I photographed Oxford, Mississippi's synth-pop band And The Echo at the Bottletree Cafe in Birmingham last week. The opening act's set of photos turned out quite nice, sharp and in focus, the lighting was good. Not so much when And The Echo hit the stage, their Chvrches-like light show proved a tough cookie, I almost resorted to manual focus, but didn't. The lights along with a wall of synths proved to be my kryptonite that night. Anyway, I'll share the best of the lot here. Stream my favorite And The Echo song, 'Smoke and Mirrors' below while checking out the photos.

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Photos of War Jacket at Bottletree Cafe in Birmingham

We like to get our money's worth at Aimless Skylarking. I wouldn't call us cheapskates, or even thrifty, we just know a bargain when we see it, and seeing as much live music as we can is our kind of bargain. We've never understood how someone can slip in the door minutes before the headliner takes the stage, missing the support act and a better vantage point once the show starts. It's those support acts that often excite us the most, and if I have to explain why, you just might be one those people who show up late.

Last Tuesday night, with our 19 year old nephew in tow, we made the 90 minute drive South to Birmingham to catch Oxford, Mississippi's synth-pop band And The Echo at the Bottletree Cafe. The cafe has become our favorite venue in the city, with a capacity of about 200, local beer on tap, and a fantastic menu, we never leave dissatisfied. Most performances at at the cafe can be seen for less than $15, an incredible bargain we might add. After seeing the support act, a Birmingham 3-piece folk band, War Jacket, we know we got our money's worth. We're suckers for folk music, but we're bigger suckers for ukuleles, and the biggest suckers of them all for a cello, War Jacket featured all of that. We went in as a fan of the synth-pop headliner, and came out a fan of War Jacket. We're planning to see Glen Hansard in Birmingham next February, albeit at a larger venue, and wouldn't be surprised if we were joined that evening by the band.

The band hinted at new music coming soon, in the interim, here's a selection from their 2011 LP

Live Like You're Going Home

. Stream it below while checking out our photos from the show.

For more information on War Jacket:

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Photos from Blank Range show

On Friday I wrote about Blank Range's awesome single, 'Scrapin'.  Did you read it?  If not, here it is again. Give it another listen while you check out a few photos from their October 17th performance at the Bottletree Cafe in Birmingham.    

Since I wasn't able to secure a photo pass for the night, I was stuck documenting the show with my cell phone. The lighting was so good that night too, but, alas, I was able to enjoy the show a bit more without the camera tied around my neck. I took a few photos of the guys in Blank Range, not nearly as many as I did of Benjamin Booker and crew, but what I took actually turned out well for phone photos.

The next photo is blurry, but shows bassist Aaron Wahlman's previously mentioned style -- high water jeans and Chuck Taylor's.  I've not seen a musician get into a performance as much as Aaron, certainly a compelling performer.