Paradise Lounge exhibit celebrates 25 years of rock history
By Susie Davidson
25 rockin’ years, two dozen artists, more than 100 exhilarating images and countless memorable moments come together in “Visions of Paradise,” a live concert photography exhibit now showing at the Paradise Lounge, 969 Commonwealth Ave., through Oct. 22.
In conjunction with Cambridge’s Out of the Blue Gallery, the collection of historic and contemporary color and black and white shots links the history of the club to its rock and roll raison d’etre. In a comprehensive look back, through artful archiving of live pop culture in both onstage glory and behind-the-scenes candids, selected regional photographers vividly portray a sociological melding of music and art.
The show features the Mighty Mighty Bosstones, Screaming Trees, Sonic Youth, Peter Gabriel, Phish, Peter Wolf, U2, Mission of Burma, ‘Til Tuesday, AC/DC, Bauhaus, The Sheila Devine, Matthew Sweet, Joe Strummer and other rock acts.
Contributor Julie Kramer, who pilots the popular midday “Leftover Lunch” 80’s retro show on WFNX (101.7 FM), attests that she “came out shooting” at birth and never laid the lens to rest. Kramer, who holds a bachelor’s degree in fine arts in Photography/Visual Design from the University of Massachusetts at Dartmouth, has shown her self-dubbed “environmental portraiture of people, places and spaces,” which includes series of pregnant women, restaurant diners, and musicians, at area venues.
Although the North Shore native attended Hebrew School, the future DJ was, oddly enough, too shy to have a bat mitzvah. “I was too nervous to get up in front of people,” she recalled. “I just couldn’t do it.” But there’s hope; married 14 years, Kramer just had her first child, and is considering participating in a combined b’nai mitzvot when he comes of age.
Kramer studied Jewish literature over her four years at SMU. “I’m Jewish through and through,” she said. “I grew up celebrating holidays; we did the Sabbath, I belonged to B’nai B’rith groups and hung out at the JCC.” Kramer’s two sisters are similarly art and music-oriented; Lori, a poet, has co-written songs for Audrey’s band the 360s. “My whole family is musical,” she said. Her mother, active in Hadassah and ORT, was a schoolteacher and piano teacher; her father, a business consultant, was a director of the Brotherhood at Temple Isaiah in Lexington and helped produce its booklet on member Holocaust survivors. Kramer’s maternal grandfather, Harry Harris, came from Russia when he was 12; her father’s parents emigrated from from Kiev at the ages of 8 and 12.
Cambridge-based Fenway Recordings manager and Lexington native Mark Kates. who volunteered at WBCN at age 16 and signed Beck, Elastica and other big names while working for the Big Time group in Los Angeles, was bar mitzvah'd at Temple Isaiah under the tutelage of the late Rabbi Cary Yales. Last year, he orchestrated the wildly successful, internationally-staged reunion tour of the seminal Boston punk band Mission of Burma.
Photographer, filmmaker and musician Michael Galinsky, who released five albums with the 90’s rock band Sleepyhead, is known for his underground music documentaries and feature films; “Scraps,” his book of music photography, was published in 1999.
Melrose resident Paul Robicheau, whose writing and photography have regularly appeared in national and local media, has photographed concerts since 1978. His subjects have included Miles Davis, Sun Ra, Pete Townshend, Phish, Nine Inch Nails, U2, Talking Heads and Stevie Ray Vaughan.
Geoff Kula, a senior photographer at Stuff at Night, studied print and photojournalism at Boston University and is a freelance photographer and journalist. Gail Rush, a landscapes photographer and Boston music archivist, studied at The Art Institute of Boston and the New England School of Photography. Silkscreen artist Dave Tree, who fronted the band Tree and currently fronts Drug War, studied photography at Framingham State College and the Museum of Fine Art.
Other contributors include Kathy Chapman, BC Kagen, Steven Tackeff, Liz Linder, Joshua Dalsimer, Eric Law, Wayne Viens, Chilly Kurtz, Jay Hale, Lindsey Walker, Doug Slade, Brooke Imsach, Michael Grecco, Eric Antoniou and Kelly Davidson.
The Paradise Lounge opened its gallery in November of 2002. Showings have included the visual art of former Weezer bassist Mikey Welsh, paintings and silk screens by Jack Moorefield and David Vincent Conley, and work by Sandra Cohen, Asa Brebner and Wayne Viens.
Out of the Blue Gallery (www.outoftheblueartgallery.com), located at 106 Prospect St. in Central Square, Cambridge, curates shows at their gallery and at many other area spaces.
For more information, please contact the The Paradise Lounge at 617-562-8814 or visit www.thedise.com. To contact photographers, please call Ami Bennitt at 617-876-7363 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Can you hook me up with emails for Peter Wolf, Julie Kramer (if Jewish, I believe she is), Galinsky and any others in this who are Jewish so I can cover it for the Jewish Advocate (the JA has 30,000 subscribing area households plus newsstand sales)? I've done an article on Mark Kates who is also Jewish before so have info on him. Thanks very much, Susie Davidson
Community News Co.
I write for the Jewish Advocate and the Tabs and was interested in doing a piece for the Advocate on this show, perhaps focusing on three or so Jewish participants. I have material on Mark Kates from covering the Burma reunion shows, and will try for a couple of others like Wolf and Galinsky.
Do you have any Jewish background, past or current (i.e. where you grew up, in what sort of Jewish home, were you bat mitzvahed, did you have any Jewish activities then or any affiliations with any Jewish organizations then or now, does Judaism influence your life at all?)
Thanks very much, I need perhaps 2-3 short paragraphs, and if there is a jpeg photo please have it sent to email@example.com with "For Susie's story on Julie Kramer/Visions of Paradise Rock Concert Photography article" in the subject line.
PS Love the Leftover Lunch! My era!
Eleven Jay Street, Floor One, Cambridge, MA 02139 617.876.7363 firstname.lastname@example.org
6 prominent characters who will lead Visions of Paradise next month (jpgs available):
Some of her favorite rock images are the last portrait taken of Roy Orbison before he died, Matthew Sweet, and Joe Strummer.
4 Santry Road
Marblehead, MA 01945
Galinsky. He spent the nineties documenting the underground music world, and more recently has focused on filmmaking. His book of music photography, Scraps, was published in 1999. He has shown in New York and throughout Europe. Michael spent most of the 1990s in the rock band Sleepyhead. They released 5 albums, many EPs and singles. Along with partner Suki Hawley, he has made three feature films that deal with underground culture: Half-Cocked (1995), Radiation (1999), and Horns and Halos (2002).