Rhett: Again I am behind on my timeline for getting this post out! Summer has meant a lot less of my free time huddled around my laptop working on this thing. Back at it today!
I was looking at my blog recently and realized I needed some more female voices sharing their tunes and their creativity. The first person I asked was Tegan. An extremely creative person who is always working on something different, artsy, and beautiful. Also, if you need to procure some coffee beans from a great local roaster, she’s your guide. Mostly, her photography is incredible and I knew I needed to get some of her shots on here.
I know Tegan does not love the spotlight, so I very much appreciate her sharing with us. Enjoy!
Tegan: I’ll be honest when Rhett asked me to contribute to his blog I was shocked? Floored? Stunned? I’m just a girl who could live the rest of her life listening to Dallas Green so why on earth would he want me to contribute? Still wondering. Anyway, I met Rhett in high school and I can thank him and the rest of Climax/Frontier for broadening my music horizons. If it weren’t for them, I’d only be listening to Nickleback and Katy Perry. I’m going to share my favourite songs. Songs that I never skip over. Songs that I could listen to over and over again. They all happen to be male singers which was kind of shocking at first but after thinking about it, it makes total sense as I find I am drawn more to deep voices in music. I’ll warn you that 99% of them will be slow and maybe sad. And I’ll also warn you that I’m tone deaf, not very technical, don’t know what most song lyrics are and sometimes I like songs just because. I paired each song with a picture that may or may not fit with the song.
Here we go in no particular order.
City and Colour – “Body in a box”
When I said no particular order, that may have been a lie. This song is my absolute favourite. Maybe a bit morbid considering it’s about death, but it’s my go to song. Really anything that Dallas Green sings is my go to, but this one especially. And ESPECIALLY if it’s the acoustic version. Holy moly. I’ve seen him live a couple of times and I had goosebumps the whole time. Coincidently, the cities flooded those nights too. I pictured it with the picture of my farm because it’s my favourite place on earth and when it’s my time to go, I would like my ashes spread there. Like Dallas said ‘And let my ashes blow with the wind’ fitting since it’s windy as hell at the farm.
Allman Brown – “sons and daughters”
It was the winter of 2020 and we sat down to watch The Good Doctor. This particular episode had Logan ugly girl crying. After he stopped sniffling and sobbing, I could finally hear the show AND this song. I quickly fell in love with it, which Spotify solidified as it was our most played song of 2020. It took me a year and a google search to finally know what he was singing in this song, but we’re not surprised. Like I warned you before, listening and lyrics aren’t my strong suit so I guess that’s why photography makes sense to me. We went to Mexico in 2018 for The Balic wedding and while wandering around Playa Del Carmen I saw this huge wall covered in greenery. I made Logan go stand in front of it and he happily agreed (ok maybe not so happily) but then this topless man rode his bike in front and stole the show. I kind of love everything about this photo. So much that I have it hung up in our house. Thank you topless man for photobombing, but making the photo.
Wild Feathers – “If you don’t love me”
I was given this record as a gift and it was on repeat for months. If records weren’t meant to play from start to finish with no disruptions, this song would have been the only song I listened to. The Wild Feathers are a little folky, a little alt rock and a little addicting. This song is catchy.In 2016 I went to Europe for 10 weeks and saw a lot. This photo is from Portugal and always kind of made me giggle. Portugal is an amazing country that I feel I only scratched the surface of. I hope one day I can go back.
Wintersleep – “Dead Letter and the Infinite Yes”
The first time I heard this song was at the U of S campus bar, Louie’s, with Eric Anderson and Rhett. Something about a small venue gives me goosebumps. Ever since then, I’ve been digging the acoustic version of this song (go figure) and blasting it in the car. You’ll never catch me singing it though because no one needs to hear this tone deaf voice. We’ll leave the singing to Rhett. I haven’t heard this song for some time but it instantly came to mind when writing this blog. It was nice to play it on repeat like I’m 18 again. I was looking through old pictures to hopefully find something for this blog and I stumbled across this beauty. How fitting since Sailor Dan was a Saskatoon legend. He was outside of Midtown mall and I bought a print off of him. He came into Starbucks and added our family name on some flags. Pretty neat to own a Sailor Dan print.
Bear’s Den – “AGape”
I think the first time I heard Bear’s Den was in the movie/documentary “Austin To Boston’. If you haven’t watched it yet, it’s a MUST. 5 old VW camper vans. 4 bands. 3 thousand miles. 2 weeks. 1 incredible film. When it was on Netflix, I think I watched it at least 80 times. It was filmed amazingly, the music is awesome and you’re guaranteed to have goosebumps the whole 71 minutes and 44 seconds. You can’t go wrong listening to any of Bear’s Den, but I chose Agape because I find that I never skip over this song when it comes on. Also, this music video is sweet. This van may not be a Volkswagon, but I’d say it’s pretty close 😉
Revivalists – “Soulfight”
Logan found this beauty earlier this year and it’s been heavy in our rotation. It’s not a new song but it never gets skipped over. The piano at the beginning just gets my little heart racing and in some songs you can hear the trumpet. Being a trumpet player in a highschool band (band was cool, okay), I can really appreciate a good trumpet player. It’s not easy. Oh and the band also has a saxophonist- WHAT MORE COULD YOU ASK FOR?! If you haven’t checked out these guys before, I think you should go do that now. This photo is of my Uncle Cecil. Or Uncle Dick. I chose this photo because it’s one of my favourite portraits. It wasn’t staged or planned; he was just sitting in the seed cleaner shed in his natural element. This man is a kook and brings joy to our family. He has a gold tooth and told us when we were kids that a calf peed on it and that’s why it’s gold. Or that his daughter named her kid, Ketchup, because she loved Ketchup so much. We didn’t stay gullible for too long.
SHAKey graves – “family + genus”
One year for my birthday, Carly got me floor tickets to see City + Colour and Shakey Graves opened for him. What a dreamy pair. This song has been one of my favs ever since. The picture is from when Carly and I took a trip to Boston. We went to a couple of ball games at Fenway Stadium and toured their stadium. This lone red chair is 502 feet from home plate and marks the longest home run in Fenway history. It was struck by Ted Williams on June 9, 1946, supposedly. David Ortiz, otherwise known as Big Papi, was the Red Sox big slugger and he would go out everyday with an aluminum bat and wouldn’t even come close to the chair. He’s not saying that Ted didn’t do it, but he’s skeptical since there is no video proof and only the word of witnesses. Either way, a cool story and an even cooler stadium.
foy vance – “burden”
Foy and the piano is just money. You don’t need much else. Foy is an Irishman and you can vaguely hear his accent while he sings which I always thought was interesting. In University I watched/listened to music on YouTube A LOT. Probably too much and that’s why I had to take Organic Chem twice. But since Spotify came out, I rarely use YouTube. While writing this blog post, I opened YouTube up again and I never realized how much I missed it and how much more immersed in the music I get while watching. Foy Vance has a lot of videos of him just playing and they’re quite incredible. Plus he has a moustache that most men might envy. In 2019 I was lucky enough to photograph a wedding in Ireland. Logan and I headed to Europe a couple weeks before said wedding and did some travelling. Logan loves war history and really wanted to go to Germany and see Hitler’s Eagles Nest. I’ll be honest, I had no idea what he was even talking about. So we went and I can honestly say, it was my favourite part of the trip. Hitler’s Eagles Nest is on the summit of Kehlstein, a rocky outcrop that rises above Obersalzberg near the town of Berchtesgaden. The town of Berchtesgaden is the quintessential German town. It’s where you would imagine people that wear lederhosen to live. The Eagle’s Nest was a gift to Hitler but he only visited it 14 times since he disliked heights. I could go on and tell you more facts, but I’ll spare you the time. Google is always there for you. Or if you have seen the show Band of Brothers you’ve seen it and know what i’m talking about. This picture is from the top of the mountain, quite breathtaking if I do say so myself.
Thank you for listening to me ramble about music and other random things. I’m going to leave you with this picture of an outhouse to remind you that not all shit is ugly.
Rhett: Another month has gone by in the blink of an eye. Now that it’s getting nice out I’m finding the days are flying by!
This month my guest is another member of the Coburn clan. I don’t know if anyone consumes more music than Kelby and Nick combined. Always looking for something new, but also well versed in the old. Nick was always a musical influence on Kelby and I growing up. Whether it was throwing on one of Boyd’s Megadeth albums, letting us pound away on the drum kit set up in the basement, or introducing us to Motion City Soundtrack (“The Future Freaks Me Out” and “Capital H” were maybe my favourite songs of 2003). Name a music genre and I bet Nick enjoys it. We have continued to bond over the years in that love of music and our appreciation for the little details in songs not just the track as a whole. I’ve always admired Nick’s ear for things.
Nick has also dove into the world of photography and I’m super excited for you to see what he has paired up for us here! His attention to detail in music comes through in his pictures as well. I’ll stop writing. Move on to the good stuff!
Nick: When Rhett asked me to contribute to his blog a few months ago now, I thought, “how hard can it be?” I love music, I love finding new songs and artists and with now with Spotify, I especially love the fact that I can experience a band’s entire discography and discover old music that I never knew existed. From the complexity of my blog below, you would never guess that I’ve been working on this for a month now but alas, I most certainly have.
It’s not easy to nail down significant albums on a whole that have really impacted my life. And it’s also not easy to write about the ones that have hit you the right way. The last 18 months haven’t been overly heavy for new, groundbreaking releases, but there have been quite a few gems come out of the pandemic.
Childish Gambino’s “3.15.20” was one of the first I remember hearing when Covid hit last year and that album was, and still is, on high rotation for me. I won’t talk about it at all as it speaks for itself so take that in if you haven’t already.
The following are not necessarily brand new by any means but have found a special place in my audio arsenal over the last year.
Along with my selections, I have chosen some photos to accompany the music. I have taken photography more seriously over the past 12 months and have some work that I am very proud of that I’ll share along with my musical choices for you. My hope is that you may listen to these songs and albums, watch the videos attached and view my photos and enjoy them all for as long or as little as you wish.
Thank you Rhett for asking me to participate in your project. I have thoroughly enjoyed reading your blog posts over the past few months along with your selected guest bloggers. I hope to make a valuable contribution to your snapshot in time.
SYLVAN ESSO – “WITH”
I have been a big fan of Sylvan Esso since their debut release in 2014 – The electronic pop duo has a very powerful sound, catchy chorus’ and unique beats.
“With” is a live album and youtube video/doc project released in April of 2020 and is simply fantastic. They gathered with a collection of close friends (musicians) and recreated previous songs with their newly formed 10 piece band. They gave each song a unique spin and delivered a live performance for the ages. It is truly an auditory and visual experience that will engage you from start to finish. It is essential to listen to loud and when you have the free time, please take in the visual performance on youtube for an additionally cathartic experience.
THE STAVES – “GOOD WOMAN”
Another group I have been following for many years since they first started making music back in 2012, The Staves are an Indie Folk trio of sisters from England. Jessica, Emily and Camilla have the ability to harmonize with each other in a way that will simply send chills down your spine. An erie, gorgeous, powerful sound comes through that will absolutely bring pleasure to your ears.
Along with this newest album, please check out their singles “Dead & Born & Grown”, “Winter Trees”, “Eagle Song” and especially if you take nothing else from my selections, “BLOOD I BLED”. It could be one of the most chilling songs I have ever heard. So delicate, beautiful and powerful at the same time. Harmonies, horns, strings and beats that will certainly give you chills.
They also have a cover of a Springsteen classic “I”M ON FIRE” that will blow the doors of the original.
“GOOD WOMAN” is their latest release and third studio album and it is wonderful front to back. Every song is unique and has a different feel from their previous records. The title track “Good Woman” is catchy and great in its own way. The second track “Best Friend” has a unique beat, beautiful harmonies and excellent lyrics. The third track of the album “Careful, Kid” is my favourite. Another completely different beat and overall sound, they just make it work really well.
LUCY DACUS – “HISTORIAN”
I have only recently stumbled upon Lucy and she is right up my alley. A completely different sound with a deeper monotone voice. Her songs are usually long and have multiple layers. Take for example “NIGHT SHIFT”, a 6:31 long tune that basically has 4 different songs all melded together. It starts off slow and steady, evolves throughout and features some epically grungy guitar that you would never expect from the way the song begins. I have to listen to that one start to finish every time it comes on.
With another Springsteen Cover, Lucy recreates the classic “DANCING IN THE DARK” in her own way and brings a nice, new sound to this pop classic. Big fan of this one too! “Timefighter” is another great tune from her Historian album that starts off slow and builds to a strong rock ballad.
Lucy has a brand new single just released May 20th, “VBS” which is a typical Lucy slow jam with a really cool sound and then after the bridge busts into a hard grungy guitar riff before going back in a slow, gentle finish. “Hot & Heavy” is another nostalgic tune if you’re digging Lucy Dacus.
While looking into Lucy a little further and checking out all of her music, I found a 6 song EP called “boygenius” that is a combo record by Lucy Dacus, Phoebe Bridgers and Julien Baker. Looking forward to going through that one front to back a few times over.
PAUL CAUTHEN – “MY GOSPEL” & “ROOM 41”
Paul has 2 studio album releases so far and I can’t pick a favourite. Both are fantastic. Paul fits into the new age, old style country genre if that’s a thing. He aligns with the likes of Colter Wall, Willie Watson, Lillie Mae, Margo Price, Orville Peck, etc.
Paul is a Texas boy who started out playing with the group Sons of Fathers from 2009-2014 before they split up and Paul decided to go out on his own. With a highly religious upbringing, Paul mixed his gospel roots with his love for country. His songs are unique, catchy and his baritone voice echos through with great conviction.
His first solo record “MY GOSPEL” was an 11 song LP released in 2016 and is wonderful from front to back with a great mix of slow and two steppin country tunes.
“SADDLE”, “LET IT BURN” and “AS YOUNG AS YOU’LL EVER BE” are my top three from this album.
After a couple years of playing bars and touring, Cauthen slipped into a dark place and began a heavy period of alcohol and drug use. His 2019 album, “ROOM 41” is a reflection of this dark time. This album is another great mix of slow ballads and catchy dancing tunes.
The title track and Cauthen’s most popular to date is “COCAINE COUNTRY DANCING” which is a cool, catchy new age pop country song. “PRAYED FOR RAIN” is great song that hits close to home coming from a farming family and community. “LAY ME DOWN” is a powerful song that can hit home depending on where you are in your life.
I’m a big fan of Paul’s sound and look forward to him putting out another record soon. I have had tickets for the Under the Big Sky festival in Whitefish for two years now. Paul Cauthen was one of the acts scheduled for last year and due to Covid, like everything else, the 2020 festival was cancelled. Paul has been secured for this years festival in July and my only hope is that the restrictions will loosen, the border will open up and we can head down south to see Paul and many other wonderful acts perform in the beautiful White Fish area.
RIVAL BOYS – “ANIMAL INSTINCTS”
I wanted to bring up an old album that still resonates today. An album that I feel was lost in time.
“Animal Instincts” was released back in June of 2014 – a 10 song debut album from the indie rock trio from Toronto. 10 unique songs all with a wonderful sound.
7 months later, after a brief stint touring their debut album, Rival Boys made a collective decision to go their separate ways and pursue other interests.
I remember playing this album on high rotation when it first came out. It was a fantastic selection that was just a lot of fun to put on and listen from start to finish. Quality musicianship, great vocals and catchy riffs made it one of my favourites.
Their cover of Wolf Parade’s “I’ll Believe in Anything” is so awesome and unique from the original. I didn’t realise it was a cover until a few years later so it was even more of a surprise later on down the road to piece that together.
I have found myself reaching back and throwing this album on lately. Brings back some great memories and still holds its own today. I can only dream about what other great music they would have made had they stayed together. Go check it out if you haven’t heard of them already.
SON LUX – “Lost it to trying” and “A different kind of love”
One last group that I would like to share with you if you haven’t heard of them already is SON LUX. They are an extremely experimental band who are completely unique from anything else I’ve heard. Several albums, tons of singles & remixes and now migrating into the movie soundtrack world, SON LUX are a group of incredibly talented individuals who will make you appreciate every sound they make electronic or otherwise. If you’re into this type of music of course!
Please check out these two songs and peruse the rest of their catalog if you dig it!
Thank you for taking the time to read, listen and look at my piece of Peanut Butter & Jams.
I’m looking forward to the evolution of this blog from a one of kind, heart of gold, voice of an angel, stunningly handsome SOB, Rhett Kirk. Love, Love.
Like PB & J – Nick Coburn
SYLVAN ESSO – “WITH”
THE STAVES – “GOOD WOMAN”
LUCY DACUS – “HISTORIAN”
PAUL CAUTHEN – “MY GOSPEL” & “ROOM 41”
RIVAL BOYS – “ANIMAL INSTINCTS”
SON LUX – “LOST IT TO TRYING” & “A DIFFERENT KIND OF LOVE”
Rhett: He’s back folks. I’ve mentioned before what a talented, creative guy Nathan is and it would be a disservice to you all to not have him contribute on here regularly. His art, which I wanted to showcase here, is the main reason I came up with this idea of pairing a song and a picture in the first place.
I don’t know anything about photography, but there is something about the style of picture that he takes that I love. It is the type of photography that I want to put on the walls of my home and in the book on my coffee table. Pair this talent with his witty comments and you have one hell of an instagram follow. Just copying his pictures into this post got me excited for you all. My favourite thing is his ability to turn the simple and mundane into something beautiful. There is a real knack to that.
In another edition of Like PB & J, I’ve asked Jones to pair a picture he’s taken with a song he likes. The rest was open to interpretation. Enjoy.
PS. – there are links throughout the post, so don’t forget to click on those if you want to explore some more!
Rain dogs by Tom waits
Nathan: A while back I was listening to Rain Dogs by Tom Waits, which I usually do when I feel the need to connect emotionally to a deranged sewer rat who is crawling out of the gutter with his boxing gloves on, ready to take on the world and win (which also brings up Ready to Win by Tokyo Police Club vibes). Waits’ music to me inspires a gritty confidence, not tied up in an effortless and perfect delivery, but a tenacity and willingness to endure. I’ve pondered whether one can capture that same kind of emotion in photography and what it might look like.
With modern cameras it is easy to shoot a photograph that is technically on point, but I find emotion often to be wrapped up in the mistakes, out of focus, double exposures, pan focus, gritty subjects. It’s an ongoing practice to eschew easy beauty in search for gritty truth, but I would argue that Bruce Gilden’s photography embodies this ethos to an extreme degree, as do Danny Clinch and Mary Ellen Mark. This photo often reminds me of that energy.
American wedding by gogol bordello
This photo may just be an excuse to push Golgol Bordello on people, because I think they are a blast and high on my list of bands to see. I shot this portrait in Georgia, as this guys offered us vodka out of his cut off bottle cap after a ski run. He didn’t speak any English, but he seems like the kind of guy who would be annoyed at the lack of vodka at an American Wedding. Dig more into GB’s catalogue if their phrase “gypsy punk” gets you going.
Buckaroo Man by dave stamey / The Yellow Stud by Chris LeDoux
The Wood Mountain Stampede was the first rodeo I shot (thanks to my buddy Ashton Lehman), and has a significant impact on what I’ve been interested in shooting the following years. The speakers crackled the same rotation of songs over the weekend, with Buckaroo Man and The Yellow Stud sticking out, distilling the essence of the rodeo into song. Dave Stamey has a catalogue of really fun cowboy songs if that happens to be your flavour, and worth kicking your boots up to. Through both song and poetry, cowboy culture has a long history of storytelling. Its seeming suspension in time also lends itself to photography in many ways. Check out Kurt Markus or Joseph Haberle for some great western lifestyle photography.
What keeps me up now by benjamin tod / Somedays (I don’t feel like trying) by the raconteurs
I shot this photo during a pretty low period of my life and to me it sums up how I felt at the time. The ability to recognize that there was a world out there, but the inability to see it or process it correctly.
A couple of tunes that remind me of that period are What Keeps Me Up Now and Somedays (I Don’t Feel Like Trying). I think both touch on processing and trying to deal with your demons and the days where you don’t really feel like keeping on. On the plus side, science says that listening to sad music makes you happier.
bald butte by colter wall
A large chunk of my inspiration for shooting photos comes from rural landscapes and finding ways to look at the prairie landscape with a new lens. A little known Saskatchewan singer, Colter Wall, has a few tunes that pay homage to the prairie landscape in a way that makes me nostalgic for the place I still live. Bald Butte specifically paints a beautiful picture of the south, with its rolling grass hills and expansive skies.
This is my prairie by corb lund / Edna by ellen froese
There are few songs that sum up growing up on a farm to me as much as This is my Prairie and Edna. My introduction to photography was getting a little Olympus point and shoot and wandering around the farm and snapping shots of everything that seemed interesting. That upbringing has continued to influence my work, as shooting my grandparents while they are still on the farm has been an ongoing project. “This is My Prairie” touches on stewardship to the land and reminds me of the frustration that my Grandpa had watching trees that had been across the road since he was a kid get brushed. Edna is the heartbreaking tale of a couple that move off the farm and wrestle with the end of certain family farms.
Everything Adriene Lenker does seems to have an ephemeral and ineffable quality about them, seeming to wisp around your eardrums and tease emotion out of you. I have too many photos of clouds, flowers and grass collecting digital dust somewhere, shot because the moment seemed right and never revisited. Here are a few. Would recommend listening to the song while lying in the tall grass, letting it dance around your head as the clouds slowly march past. Photography, I think, in its simplest form is the act of noticing. Adriene makes me want to slow down and breathe in what’s around me.
Like PB & J – Nathan jones
RAIN DOGS – TOM WAITS
AMERICAN WEDDING – GOGOL BORDELLO
BUCKAROO MAN – DAVE STAMEY
THE YELLOW STUD – CHRIS LEDOUX
WHAT KEEPS ME UP NOW – BENJAMIN TOD
SOMEDAYS (I DON”T FEEL LIKE TRYING) – THE RACONTEURS
Rhett: When I started planning this blog in the beginning I didn’t think I would be able to sustain the writing for very long on my own. I also recognize that I have a bias toward certain genres and styles. I hoped that people would be able to read this and not just hear my voice and opinion, but get some different points of view. I didn’t want to exclude the people that don’t exactly like my taste either. Music is such a subjective thing and that’s what makes it great. So I devised a plan to task some friends with a job that I could supplement my posts with. I liked the idea of making the posts more visual than the ones I contribute as well. So this lead to the idea of pairing songs with pictures. I have a few gifted photography friends and I thought it would be interesting to showcase their photos but also let them think of their own work in a different way as well. Like PB & J will be a collection of photos taken by the writer and paired with a song that they think of when they see it, or vice versa.
My first thought for a friend to start this was Kelby. One of my oldest friends and right at the top in terms of creative minds in my circle. Always willing to step outside the box and never afraid to like something that makes him happy even if others don’t. His musical tastes are as wide as the Sahara and it is something we have always bonded over. In recent years, his passion for photography has also become evident. I’m excited for you all to see these two passions meld together – like PB & J.
Kelby: When Rhett first approached me with his idea I thought it was a brilliant one! When he asked me to write my own section of the blog, I panicked and said yes. I had no fucking clue what to write about or how to start. After several weeks of procrastination, here I am writing.
As some of the readers might know, this past year I have jumped deep into photography. I remember sitting at my computer desk last year around December. I looked over at my shelf and saw my dusty camera sitting there lonely. It is the same camera I used in the past for my lifting vlogs. I just looked at it for a bit, staring at it, waiting for an answer. I thought to myself, “I could attempt to start vlogging again, but no, that shit is too much work for something that doesn’t fill a gap in my life.” Vlogging is fun and all but it never really filled the creative hole I’ve been yearning to fill since I finished high school. So I picked up my camera, snapped a photo of myself and uploaded it to my computer. Once the photo was on my computer, I remember thinking, “I wonder how to edit this the proper way?” You know, like actually edit each component of a photo and not just click a couple buttons on my phone. So what do I do whenever I want to learn something? YOUTUBE UNIVERSITY!
Since that day, I have continued trying to improve my photography and taking it one day at a time.
So! Now that you have the cliff notes on my photography, I figured it’s time to get to the point. Why you’re all here, reading this blog (ps, first time writing a blog, so any feedback is great feedback!). MUSIC! Rhett challenged me to write about the photos I have taken and how they correlate with songs that I love. I spent a fair amount of time on this and tried to figure out how to best pair songs and photos together. But to be honest, I couldn’t figure anything out because I don’t really have any songs that inspire my photos or any photos that remind me of a song up to this point.
What I am going to do for you guys is a little different and yet, the same. For about the last 18 months, I have tasked myself to make a new Spotify playlist for each month. I add any new song that tingles my ears and along side that, I’m also pushing myself to do something similar with photography. I make new folders for each month and keep all of my favourite photos in them which I think is the same way my brain folders are organized!
I am going to choose a song from each of these playlists and folders of 2020 and take a little trip down memory lane! Join me if you’d like!
Side note: If you would like to listen along to the songs as you read through this, it will enhance your blog reading experience!
Butterscotch by Robotaki ft. Jamie Fine and Falcxne
Ok, to start, my musical tastes are all over the fucking place. I love everything from rap to metal, folk to EDM, Golden 50s to Hollywood scores. I heard a quote from Donald Glover that resinated with me, “The weirder the song, the more I like it”. TOO TRUE!
I remember snapping this shot of an old school that is still in great condition. I had just spent New Years in Saskatoon with a bunch of my good friends and on my trek back home, I wanted to get some cool pictures around Saskatchewan Landing.
I hadn’t ever spotted this school before while driving on highway #4. I immediately pulled over, whipped down the back road and got the shot.
I know photography seems as simple as pointing the camera at a subject and pulling the trigger but there is so much more to it. Emotion is a huge factor that plays into a good photo. What you are feeling and how to project that feeling through your work only comes with time. Which is where music comes into play as well.
Great Tune = Great Mood = Great Photo.
I think that math works out? I only failed math every year in high school. Where is Ms. Calcutt when you need her?
Circles by Mac Miller
The month I went on one of the most amazing trips I have ever been on, followed by the world shutting down a week after we got home. My Father, Grandfather and I decided to trek from Sask all the way to Arizona. Along the way, we attempted to see as much scenery as we possibly could. We saw what Montana, Idaho, Utah and Arizona had to offer. I will never forget this trip. Not only did I get to spend all of that quality time with my Father and Grandfather, but the experience to see all of those new scenic areas was amazing. Experiencing different cultures and seeing how people live in completely different circumstances as myself peaks my interests.
By far the best place out of the whole trip was Page, Arizona. We spent about 2 days there and we got to see Upper and Lower Antelope Canyon, Horseshoe Bend, Lake Powell, Marble Canyon, Etc. Page has more than enough scenery to offer, which means I am definitely heading back there one day.
I think being able to see all of this and experience all the different cultures really opened my eyes and mind. Which is something I feel like I have been lacking ever since Covid-19 has taken over the world. But more on that to come….
Sunny’s Time by Caribou
My birthday month! AKA the best month out of them all! Until 2020 showed up.
All while the rest of the world was going crazy over Covid, my little world really didn’t change much. Where I live, I keep to myself a lot of the time anyway and I spend my “spare” time learning more about photography and shooting photos. I watch hours of youtube videos trying to learn as much as I possibly can. That is how I operate. When I become interested in something, I am obsessed with it. I put 100% of my focus into it and surround myself with what I am interested in.
With all the knowledge I had recently gained, I ended up printing my first photo and it was such a satisfying feeling I might add. Seeing a printed photo that I worked towards capturing will always be one of my favourite feelings. It’s just funny that my first print was a complete fluke; right place, right time!
It was sunset and I decided to head out to get some photos. I drove north to the Frenchmen valley, hopped out by the river, walked down to the water and set up my tripod. After I got everything set up, I looked up and saw a flock of geese flying overhead. “Oh cool, geese”, I remember thinking. I reached down and snapped the shot not thinking it was going to be much but when I got home and looked at it on my computer, I completely fell in love!
Marijuana by Chrome Sparks
In April I must have learned about how to utilize reflections in my photography because I captured A LOT of reflection shots. I’m certainly not mad about it either because a reflection can up the ‘banger’ factor by a boat load!
In conjunction with my song choice, one thing I wanted to touch on with this write up is Marijuana. I have never really come out about my cannabis use in a public forum before and this blog seems to be a good place to do so! Prior to the Covid pandemic, I smoked a lot of weed.
I love weed for a million different reasons but most of all, it sparks creativity. Marijuana paired with with a lot of alone time can be the perfect storm for a wasted day. If you know going in that you are using it to help spark some creative work, it can be wonderful.
To be completely honest, I’m high as I write this. I find my brain trying to find different avenues to navigate on how to express things. I feel like living where I live and how I was brought up, my brain was set to “default” if that makes any sense. Weed helps me clear my default settings and create my own settings.
Just wanted to get that off of my chest!
Lattice by Minnesota
Not really at all but did I get your attention?
May of 2020 was a special month for me because it was the first time I ever tried Mushrooms. Now I know what some of you are probably thinking. “All this fucking guys wants to talk about is his drug use???”. I wouldn’t talk about it if it wasn’t beneficial to me in some way.
I have always been intrigued by mushrooms and what the experience is really like. I have asked people I know who have tried them before, “So, explain to me what its like?” Most of the answers I got were that its hard to explain or that its something you need to experience for yourself. I never understood why someone couldn’t explain it to me, until I tried for myself….
I have never experienced anything like it in my life. I ate some with a few friends of mine that I really trust (which is very important if you’re thinking about trying them). Long story short, it was one of the most amazing experiences of my life. While we were high, we were all sitting together listening to music and I remember feeling pure bliss. I was so happy with the sounds that were coming into my head and how I felt at the time, but most importantly, I felt so happy that I got to experience it with my friends that I love dearly. I ended up crying because I felt such pure bliss and didn’t want to be anywhere else in the world except right in that moment.
Now I feel like that experience was important to me because I have never felt like that way before. I have never felt so happy to just BE. To be in the moment and enjoy what is happening exactly right now.
Ok, I’m done with the hippy mushroom talk now. The last thing I will say is don’t be scared to experience new things in your life. Be open to everything and do your research before you form a strong opinion. At the end of the day, memories and experiences are all we have and this, by far, is one of the most memorable experiences I’ve ever had.
Goodie Bag by Still Woozy
June 17th, 2020 will go down in Climax history as one of the craziest lightning shows ever witnessed.
I have absolutely no experience with lightning photography and still pulled this banger out of my ass! I remember this night like it was yesterday. I was sitting out in the rain with my camera on a tripod. I had a blanket draped over my head and camera while I was googling how to properly get lightning shots. Probably research that could have been completed before heading out into the rain but I digress. After spending 2 hours screwing around trying to get a good shot, I finally got this gem.
When we were kids, we used to go outside during thunderstorms and just watch the light show. Just sitting, not saying anything to each other and enjoying the weather and the company. Another one of those, ‘enjoy the moment’ moments. Every time I look at this photo, I feel a sense of those moments in time. Nostalgia. My favourite feeling!
Retrace by Lusine
The year without baseball…
With Covid-19, our hometown baseball league had to be put on hold. Which sucks big time because that was my main source of exercise.
In 2015, I decided it was time for the Cardinals to come back to Climax! With an absence from league play since 2004, we gathered a group of local boys from Climax and neighbouring towns. When I first started talking to people around town about trying to get a baseball team back together and enter the league again, most people told me it was a waste of time. “Nobody wants to play. Nobody will take care of the field. Nobody will come watch. Nobody will support the team”. These are all things I heard through out those years and guess what? IT DID FUCKING WORK! THE FIELD LOOKS BETTER THEN IT EVER HAS! WE HAVE RAISED MORE MONEY FROM FANS THAN THE CLUB EVER HAS! AND IT HAS COMPLETELY REVIVED THE LOVE FOR BASEBALL IN OUR COMMUNITY!!
Sorry about that, I just like shoving it back in the haters faces sometimes.
With the lack of baseball this past year, our community has taken a hit. Our community takes pride in our togetherness. The Cardinals are a hub for everyone to come together, have a good time and participate in their community. These things are important to our small towns and we haven’t been able to experience this for quite some time now.
By the way, this photo is one of my favourite photos I have ever taken.
Life by Cherub
A sense of pride I’ve never felt before
In August 2020, I got to stand beside my brother as his best man. We spent the weekend in Cypress Park with as many family members as were allowed at the time. I think in total there might have been 30 people there, which was absolutely perfect! The entire weekend had such a strong intimate vibe that carried smiles day in and day out. I have never been so happy for my brother. I see how happy Des makes him and how she pushes him to be a better person. She challenges him, all while being right by his side throughout the whole process.
Nick and I have been through a lot of rough “relationships” in our life. Witnessing our parents split up at a young age put a lot of questions into a young boy’s head.
On top of that, we have helped each other navigate our own troubled relationships as well. Watching your own family member go through hard times is a big weight on your shoulders because all you want to do is fix it but sometimes time is the only cure.
So why do I say “A sense of pride I’ve never felt before”?
Watching Nick stand up there and marry the love of his life made me feel the most pride I’ve ever felt. I have been there to see him through all the hard times and to now see him on such a high note, makes me feel very happy for him.
This song had a fun little tie in to this section. The song is all about trying to stay positive and not sweating the small things. Shit may get hard but there’s always a light at the end of the tunnel.
Bon Voyage by DROELOE
September was the start of some fairly dark days for me. Things in my life were kinda getting scrambled and the whole “pandemic effect” was starting to kick in hard. Having to stay home and not interact other people always seemed like a breeze before the pandemic, but being forced to do it starts to twist your brain up. Sitting at home alone with nothing but your thoughts for days on end can be rough for someone dealing with life issues. My relationship was in the dumps and work had been weighing on my shoulders for multiple months. It was almost the perfect storm.
I have dealt with depression in the past but this was the first time I could really see it coming. This may sound very strange to someone who hasn’t dealt with it before. Why don’t you just try to avoid it? Easier said then done. It is so hard to explain how depression develops in a person’s head and it can definitely vary from person to person. You start thinking negative thoughts and it just grows and evolves day after day and then you start to think it’s all because of you. It is a very toxic mindset to be in and talking to someone about it has been the only thing to help me.
I took a bit of a break from photography around this period. I don’t think I touched my camera for 3-4 weeks, which was very unlike me. I remember one random day I picked up my camera and took this picture of myself in the mirror. It was almost like a cry for help in a way as I wanted to show myself but still so scared that I hid behind my camera.
All I can say is that I am very happy to not be in those dark days any more. Things still aren’t quite 100% yet but really, what is 100%?
Entropy by Ark Patrol
While still being in the depths of my depression and covid isolation, I finally got back into grabbing my camera more. I found myself trying to take more artistic photos in the moments of my life. I don’t know if it correlates with the state of mind I was in or not but I like to think that expressing myself in an artistic way while I’m feeling down helps. I feel like turning my murky thoughts into photos helps me understand myself more, if that makes any sense!
I think being able to relate a feeling to a photo or a song is definitely how my brain is wired.
Take this photo for instance. I remember wanting to get photos of the new yellow leaves that were developing in fall. I wanted to get them falling in action to stop that moment in time. Catch a moment of falling, just like how I was feeling. I felt like I was always falling.
Expressing myself like this makes me feel really good and at the end of the day, that’s all that matters.
Wait a Minute by WILLOW
Every year when hunting season comes around, my father, brother and I get to spend a lot of bonding time together. We all love getting together around this time, scouting deer in hopes of harvesting a trophy buck each year. I value these days more than most because I love driving around with them, saying the dumbest shit I can think of trying to get them both to laugh. It’s times like these I will always look back on and cherish. The hunting is fun, but the company is forever.
One morning we headed out to scout and as we drove further west a thick fog dropped in on us and created this eerie look everywhere. We were driving down a dirt road when we popped over a hill and saw this beast standing up top. I quickly grabbed my camera and snapped this photo but after much deliberation, we decided to leave him for next year as he has a lot of potential for more growth.
I love how cool this photo looks. I named it “The Monster in the Mist”! And I’m so glad I will always have this picture to look at and remember this day.
Star by Machinedrum ft A$AP FERG
Well it’s December! Christmas is here and 2020 is almost over. Something we have all been waiting for during the longest year ever.
2020 was a huge year of reflection for me. I spent a lot of time with my thoughts and I found things out about myself I never knew before. I dealt with a lot of hard times and a few good. The year was filled with negativity wherever I went; work was negative, my relationship was negative and the world was negative. I found very little joy as the year went on but sometimes the bad can be a good thing to go through.
Throughout 2020, I felt like I was waiting for things to get better. Waiting for something to happen. Waiting for my life to improve. If 2020 has taught me anything, it’s that I’m sick of waiting. I am sick of waiting for things to get better, so I’m going to fucking make them better. I am going to focus on what I am in control of and attempt to improve my own life any way that I can.
Well, I hope you all enjoy my little trip down memory lane. It was very enjoyable for me to go through all these memories and reflect on how they have made me today. Before I go, I’m going to leave you with a little Kelby Coburn knowledge:
Life is a giant mystery. Everyone is trying to figure their own things out and navigate the best way they know how. Our society has built a strong ‘this against that’ mentality with everything now a days. It seems like you’re only allowed to be on on side of an argument or the other. But understanding the other side of the argument might be the secret to success.
Life is too short for us to be against one another. Working together will never harm progress. Ever.
Like PB & J – Kelby Coburn
JANUARY 2020: Butterscotch by Robotaki ft. Jamie Fine and Falcxne