Rosi's 2018, Part I
Updated: May 17
Photography, Music, CoolDad, and 2018
Words and pictures by Rose Lamela
[I've said it before, but Rosi has become a very important voice here at CoolDad Music in 2018. She approaches every show with the enthusiasm of a true music lover, and I'm not lying when I say that there have been times that her enthusiasm has been the thing that's pushed me to keep going here. She's covered shows for me when I couldn't make it myself. She's suggested shows for coverage that I never would have thought of on my own. She's shot some great videos that I still have to share with you. Most importantly, Rosi has become a true friend and someone I can geek out with over music and photography. This is the first of a few posts from her to close out 2018. I look forward to more contributions from Rosi in 2019, including CoolDad Music's first year of multi-person coverage of SXSW in March. -- CoolDad]
2018 has been a great year, and my love for music was enhanced in ways that have surpassed my tendency of being the biggest music snob among friends. At the end of 2017, I was at a crossroads. Because of a News Year's resolution, I found an outlet for something that was boiling inside. The dreary end of 2017 was the true push to find something that would get me through the doors of venues with my camera and an opportunity I could never imagine.
I started the year by going into local venues not knowing if I would be denied access to shows with my gear. I researched as much as I could to find photo policies which was not easy. I managed to find some and give music photography a try. I was full of doubt on whether I would be able to pull off getting usable photos while pushing through a crowd and battling with tricky light situations.
I looked up several local music blogs and wondered whether anyone would answer to my desire to be part of one. I got an answer from a local blog that changed my experience as a photographer. I would of never know I would make a new friend who was not only a geek about cameras like me, but someone I wouldn't bore to death when talking about music. I shared a few photos from past shows, but didn't really get a response except that this new friend could get me press passes sometimes.
So I never told Jim, AKA CoolDad, this part of the story. I became a fan of CoolDadMusic overnight. I followed Jim's taste in music, read multiple posts, and listened to many Spotify playlists. I knew the only way I was going to get passes and get my photos up was that I had to listen to what he listens to, and know which of those bands are playing here in North Jersey. The part I never considered was that I would find some new stuff I would also dig.
Long Neck were featured on the blog and were also playing at WFMU's Monty Hall in Jersey City. I reached out again and asked about the show. Jim didn't know if he could make it, so I made sure I did. It actually was a challenge to go, but that's a whole other story. The challenge was absolutely worth it. I shot some photos, and in two days they were up. It was something I thought would take months, and it was only January. After that, I covered over 25 shows.
I am a photographer with a secret desire to write. I was always a little shy about the writing part. I would give Jim photos with no words. I had words, but I kept them to myself. One day I was asked to write and I freaked out. I was not going to do that. I go to shows quietly. I had a good friend dare me to do it. Before I knew it, I had words up on the site.
I went to music festivals, got a music pass to SXSW 2019, covered bands I love, fell in love with new bands, covered 18 bands in one night with Jim, covered a show in Manhattan alongside 4 other female photographers, walked through the streets of Brooklyn, got awesome ear plugs, gained confidence as a photographer, invested in pants with lots of pockets, got on guest lists, had great conversations with people in the audience, got to write about Smashing Pumpkins, avoided mosh pits, drank cucumber water at hipster bars, saw Screaming Females 6 times, got a CoolDadMusic t-shirt and baseball cap, got an Instagram account, and loved every minute of it.
2018 has also been the year of watching an amazing indie scene I was never aware of. So many bands are out there and the number of female musicians is very inspiring as well. The talent is overwhelming; and, without the opportunity I was given this year, I would never have known of the emerging scene in Jersey City. I also knew that Asbury once was a place for music, but the scene now is refreshing. It's nice to see The Stone Pony and The Saint still around, but all the new venues that have popped up have filled the once vacant atmosphere into one of beats and fist pumps.
This year has also made me super proud of being from New Jersey and to call myself a music photographer that gets to cover its music scene. The gear was once heavy but has become part of my outfit. It's also nice to have someone with a dream help you with yours. So this is a year that I am grateful for local music scenes, blogs, and the passion of other music lovers. Without that, I would never be here.
2019 has some real serious competition. I have a feeling when I step foot on the grounds of Austin, it will feel like a continuation of a a rather amazing step into a mutual relationship between the music and the ones that cover it.