PropertyOfZack is very excited to be bringing Dave Summers (website, webstore) back for a second Contributor Blog. In the last six months, Dave launched a webstore that features limited quantity prints our favorite artists each month. I thought it would interesting to have Dave write-up a blog post on his inspiration behind launching the print store in addition to what it takes to lock down consent for the prints to be sold form artists and managers. It’s a great read, so check it out and enjoy!
I’m back. It’s been almost a full 6 months since my last entry and I’m happy to report some new changes on the Summers Photography front. The biggest and most notable change would have to be my online print store. So I’m going to take a few paragraphs to discuss my store’s origins, how difficult the whole process’ can be, and I’m going to try to do it without sounding like an opinionated asshole (but I fucking doubt it).
So here we go.
This Spring, I stage managed on The Wildlife Tour (La Dispute, Balance And Composure, All Get Out, and Sainthood Reps) and it was without a doubt one of the best times I’ve ever had. Made new friends, took lots of photos, and got to see the country doing what I love. I was on a complete high the whole time and it even stayed with me as I returned home and it lasted for about a week. Since I didn’t have a day job at the time I elected myself the Mayor of Chill Town. I slept till 3PM and I did nothing but eat shitty food and watch Breaking Bad. I truly was the happiest dude. Being surrounded by incredibly talented, driven, and optimistic people for 6 weeks is truly amazing but it kind of rips the floor out from under your feet when you return home and feel sort of worthless. After a week of being Mayor, one day I got severely bummed out. I was doing nothing and I felt totally useless. I’m a pretty positive and upbeat guy so I had to make some changes really fast or I was going to blow my brains out.
The very next day I woke up and decided I wanted to travel and I wanted to stay busy with my photos. So, I ended up buying a plane ticket to Iceland (I’m the most impulsive dude) and then came up with the idea for a print store. I started researching high end printing equipment and supplies and realized that if I was going to do this right, I was going to have to raise the funds to do so. Up till this point I had never sold any photos of my band images as prints. I made a list of every band I had ever shot and decided that I was going to feature seven bands every month and then swap them with seven totally new bands at the beginning of each month to keep people interested and reach new customers. I was terrified of this list initially because a lot of the bands on it were bands I didn’t know very well. This presented a problem for me because I could never sell an image without having the consent of the group. And sometimes consent is is hard to obtain from people you don’t know and I last thing I wanted to do would be to contact their (at times) BULLSHIT manager. I’ve always had better luck talking directly to someone about who I am and what I stand for. I wanted them to help me toward my cause and if they weren’t ok with it I had no problem removing them from my list and moving on. I believe my photos of bands are mine to do with as I please. At the same time I feel the members of the group have a say in the photo because it’s of them or their band. I wanted everyone to know that I wasn’t just some asshole who wanted to use their image to make money. I wanted them to be apart of the process and I wanted them to promote me because of my body of work and my attitude.
I ended up contacting a handful of good friends and asked them if they would be interested in being apart of my store at some point. The responses were overwhelmingly positive and I decided to go for it. I had never done a mail order or anything like that and I had no idea if anyone was going to give a shit about this but I went for it. My June store went live at 7AM, by 11AM over 90% of my store was gone. I was blown away, I never expected a response like that on my first day of my first store. I was beyond humbled and crazy excited that people actually cared.
My first month was the easiest though. I found it easy because I wanted to start out by using the bands I’m closest with, the ones I knew I could count on to help me in this endeavor. Quickly after my first 2 weeks of sales I realized that I hadn’t contacted a single band on next months list. I started freaking out because I only knew about half of the bands and had no idea how to contact the other artists. It was a really scary process for me at first, because sometimes I would find myself talking to bands I had been a fanboy of for years and I was crazy nervous. I would get stuck in a conversation with someone I didn’t know and people who certainly didn’t know me talking about selling images of their band. I’m under the personal opinion that everyone already hates photographers so it was an experience to say the least. I learned a lot from this process. If you ever find yourself in a similar situation, speak your mind, don’t be totally business, and be yourself. People are going to end up saying no for a multitude of reasons and it’s something you have to be ready for and accept but almost always the people are willing to help anyone in their community who doesn’t totally suck ass. After 2 very successful months I decided that I was drawing a lot of attention to the store and I wanted to start giving something back. Over the past few months the artists I collaborate with and myself have donated hundreds of dollars to multiple charities and organizations such as American Cancer Society and Free Pussy Riot Collection. I think it’s crazy important to help take care of the people around you and I like to help when I can.
All Get Out, Death On Two Wheels, Harrison Hudson, and Junior Astronomers are nearing the end of the 2012 Favorite Gentlemen Tour, but we’re stoked to keep the tour going with a brand new PropertyOfZack Playlist from all the bands on the tour. Check out the Playlists and listen to the songs on Spotify while reading everyone’s thoughts!
Jack White - I’m Shakin’
Jack White has become an American household name- one of those those prolific classic guitar icons. There isn’t anything better coming from Detroit these days, except for maybe that Red Dawn remake (though i have a feeling Tom Cruise’s kid might be crazy enough to ruin the movie anyway).
Muse - Survival
The official song for the 2012 Olympics showcases this track by Muse trying to sound like Queen. Regardless, I’m a huge fan of Olympic competition, and the last few records Muse released. It’s a sports anthem that makes me want to chant, USA… USA…!
The Sheepdogs - Who
After winning the Rolling Stone Magazine’s Choose the Cover competition The Sheepdogs have been shifting the public gaze their way at an impressive rate. Look out for their new release on Atlantic records produced by The Black Key’s drummer. An appropriately named song with impressive harmonies and a formulaic 70s-era vintage structure reflects bands like the Who.
Metric - Breathing Underwater
Metric is another Canadian four piece indie rock outfit that’s loosely connected to Broken Social Scene. They’ve been making waves across North America for years, and Breathing Underwater is certainly a standout track off Synthetica.
Killer Mike - Big Beast
Featured on Outkast’s Stankonia, Killer Mike has been representing underground Hip-Hop inAtlanta for years. El-P’s production shines throughout the standout track Big Beast featuring T.I. (fresh out of prison) off his 6th studio album. There’s an epic nine-minute music video Directed by Thomas Bingham (see: Mastadon’s Deathbound) which is well worth the watch. - Jonathan Corley
Cursive - Big Bang
The fact that they were able to make this song so chaotic, heavy, yet simple blows my mind every time. I’m still trying to take it all in.
Colour Revolt - These Few Presidents (Daytrotter Why? Cover) *Song is not on Spotify
The first time I heard the original recording of this song by the band why?, it was on repeat for weeks. I couldn’t have imagined anyone covering this and it actually sounding good. But Colour revolt did just that, and then some. Now Colour Revolt’s cover of that song has been on repeat. it’s great. just check it out for yourself.
Elliott Smith - King’s Crossing
I don’t know that i can do this song any justice by trying to describe it. I’ll just say that it has changed the way i want to write, play, and record. It’s not only a beautifully written song but recorded as well. A true masterpiece.
Elliott Smith - Don’t Go Down
Ok so I’m obsessed with Elliott, But he has been taking up about 90 percent of what I’m listening to recently. The over compressed cymbals play a huge part of why i love this song. I swear the first time i heard this song on vinyl it almost knocked me down.
Sainthood Reps - Monoculture
I got the pleasure of spending 6 weeks touring with these guys. The recording of this song is captured perfectly. You can really feel the intensity and passion of the band as if you were standing front row at one of there shows. They truly hold nothing back live and in the studio. - Gordon Keiter
blink-182 - Asthenia
We were talking about beginnings today and they take me back, and it reminds me of someone back home i really miss.
Pinback - From Nothing to Nowhere
They find a way to use similar melodies for the instruments and vocals inside other parts of the song. And it gets me pumped. - Greg Neel
The Gaslight Anthem - 45
A relatively new tune that has the feel of a classic song that you know and love. It’s rare to find those songs anymore but gaslight pulls it off pretty effortlessly.
Queens Of The Stoneage - 3’s and 7’s *Song is not on Spotify
I’m a fan of any song that makes you feel like a badass when you listen to it. There’s a lot of Queenssongs that do that, this one especially. - J. Betts
Zeus - That’s All (Genesis Cover)
I’m into really interesting covers, especially when you wouldn’t think a band would cover that band, and especially when their version takes the song to a completely different place than the original. That’s this song. - Trae Vedder
Dustin Kensrue - I Knew You Before
This song just makes me feel. It wells up inside of you. There’s really just something about Dustin’s voice that does that in general.
Kendrick Lamar - Hol’ Up
The song just makes me feel badass. Andrew Averso
Frank Ocean ft. Earl Sweatshirt - Super Rich Kids
Love the Bennie and the Jets-esque piano part and Earl Sweatshirt is just cool as hell.
Refused - Worms of the Senses / Faculties of the Skull
One of my favorite lines to an album ever.
Bruce Springsteen - Livin in the Future
The only thing that wasn’t perfect about the Atlanta stop of the Wrecking Ball tour is that he didn’t play this song off of Magic. My favorite song off an incredible album. - Daniel Gleason
The Features - Golden Comb
I love this band. This song is a great sampling of their ability to weave melody and blues into one sound. It’s great. Listen. You’re Welcome.
Emily West - Blue Sky (feat. Keith Urban)
Emily is a friend and one of the greatest talents I’ve ever seen grace a stage. She has more content in other outlets.
Frederic Chopin, Vladmir Feltsman - Nocturne in E-Flat Major, Op. 9, No.2
No one can write music more beautiful and say more with no words than Chopin, in my opinion. A single instrument and it does so much.
The Animals - It’s My Life
If you ever wondered where The Black Keys got their sound. Look to the Animals as a huge influence. They blow my mind and were so groundbreaking in their time.
Sam Cooke - Cry Me A River
Sam has my favorite voice. He makes it seem effortless. I want his voice every day I wake. And this is WAY better that Timberlake’s record. Kids, this is how songs are to be written. - Harry
Electric Light Orchestra - Turn to Stone
One of my favorite ELO songs. Gotta love the sweet strings/Rock&Roll combo.
Coconut Records - Any Fun
Great pop song. Honest writing. Always gets stuck in my head.
Glenn Yarbrough - Rich Gal, Poor Gal
Love the clever quirky lyrics by my favorite vibrato vocalist.
Jeremy Enigk - Explain
One of the first songs I ever truly felt the singer was delivering from the heart. Very believable.
America - You Can Do Magic
One of my favorite harmonies. It’s hard to beat. - Shaun
Frank Ocean ft. Andre 3000 - Pink Matter
This is my favorite song of 2012. Plus there’s a dragon ball z reference and that just doesn’t happen in a lot of songs (or any?) -Terrence
Childish Gambino ft. Schoolboy Q and Ab-Soul - Unnecessary *Song is not on Spotify
Gambino and Q can do no wrong in my eyes. Together with Ab-Soul they made a banger.
Oddczar - Samsquanch *
A young group from Charlotte, NC that every will hopefully know about soon. They are putting a new record soon too.
Grizzly Bear - Sleeping Ute
I’m really stoked for their new record after hearing this. The vocal melody is gorgeous.
It’s time for The Weekly Tour Round-Up! There are a ton of great tours going on this summer and fall and more are getting announced each week. Below you’ll find all the tours going on over the next few months, and the bolded dates are ones that were announced this past week. So check out all the tours if you’ve missed any of them and make sure to mark them down on your calendars!
PropertyOfZack Sponsored Shows
Turnover, Citizen, Light Years [Now-08/07]
With The Punches|Forever Came Calling|State Champs [Now-08/11]
Warped Tour [Now-08/05]
You Blew It! [Now-07/28]
Cobra Starship [Now-10/07]
Second To Last, Bellweather [Now-07/28]
Right Away, Great Captain!, Casey Crescenzo [Now-08/19]
Terrible Things, The Company We Keep [Now-07/15]
Forever The Sickest Kids, Plug In Stereo, Paradise Fears [Now-07/23]
Armor For Sleep [Now-07/22]
The Cab, Parachute [07/16-08/18]
Namesake, Allstar Weekend [07/17-08/18]
Strung Out, Such Gold, Handguns [07/17-08/14]
Dashboard Confessional [7/26-8/19]
Real Friends [07/19-07/31]
This Century, Austin Gibbs [07/25-08/26]
Set It Off, The Red Jumpsuit Apparatus [07/26-08/12]
Joyce Manor, Algernon Cadwallader [07/28-08/24]
Hostage Calm [08/07-08/15]
The All-American Rejects, Eve 6 [08/08-08/30]
I Call Fives [08/08-08/25]
The American Scene, Daybreaker [08/15-08/26]
Silverstein, Such Gold, Daytrader [08/16-08/26]
All Get Out, Harrison Hudson [08/16-08/30]
Turnover, Young Statues, PJ Bond [08/18-08/24]
Tallhart, Belle Histoire [8/21-9/01]
Vinnie Caruana, Matt Embree [08/22-09/09]
August Burns Red, The Color Morale [8/31-10/06]
Against Me!, Joyce Manor, Andrew Jackson Jihad [09/03-09/09]
Owl City [09/05-10/07]
Frank Turner [09/07-10/27]
Hot Water Music [09/07-10/03]
Strung Out, The Swellers, Such Gold [09/08-10/05]
Stray From The Path, Obey The Brave [9/10-9/26]
Circa Survive, Touché Amoré, Balance & Composure, O’Brother [09/13-10/26]
There For Tomorrow, Deaf Havana [9/14-10/07]
My Ticket Home, Palisades [09/21-09/30]
Tegan And Sara, The Black Keys [10/01-10/06]
Motion City Soundtrack, Now Now [10/10-11/18]
The Front Bottoms, Cheap Girls [10/12-11/10]
As I Lay Dying, Trivium [10/15-11/18]
United Kingdom|Mainland Europe
Texas In July [Now-07/21]
Sum 41 [Now-08/10]
Against Me! [Now-08/03]Pure Love [07/18-07/25]
Head Automatica [08/05-08/08]
Touché Amoré, Birds In Row [08/15-08/26]
Billy Talent [08/16-08/26]
Into It. Over It. [09/03-09/15]
The Maine, This Century [9/15-9/26]
The Menzingers, The Front Bottoms [09/19-10/09]
Joyce Manor, Apologies I Have None [09/21-09/28]
Now, Now [09/24-9/30]
Tonight Alive [09/26-10/09]
Mayday Parade, The Summer Set [10/04-10/13]
The Gaslight Anthem [10/15-10/20]
Owl City [10/18-11/03]
The Xcerts, Young Guns [10/19-11/26]
Every Time I Die, Stray From The Path [10/24-11/17]
A Loss For Words, Save Your Breath [10/26-11/10]
The Devil Wears Prada, August Burns Red [10/26-11/19]
A Skylit Drive [11/04-11/10]
Bon Iver [11/08-11/12]
Parkway Drive, The Word Alive [11/13-12/01]
Miss May I [11/30-12/06]
Pennywise, The Menzingers, Sharks [08/23-08/29]
Texas In July [08/23-09/03]
Enter Shikari [09/20-09/23]
Defeater, Blacklisted [09/26-10/04]
The Ghost Inside, Architects [09/26-10/08]
Owl City [11/16-11/20]
All Get Out, Harrison Hudson, Death On Two Wheels, and Junior Astronomers will be heading out on the Favorite Gentlemen Tour this August, which is being sponsored by our friends at AbsolutePunk. Check out the dates below by clicking “Read More!”
The Weekly Tour Round-Up
All Get Out
Bonaventure // “I Dare You”
Behind The Booth
Storm The Beaches
Senses Fail // Follow Your Bliss
PropertyOfZack caught up with All Get Out in Philadelphia, PA a few months ago on the band’s last tour with La Dispute and Balance & Composure. Nathan Hussey from the band was kind enough to play a brand new song for PropertyOfZack for a new Session before All Get Out took the stage. Check out the Session below by clicking “Read More!”