Last year, I made a bit of a resolution: I was not going to photograph any concerts that I didn't really want to photograph. That was not quite the no-brainer choice that it might seem to be. I do really love shooting live music, and every opportunity to do so (and there are SO many here in Seattle) also represents an opportunity to improve my skills, which is important to me. But in the end, I went with my gut. I never again wanted to feel like going off to shoot was going to be a drag because I didn't like the performers or the venue or both. I only want to go into a show STOKED to be there, because that's where the best of what I can do comes from. Then it is a joyful thing, a challenge to match my love of the music to what I can capture and share. When I am photographing a band I am crazy about, I am determined to just keep shooting, to keep looking for the perfect moment, to do my best, even if I am getting elbowed in the kidney, covered in beer, am locked in a crappy view spot, or the lighting was designed by Satan. The only problem is that sometimes I do have to stop taking pictures to dance or sing or go WOOO!!!

So that's a long explanation for my shortened shoot schedule this year, which still included two super-fun large festivals (Austin Psych Fest and Bumbershoot), and 76 different bands shot in four different states. Here are a few of my favorite shots of the year, with truckloads of grateful thanks to the promoters, bookers, PR people, venues, security personnel, fellow music photogs, fans, friends, and artists without whom which I would just be folding laundry at home. Haha, that's not true...I don't ever fold the laundry! Please to enjoy, and if you REALLY enjoy you can always see more at my Flickr site HERE!

I can't believe it was already a year ago that I was in Florida for the ultra-cool one-off shows with Lars Finberg of The Intelligence and Cop City Chill Pillars! That these guys hit it off so well was fantastic good luck, and they performed their set of Velvet Underground covers with a perfect blend of raw nerves, talent, craziness, and possibly some measure of spirited beverages. Magic. This night was also notable for being the first concert held at Gramps, a massively-cool retro bar in Miami that is now considered to be one of the hottest spots in town.

Lars Finberg and Cop City Chill Pillars, Gramps, Miami, Florida 1/5/13

Excitement was in da air for wimps' record release show at Black Lodge, to say the least! The venue should have been renamed "FUN CITY" for the night.

wimps, Black Lodge, Seattle, WA. 1/12/13

Being able to shoot "behind-the-scenes" at Radar Hair and Records for the Mudhoney "I Like It Small" video production was just a complete blast. I had never done anything like that before, so was very happy when director Carlos Lopez said I could give it a try. One of the shots ended up in Mudhoney's new biography!

Mudhoney, "I Like It Small" video shoot, Radar Hair and Records, Seattle, WA. 2/16/13

The weather at Austin Psych Fest ranged from warm and lovely to hot and muggy to a torrential downpour, but the crowd stayed pretty darn mellow and cheery throughout. I liked this shot looking back at the crowd from the photo pit, with the sunset filtering the clouds and the stage lights turning everyone a bright blue.

Austin Psych Fest, Carson Creek Ranch, Austin, TX. 4/28/13

Black Rebel Motorcycle Club is one of my favorite bands, and I've seen them all over country. I had never had the chance to photograph them with a proper camera, so I was extremely motivated to make the most of the chance I had to do so at APF. I shot the entire show, and came away feeling like I had done work I was proud of -- a great relief and a very nice feeling.

Black Rebel Motorcycle Club, Austin Psych Fest, Carson Creek Ranch, Austin, TX. 4/26/13

I did the same thing at Deerhunter's set at APF -- just kept at it, even though I could not stay in the pit the whole time. The gorgeous lighting made shooting another one of my favorite bands really exciting. Plus Bradford Cox in a dress, of course.

Deerhunter, Austin Psych Fest, Carson Creek Ranch, Austin, TX. 4/27/13

There were so many great bands at APF, but when I saw that White Fence was going to be there, there was NO WAY I was going to not be there.

White Fence, Austin Psych Fest, Carson Creek Ranch, Austin, TX. 4/28/13

One of the great '60s-era Texas psych bands was The Moving Sidewalks. They reunited at APF to close out the festival. Did I mention they were led by Billy Gibbons of ZZ Top fame?

The Moving Sidewalks, Austin Psych Fest, Carson Creek Ranch, Austin, TX. 4/28/13

The one time I don't have my DSLR when seeing The Intelligence, and Lars Finberg climbs on TOP of the stage -- bah! But thank you, point-n-shoot camera in my purse, thank you.

The Intelligence, Capitol Hill Block Party, Seattle, WA. 7/26/13

That time when Wayne Coyne of The Flaming Lips turned up at Seattle's Northwest Film Forum to introduce their film "The Fearless Freaks," and kindly talked with everyone who wanted to meet him, including a dude who brought him blueberries from his garden.

Wayne Coyne, Northwest Film Forum, Seattle, WA. 7/28/13

The challenges of being 5'3" in a crowded photo pit just means you have to sometimes rethink -- quickly -- what might make a good picture. !!! (CHK CHK CHK) was fun.

!!!, Bumbershoot Music and Arts Festival, Seattle, WA. 8/31/13

Having already photographed Tamaryn at APF a few months before, I knew this shot was coming. I just had to set up and wait for it. Success!

Tamayrn, Bumbershoot Music and Arts Festival, Seattle, WA. 9/1/13

I hope I get to see and shoot Redd Kross again because that was as fun as it looks!

Redd Kross, Bumbershoot Music and Arts Festival, Seattle, WA. 9/2/13

The Fancy Lads are a local Merseybeat-worshipping combo that is comprised of members of other Seattle bands that I know and love. When they played at a vintage clothing store one warm evening, I thought a very retro black-and-white photo treatment was appropriate. Fab!

The Fancy Lads, Indian Summer Vintage, Seattle, WA. 9/14/13

Thee Oh Sees are taking a hiatus now, and I shall miss them and wait patiently for them to return. Low light, high motion, crazy crowds make for a challenge shooting +, but WORTH IT.

Thee Oh Sees, The Crocodile, Seattle, WA. 10/14/13

And to close it out, Our Day With the Jacuzzi Boys made for my most favorite photos of the year -- of course!

Jacuzzi Boys, Neptune Theater & KEXP, Seattle, WA. 10/19/13