There is something about people who go to great extremes to hone their craft or to create or share an experience that is universally appealing and beautiful. I think everyone secretly wants Icarus to succeed and bring a spoonful of the sun down to earth to taste the sweetness of experience that is magical and foreign to them. Eric Valli is a photographer/filmmaker who has in many ways quite literally ascended the heights to bring down some of the most stunning photographs from the Himalayan region and it’s peoples for others to have a bit of it’s magnificent flavor. Valli has even famously documented Nepali men who climb cliff faces to harvest another sought after golden liquid–honey–to support their families by harvesting the most rare types of the nectar in the world.
Valli’s lifelong love of the region and those that live there whom he has come to know as friends has compelled him to document his experience through photography and film and has brought his experiences, with appropriate accolades, to others the world over. Valli has spent decades in the Himalayas and always has his Leica camera in hand with every visit.
So, in honor of the Leica lens that has recently come into our collection and the amazing ways in which Mr. Valli has used his to document a truly remarkable region and its inhabitants, here’s a spoonful of some of his work.
It’s always great to hear or read something that causes you to re-evaluate or re-appreciate something that you love. I love rock and roll. I grew up listening to it and all the incarnations complete with bumps and bruises it’s taken down the line to get to the present, but I love it nonetheless. So hearing about a people who shaped early rock is always interesting to me. Especially people and things that have been largely forgotten by culture and exist in kind of a cultural debris that the internet makes possible to dig through. Needless to say Ed Ward wrote a great article on James Burton, one of the early rock and roll guitarists that helped shape and define the sound, at NPR today that is well worth the read if you’re interested in guitars or rock music. And yes, he played with Elvis.
Last weekend the Gearlicious headquarters were honored with a visit from the one and only Paper Route gentlemen. We had a great time playing music, chatting about gear and enjoying beverages. We took a few photos of the resident bad-ass Mustang in the warehouse for good effect and watched some Blitz Motorcycles videos that made all of us want to ride a bike with no front fender. Had the chance to talk to Gavin about the title of the new Paper Route album as well which is going to be called “The Peace of Wild Things”, and I confirmed the Wendell Berry reference and so we talked about the Kentucky native’s work over a few Kentucky’s Best and enjoyed the nice weather. Hope to see these boys again soon. Here are a few photos.
Jonathan Wilson’s debut album “Gentle Spirit” has been one of my favorites and listened to consistently since I heard it for the first time last fall. We’re listening to it in the Gearlicious warehouse today and enjoying a pleasant Kentucky spring afternoon. There isn’t a ton of information available about Wilson’s home studio, but there are a few photos that American Songwriter posted recently of the space and it looks like an analog gear enthusiasts dream, with an impressive guitar collection to boot. Here are a few of those photos:
Here’s a promo vignette for the album that features a song set to a montage of shots of the studio as well: