Thursday, October 30, 2014

My New Book Is Now Available!

Hello All-

I'm proud to announce that my new book, The Briarhoppers: The Circle Rolls On, is now available. This project started three years ago as a collaboration between myself and Dwight Moody, featuring my years of photographing The Legendary WBT Briarhoppers. After Dwight's passing, I decided to finish the book, which features 12 years of my photos of the band from their original members, to the current lineup. This is the first time that Fort Canoga Press has released a book with full color photos, and also features my own recollections of the people that have made the band so special. Check it out at the link below. Thanks, and I hope to see you at one of my upcoming book signings.
October 30, 2014

Thursday, October 23, 2014

NC Music Hall Of Fame Induction Ceremony 2014 Photos

Hello All-

You can see a number of my pics from last week's NC Music Hall Of Fame induction ceremony at the Hall's Facebook page-

Thanks, and more soon.
October 24, 2014

Here's An Article That Features More Of My Shakey Graves Pics

October 24, 2014

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Report on Saturday's photos

Some of you have been wondering when I was going to have another one of those “OMG Daniel, you shot all of that in one day?!” kind of posts. Well, here it is, Saturday’s report.

8:30am- Society Charlotte shoot at Freedom Park, with lots of people.

10:30am- Brunch, meet up with Sandra Barley.

11:30am- Photos of the Symphony Guild's best kitchens of Charlotte. Five locations in 2 1/2 hours.

2:30pm- Drop off Sandra Barley. Hit the bookstore, still waiting for the new issue of Shindig to arrive.

3pm- Photo shoot for a family’s Christmas card. 

3:40pm- Drive to Gastonia for a last-minute call to photograph the release of Image’s new single, “Firelight.”

5:10pm- Drive back to Charlotte.

6pm- Photos at UNCC Center City, art exhibit opening.

8pm- Drive to CPCC for Jeffrey Osborne concert. But he’s not on until after 9pm. Phooey.

8:15pm- Run to Westin Hotel to photograph the International House gala, and then the Better World gala at Bank Of America Stadium.

10pm- Back to Jeffrey Osborne concert. Yes, he can still Woo-woo-woo.

10:30- Back to International House gala for more photos, and sight of civic leaders and future Mayoral candidates dancing in a conga line while the DJ is playing “Blurred Lines”. 

Yep, it’s like that some times. Thanks to all that were a part of this wild day. Now, lots to edit. See you on the road.
October 19, 2914

Thursday, October 16, 2014

When The Show Moves On

The long-running Ohio band Guided by Voices recently ended their reunion even more unexpectedly than it had begun four years ago. The band had two months’ worth of bookings, including two shows they just announced the same day that the breakup notice was posted on their website. This is how a Indie Rock band reunion ends. Not with a bang, but with a lot of confusion, anger, and internet chatter amongst those that are, or used to be fans. 

For a long time, I was one of those fans. I first discovered them in 1994, as they began to get some notice in magazines, and even MTV. I interviewed the band via phone in 1996, shortly before the band’s original lineup imploded. I followed the band and leader Robert Pollard through several incarnations over the next eight years. Over that time, I photographed the band several times, and eventually got to do photos for one of their albums, and several other projects. When Pollard retied the band in 2004, I really believed that I would not see the band again.

When the band announced in 2010 that were reuniting with their original lineup in 2010, I was stunned and thrilled. Of all places, I was in the band’s home state of Ohio when the announcement was made. My phone rang all day. It all seemed like it was leading me back to the band. A few months later, I was photographing the band again, and it was fantastic. I arrived back home at 3:30pm, and immediately edited ten photos to send to the band at 5am. Within six days, the band had sent the photos to six newspapers, and would stay on their website until their recent break-up. It was like being reunited with long-lost friends. When the band was rumored to have a final show in 2011, I went to Raleigh, NC and shot the show for the band, and those photos were quickly used by the band, Mojo Magazine, Magnet, and a host of other outlets. The show was not the spot-on fantastic concert that it had been the previous year, but it was still fun. As it turned out, it was not the band’s last show, but it was the end of my time with the band. The problem was that I wasn’t aware of it. 

I got a photo pass from the band’s manager to photograph a stop on their 2012 tour. When the band’s usual road manager bowed out at the last minute, the band found someone who was willing to do it for free beer and good times on the road. The problem was, he had never road managed, and didn’t know how to handle his duties. When he saw a fax (and who receives a fax anymore?) that a venue in Florida would only point their cameras at the audience, the road manager thought that this applied to all members of the media, including those of us that were coming to shoot for the band. Unfortunately, this included me, who’d driven from Charlotte to Asheville throughout a whitewash rainstorm. It made the band look like petty, whiny has-beens to all media that covered that tour. By the time that management realized what was going on, the tour was nearly over, and many of us (myself included) had been denied the chance to shoot our favorite band for, as it turned out, the last time. Even though the venue was going by what the road manager had told them to do, I have yet to step foot again the venue, and have steered friends and fellow artists away from the place. And the road manager should know that there will always be a special circle of hell that I picture you rotting in, and hope you always do. 

I also became aware on that tour that the people in the band, and around the band, had changed. Something was different, and something seemed wrong. There is that moment when you realize that the people you’ve known are no longer those people. They’ve become someone else, and they’re not coming back, no matter how much your want them to. This is sometimes the danger of seeing, or being around your favorite artists. The people they are in person, or have become, can overwhelm the artists that you knew, or wanted to know. The recent internet ramblings and subsequent discussion of Mark Kozelek are another recent example of this. Incidents that started his recent tirades may not have been out of his control, but he sure elevated and denigrated what came afterwards all by himself. For those of us that have followed Mark’s work over the last twenty-plus years, his recent statements are completely at odds with the beautiful music that he was created. Not a total surprise, if you’ve ever met the man, and I’m quite sure that he would argue with me (and anyone else) about this. But it comes down to this. If an artist’s actions blind people to the work that they have created, then the whole reason of why they became an artist in the first place- to create something that speaks beyond their own voice, and in turn taken in by others as something that also reflects their spirit and emotion- becomes lost in the shuffle. And sometimes, never re-appears. 

Despite all of that, I really had hoped to see the band one more time. I happened to be visiting Toledo two weeks ago the same weekend that Guided by Voices were playing a free festival downtown. However, I had a family celebration to attend that night, and I could not go to the concert. I was disappointed, but I figured, “Well, I’ll catch them somewhere in the next two months. But once again, it was not to be. It was one last distant frustration in two years of unfulfilled frustrations. As I said before, perhaps I was not meant to see the band again. I was supposed to leave those fun shows in the front of my mind, instead of the anger and confusion that has come since. I don’t know if that is true, but it is all I have now, and just have to accept it. 

After the band’s recent split, I found a video on Youtube of the band playing a club in 1996. The band is relaxed, and having a great time. As I watched the video, I realized how differently the band seemed from the one that made the reunion circuit. When an artist, be they a writer, musician, painter or whatever, is in the moment, there is a spirit that carries them through what they do. Take those people away from that moment, and put them back in that space some time later, and the perspective is different. As great as that 2010 show was for me and many others, I know realize that no reunion could have fully recreated that original spirit, and that to walk away from it as that spirit became further deluded is, quite frankly, for the best.

Any reunion, be it a creative or personal one, is based on the idea that you can put the same people (or most of the same people) in a room again after however time away, and expect it to be the same as it was before. And that is almost entirely impossible. The moment has changed, the people have changed. And we, the listeners have changed. And sometimes, that moment cannot ever be replicated again. What’s the difference betweens some band reunions, and some high school reunions? People spend money to watch the awkwardness, instead of paying to be a part of it. That’s not a knock on band reunions, that’s just life. It happens, and one has to at some point move on. 

I’ve also come to feel that distance from the artists that we admire is not always a bad thing. That’s quite something for a photographer like myself to come to. However, in this era where one hears everything about everyone’s mistakes via social media, it’s harder to separate the work of anyone from their public persona. Sooner or later, though, it’s the work that matters, and what we leave behind. I’m well aware that many of my social and artistic heroes were difficult people to be around for extended lengths of time. But I did not know them personally, I only know their work. And if we able to separate the noise that comes out of our phones and computers every day from one’s work, than perhaps we will see the work, or ourselves, a little bit clearer.

With all of that I’ve said, I look forward to whatever the members of Guided by Voices create from here on. When they release a new album, it is more likely to be viewed on its own merits, instead of being constantly compared to the work that they did all those years ago. And ultimately, that’s what I want for them, whether or not I ever take their photograph again. I also look forward to the distance from the frustration of that last two years, and to able to enjoy the music again as a listener. And in so doing, continue my own circle of experience. The cycle of being a fan, that becomes a friend, that becomes a photographer, that becomes a distant fan, and becomes a fan of the music, again. And I look forward to that happening.

-Daniel Coston
October 16, 2014

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

St. Paul & The Broken Bones photos, Charlotte, NC, October 14, 2014

St. Paul & The Broken Bones
Neighborhood Theatre
Charlotte, NC
October 14, 2014
all photos copyright 2014 Daniel Coston

Announcement Of My Latest Book

The Briarhoppers: The Circle Rolls On, written and photographed by Daniel Coston. This book is a special scrapbook of Daniel's fifteen years of photographing the Briarhoppers, and covers the band from their original members, to its current form. Nearly 70 pages of color and B&W photos, with recollections and stories about the bandmembers. Available later this month via, and other outlets. Check this website, or for more information.

October 15, 2014

Monday, October 13, 2014

We've Got Book Events In November!

Hello All-

We've got events in November! Book signings and discussions. News also coming soon about the release of a new book. Sandra Barley and her Therapiggies will also be in attendance at these events. Hope to see you all on the road soon.

Nov. 19th, 2pm-3pm. Southern Christmas Show, event stage.

Nov. 22nd, 11am-1pm. Book discussion on both the Rock & Roll in NC, and my photographs of NC musicians, University City Library, Charlotte, NC.

Nov. 29th, 1pm-3pm. Literary Bookpost bookstore, Salisbury, NC.

October 13, 2014

Cross My Mind

Cross My Mind

On the way home
crossed my mind
that made me
think of you. 
I sighed, 
shook my head 
a bit,
and said your name
out loud
in a low voice. 
How many times
have I
done this
at the thought 

of you?
And I wondered 
how long
would I do 
the same
cross my mind 

-Daniel Coston
October 12, 2014

Friday, October 10, 2014

Lydia Loveless photos, Charlotte, NC, September 27, 2014

Lydia Loveless
Double Door Inn
Charlotte, NC
September 21, 2014
All photos copyright 2014 Daniel Coston

Tuesday, October 7, 2014


Hello All-

I'm proud to announce that I'll have three photos in the upcoming Wilco best-of and rarities CDs. Both collections will have photos I took of the band in 1998, and 2002. Thanks to all who were part of this adventure. See you on the road,
October 7, 2014

Friday, October 3, 2014

Avett Brothers photos, Charlotte, NC, May 21, 2014

Avett Brothers
Speedway Children's Charities
Charlotte, NC
May 21, 2014
all photos copyright 2014 Daniel Coston

The Past Few Days

Two events on Monday, photos at the Levine Museum of the New South on Tuesday, photos for HBO in Asheville on Wednesday for the premiere of their documentary Private Violence, and photos of Common last night at the Gantt Center gala. Heading up to The Light Factory tonight for a show opening. See you on the road this weekend.
October 3, 2014

PS, photographed Dell Curry and Muggsy Bogues in consecutive events. Pretty cool for a Hornets fan from way back when.