The following stories and blogs are, unless otherwise stated, editorials.

This is not the extent of my photo/journalistic ability or interest, simply what I pride myself most on, and what I love to share.

June 16, 2014

After a bit of work, and notably no editing on the writing... The first photo diary from Spring Awakening is up!

 

Click here to find it!

 

(Going to work on easier navigation for the site... at some point!)

 

 

June 16, 2014

One of the most unsettling things I've ever witnessed:

 

The UBER Silent Disco.

 

This is saying a lot.

 

Imagine you're in a club, you can feel the movement of bodies reverberating through the floor, watch the bodies twist and groove and the DJ spin, witness the lights and strobes flash past your eyes... but you don't hear a single sound.

 

That was the UBER Silent Disco at Spring Awakening; wireless headphones rigged directly into the DJ's equipment. Conceptually, it's brilliant: A way of hosting a rave in, let's say, a residential basement without the cops showing up or pissing off the neighbors. In theory, you could host a party without security or restriction, and do all the drugs your brain could handle. And then some! And beer wouldn't be $10 per can. And water not $5 a bottle.

 

In practice, it was maddening.

 

I opted out of the headphones because I was feeling masochistic, I suppose; or maybe I just wanted to really catch the weirdness of it.

 

At the rest of the festival, it was easy to explain the weird and strange away: people lost in the movement and beat, fluttering about to the music and noise. But without the context of the music in your own ears at the time, the brain fails to make certain connections to explain this all, and you lapse into a semi-comatose state trying to rebuild your synapses.

 

Mind you, this all happened to me in about a span of eight seconds, so the pieces of grey matter were pretty easily picked up and I regained my sanity shortly thereafter.

July 7, 2013

I knew her as "Saxophone girl."

This wasn't the first year I'd seen her or heard the tunes emanating from her alto, but it was the first time I saw her as a person. Maybe it was the two--in her words--"high school douche bags" distracting her from playing her instrument, or the fact she'd been one of the biggest stories at Summerfest this year.

 

Her name is Cassandra Struve.

Last week, she was struck by a musical enthusiast who felt Minne the Moocher was a song that white girls can't play. The women who assaulted her left laughing with the words "white saxophone playing bitch". Saxophone girl got clear with a black eye to show for it before the other vendors and performers that covet Summerfest's mid-gate ran over, opting to ensure her well-being over chasing the offending ladies.

 

Police presence, much to my own personal dismay, has increased along the long Chicago ave. leading up to the mid-gate. I spoke to the fine officers on the way out, and despite their sneers, made them promise me to keep saxophone girl safe.

 

Idiotic brutality flourishing at a large gathering of drunk people should never go unpunished or unseen.

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© Chris Riha // crihaphoto@gmail.com