Live Concert Photography: Bad Buka
December 19, 2015
With the year coming to a close, I’m busily catching up on a lot of things that I’ve missed throughout the year — and with things musically speaking slowing down during the two weeks of the holiday season, it’ll hopefully allow me an opportunity to show you a bunch of things — as a sort of year end retrospective. (There’ll also be the December playlist and the Best Singles of the year, among a few other things. So be on the lookout.)
In the meantime, there’s some business at hand that I must get to. Now, if you’ve been frequenting this site throughout the past five years of its existence, you’d know that I have a lengthy history as a freelance writer, music journalist and photographer — while managing full-time positions at two different publishing houses. Back in the mid 00s, I had stint writing for the now-defunct Long Island City, NY-based culture and arts publication, Ins&Outs Magazine. The magazine had a decided focus on local, independent music — in particular the then-seemingly burgeoning music and creative scenes in and around Long Island City and Astoria. In Astoria, there was a group of musicians and artists, who gathered together under a collective they had dubbed Astoria Music and Arts. And at the time, the group gathered with the specific intent of promoting the area’s local acts, as well as promoting the fact that Astoria was a distinctly different creative hotbed. (I should note that Ins&Outs had a very close relationship with Astoria Music and Arts during the publication’s existence, as it promoted and covered several of their showcases. And because of my role as the magazine’s primary music journalist, I wound up having a passing involvement in the planning and organization of a couple of their bigger showcases.)
Interestingly enough I stumbled upon the Astoria, NY-based Balkan folk/punk collective Bad Buka during my time writing for Ins&Outs Magazine; in fact, the first time I caught them live, the band played at showcase at the now defunct Wonderland Collective under the name Panonian Wave. After playing a number of shows as Panonian Wave, the band changed their name to Bad Buka but regardless of what their name has been, their live show has been remarkably consistent as it’s a passionate, raucous, high energy and danceable set of material that meshes the folk sound of the Balkan region (in particular, Croatia, where about half the band can claim heritage) and punk rock.
Last Saturday, I caught Bad Buka with my dear friend and colleague Natalie Hamingson at Mehanata, a Lower East Side-based Bulgarian bar, best known as hosting Gogol Bordello‘s earliest sets. Check out some photos from the set below.
(Photo Caption: Bad Buka performing at Mehanata last week.)
(Photo Caption: A group of concertgoers, who begged me for a picture at Mehanata)