Cloacas at Fanta Se Fest 2016

Cloacas makes strange music.

Only way around that, as the saying goes, is through it. They say it’s jazz in a folk mode. I say it’s experimental folk with a dash of drone and klezmer. Whatever. Their sound is warm, fun, welcoming, and unique. They typically shy from lyrics, which I’m grateful for. Bands like this, the lyric sheets tend to render the music disturbing. (Have you ever read “Cherry Coloured Funk”?) The band’s been around roughly since 2008, and they sound like it: tight and airy. No easy combination.

Much as I love Cloacas’s sound, it wasn’t the terrific show they put on, opening Fanta Se Fest 2016, that I enjoyed most. It was talking to them. Everyone in this band is so nice. Sabrina and Damon, part of the songwriting core, and married for some years, talk over and between each other, like rivers joining. Lenore’s so quick to laugh. Michael’s big, toothy smile. Johnny and Ben both happy to make catchup talk while setting up. Strange and glowing as their music, these are not pretentious people. I hope we get to work together more.

And I got to shoot with a new toy.

Admittedly, it was a rented toy. The Canon 135mm f/2 lens is now, and likely to remain for a while, my favorite thing. Look at the creaminess, the butter, of the backgrounds of these shots, and you’ll see why. While it didn’t make me a better photographer, it sure inspired me. And did I need that inspiration. It’s been a dark month for me, photographically. Between a fun new lens and a sweet, delightfully weird band* to shoot, I feel energized and ready for my summer travels.

See you on the other side of strange, friends.

*Do you even know what “cloacas” means? Don’t look it up.

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The author

Writing since 1995, designing since 2000, and shooting since 2014.

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