At first glance, it's hard to judge the work in the photography book Please Take Me off the Guest List. The work asks not only What do I mean? but also What does the guitarist of the Yeah Yeah Yeahs think I mean? because Nick Zinner, the spiky-haired man with the huge guitar and the surprising synth, took all the photos. Take Me Off is filled with pictures of the band's time on the road. When considering it, you first absorb the facts of Zinner's life: endless traveling, adoring fans, spiky hair, enough critical praise to allow him to relax and enjoy it all for a moment or two, and the best vantage point from which to watch Karen O. Of course he picked up a camera and started capturing it all. Wouldn't you? Back to the work's artistic merit: Zinner appears tonight at his book release party. Also, he plays. He has a book-release party band made up of the book's creators himself (photos), Stacy Wakefield (book design), and Zachary Lipez (words). It's their fourth book, after No Seats on the Party Car, Slept in Beds, and I Hope You Are All Happy Now. During the performance, Zinner and Wakefield play along to projections of the photos while Lipez reads his essays, which detail his own debauchery as a young person. Finally, the work: late nights, young people, big feeling, raw emotion, an irresistible rundown urban messiness. Much like the music, especially before the synth.
Thu., Sept. 9, 6 p.m., 2010