Icon vs Icon

Last week online pop culture magazine, Icon vs Icon published a great new interview with Marty Casey – and with it they debuted some images of mine that have never been seen before.


Shot last fall in San Juan Capistrano, the session yielded one truly iconic image – and of course Icon vs Icon chose that one for their headline image! It’s also the primary image on myspace.com/martycasey and it’s the very first image in my portfolio at cherylspelts.com. Iconic is an understatement – of all the images I’ve shot of Marty, it’s the one in my opinion, that best encapsulates who he is – if any one image can do that… It’s pretty and gritty, and complex, and mysterious and yet still wide open.

But that image, as great as it is, has been seen before… The fun part this week is the new stuff! Icon vs Icon used four never-before-seen images, but there are even more in the slideshow!

Icon vs Icon

I’d like to thank Jason Price at Icon vs Icon… Jason, you rock!

Falling in Love at First Listen

I have an admission to make. As much as I love music – and I really really love it – I don’t pay much attention to the lyrics, and I almost never fall in love with a song on first listen. A musician once told me that he’d been the same way, once upon a time, but he grew out of it. I never have, so I guess that makes me a bit unsophisticated, and I guess I can live with that!

It doesn’t mean I don’t listen to the singer – I do! In fact, it’s the voice that draws me in – I never quite connect to pure instrumentals – I want a singer! It’s just that while I may be able to sing along to every word, if you ask me the name of the song, or what the song is about, or to repeat even one line of lyrics, I won’t be able to. I can love the voice, but the words won’t always register with me.

As for almost never falling in love with a song on first listen, I think that’s more common. And when I do fall in love the first time I hear a song, I know I’ll love it forever and it’s bound to become one of my all-time favorites.

I’m telling you all that to set up this – I fell in love this week on first listen – to three songs! And I actually know some of the lyrics…

Lovehammers' Guns on iTunesLovehammers released their latest CD yesterday, Heavy Crown, and yes I was really looking forward to it – and I knew I’d love it. How could I not? Especially since it has several songs on it that I already knew and loved – Driving Blind and That’s Life are fairly new, but Eyes Can’t See and Velvet are acoustic versions of songs that appeared on previous Lovehammers’ CDs and Guns was released a couple of weeks ago – so I already knew five out of the thirteen songs. Plus, this is a band that I fell in love with before Rock Star: INXS even started. I was doing research on the singers on the show, for ROCKBAND.COM, and found clips of all their songs – and I fell hard.

But even with that kind of love built up for years, you never know? And even though I’d been hearing through the grapevine that it was their best work yet, still, you never know. New music, new direction, maybe I’ll love it, but not REALLY love it?

Then I heard it! And the first time through Neverfall, Oh My Baby, and Honest I’ll Wait just nestled into my heart and head, blissfully…

Honest I’ll Wait soars, beautifully. It’s like nothing I’ve ever heard from this band. It’s a new direction for sure, but it feels so right, it feels meant to be.

Oh My Baby is hot! The lyrics are a total turn on! Yes, the lyrics! Plus it’s fun to sing along with. My favorite line, “Oh my baby’s so extreme. She’s exactly…. just like me.” Love that moment! And the guitars on the chorus are beautiful – so beautiful.

But my big initial love was and is Neverfall. It makes me want to put down the top on my car, blow a kiss and slam a door, and take off. I haven’t quite figured out the lyrics yet – and I may never – it’s one of those songs that makes me feel. It’s an anthem, for sure and I have a feeling the song will always remind me of summer, of right now. At least I hope so!

And one last song I have to mention – Black Angel didn’t hit me initially, but it’s hitting me now, big time. It has a really retro feel to it. Makes me want to go to a concert and see it done live. And the bridge? Hypnotic, for sure!

And the best part? Falling in love at first listen is only stage one. I have so much more to discover in these songs. Good music is like that…

On iTunes, Lately…

Lovehammers released their latest single today on iTunes – it’s the first single off their upcoming CD, Heavy Crown. It’s been so long since we’ve had new Lovehammers’ music, I’m very very happy to have something new from them!

And Ryan Star released his long awaited EP, Last Train Home, earlier this month – you can hear a snippet of one of my favorite of his songs, Right Now, during commercials for the new NBC show, The Philanthropist. The full EP is only $3.99 on iTunes and features four songs and two videos.

And finally, I’m linking to Tamar Kaprelian‘s A New Day, just because it’s been my favorite song this summer and she deserves more exposure, so pass it on!

Lovehammers' Guns on iTunesRyan Star's Last Train Home on iTunesTamar Kaprelian's A New Day on iTunes

PS: Happy birthday and happy traveling to my brother Michael today!

ETA on 7/7/2009: Guess this should be PSS maybe? But Dino from the Lovehammers posted on RockBandLounge.com over the weekend about the single… http://www.rockbandlounge.com/forum/topic.asp?whichpage=1&topic_id=11274

CD Covers and Magazine Features

CD Cover: "I See Stars" by Marty Casey // Photo: Cheryl SpeltsIt’s been a good couple of weeks! Late last month Lukas Rossi released a holiday CD single with one of my images on the cover, and this week a CD single from Marty Casey surfaced, also with one of my images on the cover.

It’s only available as a complimentary gift, if you buy a piece from his Silver Elements Collection, and there are limited quantities, so if you want one, you might want to act soon. It’s a beautiful song – one of my all-time favorites – I loop it over and over!

My big goal, career-wise, is CD covers and magazine features. I remember when I first started seriously studying photography, I wanted to shoot features for People Magazine. I loved their 50 Most Beautiful People issue, and how they did beauty shots for each of the celebrities chosen – but they weren’t standard beauty shots, they told stories! There was an artistic element that I loved. Then later I gravitated toward Vanity Fair. But my real love was always Rolling Stone. THAT is what I wanted to do!

And then CD covers? That’s an even bigger high for someone with a fine art background! I love doing the commercial stuff – especially when it’s edgy, and beautiful, and fun. But when I get to combine that kind of commercial work, with what my artistic impulses lead me to, and there are no limits? Simply put, that’s what I was meant to do.

So here’s to more CD covers and magazine features in 2009 – I’m ready!

Lukas Rossi | So This Is Christmas

Lukas Rossi - So This Is Christmas // Photo: Cheryl SpeltsLukas Rossi just released a new Christmas EP – available for digital download on Amazon.com – and the cover features one of my images. The EP features two new songs, War Is Over and Revolving Doors, and you can listen to a preview of both on the site, and then download for $1.98.

Lukas has amazing eyes – they tell stories – and the image they chose really shows them off. We got a lot of really good stuff in that session, but this particular image is just special. It was a good choice and I’m glad it’s getting a wider audience!

Edited on 12/6/2008 to add that it’s now available on iTunes as well! Just search for Lukas Rossi, and you’ll find it!

Stars Down in SEE Magazine

SEE Magazine – a weekly printed magazine in Edmonton, Ontario, Canada – recently did an article on Lukas Rossi and his new band, Stars Down, and it featured one of my images. And it’s currently also available online! You have to click on the image to make it bigger, but it looks good!


From the article…

Forced to define “rock star,” he says it’s someone who affects people with their music, writes honest songs, and reaches deep within to express something true to them and their fans. All of which Rossi is attempting to do with his new project, Stars Down.

I like that definition! And I love seeing my work in print…

Stars Down // Photo: Cheryl Spelts

Marty Casey in San Juan Capistrano

Marty Casey in San Juan Capistrano // Photo: Cheryl Spelts

Can you ever have too much Marty Casey? I think not! The image above was shot in San Juan Capistrano last month, and as of today it’s one of the images rotating through on the front page of martycasey.com.

There are a few more of my images rotating through too. More, more, more on those later…

Edited to Add: As of September 15th, for the rest of the images, click here…

Edited to Add: As of October 21st, the image above is also the main image on Marty Casey’s MySpace Site – and the redesign is stunning! Kudos to his design team! http://www.myspace.com/martycasey

Marty Casey // Photo: Cheryl Spelts

Stars Down in Los Angeles

I posted a little tease last week, but here’s more from my session with Lukas Rossi and Stars Down for RBL. We shot it in late June on Melrose Avenue in Los Angeles – so if you know the area, you may recognize some of the locations…

The full slide show is at http://www.rockbandlounge.com/news/2008-07-stars-down/ – and it’s definitely worth viewing there! It’s big and bold and beautiful! And if you have any comments or questions, there’s a discussion thread on RBL at http://rockbandlounge.com/forum/topic.asp?topic_id=7184

Stars Down // Photo: Cheryl Spelts

Stars Down // Photo: Cheryl Spelts

Jon Jamieson of Stars Down / Photo: Cheryl Spelt

Stars Down // Photo: Cheryl Spelts

Lukas Rossi of Stars Down // Photo: Cheryl Spelts

Stars Down // Photo: Cheryl Spelts

Stars Down // Photo: Cheryl Spelts

Stars Down // Photo: Cheryl Spelts