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Archive for the ‘holiday greetings’ Category

One of the good things about 2018 was the amount of concerts attended. I had the good fortune to get free tickets. Not sure how long this luck will go on, but every minute was thoroughly enjoyed. A friend took me to see Melvins, Mac Sabbath, Slayer, and Royal Thunder (with local Philadelphia band Heavy Temple opening). Won tickets to see Judas Priest and Deep Purple over at Jones Beach, then that burlesque tribute to Led Zeppelin a few weeks later. In between I saw Anvil, Clan of Xymox, Robert Plant, CAKE, and a few others.

While I was this close to catching Ministry live, instead I was given tickets to two concerts happening over at the St. George Theater. Not many people outside of Staten Island know about this outer borough venue.

First of all, when one lives in NYC, Staten Island is kinda-sorta considered the “forgotten borough.” Everyone talks about Manhattan, Brooklyn, The Bronx, and even Queens. Queens being the borough I live in. Staten Island however, hardly shows up on the radar.

Don’t count out Staten Island however. Within this overlooked borough contains some hidden gems. For starters, you can board the Staten Island ferry for free. Once boardedm one can purchase some cheap beer for the duration of the ride. Cash only, please. If you’re lucky, you might catch a glimpse of the Statue of Liberty.

Once the ferry hits St. George Terminal, the fun doesn’t end there. Only a few blocks away is the landmark venue which went into renovated starting in 2004. If you’re a fan of old architecture, particularly from the vaudeville circuit, then you will appreciate this establishment. The theater itself was designed in Spanish and Italian Baroque revival style interior. It’s original intention was to be a movie palace, popular during from 1900s to 1940s. The Art Deco and Egyptian revival styles was particularly majestic. Like the Drive-Ins, these movie palaces started to decline after the end of World War II, and the arrival of television. During the 1970s, a few of these movie palaces began to show porn to avoid closure.

 Luckily the St. George theater was spared from the wrecking ball. It’s currently under non profit status as it was reborn as a concert venue. It also has schedule of classic films to be shown on the big screen.

Having been curious about the St. George theater since Todd Rundgren played there, I finally had a chance to check it out on October 20th, 2018. It was to see a concert by ’80s Alternative legends The Psychedelic Furs. I already saw them during their height of their popularity sometime during the mid-80s. Figured seeing them again decades later in 2018 was a perfect excuse to visit the venue.

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Going to see the Psychedelic Furs reminded me of why I fell in love with music in the first place. In 2018 was the opportunity to catch many Metal concerts. 2018 was a Metal kind of year. However. My first love will always been anything Post-Punk, New Wave, ’80s Goth, classic Punk or ’80s Alternative. Seeing the Furs live was the reminder I needed. Accompanying me was my friend Kitty Hawke, a member of the NYC Goth band Night Gallery. She had also seen the Furs live back in the ’80s.

 

 

We had time to kill, so we checked out the local (female owned) comic book store Hypno-Tronic. Soon it was time to catch the gig. We were not disappointed. Our seats were floor orchestra – yes! Basically the Furs did all their greatest hits. Songs like “Pretty In Pink”, “Ghost In You”, “Heaven”, and “President’s Gas.” The encore was an awesome rendition of the song “India” from their first album.

Afterward the concert we walked around the venue checking out the interior. There were a few Halloween decorations up for display.

 

 

Exactly two months after the Psychedelic Furs was a chance to see another concert at St. George. It was Southside Johnny and The Asbury Dukes, with David Johansen opening. Okay, straight up. I only went for two reasons. One, to see David Johansen live. Second, to see the St. George theater during the holiday season. Not that I have anything against Southside Johnny. I was just never into that Bruce Springsteen/South Jersey sound. Not my thing.

Arrived at the St. George theater just in time as David Johansen began his set. For those who don’t know, David Johansen was the singer of the proto-Punk/Glam band The New York Dolls. Later on, he reinvented himself as Buster Pointdexter with the pop hit “Hot Hot Hot.” Back in 2006 to 2011, the NY Dolls reunited thanks to Morrissey. Never had a chance to see any of the Dolls’ reunion gigs. Had to settle for the documentary about Arthur Kane as seen on Amazon Prime. So the St. George show was the next best thing.

 

 

For the record, he only did one NY Dolls song. Lonely Planet Boy. Which was okay, it was to be expected. David did a great cover of that Erma Franklin song “Piece of My Heart” but we all know Janis Joplin’s version. Other tunes from the set list included Frenchette and Mannish Boy, a Muddy Waters cover.

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The majority of the audience was there to see Southside Johnny and The Asbury Dukes. I wasn’t feeling this crowd at all. It was the most suburban environment I’d been in a long time. Bad news. There was a guy sitting a few seats away from me sporting a vintage plaid suit, but after David Johansen was done, he hightailed it. As for myself, I wore a black sweater, a loose light colored blush velvet top, black pants and Doc Martin boots. Looking respectable. Meanwhile, I had grandma sitting behind me, giving me silent stink-eye thanks to my blue hair. She glared at me, looking at me as if to say “what are YOU doing here!?!” You think after years of post-feminism, ladies would stop at being unnecessarily catty. I’m ignoring her, minding my own business. Then Negative Nancy tapped my shoulder in very nasty manner. She demanded that my cell be turned away from her. Geez. What did I do to her? Even though I wasn’t even using the smartphone. You know, like what everyone else normally does at shows nowadays, which is tape the entire concert instead of actually watching. She was using any excuse to be a hater. Then she gossiped loudly with her friend. Welcome to the Trump era.

The way the last three months of 2018 was going, this was no surprise.

The lady’s behavior did throw me off a bit with her attitude. All year, and this was the only truly bad experience with my 2018 concerts.

It’s okay. In-between bands, I pretended to to rest my head on my cellphone case, as I silently but slowly turned my cell around so the cover could face her. It was a Rip n Dip design. The one with the cat giving you the middle finger. You’re welcome.

I had a much better time at the Psychedelic Furs gig. Knew I should’ve worn my Junji Ito shirt. Because everyone should have at least one offensive shirt in their wardrobe. For occasions like I just described. For the record, I own a few.

Despite grandma having her Geritol moment, the set by Southside Johnny was decent. They’re fine musicians. Just not my cup of tea. The audience loved them though. Their encore was their biggest hit “Having A Party.”

After the show was over, again I walked around taking photos of the venue. One of the two reasons why I showed up.

 

 

Heading towards back to Manhattan, I met three ladies dressed like holiday fairies. It was perfect for the winter solstice. They were also much, much nicer than Geritol lady. Next time I shall hang out with them.

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Recently I came across one of those D.I.Y. Nutcracker kits. Never owned a nutcracker before. So I brought the kit and started to paint.

The whole process didn’t take long. My friend suggested to do a David Bowie nutcracker complete with the Aladdin Sane lightening bolt. After the trip to the Brooklyn Musuem exhibit during the late Spring, I kinda wore myself with all things Bowie. This time I went with a Death/Black Metal theme.

The backstory of this particular nutcracker goes like this. This nutcracker is a bit of a loner. He’s Satanic, misanthropic, and dreams of burning down churches. Don’t worry. Burning churches will never happen. He’ll find some excuse to back out last minute.

His choice of music is mostly Death and Black Metal. He dreams of visiting Norway, Sweden and Germany. On any given day he stays at home. On the rare occasions where he does leave the house, it’s to attend a local underground metal gig. He might be interested in seeing Bethemoth live though.

I’ve named him Christopher. Christoper The Death Metal nutcracker.

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Coming back from a few weeks absence. November 2018 kinda kicked my ass, to put it lightly. Regardless, I did have a very unusual but good Thanksgiving. There is a lot I have to be grateful for.

Getting back on track, I’ll post some long overdue artwork. In November there was the annual Hindu holiday of Diwali. The illustrations were completed. It’s only now I’m getting around to posting them.

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Before color. Diwali illustration. Pen and ink. Drawn by Michele Witchipoo. Nov.2018.

Diwali is one of the most important holidays in the Hindu religion. In this festival of lights, the goddess Lakshmi is honored. Lakshmi is the goddess of wealth and prosperity, as her puja is celebrated on the third day. The new year festivities continue for five days.

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Before color. Lakshmi. Pen and ink. Drawn by Michele Witchipoo. Nov. 2018. 

In the honor of this grand festival of lights, I went ahead of did two illustrations. First done in pen and ink, then completed in watercolor.

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Diwali. Festival of Lights. A holy holiday in the Hindu religion. Pen, ink and watercolor. Artwork by Michele Witchipoo, Nov. 2018. 

Quoting from the BBC online article:

“Diwali is the five-day festival of lights, celebrated by millions of Hindus, Sikhs and Jains across the world.

Diwali, which for some also coincides with harvest and new year celebrations, is a festival of new beginnings and the triumph of good over evil, and light over darkness.”

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The Hindu goddess Lakshmi. Pen, ink and watercolor. Illustration by Michele Witchipoo. Nov. 2018. 

There will be more playing catch-up soon.

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Soon it will be that most ‘wonderful’ time of the year. Psycho Bunny thinks otherwise. He’s just barely recovered from Halloween. Where did all the time go? The year was passing him fast while he was getting his beer. Doesn’t even notice Krampus creeping up behind him.

Introducing the Psycho Bunny sketch of the week.

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Where did the time go? Soon the holiday season will be here. Psycho Bunny isn’t happy. Based on the comic book written and drawn by Michele Witchipoo on WitchesBrewPress. Nov. 2018.

If you don’t know these by now…follow on social media!

Facebook: pages for Psycho Bunny and for Michele Witchipoo – WitchesBrewPress.

 Twitter: One account for me, and one for Psycho Bunny.

Tumblr: World Ov Witchipoo

Instagram: there’s WitchipooArt.

 Get yourself some cool stuff on RedBubble, featuring my designs.

(Don’t forget to order my Krampus greeting cards! Not at Catland currently but always available online. $3.00 plus S&H. Please send an email to Witchipoo@witchesbrewpress.net to inquire and purchase. PayPal accepted.)

 

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Last week was Ganesh Chaturthi. For those who don’t know about Ganesha, he’s one of the most important gods in the Hindu pantheon. In order to work with the other deities, one must go through Ganesh first. He’s the remover of obstacles, patron of arts and sciences, and the deva of intellect and wisdom.* The main day for Ganesh Chaturthi this year was September 13th. In 2019, the holiday will fall on September 2nd.

Back in 2002, I had a job in some quasi ‘New Age’ store. It sold tarot cards, incense, bland Flax brand clothing, spiritual/esoteric/occult books, jewelry, statues and other curios from around the world. The store was located on East 6th street, in NYC’s East Village area. Sixth street was a row of inexpensive, brightly lit Indian restaurants, so this shop stood out. It did sell Ganesha related merchandise. As usual I sketched on the job when I was supposed to be doing something else. That was around the time I did my first Ganesha sketch, completed in colored pencil. Both the store and the original sketch are long gone. The shop went out of business in 2003, six months after I quit the job. Despite the joy of never having to deal with that ugly Flax clothing ever again, there’s still fond memories of the place. My former manager was a practicing Hindu; his main deity was Kali. He encouraged me to find my own path, interests, etc., but was also very down to earth. In fact, when it came to the general population, he was just as cynical as me. Retail does eventually bring out misanthropic tendencies. That guy was one of the best supervisors I ever had.

Although my former manager was kind enough to share some of his wisdom, I didn’t come back to Ganesh until years later. It was the advice of a current friend that turned my interest back to the elephant god.

It was time for a new Ganesh illustration anyway. This one was completed within the past 72 hours. It was done in pen, ink and glitter watercolor. I’ve been working a lot with glitter watercolor lately. Even if the shimmer doesn’t come out too good in the scans. In person the result is lovely. The glitter watercolors I use has a good balance, so it doesn’t look tacky. Thinking about turning this piece into either prints, greeting cards or both.

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Ganesh illustration. Pencil, pen, ink, glitter watercolor. Done by Michele Witchipoo. September 2018.

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One of the things I hate are fireworks on the Fourth of July. Always thought they were kind of stupid. Okay, I get the significance of such. However, every July 4th, lots of people get idiotic. Just don’t see the point in blowing up stuff.

In the U.S., especially once you drive out of the major cities, you’ll come across lots of those fireworks superstores. You’ll especially come across them in the South and Midwest. It’s amusing to find them in trucker stops. It used to be a slight novelty to me because fireworks are illegal in New York City. Once you hit an area like rural Pennsylvania, buying fireworks is as easy as apple pie.

No thank you.

What really impresses me are those who do historical reenactments, such as the American Civil War, or The American Revolution. That to me, takes dedication, intelligence, and skill. A bit of imagination never hurt anyone. Personally, I never took part in a real life reenactment, but love the period outfits.

One drawback though is people tend to romanticize history. For starters, people often forget about Native Americans. Second, in reality, those who fought on the colonial side against England, went into battle despite everything. Many on the American side were so destitute, they fought barefoot. When wintertime came, those without proper footwear wrapped rags around their feet. You could see the bloody footprints in the snow. Another interesting fact was during the American Revolution, England had spread it’s military so thin. Remember, at one time, Great Britain was actually a genuine empire. As in ‘the empire on which the sun never sets.’ It applied first to the Spanish Empire, then the British. Due to this, the British brought in German Hessians. In other words, paid professional soldiers to do the dirty work on England’s behalf. Yet some Hessians decided to stay in the States after the war. Of course, if it wasn’t for France’s help, we still might be pledging allegiance to the U.K.

There’s a whole lot more to the American Revolutionary war, which leads us to what we now call Independence Day, or simply known as the 4th of July. The United States is still a relatively new country compared to the rest of the world. Some, including myself, feel that right now, the U.S. is in a very dark period. You may not even feel like celebrating July 4th. Therefore it’s important to reflect on this country’s roots, both good and bad. July 4th isn’t all about fireworks while barbecuing in the backyard with time off from work.

Not going to get too political here. Politics never brought people together. Music, art, education, science and love; that’s what brings people together. So here’s the Psycho Bunny sketch of the week for July 4th, 2018.

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Psycho Bunny does the American Revolutionary War. Psycho Bunny sketch of the week for July 4th, 2018. Based on the comic written and drawn by Michele Witchipoo on WitchesBrewPress.

Social media time:

Facebook: pages for Psycho Bunny and for Michele Witchipoo – WitchesBrewPress.

 Twitter: One account for me, and one for Psycho Bunny.

Tumblr: World Ov Witchipoo

Instagram: there’s WitchipooArt.

Get yourself some cool stuff on RedBubble, featuring my designs. There’s dresses, tee shirts, notebooks, etc. The notebooks, and the Quentin Crisp tees seems to be one of the best selling items. Just in time for Pride.

One of my hobbies is documenting what goes riding the NYC subway lines: Wildlife On The MTA. Cause if you can’t laugh, you’ll cry. MTA passengers know what I’m talking about. Even better: My WildlifeOnTheMTA Instagram is active once again.

Come back next week for a new Psycho Bunny sketch.

 

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In the U.S., we’re coming to the end of Memorial Day weekend. Not particularly that patriotic, but many Americans forget it’s veterans. So here’s the Psycho Bunny sketch of the week.

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Psycho Bunny sketch of the week, Memorial Day 2018. Based on the comic written and drawn by Michele Witchipoo, on WitchesBrewPress. May 2018.

What else is new? Nothing much. Went to check out a local art opening in Brooklyn. Afterwards, visited the famous Junior’s, at it’s original location since 1950. Yes, it’s true. Junior’s does have the best cheesecake. Anyway, here’s the usual social media hints. Follow me on the following:

Facebook there’s pages for Psycho Bunny and for Michele Witchipoo – WitchesBrewPress.

Twitter there’s my own account, and one for Psycho Bunny.

World Ov Witchipoo is my Tumblr one.

On Instagram there’s WitchipooArt.

Get yourself some cool stuff on RedBubble, featuring my designs. There’s dresses, tee shirts, notebooks, etc. The notebooks, and the Quentin Crisp tees seems to be one of the best selling items.

Enjoy your Memorial Day weekend.

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