Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Posts Tagged ‘forest hills’

Since Fall 2017, I’ve been attending more concerts than usual. This personal trend started when my friend sold me her ticket to the Front 242 gig over at Irving Plaza. This was followed by Gary Numan, then Television. Over the past few months I’ve seen bands going across the board from local, national and even international. 2018 started with a show over at St. Vitus. The bill was Royal Thunder, Backwoods Payback and Heavy Temple. This was followed by Mac Sabbath, Clan of Xymox, Anvil, Melvins, Robert Plant, Culture Club/The B-52s, Slayer/Lamb of God/Anthrax/Testament/Napalm Death which was the next day after Culture Club, and now capping it off with CAKE.

So far in the summer of 2018, I’ve been to Forest Hills Stadium three times. It’s not a bad venue. Even if your seats are all the way back next to Saint Philomena, you can still have a decent view. Since I live in Queens, it’s convenient. The bad part is there’s an enforced curfew of 10 pm for all shows. That’s because the stadium is smack in the middle of a residential area. Boo.

Anyway, I’ve always wanted to see CAKE live. They do one of my favorite songs from the ’90s, ‘The Distance’, but the band is so much more than that hit single. The concert itself was a double bill with Ben Folds Five, with Tall Heights opening. Somehow during the Ben Folds Five set, someone from that band didn’t show up. So a member of Tall Heights had to fill in. Ben Folds Five isn’t usually my “cup of tea” as they say, but live they were all right.

So CAKE comes on despite the grueling humidity. Hey. Kudos to any band that can perform under those nasty weather conditions. CAKE performed their latest single “Sinking Ship.” It wasn’t long until the band had everyone singing along to “Sick of You.” John McCrea also raised some good points. Like how everyone is so into their smartphones nowadays, we forget to live in the moment. He requested that people put down the cells just to enjoy the concert, but many ignored his plea.

Somehow in the middle of the concert, they started rushing through their set. Apparently they were told by management they had to cut the perform short. There was barely enough time for the tree giveaway shtick. (Too bad; I wanted that tree!) Yet the crowd adored the band. By the time ‘The Distance’ came on, people were dancing in their seats.

The best part of the concert in my opinion? Catching glimpses of lightening during the gig. There was thunder, but no rain. Once the thunder started to crack, some people left their seats in hast. Not me. I thought seeing thunder during a show was awesome. Slightly dangerous, maybe, but still awesome.

After the last song, the entire crowd demanded an encore. The audience loved CAKE. After two to five minutes, the band finally came back, doing a clever cover of Black Sabbath’s “Warpigs.” Then things got serious when John McCrea made another plea to the audience. This time, for Americans to register to vote. I’m not kissing his ass, but he’s right. Yes, the election voting system is flawed – but don’t give up on the process. Sometimes voting is the only voice someone could have.

Which leads up to…yup, you got it. The Psycho Bunny sketch of the week. Influenced by CAKE and their tradition of giving away a tree during each concert.

PsychoBunnyCAKEWEB

CAKE and the free tree giveaway. Based on the comic written and drawn by Michele Witchipoo on WitchesBrewPress. August 2018.

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.

Come back next week for a new Psycho Bunny sketch. Also keep an eye out, I might be posting more commissions this week. If you have an extra cash floating around, buy one of my comics, or get a commission. You won’t regret it.

UPDATE: Added additional photographs taken from the cheap seats at Forest Hills Stadium. Including Ben Folds Five. 

Advertisements

Read Full Post »

A few weeks back I attended the Culture Club and The B-52s concert over at Forest Hills stadium. It wasn’t my first seeing both of these acts live. It was more that both groups were such a part of my early teen years, and that it was right in my own backyard in Queens, NY.

When I was about 11 or 12, I brought the first B-52s album. I was the first kid on the block to have that record, and most likely the only one. It was early ’80’s in lower working class Queens. I was considered the school weirdo. Having this album only solidified my case. Not that I really cared.

When my friend used to come over, I introduced her to Rock Lobster. I made her wear old wigs dug out from my mother’s closet, which my mom wasn’t too happy about. I wasn’t happy because the wigs weren’t styled like in beehive hairdos. In my bedroom we pretended to be Kate and Cindy, wearing mom’s old forgotten wigs. We danced to most of the songs on side one, because vinyl still ruled in those days. That album cover is still pretty iconic to me.

The_B-52's_cover

Eventually I grew out of The B-52s. By the time “Love Shack” hit the charts, I was more into Post Punk, Goth, Industrial and anything non mainstream.

2093

Concert attendee at the Culture Club/B-52s show at Forest Hills stadium. Sat. July 28th, 2018. Photo by Michele Witchipoo.

Fast forward to July 2019 in Forest Hills stadium. (Wasn’t the band’s first time. The B-52s played Forest Hills stadium back in 1983. Most of the crowd was dancing to such classics like ’52 Girls’, ‘Planet Claire’, and what surprised me was ‘Mesopotamia.’ Of course they played ‘Love Shack’ and ‘Roam.’ You can see their set list here.

Thus leads to the first of the two latest sketches of the week. Decided to throw in two instead of one, due to last week’s absence.

PBB52sAug2018WEB

Psycho Bunny’s friends as The B-52s. Based on the comic written and drawn by Michele Witchipoo on WitchesBrewPress. Aug. 2018.

After The B-52s came Culture Club. I’ve mentioned dressing like the two women from The B-52s. However, it was the arrival of Boy George that took it from the bedroom to public display. I began to copy the Boy’s look. While going to class, I wore the hat, the baggy clothes, etc. Even had his dance moves down. Once again, I was the first kid on the block to embrace Boy George and crew. Also one of the very few. Boy George wasn’t very popular in the junior high I attended. In fact, that’s when I experienced homophobia.

Dressing like Boy George gave people the impression that they could insult me. Everyday I heard nasty remarks from other schoolmates such as “You know he’s gay, right?” “Why do you like him? He’s a man dressed like a woman!” “Boy George is a fag!” “Fag lover!!!” “You look like a freak!” “Hahahaha….” It was usually followed by “Why don’t you be normal, and listen to Michael Jackson like the rest of us?” Which led to my distaste of anything remotely related to Michael Jackson. To this day, if I hear just a few notes from a Jackson song, it makes me nauseous. I just equate Michael Jackson to general hypocrisy. Jackson is dead, and I still can’t stand the guy. It’s not his fault. It was my junior high classmates. The association. His music and image still reminds me of everything fake in today’s pop culture.

Because of all this rude behavior, it influenced me to look beyond my immediate Queens surroundings. I applied for those magnet high schools just to get away from all those rotten close minded classmates. Eventually I got accepted into the High School of Art and Design. Thanks to Art & Design, it lead me straight into a path of downtown Manhattan subculture, discovering Greenwich Village, stumbling upon small import record shops, cool clothing stores, and of course, Punk and Goth. Thus my high school years fared a helluva lot better than junior high.

I’ll never forget when word came out that I was not heading towards that local war zone, Byrant High School. Some guy quipped “oh, so you’re not going to the same high school as everyone else? What’s the matter? You’re too good for us now?”

Uh actually, when I think about it…yeah.

Not going to Byrant was one of the best decisions I ever made in my life. From what I heard years later, my suspicions were all confirmed. Thanks, but no thanks. This should explain my misanthropy.

‘ “Why does everybody gets so excited when we go back into the past? It just amazes me. It’s just metaphorical.” ‘ – Boy George during the Culture Club concert at Forest Hills stadium, New York. Saturday July 28th, 2018. 

But high school is high school, and life is a lot more than that. It’s still nice to reflect, take in some nostalgia, acknowledge your influences. To be ruled by the past though, is a prison you don’t want to be trapped in. Boy George definitely didn’t want to relive his past. In fact, most of the songs on the Culture Club set list was more like a rock and soul revue than Culture Club’s greatest hits. The opening song was a cover of David Bowie’s “Let’s Dance.” Fret not, they still did some of their greatest hits.

‘ “We’re a living, breathing soap opera. The amount of collective drama on this stage would kill a beginner.” ‘ Boy George during the Culture Club set at Forest Hills Stadium, Saturday July 28th, 2018. 

I appreciated that Culture Club didn’t want to rest of their retro laurels. Boy George himself waxed philosophically that night on the Forest Hills stage. He came across as intelligent and witty. There were times you sensed that he’s acknowledged lessons learned from his past experiences. This was evident with their recent single “Let Somebody Love You.” You never would’ve guessed he assaulted a male escort back in 2009. Then there was the time when he rebuked my friend’s request for an autograph that was meant to be for his mother. His mother was in her final stages of MS.

 Oh that Boy George. He’s such a Gemini.

Despite his shitty transgressions, I will always be thankful for his influence upon my life. It was a positive influence. His public image taught me that it was okay to think outside the box, to be yourself. If it wasn’t for him, Siouxsie Sioux, Joan Jett, Salvador Dali, Andy Warhol, and David Bowie, my outlook might’ve been very different. Probably a lot more bleak.

While I did accomplish a lot, I’m still residing in Queens. For now anyway. As someone who once wanted to ‘escape’ Queens, it’s now become the complete opposite. No thanks to the overall gentrification of NYC. I’ve learned to appreciate all the different cultures within my borough. Manhattan just isn’t the same anymore. Let’s not even talk about what happened with Brooklyn. The Bronx and Staten Island is too far away from everything. So Queens is where I stay. For now.

If you’ve made it this far, thank you. Here’s part two of the Psycho Bunny sketch of the week. Psycho Bunny as classic Boy George.

PBBoyGeorgeAug2018WEB

Psycho Bunny as Boy George from Culture Club. Based on the comic written and drawn by Michele Witchipoo on WitchesBrewPress. August 2018.

The very next day after the B52s and Culture Club gig, I went to see Slayer over at Jones Beach, Long Island, NY. Talk about one extreme to the other. That will be discussed in next week’s blog post.

…and now. Memorize these social media links:

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. Remember to bring in good karma.

 

Read Full Post »

Two weeks ago, I landed two free tickets to see Robert Plant in concert. The venue was nearby where I live in Queens, NY., at Forest Hills Stadium. My musical tastes usually runs towards more other genres, such as Post Punk, Punk, New Wave, Goth, Industrial, Experimental, etc. However, my very first exposure to music was when classic rock ruled the airwaves. Way back when, it was WPLJ and WNEW, both on FM radio that had exposed me to Rock music. So it was only natural that I progressed from ’70s Disco to listening to bands like, Queen or Led Zeppelin. The very first ‘Rock’ song I was exposed to was Cheap Trick’s “I Want You To Want Me.” So in a sense, these bands were a part of my transition from childhood to adolescence. That wasn’t to last long since the U.S. was just entering the 1980s. It’s very obvious I am a product of the ’80s. Soon I became a fan of groups like The B-52s, Devo, Duran Duran, Culture Club, then later The Smiths, The Cure, Siouxsie and The Banshees, etc. As the ’80s evolved, radio formats changed as well. Just as well.

So that day I’m walking through the land of Peter Parker. Saw this Ramones mural underneath the Long Island Railroad.

35319045_699819377016544_7576122199027744768_o

Street mural of The Ramones in Forest Hills, Queens, NYC. Photo by Michele Witchipoo.

Met up with my friend, entering the venue. Fell in love immediately with Forest Hills stadium. For free tickets, our seats weren’t that bad. We sat through opening act Sheryl Crow. My friend was more into Sheryl Crow than me. Never cared for her music, but she was good live.

35196219_699867557011726_8466944870584418304_o (1)

Sheryl Crow opening for Robert Plant at Forest Hills Stadium, June 13th, 2018. Crappy photo by Michele Witchipoo.

As the sun began to transition into night, Robert Plant took the stage.  What threw me for a surprise was he actually did not just one, but four Led Zeppelin songs. I was only expecting maybe one, perhaps something acoustic. This review on Brooklyn Vegan was pretty spot on.

Since that show I’ve been a minor Led Zeppelin kick. Which got me Googling links regarding Led Zeppelin and their association with the occult. It’s known that Jimmy Page brought Boleskine House, a former residence of Aleister CrowleyPage was so immersed with Crowley and Thelema, the first printing of Led Zeppelin ‘Led Zeppelin III’ has ‘do what thou wilt’ stamped on the vinyl. Robert Plant himself always had a fascination with Celtic folklore. The most famous Led Zeppelin song ‘Stairway To Heaven’ was slightly by occult researcher Lewis Spence.

Then there’s the urban legend that three out of the four Led Zeppelin members made a pact with the devil. Which started to bring bad luck upon the band. That’s just a rumor.

Yet curiously Led Zeppelin bass player John Paul Jones did a collaboration with Avant-garde opera singer Diamanda Galas. It was released in 1994.

download

Which finally leads us to the Psycho Bunny sketch of the week.

PsychoBunnyLedZeppelinWEB

Psycho Bunny does Robert Plant and Jimmy Page from Led Zeppelin. Based on the comic written and drawn by Michele Witchipoo on WitchesBrewPress. June 2018.

Now for the social media quips.

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.

 

Read Full Post »

If walking into a time warp is your idea of a good time, maybe you might want to check out this place out.

Eddie’s Sweet Shop, located in Forest Hills, Queens. Looked pretty retro alright. Had that old soda fountain shop kinda appeal.

Inside Eddie's Sweet Shop, Friday August 6th, 2010

I want candy

Since it was a hot summer evening, the place was packed. Taking a counter seat, I noticed all the different types of sundaes being made. The orders was served in these retro metal dishes, complete with all sorts of rich, thick toppings. Tons of whipped cream, syrups, malts, sprinkles, nuts, cherries, you name it. Pure ice cream porn.

This was not my order.

The aftermath

Safe to say this place is not for the vegan, nor the lactose intolerant. Eddie does have low-fat ice cream. I know this because that was my order. It paled in comparison to all the decadent treats parading up and down the counter.

Didn’t stay too long at this place. So I snapped a few more pics with my cell:

The seating at Eddie's Sweet Shop

The Counter

Googled Eddie’s Sweet Shop online to see if they have a website. So far the only listings I’ve seen is a fan page on Facebook and a few city guide type reviews. The reviews either raved about Eddie’s, or expressed disappointment. It was one of these reviews that I found out about another old fashioned ice cream place, Jahn’s. Apparently that used to be an East Coast institution. There’s one single, solitary Jahn’s location left, and its in Jackson Heights, Queens. That’ll be my next stop. In the meantime, here’s two more outside Eddie shots.

Outside of Eddie's Sweet Shop

Entrance To Eddie's

I’ll end this blog post with this sketch/illo:

Blond On Blond Ice Cream, Aug. 2010. Artwork by Michele Witchipoo

Read Full Post »