Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Posts Tagged ‘nyc’

 

WaxTraxHeader1

A few months back, my friend informed me about some documentary about Wax Trax Records. For those who don’t know, Wax Trax Records was both a record store and label based in Chicago, Illinois. Before Grunge took over the U.S. during the ’90s, there was the Post-Punk strains of Industrial music.

The Industrial music genre dates back to the ’70s, pioneered along the way by bands like Throbbing Gristle. (Which I was fortunate enough to catch their reunion tour back in 2009, over at the Brooklyn Masonic Temple.) There’s different sub-genres of Industrial Music, which branches out to Noise and Experimental. Associated acts range from Skinny Puppy, Coil, Psychic TV, Chris & Cosey, Test Department, Einstürzende Neubauten, Clock DVA, Fad Gadget, Nurse With Wound, Foetus, Swans, etc., etc., to more Avant-Garde stuff like Merzbow and Current 93. If you want sheer noise, you can always do Whitehouse. If your goal is to piss off your neighbors, there’s always ‘Christianity Is Stupid’ by Negativeland. By the mid-’90s, Industrial hit the mainstream with acts such as Nine Inch Nails.

tumblr_mpiygbJc9q1s9kqy8o1_400

Prior to bands like Nine Inch Nails, Rammstein and others, there was Wax Trax. Wax Trax hit its peak during the late ’80s and early ’90s, prior to Grunge as previously noted, and before Rave culture hit the States. Wax Trax became very popular among the Alternative music set. This led to Wax Trax nights across the country. There were tours focusing on the Wax Trax label. Back when I was a teen, I remember seeing one Wax Trax event with a band called Front Line Assembly. One of my own Wax Trax favorites was Front 242.

Fast forward to 2010. By then, both the founders of Wax Trax label had passed away due to AIDS. Julia Nash, daughter of co-founder Jim Nash discovers the label’s inventory was kept in storage in an Arkansas barn. After Jim Nash’s death, his partner in both personal and business moved back to his hometown, taking the overstock with him. When Dannie Flesher passed away, Julia Nash took it upon herself to keep the Wax Trax legacy going. After a successful Kickstarter campaign, The Industrial Accident film was released in 2017, and the soundtrack in 2018.

Thus leads to my own personal events. My friend Christine had been telling me about the upcoming film showing for months. Eventually she got me hyped up to see the documentary. Nostalgia kicked in. Couldn’t help but reminisce about the days when the label “Alternative” actually meant something. Now, I owed a few favors to Christine. After all, she hooked me up with tickets to see Television and Front 242 (first time I saw then was way back in 1988 or ’89…second time was in 2017) within the past two years. She’s done other things as well. Let’s just say she’s an awesome pal. Christine was going to be in another state during Record Day. She asked me if I could pick up the exclusive Record Day release, being sold at places like Rough Trade NYC.

First things first. Lately I’ve been attending a local Queens writing workshop. It’s something I’ve fallen in love with as of late. It’s facilitated by an amazing woman. She reminded me about F. Scott Fitzgerald while introducing me to Marcel Proust. A local paper even wrote an article about the writing class. I’m in the article photo, even though I look fat. Eh. What can you do. Actually, don’t answer that.

My immediate goal was to attend the writing class, then go down to Rough Trade. It’s been a while since I’ve been in touch with vinyl culture. Within the past ten years, vinyl has been having a cult-like resurgence. I hadn’t had a turntable since 1997. Which meant I’ve been completely out of touch with record collecting culture. Access to my own huge collection of valuable vinyl was blocked, thanks to my father. Basically lost my whole entire record collection. The only vinyl I managed to rescue are my 45’s. There’s a few rarities among the 45s, like a Poison Girls single. That’s another story altogether, but I won’t dwell on that.

As I’m sitting in the writing class, I get this nagging feeling that my ass should be heading to Rough Trade ASAP. But I’m an old fart now; I’m no longer that 17 year old who once ripped down a large Skinny Puppy concert ad near NYU. The wheat paste was barely dried on the back when I tore it down a late Manhattan night. It was for the sole purpose of decorating my teenage bedroom walls back in Queens. Then there was that promise that I would get the Record Day exclusive for Christine, who’s done so much for me. As soon as I was pondering all of this, Christine texts me. Guilt kicks in. Need to learn how to be cold blooded. So I pull an ultimate douchebag move to all my writing workshop peers. Claiming it was an emergency, I pack up my junk, and walk out of class. In my haste I even left my Dunkin’ Donuts iced coffee behind. Well, it was an emergency.

As luck would have it, the bus heading towards Williamsburg took like, forever. Despite that a Lyft would’ve brought me there in max, fifteen to twenty minutes depending on traffic. Finally arrive at Rough Trade, jumping at the end of the line like Mark Spitz. A few people standing on the line give me harsh eye daggers. Like they want to cut a bitch.

“Is this the end of the line?” I inquire.

Nope. A Rough Trade employee informed gently that I was not at the end of the line. In fact, the line for Record Day exclusives continued…across the street…down the block…almost at the very end of the block.

Oops.

In my embarrassed Lucille Ball moment, I excused myself. That wasn’t good enough. Slinking away, I felt the judgmental glare of the others. I knew they were silently, but yet viciously accusing me of cutting the line. When I slithered to the end of the snake trail, another employee with a megaphone approaches. He’s holding a paper. The paper contains a list of all the Record Day 2019 exclusives, now exclusively sold out. He reads the list through the megaphone.

The Wax Trax soundtrack, particularly the Record Day exclusive, was one of the first to sell out. Then came all the others. Captain Beefheart exclusive was sold out. Hmmm. I would’ve gotten Captain Beefheart. Motorhead exclusive, sold out. Would’ve brought that one as well. Madonna exclusives, sold out. Hard pass on Madonna. What else? Duran Duran exclusive sold out. Hey! I still love Duran Duran. If I was still collecting vinyl, I definitely would’ve brought that one. The sold out exclusive list was long. When it was announced that even Mutant Ninja Turtles Record Day exclusive was sold out, it was time to jump ship. Yes. Even music by fictional fighting turtles was sold out.

Even if most of the Record Day exclusives seem to be reissues, it was still discerning. On one hand, it was good to see hard copy media still selling. On the other hand, not getting the Wax Trax exclusive really meant one thing, which I have yet to explain. You see, that Wax Trax Record Day exclusive had a valuable item attached. It was a much coveted item. The Record Day Wax Trax soundtrack exclusive contained two tickets. They were VIP tickets to the Wax Trax documentary screening and the Q&A that followed.  Plus a free concert by Cold Cave and Ministry who was doing strictly a late ’80s/early ’90s set, connected to the Wax Trax era. Now who wouldn’t want that? That’s what my friend Christine really wanted. That’s what I was hyped up about. Those VIP tickets.

All hope was abandoned. The consolation prize was going home to finally catch up on some much needed sleep. It was an unusually hot Spring afternoon. Global warming wasn’t kind to me, as I stood overdressed on the gentrified pavement. As I was walking towards the L subway, I hear someone call my name. Turning around, it was my friend Michael. Michael was someone I had met two years ago at a Gary Numan concert. We followed each other on Facebook. Michael and me begin a conversation. He was on his way back to Rough Trade, to get his Bauhaus Record Day exclusive signed by David J. David J’s signing wasn’t scheduled until five p.m. It’s been a long week for me, so I suggest we should sit down somewhere to continue the conversation. Michael informs me that he also had purchased the Record Day exclusives for Duran Duran, and the Wax Trax soundtrack.

We locate an OG bar, one without the stench of pretentious hipsters. It wasn’t a dive bar per say. Instead it was a well maintained watering hole, one that had been opened for decades. Only the tap was updated, featuring some IPAs, and of course, Williamsburg’s own Brooklyn Beer. Michael asked me about my birthday, which had recently passed. There were other subjects discussed. I buy him a drink because we have one thing in common. Our all time favorite band is Siouxsie and The Banshees.

As I’m fetching our drinks from the bar counter, Michael pulls a Hail Mary.

“Happy birthday” he says, giving me one half of the VIP tickets that came with the Wax Trax Record Day exclusive.

I was in shock. Asked him if he was sure, and he was. I profusely thanked him. Michael then heads over to Rough Trade for the David J signing. In pleasant disbelief, I head over to the L train. Of course I texted Christine about what happened. My assumption was she was going to be a bit miffed. Fortunately she was completely cool about the entire situation.

Monday comes around. It’s the day of the film showing, the Q&A, and the concert. I’m more psyched than ever before. Suddenly I’m 17 all over again. There was plans to meet up with Michael before heading over to the venue, which was I head over to the venue, Music Hall of Williamsburg. Gut instinct kicks in again. So I decide to hit up Williamsburg earlier than usual. Sure enough. By the time I arrive, the lines are long. There’s two lines. One for VIP tickets, one for general admission.

40EDA500-B1EF-49A7-8936-A1D0A32AD170

Two lines waiting to enter Music Hall of Williamsburg for the Wax Trax event, featuring the film, Q&A and concert. Two lines. One for VIP, which came with the Record Day soundtrack exclusive, and one for general admission. April 2019.

They let the VIPs enter the venue first. I was lucky enough to get a seat for the film showing, last seat on the left, first row. It was the only seat left. The rest was standing room only. A DJ was spinning classic Wax Trax era tunes as everyone waited for the documentary to begin. Others decide to go downstairs to the bar.

06E9745E-D546-4826-B837-20421D96FD34

VIP ticket which came with the Record Day exclusive of Industrial Accident:The Story of Wax Trax soundtrack.

The documentary itself was quite good. It was a candid, first person look into the rise and fall of Wax Trax records. During the viewing, I got caught off guard by being a bit emotional. One thing about this film, it helped bring legitimacy to a underground phenomenon. Wax Trax and relative labels like 4AD, Play It Again Sam (later to be distributed by Wax Trax), Caroline Records, along with others, was a viable part of music during that era. The film could’ve left David Grohl out, though.

Most of the Wax Trax acts were mentioned, such as Thrill Kill Kult, Laibach, Revolting Cocks, KMFDM, Pailhead, Legendary Pink Dots (who were on Play It Again Sam) and of course, Ministry. How can one forget Ministry. Al Jourgensen and his crew played a massive part in the history of Wax Trax records. Ministry also reconstructed themselves from being a dance New Wave synth band, to the endeavor of the Twitch period, to the Industrial Metal hybrid they later became more known for. ‘Uncle Al’, as Jourgensen is now affectionately known by fans, had his fingers in many pies. As a multi-instrumentalist, he spread himself around with numerous side projects. Besides Revolting Cocks, he was involved with Lard, Acid Horse, and 1000 Homo DJs.

After the film was the Q&A.

The panel, moderated by Andy Wombell, a former employee for Wax Trax records, featured Julia Nash, her mother and former wife of Jim Nash, Jean Payne, Chris Connelly from Revolting Cocks and other bands, and Frankie Nardiello, aka Groovie from Thrill Kill Kult.

Alright, you want to hear about the concert. It was Cold Cave, then the main headliners, Ministry. Strange for me, this was my third time seeing Cold Cave live. Second time seeing Cold Cave within months. First time catching Cold Cave live in 2009, opening for NON.

Back in February or March, I saw Cold Cave live over at Brooklyn Steel. Psychic TV was supposed to open for Cold Cave, but Genesis P-Orridge hasn’t been in good health lately. Psychic TV had to cancel their slot last minute.

EC9F1EA5-DFDA-4B02-99E2-0A2AA0138A6A

Cold Cave did an upbeat set. Not to be rude, but I was waiting for Ministry.

Ministry did not disappoint. Uncle Al was never,ever going to do anything before The Land of Rape and Honey era. Not anything from ‘With Sympathy’, not anything from ‘Twitch’. Probably will never touch material from those two releases for the rest of his life.

What albums he did perform: ‘The Land of Rape and Honey’, ‘Psalm 69: The Way To Succeed & The Way To Suck Eggs’, and ‘The Mind Is A Terrible Thing To Waste’.

A33E05E7-0BDB-4A43-A95F-1D2FC9EA8298

Chris Connelly was brought on stage, performing No Devotion, a Revolting Cocks song.

The timing could’ve been more perfect. There’s a line in the song that goes “burn the temple…” Meanwhile, there was news about the fire at France’s famous Notre Dame cathedral. Afterwards they did a song from 1000 Homo DJs. Doing a cover of Black Sabbath’s ‘Supernaut’.

E8AFFE74-D344-4264-A163-98015FE4E490

Overall it was a fantastic night. Christine managed to get to the show via general admission, Michael showed up later, it all worked out. Didn’t hang with either one though. I ended up being close to the front row, sans ear plugs. Not being prepared, my ears were ringing for two days after the concert. To recover, I had to forgo listening to music on my headphones during the rest of my weekly commute. Not 17 years old anymore.

 

During the Ministry set, some 40 years olds decided to mosh for old time’s sake. Why was I not surprised. One old fart decided to stage dive. I’m thinking “dude, how old are you?” His body almost landed on top of me. As I quickly stepped back, his body slammed onto the floor. Nobody caught him. Guess crowd surfing wasn’t in the cards. Me and another woman who was around my age, yelled “asshole” at him, but he didn’t hear. The music was too loud. He got up, shook himself off,  heading back into the audience. The woman who jeered along with me started to complain about another woman. It was a younger lady, tattooed all over with pink hair, going nuts to the songs. Yet by the end of the Ministry set, both ladies ended up becoming friends. As I was leaving, the two generations of women exchanged Facebook info. If anything unites people, it’s music. There was good vibes all around that night. Such a brilliant event. Which was capped off with an acoustic version of ‘Everyday Is Halloween.’ If only everyday was like this.

http://www.brooklynvegan.com/ministry-played-an-all-80s90s-set-in-brooklyn-to-celebrate-wax-trax-pics-video-setlist/

My concert high continued all throughout the next day. Eventually it came crashing down Tuesday evening, while riding the R train back to Queens. Some crazy homeless man threatened to climb into everyone’s bedroom windows with the intent to kill. His reasoning was to avenge himself for not receiving any spare change on the subway.  Welcome back to reality, kiddo.

Additional Links:

https://cherryberry321.wordpress.com/

https://www.indymetalvault.com/2017/12/01/a-beginners-guide-to-wax-trax-records/

https://www.chicagoreader.com/chicago/the-new-documentary-industrial-accident-portrays-chicagos-wax-trax-records-as-a-romance-etched-in-vinyl/Content?oid=49381095

https://theknow.denverpost.com/2018/11/07/wax-trax-denver-history/200444/

https://kimsloans.wordpress.com/colorado-local/local-vinyl/wax-trax-records/

https://www.revolvermag.com/music/ministry-nin-10-things-we-learned-wax-trax-doc-industrial-accident#6-ministryfront-242-side-project-revolting-cocks-signature-sound-was-born-happy-accident

https://www.oregonmusicnews.com/wax-trax-reel-music36

https://www.chicagoreader.com/chicago/the-ballad-of-jim-and-dannie/Content?oid=888822

https://www.treblezine.com/industrial-accident-wax-trax-records-fearlessness-folly/

https://www.decibelmagazine.com/2019/04/25/live-film-review-industrial-accident-the-story-of-wax-trax-records/

https://consequenceofsound.net/2019/04/live-review-ministry-wax-trax-brooklyn/

Advertisements

Read Full Post »

A few weeks ago, I finally had the chance to check out the Hilma af Klint exhibit at the Guggenheim Museum. This was also my first time ever visiting the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, famously known for being designed by architect, artist and educator Frank Lloyd Wright.

It was a subway ad that caught my eye. Such an curiosity hasn’t happened since discovering Salvador Dali in my adolescence, and later Hieronymus Bosch in my late teens. Since I’m talking about artists, might as well throw William Blake, Austin Osman Spare, Brion Gysin and Marjorie Cameron into the mix.

During my teens after school, there was a chance sighting of Andy Warhol walking around the east 50’s area of Manhattan. He was wearing an extremely costly leather jacket, while carrying a shopping bag from some boutique. A few months later, Warhol passed away.

Back to Klint. I picked early Saturday evening as the day to attend. Particularly due to Saturdays being “pay-what-you-wish” admission at the Guggenheim. Especially when rent is too damn high in NYC.

51742280-6A85-428D-9ECA-719064900256

Circling around the spiral building, the attendee saw the evolution of Klint‘s work. Her early interests dealt with mathematics and botany. Klint became a respected artist. After graduating art school, she became know for doing portraiture and landscapes. The abstract compositions developed after 1880. After her sister’s death, she got involved with Spiritism. This coincided with the growing movement of Madame Blavatsky’s Theosophy and her enthusiasm regarding Christian Rosenkreuz. Along the way, Klint met Rudolf Steiner. With Anna Cassel, she joined a group of female artists called ‘The Five.’ The Five (de Fem) conducted paranormal and spiritistic séances.

Enough talk. Here’s photos of the exhibit. The paintings, notebooks, sketches and such contain much symbolism. The exhibit itself ended April 23rd, 2019.

C8E1968C-B852-4CFD-8D9F-94274EFB606C

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

E80EA85E-C4DE-4E07-B002-4BC2E8C57EC0

79B1FCD5-A58B-4FF2-8D31-A7737DDF6D53

08925FE9-0F6F-40AB-9CBF-33A129AB9BBE

CF3381A8-7F2E-4150-B5B5-9F9650249449

 

D7233063-4DB5-4F87-95E9-7640D59A7E72

FE2208FF-0B93-4C47-AB9A-E4833ED0E455

 

E40E35B9-1E31-44C1-91FF-4CC515CDEB1D

F60535DC-27F5-4497-A8F6-C459C87F67F2

E55D10EB-98B7-483B-BB01-06FC8CF3EA97

DF519ADB-A018-4FC7-AAAB-5AEE713960FE

In between checking out Klint’s art, there was also another exhibit featuring Robert Mapplethrope. Took a quick peek through that section. However, time was limited so I scurried back to the Klint floors. Figured it’ll give me another excuse to drop by the Guggenheim again.

7BC881DE-7D1E-4179-8D73-4A733A9E200C

CBD8096D-1EDB-48EE-8EE4-F3349609E07E

 

 

 

 

30C1C291-892B-40DE-81C7-A4ABD0667573

Back to checking out the final sections of Klint. There was also cases of documented work. Even the library had cases of Klint.

 

 

 

 

The Hilma af Klint exhibition was the most popular in the museum’s 60 year history.

Other links:

https://www.galeriemagazine.com/romanov-rockefeller-emerald/

https://hyperallergic.com/496326/hilma-af-klint-breaks-records-at-the-guggenheim-museum/

http://www.artnews.com/2019/04/18/guggenheims-hilma-af-klint-survey-is-most-popular-show-in-its-history/

https://www.artsy.net/article/artsy-editorial-swedish-mystic-hilma-af-klint-invented-abstract-art

https://www.modernamuseet.se/stockholm/en/exhibitions/hilma-af-klint-2/about-the-artist/

https://www.hilmaafklint.se/hilma-af-klint-foundation/

Read Full Post »

82E536C5-F85C-4ECD-BE37-AB92E0DDD78F

Last week was my birthday. Unlike last year, I decided not to do anything major. Instead, my celebrations were more low key. Before going to dinner, I took in an exhibit of artist Pamela Colman Smith. Not much is known about her, except for one fact. She is the artist behind the most famous tarot deck of them all, the Rider-Waite.

The Rider-Waite deck has become the blueprint on how tarot cards are based. The other exceptions in regards to divination cards have been various oracles, and the Thoth deck, designed by Aleister Crowley and Lady Frieda Harris.

IMG_2783

Not much is known about Pamela Colman Smith. She lived in England, Jamaica, and Brooklyn, NY.  Colman-Smith was a student at the famous art school, Pratt Institute. For a while she earned a living as an illustrator and theater designer. Along the way, she became of member of The Golden Dawn. Other members of The Golden Dawn included W.B Yeats, Bram Stroker, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, Aleister Crowley, and Arthur Edward Waite.

It was A.E. Waite who commissioned ‘Pixie’, for artwork. Some of A.E. Waite’s influences was Eliphas Levi and Sola-Busca Tarot, originally from Italy. In 1909, the deck was published by The Rider Company. The Rider Company still remains today as an imprint of Ebury Publishing, A Penguin Random House Division. Hence, why the deck is titled Rider-Waite. Technically it really should be named Rider-Waite-Smith.

The U.S. copyright for this deck fell into public domain in 1966, with notable exceptions. In the U.K., and Europe, according to the EU, copyright is slated to end in late 2021.

As for Pamela herself, her own illustration career only went so far. After a while her career petered out. Not much is known about her, and this blog post doesn’t really help in the bio department. Sadder still, she died as an obscure creative living in poverty.

Apparently she only received pittance for her work towards the Rider-Waite deck.

On January 31st, 2019, an opening reception and exhibit opened inside the Pratt Institute Library, Brooklyn location. As of this post, the exhibit is in it’s last few days, closing April 11th, 2019.

Additional links:

https://brokelyn.com/rip-pamela-colman-smith/

https://hyperallergic.com/490918/pamela-colman-smith-pratt-institute-libraries/

http://zeroequalstwo.net/pamela-coleman-smith-life-and-work-in-brooklyn/

https://www.magicianandfool.com/pamela-colman-smith-exhibit-at-pratt-institute/

https://www.annexgalleries.com/artists/biography/2219/Smith/Pamela

2DA85509-8E57-4890-A4F7-95F524996ADC

All photos taken by Michele Witchipoo 2019.

Read Full Post »

A few weeks ago, I checked out the Jean-Michel Basquiat exhibit over at The Brant Foundation. Admission was complimentary, but access was already booked up. Luckily I was able to score a ticket.

I’m supposed to post a more detailed review on another blog. In the meantime, here’s a look. The show itself covers a variety of his work. For those who don’t know, the artist dated a pre-fame Madonna.

Basquiat joined the 27 club in 1988.

1ACFF370-B7A3-4290-A951-56F9BE2334BB

Basquiat exhibit at The Brant Foundation in NYC. 2019 

332230A4-77CD-4695-B7F3-9E6A93DD936C

Basquiat exhibit at The Brant Foundation in NYC. 2019 

24996EFE-3D83-449E-B719-63574AB0C902

Basquiat exhibit at The Brant Foundation in NYC. 2019 

AE8295EB-9BCD-4311-8EA2-F0015B9D159A

Basquiat exhibit at The Brant Foundation in NYC. 2019 

09C1BEE1-CF30-42D9-BC30-0377AD0A9B40

Portrait of Jean-Michel Basquiat and his mentor, Andy Warhol. Basquiat exhibit at The Brant Foundation in NYC. 2019 

3E2BAF2D-0C0B-4992-85C8-6F81FC9A9374

Basquiat exhibit at The Brant Foundation in NYC. 2019 

3E23CD5E-D497-4E29-B56A-AD7CFE7AA99B

Basquiat exhibit at The Brant Foundation in NYC. 2019 

11252188-B956-4E35-8FBE-E7D6910EC094

Basquiat exhibit at The Brant Foundation in NYC. 2019 

DBD49A3C-0D96-42A3-92F0-DA70FCC0A208

Basquiat exhibit at The Brant Foundation in NYC. 2019 

6736F0B2-23BF-4EB5-B00F-49C29969CD74

Basquiat exhibit at The Brant Foundation in NYC. 2019 

A757D9C3-BA34-4762-86D2-A7C0094E01A0

Basquiat exhibit at The Brant Foundation in NYC. 2019 

2D0B87A9-13C7-45B3-91F7-396670FA7143

Basquiat exhibit at The Brant Foundation in NYC. 2019 

3F4A687B-D4F0-40D0-8C27-06957C1ED17D

Basquiat exhibit at The Brant Foundation in NYC. 2019 

025D7CBB-77A0-4EB3-9273-4E2E56C8AAB2

Basquiat exhibit at The Brant Foundation in NYC. 2019 

All photos taken by Michele Witchipoo, March 2019. 

Read Full Post »

Beginning the new year of 2018 with a Psycho Bunny sketch of the week. However. Allow me to be slightly candid.

It just seems as almost everyone couldn’t wait for 2018 to be over. Basically 2018 was a year of disappointments. It wasn’t all bad – there was good times during the year. I think going to all those concerts, especially during the summer was among some of the high points. Did loads of new artwork, and landed some good commissions. On the personal front, that’s when things went sour. Five people from different periods of my life died during the course of 2018. Out of the five, two were formerly close friends, while one was from the present. Attending the latter’s funeral just reminded me of my own mother’s passing in 2015. There was a lot of betrayal. My arm became flexible as I had to take a few knives out of my back. Then there was the discovery that I was being used.

Not pulling the victim card, however. It is what it is. Perhaps that guy who I had met on the Metro North back in October was correct. When he told me that the secret to life “…is not giving a fuck.” If you look at his drunken statement from a Buddhist point of view, it just means not being attached to anything. It makes sense.

2018 stunk to the very end. Right before new year’s eve, some jerk off had the nerve to ask me over the phone if I had “art connections.” Oh. Is that the reason for the conversation? How convenient. My response: “If I had any art connections, I certainly wouldn’t be sharing them with you.”

If you were in NYC, did you go to Times Square to watch the ball drop? I didn’t. No self respecting resident of New York City puts themselves through that. People who live in NYC do not foolishly freeze in the street. We have much better options. We have clubs, we have bars, we have parties, we have friends, or at least friends of friends that will let us crash those parties. Better yet, real New Yorkers will gladly stay at home watching new year eve television coverage while some lame mainstream pop singer lip-syncs some auto tuned song. Because we pay enough money on the rent damnit! So we’re gonna stay under the bed sheets and get our money’s worth! If a native New Yorker does go to Times Square, it’s this. It would be at some party on the 23rd floor with the perfect window view laughing at the tourists below. We’re going to munch on the free buffet while the open bar has top shelf liquor, thank you very much. So the fact is, only silly tourists will stand in Times Square in the cold rain while they pee in their pants. If you were one of these silly tourists, I hope you catch the flu.

Okay. Let’s say you get some cabin fever and decide to go out after all. To bring in 2019, I went to a Goth party in Bushwick. We were having a good time at first. The music was good. Slowly the annoying hipsters crept in. Two such drunks came up from behind us on the dance floor. How could we forget them, for they blew into a Viking ox horn near our ears. You know these millennials would not survive one second in Ragnarok. No, I don’t mean Marvel’s version of Thor.

Anyway, these douchey millennials show up. One guy took off his coat. Once he did that, we could smell the B.O. He stood on the dance floor with his unkempt hair and beard. Looking more like an early ’90s Grunge reject with his flannel shirt as he drank his beer. Is it suddenly edgy not to shower? At this point, the body odor could not be ignored. He wasn’t homeless, nor was he a chaos punk squatter. He was some hipster schmuck that probably lived in some gentrified apartment formerly rented to some working class family. Maybe even in an area that used to be heavily ethnic. Then he had the nerve to show up in a sub-cultural party, particularly a party from one of my favorite sub cultures, smelling like a pig trough. Dude had no reason not to take a bath.

Hey. At least my last meal of 2018 was a nice sushi dinner.

If you come this far, thanks for reading my rants.

Now here’s Psycho Bunny, since he’s recovered from his hangover…

PBHappyNewYear2019WEB

Psycho Bunny sketch of the week. Psycho Bunny celebrates the new year of 2019 with booze and bitterness. Based on the comic written and drawn by Michele Witchipoo, on WitchesBrewPress. Jan. 2019.

 

Your new year resolutions is to follow 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.

 

Read Full Post »

You might have heard the story about Anvil. Anvil was one of those ’80s Metal bands that should’ve made it big. Despite how popular Metal was during the ’80s, Anvil never broke that barrier. They had their signature song – ‘Metal On Metal.’ Unfortunately due to a number of factors, Anvil became one of those “what if” stories. Right up there with other influential, yet overlooked Metal bands of that decade like the much heavier (Thrash/Speed Metal) Rigor Mortis.

During the ’80s I was more into Post-Punk, Goth, ’77 style Punk, Industrial, and other styles of Underground/Alternative music. However, I remember all the Metal bands. You couldn’t help but root for them after watching the 2008 documentary  Anvil! The Story of Anvil.’ If you ever wanted a more realistic film about a band trying to live the dream despite all the missed opportunities, near misses and heartbreak, then see this film. After viewing the movie on Netflix, I wanted to see Anvil live.

Sure enough, there was an opportunity. Anvil was having their 2018 Spring U.S. tour, stopping in NYC to play the small venue Le Poisson Rouge. Personally I thought St. Vitus would’ve been a better place, but Le Poisson Rouge wasn’t bad. Ticket prices weren’t expensive either.

IMG_5026

Steve “Lips” Kudlow of Anvil, playing guitar in the audience at Le Poisson Rouge, NYC. Photo taken by Michele Witchipoo. May 3rd, 2018

Unfortunately the Anvil concert wasn’t sold out. The venue wasn’t even half full. Didn’t matter. After two decent but basic Metal bands opened up, Anvil came roaring on. The first song had Steve “Lips” Kudlow jumping into the crowd, playing guitar with all his heart and soul. The audience loved every second.

The audience consisted of both loyal, long time fans and a few scattered younger millennial dressed like 80s Metalheads.  Whoever or whatever, they were, they loved every second of the show. Some of the older fans were singing along to Anvil’s songs.

I’ve been to shows that were completely sold out, but the performers hardly gave anything. Here’s Anvil, who’s been grinding the dream for how many years, and yet they still give their all. Suppose the moral of the story is, no matter what the odds are, never give up. Here’s Anvil who could’ve hung it up decades ago, but refused to. Perhaps they’re not playing arenas, but they still get to do gigs around the world. Not bad if you ask me. You can’t measure success, really. You have to do what makes you happy.

Of course, Anvil finished their set with their biggest hit, “Metal On Metal.” Afterwards, someone at the merch stand was kind enough to give me an Anvil button. It was a way of thanking me for my support. Next year, Anvil’s going to have another U.S. Spring tour. This time in 2019, they’re going to be playing at St. Vitus, in Brooklyn, NY.

Here’s a Psycho Bunny sketch in honor of those early ’80s Metal days.

PB80sMetalDec2018WEB

Psycho Bunny as an early ’80s Metal musician. Based on the comic written and drawn by Michele Witchipoo. Dec. 2018. 

 

 

Rock hard with 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.

 

Read Full Post »

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.

IMG_0312

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.

IMG_1116

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.

IMG_1148 (1)

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »