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Posts Tagged ‘promotion’

Mercury in retrograde’s about to hit this month, starting from July 14th and ends Aug. 8th,2012. For those who believe in astrology, it works a bit like this;  it’s both a time of reflection, and ‘Murphy’s Law’ in full effect. In other words, communication lines get crossed, so what can go wrong will.

Sometimes, right before merc in retrograde hits, you just might get a preview. Plans interrupted arguments and fights relating to misunderstandings, sometimes outright catastrophe. Yet it’s not all negative. As I’ve said before, during this time it could be used to reflect. Don’t be surprised that out of the blue, you’ll come into contact with someone from the past who you haven’t spoken to in years. Also, some of those unsolved conflicts that have knocked on your door have a chance to be resolved.

Enough of this mini-lesson. What this crash course about mercury in retrograde leads to is a chance to you show some of my relics. Not only does it bring back my personal teenage memories, they’re also pop culture artifacts. These buttons exhibits a part of NYC that is now long gone.

Back when I was growing up during the 80s, many teenagers flocked to the NYC area of Greenwich Village. West side, east side, 8th Street, Broadway, it really didn’t matter. It’s still the case now, but the popular shopping sites are significantly different. Back in the 80s, the trendier retail places gave away free buttons with every purchase.  Hell, sometimes you didn’t even need to buy anything. Just go to the counter, stick your hand in the small hard plastic transparent box, and grab a handful of these badges. Afterwards, you would display your coolness by pinning these items onto your over-sized vintage overcoat, or on your army schoolbag. You would arrange these pins right along with your pop and post new wave band buttons. This was exactly what I did back in my freshman year of high school. This didn’t last long, as I progressed the next year into a full-fledged Siouxsie clone. My badges went from store promotion to the bands like The Cure, Specimen, etc.

Before I bore you with details, here’s a photo.

1980 promotional buttons from NYC retail stores, Greenwich Village area. Photo by Michele Witchipoo.

The stores listed before are no longer around. I’ll give you a brief breakdown about some of these places.

Flip was a clothing store located on west. 8th street. They specialized in selling new wave, punk, goth and glam rock threads. In fact, one of my first ever punk tees was purchased right here at this location.

Postermat was more of a novelty place. They sold all types of buttons, posters, tees, gag items. A bit like that Spencer’s chain store you see in the local mall nowadays. The buttons and pins were sold in the front of the store. They were stored behind glass counters as if they were precious goods. Two tiny black round controls when pressed, slowly spunk around the shelves inside. An army and navy store has taken its place.

Canal Jeans Co. survived for years, but eventually they shut their doors as well. This business was so successful at one point, they had two locations. The location on Canal Street is now one of the cheapest art supply stores known as Pearl Paint. The bigger store, located in the Soho area of Broadway sold both new, vintage, upscale and bargain merchandise. They shut down, very briefly re-opened for a hot minute on Broadway and Astor, and then closed for good in the early 2000s.

Canal Jeans Co. buttons had their iconic checkerboard background, in a variety of colors. Check the photo below:

Promotional buttons from Canal Jeans Co. Photo by Michele WItchipoo.

Zoot was a vintage clothing store. Zoot wasn’t around that long, but it’s competition, Andy’s Chee-Pees, hung around for a while. Zoot was located on Broadway, Andy’s on West 8th street.

Unique hawked its wares all throughout the ‘80s, going out of business in the early ‘90s. Also known as Unique Boutique, the large space had a variety of different departments. You had graffiti artists spray painting on clothing, vintage duds, and when it was extremely fashionable, a huge selection of bright neon attire.

As for some other shops that’s been around for a while. Enz have opened and closed, and opened again. They’ve moved around to different locations so Enz doesn’t count. Ditto for Andy’s Chee-Pees. Even Patricia Fields moved from its prototype home on 8th street to the now trendy Bowery area. Probably the only store left from that era is Trash and Vaudeville. Still at the same location since the 1970s, and still going strong today.

Keep in mind, I didn’t even touch upon all the numerous record stores open around this time. I’ll touch upon that in another post.

Other types of businesses got into the badge marketing act. Check out this photo here. There’s MTV when they were known as a video music channel.  WLIR was a Long Island based radio station that specialized (at the time) in New Wave, a tiny bit of Post-Punk, and imported UK Pop music. Then there’s the original Hard Rock Cafe. The first location in NYC was on West 57th, before they moved to the current location at Times Square. All three are still around today.

MTV, WLIR FM, and Hard Rock Cafe. 1980s promotional buttons. Photo by Michele Witchipoo.

It’s a different time now. There’s the revitalized Brooklyn to contend with now. Trends have changed. Yet the ‘80s memories still stand.

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Oh yea, and just wanted to let you know I’m now on Tumblr. My Tumblr account features more personal stuff, like music and visuals that I like. So if you want to stalk, or harass, or speculate and/or gossip without asking me directly, or do the normal thing by just following me, you can check me out here:

http://mwitchipoo.tumblr.com/

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I’m going to be part of a radio special tomorrow night! My 15 minutes of fame will be via quickie phone interview.

Back in the early summer, I was interviewed on a radio program, “The Phoenix Perspective.” Unfortunately, the show is no more. However, there is going to be a reunion special tomorrow night. A review and update on what’s been going on since.

Here’s a blog post about the first interview: https://witchesbrewpress.wordpress.com/2010/05/18/radio-scratch/

Tomorrow night will be a Phoenix reunion special.
Tune in 12:30pm EST, WVOX 1460AM

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This past weekend I was interviewed for a local radio program. The show was titled The Phoenix Perspective, broadcast on WVOX.com based in the Westchester area of New York.

I decided to head into the Metro North area early to avoid rushing. The result was arriving into Larchmont a wee bit too early. Since there was some time to kill, I walked around town a bit. Came across this upscale child clothing store.

Twinkle Toes Children Clothing Store In Westchester, NY

A step closer to the store window and there was live chickens being used as a store window display. A local woman strolling around with her grandchildren also gathered around. As the woman was about to point out the chickens to her other female friend, one of the birds turned around and pooped in fill view of everyone.

Chickens used as a window display, May 2010 in Westchester, NY

“So that’s what downtown Larchmont has become” replied the woman, “chickens shitting in windows.” With that being said, Grandma and crew walked away slurping on their ice creams cones.

Chicken in store window display, May 2010

As I took a few more pics of these chickens with my cellphone camera, couldn’t help but notice something. One of these chickens had dirt trapped within its wings. So if this one bird has crud smeared in its feathers, imagine other poultry on a commercial mass production farm.

Soon it was time to head to the radio station. After again arriving ridiculously early, I met up with the radio host herself, Phoenix, her friend Jaye and radio announcer Chuck. Before going on the air, me Phoenix and Jaye sat around consuming Entenmann donuts and coffee. Jaye took some pre-show pics, which you can see here. As for me, I was still nervous about being interviewed live on air. I’ve done interviews before, but usually it would be for some podcast which I would never hear afterwards. Out of sight, out of mind I suppose.

Me and Radio Host Phoenix Prior To The Show, Sat. May 15th, 2010

The interview itself went pretty smooth. Me and Phoenix chatted about my two self-published titles, Psycho Bunny and Babalon Babes. Also plugged this book I did about five illustrations for, Tales of Woe. If all goes well, Tales of Woe should be released sometime this summer. Pre-sales for the book are now up on Barnes & Noble, Powerhouse Books and Amazon.com.

Wondering if I do should do a Don Pardo impression. Sat. May 15th, 2010 at WVOX

Before coming on the show, I took a friend’s advice about not taking the interview too seriously. Even Phoenix herself said it was about hanging out, talking and whatnot. Phoenix herself is a very nice person. We talked about a few different things like female cartoonists, sub-cultural stuff, etc. For the record, I’m no expert about all of this so-called ‘counter culture’ subject matter. Never claimed to be. Just know what I like. Let’s just say you won’t catch me in front of the TV anticipating Dancing With The Stars.

Radio Interview at The Phoenix Perspective, Sat. May 15th, 2010

After the show was over, Phoenix was nice enough to drive me back to the city. Arriving back in Queens, I was embarrassed to find the Soul Train chugging on next door. Apparently my next door neighbors were ass enough to throw a loud house party, continuing past 3am. Despite this, it was still a fun night.

Me and Phoenix, Sat. May 15th, 2010

You can listen to the show here: http://podcastmachine.com/podcasts/4573/episodes/22835

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Hey Ladies & Germs, just letting you know I’m going to interviewed tomorrow night. It’s going to be a radio interview, on a program called The Phoenix Perspective. Check it out on WVOX.com and WVOX1460am, broadcast at 12:30AM this Saturday. So, you can hear my New York accent live on the airwaves. In the meantime, I’ll try my best not to make an ass out of myself.

http://thephoenixperspective.webs.com/
http://www.wvox.com/

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