Posts Tagged ‘queens nyc’

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.


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. 

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Here’s the poster and more details of the art fest I’ll be a part of starting September 27th, 2013. Already it’s gotten good press in Papermag and NY1.

Poster for the 2013 Astoria Art Festival.

Poster for the 2013 Astoria Art Festival.

My art will be shown at the Hellgate Social, located at 12-21 Astoria Blvd  Long Island City, NY 11102. Times: 9:00 pm- 12:00 am.

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Just letting everyone know that I’ll be part of the 2nd annual Astoria Art Festival. The festival will be from Friday, September 27th thru Sunday, October 6th 2013 in about twenty local venues from over thirty different artists. Details forthcoming, so stay tuned.

"Ms. World" Watercolor, pen and ink illustration by Michele Witchipoo. Completed Jan. 2013.

“Ms. World”
Watercolor, pen and ink illustration by Michele Witchipoo. Completed Jan. 2013.

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Some things you can always count on living in NYC. There’s bound at least one of these on your block: a bodega, Chinese takeout, a laundromat, or corner deli. On every other block you’ll spot a pizzeria, either a Dunkin Donuts or Starbucks, a liquor store, a bar or Optimo newsstand. Actually there’s less pizzerias now. They’re slowly being replaced by 7-11s, but that depends on where you live. Then there’s your typical 99 cents store.

I’m going to talk about the 99 cent stores. They’ve been popping around more since 1990. In fact, these stores are nationwide. With the economy in the tanker, they’re not going anywhere anytime soon. They’re just one step up from your local thrift store, only the merchandise is new.

True, most of the stuff sold is mostly useless junk. The other mishap is getting the kind of crap that breaks after using them for two seconds. It’s useful for getting a roll of toilet paper for 69 cents. Sometimes you’ll be surprised what you’ll find.

Upon my discoveries when picking up a nameless brand of kitchen wipes, I stumbled upon these little ditties. And I’m not talking about the bootleg merchandise from China, with all their misspelled words and awkward use of English grammar. Just remember; all you need is just a few bucks plus a twisted sense of humor.

Have a...day.  Plastic drinking cup found at local 99 cents store. Queens, NYC May 2013. Photo by Michele Witchipoo.

Have a…day.
Plastic drinking cup found at local 99 cents store. Queens, NYC May 2013. Photo by Michele Witchipoo.

Cheap earring pack discovery from a local 99 cents store. Peace. Love. Snowflakes. Bootleg Hello Kitty, SpongeBob and Nazi swastika. may 2013.

Cheap earring pack discovery from a local 99 cents store. Peace. Love. Snowflakes. Bootleg Hello Kitty, SpongeBob and Nazi swastika. May 2013.

The above photo is interesting. Again I went in just to get some paper goods. Then I saw this earring pack. Among the designs of peace, love, flowers, snowflakes, bootleg Hello Kitty and SpongeBob was the swastika. Not the original Buddhist or Hindu origin, but the Nazi kind. So I brought this up to the counter and asked the cashier about this. Apparently she had never heard of the word Nazi, nevermind knowing what it means. She asked me to explain. As I tried to give a brief history lesson, the expression on the woman’s face looked puzzled. Yeah, it was going to get complicated. I just simply took the yellow post it note she gave me, and wrote the word down so she could Google it later. A week later in that same store, this earring pack was nowhere to be found.

Fake embroidery anyone? Chintzy cat coaster found in a 99 cents store. May 2013. Photo by Michele Witchipoo.

Fake embroidery anyone? Chintzy cat coaster found in a 99 cents store. May 2013. Photo by Michele Witchipoo.

Now that cats are getting their doggy revenge through the internet, it’s only right that the 99 cent follow suit. Found these in yet another shop in Queens. Amazing what you stumble upon while buying no name cleaning supplies.

Art classes have jumped on the 99 cents bandwagon. Since I’ve gone back, two of my art classes have incorporated the 99 cents theme. One was from my sculpture class. We had to take something from a 99 cents store and twist it to a piece of post-modern art. I was assigned the task of remodeling a pasta strainer. The other class fared much better. In my InDesign course we had to go into a 99 cents store, buy a product with horrible packaging, and rebrand the item with a better look. I chose a box of alphabet shortbread cookies, and replaced it with a neo-retro design. It was okay. Looking back I could’ve eased up on the shadowing. Realize now that only the actual cookie product, which I scanned myself and re-arranged needed shadows but not anything else. Overall I received an A for my InDesign class.

Rebranding of a 99 cents cookie brand. Fall 2011. Cartoon and design by Michele Witchipoo.

Rebranding of a 99 cents cookie box. Fall 2011. Cartoon and design by Michele Witchipoo.

You would think items brought from a 99 cents store would have a limited shelf life. On the contrary. I’ve had this zebra stripped picture frame for over ten years. The photo cost more to print than to frame. This one is dated from 2000 with my dearly departed black cat Tabitha.

Zebra photo frame. A 99 cents find from over ten years ago. That's me from 2000 with my cat Tabitha. (She passed away in early 2008). Photo by Michele Witchipoo.

Zebra photo frame. A 99 cents find from over ten years ago. That’s me from 2000 with my cat Tabitha. (She passed away in early 2008). Photo by Michele Witchipoo.

These 99 cents stores are great for low budget holiday decor. Last example of this blog is of another frame found Halloween 2010. In keeping up with the theme of all things witchy. I used this frame to display one of my business cards at the last comic con I did.

BTW…I hope you don’t think my apartment is decorated completely with 99 cent finds. C’mon. I’m not that tacky.

Another photo frame. Witch theme. Photo by Michele Witchipoo.

Another photo frame. Witch theme. Photo by Michele Witchipoo.

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February here already? Time flies whether or not you’re having fun.

Last night was fun though, and here’s a brief review of last night’s event. Titled “This Is What We Do,” it took place over at the HillTap Tavern located in Elmhurst, Queens, NYC. The second annual event was created and hosted by fellow creator Sergio Zuniga. (Website: http://www.beernutcomics.com/)

This Is What We Do Flyer 2012

There were art, comics and prints for sales. Besides me and Sergio on the bill there was work from Amy Chace, Justin Melkmann (from the band WW9), Steve Pavlovsky, Thomas Doerrer, and Paul Benincasa.

Merch table and artwork

Artwork for sale

Sergio Zuniga's artwork

My Shuï Rhys painting. Originally exhibited in the The 2011 West Coast Eisteddfod: Welsh Festival of Arts in Los Angeles. Also published in the 2011 book "A Welsh Alphabet."

The three bands listed were The Barrens, Hidden Trax. Vol 1, and Losing Constitution.

The Barrens performing at HilltapFor the second year in a row, Liquid Light Lab put together awesome visuals for the show.

The Barrens live at This Is What We Do/Hilltap Tavern. Feb. 2012.

For the second year in a row, Liquid Light Lab put together awesome visuals for the show.

Liquid Light Lab aka, Steve Pavlovsky doing his thing, as Thomas Doerrer observes.

All in all a good night.

Hilltap Tavern 83-03 Grand Ave, Queens, NY 11373

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So as I’ve said yesterday on this blog, got invited last minute via Facebook through cartoonist Sergio Zuniga. The event took place in Elmhurst, Queens, at the Hilltap Tavern. Every once in a while, Hilltap will have local Punk/Post-Punk/Hardcore bands play there. Even if that wasn’t the case, this local Irish bar scores points for having whiskey on tap, in barrels. Here’s photos from last night:

My section on the pool table, which was converted into a vending spot.

Sergio Zungia's section.

Photography by J. Rivera.

Tommy Wing's section

Hilltap Tavern has Irish Whiskey on tap.

Liquid light show visuals by Steve Pavlovsky

Liquid light show in action.

Sergio Zungia

Paul Jones doing spoken word

A band with no name. First gig.

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I would’ve posted this blog right after Labor Day, but life got in the way. Back in August, I did the last of the pilgrimages to summer treats. The last pilgrimage would take us to Jackson Heights, Queens. Home of the last ice cream parlor standing.

Jahn’s was a pretty successful ice cream chain back in its heyday. It’s sugary magnum opus was and still is the infamous Kitchen Sink Sundae. It had locations scattered about the tri-state area, even reaching two towns within the Florida state so it could cater to NYC transplants. However, as with everything else, tastes change and so began the decline of Jahn’s. As I type this, there is only one Jahn’s location surviving, which is the Jackson Heights location. The Richmond Hill location recently closed in 2007.

Jann's Last Location, Jackson Heights, Queens NYC. Aug. 2010.

Apparently the Richmond Hill parlor was an ice cream time warp, where as the Jackson Heights one looks more 1970s/early ’80s. The slightly 70s look is due to a fire some time ago. A Geritol vibe lingered as we walked inside. Its main clientele seemed to be retired senior citizens, quietly chomping on their orders. The only exception was a young couple taking their bratty toddler out for an afternoon treat.

Menu From Jahn's.

We placed our order, adding a side of french fries for a taste of some ‘real’ food. This is what we got:

Our order at Jahn's. We couldn't take the 'Kitchen Sink.'

To our pleasant surprise, it was actually delicious. Comfort food at its finest. So while Eddie’s Sweet Shop in Forest Hills had the retro decor, Jahn’s delivered where it counts, the taste buds. So if your waist line knows no bounds, perhaps you can dare to try the Kitchen Sink sundae. I say you try it because I’m not going up another dress size.

In tribute, here’s the last of my summer treat sketch series:

Sundae Girl, illustration by Michele Witchipoo. Aug/Sept. 2010. Inspired by Jahn's and named after the Blondie song.


*Photos by Ben Herman

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