Tuesday, October 28, 2008

2 years...

Whoa...been a long time.

A flashback to Battle Bev, the drunk years...

whoa rough


municipally wasted


Post High on Fire summoning

Party Tardy


Goodbye CMJ

I only went to two CMJ events this year. I can't do it, it's too crazy out here, five shows a night, five bands each. It makes me shiver to even imagine what South by Southwest must be like. So much awesome, so little time, I totally shut down at the thought of it. Is that bad? The same thing happens to me during fashion week, I never have been to a show in the tents, the only events I attend are the ones involving my friends. I just don't deal.

However, I did drag myself out to a Vice party starting at midnight at the Studio @ Webster Hall. Definitely an unlikely destination for me. The crowd was primarily there for the free Sparks I believe. As I waited in line with Aaron and Lauren a super fan took up residence behind us. Lauren showed my her ear plugs and super fan interjected with a suggestion of the brand we should purchase. Politely we engaged him briefly until his attentions were caught elsewhere by a group of people showing up behind him in the line.

"What show are you here for?" He demanded.
"Umm...is this the where the party is?"
"There is a show here tonight. Vried from Norway and Krallice. Are you here for that?"
"Umm...is this where the Vice thing is with the free Sparks."
"Yes indeed, you are in the right place."

He then proceeded to school this crew of collegiate looking chaps all wearing different brightly colored sweatshirts as to the glory of King Diamond and gave them a primer on black metal. He reminded me of the kids who used to hang out in the back of the coffee house in my home town, long-haired and slight wearing a button-down, tie, and a leather jacket.

Turns out superfan and my company made up the minority of the crowd. Most everyone else was there for the free Sparks. Ahh, the power of a Vice party. I thought it was long-gone but nope, it still persists.


Essentially we watched Krallice alienate the majority of the crowd with ten-minute long bursts of brutality. I loved watching them play as always and there was even a brief, albeit disfunctional mosh pit that erupted. I wish the moshing was geniune but I think it was a confused reaction from the NYU kids who didn't know exactly what was going on. At least they responded in some manner rather than just leaving.

Maybe I am just a weirdo, but I am endlessly entertained by the directions Colin's hair goes when he headbangs. The Anselmo circa '91 mane really makes for some impressive thrashing.

Majestic, isn't it?


And moving on from Colin's hair...



Once Krallice finished Vried was up. They came all the way from Norway to play for about twelve people. Honestly I wasn't that into them. I stayed because Zach told me he'd been waiting four years to see them. I was entertained and even slightly headbanged, but ultimately I wasn't captivated.

But this from their website broke my heart just a little bit:

First we take Manhattan, then we take Berlin.Leonard Cohen was onto something, but Vreid take the opposite route. Vreid will participate at the CMJ Music & Film Marathon Festival in New York in the end of October. This is one of the most prestigious American music events. Vreid will present their brand new album Milorg, and will do 2 concerts. The concerts will take place at 22 of October at 88 Palace, this is a Vice Magazine showcase. They will also play at the Knitting Factory on October 25th, this is a part of the official CMJ program. More info on these shows will follow.

They sound so excited to take over.





Oh yes...there were armbands.


This guitarist was one of the most expressive dudes I've ever seen. He kept making eye-contact with Jayson and myself. Everytime he'd lock eyes with me he'd stick out his tongue. I was starting to feel special when I noticed him doing it to others in the crowd...oh well. Regardless I was completely captivated.


Sorry, cant' resist, this photo cracks me up. Anselmo shaved sides...sweet

Also on a vaguely related note, this is the most-viewed photo on my Flickr account. Strange, no? A lot of people google "Pantera tattoo" apparently.

Pantera Tattoo

Chitlin legs...

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Funemployment Update

Last week I received a letter in the mail from the NY Department of Labor ordering me to appear at an appointment at 250 Schermerhorn Street on October 17 at 1 pm for a mandatory job search seminar. If I missed the meeting it stated I would potentially lose my benefits. So I schlepped my ass onto the G train and slunk over to the Hoyt-Schermerhorn stop. I got there ridiculously early, having left at the same time my friend who I'd crashed with in Bed-Stuy had to go to work so trolled Livingston Street, one of my favorite degenerate strips of Brooklyn right by the Fulton Mall.

Livingston Street is home to a Dallas BBQ, Papa Johns, Popeyes, Taco Bell/Dunkin Donuts/Baskin Robbins combo, countless perfume and pattie shops, a gargantuan GoodWill and New York's only IHOP. Trying to find something healthy to eat that that fufills my new dietary restrictions in this mecca of bad taste is like trying to find a Chanel store in Nebraska aka impossible. Despite my love of IHOP, I didn't really feel like spending $11 on pancakes, so I settled on a steam table joint on Flatbush Ave that looked like it at least had some vegetable matter. I ordered the salmon, sweet potatoes, and greens. Bad choice. The salmon was full of bones and the scene inside was a total starch fest. After watching a mother feed her daughter fried chicken and mashed potatoes and orange soda I looked at my depressing vegetable matter and realized there is a reason that most people eat like shit. It tastes way better. Especially if you are on a budget. A $3 salad is gonona be far grosser than a $3 chicken sandwich at your neighborhood fried chicken joint. Disheartened and heart-burnt I moseyed over to the GoodWill store back on Livingston.

To those who haven't been there, you should go. The only reason I am sharing this spot with you is because I go there about two or three times a year and I doubt any readers are in that hood too often so there isn't going to be much competition. If you are looking for 90s gear it's amazing. If you are looking for fabric it's even better. The dress racks are full of traditional African dress which, while may not be the right cut or appropriate style for a lot of us out there, are made up of the most wonderful prints and colors. The vintage rack is useless, but expect brilliant colored knits and ridiculous leathers. I scored two dresses on my way to my appointment, both perfection.

Time running short, I dashed down the street to the ugly behemoth of a building that is the New York State Department of Labor Kings County headquarters. I waiting in the security line and showed the guard my letter of appointment, half ripped to shreds from the house party we'd had the Friday prior. Seriously, the only thing that got damaged in my entire bedroom (which was filled with headbanging dudes) was my appointment letter and employment history form. Sweet. He laughed at said, "Dog ate it?" I smiled and got on the elevator. The 3rd floor was where I was required to report for my appointment. The room was full, every seat taken. I waited in line to check in dodging uncouth individuals trying to brazenly cut in front of me (ahh...social services draw the best crowd.) The woman behind the desk took one look at my letter and laughed and said, "Dog ate it?"

Once all checked in, I was given another form to fill out and followed a group into room #3. There were about 40 of us grouped together and the instructor warned us we could be there for up to 2 hours. There were 300 people called in to report at 1:00. He listed several numbered categories we could fall into. 1: Union, 2: Temporary Layoff, 3: Seasonal Unemployement, 4: Highly skilled, creative, and technical fields, 5: Everyone else. I put a 4 on the top right corner of my supplemental paperwork and hoped for the best.

My name was called third. The instructor told me that because of my field there was nothing they could do for me as far as job placement, "but I'm sure you already knew that." Thanks, indeed I did. All told, I spent more time roaming around in preparation for my appointment than I did in the federal building. I was out of there by 1:30.

And so, still unemployed, still getting benefits. Trying to figure my shit out. Applying for editorial jobs but so is everyone else. No one wants to be freelance right now so when a permanent position turns up, everyone applies for it. I am trying to change fields which makes it all the more difficult. Oy...


Is ruining my life.

I told myself I'd slit my wrists if I started watching reality shows online.

Well apparently I'm full of shit because I have sunk to that depth of all depths and all arteries are still intact.

And you wonder how I can be unemployed and not blog that often...

The Real Housewives of Atlanta? The Rachel Zoe Project? I die. What's wrong with me? (And where are episodes 5 and 6 surfthechannel? I need them.)


Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Why is life doing this to me?

Danzig w/ Dimmu Borgir/Skeleton Witch for free at Roseland


Pierce Arrows aka essentially DEAD MOON @ Mercury for $10


My friends offered me free tickets to the first because they'd rather go to the 2nd. I never saw Dead Moon and I have never seen Danzig and Pierced Arrows is fucking good as all get out. I can't in good conscience turn down free Danzig tickets. I just wish I didn't know what I'll be missing.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

FID Round 2

After writing about a long while ago about how a job wasn't something I minded doing then ending up in the position of not working for a period I feel at a loss as to my next step. I don't want to end up working a job that takes my energy away from my passions, but welcome to the real world. If I only were strong enough to pause my consumption and live more minimally I'd be able to survive on very little, but I've been spoiled by the type of paychecks that come from hustling and working myself to the bone. Gone are the days when I make my rent in a single week's pay. And as I get older I feel myself financially regressing. I'm nearly 27, unemployed, and don't know where to go next. But strangely, being broke is somewhat of a relief. It sets boundaries for me that I've previously been unable to set myself.

At some point I have to swallow my pride and remember no one cares what I do for a living. This is a different generation, careers don't necessarily define us, nearly everyone I know has a different agenda from their job. I have to be okay with that. I just can't get buried in a career path again, unless it's one I actually care about. I'm a hard-working, loyal, and dedicated employee, but at the end of the day, none of that matters if deep down I don't give a fuck. I've got a case of the recession blues as much as the next person, but that isn't what's crushing me. It's the overwhelming uncertainty I've felt long before the stock market went into free fall. But the emergent financial crisis leaves me even more fearful and doubtful.

And perhaps I could weather part of this storm in graduate school. Bury myself in academia. But you can't get a doctorate in creative writing, so I'll only be able to hide so long. But maybe a MFA will buy me time and space to work, but then again, unemployment should do the trick and thus far it hasn't. I haven't been writing the way I've expect to. I've got a mental block and the timing couldn't be worse. Fiction isn't flowing and the non-fiction as most of you have noticed has fallen time and again into the "bitching is my birthright" category, the only thing I seem to excell at these days is lamentation.

My position in life has always been tenuous. I think of myself as an artist without the passion or the balls to really go for it, similar to my art major mother who decided she wasn't going to be a painter because she didn't have the drive to really go for it and feared the risks. And despite my reckless lifestyle, ultimately I am not a risk taker. I won't put myself out there, the fear of failure is too great. To fail would be to negate what I've put lip-service to my entire life and to admit that it's been nothing but lip service aside from this goddamn blog.

So what do I do? What do I write? Songs for a band that doesn't exist, or at least that's what I call them...because lord knows I don't want the fate of a poet. A frustrated poet is even worse than a frustrated actress. And at one time I was a somewhat legitimized song-writer, lyrics printed in the album insert and everything. And what humiliation I suffered when I heard our label's staff spent at evening on the front porch of their headquarters doing a mock poetry reading of my Battletorn lyrics. Even though such a gesture wasn't necessarily negative in intent, the thought of being potentially mocked was enough to awaken the hibernation instinct. I've always been hyper-defensive and when given a reason, the mechanisms really fly.

So what is the solution here? I guess just to say, productively this time, "Fuck it dude," and try. Let my creation of what real world is and the fears it holds slip away and dive into an alternate reality where failure doesn't matter and attempts are more valuable than results. I hope I can do that, because right now my mechanisms are so intricate that I am not even creating. Because if you don't have any results to put out there you can't get rejected. It's a default way of living that's pretty pathetic. But if you have nothing to submit the fear of rejection is nil. You really can't argue with that.

It's hard to put the pressure on when you've got no one to be accountable to but yourself. But maybe I need to matter more.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Children of the...

Forgot to mention I went to the Vice/Colt 45 party at Glasslands. Pissed Jeans and Children played. After hearing all the hype I was realitively let down by Pissed Jeans, they didn't really interest me. Children riffed hard as usual and as usual I forgot to take pictures until the fun was almost over.

Colt 45's product placement in these pics is sublime.

Children @ Glasslands

Children @ Glasslands

Children @ Glasslands

Children @ Glasslands

Okay, these pictures happen to illustrate a huge pet peeve of mine. Why, at every show, when a performer steps down into the crowd to rock out does there have to be that guy right on his balls pointing at him and ruining every picture? The guy follows the performer every step he takes pointing at him or standing directly behind him throwing up the horns as if the performer is doing this especially for him. Yeah dude, that's right, Johnny from Children will lose his ability to rock out if you don't extend your arm and point down at him continuously. In fact if you waver once he'll lose his ability to shred and the show will be over, just keep pointing, everyone wants to you to obstruct their view of the action.

This isn't exclusive to off stage performers. At the Lita show there was a dude front and center with his arm raised pointing at her the entire set. No joke.

Lita Ford @ BB Kings

Lita Ford @ BB Kings

Lita Ford @ BB Kings

Lita Ford @ BB Kings

Yes sir! There's Lita! You've done us all a favor by spotting her. You'd better keep pointing her out because if you lower your arm for one second we won't be able to see where she is any more. You are a hero.

Thursday, October 9, 2008


Saw Watain and Krallice last night at the Knitting Factory. They played with Book of Black Earth and Withered both of which left me underwhelmed, although everyone around me seemed to dig Withered.


After hearing about all the glorious antics that Watain has exhibited (flinging dead rats on their audience, pig's blood, etc) they were surprisingly unperformative. It still took them about about 20 minutes to set up the stage and I'm not talking amps and drums, I'm talking candleabras and chains. Once the candles were lit they finally took the stage postitioning them in stances that were appropriately evil




Angela dubbed the singer "the little bloody dude" which made me laugh. That was all the stage antics he had, a cup of fake blood which he poured over his face. The wardrobe was pretty awesome although his above the pants chain g-string was a little weird.



Apologies for the lack of variation in these pics. I was up in the balconey and there wasn't a better view than the one I had.




And here are some pics of Krallice. They played first and brutalized as usual. Officially my favorite local band and the nicest dudes to play black metal ever. We were talking to Colin and Mick after the show on the balconey while the freshly showered members of Watain grumbled by us. Little known Krallice fact, Mick Barr was a high school track star, to quote him, "I never had to practice or anything. I'd just show up, I was like the Fonz." Metal. Also never heard anyone in a metal band self-describe as "twerpy", way to go Colin.

This picture makes me laugh, maybe not a facial expression meant for immortalization.



It's hard to see but the full extension of Colin's headbang (on the left) is pretty epic.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Hooked on Metal

Tomorrow night @ the Knitting Factory

Watain and Krallice