Today I want to celebrate a really special person, and someone I was lucky enough to call a friend: Shawn Mortensen. Not only was he an unreal photographer, he was an all-around cool fucking human. I’m pretty sure it would be hard to find anyone that would have a negative thing to say about him. His passion for life was infectious, but it was his constant whirlwind of creative energy I will always remember him for. Many people reading this may never have met Shawn, but I bet you have seen some of his work. He shot some of the most iconic pictures of Sonic Youth, Tupac, Biggie Smalls, Dr. Dre, Snoop Dog, Henry Rollins and many more. His non-industry work also left a mark on this world – Shawn’s pictures of the Zapatistas are moving and thought-provoking. Then there are the flicks he took in Ethiopia and Jamaica, that actually make you feel like you are there. His kind aura allowed him to make the people his was shooting feel completely comfortable and natural while he was taking a picture of them. More than anything, Shawn was a giver of art, & a giver to those that were in need on any level. The best way for him to be remembered is through all of his awesome photos – make sure to check out his new website that his family has set up HERE! Big hugs to Shawn Mortensen!
Whatever Ghost BC is doing, they seem to be excelling at it. I can’t say I’m a fan, but this show was sold out weeks in advance. The venue, not small by any means, was packed full of smiling fans singing along. The merch line was no less than 90 people long until everyone had a thirty dollar shirt and an LP in their hands. Those LPs sold out not more than a week or so into tour. I’m sure the dildos will sell out too, if they haven’t already. Now, I could attempt to delve into the Ghost spectacle, hypothesize the mystery, who/why and so on, but I think there’s been enough of that circulating already so I won’t bore you with more of it here. On with the show…
China has been an issue for Western governments for a lot longer than the neo-red penny scare of the past decade. At the end of the 19th century, the Boxer Rebellion caused chaos for the ruling Qing dynasty, and resulted in a repression of the most brutal kind, with rebels and government officials who supported the Boxers being executed and tortured in horrible ways. The Boxers, or the Society of Righteous and Harmonious Fists, began as a secret society who turned into a rebel force, responding to what they saw as the hordes of western christian missionaries invading their villages and attempting to convert their countrymen. They embraced the slogan “Support the Qing, destroy the foreigners,” and hunted down Chinese christian converts and the foreign missionaries. Their aggression towards the missionaries was taken as aggression towards Western European nations, who banded together to form the Eight-Nation Alliance, made up of the UK, Japan, Russia, France, the US, Germany, Austria-Hungary and Italy. A funny bunch considering the events that would later unfold! This imperialist force marched on China, driving back the Boxers and ravaging the countryside. Chinese people with long memories might relish the position these nations find themselves in today, groveling at their feet for loans. Below check out a series of photos of some of the brutal punishments and executions that took place during and after the Boxer rebellion.
For more than two decades, DOOM has stood firm and created some of the raddest crust on this planet! A couple weeks ago, they made their way to Vancouver and straight fucking ripped shit. Our comrade Ted Reckoning was on hand and captured the gnarly on film. The night started off with Rapid Loss and Koszmar who both ripped shit. Now check out these unreal pictures of all 3 bands!
Can you see the pain in color? Can you see the revolution in color? Can you see the ghost of right now in color? Frida Kahlo was an artist that worked magic with her creative expression, and became an artist that would go on to change the world. When I look into her paintings, I see joy surrounded by anguish. For some reason, Frida’s style inspires me to make it through my hard times on this planet. I have so much respect for her – the way she gave a voice to the voiceless. Frida’s pieces are decades old, but still resonate with the human condition that we all face today. Something I find interesting is the way she used vibrant colors to paint gothic scenes of surrealism. Today CVLT Nation celebrates Frida Kahlo with an essay of her work, plus we are showing the Frida Documentary…May the ghost of color haunt me forever!
“The darkling plain is here. This is the waste land: England, America, Russia, China, Israel, France …. And we are here as victims, or as spectators, or as perpetrators of tortures, massacres, poisonings, manipulations, despoliations.” –Fredy Perlman
If you want to talk about reads that hold, within mere pages of paper, the power to fill you with disgust, bring you to tears, and change your life, Fredy Perlman‘s essay Against His-story, Against Leviathan! is one such read. I’ve read it countless times now, and every read resonates deeply within the core of my being in a new way each time. AHAL! is more or less like “The Rise of Human Civilization 101.” Perlman goes over the rise and fall of human civilizations, and gives gut-wrenching explanations on how they each have impacted our birth in the belly of an artificial beast, Leviathan, who thrives on the disconnect between man and natural world. This essay was written by Perlman in 1983 and served to shape anarcho-primitivist thought.
All photos & text by Luana Magalhães
Their microphone-less screaming alone would have been enough to consider them one of the bands of the weekend, as those inhuman howls could be heard from the hallway outside. The fact that their black metal fury even outclasses what can be heard on their records helps, too.
The Baphomet sigil has become one of the most ubiquitous symbols of the “dark side” in our culture today, second only to the inverted cross. It adorns our bodies in the form of jewelry, t-shirts, leggings, hats and other clothing good or bad. It’s almost like the Che Guevara of metal – people who have no idea of its meaning or history plaster it all over themselves. In the interests of staying informed about one of the most important images in metal culture, check out the informative essay about the history of the Baphomet below, taken from Angelfire.com, home of the Joy of Satan Ministries. They outline its pagan roots, ties to Christianity through the Templar and the Inquisition, and it’s evolution as the logo of the Church of Satan. It’s a good read and for some of you may be enlightening about this almost “pop culture” symbol.
Looking forward to this show for a while, and especially curious to see the new incarnation of Valdur, I showed up late and missed Valdur. I also missed Sein Und Zeit and Maledict. Sorry guys! I did catch Ritual Combat and of course headliners/local renaissance men Lightning Swords Of Death.
The Black Castle is always a little or a lot different every time I go. This time, a pair of gogo cages had been erected, although they were missing something (the something is gogo dancers). Also, there was a bar… inside? Upon realizing this, I harkened back to the days of the backyard beer trailer. Sure, the unofficial Budweiser Uhaul caused much unnecessary human congestion – so bad that one could easily miss three or four songs of a band’s set just trying to ford the fjord of bodies after buying a beer – but still, it was one of many factors that gave the Castle that certain… I don’t know what. Now we must line up and buy our beer indoors like regular jerkoffs.
Anyway, Ritual Combat rollicked through a set of ripping blackened war metal, impressive as per usual. I was inspired by the drummer having the chuff to sport sunglasses indoors at night while wearing a Ritual Combat tshirt, seated directly in front of a matching Ritual Combat banner. Ritual Combat.
Lightning Swords Of Death came on next, giving us a swirling foggy room feel with trodding ancient drum patterns and pulsating guitar licks. Menno the bass man doing the lucky finger dance up and down the fretboard, Inverted Chris handling the chirps, squeals and noodles, Roskva deep stage left as captain of the riff ship, and Farron literally bending over backwards to let the hypnotic belchy chanting tumble from his chasm. It should be noted that LSOD has acquired a new skin pounder, and he performed splendidly, blasting his way through a demanding set of USBM. All in all, a fun night!