For millennia, humans have told each other about beasts with many heads, ones that roam the world with a ravenous hunger for flesh and pillage. These mythical figures may terrorize humankind’s imagination, but polycephaly is a strange and wonderful thing. Two creatures are born into one, two minds functioning side by side. Many do not survive – the world is a ruthless place for two-headed beasts. Their short time on earth is characterized by violence and confusion, and in the end they are stuffed and mounted, pickled in brine, and set on a shelf for the monocephalic masses to ponder. Below find the reality behind the myths…
It seems like back in the day, people had a better idea of how to give someone the creeps on Halloween. Mostly, it seemed to involve wearing masks that, even on children, gave the wearer such a misshapen, terrifying visage that Halloween must have truly been a dark and disturbing holiday. Today, kids dress up as Princesses or Batman, but decades ago they were grotesque ghosts with gaping maws full of razor-sharp teeth. Parents didn’t think twice about dressing their child in a skull mask resembling a death’s head, putting their kids on the street in costumes that aimed to scare people. Looking through these awesome photos, it’s hard not to reflect on how corporate-consumer-culture has watered down this holiday, especially for children. It used to be about making your own paper-mache goblin face and throwing on an old robe, and now it’s about buying some cheap, tinselly version of a TV character. I offer you a gallery of creepy vintage Halloween photography to peruse for inspiration, then I think you should break out the balloons and newspaper and make yourself a mask that will offend and disgust all your neighbors, just like our forbearers did…
All Photos: Ted Reckoning
Despite some unwelcome shenanigans on the 2nd night of Vancouver’s 8th annual DISTORT FEST, the third night went off well and featured performances by CRIMSON SCARLET, OUST, DERAS KRIG, DEATHCOUNT, SKABIIS, NIGHT NURSE, ASILE, BELLICOSE MINDS and WOLFBRIGADE. All bands killed it, and Ted Reckoning has provided us with photographic proof of it! Check out his gallery of photos after the jump, and start getting ready for next year’s fest!
Shocks & Massacre are two Italian photographers that take haunting urban photos. What I like about their work is that they focus on the everyday things around us, and shoot them in a way that makes you think of another world. Shocks & Massacre have the power to tell stories with their photos that might not be said with words. After the jump have a look at their word and see where it takes you…this might just be your normal state of mind…
Photographer: Luana Magalhães
Based in: Lisboa
Chelsea is so beautiful that she would make for great photos even if she wasn’t playing at all. That’s why I tried to catch a few more relaxed shots of her during this show – right before the start of the concert, in between songs, just catching little details that sometimes pass you by when you’re looking for that one good “publishable” shot. I’m such a huge fan of her music that sometimes it was difficult to not just pack the camera and join the rest of the entranced crowd that filled the room completely.
Text and Photos: Andy Social Photography
Barely drinkable draft, studded leathers and ear-splitting decible levels… Distort Fest Volume 8 was everything a punk fest should be. After a late start the crowd was thirsty for more than booze when opening act Absurdist hit the stage, and shit got gnarly fast. Short sets were the order of the night and before I knew it, Rapid Loss was closing out the show with more fury than a wolverine on bath salts. It would be impossible to name any one band as a highlight, they were all rad and put on one hell of a show. I didn’t make it to the after show show because I had to move the next day, but if it was anywhere near as good as the show at Iron Road Studio I totally missed out. Unfortunately night two didn’t go down as expected… Some douche nozzle broke a car window near the venue which brought in all kinds of unwanted attention. By the time I got to the show the place was shut down and everyone was scattering with no clear idea where the show would be moved to. After hearing a few different possibilities I decided to grab a sixer and go home. Weak, I know. Here are my shots from night number one, check em out! My buddy Ted Reckoning did the work for night three and he’s awesome so check out his shots too (stay tuned for those on CVLT Nation…).
Pictorialist photographer William Mortensen created images of classic terror. He may be famous for his Hollywood portraits from the 1930s, but we appreciate him for his monsters, his depiction of the occult, and his social commentary. He lived through the Great Depression, and reading his thoughts on his 1932 piece “Human Relations,” depicting a man with someone’s fingers deep in his skull, his experience of events that happened 80 years ago sounds eerily familiar:
Hatred is frequently the emotion that lies behind grotesque art… These were the days when stocks were stopping dividends, when lives of thrift and industry were being wiped out by the foreclosing of mortgages and the closing of banks, when Japan was carving herself a large slice of China. Everywhere there was the spirit of ‘Take what you can, and to hell with your neighbor.’ Those who were strong seemed to be, in sheer wantonness, gouging the eyes of humanity.
His insight provides more depth of meaning to his imagery, which on the surface may look like scenes from cheesy early horror cinema. Regardless of how you look at his work, Mortensen was adept at conjuring humor and texture from his subjects. After the jump, check out a gallery of his works…
Cailifornia hardcore legends STRIFE are back, and are set to release a new album entitled Witness A Rebirth on Nov. 6th via via 6131 Records. They have recently put up a gallery show that examines their career. Read the words of Anthony Godinez below and peep his photos after the jump…plus we also have some very special video surprises!
A night of community, and tradition of the old ways. A rebirth of the past were everything was learned and shared through d.i.y. zines and writing to bands. The days before convenience of the internet were flyers were past out after shows, where blood of our hands were spilled into creating what we hold true to our hearts. The history and struggle to create the hardcore music scene was deeply displayed on the walls of Pop Up Records in Little Tokyo Los Angeles by photograph installments and years of flyers collected. Strife, a band that has dedicated their lives to holding whats true to the hardcore scene presents ” War Records, Witness A Rebirth. Also the name of their up incoming record on 6131 records. This record and gallery is for the youth to keep the fire and faith alive, War Records runs from Oct 6th through the 28th.
The air is thick with a noxious fog – a mixture of haze and the smoke from burning tires. The toxic fumes mix with the stench of rotting meat and decaying vegetables. Trash lies heaped all around, not as a result of carelessness but simply because this is a garbage dump. It is also the home and workplace for a group of Burmese ‘Karen’ refugees and their children.
Mae Sot is a Thai border town. Sharing a border with Burma to the west, the district is a hub for trade between the two countries – much of it illegal. Gemstones, teak and drugs flow through Mae Sot daily. Yet people trafficking is also a major problem, with many Burmese people fleeing starvation, persecution or war in their homeland.
“Maybe it is the naivety of a child,” says filmmaker Sascha Schöberl, who is striving to make a documentary about life at the dump. “But still they are able to find happiness under the worst living conditions you can possibly imagine because they turn all this trash around them into an adventure park. And the trash turns into treasures. They invent games with old magazines and stones. They deal with this tragedy with such creativity and grace. It is so inspiring and impressive. These small little children taught me a lot.”
All Photos & Text by Alan Hunter
Like something out of a nightmare, Seattle’s Funhouse looms in the gaunt shadow of the Space Needle, sans actual carnies. Fittingly, Monday night’s bill played out like the soundtrack to that nightmare…one brilliant nightmare I have been waiting a long time to experience. Recently emerged from the California wilderness and the fires of Stella Natura, Servile Sect, Ash Borer, and the almighty Quebecois, Menace Ruine joined local dudes, A Story of Rats.
Blanketed in thick fog and candlelight, ASOR started things off with their haunting vibrations. A blend of droning synth, hammering drums, and creeping lap steel (recent addition to the group, D. Salo) their ambient magic provides the perfect soundscape to our darker, colder autumn evenings. Druss’ eerie vocals and complex layering will make the hairs of your neck stand tall. Truly one of my favorite local acts. Look out for their newest release this fall and a European tour in the works.
Following ASOR, mysterious bicoastal act Sevile Sect took stage. Although certainly drawing from many a musical/artistic influence, their acid-laced, sample-laden, psychedelic black metal experiment is a force to be reckoned with. These are the jams with which one might summon the great Carl Sagan…or enjoy during a trip trip in the presence of our extraterrestrial ancestors. It’s a plus that their live performance includes Ash Borer’s “M” on drums.
Review + Photo Essay after the jump!