I have never understood the appeal of ventriloquism. There is something infinitely creepy about ventriloquist dolls; maybe if the acts were more along the lines of weird and horrifying I would enjoy them more. I really wonder about people who do ventriloquism. The dummies always have the weirdest, most exaggerated faces, with huge staring eyes, bulbous noses and cheeks stretched into a grimacing smile. No wonder so many horror films have featured talking dolls. Also, their voices are terrifying – all high and squeaky and manic. I just don’t like them. But if I feel like freaking myself out, I can stare at photos of vintage ventriloquist dummies for hours, feeling the thrill of a chill down my spine. So if you feel like that today, check out a wonderful and weird gallery below…
Call them Guttter Punks, Crusty Punks or modern day hobos – I call them human beings that live outside of “normal” society. Hordes of traveling punks are all over the world, and like most homeless, the larger society treats them as invisible beings. This is not the case with the New York Photographer Steve Hirsch, who has documented the Crusty Punk dwellers of Tompkins Square Park with dignity. What is awesome about his site is that with each photo he takes, he gives the person space to tell a story which draws you into the photo even more…Now check out a gallery of Steve Hirsch’s flicks, plus some words from the voices that society tries to sweep away!
My father was an attempted cop killer, he was doing twenty years to life for shooting a police officer three times. He was serving five years in CCI corrections and my mother met him visiting my uncle who was an incarcerated Hell’s Angels. As my mom would tell you, she fucking fell in love with a felon. Got a petition with three thousand signatures on it and got my dad released in five years served, five years probation. He got out impregnated my mom. I was born two months premature and I was dying.
I got into punk rock music and squatting when I was thirteen years old. By fifteen I had been in jail, was kicked out of high school and I had a son on the way. In two thousand one, January third, my son Seth Alan Parker was born. At that moment I knew that I would never stick a needle in my arm or ride a train or ever do anything that would ever threaten me being there for him. I’ve traveled all over America, just not on trains. I’ve stayed in the dirtiest squat houses. I’ve cried over dead friends. I’ve cried over live friends. When I was eighteen years old we started a crew, it’s called the Dirty South Crew. We’re all family. We’re all poor, white trash squatters, scum fucks, losers, throwaway kids. Some of my friends died from overdoses. Some of them killed themselves. Some of my friends are still alive and wish they were dead. Sometimes I feel like I’m the only one left that’s still normal. I look around me and just see all this disease and drugs and just hopelessness.
When I was seventeen years old I was at a punk show in my hometown of Columbia, South Carolina. A straight edge hardcore guy named…approached me from behind and tapped me on my shoulder and said my name. When I turned around he grabbed my by my shirt, stepped on my feet and he smashed my face in. I had three thousand dollars of reconstructive surgery putting my nose back together. Putting my eye socket back together. Half of my face is metal. I have screws and brackets in my face. When I woke up I didn’t have a nose. I didn’t have an eye. My eyeball was loosely hanging out of my socket. Everyone kinda likes to joke that I’m the man with the metal face. Six years later after I got my face busted in that same guy he got stabbed nine times by a Nazi and his car was set on fire…via Crustypunks
Deep inside the ugly abstract caves in our minds lives a form of beauty that is hard to describe with words! When I look at Susu Laroche‘s photographs, all sorts of thoughts come into my brain. She knows how to isolate something morbid and bring out the fragile tragedy in it. While looking at her work, for some reason I begin to question my own place on this planet. She uses the human body in a way that shows our fleeting existence in the world. Susu’s photos remind me that there is a constant battle between chaos and serenity, and she conveys this idea in a dreamy lanscape. I feel like I am looking through a fog into someone else’s dream that feels like a nightmare. It’s awesome when opposites co-exist in art to create something that is otherworldly. Susu Laroche’s photos almost seem to have a ghost living inside of them. Instead of me going on about how her work has impacted me, check it out for yourself!
There was a time when photo manipulation was a new and undiscovered art, when the possibilities for altering the reality of a photograph were endless, albeit a skill that had to be carefully learned. In the Victorian era, photography was a booming industry, so what did these skilled photo manipulators choose to do? Behead their subjects! Obviously decapitation has held the fascination of human beings for many a century, and once we figured out how to make ourselves look decapitated without actually having to chop anybody’s head off, it became wildly popular. This was the zombie app of the 1890s. As someone who has spent a little time in a darkroom, I can imagine this effect was the result of a long, tedious and careful process, and evidently from the photos below, some photographers were more skilled at beheadings than others. What a lovely souvenir of your dear old mom – a photo of you holding the axe that chopped off her head, while your brother holds her gory skull by the hair! Although Victorian era people seem so stuffy and repressed, in some ways they had a pretty awesome sense of humor. Check out more Victorian headless portraits below…
Late last month, the TODAY IS THE THE DAY tour rolled into Vancouver with their tour mates BLACK TUSK and KEN MODE. Our comrade in photography Ted Reckoning was on hand and captured the whole ballistic event. We are hyped that he shared his raging photos with us because you can almost hear the bands’ riffs blazing out of the flicks! Enough of me talking, check out this insane photo essay after the jump!
Can you handle some heavy fucking ugly psychedelic doom that has been planted deep in the Bay Area’s soil? If you can then SWAMP WITCH is your band – all you have to do is listen to GNOSIS. If you follow CVLT Nation, then you know that we totally dig SWAMP WITCH because they get our eardrums all sticky with THC. We are so stoked that Anti-Matter Records is releasing GNOSIS limited edition vinyl (pre-order HERE NOW!). Check out the digital version of this doom monster streaming below, but understand that vinyl is the only way to really get to hear the SWAMP WITCH. Also make sure to peep these doomadelic wizards kicking ass live after the jump!
The original GNOSIS, recorded by Greg Wilkinson (Brainoil) at Earhammer Studios in Oakland, California would see a revised version just a few short months later at the same hand, and shortly thereafter, a pressing of 100 cassettes would be released in August of 2011 through Gay Scientist Recordings. Now, as part of the ANTI-MATTER RECORDS catalogue, SWAMP WITCH’s debut recording is ready for its next incarnation… the vinyl format. The entire package is housed in a tip-on style, single sleeve jacket printed from Stoughton Printing Company, black dust sleeves, a two button set that’s housed in a black zip lock bag, and a download card printed on 32 lb. metallic paper to redeem the entire recording which also includes the “Chopped & Doomed” remix version courtesy of DJ Dreemz as an added bonus. Artwork and layout was execute by Jacob R., with collaborative help from photographer Megan Brim and Steven Wilson (Black Uroborus Illustrations).
Edition run of 500 copies on the vinyl format in two different color variations: 401 copies on swamp green vinyl, 99 copies on “cosmic splatter” (transparent green & white) vinyl.
When I was a teenager, the idea that kids my age would one day all own a cell phone, let alone a cell phone that had a screen bigger than a square inch, didn’t even occur to us. We communicated with one another face-to-face, we met up by arranging a time via landline and by being there on or around the time we had arranged. We managed to create close and lasting friendships with one another, with very little miscommunication. At the risk of sounding old and jaded, I think that there is far, far more miscommunication between people now that we have each other at our fingertips constantly. I also think that when I find myself surrounded by younger people, say late teens to mid-20s, I feel like each person has an invisible shield around them created by their phone, which is pretty much constantly in one or both of their hands, drawing in their attention with its life-sucking force. Life for many a young person is mediated by their device; it is how they live their life for the people that aren’t around them at that very second. Not sure why those distant people have become more important than the people standing right next to them, but that’s how it is. I think in some communities its more prevalent than others to live through your phone; for example, you don’t often go to a metal or punk show and see a bunch of kids filming it instead of actually experiencing the music, mostly because their phone would probably be knocked out of their hands, but also because I think it’s less socially acceptable. However, if you make the mistake of wandering in to a neo-indie show, you will find yourself surrounded with glowing screens – people either watching the show through their phones or texting their friends about it. I have even been told that kids will hold up their phones set on the “lighter” app to simulate holding an actual lighter. That’s unimaginably fucking lame. Thankfully I avoid such events. I do enjoy Instagram, I will admit it, but the people we follow through CVLT Nation post interesting and creative photos which I have come to realize are far from the norm. Case in point, CVLT Nation’s Most Annoying Tumblr of this Moment, Pictures of Hipsters Taking Pictures of Food. I had heard of said food photos, but maybe being older or just not in that particular loop, I had almost never seen photos of food on Instagram (except for the occasional delicious-looking vegan feast via Serge). So when we saw POHTPOF, we were horrified to see how many people think that the world wants to see what they are currently turning into shit. It will make you laugh, and it will make you cry – it might even make you hesitate over taking that photo of that brunch you are enjoying – so after the jump, check out Pictures of Hipsters Taking Pictures of Food, and a video that made me laugh…
Text & Photos by Matthew Grant Anson
Sundays are weird days for shows – they bring out a strange hodgepodge of people who either don’t have work or school the next day or do but don’t care. Combine that with King Dude’s already peculiar fanbase, and you had the perfect recipe of strangeness at Los Angeles’ The Echo Sunday, March 31st. King Dude, accompanied by Of The Wand & The Moon and A Story of Rats brought the tunes to match, together providing a unique and off-the-wall combination of neo-folk, drone, and everything in between.
A Story of Rats began the proceedings with ten lit candles, distorted vocals, driving drums, and bwwoooonnnggggg-ing bass feedback. This amounted to their entire set…they either played one long song or multiple songs with no breaks in between; it was hard to tell. The audience for the most part didn’t know what to make of the act, so far removed from King Dude’s sound they were. A Story of Rats had at least five build ups where it seemed as if the music was about to crescendo and transform into something, only to peter out into nothingness like a 4th of July bottle rocket that’s reached the apex of its flight. Drone music isn’t for the faint of heart, and it takes a particularly warped mind to appreciate the intricacies that are (probably, hopefully) hidden beneath the repetition and the feedback. Needless to say, that type of audience just wasn’t at The Echo that night.
I had friend who owned a hearse. It was how he got around town, in slow, loud and methodical style. One time, he had to drive me to work – I had 20 minutes to get there, it was a 5-minute drive, a no brainer. But he didn’t tell me that his hearse went 15 to 20/km tops. I was late, but I did arrive in a hearse, so my boss forgave me. There is something about these vehicles of death that fascinate us; the last earthly travel of a corpse, before it rests forever in earth. Back in the day, hearses were ornate and richly decorated, demonstrating a certain nobility in death. Especially in South America, where they were often made of carved wood attached to the standard Cadillac or Lincoln body – a huge, plumed and shiny black death carriage – or in Japan where mini-pagodas adorn the backs of hearses in gold splendor. I am a big fan of the 50s models, with their wings and tails and white-walled tires, or the 20s and 30s models with their false curtained windows, ones that the dead never need look out of. In California, you might even see a pimped-out, fully tinted hearse sitting on dubs if you’re lucky. After the jump, Check out a gallery of beautiful and strange funeral coaches!
One of my favorite fanzines/magazines ANP QUARTERLY has a new issue out with an article entitled “L.A. Punk Gangs of the 80′s”. Honestly this is the first time I have ever seen a publication tackle this part of the L.A. hardcore movement. It’s a very interesting and insightful read, and I’m glad ANP did this feature, it brought back a lot of memories. I wanted to shed some light on the Suicidal Boys part of the article because this is the scene that I was a part of when I first found punk rock. Usually people always talk about how violent we were, but they leave out the huge amount of kinship we had with one another. We had a central meeting place, which was Mar Vista park, where we would meet up before shows and down beers. Also this park served as the place were the Suicidal softball & football leagues would play ball. Somedays we could also be seen at Penmar playing golf with the Suicidal golf club or at the bowling alley with the Suicidal bowling team. For me it was more of a band of brothers than it was a gang. That being said, many of us did have older brothers that were a part of the local gangs, plus being from Venice we were taught to represent our hood! Many of the kids that were in our scene had known each other since the first grade, so of course as we got older we had each others’ backs. More than the shows in Hollywood, it was the house parties where the real fun would take place. I’m talking about kegger parties that would feature live performances from Suicidal Tendencies, No Mercy, Beowulf, Neighborhood Watch and Chaotic Noise; these were priceless events. When we did go to shows, we did not fuck with people unless they fucked with us. If someone called us out of name they would have to pay the price. The down side to growing up in this environment is that some kids actually did join gangs and went down a path that led them to prison. On a personal level, I realized punk was bigger than just the people around me, and I started listening to Crass and bands that opened my mind. I’m glad that I did not just close myself off to the broader punk scene, because I would have missed out on a lot! I’m way happy that ANP QUARTERLY did this article, because this was an era that has been forgotten about by many. Go to pages 57 through 67 to read “L.A. Punk Gangs of the 80′s”…much respect to everyone who took photos back then!..All of the madness is after the jump.