It’s just the second issue of since I took over the reigns, and already we’re getting an awesome response from readers. Robert Pradke, of Eastford, CT, writes, “Thanks for putting out a tattoo magazine with some substance, not some newspaper rag filled with bad pictures and worse art.”
Top Row: Chris Nieratko is the most important American writer of the past twenty minutes. Aside from pioneering the confrontational style of journalism where the reporter threatens the interviewee, Nieratko is also widely renowned as being a handsome gentleman and the owner of two skate shops in New Jersey (njskateshop.com).
My first tattoo was a small black dragon on my neck, which I got when I was 18. I don't remember who did it, but I got it because I love dragons! Unfortunately, the tattoo wasn't done that well, and I ended up having it lasered off a year later because I didn't like it anymore.
Remember, before he went Def Jam he was a Sony man, and Sony needed one last favor—a greatest hits album. The cleverly titled Greatest Hits compiles the best from multiple albums, ranging from the 1994 release IIImatic to 2004's Street's Disciple; but it's no surprise that IIImatic tracks dominate a large portion of this release. Nas also managed to get two premiere tracks on the album: "Less Than an Hour," his collaboration with Cee-Lo that first appeared on the Rush Hour 3 soundtrack, and album-opener "Surviving the Times," perhaps a personal vaunt boasting glory in hip-hop long after Nas himself declared it dead.
Cat Power Jukebox
It's tough to get away with one cover album, let alone two, but no one wears it quite like Cat Power. Matador's little darling has surfaced with a 12-track collection featuring classic reinterpretations of James Brown, Bob Dylan, and Billie Holiday, just to name a few. Miss Marshall also proves that her own songs are coverworthy, with a brand-new version of "Metal Heart," from her 1998 release Moon Pix. She's also included an all-original dedication to Bob Dylan entitled "Song to Bobby," because everyone needs a little something new with their something borrowed.
Led Zeppelin Mothership
Often regarded as one of the first heavy metal bands, Led Zeppelin hit the music scene by storm back in 1969, and they’ve been ripped off, in one way or another, by scores of bands ever since. Their legacy continues with the release of Mothership, a 24-track greatest hits collection that was personally selected by Jimmy Page, Robert Plant, and John Paul Jones. Mothership Includes every pillar song one would expect to make the greatest hits album ("Ramble On," "Stairway to Heaven," "Over the Hills and Far Away"). And if you spring for the collector's or deluxe edition, it also includes a DVD featuring live content—a collector's dream.
The Killers Sawdust
Two albums in and they're already dropping a rarities compilation? The Killers have sure got some sass. Though it must be easy to develop a good bit of impudence if you've been busy recording an album with Lou Reed. Yes, among the never-beforereleased-in-the-U.S. tracks and the B-sides is "Tranquilize," a collaboration between the Killer boys and Reed. Not too shabby. Sawdust also features "All the Pretty Faces," a B-side from the "When You Were Young" single, a cover of Joy Division's "Shadowplay," from the Control soundtrack, and "Move Away" from Spider-Man 3. They even managed to do their own take on the Kenny Rogers hit "Ruby, Don't Take Your Love to Town"—how brash!
MGR Wavering on the Cresting Heft
Guitarist Mike Gallagher of the group Isis returns with his second solo project this year, a strange and solemn glimpse into his distorted mind. This album from MGR (a.k.a. Mustard Gas and Roses, a name lovingly borrowed from Vonnegut's Slaughterhouse Five) is arranged with a clamorous structure, shifting in and out of focus over the course of the six album tracks. Gallagher conjured about as many ominous and vague feelings as possible with his almost all-guitar composure. Isis fans will pick up on the familiar layering-of-echoes style laced throughout the album that is, quite often, easy to ignore. Yet pay close attention, out of all the foreboding, distortion, and noise, there is a soundtrack to a mood rarely captured in song.
Daft Punk Alive 2007
Daft Punk can play at your house. Now it's possible, with the release of Alive 2007, the two-disc set documenting the robotic duo’s live show at Paris' Palais Omnisports de Paris-Bercy, their first hometown show in nearly a decade. The collection includes a 50-page digibook full of tour photos, live shots, and, of course, plenty of robot suits. But it gets better: the album's first single, "Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger," will be accompanied by a music video from director Olivier Gondry (Michel's brother) that includes footage shot by the fans for the fans. Alive 2007 brings the Daft Punk live experience right into your living room; just be sure you have room for the immense glowing pyramids—and you'll probably need some sort of license for the pyrotechnics.
What do Blek Le Rat, Blu, and Bo130 have in common? , they aren't '80s pop bands. Rather, they're artists who have defaced the streets of Europe with their graffiti, from London to Berlin. Now, these artists, along with D*Face, Microbo, and Space Invader, jump off of their clandestine walkways and into the validating arms of the Jonathan LeVine Gallery in New York City this December.
Platform: PlayStation 2, PlayStation 3, Xbox 360 Lacking the essential components (say, musical talent) needed to start your own club-thrashing garage act? Just cop this guaranteed party-starter from Guitar Hero's inventors. It lets wannabe headliners caterwaul along on a USB mic or jam together in person and online using guitar, bass, and drum peripherals. Punk, grunge, alternative, every imaginable chord-shredding genre is represented, with dozens of chart-toppers like Nirvana's "In Bloom" and Rush's "Tom Sawyer" fueling the ultimate headbanger's ball. Optional downloads featuring artists like The Who and Metallica only provide added incentive to squeeze into those neon-tinged Spandex tights.
MTV Games/Electronic Arts
Sega Rally Revo
Platform: PC, PlayStation 3, Xbox 360 Way back when (13 years ago for those counting, gramps), this rubber-burning off-road racing series was the shiznit in arcades. Now, after a nearly decade long pit-stop, it shifts back into high gear on home systems, delivering a solid, if unspectacular look at mud-spraying four-wheeled mayhem. Handling like a long-lost quarter-munching classic, expect wild physics, scrotum-shriveling powerslides, and deformable terrain that noticeably affects handling the more muck gets churned. Unfortunately, there are also the familiar downsides, like repetitive action, a small selection of linear tracks, and ruthless AI opponents. Guess that proves the more things change, yeah, the more they play the same.
MTV Games/Electronic Arts
Kane & Lynch: Dead Men
Platform: PC, PlayStation 3, Xbox 360 Gritty, Hollywood-style drama gets top billing in this engaging crime thriller from the creators of the best-selling Hitman. Controlling ex-mercenary Kane, players enjoy intense, squad-based gunplay alongside computer-or buddy-controlled ally Lynch, a schizophrenic nutcase. Think Ocean's Eleven meets The Odd Couple: rappelling along towering skyscrapers and airing out crowded nightclubs with a spray of gunfire; sparking frantic chases; and executing high-stakes heists. A coarse vibe, stark visuals, and even cruder dialogue prove immediate draws, but it's the trigger-happy co-op mode where the title really shines. Corrupt a friend into participating, and you'll see why it's number one with a bullet.
MTV Games/Electronic Arts
Platform: Xbox 360 More Battlestar Galactica than Battlefield Earth, the latest from role-playing impresario BioWare (Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic, Jade Empire) scores with its epic script and galaxy-spanning ambition. This is no mere sci-fi dungeon hack; players traverse archaeological sites and stunning alien worlds flush with quirky characters and emotionally gripping scenarios, with every action affecting the tale's outcome. Equally notable for ethically ambiguous choices and furious real-time battles, genre innovation is plentiful. Dork cred strictly optional herewith humanity's fate yours to decide, even those who can't tell Drs. Phil from Who will still be in high-tech heaven.
No brand is more American nor, over the long haul, more successful than Harley-Davidson. So it's not surprising that the massive passion for big noisy bikes and wild open spaces has been translated into a prolific all-American palette of tattoo art.
We had a hard time choosing between this and El Tesoro, but the Don Julio proved to be so clean and pure that we couldn't resist. This spirit also makes a formidable margarita, but obscuring the vivid flavors of green peppers, pineapples, herbs, and vanilla might be an even worse idea than a 3 a.m. round of body shots.
Using only estate-grown agave, and aged for more than 6 months in French Canadian barrels, this tequila has a brilliant pale-honey color. Notes of vanilla, hazelnut, and almond complement the agave flavors without overpowering them, and the finish has a touch of sweetness.
Easily the best unaged tequila in our tasting; this was so soft, so smooth, and so delicious the speed with which we sipped it was scary. Equally as frightening: the $200 price tag.
The packing: a glass representation of an agave plant inside a dramatic bottle. The spirit: vibrant agave flavors shine brightly even though they are enrobed in notes of vanilla, toast, and sweet baking spice courtesy of three years inside French oak barrels.
You're at a bar and it's a few drinks past midnight when your friend yells, "Tequila shots!" Flashbacks of college come and you're reminded of that astringent, putrid-tasting, hangover-inducing liquid that could only (barely) be saved by licking salt off skin and sucking on lime.
Los Angeles may be a lady, but Hollywood can sure be a bitch. Yes, you can always flee to the more sedate, less glam (but hipsterly annoying) Silver Lake or Echo Park, but if you are truly down for that Hollywoodland experience, suck it up, drink plenty of water, and follow my guide.
"I decided I wanted to be a clown when I was 7 years old," says Theo Kogan, lead singer of Theo and the Skyscrapers. The whole clown thing didn't quite work out, but, she says, "I think in a way I sorta became a clown on my own, especially with Lunachicks [Kogan's first band].
Get out your friggin' checkbook, because these guys are ready to take it and put it to good use. And when you're 60 or something, you're going to have a pile of cash to spend on stuff that the elderly need, like Viagra. But seriously, Thrasher Funds, which manages a mutual fund and a privately held, pooled investment vehicle is looking at you, or should we say your money, as a yet untapped resource for investment.
Anna Sheffield hates being asked about her tattoos. "People always ask me, ‘Why did you get that? What does it mean? Did it hurt?' Of course it hurt. Ask me about my jewelry." To be fair, the designer of Bing Bang Jewelry has a number of Impressive tattoos, but moving right along: “I started making jewelry In San Francisco when I was finishing up college.
Some say the best writing descends from despair, longing, elation, love; the same old drill. But, as Liam Wilson, bassist of Dillinger Escape Plan, will tell you, the only reason to write an album is out of revenge—sweet, sweet revenge. “If someone were to show me a crystal ball years ago and say we would make our best album without our drummer, I would never have believed them," Wilson discloses auspiciously over a pint of local brew at the pub.
THE LEARNING CHANNEL'S REALITY SHOW L.A. INK IS A PHENOMENON. It's come on the scene and pummeled the ratings of every tattoo television show that came before, and its star, Kat Von D, is the hottest thing in heels right now. Known for her lifelike black-and-gray portraits for more than ten years, the 25-year-old vixen has put her time in.
"You can't write about tattoos in movies without mentioning Once Were Warriors," says makeup artist Naomi Donne, who has created temporary tattoo art for numerous movies. "That film was a revolutionary concept for makeup, it turned all of us in the industry around," says Donne.
Sobriety has sucked the Sikki out of former Motley Crüe bassist Nikki Sixx. Here, he reflects on his darkest days and proves he's still rockin' with his new band, Sixx A.M.
MORE THAN SIX YEARS SOBER, former Motley Crüe bassist Nikki Sixx has long emerged from rock-star rock bottom. Still working the over-processed, jet-black hair, complete with black-on-black threads and requisite metal rocker accoutrement, he looks young and refreshed, unlike most of his over-50-and-haggard contemporaries.
Meet some of our favorite artists and tour the best shops in the city, then check out our picks of where to eat, drink, and spend. Spotlight Tattoos Mister Cartoon Purple Panther Mark Mahoney’s Shamrock Social Club Zulu
The difference between Spotlight and a lot of the other shops out there is evident as soon as you walk in. "Most shops in LA, or the world even, just have Xeroxed shit on the walls," gripes artist Charlie Roberts. But at Spotlight, Roberts points out, "We've got original flash."
"Everybody thinks I came into the tattoo world with a red carpet at my feet," says venerated artist Mister Cartoon. It's easy to understand why this misconception exists: Cartoon was already well known in as a muralist and illustrator before becoming interested in tattooing.
You won't find any heavy metal music blaring or stereotypical "tough guys" (read: assholes) with needles at this unpretentious shop. Specializing in high-quality, custom work and cover-ups, owner M. Alder stresses that it's not about attitude at the Purple Panther.
"People come by the store all the time just to play pool," laughs Shamrock manager Cody McCarthy. "That's why it's called the 'Social Club.'" While the shop has famously tattooed celebrities like Angelina Jolie and Bruce Willis, its real claim is being the place to go for black and gray work.
Spirituality rules at this famed establishment, whose client list includes Montel Williams and Dennis Rodman. "Western tattooing, unfortunately, is about money," says owner Roni Zulu. "But the art of tattooing is a very ancient, very sacred art form."
How do you know you’ve reached icon status? When your logo is featured in Motely Cru’s hit video for “Dr. Feelgood” you’ve got to know you’re close. Established in 1969 (making this shop one of the oldest in the nation), Sunset Strip is a small, comfy shop that has sustained itself solely on reputation and word of mouth.
On September 28, artists and tattoo enthusiasts gathered at Saved Tattoo, in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, to celebrate the launch of the 2008 Seul Contre Tous: Art for a Cure calendar. This year's calendar features gorgeous girls integrated with custom-drawn artwork inspired by the old-style sailor tattoos of the early 1900s, and proceeds from its sale will go to charities that support breast cancer research.
This past Halloween, the Galerie d'art Yves Laroche, in Montréal, hosted a party to celebrate the opening of the group exhibition Sweet Calaveras. The show (named for the Spanish word for skull) featured artwork from international artists who were asked to reinterpret the theme of life and death in the medium of their choice.
It's only the third year of the London International Tattoo Convention and already it's one of the most popular in the world. This year's roster of artists included such notables as Paul Booth, of Last Rites, in New York City, NY, Shige, of Yellow Blaze Tattoo, in Japan, and Robert Hernandez, of Vittamin Tattoo, in Spain.
NAME: Nicolette Dawn D.O.B.: 2/21/85 HOMETOWN: Orange County, CA OCCUPATION: Model My favorite tattoo is on my foot, and I got it in 2004. It has bunnies around a heart with a spider web, and Juan Pente did it. I definitely plan on getting more...I can't *Know someone who should be the next Inked Girl?