You can’t have pleasure without pain. In fact, that’s one of the things people love about tattoos. What the hell am I talking about, you ask? Well, our cover subjects, of course. For this issue, we just couldn’t decide who you’d like to see more: Chuck Liddell, who brings the pain as a dominant force in the Ultimate Fighting Championship; or gorgeous Betty Lipstick, a 21st-century pinup model who represents nothing but pleasure.
Top Row: Photographer Joshua Scott wishes he put more thought into his first tattoo. “My friend was learning how to become a tattoo artist and needed people to work on. I figured, shit, a free tattoo,” says Scott. “Joint looks cool but you can definitely tell it's done by an amateur craftsman.” When not shooting photos for magazines such as National Geographic Adventurer and Men’s Health, Scott produces beats.
"My first tattoo was on my arm. It's a tribute to my father that I got when I was 20, and it was done by the talented James McGrory of Peter Tat-2 in Denver, CO. It started out as a single piece that eventually became a half sleeve the more James and I discussed it.
Hip-hop heads spent the past eight years wondering, "Where the hell is Del?" After pulling a disappearing act, the Funky Homosapien surfaced only a handful of times, including Deltron 3030, his collaboration with Dan the Automator, and the debut album from Gorillaz. On his first solo album in nearly a decade, Del strips down his style, claiming his rhymes were too complex for their own good. His goofy, sarcastic flow is still as sharp as his Dr. Bombay days as he smacks down fakes on the Funkadelic "Bubble Pop." On "Foot Down" Del clowns over an ass-bouncing beat that sounds like it fermented in a New Orleans backyard barbecue. He's back, but for how long?
JUSTIN TOWNES EARLE
With a father like legendary songwriter Steve Earle and a namesake like country icon Townes Van Zandt, it's a shock that Justin Townes Earle didn't collapse with the weight of the two hard-core troubadours around his neck. Not that he didn't come close. The 25-year-old struggled through a few early groups, messed himself up, and was thrown out of his father's band before finding his own voice. Rather than running from his roots, Earle's first solo album is steeped in country music history. "Hard Living" and "South Georgia Sugar Babe" are pure country swing, while "The Good Life" recalls early Merle Haggard. But the gem is "Who Am I to Say?" where a husky-voiced Earle shows traditional doesn't have to mean unoriginal.
Spit-soaked clubs everywhere are filled with by-the-power chords street punk bands. Time Again know the formula well: loud guitars, snarled vocals, and other cues copped straight from Rancid, whose front man, Tim Armstrong, signed the foursome to his own Hellcat Records. On their second album, Time Again blast through a trio of pit-starters before hitting "Lines Are Faded," a buzzing, mid-tempo sing-a-long that proves why the band is better than most of the street-punk pack. That same energy surfaces on "Lookin' Back," as Daniel Dart slurs his way through a string of hard luck stories while the group muscles around the guitar crunch. "Montreal (Street Kids)," a tale of drugged-up punks taking to the streets, is sure to become a Friday night theme for delinquents everywhere.
Back when the Pogues drunkenly mashed-up traditional Irish foot-stompers and punk rock, nobody knew the style they spewed up would stagger on without them. Decades later, the seven members of Flogging Molly picked up the idea and injected it with a bigger rock sound. Float is their loudest album yet, filled with blazing guitar solos, bits of feedback, and thundering drums. Singer Dave King paints a sad image of a washed-up boxer in "Punch Drunk Grinning Soul," as the song builds from an acoustic opener to an explosive ending worthy of Metallica. The tender moment comes on "The Story So Far," which is filled with enough fiddle and accordion to leave you sobbing in a pint.
Goldfrapp fans expecting the sexy electronic thump that made the group a DJ favorite are going to be scratching their heads on the dance floor after spinning Seventh Tree. Long gone are the glammed-up sounds of Supernature, replaced instead with baroque guitars, soaring vocals by Alison Goldfrapp, and beats that rarely reach a danceable BPM. "Happiness" is a goofy Beatles romp complete with horns, while "Eat Yourself" finds Goldfrapp channehng her inner Carly Simon over a finger-picked guitar and simple melody. During the mellow "Some People," Goldfrapp asks what's left when the glitter is gone, making it obvious the duo are taking a time-out from the clubs and moving in a new direction.
After the subdued vibe of their second album, the Raveonettes' third outing finds the Danish duo searching for the gritty tones that made their early work so creepy and cool. For the most part, the rediscovery works. The Raveonettes' strength lies in the way they marry their Jesus and Mary Chain fascination with their fetish for '50s rock 'n' roll. "Aly, Walk With Me" shimmies to a drum machine beat built around a reverb-soaked guitar that swells into speaker-crackling fuzz, while later, on "Dead Sound," Sune Rose Wagner and Sharin Foo share singing duties over chiming bells and a driving kick drum. "Sad Transmission," with its dreamy Motown melody buried under a sea of feedback, is the sound of the Raveonettes reborn. Jason Buhrmester
You probably have a lot of black in your wardrobe, which is a problem if you also have dandruff. This fixes flakes with the anti-fungal ingredient zinc pyrithione (yes, dandruff is caused by a fungus).
MATRIX MEN CLEAN RUSH
If you wash your hair every day, it's wise to use a clean-rinsing shampoo like this one. Its moisturizing formula won't leave behind residue that can make your hair look dull.
AVEDA EXFOLIATING SHAMPOO
This shampoo is like a face scrub for your scalp; you use it once a week to remove extra oil and dead skin cells. Why do you need to do that? Simple: A healthy scalp makes for better-looking hair.
REOKEN FOR MEN MINT CLEAN
Want your morning shower to be just a little bit more invigorating? This hair-strengthening shampoo smells like Altoids and makes your scalp feel cool and tingly.
There's something about getting your hair washed at a salon that elevates the whole cleansing process into a more, shall we say, pleasurable ritual. Undeniably, part of the appeal is surrendering your scalp to the hands of a beautiful woman (that is, if you're lucky enough to frequent a salon staffed with beautiful women).
Make war, not love, in this balls-out, modern-era blaster that renders you part of a ragtag squad of heavily armed and exceptionally chatty commandos. While the Battlefield series is known for multiplayer showdowns where combatants grab dozens of weapons (machine gun, rocket launcher, etc.) and control jeeps, tanks, and helicopters, this is the first to deliver an equally engaging solo thrill. Drawing inspiration from films like Three Kings, this release will allow you to perforate walls and shred foliage in photorealistic environments that are as destructible as they are huge. Corny wisecracks and formulaic approach aside, explosive delivery ensures this is one suicide mission worth enlisting for.
Condemned 2: Bloodshot
Take a pinch of Saw, add a hint of Se7en, season with just a touch of Hellraiser. Voilà-it's the perfect recipe for terror in this morbid adventure, viewed through the eyes of hero Ethan Thomas (a former FBI agent turned homeless alcoholic). Wandering crack houses and mental wards filled with flickering lights and discarded wheelchairs, you'll find your missing partner while battling bassovoiced maniacs, snarling dogs, and black-veined cadavers that explode into slimy goo on contact. Incredibly atmospheric, the tale's superb storytelling is matched only by its multiplayer support and brutal, two-fisted close combat system. Hooray for makeshift weapons: Crowbar or prosthetic arm, anyone?
The first rule of The Club-a gladiatorial arena battler featuring mercenaries hunting each other with shotguns, grenades, and small arms throughout seedy urban environments-is that you don't talk about its blood sport leanings. The second rule of The Club is that you don't mention how, despite decent controls and rousing shoot-outs, the too-open-ended setup (focusing on speed, accuracy, and continued strings of kills) bores quickly. Playing more like a mindless run-and-gun outing, less a moody, present-day take on The Most Dangerous Game, the emphasis here is purely on improving your trigger-squeezing skills, not novel features or eye candy.
Pursuit Force: Extreme Justice
Handheld action epics typically get short shrift when it comes to quality control and production values. Not so in this gloriously over-the-top, high-velocity crime fighter, which sends your crew of law-bending bruisers speeding after futuristic criminals. Piloting jet skis, hovercraft, buses, and more, you'll race toward and ram targets, unload clips at shot-popping robbers and high-tech pirates, and hop atop foes' vehicles for action-film-type sequences. Outlandish boss missions, a variety of playable characters, and several multiplayer modes-including head-to-head showdowns and drive-to-survive gauntlets-guarantee a good time, even if realism and modesty aren't strong points. Scott Steinberg
use a new liver. And now, with I Hear Guts' line of stuffed toys, you can donate organs to your friends without the annoying motorcycle accident. With great names, like "When Urine Love" (a purple kidney) and the yellow "I'm a Liver not a Fighter," these plush toys are cute without being too cutesy. Plus, each comes with information about its namesake organ, so they're educational and fun. Even your uptight sister-in-law can't complain when you give one to your nephew. Who knew our entrails could be so adorable?
When the UNKL brand started kicking ideas around with music madman Mike Patton, they had no idea how far their collaboration would go. By the time the dust settled, not only had they come up with toy figures for his bands, but for every band on his label, Ipecac Recordings. Each piece in this series of 12 (one per month through 2008) is limited to 500, so get them while you can. The Melvins figure (above left) drops in April; the Unsane figure (above center) won't be out until October; and the Tomahawk figure (above right) is already on shelves.
10.Deep is one of New York's original streetwear brands and has been a creative force since 1995. Who better to bring their brass knuckle logo, Murko, to life than the team at Thunderdog Studios? Originally designed by Scott Sasso, this 5-inch Patriot version is decked out in all-American red, white, and blue, with "Freedom Fries Taste Like Shit" on his back. The injected mold PVC figure, limited to 250 pieces, definitely takes no prisoners. With a bit of yellow drool (or is that Cheez Whiz?) dribbling past his gnarly fangs, and a crazy look in his eye, he's actually scarier than a real set of brass knuckles.
thunderdogstudios.com Tristan Eaton is the Babe Ruth of designer vinyl figures. Giving birth to the Dunny, with Kid Robot, his place in the toy hall of fame is secure. He branched out in 2003 and started design firm Thunderdog Studios. Now, Eaton and his partner-in-crime Filth bring us Thundermutt 3.0. You can always count on these guys for bold, clean design, and this 4-inch soft vinyl figure is no exception. Past series have had removable heads with something cool inside, like peanuts or even vials of New York City rainwater. They're keeping quiet on this one so you'll have to open it to find out. Mike Superrnodel
iheartguts.com We all know someone who could Recordings Series unkibrand.com thunderdogstudios.com
You wouldn't think that purchasing an art gallery/house in New Orleans' Ninth Ward just five months before the federal levee failures of Hurricane Katrina could represent anything other than the most awful sense of timing. But then you've probably never heard of Jeffrey Holmes or his partner Andrea Garland, of L'Art Noir New Orleans.
Bartender Kristen Bronson shares her favorite gin cocktails.
GIN AND JUICE
Can gin kick-start your kidneys and bladder? Sort of. Like its neutral cousin vodka, gin begins as a grain-based liquor, but it gains distinction with the infusion of juniper berries, an evergreen shrub used as medicine in times past to treat kidney and bladder diseases.
In 1926, when the Ducati family formed its company with a group of investors in Bologna, Italy, they were seeking to cash in on the burgeoning radio transmissions industry. Less than a hundred years later, Ducati has revolutionized motorcycle design and made sexy sport bikes the ride of choice for a new generation of bikers.
“Keep Austin Weird." That's the mantra that has maintained this bastion of free thinking in a state that's home to “thinkers" like President Bush. And this month, as musicians, movie makers, and techno geeks descend upon Austin for the South By Southwest Conferences and Festival (March 7 through 16), the weirdness continues.
There is a balance to accessorizing: You want to look like you're not about to take shit from anyone, but you don't want to over do It and end up more Prince than punk. For some, this balance Is an Inherent trait. If you're not one of these people, meet Mitchell Binder.
Years from now, when nursing homes fill with tattooed and grommeted punks pushing 70, Kearney Nick Jones, now known as Nick 13, the singer/guitarist of psychobilly juggernaut Tiger Army, won't have any regrets. “If I were a guy sitting in my bed in a nursing home, I would rather have sleeves, even if they're incredibly faded and blurred, than be the guy sitting next to me that has no tattoos," says Nick 13.
It's freezing in Boston, but Sandy Poirier pays the cold weather no mind—he's sporting his typical uniform. “If I die, I want to be buried in a rock and roll T-shirt, tight jeans, Chrome Hearts jewelry, and sneakas," he says, with a voice that sounds like a scratched-up recording of John F. Kennedy.
As different industries continue to embrace tattoos, the importance of preserving the integrity of the culture has never been more important. That's where Todd Burnes and Olivia Miner, of Canvas Los Angeles, come in. Originally conceived as a modest boutique, Canvas Los Angeles quickly expanded into a 4,000-square-foot store and gallery showcasing the clothing designs and fine art of the world's most legendary needle artists.
"When I first started out, I wanted to be Jim Morrison, you know? I tried to be as fucked up as I could ossiblv be, all the time."
Mixed martial arts has become the defining sport of the 21st century, and with it comes a new style of fighter-smart, athletic, and more often than not, covered in ink. Here, a look behind the scenes of the sports' largest promotion, the Ultimate Fighting Championship.
JASON "THE PUNISER" LAMBERT
CHUCK "THE CIEMAN" LIDDELL
TIM "THE MAINE-IAC" SYLVIA
SOA "THE HULK" PALELEI
JOSH "THE PEOPLE'S WARRIOR" BURKMAN
RICH "NO LOVE" CLEMENTI
JAMES "THE SANDMAN" IRVIN
MELVIN "THE YOUNG ASSASSIN" GUILLARD
ROGER "EL MATADOR" HUERTA
WANDERLEI "THE AXE MURDERER" SILVA
ETHAN TOO RAS-WHITEHILL THEO GANGI
PUNCHING SOMEONE IN THE FACE JUST DOESN’T CUT IT ANYMORE. Where boxers only use their fists, the dominant fighters of the 21st century also kick, knee, trip, and wrestle—anything legal to secure victory. Mixed martial arts and its most popular promotion, the Ultimate Fighting Championship, are undergoing a furious ascent into the mainstream.
After battling a fe-threatening disease, confronting his addictions, and becoming a father of three, you could say Korn~s lead singer has tie wed-but oniy a hue.
Jonathan Davis is the last guy in America you'd expect to be well adjusted. Think about it: The guy's whole career has been built on being a fuck-up. For the last 15 years, Davis has battled and exploited his inner demons as the lead singer of Korn, gaining legions of fans that empathize with his tortured childhood and share his dark fascinations.
"My chest piece that reads "Blessed" is by Sky Winchester, who's currently at Chameleon Tattoo in Cambridge, MA." "Rueben Kayden at Chameleon Tattoo did the purple rose on my left shoulder, the heart-diamondand-rose "Mom" tattoo on my left arm and wrist, and the armored sea horse on my left arm:' "Genius and mastermind Marcus Khun, owner of Just Good Tattoos, in Portland, ME, has been working on my back piece and suit for about nine months now."
Actor Eddie Steeples' tattoos tell his life storyand as far as we can tell, it's going to be a comedy.
Writers' strike or not, a hit comedy on NBC is doing Eddie Steeples pretty well. Or so it would seem for the My Name Is Earl star, who is nearly impossible to track down. When I finally get him on the phone, he's chilling in Hawaii. “I just really needed to get away for a minute, real last minute.
The Minnesota Timberwolves' guard talks tattoos, injuries and being labeled "borderline psychotic".
Rashad McCants played possessed. In high school, he ripped through the competition, earning state MVP honors in New Hampshire while taking his team to the state championship. College was no different. At Air Jordan’s alma mater, University of North Carolina, McCants scorched opposing defenses with his silky smooth skills, earning All-Conference and second team All-American status as a sophomore while leading his storied conference in scoring; he went on to help the Tar Heels cut down the nets as the 2005 NCAA national champions.
Aspiring tattoo artist Grin Stylez grew up in the South Bronx, the cradle of hip-hop and graffiti art. Both impacted his art, and the 28-year-old Stylez made a name for himself tagging subway trains and other areas of his neighborhood. In the mid-90s, he began tattooing and later inked one of his idols, recording artist Big Pun.
Billy Monroe is the proud president and owner of Screamin Ink Tattoo and Hotrod Gallery, in Fair Lawn, NJ. Monroe has been in the industry for years and knows more about tattoos than most. When not sporting around the shop, Monroe is also a proud member of the Beatniks Car Club. Check out his work at screaminink.com.
GEOFF HORN Jinx Proof Tattoo
Artist Geoff Horn has been working at Jinx Proof Tattoo, in Montclair, NJ, for almost eight years. Like the masters before him, he learned how to tattoo the hard way-through trial and error. He started as a shop boy, then learned to pierce, then tattoo. Says Horn of his work, "I try to keep my tattoos deep rooted with tradition and build them to withstand the test of time." Find out more about him at holeintheskytattoos.com.
IAN SHAFER Screamin Ink
Although he doesn't look that old, Ian Shafer is the senior artist at Screamin Ink Tattoo and Hotrod Gallery. He has been at the shop for more than seven years, and continues to grow in his position. Shafer has won several awards for his work, including the Best Back Piece at the New York City Tattoo Convention in 2006. Check out his work at screaminink.com.
JIM WHITE Screamin Ink
Jim White, along with Monroe and Shafer, is an artist at Screamin Ink Tattoo and Hotrod Gallery. Hes been at the location for about three years. Check out his work at screaminink.com.
JASON GOLDBERG Olde City Tattoo
Jason Goldberg, also known as JAG 13, is the owner of Olde City Tattoo, in Philadelphia, and Baker Street Tattoo, in Media, PA. He was the lead singer of the legendary hardcore outfit The Bad Luck 13 Riot Extravaganza, and is currently fronting the bands Knecktie and The Dead Meat. Goldberg is an avid fisherman and has the wit and panache of a Catskills comedian. Check out his work at oldecitytattoo.com
DAN CASTELLANO Tattoo Nation
Dan Castellano works out of Tattoo Nation, In Wayne, NJ. In 2005, he got the opportunity of a lifetime when he began studying traditional Japanese tattooing under Horisei of the Horitaku family. "I'm one of only a handful of Westerners offered to train in Tebori, hand poke, tattoos," says Castellano. "Everyday is a learning experience for me and I'm thankful for every tattoo I get to do."
Meet some of oür fâvorite artists and tour the best shops in the city, then checkout our picks of where to eat, drink, and spend. Olde City Tattoo Philadelphia Eddie's Philly Ink Philadelphia Eddie's Tattoo Haven Chinatown Tattoo Kadallic Tattoo Sure, Olde City Tattoo has a street-shop vibe, but they're really the city's go-to guys for quality custom pieces.
The Sixth Annual Star of Texas Tattoo Art Revival was held in Austin, TX, January 4 through 6 at the Palmer Event Center. Special guests included tattoo legend Thom Devita and fine artist Keith Weesner. More than 130 artists and vendors attended, and there were daily contests and a rather extensive art show.
Chicago may be called the Second City but the Midwest metropolis is crowded with first-rate tattoo talent. Deluxe Tattoo helped build the city's reputation for fine work and is still one of Chicago's premier shops. The sketchbook pages shown here are a sample of works by artists Harlan Thompson, Zach Stuka, Ben Wahhh, and Jason Vaughn.