Top Row: Photographer Cambria Harkey learned that there’s no way to predict which subjects will be shy and which won’t as she shot this month’s Inked Spots (page 91) and Drink (page 23) page. “The tattoo artists were very shy actually," she says.
All I wanted was a vodka. I was standing at the bar at a five-star hotel in Tokyo during a private function and trying my best to order a drink. No matter how much I concentrated on my shaky Japanese or pointed to the bottle behind the bar, the bartender wasn’t having it.
NAME: Jesse Lee Denning OCCUPATION: Owner/Gallery Director, Invisible NYC, New York City "Clay Decker at East Side Ink did my first tattoo back when tattooing was still illegal in New York City. I was 15 and got a tribal sun on my lower back. Typical!
The A.K.A.s play fist-pumping punk 'n' roll that's perfect for both boozy week ends and protest rallies. Frontman Mike Ski, who spent the last 13 years inking at Long Island's Lotus Tattoo, leads the A.K.A.s on a call to arms from the dance floor. Reverbed guitars and pumping organ mix with shout-along choruses as Ski snarls against government surveillance on "Paranoia Is a Skill" and incites a riot on the bass-thumping "We Write Our Own Anthems." Hawthorne Heights' JT Woodruff joins Ski on "Dead Flowers Forever," the album's most melodic track. Later, special guest Jello Biafra delivers a spoken word against commercialism and drives home the point that there's more than a party here.
DEAD CHILD Attack
Most headbangers have probably never heard-or even heard of-the bands that members of Dead Child used to be in. Among the five guys in the Louisville band are ex-members of Slint, Zwan, Stereolab, and Papa M, none of which would have made a patch on any rocker's denim jacket. Still, there's no denying that Dead Child know their metal, from Maiden to Overkill. Guitarists David Pajo and Michael McMahan play more sludgy than flashy, and songs such as "Twitch of the Death Nerve" and "The Coldest Hands" lurch along with dropped-tuned riffs behind singer Dahm's wailing vocals. "Sweet Chariot" is classic '80s thrash (think Nuclear Assault) and the twin guitars on the slow intro to "Armies Up Ahead" will cause Ride the Lightning flashbacks.
THE BREEDERS Mountain Battles
Anyone expecting Pixie bassist/Breeder frontwoman Kim Deal to reproduce the catchy fun of the band's mid-'90s hit "Cannonball" has been waiting since, well, the mid-'90s. The Breeders' work before and since has made the song look like the exception, not the real Deal. Not that it's a bad thing. Deal and her twin sister, Kelley, have played looser since, and Mountain Battles is seriously laid-back. After the sweet harmony of "Walk It Off," the Breeders stroll through the all-Spanish "Regalame Esta Noche" and two-step into the country twang of "Here No More." Mountain Battles' dippy guitars and soft vocals suck you into the Deals' chill vibe until the album's few loud tracks such as "German Studies" and "It's the Love" hit you like a, um, cannonball.
SUPERGRASS Diamond Hoo Ha
Supergrass have always riffed and rocked with an affinity for The Faces, T. Rex, and music's other unsung heroes. And, like those idols, the British group has become one of the best and most underappreciated bands around. On their sixth album, Supergrass proves they can play anything rock-related. They shimmy through assshakers ("Rough Knuckles") and guitarrockers ("345") and wind up at "Bad Blood," which opens with a great Idiot-era Iggy Pop impression. "Diamond Hoo Ha Man," jumps straight into big drums and a fuzzed-out guitar, while "Rebel in You," is brilliant guitar pop. They're still one of the best rock 'n' roll bands around. Now it's up to everyone else to notice.
MOBY Last Night
It's been nearly a decade since Moby's Play devoured the radio, commercials, and every medium open to the blend of beats and antique field recordings. In the meantime, Moby dished out two albums and went back to spinning. That stint at the turntables shows, as Last Night is his most dance-centric work in years. Like a good DJ set, Last Night builds to a peak, from the funk rhythm of "I Love to Move in Here" (with Grandmaster Caz) to the high-hat march of "Everyday It's 1989," and into Gloria Gaynor-esque "Disco Lies" (which, in typical Moby fashion, was already in the movie Cloverfield). The drugs wear off around "Degenerates" as Moby ends with "Last Night", a mellow nine-minute come down.
THE SWORD Gods of the Earth
South Texas metal heads The Sword are serious guitar shredders. So serious in fact that the band earned a nod from the most esteemed judge of fretboard acrobatics, Guitar Hero, whose creators put The Sword's "Freya" in the hit video game (in the "Return of the Shred" section no less). Their third album continues the guitar assault with booming riffs and singer J.D. Cronise's Ozzy-esque vocals. The Sword picks up on what others miss in the Sabbath playbook (the blues), and rest the riffs for the bluesy "Maiden, Mother & Crone." Elsewhere, Cronise and guitarist Kyle Shutt trade licks on the galloping "Fire Lances the Ancient Hyperzephyrians" and album closer "The White Sea," where they construct an elaborate metal crunch that moves from moody trudge to soaring guitars faster than you can throw up the devil horns.
Offering strong hold and moderate shine, this classic pomade is great for medium to coarse hair (available at thegreaseshop.com).
BUMBLE AND BUMBLE SUMOWAX
This works well on fine to medium hair, and offers strong, flexible hold and lots of shine (bumbleand bumble.com).
DAX WASHABLE HAIR WAX
This wax creates super-slick styles and even mohawks, but it still washes out easily with shampoo (thegreaseshop.com).
HAIR CONTROL TOUGH FORMULA
This heavy-duty grease is the house formula at Slick 50 Barber Shop, a rockabilly favorite in the United Kingdom (thegreaseshop.com).
Whether or not you're into the rockabilly scene, you've got to admit there's something cool about a pompadour. “This style symbolizes a time when rock ‘n’ roll was hitting an innocent generation of young people, and it was rebellious for the time," says hairstylist Nick Wendell, who shows off his pompadour above.
Platform: PS3, Xbox 360 Like a buddy-cop movie gone ballistic, this shooter revolves around a pair of armor-plated psychos and ape-shit gonzo firefights. Playing as Salem and Rios, two Army Rangers gone mercenary, you'll use a full arsenal to put the hurt on a stream of baddies in two-player co-op battles. Aggro Mode makes one player “invisible" while the other draws the enemy's attention. That armorplating doesn't equal invincibility though, so if your partner goes down it's up to you to drag him to safety and “revive" him by providing CPR through random, God of War-type button taps or by using a tampon to plug up the wind-sucking bullet wound. We'll never look at feminine-hygiene products the same again.
God of War: Chains of Olympus
Platform: PSP Sometimes we just feel sorry for Kratos, the ashy anti-hero of the God of War series; the guy just can't seem to get a break to enjoy being a Greek god. Called to serve in the PS2 series' first appearance on the PSP, Kratos is waging war during the 10-year period he spent in servitude to the gods of Olympus. Using the Blades of Chaos, he slices and dices his way through monsters, soldiers, and mythological beings. The controls transfer over to the PSP fairly well, and the graphics look great. As always there are a ton of puzzles and treacherous platforming sections, although the puzzles aren't as head-scratchingly tough, which will probably save us from swearing out loud on the subway.
MLB 08: The Show
Platform: PS3, PS2, PSP Ever since Sony took its long-running MLB series to the minors we've been as happy as a kid at game seven of the World Series. Road to the Show mode lets you lace up the cleats of a player that you create and work your way from benchwarmer up to the Big Leagues. The highlight of this mode is the positionspecific game play; if you're a shortstop, you play defense in your position instead of controlling the entire team, which serves to put you in the game like few other games have managed to do. Hitting mechanics have been overhauled with the same performance-based system used for last year's pitching: you'll be rewarded for taking it to the fence and dinged for batting like a 12-year-old.
Rainbow Six Vegas 2
Platform: PS3, Xbox 360, PC So you hated the cliffhanger ending during your first trip to Vegas with Team Rainbow? So did we. Our trigger-finger has been itching to head back to Sin City since. While this shooter sticks close to the original playbook—tango takedowns, snakecam shenanigans, and blistering online play—you'll notice a few changes. First off, your teammates are back, but you aren't, as main man Logan Keller has been replaced by a customizable badass named Bishop. The missions parallel the original's and hit a variety of environments. Like us, you probably know the multiplayer maps better than your apartment after hours of online play. Rejoice! RSV2 includes over 11 new maps and two new game modes.
Standing proud in the artsy but rapidly gentrifying Belltown neighborhood of Seattle, sits the Roq la Rue gallery. This is its fourth location, a cavernous 900-square-foot space with 22-foot ceilings. "Belltown is a neighborhood in flux," says Kirsten Anderson, owner and founder.
kachingbrands.com For years, Buff Monster has been busy gluing posters of his images on the streets of Los Angeles and beyond. That's made him plenty of enemies on both sides of the law, while putting the inhabitants of his pink-and-white world in front of everyone. Now you get to take one home with you. These figures are reproductions of the characters that he's known for, and come blind-boxed in miniature ice cream containers. Like your favorite Ben & Jerry's flavor, they're limited run, so get yours while you can.
I.NSURGENTS W.ILDERNESS G.ROUPO
strangeco.com In the not-too-distant future, animals evolve a lot quicker, and take up arms against the plague that has been destroying their habitat for centuries—us! This flock of figures from Strangeco and Rocketworld includes a bear with a rifle, a machine-guntoting rhino, and a grenade-tossing gorilla. And you won't feel guilty about splurging: A portion of the sales of these figures is donated to a variety of wildlife conservation groups including The Gorilla Foundation, World Wildlife Fund, Zoo Conservation Outreach Group, and others.
steffbomb.com Meet the craziest vegetable in the crisper, Mr. Lertchman. This mutated asparagus is a streetwise graffiti-artist who comes with a detachable can of spray paint and a set of killer fangs. The plush asparagus stands 10 inches and is suitable for kids. Just keep him away from your valuables. The killer veggie is the first major release from famed seamstress Steff Bomb, who is known for her handstitched plush creations including corn, carrot, and other crazy creatures. Look for more cool monster stuff from her in the near future.
BARRY THE BEAVER
ningyoushi.com Meet Barry the Beaver, who brings a whole new dimension to the term “adult toys." Designed by famed San Francisco designer Jeremy Fish, the adorable rubber rodent stands just over five inches to keep most “average" men from feeling insecure. The best part? Twist his tree stump base and Barry the Beaver kicks into vibrating mode. That explains his strategically placed bendable tail. He's the first toy to be just as much at home on your toy shelf as in your pantie drawer. We suggest keeping him in the drawer.
On your next visit to the Caribbean, skip Aruba and the Bahamas and stay in Saint Lucia. The difference? Instead of flat sandy shores, the 27-mile-long island is a teardrop-shaped mass of rainforest-covered peaks so perfectly triangular and green they look painted on.
Austin bartender Heidi Smith shares her favorite beers from across the pond.
Lager An Old Country brew with a hopped-up finish, this crisp, fresh beer left companies battling over the rights to the name, if not the original recipe. Meet Czechvar, the “weiser" Czech brother.
Lager Believe it or not, the French make good beer (they started in the mid13th century). Perfectly bitter, this pale lager is popping up more and more in sixes or on tap at bars, even on this side of the Atlantic.
Pilsner Hundreds of years ago, the Urquel brewery, in Pilsen, Czechoslovakia, made such a refreshing lager that the term “pilsner" has become synonymous with lagers that imitate its style.
YOUNG’S OATMEAL STOUT
Stout Roasted oats give this dark, smoky brew with 5.2 percent alcohol a creamy head and rich, toasty, smoooth flavor. Not the everywhere stout, this may be the every time one.
The human love affair with beer was built over many pints. Five thousand years ago, the Chinese, Egyptians, and Mesopotamians first fermented grains to yield a froth pretty different from today's pint. Ancient Greeks liked it so much, they drafted their own recipe, as did the Romans after them, then the Germans, Czechs, Belgians, and Irish.
by Bodhi Oser (Chronicle, $40) You recognize a band as much from their sound as you do from their logo. Think of the Rolling Stones, and you think of their tongue and lips logo (well, once you're done thinking about the physiological phenomena that must occur every day to keep Keith Richards alive). And what would a Motörhead T-shirt be without the band's name arched over the fanged face known as Snaggletooth B. Motörhead? Or a Nirvana poster without the x-eyed smiley face? In fact, other than Elvis, almost every musician and band has defined themselves visually by a logo. Now, more than 1,000 of these graphics have been collected in this hardcover 420-page book. Look long enough, and you might just find your next tattoo.
by Jon J Muth (Abrams, $25) It took Fritz Lang six weeks to film M, his terrifying 1931 masterpiece about a child killer hunted down by Berlin's underworld. Famed watercolor artist Jon J Muth spent two years completing this graphic novel adaptation of Lang’s creepy classic. It was worth the wait and the borderline-obsessive effort Muth put into it. He had friends act out each scene from the movie while he photographed them, then he made detailed drawings of the images, including thousands of lines for each panel, to which he added graphite, charcoal, and oil paint. The paintings have finally been republished in this hardcover edition (they were first published in an out-of-print mini-series). Want a peak at his inspiration? The book includes a DVD of the original movie.
PINT-SIZED IRELAND: IN SEARCH OF THE PERFECT GUINNESS
by Evan McHugh (Thomas Dunne/St. Martins, $14) An Australian walks into an Irish bar and orders a Guinness. It sounds like the beginning of a joke, but it's the real premise behind this quirky memoir, now available in paperback. Australian McHugh lives in Sydney and had always hated Ireland's famed black gold. But upon visiting the Emerald Isle, he unintentionally starts on a pub crawl across the country in search of the best pint of Guinness. Along the way, he goes windsurfing with a one-armed man, falls in love with the woman he one day marries, and comes to many alcohol-inspired, philosophical conclusions about life, like, “An acquired taste ... is usually code for, ‘Be afraid, be very afraid.'" Does he ever find the perfect glass of black brew? We won't say, but reading about it made us go out and grab a pint.
PERMANENCE: TATTOO PORTRAITS
by Kip Fulbeck (Chronicle, $20) Every tattoo has a story, whether we want to tell it or not. University of California, Santa Barbara, professor Kip Fulbeck assembled this 276-page book with portraits of around 120 tattoo aficionados, along with handwritten blurbs from each about the stories behind their tattoos. Among those photographed are soccer moms, Hells Angels, CEOs, and celebs such as Scott Weiland, Chuck Liddell, and Joan Jett. Ever wondered about Kat Von D's neck tattoos? Chris Garver did them, after getting stoned. Anthrax's Scott Ian sat for a Gene Simmons tattoo after seeing them live in the late '70s. But the best stories come from those with something real to say, including Holocaust survivors, ex-cons, veterans, and cancer survivors.
JOKES EVERY MAN SHOULD KNOW
by Don Steinberg (Quirk, $10) They say no man can get through life without learning how to change a tire and unsnap a bra. But there's something else: A man must learn enough jokes to get him through any social situation, like when he's meeting a potential mother-in-law, hanging out with the guys, or hitting on a bartender. At any of those moments, a well-prepared man can whip out Jokes Every Man Should Know and let fly. The pocketsized book contains nine jokes about heaven and hell, eight jokes for kids, 19 jokes definitely not for kids, six light-bulb-jokes, seven bar jokes, and the only knock-knock joke worth telling. Here's a quickie: How many gang-murder witnesses does it take to change a light bulb? I didn't see any light bulb.
REVISITED: A TRIBUTE TO TATTOO FLASH FROM THE PAST
(Revenant, $75) Here's a history book that doesn't involve a lot of big words. Don Ed Hardy brought tattoo flash to the forefront in his groundbreaking 1994 tattoo book, Flash from the Past. For this hardcover anthology, tattoo artists Steve Boltz and Bert Krak recruited more than 90 of the world's top tattoo artists and gave them each a page from Hardy's book to reinterpret. Artists such as Todd Noble, Beppe, and Chad Koeplinger went to work with the directive to stay relatively true to the look and content of the original sheets, many of which date back to the early 20th century. The results are inspiring. After flipping through this page-turner, you'll quickly understand why classic tattoos will never be a passing fad.
The 2008 Scions are tricked-out, affordable, and boxy as ever.
The Corvette Sting Ray and the Aston Martin DB5 were unquestionably cool. Over the years, Toyotas were affordable and reliable, but never quite cool. Then, at the 2002 New York Auto Show, the auto giant introduced the Scion, a vehicle so boxy and weird it had to be cool.
“When I shop at Nordstrom, the store employees follow me around," says Los Angeles makeup artist and handbag designer Allison Burns. If only those department store employees, on the look for shoplifters, knew they were tailing the head of a handbag line coveted by celebrities and now sold at Bergdorf Goodman and more than 250 boutiques worldwide.
Jonathan Reis knows reinvention. As the frantic singer/guitarist/commanderin-chief for beloved acts Rocket From the Crypt, Drive Like Jehu, and Hot Snakes, Reis has sweated his way across stages under a series of monikers, from Speedo to the Swami.
The desserts at New York City's Jean Georges are some of the most sought-after sweets in the world. Tasty dishes, such as a citrus quartet featuring delicious innovations like halvah powder and a gelled Meyer lemon curd with lemon poppy cake, are the work of pastry whiz Johnny Iuzzini, who honed his sweet craft at a list of the city's most-hallowed culinary temples.
"My art has become a history lesson for me," reflects San Francisco artist Shawn Barber. "I'm constantly learning about the tattoo industry, the people that have defined it, and those who have changed it." The 37-year-old painter has devoted the past three years to creating Tattooed Portraits, a bold collection of paintings of artists with tattoos, tattoo artists, tattooed art, and tattooist materials.
PLAN A SUMMER TRIP TO GET TATTOOED WITH OUR ROUNDUP OF ADVENTURES, FROM THE ONCE-IN-A-LIFETIME TO THE TAKING-YOUR-LIFE-IN-YOUR-HANDS.
1 Flight Arrival: TOKYO, JAPAN
2 Flight Arrival: BANGKOK, THAILAND
3 Flight Arrival: LAUSANNE, SWITZERLAND
4 Flight Arrival: MOOREA, TAHITI
5 Flight Arrival: CAIRO, EGYPT
6 Flight Arrival: MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA
7 Flight Arrival: AMATERDAM, NETHERLANDS
INK: Inkrat Tattoo, inkrattattoo.com Any Tokyo tattoo trip worth a rusty yen would include a Horimono hand-poke tattoo. Every year, countless ink enthusiasts make the pilgrimage to Japan in hope of experiencing the country's traditional tattoo.
THE BIRTHPLACE OF "STEWED, SCREWED, AND TATTOOED" IS DISAPPEARING-SEE IT BEFORE IT'S GONE.
HOLDING FAST: TATTOOS ON HOTEL. STREET
BEFORE ANYBODY KNEW THAT MEN WOULD PAY TO watch ping pong balls fly in Patpong or silicone shake on the Strip, crumpled one dollar bills by the millions rained down on Honolulu's Hotel Street, the place more American boys in the span of an hour lost their virginity, had their first drink, and got tattooed than any other narrowly circumscribed spot on Earth.
The comedian tells us her favorite joke and tries not to dis the Tweety Bird tattoo on your hand.
Nothing about Margaret Cho made it look like she had a chance in hell in Hollywood. Chubby, Korean, and bisexual (she admits to all three) in a business that typically has a hard time swallowing that list, Cho's rank as one of the biggest female comedians on the planet is the result of a one-woman battle, built from her first stand-up comedy gigs in a club near her parents' book store in San Francisco to tours with Jerry Seinfeld and a showcase full of awards.
Pitbull is Miami’s biggest party starterbut is there an activist inside him dying to get out?
THE OTHER SIDE OF MIAMI LURKS JUST BEHIND THE SANDY shores and sweaty nightclubs of South Beach. From the proud Cuban communities like Little Havana to the mean streets of Liberty City, the city has another side that isn't all sunshine and martinis.
At 26th and Guadalupe Streets, right across from the University of Texas campus, Diablo Rojo has “probably one of the best locations in town," according to owner Doug Curtis. Though it's within earshot of the school, the shop is for the most part custom, according to Curtis.
Producing high-quality, specialized work is paramount to Jason Brooks, Tony Hundahl, and Hector Fong-the three diverse artists who make up Rock of Ages in South Austin. Opened in October of 2005, Rock of Ages is a pure custom shop specializing in traditional American and Japanese tattooing.
Smack in the middle of the Red River District, glows the cool neon of True Blue Tattoo. Founded by the late Vanessa Alvarez, this two-floor ex-carriage house (the first floor is for tattooing; the second floor, known as “Glory Hole," is strictly for piercings) is home to nine full-time tattoo artists and three piercers.
Perfection Tattoo is definitely a custom shop. Located in Central Austin, and surrounded by an eclectic residential area, Perfection was opened in 1978 by Bob Moreau. Moreau passed the shop to his student Dave Lum, who then passed it to Chris Treviño, the current owner, in 1992.
The Brighton Racecourse on the southern coastline of England hosted the First Annual Brighton Tattoo Convention on January 26 and 27. More than 4,000 people hit the show to check out 130 artists and shops including Frith Street, Jo Harrison, and Phil Kyle.
MARIO BARTH'S STARLIGHT TATTOO LAS VEGAS GRAND-OPENING
Tattoo mogul Mario Barth opened his Starlight Tattoo Las Vegas at the Mandalay Bay Hotel & Casino. The grand opening gala, held February 16 at the House of Blues, attracted a red carpet full of celebrities such as Vivica Fox, Chuck Zito, Victoria Gotti, Ice-T, Evan Seinfeld, and Tera Patrick.
“When I was a kid my mother would sit me down and I would watch her draw Bert and Ernie," explains Atlanta tattoo artist Miya Bailey, who describes his own art style as “pure soul and freehand tattooing." When not working out of his shop, City of Ink, Bailey appears at Pinz-N-Needlez in Washington, D.C. (his “favorite shop outside of City") and has guest spots planned for London and Tokyo.