Top Row: “What surprised me about my interview with Agatha Blois was how little we spoke about fashion,” says Rachel Aydt, who wrote “Intelligent Design” (page 66).“Instead we talked about more earthly things, like our sons. Her 17-year-old son, Angus, wants to be a helicopter pilot, and my 5-year-old wants to take me to Saturn for my next birthday."
Talking about fashion and tattooing in the same breath can be dicey. Just as every tattoo is different, so is the style of every tattooed person. We can be found waiting in line for limited Air Force 1’s, standing in front of a dresser full of black T-shirts, or hitting the streets in a $3,000 suit.
INKED AT THE FRONT LINES I am a tank commander deployed to Sadr City, Iraq, and a big fan of your magazine. I brought several issues of INKED with me on this trip (my second) and now my whole platoon is going crazy to get more issues. We have been carrying that beat-up issue of INKED in our MRAP truck since we traded our tanks in a month ago.
NAME: Kelly Feeney OCCUPATION: Adaptive technology instructor for deaf and blind adults HOMETOWN: Long Island, NY I was a junior in high school when I decided to get my first tattoo. I was actually in study hall one day creating a sketch for my friend who wanted to get one, and he invited me along.
When the temperature drops, look for something rich and malty.
AYINGER OKTOBER FEST-MÄRZEN
Since the Germans invented Oktoberfest, you can understand why this Bavarian märzen was a gold-medal winner at the World Beer Championships. Only slightly sweet, it has a long, dry finish.
SAM ADAMS OCTOBERFEST
The sweetness of this autumn beer is balanced by the bitterness of the German noble hops, making this one of the more drinkable fall beers on the market.
SMUTTYNOSE S’MUTTONATOR DOUBLE BOCK
At 9.6 percent alcohol by volume, you won’t want to drain this like Bud Light. Using something called a “double decoction” process, Smuttynose’s brewers pack this beer full of sweet and rich maltiness. Sip it, but don’t drink it to quench your thirst.
LAKEFRONT BREWERY PUMPKIN LAGER
This is the only pumpkin lager in the world (all others are ales), which means it’s richer and smoother than any pumpkin beer. The brewers use real pumpkin in the mashing process and spices like cinnamon and clove, so skip the pie and have beer for dessert.
"Autumn is a great season for serious beer drinkers," says Jes Dwyer, bartender at The Levee in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. That's because when the leaves change and football kicks off, beer lovers start thinking about chugging a new batch of autumn beers.
Japan's influence on tattooing is undeniable, but most books dwell too much on the past. Tattoo in Japan ($140, editionreuss.com) devotes 320 pages to all of the ink in the East, from traditional to modern, including the work of Horiyoshi III, Inkrat, Three Tides, and others. The book's four chapters are cleverly divided into regions, including Tokyo, Chubu, Kyoto, and Osaka. It's the best book on tattooing in Japan that we've seen yet.
Redondo Beach artist Greg Simkins creates twisted characters and landscapes that feel like weird fairy tales or even weirder drug flashbacks. For his firat vinyl toy, Simkins has created Cap'n Rotnclaw ($59, strangeco.com) for toy giant Strangeco. Part pirate, part crab, the mustached crustacean features working claw clamps, creepy lobster legs, and a bold chest tattoo. Tastes great with butter!
Creative Labs Vado
The next time you rack yourself skating a handrail, it will be even easier to upload the footage to YouTube. The pocket-sized Creative Labs Vado ($99, creative.com) video camera records two hours of Web-quality footage, and the simple controls are technophobe proof; push the button to record, push it again to stop. Plug the pop-out USB cable into your computer to upload footage or send them straight to the Net for ridicule.
Saved Tattoo owner Scott Campbell inks more than just celebrities like Marc Jacobs and Lindsay Lohan and regular folk like us. Campbell uses a laseretching machine to sear his artwork onto everything from sneakers to ostrich eggs to custom leather chairs. This pillow ($200, goodbaduglynyc.com) features Campbell's custom skull design on creamcolored leather. Rest your skull here.
In 2006, tattoo legend Don Ed Hardy shipped off to Japan's southern island of Kyushu to create porcelain. Using methods developed more than 400 years ago in Japan and a kiln passed down for generations, Hardy painted and glazed original artwork on plates, bowls, cups, and other wares ($400-$6,000, kuambiance.com). The extremely limited editions are designed for shelves, not microwaves.
[Side One Dummy] It took long enough but punks are starting to treat Bruce Springsteen like The Boss. The Hold Steady and Lucero have picked up his influence, and Jersey’s own Gaslight Anthem are true Bruce disciples. The band mixes classic rock and modern punk into songs about old cars, Elvis, and Audrey Hepburn (despite the members being born in the '80s). Gaslight's strength comes from frontman Brian Fallon's songwriting, as he takes a romantic look at lost friends ("The '59 Sound") and road trips ("The Backseat"). On "Miles Davis & the Cool," the guitars twang and drums build as Fallon waits outside his woman's window, while "Here's Looking at You, Kid" is a gorgeous kiss-off to lost loves.
THE WALKMEN You & Me
[Gigantic Music] The Walkmen are all about atmosphere. The New York City band's sound, a tangle of deep organ, swirling drums, and jangling guitars, is hard to pin down, and their albums are giant pieces of music that beg to be played straight through. You & Me is no different. "Seven Years of Holidays," with its rolling snare beat and references to suitcases, sunny days, and holidays, blurs into the whirling guitars of “Postcards From Tiny Islands." The moody moments come on “Red Moon," as singer Hamilton Leithauser croons over sleigh bells and soft horns. Opening track “Dónde Está la Playa?" thunders as Leithauser sings, “There is still sand in my suitcase/There is still salt in my teeth," and the band breezes by. It's the first album you'll play after vacation.
ZZ TOP Eliminator: Collector’s Edition
[Rhino] Holy beard trimmers, it's hard to believe it's been 25 years since ZZ Top took over MTV with their breakthrough album, Eliminator. The Texas trio, with their beards, hot rods, and love of leggy women worked perfectly for music videos. But none of those videos would have mattered if Eliminator weren't such a killer album. Hits such as "Gimme All Your Lovin'" "Sharp Dressed Man," and "Legs" are speaker thumpers, while album tracks "Got Me Under Pressure" and "T.V. Dinners" are Top classics. This collector's edition also includes live tracks, remixes, four original music videos, and TV footage of the trio. There are at least 10 CDs in your collection that can't stand up to this.
THE ENEMY U.K. We’ll Live and Die in These Towns
[Warner Bros.] As the first group signed to the relaunch of the legendary Stiff Records, this U.K. trio work straight from the blueprint that made the Jam so amazing—powerful guitars, working-class mentality, and choruses worthy of being shouted from the soccer stands. "It's Not OK" rants against the nine-tofive world in the explosive chorus "It's not OK to be this way/It's not OK to be a slave." Title track "We'll Live and Die in These Towns" (a line guitarist/singer Tom Clarke found scrawled on a bathroom wall) distills the band's fury down to a moody chorus that Paul Weller would appreciate. Elsewhere, they nod to the Stone Roses, the Verve, and other Britrock greats. They just might be next.
SLIPKNOT All Hope is Gone
[Roadrunner] When Slipknot singer Corey Taylor and guitarist James Root pulled together their mellower side project, Stone Sour, in 2002, metal fans worried it would mean the end of Slipknot or, even worse, a dilution of their sound. Neither really happened. While it has slowed the band (four years to finish All Hope) and the songs feature more of Taylor's melodic vocals, the album is still all Slipknot. The group makes this clear with the opening blast-beats of "Execute" and "Gematria (the Killing Name)" and some of their best mosh starters ever, such as “Butcher's Hook" and the killer riff of "This Cold Black." Then they change things up. The keyboard break on the emotional "Dead Memories" and the acoustic strum of "Snuff" balance out the fury of tracks like "Vendetta." All Hope could go down as the group's best work yet.
CHEMICAL BROTHERS Brotherhood
[Astralwerks] Over the past 13 years, influential electronic act Chemical Brothers have left a blizzard of 12-inches behind them as they dragged dance music to another level. This best-of collection rounds up 13 of the duo's tracks, from 2005 hit "Galvanize" to "Leave Home," from the group's breakthrough '95 album, Exit Planet Dust. The Brothers are at their best when collaborating, and Brotherhood includes jams with the Flaming Lips ("The Golden Path") and Noel Gallagher ("Let Forever Be" and "Setting Sun") alongside new track "Keep My Composure," a blipping 16-bit frenzy featuring Spank Rock. The second disc of the set includes 10 tracks from Electronic Battle Weapons, the Chemical Brothers' more experimental alter ego. It's worth blowing out a pair of headphones.
In 1997, a man named Mel Waters called the syndicated radio show Coast to Coast AM to tell a story. He claimed to own a plot of land in eastern Washington with a magical hole. Waters said he had been throwing junk into the abyss for years, and when it never filled up, he decided to measure it.
Platform: PlayStation 2, PlayStation 3, PSP, Xbox 360, Wii Tiger may be taking it easy on a recovering knee, but the world's best golfer is still hitting the video game links. This year, Tiger brings his coach, Hank Haney, to help clean up your abysmal swing. As you make your way through the PGA Tour, he'll critique your performance, guide you through slumps, and recommend training for improving your weaknesses. Golf's true glory lies in competing with friends, and for the first time the game includes a simultaneous-play-mode. You and three friends can hit Pebble Beach online together to play the course at the same time. By ditching the turn-taking format of old, the game preserves all the fun of golf without the bore-inducing wait for your friend to shank his shot.
Midnight Club: Los Angeles
Platform: PlayStation 3, Xbox 360 Sorry, NASCAR, the thrill is gone. Illegal street racing is where it's at. After all, who wants to drive in circles when you can weave a Lamborghini through traffic at 200 miles per hour and use on-ramps to jump over warehouses to the finish line? The latest in the Midnight Club series includes a dizzying array of customization options, including tires, rims, spoilers, and lighting effects. And, for the first time in the series, you can modify interiors, right down to the dashboard lighting. The rest of this open-world racer is packed to the rims with features, including day-to-night cycles and weather effects. And forget drilling through menus to start a race: Simply pull up alongside a car, flash your lights, and step on the gas.
Mercenaries 2: World in Flames
Platform: PC, PlayStation 2, PlayStation 3, Xbox 360 It's amazing how well a bullet to the ass motivates a man. After a drug lord refuses to pay for your mercenary work and shoots you in the ass on his way to becoming a Venezuelan dictator, you vow to rid the world of this fascist. Mercenaries 2 picks up right where its predecessor left off-in a hail of gunfire, vehicular mayhem, and crumbling buildings. As you pit rival political factions against one another in pursuit of revenge, your lucrative merc work will fund a military contracting business, allowing you to hire mercenaries to handle some of the dirty work. With dozens of heavily armed vehicles at your disposal, a massive arsenal, and the new co-op game-play mode, Mercenaries 2 is nothing short of explosive.
Platform: Apple, PC Video game legend Will Wright, the mad genius behind SimCity and The Sims, has concocted his most ambitious project yet. In Spore, you create a new species in the creature creator (the early favorite: penis hands) and guide it through life. Your creature starts as a cellular organism then experiences the phases of evolution, including the formation of tribes, the birth of a civilization, and space travel. Make the wrong decisions, and your race of penis-handed creatures will face extinction. It sounds like science class, but Spore plays like gaming's greatest hits, including the Pac-Man vibe of the cellular stage and the Diablo feel of the creature phase. It doesn't take a genius to understand this is amazing. -Matt Bertz
You couldn’t have fit more muscle on the original Yamaha V-MAX. With its massive V4 engine crammed into the frame, the V-MAX was one of the most muscular bikes on the streets back in 1985. And with the exception of a few tweaks and cosmetic touches along the way, the model remained largely unchanged until it was pulled from the Yamaha lineup last year.
For all the feng shui and tai chi, Hong Kong isn't just about traditional pastimes. The massive city is awash in cool bars, amazing attractions, and an allaround progressive flair. Often referred to as "the melting pot of Asia," Hong Kong is a hybrid of Chinese and Western cultures (the city was under British rule until 1997), so the city of 7 million is packed with expats.
When music wonder twins Nina Sky took over dance floors with their 2004 hit, "Move Ya Body," even they weren't sure what they were doing. "Our first album was written about things we hadn't yet experienced in our lives," says Nicole Albino, one half of the duo.
Long before he worked with everyone from Mötley Crüe to Marilyn Manson and designed skate decks and high-end toys, graphic designer Jim Koch (pronounced cook) worked with his hands in another way—as a lumberjack.
"I don't like to do nice, clean tattoos or realistic stuff. A tattoo should look like a tattoo," says Lea Vendetta, the Paris-born 37-year-old tattoo artist whose journey has taken her from the City of Lights to Key West, FL. Vendetta started in tattooing in 1989, when, at the age of 18, she got her first ink—a Celtic piece that she has since had lasered off.
Fifteen is a tough age to get anything right, let alone to handle the lifestyle and responsibilities associated with landing a major record deal. Christian “Yung Berg” Ward signed his first deal as a teenager and felt all was cool with his adolescent fame and fortune, though his parents didn't quite share the sentiment.
The music and fashion wunderkind talks bling, the clothing biz, and his plans to grow pig skin to cover old ink.
If there’s one man the entire music world wants a piece of, it’s Pharrell Williams. From Jay-Z and Kanye West to Gwen Stefani and Justin Timberlake, the Virginia Beach, VA native is a Top 40 kingmaker, a sonic architect who has built career-making hits for some of music’s most elite players.
The black-and-white interior of New York City's Night Hotel seems to have been designed specifically as a contrasting backdrop for the colorful work of tattoo artist Julie Becker. But the hotel's sexy brand and its decor, both created by architect and interior designer Mark Zeff, came into existence several years before Becker languidly roamed its halls.
Tattoos and couture collide in the work of these fashion designers Some are up-and-coming and some have already come up, but they all stay true to their art with designs that are irreverent, witty and anything but ordinary.
Tod Waters and Giuliana Mayo
Matt Booth, a Los Angeles-based jewelry designer and former Marine, twice deployed to the Far East, now finds his muse in the Japanese theater. His masculine line Room 101 is heavy on thick chains, locks, gargoyles, and faces from Japanese theater.
Silent Bob’s better half talks Kevin Smith, comic books, tattoos, and kicking his drug habit.
Actor Jason Mewes is standing in the living room of his Los Angeles home, taking off his shirt. Positioned in front of his laptop’s webcam, he shows off the “15 or 16” tattoos he’s acquired during his 34 tumultuous years. He lifts his shirt and motions first to an elaborate tribal design on his shoulder.
A new generation is reviving-and guarding-the ancient secrets of Filipino tribal tattoos.
If you're looking for symbols and meanings of the elaborate art of Filipino tribal tattoos, you won't find it here. It's taboo to reveal the secrets behind the ancestral tapestry of patterns, and when that taboo is broken, there are dire consequences.
Long gone are the sex shops and beatniks of London's Soho neighborhood. Over the years, the notorious district has undergone a serious image overhaul, and between the office buildings and trendy restaurants sits Frith Street Tattoo and Piercing, the tattoo shop of owner Dante Di Massa’s dreams.
INKED: Where did you grow up? GRIME: Grand Junction, CO. It was a small town. There wasn't a lot of stuff for kids to do, especially if you weren't a jock or a redneck. We were part of a small group of kids who were skaters and punk rockers. We caught a lot of shit for it.
NAME: Ying Chang SHOP ASSISTANT AT: Daredevil Tattoo, New York, NY Headlocks are part of the job. It can be a boy's club sometimes, so you end up getting teased, bullied, and put in headlocks. It's all in fun. Penis tattoo requests usually start as a phone call.
Tattooing doesn't have any of the East Coast vs. West Coast fighting that plagues hip-hop. That didn't stop over 40 tattoo artists from trying to instigate it! The bicoastal art throwdown included East Coast tattooers such as Civ, Eli Quinters, Chad Koeplinger, Chris O'Donnell, and others, while the West Coast side featured work by Grime, Bob Roberts, Mr. Cartoon, Phil Holt and more.
There's a reason organizers call the Ink-N-Iron Tattoo and Kustom Culture Festival in Long Beach, CA, the "Grandaddy of Έm All”. Held on the Queen Mary Ocean Liner docked in Long Beach Harbor, the convention includes tattooers, bands, a car show, a pin-up pageant and even on-the-spot weddings.
Toronto offers the best two-for-one travel deal around. Every year, promoters schedule the Northern Ink Xposure tattoo convention at the same time as the North By Northeast music conference turning the city into a mob of bands and tattooers.
Even when the L.A. Ink cameras aren't rolling, the machines at Kat Von D's High Voltage Tattoo keep buzzing as a team of artists known affectionately as "The B Crew" continue working without appearing on camera. "It doesn't mean we are any different than the 'A Crew,'" explains Khoi Nguyen.