This month we sent Brooklyn, NY, writer Ellen Thompson to Interview punk icons Strike Anywhere (page 38) for our Inked People section. “The week I was scheduled to Interview them had been a super bummer week for me; just listening to Thomas Barnett explain how there’s always an opportunity to make a positive contribution to someone else’s life snapped me out of that lame mood,” she says.
Two years ago, I shoved through the door and climbed the stairs toward my first day at INKED. From the start, we wanted the magazine to include the best of tattoo culture. It had to go deeper than any tattoo magazine before it, and it had to look better doing it.
GOOD SPORTS Your sports issue [October] might be my favorite all year. It’s something that other tattoo magazines have never done. This year’s was amazing. Carey Hart, the skateboarders feature, the horse jockey, and the killer story on the tattoo and skateboard scene in Cuba.
The fashion crowd recently gave a nod of respect to ta moko, the tattoo art of the indigenous Maori people of New Zealand. During the spring 2010 runway presentations, Kate and Laura Mulleavy, the design duo behind Rodarte, sent models down the runways with bold black body art. MAC senior artist Chantel Miller, who created the designs, says they were inspired by the line quality and shapes of Maori facial tattoos.
The best way to stay warm when it gets cold outside: drink ’til you’re numb.
Dark and Stormy
Pour two parts Sailor Jerry Spiced Rum over six parts ginger beer. Serve with a lime wedge. Some bartenders will tell you that you have to use Gosling’s Black Seal Rum, but those bartenders are assholes.
Pour six ounces of hot apple cider into a glass, toss in three whole cloves, a stick of cinnamon, and— most importantly—an ounce and a half of bourbon. If you want to turn up the heat, go ahead and toss an extra ounce or two of bourbon into the furnace when no one’s looking.
Hot Irish Whiskey
If there’s one thing the Irish know, it’s how to use alcohol to stay warm all winter long (and as a crutch to deal with all of life’s problems). In an Irish coffee glass, combine two and a half ounces of whiskey, a slice of lemon, some cloves, a teaspoon of sugar, and hot water. Stir and serve.
Pour an ounce of Baileys, an ounce of Frangelico, and an ounce of cream over ice in a steel cocktail shaker and shake until completely cold. Strain into a chilled rocks glass with ice. Or, if you want to skip this whole process, you could take a few swigs straight out of a Jameson bottle and call it a night.
Say it’s “something to keep Jack Frost away” or “just a nip to stay warm,” but winter is one of the best times of year for drinking. No other season arrives with a built-in excuse to stay in with a bottle. And if you do go outside and brave everything Old Man Winter throws at you, you’ve earned yourself a trip to the bar as a reward for staying alive in such harsh conditions (in our opinion, “harsh conditions” can be anything from a slight breeze to 60 degrees below).
[Columbia Records] The 30-year trail of wreckage behind Aussie rockers AC/DC includes 16 studio albums, one deceased singer, and countless shattered eardrums. This boxed set collects the songs that were left by the side of the road, including 18 studio rarities and 29 live tracks, stretching back to a blazing live version of “Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap” from '77. Among the best outtakes are the sleazy STD homage “Crabsody in Blue,” originally yanked from Let There Be Rock, and the original single version of “High Voltage." But the real gold is in the roof-burning live takes of staples such as “Shot Down in Flames” and “Shoot to Thrill.” The set also includes a DVD of AC/DC videos and a live DVD from Germany that shows three decades haven't slowed them down—just made them meaner.
AGNOSTIC FRONT Victim in Pain/United Blood
[Bridge Nine] Few records captured the violence and rage on the streets of New York City in the early '80s like Agnostic Front’s Victim in Pain. Released in 1984 and considered one of the first official releases of the hardcore movement, the songs blended the speed and fury of punk with brutal rants about life on the dirty, drug-addled streets of the Lower East Side. In honor of the album’s 25th anniversary, this reissue pairs the original 11 songs with Agnostic Front’s debut single, United Blood. Songs such as “Power" (“Fighting in the streets/Trying to be free”) and the anti-NYPD rager “Blind Justice” still evoke the hard-knock sound of early hardcore, while the growl of the title track perfectly captures the moment all of the frustration boiled over. Essential.
[El Music] When modern hardcore went metal, Hatebreed, Terror, and SoCal’s own Throwdown were left as kings of the pit. Throwdown know the formula: Keep the chugga chugga guitar riffs churning, leave room for vocalist Dave Peters to fire off Phil Anselmo-inspired vocals, and watch the kids go utterly bonkers in the pit. The slow grind of Deathless centers on the band’s ability to build intricate, hard-hitting guitar riffs and stab them into the middle of mid-tempo headbanger numbers. “This Continuum” gallops on swirling guitars until Peters blasts, “I can't face this hell alone!” The guitars on “Skeleton Vanguard," filled with chugs and squeals, would make Dimebag Darrell smile.
KID SISTER Ultraviolet
[Downtown Records] After decades of lagging behind L.A. and NYC, Chicago is now a hotbed of hip-hop. After Common, Kanye West, and Lupe Fiasco comes Kid Sister, the literal sister of Flosstradamus member Josh Young. More mall rat than hood rat, Kid Sister’s break came with “Pro Nails,” a dance-floor anthem featuring Kanye West that bumps more like Monie Love than any of modern hiphop’s tried (and worn-out) formulas. It’s clear that Kid Sister is trying something different, mixing electro pop and synths on the bubblegum “Life on TV” and using “Let Me Bang 2009” to confess, “At least I'm tryin' kinda sorta sorta kinda/Rap more about some girlie shit/Rather than bump and grind.” It’s fresh and original.
FOO FIGHTERS Greatest Hits
[RCA Records] Which is wilder to consider: that it’s been 18 years since Nirvana released Nevermind or that Dave Grohl's Foo Fighters have released six albums since? While Nirvana was dragged kicking and screaming into playing arenas, Grohl built the Foos and their sound to fill them. Among the 16 tracks assembled on their first greatest hits collection are obvious tracks such as “Monkeywrench,” “Best of You,” and “My Hero,” all well-worn staples of any rock bar. Later, and slightly less obviously, tracks such as “Long Road to Ruin” and “Times Like These” also show up. Of course, no hits collection is complete without a few unreleased tracks designed to draw you in, so Grohl includes the light Tom Petty twang of “Wheels” and the raging, if slightly flat, “Word Forward.”
DASHBOARD CONFESSIONAL Alter the Ending
[Interscope] As Dashboard Confessional’s fan base grew, so did their sound. What started as Chris Carrabba wrestling out heartache alone on a stage with an acoustic guitar has grown into a full-size band with a big sound designed to back the singer’s growing songwriting skills. The center of that sound will always be Carrabba’s voice diving from a high falsetto to a shaky whisper, as it does on “Blame It on the Changes,” in which he builds to the climactic confession, “I need you more than you know now.” The centerpiece of the album is “Belle of the Boulevard,” a Springsteen-style character study that shifts between twangy guitar and a soaring chorus, complete with strings and piano. The sound is expanding, but Carrabba stays true to himself in the center of it all.
Holiday festivities got the best of you? Here’s how to look better than you feel.
Nickel Morning After Rescue Gel
If you look like you’ve been in a boxing match (perhaps you were?), apply this face gel as soon as you stumble into the bathroom. It decreases puffiness and refreshes sallow skin.
Hangover From Hell Cooling Eye Mask
Shrink bags under your eyes by wearing this chilled eye mask while you take a few minutes to try to remember if you made it home with your credit card, phone, and pride intact.
Visine Totality Eye Drops
Betts says that any type of moisturizing eyewash will help clear the telltale bleary-eyed look. Try these drops, which also have tetrahydrozoline HCL, an ingredient that helps reduce redness.
Dynamic Health Acai Gold
Skip the hair of the dog; Betts suggests a shot of antioxidant-packed acai juice instead. “It’s energizing and helps improve mental clarity,” she says.
Even if you’re able to haul your ass into work after the company holiday party, chances are you'll look like hell. That’s because drinking causes almost as many issues with your face as it does with your liver. Jeanette Betts, manager of the Cowshed Spa at Soho House in New York City, has seen the damage firsthand (the Soho House has five bars to service just 24 hotel rooms).
Systems: Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, PC You didn’t dream of screwing with the clergy in medieval Italy. But when Ezio Auditore da Firenze’s father is wrongly executed, the nobleman turns assassin and takes up the blade to exact revenge on the corrupt politicians, businessmen, and men of the cloth who conspired against his family. With the help of family friend Leonardo da Vinci’s brilliant inventions, the assassin brings new flair to the art of killing, infiltrating enemy strongholds with flying machines, wielding two blades for simultaneous instant kills, and bringing gunpowder to knife fights. After the kill, lose pursuers in the streets of Venice, Florence, and Rome by running across rooftops, dodging down alleys, and hiding under objects. Romans got you cornered? Try a smoke bomb and live to slay another day.
Systems: Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, PC Part Sin City, part Casablanca, The Saboteur stands out from the overcrowded collection of WWII games by going black and white. After the Germans invade France, the only color left is the bold red of Nazi banners hanging over Paris. To restore color to the City of Lights, street-smart Irish race car driver turned French Resistance supporter Sean Devlin must drive the occupiers out of the city by sabotaging Nazi bases, derailing trains, blowing up zeppelins, imploding bridges, stealing intelligence, and shooting everyone wearing a swastika. When Devlin successfully liberates a district, color returns to the streets and the cheeseeating surrender monkeys actually start fighting back. If the German heat gets close, dip into a French brothel for hiding. They'll be very thankful for your efforts.
LEFT 4 DEAD 2
Systems: Xbox 360, PC The best undead shooter on the planet returns with even wilder brain-feeding frenzies. The sequel’s five new campaigns span the Deep South as you move through shopping malls, amusement parts, and a murky bayou while facing an array of relentless new zombie types. Zombies in riot gear are almost impossible to kill with gunfire from the front, so players must coordinate attacks and improvise with new melee weapons like chainsaws and katanas. As with its critically acclaimed predecessor, the only way to survive Left 4 Dead 2 is to cooperate with three friends—leave someone behind and your chances of survival plummet. Once you’re done splattering the streets with zombie blood, get infected yourself and hunt down survivors in the Scavenge multiplayer mode. Tastes like chicken!
Systems: Xbox 360, PlayStation 3 “Infinity climax action" sure sounds dirty, and that’s just how Platinum Games describes its latest. Taking cues from Devil May Cry and an LSD binge, Bayonetta stars a scantily clad witch who wears only her long hair for clothing, shoots guns with her feet, taunts enemies with innuendo, transforms into deadly creatures, and uses her hair for special attacks. If her guns and kicks aren't doing the trick, the titular vamp turns the violence to 11, summoning eye-opening torture attacks involving guillotines, iron maidens, and high-heeled shoes. In traditional Japanese fetish fashion, the more special attacks she summons, the less hair she has to cover her dangerous curves. There’s probably a plot in there somewhere, but who cares? It’s perverse, weird, and undeniably intriguing.
Somewhere between home and the next tattoo convention is an airport where you will eventually be stranded. Possibly overnight. The Toshiba Satellite U505 (toshiba.com, starting at $849) will entertain you. The 13.3inch laptop packs Windows 7, an Intel Core 2 Duo processor, 4GB RAM, and a DVD player into a 4.5-pound package that is perfect for watching movies or searching for nearby hotels. Football fans should subscribe to Directv’s NFL Sunday Ticket Online (directv.com, $359), a package that includes online streaming access to every NFL game, real-time scores, and highlights. Now you won’t miss the game even though you missed your flight.
Nothing can ruin vacation days like boring holiday parties and court dates. Kill time at both with the Sony PSP Go (us.playstation.com, $250), a pocket-sized redesign of the original PSP gaming system. Using built-in Wi-Fi, the system downloads games, movies, and music directly to 16 GB of Internal memory, so there’s no need to carry UMDs. Flip down the controls and play until the judge calls your case. It might be your last chance for a while.
Lowbrow art is as dear to our hearts as tattoo art. Vannen Watches makes sharp timepieces with designs from some of the best lowbrow artists around. This watch, “Time Waits for No Man” ($65, vannenwatches.com), was designed by Chicago artist Brian Morris and is produced in a limited edition of 500. Other artists include Dirty Donny, Damon Soule, Buff Monster, and Chris Ryniak.
Retro women are reborn through the digital paintings of Berlin artist Mimi S.
Don't get the wrong idea about Mimi S. She may paint ultra-voluptuous, darkly mysterious women, but that shouldn’t color your expectations of the artist herself. “Sometimes people are irritated when they meet me because I am down-to-earth and not the strange vixen-painter they expected," says the German-born painter.
French tattooer Noon gives us a guided tour of the City of Light.
French artist Noon learned how to tattoo by watching the gypsies and ex-cons who tattooed in the poor part of town, where he grew up. As he explains, “I watched them attach needles to pencils and set the ink bottle on a small plate over a flame—very basic.
Two redesigned SUV standbys reaffirm their off-roading roots without sacrificing subdivision-cruising comfort.
2011 JEEP GRAND CHEROKEE
2010 TOYOTA 4RUNNER
In automobile circles, “SUV” was, and still is, a dirty word. Thanks to skyrocketing gas prices, soaring global temperatures, and plunging bank accounts, the three-letter acronym symbolized everything dumb about vehicle design. The knock against many of them was that they were bloated gas guzzlers that couldn't even deliver serious offroad capability.
Strip any given Clipse song of references to drugs, exotic cars, lavish locales, and, of course, money-what's left? Still enough lyric-driven hip-hop for you to wrap your head around for days. Perhaps that's why Virginiabred brothers Gene and Terrence Thornton (Malice and Pusha-T respectively) have built one of the most diverse and hard-to-classify followings in the game.
Picture an interior designer and chances are you're not envisioning a bearded, burly, tattooed ex-punk musician from New York City-unless, of course, you tuned in to season four of Home & Garden Television's reality show competition Design Star.
Twenty-six hundred miles from his Virginia home and it’s all the same deal to Strike Anywhere singer Thomas Barnett. Signs of urban conflict and ghosts of the subverted and forgotten take hold each time Barnett steps out his door and onto the streets of south Los Angeles.
AFTER 15 YEARS OF KICKING GOTH ASS AND TAKING NAMES, AFI PUT OUT THEIR BEST ALBUM EVER.
“I WAS SURPRISED TD REALIZE THAT IT’S fall. It’s fall, right? Mid-September is fall, right?” AFI frontman Davey Havok asks. It’s true we’re in L.A., where the only way to know summer has ended is by post-awards shows chatter and the number of gifting suites.
Five ways technology is changing the world of tattooing forever.
TATTOO MACHINE 2.0!
Tattoos are designed for permanence, and the technology behind them is in no hurry to change either. For more than a century, the basic setup used to put ink in the skin of sailors, soldiers, and other skin art fans has been tweaked and fine-tuned while never deviating too far from the original design.
After lying low, the directing duo are back with the postapocalyptic action flick The Book of Eli-and are looking to earn themselves more tattoos.
The last time the words “a new film by the Hughes brothers” graced movie theaters, the country was on high terror alert, huddled in basements, and armed with radiation suits and shotguns. You see, this was way back in October 2001, a month after the single most catastrophic event to hit American soil had-surprise-made people a little leery of heading out to the multiplex, much less to see a dark, twisted Jack the Ripper yarn called From Hell.
It all started with a lipstick Kathryn Butler stole from her mom as a wideeyed preschooler. “I just always had a thing for makeup,” Butler, 22, recalls. “I’m sure I walked out of the house a few times as a little girl with it smeared all over my face,” she giggles.
INKED: This interview is for our Icon sectionBRAD FINK: What’s up with this “INKED Icon”? That’s what we call the renowned artists we profile who have contributed to tattooing over the years and continue to advance the art. Wow. I'm flattered, but you’re making me feel self-conscious.
NAME: Melissa Lee SHOP ASSISTANT AT: Slick Styled Steel, Montreal, Quebec My duties include answering the phones, cleaning the shop, and making appointments. I'm also a piercer. And I spend a lot of time answering the same questions, like “Does getting a tattoo hurt?” The worst part of my job was when some guy came In wanting to get his frenum jewelry changed.
For a tattoo traditionalist so spiritually grounded, Jess Yen is tough to get on the ground. In the few days we planned to rap about his southern California shop, My Tattoo, Yen and the Horiyen (or My Tattoo) family were on the convention circuit, grabbing flights from SoCal to Vegas and back for The Biggest Tattoo Show on Earth, then to Miami for Visionary Expo a day later.
Las Vegas played host to Mario Barth’s “Biggest Tattoo Show on Earth." Over 40,000 attendees filled the Mandalay Bay Convention Center, including Slash, Jack Osbourne, Duff McKagan, Sylvester Stallone, and others. For more photos, go to inkedmag.com.
The Sixth & I historic synagogue in Washington, D.C., hosted Tattoos & Taboos, a discussion of Judaism and tattoos featuring Miami Ink's Ami James and INKED’s own creative director, Todd Weinberger. The pair talked about the attitudes and assumptions toward tattoos in Jewish culture.
NYC tattoo fans flocked to Tattoo Culture in Brooklyn to celebrate the release of INKED contributor Marisa Kakoulas’s book, Black Tattoo Art. Afterward, many wobbled home with the hefty (536 pages!) tome under their arm. For more photos, go to inkedmag.com.
The fifth annual International London Tattoo Convention was held September 25-27 at the historic Tobacco Dock. The event attracted artists from around the world, including some from Germany, Italy, Brazil, New Zealand, and Japan. For more photos, go to inkedmag.com.
We’ve always ranked Richmond, VA, as one of the most underrated tattoo scenes around. The city is home to some serious tattoo talent and recently local spot Ghostprint Gallery played host to “Drawing Blood II," an impressive show of paintings by tattooers Phil Holt, Timothy Hoyer, Daniel Albrigo, and Jeff Srsic.
We aren't sure what we love more: Paul Romano’s art or the albums adorned with it. As the artist behind covers for bands such as Mastodon, Death By Stereo, Godlesh, and others, Romano celebrated his first solo show at the Toothless Cat Gallery in Philadelphia, PA. For more photos, go to inkedmag.com.
Milwaukee transplant Mario Desa works at Chicago Tattoo Company, the Windy City’s oldest shop. “I deal with icons rooted in classic Americana, filtered through my modern eye," he says of his style. “I had a pretty informal learning experience with a lot of trial and error, but I read all I could and paid attention when I got tattooed."