Tattoo Boulevard

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PLAYLIST: STUTTER by ELASTICA

Elastica proved to be a one album wonder and never came close to reliving the success of their self tiltled debut, released in 1995.  The New Wave/punk influenced album, Elastica,  was a blitzing amalgamation of heavy, crunching guitar and bubblegum melodies, spliced with a swirl of  keyboards.  It was an exciting debut for the UK foursome, and though “Connection” is the song most remember from the album, “Stutter” is it’s crowning glory.  The song’s lyrical content(a girl’s frustration with her boyfriend’s inability to perform) may make a few men squirm in their seats, but otherwise, it’s a near perfect power pop moment.

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ARTISTIC LICENSE:THE CREATION OF ANGELINA

One of the most famous scenes in Raiders of the Lost Ark is the scene in Cairo where Indy (Harrison Ford) is confronted by a cocky, Arab swordsman. In the original script, there was to be lengthy battle between the two, pitting Indy’s whip against the swordsman’s sword, but Harrison Ford was ill and wanted to go home. At the suggestion of Steven Spielberg, the scene was cut down to Indy simply shooting the bastard. It’s funny how a movie’s most classic moments are sometimes the simplest. This example is also proof how motion pictures and other forms of art can take shape as they’re being created, and how an artist’s vision can change along the way.

Whether the artist is a director, painter, musician, or novelist, the best art usually takes on a life of it’s own, growing and evolving from it’s creators original thoughts and concepts. It can be an incredibly exciting and intense process. One of my short stories, Angelina (published in Ethereal Tales #4), was originally conceived as a lighthearted comedy about a mischevious winged, mermaid in a small Italian village. I kicked this idea around for awhile, until I saw that an online horror magazine was seeking submissions for short horror stories about a creature. This was when my concept of Angelina changed.

A horror fantasy about an evil mermaid with a voice that paralysed her victoms and fangs that turned them into disfigured fish with wings soon materialized. The plot and characterizations came much quicker than the comedy I had originally intended. Obviously fate stepped in and Angelina became the story it was meant to be.                                                                             

Every artist has similiar stories, from hit songs that almost never made it onto an album to completly different novel endings, and also, did you know that if Tom Sellick hadn’t been tied up with Magnum PI, he would’ve been Indiana Jones. Imagine that in some alternative universe.

Really………. you’ve gotta love fate.

**The original Angelina was drawn by  Durare. More of this artists amazing work can be viewed here [link] at her Deviant Art gallery.**

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ACOUSTIC POWER: NEW SLANG

The Garden State soundtrack is infamous for it’s whimisical sound, and though almost every song can send you into another world where all the girls have the style and class of Natalie Portman and the perfect moment is just around the corner, “New Slang” by The Shins is the undeniable gem. The movie, written, directed, and starring Zach Braff, as well as Natalie Portman, is a witty and charming ode to the coming of age films of the eighties and nineties, and the soundtrack is blessed with all of the same, almost mystical qualities of the film.

“New Slang” is played in what may be the film’s most memerable moment- the first meeting of Andrew(Braff) and Sam(Portman). It’s one of those simple cinematic scenes that ‘s so well done that it becomes unforgettable, and as Sam says, “You have to listen to this one song. It’ll change your life, I swear.”

The internet has seen many acoustic covers of the song over the years, but this one, released over four years ago is arguably the one to beat. Great vocals and rhythm structure highlight a slightly sped up version of this tear stained classic.

And if you’d ‘a took to me like
A gull takes to the wind.
Well, i’d ‘a jumped from my tree
And i’d a danced like the king of the eyesores
And the rest of our lives would ‘a fared well.

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PHOTO OF THE WEEK

Photo manipulation at it’s finest by digital artist, Rob Shields. Titled, “Leave Yourself Behind,” this masterpiece of  divine composition and rampant imagination, skillfully moulds a simple photo of a mannequin into an unforgettable work of art. More of the artist’s amazing work can viewed at his website,  http://www.robshields.net.

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FEATURED ART: FULL MOON

 

                                                           

This gorgeous fantasy piece by GBrush is the cover of the Fly Fantasy World magazine in China. Simply stunning!

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LIVING LEGENDS: NIKKI SIXX

Even if you’re not exactly a raging metal head, you’ve probably heard of Motley Crue bassist, Nikki Sixx. Known for his eccentric lifestyle and his talent for getting into trouble, the rock legend has been in the limelight since the early days of Motley Crue, when the band headlined bars such as the Whiskey and the Roxy on the Sunset strip. After signing with Elektra records, the California foursome dominated the eighties with a string of classic albums such as “Shout at the Devil” and “Theatre of Pain”.

These days, the man that one female journalist once called, “one of Heavy Metal’s true sweethearts,”  spends his days not only writing songs and practicing with Motley Crue, but also writing, taking photographs and being a real entrepreneur, with his personal clothes line.

Even though his interests have expanded over the years, he remains married to music, his lifelong true love. Sixx is most associated with Mötley Crüe, but has also been linked to Sister, Brides of Destruction, 58, London and last but not least, Sixx A.M . He has proven to be a musician of many different dimensions, having played bass, guitar, vocals, keyboards and even piano.

If his professional career leaves you cold, then perhaps you’ll be more intrigued by his romantic escapades. Sixx was married not once, but twice to former Playboy playmates – first with Brandi Brandt, and then to Donna D’Errico. He has three sons from the marriage with the sexy Brandi Brandt and also a daughter from the relationship with Donna.

But perhaps the most exciting relationship in which the rock star has been involved is his latest – the relationship with the provocative tattoo artist Kat Von D, who’s actually 24 years younger than he is.

The public loved the affair between Kat (TV persona and hostess for the shows Miami Ink and LA Ink) and Sixx, a true showman himself, and also a host for the radio shows Sixx Sense and The Side Show. The two seemed strongly connected despite the impressive age difference. It was an intense and fiery relationship based on love and addiction – music, sex, drugs and tattoos- which left deep marks on Nikki’s persona, as he claimed after an amicable breakup.

Nikki’s and Kat’s passion for the ink and the needle even brought the rock star to an episode of LA Ink, where the sexy tattoo artist gave him a tattoo of Mick Mars, lead guitarist of Mötley Crüe.

Many rock stars have some scary skeletons in their closet, but Nikki’s are truly shocking. The early days of Motley Crue are filled with whiskey soaked tales of car crashes, bar brawls, and an endless supply of groupies, but it would be his battle with heroin that would nearly take his life – a harrowing and tragic tale he recounted in

“The Heroin Diaries: A Year in the Life of a Shattered Rock Star”, the biography he co-wrote with Ian Gittins.  Sixx wrote down his terrifying bout with drug abuse and also recorded a testimonial album with the same name – “The Heroin Diaries” – as a soundtrack to the book.

In the end, he managed to overcome his violent heroin addiction and moved on with his life. He leaves the book and the soundtrack behind to remind people not to fall into the often fatal trap of narcotics.

In an interview many years ago, he casually spoke about a girl he had once dated. He said that she lived at the top of a steep hill, but the car he had at the time couldn’t make it up the hill unless he drove it up backwards. “I must of really liked her,” he said.  It’s a simple story from a simpler time, but it provides a glimpse of the man behind the rock star and a peek at his life before the spotlight.  Truly a man of many faces and an unforgettable metal icon, Nikki Sixx surely deserves his place amongst rock’s living legends.

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PRINT SPOTLIGHT: INKED MAGAZINE

 

If you haven’t heard of Inked Magazine then you’re probably somewhat new to the world of tattoos. The magazine has been a hot seller for over two years and is arguably the magazine to beat in the field of body art.

Debuting in 2004, purchased and repurchased a couple of times before finding its way into the right hands, Inked finally gained public attention in the fall of 2007. Officially relaunched in October that year, the magazine was a fresh and vibrant addition to the subscription list of tattoo enthusiasts everywhere .

 Inked has everything a tattoo lover could possibly want – hot inked girls, interviews with tattooed celebrities, tattoo artists biographies, tips and tricks for how to care for your tattoos and lots and lots of tattoo art photographs.

If you love the rock star lifestyle, then you’ve found your magazine of choice in Inked Magazine. Kat Von D, Avril Lavigne, Ruby Rose, Green Day and  Chester Bennington of Linkin Park are just some of the celebrities featured in the magazine.

Moreover, the magazine hunts down the best tattoo artists the world has to offer. You can read their fascinating life stories and find out how these guys reached world-wide success by putting the needle and ink to work.

If an internet addiction comes along with your tattoo addiction, then put your hands up in the air for inkedmag.com, the online home of the magazine. The website offers an impressive archive folder, so visitors can now keep track of their favorite magazine at all times. You can even subscribe to the print version of the magazine or if you’re not very happy about having to check your mailbox every once in a while, then you can pick the digital version in the website’s e-shop.

For those that work in the field of body art,  perhaps one of the best online features Inked offers is the possibility for tattoo artists and saloons to advertise their business on the website, giving people another outlet to find out about inking options in their area.

However, if you’re more about the written work and less about the needle work or if you’re looking to meet other interesting tattoo lovers, you should take some time to visit the online forum Inked offers its fans. You can find threads about artists and their tattoos, about worthy saloons and inkers, testimonials of people who dedicated their bodies to the beauty of ink art, and even tattoo designs ideas.

Whether you’re interested in purchasing a subscription or just want to see what’s up with this fine magazine, go out there and get your Inked today. We don’t expect you to spend all your time at Tattoo Boulevard.

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SID VICIOUS VS DARWIN: THE EVOLUTION OF BRITISH PUNK

In the late seventies,  British punk was at the peak of it’s power and Sid Vicious was it’s reigning prince. He was a maniacal showman who may not have been the most talented musician on the scene, but he was undoubtedly the most charismatic-a buzzsaw blend of energy and chaos that has rarely been matched. His blood splattered concert images have become the stuff of legend, but after a breakup with the Sex Pistols and the suspicious murder of his girlfriend, Nancy Spungen, he died in 1979 at the age of 21.  His death was a preventable tragedy that seemed to coincide with the decline of punk, and though The Clash was still in their prime(along with The Ramones in the States), the new decade gave way to New Wave(an amalgamation of punk and pop) and Heavy Metal.

Despite punk rock’s heyday in the seventies and its many revivals along the way,  there hasn’t really been a true infusion of new British blood to take over the relay from such grandmasters as the Sex Pistols, The Clash and GBH. Some of the legends still carry on performing  their old material ala the Rolling Stones, but as is often the case, with much less notoriety. So the question begs, are there any current groups that have Sid Vicious slam dancing in his grave?  Well, the sad answer is probably not many.  In fact, only one significant punk album has been released in the past few years and that would be “Grey Britain” by Gallows, which was released in 2008.

Musical genres rarely maintain their popularity for more than a decade, and after the confetti and mosh pits settle, it isn’t long until something else takes over. If Darwin was still alive, he’d likely call it musical evolution.  A new punk band would have its DNA composed of their predecessors’ bits and pieces and relit with a more modern attitude to adapt to a new audience. New offspring are born, and even though it isn’t always called punk rock, it bears many of the same characteristics and even hits the crunk saturated charts. The post-punk revival and indie rock genres which claim to be the children of punk, have gained considerable popularity in the 21st century, with bands like Babyshambles and Libertines (both brainchilds of the notorious Pete Doherty) having been very active in both the media and in live concerts. Aside from them, there is also a thriving underground scene, with bands like the previously mentioned Gallows and The Dauntless Elite. So while Punk rock as we know it isn’t dead, it is lying dormant, hoping to reignite the fire of the late seventies and it’s long absent prince.

Considering Darwin and his laws of evolution, he would probably say that today we should all be better looking, wiser and more advanced in every way, including musically. Of course, that is truly a matter of opinion, and somewhere in the hazy realm of the afterlife, Sid Vicious is listening to The Great Rock n’Roll Swindle and telling Darwin to go *#*# himself .

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ALTERNATIVE NATURE:THE DANGERS OF HOME PIERCING

Body piercing is hot and has  been gaining almost as much fanfare as tattoos over the last few years. In fact,  many people have either considered getting a piercing done in the comfort of their own home, or have seen someone else do it.  It’s a growing trend, and though statistics say that a third of all piercings are done at home, a more important stat to remember  is that half of these require medical attention.

 The risk of infection is much higher for a homemade piercing  than those done by a professional, and unless you have the required equipment and take all the necessary precautions to minimize the risks, it’s best to look in the yellow pages for your dream piercing.  A pro will have the needle sterilized,  know the proper gauge of the needle to be used, and will wear perfectly sterile gloves during the procedure.  A botched piercing made by an amateur carries very real risks, and even though a professionally done piercing can also get infected if not looked after correctly, the risk of getting an infected cavity is tens of times greater when done in a home setting. Also, the possibility of getting a variety of nasty diseases from unsterilized piercing needles is comparable to those of a junkie sharing their fix. You can save yourself alot of pain and unnecessary risk by going to a pro. You will also be more certain that the piercing you’ll be getting is exactly what you wanted.

Professional piercers are educated and know where important nerves and blood vessels may lie and which spots on the body to avoid. In addition, they have the proper equipment and experience to make the visit a quick and safe experience. Every year there are thousands of people hospitalised because they decided to do the job themselves.  The simple moral of the story is, the next time you want to get a piercing, do the proper research and find a reputable piercing parlour.

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GRAFFITI WORLD TOUR

TORONTO, CANADA           photo by Autumn Lee

                      

NEW YORK CITY, USA      Photo by PlayerLac                                                    LONDON, ENGLAND

PARIS, FRANCE     Photo by Bernardo Medina

MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA          Photo by tRance Emotions                        ROME, ITALY

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