Tattoo Boulevard

REGGAE REBEL: PETER TOSH

If you were to take a crash course on the history of Reggae, you’d be hard pressed to find a more influential figure from the scene than Winston Hubert McIntosh, better known to the world as Peter Tosh. Oh, there have been more famous names in reggae (has anyone not heard of Bob Marley?), but few can match his influence.

Comparisons to Marley are natural, as both lived in and around the same Jamaican slums, and played in the same band, but the truth is that Tosh and Marley were very different creatures, with very different messages. Marley’s message was one of love; a recipe for how to transcend harsh reality, but it was precisely this harsh reality that Tosh saw and depicted in the music that cemented his influential status.

 Tosh rallied against the injustice of the world as he saw it, and in fact,the first two studio albums he released as a solo artist – ‘Legalize It’ (1975) and ‘Equal Rights’ (1977)  – clearly demonstrated that he was not a man to sit back and just blindly accept his place in an unjust world.  This blazing musical soap box is reminiscent of  some of the most influential musicians of the last decade such as Rage Against the Machine and The Beastie Boys. Sure, the music may sound light years from Tosh, but the spirit, the fight, the desire for social change; this attitude and spark are much the same. This is his legacy. Generations who refuse to accept the status quo, whether it be freedom in Tibet today or the regime in South Africa for Tosh, the spirit and drive remain the same.

 The attitude of Tosh is better put into perspective when compared to his peers. Whilst several acts were still throwing televisions out of hotel room windows in somewhat random acts of rebellion, Tosh was getting beaten by police for his outspoken beliefs. None of this should detract from his music, however, and with The Wailers, he wrote some of the classic tracks of his generation, and is considered to be one of the pioneers of the distinctive reggae guitar sound.  It was his musical fire and spirit that he is, and always will be best known for.

 People who saw Tosh perform as a solo artist never forgot the occasion – from his impromptu rants about the evils of the prohibition of marijuana, to his intense performance – the music and the politics and the smoke all merged into the making of a rebellious legend. Unlike so many, Tosh was not afraid to stand up for what he believed in, or even take a beating from the authorities for it on occasion. His fearless and controversial pushing for the legalisation of marijuana and for equal rights are what generations will remember Tosh for, articulated beautifully in music and iconically on stage.

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PHOTO OF THE WEEK

 

                                                                                                                

 

                                                                                           “I’m the Urban Spaceman” by Treamus

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POP COOL: SWINGERS

Much like movies such as My Best Friends Wedding and Pretty Woman were made the ladies,  Swingers was undoubtedly made for the guys.  It’s for guys going through a breakup, guys looking for a little swagger around the ladies, and guys who just love to wallow in the nightlife.  Sure, girls will think it’s cool, but they won’t see it in the same light and will likely miss alot of the little treasures that make it so electric, or as Vince Vaughn’s Trent would say, make it sooooo money, baby. For Vaughn, though,  Swingers really was money.  Most major hollywood stars have a role that stands out from the rest of their resume- the role they were meant for- and for Vince Vaughn, this was it. Perfectly cast as the smooth talking Trent, Vaughn took the role and ran with it all the way to stardom.

Swingers was written by Jon Favreau(who also starred in the movie as Mike) in the span of two weeks, and to help gain interest in the project, he and Vaughn put on a Reader’s Theatre production of the completed script. Director Doug Liman was then brought on board and the film began shooting around various sets in Los Angeles and Las Vegas(even earning a mention in the L.A. Times as one of the best movie sets in the city).  The movie’s premise revolves around Mike’s introduction to the Las Vegas nightlife by a small group of friends after a breakup with his New York girlfriend. Unable to keep up with his fast talking friends, he finds romance with a waitress named Lorraine, who is also coming off a breakup. The film has a die hard following and was included in Bravo channel’s 100 funniest movies, as well as a mention on Spike TV’s movie awards.

BEST SCENE:

Swingers has several moments that could be considered classics, but the scene that truly represents the tone of the film takes place at a party where Trent(Vaughn) hits on a woman smoking a cigar. The way he continues to ask if she’s looking at him yet is pure gold and will surely strike a familiar nerve with anyone who’s been out with “the guys”.

MEMORABLE LINES:

“Look at this, okay? I want you to remember this face, here. Okay? This is the guy behind the guy behind the guy.”

 
“Trent, the beautiful babies don’t work the midnight to six shift on a Wednesday. This is like the skank shift.”
” Wait I’m gonna do my thing with the thing.”

“Um… a malt Glen Garry for me and my friend here. And if you tell that bartender to go extra easy on the water, this 50 cent piece has your name on it.”

“You’re so money and you don’t even know it.”

“All I do is stare at their mouths and wrinkle my nose, and I turn out to be a sweetheart”

“I don’t want you to be the guy in the PG-13 movie everyone’s *really* hoping makes it happen. I want you to be like the guy in the rated R movie, you know, the guy you’re not sure whether or not you like yet. You’re not sure where he’s coming from. Okay? You’re a bad man. You’re a bad man, Mikey. You’re a bad man, bad man. ”

“This place is dead anyways, Man. Let’s do it.”

                                                                                                                                                                               

 

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HAPPY HALLOWEEN FROM TATTOO BOULEVARD

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THE WONDER OF THE WALKING DEAD

Spellbinding…….Mesmerizing……….A Must Read……..These were some of the adjectives used to describe Image series, The Walking Dead, when it was first unleashed in comic stores more than five years ago.  Created by writer Richard Kirkman and pencilled by artists Tony Moore and Charlie Adlard, the comic has managed to maintain an amazingly high standard during it’s run and still continiues to mesmerize and spellbind anyone brave enough to read it’s fear soaked pages.  Early prints of the series are a hot commodity amongst collectors(due to a low print run, issue #2 is the rarest) and often sell for hundreds of dollars, and this year at the San Diego Comic Convention, the series won the Eisner award for best continuing comic book series.

The initial story arc  revolved around a policeman named Rick Grimes who gets himself shot and winds up in a coma. He then awakenes into a world overrun by zombies, and in the hope of finding his wife and son,  makes his way to Atlanta with another survivor named Glenn, discovering more survivors and plenty of zombies along the way. Subsequent story arcs are filled with tales of love, betrayal,  and more frenetic energy than most stories can dream of.  Throughout the series, Kirkman mostly stays true to the classic zombie lore that was made famous by George Romero, and in fact, the series is drawn in black and white, which adds to the old style horror/ Night of the Living Dead vibe. There are no super strength, lighnting fast  zombies here, but the undead will give chase if any sound flters through their filthy, rotting ears. 

Much like werewolves and vampires, zombies have rules. The first rule of the Walking Dead is that if you die without any trauma to the head, you will you come back as a zombie. The traditional “if you get bit by a zombie, you become infected, get sick, die, and come back as a zombie” also still holds.  Also, the traditional way to kill a zombie by destroying the brain is still firmly intact.  Kirkman does add a couple of new twists to these zombies though. An infected persons life can be saved if the bite is cleaned and the bitten area is cut off, and if the undead are around a human long enough, they will soon lose the desire to attack them.  The zombies really are the sub characters in The Walking Dead though, as Kirkman has created  a truly character driven series in which we watch the survivors adapt to the conditions around them and delves deep into the true nature of the human spirit when under attack.

The amazing success of the comic has spawned a new series on AMC, debuting on Halloween night, 2010. Though not filmed in black and white, the series stays true to the comic book, which is partly due to Kirkman being a producer on the series. Oscar winning director Frank Darabont serves as the director, writer and executive producer. Early reviews for the series have been amazing and it looks as though AMC has another must watch series on it’s hands.

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VIDEO CHILLS

Elements of horror have been incorporated into rock music since the early days of Alice Cooper and continue to haunt the airwaves thanks to modern bands such as Wednesday 13.  Utilizing onstage theatrics and classic horror themes to enhance their often creepy lyrics, we are proud to present three videos to put you in the Halloween spirit. Just don’t watch them alone.

SCARED: DANGEROUS TOYS

BARK AT THE MOON: OZZY OSBOURNE

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gFTzUvZJ0Rw

I WALKED WITH A ZOMBIE: WEDNESDAY 13

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Iw5LIr7tjPc

As an added bonus, while not a music video, this scene from the classic, Return of the Living Dead, features the music of punk masters, .45 Grave. Check out the movie if you’ve never seen it, or if you have seen it, see it again. Zombies plus punk rock equals pure entertainment.

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THE GRAFFITI EXPERIENCE

Thousands of years ago, the ancient Egyptians wrote on their walls to portray their stories, share their lives, and preserve history.  These hieroglyphics have survived the sandstorms of time and continue to share fantastic stories from a flamboyant past.  In modern times, the same practice of writing on walls has covered the globe in a unique form of art called Graffiti.  To some, this name conjures up negative connotations of vandalism and violence, but to others, it’s an art form that celebrates the diversity and beauty of the human imagination. 

Graffiti is as varied as any other type of art in the world today and has some of the most creative minds in the world painting on brick and concrete.  Street art isn’t merely beautiful; it’s also passionate and drives artists to bare their souls through wildly colorful and imaginative images.  The paint on the walls can tell stories that are so extremely personal, they can inspire people to live their dreams and follow their hearts. 

Graffiti can make people step back and recognize the art, the beauty, and the far edges of society that they don’t always want to see.  It can show the passions of the people, the woes of the forgotten, and the triumphs of humanity the world over.  These artists risk their lives and limbs, in a fashion, to speak their art, to show the world what they can accomplish.

How can some say that’s not really art?  How do you define what art is?  It may not be recognized in museums around the world, but it is in every major city of the world.  Graffiti turns the world into a museum, an art piece that speaks to the passerby.  It celebrates the element of chaos, injected into both the art and the act –the beauty of which can tell a story through spray paint.  From the simple to the sublime, Graffiti is a celebration of art in its most primal form.

Graffiti uses the walls as a blank canvas.  Nothing but the mind of the creator shapes and molds the complacent brick into a story.  It encompasses written words, images, optical illusions and just about anything the dreamer can dream.  Graffiti encompasses so many different varieties that it cannot possibly be summed up in words.   To truly understand the stories told in Graffiti and to truly appreciate the beauty this unique expression offers, you must find it yourself.

The internet can provide you with the images, the colors, and the movements in the paint, but it cannot provide you with the exhilaration of discovery.  Sometimes the best graffiti masterpieces are the ones that are so well hidden, almost no one sees them.  They become your own unique experience, as if peering through branches into your own secret garden.  Undeniably, graffiti is a unique art form that is full of creation, full of dreams. Leave the museum walls behind and go find it.

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ORIGINAL ART

Gorgeous digital art created exclusively for Tattoo Boulevard by Anton Leginkov.

ABOUT THE ARTIST: Anton Leginkov is a nineteen year old artist from the Ukraine.  His parents had the stereotypical “Soviet idea” that artists cannot make enough money to earn a living, so at sixteen, he decided to attend Law school and study to become a lawyer.  At eighteen, he realized that drawing was his passion, so he turned in his law books for his tool of choice, a graphite pen, and has been drawing ever since. He is considering attending Art School later this year.  You can follow this rising artist on Facebook here,  http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1698135529

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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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