Tattoo Boulevard

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Ville Valo may have had a few too many when he received his first tattoo, a simple heart on his wrist, but it was one of those drunken one night stands that has turned into a lifetime love affair.  Since then, not only has the HIM frontman added several more designs, including a full sleeve on his left arm and the eyes of Edgar Allen Poe on his back, but the heartogram he designed as a teenager, has become the symbol of the band and a favored tattoo of their legion of fans.



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Writers are often their own worst critics, so undoubtedly, workshops can be a haven for anyone hoping to be the next Neil Gaiman or Joe Hill.  Sites such as Critique Circle and The Next Big Writer offer constructive criticism and useful tips to both established and aspiring writers as they strive to construct their newfound masterpiece. The latest site to join in the fun is The Writer’s Blurb and the site’s founder recently talked about their vision for the site.

“The Writer’s Blurb is a site designed for writers of all shapes and sizes to converse with other writers similar to themselves, and receive feedback on their ideas. Whether a writer likes to write novels, fan fictions, poems, short stories, or non-fiction, there is a place for all of them at the Writer’s Blurb. There is also a directory filled with links to other writing sites and we are gathering up different events around the globe where writers can submit their work. It is just a place where writers can feel at home, and hopefully they will settle there and actively take part in the community.”

Anyone wishing for a friendly and personal workshoping experience can check out The Writer’s Blurb at



Not many bands enter their prime a full decade after their formation, but British rockers, James, are an exception.

After toiling in relative obscurity throughout the eighties, the free spirited group, powered by the exceptional vocals of Tim Booth, found their greatest success in the early nineties with albums such as Seven and Laid.  The latter’s title track is arguably the band at its best- a catchy, bittersweet blast of sex and heartache that becomes a part of your inner playlist after only one listen.  Though Laid was originally recorded with the full band sound, it’s equally suited for a lone guitarist , and this cover by a youtube artist is as good as it gets.   It’s a raw,  passionate performance that perfectly captures the spirit of the song in the simple strumming and soaring vocals…. and though it’s not an easy song to sing,  aspiring guitarists/vocalists will have a hard time not giving it a try.

Dressed me up in women’s clothes
Messed around with gender roles
Dye my eyes and call me pretty

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 Tattoo artist, Simone Cavallari,  has had a love affair with drawing since his childhood in Turin, Italy, where he would often spend his time drawing cemeteries, zombies, ghosts and dead people. His passion for fantasy soon spread to american comics and cartoons, and he read (and still reads) a pletheria of Marvel and DC comics such as Spiderman,  Batman, and his personal favorites,  Green Lantern and The Punisher.   Since then, he has even  had The Punisher logo tattooed on his right forearm.   

Simone recently spoke to Tattoo Boulevard about his training and love of tattoo art. “Since I was a child, ” he said,  “I’ve always been fascinated by tattoos and tattooed people, I always wanted to know how it was possible to have a permanent drawing on skin, so I started studying art at high school.”

 On his 18th birthday, he knocked at the door of a skratcher, since he didn’t know any other person for tattoos at that time and received his first ink – a “hope” script on his right forearm. After that initial enounter, he met another skratcher, who completed his forearm, but the result was largely disappointing. Things soon began to look up when he met a real tattoo artist, who not only covered up and completed his sleeve, but also became his master.  His long sought apprenticeship had finally begun.

“After one year of apprenticeship,” he continued, ” my master told me that I was ready to start tattooing by myself, but unluckily, he didn’t have proper works for me, so I had to find another way to start my career. In Italy, especially in my town, it’s quite common that in a tattoo studio, the owner is the only artist too. That’s because not so many people want to get tattooed, so there’s not enough work for more than one person.”

Like many others, Simone began working at home, but an obsession with hygiene and safety got him thinking about opening a shop with his girfriend, and after some discussion, they agreed to open a tattoo studio with a retail side.  In September 2008, their dream became a reality and they opened their own shop in Turin called Fuel Tattoo.

“I’d been working there for 2 years.  I was the only artist so I gained lot of experience in little time. When working there, I wasn’t satisfied because of the customers requests. I love working in colours and I’m always trying to improve my artistic and technical skills, but in my town the main request is for lettering, tribals and maoris, so it took me a while to put up a decent portfolio. It was very difficult and I have to thank my friends that let me work on their skin to realize some of the works that I like and enjoyed the most, cause it’s my style!”

Unfortunately, At the end of May 2010 he was forced to close down his shop due to the economical crisis.  Not only where there not enough customers, but he had grown tired of the type of requests he received and realized he needed a chance of scenary.

“I knew that if I wanted to improve my skills, I had to move abroad. I put an ad on the main tattoo forums on the web and received alot of offers. My main goal is to move to the USA or Canada, cause I hope one day to work with the best artists. I got a job in London (UK) and moved here. Anyway, I’m always available to move somwhere else, cause I want to learn more and I’d like to do more works in my style. I’d like to improve my skills and I’m thirsty of knowledge.”

His favourite artists include Tony Ciavarro, Jimie Litwalk, Jesse Smith and Joe Capobianco. “I always find inspiration in their works and I hope one day to have the opportunity to meet them and work for them. I know that’s a long path and it won’t be easy to reach them, but I’m really motivated. I always put all of myself in my works and I’d really like to have more opportunities to tattoo in my style.”

A quick look at his work should leave little doubt that those opportunities will be coming  much more frequently. More of his art can be viewed in our gallery or at

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Warm summer winds have a way of sending a shudder of nostalgia down your spin. It’s a comforting, feel good state that you can find in a favorite book or a secret hideway, or more likely, in the ghosts from soundtracks past which slither into your ipod or car stereo.

“Nearly Lost You” by grunge godfathers, The Screaming Trees, was first unleashed in 1992, yet seems to sound more exhilarating and vibrant with each passing year. Originally released on the band’s sixth album, Sweet Oblivion, and also featured on the Singles soundtrack, “Nearly Lost You” is four minutes of power and whimsy that is not only simultaneously complex and melodic, but catchy as hell. If John Hughes had used grunge in one of his teenage classics, “Nearly Lost You” would have been the title track.

Unfortunately, “Nearly Lost You” was the Screaming Tree’s only hit and the band soon faded into relative obscurity. They never found the success they truly deserved, but if you’re looking for a sonic reminder of the grunge days and all its glory, then anything by the Screaming Trees is a good place to start.


Did you hear the distant cry
Calling me back to my sin
Like the one you knew before
Calling me back once again

I nearly, I nearly lost you there                                                        
And it’s taken us somewhere
I nearly lost you there
Let’s try to sleep now

Drag me far enough to know
I’m blind every mile that you burn
There’s a rider that’s fallen and
It’s clear there’s no time to return

I nearly, I nearly lost you there
And it’s taken us somewhere
I nearly lost you there
Well let’s try to sleep now

Did you hear the distant lie
Calling me back to my sin
Like the one you knew before
Calling me back once again

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John Chance is a Southern California-based British Filmmaker, Actor and Editor, Voice Over Artist and one-half of Chance Encounters Productions. He and his brother Richard co-wrote and directed the micro budget acclaimed feature film The Veil, the nominated short film Chainmail, and the 2008 Action On Film Festival award-winning short The Day I Tried to Live. In 2009, a feature script The Waiting Room, was nominated for Best Horror Screenplay at the same festival. 2010 seems the most prolific yet with a short horror film of his own; apt. to be screened back to back with (now most recently released from distribution) the release of Richard Chance’s The Veil US CUT – (as it was intended to be seen) and will finish up the year with another short film The Timeslip by the Chance Brothers.

Apt. is set to premiere at The Action on Film International Film Festival in late July. You can check out the synopsis and teaser for this intriguing film below, and if you would like more info on Chance Encounters productions, you can visit their website at .

In a recession, the demand for affordable housing is greater than the supply.
But in the age of the Internet, opportunities are available at the click of a mouse.

Melissa won an online competition for a brand new apartment in The Palms, a quiet, friendly Riverside complex.
She couldn’t believe her luck on the day she moved in.
One day later, she wouldn’t believe her eyes.

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