Tuesday, August 30, 2011

New {york} City

from this to...


These photos were taken the day after HURRICANE 2011, which brought minor damages to New York City. The following statements do not speak on behalf of the damages reported in the Carolinas, Virginia, and other regions. My condolences goes out to those who suffered major loss. I seem to have made the right decision by staying in Bushwick, Brooklyn with one of my best friends (shown walking and standing in these photos)when it all happened. The only damages the city experienced were power outages in Lower Manhattan/Brooklyn, some flooding, suspension in the public transportation system, and a chain reaction of farts fueled by its residents plentiful stock of dried fruit, nuts, and canned beans.

I moved to New York City last Saturday on the 20th and for a second thought I brought along the agitated tremors of Mother Nature. I'm currently in the transitional part of my life so blog updates have been seldom. Once I rest my bearings and have everything figured out, I promise to deliver. It's been fantastic so far, except for the unintentional whiffs of warm trash. And hey, I can finally experience fashion week/Fashion Night Out!

Monday, August 8, 2011

Zephyr Two-Toned Denim Zipper Tote Bag. More details here. Will be at the Etsy store shortly. If interested, e-mail me.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011


So for this sold-out, Crystal Castles show at Newport, I decided that for the first time, I wanted to watch the show from the balcony. One, because I learned my lesson about the misery of trying to dance in a tin-of-sardines-kind of a crowd when I saw M.I.A. at NYC's Hard Fest last year (and had a heavy storm come through and made it more miserable... go find the videos); and two, because I busted out the Rick Owens racer tank dress I gifted myself for my birthday and, although flexible and comfortable for a night of dancing, I don't think I trust its integrity rubbed against some sweating bodies. But cool story, let's move on with the actual show.

My two male buds and I arrived around 7:40 p.m. to 3/4 of the venue already crammed - the opening act didn't take the stage until 8:30! During that idleness, I pointed out to my friends a particular person in the crowd who may have, in the words of my friend Kent, "reached his peak a little too early." His enthusiastic jazz hands, hair whips, and air thrusts had us in hysteric. There was a good 30 minutes ahead of him before the show finally started. Poor dude couldn't hold it in any longer. The Columbus-based opener was not my cup of tea, but everyone else seemed to be gulping them up. To put it succinctly, whoever manned their lights should be paid generously, there was some rock 'n' roll (which I had little appetite for that night), and the keyboardist/vocalist would definitely do well in a mid-'00 Blood Brothers sounding band (which is not bad, really).

Crystal Castles finally went on around 10 p.m., though prior, members of the crowd and I speculated a possible second opener due to the presence of a drum set. (Did they always have a touring drummer?) Nope, that was for them, and of course the fogged up theater should have made it all more obvious. Amidst the flashing strobes in their hell of an impressive lights arrangement, they opened up with "Fainting Spells" and bulldozed through the first half of their set with all the hits. You couldn't see Ethan and Alice until "Baptism" kicked in, which is when their hunchback silhouettes had everyone go bananas and I'm practically losing my shit over the song's hypnotic trail. I've somehow managed to record the next song, "Courtship Dating," in its entirety (video below). If there was any problem I had about this show, it's that there were minor occasions, like the "Courtship Dating" performance, in which the vocals were hard to discern.

Sorry for the shaking camera. Can you blame a lady for dancing?

Alice will hand over anyone's ass in being the most energetic frontwoman for a live performance. Almost every time I come back from the dark, there goes Alice's feather-like body walking, sprawling, and fucking crawling through the sea of heads and hands gravitating to her beckoning like magnets. Those were the only instances of contact with the crowd, because otherwise they were completely removed. They did not check in on how the crowd was doing, verbally making it known that it's Crystal Castles on stage, or even said thanks. But really, is there any need or demand to break the mood with some small chat? Hell no. As the lights erupted and escalated like a fireworks show and hits like "Empathy," Celestica," and "Crimewave" (fuck yeah) had everyone feeling themselves up, and "Not in Love" had everyone nearly toppling over the balcony rail just to sing along, the group made sure that everyone was there to dance in their own ecstasy. If you didn't and you just stood there to "watch" them, then you're probably went bat blind staring at the violently pulsating strobe lights.

They came back onstage for the encore with not a word out of their mouth (no surprise there), and Alice comes out smoking a cigarette like a boss and swaying her shoulders and hips as "Intimate" slowly leaked out of the speakers. Two more songs came after that before they called it a night, but at that time my friends and I dashed to the door to avoid the crowd rush. And failed. It was in the rush that I noticed that the Crystal Castle male fanbase was total babe-topia, and it certainly wasn't saving me that these Josh Hartnetts and Simon Nessmans came through with shirts unbuttoned and hair side-swept behind their ears. (In Ohio?! How come I rarely see these men around?!) I met up with a friend who told me that being in the pit was, given the circumstances, surprisingly bearable. Now combining these two instances, I'm starting to wonder whether having all the free reign to dance on the balcony with this great view really was the better alternative.

Night accompanied by these lovely shits. I swear they were thrilled the entire night.

Monday, August 1, 2011


This is my first time at Double Happiness, a bar-slash-venue located in downtown Columbus on Front and Fulton. It's actually rather swanky, and the theme of the decor and general vibe is Orient - hell, not only were there paper lamps, reed plants and amber tinted dome lamps, fucking House of Flying Daggers was playing on the big screens at the bar area. (Should have taken a photo of that, the dimly lit bar area is gorgeous.) Originally, the set up of KVLT V was going to have two different acts play either on the patio or the indoor stage throughout the first half of the fest - but as I arrived to get my wristband, Scott told me that residents were complaining that the sound was too loud. Whoever was complaining should have thought twice before signing a lease next to a bar/venue.

As a result, the time slots got pushed back by an hour and the headlining trio took the night around 10 p.m. Three of my lads and I didn't feel as terrible about the Dirty Franks hot dog rush hour that held us back (though it was tasty), but unfortunately we still arrived late and caught the last ten minutes of Columbus's Dirty Current's set: a a great mix of dark, crunchy bass bumpers that I feel in love with back when I saw them open for Deathface at Skully's. Despite the night being rather young for the dancefloor crawlers, the venue was half filled up - a positive sign for the fest as it's a crowd that makes the night.

I†† performed under minimal glowing light made convenient by the pre-placed lamps. This was my first time seeing the married duo live - let alone hearing the material. It was a drastic step from the brazening DJs before them, and it took that crowd a while to adjust from the environment change. This was the first time that I've witnessed the theremin being put to use for a live performance. It was both entrancing and fascinating to see the oscillating eerie hums added to washing sounds of minimal noise best described as the tortured, self-flagellating voices in your head.

It's no secret that the main anticipation of my night was seeing Chicago-to-Brooklyn transplant Gatekeeper play in my home state. I saw them headline Pendu night back in spring break with Streetwalker (1/2 of White Car) and Innergaze, so I was curious to see what their set would be like under the variables of touring and a crowd that blends a lot of the regulars of the Columbus eletronic dance music scene - a little more bright colors in the crowd of transparent black and denim. Albeit these circumstances, out came the rapidly pulsating strobe lights, abusing fog machine, and headlights well needed - perplexing otherwise - for this dark duo. Somewhere within the first half, their set got cut off during what I think was "Storm Column" for reasons I was unable to discern after investigating within the crowds. When everything went back into gear, the crowd erupted back to its raving state and I was in my self-sexual trance until blue tanktop guy plowed to the front to hard grind against this girl with so much force, he grinded against me and my goat-masked friend - up to a point to which I was not having it. Gatekeeper played a lot of what I assume was new material for upcoming releases and ended their set with "Chains" (yess) and "Giza" (yessx2).

I was with two friends who saw this tour in their current residence of Louisville, Kentucky. One of them told me about his funny predicament with Travis Egedy (stage alias, Pictureplane) and how he was mean mugging him due to the two showing up at the venue wearing the same parental advisory hat. This is why you Google search these performances prior to attending a show, preventing wearing what may be the stage/tour costume of a performer, and preventing being on the shit list for the night haha. But I digress. Real was indeed the feeling of the night, and Travis did a great job balancing his engagement (though from a distance - if that makes any sense) with the audience and even submerging himself into a moping euphoria through his own music. The glitch-hopping synths and drones are accompanied by Egedy's serenading breaths of soulful melodies that makes Pictureplane, and this entire set so dreamy. I wasn't too familiar with him prior to this night except for "Body Mod" and the "Real is the Feeling" music video, as well as an explosive amount of coverage he seems to be getting from music and art culture publications. That night I feel in love with the soundtrack to my future dreams. Get the "Thee Physical" full-length when you have a chance, I purchased this at the show on a cassette. Oh yeah, there were gimp dancers who, aside from the death glares they casted at the crowd, were completely removed and unresponsive to their environment except within the confinements of their duty to dance. I don't know why I thought this was slightly terrifying. I stuck around for 3/4 of the set because it got to the point where the poorly vented venue resulted in waterfalls of sweat, and I had to get out to regain sanity.

I unfortunately had to miss Teengirl Fantasy because it was hitting 2 a.m. and we had not only a long drive home ahead of us, but a mad craving for Taco Bell. (A very rare food mood for this health freak.) The Gatekeeper boys were doing lighting for this group, so I'd like to get the 411 on how all this went down. The drive home almost became a drive to our grave beds because when we got close to Nelsonville on 32, there was fog as thick as milk for miles.