Author Archive

Do Not Fill Up At The Generic Music Buffet: Vains of Jenna Break it Down


November 2, 2007. Jacki Stone (drummer) met me by the back door of Roseland Ballroom and Nicki Kin (lead guitar) escorted me to the Vains of Jenna dressing room where Lizzy DeVine (vocals, guitar) and JP White (bass) huddled in their respective sweatshirt and leopard print coat, cursing the chill weather.

Vains of Jenna was formed when in a town of Falkenberg, Sweden two rival bands fell apart, bringing their most dedicated members together. The year was 2005. The band was eventually called Vains of Jenna. Dictionaries began arriving in response to the spelling choice, but they were discarded with sly remarks. VoJ, whose influences are Mötley Crüe, Guns N’ Roses, the Rolling Stones, and Aerosmith truly began their career when they played Crufest in Hollywood, in 2005. There, Stevie Rachelle, owner of Metal Sludge and former singer of Tuff, noticed them and quickly became their manager. A week later they were recording in a studio with Gilby Clarke (former guitarist of Guns N Roses). In 2006 they met Bam Margera who signed them to his label, Filthy Note, and they’ve been touring the U.S. ever since supporting their album Lit Up/Let Down.

Back at Roseland, JP and Lizzy are both rubbing their eyes and yawning. Although obviously tired, they are affable guys and after shaking my hand and introducing themselves settle down into their chairs. Torn between the desire to smoke and the intense dislike of the cold weather conditions outside, they eventually lay the cigarette dilemma aside and we launched into our interview.

(JP White and Lizzy DeVine making faces for your amusement) Continue reading

Sixteenth Century Now! An Interview.

For a review of the Pennsylvania Renaissance Faire, with lots of photos, click here.

Sir Lukas and Lord Connor do battle

The Pennsylvania Renaissance Faire (thereafter to be referred to as the PRF) doesn’t just happen because a few hundred people shelled out the cash for costumes. No, it takes a large number of thespians dedicated to being anachronisms. Two such people are John Lukas (Joust Director and Horsemaster as well as “Sir Lukas, the bull of England”) and Kevin Stillwell (Equine Stunt Trainer as well as “Lord Connor, Prince of Stockwell”). You can check out their brief bios here. An interview with these fine men will follow after this short digression on how one can become part of the revelry that is the PRF.

There are three levels of performers at the PRF: The Bacchanalians are professional actors; The Black Friars are volunteers, although no less professional or devoted (some have been performing there for a dozen years); and then there are the independent performers hired for only a season.

Auditions for Bacchanalians take place in January, February and March and the selected actors arrive at the grounds in July and for the next six weeks live on the grounds and rehearse six days a week, eight hours a day. By the time the Faire opens in August, they are ready. Continue reading


grizelda dead
Taking a break. Just like Grizelda.

Meandering Entertainer is staffed primarily by students, who are currently overcome with midterms and such. Look for new articles starting around the 5th of November. These will include:

1. Interview with John Lukas and Kevin Stillwell of the PA Renaissance Faire who will reveal what it is like to live your life as a 16th century knight in this day and age.

2. Interview with Vains of Jenna, the Rock ‘n’ Roll pirates from Falkenberg, Sweden throwing the 80’s hair style in your face. This will more than likely be followed up by a review of their show at the Roseland Ballroom on November 2nd, where they will be performing with the legendary Cradle of Filth (yesssss, make my ears bleeeeed).

3. Review of Proust and the Squid by Maryanne Wolf. A novel primarily about dyslexia and the functioning of the reading (or non-reading) brain. Not the page turner I expected so far.

4. Review of Service Included by Phoebe Damrosch which promises to be hilarious and about cookery, but we shall see.

5. A probable rant on how our Halloween went, generally, and all the fun things we didn’t get to do because of school and/or work.

The Fare at the PA Ren Faire

Welcome to over thirty-six acres of 16th Century England! Completely reenacted, of course, and better landscaped the Pennsylvania Renaissance Faire is not only one of the greatest attractions of Lancaster County (although its fame carried far enough for us to make the trip from NYC) it also boasts one of the largest joust arenas in the U.S., their own vinyard, and Theater as well as theater company. In fact, although you will probably find many other Faires that enjoy that olde “e” you won’t find another joust like this one, nor would you find such a variety of acts staffed by incredibly well trained actors, volunteers and traveling performers.

The grounds are abundant with armories, blacksmiths and clothing stores sporting the latest in medieval fashions and defense. If you feel hungry, never fear, as you can easily fatten up in one of many food stands, sporting such morsels as soup in a bread bowl, amongst other things (never fear, oh vegetarian, you will not be stuck with French fries while all your friends devour substantive meals).

One of the above mentioned blacksmiths in the process of making something sharp. Photo by Beelzy.

At every Faire he adds another piece to his armour. And he doesn’t miss too many Faires. Photo by ETL.

All sorts come to these Faires. Folks who like to dress up in costumes with various levels of attention to detail as well as those who would gawk at them. Beelzy says “Of course, if you’re a dork like me, you’ll prefer to go in costume. Having been accompanied by a buccaneer and a lovely wench, I felt a little out of place in my blue jeans, black t-shirt with witty quote, and trademark green canvas backpack, but only momentarily, as the large assortment of scantily clad pirate babes, buxom rogues, and vixens were enough to keep me distracted from my apparel.”
Continue reading

Doris Thunder Tears on Her Experience Touring the U.S.

Doris with guitar
(photo by Dazvsemir)

After finishing their set, the members of the Taiwanese melodic black metal band Chthonic changed into civilian garb and dispersed through the crowd to enjoy the show during their September 12th appearance with Obituary at B.B. King’s. Doris Thunder Tears, guitarist and backing vocalist, was rocking out to Alabama Thunderpussy when we caught up with her.

Chthonic had played a show at B.B. King’s just recently, August 21st, and on that night they occupied a good slot. Today they were squeezed in as openers for three other bands. Doris complained that they didn’t even get a chance to play their favorite song, “Quasi Putrefaction” from the album Seediq Bale, their fourth, but the first to be released outside of Asia. Continue reading

The Xecutioner Has Come

John Tardy of Obituary. The least Cousin-It-like we could catch him.(photo by ETL)

Wednesday, September 12th, d42 and I sauntered into B.B. King’s at 8pm, yet unaware that we just missed Hemlock and Chthonic who apparently opened for Full Blown Chaos, Alabama Thunderpussy and Obituary.

We drank an overpriced beer each and hung around by the bar while Full Blown Chaos, a thrash metal band from Queens, roared on stage unspectacularly. They weren’t terrible, and I should give them their due—for hefty guys they sure were energetic. There was an issue with their drums in the midst of it all and Ray Mazzola (vocals) covered up by demanding to hear everyone’s death metal growl, which was fun. Their new album, Heavy Lies the Crown , is in stores now. Continue reading

Losing My Wacken Virginity (part 2 of 2)

Lots of pictures and lots of words. Part 1 is equally dangerous, so consider your browser warned. And now back to your regularly scheduled Wacken.

03.08.07 Friday At 6am I was awakened by loud death metal someone was blasting nearby. I pissed and went back to sleeping bag until 9am. Thankfully found pain pills. Unfortunately, there were only two left.

On this third morning at Wacken people seemed less interested in each other. There is really no sleeping late, although naps through the day are very doable. We were all up at about 9:30am, but we were all sullen, and I personally shook a bit with hangover. The .7 liter bottle of whiskey was grievously short of being even a 10th full.

I officially evicted Brett later in the day after he confessed to having have pissed in the tent. He used a cup, and promised that he didn’t miss at all while doing this in total darkness next to my sleeping form, but I still felt that he would be better off with his British friends. Continue reading