Author Archive

Music with That Human Element: How I learned of Swallow The Sun

Show date: February 15, 2009
Venue: Highline Ballroom, NY
Bands: Soilwork, Darkane, Warbringer, Swallow The Sun

Björn "Speed" Strid on vocals

I always think of bands as combinations of musical talent that create music which I love, but I never really try to get to know them or see them as regular people. This outlook can’t change overnight, but the process began when I saw Swallow the Sun, Warbringer, Darkane, and Soilwork.

d42 and I were a little late (my fault for thinking a cross town bus is in any way an effective mode of transportation) and therefore missed the beginning of the Swallow the Sun set. It only took a few songs for this Finnish melodic death metal band to become one of my favorites, however. And a few songs is all they played, because I believe I heard what must have been a part of “Losing the Sunsets / Plague of Butterflies / Evael”. This one song is technically over a half hour long. The Plague of Butterflies EP is their latest effort. Continue reading

NYC Comic-Con ’09

all photography is by ETL and is in no way related to the content of this article. Like this Storm Trooper, conquering stairs.

All photography is by ETL and is in no way related to the content of this article. Like this Storm Trooper, conquering stairs.

This year was the fourth year for the NYC Comic-Con, and the third that I’ve been to. It always amazed me it took so long for New York City, one of the largest cities in the world, to get a convention of this size, while the one in San Diego has been going on for almost thirty years. I have no idea why we’ve been overlooked for so long and I hope people are seeing the audience they have here, and we can get more attention on this coast when it comes to events like this.

Joker from Batman the Dark Knight (one of several seen that day) with his gf, Harley Quinn, who didnt get to be in the movie but aint mad atcha

Joker from Batman the Dark Knight (one of several seen that day) with his gf, Harley Quinn, who didn't get to be in the movie but ain't mad atcha.

Anyway, this year had a number of interesting panels and an active show floor, which managed to keep me busy for two days and make my feet still hurt a week later. My only regret is due to my need to still have a regularly paying job; I could not go on Friday, where there were panels I wanted to attend that were actually about comics. Saturday and Sunday seemed to be all about movies and TV shows (not that I’m complaining…ok, well maybe a little). However, these panels did not disappoint. Continue reading

Amanda Palmer Defines Intensity

Show date: January 1, 2009
Bowery Ballroom
Amanda Palmer and the Danger Ensemble, Emelyn Brodsky

Amanda Palmer as the base of this human pyramid

Amanda Palmer as the base of this human pyramid

In the first few hours of 2009 we were stuck waiting for the 6 train. By the time we made it to Bowery Ballroom it was almost 3am. What the hell were we doing there? Testing our concert-going endurance.  That, and seeing if Punk Cabaret could be awesome.

Amanda Palmer was playing a show that was supposed to start at about 2 in the morning, which was an unusual slot. It was apparently a bit of a surprise to Palmer as well, who, instead of eating pizza alone at midnight, threw a party in the Bronx where she interacted with a group of 60 or so closest strangers. We didn’t go. We had to celebrate Communist Gift Exchange first. Later (earlier?), when I was lounging around in the downstairs area, hanging out with a man bearing an uncanny resemblance to Father Time, I found out that she did her best to make eye-contact with all these people, at least once, but this only left them feeling needier. Continue reading

The Polar Bears of Coney Island: An Honorable Mention (‘Cuz we screwed up and missed the show)

It was perfectly freezing out and we were watching people, soaked, in bathing suits, their skin glowing red with capillaries near-to-bursting, walking along the boardwalk at Coney Island. The wind blew around our earmuffs, but there was merriment going on with these folks. Probably shock-to-the-system endorphin explosion. Continue reading

Double Feature: The Curious Case of Benjamin Button and Doubt

There is a movie theater on the outskirts of New York where they overcharge for tickets, but don’t particularly care if you spend the day post-entry. There d42 and I went and had us a movie night, broke teenager style.

The first movie, and to me, the more powerful, was The Curious Case. The plot is about a strange situation, where, possibly due to the intensity of one clock-maker’s grief, a man’s life ran a temporal opposite of the rest of the world. The story takes place in the roaring 20’s, and is based on a story by F. Scott Fitzgerald. It certainly has that Great Gatsby feel to it. Despite the director being David Fincher, it also has many similarities to Forrest Gump within the character interactions, dynamics, and plot line. Continue reading

Gojira Hits Hard and In Flames Mellows

Show date: December 7, 2008
Venue: Terminal 5
Bands: In Flames, Gojira and 36 Crazy Fists

The time has come for me to let go of the rigid journalistic form which means that articles take hours to complete because of picture uploading, researching, linking, etc. Yeah, I’m taking the easy way out to bring to light awesome shows I would otherwise just not have time to write about.


Perfect example: In Flames, Gojira and 36 Crazy Fists at New York’s Terminal 5 this past Sunday. Amazing show, even though I’m not crazy about 36 Crazy Fists (yeah, I punned it, I’m sure I’m not the only one who did). Continue reading

Wacken Open Air 2008

Festival Dates: July 31-August 2, 2008
Venue: Wacken Open Air, Village of Wacken, Germany
Bands Mentioned, in Order of Appearance:  Girlschool, Mustash, Avenged Sevenfold, Nashville Pussy, Leaves Eyes, Iron Maiden, Synic, Unearth, Job for a Cowboy, Soilwork, Opeth, Gorgoroth, Avantasia, Hatebreed, At the Gates, Lordi

Browser Warning.. a million pictures follow

Wacken Open Air 2008


How I made a lot of friends, got a black eye, and lost my passport.

Wacken Open Air is recognized in many nations as the best heavy metal festival in the world. There are some contenders, like maybe Metal Camp in Slovenia, but seriously, there is nothing else out there like W:O:A. The amazing line-up that each year tops the preceding one is only half the story. What W:O:A is truly about is the seventy thousand people who make their way from across the world to this small village in Northern Germany to unite over their love of metal. W:O:A is about the metalheads, headbangers, rockers, punks, fetishists, and of course Vikings. The story of Wacken is the story of these people.

Naked, just because

Naked, just because

We offer you a miniscule portion of all the many stories and tales that weave their way around the magical time of July 31-August 2, 2008. We give you the account of two girls from New York City who decided that it was a good idea to go for an international camping trip with thousands of drunk and high strangers who are there to worship music by hammering each other with fists, wallowing in mud and vomit, running around naked, and refusing to shower. This is our story. Continue reading