The Telectroscope: It’s done with mirrors

Or at least that’s the story Paul St George, a London-based artist, tells when asked about his latest art installation in both New York and London, the Telectroscope (which is sure to attract Steam Punk enthusiasts). According to him, the device is stationed at each end of a transatlantic tunnel connecting the two cities and through ingenious mirror manipulation, allows folks to view each other across continents. From the looks of the obviously planted gravel and broken boards that is surely true. Continue reading

Ragnarok comes to New York City


The sounds of Norse Gods echoed throughout B.B. Kings Blues club and Grill as Paganfest 2008 invaded 42nd street. Paganfest is a tour made up of some of the finest Folk Metal bands to grace this earth. Tonight’s lineup featured Tyr, Eluveitie, Turisas, and Ensiferum, but due to poor planning on my part and personal duties the next morning I was only able to experience the first three acts this evening. Nevertheless, the night was still in my favor for the fact that Tyr, Eluveitie and Turisas were all bands I had heard very little (if anything) from before.

Tyr was the first band of the night and the most conventional of the three. They brought some serious metal to the floor and, despite the ‘No Moshing’ signs posted, brought the crowd up to a nice slow boil. With a heavy and occasionally slow sound and clean lyrics they stepped away from the sometimes-grandiose sound that folk metal bands tend to have. Tyr doesn’t employ the more unique instruments (i.e. bagpipes, flutes, and the like) found in many folk metal bands, but this doesn’t stop them from bringing to life the Scandinavian lore contained in their lyrics. Continue reading

Friday Night Tattoos

As an avid reader (gazer?) of ModBlog, I was pretty psyched to see my first suspension cage. I was promised an actual suspension in another hour or so, but there were no takers, and hence, a disappointing lack of pictures here (though at ModBlog you can get your fill of suspensions in much more scenic locations).

This year we were only able to spend a few Friday night hours at the 11th Annual Tattoo Convention at the Roseland Ballroom, NYC. The convention took place from May 16th to 17th, Friday-Sunday, Friday being by far the tamer night. The hall was not particularly crowded and the Best Tattoo of the Day competition had only six competitors. A whole series of competitions was held over the weekend, with the more interesting (such as the Best Overall Tattooed Person contest) held on Sunday.

Continue reading

Superhero Fashion at the Met.


Fashionistas, meet the big-screen Superheroes. Not a combination most would find to be most natural, but where there is leather and latex, there must be those who would adore it. “Superheroes: Fashion and Fantasy” is an exhibition hosted by the Metropolitan Museum of art until September 1st and as ridiculous as some of the outfits truly were, it is absolutely worth the suggested admission price.

The exhibition is divided into eight types of bodies, about which you can read at length here. The bodies are: graphic, patriotic, virile, paradoxical, armored, aerodynamic, mutant and postmodern. And they are all jealously guarded from photographers, perhaps due to all those involved besides Marvel and DC: Dolce & Gabbana, Armani, Gareth Pugh and many others whom I list here on equal terms because my knowledge of fashion does not extend very far at all. I can, however, separate the ridiculous from the ridiculously gorgeous and unfortunately, quite a few of the things I saw there were pretty horrible. I get the concept and the intricate design and whatnot, but really, an orange inflatable jacket does not make me think of the Hulk at all. What I did enjoy was the Hulk as an apparent embodiment of fetishism where the outfits involved rubber hoses extending from the crotch, gas masks, and loads of leather. Even Catwoman had nothing on that. Continue reading

Video Game Review: Mega Man I and III for DOS

Back in the late eighties and early nineties, the NES was taking off as the home console system everyone wanted, and seemed to come out with great games almost every month. While this was going on, PC gaming was slowly developing in the background. With many memorable titles over the years and their larger capabilities for graphics and memory, they were gaining success.

However, PC games never reached the level of popularity of the NES and some companies saw this as an opportunity to make money. They ported their NES games to this smaller market with seemingly less games going for it, especially in terms of action games. Some of these companies decided to go the extra mile and make new games with the same idea, but completely revamped levels and enemies.

Capcom did this with their blue cash cow, Mega Man, back before he became as popular as he is today. You might think that this sounds like a good idea: Mega Man games were good and there were no spin offs vaguely connected to the series coming out every month. But they managed to do it wrong. Everything good about the game was thrown out, stepped on, set on fire, and what was leftover was violently raped by an 800-pound man. What they did put in the game in its place makes you think that a blind child with cerebral palsy made it. Continue reading

‘Martyrd’ at the feet of ‘Testament’

Testament greets their legions

After many months fate brought me, once again, to B.B. King’s for another evening of excitement and metal. It seems like it’s been forever since I was last at a metal show, but the night of April 6, 2008 was not to be missed for any reason. The legendary thrash metal band Testament has returned to New York City and has brought with them all the power and…oh, wait…let’s start from the beginning.

The first band of the night was a local band from Queens with a penchant for old school thrash. Martyrd blends an old school thrash sound with new school vocals and with classic extended guitar solos. Lead by the impressive guitar work of Queens native, Mike Stylianou, Martyrd has been on the scene since 2003 normally playing small venues such as The Crazy Donkey in Farmingdale or The Lion’s Den in Manhattan. This was their biggest show to date, drawing an impressive audience, even by opening band standards. The overall crowd response was positive as Martyrd supplied the thrash appetizer to what would be Testament’s entrée. “The general consensus from our guys was that it was one of our best shows…”, says Stylianou, “we were all really amped to play with Testament…We worked really hard selling our tickets, and [we] practiced a lot…In the end it paid off.” Martyrd will be playing again at B.B. King’s on June 11th with God Forbid and Death Angel on the last stop of the IN THRASH WE TRUST TOUR, and also the TMT Metal Fest in upstate New York, so head out and catch this budding group of Metallers. Continue reading

My Favorite Things to Read Online

Google Reader was supposed to make me read more news and become more aware of the outside world since I don’t watch TV or read hardcopy anything but books. That didn’t really work out because the only time I turn to the internet is when I want a diversion. So the following are the bits of the interwebz that bring weekly happiness to my life, more or less in order of awesomeness:

Sinfest – webcomic that’s both immature, hilarious, and heartrendingly philosophical. Updated daily.

Coilhouse – A blog/magazine focused on the weird and beautiful. Updated at least daily.

lifehacker – useful hacks for your computer as well as your life. Great DIY instructions that anyone can follow. Updated every few hours.

FreakAngels – a new webcomic by Warren Ellis and Paul Duffield. It’s set in a steampunk post apocalyptic world and I honestly don’t know if I love the story just yet, but the artwork is amazing. Updated every Friday.

XKCD – “A webcomic of romance, sarcasm, math, and language.” The guy writing it is a little bit of a genius so I don’t always get where he’s going with it. But it’s often awesome. Don’t forget to mouse over the comic for a little aside. Updated Monday, Wednesday, and Friday.

Modblog – Not worksafe ever. Offshoot of BMEzine. Focus is on body modifications (piercings, tattoos, scarification, cutting, etc) of often extreme nature. Every now and then there are really great interviews posted. Overall it’s a black hole of disturbing/hilarious/inspiring imagery I generally can’t pull myself away from. Updated at least daily.