By Mandy McGee (via Huffington Post and Green Eyed Gator)
Dolls of Eerie Golgothia opened on December 7th at The Green Eyed Gator in New Orleans and will be open throughout the holiday season. If you are in that area I recommend checking it out. There are some amazing works presented by the gallery owner and artist Shannon Kelley and artist Kook Teflon, and the dolls were created by amazingly talented artists across the United States and Canada. If you can’t get to the gallery then give them a call if any of the dolls strike your fancy.
Here are samples of the show.
Peaches by Ida Harris
Snow Queen by Christine Benjamin
Ghost Princess by Sheri DeBow
By Mandy McGee
Austin, Tx shoegaze band Ringo Deathstarr is releasing a new album called “God’s Dream” is coming out in Japan on December 18th, 2013 and then soon after to the USA and Europe. They have put up the song “Flower Power” from that album to tied you over. Take a listen.
Do you remember Nerd Punk Rockers Nerf Herder? They had a song on Buffy the Vampire Slayer, the theme song! Well they are back. They have a song for free download on Pledge Music and are keeping us in anticipation of amazing things to come. Go download the song and rock out to their 90’s classic video below of their hit “Mr. Spock”.
Light hearted folk country by story teller Laura Shepherd from Virginia has a new video out for the song “Stone Soup”. Take a look at look
By Mandy McGee (via Moon Sounds Records)
I work PR for the label Moon Sounds Records and we have an announcement.
The pre-order for Ceremony’s – ‘Distance ‘is now up!!!
Set to come out December 17th and start shipping December 26th!
Pre-ordering will give you an immediate download of the albums two singles ‘I Want To Kiss ‘and ‘Send Me Your Dreams ‘(Previously only available on the delicious Famous Class Records as part of their LAMC series that Ceremony was a part of as a split 7” with A Place To Bury Strangers)
The other tracks from the album will be on CD when it comes out and will be available for streaming from our BandCamp page then.
All international orders will come with extras from Moon Sounds to offset the shipping costs.
Album mastered by Oliver Ackermann (A Place To Bury Strangers /Skywave)
We are so excited to finally bring you this album. It’s been a long time waiting.
By Mandy McGee
I found this little gem a few days ago. Just watch.
For a period of time, while we believe it to be perfectly still,
lifeless flesh responds, stirs and contorts in a final macabre ballet.
Are these spasms merely erratic motions
or do they echo the chaotic twists and turns of a past life?
The co-director of the upcoming TRIPTYQUE, Pedro Pires ushers in his cinematic collaboration with the legendary Robert Lepage with the short film DANSE MACABRE. Thus began a formidable adventure throughout over a hundred festivals and more than 40 prizes, including Best Canadian Short at TIFF, the Grand Prix National at Regard sur le court métrage au Saguenay as well as the doublé : both the Jutra and Genie for Best Short Film, in the same year.
Scenario and Director: Pedro Pires
Concept: Robert Lepage
Original Idea, Choreography and Interpretation: AnneBruce Falconer
Artistic Direction: Catherine Chagnon
Images and Editing: Pedro Pires
By Mandy McGee
I haven’t shared new music in a while because I have been incredibly busy and then I took a much need vacation. I am back in the game and excited to share things with you!
(Photo by Mandy McGee)
Plumerai is a dark dream pop band from Boston, MA who has just released a video for the song “13” off their album Mondegreen. Vocalist Eliza Brown dominates with her sweet jazzy voice in this track leaving you wanting more. The whole album is definitely worth a listen which you can get at their bandcamp.
Plumerai’s Next show is December 20th at Parkside Lounge in New York City.
(Photo by Mandy McGee)
Teen Men is a brand new band out of Delaware comprised of Joe Hobson and Nick Krill from Spinto Band and visual artists Catharine Maloney, a photographer, and Albert Birney, a filmmaker (who has made videos for Spinto Band, Generationals and Ra Ra Riot). They have a great vibrant sound blending electronic samples and ambient accents. Seeing the band live is where it gets more interesting because they use a synchronized video projection that is interactive. If you get the chance to see this band live please do so. It will blow your mind. In the mean time keep up to date with Teen Men as they are working on their first album. Here is the video for “Hiding Records (So Dangerous)” featuring Sylvio.
You can see Teen Men on these next few dates:
December 7th at the Shop in Pittsburgh, PA
December 14th at Johnny Brenda’s in Philadelphia, PA
January 17th at Current Gallery in Baltimore, MD
(Photo by Matt Gaye)
Philadelphia’s psych rock band Needle Points have released their new album, Bom Tugangu, on bandcamp which you can get as a digital download or vinyl. Here is a video they released a month ago for the song "I Drink Rainfalls" off the new album.
You can catch them next at Johnny Brenda’s in Philadelphia on December 12th.
On November 27th they are playing with the amazing Girl in a Coma at Backstage Live in San Antonio, TX.
By Mandy McGee
I found John Kenn’s Monster Drawings through Juxtapoz Magazine and then went over to his website to see more. John is a writer and director for children’s television and in his spare time draws monsters on post-it notes. His work is amazingly whimsical yet dark.
Check these out and then go to his site and view more.
By Mandy McGee
Ltd Art Gallery in Seattle, WA on Capitol Hill is running a new collection, "Picture’s Worth A Thousand Words". It opened last Friday November 8th and is running til December 7th, 2013. If you are in the area go and check it out. There are some very amazing works displayed.
(“RAZORGIRL” BY AARON JASINSKI)
"A Picture’s Worth A Thousand Words is a new art show that allows the artist to move away from the cues of visual mediums and instead draw inspiration from the many wonderful characters and worlds from literature. From Edgar Allan Poe to Michael Crichton, over 40 artists will imagine their own literary favorites in a new light.
Featuring the art of: Marjon Accoin, Kari-Lise Alexander, Dane Ault, Dilka Bear, Crystal Barbre, Cory Benhatzel, Jonathan Bergeron, Barry Blankenship, Syd Brown, Craig Church, Daisy Church, Mona Collentine, Nick Comporone, Doaly, Derek Eads, Leslie Gauthier, Levi Hastings, Blain Hefner, Kiku Hughes, Claire Hummel, Aaron Jasinski, Suzanne Kaufman, Christina Lank, Nan Lawson, June Leeloo, Eliot Mechanism, Timo Meyer, Mikeatron, Brian Miller, Moon, Ryan Myers, Damon O’Keefe, Christopher J Olsen, Augie Pagan, Paolo Petrangeli, Chet Phillips, Reid Psaltis, JSalvador, Dennis Salvatier, Mark Sarmel, Amanda Scurti, Paul Shipper, Siames, Tnglr, Todd Spence, Meghan Stratman, Derek Sullivan, Clay Sisk, Emi Tolibas, Rich Werner”
(“DEMENTOR” BY MOON)
(“CORALINE” BY PAOLO PETRANGELI)
By Mandy McGee
I have finally caught up with Vicki of Museum of Robots in between conventions to chat. Museum of Robots designs and manufactures retro-futuristic housewares, home and personal accessories. The center of their design philosophy is that they are fans first: they go to sci-fi conventions and fine art museums, vintage car shows and sci-fi movies, science exhibits and toy shows.
(Richard and Vicki; photo by Frank Pryor Photography)
Mandy: Who are the humans behind Museum of Robots?
Museum of Robots: We’re Vicki Küng and Richard Küng. Richard has been collecting robots for 25 years; Vicki is a lifelong science fiction fan who got her first robot at age 6. We are designers by training and profession, and the line is what happened when we decided to create things we’d like in our own home.
Mandy: Why did you start the site?
Museum of Robots: We started the company 5 years ago. We’re both designers and we wanted to move from design consulting to developing our own line of products. We began selling at large wholesale shows, and immediately had a great response from museum and design stores, so that really inspired us to keep going. We found that it was important to get the products in front of the actual consumer, so we started selling at conventions. It was exactly the right move.
And to clarify - there is not a real Museum of Robots. Someday, we hope. We’ve started with the gift store and we’ll bootstrap a museum you can visit from there.
Mandy: Do you design the items in your store or do you out source?
Museum of Robots: Our work is original design, and we work with manufacturers to produce the products. We use a range of manufacturing methods, from traditional to digital, from sand-cast to 3D printing. When possible, we manufacture in the USA; when we utilize foreign manufacturing, it is with producers of high-quality goods who understand our creative and company vision, working responsibly with materials and processes. We also license art from artists we like, and use that on some of the products we make.
Mandy: Why did you choose the style of steampunk/vintage?
Museum of Robots: We don’t really think of the line as steampunk, or even vintage. Retro-future seems to sum it up better - it gives us a range of design influences to work with, although we do sort of fall into a something-punk arena: atom punk, steampunk, diesel punk, cyber-punk. But our influences come from everywhere. We love toy robots and mid-century modern chairs, and urban vinyl, and Italian design. Add a love of technology, sci-fi books and movies, vintage cars, modern design, Googie architecture and Disneyland, and the resulting mash up is Museum of Robots.
Mandy: What is your most popular item?
Museum of Robots: The Rocket Salt & Pepper continues to be our strongest seller, although the rocket and raygun jewelry are catching up. We find the most popular items are rockets, rayguns, and robots. We’re apparently good at things that start with R.
Mandy: How well do you do selling at conventions vs the web site?
Museum of Robots: Conventions and the web site are two different selling venues, although some customers do both. At the conventions, it gives us a chance to see how people respond to the products, and our designs and products are constantly improved by what we hear from people. Not everything goes online - there are new products and limited production items that are show-only. Online is more of the core line, and we are so fortunate in our customers - they are from across the US, and work at some of the most amazing and innovative technology and science companies.
Mandy: Do you enjoy conventions?
Museum of Robots: Love, love love conventions. We started out on the fan side of the aisle, and I truly can’t think of anything more fun than days spent at a con, marinating in convention culture. As exhibitors, we think it’s our job to be a part of convention fun, so we really focus on having a nice booth and product offering. It is hard to miss a good panel, and we are generally too tired to take in much of the evening activities, but these are small things compared to how much fun the conventions are.
Mandy: What is your favourite convention?
Museum of Robots: That’s like trying to pick a favorite robot! Our favorite shows are the ones with a good vibe - happy attendees, nice people, and management that understands why we are there. Not every convention gets it. The ones that do are the happiest places on earth.
(Me and Vicki at Emerald City Comic Con last March)
Mandy: Do you have any plans to expand the site to a physical store?
Museum of Robots: We’d love to experiment with a pop-up or two as way to dip our toe into a retail presence. No immediate plans for a physical store, but yes, we’d love to have one when the time is right.
Mandy: Are you going to get more merch on the site this year?
Museum of Robots: We’ve got new items that we introduced at San Diego Comic-Con this year, and we are busy getting those on the site. We really listen to comments from people at the cons we attend and use that information to tweak and improve the entire product line. The result is what goes on the web site.
Mandy: Do you take commissions?
Museum of Robots: We’ve done a number of custom projects and are always interested in collaborations. We created a special exhibit t-shirt for the Shelburne Museum’s Steampunk show last year, and a custom product for the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art.
Mandy: If you had a superpower what would it be?
Museum of Robots: There is a rumor that my superpower is weaponized sarcasm, but I think something involving flying would be more useful. Although with all the lifting and toting of things we do going to conventions, I think that the ability to pack up all our stuff and smallerize it so that it fits in a pocket would be the holy grail of superpowers for the convention circuit. I always wish we could just pop things back into a virtual inventory like we used to do when Museum of Robots was in Second Life. Then fly home without a plane.
Mandy: Do you have any hidden talents?
Museum of Robots: I make great orange marmalade, and it won a blue ribbon at the county fair one year. I think it was the single malt scotch in the mix that tipped the balance in my favor.
Mandy: Do you have any plans to do anything else creative besides museum of robots like a different kind of design or a different creative area all together?
Museum of Robots: We are both designers by training, so we use those skills - graphics, 3D, exhibit design, fashion design, digital design - on all aspects of Museum of Robots. We have individual projects and clients in addition to Museum of Robots, so we keep our skills and design brains current.
By Mandy McGee
Brian Langan is a musician from Philadelphia, PA. He is more than a musician, he is witty, a true artist and a sex bomb! I was able to catch is fun, witty side in this interview. I highly recommend checking out his numerous projects and see how artistic and sexy he is. Brian really is an amazing musician and has a fabulous voice. HA!
(Photo by Jason Riedmiller)
Mandy: For our readers pleasure who is Brian Langan in a nutshell?
Brian: It’s very tight and dark, it gets hot, real friggin hot!
Mandy: You are in a bunch of different music projects, can you describe them?
Brian: I play fuzzed out loud bass and do some singing about cosmic shit in Needle Points which an experiment in street level boogie.
I play ripper guitar and sing in Sweatheart which a dress up band that kinda sounds like 80’s party movie rock.
I play guitar and LEAD SING in Langor which i guess you’d call my solo project. 60’s fantasy pop/rock type stuff.
I also play dumb guitar and sing in Kock107 a classic rock band in the vein of Foreigner, Bryan Adams and Thin Lizzy. We’re a very sexy band!
By Morgue Anne
It’s that time of year again. The leaves are starting to change, bags of candy are getting pumpkins on them, and Starbucks has rolled out the ‘Pumpkin Spice’ line. Ignore the Santa’s creeping around the corner, roll up your sleeves, and let’s get in the Halloween spirit!
The tradition of pumpkin carving goes back to the ancient Irish folklore of Stingy Jack, who tricked the devil and carried a hollowed out turnip with a light inside as a lantern to guide himself to the afterlife. When the native Irish came to America, they found that the pumpkins that grew were not only larger, but also easier to carve. Slowly this became the Jack O’ Lantern we have today, and what a fun tradition!
You may remember that article I did last year about Getting your Carve On, and this year is no different! I still suggest Zombie Pumpkins for patterns, they have just over 300 available for download with a pretty reasonable membership price. Every year I tell myself “I’m going to get a binder, print out one of each pattern they have, and save it for all the years ever” and then I don’t and I just buy a year of membership because it’s totally worth it!
By Mandy McGee
Here is a quick rundown of a few bands I recommend you checking out.
(Photo by Dylan Gordon)
Giant Drag is calling it quits but not before a few new videos surface. Here is one that Annie Hardy did recently for he song “90210”.
Austin, TX based indie pop band Tele Novella has only a couple of songs up on their soundcloud now but just wait til November…more will be up along with a new vinyl to purchase. You can follow them on twitter or facebook to get updates. Here is a small list of November shows coming up around TX.
November 9th -Houston- Mango’s
November 10th - San Antonio-Hi Tone’s
November 11th - Denton-Macaroni Island
November 12th - Austin-Hotel Vegas
November 13th - Dallas-The Crown and Harp
Here is a neat video I found filmed by Jim Bailey of Tele Novella performing “Hair of the Dog” at Bows and Arrows in Sacramento, CA on 5-28-13.
(Photo take from the band’s facebook, credit unknown)
By Jason ‘Kantrip’ Calhoun
Comic Recap for the Week of 09/11/2013
Still working on a recap review for the End of X-Factor and some other recent story arcs that ended. In the meantime here are some quick recaps of last week’s pull list for comics.
Uncanny X-Force #11
Writer: Sam Humphries
Art: Ramon Perez
UXF continues to deliver an amazing story while keeping the X-Force brand fun. I have to hand it to the creative team of both X-Force books. Normally these X-titles are grim and focused the darker side of the Mutant world. Both UFX and Cable and the X-Force balance extreme action and fun dialog in the age of Marvel NOW. In this issue Bishop and the psychic demon bear work to become a one-man army against the Revenant forces that have captured the rest of X-Force. Meanwhile Storm, Psylocke, and Puck are verbally tormented by their own Revenant reflections. Humphries positions the majority of the issue and narration around Bishop and gives us some insights into how the time-lost hero adapted to life in the 67th century, and what he sacrificed to become a Revenant Hunter. While UXF puts Bishop in the oh-so-familiar role of a zealot holy warrior, this new story delivers a very profound revelation into just how dedicated Bishop is to his lot in life. When the reader learns what shape Bishop’s Revenant takes, it is a moment guaranteed to give you pause. There were some weak points to the story. Storm’s non- reaction to Bishop anointing her a Revenant Hunter at the end, and the constantly angry Psylocke stick out as the biggest weak points for me. There also seems to be some flexibility in how much the demon bear can manifest in the physical world. As we delve deeper into this story, I would like to see some more explanation into just how this character functions. Taking over pencils this month is Ramon Perez who’s the perfect fit for Bishop’s darker tale. When the action ramps up, it is easy to follow and the characters strike realistic poses. The best pages for me were the “stained- glass pieces” at the end. Rachelle Rosenberd and Jay David Ramos color the issue and I would love to see more work from this team with Ramos. Their colors compliment his art style perfectly giving everything the right amount of shade and dirt, but popping with vibrant colors as needed.
While the new Uncanny X-Force is nowhere near the sci-fi epic of Remender’s run, Sam Humphries has created a fun team built around Ninja-Noir, demon hunters, and team-by- circumstance fun that X-Men books are known for. If you haven’t given Uncanny X-Force Volume 2 a look, you are missing out.
Rating: 4 of 5
Astonishing X-Men #67
Writer: Marjorie Liu
Artist: Amilcar Pinna
There’s only one more issue to go in Marjorie Liu’s Astonishing X-Men run. Her time on this book has brought some much needed character focus to the post-Schism X-Men world. Her last story arc, centered around Iceman, showed just how complex and powerful the "funny guy" was, but got really dark and felt like it cast a permanent shadow on the light-hearted hero. Issue #67 is a much needed ray of sunlight into the X-Men’s now ice-covered world, and one of those stories that breaks the 4th wall to show how superheroes can inspire all of us. In this issue, Wolverine and Gambit are on the hunt for an escaped alien that possessed several New Yorkers. Their search leads them to a small town where one of their fans, Wendy, is struggling with her own future. When the two X-Men find the alien at a diner where Wendy is at, the young woman is drawn into an out of this world adventure. Despite how obviously saccharine some of these X-Stories can be, I admit to having a soft spot for them. They are unabashed love letters from the creators to the characters and fans which are a nice break from all the action and drama. Liu delivers some inspirational words via Wolverine and Gambit on what it means to grow up while being true to oneself. Amilcar Pinna pencils the book with Cris Peter on colors. Astonishing X-Men has had a rotating cast of artists throughout this run, but I wish they had kept Pinna and Peter on for a majority of the stories. While I feel Phil Noto does the best job of giving life to Liu’s scripts, this duo does a bang up job as well. The story flows from panel to panel easily, and everyone’s faces are expressive. Wendy is given the most amount of artistic attention since the story focuses on her, but her design is very “normal”. She appears as just an awkward teenager caught up in the X-Men’s chaos. When Wolverine and Gambit strike combat poses, she maintains normal posture. The only really confusing part about this issue was the alien ship. Going from a well-designed mid-western town to green and yellow empty space with tentacles coming from nowhere was a bit disjointing. It also didn’t help when the story shifts into Wendy’s mindscape and back out into the real world. These made the story feel more dreamlike than it should have. Minor gripes aside, this was the perfect climactic chapter for Liu’s arc. I have high hopes for issue #68. She stuck the landing with the wordless final issue of X-23, and considering all of her plot threads have been wrapped up, the next issue is the perfect blank canvas to close her chapter on this street level team.
Rating: 4 of 5
By Morgue Anne
I recently got into Pintrest. I know, I’m about two years too late to the game, but it really didn’t hold my attention as anything other than a bookmarks system I could access on any device (and I already use Chrome). With the oncoming Halloween season, I took a peek at some crafting ideas and have since fallen into a black hole of food-porn, makeup ideas, and of course, the many many ways I can turn various objects in my house into skulls.
Fortunately for my editor here at Extollere, I have emerged from the depths of Pintrest to bring you this collection of the 5 tastiest, most creative cupcakes to be found! Cupcakes are great treats that are straightforward enough for anyone to make and easily customized either as a recipe or with decorations! This means that they are great for making with your friends or kids and are always a great treat to bring to a party.
1. Kraken and Coke Cupcakes
Ok, so this first one probably isn’t the best “make with your kids” recipe. Unless your kids are over 21 and you guys bond over getting classily trashed, in which case rock on! Judging from the recipe, I would say this is a medium difficulty cupcake - it’s not as simple as a ‘mix with boxed mix’ but not quite so hard as ‘sculpt a giant kraken out of frosting’. The real kicker here is the frosting, which if I’m honest would probably just end up being eaten with a spoon straight out of the bowl. Great birthday treat for fans of Rum and Cokes!
This is really a recipe for a Butterfinger frosting to go on top of the chocolate cupcake mix of your choice, but if you really want to impress your friends I suggest getting a package of Butterfinger Minis and putting one inside each paper cup before you pour the cake mix in. This creates a surprising little treat inside each cupcake and also works with Reese’s. The frosting itself is a bit of work and requires a vegetable peeler, a blender, and maybe an electric mixer, but seems to be totally worth it to bite into this sinful delight of peanut butter and chocolate.
Ok, I’m a Coca-Cola addict. I think Pepsi tastes like poop and can’t stand coffee. Coke is my go-to drink of choice and I may have a small collection to turn it into my food of choice, including these Cherry Coke Cupcakes! If you haven’t heard, you can take a box cake mix, one egg, and a can of your favorite soda to create a ‘soda cake’, but there is so much more fun to be had with cola cupcakes!
This is another medium-skill cupcake made from scratch, but essentially all it is is a chocolate cake with some cherry and cola flavors added in and a coke glaze put over the top. I suggest popping a cherry inside each cupcake because I like delicious filling, but that is totally up to you. Great for birthday parties and sock hops, the Cherry Coke Cupcake is sure to delight everyone - even those damned Pepsi drinkers.
Alright, so you’ve mastered the medium difficulty level. Ready to get a little more advanced?
The cupcakes are easy - make whatever kind you want! The real key here is in the decorating. Graham crackers, Pirouettes, and white chocolate all form the basics of the shoe cupcake, but really the challenge in this is your own creativity - will you make little candy ribbon bows? Sparkles from sugar? The choices are endless! This idea is great for a girls night or bachelorette party, grab a selection of your favorite candies and get inspired!
5. The Skull Cupcake
Let’s be honest, here. You knew from the moment you started reading this that I would talk about skull cupcakes. But here’s the kicker, I’m not going to share one recipe here. Oh no, I’m going to ask you to come up with your own, because there’s more than one way to bake a skull.
Hun…What’s for Dinner got creative with turning their cupcakes into a skull shape by propping open the cupcake papers with mini marshmallows and frosting the whole oblong.
Whereas Rubie’s Costume Co makes a mini skull cupcake pan to make that step easy and uniform.
I think one of the easiest and most classic is of course to pick up a skull chocolate mold (available at any craft store this time of year) to create a fun and tasty cupcake topper!