If only the scene were this awesome

Pope Benedict releases the bats, via Worth1000’s If Goths Ruled.

Catwalk Ghost writes, “I came across the book named GOTH: Undead Subculture, which is a rather nice collection of essays about goth style and subcultural practices. But, one essay by Anna Powell, called “God’s own Medicine” about religion and beliefs in UK Goth scene made me laugh my ass off! So here are some quotes. I won’t quote the whole essay, ’cause each sentence of it is an instant comedy classic:

“As a sacred pararelegious space, the goth nightclub resembles conventionally religious practices in various ways. Like certain religious ceremonies, the goth club may feature the consumption of alcohol and psychotropic drugs and include forms of dancing that may become ecstatic, as in trance dance. The goth DJ … has a psychically separate “pulpit” from which to deliver musical “sermon”. Goth clubbers in the United Kingdom often travel long distances on “pilgrimages” to see their favorite Djs play venues” (pp 259-360)

Here comes more:

“As in some religious practices, the space of the nightclub is forbidden to some; only those deemed worthy are allowed entrance.” (p 360)

“The fact that admission is selective also suggests that the space within is sacred and needs protection from the profane defilement of nongoths.” (p 360)

Shien Lee’s Dances of Vice

Shien Lee wearing Vecona

Powerful women – what a dull world we’d have without them! Comrade Shien Lee is a striking cocktail of brains, ambition and grace. A musician, student and sometimes model, she moved to New York last summer and has not wasted a speck of time, launching Dances of Vice on August 18 – within just weeks of her arrival. Named after an expressionist Rosa von Praunheim film, DoV is a self-described dance and cabaret club, held at the Pussycat Lounge. Since its recent opening Shien’s project has gained significant momentum and popularity despite her being a newcomer in the notoriously soul-hungry city.

Shien Lee and Lucas Lanthier

Co-hosting the monthly event with Lucas Lanthier [Cinema Strange, Deadfly Ensemble] she’s welcomed a lofty roster of guest performers, among them Jill Tracy, Tempest Storm and Oryx Incruentus, and held a fashion show by Coilhouse favorite Vecona. There are art exhibits, live cello and jazz bands, vintage-style photos of the club’s patrons on a paper moon. She’s created a genuine modern-day salon – an inherently wonderful concept.

DoV festivities

In today’s revivalist boom it’s refreshing to see a place that not only brings light to the very best of vintage aesthetics, but also encourages the attendees to be creative and original. The proof is in the event photos – happy patrons making the kind of effort I thought was long lost; actually having fun with costumes instead of slapping on another vinyl cincher over a fishnet top. It’s no wonder Dances of Vice got such a positive write up in the New York Post, describing patrons who “flounced around the room in an Edwardian powdered wig, others marched in WWI uniforms, and still others posed in 1940s pinup wear”. So nice to see credit given where it’s due – Dances of Vice earned it, and with some inspiring speed.

Rasputina, one of the acts performing at the Dances of Vice Festival

Shien’s showing no signs of slowing down, either. Next on the agenda is the first Dances of Vice festival – a two-day event in February featuring an impressive bouquet of talent. Rasputina, The Deadfly Ensemble, Desert Sin, Nicki Jaine, Victorian fencing, and that’s just half of it. There will be an art exhibit, which I’m thrilled to be part of alongside talented artists like Lisa Mei and my pal Molly Crabapple. And! There will be a costume ball. If you’re in New York this February 8 and 9, you know what to do. See you there!

Chris Anthony’s Victims and Avengers


The type of imagery that Chris Anthony is known for – vintage-style processing and antique elements coupled with horror themes – has become quite common in alt photography in recent years. However, viagra few images of this sort that I’ve seen crop up recently resonate with the depth and storytelling that Anthony is capable of. A good example of this is his “Victims & Avengers” series. The images create a ghostly narrative about domestic violence, a subject with which Anthony has a personal history. The subjects of these musty panoramas, primarily children and women, create a haunted landscape populated by victims of abuse and the revenge they take.

On his site, Chris Anthony offers a limited-edition portfolio of Victims & Avengers (though there is no information on how to buy it). The presentation is fascinating; the panoramas are printed on cotton rags and stored in a handmade wooden box upholstered with dyed Japanese book cloth. Each box contains “additional legal documents”: Divorce Order, Restraining Order and a Last Will and Testament, as well as a Checklist for Victims of Domestic Violence.


If you’re in LA, check out Chris Anthony’s new solo exhibition at the Corey Halford Gallery, entitled “I’m the Most Normal Person I Know.” Thanks, Beth, for the tip!

Colette Calascione’s surreal, seductive beauties

Two-Faced Portrait (1996) © Colette Calascione

The women of NY-based painter Colette Calascione‘s world are the most luscious and enigmatic lot you’re likely to encounter in modern classical painting. Inspired by Victorian portraiture and Surrealism, Calascione is gifted with an Old Master’s hand for technique, a fevered imagination, a wicked sense of humor and a reverence for the feminine form rivaling that of Vargas himself. The resulting work is whimsical, provocative and elegant in turns. Demure masked nudes entice viewers with smoldering eye contact and slight, come-hither smiles. Grand dames of the parlour consort with beastly Ernstian suitors. The rosy aura of myth and allegory that surrounds these ladies is a fetching as their silken lingerie… maybe more so.

Scrupulous attention is paid to everything, and the color and contrast she imbues in each form — powdery decolletage, folds of drapery, the riotously rococo backgrounds — is exceptional.

Truly, Calascione knows that Goddess is in the details.

Illumination (2003)

More images and links under the cut.

What’s Zo Wearing? January 13, 2008

I’ve been dying for a pair of wide-leg slacks ever since my trip to Tokyo and finally found these last week for a measly $10 on sale at a Melrose Ave. shop. Ten bucks is a small price to pay for this much excellence, even if I do end up having them hemmed. For the moment I’m enjoying the stilt-walking dandy look by wearing them with 5″ platforms.

The Living Dollhouse of horrors

Dolls have long been fetishised and it’s to be expected, really – perfect skin, stylized features, limitless hair possibilities and endless wardrobe options are all enticing. In alt modeling the idea of the living doll is prevalent, in and out of Japan the Elegant Gothic Lolita style has provided much doll-like fashion, and of course in folklore living dolls exist as well. But now you might be asking yourself – damn it, what about mannequins! Aside from that 80s movie, what’s out there?

Behold, the Living Dollhouse. Not for the weak of constitution, this Pandora’s box of an internet archive has all you ever dreamed of. Mannequin fiction, mannequin photos, mannequin art – it’s all there just for you. Perhaps you, now a bit shaken, are wondering how I came across such a site. Like the Dollhouse owners, I like mannequins. I currently own four, having recently rid myself of four others due to overcrowding, and was innocently hoping to find some costuming inspiration. But, as is the way of the Web, the Living Dollhouse is what I got instead. Now I feel dirty and you will too.

Maila Nurmi, RIP


“I have a fairly adequate knowledge of satanic forces, and I was interested to find out if this girl was obsessed with such a force.”
– James Dean, on befriending Maila Nurmi

Finnish-American actress Maila Nurmi, famous for having created the character Vampira, passed away yesterday in her sleep at age 86. Born in Finland and raised in Ohio, Maila moved to LA at age 17 to pursue modelling and acting. As a model she appeared in numerous pin-up magazines, and her photographers included Man Ray and Alberto Vargas. At age 35, Maila made her most notable appearance as The Ghoul’s Wife in Ed Wood’s Plan 9 From Outer Space – the clip can be seen here. For $200, Ed Wood got Maila to stalk around a graveyard as a glamorous, wasp-waisted zombie. The mute portrayal was Maila’s idea, as she reportedly couldn’t abide the dialogue that Ed Wood had written for her. In subsequent years Maila was the first horror movie hostess in television history, and in later life she made jewelry and clothing, which she sold though a shop on Melrose that she called Vampira’s Attic.

As one fan writes over at her obituary at LA Metroblogging, “I hope her, Ed, Bela and Tor are havin’ a coctail somewhere.” Maila may be gone, but Vampira will live on.

Left: Maila, the golden pin-up star.
Right: Maila in recent years, by Gabrielle G.

Send Us Your Tapes!


Thanks to everyone for your responses to the Mix Tape Post. We’ve received some incredible submissions of mix tapes for the print magazine so far – keep them coming! Here’s a great example of what we’re looking for: The Yellow Tape, cialis sale sent by Mishel Cobb. During her first year of college, Michel had a long-distance relationship with an art student from Texas; they sent each other letters, packages and mix tapes by mail. “He’d make them in colours. Each tape had a theme based on that colour, and the music on it suited the colour – at least, in his mind. Even the tape itself would be painted.” Here is The Yellow Tape from this series.

For publication in the magazine, send us scans of tapes with interesting themes, interesting artwork or a story to tell. The deadline for having your tapes in the print magazine is January 20th. The email address to send submissions to is [email protected].


The electric girl and Harry Price

In the times of psychic creeps like Chris Angel and John Edward, it’s nice to reflect on the olden days of paranormal research. Back when invention ruled and tools of the trade had names like Telekinetoscope and Shadow Apparatus, and mad genius Harry Price was causing waves of awe and skepticism with his unorthodox methods in the field.

Harry Price’s Telekinetoscope

One his greatest discoveries was Stella Cranshaw, later called The Electric Girl. She earned this title by occasionally producing strange flashes of light and underwent 5 years of study by Price, demonstrating extraordinary abilities in which she, oddly, showed little interest. His seances, which he called “sittings” exhausted her and after 13 of them she refused further study, got married and soon disappeared entirely.

Dorothy Stella Cranshaw

Stella’s telekinetic powers were significant nonetheless, at least to Harry, who took great pride in his work with her. During his meticulously orchestrated sittings room temperature lowered, furniture levitated, and much more. Every outrageous detail was documented and later published as “Stella C – A Record of Thirteen Sittings for Thermo-Psychic and Other Experiments”. These studies are online in full – I’ve been reading them in pieces all day here. His methods, tools and prose are fascinating and endearing, if not always awe-inspiring and make for excellent entertainment. An excerpt and links, below.

McDonald’s: NIN Ripoff or Homage?


Via the “You Thought We Wouldn’t Notice” blog: the design on the left appeared on the wall at a McDonald’s in the UK. Speculation runs rampant as to whether this was a blatant ripoff of NIN’s “The Fragile” or whether someone on the staff that came up with the interior design was just making a reference. More images can be seen at Echoing the Sound, the NIN fan forum where this story first appeared.

I like to think that this was an homage, a fan sneaking his favorite band into McDonald’s for fellow fans to recognize. Then again, maybe it was the night before deadline and some desperate designer picked up the CD nearest to his Mac and this happened. What do you guys think?

Skerror adds: “I wouldn’t be surprised if this type of thing was in the next generation of corporate tricks tho…maybe they start paying people to subvert their own brand/culture just to drum up interest. Then people go to McDonald’s and take cellphone pics and upload them saying, ‘Look at how well the underground has infiltrated McDonald’s. We are winning the war. Is anyone else hungry?'”