Coilhouse 05: Let All The Children Boogie

Issue 05 is ALIVE. Woop woop woop! Break out the disco ball and put on your dancing shoes, because after printing the solemn, ghostly memento mori that was #04, we’ve gone somewhere completely different with this one. We proudly present you with an issue that’s colorful, frenetic, vibrant, and celebratory.

Issue 05 reflects a Coilhouse family quest for renewal and rejoicing, and there’s SO FRIGGIN’ MUCH to celebrate this time around: extensive features on fascinating artists, authors, fashion designers, photographers and musicians, a personal memoir about kinship and D&D, a dialog examining the cultural history and continuing relevance of American burlesque, an exposition of 19th century populist fiction from China, a particularly heart-jolting paper doll, and have we mentioned that holographic gold foil lately? Gah…

More bells and whistles: the huge feature on artist Chet Zar includes a foldout poster of original work by Zar on one side, and gorgeous Neil Gaiman-themed promotional art from Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab on the other. As previously mentioned, once this issue reaches stores, it’s going to be selling for $12.99 on the rack. (We’ll post a list of locations in the weeks to come.) But for now, we’re keeping the $15 price tag on all copies sold online.

Folks who order #05 through our web store get a lot of additional bang for their buck – every single mail-ordered copy of Coilhouse 05 comes with two exquisitely produced, limited edition postcard playbills featuring the “Before and After portraits” of our fashion darling Dylan Monroe as Dorian Gray. Additionally, each and every mail-order copy of this issue will be signed, with gratitude, by all three Coilhouse co-editors. Unlike past issues, which shipped immediately, Issue 05 will start shipping next Wednesday, July 7th. (The extra week is to give us time to sign several hundred magazines and insert all of those postcards. Phew!)

DRUMROLL PLEASE. Issue 05 is NOW AVAILABLE in the COILHOUSE SHOP. Its contents, below:

Garnet Siren

Zoetica imagined a blithe, enchanted world of dancing sheiks and courtesans when working on this issue’s Inform/Inspire/Infect section headers. Powdered wigs and perfect maquillage complement tassels and cymbals, as these bejeweled vixens shimmy you into each section. The headers also feature the Far East-inspired patterns that creative director Courtney Riot used on the masthead and the table of contents.

Sherlock Holmes VS The Fox Woman
A Brief Tour of Chinese Pulp
In Coilhouse 03, Jess Nevins explored the world of Russian pulp literature from the 1920s and 30s. In this issue, he throws us on galloping thunder wagon and takes us on a journey through China’s rich pulp history– one that is largely unknown in the West. Dreamy illustration work by Greg Broadmore and Paul Tobin accompanies the feature. Have your electric whip at the ready, because you never know when you might have to defend your new lunar settlement from a wandering army of vengeful swordswomen, or robotic killer rats. Aerial balloons! Angry ghosts! Tampon warfare! And so much more.

Zooming Along / Standing Perfectly Still
The Passion of Amanda Palmer & Neil Gaiman
The punk cabaret force of nature known as Amanda “Fucking” Palmer and her eminent fiancé, author Neil Gaiman, publicly announced their engagement on January 15th. A day later, the lovebirds met up with Coilhouse staff photographer Allan Amato in New York City to pose for a series of playful, yet timeless photographs. Fast forward several months: after an intense season-long stint of touring and traveling separately, the power couple reunited for a brief interlude in Wellington, New Zealand. Jean Sergent joined them over morning coffee at the Copthorne Hotel to discuss, among other things, the whirlwind nature of their creative and personal life together, Xena swordsmiths, Polish sushi, archival versus ephemeral art, and horny koalas.

Jo Boobs Teaches The Va-Va Voom!
“Jo Boobs” Weldon is Headmistress of The New York School of Burlesque, whose home at The Slipper Room is just a few blocks from where Lydia Thompson’s “London Blondes” brought burlesque to America and a stone’s throw from where Minsky’s original National Winter Garden made burlesque part of the American vernacular. Weldon and Coilhouse’s cultural “spy in NY”, Jeff Wengrofsky, met at the basement headquarters of her school on the coldest evening in recent years to explore questions of gender, activism, and whether she and her ilk are gender traitors or gender busters. This razor-sharp dialog is enhanced by several original Molly Crabapple illustrations of neo-burlesque stars mentioned in the piece.

Tiffa Novoa
Walking Between Worlds
Right now, a distinct style of dress and adornment steeped for many years in Bay Area Burning Man culture is spilling over into the mainstream. There’s still no definitive term for the look, and hallelujah for that. But there is a name we should all think of whenever we see it: Tiffa Novoa. It’s been nearly three years since the 32-year-old fashion designer died of a fatal drug reaction while working in Bali, Indonesia, and left her vast community gasping with grief. But one need only look at the success of stores like Five & Diamond, or fashion houses like Skin.Graft, to recognize the incalculable impact of Novoa’s work on an entire burgeoning cultural aesthetic. Tiffa, the “Dream Pusher” – as her Ernte co-founder Evan Sugerman fondly calls her – is still walking between worlds. This retrospective piece, a collaborative effort headed by Nadya and contributed to by dozens of Novoa’s friends and peers, is devoted to this late, great woman’s memory, her legacy, her loved ones, and all who dance to a different drum.

Emerald Emir

96 Tears
Chris Conn Askew
Jessica Joslin interviews the mysterious, meticulous Mister Chris Conn Askew– an artist who creates modern day fables for romantics and aesthetes, as densely layered in symbolism as dreams, and as inscrutable as love.

Surgical Precision:
Ali Mahdavi
The scrupulous portraiture of Ali Mahdavi reflects an appreciation for unique physical beauty that is purely self-made. Born and raised in Tehran before relocating to Paris, the Issue 05 cover photographer, filmmaker and costume designer has crafted striking portraits that explore the sublime intersection between glamour and dysmorphia. The three works selected for this mini-feature, portraying model Hannelore Knuts, corsetier Mr. Pearl and Mahdavi himself (from his series “As You Desire Me”), serve as a tantalizing first glimpse into Mahdavi’s carefully-arranged world.

A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Geek
Wil Wheaton
Author/actor Wil Wheaton has been generous enough to grant Coilhouse permission to republish one of his most endearing, amusing, and deeply human memoirs. Excerpts first appeared on the Suicide Girls newswire, and the full piece was published in Wheaton’s book, The Happiest Days of Our Lives. “A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Geek” chronicles Wheaton’s lifelong love affair with Dungeons & Dragons, and revels in the joy of self-acceptance and kinship. Coilhouse is honored to present his words in a new and more visually rambunctious way–Zoetica spent hours in his game room taking dozens of photographs of three decades worth of personal gamer gear and memorabilia, as well as a charming portrait of the artist himself. The resulting layout is chock full of delightful details.

Into the Trees with Zoë Keating
Avant cellist Zoë Keating self-produces lush, melodic solo recordings that incorporate live electronic sampling, computer looping programs, complex layering and phrase repetition. Her latest solo offering, largely produced and recorded in a cozy log cabin out in the middle of the woods, is aptly titled Into the Trees. Last spring, Keating granted Coilhouse Magazine a downright giddy interview! She and Mer discussed all manner of things both whimsical and practical– from the spirit of old growth forests and her biological imperative to counteract those proselytizing Quiverfull weirdos to the advantages of musicians self-producing and releasing their own albums, from the joy of nerd solidarity, to stage fright, to Tulip Mania. Featuring photography by Nadya, as well as Peter Hinson, typography and illustration by Teagan White, and an exquisite custom-crafted wardrobe courtesy of Gibbous Fashions.

Chet Zar’s Vulnerable Monsters
At a glance, Chet Zar’s stunning paintings present portraits of monsters set against imposing post-apocalyptic landscapes. Look closer and you’ll smile, sensing a certain camaraderie with the expressive mouths and snouts, seemingly protruding from their realm of barren hills, billowing smoke stacks and deserted highrises. Pause for a while and you might feel hot wind on your face and catch a whiff of burning oil. Passion for darkness, decay, flesh, and all its nuance mingles with passion for the painting medium itself, creating unforgettable works of art. Chet’s distinct vision got him noticed around the LA gallery circuit, and his presence in the Pop Surrealism genre was cemented by keen technical ability – refined by twenty years spent weaving special effects makeup magic. Here, the celebrated and disarmingly laid-back artist talks to Zoetica about growing up in a horror-friendly household, the effects of meditation and visualization, death, the future, and about the perks and perils of an artist’s life.

In addition to this in-depth, personal interview, we proudly present an unprecedented feature: step-by-step documentation of Chet’s painting process, created by him especially for Coilhouse while he was working on art for the foldout poster.

Clive Barker
Celebration, Remembrance, Prophecy
Single-handedly changing the ideascape of mainstream horror and dark fantasy genres with books such as Imajica, The Hellbound Heart, and The Books of Blood, Clive Barker already achieved tremendous success in the late eighties and early nineties – but for him, it was merely the start of a journey. Today, in addition to being an author for more than twenty-five years, Barker is also a vastly productive, passionate painter, photographer, and filmmaker. In this extensive interview, Clive talks to Ales Kot and Zoetica about being a man dissatisfied with any single creative facet, and his determination to transcend expectations and boundaries. He touches on works in progress, the benefits of collaboration, and his insatiable creative drive, leaving us awed with the scope of his imagination. The interview is accompanied by previously unseen examples of Clive Barker’s paintings and photography, as well as an introduction by Ales Kot.

Turquoise Tart

Shoe Love, Lust, and Myth
Why do we love shoes? Surely the true answer is buried deep with Marchesa Casati and Louis XIV, but it’s easy to hypothesize. The clicking of approaching heels has been long fetishized and has come to symbolize control and elegance. The right pair of shoes will make legs look magnificent and, if operated properly, provide instant grace, not to mention instant height. But lovers of adornment, take note! Suffering for beauty is not always worth it, certainly not when it comes to footwear. Zo takes on the crucial difference between shoe love and lust, with a photo shoot in a crumbling downtown LA fortress by Andrew Yoon and appearances by Gala Darling, Nubby Twiglet, plus a surprise guest…

The Picture of Dorian Gray
A Sempiternal Sartorial Editorial
It’s Coilhouse’s most ambitious fashion editorial yet. Art-directed by Mer, headed by photographer Allan Amato, and actualized by a devoted crew of 15 stylists, artists and production assistants, this lush Wilde-inspired spread features our favorite male model Dylan Monroe as Dorian Gray, dressed in the jaw-dropping custom tailored suits by Sinner/Saint Menswear, and jewelry from Victorian Death Kult.

The Last Days of Gadjo Disko
Gadjo Disko was a notorious dance party that first took place at the Rhizome Collective in Austin, Texas in April of 2008. It dissolved all boundaries of age, gender, ethnic background or cultural milieu. Disko organizer and Coilhouse associate Angeliska Polacheck knows “how rare it is to find a party that transcends any one scene, where burners, hipsters, nerds, punks, queers, goths and all the beautiful and (thankfully) unclassifiable freaks can get together without the least trace of pretension or scorn.” We bid a sweaty, sparkly farewell to the Disko with this ecstatic photo essay.

Print To Fit
Good Dick Hunting
From the desk of designer Mildred Von Hildegard, a sneak peek at the new face of fashion house Mother of London’s much-anticipated upcoming collection. What better model for the label’s vision of high-tech aristocracy than the Prince of Darkness, bionic haute Halliburtonite with a penchant for hoods, duct tape, puppetry, Armageddon, undisclosed secret locations and the trappings of the Galactic Empire? When asked what more can be expected the forthcoming collaboration, Von Hildegard stated enigmatically, “my belief is that we will be greeted as liberators.”

BLUE: An Erotic Life

“BLUE: An Erotic Life is a stop motion animation that narrates the life story of a blob of clay dealing with sexual addiction.” So goes the succinct description of Tibo Charroppin’s delightfully puerile BLUE: An Erotic Life; his BFA thesis at Parsons. It’s a classic tale, examining the drives and addictions that control us, that drive us to the brink, and how, through sheer will, we can be redeemed. Also, it’s about fucking. Lots and lots of fucking. With clay.

Piotr Kamler – Une Mission Ephémère

It’s all about robots and sugar cubes this afternoon. A crunchy animation with a ’60s space age feel, Une Mission Ephémère was crafted in 1993 by Polish animator Piotr Kamler and scored by experimental/musique concrète composer Bernard Parmegiani. The best part of this clip is watching the way the robot’s facial expressions change as he sculpts playthings and conducts experiments while floating in his little bowl. More clips by Kamler – including Chronopolis, which was his first and only full-length feature – can be found at UbuWeb. Chronopolis and Kamler’s work is often characterized as “science fiction,” but have more in common with Borges than with Star Wars, as one excellent write-up on Kamler notes. [Another hat-tip to Wobbly.]

Coilhouse Magazine, Issue 05: The Cover

EDIT, JUNE 30th: Coilhouse #05 is on sale now!

Behold: the cover of Issue 05 is revealed. It’s been tough keeping this one under wraps, but you’ll still have to wait a couple more days to see what’s inside. For now, we’ll just say that the cover image embodies the international flavor of this issue: it features Kenyan model Ajuma Nasenyana, channeling Jamaican-American superwoman Grace Jones in a monumental image by Iranian-born, Paris-based photographer Ali Mahdavi. You can see a larger version of the cover here.

Reflecting the issue’s theme – which can be summed up by 05’s rallying spine line of “Let All the Children Boogie” – the cover features blingtastic, discodelic, holographic gold foil. But that’s not the only special print flourish employed in issue. In addition to the gold foil, Issue 05 also features a large, beautiful, double-sided poster with custom artwork created exclusively for Coilhouse by a distinguished artist. Which artist? You’ll have to wait ’til Wednesday to find out.

In just two days, the contents of this issue will be revealed. If you want to be notified the very minute that this issue goes on sale, join our Mailing List. Check back soon!

BTC: Stephen Fry and “The Greatness of Kindness”

Whether he’s performing as Wilde or Melchett or Jeeves, or penning feisty novels, or visiting a whorehouse, or hanging out with bunker hippies, or encouraging kakapo/human interbreeding, discussing AIDS, or calling out the Catholics, Stephen Fry is never anything less than a powerhouse. A 21st century Renaissance Man. Wise-yet-vulnerable, gentle-but-firm, he’s the all-too-human elder so many of us wish we’d had to confide in growing up.

And just when we think this man can’t up the endearment ante any more than he already has, he goes and does it again:

via Sarah, thanks!

This is a recent interview Fry granted SPLASHLIFE, a new international youth volunteer/activist organization. It’s titled “What I Wish I’d Known at 18”.  Geared toward the concerns of young adults today, his discourse is consistently insightful and reassuring with a final summation that knocks it out of the park:

“I suppose the thing I’d most would have like to have known or be reassured about is that in the world is what counts more than talent, what counts more than energy or concentration or commitment or anything else is kindness. And the more in the world you encounter kindness, and cheerfulness (which is kind of its amiable uncle or aunt), just the better the world always is – and all the big words: virtue, justice, truth, are dwarfed by the greatness of kindness.”

Vonnegut would approve.

How CNN Really Feels About You

Just an extremely motivational clip to brighten your Sunday afternoon. In the video above, crafted by video artist Omer Fast, dozens of CNN newscasters come together to give you the true measure of your worth in this life. Spliced in such a way that each word comes from a different newscaster’s mouth, the narrative’s sinister “you know me, and I sure know you” feel only intensifies as the clip goes on.

The version embedded above is two minutes long; on YouTube, you can find a higher-quality embed-disabled 10-minute version (highly recommended.) The original that Fast debuted in 2002 was 18 minutes long. [Via Wobbly, thanks!]

Ladyhood: The Video Game

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Girls suck at video games / Les filles sont nulles aux jeux vidéo
from Stéphanie Mercier on Vimeo.

“I thought only my classmates, mom and dad would watch this,” wrote French animation student Stéphanie Mercier in the Vimeo comments for the clip above after witnessing an influx of visitors from MetaFilter, Daily What, SocImages and beyond. Titled “Girls Suck at Video Games,” the animation presents the challenge of climbing the corporate ladder, maintaining a stylish image, having babies and doing housework though the use of beloved 8-bit/16-bit metaphors: Super Mario Bros, Street Fighter, Pac-Man and Space Invaders. Compare and contrast with Dan the Man.

“The Vinyl Frontier” World Premiere at SFFFF

ROLL CALL. Who among our readers has a vinyl toy addiction? We know you’re out there, setting aside monthly Kid Robot allowances, religiously reading JUXTAPOZ, chuckling appreciatively at the inclusion of a Nathan Jurevicius figurine in Splice, etc.

You’ll be interested to know about an independent feature film exploring the American vinyl toy movement, its creators and collectors, called The Vinyl Frontier. Directed by Daniel Zana, it’s the first comprehensive documentary on the subject. Via Spread Art Culture:

Brilliantly shot on location [over the course of several years] in studios, homes, convention centers, and offices around the country, The Vinyl Frontier is sure to be a favorite in this year’s festival season. Featuring such heavy hitters as Tristan Eaton, Ron English, Gary Baseman, Dalek, Frank Kozik, Tim Biskup, and many more.

The Vinyl Frontier will be having its world premiere at the San Francisco Frozen Film Festival (July 2-3) at the Roxie Theatre. Tickets are available for Friday, July 2, 8PM (an array of artists involved with the film will be in attendance after screening to take part in an audience Q&A) or Saturday, Jul 03, 9:20 PM.

Zoe Keating’s New Album: “Into the Trees”

O frabjous day! Our beloved friend, the cellist Zoë Keating, has finally released her long-anticipated new album, Into the Trees. It’s streaming free on her website. It is gorgeous. If you like what you hear, you can purchase all eleven tracks for immediate download –directly from Zoë– in your choice of 320k mp3, FLAC, or just about any other format your heart desires. You also have the option of snail mail-ordering an artfully designed and presented CD. Quoth the composer: “No middlemen involved other than PayPal and your purchase allows me to keep making music, for which I am profoundly grateful.”

Photo by Audrey Penven.

Last spring, while Zoë was still finishing up the album (and still pregnant with her beautiful baby boy, Alex, born May 13!), she granted Coilhouse Magazine an extensive, giddy interview. We discussed all manner of things both whimsical and practical– from the spirit of old growth forests and her biological imperative to counteract those proselytizing Quiverfull weirdos to the advantages of musicians self-producing and releasing their own albums, from the joy of nerd solidarity, to stage fright, to Tulip Mania. The article, titled “Into the Trees With Zoë Keating,” will be running in our upcoming issue #05, and features photography by our own dear Nadya, as well as Peter Hinson (the pictures you’re looking at are outtakes from that shoot), typography and illustration by Teagan White, and an exquisite custom-crafted wardrobe courtesy of Gibbous Fashions.

More photos after the jump.


Photo by Peter Hinson.

Friday Afternoon Movie: A Blank On The Map

I don’t know about you but we here at the FAM are beat, dog-tired, perhaps even, knackered if you’re of the sort who use that specific verbiage. It’s been a long day and after a long day nothing soothes the soul and calms the nerves like a dose of the dulcet tones of David Attenborough. Here, then, is the naturalist (at the spry age of 45) in the BBC documentary A Blank on the Map from 1971, which details the first meeting of a previously uncontacted tribe in New Guinea. As I’ve noted before, the man could read a Denny’s menu and make it sound interesting. The FAM apologizes for the brevity and will return next week, fully refreshed, with a healthier helping of exposition.