O HAI COILHAUSERZ. Lots of lovely folks tuggin’ on the line this morning, wondering “WHUR IZZIT?”

Eeeeee! Almost ready. We’re still sussing out some last min. backline details, but Issue Six will be on sale IMMINENTLY. Check back in an hour or two. Sooooo close!

Coilhouse Issue 06: Out TOMORROW! Wheeeee!

We are excited to announce that Coilhouse Issue 06 is dropping tomorrow.

Much like the recent Coilhouse ball in NYC, this issue is black, white and red all over. From Klaus Nomi to Rachel Brice to Blixa Bargeld, from Kathleen Hanna to Terry Gilliam to Paul Pope, Issue 06 is 113 pages of lovingly-produced articles, art, photography and design with a Constructivist/Expressionist/Futurist theme. We’ve worked long and hard on this issue, and we’re excited to announce that it will, at last, be going on sale tomorrow on this site. It’s also currently available in stores.

This image is a sneak peek of the cover, and we can’t wait to show you everything that’s inside. The cover features the lovely Amelia Arsenic, and was shot by Australian photographer Helen White.

All will be revealed tomorrow. For now, a sneak peek at the articles, and our main message about the release of this issue:

Video Mementos of the Black & White & Red All Over Coilhouse Ball

It’s a momentous week for Coilhouse Magazine and Blog. Please be sure to check in often, as we’ll be making a lot of important announcements over the next few days. The first of which iiiis…

THE NEW PRINT ISSUE. It’s so close. Eeeee! Better late than never, right? We couldn’t have pushed through and gotten it completed, paid for and printed without the tremendous support our readers, contributors and friends have given us. Once again, huge gratitude to every single person who has helped out.

Today, we want to extend a special thank you to two volunteer videographers who captured footage of our big fundraising birthday party in New York City last August: Keith Jenson and Abigail Amalton. Keith and Abi have shot and produced not one, but two gorgeous video mementos of the event. Here they are:

“On August 21, 2011 Coilhouse left the cozy comforts of their west coast catacombs to throw an epic fundraiser at the Red Lotus Room in Brooklyn, New York for the release of Issue 6 (of their oh-so-beautiful print magazine) and to celebrate their fourth birthday! Over 300 people turned up to the Gemini & Scorpio-presented event for a dancey, glittery, silk/fire/trapeze/music-infused evening full of wonder and awe and love.”

Keith and Abi are sweethearts with quite the squee-inducing origin story! At the Ball, they told Mer that Coilhouse actually played a substantial role in bringing them together; when they first met, Keith noticed some of Abi’s Coilhouse schwag, and they bonded over their mutual appreciation for the site and the mag. (SWOOOON.)

Thank you so much for coming out and documenting that wonderful night, you beauties.

Keith & Abi at the Ball. Photo by Steve Prue.

Also see:

The Tango, the Quark, and the Allegory of Love

Please welcome guest blogger Eden Gallanter! Eden is a painter and writer. She also works on sustainable urban planning and restoration ecology in landscape architecture. In addition to these talents, Eden is an accomplished tango dancer. In this article, Eden tells tales of subatomic physics and Mannerist painting – and what they have to do with tango, a fascinating dance form not yet covered on Coilhouse. Enjoy! – Ed.

Article and illustration by Eden Gallanter

Argentine Tango is the most difficult of all partner dances.  Intimidating, overwhelming, and endlessly complex, one may reasonably wonder at the continued prominence of social Tango dancing.  After all, beginners can expect to spend many months in practice before venturing out to a Tango dance (called a Milonga), and even then, most dancers must endure a few years, at least, of rampant unpopularity.  Even those who are skilled in other partner dances, such as Swing, Salsa, or Waltz, usually find themselves disconcertingly back at beginner level when learning the Argentine Tango.  Everything you hated about your middle school dance instruction (whether this involved a finishing school-style class in ballroom dancing or just a traumatic experience at a school dance) is amplified, all of your insecurities lining up to greet you if you decide to learn Tango, the most demanding of all social dances.

Then what are people coming back for?   The truth is, it’s the very qualities that make Tango so difficult that also make it so rewarding.  Tango isn’t hard because of all the moves you must learn, it is hard because it relies on the partner connection more than any other dance.  If you’re dancing a Viennese Waltz and your partner doesn’t know what he or she is doing, you can at least dance the correct steps anyway and hope that your partner catches on– but if you’re dancing a Tango, this is next to impossible.  You can’t move a single step if your partner can’t feel where you are, or where you’re going.   Leaders have somewhat more control over this connection than followers do, but the lesson is the same: without a physical understanding of the position and direction of your partner, there is no dance.  In Tango’s closed position, the two of you are leaned against one another, the centers of your chests aligned.  You are sharing a single gravitational axis, and, for better or for worse, you move as one.  This is precisely what makes this dance both terrifyingly difficult and, at the same time, perilously, wonderfully, heart-stoppingly intimate.

Bautiful tango video to post from a festival in Montreal set to Cat Power’s weird, moody cover of “(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction.”

This heavy emphasis on partner connection doesn’t mean there aren’t plenty of moves to learn in Tango.  There is an amazing array of styles, steps, and decorations to learn, though all depend strongly on the partner connection in order to work.  The boleo contra (“throw against,” in Spanish) is made with a bent knee while the whole body rotates, drawing a graceful circle in the air with the toe.  The boleo contra results from an abrupt change of direction between you and your partner, releasing the energy of opposite motion; done quickly, it feels like the beating of wings, each partner using the other’s momentum to execute a series of brief kicks.

The partner connection is not the only relationship that matters on the dance floor, though it is of the most vital importance.  The best instructors in Buenos Aires teach that there are in fact no less than five “partners” in a single dance: the partner, the floor, the other couples, the music, and yourself.  Tango dancers (called tangueros) must constantly pay attention to all of these.  For instance, if a follower does not move to the tempo of the music, the leader will not be able to stay on beat either, and a vital framework for the communication of one another’s movements is lost.  Negotiating relationships with all five “partners” is essential to the dance, even though all do not require equal attention (and, in fact, for the follower there are only four partners, as it is the leader’s job alone to manage their spatial relationship to the other dancing couples).  If tangueros look overly serious when dancing, it is only because their attention is engaged fully in the demands of the dance.

New Coilhouse Website: What Would You Like to See?

Beloved readers!

First off, great news: Issue 06 of Coilhouse has finally gone to print. In just a few short weeks, it will be hitting bookstores and we’ll be unveiling it here on the site. WOOO HOOO. Finally. We’re already laying the groundwork for Issue 7, and a lot of other exciting projects are in the works. You’ll be hearing about all the latest developments in the months to come.

With all this newness happening, one thing has become clear: it’s time for a revamped website. The current version has just passed the four-year mark, and it’s served us well. But a lot has happened to the web in past four years: HTML5, higher screen resolutions, faster internet connections, the decline of Flash. We’d like to craft a beautiful new website that keeps up with the times: one that’s clean, usable, lightweight, and accessible. And for that… we need your input! And so, we’re conducting a brief survey. Please take the time to answer the questions below. You can answer partially, but the more information we have to go on, the better!

  • Are there any new features you’d like to see on the site? (Ex. larger images, a search bar, ways to tweet/email/share each post)?
  • Do you use the “Categories” section to browse through old posts? Should it remain prominent in the new design?
  • Generally, what are some websites and blogs you think have great design?
  • For comments: should we stick with WordPress comments, or go with Disqus?
  • Any annoying trends we should avoid? Anything you like about this version of the site that we should keep?
Your feedback is hugely important. Let us know your thoughts!

Coilhouse Can’t Stop Saying THANK YOU. (Epic Post-Fundraiser Gratitude Fest)

The core crew: @yerdua, @nicoles, @ashabeta, @theremina, @nadya, @raindrift, @angeliska, @sfslim

“I am covered in sweat, grit, glitter, leather dye, candle wax, hope & joy. #coilhouse” – @thekateblack, posted the day after. (Exactly how we felt, too.)

This post has been exactly one month in the making, but not because we’ve been flaking on it, trust us. Actually, even in the midst of everything else that’s going on (hoo-whee, there’s a lot going on), we haven’t been able to STOP thinking about it, or adding to it constantly. It’s taken time because we’ve wanted to try our best to give props to every single person who made that fundraising event possible, and beautiful, and memorable. There were so, so many of you. Danged if it didn’t take a friggin’ village.  Thanks for bearing with us, comrades. Thanks for helping us. Thanks for everything. We can’t stop saying thank you.

According to our tabulations, over three-hundred people came out to the Red Lotus Room on Sunday, August 21st, 2011. Most of them braved a torrential summer downpour, sweltering heat, substantial commutes, and a tough time getting out of bed on Monday morning. Approximately two-hundred-and-fifty of these folks were ticket-holding attendees. The remaining fifty-plus consisted of our enormous (mostly volunteer) crew. And let’s not forget the hundreds of others who donated or bid, watched the Livestream remotely, or hung out DJing for us in the Coilhouse Room on! This was a huge and complex undertaking for all of us, and somehow, it miraculously came together with less than three weeks of planning.

Aerialist Sarah Stewart performs a death-defying drop. Photo by Audrey Penven.

Mer’s take on the whole thing: “I don’t think I’ve hugged that many people, smiled that much or said ‘THANK YOU’ so many times in an eight hour period.” A month later, it already feels like the sweetest, stickiest, sweatiest of dreams. But it wasn’t. It was real. You were real. Because of you, Issue 06 is imminent, and all kinds of new, exciting projects are in the works. Truly, we remain so deeply grateful to all of you, and we want to tell you again, officially and publicly. So here goes….

Black & White & Red All Over Ball Photo Booth Pictures by Steve Prue

Kat & Mason, attendees of the Black & White & Red All Over Ball at the Red Lotus Room in Crown Heights, Brooklyn. August 21st, 2011. ©Steve Prue.


Photographer Steve Prue’s huge collection of photo booth portraits from the Ball are now all up on our Flickr account! Flickrites, please feel free to go in there and tag or comment on photos. We’re eager to start putting names to all of those beautiful faces.

A massive “HOLY CRAP, WE DID IT!” thank-you post is imminent as well.

Have a great weekend, everyone.

Nyx of Asha Beta Industries, crew member/art donor for the Black & White & Red All Over Ball at the Red Lotus Room in Crown Heights, Brooklyn. August 21st, 2011. ©Steve Prue.

Print, Parties, and Tumbling Tumbleweeds

Yesterday, after several difficult and painful production months, the final revisions to Issue 06 of Coilhouse Magazine were logged in. It is visually and thematically unlike anything we’ve attempted before– as beautiful and as sharp as a blade. Printing is imminent. If you, cherished readers, enjoy poring through its pages even half as much as we have, we’ll consider it a great success.

Thomas Negovan‘s wax cylinder player at the B&W&RAOB. Photo by Audrey Penven.

In addition to putting the finishing touches on #06, our crew is slowly recovering from the Category 5 whirlwind of throwing a massive fundraising ball in another city with less than a month of planning. (Wow… that was… did that actually happen?! One week later, it all feels like a deliciously manic, sweaty dream.) We’re working on a big ol’ shout-out post that will have all kinds of B&W&RAOB links and pictures in it, but that might take a wee bit.

Angeliska Polacheck & Kim Boekbinder at the Ball. Photo by Anna Fischer.

In fact, more generally, it may take Coilhouse Blog a while to get back up to its usual puttering speed. If you see a tumbleweed or two blow across this screen, don’t worry. We’re just getting all of the international auction item shipments and Issue 06 stuff sorted first, and then taking some much-needed time to recharge after one of the most grueling time periods in Coilhouse history.

Meantime, here’s a lolling, lazy Sunday song about those aforementioned moorless diaspores, courtesy of The Sons of the Pioneers. Enjoy!



The Black & White & Red All Over Ball was a smashing success. Big, big love to everyone who participated. It was a night to remember for a very, very long time.

Right now, the entire core Coilhouse crew who put the bash together (in three weeks?! really?! what the fuck were we thinking?!!) is reeling with gratitude and triumphant joy and also completely exhausted and derped out. Somehow, this seems like the perfect theme song for us:

via Eric Cheng. (As Kambriel points out, it’s a recorder, not a flute. Either way, WHAT BLISS.)

Please stand by for more full-fledged updates (photo booth pics, auction info, Issue 06 status, more) later in the week, once our brains go back to fulfilling higher functions, instead of just doing this on endless repeat. Meantime, if you’d like a nice encapsulation of the party, please read Logan Riley’s lovely blog post about the Ball. (He nailed it. Thank you, Logan.)

And really, truly, thank you again to everyone who helped us pull that thing off, from the attendees to the performers to the organizers to the DJs to the donors to the bidders to the bouncer to the bartenders to the stage manager to the lenders-of-couches and far, far beyond. We are so very, very grateful to you all.

More to come. So much more.

Two Amazing Final Donors to Our Silent Auction: Diamanda Galas + PUREVILE!

Comrades! Greetings from the bowels o’ Brooklyn. This missive comes to you directly from B&W&RAOB Headquarters, aka the Red Lotus Room in Crown Heights, where roughly two dozen devoted volunteers (we love you guys so much) have been working steadfastly for many, many hours to make sure everything is PERFECT tomorrow. The party is so close, we can taste it (mmm cinnamon and sleep dep with a touch of thunderstorm)! Everything is coming together. Everyone is delirious, and hopeful. We truly hope to see you here tomorrow from between 5pm and midnight, either in the flesh and dressed to transgress, or via one or more of our “internet party portals”: the Coilhouse room on, the Ball’s livestreaming webcast (link to be announced tomorrow), or our auction site.

Speaking of that auction, we’re beside ourselves with delight to announce the three final, breathtaking listings that were just added into the Coilhouse International Fundraising Silent Auction (which you should really check out in full, if you haven’t already). First:

An astonishing Glow-in-the-Dark Fabric Painting – Donated by Diamanda Galás Yes. Really. THAT Diamanda Galás. The one, the only, the mighty. Featuring mysterious and ferocious organic shapes painted on a thick piece of black fabric and adorned with a bright prism, this textural, luminescent 11.5×24.5″ fabric painting was created by the incomparable and legendary avant-garde performer, composer, artist and activist. [See listing for more detailed photographs.] Ms. Galas express-FedExed it to us yesterday to make sure it arrived in time.  She was also kind enough to donate a second listing– The “Litanies” Lot, which consists of an autographed vinyl pressing of her masterful debut album, The Litanies of Satan album, as well as a size S tee shirt featuring her timeless and lovely face, autographed in gold permanent ink.

But wait! More exquisite feral beauty entreats you to stay, and marvel, and BID. Behold, our final, phenomenal entry into the Coilhouse Black & White & Red All Over Ball:

“She never sleeps but still dreams” PUREVILE! necklace – Donated by Wren Britton Wren made this exquisite piece expressly for our auction. You may recall that Coilhouse recently raved about Wren and his gorgeous, one-of-a-kind, “Post Apocalyptic Victorian accessories” and “clothing for Time-Traveling Dandies and Femme Fatales.”  Wren promptly returned the favor by blogging about us in a way that made everyone over here a little misty-eyed. It is an honor and a joy to enter “She never sleeps but still dreams” as our final listing.

Folks, you have until 11pm EST tomorrow, Aug 21st, to bid on these and all of our other breathtaking auction items. Best of luck, and as always, thank you for your kind support of Coilhouse Magazine + Blog: A Love Letter to Alternative Culture.

More last-minute party announcements tomorrow. Stay tuned!