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Auxiliary Magazine is an alternative fashion, music, and lifestyle magazine available online for free. FEBRUARY / MARCH 2009
neonfashion brightness in the middle of the dark
babyland “survi val i n the face of an overwhel mi ng vol ume of thi ngs that are just utterly depressing”
AUXILIARY february 2009
fever ray “ was the first time I really started to understand what death is about” interview
edi tori al
4 l etter from the edi tor
4 mi ssi on statement 6 urban l i vi ng : getti ng back to the ci ty
7 sugar and spi ce and everythi ng ni ce?
8 paramour
adornments that make a statement, whether they are a gi ft to your l over or si mpl y a gi ft to yoursel f
14 subtl e DAY to bol d NIGHT beauty ti ps on how to transi ti on from your day l ook to a bol d ni ght l ook
15 Val enti ne a’l a Mode
red and chocol ate beauty
medi a
16 potenti al l i fe studi os 17 REPO! The Geneti c Opera
18 fi l m pri mer : offbeat val enti nes movi es
l i festyl e
19 my l i fe as a goth gi rl
Corporate Goth: because ni ce boots are expensi ve
21 dear chri ssi e
on the cover
neon fashi on : 47 fever ray : 26
babyl and : 23
22 Ti ki decorati ng
how to throw a Li vi ng Room Luau 29 the Pi nUp
Nofar Avi gdor i n Betsey Johnson musi c
23 Babyl and i ntervi ew
26 Fever Ray i ntervi ew
28 edi tor musi c pi cks
32 guest musi c revi ews
Lexi Lawsui t and Jason Draper
33 musi c revi ews
Babyl and, Fever Ray, Tel efon Tel Avi v,
Apoptygma Berzerk, and Combi chri st
36 l et me i ntroduce mysel f . . .
an i ntroducti on to our musi c revi ewers
fashi on
39 anatomy of an al t wardrobe : soci al hour
40 sepi a col ored gl asses Part II
current trends i n al ternati ve fashi on 42 neckti e paradox
men’s ti es by Cyberopti x Ti eLab
46 an i ntrospecti ve i nto gothabi l l y
47 bri ght
beat the wi nter gl oom wi th bol d neon col ors and ki tschy ani mal pri nts
59 where to buy
february 2009 AUXILIARY
Photographer : Luke Coppi ng
Styl i st : Meagan Breen
Makeup : Rachel Mazurek
Hai r : Jenni fer Buscagl i a
Model : Jami e Sutton letter from the editor
Welcome to the second issue of Auxiliary Magazine! We’ve made it past the one-hit-
wonder stage. When we first started out on this issue our idea was to make an issue about beating the winter blahs. Located in the northeastern US, we get a lot of snow this time of year and the February and March months are a generally a slow, dark, and depressing time. As we were putting together this issue I began to see that this theme had indeed woven itself into the issue, yet it had also developed into something more. There are straight forward articles like a guide to throwing your own winter luau; articles and features on Valentine’s day, love, and giving; and a fashion edito-
rial called “Bright” focusing on neon colors. But I could see there was more to it. In a time of economic depression in the US a lot of people are feeling frustrated and giving up hope. Though some are holding on to hope and light. This issue we have an editorial on moving to urban centers and how that can boost economic growth and help build a stronger city through community and culture. We have a feature on Potential Life Studios, a unique gallery in Rochester that is surviving despite every-
thing. And perhaps the most insightful were our interviews this issue. In the Fever Ray interview, Karin sighted the understanding and creativity that comes from family and being a mother. Dan and Smith of Babyland continually bring up survival and DIY throughout the interview, and pointed out that people are beginning to realize they need to do things in the scene to keep it alive and are starting up all sorts of new projects. So the theme to this issue, “brightness in the dark” seemed to take on a life of its own and surface in more ways than we had planned. In addition, you will also find a new photographer for one of our editorials, Studio X, and a much expanded music section. We hope that you are finding a way to keep positive and get through the dark months. Hopefully Auxiliary can aid you in this task. Enjoy, and as always, thank you for your support.
Sincerely, Jennifer Link
mission statement
Auxiliary Magazine. Auxiliary = alternative, supplementary, to provide what is miss-
ing, to give support. We have always had a love for the dark, the different, the unique, the creative. But from all sides we’ve heard what we love is on it’s way out, is suffering, is dying, is dead. Today an alternative aesthetic is seen more than ever. Yet the core, the base, the scene (gasp!); everyone is telling us is in a sad state. Reality is what you make it. Our goal is to provide high quality fashion editorials, photographs, and articles; unique reviews and insights on the best music out there; and to create discussion and passion about alternative lifestyles. There is a lot of amazing and creative stuff hap-
pening. We hope to find it, highlight it, and encourage it to grow.
And that is why we’ve created Auxiliary Magazine; an online magazine dedicated to fashion, music, and lifestyle with a darker aesthetic. There are no other boundaries than that. That is the strong point of alternative culture; and we hope to include it all.
And that is a lot of ground to cover. So contribute! Send us your fashion, your music, your events, your opinions, your projects, your ideas. This magazine isn’t for a select few, we don’t know it all, this magazine is for you and what we all love.
AUXILIARY february 2009
Editor in Chief
Jennifer Link
Fashion Editor
Meagan Breen
Music Editor
Mike Kieffer
Associate Editor
Luke Copping
Logo Design
Melanie Beitel
Copy Editor
Keith Bergeron
email :
issue 2 : february 2009
Jennifer Link
Luke Copping
Studio X
Illustration on page 21
James S. Cole
Photograph on page 22
Jennifer Link
Photographs on page 24
Joe Stewart
Photograph on page 25
Giuliana Maresca
Illustrations on page 36, 37, and 38
Maki Naro
Illustration on page 39
Nadir Balan
Photograph on page 40
Peter Hinson
model : Selene Gibbous
Photograph on page 46
Torrin Nelson
No part of this publication may be reproduced in any form or by any means, electron-
ic or mechanical, without the permission in writting from the publisher, except small excerpts for review purposes. Submitted work, reviews, ads, and photographs are copyrighted by their respective owners and fall under previous declaration. Copy-
right Auxiliary Magazine 2008.
Aaron Andrews
Melanie Beitel
Keith Bergeron
Meagan Breen
Luke Copping
Jason Draper
Jennifer Link
Mike Kieffer
Alex Kourelis
Rachel Mazurek
Paul Morin
Darren M. Orlowski
Aimee Porter
Sally Reardon
Elizabeth Schumer
Kaci A. Smith
Jennifer Sojka Vanity Kills
Grant Wigmore
Let us know what you think! 7
urban living : getting back to the city
sugar and spice and everything nice?
In most North American metropolitan areas city living is unfortunately no longer as commonplace as suburban living. The obvious exceptions to this being New York City, Chicago, and Toronto. In the decades following WWII, the shift from the urban core to the suburbs and now exurbs has increased dramatically. People fled the inner city for new single family homes and a plot of land to call their own. They left due to congestion, pollution, poverty and perceived high crime. Soon, retail and other employers followed the people causing the core of many urban areas to become a shell of their former selves. While in most parts of the United States it is largely acknowledged that schools are better in suburban areas (read: better places to raise a family), these areas are also considered places of homogeneity and mediocrity. Individuality is not only discour-
aged but in some cases, frowned upon. Suburbs (and now exurbs) are filled with chain restaurants and stores, acres of parking, multi-lane roads, and loop-de-loop streets of “cookie-cutter” houses in seemingly endless subdivisions. This monotony lacks not only good planning with too much separation between development but also lacks a sense of place; a uniqueness that exists in the inner city. “There is no there there,” as American writer Gertrude Stein once said, referring to Oakland Cali-
fornia in the early 20th century. Drive down any major suburban thoroughfare in the United States and there are very few visual cues to let one know where they are. They all look too similar with their “disposable architecture” and seas of surface parking lots. Mass produced restau-
rants such as Applebee’s and T.G.I. Friday’s, “big box” stores like Walmart, Best Buy, and Home Depot, and other chain stores blanket virtually every neighborhood. These low density areas were built exclusively for the car-owning demographic. Pedestrian activity is not only discouraged by a lack of sidewalks but is nearly impossible and dangerous due to the distances between businesses and multi-lane roads with higher speed limits. Urban planning is much more pedestrian friendly and encourages a sense of community.
Within the first decade of this new millennium there has been a resurgence of inter-
est in urban cores in both the United States and Canada. From Calgary, Alberta to Cleveland, Ohio to Toronto, Ontario to Tulsa, Oklahoma to Boise, Idaho to Buffalo, New York; across the entirety of North America, downtown cores of cities are not only being re-inhabited but reinvented as well. People born and raised in suburban areas are now young adults and want a more interesting, exciting, and stimulating environment. Empty-nesters who desire some excitement in their lives after years of raising their children in large suburban houses look for fun and more practical hous-
ing. These sought-after lifestyles can be found in the urban cores of North American cities. In the city there is a walkable environment that offers unique, historic, and interesting architecture with craftsmanship that just isn’t possible or at least is not economical today. Cities contain structures that were built to stand the test of time, not the tem-
porary and often-times pre-fab architecture that is predominately found in suburban areas. Cities that have invested heavily in public transportation such as light rail (Portland, Oregon and Calgary, Alberta come to mind) have enabled people to be less reliant on an automobile in the city, as opposed to the car culture which dominates suburbs. In dense urban areas buildings are constructed right up to the sidewalk lending to a more appealing pedestrian environment where catering to an automobile is secondary. Land use in cities merge together with multi-story buildings contain-
ing office, retail, and residential space in the same structures as opposed to suburban areas which tend to separate all uses from each other. This mix and higher density of land use is not only visually interesting; it also enables around the clock activity instead of a life span of the 9-5 workday.
In the urban core, diversity is prevalent with people of all races, backgrounds, cul-
tures, and income levels represented unlike most overwhelmingly white middle-
class suburbs. Entertainment options are varied and interesting, from art galleries, theaters, concert halls, and arenas to ethnic restaurants, local/independently owned shops, nightclubs, and bars. Urban areas ignite creativity and the collective gathering of people and ideas, enhancing cultural activity and development. People can ex-
press their individuality through a multitude of ways such as dress/clothing without the threat of being chastised by their peers.
I’d like be optimistic and think that people living in cities have a better sense of what (in my humble opinion) is truly important in life, placing more value on being culturally rich than striving for a “McMansion”, luxury car, or other material status symbols. The city is a living breathing organism, showing life at its best and worst aspects. People living in cities seem to lack a sense of fear, because they are con-
stantly exposed to people of different races and cultures, poverty and homelessness, and everything that occurs in a real un-sanitized environment. Don’t get me wrong, people can feel free to choose to live wherever they want. If you prefer a suburban environment, that is your prerogative. However, this unending sprawl of develop-
ment that is creeping further and further away from the central core is exclusively automobile reliant and not only foolish but will ultimately prove to be unsustainable. We have a finite amount of natural resources on this planet. In the United States, with a newly elected President who values city living, maybe things can indeed change for the better with reinvestment dollars flowing back to urban areas.
If you are reading this article while sitting at home in a typical subdivision in a subur-
ban area, do yourself a favor: explore the nearest city. Go to an art gallery, check out the historic and unique architecture, shop at stores you aren’t familiar with, eat at an ethnic restaurant, walk around mixed-use neighborhoods, and take it all in. It might open your eyes to a whole new world and give you a different perspective on life, or at the very least, it might make you realize that cities are just a tad bit more excit-
ing than suburbs. As humans we were meant to interact, not to be confined to self imposed boxes sheltered from the realities of everyday life. Living in an urban area is certainly not all “sunshine and rainbows” but I think the stimulating, pedestrian friendly environment it offers is better for ones physical and mental well being over-
all. As I once read on a skyscraper/urban development message board in reference to the city of St. Louis, “The city is coming back, back the city.”
When you think of little girls do you still imagine sugar and spice and everything nice? Do you imagine Barbie dolls and dreams of wedding days and baby names? Do you imagine fashionistas with pointy shoes, little purses, well stocked kitchens and an innate aversion to dirt, mud, and sweat?
What about striped knee socks, short pleated skirts, a fitted girly tee, a helmet, and a mouthguard? Does that throw you off? Not if you are a roller girl. More than 15,000 women in this country already are.
Roller derby started in the 1920s with skating marathons. The best parts were when skaters bumped into each other, taking each other down. The premise of roller derby exacerbates just that. It is a race, offense, defense, strategy, it is both physically demanding and exhilarating. The allure of roller derby is rapidly expanding. Even Hollywood has taken notice with a movie called Whip It in the works and multiple video games being created. At matches fans pile into local roller rinks to see something reminiscent of the 70s. However, this game is not fixed; it is not like “wrestling”. It is not theatrical, it is real and the hits are real. These women pour their hearts into this game. These athletes train in 3-4 intense practices each week. Skating skills assessments must be passed and rules tests must be passed. Many players work out on top of these practices. They make many changes to their lives in order to take their game to the next level. To them, roller derby is more than just a little hobby. Thousands of DIY leagues are springing up all over the country. The Women’s Flat Track Derby Association (or WFTDA) governs much of these leagues. They provide guidelines to skaters and leagues that make the game today a legitimate, consistent sport. These leagues are skater owned and skater operated. Players volunteer their time, bodies, and money, all for the love of the sport. They buy their own equipment, uniforms, and skates. They are the treasurers, marketers, committee heads, the bout production, and the entertainment. In many articles and online blogs written about roller derby, I have witnessed a lot of stigmas coming back on these women. Among the many stereotypes against derby girls are “the sport is fake”, “the games are fixed”, “all the girls are lesbians”, “all the girls are fat, ugly man-haters”, “all the girls are tattooed freaks”, “all the girls are trying to be boys”, and other such nonsense.
Well, I am a roller girl and I am none of those things. I train hard to own my skates. I work hard to have agility and endurance. I even have a personal trainer. I am not afraid to fall; I have had many bruises, a severely sprained ankle, and more to show for it. I have a job; a career, actually. I have a dog and turtles and lizards. I pay my own bills and clean my apartment and cook dinners. I like to bake; I make a mean pumpkin pie from real pumpkins. I am madly in love with a smart, good-looking boy and no, there are no kinky dominant/submissive issues there. I have one tattoo that has nothing to do with roller derby and I am not ugly, thanks. I am actually quite fit and attractive, if you must know. And, I love roller derby.
Aside from pure ignorance, these stereotypes spark a great deal of debate. We roller girls are indeed many things. We are teachers, corporate zombies, artists, hairdress-
ers, lawyers, writers, computer geeks, social workers, bankers, mothers, sisters, and daughters. Some of us prefer the ladies. Some of us are regular vanilla chicks. Some of us are married. Some of us have tattoos. Some of us even model… so you can throw that ugly comment right out the window!
Any league of 80+ women is bound to have a lot of variety. You can find that in a grocery store, on a college campus, even at the mall. What unites us all is a passion for a largely misunderstood sport known for its violence and speed. Roller derby is the only all female full contact sport. I suppose some men and even other women would have a problem with any woman breaking out from a traditional gender role. Since when was it cool for a girl to have stinky, sweaty wrist guards? Since when were bruises badges of honor for women? Since when was it a matter of pride to launch someone into the third row?
Is the ultimate legitimacy of roller derby as a sport questioned because women are perpetrating the offense of breaking the mold from traditional masculine/feminine roles? We have been spoon fed stereotypes for generations. Boys were encouraged to climb trees, ride mountain bikes, play hockey, and dig in mud. Boys are supposed to play sports. It is more socially accepted for boys to take risks and be bolder, all with a “boys will be boys” shrug. Girls aren’t supposed to take chances or risks, especially physically. Girls were always told to “be careful”, “watch out”, “don’t do that”, “be afraid of the dark”, be a cheerleader on the sidelines, encouraging the men. The gender intolerance happens on both sides of the coin as well. How many “effeminate” males are persecuted, harassed, or picked on?
There have been many occasions, especially in modern history, when women have been able to overcome certain gender limitations. Think of Rosie the Riveter, Wom-
en’s Suffrage, and the rise of women’s role in the workplace and their fight for salary equality. We can be doctors, lawyers, executives, professors, police officers, and soldiers and do it as well, if not better, than men. So why can’t we play a sport and do that well? Come to a bout and see what these women are all about. Expect to see some fast skating and some hard hits. Expect it to be real. Expect it to hurt. Expect to see one of the most exciting games you have ever seen. Roller derby: played by women with a little attitude and a lot of guts. AUXILIARY february 2009 february 2009 AUXILIARY
by Grant Wigmore, B.S. in Urban and Regional Analysis and Planning by Aimee Porter (Petite Furie QCRG #26)
We think it is important that alternative culture has a voice on important and current topics. Our editorial section is for your opinions.
email :
Sarcasm Necklace by Valerie Masterman
Secret Rapture Necklace by Raven Eve
february 2009 AUXILIARY
Photographer : Luke Coppi ng
Fashi on Styl i st : Meagan Breen
Makeup Arti st : Rachel Mazurek
Hai r Styl i st : Jenni fer Buscagl i a
Assi stant : Joe Chal i foux
Model s : Jami e Sutton and Chri sti na Chapman
Adornment s that make a st at ement, whet her they are a gi f t t o your l over or si mpl y a gi f t to yoursel f.
AUXILIARY february 2009
february 2009 AUXILIARY
Secret Rapture Necklaces by Raven Eve
Brass Leaf Finding and Antique Gold Pocket Watch Necklace with
Humming Bird Accent and Adjustable Cuff Bracelet with Antique Gold Swiss Pocket Watch Movement both by edmdesignsAUXILIARY february 2009
AUXILIARY february 2009
Ring with Vintage Silver Etched Pocket Watch Parts and Swarovski Crystal Adjustable Filigree by edmdesigns
Sky Blue Vintage Filigree Dragonfly Necklace by Federikas
february 2009 AUXILIARY
subtl e DAY to bol d NIGHT by Vanity Kills
Val enti ne a’la Mode
To some, Valentine’s Day is synonymous with single people everywhere ranting on their blogs about the invalidity of the holiday. These disgruntled bloggers argue that it was invented by greedy greeting card companies as a ploy to sell the holiday’s related goods. I prefer to focus on the bloody origins of the celebration by pointing out that the whole shebang ALLEGEDLY started when a priest named Val-
entine wedded young couples against Emperor Claudius II’s will. Claudius II believed that unmarried men made better soldiers and in his rage, had Valentine beheaded. Take the wimpiness out of out of February 14th by stocking your vanity with darkly decadent must-haves then wipe the floor with sappy pastels and that drugstore perfume your brother gifted you with out of pity. Let this Hallmark holiday be filled with bold, in-your-face sanguine inspired shades and luscious olfactory delights. Leave the self loathing and pining over the ex to the unfashionable.
available at . $12 each
Do you long for show-stopping eyes that induces a cardiac arrest in every man that crosses your path? If so, then gently pat some loose, true red pigment, such as Lime Crime Magic Dust in Siren across your entire eyelid from lash-line to crease using a brush with a rounded/tapered edge (239 eye shading brush by MAC is always a good choice). For a double shot of daring, apply a healthy layer of Lime Crime Transilva-
nia Glitter over the red pigment. Talk about a to- die-for gaze!
available at . $10
Slightly squeamish about renting all your eyelid real estate to such a loud shade? Flirt with red without fully committing to the whole over-the-top shadow experience by sprucing up your lashes with two coats of blood red mascara. Try Deep Blood Red Mascara by Bloody Mary.
available at . $14
Terminally dateless? Pour out your sorrows to your Robert Smith poster as you curl up in bed with a nice glass of red wine accompanied by The Cure’s Disintegration playing in the background. Even if your only make out partner is none other than the 24x36 inch image of Mr. Smith that hangs on the wall, you’ll still want to leave only the most exquisite crimson lip imprints. This means that nothing other than MAC Lipstick in Russian Red will do.
available at and
Just because Valentine’s Day falls on a Saturday this year shouldn’t stop your fingers from feeling festive Monday through Friday. What’s this I hear? You’re bound by the chains of corporate slavery you say? Slightly bend the rules of business casual without overtly offending dress code by sprucing up your basic office lady French manicure. Start off with your usual pre-manicure prep work, such as soaking your hands in warm water for 5 minutes, removing any traces of prior excess nail color with nail polish remover, and filing your nails into an oval shape. Never forget to apply a base coat. This extends the life of your chosen color. Sally Hansen Double Duty Strengthening Base & Top Coat never fails to please. Now for the fun stuff! Apply two coats of a rich red shade, such as Sephora by OPI Nail Colour in Personal Shopper. Following your color coat, paint a half moon shape on the tips using a black glitter-infused nail polish. Sephora by OPI Nail Colour in Never Enough Shoes will do the job exquisitely. Fix any blunders and color spills with the help of a nail polish remover pen such as Sephora Brand Nail Polish Corrector Pen. Finish off by apply-
ing a layer of topcoat to ensure that all your hard work doesn’t start chipping by day two. Lastly, make no apologies for your gutsy style choices. The natural look and safe neutrals are for the weak!
available at . $26
Dinner date? Take a cue from Front 242’s played out hit “Headhunter”. “One - you lock the target, two - you bait the line, three - you slowly spread the net, and four - you catch the Man” Do the baiting by dusting your neck, bare shoulders, and any other place you’d like him to take a bite out of with Urban Decay Flavored Body Powder in Marshmallow. The shimmer will catch his eye, the yummy scent will draw him in closer, and when you divulge the information that the powder indeed tastes just like marshmallows, there will be sampling involved. This delightful lure also comes with an adorable leopard print puff.
available at . $20
Conversely, some things that are actually deemed fit for human consumption should never be literally ingested. I firmly believe that the risks of wolfing down some Val-
entine’s Day candy greatly outweigh the benefits. I really wonder about some of this stuff! For example, I don’t actually know anyone who enjoys the taste of conversa-
tion hearts. Most people feel that they taste faintly reminiscent of chalk and aren’t overly enthused to receive them as a token of affection. That’s why some confections are best administered in a spray form. Enter Demeter Fragrance Library and savor sweet aromas without the ashen aftertaste! These perfumers captured the essence of the popular Valentine’s Day icon and bottled it up with flirty scents, such as Be My Valentine, which contains notes of peach skin, strawberry leaf, caramelized sugar, and ylang-ylang; Call Me leaves you smelling like lemon zest, jasmine, honeysuck-
le, water lotus, and white rose; Love Me is a bouquet of orange, lemon, bergamot, peach, white rose, ylang ylang, subtle skin musk, and soft vanilla. I guarantee that it’s a tenfold more appealing to your boyfriend than the real thing.
available at . $30
Alas, who needs to wait around until some boy decides that we’re special enough to be given a box of chocolates? Treat the most important person in your life (yourself!) with a sinfully sweet chocolate scented shower gel trio by Philosophy. It doubles as a shower gel and shampoo and comes in three mouth-watering aromas: white choco-
late, milk chocolate, and dark chocolate.
A light look for work or school can be created by gentle blending of light shimmery tones with a more conservative earth tone or neutral metallic. Add a light lip for some warmth without overpowering the eyes or making you look too formal. Light pinks and shimmery whites can be great for a lunch date or shopping trip. They draw attention to the eyes with sparkle rather than contrast. It makes for a great flirty daytime look with a lot of versatility. A clear lip gloss keeps your overall look fresh and light.
This is an edgier daytime look, with a very defined liner and a fuller lash for a look with contrast and depth. Mix some light blue shadows with silvers to make a statement that is bold but still light enough for the day. A rich, matte pink lip balances well against the strong colors of the eye.
Extend and thicken your eye liner and your look will become more dramatic. A darker look that is more appropriate for evening can be achieved by building on top of your day time eye shadow. Blend in two additional darker tones from the same color palette that you used in the base look. A peach tinted gloss gives a sophisticated pop of color to this very dramatic look.
By building color and depth on top of the existing base we can create some very interesting looks. Add some pink and yellow tones to the base you already have. This creates a night look great for a warm evening outdoor event. Add a rich pink/red with a lot of gloss to the lip to build even more impact. Note: eyeliner is very important to defining the shape of this look. Really build up the depth of color with more blended layers of multi-toned blue shadow to create a very dramatic look for the club. These rich colors will stand up to moving multi-colored lights and dim lighting but still make a statement in the late hours of the night when the houselights come up. There are many options for the lip with this look but a warm or nude tone will generally compliment it well. Hours can be short and we all lead busy lives. Being able to transition from one look to another in a hurry can be an invaluable skill in life. One of the easiest ways to save some time with your daily makeup routine is some clever planning. With planning and by carrying the right tools with you, five minutes here-or-there can transform your look from day to evening with minimum hassle. Here are some makeup looks and tips that start with a simple base look for the day and transition to a more intense look for night.
Look 1
Look 3Look 2
by Rachel Mazurek
It’s easy and it only takes a few minutes to change your eye liner or to blend another tone into your current eye shadow. The one rule to remember when doing this is that you can always add to a look but taking away can be trickier. Try to start with a light or neutral base that is versatile and wearable. This way, you can add in small amounts and evolve your look. beauty picks just in time for Valentine’s Day
Magi c Dust and Gl i tter - Lime Crime
Deep Bl ood Red Mascara - Bloody Mary
Li psti ck i n Russi an Red - MAC
Val enti ne’s Day Mani cure - Sally Hansen and Sephora
Fl avored Body Powder i n Marshmal l ow - Urban Decay
Conversati on Hearts Col ogne - Demeter Fragrance Library
Chocol ate Scented Shower Gel Tri o - Philosophy
If that doesn’t get you i n the V-Day spi ri t
rent some low budget horror flicks from the 80s where young couples get slaughtered in the midst of a makeout session while getting sloshed on some chocolate martinis. Because if you still get depressed this time of year nothing says holiday cheer like a combo of vodka, choco-
late, and gory movies!
Lime Crime Magic Dust
AUXILIARY february 2009
potenti al l i fe studi os REPO! The Genetic Opera
by Kaci A. Smith
You will not find generic landscape paintings at Potential Life Studios. This avant-
garde arts space is Rochester, New York’s answer to its lack of places to exhibit and view experimental art and music. When Jeremy Dziedic and Colleen Guthrie returned to Rochester in July 2007, they brought with them Potential Life Studios, a solution to what they saw as an absence in the Rochester arts scene. While other galleries in Rochester tend to cater to hobbyists or non-local artists, Potential Life Studio’s mission is to showcase local alternative and experimental art-
ists. Rochester, like many medium-sized cities in the United States, is not lacking in creative people, but instead is lacking galleries that highlight off-beat and non-
traditional art. The name of the gallery was adopted from the moniker Jeremy’s father used while screen printing band shirts in the 1980s. For those looking for something that runs against the grain, something that is less cookie-cutter and more raw, Potential Life Studios is the place to go.
Potential Life Studios is tucked away at 34 Elton Street. Unlike most galleries in the area, Potential Life Studios caters to the extraordinary artist. This studio is at the cutting-edge of the art scene and brings out some of the best of what the area has to offer. Most of the shows revolve around a particular theme, whether it be a sequential arts comic book show or photographs that incorporate origami elephants. Currently, the showing of “reMIXED Media” features the work of Chicken Bone, Kurt Ketchum, R. Scott Oliver, and Jeremy Dziedic. Many of the pieces are hung in antique frames, giving the gallery a more nostalgic feel. The gallery itself has a very DIY pathos and ethic. Each piece on display maintains a high level of quality and craftsmanship. The studio’s layout encourages people to interact and experience the artwork in a communal setting with many comfortable chairs and has music playing at all times. Such a design encourages the viewers to stay for a while and chat, rather than just look and leave. There is also an abundance of merchandise for sale, includ-
ing t-shirts and smaller prints from local artists. Potential Life Studios operates for the love of art, not for the paycheck. Other gal-
leries in the area tend to capitalize on artists who are eager to display their artwork. Many galleries, regardless of location, will charge artists a hanging fee to use their space and are often not very selective in the quality of work that is exhibited. A typical trend in the art scene celebrates names rather than talent. This tends to lead to mediocre, run-of-the-mill scene galleries. This is the antithesis of Potential Life Stu-
dios. Funding for the gallery comes from donation, as well as the pockets of Jeremy and Colleen. An attitude found in some medium to smaller sized cities is that their city is devoid of a notable art scene. This apathy needs to stop and people need to start attending events. Art enthusiasts need support their community with attendance and patronage to keep places like Potential Life Studios alive and multiplying.
The experimental noise and music scene is fairly large in Rochester, but one wouldn’t know it if they opened any of the weekly events papers. Potential Life Studios not only provides a venue for local alternative and experimental artist but also encour-
ages musicians to collaborate in their weekly event Output: Noise. Every Sunday, musicians can come into the gallery and collaborate and experiment with music in a different way than just in their normal practice. This collaboration is then recorded and released monthly on a compilation. Listeners can subscribe to the compilation at $50 for six months. Every cent of sale goes towards keeping the studio open and bringing in new music. This multi-faceted venue is not unlike spaces you would find in major cities around the world. The collaborative and innovative music coming out of Potential Life Studios is similar to artist collective, The Kitchen, that was founded in the 70s. the Kitchen helped launch the careers of John Cage and Philip Glass. This is the only place in town where you can hear classically a trained saxophonist freestyle over the sounds of a sampler that someone drilled into a suitcase. This is the audiophile’s dream for listening to live music. The acoustics in the building create a resonance that adds to the experience. Along with local musicians, Potential Life Studios has also featured national acts such as Sunburned Hand of the Man, CJ Boyd, and Tom Carter from Charalambides.
Flying below the radar, for now, Potential Life Studios is Rochester’s best kept secret. As a Rochester native, I have always been saddened when innovative and exciting places have closed down (Analog Shock, A/V Space, and The Night Gallery), so it was inspiring to meet Jeremy and Colleen. Since graduating from art school in 2006, I had been trying to find a place that could fill the niche I was craving. Potential Life Studios is that place. If you’re in the area, I encourage you to check out one of their upcoming events and see for yourself.
AUXILIARY february 2009 february 2009 AUXILIARY
After several rounds of “road tour” theater screenings Repo! The Genetic Opera was released on DVD and Blu-Ray on January 20th. Will Repo! prove to become a major cult classic?
A Venetian style carnival at night, adorned in rich golds and blues, is a fine setting for any opera. But it is the little details that set the scene here: the bags of organs hanging from the vendors’ stalls, a young man wearing a woman’s face, an opera diva with mechanical eyes, and enough human oddities to cast several Tod Brown-
ing films. All this makes you realize that this might not be an opera in the classical sense of the word. Based on the stage production of the same name by Darren Smith and Terrance Zdun-
ich and directed by Darren Lynn Bousman, Repo! The Genetic Opera is a new fusion of rock opera and apocalyptic futurism. This production is a shocking, horror-tinged look at what might happen should our culture’s obsession with cosmetic surgery and artificial perfection continue to their extremes. To quickly sum up the plot - a large biotech firm has perfected techniques for organ harvesting and transplanting and has made these advances available to the public, for a price. Financing is available but should you fail to pay your debt then GeneTech will send one of their cadre of lethal surgeon/assassins after you to reclaim the company’s property.
Anothony Stewart Head plays Nathan, one of the Repo Men that GeneTech employs. Nathan is a character possessed with an interesting juxtaposition of natures. In one regard, Nathan is a doting father and doctor, haunted by the sins of his past and trying to raise his daughter in a less- than-friendly world, but he is also a monstrous and skilled assassin who enjoys his work with an almost ecstatic glee. This role is a real showcase of Head’s talents. He turns in one of the strongest performances in the film, both musically and theatrically, though those familiar with his previous role on Buffy The Vampire Slayer, or his career on stage, know that he is no stranger to musical the-
ater. Hopefully this role will prove that he is more capable of carrying an American film production as a lead rather than being relegated to supporting roles. Other standout performances in the film are delivered by Sarah Brightman and Ter-
rance Zdunich. Zdunich plays his role of Graverobber (one he has played in several incarnations of Repo! productions) with such cleverness and charisma that he is ab-
solutely essential to the film as both a narrator and for his performances through-
out the production. Of all the characters present in the film, his is perhaps the most memorable. The set production and the costuming are aspects of the film that are true accomplish-
ments. Lavish colors mix with the dull tones of stone, metal, and night to create the sort of world where things might have once been luxurious and plush, but the velvet drapes have rotted away to show the wall underneath. It seems that decay is at the heart of this film, both in plot and in aesthetics. The costuming mixes a certain op-
eratic sensibility with a mix of futuristic haute couture and modern day fetish wear. Lace and ruffles are mixed liberally with leather and latex to create an anachronisti-
cally wonderful collection of looks. Overall, the film has the potential to become a true cult classic. While lacking much of the camp of masterpieces of the genre like Phantom of the Paradise or the Rocky Horror picture show, Repo! just might have what it takes to become the cult musical of choice of the future generations of film fans. It mixes humor, style, edginess, and some genuinely well written songs like “Zydrate Anatomy” with a solid cast and great art direction. This film is definitely worth checking out.
by Luke Copping
The costuming in the film is notable in its own right. Rorward thinking and an anach-
ronistic blending of styles has created some great looks for the production. Espe-
cially the costumes for the characters of Shilo and Blind Mag. In fact I think Shilo’s wardrobe may end up inspiring a slew of imitators. A mixture of high end vintage looks with forward thinking tailoring and modern materials has created a real fashion syntax for the film. It’s far the from the silver lammé, or torn leather and rags of most post-apocalyptic visions, it seems as though they have followed the natural evolution of several current and past trends have created realistic and styling interpretations of what their future versions might be like.
Skinny Puppy’s Ogre also makes an appearance in the film as Pavi Largo, one of the three decadent Largo children, he may be one of the more frightening images in the film. Adorned in the skin of women’s faces over his own, he comes across as ev-
eryone surgical nightmare come true. Ogre’s character possesses vain and feminine characteristics that make him quite surprising in his role.
Visit for more information.
a uni que off-beat art space exi sti ng outsi de of the l arge ci ty and tradi ti onal gal l ery real ms 16
Fi lm Pri mer : Offbeat Val enti nes Movi es by Luke Copping
Happily ever after? Not in these films. Who said a love story has to have a happy ending? Check out these films with your valentine this year, or watch them yourself in a bitter film festival. Either way, all of the following are great films in their own right, but will provide a nice alternative to the sugar coated Hollywood teen love-
fests that seem to flood the market every year around this time.
Harold and Maude
Director - Hal Ashby
The mock suicides, the Cat Stevens soundtrack, memorable characters, and possibly the coolest car in the history of cinema all serve to make Harold and Maude one of the truly unique films of the 70s. But on top of all that it also one of the greatest and most extreme examples of a May-December romance in film. Harold and Maude is light hearted, funny, shocking, romantic, and tragic.
Director - Gregg Araki
The off-beat romantic comedy has become a modern film tradition, usually poorly conceived and even more poorly executed. Araki’s tale of a young woman who restarts her dating life by jumping into a poly-amorous relationship with two men is an exception to the rule. Abel and Zed could not be more different, yet they grow to treat each in an almost brotherly fashion in order to hold onto the women they both love. The movie is full of genuinely sweet moments and off kilter comedy but never becomes overly saccharine.
Natural Born Killers
Director - Oliver Stone
Taking the Bonnie and Clyde archetypes to their natural extremes, Stone’s controver-
sial mid-nineties criticism of crime, romance, trash TV, and violence is a love story in the most negative of ways. Mickey and Mallory are, of course, morally reprehensible characters that simultaneously sicken and excite the viewer. At the same time there is a very strong undercurrent of romance between the two that seems to cut through the blood, violence, and wanton murder.
True Romance
Director - Tony Scott
Written by Quentin Tarrantino and starring Christian Slater and Patricia Arquette, True Romance is another love story that follows the same lines as Natural Born Kill-
ers. Featuring appearances by some of the best actors of the time and also by many who went on to become stars. This hyper violent and quirky story is the perfect blend of cool/geek love.
The Fountain
Director - Darren Aronofksy
A timeless love story in three interwoven narratives. Aronosky’s film is a study of mortality, love, meta-fiction, and Mayan legend. The visuals are stunning but the quality that standouts the most are the centuries spanning romance between Hugh Jackman and Rachel Weisz which is so haunting that it embeds a cosmic event of culminate and resolve to the story.
Director - Kim Ki-duk
This mostly silent film illustrates that sometimes love goes deeper than words. A nomadic young man who breaks into and lives in the apartments of others while they vacation meets a battered housewife during one of his extended “visits”. Despite the woman’s husband trying to keep the two apart, a silent romance develops between them, culminating in the young man developing a very peculiar talent that lets them finally express their love for each other.
But I’m a Cheerleader
Director - Jamie Babbit
The life of a mundane high-school cheerleader is turned on its head when she is sent to a rehabilitation camp for homosexual teens despite her protests. What ensues is not only her journey of self discovery, but also one of the most romantic films to come out of the 90s. Babbit’s first feature is notable for the controversy it caused when it was suggested that the film was rated harshly by the MPAA (Motion Picture Association of America) for its homosexual content.
The House of Yes
Director - Mark Waters
Between the incest and the Kennedy assassination fetish of the main characters, The House of Yes still manages to bring passion and the weird together, though ending tragically in more ways than one. The film adapted from Wendy MacCleod’s play of the same name, is a low key drama spiked with scenes of manic intensity (mostly brought about Parker Posey’s portrayal of the unstable Jackie).
Annie Hall
Director - Woody Allen
Proving that just because a movie does not have a happy ending does not mean it has to have a sad one. Allen’s film is an all too realistic interpretation of modern relation-
ships. Equally heartbreaking and hysterical, Allen and Keaton’s characters are very flawed and very real people, just like any of us. This is a move that made me realize that I liked Woody Allen’s films. It is also worth seeing, if you are a Christopher Walked fan, for his short but unsettlingly funny role of Duane Hall.
Director - Takeshi Kitano
Three stories that visually overlap, while never really connecting or interfering with each other, Kitano attacks the notions of love and obsession from three very different angles. A silent couple who are bound together wander the country as the seasons change. A lonely young man is obsessed to dangerous degree with a pop star. An aging gangster longs for the romance of his youth and goes to many troubles to find it. These are the stories that Kitano tells in a very non-linear and colorful style.
my life as a goth girl
February 1st, 2009
Dear Diary,
“Corporate Goth: because nice boots are expensive.” At least that’s what the clichéd bumper sticker prominently displayed in my cubicle at work proudly states. I tacked it up to the cork board as a humble reminder to keep on rolling with the punches when mandatory overtime, caused by system crashes somewhere in India, cuts into my coffee shop time with the girls. Yes, the bi-weekly ritual of caffeine and gossip filled “Harpy Hour” is what kept me from hurling myself from the 40th floor of my corporate high rise many times over. As for the above mentioned sticker? Every single time the evil overlords on the 40th floor decided that they wanted to morph into micromanaging monsters and found a new way to torture their 12th floor office peons (that would be us), I needed SOMETHING to remind me that the high cost of latex, platform shoes, and couture corsetry is what keeps me at my job. NOT the good of the company.
I was the Peter Gibbons of the CorpGoth world. You don’t want to know how many times I’ve fantasized about gutting a fish at my desk and tossing the entrails right onto my annoying co-worker’s monitor.
Alas, there came a day when I said, “enough is enough.” The administrative slave drivers on the previously noted 40th floor unveiled their latest ploy, designed to cause us little people a great deal of misery, this past Friday. A new schedule was to be implemented starting next month. By “new schedule” I mean a cruel and unusual punishment of working Tuesday through Saturday. Yeah, you heard me right. Friday was the new Thursday! At first I dismissed the ridiculousness of such audacity with an explosion of laughter until I realized that my immediate supervisor wasn’t pulling my fishnet-covered leg! Me working Saturdays? The hell you say! Anything that cuts into Friday night clubbing is equivalent to heresy in my eyes. YOU TRY STAY-
ING OUT �TILL 5 a.m. and then come in to work all bright eyed and bushy tailed on a Saturday morning. Ahem… I don’t think so.
And so a letter of resignation was promptly drafted and delivered to my boss’s desk at 8:00 AM sharp this morning.
by Vanity Kills
On the way back from the managerial office, an irony of fate struck so hard and fast that I didn’t even know it hit me until 15 minutes or so after the fact.
I was en route to a much-needed pit stop at the coffee maker when I literally col-
lided with some man of mystery. I blurted a rushed apology in his general direction before I managed to look up. An upward glance revealed cheekbones so sharp that they could have easily taken an eye out. These cheek bones were attached to a not so unfamiliar face. The face of a frienemy.
I uttered a never-ending string of curses in my head upon realizing that I just bumped into my ex- archrival, Eli Erickson.
Six or seven years ago, Eli decided that he hated my guts and decided to proclaim his newfound dislike of yours truly by dumping a drink on my head in front of the entire bar. That didn’t fly with my feisty 18-year-old self and I returned the disgrace by unceremoniously punching him in the face and fistfight ensued. That night a fierce competition of “who could win the most scene points” was born. If I posed for a local photographer, he’d suddenly flood his LiveJournal with photos taken by someone allegedly 5 times “more famous” (according to him anyway). A pair of new high-stacked platforms in my closet meant that Eli’s had to be at least two inches big-
ger and $200 more expensive. Anytime I’d show off my new dread falls at the club, he’d appear with installed extensions a week later and proclaim that, “only losers wear dread falls.”
This nonsense lasted around three years until Mr. Erickson decided that moving to Hollywood in order to pursue alternative modeling as a full-time profession was a wise life choice. I remember laughing on the inside upon hearing the news, while being relieved that the snobby little jerk would be out of my fake hair for good. How-
ever, in true Eli fashion, he couldn’t just pack his things and leave without throwing a monkey wrench into my life.
19 “Corporate Goth: because ni ce boots are expensi ve”
AUXILIARY february 2009 february 2009 AUXILIARY
This work is purely fiction. All characters portrayed in this work are fictitious and any resemblance to real persons, living or dead, is purely coincidental. All events detailed below are intended solely for entertainment purposes only. So you can laugh and enjoy, it’s not real. As stated in the last installment, “for goodness sake, it’s just GOTH.”
dear chrissie
Dear Chrissie,
My boyfriend and I have been together for the past four years. We constantly declare our love for each other and while he does occasionally compliment me, he’s got the worst case of the wandering eye ever. Whenever we go out, he ogles these cheap looking Paris Hilton look alikes. I try not to let it bother me, but I can’t help it. When he looks at girls that look so different from me, I secretly freak out that given the chance he’d dump me for a bleach-blonde tanned bimbo. How do I deal? Is it him or me? Help!
Sincerely, Dakota [Pittsburgh, PA]
Dear Dakota,
While this behavior from your boyfriend might be annoying, you have to realize that he isn’t blind, or dead (yet), and he will notice other girls. But it is one thing to look and another thing to actually go about trying to get with them. From what you tell me, you both seem very committed to one another and truly love each other. So I would guess he isn’t about to go after these girls instead of being with you. If he were that type of guy then he probably would have done that a long time ago. I wouldn’t look at it as being a problem so don’t make it a problem.
Luv, Chrissie
One drunken Friday evening, dubbed “Eli’s Official Going Away Party”, as I attempt-
ed to stumble my way to the ladies’ room, none other than Eli Erickson, grabbed my arm and pulled me into a dark alcove. Expecting “Fist Fight: the Sequel”, I tensed every single muscle in my body, ready to give the pompous idiot a farewell beat down he’d never forget. Much to my dismay throwing down was the last thing on his mind as his inebriated self began to confess his three-year-old crush on me. That’s right… a crush… on… me! An apologetic and sorrowful Eli declared that all the unfounded aggression directed at me was nothing other than projecting the rejection he felt since our initial meeting. Apparently he was all up in arms over the fact that upon meeting his posse for the first time, I had one too many and hooked up with his friend Garrett. Not straying too far from being the shallow narcissistic Eli I’ve come to “know and love” so much, he professed that he felt like it was a monumental blow to his ego, as no girl had ever chosen another over him. So he set out to destroy me socially.
To say that my jaw dropped and my ability to speak had suddenly vanished was a gross understatement. I stood there in the shadows frozen and unable to move as Eli allowed himself to be reabsorbed by the party atmosphere.
Until today that’s the last I’ve seen of Eli. He left me no updated Hollywood contact information and I wasn’t one to seek it out. Too much bad blood transpired between us for me to give a damn. I’d never forgive myself for chasing after a guy who treated me like dirt for the past three years, even if he was inconceivably hot. Not counting the fact that by the time Eli decided to drop this “I secretly desired you all along” bomb on me, I was already in the early stages of dating my present boyfriend Shayne.
So I deleted Eli from my memories and assumed that he went away for good. Clearly, being the cybergoth Derek Zoolander was not in the cards for Eli, since he now stood before me in the flesh at my soon to be ex place of employment.
Dear Chrissie,
I recently met a guy on a social networking site. Judging by his pics, he’s the hottest man on earth right after Trent Reznor. I think he digs me too, or so I’ve been told. So what’s the problem? Well... I hate to admit it, but what he’s seen of me online doesn’t necessarily show the real me. Yes, I couldn’t resist the infamous angle shot. My online photos make me look about 50-75 pounds slimmer than I am in real life. He never mentioned being attracted to BBWs, so I am majorly freaking out about him being unattracted to the real me. All 280 pounds! We’re supposed to meet up on St. Paddy’s Day and he’s driving all the way from Philly to meet me. I’m hoping that after an eight hour drive he won’t take one good look at me, hop back in the car, and curse me out for not telling him my online pics are somewhat deceptive. I’m a nervous wreck. What do I do?
“Vampira Von DeVille” [Eden, NY]
Dear Vampira Von DeVille,
First of all, there must be reasons other than your looks that are making this man want to drive eight hours to meet you. Have more confidence in yourself as a person; lik-
able for who they are. I’m sure that since he has found you attractive by the photos he has seen, you are indeed a very attractive woman, regardless of your weight. The best thing to do if you are so worried about how he will react is to send him another more realistic photo of you before he drives up. Then if he still comes to visit you, you know he really does like you for your whole package.
Luv, Chrissie
I’m sure you are all familiar with the “Dear Abby” column. Well this is “Dear Chris-
sie”, a similar column for those of you with questions about like and love, relation-
ship beginnings and endings; all those things that occupy so much of our lives and thoughts. I know I’ve had my share of all that I just mentioned, some fortunately or unfortunately more than others, and I hope to share my wisdom, or at least experi-
ence, with all of you.
So please write me with your questions regarding relationships and the like. Send me your lovelorn letters or just your simple ponderings. Don’t be too embarrassed to write about anything you’d like, I’ll keep everything confidential and change the names.
I look forward to hearing from you and helping you out with your questions! Until then, this is Dear Chrissie.
: dearchri ssi e@auxi l i arymagazi
I blinked a few times to make sure that my eyes weren’t playing tricks on me, but it was most definitely THE Eli Erickson I once exchanged so many bitter words with. In a million years I couldn’t picture Eli “selling out to the man” and working in an office complex but there he was! His waist length multi-colored dreads now replaced with a sleek black ponytail, his cheek piercings gone the way of the dinosaur and his eyebrows restored to the way that nature intended.
Still speechless for the most part, I promptly excused myself and raced back to my desk. A few frenzied texts to Cassy, Morgan, and Justine called for an emergency meeting at Hallowed be thy Grounds, the coffee shop we met at religiously twice a week to discuss our respective love lives and the latest round of juicy scene drama.
Before my meeting with the girls, I decided that fishing for more info around the office was in order. I planned on grilling some coworkers for details at lunchtime, when none other than Eli beat me to the punch. He gladly volunteered to give me the much sought after dirt.
And so, my former arch-nemesis was the newest IT guy on my floor. The same for-
mer arch-nemesis asked me to drop by at his place for wine and a viewing of Repo!: The Genetic Opera this very evening. He snarkily added that I might as well look at the real Ogre instead of wasting my time with a cheap carbon copy. A jealousy driven stab at the Skinny Puppy worshipping Shayne.
I’m due to quit in two weeks.
My onetime adversary hints at the possibility of a fling.
Furthermore somehow I didn’t find myself saying no.
Things are about to get very interesting…
my life as a goth girl
AUXILIARY february 2009
february 2009 AUXILIARY23
Babyland’s album The Finger has been in heavy rotation on my iPod for a few years now so I was overly excited when I received the opportunity to interview them. The opportunity was sprung on me the very night I returned home from vacation. Of course, my five-hour flight came with a complimentary screaming kid who also en-
joyed kicking my seat. When I finally arrived home, I saw I had a message from Dan Gatto, Babyland’s lead singer/programmer saying he was excited about the interview and we should get together before their show that night. I was suddenly reminded of how excited I was. I couldn’t refuse so I forced myself to muster up some energy. After a brief game of phone tag, a typical LA traffic jam, and a mad dash back to my car to stop it from getting ticketed, I was in front of the venue being greeted by Dan and Michael Smith, Babyland’s junk-chuckers extraordinaire.
Babyland is a performance-based band with an electronic “junk punk” sound from Los Angeles, California. In February, Metropolis Records’ new signed Babyland will release their sixth full-length album; Cavecraft. Imagine an energetic band with Dan’s vocals sounding like something straight out of the movie The Decline of Western Civilization and Smith banging on anything he can find, including the kitchen sink.
After brief introductions we walked to a nearby Thai restaurant. Meanwhile, the duo educated me on LA climate and rainfall and how this chilly season was not typical. Over some hot tea and Thai food I had the chance to learn more on the inner work-
ings of Babyland.
You guys have been working together about twenty years now, did you ever imagine being together this long when you first started?
Smith: Yeah we did, I did, I was thinking… why the hell not?
Dan: I don’t know if I thought about anything twenty years in the future. I don’t think I had any kind of idea if we would only last for a short time. It was sort of like… It was an idea of progress.
Smith: When I was young, everything was forever. I actually have this problem of letting go of things. It was like in some bizarre way, every alliance, every project, everything was supposed to be this, you know, continuing permanent struggle. So this was just a part of that.
In the time that you’ve been together the music industry has completely changed it’s formula. How have you have been affected by these changes?
Smith: We’ve been around long enough to see a couple different cycles. You know there are sort of business cycles to everything. There are ups and downs for every in-
dustry. The tragic comedy of that cycle is something that we’ve actually learned to sit back and just kind of enjoy as it goes by. We’ve learned to insulate ourselves from it to the point where really it’s something that happens, kind of over there. Sometimes we get to catch a wave and go with it for a little while and sometimes it completely has nothing to do with us at all.
Dan: And we were lucky… It could of really gone anyway when we started. I mean, we really didn’t know very much. But we got involved with an independent punk label called Flipside in Los Angeles, who also ran a magazine, and really what they sort of instilled in us is a very… you know… I don’t know if it’s DIY, the way that people consider DIY.
Smith: It was less idealistic and more skeptical. That there is no one out there trying to help you, and we can kind of pull together on our own. But it wasn’t a big ideal-
ist sort of revolution… like maybe the MaximumRocknRoll scene was a little more idealistic. The Flipside scene was just kind of these outcasts, we put on these cool events, we do these interesting things, and we do it for as long as we want cause it’s pure chaos.
Dan: It also was filled with a lot of bands who just had enthusiasm and really didn’t know any better and just thought well, why can’t we put out a record, why can’t we do this? The bands were lucky because there was the magazine that was distributed nationwide. People were aware of the magazine and it helped to carry the bands. So we sort of learned from that and emulated that, even when we left… when Flipside sort of stopped putting out records. We figured, well, let’s just put out our own re-
cord. Smith: We’ll carry on with the same philosophy but just on our own now.
Okay, so that’s why there was the transition from Flipside to your own label Mattress?
Smith: Yeah. That cycle of the music industry got really, really, crazy weak and screwed up obviously in the late 70s, maybe early 80s. As the main music industry got really weak you saw all kinds of really great interesting things happen on the peripheral because they couldn’t hammer it flat. Punk rock and hip hop and all kinds of amazing shit started happening because the major music industry was just ass over tit, just totally weak. All the great independent punk labels from the 80s started up in that weakness, basically that was the launch bed. That was the stuff that we were listening to, that we were into when we were teenagers. And with Flipside we were lucky enough to catch on to the tail end of that. Over the course of the 90s, the story there was, the music industry got back up on its feet and basically took over every-
thing again. All those independent labels, that entire model of doing business just didn’t survive. Very few of them are still around. Mom and pop stores were closing down, college radio was diversifying, kind of out off on a tangent wi th Babyl and
by Darren M. Orlowski
Winter! If you live in the north eastern US like myself, it’s a dreaded time chock full of monstrous heating bills, frostbite, and crappy driving conditions that would make anyone long for a tropical retreat somewhere completely devoid of freezing precipitation. Moreover, this is the season of shortest days and lowest temperatures which cause many to experience seasonal depression. It’s quite tempting to cash in all of your holiday time immediately, ditching this frozen hell hole, and boarding the next plane to Bora Bora. Thanks to the tanking US economy, paying for a vacation nowadays is comparable in cost to an organ transplant. If you can’t go to the Garden of Eden, bring the Garden of Eden to you! Fortunately, you don’t need the vast fortunes of an oil Sheik to do so. Allow yourself to get swept away by the winds of island madness and surrender to the deliciously kitschy world of Tiki.
Despite it’s roots in Polynesian and Hawaiian mythology, Tiki came to signify all manner of miscellaneous paraphernalia of the Pacific islands. The most iconic of which are the carved representations of Pacific island gods. Depending on the carved Tiki in question, the authenticity might vary. Some are depictions of actual deities while some are created solely for the purpose of being sold to tourists as souvenirs. All of these carvings are prized and highly sought after by collectors of “Polynesian pop”.
Tiki first cast its infectious south seas spell in the 1930s when Donn Beach opened “Don the Beachcomber” and Victor Bergeron opened “Trader Vic’s” on the California coast. Copycat establishments soon followed and by the 1950s, mainstream America officially adopted the Tiki bar as a means to escape from life’s everyday headaches. Envision a dark windowless room (the outside world spoils the fantasy of an island getaway) lit by puffer fish lamps hung in excess over the bar and placed above each booth. Looking around you will see exotic foliage, fishing nets, black velvet paintings of nude oceanic lovelies seducing you from the walls, while Les Baxter’s “Ports of Pleasure” plays unob-
trusively in the background. Gorgeous women wearing next to nothing serve you tasty rum and fruit juice infused concoctions with campy names like “Mai Tai”, “Singapore Sling”, and “Suffering Bastard” garnished generously with fresh fruit, tropical flowers, and colorful paper umbrellas. Sometimes one would get “lei’ed” with a flower garland upon being seated at their table. In the higher end establishments, it was not uncommon to be treated to a full blown Polynesian floor show which included live music and the traditional dances of Tahiti, Samoa, Hawaii, and New Zealand. A performance of the fireknife dance was always a crowd favorite! Nobody cared about a late car insurance payment or an unfaithful spouse (if only for a moment) when watching the enchanting hips of a wahine rhythmically swaying as she danced the hula just a few feet away. By the mid 1970s the Tiki phenomenon became yet another passé trend and many of the legendary bars, nightclubs, and restaurants went the way of the dinosaur, falling victim to the wrecking ball. Fortunately a Tiki Renaissance bloomed in the mid 1990s and a fresh crop of Tiki bars have been steadily popping up in the last 10-15 years. Some became successful, others flopped, while several never closed to begin with. There’s no telling if one will open up in your area in the near future so beat luck to the punch, tell winter to suck it, and host a fabulous Tiki soirée in your very own living room.
by Vanity Kills
Ditch the arctic freeze for a tasty slice of your own private
tropical paradise. No passport necessary.
Turn off those harsh overhead lights. Invest in a few strands of Tiki-themed party lights and string them up in strategic locations around doorways, on the windows, and over the refreshment table. Purchase several coconut and pineapple shaped ceramic cups, light small votive candles and place them inside. Make sure you don’t leave them in areas where they’ll be left unattended for long periods of time. If you can score actual pufferfish lamps, by all means use them though they are a bit hard to find. Unless you only plan on showing Elvis Presley’s Blue Hawaii (on mute) all night long, don’t dare turn that TV on! For an authentic flair, delight your guests with the likes of Les Baxter, Martin Denny, and Arthur Lyman.
When it comes to Tiki, there’s no such thing as too cluttered. Stick carved wood Tikis in any place you can fit them. Whether they’re on the table, the shelves, or guarding the entrance to the bathroom they’re only bound by one rule: the more, the merrier! Spruce up your walls with tribal war clubs, masks, fishing nets, framed postcards from Hawaii, ceremonial paddles, and velvet paintings. Wooden signs with words like “Aloha” and “Tiki Bar” etched into them are also appropriate.
The core components of most Tiki drinks are rum and fresh fruit juice. Good rum can cost you a pretty penny, so I suggest that you plan a projected drink menu ahead of time. Google up the ingredients in some classic Tiki bar favorites (listing them all here would take up all the pages of Auxiliary Magazine) such as “Navy Grog”, “Singapore Sling”, “Zombie”, “Mai Tai”, and “Planter’s Punch”. Compile the list of neces-
sary alcohols and e-mail it to all the party attendees. It can function as a “liquor registry”. A boozy potluck is a fun way to have a diverse drink tasting menu at a fraction of the price. Serving your libations in Tiki mugs is a must! Popular Tiki mug themes include but are not limited to: skull, pirate, hula girl, Easter Is-
land head, Fu Manchu, coconut, volcano bowls, and Tiki (duhhh!). Fruit, flower, and mini paper umbrella garnishes are mandatory!
Now get out there and raise some hula hell!
Living Room Luau
A pu-pu platter stacked high with spring rolls, barbecued spare ribs, crab rangoons, and chicken satay is sure to be a palette pleaser. Serving elaborate examples of Pacific Rim cuisine is more appropriate for smaller, intimate dinner parties while large groups of hungry drunks are more likely to appreciate the easily acces-
sible finger foods.
AUXILIARY february 2009
on supporting punk rock or college rock type stuff and getting more into dance music or hip hop. The major labels were learning, the best example being grunge, not to throw stones at the grunge bands particularly. [In] that era, the major labels learned how to completely co-opt that entire genre of college rock. After that, that just shut down that whole sort of channel for people to be able get out there. That has been opening again, I think, with a lot of the emo stuff and a lot of the electro-clash stuff. I think that’s been pried open again and it’s awesome.
Your new album Cavecraft is being released by Metropolis, how did this come about?
Dan: I think starting in about 2006, the industrial, what people call the “industrial scene”, okay, vaguely the industrial scene, we sort of tried to stay away from it for quiet some time. It wasn’t something that we were totally into. I think for me, what it came down to, was a lot of the bands didn’t play live. What ended up happening was these bands started playing live more and more and we were asked to play shows. So we got to know people and we got to know people who put out records through Metropolis. We got to find out and know that these people are doing the exact same thing that we’re doing, in terms of it’s all do-it-yourself. Except they spend a lot of time making it look like it’s not all do-it-yourself. Their aesthetic is, “we live in some castle somewhere”, as opposed to the DIY aesthetic of, “oh yeah we live in this crappy garage and record everything on a 4-track.” It’s just a different sort of thing. But they were putting all their time and effort into it, and we met a lot of people, and I think over time for me personally, I felt more and more comfortable with the people who were involved with Metropolis. These bands, they’re really great people. We spent time, we recorded this record, and before rushing to say hey let’s just put it out ourselves on our own label, we said, maybe we should send this to Metropolis and see what they think.
What do you consider your main inspiration for Cavecraft?
Smith: Survival. Survival in the face of just an overwhelming volume of things that are just utterly depressing. And yet, somehow, there’s always that kernel of good times to be had somewhere deep beneath it, if you sort of peel away the bloody ban-
dages. That’s actually, to me at least, the heart of it.
Dan: And it is a focus on looking towards ourselves. We did a lot of the work our-
selves, in terms of mixing and recording certain things. I think we took on a lot more of the recording.
Smith: More than ever before.
Dan: There was a sense of homemade craft, something that comes from the two of us working together. The idea that…
Smith: …it’s overwhelmingly primitive.
Dan: Right.
Did you have any difficulty coming up with the songs for this album?
Dan: The longer we do creative things the more we start to realize that it is a continu-
um. The idea you had when you were fifteen years old, you might use now. Nothing really belongs in any particular [order], it’s all a giant toolbox, you can pull from all these different things. But I think the thing that was different about this one was, the idea that we really didn’t have a deadline on it. We sort of started pulling things to-
gether, then, when it got half way there we realized we had an album. Then we put a deadline on it and came up with some more stuff. So it’s this perfect combination be-
tween not being pressured and being pressured. What’s interesting now is that I felt very free to try many different styles. In a way it’s the most experimental thing we’ve done, only because it’s very different from the very first thing that we’ve done. Smith: It’s certainly a part of the continuum though. Like all our records, there are songs that have stewed for a long time, songs that we have been playing live for years and years, that are very well seasoned songs, that almost feel like old songs to us. Every record has some newer stuff, too. Things that have been finished just in time for the record. And that combination of seasoned stuff and new stuff, fast stuff, slow stuff, kind of noisy stuff, or poppy stuff; we try to blend a bunch of different things together to have a little bit of variety. That process is one of the things that is actually fun when you stand and look, “Hmm ok here’s seven songs, ok we want a few more, gee we got this, this, and this, oh well we need some of this.”
Dan: It’s a recipe.
Will you be doing any tour support for the new album?
Smith: We did a little west coast thing in fall of ’08. In summer of 2009 we should definitely be doing shows somewhere. It’ll kind of be a question of where does the record go and where do we here back from. And what does Metropolis have to say about that.
Dan: We do need to get to the east coast, we know that. The last time we were there was ’96. It would be great to do a couple weeks and get out there and play some shows back east. That would be very satisfying.
That about wraps up my questions, is there anything you feel you need to get off your chest?
Dan: I think it’s a good time for us because it’s the first time we actually completed a record and have some kind of confidence that it’s going to get out there. This is the first interview we’ve done in…
Smith: …years, no, no, there were some people talking to us at the DNA Lounge.
Dan: Yeah and that’s what I mean, finally, there are people who are involved with the scene who have realized that it is about doing things. So the bands are playing, people are putting their own records out, people are doing magazines, people are doing things again, and that’s a really good thing. For me I would just say that I am happy to be apart of it. Smith: Exactly. All we can do is what we do.
After the interview the three of us headed back to the venue while Dan filled me in on what was what in the LA underground scene. The venue at which Babyland was performing was called Spaceland, a corner stone in the LA indie scene known for bringing new acts to the forefront. After thirteen years of service, Spaceland has a bit of a worn look to it but that adds to the general vibe of the place. Babyland came out swinging with their aggressively dark song “Nativity” off of the album The Finger, and the energy of the place took off. I went from completely ex-
hausted from a long day of traveling, to one-hundred-percent energized in a matter of seconds. After that they played “The End of All Summers” and “Rimer Drive Tiger” both off their new album, Cavecraft. Even though their music has a darker more serious nature to it, the on-stage antics of this band are in comparison to that of most punk bands; complete with raunchy banter, both with each other and the crowd. With Smith slamming away on his home made drum set and Dan bouncing around the stage with more energy than the whole crowd put together, the energy of the two is incredible. Babyland ended their set with “Search and Rescue” but the crowd would not let up. After a minute or so of chanting, they came back and played “Youth Choker” from Outlive Your Enemies. That was my first Babyland show and it was a great one. I said my good-nights to the duo and went home to pass out.
february 2009 AUXILIARYAUXILIARY february 2009
As one half of the Swedish duo The Knife, Karin Dreijer Andersson probably didn’t have much time to sleep, much less to dream. After receiving six Swedish Grammys, placing number one on Pitchfork’s Best Albums of 2006 list, and gaining a reputa-
tion as one of the most interesting live acts in the world, Karin and her brother Olof decided to take some time off. In addition to having her second child, Karin began working on her own album, the self-titled Fever Ray. Full of many of the same hyp-
notic haunting moods present on The Knief’s Silent Shout but with a quieter more minimal approach, Fever Ray seems to pull words and sounds from a dream (maybe Karin’s waking dream) to create a surrealist collage of light and darkness. Being a bit more relaxed and reflective after the journey, Karin took time out to talk about inspiration and the act of creation.
When Silent Shout came out, you said you were moving away from the sound on Deep Cuts. Do you feel this album is a move away from your previous work in The Knife or a continuation of an aesthetic?
Karin: I don’t know. Maybe both, it must be some continuation.
I think Fever Ray has a lot of the elements of The Knife in it but it seems to be going in a different direction. Was that intentional?
Karin: I didn’t think so much about the direction. When I started, I just wanted to try out ideas that I had been collecting during The Knife years and after that, with things that I couldn’t really do together with somebody else. Hopefully it contains things that I haven’t done before but at the same time I started to play the guitar again which I did on the very first album as well. It’s a little bit of everything.
Do you feel this is more of a personal album? In the past, you have used masks as a metaphor and said that you think of your work as fiction rather than truth…
Karin: Yes, I think it is more personal because it’s only me involved in the songwrit-
ing process and most of the recording process also. It’s more personal but at the same time I [still] work with fiction. I don’t think when doing that, it doesn’t remove personal elements. I think it can make them more clear and maybe maximize the expression in a way.
You were becoming a mother for the second time when making this album. Has that affected your approach to the making of the music at all? Karin: I think yes, definitely. Maybe I write more about… I like to start from the inside more than I have done before. Becoming a parent is a very big change in your life and it was also, at least for me, the first time I really started to understand what death is about – and life also. So it was some kind of awaking that is very scary and a very important thing in your life. It definitely affects your work.
A lot of your music seems to have a mystical or spiritual quality to it and es-
pecially on this album. Are there influences outside of music that are inspiring you?
Karin: I feel a lot of feelings. I think that during last year when I was going to be ready with the album I was very into Jim Jarmusch’s film Dead Man. I think it con-
tained a lot of elements that I wanted to use. Things that I think were very important, like he perfectly described emotions and environments in the film that I feel con-
nected to, and the kind of ideas that I try to work with in my music. I discussed that feeling a lot with Andreas Nilsson, the director of the “If I Had a Heart” video. Did you have an input in the “If I Had a Heart” video? Karin: Yes. We discussed the synopsis, and before he came up with an idea for the video, we talked a lot about references and what direction we wanted to do something in. I said I was very into Dead Man. I wanted it to be black and white at first and I wanted it to contain 19th century elements in it. I wanted it to be set in another time/
space. We discussed a lot before. Andreas is very fun to work with and we are both very open to discussions.
You had a strong visual element in your live shows with The Knife. Will that continue and how will that change with Fever Ray?
Karin: When you have been working with the music for a long time and being very isolated, that is the way I usually work, then I think it is fun and relieving to start with the visual part of the music afterwards. I think with the live shows, if you have the possibilities (time-wise especially), it is great to work with the visual aspects of it. Andreas Nilsson and I are already discussing it because we already have a few shows scheduled at the end of March.
I think that’s all I have. Is there anything you would like to add?
Karin: No I think that’s fine. Thank you very much!
Karin: Thank you.
ray of l i ght
an i nteri vew wi th Kari n Drei j er Andersson of Fever Ray
by Paul Morin
AUXILIARY february 2009 february 2009 AUXILIARY26
dress by Betsey Johnson with hat by Taissa Lada Designs
name: Nofar Avigdor
nickname: Noffi (Hebrew nickname =] )
birthday: May 21st
birthplace: Jerusalem, Israel
eye color: brown and sometimes they are very light and almost seem green
hair color: naturally light brown
turn-ons: intelligence, inside beauty and even sometimes out, funny, loving, caring, tall, nice eyes, beautiful smile, says the right things, family man, and someone who knows when you need or want something without having to say
turn-offs: high ego, shallow, big time show-off, has an attitude, righteous, “know-it-all” but knows nothing at all, and acts nasty to my friends or fam-
why do you model?: When I get in front of the camera, all my walls are put down. I get this in-
tense connection with the camera. I forget all my problems, anyone in the room, and even my name. I connect with the person in the clothes, make-up, and hair. I become someone else. Plus it gives me the feeling like I can touch the stars with just a little reach.
favorite movie: I hate movies that make you cry, but Life is Beautiful (1997) has gotten the best of movie. I recommend this movie to everyone!
favorite tv show: Family Guy!
favorite book: Sandra Hill’s Cajun Contemporary Series and Jinx Series
favorite color: red or black
favorite outdoor activity: soccer is my second life
favorite indoor activity: Do video games count?
anything you’d like to say to our readers?: Live life to the fullest cause as sad as it may sound, every-
day can be your last.
Nofar Avigdor
the Pin Up
Auxiliary’s playful take on the sexy centerfold pin up. This month we bring you the striking Nofar Avigdor in vivid red Betsey Johnson! So flip the page, cut out, and tac on your wall! Photographer : Studi o X
Makeup Arti st : Mi mi Makeup
Hai r Styl i st : Al i za Wi l l i ams
Model : Nofar Avi gdor
Editor Picks
february 2009 AUXILIARY
music picks by editor Luke Copping
The contributors and editors of Auxiliary Magazine have a wide range of musical tastes. This issue associate editor Luke Copping lets us peak into his music collection and gives us some recommendations for the winter months.
The Gun Club - Fire of Love
The frenetic mix of punk, rockabilly, and blues on this album is defined by Jeffrey Lee Pierce’s untamable energy. This album has that volatile spark that still kicks my ass when I listen to it after all these years.
Jesu - Silver
Justin Broadrick (ex. Godflesh) has, with his current project Jesu, created a down-
tempo avant-garde mix of industrial, drone, and ambient music. This standout song here is “Star”, a track which I can’t seem to listen to enough.
The Sound - From the Lions’s Mouth
The best band of the 80s that your not listening to. This is what I pop in when Joy Division and Echo and the Bunnymen start to bore me. Adrian Borland’s voice pro-
vides just the right touch of urgency and rawness tat really make this band a standout of that era to me.
The Red Sparowes - At The Soundless Dawn
Like Instrumentals? This post rock band will blow you away, a side project of mem-
bers from several other bands (including Isis and Made out of Babies) The Red Sp-
arowes’ songs are powerful, dark, beautiful, and utterly engrossing.
Guitar Wolf - Jet Generation
Turn up the volume, take out your earplugs, and get ready to go deaf. Japan’s answer to the Ramones are super loud and and super raw. This album is just too damn fun to stop listening to. You might know them from Japanese zombie flick Wild Zero but their albums are absolutely worth checking out.
dress by Betsey Johnson
hat by Taissa Lada Designs
Nofar Avigdor
Jason Draper is the bass player for the indie bands Lemuria and The Failures’ Union. He also Djs under the name Jason Kyle and is half of the DJ/promotion team which throws the very popular Transmission dance parties in Buffalo, New York. reviewed by : Jason Draper
genre : 90s indie rock/alt-rock
It’s been years since I’ve gone to a show and Cheap Girls - Find Me a Drink Home
released by Paper + Plastick on March 2009
data : 1st full length album . 11 tracks . 32:48 run time .
free download available at
The Damned - So, Who’s Paranoid?
released by English Channel Records on 17 November 2008
data : 10th studio album . 13 tracks . 78:08 run time .
display of their dark driving melees of musical madness entitled So, Who’s Para-
noid?. Bathed in a titillating vat of English swagger, big guitar solos, and unique melodies, this album is not to be grouped into any one single genre (in keeping with the trend of previous un-classifiable Damned recordings). It’s definitely their most diverse album to date, with influences pulled from 60s psychedelic garage to catchy pop punk, dark satirical goth, and even fistfuls of Broadway-like theatrics. If you’re a fan of classic 70s Damned punk songs such as “Neat Neat Neat” and “Stab Your Back”, this album is probably not for you. This is a more mature Damned; pol-
ished and vibrantly clean. It’s smart, well thought out, refined, and developed. Dave Vanian’s crooning vocals prove to be ageless. They are powerful and sometimes even disturbingly mesmerizing in songs such as “Under the Wheels” and the ever-so-
dramatic “Nature’s Dark Passion”, confirming once again, why I place this man on such a high pedestal. Captain Sensible wails out guitar riffs like he’s ensnared with acid-filled visions of Jimi Henderix and The Beatles, providing a great touch to the album as a whole. Yet this can seem like a bit of an overkill in the fourteen-minute closer, “Dark Asteroid”. If trippy jam-band numbers aren’t your cup of tea, “Noth-
ing”, will be sure to please you. This track resurrects the British punk sound in a whirling tidal wave of energy. Be sure to try out “Little Miss Disaster” if you’d like a quirky and notably catchy little tune stuck in your head for hours on end. As a whole, So, Who’s Paranoid? is a vivid, courageous rung in the ladder of the Damned’s thirty-
plus year career. Can I honestly say that this is my favorite Damned album? Prob-
ably not, though it is definitely a gem in its own right. Consider it a nice little bauble to add to your collection. Vive le Damned!
recommended tracks : Danger to Yourself, Maid for Pleasure, Under the Wheels, Nature’s Dark Passion
if you like you might like : Siouxsie and the Banshees, The Rezillos, The Buzzcocks, The Misfits
grade : overall 8 - music 8 - lyrics 9 - recording quality 9
reviewed by : Alex Kourelis
genre : electropunk mixed with EBM
Imagine a higher-pitched Henry Rollins joining up with The Postal Service and you’ll have a great idea of what this Los Angeles based elec-
tropunk act, Babyland, delivers. The duo of Smith and Dan deliver track after track of well thought-out and engineered synthpop mixed with sandpaper and grit. A nod to new wave and EBM is also given in the percussion sec-
Babyl and - Cavecraft
released by Metropolis Records on 03 February 2009
data : 6th full length . 11 tracks . 47:51 run time .
reviewed by : Paul Morin
genre : experimental, ambient, electronic
Fever Ray is the self-titled solo project of Karin Dreijer Andersson. Andersson is also half of the band, The Knife. Fever Ray features a lot of the Fever Ray - Fever Ray
released by Mute on 24 March 2009
data : 1st album . 10 tracks . 48:11 run time
digital download available now
reviewed by : Mike Kieffer
genre : electronic junk punk
The Los Angeles based band Babyland’s latest electronic junk punk release, Cave-
craft, comes along after a long five year wait from when The Finger came out in 2004. All I can say is that it was well worth the wait. The album starts with the slamming track “Last Ave”. Here, you will find all the classic Babyland sounds, from rhythmic percussions with bangs, clicks, scrapes, and clangs to killer synth lines, all of which are backed up by passionate vocals wailing out deep lyrics. The second and third tracks “You Will Never Have It” and “Rimer Drive Tiger” offer up no relief. These three tracks all have catchy lyrics and melodies that will stick in your head for days. Cavecraft is a well-blended album where each track is part of a whole and less of individual tracks on a single album. Speaking from personal experience, this can lead the listener to overlook tracks upon first listen but then find gems months later. After many listens to this album I found a new favorite in “Lifestyle”. Babyland’s sound on Cavecraft is more polished then earlier albums. If you line up the albums in sequential order, you will find that it isn’t anything new. Some of the punk feel is lost because of this but Cavecraft still possesses some of the rawness found in their previous albums. The higher degree of studio tweaks and experimentation has added dimensions to the songs that you never heard in Babyland previously. It’s hard for me to say that Cavecraft is the best album by Babyland. I’ve being addicted to The Finger for so long that it has jaded my opinion. I can say that I wouldn’t recom-
mend anyone to skip this album, for any reason. Cavecraft is their first release since being signed with Metropolis Records. It is my belief that this deal will provide many more people with their first Babyland experience. Being under Metropolis will moving their popularity from the deep underground to the slightly more exposed un-
derground. I hope this exposure inspires Babyland to tour outside of the Los Angeles area, preferably over to the east coast, over to my side of the country.
recommended tracks : Rimer Drive Tiger, The End of All Summers
grade : overall 9 - music 8 - lyrics 9 - recording quality 7
guest revi ews
Jennifer Sojka (a.k.a. Lexi Lawsuit) is the lead singer of the horror rock band The Rabies. She was born and raised by a family of musicians/
music teachers and has been playing music since the age of three. Her talents don’t stop at music; she is also the fashion designer and online retailer of Trash Queen Clothing.
reviewed by : Jennifer Sojka (Lexi Lawsuit)
The Damned are back once again with a brilliant Lexi Lawsuit of The RabiesJason Draper of Lemuria and The Failures’ Union
same textures as The Knife. Present again is Andersson’s natural pixie voice, invit-
ing comparisons to Bjork or Siouxsie Sioux. The vocals are pitch-shifted vocals and move from quiet and brittle to cavernous and sinister. Also present are the subtle minimalist programming techniques used on The Knife’s Silent Shout. Where Fever Ray really differs, is where it favors a more subdued ambient approach rather than the kinetic energy of The Knife. Each song takes on a quality of incantation or prayer with the narrator alternating from vulnerable and lost to confident and strong; inno-
cence to experience in both lyrics and composition. Despite favoring simple orches-
tration, often only relying on a few electronic rhythmic sounds and voice, the music has a depth and complexity to it that rewards the listener in repeated listens. Move-
ment is governed more by mood than structure, dropping the usual verse-chorus-
verse-chorus songwriting method for templates that create themselves as the songs progress. Andersson’s lyrics, while puzzling and obscure, are full of a rich ambigu-
ity that allows the imagination to wander the corridors searching for answers. The music itself seems to have both familiar elements and completely foreign sounds. At one moment, the album sounds like a soundtrack to an obscure Japanese romance, while the next moment it sounds like a twisted nursery rhyme. The result is a long, extended reflection through surreal turns with moments of both sublime beauty and dark foreboding. Highly recommended.
recommended tracks : If I Had a Heart, Coconut, Concrete Walls
if you like you may like : Bjork, The Knife, Delerium
grade : overall 9 - music 9 - lyrics 9 . recording quality 10
Combichrist - Today We Are All Demons
released by Metropolis Records on 20 January 2009
data : 4th full length album . 13 tracks . 57:08 run time . reviewed by : Aaron Andrews
genre : EBM, industrial
packaging : The signature Combichrist wink-
ing skull and cross bones makes its appearance on the cover. In this instance, with muted grays and hot-rod flames. Inside, the muted monotone theme continues, offering lyrics and band shots. The newest full length from Andy LaPlegua (Icon of Coil, Panzer AG) continues to put their noise-heavy first release The Joy of Gunz behind them. The new album gives fans more of the same EBM/industrial fla-
vor of Everybody Hates You and What the Fuck Is Wrong With You People. The start of the album is well put together and gives the listener an onslaught of well written, in your face tracks until reaching “Can’t Change the Beat”. With this track you get to take a Nitzer Ebb inspired breather only to be slammed again as the album builds back up. The end of the album tapers off again with the slower album titled track been completely blown away by a band I have never heard before. This was the case this past summer when I saw Lansing, the Michigan based band, Cheap Girls. Citing influences such as The Lemonheads and Buffalo Tom, this trio brings back a time when “alt-rock” wasn’t a dirty word. After being a band for just over a year, they released their first full length Find Me a Drink Home on local Lansing labels Bermuda Mohawk and Los Diaper (CD and LP respectively). In March, a few short months after its initial release, Paper and Plastick will be re-releasing the album on a larger scale. The opening track, “Kind of on Purpose”, sets the mood for the album with lines such as, “I’m taking notes from those with it together.”, “Where did you go wrong?”, and “How did you make it right?” The album reads like a soundtrack for those who never found their place in high school but have since grown older, yet remain lost (largely aided by a sea of consumption). This may seem to be well-
worn territory, especially in the self-deprecating alt-rock scene but vocalist/bassist Ian Graham’s lyrics are so well thought out and put together in a way that they never once come across as childish. This is the type of album that seems to grow better with each consecutive listen. I expect Cheap Girls to be the band everyone is talking about in the upcoming year.
recommended tracks : Stop Now, Parking Lot
if you like you might like : The Lemonheads, Smoking Popes, Buffalo Tom, Teen-
age Fanclub, Guided By Voices
grade : overall 9 - music 9 - lyrics 9 - recording quality 7
tions and general movements throughout each song. Moving from their strong open-
er, “Last Ave”, onto the anthem which ends chanting “You Will Never Have It” and into the synthpop territory of “Rimer Drive Tiger” smacking neatly of power-punk acts. What surprised me the most after a first listen was the lack of traditional rock instruments. Babyland seems to prefer to allow the noisy oscillators of synthesizers to speak in the same eerie manner as a band like Primal Scream or The Cure would with their guitars. While these influences are present, a layer of originality permeates throughout leaving no question as to what you’re listening to. Babyland is a breath of fresh air lending a punk edge to electronic and an electronic edge to punk.
recommended tracks : Last Ave, Rimer Drive Tiger
if you like you may like : Goose, Primal Scream, The Postal Service, M83, Apparat
grade : overall 8 - music 9 - lyrics 8
“Today We Are All Demons” and the epic “At the End of It All”. This album isn’t very groundbreaking or inventive but it is everything you were wishing for if you’ve been waiting on the latest installment of Combichrist with baited breath. Heavy beats, the signature synth sounds from previous releases, and Andy’s screaming or distorted vocals deliver exactly what you expect. It’s high energy music that will have you punching the air and stomping around to your heart’s content. Again, it’s everything you’d expect from Combichrist, no deviation or reinvention. I thoroughly enjoyed every listen I gave this album and was stuck by how much the soul of this release reminds me of the likes of Front 242 and Nitzer Ebb. This entire album will continue to be featured on my iPod for months to come.
recommended tracks : All Pain is Gone, Can’t Change the Beat, Kickstart the Fight, Spit, End of It All
if you like you may like : Front 242, Nitzer Ebb, KMFDM, Hocico, Suicide Commando
grade : overall 8 - music 8 - lyrics 6 - recording quality 9
february 2009 AUXILIARYAUXILIARY february 2009
Apoptygma Berzerk - Rocket Science
released by Gun Records on 23 January 2009
data : 6th album . 14 tracks . 56:26 run time .
reviewed by : Alex Kourelis Norwegian Stephan Groth and his crew have swapped genres again. The Apop catalog runs from early metal material through EBM to synthpop, stopping briefly in electro (their side project Fairlight Children), while on the way to their current trend of rock-influenced alternative pop. Apoptygma Berzerk has been attempting to snatch up a new audience by trying a few new things. The sad part of this endeavor is that the fans who liked them just the way they were are unapologetically left with a Stephan Groth-sized hole in their hearts. Their new album, Rocket Science, while being superb in its execution of power-pop and emo ballads, is no different. From the onset of the album with “Weight of the World” straight through to the closer, “Trash”, the underlying introspection that usually exists in Apop’s albums remains but you have to look for it beneath the thinly-veiled critique of American culture. I consider this a prevalent problem throughout the album. Rocket Science comes off, at times, like an anti-Bush record that definitely has an expiration date. A shining example of the old APB style is “Shadow” which really touches back to feelings that were pres-
ent in past songs like “Kathy’s Song”, or the more recent “Black Pawn”. Later in the album, “Butterfly Defect” seems to capture the feeling of being married by Elvis in a Vegas church, catching me so off guard that I had to listen again to make sure I didn’t have iTunes on shuffle by mistake. Lastly, the album resuscitates itself with more ballad pop in “The State of Your Heart (Sh’t End of the Deal)”. Fans of emo and the very rock oriented end of synthpop would really like this album but I person-
ally dislike that style of music with a passion, lamenting over the aforementioned hole in my ticker.
recommended tracks : Incompatible, Shadow, Trash
grade : overall 5 - music 6 - lyrics 5 - recording quality 10 reviewed by : Mike Kieffer
genre : synthrock
When Apoptygma Berzerk changed styles from synthpop/ebm to more indie/synth-rock with their 2005 release, You and Me Against the World, they had many longtime fans tearing up and questioning the bands decision. I, for one, did the same. I downright wrote the band off. I thought the songs were mediocre at best and the album as a whole was weak. Along comes 2009 Seabound - When Black Beats Blue [Rarities]
released by Metropolis Records on 03 February 2009
data : 5th album . 12 tracks . 69:55 run time .
reviewed by : Mike Kieffer
genre : synthpop
Let’s be honest, I’m a big Seabound fan and when I heard that a new album was coming out I was excited. I crave to hear new music, especial-
ly since their last new material, Double-Crosser, was released in late 2006. When I heard about their release of Come Forward / Live in Berlin, I was shaking my head in disappointment. This was just a release of older tracks that have been Plastic Noise Experience - Reiz und Reaktion
released by Alfa Matrix on 05 December 2008
data : 15 tracks . 58:21 run time . reviewed by : Alex Kourelis
genre : 90% EBM and 10% synthpop
This was my first encounter with the solo-act Plastic Noise Experience. Upon hearing this album, I have to say that at first, I was surprised with the adherence to EBM and minimalist pre-
cepts. By the end of the album, I had grown tired of the formulaic basis upon which the indi-
vidual tracks were arranged. While each songs is composed well, there seems to be an inherent Star Industry - Black Angel, White Devil
released by Alfa Matrix on 14 November 2008
data : 4th album . 10 tracks . 47:58 run time . reviewed by : Aaron Andrews
genre : goth rock, darkwave
packaging : A classy look with a blue toned, black and a white letterbox band picture from a live performance on a black background. A simple classic serif font is used to announce art-
ist and album title. Overall, it is a simple and pretty cover.
Telefon Tel Aviv - Immolate Yourself
released by BPitch Control on 20 January 2009
data : 3rd full length album . 10 tracks . 46:19 run time .
reviewed by : Aaron Andrews
packaging : The cover of this album is subtle. There’s an emphasis on a woman walking dead center but when I looked closer, she appeared to blend from the sidewalk into the wall. The wall mural is framed in a manner to suggest an album cover within the album cover. The album title and artist name are hand lettered into the mural and hold the same kind of even ground with the art that the vocals do with the music.
reviewed by : Paul Morin
genre : synthpop, IDM, ambient The opening track, “Birds”, starts off slowly from the runway and then crashes into a drowsy, repeated wall of sound. The album continues, confronting you with ambient washes of electronica that mix into straight-ahead syth-pop-topia. You may suddenly think to yourself, “This isn’t the Telefon Tel Aviv I used to know”. While all of the songs maintain a dark narcotic feel, the tracks shift between slow and spacey pieces and hyper-spastic dance workouts. The result is a push and pull effect; you get into a mood, get excited, and then the mood is gone. As you listen you may begin to mel-
low out for a bit, only to be awoken by throbbing rhythms calling your feet back to the dance floor. The pieces may not fit together perfectly but the individual tracks work alone just fine and will more than make you forget any issues with the pacing. The lead “Birds” is hypnotizing. “Helen of Troy” is carefully constructed and shim-
mers with life at the chorus. “Stay Away From Being Maybe”, with it’s blissed-out keyboards, seems as if it’s lifted straight from the climax of an 80s film. You can practically see the tears of joy running down the main character’s cheek as the song plays. The ambient pieces seem like filler but are complete entities in and of them-
selves, having plenty of interesting moments that make you turn your head sideways wondering how they came up with them. About half of the tracks are instrumental and when the vocals do appear, they usually remain whispered and buried in the mix. Overall, they fit well within the context of each song. None of this is breaking new ground. It’s all familiar stuff you’ve heard before, much of it decades ago but TTA does it very well. When the album spikes up out of its own headiness, it reveals some of the best electronica being created today. Easily an early highlight of 2009. recommended tracks : Birds, Helen of Troy, Stay Away From Being Maybe
if you like you may like : Iris, Junior Boys, Depeche Mode, M83
grade : overall 8 - music 8 - lyrics 7 - recording quality 9
and Apop is at it again with the release of Rocket Science. A 14-track record full of a new style which, needless to say, my expectations were not very high. I was proven wrong. Right from the start, the first song “Weight of the World” began changing my mind. This was a catchy tune with energy and was a more polished, full sound. As I continued to listen, the songs kept catching my attention. It was clear that this album was different than their last. I once again began to enjoy myself and appreciate the talents of Apoptygma Berzerk. The music on Rocket Science is more of a hybrid of the old Apop and the new rock style. The album is not amazing but it is enjoyable and in some cases, extremely so, with the track “Shadow”. If my opinion is a good example, then Rocket Science will top You and Me Against the World as Apoptygma Berzerk’s best selling album.
recommended tracks : Shadow, Weight of the World, Apollo (Live On Your TV)
if you like you may like : The Galan Pixs, Placebo
grade : overall 7 - music 7 - lyrics 7 - recording quality 9
Telefon Tel Aviv’s new album, Immolate Yourself, is moody, a little depressing, and as beautiful as hell. New Orleans/Chicago duo Charles Cooper and Joshua Eustis return with their third full length, offering a pretty and deep album that highlights the possibilities of electronic music. The best way I can think of to describe the music would be “electronic shoegaze”. Quietly intense in both vocals and soundscapes, the experience is best had in the full journey from beginning to end. When you listen straight though, the album climbs, dives, grabs and drags you closer, whispering its secrets to you. The vocals are often laid in a not-so-urgent fashion under the twists of synths and popping beats. The sense I got was that the vocals are there to discover on you own. They tend to blend into the overall composition of the songs and not until the second or third listen was I able to pick them out. Musically, the synth sounds have an analog warmth to them and the rhythm is sometimes charted not by percus-
sive beats but the plodding of the synth or the drone of the basslines. Where beats are evident they seem to be arranged in a breakbeat or glitch method and snap crisply and concisely (like in the track “Birds”). recommended tracks : Birds, I Made a Tree on the Wold, You Are the Worst Thing
if you like you may like : Boards of Canada, Ulrich Schnauss, Not Breathing
grade : overall 9 - music 9 - lyrics 8 - recording quality 9
remixed. Some are unreleased and well, others found their way on to compilations albums. It’s true that you won’t find new songs here but this album is presented in such a way that I was not disappointed. Over the course of the album there are only two repeats of songs. The versions of the remixes are different enough to keep you from getting bored like you may if you were listening to a single. Overall, I’m pleased with this release. Being a DJ, I usually hunt out tracks that are released on overseas compilations only hearing three out of twelve of the tracks. It’s not brand new material, yet I still found freshness in the release. When Black Beats Blue is compiled of well done remixes of great tracks and I am glad that Seabound decided to release them. Let’s just hope they have a new album on the way.
recommended tracks : Domination vs. Bound (Mindless Faith), Hooked (Radical Alt. Vocal)
if you like you may like : Edge of Dawn , Covenant grade : overall 7 - music 8 - lyrics 8 - recording quality 9
lack of passion in the delivery and the entirety suffers as a result. Don’t get me wrong, there are some real shining points on this album with original ideas and sounds in tracks like “Ich Bin Nicht Du” and “Wer Bist Du”. However, the ultimate failure of this release would be that the threads from track to track rarely change in a disc that showcases fifteen songs and a runtime of under an hour. One-third of the album is comprised of remixes, none of which add to the experience and ethos that a full album should have. Gone, I suppose, are the days of simply releasing a ten track album and calling it complete. Without these remixes the album weighs in at thirty-
six minutes of virtually the same tempo and key, complete with vocals obnoxiously delayed ad infinitum. With everything I have just said and the lack of an enthralling theme, I am lead to believe that this album was rushed, despite the obviously com-
petent production. recommended tracks : Ich Bin Nicht Du, Wer Bist Du
if you like you may like : Nitzer Ebb, Armageddon Dildos, early And One
grade : overall 4 - music 5 - recording quality 9
This is a live album to follow up Last Crusades, from which a number of songs are taken. It was recorded in Madrid, Spain and offers a good snapshot of the bands catalog of songs. The music is technically sound and the band is good at what they do. The problem for me is that it often seems to be a rehash of The Sisters of Mercy. The similarity between the two bands is especially evident in the vocals of Peter Beckers, who only seems to forget sounding like Andy Eldritch when covering Depeche Mode. The fact that this live album is little more than tracks played with the crowd’s applause at the end is really disappointing. More often than not, the times and arrangements of these live versions are dead ringers to their studio ver-
sions. Live albums offer the home listener an insight to the experience of a crowd’s excitement and the improvisation and creativity of a bands live perform-ance. Some good examples of this are the Cure’s Paris, Front 242’s Re:Boot, and Underworld’s Everything Everything. I want a live album to offer some new insight on the tracks I’ve already bought and heard, something this album lacks. The listener doesn’t even get a chance to hear the crowd’s enthusiasm or the singer’s banter in between songs. The production of the promo copy I received was mediocre. It can be assumed that the recording came from the soundboard at the performance since it is crisp but it received little or no mixing, resulting in a flat sound. I would be a lot more apt to include the bands studio albums in my personal collection and skip this one. This really is an album only for completists and die-hard fans.
recommended tracks : Out of My Head, Enjoy the Silence, Coming Down
if you like you may like : The Sisters of Mercy, Fields of the Nephilim, The Mis-
sion UK
grade : overall 6 - music 7 - lyrics 6 - recording quality 5
february 2009 AUXILIARY35
Aaron Andrews grew up in the 80s with a very cool older brother who’s New Order, U2, and The Art of Noise collection had a big influence on his early musical tastes. In his teens, grunge and industrial became the focus for him, bringing exposure to bands like Minis-
try, RevCo, Nine Inch Nails, My Life With The Thrill Kill Kult, Sonic Youth, and Skinny Puppy. The 90s brought him to techno and techno with the in-
fluential works of Underworld, Orbital, and Bjork. This set him up to explore raves and the dance side of electronic music. Eventually, Aaron found a home in radio at Buffalo State College’s 91.3 WBNY. There he started a show dedicated to electronic music, playing everything from power noise to ambient and drum n bass to dubstep. At WBNY he served as RPM director and considers it one of the best experiences of his life. During his time as a radio DJ, Aaron expanded his spinning to area clubs, play-
ing nights dedicated to retro 80s, noise, industrial, EBM, and goth favorites. One of the more notable club nights he has played is the annual Depeche Mode vs. New Or-
der dance party, bringing Depeche Mode in as the champion for two years straight.
DJ? Acucrack - Crackmix V: Live 07/08 A sampling of live performances circa July 2008. Very cool to hear a bunch of fa-
vorites from their catalogue as well as samples from, well, everything. The drum n bass onslaught smashes right into favorites from Skinny Puppy and Depeche Mode. A thoroughly fun listen where they really got mash-up happy.
Portishead - Third Wow. Ten years for this? I think it was worth the wait but I’ll tell you, I didn’t think we’d actually get it. They have crafted yet another bleak, cold, and oddly heart warming sonic world.
Various Production - The World is Gone
A little dubstep, a little down-tempo, and a little bluegrass-ish folk. One of the most interesting releases I’ve stumbled on in recent years. Great beats, killer bass, and incredibly emotional vocals.
Burial - Untrue
A great follow up to an incredible debut. This is one of the most impressive new elec-
tronic artists I’ve ever heard. Samples of ambient noises like rain and fire crackles layered over solid beats, deep bass, and soul-infused vocals. The songs are both sad and wonderful all at once.
Underworld - Oblivion With Bells
Underworld’s first new release after a six year absence of physical releases. The duo is still every bit as fresh and creative as they were in �93 with their debut. This one has major influences from the world of minimal techno and is often lush and pretty. “Beautiful Burnout” is now a personal favorite. Brian Eno - Another Day on Earth
This quiet and contemplative album explores what life is to all of us in a lush and pretty way only Brian Eno could do. This is enjoyed best with the isolation of head-
phones and some reflecting time. As a master of the electronic music art form, Brian Eno reinforces his expertise with every listen.
Skinny Puppy - Remix Dys Temper
Dug this one out in honor of its ten year anniversary in my collection. I’ll never get over how 8-bit cool the Orge/Walk mix of “Smothered Hope” is. It includes stand-
out remixes by Autechre, The Deftones, Ken Marshall, and Rhys Fulber. This was the CD in my player every morning for at least six months ten years ago.
Photek - Form and Function II
At first I was a little disappointed that this wasn’t like Form and Function I but for some reason I couldn’t stop listening. It’s not a great example of experimental drum n bass like other albums in his catalogue, but it is a very listenable drum n bass record that hasn’t left my car in about a year. M83 - Dead Cities, Red Seas & Lost Ghosts
Experimental electronic indie, I guess. My introduction to this French band began with this album and I still have it in heavy rotation. Emotional and pretty as well as a killer combination of synths and experimental guitar. DNTEL - Life Is Full of Possibilities
The music half of The Postal Service. Rich programming and a laid back feel make this perfect for a lazy afternoon with the volume turned up. I wish I’d bothered to check this out sooner, but am so happy to have found it at all. Thumbs up for “(This Is)The Dream of Evan and Chan” featuring Ben Gibbard. I also recommend the Superpitcher remix on the single.
Mike Kieffer started his love for music at an early age by borrowing his dad’s records and blasting them at full vol-
ume. Once he was old enough to make a choice about what he could listen to, he went though various phases and tastes. Starting with early 90s, his fo-
cus was metal and grunge with such bands as Guns N’ Roses, Metallica, Alice in Chains, and Nirvana. Then, in the mid 90s industrial took root with bands like Ministry, KMFDM, Skin-
ny Puppy, and Nine Inch Nails. Hitting the late 90s, it was time l et me i ntroduce mysel f . . .
Aaron Andrews
Mike Kieffer
to party. This period lead Mike to the wonderful world of raves and the great music of classic techno. Techno controlled his life from this point on, leading him into DJing and promoting under the DJ names Darago and the promortion company, netwerk23. With a run from 2000 to 2004, Mike and netwerk23 brought international and national DJs such as Josh Wink, Frankie Bones, and Adam X to Buffalo to some of the most musically diverse “rave” nights in the area. When the techno scene died out and turned into more of a club scene, Mike went back to the industrial/goth scene and brought his DJ abilities with him. He now DJs music in the industrial/goth and EBM/synthpop genres. In the late 2000s, IDM and industrial rock seemed to con-
sume his listening time, but you can still find him listening to anything from his past as well as music that really doesn’t properly fit into any category. His extensive mu-
sical past has brought him to the diverse range of musical tastes he displays today.
The Knife - Deep Cuts
This strange and unique older album from The Knife is just as good as their award winning 2006 self titled album.
Kettel - Myam James Part 1
If this is not my pick for top album of 2008 it is a close second. From the first listen to the five hundredth, I enjoyed every second. I found I could put this on for any oc-
casion; cleaning my house, karate chopping 2x4s, even the family Christmas dinner. Mmm, I just love this album and hope that Kettel continues to progress and entertain me in the years to come. Megadeth - United Abominations Megadeth was an old favorite from my younger years and this album simply rocks! The new crew makes a fresh sound. Mega comeback album.
Mankind is Obsolete - Trapped Inside
This female fronted industrial rock band out of Los Angeles has the potential to be one of the staples of industrial rock. They just finished up their nationwide tour, so lets hope they get back into the recording studio and pump out another great album.
A Kiss Could Be Deadly - A Kiss Could Be Deadly
Another female fronted band, though this time pop rock/new wave/punk pop… I don’t know what you call it but it is fun and gets me motivated to be a productive member of society.
Vicious Alliance - Crushed by the System Vicious Alliance is terror EBM with a twist. The female vocals complement the harsh male vocals and give this EP added dimension. I can’t wait to play some of these tracks in the clubs.
Alice in Videoland - She’s a Machine
The ever-evolving AiV’s 2008 album is harder and better that their previous releases. Though just like all the other Alice in Videoland albums, it is only 27-minutes long, which means I listen to it twice in a row. I wonder how long their concerts are?
Acumen Nation - Psycho the Rapist
Somehow this album snuck into my car and copied itself into the background of all the other CDs in my player and after playing in the background, it has brainwashed me until I can now not get enough.
Ellen Allien - Sool
One of my favorite producers from my techno DJ days. Ellen Allien’s new album is in the direction of minimal techno with some odd experimental tracks as well. I don’t think this is her best work but it is still good.
The Crystalline Effect - Identify
This album, the newest by The Cystalline Effect, gave me more then I had expected. The first half seems to be all EBMish stuff and the second half of the album slows down to trip-hopish stuff. In addition, it has dreamy vocals and dark lyrics. Good stuff!
Alex Kourelis is an electronic musician and artist who re-
sides in New York City. At an early age he was fascinated by the creative options that com-
puters have to offer. His first experience with computers come from a Commodore 64 computer borrowed by his par-
ents from the local library in his hometown. Over the years, he has worked hard to use his knowledge of computers to create musical and artistic en-
deavors. His personal flair and passion for instrumentation to multiple musical projects have Alex Kourelis
been his primary focus for nearly twenty five years. His main musical venture is fronting the project Digital Geist. Since its inception in 2000, Alex (as Digital Geist) has played regular live shows, maintained a podcast, and has released mountains of material, including the critically acclaimed album, The Zero Engine. More informa-
tion on Digital Geist is available at the website,
Apparat - Walls
My first taste of Apparat came from Sasha’s Invol2ver. When I hear an enjoyable re-
mixed track, I consider it a priority to find the original and see how far it’s been taken. Sampling the original version of “Arcadia” lead quickly to a compulsive iTunes al-
bum purchase and I haven’t felt guilty about it since. This album glides gracefully from track to track in a down-tempo and glitchy way, strongly reminiscent of Ul-
rich Schnauss. Apparat definitely has some jazz roots akin to Thievery Corporation, which are evident in “Hailin from the Edge”. Sasha - Invol2ver
The world’s best progressive house DJ releases another groundbreaking album merg-
ing a team of ultra-talented producers, including Garth Brooks’ recording studio in New York City. Collaborations include a who’s who of electronic music, featur-
ing Thom Yorke of Radiohead, Charlie May of Spooky, Ladytron, M83, and Home Video, just to name a few. While hardly as ethereal as Involver or as electro-oriented as Fundacion, this album, too, will stand as a testament to Alexander Coe’s cunning ability to make the progressive house scene progress further.
Front 242 - Moments
Taking from a body of work that spans from 1980-2008, the band that created the term EBM for its cold Belgian beats returns with this live release. This album fea-
tures either a 1-CD digipak or 2-CD boxed set, depending on which you bought (I of course bought both). At first glance, the tracks seem to be done in the old retro style. Upon closer inspection, the album reveals the leaps in technology that have come about over 28 years were not lost on the Frontmen. All of the tracks have received a considerable bump to modern production standards. F242 has always been an in-
credible performance band and Moments does not betray that as many synth, sample, and drum parts are performed live by Patrick Codenys and Daniel B. They reveal astounding skill in reinforcing JL DeMeyer and Richard 23’s vocals.
Pendulum - In Silico
Drum n bass mainstays, Pendulum, have created an album that, while firmly concrete with DnB influence, is considered to be a 180 by many of their fans with it’s heavily rock-influenced swing. I’m sure the added attention and armchair conversation was expected as they worked in the studio. Regardless, In Silico hits all the right spots an i ntroducti on to our musi c revi ewers
Top 10 Albums
Top 10 Albums
Top 10 Albums
february 2009 AUXILIARY
36AUXILIARY february 2009
anatomy of an al t wardrobe : 37
In the last issue we covered the basic “must haves” to a wardrobe: black pants, boots, jacket, plain tees, and basic accessories. I think we are all ready to move on! It’s party time! My favorite part of any wardrobe is the dress and club wear for events: shows, concerts, raves, house parties, bar hopping, or what-have-you. No matter what you name your evening or night time destination, you’ll most likely want to wear something other than your regular day-wear. It’s time to pull together some killer outfits to make you stand out in a crowd!
Scouring your closet before you leave to shop your heart out is the best way to help prevent buying repetitive garments. Do you have a game plan for your evening look? Is there a particular event you’re in need of an outfit for? Perhaps you just want to modify your “signature look” with something new? It’s best to come up with an idea and plan to get you to your final goal of what you want your outfit to be.
Some suggestions on what to keep in mind while planning: One - Where is the event? Is it outdoors or Indoors? What is the likely temperature of the venue? Fringed? Sweaty?; Two - What type of event am I going to? Should I be dressed to the 9s or casual and comfy?; Three - What is my mood and how do I want to look? Am I Edgy and fun or sleek and sophisticated?
No matter what your personal taste and style, the best and most “put together” look-
ing ensembles take time and effort. A little pre-planning can help alleviate discom-
fort and embarrassment as well as help you have fun by allowing you to avoid wor-
rying about wardrobe malfunctions.
Once you have your ultimate outfit in mind and the venue scoped out, your creativ-
ity can come alive. Dressing yourself to match the idea in your head can sometimes be difficult but thats no reason to burst into hysterics! Start your shopping at target places where you are most likely to find your envisioned fashion pieces. By going to these places first you can avoid a lot of unnecessary shopping and therefore circum-
vent any frustration. Sometimes you can find stand-out pieces at a retail chain or mall clothing stores. This is especially true if the item you are looking for is trendy that season. For example, animal prints are currently trendy so it might be easy to find that zebra print jacket you desire at H&M, Express, Target, or Forever 21. Another perk from stores like these is that the garments are normally inexpensive. If you find one part of your outfit at a low price right at the start then you’ll know you’ll have more money to spend on the rest of your look. Other great places to look are local alternative and specialty clothing boutiques. If you don’t have any alternative clothing stores near you, try the main shopping drags of the closest city. You never know what you’ll find. If retail stores don’t cut it for you, online shopping is your best option. Make sure you are shopping for a good amount of time before your planned event. You’ll need to leave time for shipping when ordering online. The best place to begin will be with your favorite designer’s websites and online stores. If you look through the fashion section of this issue, or any other issue of Auxiliary, you will see a lot of designer names. You can also try the “Where to Buy” section. Another tactic for online shop-
ping is “Googling” for specific pieces that you desire. For example, “long black goth dress” or “Lip Service ruffled shirt”. If you include a fashion label or designer’s name it might bring up other places to buy their clothing than just their website. The key is that once you’ve found the piece you want at the price you want: BUY IT, don’t hesitate, you may not find that treasured fashion gem again!
If none of these shopping options fit your extreme fashion taste or you prefer to think “outside the box” (and there’s nothing wrong with that!) try looking for some DIY clothing or try your hand at “doing it yourself”. Making your own clothing and ac-
cessory pieces can be very satisfying. With this method there is the potential to get what you want, when you want it and made out of the materials you want. It’s pure heaven if you are crafty and know how to sew or use a hot glue gun. But what if you’re not? What happens when you want unique items and can’t sew yourself out of a paper box? There are plenty of DIYers that have their items for sale on various websites for you to purchase. Try the websites Etsy, Ebay, or Epiphany Strange. There is one thing to remember with buying DIY clothing: it may not be a true fitting garment! A lot of pieces are one-of-a-kind and the person creating the clothing may size differently than you would or a professional clothing line might. It is always best to communicate with the designer and ask about the measurements, garment material, and recommendations on washing the garment. Be sure to ask these questions so you know what you are getting and how to care for the item.
VoilГ ! Now that you have all your clothes, shoes and accessories for your killer outfit, how does it look? TRY IT ON! Give it a trial run. Test out the fit and comfort of the clothing and shoes before you start getting ready for the evening. You need to know if you are going to be comfortable in the items and if they are going to func-
tion successfully. Plus, trying on the entire ensemble will help you plan if intricate hair and makeup is involved. When putting together all the puzzle pieces of an outfit together there will always be the chance that it will fail horribly or not be up to your standards. I must mention once again: don’t freak! This trial fitting should be used to look at the pros and cons of each piece and to make adjustments in your fashion choices if needed. If you are really stuck or pressed for time, you can always dip into those closet basics or make substitu-
tions with items you already own. Experiment! Here are some last little styling tips to help you in your fash-
ion adventures: One - stay away from clothing that is uncom-
fortable or ill fitting, this will make your event more enjoy-
able; Two - know your sizing and body type, if you make the right choices your garments will stay where they need to and not be a hassle to keep maintaining throughout the night; Three - and lastly, have fun! It’s just clothing! Even if you have a wardrobe melt down, ask a friend for help - that’s what they are there for!
Social Hour
february 2009 AUXILIARY
by Meagan Breen
for me as a listener. The production is a little on the brick wall loud side but remains very tight. With this and the terrific chord structure and vocoding, it all merges into a disc that I loved from start to finish. Throw your expectation out the door and dive into hard hitting tracks like “Propane Nightmares” and “Granite.” If you’re die-hard about the DnB, start with “Visions”.
Shapestatic - Metaphim
The Toronto based psytrance label Ektoplazm doesn’t screw around. Their roster of artists include only those who produce competent, high-quality psytrance tracks. They are so confident of their product that they allow downloads of even the .WAV files which accompany their releases. Shapestatic’s Metaphim is one such example. The duo of Chris Johnson and Alex Falk have created some terrific sequences without falling into the ruts so often associated with tracks that average over eight minutes apiece. Autodafeh - Hunt For Glory
One needs only to listen to one or two tracks from this album to realize where the Swedish band, Autodafeh’s, influences lie. With hard pounding EBM anthems such as the title track and “Money Trouble,” they have learned from the forefathers of the genre with a cunning release in the spirit of Nitzer Ebb. The songs are quick and the album sticks with you; a stark contrast from other groups. Each track averages about three or four minutes long.
David Bowie - Club Bowie
Despite the lack of really groundbreaking stuff, Club Bowie, a collection of only eight songs, has some very memorable tracks. Being a fan of both electronic music and David Jones’ alter-ego is hardly a rarity these days. The mixture blends these sounds deftly with remixes of classic tracks from the Scumfrog, Solaris, David Guetta, as well as others. The Scumfrog remixes especially hit a chill note with some house beats thrown in over-filtered orchestral pieces and are really a must hear for the dis-
cerning Bowie fanatic. Various Artists - Compost Community
The differences between North America and Europe are diverse. None were more prevalent than my first trip overseas, and upon walking into the local record store, hearing Fauna Flash blasting jazzy dub at the patrons. This compilation features the German label, Compost Records’, bright roster of electronic jazz producers and exhibits the who’s who in dub. Voom:Voom, Truby Trio, and A Forest Mighty Black continue to produce stunning pieces while Beanfield has been featured most notably on Sasha’s Fundacion disc.
Primal Scream - Evil Heat
Scottish electro-rock group, Primal Scream, blends harsh cutting distortion from gui-
tars, synths, and drums with moody choruses and odd production techniques. The lead track “Deep Hit of Morning Sun” offers synth parts and guitar parts that are played backwards. This track’s murky chorus and almost no drums at all contrast starkly from the straight up rock-with-drum machine track “Miss Lucifer”. Primal Scream are thoroughly adept at blending several genres into a consistent whole. Ulrich Schnauss - Far Away Trains Passing By
A friend of mine recommended Ulrich Schnauss to me after hearing me play Radio-
head’s Amnesiac at work. Thanks Trevor! Since the initial listening of this album, it’s been in regular rotation whenever I have work to do. Blending the atmospheric influence of Brian Eno and a keen musicianship and production value, Ulrich’s first major release is a brilliant example of how to make down-tempo ethereal music. Paul Morin
Paul Morin has an MA in Creative Writing, a Masters of Library Science, and a BA in English and Philosophy - all of which have prepared him for a career in the lucrative field of retail management. For the past decade and a half, he has worked as a manag-
er in various corporate and independent record stores, aiding his obsessive collecting of music on increasingly more obsolete media. He has also spent time as a field market-
ing rep for TVT Records, ed-
iting a weekly poetry column, and playing guitar and bass in dozens of punk, indie, and goth bands that are probably best left in the memory of those who watched them on stage. His latest musical endeavor is Belas Shadow. (http://www.
Portishead - Third
Paul Morin
Sounds like being trapped in a haunted house. Portishead removes the trip-hop sheen to reveal one of the best goth albums I’ve ever heard.
Earth - The Bees Made Honey in the Lion’s Mouth
Slow, stoned-out, pastoral songs that sound like an old psychedelic record stuck on the wrong speed on the turntable.
Cut Copy - In Ghost Colours
Indie rockers trying to recreate New Order. And, strangely enough, pulls it off con-
Morgan Geist - Double Night Time
Fun, quirky, and soulful at the same time with a pulse that keeps making me dance uncontrollably in my chair. Double Night Time is somewhere between Devo and “When Doves Cry”. This album features vocal contributions from Jeremy Green-
span (of Junior Boys fame).
Gas - Nah und Fern
A mesmerizing, minimal, ambient techno compilation from the founder of the Kom-
pakt label. Spacey, dreamy, beautiful stuff; some of the best ambient techno ever made. Period.
Atlas Sound - Let the Blind Lead Those Who Can See But Cannot Feel
The most drugged-out offering of the year. Feels like you just took a handful of this, a few pinches of that, mixed them into a semi-lethal concoction, and crashed on the couch for a day of staring at a blue screen.
Lightsway - Summer Interlude
Borderline new-age in the vein of Ulrich Schnauss or Brian Eno, but remains tasteful enough to stay clear of being reduced to mindless fluff.
Zombie Zombie - A Land For Renegades
Here we hearken back to the soundtracks from Dario Argento films. Half of these tracks could have, and should have, appeared in classic 70s horror flicks.
Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds - Dig, Lazarus, Dig
Mr. Cave is at it again, digging in your back yard with a bible in one hand and blood-
stained gloves in the other.
Lindstrom - Where You Go I Go Too
A convincing re-tread of krautrock (Kraftwerk, Tangerine Dream) with a more dance-
disco filter. Over hyped by everyone and their grandfather, but still a decent album from start to finish
Top 10 Albums
AUXILIARY february 2009
l et me i ntroduce mysel f . . .
Trashy Diva . Topsy Turvy Design . Vintage Hair
Swing dance, hot rods, and greasers! Nothing conjures up nostalgic fantasies of retro styling like the 1950s. With the incredible success of the TV series Mad Men, a renewed interest in vintage fashion has taken America by storm. Though 50s-style fashion is nothing new to underground culture, its always worth a second look for attire ranging from the kitschy and fun to the elegant and sleek.
Retro clothing is varied in appearance and loosely covers 40s to 50s fashion. Popular women’s styles include skinny pencil skirts paired with blouses or cardigans, fit and flare skirts and dresses, and high heels. Relaxed or summer fashions might include high-waisted skinny pants (often cropped) and bikinis in fun prints (more modestly cut than modern day bikinis). Women’s hair is elaborately styled and waved, frequently piled into full and structured up-dos or let loose with wavy curls and “Bettie Paige” bangs (which are blunt-cut in style). Retro clothing manufacturers are as many as there are variations in ap-
proach. New Orleans’ designer Trashy Diva rises to the top of the pack with her bold prints and exquisite eye for detail. Though the garments featured on the site are distinctly vintage inspired, they are crafted with an eye for wear-ability, allowing the garments to showcase the figure underneath them. The company’s strong suit feature full-skirted halter dresses that even come in a more affordable cotton line.
If you’re looking to add some flair to your outfit from the neck up try milliner Topsy Turvy Design outfits with a cocktail hat or hair acces-
sory worthy of the most elegant of events. Her burlesque styled section contains a treasure trove of vintage goodies from leopard pillbox hats to elegant cocktail hats adorned with rhinestones. She also offers a delightful array of “fascinators”.
Adding some 50s flair to your wardrobe can be as easy as heading to your local thrift shop. The sharp-eyed vintage shopper can spot a full-
skirted dress or veiled cocktail hat in any local thrift store. However, one of the least expensive and most impressive ways to emulate a vin-
tage look is to style your hair accordingly. The livejournal community, “Vintage Hair” contains free instructions for dozens of styles. Many of which require little more than a curling iron, gel, bobby pins, and a bit of free time. An impressive hairstyle is an excellent and thrifty way to add panache to a simple outfit. Break out the curling iron and practice, practice, practice!
sepia-colored glasses
by Sally Reardon
egl . Candy Violet . Refuse to be Usual . Viona Art
The word may conjure up heart-shaped glasses and Nabolkov’s famous novel but Lolita fashion and culture is a far cry from these adult themes. Instead, this frilly style emulates the innocent splendor of a little girl’s tea party complete with frilly dresses, whimsical imagery, and perfectly curled hair. This trend originally gained a cult following in Japan before achieving international recognition. Nowadays, Lolita enthusiasts can be found across America organizing elaborate themed outings to parks, parties, and social events.
Classical Lolita fashion resembles little girl’s party dresses, often with a historical or Victorian influences, including lace, frills, and hyper-feminine elements. Many Lolitas are brand conscious, favoring the designer styles of Japanese brands, such as Metamorphosis and Angelic Pretty. Traditionally, Lolita fashion follows fairly strict rules, highlighting full skirts that end around the knee, fluffy petticoats, modest neck-
lines, and a “cute yet elegant” style motto. Some classic sub-genres of Lolita fashion are “Sweet Lolita” (pastel colors, lots of frills), “Gothic Lolita” (black or darker color schemes and classic Gothic elements such as crosses, veiling, etc.), and “Classic Lolita” (muted colors, more subdued look than “Sweet Lolita”). If you’re interested in learning more about Lolita fashion and absorbing some of the imagery associated with it, the popular livejournal community, “egl” is an excellent start.
If Lolita fashion is your sugar-sweet cup of tea, you’ll find much to covet in the el-
egant styling of US designer Candy Violet. Her line features coordinated skirts, tops and sweetly elegant dresses in classic Lolita style. Original prints, such as the Eiffel tower on the “Paris Chic” skirt and playing card themed clothing distinguish her from other American Lolita designers. Those less interested in full-on Lolita fashion will discover a more whimsical line of casual tops featuring carousel horses, playing card suits, and royal crest artwork.
If this style leaves you with a toothache, you may yet enjoy some of the accesso-
ries. A popular look is the frequently copied Vivienne Westwood rocking horse shoe. Shoes or boots in the Lolita style feature a wood-look platform with an extreme cut out in the front. (Similar, of course, to the design of a rocking horse!) Popular ebay seller, Refuse to be Usual offers a wide variety of shoes in this style. This seller offers a fantastic range of footwear from ballet-styled mary-janes that lace up around the leg to boots of all kinds. They also offer a wide variety of Japanese inspired fashion, in-
cluding a variety of Lolita clothes. Another Lolita style accessory that’s an excellent option is a miniature crown. A bit of Internet research will reveal a host of tutorials explaining how to make your own crown from craft wire, beads, and a little ingenu-
ity. If crafty is not your forte, you can buy an exquisitely crafted, ready-made crown from talented photographer/stylist Viona Art. Viona’s crowns sparkle and shine with gemstones, luxurious faux fur, feathers, gemstones, and trims to match a variety of outfits and moods. Lolita fashion can seem like a slightly daunting, specific, and expensive style to navi-
gate. Keep in mind that it has many elements you can add to your wardrobe. Try a full and frilly skirt with a petticoat for a figure flattering look that’s comfortable and easy to dance in. Casual tops with feminine details or t-shirts with “royalty” themed artwork can add a dash of Lolita to everyday dress. Miniature top hats or crowns can bring a touch of irreverent whimsy to your wardrobe, regardless of whether you envision yourself as a young princess or an elegant aristocrat. Most of all, try trading in some of your tight, low-cut, and revealing garments for clothes that are modest, feminine, and above all, elegant!
Loved To Death . Gibbous Fashions
Wasp waists, curiosity cabinets, and slums out of a Dickens’ novel alongside tower-
ing mansions all stem from the Victorian era. Ripe with social paradox and com-
plexity, the Victorian era is a natural source for inspiration for alt fashion. Whether choosing to take cues from tattered ruffians or the cultured gentry, macabre senti-
ments or the average and innocent, clothing inspired by this period is sure to enrich any wardrobe.
Ladies’ Victorian fashion features excessive amounts of rich fabric, creatively draped skirts, defined waists, and an emphasis on glamour. Iconic clothing and accessories from the era include corsets, puffy sleeves, bustles with yard upon yard of volu-
minous fabric, granny-style boots, parasols, and top hats of all sizes. Victorian in-
spired fashion is incredibly popular in the goth subculture. Inspiration is mainly from mourning fashions of the era with a dark palette, richly beaded rosaries, and veiled hats that swathe the face but is certainly not limited to that genre. Other clothiers draw upon the Victorian fascination with more unusual or sinister lines. Fashionable Victorian households kept “curio cabinets” or displays of items as souvenirs from travels abroad. These usually consisted of unusual taxidermy, “conversation pieces”, or strange objects. This theme has also weaved its way into modern clothing and accessories.
If your taste is for the odd and macabre, the taxidermist jeweler, Loved To Death can bring a little touch of the “curio cabinet” to your home or wardrobe. Their jew-
elry features chrome and gold-plated authentic animal skulls and bones, bird claws, and teeth incorporated into jewelry. These statement-making pieces are strung into necklaces, set on elaborate vintage cameos, and adorned with feathers, creating wear-
able art that is as beautiful as it is startling. Loved To Death enforces a stringent “no-kill” policy, using only recycled or by-product parts in the creation of their art-
The oft-neglected fashion underworld of paupers will take heart in the clothing revo-
lution of Gibbous Fashions. Rejecting the prim and proper style of the Victorian era, Gibbous’ creations feature a collage or composite look that incorporates hundreds of fabric and trim scraps sewn together using intricate stitching patterns. Far from resembling a hippie patchwork project, the viewer can imagine a mad seamstress or creative peasant assembling these clothes from the cast-off scraps of the wealthy. Gibbous’ creations are one-of-a-kind and hand-made, allaying any worry that you will see your fashion doppelganger out and about.
Victorian fashion is easy to add to your wardrobe and remains a lasting favorite in alt fashion. As a frequently re-visited theme in mainstream fashion you can rest assured that lace, satin, and silk blouses with Victorian-esque ruffles, puffy sleeves, and a fitted silhouette can be easily found at virtually any major retailer or thrift shop. Ac-
cessories are also an easy way to add some 19th century charm. Try lace gloves (fin-
gerless or fully-fashioned), cameo brooches, or strings of long pearls to accent your outfit. If you don’t have the money to buy a bustle, try using a garter belt to gather up a plain, full length skirt for a can-can girl look. If possible, consider sewing your own for that dab of uniqueness. As for the ultimate investment, contemplate purchas-
ing a corset or a pair of button or granny boots. Corsets (underbust or overbust) can be extremely versatile and an “instant outfit” in their own right when paired with an elegant skirt. The right pair of vintage-looking boots can easily make the transition from office to club as well as add some warmth and personality to your look. One of the best parts about Victorian fashion is its versatility and timelessness. You can be sure that the gorgeous silk blouse you buy will now be just as stylish ten years from now as the day you bought it.
41 february 2009 AUXILIARYAUXILIARY february 2009
i nstal l ment II : more anti quated trends i n al ternati ve fashi on
Gibbous Fashions . photograph by Peter Hinson
Ties the most boring gift to give or receive? Maybe not… Cyberoptix TieLab de-
signer, Bethany Shorb reviles how and why she went from designing costumes for Skinny Puppy to designing men’s ties.
by Elizabeth Schumer
When most people think of ties, they see wallpaper-like snooze strips or a garish Holiday atrocity. Well, think again. Cyberoptix TieLab designs by Bethany Shorb feature intricate nature prints, ironic nooses, vintage industrial designs, and even con-
cealed weapons. Be warned, this is not your grandfather’s neck wear.
Shorb, a native of New York with an MFA from Cranbook Academy of Art, created the Detroit-based Cyberoptix TieLab to liberate fashion-conscious men from the suf-
focating constraints of corporate conformity. Even as a web developer and costume designer, she was always interested in fashion design. “Early on I made some pretty atrocious Day-Glo club-kid clothing and later worked on some really exciting projects for a few films using laminated recycled inner tube rubber,” Bethany explained. “I was heavily into using repurposed materials that were not usually used in fashion or even costume work: antique fire hoses, bicycle tubes, human hair, LED’s, brass pipe fittings.” Shorb also outfitted Skinny Puppy’s world tour in 2004-2005.
The concept behind TieLab came about almost by accident. “My fiancé was into fashion so I was playing around with making some pieces for him,” she explained. “I had a screen prepared with a larger graphic meant to be put on a jacket and noticed that I had a few vintage, World War II issue wool ties lying about the studio, so I decided to test print on a few of them first. I liked how they came out, so I quickly photographed them and put them on Flickr where I archive all of my work. The next day a few blogs picked up the images, and suddenly people were emailing me out of nowhere demanding to get one, or ten!”
Using her web and photography skills, Shorb constructed a bare-bones website within days. Sales quickly grew from a few wholesale accounts to larger trade shows such as Pool, Project, and Magic. Since she designs and produces everything in-house, Shorb grew the brand quickly and adapted fluidly to the market’s demands.
TieLab has printed almost 10,000 neckties to date, all with “two hands, ink, and a squeegee.” Shorb uses only nontoxic, water-based ink and her shop is 100% solvent-
“In the garment industry, screen printing is notoriously environmentally unfriendly. We want to do what we can to rethink tired industry standards to make the trade bet-
ter,” Shorb explained. “Our new line of silk scarves are woven and dyed by Fair-Trade practices and we enjoy repurposing locally obtained antique objects for adornments. Our new premium wood packaging is Forest Stewardship Council certified.”
Shorb confidently discussed the transition from costume design into the quintessen-
tial suit acces-sory. “People always ask me why I �just make ties’, like it is some bad word,” she said. “Ties are always spoken of with such derision and sneer. They’re the perpetual punch line in songs, the butt of every joke, and consistently maligned as the most boring gift to give or receive. I wanted to change that.” Photographer : Luke Coppi ng
Model : Guy Wi l l i am Gane I I I
AUXILIARY february 2009 february 2009 AUXILIARY43
The necktie presents a design challenge with its unique shape, dimension, and tra-
ditional status as that hated symbol of corporate American drudgery. Rather than become discouraged by the tie’s insipid reputation, Shorb sees a challenging area of opportunity. “What fun is there”, she wondered, “in designing something people already love?”
“I enjoy providing a seditious punky fashion statement for executives bound to the neck noose, and a sharply-styled alternative for those who don’t need to wear a tie, but chose to,” said Shorb of her innovative designs. “I like to think that I’ve helped to transform a much-maligned business necessity into a subversive object of desire.”
Shorb acknowledged that menswear often takes a backseat in fashion, relegated to big box stores and predictable patterns. “There’s pathetically little that is both well designed and attainable at a reasonable price-point,” she pointed out. “I hope that I can make guys look good and have them actually not hate doing so.”
Cyberoptix TieLab boasts a wide range of clientele including punks, goths, and hip-
sters looking to meld their personal style into professional parameters. “I have many clients who have jobs not in the arts but want to wear something that is still artful, handmade, and well designed, but not stifling creatively,” she said. In addition to workday drones, Shorb has also outfitted wedding parties and other group functions.
Shorb goes on to explain, “There’s a huge movement of people doing somewhat more non-traditional weddings who are very resistant to putting themselves into debt for the next 30 years for some cookie-cutter soiree that doesn’t fit their lifestyle at all. My nature-inspired designs do well among that set but you’d be surprised to see how many packages of skulls and revolvers go flying out the door.”
The diversity of TieLab’s designs can adapt to fit any taste, style, or occasion ranging from quirky to downright macabre. A peacock design shows an intricate feathered overlay; classy and sophisticated, until the observer realizes the peacock feathers’ scandalous overtones. Her cable tie depicts elegant RCA connectors; a technical print with a nod to industrial beauty. For the slightly twisted sense of humor, the concealed weapon collection displays a classy Victorian pattern on the front and a hidden device on the back. On the “Let Them Eat Cake” tie, the Victorian scroll work on the front seems subdued, until the wearer reveals the guillotine printed on the re-
verse. Drawing inspiration from nature, music, literature, and everything in between, Shorb’s TieLab features a veritable creative kaleidoscope of designs. Shorb appreciates the business ease inherent in designing a standardized accessory. “People know what they’re getting size-wise with a necktie, therefore I have less in-
ventory overhead than a shirt designer who not only has to stock XS-XXL, but must make screens in quadruplicate to grade for the size difference.”
With more orders rolling in every day and a growing international presence, Shorb likes where Cyberoptix TieLab is going. This year, she looks forward to exhibiting her work at more festivals and galleries; a facet of the job she would never sacrifice. From the subversively sneaky to nature-inspired prints and portraits of academics in gas masks, Bethany Shorb has something for every tie connoisseur. With Cyberoptix TieLab designs, the adventurous professional should not be afraid to “tie one on”. AUXILIARY february 2009 february 2009 AUXILIARY
an i ntrospecti ve i nto gothabi l l y
What do you get when a greaser of the 1950s meets a black-clad goth of the 1990s? What would happen if Elvis met The Sisters of Mercy? You would get gothabilly! Yes, it really does exist! Not only is gothabilly a musical genre but a fashion look and a lifestyle as well. Gothabillys, also known as hellbillys, can easily be mis-
taken for goths, rockabillys, or psychobillys. They all have similar interests in horror, kitsch, hot rods (or hearses), vintage fashion and enjoy the sound of the slap style bass.
We could simply describe the fashion of the gothabilly as, “Elvis raised from the grave and re-fashioned as a goth.” He would simply be draped in black velvet instead of gold lame. It’s not that hard to envision, Elvis did dye his hair black, after all. The style of the gothabilly can take many forms but black is a constant staple in the wardrobe. Gothabilly style may include retro-inspired elements such as: cowboy boots, bolo ties, pencil skirts, high heels, creeper shoes, mourning coats, corsets, and top hats. Close attention to detail in clothing is often seen by use of: antique jewelry, animal print trim, tattoo imagery, PVC, and leather. Gothabilly hair styles can include: pompadour quiffs, Bettie Page style bangs, 1940s curled qua-
vers, rat’s nests, or just bald and beautiful. Many gothabillys style themselves like dusty cowboys from hell or simply look like vampire pin-ups risen from the grave for a midnight cocktail hour. They find their fashions at places ranging from vintage shops, estate sales, and even the mall. Most of the time their styling focuses on blending retro cuts from the 1950s with the somber features of a goth. Nothing is too creepy or too kitschy for these groovy ghoulies.
Gothabilly has often been considered an offshoot of the goth lifestyle. Lifestyle interests can be both 1950s movies and culture with the kitschy humor of the era and elements of goth fashion and literature. An all around taste for things Noir is almost always self evident. The key to understanding the gothabilly style is to understand tongue-in-cheek humor. Whether it’s putting mini top hats on taxidermy bats or plan-
ning a creepy tiki party, dark humored fun is essential. These creatures of the night can usually be found hanging out at goth clubs, rockabilly shows, or any dark lounge. There really is no formal social scene due to the term “gothabilly” not having wide-
spread use in mainstream or alternative media. For this reason, the knowledge of this genre is minimal and little has been exposed about the lifestyle. The dark Daddy-O’s have had to move between both the goth and rockabilly scenes.
The Cramps first used the term “gothabilly” in the late 1970s to describe their musi-
cal sound. The Gothic Cowboys and Fields of the Nephilim were sporting western gear while belting out somber tunes in the mid 1980s. They too, could be described (by sight) as gothabillys. Bands like Dave Vanian (singer of The Damned) and The Phantom Chords helped forged the sound in the early 1990s but the musical genre really stayed under the radar. Gothabilly is often confused with its cousin genre psychobilly. First becoming popular in the 1980s, psychobilly formed a combination of traditional 1950s rockabilly with a 1970s punk sound. Psychobilly is much faster and aggressive but shares the same themes of horror, monsters in distress, and all the drama of the dark side with gothabilly. A great way to describe the gothabilly sound would be to try and imagine the soundtrack for a western hanging or the music for a funeral sock-hop. The musical style is a combination of 1950s bluesy rocka-
billy mixed with creepy gothic piano and guitars creating a slow tempo with moody melodies. Lyrics are often about vampires, the paranormal, dark love, and themes of sadness yet have an element of kitsch. The use of B-rated horror movie samples is prevalent and adds a certain macabre je ne sais qua . A sample of bands that could be used to define the Gothabilly sound are: The Cramps, Cult of the Psychic Fetus, The Phantom Cowboys, Zombie Ghost Train, and Ghoultown. Other subgenres that have been included on gothabilly CD compilations have been described as, “Death Surf”, “Voodooabilly” and “Death Mod”. Examples of these bands are: Psycho Charger, The Brides, Deadbolt, and The Memphis Morticians.
If your curiosity gets the best of you and you want to know more, I recommend reading The Villains Guide to Better Living by Neil Zawacki, Drop Dead Magazine, and Rue Morgue Magazine. This reading material will be sure to give you some insight into the delightfully macabre world of gothabilly. To help you achieve that “fresh from the morgue look”, I recommend these fashion sites: www.shrinestore.
com,,, and The best music compilations to provide an introduction to the genre and get your crypt rockin’ are: Gothabilly: Wakin’ The Dead, Gothabilly: Rockin’ Necropolis, and Gothabilly: Razin’ Hell. Gothabilly may be the light-hearted goth or the dark-hearted rockabilly, but no matter which way you describe it, it is definitely a breed of its own! by Meagan Breen
photo Zombie Ghost Train
AUXILIARY february 2009 february 2009 AUXILIARY
Switchblade Stiletto Vicious Punk Blazer in white zebra print with Rockin Bones Poofy Tutu in Lime
Photographer : Jenni fer Li nk
Fashi on Styl i st : Meagan Breen
Makeup Arti st : Anna Mal skaya
Hai r Styl i st : Eri n Moser
Model s : Rai nbowKandi cai ne and Mi chel e Stanek
b ea t t he w int er glo om wit h bo ld neo n c olo r s and k it sch y a nim al p r int s
february 2009 AUXILIARY
Switchblade Stiletto Gray Leopard Cardigan with The Perfect Skirt in Psychobilly Green by Mode Merr THIS PAGE
New York Couture Erika Halter Bubble Dress and Rockin Bones Sailor Dress in pink with black tulle ruffles
AUXILIARY february 2009
february 2009 AUXILIARY
Mode Merr’s Everyone Heart’s Cleavage Blouse in multi-color heart print and The Perfect Zebra Skirt by Mode Merr
New York Couture Katy Yoke Top with Mode Merr Panther Skirt in Blue
AUXILIARY february 2009
february 2009 AUXILIARY
Fitted Peasant Blouse in Spotted with The Perfect Skirt in Psychobilly Green both by Mode Merr
Rockin Bones Swallows Tunic in yellow with Switchblade Stiletto
Vicious Zip Pencil Skirt in white zebra print and Rockin Bones Halter Top in skull and hearts print
AUXILIARY february 2009
february 2009 AUXILIARY
Switchblade Stiletto Zip It Tee with New York Couture Limited Edition Lace Layered Shorts in hot pink
Mode Merr Beverly Hills Vamp Dress in heavy stretch satin and Mode Merr Fitted Peasant Blouse in black with Switchblade Stiletto Rebel Rebel Waist Belt Pencil Skirt in leopard AUXILIARY february 2009
where to buy
Betsey Johnson
Candy Violet
Cyberoptix TieLab
Epiphany Strange
Gibbous Fashions
Loved To Death
Mode Merr
New York Couture
Raven Eve
Refuse to be Usual
Rockin Bones
Switchblade Stiletto
Taissa Lada Designs
Topsy Turvy Design
Trashy Diva
Valerie Masterman
Viona Art
adverti se i n
auxi l i ary magazi ne
pri nt and onl i ne
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april 2009
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book, photo, media, gothic, lifestyle, Auxiliary, music, fashion
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