Category Archive for Arizona
What’s the Gothic Alternative party scene like in Phoenix, AZ? I went to Sanctum club night to find out. Read on for the anatomy of a nightcrawl…
Geist, Leon and I fueled up at Blue Hound Kitchen, inside the downtown Hotel Palomar.
They are the singer/leader and bassist of Colosseum Thesis.
Guess what: Leon Lindon is scoring the soundtrack for my upcoming Phoenix travel video! You can find out more about his composition and production work on his website.
We loved the decor of Blue Hound Kitchen. The restaurant pairs seasonal, high-end comfort food with craft cocktails.
Leon demonstrates how a lounge should be used.
Casting a spell in the mirror. Love the shirt sleeve detail.
Keep your radar on their band, Colosseum Thesis, which uses a progressive blend of genres such as rock, visual, neoclassical, and jazz.
The act specializes in theatrical live shows, which immerse the audience in an original fantasy epic.
Their first demo is scheduled for 2013, as well as their debut performances. Excited!
Now, back to the food. The specialty cocktails were home runs; my “Chartreuse Fuzz” was straight out of Poppy Z Brite’s Lost Souls. The flatbreads taste as good as they look, especially the one with pumpkin and goat cheese.
Blue Hound’s comfort cuisine menu was the best of both worlds: macaroni and cheese, BBQ Kobe beef short ribs. The coffee-cured hamachi, flavored with candied jalapeno and pineapple, got the “Leon Award of Excellence.”
A pirate always orders dessert. We had caramelized pineapple upside down cake, topped with madjool date ice cream, and salted caramel sauce. Bravo.
My octopus dress and anchor knee socks are gifts from Sourpuss. Same with the glitter octopus clips in my hair.
Serafina (remember her from the Art Museum post?) gets a streak of blue hair thanks to Hypercolor’s temporary Dip Dye powders. (This product’s perfect for a night out; I used the colors to give myself rainbow hair.)
A tableau inspired by Philip C. Curtis’s creepy-surreal paintings.
Mark of the cross.
The Westin Hotel’s lobby decor was made for photoshooting. We piled into a car, and headed to the party.
As soon as we stepped into Sanctum Goth club (4343 N 7th Ave), we knew we were in the right place. DJ Apollynon and Aleksandr Aeternum were spinning Covenant, And One, and 1980s darkwave.
DJ Apollynon (above) is passionate about making the night inclusive. He keeps connected with the audience through on-the-floor interaction and welcoming music requests.
The club has various nights: a monthly Industrial/ Aggrotech event, and dark/alt music every Saturday. I appreciated the welcoming atmosphere and relaxed space at Sanctum — I raise my glass of absinthe to this Phoenix Goth night! Thank you Elligons LaCroix (left) for helping me connect.
Have you explored Arizona’s Gothic, alt and Industrial nightlife? What’s the subculture scene like where you live? You never know — I may come and check it out!
PS: Thanks to About.com Multicultural Beauty for interviewing me about Asian cosmetics and bagelheads. And thanks to everyone who entered the Yummy You contest! The winner Yuuki M, chosen by random selection, has been contacted.
Did you know I used to take art history classes? Visiting galleries remains a favorite past-time. During my Arizona press trip, my friend and I went to the Phoenix Art Museum.
Serafina is a classically trained soprano (and she wears Gothic Lolita coordinates beautifully). She’s currently working on Chiaroscuro, a “neo-classical pop project based upon the visual arts, from classical to the contemporary.” And she sells handmade jewelry, mostly rosaries, in her Etsy shop Rosarium Obscurum.
We stopped by the rooftop garden of the Sheraton hotel in downtown Phoenix.
Purse friends! My fuzzy is Hyoma, from Izzue in Hong Kong. More photos of my Miffy outfit in this Roosevelt Row post.
We ate refreshing hummus, goat cheese and Thai-flavored salads at District , on the ground floor of the Sheraton Downtown. They made special mint juleps for us, using herbs straight from the roof garden!
The Art Museum has a spacious courtyard and Sculpture Garden. One of these runners is not like the other…
A cartoon-like man riding a masked horse. Serafina’s expression says it all.
The museum lets you take photos inside, as long as you don’t use flash. Talk about an invitation for a photoshoot.
The museum has multiple wings, with works spanning from ancient China to today. I personally loved the Philip C. Curtis exhibit. The American painter reminds me of Edward Gorey and the surrealists.
An empty ballroom with uncanny mirrors and chairs, carney circuses, strange Victorian guests. I’m still mulling over Curtis’s paintings.
I could’t wait to see the special exhibit: Art Deco fashion.
Fascinating to see Vogue and Harper’s Bazaar magazine covers from the 1920s and 1930s. Who knew they were hand-drawn?
Velvet capes with embroidery. Want.
Quite a few of the Roaring Twenties flapper gowns were by Coco Chanel.
Can’t go wrong with cloche hats and feathered fans.
Or silky lingerie.
Here’s a quick video I took with my iPhone, to give you a sense of the space.
Can you tell I’m on a 1920s kick? Check out my Art Deco Weekend Miami coverage for more retro inspiration.
Phoenix Art Museum is very much worth a visit; the selection is well-explained and includes Monet, Frida Kahlo, and Alexander Calder. Be sure to visit Yayoi Kusama’s “You Who Are Getting Obliterated in the Dancing Swarm of Fireflies” — a dark room with hanging LED lights.
Have you heard of Philip C. Curtis? Who are your favorite artists and eras? You can delve into my art and design category, and there’s more Art Deco Weekend on the way!
Heavy metal adventure team… activate!
I’m in Sedona, Arizona with Leon and Geist of the band Colosseum Thesis. Can you mix Jrock and Aliens? Read on to have your eyes opened.
Sedona is a 2-3 hour scenic drive from Phoenix. The red rock’s known as a haven of spirituality… and alien encounters.
Skull hair clips: gifted by Kreepsville 666
Art Nouveau sunglasses: gifted by Lumete
We blasted metal and Visual Kei on the drive north, which took us through cacti landscapes and rock corridors. Bassist Geist and I strike an alien pose.
It was right before Christmas, so the aliens were wearing Santa hats.
Our first pit stop: the fascinating Center for the New Age.
The store offers vortex tours, aura photography, psychics, palm readers, healing stones and crystals, and more.
A rich selection of books and Buddhas.
No matter what your spiritual leanings are, Sedona is special place. There’s a feeling of re-charging here.
Sedona has a number of “vortexes”, or sites charged healing and awareness.
Not everyone “feels the power.” Nonetheless, Sedona’s an unbeatable place to hike, relax, and take in nature.
We had outstanding French food at Rene in Tlaquepaque, across from the New Age Center.
I could have stayed in the Southwestern courtyard all day. My white dress is Japanese brand Liz Lisa, bought in Hong Kong. Here are photos of the Liz Lisa boutique.
Closeup on the boys’ rings and gloves.
The spinach tofu salad and fresh crepes were out of this world.
Ravioli for my Arizona guide, Leon Lindon (singer, composer, musician, producer, and leader of Colosseum Thesis).
With stomachs satiated, we went on to another spiritual place.
The landscape makes an epic backdrop for photos.
My Liz Lisa ankle boots aren’t really made for climbing.
We ascended the spiral walkway…
… to the Chapel Of The Holy Cross, an architectural marvel completed in 1956.
The Catholic chapel’s windows reflect red rock, and the shape of a cross.
A powerful place for prayer.
Inside, we listened to soft chanting and basked in the light.
As Leon puts it, “Sedona is a place that encourages people to look upward.”
Photos can’t convey the feeling of this place; I hope you’ll come and experience it for yourself.
Thanks to Leon and Geist for the epic road trip. Their band, Colosseum Thesis, is a surprising new visual music act that uses a progressive blend of genres such as rock, neoclassical, and jazz, complete with grandiose theatrical performances. Can’t wait for their debut performances and demo later this year.
Were you surprised by Sedona’s spirituality? Where do you go to regain calm and re-charge?
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Printmaking has come a long way since Hokusai’s “Great Wave.” At Mesa Arts Center (MAC), I rolled acid paint onto stencils and cranked out anime-pop prints.
David Manje is the kindest, most encouraging instructor imaginable. He’s a well-regarded printmaker, with multiple arts and education degrees from Arizona State University. Now retired, he teaches part-time at MAC.
My jaw dropped when I saw the stencils David made for me. He had cut out over 70 shapes representing my spooky-cute world, including my Scottish Fold cat, eyelashes, lips, hearts — and even a bagelhead!
Traditionally, pochoir involves inking or painting stencils for hard-edged prints. David’s unique, freestyle method creates neon layers that flow from pop art to abstract.
1. David set up three stations. Each had an inked Plexiglas plate, several paints, and a selection of stencils. Using a roller, he showed me how to color the stencils until they reached an orange-peel-like texture.
Rollin’ with my homies.
Basil Farrow looks angry because hasn’t been painted yet.
When you lift the stencils, they leave behind a bright outline.
2. We randomly layered the colored stencils onto the plates, with plenty of overlap.
3. David covered each plate with dry paper, and I cranked it through the etching press. “A manual press lets the printer feel the variations in pressure exerted on the paper and plate,” he explains.
The first run, called a “generation-one print,” was starkly graphic, with bright colors and hard edges.
Drying the prints on the racks.
4. We removed the stencils, and switched them between the plates. Thanks to the overlap, they’re now marked with intriguing patterns.
For subsequent runs, we used wet paper and greater pressure.
“The color and shape magic begins to happen as the stencils continue to be interchanged,” says David.
“Random patterns begin to occur on the tops and bottoms of each stencil that breakup recognizable imagery.”
I had a lively afternoon with David — one of the warmest teachers I’ve ever met — and got an arm workout to boot!
In total, we made four generations of prints, or twelve works. With each run, the clean cut-outs devolved further into soft-hued amalgams.
Here are more of David’s pochoir prints. You can take his class, as well as other visual and performance arts workshops, at the Mesa Arts Center.
Have you tried your hand at printmaking? Did you find my art video helpful? Please take a second to watch and share.
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