ferrumaeternum: (wooden pints - katie cook)
Unless a really amazing, must-see band is playing, of course. ;) Otherwise, this was by far the worst time I’ve had at any event or festival. When I got down there two Thursdays ago at 7:00 PM, I passed a guy on the sidewalk who was already wasted and leaning over a trash. All the parking spaces were filled up, which was ridiculous because they have multiple parking lots, but not unheard of. The worst part was that they blocked off a ton of roads and lanes that are usually open, so I ended up with nowhere else to go but a $20 lot a few blocks away from the grounds. Not a huge deal, since my ticket was free. As I got closer and closer to the gate, I noticed a lot more people there than usual. The lines went all the way into the street.

Once I finally got in, I decided to do some shopping first. All but a few vendors were selling nothing but junk that drunks and stoners would buy. Glass and guitar pick jewelry, hemp and tie-dyed everything, and the most disgusting of all was an outdoor tattoo station set up by Starship because getting a tattoo while drunk and in extreme heat and humidity outdoors is a great idea. :/ Luckily all the way at the edge of the grounds was a tent with Arabic and Asian vendors. I got a really nice moonstone and sterling silver ring for under $20 and a hand-painted papyrus with Ramesses receiving a blessing from Anubis and offering jars to Hathor. It looks like these and the gold/bronze parts are actually metallic. (Not sure which Ramesses it is, but I’m assuming it’s Ramesses II and I’ll double-check the cartouches to see if I’m right. Just as long it’s not Akhenaton, I really don’t care which pharaoh it is. :p) It was $60, but the guy who worked there knew the Egyptology professor at UWM, so he gave me a 50% discount! :D Elizabeth and I are hoping to go to Arab World Fest next month because her husband is half Arabic. Since Egyptian International Art will also be there, I’m planning on getting a couple of smaller painted papyruses of Anubis, Isis, Hathor, or Ma’at. So begins my Egyptian art collection…

For some reason, I thought Joan Jett was going to be at one of the stages on the opposite end of the festival grounds, but when I got down there, I found out they were performing at the stage right next to where I was just shopping. This would have been fine if the whole place wasn’t such a fucking zoo. Everyone was inching forward in a giant mass, and I was surrounded by slow-moving ghetto people, poseur punk rockers who came to see The Offspring, bros and their sun-baked hos, and tons of drunk white trash.

When I finally got back down there, I still had an hour before the show started, and there was hardly anywhere to sit. After the bad ‘80s cover band ended, most of the people decided to stay. There were several seats in the fourth row, but as I stepped over the bleachers, this overweight middle-aged guy told me they were taken but that he wasn’t. :/ Ugh, this never would have happened at a metal show because saving seats is totally lame and not metal. I can see saving one seat for someone, but a spot big enough for six people to sit? Not cool. Even worse was that three morbidly obese people later came over and took up all the room, of course, with a foot of breathing space between them. Some braver folks sat down after me and ignored the Seat Nazi, but he threatened to call security and they left. I ended up near the end of the sixth row, which wouldn’t have been so bad if they didn’t have a huge screen in the way and the people in front of me weren’t wearing those stupid sparkly red, white, and blue jester and Uncle Sam hats. They ruined all my photos because the flash focused on their hideous headgear instead of the lighted stage. :( This drunk older woman who had been dancing on the bleachers to the opening band was still standing on them before Joan Jett came on, and a security guard asked her to get down. When she refused, he called for backup and five other security guards hauled her off. Since there were people standing in front of her, she lost her spot and threw a hissy fit. Several more fights broke out over people standing in front of those who were up on the bleachers. During the show, some drunk guy jumped up on the shoulders of one of the massive women in front of me and angered her husband, which led to a screaming match between the two. Another guy a few people down from me who looked just like Willie Nelson started the rest of the arguments with people blocking his view and kept threatening to get security. Everyone involved in these fights were anywhere from 40 to 60-some years old. Teenagers fighting amongst themselves are one thing, but these drunk white trash need to act their age and lay off the beer.

At least the concert itself was really good. I hadn’t seen Joan Jett and the Blackhearts for about five years, and then they played a much shorter set, though I was able to get much closer to the stage. This time around, they played a good mix of material from the Blackhearts as well as The Runaways, including all the hits. "Bad Reputation", "Cherry Bomb", "I Love Rock and Roll", "Crimson and Clover", "I Hate Myself for Loving You", "Do You Wanna Touch Me", "A.C.D.C.", they pretty much had it all covered. They ended their set with a cover of Sly and the Family Stone’s “Everyday People”, which I really enjoyed. However, I did not enjoy the drunk cougar next to me that was constantly hitting me with her hip and camera that was on her arm as she retardedly danced. Keep it classy for your pre-teen daughter, why don’t you? :/ The trashy hair metal guy on my other side who kept hitting on me wasn’t much better either.

It was also a nightmare trying to leave the festival because the concert ended at the same time that the grounds closed for the night and everyone was trying to exit at once. People were leaning out of their cars to vomit on the street as they were driving home. I’m sorry, but that’s absolutely ridiculous and a reminder as to why I do not drink heavily. Hopefully German Fest won’t be nearly as bad next week!
ferrumaeternum: (concerning hobbits)
Hopefully this will be the last school-related post for a while. :p

I’m still having nightmares about this metalsmithing class. What was supposed to be a four-hour jewelry class four days a week, turned out to being anywhere from 6 to 9 hours of nonstop work each day and on the weekends. This was the first (and coincidentally last) summer class the teacher taught, and it felt like she tried to cram in too much work for the time we had. In addition to two projects, we also had to make 12 samples on 2 x 2" squares of metal of each metalsmithing technique we were taught in 3.5 weeks. Here is the cuff/bracelet I made for the first project, where the topic was wearable sculpture:

+ 7 photos of the bracelet on and off the body )

The bracelet is made out of two pieces of 18g nickel that are soldered together at the center. The knot design was created with etching and chasing. Rivets were required for this project, so I attached the flattened piece of wire using two of them. The entire piece was soaked in nickel oxidizer to turn it black, and then buffed in certain areas with steel wool to bring back the silver and give it an antiqued look. I was inspired by late Medieval-era jewelry as well as nature – particularly the ivy that grew all over the parking structure near a beautiful garden and woods I walked through everyday on the way to class. I got a lot of criticism for not having the knot design stand out, but I wanted the sculptural piece on the end to be the focal point. Some also said that it looked unfinished because mine was one of the few that didn’t have nickel, brass, and copper all slapped together in some kind of steampunk clusterfuck. God forbid I make something subtle and actually wearable! :p I’m getting really sick of these people in art school who seem to make art for other artists instead of things that everyday people can also appreciate and understand.

I also made a little soldered nickel and brass box that looks like a treasure chest and holds a seashell, but the lid got all botched up because my teacher made a mistake when telling me how to construct it. The pieces didn’t fit together, so they couldn’t be soldered, and I ran out of time when I started to drill holes for the rivets. I had to super-glue it the night before the critique just to hold it together! I also accidentally superglued my hands (and my mother’s table) in the process, and the only way to remove it was with sandpaper, which wasn’t fun. The piece ended up unfinished, though the teacher only took 10% off my grade for it and I still got a B+ in the class! :D I’m just happy I passed because I don’t like 3D art much at all. I only have one more 3D studio to take, which will be ceramics this fall. Hopefully that will be easier, since I’ve worked with clay in the past. I simply didn’t have enough upper body strength to control some of the tools and machines we worked with, which led to craftsmanship problems. It’s good to fail once in a while, though, because it keeps you humble. I can still use the box without the lid, since that turned out well and has a wood grain etching on it that gives it some character.
ferrumaeternum: (here lies david st. hubbins)
This is also ridiculously late, but I just recently figured out how to convert my magazine project from an Adobe InDesign file to smaller (yet still readable) PhotoShop files.

I spent a month slaving over this project, measuring every letter and line of text in Print Magazine, so I figured I’d still post it. Intro to Design was a great reminder of why I decided not to major in graphic design, as I originally intended. I feel that with this project (and field, in general), I was very restricted in terms of creativity and expressing my point of view as an artist. The first two articles were required, and we got to choose from a list for the last two short ones. I wanted to do the one on Russian prison tattoos so badly, but the teacher said that would be the article that would ruin the project by shocking anyone in the graphic design field who saw it. :( The magazine design also had to be heavily influenced from an existing design magazine. I had free reign of font choices, images, layout, end bullet, and title, but that was pretty much it.

One good thing that has come out of it is that I now feel that I could put out a more professional d.i.y. music zine in the future if I can ever find the time. I also found a great small company printer on the East Side that only charged me $20 to print the whole thing out. Each page measures roughly 9" x 11".

Overall, I’m happy with how this turned out, but the layout for the Unger article could have been better. The teacher had a rule where we couldn’t use any pictures of him because he was sick of looking at his face and purple shirts, so it was hard to find any other images on the topic. I also started working on it a day before the project was due, which didn’t help either. There was also some drama when the teacher accidentally entered 10/100 for the presentation grade of this project instead of 100/100, which gave me a D- on the whole thing and a B- in the class. I had to contact the head of the Peck School of the Arts to get my grade straightened out, but everything has been taken care of, and I ended up with an A- in this class and A's and A-'s in all my others. :)

+ 14 non-dial-up-friendly spreads )
ferrumaeternum: (rose of the devil's garden)
Ugh…not again! I really shouldn’t have spent the first week off school sitting out on the porch with my cat and not doing much of anything else ‘cause now I’m really behind with updating. This jewelry/metals class was a lot more work than what I expected, but more on that later. It’s been about a month, so finally, here’s the post on the Hypocrisy show. Luckily I already had most of this typed up the day after the show, since Samer and Elizabeth couldn’t make it and wanted to know what happened.

The weather for the show was awful. It was 90°F and it was so humid that it was difficult to breathe. Sam and Beth didn’t come because they don’t have air conditioning, so Beth’s grandmother would have got sick if she babysat for their four-year-old daughter. Unfortunately, they couldn’t find anyone else to babysit for them. The anti-humidity hairspray and several straightening hair products did nothing, so in just an hour after leaving the house, my hair was just short of a complete afro. I was stuck wearing a t-shirt, since my tattoo work was still healing, which only made it worse. When I arrived at the venue, I learned that the show would be in the tiny bar area. Then I found out it wasn’t air conditioned after they let us in 45 minutes late. There were some ceiling fans above the merch area, but there was no relief near the stage. Most of all, I felt bad for the musicians. It was torture enough just standing in the thick, stagnant air, but they had to actually move around.

Swashbuckle was just as great as last time, though I was mildly disappointed they didn’t have the inflatable coconut tree or the guy in the parrot costume running around. Despite the heat, they still were wearing their full pirate costumes and had great dialogue with the crowd. To quote Admiral Nobeard, “It’s hotter than a wench’s tit inside a tin bra.” He also basically called Paul from Blackguard a whoremonger onstage, but that’s another story… Anyway, I like their new drummer a lot better than their last one. Last time I saw them, that drummer wasn’t even dressed as a pirate! This one not only looked the part, but he was a total powerhouse.

Blackguard After that barb from “Captain Noballs”, I knew Paul was going to fire back with some of his own. ;) He clearly came out on top when he told us to, “Give it up for Alestorm!” and the whole crowd cheered. It was great being in the front row for this band because their synchronized windmill headbanging worked like fans, although I kept getting whipped in the face with hair. XD They played “The Sword”, “In Time”, “This Round’s on Me”, “Farewell”, and “Allegiance”. During “In Time”, Paul pointed me out from the stage. I’m still amazed that he remembers me after I’ve only hung out with him a couple of times.

Speaking of which, the Blackguard fanboys weren’t at the show, so I went straight to their merch table after their set in hopes of getting to chat a little more than last time. Kim was the only one there, so I waited in the back for a while. Then I noticed he was yelling, “Hey, you! Come over here!” at me. :/ He said that it looked like I didn’t know what I wanted to buy, so I asked him if he had any girls shirts. He didn’t, so he tried to get me to buy a thong or booty shorts, since I already had their album and a poster. After I declined, he kept trying to talk me into it or trying to get me to buy other things until I said I’d think about it and walked away. I understand that they’re trying to make money and promote their band, but pushing merchandise on fans isn’t the way to do it. I tried to make small talk with him about the tour and how the band was doing, but all he cared about was making a few bucks. After I told Beth about it, she said that he tried to get her to buy more shirts after she got one at their last show, so it sounds like he does this to everyone.

Hate was alright, but not very memorable. They sounded like straight-up death metal, but looked like a black metal band. Their outfits and facepaint were interesting and their music was listenable, but I wasn’t really into them. They were also the only band that didn’t have a pit during their set.

Scar Symmetry put on a great performance despite some assholes in the crowd booing them and yelling, “Faggots!”. :( There were only about three rows of people at the front of the stage that were even into them, which was kind of discouraging, so I made sure to give them some extra applause. Considering the other bands on the tour, I understand that the crowd might not be into a band that uses clean vocals, but that doesn’t mean you should be rude and boo them. The heat and small stage hindered how much they could move around, but they sounded so solid that it didn’t really matter. They also treated the crowd with a lot of kindness and respect, which I hoped the audience could show them in return, especially since they came here from another country. It’s one thing to be rude to other Americans, but I feel that if there’s people visiting from elsewhere, you should treat them as guests.

After this, I was starting to get a bit down, but Johnny Cash’s “Ring of Fire” came over the PA system and I was almost knocked over from the force of Paul’s hug. He said he was taking a break from catching up on computer work and came out just to say hi to me, which I thought was really sweet. We only got to talk for about ten minutes, but at least I found out that all the bands on this tour expected it to suck in terms of audience turnout and reception, so I was a little relieved about that. I wish there’d been more time to chat, since none of the people who were swarming him last time were around. But Blackguard’s coming back in September and November, so there will always be time later. Still, it was really humbling that he took time out of his schedule to say hi ‘cause I know he meets a ton of other fans (and some fairly memorable skanks, I’m sure) on the tour and still remembers me.

Hypocrisy really turned this night around for me. They played for well over an hour and covered a huge range of material from The Final Chapter to their latest, A Taste of Extreme Divinity. The stage was kept dark for the most part with a lot of strobe light and neon green, red and blue coming from the back that created the ambiance of an extraterrestrial ship landing. The recorded bits that played between songs also helped set the eerie mood. Everyone went crazy when they played “Eraser”, and it was nice to hear that everyone knew the beginning of the chorus when Peter handed us the mic. Peter dedicated “Fire in the Sky” to the bassist from Slipknot who just passed away, which I thought was really nice, even though I don’t like Slipknot’s music. Everything, including Peter’s vocals, sounded fantastic up until the end. I still really want to see Pain sometime because I have to admit that I like them a little bit more than Hypocrisy, but I got my Peter Tägtgren fix…for now.

Paul said he’d see me after the show, but after I waited around for five minutes, I left. I have a hunch that even if I waited longer, he was probably still on the computer. :p

I can stop bitching about The Rave for now ‘cause they took some pictures and posted videos of each band on the website! :D
ferrumaeternum: (hail to the hammer)
Here is the series of drawings from Advanced Drawing Strategies I’ve been working on outside of class all semester. All of the drawings are 19.5" x 12.75". The black border around the outside of each drawing is the same width as the inner border. It's impossible to photograph them perfectly straight, so I just filled the rest in with black, which I hope is less distracting than my bedroom carpet was! Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to finish all 12 that were originally planned and required, but I managed to get 9 done and still got an A- in the class. It’s a miracle I even accomplished that many, since all my classes this semester were at the junior and senior level (300 and 400).

I probably should have one drawing that actually shows Baldr’s death, but at the same time I don’t want to be too literal. I’m mentally done with this series, so I don’t think I’ll be going back in to add it. I may revisit this topic for a completely different piece in the future. I think it’s pretty obvious that the funeral ship is Baldr’s, anyway. These are also a couple of the most famous stories from the Norse myths, and are referenced quite often in music, literature, and Yule/Christmas traditions, so I don’t feel the need to beat my audience over the head with the plot. Halfway through the series, everyone in my class agreed during critique that they’re more interested in my interpretation of it than the actual story. I also reworded some of the text from the translations I found for the sake of my class and my mostly English-speaking audience, since English does not directly translate from Old Norse. Obviously, there are things I would change about certain drawings or redo them if I could. I think they help show how I’ve improved and grown as an artist as the series progressed, so I’m keeping them as is.

I also have to add that the figures of Odin and Sleipnir riding into Hel are John Howe’s of Gandalf and Shadowfax as they ride to Minas Tirith. I wanted to change them enough to make them my own, but I ran out of time. I am making no profit on these drawings nor do I claim the two figures as my own.

I am going to be totally pretentious now and post my artist statement, but I really do feel that it sums everything up and puts the series into context for those who are unfamiliar with the mythology:

For my series, I am using passages from the Prose and Poetic Eddas that chronicle the passing of the Norse god of light, beauty, and happiness: Baldr. The Eddas are the main sources of Germanic mythology and skaldic tradition, which were recorded during the 11th Century A.D. by Snorri Sturluson as Northern Europe underwent Christianization. Baldr’s death ultimately sets off the series of events that lead up to Ragnarök, a great battle where most of the gods and all but two humans will perish. Through Baldr’s death, the gods discover a traitor among them and are reminded that even they cannot escape death or fate.

I am portraying the concept of death and the afterlife in this series from a pagan perspective while showing my personal interpretation of the mythology that inspired much of today’s fantasy genre. The figures are represented naturalistically, drawing inspiration from 20th Century illustrations, while keeping their accurate Viking Age appearances described in the Eddas. Charcoal, graphite, and ink are the materials used throughout the entire series, as the absence of color reflects the serious tone of the story in addition to Europe’s Dark Ages. I am also celebrating the narrative tradition by weaving text from this story into the series that is reminiscent of the stylized manuscripts from Medieval Northern Europe. The series begins with text taken from the original Beowulf manuscript and ends with a detailed floral illustrated Gothic manuscript. The progression of time is depicted through the evolution of typography in the series, just as the gods’ fates unfold as time takes its course.

+ 9 drawings and 2 close-ups to show detail )
ferrumaeternum: (art is what you can get away with)
On Friday I finished the last of my exams and moved out of the dorms and back home with my mom, sister, and cat. I’m still anxiously waiting for my grades to be posted, but I’m optimistic that I passed everything. The class I’m most nervous about is offered during the summer, so if I don’t pass, I can just retake it next year. I’m actually taking my first summer class in a little over a week so I won’t have to take a full load of classes my last two semesters. I’m trying to do everything I can so that I will graduate after three more semesters. I can’t wait to be done with school! It’s bad enough that I’ll have to go an extra semester, and I’ll be taking a class next summer as well to ensure I’ll be graduating in 2011. This summer I’m taking a 200-level intro class in Jewelry and Metalsmithing, so it shouldn’t be too difficult. I hope I can actually wear some of the stuff I make because I love jewelry. It’s four days a week from 9:00 AM – 1:00 PM, so at least I’ll have the afternoon free as long as I keep up with my classwork. I’ll also be driving two hours round trip, so I’m slowly adjusting my sleep schedule this week so I can get used to going to bed around 11:00 PM instead of 4:00 AM. I hope I can make this work because I am not a morning person! The class is only for three and a half weeks, though, so either way I’ll survive.

I still have to photograph my series, and I probably won’t get around to posting it until Tuesday, since tomorrow I’ll be going to see Hypocrisy, Scar Symmetry, Hate, Blackguard, and Swashbuckle in ungodly 90-degree heat. In the meantime, here’s what I worked on all semester in Issues in Contemporary Art:

The theme for the semester was alternative art practices, and building off the idea that creating art by yourself and in isolation is becoming a thing of the past, the class was able to choose groups of artists they wanted to work with to address a variety of social and public issues. Obviously, since I care about the environment so much, I decided to help form the ecology collective. There were also collectives about street art, rural art, d.i.y. crafters and printmakers, pop culture, art education, the segregation of Milwaukee, housing and development issues, and a collective that documented the entire class and made a book that will be published soon.

Working with a group is always an interesting experience. Sometimes things turn out great, like they did with my collaborative drawing earlier this semester. I have a lot of mixed feelings about this one. There were five others in my collective, ranging from sculpture to graphic design to painting and drawing to art education majors. Three of them went to high school together and were more passionate about hanging out together during class than the ecology in our city. After kicking around tons of irrelevant topics, I convinced everyone that we should focus on water, as it is the source of all life and Lake Michigan affects a huge number of people living in the Midwest. From there, I helped everyone narrow the topic down to the bottled water industry, since it threatens Milwaukee’s brewing industry and is less safe and more expensive than the treated water that comes directly from the lake.

Not wanting to be too pushy, I let the rest of the collective choose which other ecology-related collective from anywhere in the world to interview. They chose a grocery store in the ghetto, to put it bluntly. While they do occasionally display art in the store, they aren’t an artist’s collective and we ended up being downgraded for that. I also wrote most of the interview questions, and everyone bitched when I couldn’t make it for the time they chose to do the actual interview. Then after emailing me absolutely no information about the interview the next week, they shoved the microphone in front of me at our presentation in an auditorium of about 100 people. My presentation got the point across, though it was very shaky, and the rest of the group didn’t talk to me until the following week. Thanks a lot, guys. :/

I decided that I had to take charge again for our final project to prevent another disaster. All the collectives, including ours, did some kind of non-permission (read: illegal), public art display for their final project. We decided to individually design fliers and tags that would be placed on or near where bottled water is sold and photographed for documentation purposes. This allowed us to work on our own terms and completely avoid any further scheduling problems. I made a WordPress blog for our collective and emailed everyone in the collective, asking them to send me their designs and pictures so I could post them. Although most waited until the night before the presentation to send them to me, I received them from four out of the five members. Two of them said they collaborated, but it reads more as laziness and apathy. I also came up with the totally lame name for the collective at the last minute, since no one else took the initiative. Overall, our final project was a success, though I would not choose to work with these people again. Finally, here is my design:

For the record, I did not choose that awful orange and blue violet color scheme; one of the art education majors in my collective did. :/

+ 4 of the flier in action )

Please check out the rest of the collective members’ contributions to our final public art project and collective interview here: http://milwaukeecologycollective.wordpress.com/
ferrumaeternum: (hail to the hammer)
I know this is really late, but I just cannot avoid writing about seeing two of my favorite bands of all time. ;) I had most of this written weeks ago, but it took me forever to finish it, since I’ve been in a mad rush to get all my projects done before the end of the semester!

First of all, I cannot begin to express how furious I am with the Department of Homeland Security for not letting Survivors Zero come over here to the U.S. and play on this tour. I don’t understand why they wouldn’t give them a visa. Since they had to be dropped off the tour at the last minute, it completely screwed up the timing, and naturally they were replaced with musically unrelated, crappy opening bands. I skipped an important lecture in my design class, rushed down to the venue thinking I had missed the doors by half an hour only to find out that they weren’t even letting people in for another half hour and Swallow the Sun wasn’t going to be on until 8:00. It would’ve been nice if The Rave would have updated the time on their website. :/ The only people waiting outside were the clique from Norse Mythology (who still immaturely ignored me) and this guy with his mom who I’d previously met through the guy I know from high school. Luckily I was able to talk with him a bit while we were waiting. After they let us in and I bought a Finntroll shirt, Beth and Sam showed up with their friend Nolon who I’d met at their BBQ. I’ve come to the conclusion that those people from my Norse Mythology class will never want to hang out with me because I don’t wear the metal uniform of a band t-shirt, black pants, and boots every day, and that’s fine by me because I’m through with having close-minded friends.

I would also like to mention that I decided to wear earplugs to this show after not being able to hear after the Overkill show for more than two days. I’ve already got a slight permanent ringing in my ears, and I don’t want it to get any worse. For all future small venue/bar shows, I’m definitely wearing them. You can actually hear the band a lot better with them in, since it gets rid of the echoing of The Rave’s poor acoustics and the distortion from the high decibel levels. Even though I was up front by the speakers, I was able to hear just fine after the show.

Across the Sun )

Urn )

Swallow the Sun )

Moonsorrow )

Finntroll )

Unfortunately, there aren’t any pictures from this show. I honestly don’t know how The Rave can have a no-camera policy when there isn’t even someone from their staff there taking pictures of the show. :/
ferrumaeternum: (cherry blossoms)
Number of hours for this session: 2.5
Total number of hours tattooed so far: 46.5

This was done over a month ago, but I haven’t had time to get a picture taken until this weekend. Since it’s been so long, the good news it that you can see it completely healed. Lane used a normal-sized shading needle this time, so the pain was a lot more manageable. I also think getting the upper back tattooed hurts a lot less in general than the lower back. Even though all the vibrations over the bones are annoying, there are less nerve endings, so it’s not quite as sensitive. I watched the movie Heaven while I was at the studio, which I thought was really good and helped distract me. There was a little bit of gray shading near the lantern that didn’t quite get finished, so that’ll be added next time. Lane will also be brightening up some of the old cherry blossoms on the branch to create a sense of depth, putting some yellow shading around the glowing lantern, and finishing the gray shading on my butt. I’m definitely looking forward to going back in a couple of weeks!

One photo, NSFW as usual )
ferrumaeternum: (uria - audrey kawasaki)
This is the last piece I had to do outside of my series for Advanced Drawing Strategies for the rest of the semester! :D I’m getting really stressed out about finishing the series because I only have three completed drawings, and twelve are due in less than a month. The only other thing I have left to do for this semester (other than the usual weekly reading and writing stuff for my other classes) is a magazine design. I’m hoping things will start to get done more quickly for the series now that I have a little less work to worry about.

Since I was so pressed for time, I spent the two days before this was due working on it between everything else. I used India ink and a watercolor brush, since I knew it would get the job done more quickly on the 22” x 30” piece of paper. This assignment was just to react to the collaborative drawing as an afterthought. I basically just wanted to create a believable scene of all three of our destinations, capturing the looser style the other two in my group used for their parts of the drawing. I tried to make it so that the tropical island scene wasn’t too cheesy, and I hope I accomplished that by using the ink. Someone said during the critique that the Greek buildings looked like a septic tank, and I kind of have to agree, but they all look that way! XD I’m just glad no one brought up the fact that the castle with the Caribbean landscape is reminiscent of Walt Disney World. I’m also definitely done with drawing Neuschwanstein for a while. That had to be one of the most tedious technical challenges I’ve given myself in a long time!

ferrumaeternum: (hallowed be thy name)
A couple weeks ago, I saw Overkill, Vader, God Dethroned, Warbringer, Evile, and Woe of Tyrants at The Rave. Since I’ve already reviewed half of these bands, I’ll try to keep this post fairly short and sweet. This was my first show in the basement, so I had no idea what to expect. It turns out that it’s very similar to the bar, but much larger, and the stage is higher up and has an annoying gate in front of it. It certainly didn’t stop the stagedivers during Warbringer, though! ;) Unfortunately, security was checking bags, so I didn’t want to risk taking any photos. I should really try to get photo passes for shows, but John from Warbringer was in front of me at the box office trying to get one for his friend, and they wouldn’t even let him have one. I should probably start an actual music review website with more professional reviews, so maybe I’ll have a good enough excuse to obtain one.

I hate to start this out on a bad note, but I wasn’t feeling Woe of Tyrants at all, and neither was the rest of the crowd. “Thrashcore” would probably be the term to best describe their sound, and I pray this is not the start of a new “core” trend. The band itself wasn’t too bad, except for some stupid crabcore moves, but I couldn’t stand their ultra-scene frontman. He had good stage presence and seemed like a nice guy, but I’m not about to show any mercy for all this shitty hardcore-fused pseudo-metal that keeps getting thrown in with actual metal bands. It needs to stop. I don’t listen to hardcore, metalcore, deathcore, or any other “core” that might be out there, so I’m can’t really comment any further on this band.

I saw Evile last month with Kreator, and they were just as entertaining and funny this time around. I actually liked their set list better this time because they played a more diverse variety of songs. The band was hanging out by the merch tables again after their set, but Elizabeth, Sam, and John had just arrived toward the end of Evile’s performance, so I decided to hang out with them instead. :p

Next was the band I specifically came to see: Warbringer! I can’t get enough of these guys! John, their vocalist, came out wearing a cheesehead that didn’t stay on for long as the band launched into “Living in a Whirlwind”. They played most of the other crowd favorites including: “Severed Reality”, “Prey for Death”, “Total War”, and finished their set with “Combat Shock”.

I’m not really a big fan of God Dethroned, and I’m still not after seeing them live. They’re pretty boring, but they had kind of a classic blackened death metal sound that was at least listenable. They also played for a really long time, and I have no idea why. I don’t even remember much from the second half of their set because while they were onstage, some middle-aged white trash guy who looks like a clone of Kid Rock decided to drunkenly fall over in front of me and burned my hand with his lit cigarette on his way down. The pain was so bad that it knocked the wind out of me and made my eyes water instantly. I’ve burned my arm on a 400-degree oven before, but this felt so much different and hurt much worse. At first I thought he had a knife and stabbed me, so I shoved him off of me immediately. My friends were freaking out because they thought I was going to catch on fire from all the embers from the cigarette that fell on me, but luckily I was wearing leather from head to toe, so I was okay. My hand didn’t fare so well, and it’s still healing as I type this. I had a pea-sized blister between my index and middle finger on my writing hand and couldn’t draw for a couple days, but the swelling went away fairly quickly and it scabbed over. I have a bad feeling it’s going to leave a scar, but that’s life. I just hope that guy didn’t drive home that night because he was really messed up. He also had the nerve to come back by me after the incident with a few more beers in hand. Ugh! He probably didn’t even realize what happened. Shortly after that, I saw some younger guys helping one of their friends out of the crowd who looked like he was having a hallucination. I really don’t understand people who abuse drugs, let alone use them in public. I’ll just be glad when the smoking ban goes into effect in July and I won’t have to worry about getting burned again at a show. Not smelling like death after the show and having watery eyes and a sore throat will be nice as well.

Vader was up next, and it felt like it took forever for them to set up. Once they finally started playing, it seemed like they only played a few songs in about fifteen minutes and then walked offstage. Everyone was chanting for them to come back out, but the lights went up and the crew started setting up for Overkill. This was the same day the Polish president and other Polish government officials were killed in the Russian plane crash, so I thought maybe they were upset about the whole ordeal. I was told at the Finntroll show last week Thursday from another fan that they had to cut their set short due to technical/equipment problems and that the band went up to the ballroom to watch HIM. Whatever the reason, I was really disappointed that they didn’t play much, since they were one of the main reasons my friends and I were at the show.

Overkill was phenomenal! They played for at least two hours, and didn’t show any signs of slowing down toward the end. They actually riled up the crowd more, closing their set with “Fuck You” after a great call and response chant back and forth with the crowd and advising us not to eat any of the emo kids after the show because they’ll give you diarrhea. XD Those poor HIM fans were completely terrorized by all the trasher dudes before and after the show! Anyway, Overkill’s light show was also absolutely brilliant! It included plenty of their signature bright yellow-green and some cool lightning effects. The strobe light had some great effects on the crowd, where most of the people in attendance were going nuts in the circle pit. Despite the annoying people in the crowd (especially all the bald, goateed middle-aged men who kept hitting on me), it was a great thrash metal show and a fun time hanging out with friends. Warbringer wasn’t so lucky because some asshole stole John Laux’s backpack that had pretty much everything he needed on tour in it.

Speaking of assholes, Terrence was there, but he avoided us because he’s mad I never got back to him about those Diamanda Galas albums and he defriended me on Facebook. I just hope I’m not on his hitlist or anything because Samer swears that he’s the kind of guy to go on a killing spree. All I can really do is try to stay out of his way and hopefully he’ll get past the whole thing because he was the one who approached me in the first place. I wasn’t so lucky in avoiding that guy from high school, but once my friends showed up, he left me alone. He wasn’t as annoying as last time before the show because he was with a bigger group of friends, and some of those guys had more in common with me, so I mainly talked to them.

After the show, Sam and Beth offered to drive John and I home so we all could go out to eat at one of their favorite cafes, even though it’s two hours round trip to my house from Milwaukee. Sam even paid for all our food! Each of us ended up with a delicious falafel pita and Turkish tea from Mona’s Turkish Shawerma House on the east side. It was the first time I’ve been there, but it definitely won’t be the last! The food is very tasty and also very cheap.

Photos of Overkill and God Dethroned are here. (I know…no Vader. :/ WTF?) Since my tattoo will be finished soon, I’m going to start saving up for that digital 35mm I’ve been talking about getting for years, and then I’ll see about getting a photo pass.



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