(photos from the second annual Skull By Skull Now hosted by the Skidmarxxx in Austin at the Shitpit, more carnage here WARNING: a fair bit of nudity, mainly dudes)

Skull By Skull Now II:

- Jumping over the junk car on bikes, only one guy made it.
- Jumping on a trampoline where the windshield should be, until one girl misses and cuts her leg to the bone.
- Mad Dog challenge = Six-pack-attack relay race with Mad Dog booze (equals more colorful puking).
- Obstacle course along the side of the house, complete with flying folding tables.
- A car drove dangerously and aggressively through the slowly dispersing crowd in the street in front of the house, resulting in someone knocking their rear view mirror off. The driver then came back with his mom who was yelling at everyone and calling the cops. One guy's response was to pull out his dick and pour beer on it. Everyone shuffles to the back when the cops come.
- Mosh pit and metal bands in the backyard, this time with flying cans of yellow and white house paint.
- Nothing is complete without roman candles into the crowd.
- Junk mattress catches fire next to the shack, pee and water put it out (three times).
- The strange band Funderstorm that ran around in the crowd on a megaphone yelling at people to tear his clothes off. He ended up naked (even the fishnets and purple undies came off) and then lit microphones on fire and swung them at people.
- Mud wrestling commences, this year with more friendly mud (less broken glass and rocks, more smell of manure) and mostly mixed (boy/girl) matches.
- Neighborhood kids hammering forever on the car with bats and pipes.
- One dude who was there on crutches had been clocking people when they bumped into him throughout the night. One majorly drunk dude really pissed him off and received a few decent whacks, prompting him to complain, cry, and call the cops (again). Four cars roll up this time, and people either take off or chill in the backyard to wait for them to leave.
- Once the cops disperse, bike-jousting gets rolling.
- After bike-jousting, the grand finale: blowing up the car. It's done with some sort of explosive device detonated by gunfire. A healthy fireball erupts and the car burns for a while before being put out and re-lit a handful of times.
- Before taking off, the guys from Chief Mag set off a barrage of fireworks inside the car, causing them to ricochet off the ceiling and out the windows in all different directions.
- For myself only very minor injuries sustained: banged up shins, a cut open knee, ripped pants, decent covering of paint and manure.

Kind of goes without saying, but this one day is way more fun than all of SXSW. You can read about it on the Vice blog too.


• The Casualties - Criminal Class

A band's place in myspace.



(photos from SXSW: ecstatic crowd at Matt & Kim; Matt & Kim; Pre; Valient Thorr; The Mae Shi; Team Robespierre (x2); Cerebral Ballzy; Team Robespierre; Golden Error; She Rides; Annihilation Time (x2); The Vivian Girls (x2); Trash Talk; Dark Meat; Pre; Popo; Japanther; Ponytail; The Homosexuals; Mika Miko; Todd P; Mic on mat; Aids Wolf; Finally Punk; Gabe's head wound; Monotonix (x4); passed out at the Vice party; and if that wasn't too much, there's more here)

The tail-end of the Newmore Switchblades tour into SXSW 2009:

- When someone hits on you with their opening line being how you look too old to be at this show too... You know that you're looking a little too tour-weary.
- Meeting the friendly (and mildly toothless) $10 prostitute working at Saturn Bar.
- Having the owner of the Saturn Bar threaten to do bodily harm to more than one person in our group on several occasions. And no one thought he was kidding.
- While some of us catch a couple hours of sleep before the 9 hour drive to Austin, some of Cerebral Ballzy head out to Bourbon St. In the morning there are reports of alternately getting flashed and attacked on the street by different(?) women.
- While leaving New Orleans headed to Austin, I realize my camera has totally crapped out. Nothing works on it, no buttons, no focusing, no LCD screen. I'm on my way to SXSW with no camera. Great.
- Getting splashed in the face with horse piss.
- Finally, after four years of SXSW, finding real free BBQ.
- Going to see Annihilation Time, The Vivian Girls and Trash Talk play a late night show on the Lamar Pedestrian Bridge. Right before the first band starts, they toss dozens of free pairs of Converse shoes into the crowd. And the deluge of flying shoes starts promptly during the first song.
- About two songs in to The Vivian Girls set, Cassie hints that it's okay to dance to their music. A girl sticks her head through the crowd and shrilly asks "You really want us to dance?" For the rest of their set there is a mosh pit frothing to their music, getting to the point that the band gets knocked down a couple times. Guess that means that The Vivian Girls are officially punk, huh?
- Gabe (the drummer from Cerebral Ballzy) getting his forehead split open by a flying traffic cone, spending the entire night waiting in the ER for stitches, and then going straight to an early day show and rocking the f*ck out.
- Total Abuse having to cancel the one show I planned to see them at after one of their members gets arrested.
- Going to Black Label's first Austin bike event over at the Amtrak station, until some workers show up and kick everyone out. Tall bike jousting on the Lamar pedestrian bridge follows.
- Thank you to Dustin (Best Fwends/Total Abuse) for letting Ballzy and myself crash on his floor.
- The kid who brought his BMX into the crowd with him during Black Lips at Mess With Texas, which resulted in a steady stream of people tumbling over it in the dark.
- Realizing that I only took photos of about half the bands I saw, which was pretty unusual for me.
- Annihilation Time's singer taking a soupy shit on stage at the Vice party.
- The sadistic genius of putting cacti as decorations in a dark space full of drunk people.
- Sneaking into the hot tub at the Hyatt (scenically located on the Austin River).
- Cleaning up the yard where MyOpenBar.com had their festival in exchange for a place to sleep, even when that meant getting up at 6am after going to sleep at 3am.
- Stumbling sick to the airport in paint-splattered clothing caked with mud so thick you can't tell what kind of shoes I was wearing (more about why in the next post).

- Best show: a tie between MyOpenBar's Four Square Punk and Timmy's Lamar bridge show.
- Worst show: FMLY at Hi-Lo, rough sets and rough crowd.
- Best new band: B.o.B. (if Kanye was less cheezy, maybe)
- Most difficult band to shoot: Trash Talk, too many flying elbows/feet/bodies to even get close.
- Most intimidating: the Fader Fort.
- Least intimidating: Todd P's festival at Ms. Bea's.
- Best (and only) free thing: BBQ at the Battle of the Bands.
- Most valuable asset: Progress Coffee.
- Worst venue: Ballet Austin.
- Best food: East Side Pies (who knew pizza could be that good?).
- Biggest let down: the Vice party, partially because last year it was so good.
- Best way to end SXSW: sneaking into a fancy hotel's hot tub.


• Royalchord - I'd Rather Go Blind

A band's place in myspace.



(photos from the last few days with the Newmore Switchblades, more here)

Newmore Switchblades tour - part 2:

- Grabbing dinner at Rosetta's Kitchen in Ashville, NC where they had pay-what-you-wish soup and corn bread.
- Zipco bringing a lazer-sighted pellet gun to the show and shooting people when they least expected it. Feels a bit like a bee sting and leaves a nice welt many days later.
- Meeting some interesting characters outside of the venue in Ashville, including a guy trying to sell us a bag of "Soapium" which was a small bar of soap in a plastic bag.
- Immediately after crossing the border in to Alabama, stopping to buy fireworks.
- Ty of Team Robespierre: "Sometimes you talk so much shit that I have to get unsick to talk shit to you before I can go back to being sick."
- Team Robespierre gets some smoke-bomb-treatment in their van in Birmingham.
- Jason from Team Robespierre waking up drunk in the van after the show and banging on the door to the house to get in at 4am. . . only it was the wrong house. They call the cops but when the police arrive their cruiser breaks down.
- Another bit of equipment disaster on the photo front: while someone is packing my bag in the van, it comes open and my pouch falls out, containing my chargers and external hard drive with all the tour photos on it. It gets placed on the hood and is not seen again. I spend the next night looking for it and trying to recover what photos I can from my memory cards.


• Tilly And The Wall - Beat Control

A band's place in myspace.



(photos from the Brooklyn and Baltimore shows of the Newmore Switchblades tour, more here)

Newmore Switchblades tour - part 1:

- Honor taking over half an hour to pee in a Gatorade bottle in the van.
- Swinging by the Copy Cat Annex after the show in Baltimore for a quick surreal black light dance party.
- Hitting up the 24-hour Subway and watching people shuffle in wearing their pajamas.
- Crashing at Joey's (ex-Death Set) place in Baltimore where everything was candle-lit because they didn't have any electricity.
- First out of town show (Baltimore) the mirror in my camera breaks off. Second show (Virginia Beach) my external hard drive starts corrupting my photo files. Kind of worried about the third show at this point.
- Cerebral Ballzy opening at the practically empty Virginia Beach show: "I'd like to thank the staff of The Jewish Mother for coming out to our show. You could have called in sick, but instead you're here."
- An all-out brawl breaks out right before The Death Set's last song at The Jewish Mother. A drunk audience member took offense to something said by the drummer and got a little too physical about it. The chef ended up hauling the guy out after the fists and feet had stopped flying, but he still smashed a window on another audience member's car on his way out. Injuries sustained by the bands were minor, bruised faces and busted knuckles.
- Nothing easier to fall asleep to than the all-knowing accents of the BBC.
- I haven't spent time in a mall in a while, but apparently you can't wear your hood up in malls anymore.
- Roadside panhandlers have to get permits and wear orange reflective vests in Durham, NC.
- Crashing at TJ's house in Durham. Woke up to tons of rain, skateboarding in the garage, and Totally Michael's car window falling down in the night = a soggy interior.


• The Knux - Bang! Bang!

A band's place in myspace.



(photos from the Atlantic Tunnel)

It's that time of year again, time to hit the road down to SXSW. I'm fortunate enough to be able to tag along with some of my favorite bands on the Newmore Switchblades tour (schedule below). Which then rolls right in to the marathon o' fun that is SXSW. Let's hope I can still hold it all together again this year.


Featuring: The Death Set, Team Robespierre, Ninjasonik, Totally Michael and Cerebral Ballzy

Mar 12 2009 - Tour Kick off at The Shank; Brooklyn, New York
Mar 13 2009 - Ottobar; Baltimore, Maryland
Mar 14 2009 - The Jewish Mother; Virginia Beach, Virginia
Mar 15 2009 - Emerald Lounge; Ashville, North Carolina
Mar 16 2009 - Bottletree; Birmingham, Alabama
Mar 17 2009 - Club Downunder; Tallahassee, Florida
Mar 18 2009 - The Saturn Bar; New Orleans, Louisiana
Mar 21 2009 - Lounge on Elm; Dallas, Texas
Mar 22 2009 - Arkansas Community Arts Cooperative; Little Rock, Arkansas
Mar 23 2009 - Gargoyle Club; St. Louis, Missouri
Mar 24 2009 - Sonotheque; Chicago, Illinois
Mar 25 2009 - The Cactcus Club; Milwaukee, Wisconsin
Mar 26 2009 - The Ratheskellar; Madison, Wisconsin
Mar 27 2009 - The Summit; Columbus, Ohio
Mar 28 2009 - The Grogshop; Cleveland, Ohio
Mar 29 2009 - Danger Danger House; Philly, Pennsylvania



• Rio En Medio - Let's Groove

A band's place in myspace.



(photos from the last Bikes In The Kitchen show, with Spank Rock, Ninjasonik, Team Robespierre, Juiceboxx, Wyld Yaks, and Cerebral Ballzy, more here)

Word to the wise: producing and running a booth at an art fair will completely take over your life. It ended today with an unexpected last-minute rush-uninstall, but we're done. Thank you to everyone who came, helped, and bought art to support our project. There are also some other great causes out there to help if you can.

If the above photos look like fun, you'll have your chance to relive it this Thursday as the Newmore Switchblades tour takes off at The Shank. Let's just hope they've fixed all those problems with the bar, beer and green room(s) by then.


Newmore Switchblades tour kickoff!

Thursday 3/12/2009
The Shank 99 Bayard St. Brooklyn


Team Robespierre
Totally Michael
Cerebral Ballzy



• Kid Cudi - Day 'N Nite

A band's place in myspace.



(studio visit with artist Dennis McNett, and some miscellaneous stuff from a test roll)

This is almost all I've been doing for a while, but it's for a great project and is going to be pretty cool. So come out of your snow-bound burrows and see some art, smile at some people, and have a chat or two.


What: Fountain Art Fair Benefit Exhibition hosted by Glowlab
When: March 5-8
Where: Fountain Exhibition at Pier 66 at 26th St in Hudson River Park

Benefit Exhibition for SWOON’s Swimming Cities of Serenissima at Fountain NY

Dates: March 5-8; 11am–7pm
VIP/Press Preview: Thursday March 5, from 11am to 7pm
Open to the public: March 6-8 11am-7pm
Reception for the Artists: Friday, March 6; 7pm–midnight

Location: Pier 66 at 26th St in Hudson River Park NYC
Admission: Suggested donation of $5 at the door for all weekend access

The Swimming Cities of Serenissima is a fleet of three intricately hand crafted vessels that will navigate the Adriatic Sea from the Karst region of Slovenia to Venice, Italy in May of 2009. Designed by the visual artist SWOON, the floating sculptures are descendants of the Swimming Cities of Switchback Sea (Hudson River, 2008) and the Miss Rockaway Armada (Mississippi River, 2006 and 2007).

The benefit art show will take place in New York City during Armory Show week, March 05-08, as part of Glowlab’s exhibit space at Fountain, the alternative art exhibition known for presenting cutting-edge and independent art galleries.

Participating artists include:

- Swoon
- Faile
- David Ellis
- Maya Hayuk
- Martha Cooper
- Elbow Toe
- Chris Stain
- Monica Canilao
- Brad Downey
- Dennis McNett
- Imminent Disaster
- Josh MacPhee (Just Seeds)
- Mike Houston (Cannonball Press)
- Eric White
- Chris Uphues
- David Kesting
- Beka Goedde
- Alice Jarry
- Jason Cantoro
- Tod Seelie
- Molly Crabapple
- C. Damage
- Kristine Virsis
- Elisabeth Timpone
- Gilbert Oh
- Francesca Romeo
- Hardland/Heartland
- Laura Lee
- Ian Farrell
- Adrian Kondratowicz
- Denise DeSpirito
- Leslie Stem
- Public Discourse
and many more.

Glowlab Director Christina notes, “We’re thrilled to host this benefit for our long-time collaborator SWOON’s latest project, the Swimming Cities of Serenissima. It’s an ambitious project with an incredible creative spirit that, in the most physical way possible, engages contemporary art in the development of culture and community. I believe it’s critical to support projects like this, especially now, and we’re excited to help launch these beautiful boats in the spring.”




• The King Blues - What If Punk Never Happened

A band's place in myspace.