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Archive for January, 2020

This past summer (2019), someone showed one of those online deals through a site called Goldstar. He thought I would be interested in a concert featuring ’80s New Wave bands. He wasn’t wrong. When it comes to music, my tastes are a bit frozen in time. While I listen to all genres, my favorite style of music is anything from the 80’s Post-Punk era. That’s right, I’m the queen of knowing who all these obscure musicians are. So he’s showing me the concert ticket deal, where tickets prices were slashed to ten dollars. The event was called The Lost ’80s. Once I saw that Annabella Lwin, former vocalist from Bow Wow Wow was on the bill, it was a done deal.

The rest of the bill didn’t seem bad. Most were acts from my adolescence; The Motels and Flock of Seagulls stood out the most. The venue was located in Coney Island, Brooklyn, at the Ford Amphitheater. That way if the show tanked, Ben and I could always head over to the boardwalk instead.

Annabella Lwin was the performer I was most excited to see live. I had a few Bow Wow Wow releases in my teen music collection. Everyone now associates the band with their biggest hit, a cover of I Want Candy. Before they first arrived on the U.S. airwaves, they were already causing a bit of a ruckus. Bow Wow Wow was a product of Malcolm McLaren, the former manager of The Sex Pistols. Not one to rest on his volatile laurels, he moved on to the next British youth movement. This time, it was the New Romantics. McLaren collaborated with his then girlfriend, designer Vivienne Westwood to create the band’s look. The majority of Bow Wow Wow was the band McLaren swiped from Adam Ant. Annabella was the last piece of the puzzle. Word had it that Lwin was only 13 years old when she was initially discovered.  A talent scout stumbled upon her singing along to the radio at the laundromat she worked at after school.

Seejungle

McLaren was never afraid of controversy. This could explain why Annabella was seen posing nearly naked next to her fully clothed band mates on the infamous album cover for See Jungle! See Jungle! Go Join Your Gand Yeah, City All Over! Go Ape Crazy! It was a recreation of the painting Le Déjeuner sur l’herbe (The Luncheon on the Grass) by Édouard Manet. Lwin was only 14 years old when that photograph was taken. By today’s standards (2019), being 14 and posing nude would not be acceptable. That same photograph would be used for the U.S. release of the E.P. The Last of the Mohicans

I remember the cover very clearly, thanks to my mother’s reaction. During my preteens, my mother used to go shopping at the department store Alexander’s. It was a quick ride on the subway from Astoria, Queens to Manhattan, 59th Street and 3rd Avenue. My favorite section of Alexander’s was their small record department. One day while my mother and I were shopping, I pull out a copy of Last of the Mohicans. My mother was horrified because she could clearly see how young Lwin was. She ordered me to put the record back. Which I did, but it should be noted that I eventually brought a used vinyl copy of that EP a few years later. My mother had no knowledge about that purchase. (My mother was also repulsed by a record cover by Nina Hagen – Nunmonsexrock. Later brought that one too.)  As a middle aged adult, now I can see my mother’s POV. After all, a fourteen old teen should not pose nude.

In another post I’ll discuss Annabella and Bow Wow Wow some more. Back to the Lost ’80s concert. Because I wanted to see Annabella, we showed up early to the concert like two nerds. Most of the people on the bill would be categorized as ‘one hit wonders.’ We’re talking about acts like Real Life, When In Rome UK, etc. The audience trickling in was lackluster. I’m not sure if they were there for the music, or was it something to do on a Friday night. The venue itself wasn’t much to write about either. Seating was bare minimum. The white ceiling was looked like heavy camping material. The sound itself was sub-par. It wasn’t impressive. Forest Hills Stadium was a much better venue than this. It’s only saving grace was the scent of the beach trailing in from the boardwalk.

Annabella Lwin was on the very beginning of the bill, in which she only performed three songs: “I Want Candy”, “Go Wild In The Country” and “Do You Want To Hold Me.” Afterwards, she was off stage in a flash. That’s how the Lost ’80s concert went for most of the night, until The Vapors came on stage.

The best band of the night, in my opinion was The Motels. Like Annabella, Martha Davis and her crew only performed three songs. Yet Martha’s voice was on point. It was a pleasant surprise, leaving me wanting a bit more than what Boys Don’t Cry had to offer. I thought The Motels had gotten the shaft on this bill. They performed “Only The Lonely”, “Suddenly Last Summer” and my favorite, “Take The L”. Just like Annabella, The Motels were gone in a flash.

What we didn’t know was in-between sets, you had a chance to take photos with various artists. I found out too late than Annabella was doing a signing after her set. So we jump on line, but time was limited. I was the next person up when security came down and told Annabella she had to stop. That was rather disappointing. As they whisked her away, I gave the middle finger behind security’s back, which wouldn’t helped my case anyway. There were other bands offering to do signings and photos, but I lost interest.

I managed to see Ben smile two sets: during Real Life when doing “Send Me An Angel” and When In Rome’s set as they performed “I Promise.”

Don’t ask me how Boys Don’t Cry was. I went to the bathroom during their short set.

As the night wore on, the amount of songs during sets increased. The Vapors, who were the textbook definition of a New Wave one hit wonder managed to get four songs instead of three. Of course they did “Turning Japanese.”

Then to my annoyance, Dramarama got a full set! They weren’t bad, but in my eyes, they were more of a late ’80s/early ’90s ‘Alternative’ band. Around this time, people that were originally sitting near us had moved up to the front. The venue wasn’t being strict on seating. Ben and I decided to stay where we were at because we were too comfortable to move. From there we could do our reenactment of Standler and Waldorf. Hey, those are my childhood heroes. As Dramarama was performing a tune called “Last Cigarette”, Ben goes “Last Cigarette? They’re smoking the whole pack! Why do they get a whole set!?!”

Later on I found out the venue itself were desperately trying to fill up the seats. At the last minute, they were letting people in for free.

Last band of the night was Flock of Seagulls. This was the third act I was waiting for, after Lwin and The Motels. Flock of Seagulls got a full set, but they were beset feedback issues. The sound mix at the Ford Amphitheater was pretty poor. It wasn’t a total lost. Flock of Seagulls did all my favorite songs, like “Photograph” and their biggest hit “I Ran.”

Hey. Not going to complain over a ten dollar ticket. After all, the New Wave style continues to have some kind of influence over me. Ford Amphitheater itself was poorly run. In the NYC summer months, Forest Hill Stadium is the much better choice. We still managed to have fun. After the show we walked along the boardwalk, before heading back to Queens. It’s nice to visit the past, but one can’t stay there.

On that note, here’s my quick sketch of Annabella Lwin. Pen and ink. I did not want to draw her as barely clothed New Wave Lolita. Instead, my choice was her dressed in classic 1981 Westwood pirate gear. As an adult, I would still love to own a Vivienne Westwood “squiggly line” shirt. A bit of nostalgia while trying to live in the present.

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Quick illustration of Annabella Lwin, best known as the vocalist for the early ’80s New Romantic/New Wave band Bow Wow Wow. Drawn by Michele Witchipo, pen and ink. Done Jan. 2020.

 

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Haven’t been feeling physically well these past 72 hours. So Psycho Bunny did that Dolly Parton Challenge meme instead. Because social media breeds narcissism, and follow trends like cattle. Here’s the Psycho Bunny sketch of the week for Jan. 26th, 2020.

PsychoBunnyChallengeMeme

Psycho Bunny does the #dollypartonchallenge Based on the comic written and drawn by Michele Witchipoo, on WitchesBrewPress. January 2020.

Speaking of social media:

Facebook: pages for Psycho Bunny and for Michele Witchipoo – WitchesBrewPress.

 Twitter: One account for me, and one for Psycho Bunny.

Tumblr: World Ov Witchipoo

Instagram: there’s WitchipooArt

Want to buy some of my designs? There’s RedBubble: Witchipoo

Finally, don’t forget to purchase my Squeaky comic.

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My next comic will be hopefully, released this upcoming Spring. Details forthcoming.

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It’s been a while since I sketched my two characters, Squeaky Squeakums and Magnus Maximus. Squeaky was based on my real life cat, who passed away last year, June 2019. Spring of 2019, I released a comic titled ‘The Temptation of Squeaky.’ Which is basically about a housecat who befriends a demon in order to get more food. Which a cat would do, of course. The comic is still available. You can order issue one via PayPal (email: psychobunnycomix@aol.com) or Vemno (@Witchipoo), total $4.00 ($3.00 + $1.00 S&H)

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Meanwhile, enjoy my first Caturday sketch of 2020. Where Squeaky pleads Magnus for a piece of his hot dog. Not even demons can enjoy a frank in peace.

SqueakyMaxHotDogJan2020WEB

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Today is Chinese New Year. Otherwise known as Lunar New Year. The ‘year of the rat’ first came to my attention because Industrial legends Einsturzende Neubauten is touring the U.S. for the first time since their aborted attempt back in 2010. It’s in celebration of their 40th anniversary, and they have named this tour ‘Year of The Rat.’

I haven’t followed Chinese New Year as much as I should. Considering I live in Queens, NY, where there’s a diverse Chinese demographic. Especially around in the Flushing area.

The story goes that the Emperor had a race. Twelve animals participated, but the rat won the competition. It was due to the rat’s cleverness. This year’s rat has the elements of metal and yang.

Here’s my illustration of the Chinese Lunar Rat.

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Year of the Rat, 2020. Illustration by Michele Witchipoo. Jan. 2020. 

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Back on November 1st, 2019, I finally had the chance to see Marc Almond live.

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Through the years, Marc Almond has always been one of my favorite performers. Like many others, I was introduced to him through Soft Cell. I was in my adolescence when Soft Cell’s version of Tainted Love hit the charts. In my late teens, someone passed on their copy of Non-Stop Caberet to my vinyl collection. That’s when I discovered the true essence of Soft Cell.

While Tainted Love was Soft Cell’s biggest hit, the band was so much more than a Northern Soul cover. The tune Tainted Love has it’s own history separate from Soft Cell. The original version was written by Ed Cobb, and sung by Gloria Jones back in 1965. Jones later re-recorded the song in 1976.  She became romantically involved with Marc Bolan from the ’70s Glam rock band T. Rex. Her and Bolan had a child together, Rolan Bolan, born in 1975. From 1981 onward, Tainted Love is best known as part of the Soft Cell collection. The single has continued to be covered. The most notable covers since Soft Cell were from Coil in 1985, and in 2001 by Marilyn Manson.

Perhaps when I have time, I’ll do a blog post focusing just on Tainted Love itself.

Back to Soft Cell. Soon after listening to Non-Stop Caberet and the following E.P. Non Stop Ecstatic Dancing, I acquired the band’s other albums: The Art of Falling Apart and This Last Night in Sodom.  Soft Cell broke up in 1984. Marc and his band mate David Ball didn’t get back together until 2002, releasing their final album Cruelty Without Beauty. In 2018, Soft Cell got together one final time. They did a sold out concert at London’s O2 venue. With that, I figured that was that. Marc Almond mostly plays in Europe. I had Marc himself back in 1988. He was doing a signing at a local NYC record shop called *Vinylmania. It was promotion for his solo album Stars We Are, a brilliant album that still holds up to this day.  However, I was under the impression that to see Marc live, I would eventually travel to Europe. Which wouldn’t be a bad idea. It’s just not within my current budget. From time to time, I would curse myself for not catching any of his other past U.S. live appearances. Then during the late summer of 2019, a bit of news bleeped on my social media radar. Learned through Instagram that Marc Almond was doing a brief U.S. tour in junction with Lethal Amounts, a fashion, art and club collective from Los Angeles, California. As I was riding a local bus in Queens with cell in hand, I noticed the link for pre-sale tickets.

Click.

Fast forward to November 1st, 2019. I’d been looking forward to this show for a few months. The venue, Brooklyn Bazaar was on it’s last legs, apparent by the broken hand rail by the stairs and the worn carpets. Regardless, excitement could be felt, for the event was completely sold out. It was standing room only. Barely any room to stand, never mind walk. As I was squeezing through the crowd, I spotted artist and musician Anohni, (formerly Antony Hegarty, from Antony and The Johnsons). That shouldn’t been no surprise. Anohni always mentioned how much Marc had been influential with her own work. Over the years, her and Marc have collaborated on songs, together with David Tibet’s Current 93, and with the annual Meltdown festival back in August 2012.

After the brief opening act of Amanda LePore, (Check out the song Champagne) Marc took the stage with guitarist Neal X, formerly of Sigue Sigue Sputnik. Throughout the night, Marc did all the songs I’ve always loved throughout his career. He even performed tunes from his Marc and The Mambas era – my absolute favorite. Marc and The Mambas is right at the top spot, with Soft Cell, and then his album Stars We Are following. Oh, and yes, he did that cover of the Jacques Brel ditty Jackie.

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Marc Almond performs at Brooklyn Bazaar, Nov. 1st, 2019.

That’s one of the amazing things about Marc Almond. The versatility throughout his career. How he can easily have one foot in classic pop, and another foot in the avant-garde. Not many can accomplish this feat, but Marc makes it look so easy. A mark of a true artist is how the artist can constantly reinvent. It’s genius, really.

Oh, and yes, he did all the Soft Cell classics. Marc did each and every Soft Cell song that I’ve had on constant rotation: Numbers, Heat, Sex Dwarf, Say Hello Wave Goodbye, and Torch, (the one with Cindy Ecstasy doing background vocals). To answer your question, yes he did Tainted Love. The same song that introduced me to Marc during my adolescence has now become my least favorite song in his catalog. Only because it’s been played so much over the years. Familiarly breeds contempt. It’s very similar to how everyone loves Karma Chameleon by Culture Club – but as a Boy George fan myself, I usually pass. But if you put on Marc and The Mambas, now you’re talking. That’s just me.

Afterwards, Hercules & Love Affair did a DJ set, but I didn’t stick around too long. Did a rare purchase of a concert tee – Marc Almond with the Sex Cells logo. It’s a shirt I’ll be proud to wear for years to come. Just like I used to have Marc’s autobiography until the book got damaged.

Anyway, thank you Marc for performing an awesome set that night. (Despite the crappy sound mixing from Brooklyn Bazaar.) When I eventually do visit Europe, hopefully I’ll get to see Marc live again. In the meantime, I did this quick sketch in Marc’s honor.

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Portrait of Marc Almond. Pen and ink. Michele Witchipoo. Done in Jan. 2020.

(*Editor’s note: Vinylmania had two stores on Carmine Street, West Village area in NYC. One was dedicated to House music. The other store dealt with Pop and imports. Vinylmania was where I brought one of my first ever ‘Goth’ records – a 12 inch of the Bauhaus single Bela Lugosi Is Dead. NYC record stores of yesteryear would make another good blog post.

(** Editor’s note: For all the Soft Cell fans, you can also check out my other two blog post on Cindy Ecstasy, originally posted May 2012. For those into Marc and The Mambas, you can check out this post dated April 2012.)

 

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Right now it’s 28 Fahrenheit in NYC. A very good day to stay indoors.

Poor Psycho Bunny though. In a quest to get more beer, he has to go outside.

Introducing the Psycho Bunny sketch of the week for January 20th, 2020.

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The Psycho Bunny sketch of the week for Jan. 20, 2020. Based on the comic written and drawn by Michele Witchipoo, on WitchesBrewPress.

Where you can find me:

Facebook: pages for Psycho Bunny and for Michele Witchipoo – WitchesBrewPress.

 Twitter: One account for me, and one for Psycho Bunny.

Tumblr: World Ov Witchipoo

Instagram: there’s WitchipooArt

Want to buy some of my designs? There’s RedBubble: Witchipoo

Finally, don’t forget to purchase my Squeaky comic.

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My next comic will be hopefully, released this upcoming Spring. Details forthcoming.

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In the Yoruba religion (Ifa), Yemaya is one of the most powerful Orishas. She is worshiped in the Santeria,  Candomblé and Umbanda faiths. During the colonization of the new world, and the trans-Atlantic slave trade, Yemaya became syncretized into other belief systems, such as the Catholic Virgin Mary, or the Black Madonna. Yemaya is a water deity. On the surface she invokes mermaid imagery. However, Yemaya is much more than that. She rules the oceans, where life begins. As a mother goddess, she is fiercely protective of her children. Her associations are the colors blue and white, sea shells, the moon, the number seven, anything that pertains to the sea. Yemaya, or Yemoja, has an extremely rich history, and this blog post only scratches the surface.

You might have seen this image:

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However, Yemaya has African roots. Therefore I decided to illustrate with a darker skin complexion.  There is a tiny correspondence to the European fairy tale created in 1836 by Hans Christian Anderson, The Little Mermaid.’ Today people are more aware about the Disney film version.

This is my second time illustrating Yemaya. Did one of her way back in 2005 or 2006. Not many people have seen that version. Those who have seen it, they seemed to have liked it. Alas. This month I’ve been searching for that artwork. A few weeks later and it’s still nowhere to be found. Which is why I went ahead and did a new version.

Here I’ve included both the inked version, and the digitally colored version. I’m not all that happy with the colorized version. It probably would’ve been better if I had filled out the illustration in watercolor instead. Unfortunately, time was of the essence. Looks like I’ll have to do yet another Yemaya portrait down the line.

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Yemaya. Before adding digital color. Hand drawn by Michele Witchipoo. Pen and ink. Jan. 2020. 

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Yemaya. Hand drawn in pencil, inked with pen. Digitally colored. However, I knew I should’ve gone with watercolor. Next time. By Michele Witchipoo. Jan. 2020.

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This is already old news, but let’s talk about that Art Basel Banana. Only because Psycho Bunny just found out about it. He decided to do his own version.

Introducing the Psycho Bunny sketch of the week for Jan. 16th, 2020.

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Psycho Bunny does Art Basel Miami. Based on the comic written and drawn by Michele Witchipoo, on WitchesBrewPress. Jan. 16th, 2020.

Now, for the usual promos:

Some social media links for 2020:

Facebook: pages for Psycho Bunny and for Michele Witchipoo – WitchesBrewPress.

 Twitter: One account for me, and one for Psycho Bunny.

Tumblr: World Ov Witchipoo

Instagram: there’s WitchipooArt

Want to buy some of my designs? There’s RedBubble: Witchipoo

Finally, don’t forget to purchase my Squeaky comic.

My latest comic will be hopefully, released this upcoming Spring:

7A55A5DB-F0B6-4E6F-92F0-F6B66E840CF6

*To order any Psycho Bunny issues, or The Temptation of Squeaky, send $4.00 per issue along with your shipping address to Vemno @ Witchipoo. You can also order via PayPal, psychobunnycomix@aol.com. Specify which issue you’re ordering. Currently in stock is Psycho Bunny issue 3.75 and Temptation of Squeaky issue one.

 

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Tomorrow night will be the opening of another art exhibit. This one is a group art show, and I’ll have two pieces in the show. The opening party hours are from 8-10 pm at SAGE restaurant, in Greenpoint, Brooklyn. The restaurant has an art gallery in the back.

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From the Facebook invite: Ringing in the new year with some Killer artwork from some of the best artist New York has to offer.

“The Walls of SAGE”
is a group show featuring artwork and Photography
from these talented artists.

SELF INDULGENCE
CRYSTAL LANTIGUA
SUBTEXTURE
MICHAEL DIETRICH
ANTHONY WHITE
MICHELE WITCHIPOO
J LAWRENCE BRANDT
KELLY BARBIERI
ZERO
JOHNNY V
BRETT WINGATE
STEFANIE GIERS
ROBERT BARRY
SOL
DARRYL LAVARE
VINNIE LI

Come down and have a drink and some great THAI food while you check out some amazing artwork & photography.

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As we are only a few days into 2020, Psycho Bunny has a message.

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Psycho Bunny’s message for the new year. Jan. 2020. Based on the comic written and drawn by Michele Witchipoo on WitchesBrewPress.

The year 2019 wasn’t the worst, but it wasn’t the greatest either. Maybe I’ll explain in another post. The previous year started strong. As it went along, it started to go down a slippery slope. It wasn’t a total loss. I saw a lot of great concerts in 2019. Did well in all the comic cons I vended in. My work was exhibited many times during the second part of 2019. I had my own radio show for a few months. It wasn’t all bad.

Last year I also discovered who my real friends were. The concept of what friendship is a rather fickle concept. When the fakes leave your life, consider it a blessing in disguise. For example. The red flags was all in the gossip. If a salon owner (*cough-cough* – Second Star Salon – *cough-cough*) is going to viciously gossip about a client’s sex life, imagine what is being said about you. Silence is really golden. So it’s not really a loss. Instead of being bitter, I just appreciated valid ones. Sometimes knowing who your real friends are is worth more than having all the so-called “connections” in the world.

After a few of my personal experiences, I did a few inventory checks. I can do without the gossip, the pettiness, the backstabbing, and trying to appease others. There is something beautiful about being genuine. No longer do I take people’s word at face value. Read between the lines. A person can say the most soothing words, but actions speak louder than words. Emotions can trick you. Comfort is sometimes an illusion.

Someone I’ve known for a few years now always tells me “not to rock the boat.” I don’t know about that. Don’t rock the boat for whom? I discard that advice just like how people quote “stay in your own lane.” People who give out advice like that are only protecting themselves.

Anyway. Despite what’s happening with various world events, there still might be a shred of hope. A year doesn’t reveal much of itself until March rolls around. The winter months is a good time to lay low. Despite the cold temperatures, it’s a peaceful time.

Speaking of which, this week I will be in another group exhibit. I’ll post the details in another entry. The exhibit will be at some cute swanky place, Greenpoint, Brooklyn.

I also put some new additions in my RedBubble shop. Like that stupid Art Basel banana. Go to my online store and check it out yourself.

Now, for the usual promos. Because I have to eat more than just bananas.

Some social media links for 2020:

Facebook: pages for Psycho Bunny and for Michele Witchipoo – WitchesBrewPress.

 Twitter: One account for me, and one for Psycho Bunny.

Tumblr: World Ov Witchipoo

Instagram: there’s WitchipooArt

Want to buy some of my designs? There’s RedBubble: Witchipoo

Finally, don’t forget to purchase my Squeaky comic.

My latest comic will be hopefully, released this upcoming Spring:

7A55A5DB-F0B6-4E6F-92F0-F6B66E840CF6

*To order any Psycho Bunny issues, or The Temptation of Squeaky, send $4.00 per issue along with your shipping address to Vemno @ Witchipoo. You can also order via PayPal, psychobunnycomix@aol.com. Specify which issue you’re ordering. Currently in stock is Psycho Bunny issue 3.75 and Temptation of Squeaky issue one.

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