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Posts Tagged ‘sketch’

Ever had a song you’ve heard your whole life stuck in your head?

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This was the case maybe around two years ago. I was in my local neighborhood, doing some shopping. The store radio was tuned to the local NY oldies station, WCBS.FM. Suddenly a song I’ve been hearing in the background which dates all the way back to my childhood comes on. Afterwards the DJ states the song title and the artist. Finally after all these years, I found out who did this exact song. The singer was Benny Mardones, and the song was titled “Into The Night.”

I go home, hit Google and Spotify. Then I mosey on over to YouTube.

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Oh my.

Like, where do I start? Perhaps the first question really should be – who the hell thought this video would be a good idea? For those who have no idea what the hell I’m talking about, which I’m guessing is the Zoomer/Gen Z crowd, allow me to show you this:

Hmmm…yeah. In the promo video, he stalks a teenage girl after her father clearly says “NO!“,  and it’s so obvious that he’s like, way older than his intended. In the post-Jeffery Epstien era of the year 2020, this would not work at all. But apparently some people got together, smoked some really good weed, and thought the plot for this video was a fantastic idea. Thus it was made, and the tune became a huge hit.

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If you’re of the the Millennial or Zoomer mindset, you might find this video offensive. You know, being Woke and all that. If it was made today, the Cancel Culture would’ve been all over this on Twitter. But chill out, cause remember – this video was done around 1979 or 1980. A year prior was the film Pretty Baby, staring Brooke Shields. So maybe the poor judgement gets blamed on the drugs. You know, like how they say LSD was the best during the 1960s? You might want to keep that in mind.

I kid, I kid. Since I’m from the Gen X crowd, I don’t get offended. Instead, I become snarky. Watch the video a few more times, and I’m roasting on it as if I was Beavis and Butthead, but without the brain damage. I know unintentional humor when I see it.

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Luckily the song was such a big hit, it transcended the video. The video wasn’t even controversial then. Into The Night was not only a hit once, but twice; 1980, and 1989.

What is not too known is the story behind the music. Into The Night sounds like a love song, but it was written about a teen girl going through a rough time. It was the year 1979. Living in Spanish Harlem, the girl’s father left the wife and kids for another woman. Sympathetic, Mardones started helping the family out. One day, as Mardones and his song writing partner Robert Tepper was working, the 16 year old teen comes by to walk Mardones’ dog. Tepper appreciates the teen beauty, but Mardones stepped in saying “leave her along, she’s just 16 years old…” The light bulb switched on above his head, and the rest is history. Years afterwards, the teen muse and Benny kept in touch. Therefore the song was not sexual in the least.

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The song propelled Benny Mardones into stardom, but it didn’t last too long. After a few years, Mardones developed a drug addiction. In an attempt to begin his life anew, he moved to Syracuse, NY. From 1985 onward, he became a favorite son in his adopted hometown. In 2017, he played one final concert before settling in California to receive treatment for Parkinson’s Disease. Recently I read that Benny Mardones’ wife was requesting correspondence. Parkinson’s Disease was taking over. His wife said any letters, cards, etc., would mean the world to him. So I thought I should send him something. Alas, I never got around to it – he died a few weeks soon after I read the online article. Found out about his death through a Facebook post.

Hearing about Mardones’ passing broke my heart. Despite me busting on the original promo video, the song itself will always be a classic.

In honor of Benny Mardones, and for the song I’ve been hearing since childhood, I did a quick watercolor sketch. In a few days this sketch will be mailed to his wife. I understand his wife might be taking donations to Parkinson’s Research at USC.

MAILING ADDRESS FOR CARDS/LETTERS:
Benny & Jane Mardones
28039 Scott Rd, D397
Murrieta, CA 92563

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Quick sketch of Benny Mardones (1946 – 2020). Watercolor. July 2020. Done by Michele Witchipoo.

R.I.P. Benny Mardones.

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Happy Caturday! For cat aficionados, Saturdays are for cat lovers who have the weekends off, so they spend their Saturdays with their cats. For this week’s Caturday, here’s a tribute to my beloved tuxedo cat, Squeaky Squeakums.

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Photo collage by Michele Witchipoo. Featuring Squeaky Squeakums. Created in 2011.

Squeaky was one of the best cats I ever had.

 

Squeaky was the inspiration behind the comic I published last year, The Temptation of Squeaky. (You can buy your own copy from my rebooted Etsy store.)

 

 

It was around this time last year that Squeaky dropped her body. On the anniversary of her death, I did this watercolor sketch.

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Watercolor sketch of Squeaky Squeakums. Pen, ink, watercolor. June 2020 by Michele Witchipoo.

Squeaky Squeakums is survived by Netzach Wondercat, aka Nettie.

Although I’ve adopted another rescue cat since then, nobody can ever take the place of Squeaky Squeakums. Mr. Jet Alister, an all black male cat has some big paws to fill.

Rest in peace, Squeaky.

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Since I was a child, I’ve always been fascinated by Egyptian mythology, history, etc. Earlier last week, I saw another illustrator do her take of Cleopatra. She titled hers ‘Cleocatra.’ Thought it was so cute, I decided to do my own version. Hand drawn, done in pen and ink.

Here’s the Caturday sketch of the week.

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Cleocatra. Michele Witchipoo. Hand drawn, pen and ink. May 2020. 

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Most people outside of the Industrial/Noise/Experimental scene have never heard of Merzbow. As someone once said “that’s a hard sell.”

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Masami Akita started the Merzbow project back in 1979. His style of music, or rather, anti-music combines distortion, feedback, and noises from synthesizers, machinery,  home-made noisemakers, with help from laptops. Due to his background in drumming, unlike other avant garde Noise musicians, Merzbow blends slight melody and rhythm into his aural assaults.

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Masami Akita started out as a traditional drummer and studied art at Tamagawa University. According to his Wikipedia page: “While at university, he became interested in the ideas of dada and surrealism and also studied Butoh dance.[8] At Tamagawa, he learned of Kurt Schwitters‘ Merz, or art made from rubbish, including Schwitters’ Merzbau (meaning Merz building, German pronunciation: [ˈmɛʁtsˌbaʊ̯]), which is the source of the name Merzbow.[9]” 

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Breaking away from Psychedelic Rock and Free Jazz, Akita’s style evolved over time. Mostly known for Noise Electronics, he’s collaborated with various other avant garde musicians such as Z’EV. Over time he’s been influenced by Grindcore and Death Metal, but later incorporated Psychedelia and Ambient styles into the mix. The tools he’s used also changes over time. Again from his Wikipedia page, “Starting in the mid-2000s, Masami Akita began to reintroduce junk metal and effects pedals back into his setup. By the early 2010s, he was using a large number of pedals, oscillators and tone generators, and reduced to a single laptop running granular synthesis software. In 2014, he toured without a laptop. In 2008, Akita reintroduced the drum kit, his first instrument. This can be heard on the 13 Japanese Birds series.”

In addition to his multiple releases, Akita has been involved in numerous music/noise side projects.

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Akita is known for advocating animal rights. He’s supported PETA while maintaining a vegan diet. In Japan he’s also a published editor, writer and author. Merzbow’s articles has documented music, underground/subcultures, and modern art,. Other articles spoke about BDSM and Japanese bondage. Akita’s other interests include painting, photography, filmmaking, and Butoh dance.

I finally had a chance to see him perform in 2015. The venue sold out of advance tickets, taking place in Williamsburg, Brooklyn’s Output (since closed). Genesis P-Orridge opened for him, doing a spoken word set. (Gen also walked on stage during Merzbow’s set for no reason, except to stand there with arms raised. Then quickly rushed off as quickly as S/he rushed on. Completely random.) There was another chance to see him over at Knockdown Center two years ago, but my schedule wouldn’t allow it.

Here’s a quick sketch I did last night. Hand drawn, pen and ink. Now that I have all this extra time due to the Coronavirus.

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Masami Akita, aka Merzbow. Pen and ink, hand drawn. Sketch by Michele Witchipoo, March 2020.

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Well it’s been one hell of a week. Make that two weeks. The novel coronavirus, officially known as COVID-19 has shut the whole world down. On my end, the causality list included my radio show, and having a table at Cradle Con’s artist alley. The year barely started, but let’s just say 2020 has been officially canceled.

While I should be upset or sad, strangely I’m not.

Of course, Psycho Bunny decides to opportunistic. Which doesn’t work out.

Introducing the Psycho Bunny sketch of the week for March 19th, 2020.

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The Psycho Bunny sketch of the week. Psycho Bunny sells Coronavirus tee shirts. Based on the comic written and drawn by Michele Witchipoo, on WitchesBrewPress. March 2020.

Social Media (Because we’re all quarantined and have nothing better to do):

Facebook: 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. $4.00. Venmo: @Witchipoo.

Before you hit on the next blog post, check out this song I discovered from Facebook. This should be the official COVID-19 theme – and I’m not even a Hip Hop fan.  It’s by Detroit rapper Gmac Cash. You can download the song from iTunes or stream here: https://empire.ffm.to/corona

Then there’s this. It’s on both Facebook and Instagram.

The video made me laugh so hard. Only in America.

Be safe everyone.

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Tomorrow, Feb. 29th is Saturday. Also known as Caturday!

This week’s Caturday sketch is based on the latest edition to the Witchipoo household. As you might have read on a previous post, Squeaky Squeakums passed away. Squeaky was the basis of my self published comic, The Temptation of Squeaky, released Spring 2019.

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The Tempation of Squeaky. Spring 2019. Written and drawn by Michele Witchipoo. On WitchesBrewPress.

At first I wasn’t ready for a new cat. Eventually a new friend, a local resident who specializes in rescuing cats had a suggestion. She introduced me to a all black cat male who followed her home during a cold, rainy night. This woman suspects (no proof) that this cat came from an Italian family owned fruit stand within the area. So during the Thanksgiving weekend this cat moved in. Everybody, meet Mr. Jet Alister.

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Mr. Jet Alister. Dec. 2019.

Most cats crave meat and fish scraps. Not Jet. He loves bread, pizza crusts, and pasta. This boy likes his carbs. Last night as of this post, he was going after my late night garlic knots. (FYI – Garlic is not recommended for cats.) I used to talk to Squeaky in broken German phrases when she was alive. Yesterday Nettie recognized the German words. This time I ask Jet if he’s Italian. While him and Netzach Wondercat (aka Nettie) aren’t exactly buddies, he’s made himself quite at home. I tell him he’s “sexy” and a “weirdo.” I’m sure he’s thinking his human is the real weirdo.

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Mr. Jet Alister, while Netzach Wondercat, aka “Nettie” in the background.

So, in honor of Caturday, I present to you, Pizza Cat. The Caturday sketch of the week.

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Pizza boy as a cat. Weekly Caturday sketch by Michele Witchipoo. Drawn Feb. 2020.

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Caturday isn’t over yet. Here’s my weekly Caturday sketch featuring some key figures of the Beat Generation as cats. Hanging out in front of City Lights bookstore in San Francisco, California are William S. Burroughs, Neal Cassady, and Jack Kerouac. When I visited San Francisco in 2000, I had a drink in the bar that was right across the street from the famous bookstore. It was late night, and had just arrived in town. Didn’t get a chance to go inside the shop. Perhaps next time.

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Links:

https://www.litkicks.com/BeatGen

https://www.newyorker.com/books/double-take/sunday-reading-the-beat-generation

https://poets.org/text/brief-guide-beat-poets

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Psycho Bunny didn’t watch the Super Bowl this year. He had fallen ill.

The Psycho Bunny sketch of the week for Feb. 3rd, 2020.

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Psycho Bunny is very sick. Based on the comic written and drawn by Michele Witchipoo on WitchesBrewPress. Feb. 2020. Pen and ink.

Social Media:

Facebook: 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. $4.00. Venmo: @Witchipoo.

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Another decade is about to wrap up. Lately I’ve been reminiscing about the oddest things. These memories are usually induced by something completely random. As with the case prior to this post. Tonight I wasn’t in the mood to go out. As I’m scrolling through Facebook, somebody on my feed posts an sex article. It was published on the Vice website. The content was really about why people get attached to someone after sexual relations. Particularly to those not normally considered. I read the entire article. What caught my attention was certain hormones released during mating, male v. female. As the rest of the article went on, I was reminded of an incident during the ’90s.

Around mid-’90’s, I worked six months at some fetish/sex shop. It was located in the West Village. When applying, I was informed that out of all the applicants, I gave the impression of being a sane person. All the others who applied seemed unbalanced. My mental stability got me hired. I took the job because it meant no dress code. I didn’t have to take out my nose ring, continue dying my hair that shade of Manic Panic Vampire Red, etc. Perfect for me! That’s all I cared about. So much for priorities. The pay was shit, off the books, and the hours long. I could, however, play whatever music I liked. My selections ranged from RuPaul to My Life With The Thrill Kill Kult. Got a crash course about fetishes 101. After that gig ended, I had knowledge about dark human sexuality.

One night, a friend dropped by my store. For her, the party never ended. She was always looking for an excuse to hang out at places like Coney Island High. In hindsight, we both may have graduated high school, but we still had that mentality. Eternal teenagers. We might as well been like Dante and Randal from Clerks. Anyway. She came by after she was finished her shift working at some vintage clothing store. Tagging with along was her co-worker. He was a generic ’90s sub-cultural male. The guy quietly observed his surroundings. Fetish wear, BDSM outfits, whips, floggers, bondage items, and trashy lingerie was sold in the front of the store. Sex toys and porn was displayed in the back.

As both the friend and her co-worker walked in, the store was unpacking newly arrived merchandise. I was in the back, nonchalantly arranging the latest products as if they were grocery items. Three months into this job, and comfortably numb. While the boxes were being unpacked, I picked up one of the new items. It was one of those weird pheromone colognes.  The sample bottle was placed on the counter along with assorted vibrators, lubes, and penis pumps. My friend and I look at the cologne bottle. The cologne looked cheap. The owner was hardly around. There were no customers in the store. This being the ’90s, we weren’t constantly video monitored. It was safe for me to loudly mock the product.  My friend makes some kind of sarcastic quip. I think my friend’s co-worker might have also made a snarky comment. As a joke, I sprayed the cologne all over the back room. Whoa – it totally stunk! We started laughing, cause we were that immature. After the initial gagging wore off, it was time to close up for the night. When the shop gate was pulled down, all three of us head over to the East Village to hang. As we usually did.

That night was nothing new. There might have been a party at the Flamingo East. Along the way, my friend and her co-worker started to get chummier. A few hours in, those two, who never had romantic intentions, mysteriously started to make out. I was used to my friend’s romantic shenanigans. Every week there was a new hookup. I was apathetic to her conquests. Just like how I was detached selling butt plugs.

At one point, my friend’s co-worker mentioned that pheromone cologne back at my job. He wondered loudly if the cologne had something to do with the impromptu tongue dance. They went back to smooching. It didn’t get any further than that.

The next day the friend’s coworker had second thoughts. He more or less disappeared. 

In recent years, millennials have given this practice a name. It’s now known as “ghosting.”

My friend also blamed the previous night on that cheap cologne. It’ll get you laid, but it won’t make the person stay.

Taking note, I stayed away from the cologne itself. While the product did sell, it also stunk. The store re-ordered poppers, the Sta-Hard creams and Anal-Ease, but not the cologne.

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Hit the fast forward button to 2019. Curiosity getting the best of me, I decided to look up pheromone colognes. Just to see if they were still on the market. Well hot dang. Pheromone products are more popular than ever. It’s an advertised ingredient in many items. There’s fragrances marketed for men and women. Even Dial got in on the act. They have a men’s pheromone infused body wash. If I was a guy, I would be buying cases of this stuff.

.But then I saw this. For those who are fans of the film Anchorman. Sex Panther cologne. ‘Cause 60% of the time it works. Every time. And it stings the nostrils.

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Where am I going with this post? I don’t even know myself. Memories are dangerous.

One of these days I’ll unwind more tales about my sex shop gig. Out of respect, I won’t reveal the name of the famous Broadway actress who I sold anal beads to. I will tell you of the time a customer raged into the store with a penis pump he brought the night before.  How he managed to burn the inside of the pump from fire engine red to pitch black – and how he demanded a refund. I’ll hold off for another time.

Below is a sketch done just for this blog post. Enjoy.

Human Sex Pheromones – Wikipedia Entry

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Sketch by Michele Witchipoo. Dec. 2019

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2019promptlist

Not the greatest sketch, but here’s an Inktober 2019 piece. The Inktober prompt was pattern. Yet people seemed to like the sketch on my Instagram. Maybe because the style looks a bit like my early Babalon Babes zine days. Threw in a few alchemy symbols.

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Intober 2019 prompt no. 10: Pattern. Sketch by Michele Witchipoo. Oct. 2019.

 

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