Tag Archives: virginia

Happy Labor Day!

Due to a scheduling mishap, I had a rare four day weekend this weekend, and did my best to enjoy it! Here’s a little rundown:

Friday

Had lunch with an old friend who is moving to Chicago next week. Sad, but now I have someone to visit in Chicago ūüôā And Chicago sure seems to host a lot of cons!! (Don’t tell her I said that already) Afterwards I popped in Richmond staple Stories Comics and picked up a few horror magazines. I am prepping for MonsterFest in Chesapeake, but given Saturday’s events that ended up being a bad plan. Listed at least 50 new items on etsy while watching really cheesy television. My shop now has over 200 items in it, and that’s got to be less than 20% of my stock. That means that 1) I need to list more on etsy and 2) if you haven’t checked out my display at a show this summer, you should come by the Costen Floors bazaar in Richmond next weekend or MonsterFest next month if you’re in the Chesapeake area!!

Saturday

Drove with R & D down to Virginia Beach to see Carbon Leaf again. I’m really not sure why I keep heading to the waterfront resort areas in peak tourist traffic, but whatever. We planned our route around 2 comic book stores. The first was Bender’s Books & Cards in Hampton. D & I first heard about this place when we had a table at the Virginia Beach Memorial Day Sci Fi yard sale when I made a deal with the owner for some of my Doctor Who books & collectibles. On the way home from that trip, we stopped by the store. It is a treasure trove of vintage comics, magazines, and, well, pretty much anything collectible. Make sure you bring your hand sanitizer because you will get dirty, but seriously, this place has everything. Piles and stacks and shelves of it. I came away with a big stack of monster books, magazines, and comics, as well as some Doctor Who magazines. They have a bigger Doctor Who display than I ever thought I’d find in Hampton, as well as a TON of Star Trek stuff (probably because of the annual sci fi yard sale).

Next we headed towards Zeno’s Books in Chesapeake. This is another store we heard about at the Sci Fi yard sale. They actually had the booth next to us and we kept each other entertained all day – apparently I was the first customer they’d ever had who bought comics based on what was on the BACK covers, which amused them. I also spoke to them at FantaSci and the July VA Comic Con, so even before I’d set foot in the store this was pretty much my favorite comic store. The owner had set aside the merch we were looking for which was really nice, and I also picked up some more magazines and comics to use for MonsterFest items. I’m getting really excited about this event!! Although a much smaller store than Stories or Benders, the friendliness and helpfulness of the staff is a huge plus and they still have a very impressive inventory for the space. I got some great deals, and one or two items that I might not be able to bring myself to cut up.

Finally, much to R’s relief, we eventually headed towards Virginia Beach. Carbon Leaf was playing for free as part of the Verizon Wireless American Music Festival. We got there just in time to catch most of the opening act, A Silent Film, a band out of Oxford/London. I had never heard of them before but we all enjoyed their set and I intend to check out their albums.

Carbon Leaf were amazing as usual, although they seemed to have some technical issues throughout the night and I’m pretty sure Barry wasn’t feeling so great although he did borrow a punter’s hula hoop and hula hooped on stage and they still played at least 2 hours. They played a new song which Barry identified as¬†Bloody Good Bar Fight Song/ Donnybrook Affair, and there were 2 songs in the encore that were either so old or so new that I didn’t know them. All three showed a lot more of the celtic influence that they used to have, which I appreciate. I think this is probably connected to them dropping their major label and going back to their indie roots.

Sunday

I caught up on Doctor Who. Can you believe I missed the Doctor Who premiere for real life fun? Yeah, me neither…

Monday

Spent the day rearranging my workspace. Now that all the magazines and comic books and books are in one place and sorted, I’m a bit overwhelmed. No more comic book stores for me for a while!!! Time to do some more cutting up & etsying!

Music Monday: Bella Morte

By now, you should be able to tell that I actually cannot write or talk about music. I can tell you what I enjoy, it’s up to you to check it out and define/label/judge it for yourself. This is supposed to be a craft blog anyways! Hah. Last night, I finally caught Bella Morte in Richmond. I first encountered Bella & Brighter Fires¬†this spring at Raven Con. At the time, I had only listened to one or two tracks and since I wasn’t staying at the con hotel, I didn’t hang around for their midnight show. Shame on me! The gang was very friendly, and I intended to give them another listen, but didn’t do so before Blood on the Beach, where I passed up the chance to see them again! It wasn’t until June that I gave Bella Morte, and co-founders Andy Deane & Gopal Metro’s new project Brighter Fires, a closer listen. Typically, this would be where I say that the band(s) then broke up and I failed to ever see them again. Fortunately, both acts seem to be going strong!

According to their official bio, “Bella Morte sings songs of love and loss, hope and despair.¬† By combining electronics, graveyard ballads, emotive storytelling and unique guitar riffs, Bella Morte have developed a style that is solely their own…. [T]hey remain eternally thankful to have been able to make a living doing what they love: singing songs about the dead and winning over the hearts of the living along the way.” Listen to a few of their tracks on reverbnation¬†and if nothing else, you have to watch my favorite music video, for a ridiculous cover (read: AWESOME):

 

Since their discography is a bit overwhelming, here’s the tracklist for the mix I made which has become my early morning/late night driving mix of choice:

1. Flatlined
2. One Thousand Days (below – one of my faves)
3. Earth Angel
4. Falling Star (my favorite track so far)
5. As the Storm Unfolds
6. Can’t Let This Die
7. The Morning Sun
8. Living Dead
9. Lights in the Sky
10. Angels & Faith
11. Black Seas Collide
12 . On the Edge
13. Here with Me
14. Haunted
15. Find Forever Gone
16. Another Way
17. In the Dirt
18. My Heart Will Go On (yes, I said that)
19. Skin

 

You can find Bella Morte on:

BellaMorte.com

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Music Monday: Brighter Fires

Andy Deane & Gopal Metro founded the goth/industrial/punk mainstay Bella Morte in the mid-90’s. Gopal left the band in 2007 but he & Andy have decided that they missed writing & playing music together, so last year they started a side project called Brighter Fires. Some have likened Brighter Fires’ sound to the Bella Morte of old, which makes sense because when Andy & Gopal write together it does seem to result in a pretty distinctive style. However, they’ve also been exposed to a wider range of influences in the past 15 years, and for that matter, Andy’s voice has matured and has a wider range now too. Please note that I did not say that Andy had matured, just his voice ūüėČ

My second job has been winding down since the middle of May, so I’ve been enjoying some relative freedom in my schedule. This allowed me to catch Brighter Fires three weekends in a row,¬†at the Twisted Branch Tea Bazaar in¬†Charlottesville (as mentioned in the Synthetic Division post & pictured below), at the Canal Club in Richmond, and at the Jewish Mother Backstage in Norfolk. For once, it’s nice to be appreciating a band that is currently active and located in the same country as I am! They also get huge bonus points for being friendly, passionate, talented guys! (By the way, if you use instagram, you should follow Rippingitdown for nearly live photos which I never remember to transfer to my computer so I can post here)

Although they appeal to goth clubs and refer to their music as “dark rock”, listen to closely to¬†songs like “Glorious” and “Sever” and you’ll understand why their debut album is an “anthem about enjoying life and… stuff”.

 

You can find Brighter Fires on:

BrighterFires.com

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Con Review: FantaSci X

On the 7th I vended at FantaSci, a science fiction convention at the Chesapeake Central Library. I had never attended the event before, and didn’t know what to expect from a free one day con at a library, but I was pretty impressed. The library is HUGE and the con had a pretty wide range of guests, vendors, and programming. The only thing that was slightly disappointing was that our booth was in kind of an auxiliary room that was also holding panels and demonstrations. Did I mention that there was a lot going on? The booth had a mixture of vintage sci fi books and collectibles along with my usual stock of handmade jewelry and recycled pop culture accessories, plus Thirteen O’Clock’s bowties and iPad cases!

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Someone posted some great pics of the con, including a very awesome Ten and Eleven (who made her own bowtie, which impressed me since I leave all the sewing to Thirteen O’Clock!), Nick Fury playing the only arcade game I was ever any good at (which I totally missed!!) and a very friendly customer sorting through my newest product line, luggage tags, which I debuted at this event. They’ll be making it to etsy eventually!

Photo & Video Sharing by SmugMug Photo & Video Sharing by SmugMug Photo & Video Sharing by SmugMug

Unfortunately, FantaSci’s website isn’t the greatest, and I didn’t have a whole lot of time to study the programming list since I was flying solo for this event so stayed pretty glued to my table. I did appreciate that there was a blood drive, as well as Klingon jailing fundraiser, presumably run by the IKV Devestator fan group (someone please correct me if I’m wrong). I really like this element of the cons I’ve attended recently.¬†All in all, I had a fun day, and I’ve signed up to vend at MonsterFest, a free one day horror convention at the same library in October. I’d encourage you to stop by and check it out if you’re in the area! (Actually, I’d encourage you to stop by and check out the library regardless, and it seemed pretty nice to me!)