promises are kept

thoughts from the mind of Mitch Brown

Month: August, 2013

Dublin Social Club Tattoo Marathon Coming Soon

Something big is getting ready to happen in Warrensburg. A 24 hour tattoo marathon will go down at the Dublin Social Club on September 20. It starts when the clock strikes midnight. The Dublin Social Club has been open for less than a year, though some tattooists from the shop worked at the now defunct Living Art tattoo studio, hence the 6 year anniversary. I’m not quite sure what to expect with the event, but I have a hunch it will be something special.

The following is an interview I did with Tony Madrid, tattoo artist and owner of the Dublin Social Club.   DSC_Flier

Promises:How did you come up with the idea to do a 24 hour tattoo marathon? What is the inspiration behind it? I have never heard of such a thing being done in this area or anywhere else.

Tony: To be honest the idea was hatched by Kody and Damin, and I’m not 100% sure that I won’t kill them before the 24 hour marathon is over. Basically the gauntlet has been thrown, so now it’s a challenge to make it through with a smile for the entire 24.

Promises: How exactly will such a grand undertaking be possible, lots of coffee or cans of Monster? Will you personally be working for 24 hours straight? Or will a rotating lineup of tattooists be working on September 20th?

Tony: We are thinking about rotating. I don’t ever get to sleep til about 4 or 5 in the morning anyways. The fact that we have a small apartment in the back of the shop will let a tired artist go catch a nap if needed. Tara will be out on maternity leave, so there will be 4 of us manning the show. I’m sure there will be lots of caffeine involved.

Promises:  One of the most eye-catching things about the flier that is decorating Facebook walls was the mention of 20 dollar tattoos.

Normally, if someone offered me a 20 dollar tattoo, I would have to say no. I was once told that regarding ink you get what you pay for, and a lower price equals lower quality, but being familiar with the caliber of your work and the work of your staff, I know that won’t be the case.

My guess is the 20 dollar tattoos will be quality artwork at a bargain price. What are the stipulations for these ? Can the customers get anything? Or do they have to pick from a specific set of designs/flash?

What can customers look forward to other than 20 dollar tattoos? I noticed there will also be a zombie grab bag, door prizes, and a raffle drawing for a free tattoo. How will all of this go down?

Also,will the 24 tattoo marathon have some type of horror theme? (I couldn’t help but notice the EC Comics/Tales From The Crypt/Haunt Of Fear styled flier and the mention of a “zombie grab bag.”)

Tony: The “Horror” theme is just me in general. To me, nothing beats a good B movie and a great beer. We will be doing regular tattooing as well as the $20 designs for the 24 hours.

The $20 tattoo will be from a page of designs we are all working on. We did it a few years back on Halloween with $31 tattoos. It is basically just a way of saying thank you to all our customers. Rather it’s $20 or $2000 tattoo, the artist’s name is still behind that tattoo, so it’s always quality first.

There will be food and drinks right at the start until it’s gone. We will be giving away a door prize every hour on the hour, and we are still adding to the event as we come up with it.

A pajama contest is already in the works ;that might be a horror show in itself, and we are thinking about a scavenger hunt as well. This thing will probably just keep growing until the day of the event. None of this would be possible without the staff we currently have. All of the guys and gals are excited about this, and we are looking forward to making it memorable. The zombie grab bag will be awesome because even if you don’t win one of the great prizes associated with it you will still get your very own tiny zombie for free!!!

Promises:  On the flier, the event is marked as a 6 year anniversary, but the Dublin Social Club opened its doors in December of 2012. I know that prior to owning and running your current shop, you had another tattoo shop called Living Art. Could you explain about the shutting down of Living Art and the opening of the Dublin Social Club? , and how have things changed since you’ve closed Living Art and opened the Dublin Social Club. Have you seen an increase in business?

Tony: The changes are endless really when comparing the two shops. Living Art was opened with more than one person involved, and it never really lived up to its full potential.

The Dublin Social Club is mine alone and has all the touches that make it uniquely mine. The Dublin Social Club would not even exist if not for the encouragement and tremendous help from my best friend Alan Joyner, who always pushes me to strive for more in many ways.

We got rid of all the “flash” and only do custom work now ,as well as providing a much more comfortable environment at the new shop. I think the reception of the new place has been good from all of our customers that remember the old Living Art days. We have added new features, like complimentary beverages while you’re getting tattooed as well as an art gallery to enjoy while you wait.

The new location has been phenomenal. The extra visibility has been great, and being able to participate in the downtown events, such as the First Friday art walks have been fun. Not only have we seen an increase in business but a whole new clientele as well.

Promises: What type of responses do you expect from the public about this event? And what can they expect?

Tony:  You never can really tell. We have had small events before that bring a lot of people, and we have had huge events that didn’t have enough people. We hope that we will have a good showing, and the only thing you can really expect is the unexpected. It will be one crazy night for sure. We will be broadcasting random events throughout the night via Facebook at facebook.com/centraltattoo as well, so there will definitely be some surprises.

Promises: What are the chances of the 24 hour tattoo marathon becoming an annual event?

Tony: We always have an event for our anniversary, but depending on how smooth this 24 hour thing goes, and how everybody holds up, I wouldn’t mind doing it again. For us, it’s all about having fun and giving back to the community that has kept us in business for 6 years now. We truly appreciate them, so anytime we can all have a little fun together it’s even better.

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  Remember, 24 hour tattoo marathon happens at The Dublin Social Club,located on 126 North Holden Street in Warrensburg, MO, on Sep.20,

Black Flag vs. FLAG (A Punk Rock Lawsuit)

BlackFlag_VS_FLAG

Last week I was made privy to some strange news, not shocking, not disheartening, but simply strange. Did you hear that Greg Ginn has filed a lawsuit against some of the ex-members of Black Flag?

If you move in punk/hardcore circles, you are probably aware of the two Black Flag reunions.

One outfit goes by the name of FLAG, consisting of Black Flag alumni, Keith Morris, Dez Cadena, Bill Stevenson, and Chuck Dukowski, along with Descendents guitarist Stephen Egerton, and in the other corner is the Black Flag reunion that retained the name—the Greg Ginn and Ron Reyes reunion, along with some guy from Gone on drums and some dude from Screeching Weasel on bass.

I had the opportunity to see the Reyes/Ginn reunion in Lawrence earlier this summer, and it kicked ass. I was blown away, but a juxtaposed opinion of the reunion is prevalent online. Looking online, I see more punk fans proclaiming that FLAG is the real deal, and the Ron Reyes/Greg Ginn reunion is weak, and the band is just phoning it in. That’s not what I walked away thinking when I saw them in June, but I haven’t seen FLAG in order to do a compare and contrast.

Keith&Henry

(left) Keith Morris, (right) Henry Rollins.
Oh yeah, Rollins is also implicated in Ginn’s lawsuit.

The language of the lawsuit is a deceleration that the use of the name FLAG and their logo, which actually differs from the original arrangement of the four bars, is a “colorable imitation” that is likely to cause “confusion, mistake or deception among consumers.” Such a statement might not stand up in court.

The argument becomes questionable when considering the speed at which info moves on the World Wide Web, which is the primary source where punk rock fans, and music fans in general, would get information on bands.

Months before both bands hit the road, I recall reading news blurbs and interviews on websites like Vice and Pitchfork. http://www.vice.com/read/the-long-vice-interview-with-flag-dukowski

I knew two different incarnations of  Black Flag members, from different eras of the band, were jamming it out reunion style, and I could tell you which members were in which camp. I think it’s fair to assume that the majority of the target “consumers” would probably also know that.

But this will not be the first time ex-members of Black Flag have faced off in court: In 2007, Chuck Dukowski filed suit against Greg Ginn for unpaid royalties. A result of the trial was that Dukowski was forbidden to use the infamous four bars logo, not from playing Black Flag’s music live, but the FLAG logo is not the the same as Raymond Pettibon’s logo that decorated much of the original flier and album art of Black Flag. FLAG’s version is in a different alignment, and diehard fans or “consumers” are going to be able to spot that. Fuck, I did.

I’m not surprised by the lawsuit, but I think I sighed when I found out about it, a punk rock litigation. How did we come to this point?

Hell, it’s happened before: Former members of the Dead Kennedys took Jello Biafra to court under charges of failure to promote the Dead Kennedys’ back catalog. In his spoken word, Jello said the motive behind the lawsuit was his refusal to allow “Holiday In Cambodia” to be used in a jeans commercial. They won,  Jello lost, and soon after, an imitation DKs reunion happened with Brandon Cruz, of Dr. Know, on vocals.

About the Dead Kennedys lawsuit ,V. Vale of RE:Search publications wrote “It’s a bizarre notion in fact, the whole idea of punk rockers suing each other over copyrights and financial contract details seems antithetical to the spirit of the original movement.” I concur.

Gerg_Ginn

A punk rock lawsuit!? Greg, say it isn’t so.

What was the original spirit of that movement? In the American Hardcore documentary Ian MacKaye called it the “ultimate manifestation of youth.” Is such a feeling consistent with guys in their 50s playing songs from 30 years ago? Does that turn the old school into a mockery of its former self?

Can a genre  that was drenched in the fountain of youth and teenage frustration survive into middle age? Many of the brightest leading-lights of the ’80s refused to limit themselves to a one-dimensional hardcore blueprint as they aged. A number of the old schoolers evolved musically, instead of making the same record from 1982 over and over again.

Jello Biafra is a prime example, moving beyond the confines of the music he made infamous with the Dead Kennedys. In the ’90s he did a country/rockabilly type record with Mojo Nixon.

Yes, we are long, long way from the 1980s or even the ’90s. The punk rock lawsuits are an example of how things have changed. To think that the four bars, a symbol that was once a representation of unrest ,spray painted all over Southern California and flaunted in the face of the LAPD, has been reduced to the status of another corporate logo to be placed alongside the Nike swoosh.

A link to the actual lawsuit below…

http://www.hollywoodreporter.com//sites/default/files/custom/Documents/ESQ/SSTRecordsvRollins.pdf

black-flag-logo1

This is the original four bars design.

flag-banner

This is the design used by FLAG. Do you notice the difference? I do.

A quick scan of Google images reveals a plethora of different take offs and inversions of the four bars. The logo, although powerful and striking, is simply four rectangle shapes in in an alternating pattern. I don’t think Greg Ginn owns the rights to the use of rectangles.

Elvis-Presley-Black-Flag-Sytle-Bars-white-fz

See what I mean?

Could both the estate of Elvis or Greg Ginn and SST Records go after the maker of this shirt?

pg_irish_flag_shirt

This brilliant, cool as fuck, mash up of a t-shirt was designed by Danny Boy O’ Connor ( of House of Pain and La Coka Nostra) for his Pain Gang clothing line.