PUNK BLACK Brings the ATL Scene to NYC

We first discovered the PUNK BLACK collective on Instagram a couple years back. Instagram has become a great repository of 15-30 sec clips of underground music captured in real-time from all over the globe. When I saw these little snippets of this Atlanta, Georgia based community moshing and rocking out in Cosplay – I sensed they were on to something heavy, gritty, and real for young folks of color. Each year the collective explores new ways to engage local youth and share an underground truth most people don’t know. More Black and Brown youth in America than you realize love rock music. From punk to death metal, it’s actually a thing. And though thousands of us can’t meet up as often we’d like, when we do, its a beautiful moment of braids flying, hips swaying and faces glowing.

PUNK BLACK (PB) is expanding its reach this summer by presenting an NYC music fest in Brooklyn on August 22, 2018. As Von Phoenix, one of PB’s founders tells it, “We’d like to create a space in NY were PoC can feel at home while doing what they love, as well as plant the seeds for a PB Chapter in New York. Not to mention we want to have fun (maybe, *ahem* get a little sauced) and see some kick ass bands.”

We asked Von about the upcoming NYC event, and how the collective came to be. Check it out.


Who founded the PUNK BLACK collective?

The original founders of PUNK BLACK (PB) are Kharis Ellison – age 26, Arkkade Kult – age 38, Jamee Cornelia- age 25, and myself Von Phoenix – age 28. There are 6 of us in the primary collective not counting contributors.

What inspired you to create Punk Black and the need for more representation in the scene?

I discovered rock music around age 12, and I noticed right away that I didn’t see many People of Color (POC) in main stream bands. Around that time I was still trapped in the notion that Rock music was created by white people, and POC weren’t really fond of it. This of course made me feel even more like the odd man out, and unfortunately fueled my self-hate phase at the time. It wasn’t until I started a band at the end of high school did I realize how bad the lack of representation was on the scene. Being an all Black band we got all kinds of looks, condescending remarks, and general hate.PUNK bLACK QUOTE

Was Cosplay always a part of the Atlanta Punk Scene? The collective seems to fill a need for youth interested in all things alternative, was that a natural progression?

Not that I know of. I definitely know a lot of cosplayers who like punk, and a lot of punk fans who like cosplay/anime/comics. It was a natural progression for us, as most of the collective grew up being influence by anime, and our designs have always been anime influenced.

About Community organizing, was finding space for shows and funding new projects something you had previous experience doing?

Definitely not. We had played a lot of shows before the first PB, but we had never really put on our own show, let alone organize a monthly event.

IMG_8714-257

Photo courtesy of PUNK BLACK

Access to creative space is one of the key barriers for artists in NYC, how was it navigating venues in Atlanta?

When we started in 2015 it was a lot easier to find venues in ATL, but as time goes on it’s getting more and more difficult. We normally like to use a combination of house and DIY venues but as the siege of gentrification intensifies, we lose more venues. Over the last year we’ve luckily found a home base at Union EAV, which has been an awesome help to the movement.

When did you first get the idea to launch an event in NYC and what drew you to this city?

NY has always been one of the places we thought about setting up another chapter of PB, but it was when we were contacted by Mecca Shabazz earlier this year that we realized we could actually make it happen. She’s now our NY event director, and our eyes in New York. New York’s new scene is definitely what drew us to the city. It’s been the birthplace of things like Punx of Color, AfroPunk, and dope ass bands over the years. (Shout out to Shinobi Ninja).

Are there a couple organizations out there you admire? Why do you admire them?

Definitely Southern Fried Queer Pride (SFQP) in Atlanta and Punx of Color in New York. SFQP promotes and features the LGBT art community through events and festivals, and their style and the way they run things is really dope. I’ve been following Punx of Color for a few years now, and though I haven’t been able to make it to an event I can tell that do great work for punks of color. It shows not only in the numbers, but in the reactions of the community they serve. I’ve only seen and heard good things about them, and after speaking with Gayla Brooks I can tell they try to do what’s best for the community as a whole. I think both of these organizations think about the community first, which is one of the hardcore reasons I dig them both as well.

Pre-Order Our Summer Zine

Ahh, it’s crazy y’all. We tried a new printer this time and we are so pleased with the bright colors and glossy pics.

Only did a short run of 30 copies for now but we’ll probably print more for live events as the season kicks off. Keeping our prices under $10 for the youth so head over to Etsy to see the deets on this fun and fresh #blkgrlswurld zine 😘

#Blkgrlswurld @ Brown Paper Zine Fair Jan. 28-29, 2017

#Blkgrlswurld ZINE will be selling our latest editions and coloring books Jan, 28-29th, 2017 at the Brown Paper Zine and Small Press Fair for Black and PoC Artists. The free event takes place at the Museum of Contemporary African Diasporan Arts (MoCADA). Details below.

MoCADA (80 Hanson Place, Brooklyn, NY) – 1st and 4th Floors Free RSVP

We are also thrilled to participate in a panel discussion on Sunday during the zine fair, moderated by Kimberly Drew. Social Sunday: Black Ink Zine Panel Sunday, January 29, 2:30-4pm Free RSVP

3 Dot Zine presents its first installment of the Brown Paper Zine and Small Press Fair for Black and PoC Artists as a part of programming for Diagram of the Heart, by Glenna Gordon, currently on view at the Museum of Contemporary African Diasporan Arts (MoCADA).

3 Dot Zine is a collaborative submission based zine founded by artist Devin N Morris in 2014 as a way to extend the reach of important dialogues Morris was having with his peers.Throughout his time participating in zine fairs and festivals in New York, Baltimore, and Philadelphia, he noticed a lack of Black and People of Color (PoC) representation within these environments, which stood in stark contrast to the diverse independent publishing communities Morris found himself apart of.

As such, the Brown Paper Zine and Small Press Fair was created to provide a space where the creative efforts of Black and PoC artists working in print mediums could be exposed and proliferated. Bringing together established zine makers, small presses, and artists working in print mediums to MoCADA, the fair asks each participant to seek out new and young artists to showcase their zines, or facilitate the production of their print-based work. In addition to encouraging young artists to use zines as a viable, independent avenue for sharing their work, this effort also acquaints young makers with the communities that fairs create.

The Brown Paper Zine and Small Press Fair will occupy multiple locations within the MoCADA building as the weekend boasts inclusive programming in the way of; the Women’s Healing Space, a writing workshop and a space for women to check in, be seen, heard and affirmed while in community with each other; a screening of #BlackGirlLit: Between Literature, Performance & Memory, a documentary exploring “black woman-ness” and the literary traditions that inform it, featuring artists Ayana Evans, Kal Gezahegn, Dell M. Hamilton, Tsedaye Makonnen, Helina Metaferia and Marceline Mandeng; Social Sunday: Black Ink, a panel discussion interrogating the world of self-publishing and the instance where inspiration leads to action; and more to be announced.


PARTICIPANTS:

3 Dot Zine
Blk Grls Wurld Zine
Brown & Proud Press
Brown Recluse Zine Distro
Codify Art
Collectiva Cosmica
DATE NIGHT
Endless Editions
La Chamba Press
La Liga Zine
Lambey Press
L’ENCHANTEUR
Maroon World
MoCADA Shop
Mohammed Fayez
No Shame Distro
Nontsikelelo Mutiti
Oxford Plain
PJ Gubatina Policarpio
RAFiA SANTANA
Red Hook Editions
True Laurels Magazine
Yellow Jackets Collective

Your Voice Matters: Register To Vote

This is quick reminder from all of us at #Blkgrlswurld Zine to please register to vote so that you can participate in the November U.S. Presidential election. If you notice ads or billboards telling you its too late or that you may not qualify, IGNORE them – double check with the offices that know for sure like your local DMV or Secretary of State Office.

For NYC folks the deadline to register by mail is October 14, 2016. HeadCount.Org offers voter info for every state if you live elsewhere. New Yorkers can also register to vote online through the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV)

Forget about the news, and what your friends are saying or what social media is saying about the presidential race. We don’t have a crystal ball to look ahead and see where all of this lands, but the one valuable thing each of us can do is participate in voting.

The presidential election takes place on November 8th, 2016.

And if you Really want to see some change in your community, spend an afternoon on Google checking out your local representatives who are also on the ballot towards making a more informed decision that will have direct impact on your block. Its more valuable than donating to that cool project you just saw on Kickstarter, we promise…

xoxo

DIY Crafty Crafties

Ok, so over the Labor Day weekend, I got a little antsy and decided to clean out my apartment and update some furniture.

Here in central Harlem is a great Goodwill location that always has some good finds. I stopped in and found this white side table- very sturdy with no repair issues.

img_1339

Stage 1

The goal of this project was to revamp the table using only materials I could find in the house. I started by wiping down the piece with a Mr.Clean magic eraser, then after drying I began applying a light coat of “Golden, Water Soluble Block Printing Ink”

It was one of the only colors I could find and not commonly best for wood projects, so I made sure to coat the ink on lightly and then add another layer of clear “Acrylic Gel Matte Medium” to make sure the table stayed water proof.

After about 6 hours of air drying I dug in my closet and found some fine gold art paper from a recent trip to London, UK. Decoupage! If done correctly can look so amazing on pieces like this.

Once I applied glue to the back of the paper and the table top and laid that down, I began a series of layers with acrylic gel matte medium to ensure the table would remain water and stain proof.

After 1.5 hours of drying I would apply another layer of gel matte medium. I did this 3-4 times and by the next morning, viola! We had a completely new and improved side table, sturdy enough for holding our record collection 😀

Don’t feel pressure to buy a bunch of materials to start a new project, be confident that there are some materials already around the house that can produce some great results.

img_1366

#Blkgrlswurld featured in 30th episode of Paper Cuts on Clocktower Radio

blkgrls1

The latest radio episode of Paper Cuts is streaming online at Clocktower.org 😀

Interviews from participants of the second annual Pioneer Works Zine Exchange on May 13, 2016. The sessions were orchestrated by Clocktower radio Paper Cuts host and zine expert, Christopher Kardambikis.

The playlist of participants includes:
#BLKGRLSWURLD Zine (on mandolin)
Mustarrrrrrrrrrd
3 Dot Zine
Pegacorn Press
Small Editions
Goldbrain Press

Pioneer Works’ Zine Exchange brings together zine authors and aficionados to display, trade, and sell their zines.

Clocktower radio host DJ Black Helmet served as Master of Ceremonies. The night included a celebration of three inaugural titles: At The National Monument / Always Today by poet Ted Dodson, by artist Christopher Kardambikis, and The Making of Gertrude Stein: Charles Ruas and Janet Hobhouse in Conversation, from Clocktower Radio’s archives.

Thanks so much to Paper Cuts for indulging us! xoxo #Blkgrlswurld

Album of the Week: THRICE

To Be Everywhere Is To Be Nowhere was released earlier this month by Thrice and here at #Blkgrlswurld we can’t stop playing it.

I’ll be the first to admit, I always mistake Thrice for a heavier grunge band of the early 2000s, rocking the grinding tones similar to that of Chevelle or Staind but they aren’t really like that at all. Now that I’m older I realize their true skill rests in producing amazing rock ballads, the smooth voice of Dustin Kensrue taking us through a soulful alternative sound of release and retribution. I even detect some bluegrass elements that remind me of Kings of Leon….mellow? Yes. Its a nice break in playlist of post-hardcore metal.

My favorite tracks from this new album include, “Black Honey” “Blood on the Sand” and the big ballad, “Hurricane”- 30 minutes of this album and I’m swaying side to side in my car under some sort of post-grunge spell.

Thrice performs in NYC this June 16th at Playstation Theater, Times Square . xoxo

#Blkgrlswurld Zine

 

Architects New Album Out Today for U.S.A.

13316793_10154263429584433_2882335103033808257_o

I’m so proud of the Architects guys for releasing their latest album ‘All Our Gods Have Abandoned Us’ today in the States.

blkgrlswurld w/ Architechs masterminds Tom and Dan, Warped Tour 2013

blkgrlswurld w/ Architechs masterminds Tom and Dan, Warped Tour 2013

They are the last band from my college days that I personally supported as a fan and fellow musician. In earlier days of the Midwest metalcore scene, it was common for bands to fall apart in less than 2 years from loss of confidence and personal drama.

To help combat this my little sister and I would do our best to encourage the bands we liked most to keep making music, and stick with tough cross country touring so we could see them again. It became really important to not just support DIY band merch, but to help keep their self confidence up if the audience wasn’t sold yet on their musical style.

blkgrlswurld w/ Architects lead vocalist Sam Carter in NYC, 2014

blkgrlswurld w/ Architects lead vocalist Sam Carter in NYC, 2014

We’d meet up after shows, chatting over what was good about that nights performance and where they could improve; provide them snacks, candy and care packages for the road ;P it was a lot. So when bands like Architects would come back to town a year later saying they were still committed to this music it was a huge deal.

Glad to see how far we’ve all come from a little music community that no one thought would last over a decade or become such an international movement. We’ve all grown so much and their latest work ‘All Our Gods Have Abandoned Us’ speaks for many of us.
🙂

 

Architects Tour USA this year and will be in NYC on August 5th, 2016: Architects, Counterparts at The Gramercy Theatre

NYC Summer Metal Line Ups

The Metal this summer season is heavy this year for the East Coast. I’m really bummed at all the great bands coming through like Deftones and Architects that I’ll miss during my August trip abroad, but I will be catching Manson and Slipknot at the beach 🙂 Plus Warped Tour is crazy heavy for 2016 with dozens of #metalcore bands rocking middle America and AFRO PUNK’s lineups are heavenly as well. For even more metal show listings check out Matt’s site nycmetalscene.com

Listen, grab tix early to keep costs down and if you can’t make it later just resell them online. \m/

May 17th, 2016: The Sword, Purson, From Beyond at Brooklyn Bowl

blkgrlswurld_Alesana nyc

Alesana at Webster Hall, 2015

May 17th, 2016: Lamb of God at The Paramount 

May 18th, 2016: Filter, Orgy, Vampires Everywhere, Death Valley High at Brooklyn Bowl

May 20, 2016: Apocalyptica, 10 Years, Failure Anthem at Irving Plaza

May 21, 2016: Emo Night at Irving Plaza

May 30, 2016 Discharge, Eyehategod, Toxic Holocost at Webster Hall

June 3, 2016: Gov Ball, The Strokes,The Killers, Death Cab for Cutie, Beck, Bloc Party and more.

Primitive Weapons_King Woman_blkgrlswurld

Levitate Tour Poster, 2016

June 4, 2016: WAX IDOLS & KING WOMAN: LEVITATE TOUR, w/ Primitive Weapons @ Saint Vitus, Brooklyn.

June 4, 2016: WSOU presents: Hatebreed, Devildriver, Devil You Know, Ashes Of Your Enemy at Starland Ballroom

June 6, 2016: Beartooth, Sylar at Webster Hall

June 8, 2016: PVRIS, North American Headline Tour w/ Lydia, CRUSIR at Webster Hall

June 10, 2016: Sworn Enemy, Maniac Rise at The Studio at Webster Hall

June 11, 2016: Punk Rock Bowling and Music Fest featuring: Descendents, Dag Nasty, Subhumans, H2O etc at Asbury Park

June 15, 2016: Unlocking The Truth (Album Release Show) at the Studio at Webster Hall

19_edp < Unlocking the Truth

June 16, 2016: The Red Jumpsuit Apparatus “Don’t You Fake It” 10-Year Anniversary at Webster Hall

June 17, 2016: Blue Oyster Cult at B.B. Kings Times Square

June 18, 2016: Rockstar Energy Drink Presents Taste Of Chaos – Nikon at Jones Beach Theater, Wantagh, NY: Dashboard Confessional, Taking Back Sunday, Saosin, Motion City Soundtrack, The Early November

June 18, 19, and 20, 2016: The Cure at Madison Square Garden

June 19th, 2016: Punk Island Fest: All Day – All Ages – All Free on Governor’s Island

July 2nd, 2016:  The Iggy Pop Festival at Lucky 13 Saloon *Free event*

July 6th, 2016: Slipknot, Marilyn Manson, Of Mice & Men at Jones Beach Theater

July 6th, 2016: letlive., Seahaven, Silver Snakes, Night Verses at Irving Plaza

July 9th, 2016: Vans Warped Tour at Jones Beach Theater  feat. Every Time I Die, Emarosa, Oceans Ate Alaska, Sum 41, The Color Morale, The Word Alive, Whitechapel

July 15th, 2016: Jane’s Addiction – 25 years of Ritual de lo Habitual at The Amphitheater at Coney Island Boardwalk

blkgrlswurld, christina long art, mfa, saic, zine, nyc, afropunk fest, warped tour, rock, metalcore, black girls rock, www.christinalongart.com

Afro Punk Fest, Brooklyn 2015

July 22-24: Panorama Fest on Randall’s Island, LCD Soundsystem, Arcade Fire, Kendrick Lamar, Alabama Shakes, FKA Twigs and more…

July 30th, 2016: Disturbed, Breaking Benjamin, Alter Bridge, Saint Asonia at Nikon at Jones Beach Theater

August 5th, 2016: Deftones, Refused at The Amphitheater at Coney Island

August 5th, 2016: Architects, Counterparts at The Gramercy Theatre

August 10th, 2016: Deftones, Refused at Stone Pony Summer Stage

August 13th, 2016: The Go-Go’s Farewell Tour at Central Park Summer Stage

August 27, 28, 2016: AFROPUNK FEST at Commodore Barry Park, Brooklyn. Featuring Janelle Monae, Cee-Lo Green, Ice Cube, The Internet, George Clinton, Saul Williams, Trash Talk, Tyler the Creator, TV on the Radio, Living Colour, Bad Brains

xoxo!