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.

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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 Autumn Edition 4.3 Now Online

She’s finally arrived, the latest edition can be found at the link below. This season’s book features artwork by Trifecta Studios and a short story we crafted during November’s National Novel Writing Month.

Later this week on Dec. 15th, we’ll be reading from the book & performing a bit of music in Brooklyn at Pioneer Works Book Shop. Details in the poster below.

See you in the pit! \m/

Edition 4.3 | December 2016 | View PDF Here


 

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

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

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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

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

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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

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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.

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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!

A #Blkgrlswurld Guide to NYC Theatres

This month we’re kicking off a 3 part series that offers you a tour of Manhattan’s best venues for live music, theater, dance and more. When you’re going to commit $100 to a Broadway musical or ballet, you don’t want to leave your seating choice to chance. I’ve made it my business to document every NYC theatre I’ve attended towards planning out the best seating options for future shows.  Here are my top tips for choosing the best seat in the house (at any price range).

NASO @ Symphony Space, photo by C.Long, MFA

NASO @ Symphony Space, photo by C.Long, MFA

NYC Theatre Venue Tips:

1. Always sit within mid center stage or to the back right of the stage. Traditionally you’re more likely to see the unpolished backstage cast scrambling and be blocked by props when sitting to the far left side of a stage. (The only exception is an orchestra or chamber recital, in which sitting on the left allows you a good view of the principal violinist.)

2. Partial View seating is usually pretty good, but try not to be up too high in the nosebleeds (and bring binoculars just in case). Especially relevant for Carnegie Hall, and Lincoln Center’s Metropolitan Opera, David Koch Hall and David Geffen Hall.

blkgrlswurld zine, clong art, mfa

Met Opera House Balcony Box, photo by C.Long, MFA

 

3. You’ll want some distance for certain productions. For example, sitting in the front row of a ballet doesn’t really provide you with a full view of the stage and larger patterns created among the dancers…you’re just going to hear alot of heavy breathing and stomping.

4. Ticket pricing is affordable if you order early, preferably the 1st week of a production season. Each company (NYCBallet, MetOpera, NY Philharmonic, etc. have different calendar seasons). I’ve been able to spend less than $25 on opera seats that later became $500 seats because I buy them several months in advance.

5. Balcony Boxes are fun and usually cheaper than row seating. Boxes at Lincoln Center usually have a private door and seat 2-4 people. I recommend the far back right boxes that give you most view of the stage.

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Balcony box hallway in the Met Opera House are hidden by large curtains from the rest of the theatre. Photo by C.Long, MFA

 

6. It helps to order by phone or in person. Online ticket orders have certainly improved, but sometimes they have limits like 2-4 seat minimums for your order and other requirements that you wont have to deal with in person at the box office. (Fun fact: I tried to buy online West End London tickets to Harry Potter and the Cursed Child and couldn’t find any good seats until I phoned and the box office started listing additional production dates that weren’t even public online!)

7. Bring a snack, you’ll thank me later. When I first began attending Met Opera shows a few years ago, I couldn’t understanding why everyone kept asking me what I’d like to preorder to eat or drink during intermission. It wasn’t until a nearly 4 hour production of La Bohème, where I crawled out of my balcony seats starving for dinner, went up to the bar asking for any food they had left, I didnt care if it was a saltine cracker. Only to hear that all the tea, cakes and sandwhiches were resevred and sold out. Damn.

8. Lateness can be an adventure…if you’re in the mood for it that is. There’s a known fact that come 8:10pm on the Upper West side you’re sure to catch men and women dressed to the nines covered in sweat as they fling their bodies out of cabs and subway platforms as Lincoln Center locks its doors for the start of a production. You’ll be lucky to get in an hour or so later when there’s an intermission. The first time I was 5 minutes late to the opera, I had no clue what to expect. Latecomers were ushered into a smaller theater that live streamed the 1st half of the performance and offered complementary champagne. As I sat in this secondary theater looking bewildered at the warm reception for lateness, other folks weren’t taking it so well. Don’t be late.

 

#blkgrlswurld zine, christina long art, clong mfa

Recital room at Carnegie Hall, C.Long, MFA

9. Discounts? Oh yes. Theater companies get all sorts of cultural funding support to help reduce costs and expand community outreach initiatives. It never hurts to ask if an event has a discount for college students or people under 30 years old. Your bank or credit card (like Amex or Citi) may offer special pre-sale seating as an event sponsor. We’ll expand on free high quality events in our next post.

It’s hard to deny that I’ve made it my hobby to attend amazing arts and music events here in NYC on a weekly basis. Like many people I enjoy the free public events offered at Lincoln Center or the free lectures at local universities like The New School or NYU. To be honest though, I still get a thrill out of rocking out a metal show and then 12 hours later dressing up in an evening gown to attend a production at the Metropolitan Theater.(Music is music, ok?)

Have I missed something? Want to share where youve had a great experience? Feel free to comment below.

xoxo #Blkgrlswurld Zine

clong, mfa, blkgrlswurld zine

Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts, photo by C.Long, MFA

 

advice to young punks

advice to young punks, by Pinkiest
– you don’t need to have a jacket with patches
– or army boots
- or dyed hair or piercings or tattoos
– you definitely don’t need to be skinny, white, male, cis, or straight
– all you need to do is like punk music
- don’t bother pretending to like bands you don’t; you’ll either get into them or you won’t and either way that’s okay
– if someone knocks you over in the pit and doesn’t apologize, don’t be afraid to call that fucker out
– make friends in the line for shows, you meet cool people that way
– graffiti is fine, but don’t steal shit if you don’t need it
– only you get to decide if it’s punk, fuck what anyone else says
– it’s more than okay to listen to nicki minaj now and then
– don’t worry abt being embarrassing: you are, and that’s fine
– do yourself a favour and listen to more female fronted/poc bands
– don’t let white cis men in the scene tell you shit

Reblogged from http://youngerheart.co.vu/post/127628617567