11/01/2010

Get Ready For A… Heavenly Symphony

by Matthew Hawkins

Oh God, can’t believe the big day is almost here! I’m talking about my next Babycastles show of course. Well, not just mine, but me and Adam’s! But before going into all that…

How was everyone’s Halloween? Like many New Yorkers, both myself and Katie was too tired to go out last night, despite plans to hang and bang with Joe (Simko) and June, like every year. Unfortunately, the two of us blew our wad the night before, so the decision was made to keep it low key instead. Initial plans called for some scary games, but we ended up playing Rock Band 3. And then there was supposed to be a scary move, but watched Beyond The Mat instead. Hey, the world of professional wrestling can be quite gruesome!

But before going into why our asses were knocked out, and passing along pictures from that most epic of evenings, time to share some pics from the week leading up, starting with the previous Friday, which was the opening for the second Babycastles Manhattan show, NEVERENDING GAMES. The definite highlight in by book was not what was on the machines but who was on stage; Blue Leader made his triumphant return to New York City! Much like at my zine opening back in May, he pretty much blew every single jaw in the house drop…

The very next day was art show at the Village Zendo, featuring new pieces by everyone’s favorite father of Sony’s almost Mario, Rodney Alan Greenblat!

… I’ve known for some time now that Rodney practices Buddhism, but it’s a secret to most others. I’m really glad his finally tapping into his spiritual side as it pertain to his work, since the result as you can see are quite beautiful!

UDPATE: For those who wish to check those gorgeous pieces first-hand, and happen be in or near Hudson NY, you’re in luck!

Later in the afternoon, Katie and I made our return visit to the ASPCA to find and adopt a new cat. Which we did! Say hello to Mochi everyone…

… As some close friends know already, Katie and I gave up our previous cat Josie earlier this summer. It was a tough choice, but one that had to be done. No matter how much love and affection we showered upon her, it was never reciprocated, which was frustrating to say the least. Having friends come over and try to interact with her, only to hear “Wow, she really does kinda suck like you said” also didn’t help. I mean, she was cute and all (though Mochi is much cuter, sad but true), but she was never let anyone pet her, was always hiding, always hissed at me (never-mind how she NEVER meowed and only gave out this crackly wine when she was hungry), plus was gross as hell. In addition to shedding all over the place, she was never properly cleaned herself due to being fat and lazy. Oh, and she would take gigantic, human-sized craps that would stink up the entire apartment. Sometimes on the floor for no identifiable reason. Too much information? Sorry.

For the longest time, it was I she hated the most, but was at least on somewhat friendly terms with Katie, who therefore had her back during the worst of times. But the writing was on the wall earlier this summer when I was at my computer in the living room and Katie caught Josie giving off some funny body language, whom I couldn’t see, because the couch was blocking my view. She had just come out of the litter box when I heard the following from Katie:

“Hey, what’s the matter Josie, what’s with the funny look? You look like you’re gonna… but you just took a crap… come on, you’re not gonna… omg, you really are gonna… what, the… no, don’t…. NO! OH MY GOD, I CAN’T BELIEVE YOU JUST TOOK A SHIT ON THE FLOOR WHILE LOOKING RIGHT AT ME!!!’

To be honest, neither of us don’t blame the cat. Instead, we hold the folks who had her previously responsible. And without getting into too many details, let alone identify the party (since crazy cat people are the kind to sue for slander I bet), let’s just say that if you’re going to adopt a pet, there is simply no better choice than the ASPCA. Aside from just doing a very good thing in general, and taking good care of all the homeless cats and dogs that come their way, they’re completely realistic when it comes to pairing people with animals. They know that there’s unique personalities on both sides, and the key is to finding the perfect pairing. Katie and I actually went in once before, and they had plenty of awesome cats, some of which clearly loved me, but we knew enough about their backgrounds to know that it would ultimately not work, via the ASPCA’s through background checks (again, for both parties involved).

Meanwhile, the organization we got Josie from has this delusional attitude that every cat is absolutely perfect and that people are the basis of all problems. When Katie and I made the decision to give up Josie, the first ones we contacted was this cat rescue; it was readily apparent that we clearly were not providing what she need to be happy and that it was perhaps best if she’s returned to her original environment. Well, aside from their harsh, accusatorial tone (clearly there was nothing wrong with kitty, at least when they gave her up, so we must have obviously fucked up somehow) was their unwillingness to take her back, which was a total slap in the face of their “please don’t get rid of the precious darling if something goes sour, she can come home if need be it!” And at the risk of stirring up even more shit, but during my time as a census taker, I ended up encountering a key person in cat rescue, one who happened to the super for an apartment building, and long story short, it was made abundantly clear that she did a crap job of keeping the residents happy and that she cats came first in every single regard. But moving on…

The next day, Katie and I rented a Zip Car and went Asian grocery shopping. Here’s some wacky Ultraman soda that I picked up at Mitsuwa…

… I’ve only had the one with the eye on it. Tastes like bubblegum!

On Wednesday, I made a return trip to Silent Barn to check out Blue Leader’s second performance of the week, and this time I brought along some friends to also bask in his greatness, such as Dave and Mia. And the man did not disappoint! But that being said, I was only there to check out Robbie and was not at all interested in the rest of the card. Hence why I was especially blown away by some of the other performers that night, primarily a legit one man band who calls himself Gull

Speaking of Mia, better late than never; here’s her diary comics from the New York Comic Con from a few weekend back! First we have her saying hi to Dave…

And a nice little moment with Mallory

Finally, what really happened at my Saturday night panel (sorry, me swapping spit with Dave as she and Hilary had previously detailed)…

So on Friday night was a special screening of House/Hausu at the Japan Society with Katie and some pals of hers. And of course, the entire viewing experience was significantly diminished by the idiots in attendance. If anything, it was proof positive that it ain’t just ghetto thugs and their spawn that won’t shut the fuck up at movies. Worse than the dumb rich kid who kept rattling on and on, along with his mom who allowed the brat to indulge himself, since parents these days appear to have zero ability to put their foot down, were the two yentas behind me. I love how some folks simply cannot handle something that’s genuinely different. Initially one wouldn’t shut up about how “OMG that’s so crazy!” and it appeared that she was enjoying herself, but by the end she was all “OMG I can’t handle this anymore, please let it end!” Jesus Christ.

Afterwards we went to this Japanese food and drink establishment where all the employees were dressed up! Here’s Toad and Luigi making yakitori…

The following night was me and Katie’s turn to dress up! Here I am as a dirty Frenchman…

And Katie as Daria!

We went deep into Williamsburg for the dump.fm party. Truth be told, the absolute only reason why I even bothered was cuz I know Joe (Salina) would be there, and I simply had to witness would I knew would be the spectacle of his costume. Which was Spaghett from Tim & Eric! Here he is at first spook, in the middle of the street before heading in…

… Joe basically exceeded our wildest of expectations. And here he is inside, hiding behind a fern, ready for his next victim…

… All night long he attempted to spooks folks, and as Katie noted, we have never seen him happier…

A meeting of the basic cable superstars!

Mia was also in attendance, with her gal pal Michelle; both were future sailors…

As expected, Spaghett was a huge hit and everyone wanted their picture taken him…

Though what ended up being a complete shock was how completely into the character Joe was! Here he is, waiting to spook Peter from Anamanaguchi. He waiting for like ten solid minutes, and not once did that demented grin ever dissipate…

Here we Spaghett spooking Waldo…

And here is he explaining to Waldo how he got him, along with how he was available for parties…

Spaghett spooking Sonic the Hedgehog…

And spooking a completely non-plussed Vulcan…

… Oh my God, we laughed SO hard at that. Anyhow, here’s Mia with Michelle again, who aside from asking a very important question also wondered what the hell was going on, mostly where the hell Dave was…

… Katie and I especially wanted to see his take on sad Keanu Reeves from the internet. Speaking of, here we are again…

… That bread? Not half bad. Anyhow, the party as a whole was a complete mess; Jeremiah was supposed to go on at 1am or something, but when we saw him still hanging out near the bar around 1:30, due to the first band or something like that still on stage, we knew it would be a clusterfuck of a night. There was also loads of other folks I was hoping to hang with, but as I would later discover, the line outside had gotten so long that it took literally hours for many to set foot inside. But it didn’t matter, because the main reason why I was there was for Joe and he sure as hell did not disappoint…

… I remember at Silent Barn, Dave suggested that Joe spare everyone the nausea that will be caused by the Chef Boyardee pre-canned spaghetti and use regular pasta instead. But that obviously would not be have the same effect. How about one last pic, of him applying more “sauce” on; so gross yet so amazing (and hopefully Joe’s face isn’t stained orange for life)…

Here’s a shot as Katie and I waited in line for the bathroom. It was actually totally pitch black, and I have no idea how long that girl in the panda get-up was dancing like that…

… Things began to get pretty ugly at this point, as folks began to cut the line so they could do drugs, which naturally pissed those of us off that had been waiting a long as time to take a leak. Then you had these annoying drunk chicks hitting each other with my bread. Not that I minded too much, was somewhat entertaining. It was around 2-ish that Katie and I decided to throw in towel. We ended up getting back into Manhattan just when some guy fell on the tracks and the L got shut down. Which meant a detour to a diner at 4 in the morning, which we had never seen so bumping. If my hands weren’t so greasy with french fries, I would have totally taken a snapshot of my second fave costume of the evening, a guy dressed as Jimmy McMillan. BTW, it’s hilarious how much momentum he has going into the election this year!

Back to the party; really wanted to catch another awesome Nullsleep set, but it wasn’t like I wasn’t going to get the chance later in the week, and at my own show no less! So speaking of which…
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Alright, here’s the deal: remember FORT90 X BABYCASTLES? Well get ready for… drum roll please… ATTRACT MODE X BABYCASTLES! The tentative name became the final one, mostly for the sake of consistency, plus it’s sorta catchy. Right? Also, before it was HARDCORE FEELINGS, and this time it’s HEAVENLY SYMPHONY!

… Joe’s a bit bummed that I didn’t go with my original subtitle choice, but figured as awesome as an obscure SNK reference as it was (which I’ll be saving for a future thing, maybe), an even more obscure Mega CD one was even better.

Anyhow, like this past August, gonna try to shake the foundations of indie gaming in NYC and have a huge party in the process, plus this time I’ve got some assistance from a bunch of pals of mine. So what does the evening have in store for everyone? Well, not to spoil some surprises, but…

- The very first time the entire line-up of ARTXGAMES has been gathered together, and made playable, since their debut in San Fran over a year ago!
- Gigantic Pok?mon woodcuts!
- A 80′s Shōjo manga-styled arcade cabinet!
- One of the living legends of the chiptune scene sharing the bill with this year’s breakout superstars!
- A chance to hear both myself and Adam talk about our shared love of Disney Channel tween sitcoms!
- And so much more!!!

Basically, an epic evening this upcoming Thursday is pretty much guaranteed! See you this then, and please, help spread the word! We’ve only just begun to make the Big Apple the new mecca for video games.

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