Fancy Desserts

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Fancy Desserts is the perfect combination of punk meets food. If you were to combine Joy of Cooking with Rollins’ Get In The Van and Rookie’s Yearbook, it might look something like this beautifully bound hard(core)cover. Part tour diary and part scrapbook, this is the most fun I’ve had looking at recipes. And I look at A LOT of recipes.

The desserts, like punk, are accessible and creative. And just like buying your favorite bands’ first 7″, you won’t break your bank trying to make a Cucumber Creamsicle. Even if you’re the n00biest of the n00b cooks and think these recipes might be too hard to recreate, look no further than page 75, Error Carrot Cake.

This book is filled with some strange desserts. There is a whole chapter on vegetables. But would you expect anything else from Mr. Salad Days Jr.?

At less than $20 a pop, this is what everyone should be getting for christmas this year.

[caution: This review was written while on a Rupaul discography high, which is known to cause desperate positivity and dance parties.]

PS come to Black Bear this Sunday, details below.

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PPS don’t you love all the photography by Tamara and Jason in this crazy book?!

Extreme Woman: Kim Mercado

this is part of a photo series i’ve been working on since 2011. it is a collection of photographs of badass women involved in metal, hardcore and the borderline metal/punk/avant-garde worlds. these are the people who make up the music scene. these are my friends.


I met Kim in the fifth grade. She was a sweet bubbly girl with fabulous style from Queens. These days she’s a craft beertender and a frequent concert-supporter.

What was your first metal or hardcore experience?

Kim Mercado: I honestly can’t remember that far back. There has been so many shows that I’ve been to that I’ve lost track, but the two that pop up are seeing Cro-Mags (with both John Joseph and Harley Flanagan) at CBGB in 2001 and in 2003 Iron Maiden’s “Give Me Ed Till I’m Dead” tour with Dio and Motörhead. Both shows were amazing.

How’d you get from NBHS to becoming a craft master beer slinger?

KM: I’ve always had a thing for beer. In high school I would drink 40s of shitty malt liquor and I got tired of it and started to explore. My friend introduced me to Belgian beers and I got hooked. After that I would buy a different style of beer every week to try and I got a bunch of books on craft beer and what not. This was around 2005 (underage drinking!) I even started my own beer blog to write reviews, and then I got a job at a beer store called Spuyten Duyvil Grocery. That helped me further my love of beer even more since they were getting some of the best craft beers ever delivered to them. I also am a Certified Beer Cicerone similar to a wine sommelier but with beer and I helped open up Tørst just last year, one of the top beer bars in the states. It’s been an never ending beer adventure. It’s been fun. Beer rules.



What are your favorite brews or cocktails right now?

KM: I have a lot of favorite brews. The ones that most come to mind are Alchemist Heady Topper, Omnipollo Fatamorgana, Cantillon Fou Foune, Birrificio Italiano Tipopils, Westbrook Gose, Evil Twin Brewing Femme Fatale Yuzu, Mikkeller X, Carton Boat Beer, Prairie Bomb, Maine Peeper, Budweiser (only in bottle).

My absolute favorite cocktail in the entire world is a Negroni; equal parts of gin, vermouth and Campari with an orange twist. So simple yet so delicious. I kind of have a love affair with that cocktail. I drink it almost every other day.




Do you ever pair up brews with records? Like this stout perfectly matches THIS band?

KM: I did a couple of times, haha. The last time I paired up Westbrook / Evil Twin Minigrowler Imperial Stout with Alberich’s Psychology of Love. DARK.

You’re going to work in Denmark for three months. What are you taking with you?

KM: Beers, clothes, candy, whiskey, my greenman suit and a smile. I really wish I could bring my records, but there’s too many.

Rock Photography Redux

Rock Photography Redux-sq

Last year Photoville gave me a shot at presenting a workshop. We called it “A DIY Guide to Rock Photography”. I presented alongside Emily Jane. We talked about the fundamentals of photography, learning how to use your camera for different concert venues and what to do with your pictures.

This year Krystal Grow (Photoville) suggested I do a part two. We called it the “Rock Photography Redux”. Polly Watson (editor + writer, High Times, Elle, Art Forum, etc) and I discussed how to kick off your portfolio, having an online presence, talking to people at shows, getting paid work and how to keep getting paid.

When it came to the Q&A’s, most concerns were (and I’m paraphrasing), “How do I avoid getting ripped off?”

This lead to discussing: watermarks, take down notices, using the rip off to your advantage, preventing confusion about the use of your photos. For me, this is what it comes down to, if something doesn’t feel right, use your best judgement. If you want to share some pictures you took of a band with that band or their management, be up front about the usage you will allow (just on facebook and instagram, with a credit and/or link to my site, please).

I stopped using watermarks years ago when a band ripped off one of my photos, with the watermark in like bold 24pt font. The photo was printed big and in multiple magazines. At that point I realized, I guess it doesn’t really matter whether I have my name big or small on it. People will find a way to crop it out. What does matter: metadata. Put your name, contact information and a copyright notice in the metadata. This has just been my personal experience. Your situation might be different and a watermark might save your butt one day, but it didn’t work for me. And it’s nice to share my photos without putting text on the corner because I tend to get as much in a frame as possible. But if it’s in the metadata, editors of legitimate publications will contact you and ask you about usage.

Thankfully I’ve never been in a situation where I’ve had to send someone a take down notice. Plenty of friends of mine have. It sucks for both parties. I don’t want to have to have that discussion with a publication or publicist. My advice is to always try to keep your cool. Find a way to get your work taken down, or get paid for usage without ruining a potential client relationship. Some people are totally new to the game. Other people have been in the game too long and don’t see the value in your work yet (but they should if they already are finding ways to use it).

After years of taking pictures and staying out way too late, its very easy to get bitter. You can’t go into this business being bitter. You won’t last. And believe me, there will be plenty of things that will wear you out. You have to be stronger than whatever those things will be. Maybe that sounds too meta. What I’m trying to say is, you will get ripped off, and if you’re really good at what you do, you will have it happen often. Learn to defend yourself but in a diplomatic way that will benefit all parties.

If a band is already using your photo in all their press materials, that means they like your work enough that they want your image to represent them. Just find a way to convince them to fairly compensate you for it.

The next step after getting your work in a bunch of places and getting a bunch of checks: growing as a photographer and a person. There is so much information out there about getting to the next step. But if you don’t have an idea what is it that you want for the next step, you’ll have a harder time. Be open to the universe. Be ready for critiquing and criticism; know the difference.

And I’ll leave you off with some links and quotes that I used to prep me for the workshop. Thanks to everyone who came out and supported us. Plus an extra special thanks to Polly, Krystal and Lisa for guiding me and letting me talk too much.

I was raised by Hot97 and BET. Missy was always inspiring and a breath of fresh air, especially when hip-hop was taking an incredibly cookie-cutter and corporate route. In an essay on individuality, Missy talks about her breakthrough and first solo album.

Missy Elliot

Then it was time to shoot the first video from my album, “The Rain”. Here I was a chubby chick with finger waves at a time when everyone else was skinny with long hair. (Actually everyone is still skinny with long hair LOL!)

So what did I do? I didn’t try to dress small. I went the other way. I dressed big. Real big. I wore this plastic hefty bag looking bubble suit, and literally blew myself up with air pumps. That video was so much fun to shoot! I got nominated for 3 MTV music video awards for that video. That was just icing on the cake, but it also confirmed for me what I already knew: it’s not about what the other people are doing. That might work for them. It’s about what works for you, and what YOU think is hot.”

Missy Elliot / Individuals by GAP

Jello Biafra at Europa in Brooklyn, NY. 2010.

Jello Biafra at Europa in Brooklyn, NY. 2010.

Never be afraid of your own brain, or being creative, no matter how weird of uncool you may seem among your conformist peers. Deep down inside, you’re the only one of you there is, and don’t let anybody fuck with that.

Jello Biafra / My Rules by Glen E Friedman


Ice T on the importance of artistic expression
In his essay, Ice T talks about going from a professional hustler to a broke rapper. Even though he didn’t have as many glamorous possessions as he did as a hustler, as a musician he gained an identity. Ice talks more about this transition in a podcast on the Combat Jack show. I think its so relatable for people looking to get out of their current careers or situations.

Prior to rap, I didn’t give a fuck about anything. Because I didn’t think I had anything of real value. But after I started rapping, I could feel that I had something.

Ice T / My Rules by Glen E Friedman


Just don’t be a dick.

As both a kid at venues and a photographer, I’ve always hated photographers’ reckless sense of entitlement at shows. Few things are more frustrating for an audience than an ass with a camera blocking the show just to get his shot.

Glen E Friedman / Keep Your Eyes Open
(Fugazi photobook) by Glen E Friedman

Dana Distortion’s ‘How to Become a Music Photographer’

Todd Owyoung’s ‘Music Photography Quick Start Guide’

Zack Arias’ Ask Me Anything tumblr. Get the book here.

Make a Photo Editor Fall in Love with You

How You Can Screw Up Email

How to Approach Photo Editors The Right Way