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22 November 2012

Jill Tracy - The elegant side of the netherworld

I was reading Bella Morte's blog and she posted 2 of the songs she's listening at the moment. I didn't know about this artist and as soon as I clicked on the play button I became hypnotized by the wonderful music. Of course, Gothic Divine Mag couldn't avoid to make a post about this amazing dark cabaret composer.

Jill Tracy is an American singer, pianist, writer, composer, and performance artist known for her dark, evocative, cinematic style. Jill Tracy states that some of her biggest childhood influences were film score composers such as Bernard Herrmann, and classic suspense tales, including Alfred Hitchcock and Fritz Lang films, Ray Bradbury stories, and Rod Serling's The Twilight Zone.

Following her 1996 solo debut CD Quintessentially Unreal, Tracy released Diabolical Streak (1999), her first studio album featuring The Malcontent Orchestra.

"The Fine Art of Poisoning," also from Diabolical Streak, became an animated short film in 2003, a collaboration with Bay Area animator Bill Domonkos. "The Fine Art of Poisoning" has garnered film festival awards internationally, including Best Experimental Film in the 2003 New Orleans Film Festival as well as Best Music Video in both the 2003 Chicago and Seattle International Film Festivals.

Jill Tracy and The Malcontent Orchestra's original score to F.W. Murnau’s 1922 silent vampire classic Nosferatu debuted live at San Francisco’s Foreign Cinema in 1999 and toured Northern California theatres during Halloween season for five consecutive years. This led to the 2002 CD release Into the Land of Phantoms, selections from the Nosferatu score.

Jill Tracy released her fourth album, The Bittersweet Constrain, in 2008 produced by Alex Nahas. This album has a heavier sonic edge with the addition of exotic instruments such as the sarod, harmonium, and Chapman Stick. This first single and video from The Bittersweet Constrain is "Haunted by the Thought of You."

19 November 2012

NEMI - Comic strip for the dark side

Nemi is a Norwegian comic strip, written and drawn by Lise Myhre. It made its first appearance in 1997 under the title Den svarte siden ("the Black Side" or "the Black Page"). At that time, it was a very dark cartoon concerning heavy metalsubcultures. 

Myhre has also illustrated poems by Edgar Allan Poe and André Bjerke.

Who is Nemi?
Nemi Montoya is woman about 25 years old. She almost always wears black clothes (although does very rarely wear red scarves, gloves and has a red bathtowel), has very pale skin, and very little in common with most of the rest of the world. She shares her name with a lake in Italy, Lake Nemi though this was not known by the author when the character was created, and her surname from Iñigo Montoya, a character in Lise Myhre's favourite film, The Princess Bride. It underlines Nemi's "outsider" status within Norwegian society and suggests that she may not be naturally raven-haired. This is confirmed in one cartoon where a childhood friend fails to recognise her without her "blond curls" - implying her hair is not only dyed but also straightened, however, the several comics showing Nemi as a black haired child with her long hair in bunches also possibly suggest that she may have at least once tried to fit in with normal society.

Nemi is a "tough girl" with an attitude, is not afraid to speak her mind and more often than not in confrontational ways: blunt rejections of would-be one-night stands at the pub are not uncommon. At the same time, she can be very sensitive: a devoted animal activist, she is against killing anything, including spiders, of which she is very fond. Nemi is nominally vegetarian, she will occasionally indulge in seafood; her true passion is for chocolate and Coca Cola, and she finds fault with people who prefer Pepsi over Coke. She can also feel very alone at times. She is afraid of growing up, and loathes blonde bimbos (vis. cartoon in which she insinuates that Tim is nothing more than a replaceable penis for his new blonde-bimbo girlfriend). Her fear of growing up is reflected in her appeal to readers through her childlike qualities and innocence, as well as her sense of fun.
Nemi has great difficulty keeping down a job due to her inability to sleep at a decent hour and wake up in the morning; her most steady form of employment is babysitting for her responsible and grown up friends. Not surprisingly, childlike Nemi gets along very well with children but her dark sense of humour and grim fairy tales often traumatize them. Occasionally, she works in music stores at the counter but usually is fired pretty quickly after various altercations with customers over the corrupt morals of pop stars. In Nemi III it's revealed that Nemi grew up fairly poor and was bullied at school; this is where she gets most of her cynical and insecure traits from that would hinder her in adult life. Growing up poor also affected her ability to manage money as an adult as she would rather spend her money than save it or pay her bills.

She listens to heavy metal music, and has a number of friends in those subcultures who dress likewise. She is often unemployed or employed in temporary jobs, where she often gets fired for her temper (such as beating a customer who asked for a CD of Christina Aguilera for her daughter, instead of the Alice Cooper CD Nemi had suggested).
She is fond of holidays in warmer countries, but when at the beach she uses top-grade sunblock cream to avoid tanning, which would severely damage her carefully cultivated surface image. Nemi suffers from strong allergic reactions and has advocated exterminating birch trees, on the grounds that "we kill off thousands of species every day anyway".
She likes to visit the pub, often with her friend Cyan, where she often gets drunk. Alcoholism is however not a main theme of the comic. However, as a consequence Nemi has a lot of casual sex, and often wakes up beside complete strangers. In spring 2011 she became enamoured with a beefcake boyfriend whom she converted to vegetarianism with a single look. Her boyfriend, Grim, is now a huge part of Nemi's life and the two are regularly featured together in the (UK) strip, sharing and discussing off-beat topics. The strips in which they appear can be said to mirror the strips that only feature Cyan and Leo.
Nemi's room in the apartment is almost always a mess, and she has an uncontrollable passion for chocolate.

Nemi's heroes are Edgar Allan Poe, H. P. Lovecraft, André Bjerke, J. R. R. Tolkien, Alice Cooper, W.A.S.P., The Phantom Blot, Darth Vader and Batman. She also has a passion for dragons, and hates reality shows such as Big Brother, with the exception of Extreme Makeover: Home Edition. She regards "modern art" as simply a manifestation of insecurity by would-be intellectuals, who secretly know they have nothing original to say (vis. cartoon in which Nemi visits a modern art exhibition with Cyan and Tim). Nemi has vehement opinions about art, especially music, and an enthusiastic willingness to destroy art she deems unworthy, as when she asks a bartender to lend her a CD by The Corrs, presumably to burn herself a copy of it, and then sets it on fire instead. She adores, among others, Dimmu Borgir, Laibach, Opeth, The Cure, Tori Amos, The Sisters of Mercy, Red Harvest, Nicole Blackman, Lamented Souls, Use Me, Warrior Soul, Metallica, Darkthrone, Slayer, and Alice Cooper (as mentioned above). She once met the "Showman" Alice Cooper character from The Last Temptation.

www.nemicomics.com (find link for the facebook page on this site)

06 November 2012

Halloween how-to: scary magical tree & more

This year instead of dedicating myself to the halloween costume, I prefered to focus on some DIY activity. I usually don't have the chance to unleash my creativity due to lack of time but for Halloween I made an effort. My boyfriend had the awesome idea to make a scary tree with our own hands. It's so easy to go to the nearest shop and buy one and creating it sounded so much more fun..and we decided to try!

We went out everyday looking for materials to build the tree. The idea was, the scariest, the better of course, so we even thought about putting a green lamp inside so that it would look scary also at night!

The skeleton of the tree was made with net. It was cut and shaped as a tree log first and then we cut the sides and fixed the branches (which were also created with the spare net) inside. My boyfriend also cut out the eyes and the mouth. He also prepared the wooden base and took care of the electric part. He had the great idea to put the bulb inside a glass jar covered with green transparent plastic.

Then we covered it all with pieces of newspapers soaked in water and glue. When it dried up completely we dyed it with acrilic color dark brown and added a little black to create the streaks and make it more real.

We used Burger King's cardboard drink holder to build the roots and the funny thing is that meanwhile,  I discovered how to make little bats using the drink holders! 

You just have to cut it in half and then in half again. You'll see the cut parts already look like bats! You just need to shape out the ears and the paws and paint it black! And this is the result:

 I also decided to decor a spare glass jar that I found in my kitchen cupboard. I used black and silver markers for glass to do it. :)

How did you spend your Halloween? Have you ever crafted something scary?

My gothic outfit for Halloween night ^_^

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