Category Archives: Features & Interviews

10 record store owners from New England talk about vinyl’s resurgence

BY JULIA CIRIGNANO

photo-vinyl-resurgence

Over the past few years there has been a resurgence in vinyl records sales throughout North America. Hipsters are credited with bringing the trend back in the hopes of preserving the authenticity of vinyl. Now, this trend has become part of popular culture again.

In 2015, sales of vinyl records were up 32 percent to $416 million, their highest level since 1988, according to the RIAA (Recording Industry Association of America). Unlike the 1980’s, records are now sold practically everywhere, not just in record stores but in places such as Urban Outfitters, Barnes and Noble and even Whole Foods Market. Businesses make decent money selling vinyl and continue to stock and advertise them.

Since people still appreciate the authentic, sweet sound of vinyl and hope to preserve it for generations to come, Limelight Magazine recently spoke with 10 record store owners throughout New England about the rise in vinyl record sales and why they believe this is happening.

Burlington Records (170 Bank Street, Burlington, VT 05401)

http://burlingtonrecords.com

Jacob Grossi, owner of Burlington Records in Burlington, VT, believes that there has always been an interest in vinyl but it has recently risen due to the substitute not being good enough. Vinyl was replaced by CDs so that music could be more mobile but not everyone is looking for a mobile way to listen to music. Many people still love vinyl records and hope to savor their originality.

Grossi has personally seen an increase in vinyl sales at Burlington Records and talked to Limelight about what he has experienced.

“We’ve had a vinyl only store for ten years. The change over the last ten years though was that we got more new releases,” Grossi said.

He explained that people not only want vinyl records as collectables but they want new and upcoming albums to be available in vinyl format.

Grossi’s favorite album to listen to on vinyl is (Sittin’ On) The Dock of the Bay by soul singer Otis Redding. Grossi also made sure to also specify that he’s talking about the original cut.

Cheapo Records (538 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge, MA 02139)

http://www.cheaporecords.com

Allen Bay has owned Cheapo Records since the ‘70’s. Over the past few years he has seen a sudden increase in vinyl records sales.

“A few years ago I realized that we’re actually selling more vinyl than CD’s and now we’re selling a lot more,” he said.

Bay talked about the value vinyl records have and how this has changed over the years.

“Records were something you had to have 50 years ago or even 40 years ago. Now, I think it’s more of the fact there are so many young people with disposable incomes. It’s a great hobby. It’s not addictive and it doesn’t put people out on the streets. I think vinyl is great. Young people who are into analog sound, buying old used records, get to hear things the way they should have been,” he said.

Bay also gave his opinion of why he thinks vinyl sales have increased.

“It’s a fad,” he said. “50 years ago everybody who listened to music had to have records. Now it’s an upper middle class, mostly white male, trend. Although I do have some dieheard female customers.”

Bay also talked about another different between vinyl records now compared to what they used to be.

“Not too many people are just buying everything,” he said. ”They’re getting into this, they’re getting into that. I think the internet drives both the interest and the titles.”

Bay mentioned some of his favorite records to listen to on vinyl.

“I grew up as a teenager in the ‘50’s so I like what we called rock ‘n roll,” he said while giving examples, “Ladders, [The] Flamingos, and The Black Keys.”

In Your Ear Records (462 Main St., Warren, RI 02885)

http://www.iye.com

Reed Lapplin, co-owner of In Your Ear Records spoke briefly about why he believes people are interested in vinyl again.

“They’re all bored with their computers,” he said. “They’ve all been staring at their screens too long.”

Lapplin said that he has noticed this rise in popularity within his store.

“Well it’s been going on for a while,” he said. “It’s not the first vinyl revival. It’s happened four or five times already.”

Joe’s Albums  (317 Main St., Worcester, MA 01608)

https://www.joesalbums.com

Limelight Magazine spoke with Joe Demers, owner of Joe’s Albums, about the increase in vinyl record sales. He said that he has seen an increase, “Definitely over the last couple of years, especially the last year. There’s been significant increase that’s coupled with the customer age rang getting a lot broader than it used to be.”

Demers gave his opinion on why he thinks this resurgence in vinyl is happening.

“It might be a push back against downloading music and not physically having anything,” he said. “Vinyl is a bit more of a tangible experience to hold something, put it on the table itself, and maybe sit and read the record sleeve while you’re listening to it. Also, I think you listen a lot more rather than just having music as background noise if you’re streaming or just have something on shuffle.”

Demers had two more possible reasons for the increase in vinyl record sales and interest.

“People in their 40s and those age ranges who grew up with vinyl are now getting back into it,” he said. “Honestly, I also think that the industry is behind it a little bit and pushing it because I don’t believe they make much off a 99-cent or less download and vinyl records are kind of pricey.”

Demers said that his favorite record to listen to on vinyl is Dark Side Of The Moon by Pink Floyd.

Music Connection (1711 S Willow St., Manchester, NH 03103)

http://www.musicconnection.us

John Benedict, owner of Music Connection in Manchester, NH, has seen “a steady increase” in vinyl sales and he talked to Limelight Magazine about why he thinks this is happening.

“I think it’s the physicality,” he said. “I think the other reason is that it’s a way to get away from your device. It provides a comfort and solace away from all the other things that take up your time. It’s a getaway.”

Benedict believes that although CD’s once replaced vinyl, streaming music is becoming the most common way to listen now. With devices such as Pandora and Spotify, anyone can listen to a variety of music for free. Benedict talked about why experiencing vinyl is better than streaming music.

“You literally have to physically place it on the machine and be an active participant,” he said.” I think that’s something that’s a novelty to a younger generation. It’s a conscious decision. I mean, there’s the cool aspect but also if you’re on Snapchat or Instagram or any of those things you need a break and I think vinyl provides that break.”

Benedict talked about the relationship that vinyl creates between the musician and the listener that he believes can’t be replicated with streaming music.

“The other thing is, if you’re dealing with a larger graphic platform you have a 12 by 12 inch place to put artwork,” he said. “You can put little trinkets or extras. You can make the vinyl a different color. You can do glow in the dark covers. There are just so many things you just can’t do with a stream or a download that make it a little more special and make a statement from the artist to the listener.”

Benedict talked about his favorite albums to listen to on vinyl and why.

“It’s Revolver by The Beatles,” he said. “To me, it’s one really great listen. I never get tired of it. I always hear something new and fresh. I hear attention to detail. The songwriting is strong. There’s experimentation. The cover’s black and white and it’s a pen and ink drawing with photos. I just think it’s pretty amazing.”

Nuggets Records (486 Commonwealth Ave., Boston, MA 02215)

http://www.nuggetsrecords.com

Stewart Freedman, owner of Nuggets Records in Boston, MA, spoke with Limelight Magazine about why he thinks vinyl has had a sudden comeback. While he has definitely noticed this trend, he isn’t sure why this is happening. Here are his thoughts.

“It could be the movie High Fidelity,” Freedman said. “Also, some customers think that it might be Jack White the guy from The White Stripes because he has his own record store and really pushed it. I thought that was a little far-fetched but maybe. Also, a lot of kids come in here and tell me that a few years ago they were finding their parents albums in the attic or something.”

Freedman talked about his personal connection with vinyl records.

“I don’t know specifically why but I always thought they were cooler than CD’s,” he said. “When I was a kid you’d have your friends over to look at an album and you would pass around the cover and play the record. I don’t know if people really did that with CD’s. I don’t think they would pass around the booklet because they are so small you can’t really read them.”

When asked what he favorite vinyl album was, he answered, “I like the older stuff like [The] Beatles, [The Rolling] Stones, [Bob] Dylan and there are a lot of good bands out now too that I like such as The Decemberists.”

Round Again Records (278 Wickenden St., Providence, RI 02903)

http://www.roundagainrecordsri.com

Limelight Magazine spoke with Steven Kotler who has owned Round Again Records for 36 years. His store has had great success, although he described it as, “a little 600 foot mom and pop store.”

Kotler doesn’t know exactly why people are suddenly interested in vinyl right now but he has a clear idea about why vinyl has lasted as long as it has.

“Vinyl records sound better,” he said. “They’re tactile. It’s something you can actually hold in your hand. It’s got a great cover.”

Skeletone Records (50 N Main St., Rochester, NH 03867)

http://skeletonerecords.limitedrun.com

Todd Radict, the owner of Skeletone Records, talked to Limelight Magazine about the rise in vinyl popularity and why he thinks this is happening.

“Because it sounds better,” he said. “CD’s always have a high tone pitch that to me is very irritating. Vinyl has a warmer feel. It’s also that you can see the artwork. With CD’s you can’t really see what’s going on. It’s more of a luxury than a CD is. You have to take care of it. If you don’t take care of the record you might not be able to get another one because it might sell out.”

Radict explained the rise he has been in vinyl sales at Skeletone.

“That’s our biggest seller in the store. We have over 100,000 records in the store,” he said.

Spun Records (6 Grove St., Dover, NH 03820)

http://spundover.com

Mark Matarozzo owner of Spun Records, spoke about his opinion on why there has been a sudden interest in vinyl records again. Matarozzo said that he has seen both an increase in vinyl sales and an interest in vinyl again at Spun records

“I think there’s a couple different levels of it,” he began. “There’s an interest through the kids that are hearing about it more and then there’s an older generation that hears ‘oh, the thing that I liked when I was younger is back’. I’ve actually have people here in their mid-forties getting back into vinyl.”

Matarozzo explained a common reason why people prefer vinyl: it’s physical qualities.

“I also think that part of it is that people like to have something tangible,” he said. “Something you can actually hold and unless you get into buying new records, the price for used records is actually pretty reasonable. You can come in with twenty bucks and walk out with six or eight records.”

Matarozzo also talked about his favorite album to listen to on vinyl.

“I usually go with something like Tom Waits’ Rain Dogs. I really enjoy that record and also some of the stuff I listened to when I was in school and younger. I’ve always liked Tool too.”

Sunset Records (1232 Wilbur Ave., Somerset, MA 02725)

Bob Boyer, owner of Sunset Records, spoke about the current resurgence in vinyl sales. He talked about how this sudden vinyl popularity is within many different generations. Because of this, he gets many young people experiencing vinyl for the first time instead of older generations revisiting vinyl.

“A lot of my customers are kids so it’s new to them,” he said. “They’re listening to things that were pre-digital like Led Zeppelin and The Beatles.”

Boyer’s personal favorite vinyl record is an acoustic album by the late Sandy Bull titled Inventions. Bull is a folk singer who Boyer believes has created some amazing music even though he was never very well known. Although he wasn’t a big act, Boyer explained that his music sells well to this day, possibly due to the quality of the acoustic sound on vinyl.

10 Nail Art Designs for Halloween

BY JULIA CIRIGNANO

You know Katie Botelho-Bielatowicz as the co-owner of JKB Entertainment Group and Limelight Magazine, but you may not know that she also does amazing nail art.

Botelho-Bielatowicz went to UMass Dartmouth to pursue a degree in marketing and recently went back to school at the Kay Harvey LaBaron Hairdressing Academy to get her nail technician license. She now has her license and has even pursued some possible careers within the field.

Botelho-Bielatowicz spoke with me about what first sparked her passion for nail art.

“I remember seeing a design that looked nearly impossible, so I decided to try it,” she said. “I was pleasantly surprised at how good it came out and from there on out I’ve been intrigued by trying different things!”

Botelho-Bielatowicz has been painting nails for eight years now but she wasn’t always interested in this art form.

“I used to get acrylics done and decided that I had enough with artificial nails,” Botelho-Bielatowicz said. “I started a job at a beauty supply store and bought my first salon brand polish. I was hooked from there. I now have my own little room that’s dedicated to my nail polish, so you can only imagine how many I own!”

Botelho-Bielatowicz talked about what has inspired her as an artist and what nail art means to her. Although Botelho-Bielatowicz has worked at a nail spa, she now enjoys nail art for recreational use only.

“My love for nail art simply stemmed from other people’s nail art,” Botelho-Bielatowicz said. “I wanted my nails to look like that so I decided to try it for myself. It’s my hobby and my way from stepping aside from reality for a while.”

Although Botelho-Bielatowicz has been painting nails for a while, just over the past few years she began to challenge herself and work on more integrated designs.

“I started faithfully painting my nails about eight years ago and probably a few years after that is when I added nail art to the mix,” Botelho-Bielatowicz said.

“Because of my love for nails, I decided to get my nail technician license,” Botelho-Bielatowicz   said. “There I was taught to do acrylics, although I never do them at home. Every so often I’ll do a gel manicure on myself, but I like to switch my colors so frequently that it’s not worth it for me.”

Botelho-Bielatowicz decided to get her nail technician license just for fun, yet she has also learned a lot from practice and research.

“I’m just a self-taught enthusiast, with the help of YouTube and Pinterest,” she said.

Botelho-Bielatowicz combined her self-taught skills with a variety of techniques she learned at the academy to practice this fine art. Check out her nail art Facebook page HERE which is appropriately called “Confessions of a Nailaholic.”

Seen within the pictures on her page, Botelho-Bielatowicz explores many themes and techniques within her artwork. She talked about the tools she typically uses.

“I mainly use a nail cleaning brush, dotting tools and a small paint brush from the craft store to draw intricate designs,” she said.

Botelho-Bielatowicz enjoys exploring many themes of nail art. She does some simple nail styles but her nail art is also inspired by Tim Burton, moon phases, pineapples, popcorn, nature, The Cookie Monster, The Corpse Bride, Star Wars, cats, flowers, ice cream, sports, The Little Mermaid —  you name it, she’ll paint it.

It’s obvious that Botelho-Bielatowicz enjoys exploring many different nail art themes but she definitely has her favorite.

“My favorite time to do nail art is from October to December,” she said. “There are so many different designs with the holidays that there’s always something to do. I love festive nails!”

Botelho-Bielatowicz especially likes Halloween themed nails.

“Halloween is my favorite time of the year so naturally I love everything about it,” she said. “There are just so many great designs you can do for Halloween and I love the reaction I get when people see my nails and they’re all horror themed. For the most part, most of my artwork is related to Halloween/Tim Burton films. It just makes me happy.”

To coincide with Limelight Magazine‘s 10th anniversary, here are 10 nail art designs done by  Botelho-Bielatowicz  that are perfect for the Halloween season.

BEETLEJUICE

beetlejuice-nailsWILLY WONKA

willy-wonka-nails

CHESHIRE CAT

cheshire-cat-nails

STAR WARS

star-wars-nails

CORPSE BRIDE

corpse-bride-nails

NIGHTMARE BEFORE CHRISTMAS

nightmare-before-christmas

CRIME SCENE

crimse-scene-nails

DAYS OF THE DEAD

day-of-the-dead-nails

MOON PHASES

moon-phase-nails

NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET

freddy-kruger-nails

Nikki Coogan: The Tattooed Devil’s Twin

BY JULIA CIRIGNANO

The Devil’s Twins released their debut album Handsome Devils in 2012. Since then, they have released two underground albums. The first they released later in 2013 titled Old Fashioned Mischief, and the second was released in 2015, titled Consequences. Influenced by acts such as Elvis Presley, Buddy Holly, Amy Winehouse, Johnny Cash, Social Distortion, Local H and Iron Maiden, this trio has had giant success within the underground cult party.

The band consists of Nicole “Nikki” Marie Coogan and Jeremiah “J”  Louf who founded the band in 2010. They later added Matt Young to their auxiliary of live drummers and Shaqed Druyan, who began to drum in new recordings.

Nicole Coogan Tattoo Artist
Besides being a musician, Nicole Coogan is also a tattoo artist. (PHOTO BY JULIA CIRIGNANO)

Although Coogan is very passionate about her music, her other love and creative outlet has always been her work as a tattoo artist. While some girls dream of rose scented futures, Coogan dreamt of being a tattoo artist before she even got her first tattoo. Limelight Magazine sat down with Coogan while she tattooed one of the co-owners of Limelight on Sept.28th to ask her about both her music and her life as a tattoo artist.

“I’ve always been a painter and artist,” Coogan said. “I’ve been really interested in tattooing for as long as I can remember. When I was young I starting noticing them on people and when my dad would get tattooed sometimes he would let me come along. I was hooked”.

Coogan got her first tattoo when she was 18 and started her apprenticeship at Inflicting Ink Tattoo in Portsmouth, R.I., during her senior year at Massachusetts College of Art and Design. She graduated and got her tattoo license the same year and has been working at Inflicting Ink for five years now.

Coogan loves the artistic elements to being a tattoo artist and also the social experiences. She loves to talk to people, hear the stories behind their tattoos, and when they see the end result. She also enjoys the process of getting to know the person she is permanently tattooing.

“I like working with my customers on their ideas,” she said. “I have a couple of favorite parts in each appointment. The first being when I get to meet the person I’ll be working with and hear their ideas. Sometimes they don’t necessarily know exactly what they’re looking for but when I come back down from the drawing table with their ideas put together visually it’s really satisfying to see the excitement they get in seeing it come to life. My second and truly favorite part is when they look in the mirror and see themselves and the tattoo for the first time. I watch for their facial expressions. It makes it all worth it to see themselves become more of who they want to be”.

“It’s interesting,” she continued. “Being tattooed is a vulnerable time for a person because they’re trusting me with their body and we’re very close. It’s like, ‘nice to meet you. I’m going to hold your arm for four hours’ but when I’m tattooing someone they really open up to me and that’s really cool.”

Coogan spoke about the ways in which being a tattoo artist has affected her.

“Both of these parts of my life have really made me a lot more confident. I used to be quieter,” she said. “As a tattoo artist, I get to make people happy all day. I get to talk to them and learn so much. That’s made me so much more comfortable in my own skin.”

Working at a tattoo parlor, Coogan has met a variety of interesting people. She has done some crazy and humorous tattoos. One of her favorite moments was when a nervous chef came to her asking for a tattoo.

“It took her a while to tell me what she wanted,” Coogan said. “What she ended up getting was two sunny side up eggs and a piece of bacon as a smiley face on her bum.”

Another crazy moment was when an older gentleman who Coogan has tattooed showed her a tattoo that surprised even her.

“His body is completely covered in tattoos,” Coogan began. “There’s this myth that he had a totem pole on his weiner and sperm whales on his balls. So one day I got really nervy and asked him and he told me it was true. I just had to know. It definitely was.”

One of Nicole Coogan's favorite tattoos was the (SUBMITTED PHOTO)
Pictured above is one of Coogan’s favorite tattoos that she did for a friend. (SUBMITTED PHOTO)

Coogan talked about one her favorite tattoos she has ever done which she did on her friend Kacey Ellis.

“She has distant ancestors to Lizzy Borden so she wanted to get a Lizzy Borden tattoo,” Coogan said. “We did a lot of research on the story so we could keep it pretty historically accurate. The two of us live in Fall River so it’s pretty common folklore in town. We did a lace doily with the broken axe on it with a couple of peaches with bites taken out of them. The peaches were part of her alibi. We rounded it all up with ‘Daddy Issues’ written around it. It was a pretty sassy tattoo.”

Pictured above is a tattoo of Amy Winhouse by Corey Goyette that Coogan got on her leg after Winehouse died.
Pictured above is a tattoo of Amy Winhouse by Corey Goyette that Coogan got on her leg after Winehouse died.

Coogan herself is covered in tattoos that instantly draw your attention when she walks into a room. She talked about her personal favorite tattoo: a portrait of Amy Winehouse on her thigh.

“I got it the year she died,” Coogan said. “I remember when I heard Amy Winehouse for the first time it woke me up inside. She has this really unique voice. When I was first trying to find my voice, I feel like I tried to sing like a lot of other people but when I started listening to her, I realized that I didn’t have a bad voice. It was just really different.”

When she started singing like herself and not anyone else, Coogan became a far better vocalist. She found her sound, herself, and friends like her.

“If you own it, that’s it. It only takes one person to say something’s cool, before everyone else joins in,” Coogan said.

Coogan talked about her perspective on the way people with tattoos are stereotyped.

“It’s too bad the way some people judge others based only on the way they look,” Coogan said. “I do find that as time has passed things have gotten a lot better as far as tattoos go in means of judgement. Fear and judgment really do just come from people not understanding. It’s too bad that so many people decide that they know you right away rather than just asking questions.”

Coogan talked about one experience she had a few years back.

“I was working at my last job in retail at a tennis place,” she began. “It was when I had started getting a little more tattooed and an older woman came up to me at a tennis tournament and said, with a super straight face, ‘does your mother still talk to you?’”

Coogan understands that most judgement towards tattoos comes from fear of the unknown. She wishes that everyone could enjoy tattoos or at least try to understand them. She said that getting tattoos makes her happy and said, “When I get a tattoo I feel so much more like myself.”

Coogan said stereotyping has changed over the past couple of years. She explained that she now tattoos people of all ages and professions, including teachers and elderly people.

“Tattoos have been a lot more prevalent in the media, newspapers, and TV. Reality TV has really brought the industry way more into the spotlight. In some ways it’s good because it makes it a little easier to digest and understand but at the same time it gives people this preconceived notion of what the job actually entails and means. It’s not all like a show where you walk in and can get a back piece in a few hours.”

Besides being a tattoo artist, Coogan is also a member of The Devil’s Twins. She explained the natural progression to which she and Louf started making music together.

“J and I have obviously known each other for a long long time.” Coogan said.

Although their styles in music differed growing up, they came together in The Devil’s Twins. “In college J had started writing some music with a drummer from Berklee named Jesse Hangen. They were in the studio at MassArt writing ‘I Can’t Stop Sinning’ and they got stuck at a part where J really wanted a soul singer. He came up to my studio floor and brought me down there to lay it down. I think it was a kind of ah-ha moment where we all looked at each other and realized we had really started something.”

The band’s music can be found on Spotify, but Coogan explained why they chose to release these last two albums underground, after releasing their debut album in a more mainstream fashion.

“In the last year or so we’ve definitely made a change in how we want to do move forward together as a band,” she said. “What we’ve really worked for and what has made us successful in the last year or so is totally changing our format. We play less shows so they’re a bit fewer and far between and are more selective to how often we’ll play an area in a concentrated time. For Boston, we’ll plan four or five big events a year and really work sell them out and release something at each one of those.”

Coogan explained why being an underground artist attracted her and Louf and why they have stuck with it.

“We’ve also found that with these more formal releases and special events, we’ve grown so much closer to our fan base and it’s all be so much more special. They’re the reason we can do what we do,” she said.

Many of The Devil’s Twins’ fans come from an underground cult following. Coogan explained how these dedicated fans helped propel the band and how unique and special their relationship is with the band.

“They’re all crazy. They do ridiculous things,” she said. “We have this attitude with them, we’ll never stop playing this music with you and we’re going to support you and make you part of our family but what you do to support us is in your hands. They’re all really in the public eye with their support. So many of them have come to me to get the ‘2’ tattooed which is crazy. So many of them have made patches and pins and merch for our table. They’ll go to other shows and hand shit out and like tag walls and graffiti things. They’re extremely extremely supportive.”

Not only are The Devil’s Twins close to their fans, they’re also close to their crew.

“We try to keep our crew close. The 2 crew are our core fan base. The ones who are always there no matter what.” she said. “They’re like a family that has developed over the past years. They have their own Facebook group where they’ll make plans and share videos and talk. They all have the tattoos and they’re all out of their damn minds. They definitely all feel included and they know we couldn’t do it without them. It’s all felt a lot more special since we started treating things like that.”

The Devil’s Twins are currently working on new music. They’re experimenting with new sounds and collaborating with other musicians.

“We’re working on some new material now that we’re really excited about,” Coogan said. “We just finished a song with the Boston rapper, Slaine which has always been a dream of ours. We’ll be releasing that soon and I’m so excited to have everyone hear it. We’ll be releasing it as a single in the very near future.”

Coogan explained that The Devil’s Twins’ new music will sound like them but with a new twist. They are exploring new instruments and sounds to create what they think will be the band’s best album so far.

“I feel like we’re melding into a new era where we’re less afraid to use more auxiliary sounds,” she said. “We have so many options open because right now it’s just J and I making all of those decisions and we’re both so into just kind of getting free with our music now. I’m really into our lyrics being very wordy and almost tripping over themselves. I love making music that has a real narrative storyline to make people think.”

Recently, The Devil’s Twins have been nominated for two Boston Music Awards: Best Rock/Indie Band and Best Live Artist of the Year. Cast your vote HERE!

Nicole "Nikki" Marie Coogan shines on stage at a recent performance with The Devil's Twins. (PHOTO BY
Nicole Coogan shines on stage at a performance with The Devil’s Twins. (PHOTO BY ROGER GORDY, SUBMITTED BY NICOLE COOGAN)

 

10 musicians from New England share what their tattoos mean

BY JULIA CIRIGNANO

To coincide with our 10th year anniversary, Limelight Magazine has decided to post ten of our favorite tattoos that were submitted to us by local musicians throughout New England. These musicians have also explained what their tattoos mean to them. Read below to learn more about these musicians and the reasons why they decided to get a variety of intricate and meaningful tattoos.

Emil Belisle (of Impending Reflections)

“My two face tattoo stands for inner struggle between good and evil.”

tattoo-emil-belisle

Emil Belisle (of Impending Reflections)

“My wolf tattoo is really special. It is a painting that someone very special in his life did. My tats were all done at Altered Images in Cumberland, RI.”

tattoo-emil-besile-2

Nicole Marie Coogan (of The Devil’s Twins)

“Johnny Cash was a familiar background voice in our home growing up. My dad has always had great taste in music and truly immersed us in a huge variety of big and small name artists in all different genres. I think that’s what really kept me open to hearing and loving all different types of music. Johnny Cash was always one of my favorites though. He definitely followed an interesting path in his life and sometimes he didn’t make the right choices but those were the choices that led him to his happiness in the end. His storytelling ability and charm were something that really stuck with me. I took a lot of that along in the back of my mind when I started writing and helped form my narrative based writing style. It only seemed right to thank him with a reminder of his voice and songs following me through my life. “

tattoo-nicole-coogan

April Cushman (of The April Cushman Band)

 “This tattoo I got for my grandmother and grandfather, who have both recently passed from liver disease and liver cancer. My grandfather, Paul Daoust, who passed on Sunday, September 18th, 2016, was an extremely skilled archery champion and hunter who came from very deep French-Canadian and Native American roots. The arrow symbolizes his hard work, determination and most of all his passion for doing what he loved the most. My grandmother, Kathleen Daoust, passed away on May 6th, 2004. She was the most kindhearted human on this planet. She laughed often, gave more than she ever received and was a very skilled chef. She was in love with angels and is coincidentally my guardian angel. I feel her often and know she is always with me. The beads on this tattoo represent liver disease and cancer awareness, as well as my angel number, 66. My grandparents had gifted me my very first acoustic guitar at Christmas when I was just five years old, which shaped me into the person and musician that I am today. My father (their son), is also in my band, sharing the family’s love for country, folk and acoustic music.”

tattoo-april-cushman

Mike LaRoche (of Landsdowne/Blameshift/State of Emergency)

“I started getting this sleeve when I was 18. I was inspired by the TOOL music video for “Schism” where a little creature comes out of the body and only has a mouth and no eyes. I also loved H. R. Giger’ s work with biomechanical drawings so I wanted to incorporate that as well. I started off with a small scene on my forearm. Within the next year, I kept adding a couple scenes at a time eventually forming into a full sleeve. My entire arm is one full theme. There are a bunch of those little creatures running around inside my arm pulling levers and climbing ladders essentially running it like a factory.”

tattoo-mike-laroche

Ken Macy 

“This tattoo celebrates 10 successful years of my business: Ken Macy Music. I started to become a professional musician ten years ago and wanted to live out my dream. Now 10 years later, the tattoo reminds me of the people I’ve met and the places I’ve been. It’s my first tattoo (I got it this past August 2016) and it means a lot to me. The logo is the Tom Petty and The Heartbreakers logo to which he and the band influenced my writing. I was also born on Valentine’s Day hence the heart and V guitar (arrow) through the heart. We as artists all go through blood, sweat, and tears to do what we love for a living so my tattoo is for all the musicians out there who wear their heart on their sleeve.”

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Stan Matthews

“I have two tattoos, one on each arm. The tattoo on the right is “Pat Patriot”, the old Patriots logo. To say that I’m a big Patriots fan is just a start. I went to my first game in 1967, my dad was a season ticket holder for many years.”

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Ryan Stark (of Far Above the Ground)

“One of my tattoos is of Frank Sinatra on my right arm driving a 1955 T-Bird. I got the tattoo because to me Frank is the original rock star. He had a rollercoaster career and ended up on top of the world.”

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Arline Urquhart (of The Teter Todders)

“I got this tattoo to represent my passion for music. I sing for self-therapy and would not have overcome so many obstacles without being blessed with my musical gift. If you notice the notes flow up as well as my faith and belief that music heals.”

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Mark Vinciguerra

“Ok so Seven League Boots was a rock/reggae band from Boston in the early 90’s featuring Bobby Sullivan of Soulside along with trhee local guys from Massachusetts – including former Rumble winner Bow Thayer.

They were the band who influenced me in 1992 to start my own band and become a musician, which I still am. I’m not in a band right now though since I’m waiting on hand surgery and can’t play guitar. The last band I was in was Jah Fist out of Providence who are still playing, just without me.

So 20 years later on a whim I searched and found the guys on Facebook. Started that page above for them, then ended up DIY (do it yourself) remastering and re-releasing their only CD release, which had been out of print for 20 years.

All their music is HERE, along with a full set live video from 1992.

They ended up doing a couple reunion shows in 2012, where I was made an official member, although they have since split up again.

One of the shows was at a huge festival in Vermont where I got to play with pretty much everyone from the ‘90s Boston scene…Roadsaw, the remaining members of Morphine, Laurie Sargeant, Dan Blaksee, etc…When I got home, I got this tattoo with the money I was paid to play the festival.”

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Trevor Rabin ‘talks’ about his newly formed ‘union’ with Jon Anderson and Rick Wakeman

BY JULIA CIRIGNANO

After 25 years apart, Trevor Rabin has reunited with former YES members Jon Anderson and Rick Wakeman for a fall tour of the United States.
After 25 years apart, Trevor Rabin has reunited with former YES members Jon Anderson and Rick Wakeman for a fall tour of the United States.

Trevor Rabin is a musician, singer/songwriter, producer and film composer most famous for his time as the guitarist and vocalist for YES. He was with the band from 1982-1995 and was responsible for some of their biggest hits including “Owner of a Lonely Heart” which reached No. 1 on the Billboard Top 100 singles chart. He was also responsible for their most successful selling album 90125, along with three others: Big Generator, Union, and Talk.

Rabin is currently planning a tour with two former members of YES, Jon Anderson and Rick Wakeman. The tour, appropriately called “Anderson, Rabin & Wakeman: An Evening of YES Music & More,” launches tonight in Orlando, FL, and will come to Boston on October 19th at the Citi Wang Theatre.

It’s been 25 years since Rabin performed on stage with Anderson and Wakeman on the Union tour. In an interview with Limelight Magazine, Rabin talked about how this reunion came about.

According to Rabin, he and Wakeman had always planned and hoped to tour together, but it never happened until now. With busy lives full of thriving careers, both Rabin and Wakeman spent years making excuses and putting off their work together.

“I think the catalyst was our very good friend [YES founder and bassist] Chris Squire dying,” he said. “This led us to discipline ourselves and say ‘you know what, now we really really got to’.”

The two finally decided to clear their schedules and make this project happen with their mutual friend Anderson who previously performed a successful series of concerts with Wakeman in the U.K. in 2010 and the U.S. in 2011. These three musicians work great together and flourish in the mist of each other’s company and creative energy.

“What’s really great is that it really came from the heart of the musicians, opposed to some promotion company or record company getting involved,” said Rabin.

Rabin and Wakeman are currently rehearsing and also recording music together. Rabin said that they have had a great time working together recently and are both inspired and excited for the upcoming tour.

Although they will not be playing any of their new music on this tour, Rabin explained the setlist they are working on.

“So what we’ve done is we’ve really taken the catalog that we’ve all been involved with in the past, and really found, I think, exciting new ways of doing it,” he said. “We’re pretty excited about it.”

“We’re still going through it,” he continued. “We’ve rehearsed way more than we need and we still haven’t reconciled what we are going to play. I mean obviously we’re going to play “Owner of a Lonely Heart” and things that you kind of have to play. It’s kind of prerequisite for doing the tour, almost.”

Rabin explained how the tour came about and his current work with Wakeman.

“We do have some new stuff, but I guess just because of the passion we have for this and how we approached it, it isn’t done yet,” he said. “This music and tour wasn’t put together by a bunch of promoters and managers and record companies. It’s really just happening in it’s own good time. The intention was to possibly do an album or at least a bunch of songs and go on tour after, but it was taking a long time once we started to get the stuff done.”

Due to their lack of time and eagerness to go on tour together, Rabin and Wakeman have set up two different tours. After this series of dates, they plan on finishing their collection of music and then plan a separate tour where they will be playing new music.

Rabin has many things to look forward to in the future, but he also spoke a little about his time with YES and his reasons for leaving the band in 1995 at the conclusion of the Talk tour.

“It was very satisfying when 90125 came out and was the biggest YES album ever. It kind of legitimized this band,” he said.

But eventually, Rabin did outgrow the band and moved onto a new project.

“I had done close to a thousand shows with YES and I just didn’t feel like playing ‘Roundabout’ and ‘Owner of a Lonely Heart’ for a little while,” he said. “I wanted to get into film and I’ve been famed as a conductor, arranger, orchestrator, so I thought, ‘well, what’s the natural place to do this?’ I thought, ‘well, film, maybe film.’”

During Rabin’s time with YES, he worked closely with Anderson writing songs in the past particularly on the highly underrated Talk album, but he has done less work with Wakeman. Because of this, Rabin was truly excited to work with him.

“The most important thing about this for me was working with Rick,” said Rabin. “Obviously working with Jon is great. We’ve always wanted to do this again. But Rick, I haven’t worked with as closely as this before. Although, when we were doing the [Union] tour, we worked very closely. There were nights when it felt like it was just him and I on stage.”

Rabin said fans who purchase tickets to his upcoming shows with Anderson and Wakemen will enjoy a night of old time classics with a new twist and be able to witness the flourishing musical relationship these three men have.

“I hope people enjoy it as much as we’re enjoying it,” said Rabin.

The Citi Wang Theatre is located at 270 Tremont Street in Boston, Mass. Tickets to the show can be purchased online by clicking HERE, at the Citi Center Box Office, or by calling 800-982-2787. VIP packages are also available through ARW-TOUR.COM.

Dark Delicacies – A horror-themed book and gift shop like no other

BY JULIA CIRIGNANO

Del Howison opened Dark Delicacies in Burbank, CA, with his wife, Sue, in 1994.
Del Howison opened Dark Delicacies in Burbank, CA, with his wife, Sue, in 1994. (PHOTO BY J. KENNEY)

This is a story about two love birds with a knack for horror movies, books, soundtracks, decorations — you name it!

 Sue and Del Howison opened their store, Dark Delicacies, on West Magnolia Boulevard in Burbank, CA, in 1994 due to their passion for horror. Limelight Magazine recently got the chance to interview Del and discuss his passion for the horror genre and dogs.

 “We both loved our horror collecting and had a nice collection at home of books but had a hard time finding other things that reflected our taste,” he said. “We thought maybe other people were having the same problem so we opened with our own collection and a little money and grew over the years.”

Howison has created a fun environment for people with similar interests to come and buy a wide variety of horror related collectables, books, films, jewelry, and much more. (The store even has a children’s section!). With over 20 years worth of memories to pick from, Howison talked about his favorite part of owning the shop: the people.

“The fans who have been so supportive and the people in the business who have given their time (and signatures) to help this business exist. [The late] Richard Matheson, Clive Barker, Guillermo Del Toro, [the late] Ray Harryhausen, William Friedkin, [the late] Ernest Borgnine just to name a few. We couldn’t have done this without all this support,” he said.

Howison talked about his love for the genre of horror and the fans it attracts.

“Within the horror genre you can examine anything – racism, war, bad government, even dead people and, of course, all our fears and anxieties. There is also no other genre with fans this loyal,” he said. “

Sue and Del share the responsibilities that come with owning such a shop. Del talked about what it’s like working and co-owning Dark Delicacies with his wife who is originally from Connecticut.

“24/7 you live together and work together,” he said. “We are complete opposites who join for the whole. I’m sure there are times when she doesn’t think I’m all that funny or cute,” he acknowleged.

This may be true, but just a few years back L.A. Weekly quoted Sue saying that Del is the “ringmaster”.

“The ringmaster is the dude in the spotlight. That’s me. I’m the mouth,” said Del. “But she buys everything for the store, sets up the signings [and fan Q&A’s], and handles most of the computer business and on the phone [sales]. I pay the bills and do the PR and social media.”

Howison talked about the success the store has achieved over the years. He explained why he feels, in some ways, that the shop has succeeded, and in other ways, he thinks the shop can still improve.

“In terms of horror and the fans and the people in the business, I don’t think we could ask for more,” he said. “In terms of income, we make it each month but must always work at making all our payments. If we owned our own building and could get some stability who knows? But we’ve only been at it 22 years.”

That’s right, 22 years, and still big plans ahead.

“We have just started the Dark Delicacies podcasts, which I refer to as underground and occasional, with Brigade Radio One. That podcast and the station is a new enterprise and continuing to grow and shift. We hope to grow with them,” Del said.

“We have also upped the visibility on any charity efforts we’re involved in and added to that slate with the people over at Combat Radio and Ethan Dettenmaier,” he continued. “We have also entered into an agreement with the distribution company Vega Baby to pick up and distribute horror films under the “Dark Delicacies Presents” line. Vega Baby also has an agreement with Sony for international distribution. It’s a great opportunity for indie filmmakers to have a chance at getting their film picked up by someone who can get it out there. They should contact me at my email of del@darkdel.com if they have something they want the board to look at.”

Legendary horror film composer Harry Manfredini signs a copy of the "Friday the 13th" vinyl soundtrack at a signing at Dark Delicacies. (PHOTO BY J. KENNEY)
Legendary horror film composer Harry Manfredini signs a copy of the “Friday the 13th” vinyl soundtrack at a signing at Dark Delicacies. (PHOTO BY J. KENNEY)

Howison is a people person who has attracted not only fans, but also composers and authors. Dark Delicacies host many signing for these artists. He talked about one of his favorite moments.

“I have had some wonderful experiences with many of them. A very memorable moment for me was meeting composer Brian Tyler at the soundstage at Fox Studios where he was conducting a full orchestra. Sitting in on that session was magical,” he said.

Signed Blu-rays of "Witchboard" and "Night of the Demons" at Dark Delicacies. (PHOTO BY MIKE GALLAGHER)
Signed Blu-rays of “Witchboard” and “Night of the Demons” from a Dark Delicacies signing. (PHOTO BY MIKE GALLAGHER)

Adam P. Cray, a former native of New Bedford, Mass., who currently resides in Los Angeles, had nothing but positive things to say about Dark Delicacies. Since there is no store like it on the East Coast, Cray said Dark Delicacies fills a void in the market place for horror and sci-fi fans.

“Over the years, I’ve spent many hours at Dark Delicacies browsing their selection of books, apparel, posters, and DVDs,” he said. “The store has always supported and inspired the horror community and especially its authors. At one of their many signings, I was able to meet the late Philp J. Riley and have him autograph his beautiful books on the making of “Phantom of the Opera” (1925) and “London After Midnight.”

Adam P. Cray, who authored his own book “Last Seen,” holds two books he had signed by the late Philip J. Riley on the making of “London After Midnight” and “Phantom of Opera.” (PHOTO BY JEANA N. AYALA)

Dark Delicacies website is constantly being updated. Because of this, people who may not be able to attend a signing or live far away can purchase items online. (Visit the website HERE). Howison talked about these online sales.

“At this point I would say about 30 percent of the business comes from online, but that is all pretty much concentrated into the signings off our webpage at darkdel.com,” said Del. “I do have our books up online on Bibliofind. But that only results in a few sales a month. What is hard to get a handle on are how much the online social media and store announcements drive people into the physical store when they come in from out-of-town. I hear it all the time, ‘I’ve been waiting for years to come in here.’”

The Howison’s have also managed to use their platform to help rescue animals. Del talked about about this, “I have always been involved with rescues long before I even met Sue. Since she is like-minded when we got together, animal rescue or seeing-eye dogs or whatever were some of our first charity targets.”

Howison also spoke about their relationship with The Neva Foundation and the new foundations they have been working with.

“Neva was a long time ago. They brought in the doggies and we ended up adopting two of them ourselves. The last places we worked with were Star Paws and Kitt Crusaders. Two really fine groups that do a wonderful job. People should check them out. What we usually do with them is have a fundraiser like when William Wu put out the charity book ‘Scales & Tales’ which was an anthology of stories written by a bunch of us including Marv Wolfman, Clive Barker, Joe R. Lansdale, and others including myself. People should look up William Wu Bookseller on Facebook as there may still be a few of those available,” he said.

Sue and Del Howison have a true passion for horror, and the work they do in and outside of the genre. Del concluded the interview by saying, “horror is to have a good time. Some of the best people in the world are in this field. It’s my family. Quirky to be sure. But I love them.”

For a complete list of signings and events at Dark Delicacies this October, click HERE.

Furthermore, here’s a YouTube video submitted to us by Michael Schwartz of the Return of the Living Dead signing at Dark Delicacies on January 29, 2011.

‘Tales of Rocky Point Park’ to have Massachusetts premiere screening at Narrows Center

BY JULIA CIRIGNANO

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Rocky Point Amusement Park existed from 1847 to 1995. In 1996, it was shut down due to financial difficulties, yet this is where the story begins. Since the park was abandoned, research, interviews, and exploration was done to try and prove that the park was cursed. Since 1996, filmmakers have captured footage under the title Tales of Rocky Point Park. The film will premiere in Massachusetts on Saturday, October 8, 2016, at The Narrows Center for the Arts in Fall River. (Purchase tickets HERE.)

Located on Narragansett Bay in Warwick R.I., Rocky Point Amusement Park was a beautiful playground for over 150 years. Filled with a rich history, the park remained famous and still does – only the attention the park has been receiving recently has nothing to do with its earlier popularity.

People have been creating good memories at Rocky Point since 1847, but there is a legend that an ancient curse was bestowed on the park. Tales of Rocky Point Park explores the truth behind the legend. Filmmaker Jason Mayoh and producers Jacob Tasho and Robert Yeremian show never before seen footage, interviews and exploration within this film that explore the possibility that the park was cursed.

In 2008, Mayoh published a comic titled Tales of Rocky Point Park, which he has now turned into a film using the footage he gathered earlier on.

Within the film, Mayoh goes through the history of the park, recounting many documented events such as fires, hurricanes, a fatal accident, a murder, and a family of escaped monkeys. Andrew Lake, a ghost hunter himself, narrates these documented events and also the distinguished urban legends, such as questions about the Viking statue at the House of Horrors, Log 13 on the Flume, and a woman who supposedly got scalped on the Free Fall.

Like many others, Mayoh has great memories of Rocky Point when he was growing up.

“I went when I was a little kid. You know, my parents took me there in the early 80’s and on,” he said. “I went there in the mid-nineties as a teenager with my friend. It was definitely a summertime tradition and now I’ve got really great memories of it.”

Although Mayoh has these memories, he said he didn’t think of the comic until about ten years later.

“Originally, we were going to do all short stories with different artists, but I researched online pictures of the park,“ he said. “At the time, there were a lot of abandoned photography sites that were big and so there were multiple sites that had Rocky Point in ruins. Like I said, I hadn’t thought of it in years and I was actually shocked to see what it had turned into.”

Creating the comic and now film about Rocky Point was a perfect fit for Mayoh. He has always been interested in storytelling and also the genre of ghost films, horror movies, etc. Because of this, the story of Rocky Point instantly caught his attention.

Since childhood, Mayoh has loved, “Horror, monster movies, ghost stories. I think folklore in general. Rocky Point actually seemed like history or at least some of the more bizarre stuff that’s happened over the years.”

Mayoh spoke about his recent experiences at the park.

“We do have footage. We were in the park alone when it was abandoned and you definitely get an eerie vibe. There’s definitely something going on there, but I can’t quite put my finger on it,” he said.

Mayoh’s interest with the Rocky Point story started when he discovered that the abandon park was going to be turned into condos. He started writing the comic book in order to preserve the park in his own way.

“As the years went on, collecting all this footage, we kind of said to ourselves ‘why don’t we try to bring it back in film form because there’s so much footage that people haven’t seen,” he said. “We kind of used the cursed story as a motif to tell the history — the importance to New England that the park had.”

Mayoh explained the actual curse that is believed to have been bestowed on the land.

“There’s three different variations on that curse and legend and that is believed to result in the hurricanes, the fires and some of the riot acts,” he said. “One was that a group of gypsies and fortune tellers were basically fired from the park after they had worked there for years and years and, on their way out, they cursed the land. There’s also speculation that certain parts of the park were built over Native American burial grounds. Then, the third one is about one of the first attractions to the park, this cave, and actual legend is that certain things were removed from the cave, that certain stones were removed that caused a curse.”

Mayoh explained that the biggest challenge while creating the film was creating one cohesive story without telling it in a chronological way. He said that the hardest part was, “just how to put it all together in a ninety minute format because there’s so much information. And again, the park has been open for 150 years, so kind of telling that story and not doing it chronologically.”

Mayoh also alluded to the premiere in August at Park Theatre in Cranston R.I.

“It was sold out,” he said. “It sold a thousand seats and that’s just amazing for any filmmaker to have sellout…I’m really humbled by the whole experience.”

Although the film has gained the attention of many, some people don’t like what Mayoh is doing. He explained that there were a few people who didn’t like the film or didn’t go and see the film because they don’t like Rocky Point being remembered in this dark way, since it was a place where so many great memories were created. Mayoh said that was not his intention, but instead to preserve the park and all of its rich history.

If you’re still on the edge about coming to see the film at the Narrows Center on Oct. 8th,, here are some last words from Mayoh.

“Come out and see it,” he said. “If you experienced Rocky Point in any way, I think you’ll enjoy it. If, for some reason, you’re totally against the curse or the dark history, then bring some headphones and just watch the imagines.”

With this film, Mayoh hopes to perverse Rocky Point Park. He uses the theme of the curse to tell the story, but doesn’t use the film to argue this point. He instead wants the park to be celebrated by those who truly understand the magic that the park encompasses.

It Had To Be Done, a contemporary re-imagining of Edgar Allan Poe’s The Tell-Tale Heart, will screen before Tales of Rocky Point Park. This short film was directed by former Somerset, Mass., and current New Bedford, Mass., resident Don Burton and written by Tommy Whalen, an educator at Joseph Case High School in Swansea, Mass. The movie was filmed in Providence, R.I., with post-production and finishing in New Bedford. It was produced in conjunction with “The Big Read” in New Bedford. “The Big Read” is a program of the National Endowment for the Arts, in partnership with Arts Midwest. It Had To Be Done won First Prize at the Rhode Island International Film Festival’s Providence Underground Film Fest in 2014.

The Narrows Center is located at 16 Anwan Street in Fall River, Mass. Doors open at 7 p.m. for the Oct. 8th screening. Film starts at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $12 and can be purchased online at http://www.narrowscenter.org or by calling the box office at 508-324-1926. For those wanting to purchase tickets in person, box office hours are Wednesday through Saturday, 12 noon to 5 p.m.

Cable Car Cinema and Cafe to celebrate its 40th anniversary

BY JULIA CIRIGNANO

The logo of the Cable Car Cinema and Cafe in Providence, R.I. The award winning and national recognized theater will celebrate its 40th anniversary this weekend.
The logo of the Cable Car Cinema and Cafe in Providence, R.I. The award winning and nationally recognized theater will celebrate its 40th anniversary this weekend, Oct. 1st & 2nd.

The award-winning and nationally recognized Cable Car Cinema and Café in Providence, R.I., is a movie theater unlike any other. They are competing only with themselves since the movies they choose to show are aimed towards their specific community and own personal taste. The theater is known for playing offbeat, foreign, and unique films that are not shown at commercial movie theaters.

Cable Car is also unique since it features a cafe with comfortable chairs in an intimate, community-based setting. While many commercial theaters focus on filling seats, The Cable Car focuses on the quality of the movies they screen and the atmosphere that their audience experiences.

Daniel Kamil and Emily Steffian have owned and operated the Cable Car Cinema and Cafe since 2008. Before then, Kamil and his wife had owned The Revival House in Westerly, R.I., from 2003 to 2007. They coincidentally sold this property around the same time that they heard the Cable Car was closing. The timing was right and their passion was there.

“We thought it was a good thing to try and save so we ended up buying it in 2008 and trying to continue the tradition,” said Kamil.

Since then, Kamil and his wife have succeeded in both continuing the tradition and constantly updating and bettering the cinema and cafe to fit the times. Kamil spoke about his favorite part of owning the Cable Car.

“The community aspect,” he said. “The ability to provide a venue for the community to see programing that they would not be able to see in a social setting being woven very much into the fabric of the community.”

Kamil has had eight years of experience as the owner of the Cable Car. With many independent theaters closing over the years, Kamil talked about how he has helped the Cable Car to maintain its success.

“We are open for business at eight in the morning when we serve coffee and bagels and food to the students across the street,” he said. “The ability to get all different sources of revenue. The ticket revenue is only probably 35 percent of overall what we make.”

Combining a theater with a cafe has led to the Cable Car’s success and has granted them the ability to show unique films along with food and drinks that help support the business.

Patrons of the Cable Car Cinema and Cafe wait in line to purchase snacks and beverages before a recent screening of "Phantasm" on Sept. 23, 2016.
Patrons of the Cable Car Cinema and Cafe wait in line to purchase snacks and beverages before a recent screening of “Phantasm” on Sept. 24, 2016. (PHOTO BY J. KENNEY)

The Cable Car has been recognized by The New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Entertainment Weekly and Yankee Magazine among other major publications for its dedication and commitment to film as art. Last year, the Sundance Institute’s Art House Convergence recognized the Cable Car Cinema and Cafe among its first class of Art House Project theaters. Kamil talked about being one of only 23 theaters selected for this honor.

“We felt great about that,” he said. “To get that kind of recognition amongst your peers is great. You know, all those other theaters are great to see movies and to be included in that group felt really good.”

This past weekend on September 24, the Cable Car participated in the first annual Art House Theater Day. This day celebrated the art house theater and the cultural role it plays in a community, while recognizing the year-round contributions of film and filmmakers, patrons, projectionists and staff, and the brick and mortar theaters that are passionately dedicated to providing access to the best cinematic experience.

With so many independent theaters having to closer their doors, Kamil talked about the importance of small, privately owned cinemas.

“I think communities are enriched by having cinemas in their town,” he said. “It’s important that the programing decisions are made by people in your community that know the issues of the communities as opposed to some faceless corporate entity that is just trying to get as many people into the door as possible.”

The Cable Car will soon be celebrating their 40th anniversary. In celebration, they have decided to screen films from 1976, the year the Cable Car opened, on October 1st and 2nd over a 24-hour period. Kamil said that he will be unable to show one of his favorite films, Taxi Driver, since the studio put a block on it, but he is excited to show Rocky.

“I have a soft spot for Rocky,” he acknowledged.  “It’s one of the best things Sylvester Stallone ever did…I love the Bowie movie (The Man Who Fell to Earth) we’re doing — the sci-fi movie that he did.”

The complete 40th anniversary schedule includes: The Pink Panther Strikes Again (12 PM), Murder By Death (2:15 PM), Car Wash (4:15 PM), Rocky (6:30 PM), All the President’s Men (9 PM), Carrie (11:45 PM), The Blank Generation (2 AM),  The Man Who Fell to Earth (3:30 AM), The Song Remains the Same (6:15 AM), A Star Is Born (9 AM) and Network (11:45 AM).

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Patrons pack the Cable Car Cinema and Cafe on Art House Theater Day. The theater will screen 24 hours worth of films from 1976, the year the theater opened, on Oct. 1 & 2 to coincide with their 40th anniversary. (PHOTO BY J. KENNEY)

Kamil talked about some of his most memorable moments since he took over ownership of The Cable Car.

“One of the most bizarre things that happened was getting issued a warrant by the Attorney State General of Rhode Island for screening The Interview,” he said.

Although this movie was not within the typical genre or style the Cable Car usually shows, The Interview gave the cinema a chance to host a whole different group of people. The Cable Car was one of the only theaters that played the movie, so they attracted many people.

“So literally, we had lines around the block,” he said.

Kamil himself dislikes the movie, but agreed it was an interesting experience, plus the FBI showed up.

“They just came to make sure servers were all secure, so we wouldn’t get hacked,” he said.

For more information about The Cable Car, visit  www.cablecarcinema.com.

Art House Day Spotlight – After Midnite Series Shines at the Coolidge Corner Theatre

BY JULIA CIRIGNANO

Mark Anastasio is the Program Manager at The Coolidge Corner Theatre in Brookline, Mass. Anastasio has managed to always keep this program eccentric and unique due to the abounding passion he has for his work. On March 10, 2016, Anastasio celebrated 10 years of working at The Coolidge and has continued to create new and interesting events year after year.

“I like playing movies for people the most. I think I have the most fun at a film event that I planned,” he said. “I like promoting the events here at the theatre. I really love hosting them. That’s when I’m enjoying the job the most. When I’m able to see audiences get excited at one of our events. That’s like the best, refreshing part of the gig.”

At The Coolidge, Anastasio is currently working on their weekly After Midnite Series which features weekend screenings of horrifying, weird, camp, avant garde, tripped out, and cult films, often from 35 mm prints.

“It’s primarily a genre film series. We mostly run horror and science fiction and all that type of fun stuff,” he said. “Currently, we have a program happening in September that’s a multitude of class midnight films. Because we see such a turnover in the city in September, I wanted to really open people’s eyes to the spirit of this film series in general, so that gave me the idea to run some of the more classic midnight films like the real midnight movies.”

The Coolidge After Midnite weekend films series often screens horrifying, weird, camp, avant garde, tripped-out, and cult films, on 35 mm or even 16-mm.
The Coolidge After Midnite weekend films series often screens horrifying, weird, camp, avant garde, tripped-out, and cult films, from 35 mm or even 16-mm prints. (PHOTO BY J. KENNEY)

Anastasio talked about the importance and exclusive purity of watching a film in the theatre.

“Even though we’re playing events every weekend of the year, there are some films that some people agree can be, and only should be, seen with an audience, in a theater, at midnight,” he said. “You have Pink Flamingos that we ran last week (Sept. 2, 2016) which is one of them. This weekend (Sept. 9, 2016) we’re playing, what many people consider to be the first midnight movie, which is El Topo by Alejandro Jodorowsky and we follow up that up on Saturday night with a film from the same director, The Holy Mountain.”

While Anastasio finds watching movies in theatres to be a one-of-a kind experience, he talked about the positive and negative impact that Video on Demand (VOD), Amazon, iTunes, Hulu and other viewing platforms have had on The Coolidge. Although there seems to be a pretty direct connection, Anastasio explained that he tends to pick movies that are not available on those websites to avoid conflict and competition. By doing this, The Coolidge can successfully work alongside these websites since both are displaying different products.

Surprisingly, these websites such as Netflix, have managed to make a positive impact on The Coolidge in some ways.

“Netflix has helped us to build interest in some types of movies,” said Anastasio. “I remember when Twin Peaks first became available on Netflix. It was all that was showing up on people’s newsfeeds was like how every one of your friends was watching Twin Peaks. Then, we programmed the film prequel Twin Peaks: Fire Walk with Me as a Midnite title, and it brought out like 350 people. It was an insanely popular show and I could only attribute that to people newly discovering the television series on Netflix.”

Anastasio does admit, though, that these other platforms, which are designed primarily for a younger generation, make it harder for him to gain a younger demographic. Anastasio has a passion and great skill set for his job, yet he is faced with some other challenges too. The biggest challenge with programing The After Midnite Series is, “Film availability. With this film series in particular, we like to play as much as we can, on 35-mm. If we can’t find a film on 35-mm, sometimes we’ll source at 16-mm.”

Anastasio gave one example, “a few years ago when we wanted to play Predator, the Arnold Schwarzenegger film, we heard back from Fox that they didn’t have a 35-mm print.” He was surprised that the film hadn’t been preserved on 35-mm in 1987.

Anastasio also talked about the difficulty filling seats. While The Coolidge does have some dedicated fans, with new technology nowadays, it’s hard to get people to come off their couches. Anastasio did end on a positive note saying, “We’re fortunate that we’re in Boston. This is a pretty great town for film. We see our audience grow each year that we’ve run this series, especially with the increased frequency in which we’re running midnight films.”

The above movie posters are just some of the old and newer films that have screened during the Coolidge After Midnight weekend series. (PHOTO BY J. KENNEY)
The above movie posters are just some of the old and newer films that have screened during the Coolidge After Midnight weekend series in the past. (PHOTO BY J. KENNEY)

In July, The Coolidge launched the “Summer of Psychosis” series where they screened ten different films on 35-mm. They decided to screen two different films back to back, instead of one over two nights.

“I wanted to try something new,” said Anastasio. “The series, for the ten years that I’ve been involved, there was always one film screened on both Friday and Saturday nights.”

With the “Summer of Psychosis” series, Anastasio wanted to play ten instead of five movies in order to, “give examples of what we were talking about with that film series; the different forms of psychosis that can manifest within people, and we just needed more to exemplify that.”

Anastasio took a risk, got approval from the Executive Director of The Coolidge, and the “Summer of Psychosis” series ended up being widely successful.

“We had close to sell out audiences for Taxi Driver. We actually did sell out the house for The Shining. So each weekend, we were leading with one of those larger titles, and then the accompanying title which would play the next night, was kind of a B-side,” he said.

This setup gave some lesser known films, such as Santa Sangre, exposure because they were partnered with a big name film.

Anastasio reminisced about one especially memorable experience he had during a movie that screened at The Coolidge. Although the film was very gory, he said that the audience had a great time due to the ironic structure of the movie plot.

“It was kind of an epiphany experience I had during one of our Halloween marathons, where the third film of the night was a film called Demons by Lamberto Bava,” he said. “It was produced by Dario Argento. The movie is about people going to a movie theater and the movie that they’re watching is about the spread of this demonic plague that everyone turns into demons and then everyone in the theatre becomes demons and begins tearing everyone apart. It becomes a survival horror film within a movie theatre.”

On Friday, October 21, The Coolidge is once again partnering with the Trustee of the Reservations to present “Cabin of Horror” at Rocky Woods Reservation in Medfield, Mass., where they’re screening the original The Evil Dead and The Cabin in the Woods.

Anastasio talked about the success he had presenting some of the Friday the 13th films last year at Rocky Woods Reservation. For a while, Anastasio had been looking for a place to host such an event, and was thrilled when The Trustee of the Reservation agreed to his pitch that many people had turned down. Anastasio joked about this struggle saying, “When you’re pitching horror films, you’re like, ‘hey, we run this midnight movie series and we want to bring our audience to your location to watch slasher films, like at your camp,’ like the answer to that was almost always, ‘no’.”

Anastasio received a phone call from the Program Manager of The Trustee of the Reservation. He asked if Anastasio had any use for their campsite.

“I had to like mute the phone and do a bunch of fist pumping, then pick up the phone and be like, ‘yes, yes, we would be interested. I think we can make this work’.”

Anastasio decided to pick November 13th, 2015, to play the original Friday the 13th and Friday the 13th Part VI: Jason Lives at Rocky Woods. The setting was perfect and the screening attracted many fans. Due to the success of the screening, The Coolidge decided to put the same show on again six months later on May 13th by screening Friday the 13th Part III and Friday the 13th Part IV: The Final Chapter, selling over 300 tickets.

“On May 13th, it was pouring rain the entire day. We planned for it and were able to set up additional tents, but the audience themselves, everyone who arrived, brought their tailgating tent. It turned into this weird little camp ground and, throughout the entire evening, through two movies, it was pouring rain, we were grilling in the rain and it was a great time. There wasn’t a single complaint. Nobody even brought up the idea of ‘may I have a refund’,” Anastasio said.

Anastasio was surprised by the fans dedication and easy going love for film. He hopes to have the same type of success on October 21st at the “Cabin of Horror” event at Rocky Woods. (Purchase tickets HERE).

Anastasio anticipates doing more screenings with themes at Rocky Woods Reservation in the future and is looking to expand The Coolidge’s resume.

“They have a new program coordinator at this point, but they seem just as game to put on these types of events,” he said. “I’d like to branch out. Even though these horror events are great, it would be great to start doing different types of films and many utilize some of [The Trustee of the Reservation’s] other locations. We’ve only briefly started to talk about that subject but they’re a wonderful organization. They have so many great properties around Massachusetts that I’m sure we can find different ways to activate their other spaces with film.”

This October, The Coolidge After Midnite schedule is full of horror related films for the Halloween season. Among the films being screened are The Omen on Sept. 30th, To The Devil A Daughter (Oct. 1st), The Amityville Horror (Oct. 7th), The Exorcist (Oct. 8th), The Pit (Oct. 14th, 15th & 22nd), An American Werewolf in London (Oct. 14th), Curse of the Werewolf (Oct. 15th), Poltergeist (Oct. 21st & 22nd), and The Fly (Oct. 28th).

The Coolidge will also be hosting their 16th annual Halloween Horror Marathon on Oct. 29th. (Purchase tickets HERE). Anastasio explained that the film selection is a joint effort within the Coolidge staff. Anastasio also added that he always makes sure to consult the projection staff because, “they’re the guys who have to stay up all night running these movies. They definitely have a say in what’s shown.”

Anastasio’s passion for film has led to The Coolidge’s success, but he is sure to include the opinions of the people he works with and always has his ears open for new ideas that his co-workers present.

Anastasio explained the format of the annual horror movie marathon.

“The first two movies of the night are the ones we use to sell the event and then the additional four or five titles remain a secret throughout the night,” he said.

For this year’s marathon, Anastasio has chosen Scream and Scream 2 as the announced double feature. He also gave a hint about what the other movies may be.

“I can tell you that in programing the remainder of this year’s marathon, all of the programing ideas came from watching Scream and Scream 2,” he said.

You have to attend the show to find out which movies Anastasio selected that, “are either directly or indirectly referenced by the first two Scream movies.”

The Coolidge Corner Theatre is located at 290 Harvard Street in Brookline. Visit their website by clicking HERE.

photo-horror-marathon-2016

A NOTE FROM OUR PUBLISHER – Today (Sept. 24, 2016) is the first ever Art House Day, which celebrates the legacy of independent theaters as advocates for cinema arts. In an age where media has become more digital than tangible, more solitary than social, art house theaters remain the physical spaces where film lovers congregate and connect with intrepid, creative filmmaking. They are the beating heart for new and exciting cinema that is shaping the future of the medium. Although we interviewed Mark Anastasio nearly two weeks ago, we held this story for Art House Day because the Coolidge Corner Theatre is one of our all time favorite theaters in the country and you can often find us there on weekends at midnight.  We applaud Mark on his 10 years of service at the theater and the entire Coolidge staff for bringing great entertainment and passion for film to the Greater Boston Area!!!  ~ Jay

Flight of Fire takes off on the ‘Path of the Phoenix’

BY JULIA CIRIGNANO

Fight of Fire (Submitted Photo)
Fight of Fire won Limelight Magazine and the Narrows Center for the Arts “Opening Act Contest” on Sept. 8th. (Submitted Photo)

Consisting of Dorian Maverick, Tanya Venom, Tia Mayhem, and Kat Dukeshire, Flight of Fire brought 110 percent to their performance at the “Opening Act Contest” which was hosted at the Narrows Center for the Arts in Fall River Mass., on Sept. 8th. Every crazy thing they could think of doing on a stage, they did — and they did it extremely well.

Although there were many other talented acts, they were the clear winners of the contest before it was even announced. As a result, they will get to open for Limelight Magazines 10th Anniversary Bash with Lita Ford at the Narrows Center on Nov. 1, 2016. This show is almost sold out. Remaining tickets can be purchased HERE.

In typical rock ‘n roll clothes, Flight of Fire entered the stage. The lights were dim, but the four women on stage had twinkles in their eyes. Only they knew what’s in store and it was truly something to be excited about.

Without any warning, lead singer Maverick spontaneously combusted into an acapella/screamo intro to their first song, “Rockstar Life.” Within seconds, Venom (lead guitar), Mayhem (bass) and Dukeshire (drums) joined into the chaos. During their nearly fifteen minutes on stage, the band unleashed every last drop of angst and emotion boiling within them — resulting in the pure eruption of everything the audience expected them to be and more.

Flight of Fire took the audience through hell and back. There wasn’t one moment where I was bored, since they put their all into every note they played. The band played as one organism — feeling each beat from their feet to their fingertips. With ear to ear smiles, each band member showed their true passion and love for what they were doing.

With bright red hair and empowering confidence, Maverick rocked the stage with charisma and attitude. She showed both strength and vulnerability. After rocking out during their first song, the band surprised the audience by toning it down. They played one acoustic song where all four girls laid out their emotions and love for folk music.

Venom and Mayhem also rocked the stage with an undeniable connection to both the music and each other. This was the result of being identical twins. Rocking different instruments and hair colors, their special bond was still evident, especially when they suddenly dropped their instruments and jumped onto the drum set together. Holding hands, and each holding one drum stick, the twins played the last half of “My Last Gamble” playing twin drums. During this, Dukeshire left the kit and casually picked up the bass and Maverick picked up the guitar, as it’s totally normal for rock bands to completely switch instruments during a song.

Flight of Fire left The Narrows stage a pile of ashes, frankly, making it difficult for the band’s playing after them.

As a judge for the contest and also a newfound Flight of Fire fan myself, I was given the opportunity to sit down with Maverick and Mayhem to talk about the contest, their thoughts about their careers, and their plans for the future.

“That was amazing,” said Maverick about winning the contest. “There were some really good musicians there that night and it was an honor to be a part of it at all. Then winning was just totally amazing.”

Flight of Fire shocked their audience at The Narrows with their performance and are also known for many other excellent shows. Maverick talked about the twin drumming they performed.

“The twin drumming was actually my idea,” she said. “The twins do so many amazing things together all the time. They seem to read each other’s minds basically and in practices they do this crazy stuff and I’m like ‘wow, that could be something really cool on stage’.”

“So we thought of doing the twin drumming and it was so easy for them. It was just ridiculous,” she continued. “We decided to work it into ‘My Last Gamble’ and have Kat take the bass there and do the whole switch off which is really fun for people to watch. We always get a good response.”

Mayhem talked about playing with her twin Tanya and the special bond they have.

“I love it honestly, playing with my sister,” she said. “We have such a unique bond. Like, not everyone is close to their siblings, but Tanya and I have always been close. We grew up together, we did almost everything together. Pretty much everything we could do together, we did.”

Mayhem goes on to explain that while their bond is exceptional in their day-to-day lives, they have also managed to use this connection to their advantage on stage.

“We don’t have that intense competition, we just have like, we build each other up and we work together,” she said. “I play bass, she plays guitar, and so we’re assisting each other in that way and playing off each other. It’s really fun. And yeah, we have this kind of connection. I just feel like we always know what each other’s kind of thinking. You know, you can sense what they’re feeling and kind of assume if you feel one way, she feels that way too. We kind of use that vibe while making music.”

Although Flight of Fire is purely a rock band, they have been inspired by folk and many other types of music.

“Our variety’s really important to us. When I met the twins at Berklee, they came from a pure classic rock background, and, at the time, I was actually coming from a singer/songwriter kind of background. So when we started collaborating together, we got a lot of different sub-genres in there,” Maverick said.

Maverick talked about one genre that has especially inspired the band.

“As far as folk artists that inspire Flight of Fire and me, I’m hugely inspired by Paul Simon and Simon & Garfunkel,” she said. “Also, Zeppelin has been a huge inspiration because they have so many acoustic and folk songs and I think that is where ‘My Last Gamble’ came out of. [It] was the combination of those two things. It’s got some of the southern, foot stompin’ thing going on.”

With Flight of Fire excelling at a rock and rock, what’s next? Surprisingly enough, all members of the band, except for Dukeshire, went to Berklee College of Music. They studied classical music and enjoyed their studies due to their natural love for gaining knowledge.

“Me and the twins are all classically trained,” said Maverick. “I played violin, Tia played bass clarinet, and Tanya played flute.”

While those instruments and classical sounds were incorporated into some of their earlier songs, Flight of Fire is now purely rock.

Maverick also talked about their majors at Berklee.

“The twins both majored in film scoring, writing music for movies and songs, and digital media,” she said. “Then, I double majored in songwriting and composition, composition being classical composition. I think that’s what definitely influenced us.”

Although Maverick makes it clear that they use the knowledge they gained from Berklee, she doesn’t believe that you need to go to Berklee to become a successful rock musician. She explained how she and the twins decided to go to Berklee not necessarily because they wanted to be rock stars, but because they wanted to learn as much as they could about their number one passion in life: music.

 “We all honestly love school. I don’t think many people who see us live would assume that we’re geeks, but we’re pretty much geeks,” Maverick admitted. “For us, it made sense because we’re all fascinated by every aspect of music on a technical scale, so we wanted to learn everything we could. But you certainly do not need to do that to play rock. We like to have a marriage of both worlds – the technical side and the pure passion side.”

Mayhem explained the band’s main message.

“The main message we want to send with our music is that no matter who you are, where you come from, or what you do, you can achieve whatever you want if you set your mind to it and you never give up,” she said.

Mayhem continued to say that they want to inspire people to, “do what they want to do in life, because that’s a good life.”

“If you’re doing what you want and you’re being who you what to be, then you’re not wasting time, you’re not wasting life. Even if you might not ever get there, just striving for that makes you feel more like yourself,” she said.

Flight of Fire’s favorite and so far biggest show they have every played was when they opened up for Bon Jovi at Ford Field Stadium in Detroit. Since then, they have become addicted to big stages. The band feels more comfortable the bigger the stage is because they can do so much more with their performances.

Maverick reminisced about the Bon Jovi football stadium stage.

“To hear our voices and instruments echoing off the back of the stadium…We love to run around and be crazy and do the exciting stuff that we do,” she said.

Flight of Fire plans to release their newest album titled Path of the Phoenix next weekend.

Flight of Fire will release "Path to the Phoenix" on Oct. 1, 2016.
Flight of Fire will release “Path to the Phoenix” on Oct. 1, 2016, with a CD release party at Zobra Music Hall in Lowell, Mass.

 “It’s going to be released on October 1st and the release party is at Olympia’s Zorba Music Hall (located at 439 Market St.) in Lowell, Mass. We are having a reunion show of the amazing ‘80’s, all female band Lizzie Borden and the Axes are playing with us that night. Very, very cool.”

 To purchase tickets to this show, click HERE.

“The album itself is a concept album. It tells the story of a woman who goes through tons of trials and horrible things, finds her own inner strength, and is re-born through the strength of that fire. It’s pretty cool,” said Maverick about Path of the Phoenix. “We have tons of concept art that we’re going to be releasing along with the album. Each song has a tarot card that was created by our amazing artist Lucas Seven.”

Produced by Liz Borden, the album will have seven tracks, two which have already been released: “Better Off Without You” and their newest single “My Last Gamble”.

Limelight Magazine is the first to premiere their newest music video for the song “My Last Gamble.” Please watch it below and spread the word about this amazing band!