New site Alt Scene Asia

Hellooo lovelies! I know I’ve been off in the ethernet once again….but I have been making way for a new website that will better integrate some of my interests, provide a better service and be more informative, leaving this one for my personal blogging. I’ve had so many people ask me, “where’s good to go for alternative music & culture in Japan/Singapore/Malaysia/India/Cambodia?”etc and usually I cobble together a facebook reply with lists, and point them towards my blog and certain tags.

I had a lightbulb moment a few weeks ago (drinking beer and watching something like Nat Geo or or TLC on foxtel), that there ought to be a website that alternative type people can check out, to look up where’s cool to go in each city. Now, there certainly exist numerous websites that cover their own city or country and in great depth, along with other sites that do all of Asia but with only glancing references to the alternative scenes there (like Lonely Planet or certain parts of CNN).

There are also those wesbites dedicated to their music style, such as Punk or Dark Alternative, and they cover off artists, gigs and scenes all over the world – but only in their genre. But how to bring these into the one place? While necessarily sacrificing the detail and depth of a genre-specific website, I believe there is value in putting together on one site, posts that link people to the sorts of places they’d like to visit when travelling in Asia, of course providing links to those more detailed sites for those who want to read more.

Anyway, that’s the vision, and that’s where Alt Scene Asia comes in. I’d like to cover alternative music scenes such as punk, post-punk, goth, deathrock, rockabilly, psychobilly, maybe industrial and just weird shit, as well as fashion, food, art & culture. In some places, just finding a place that plays *rock* is a battle, where everywhere you go you hear mainstream pop, R&B, urban, and artists like Rihanna blaring at you from every shop or bar. I do not want to cover off that stuff, or mainstream asian genres like K-pop and J-pop. There are enough sites serving them already ;)

So, AltSceneAsia. I’m gathering together a team from various cities and countries to write, because local knowledge is key, and also hoping to have a lot of guest writers. So if you know about a certain city, or know people who do, please drop me a line.

So that’s the place where I’ll do more informational posts, not that there won’t still be some here, but this blog will more be my personal experiences while travelling (as it always has been), alternative events etc here in Sydney, and my fashion and style inspirations.

In other exciting news, I’m off to Japan again! I haven’t been there since last November, and really need an update to stay current. Plus, I just can’t wait to go back ;) It also looks like I’ll have a quick mini-vacay to Myanmar with hubby the month after…so will hopefully get some local knowledge of the punk scene there, as well as just holidaying.

And now back to the website, to get it passable before promoting it. I’m no code monkey, and the tweaking is taking aaaaages!

This day a year ago – DIY Leopard Print Hair

On December 8 last year I posted this DIY, and since it’s party season again, I present to you – How to get leopard print hair!

Here’s my DIY video where I show how I did the leopard print on my hair, by demonstrating on a wig.

It’s great for parties, clubs and gigs, whether punk, rockabilly, psychobilly or goth. Give it a go! It’s easy…

Did you try this in the past year?  Why not try it now?

Ghost of Harlem 2011 “Grunge Bikers” collection

As I mentioned recently, I’m bowled over by Ghost of Harlem’s new line, Grunge Bikers.

Based on a mostly monochromatic palette of black/white/grey which will please the black brigade, there are contrasting pops of colour – yellow, blue or red- to zoozh up the collection and amp up the drama factor.

Lovers of the rock-chick, goth and punk look (like me) will love the skull motifs, use of fishnet, distressed leggings, grunge lettering and studded details. Gyaru Mode gals will love the Murua-like long floaty outer dresses, and everyone will recognise the very on-trend tie-dye abstract prints, seen here on pants and shirts.

Leopard print is thrown in there, in turquoise or coral, for those who (like me) believe that leopard is almost a staple neutral. There’s even a nod to the 70′s look so popular now, but with a rock look and without the over-use of fringing, feathers and Indian motifs that is a little heavy handed in some brands (see their skull poncho for example). While I’m not a personal fan of denim, the collection is styled to show how well denim does pair with the various pieces, for a casual youthful look. If that’s not your thing, eschew the pale denim, bare legs, bright colours and headbands, add chunky platform boots and masses of silver rings and studded cuffs and voila, a rock-punk look is yours. Eminently wearable.

Anyway, see the collection yourself – don’t you love it? (Click on any picture to see a larger image):

LOVE this yellow jacket sooo much! It also comes in white or pink, and has a detachable hood (buy at Rakuten here)

  

  

  

I started off a massive TutuHa fan, then moved onto Glad News (the studded skull tee of whose I’m currently wearing to death) – but Ghost of Harlem is threatening to take its place as fave rock gyaru brand. What do you think?

NB: for those asking “but how can I buy it, when I’m not in Japan?”, I did a search on Rakuten, and the shop Bubbly sells Ghost of Harlem items. So why not check it out? There are some great older items there too, and more of the new collection will be available in time.

My first DJ gig at Cobweb Club March 2011

I had my first DJ gig on Saturday night at one of my fave Sydney clubs, the Cobweb Club, held at Hermann’s Bar. (I’ve written about the Cobweb Club before – and some pics are here too)

The Cobweb Club plays deathrock, goth and post-punk music..and sometimes has bands, as we did on Saturday night: “Strangers in the Dark” and “Box of Fish”.

 

As always, there were cobwebs and draped stuff hanging from the ceiling for a spooktakular effect:

 

I’d compiled a playlist of some old faves, some songs that don’t get played as much as the big hits, and some songs by new bands. After consulting with Kat, the DJ I was going head-to-head with, I decided on some hits first, as we were playing straight after the bands. Have to keep the punters dancing!

 

As for what I wore, it was a cobweb top from Topshop (not seen), t-shirt gifted from 13th Moon, jacket with safety pins and bat and cobweb motifs from GLP, striped patent Deadlygirlz corset, old black skirt, zombie leggings and platform boots from Yosuke at Marui One.

The Damned’s “New Rose” started off my set, and others I played included Siouxsie’s “Kiss Them For Me”, “Millenium” by Killing Joke, “Walk the Line” by Alien Sex Fiend, and my wild cards by newer bands, “Paper Dolls” by Christ vs Warhol and “Gravedance” by 13th Moon! Luckily, people kept dancing the whole time, and some came up to give a thumbs up, ask what a song was, or say how much they liked the music. Awesome!!

 

All in all, a fun experience for me, and one I will certainly be repeating before too long. The only thing that went wrong really, was after the set. I was walking towards Dom and there was a row of low cube footstool pouf things, but one was a little out of line with the others, a bit further forward, which I hadn’t clocked. Well, one minute I was walking, next thing – BAM! I was down on the ground, after painfully falling on my shoulder, and biting my lip and cheek inside and out. Got up with blood trickling from the corner of my mouth…and the bouncer watching. Oh, my.

I’d keep wiping it but it kept bleeding, so I realised my best bet was to cut the partying short and go home. Oh noes!! We always stay til the end.  Shoulder and puncture wounds are healing nicely now, so don’t worry. It was mainly my pride that was hurt :/

Luxe Punk looks for less

I’m besotted with the new Burberry Prorsum range for 2011 with its motocross biker/punk looks. Chanelling the futurist trend by the use of silver, and beautiful detailing makes it look very luxe (as does the price tag!)

How I’d love a pair of the Silver Metallic Leather Trousers or the Leather Peplum Biker Jacket

 

and definitely the Studded Leather Biker Jacket

But back to silver leather pants, there’s also Balmain’s Silver Leather Leggings to obsess over. But my real guilty pleasure is the shiny Gareth Pugh slit metallic PVC trousers

So, very few of us can afford these, but here are a few more affordable pieces for those who love the punk aesthetic, from Charles of London

Black Drill and Silver Leather Biker Jacket

Black Velvet Holgraphic Sequin Biker Jacket and Black Leather Biker Jacket

And though it is different in style, I love this Union Jack Biker Jacket, with transfer on the back

I’ve seen it on a few kids in harajuku street fashion shots, along with some of the below tops and dresses.

Lightning Bolt Dress and Silver Lightning Bolt Dress

Or if you’re REALLY out there…

Claws Dress with Plastic Bag Skirt or Sick Dress

If you like pink with your punk, look no further than the Charles of London Leopard Strip Dress or the Mirror Zip Dress

For your bottom half, Miss Sixty has Silver Leggings, and Sass and Bide’s Silver Rats are still available too

Definitely for the flashy, these Metal Threads Star Pants will get you noticed (& can be ordered in silver). Or the Black 3D Stretch Vinyl Pants are also pretty hardcore.

Decadent Designz offers very cool Ruched Cyber Pants and PVC Cropped Jacket

And there are numerous biker jackets available in high street stores, in both vinyl (PU) and leather varieties.

Top Shop

and Miss Selfridge

Of course, you can always stud your own vest or jacket…with something like these spiked studs from ebay. For more inspiration of the studded variety, Nomi is a side project by the bods at Tokyo Telephone that will have you salivating.

Don’t forget op-shops, goodwill or thrift shops (depending on where you’re from as to what you call them!) Leather in particular can be very expensive new, but actually gets better with age. And since the advent of PVC, there are a lot of vegan jackets and pants out there that fit the bill without killing your conscience or your wallet. Just check out what the lining is made of, as synthetic materials don’t breathe and will have you all sweaty. 

Then there are the boots to match, but that’s a whole nother post…..