Hot damn if the Reverend Horton Heat didn’t lay down some wide-open guitar licks in his day. The good Rev has slowed with age, and on his first new album in five years it’s obvious that he’s more content observing from his La-Z-Boy than a bar stool—a fact he addresses on “Beer Holder,” an ode to growing beer guts. The closest the trio comes to the open-throttle sound of their early days is the gambler’s lament “Oh God! Doesn’t Work in Vegas.” It’s a counter to the country blues of “Just Let Me Hold My Paycheck,” where the Rev whines about his wife’s spending and croons, “My days of wheeling and dealing are gone, I have to admit.” Even the Rev isn’t recession-proof.
"The thing about fads is that they'll come and go," says L.A.-via-Brooklyn jewelry maker Rich Sandomeno. "But I'm into shit that's gonna last forever. Even the work boots I own have lasted me 15 years." Whether it's footwear, the engines he rebuilt during his former career as an industrial diesel mechanic, his handmade Spragwerks jewelry line, or his extensive tattoo collection, Sandomeno knows a thing or two about what's built to last—a sensibility that was forged early on by his blue-collar upbringing. It was among the postindustrial landscape of northeast New Jersey that, as a teenager, the creative but unfocused Sandomeno stifled his artistic longings and instead followed his father ...
As the old-school tattooer opens up a new shop, we take a look at the life and work of one of America’s greatest traditional inkers.
"It took me two years to make this, but my who life to write this." - RICKY HIL
Ricky Hil (@rickyhil) may be the son of famous fashion mogul Tommy Hilfiger, but he’s worked his ass off to overcome a lot of adversity and make a name for himself in hip-hop. The rising rapper has been in music since he was 13 and recently inked a deal with Warner Bros.
Even in the loose world of pornography, girls with tattoos are stigmatized; an inked adult actress is thought to be kinkier and wilder than those typical blondes who have enhanced their looks in other ways. Then there’s Riley Jensen, a nice, simple, strait-laced woman who just happens to like sex enough to make a living out of doing it on camera.
L.A. native Robert Atkinson went from airbrushing T-shirts at theme parks and fairs to outfitting tattoo collectors with body suits tailored in such a way to make the artwork appear organic on the body, as if the client had been born with his powerful Japanese-inspired art on them...
Producing high-quality, specialized work is paramount to Jason Brooks, Tony Hundahl, and Hector Fong—the three diverse artists who make up Rock of Ages in South Austin. Opened in October of 2005, Rock of Ages is a pure custom shop specializing in traditional American and Japanese tattooing. Hailing from an artistic family (his father was a professional illustrator), Brooks began making his bones some 15 years ago, working the street shops of South Florida. Now he is sought out for his specialty, traditional Japanese designs and imagery. Entering its third year of existence, the shop’s drive for creative excellence is emphatically summed up by Hundahl: “We’re constantly pushing ourselves and each other to do the best tattoos we possibly can.”
Roky Erickson is an American treasure, and his first album in 14 years is a not-so-subtle reminder that his relevance hasn’t waned. Produced by Will Sheff and featuring his band, Okkervil River, True Love Cast Out All Evil is a heady mix of psychedelia, pop, and ambient experimentation. On tracks such as Crazy Horse–inflected “Goodbye Sweet Dreams” it sounds like Erickson is baring his soul, but there is melody amid the catharsis, most notably on swirling sing-alongs like “Ain’t Blues Too Sad.” Thankfully, instead of slick production, these moments are recorded in lo-fi, making it sound as if you’re standing next to Erickson as he conquers his demons.