Bowie tribute

All posts tagged Bowie tribute

More Odd Happenings: A Tale of Two Parties (Bowie Tribute and Groundhog Day Hogabilly 2016)

Published February 10, 2016 by baileyquillincooper

I wasn’t going to do another one of these “odd happenings” posts, but odd things just keep happening to me. This past weekend was also great and very productive (see my next post) and for once I finally got to go to a Bowie tribute night dressed as Marc Bolan. On Friday night Martyn had to babysit the Little Pigs so we got to Club 21 a little late but definitely not too late to party. Local bands were playing Bowie until just about closing time. Martyn wore his Halloween Jack getup again, putting all the Party City red rocker wig Bowies to shame, and I actually for once was recognized as Marc–multiple times even–and got mad props for looking disturbingly like him and doing something a little more outside of the box. Speaking of the box…I even saw a Bowie incarnation from his poofy sleeve mime days (haha, you see what I did there?) There were also plenty of other Bowie incarnations besides Ziggy and not a single Goblin King. I saw a more recent Lazarus Button Eyes Bowie, a 90’s goatee type Bowie, The Thin White Duke, and a big floppy sunhat that might have been an even earlier Bowie but I only managed to see the hat. I also kept seeing Metal dudes that had long blonde wave hair and mistaking them for The Man Who Sold The World, which is something that they totally should have done with the already having hair like that, but instead of a long flowing dress they were just wearing their boring Metal band vests and jeans which was a big disappointment. I would have liked to see all of the Bowies arranged in chronological order for a photo if the event was any sort of place for organization…which it totally wasn’t! I didn’t even think I took any photos from that night but then I found this hideous thing on my phone:


All I can make out is some guy I don’t recognize, my chin, Halloween Jack’s eyepatch, and I think that’s Brian Crace from The Cry on the right, who we were hanging out with all night…but it’s really hard to be sure.

The other strange and delightful happening of the past weekend was when Martyn and I went to a party at a stranger’s house on Saturday night. We had been invited at least. Actually it during at a previous fun Club 21 event (one of Martyn’s D.J. nights as D.J. Marty King) that we were invited. A sweet couple that were both much older than us but were still partying hard had come up to the D.J. table and complimented Martyn on the music. The woman then told me that she was going to be throwing a fab themed party at her house on February 6th for Groundhog Day, and that this is something that she does every year. Every year it’s groundhogs but with a different spin…last year was Hoggy Stardust and the Varmints from Mars, this year was Hogabilly, so rockabilly groundhogs. She told me the party was going to be really big and really crazy, and because she liked the look of us we were both invited, since she likes to “collect people.” Going on a gut feeling that this was a good thing and not a creepy House of Wax thing, I had saved just the date and the intersection of the two streets nearest to their house in my phone.

So the day of the party finally came and my curiosity would not let me just leave it alone. I had no name, no phone number, and not even the time of the party to go on. At 10:30 that night we decided to just find the intersection on Google Maps, drive there and look for a house that was obviously having a party, park somewhere, and walk right on in based on the assumption that it was hopefully the right place and there would be no weird sex stuff going on when we walked in the front door. Luckily that’s pretty much exactly what we ended up doing…and there was no weird sex stuff happening by the way, just about a hundred assorted guests partying and a professional live rockabilly band playing in the parlor of this gorgeous and grand victorian mansion of a house. People were all swing dancing while decked out in their full rockabilly attire, putting my leather jacket and couture party dress handmade by an indie designer in Asheville, NC to shame! The best or at least most unique part of it all wasn’t even the party itself, but the hostess’s extensive collection of original groundhog art. Everywhere you looked in her very big house there was groundhog paraphernalia, most of it obviously handmade by artists, friends and family. I asked her how long she had been collecting the hogs, and she told me at least for as long as the party has been going on, which was 19 years and counting! Somehow we had stumbled upon a real Portland tradition just by looking cool or something, and it made us feel very special to be a part of it.

Here’s a couple of pictures I managed to snap of the groundhog collection while I was there. Some of them are blurry either because my phone sucks, I was kinda drunk, or someone bumped into me at the exact moment that I took the photo. That happened a lot due to all the crazy dancing and the sheer amount of guests that were at this party.

This is just the front door.




I think I took that last one of the poster inside the house, because you can see some of the paper groundhog garlands that were all over the parlor/living room. Also, not a groundhog, but check out this sweet clarinet chandelier!


Past the parlor there was big table of previously attacked snacks with a giant handmade groundhog cookie jar for a centerpiece, as well as what appeared to be messages in Latin. I’m a rebel so I read the Latin, or at least I tried to. I think my pronunciation must have been really bad because no undead groundhogs rose from the grave to get us. You can also see the Hoggy Stardust poster from the previous year’s part in the background.





More groundhog artwork:







A big dead stuffed hog on the floor that had been squished from all the dancing:


A hog totem and some hoggy wine:



Some more posters from groundhog parties past:




Weird Hog News by the bathroom. Martyn looks very confused.


So yeah, what an awesome and fascinating night. I feel like we were taking part in a little piece of Portland history by just being there and I felt very honored and inspired. I really hope we get invited back next year…now I’ll just have to remember her name!



Just Some Odd and Inspiring Weekend Happenings

Published February 3, 2016 by baileyquillincooper

For this post I am trying something new. I decided to just write about some of the odd happenings that I experienced over the past weekend so you can get a little glimpse into my world and the sort of things that can inspire me and influence my thought process. I had a very busy and chaotic week followed by a really nice and productive weekend. Well, I suppose that Friday night was still pretty stressful and didn’t go so well. First I worked the early shift at Trader Joe’s, but had to stay late in one last attempt to finish a big foam core mobile for the February/Valentine’s Fearless Flyer, something that I had been trying to do all week long but was never granted any decent measure of uninterrupted time in which to do so. It was suggested to me to just keep with the Victorian clip art that is always present in the Flyer, so I made a smug Victorian couple eating Trader Joe’s Sriracha potato chips while sitting on a lecherous crescent moon. For some reason aristocrats with stuck-up, punchable faces are among my most favorite subjects to draw. I based my design off of this Victorian era Valentine card:


Although I definitely do get tired of the same standard Victorian public domain art that I am so used to working with now, I still love Victorian Valentine’s cards (as well as the odd postcard art from other holidays) because they always somehow manage to keep an element of the surreal and unexpected. A lot of them are really quite trippy if you look through them in an image search, lots of defying gravity, a weird sense of scale and proportion, a lot of anthropomorphic animals, objects, and I guess in this case celestial bodies. I think there must have been good money in the postcard business once upon a time, because it seems like the artists were always trying to outdo one another. Here’s my attempt at either referencing or outdoing the original…and sorry for the lower quality Instagram photo:


I don’t know if you can even tell from that photo, but my Victorian woman even has potato chip crumbs mingling with the rose petals and a grease stain on her lap. The part that I still could not get 100% finished even after staying half an hour late was the little extra dangle heart hanging from the man’s foot that says, “T.J.’s Fearless Flyer is here!” The first heart I had made was such a rush job that the letters were not quite up to my quality standards and the paint couldn’t even dry in time, getting all smudged and ruined. I was so frustrated that I had to just throw it away and just make a new one after I returned from my weekend, but sometimes that’s just how it goes.

After finishing my work at Trader Joe’s I had to battle the second bout of rush hour traffic in order to get to the Vine Gogh Sellwood studio and teach an evening class, pretty much having to go straight there without any break or a bite to eat since breakfast. Although it was a painting that I was familiar with, it was a full house and the noisiest class that I have ever taught. The Sellwood studio is very small and the little stage where the painting instructor stands with their easel is just a few steps away from the rest of the class. Still, with my mic turned up as loud as it could reasonably go and me shouting until my voice started to get hoarse, I could barely get a word in over one particularly raucous group of people that made it nearly impossible for the other half of the room to follow along with what I was saying. Due to the painting itself, the nature of the crowd that I taught that night, and the amount of accidental spills, dirty brushes, dirty palettes, and dirty dishes, the bartender and I both ended up having to stay very late.

Normally I wouldn’t have minded whatsoever, but I knew that because of all of this I was also going to be running extremely late for a Bowie tribute dance party that I had been looking forward to all month at The Lovecraft Bar. Lovecraft is a great venue in general, and this particular event was a costume party with a suspiciously high number of positive RSVP’s on the Facebook page. I had been really worried about getting there on time in case they had to the limit admission later. I was going as Marc Bolan and Martyn would be dressed as David Bowie’s Halloween Jack persona, which added one more later of complication to the matter. The costumes I had already made in the past were just fine, it’s just the finding the time to get dressed up that is often the most difficult part. Luckily I had anticipated this and even planned everything out to work with with my tight schedule–Martyn was already dressed and ready to go by the time my class was over, and I was already wearing most of my Marc Bolan costume all day and just needed to quickly throw on my corkscrew hair, top hat, and some extra glitter before we set off. We still got there a little over an hour after the show had started, waited in a long line outside in the wet cold, and then finally had the doors closed right in our faces upon the discovery that the party had just been shut down by the fire marshall for exceeding capacity. Let me remind you that this was after I worked for over twelve hours that day and had still not had anything to eat since breakfast. I guess it was just one of those days. Here’s my favorite picture of us from the night, taken before we got there obviously:


After the big disappointment we ended up roaming down to a little dive bar down the block called My Father’s Place to join up with the rest of the miffed but beautifully outfitted Bowie fans. At least the place had two of our favorite meals on the menu–Eggs Benedict and Liver and Onions, with Espresso Stout and Gin & Tonic to drink…and man, did we ever need it at that point. Also The Thin White Duke was there too, which I thought was pretty cool. He even admitted to hijacking the jukebox so that it would only play Bowie songs for the next several hours…what a guy!





Thankfully Saturday was a much better day. Martyn and I went with our friend Chelsea to an art show opening at a gallery in North Portland called Disjecta. Chelsea knew some people involved in the show and had heard that there would be some Norwegian troll costumes involved. I have a thing for Nordic trolls (like, actually) and had been wanting to see some more art shows around town, so I happily obliged. It turned out to be both an amazing and inspiring experience. Here’s some info about it I got from Travel Portland’s website:

” A Mortal Song is an exhibition with performance elements by Norwegian artist Tori Wrånes and Portland-based artist Caley Feeney. Both artists use intimate symbol systems and idiosyncratic languages to traverse contemporary landscapes. Weaving together influence from pop-culture, special effects, dreams, noise, and the subconscious. A Mortal Song will include installation, large sculpture, works on paper, and sound to create an imagined world that collapses in and out of our own.

Part of the Season 5 Curator-in-Residence program, Sound is Matter. ”

It’s difficult for me to really describe all of the layers of what I saw. There were some strange and intriguing splatter relief paintings on the walls–weird clashing colors and textures on plain whitewashed wooden panels. There were latex and multimedia sculptures of fragmented body parts like partial faces, bodyless clothing hanging from the ceiling, and a colorful cast hands all in a big pile. There was a very haunting musical performance with simple melody that you couldn’t get out of your head, performed by a vocalist, a keyboardist, one electrical guitarist, and a guy clicking drumsticks together. Then there was the best part of all, that made all of the previous works kind of come together and make a lot more sense–the big performance/installation art piece. The place was completely packed by the way, with the audience all crammed into the space and kneeling next to each other on the floor. The whole room got silent and a fog machine filled the air with a thick swirling white mist. A booming audio track of a pulsating, foghorn type sound played through the surround speakers as the performers slowly entered the room. When I mean slowly…I mean completely in slow motion, and mostly hidden in the fog. All dressed in long white fur costumes, you could see a mess of twisting limbs that rolled along the floor perfectly slowly and in synch with the movement of the fog. At first it was impossible to even tell how many performers there were, because they were all moving on top of one another as if they were one being. One by one five performers emerged in their strange yet beautiful troll costumes, with makeup prosthetics on their faces, hands, and feet that probably explained all of the colorful latex fragments used in the other art pieces from before. One which I could only presume to be Mama Troll made music with a long wind instrument and her voice, which was somehow very communicative even though I don’t think she ever spoke any in any particular language. Some of the trolls had little glowing blue lights hidden in their fur, and two of them had long swinging white braids with weighted humming noisemakers at the end which would buzz and sing as they helicoptered them through the air. Like I said, I can’t really describe any of this without sounding really dumb. Let’s just say that I highly recommend seeing it if you ever get the chance! An image from Disjecta’s Twitter page:


I think the only downside to the show was that there was a socially awkward dude with a man-bun roaming around the gallery afterwards, bothering women by taking their hands in his and claiming that he could read their dragon energy or whatever kind of lame New Agey excuse he was using to extract unsolicited female contact. He wasn’t with the show; he was just that one of those in every crowd type guy. We promptly left after that anyway, got half a dozen donuts from Heavenly Donuts, and ended up staying at Sandy Hut for the rest of the night because Martyn had a D.J. gig. I think I had some really weird dreams that night.

The last thing that happened over the weekend that was both inspiring and a little painful was Martyn and I went back to Oddball on Sunday to get a couple more tattoos from Sarah Crosley. He got his pinball machine Elvira, I got my five little plastic piggies, and we both got our matching Blackstar. It’s kind of a long story actually, so I’m going to just be lazy and paste this all from my Instagram. If you’ve read it already, good on you, because I am done writing new any content for the night!


When I was a kid my Dad used to do a lot of traveling. He was gone a lot and I didn’t always know where he was, but whenever he did come back home he would bring me and my siblings little trinket souvenirs from his travels. One time he gave me five tiny plastic pigs in a ziplock bag that came from a magic shop in Chinatown. When I asked him what they were for, he just sort of shrugged and said, “I dunno, I just thought you would like them.” Many years later, when my Dad was sick in the hospital for what would be the very last time, I decided to start carrying the little bag of five pigs in my wallet so it would be with me at all times, and that’s where it has remained ever since. My Dad was the fifth person in my family and it has now been five years since he passed away, giving the little piggies even more significance in a way. They were also the inspiration for one of my latest tattoos, which I will reveal next.


Five little piggies. Thanks @sarahcrosley!


I like how three of the five piggies are dancing around the black flame #witchbitch skull candle. Now I have a wolf, a wishbone, some pigs, a spider with something spelled out in its web and a chicken foot…my right arm is like some weird cross between Charlotte’s Web and The Brother’s Grimm.

While @powerpoppins and I were at @oddballtattooery, we also both got matching#blackstar tattoos. I was already preoccupied with the five year anniversary of losing my Dad to a terminal cancer when we also lost David Bowie to the same thing. I had actually just gotten home from making my tattoo appointment for the five piggies for my Dad when I heard the sad news. I don’t really even need to tell you how much that guy meant to us, because it’s the same with so many other people all over the world. I will however share with you the lyrics to the Elvis song that the final album Blackstar made reference to when it was released on David Bowie and Elvis Presley’s shared birthday, because they helped determine the placement of the tattoo and I happen to think that they are beautiful:

“Every man has a black star
A black star over his shoulder
And when a man sees his black star
He knows his time, his time has come

Black star don’t shine on me, black star
Black star keep behind me, black star
There’s a lot of livin’ I gotta do
Give me time to make a few dreams come true, black star.”


From Sarah Crosley’s Instagram:

Screen Shot 2016-02-03 at 2.53.56 AM

Screen Shot 2016-02-03 at 2.54.59 AM

Oh yeah, and Martyn’s other tattoo…he got the design from a cartoon we saw on the Elvira Pinball table!

Screen Shot 2016-02-03 at 2.57.40 AM