Continuing with my peculiar tradition of posting my looks months after I’ve actually worn them, I bring you an outfit from back in February/March… and you know what happens between February and March, right? You probably don’t, so I’ll tell you: my birthday.
As hard as it might seem to believe this, I’m already. Yeeeeah… you heard that right… But don’t make me repeat it, OK?
Time goes by really fast, and it sucks, but we already know that, so we’ll just skip the birthday depression part and focus on the main subject here: clothes.
Back on February 26 I had to come up with something to wear for my birthday lunch the next day, so I started my usual process of rummaging through the clothes I had scattered around my room in hopes that the gods of randomness would give me a starting point. I had my nails painted with green magnetic Nails Inc. polish that week, so my priority was finding something that had some green in it… which wasn’t going to be an easy job, since I don’t really have a lot of green in my wardrobe (I don’t think most people do – it’s not the most popular colour LOL). It didn’t take that long, however, until my green-painted nails landed on this pseudo-neoprene top from H&M.
I knew I hadn’t gone for the easiest pick, because this top had already failed to make a few outfits in the past, but I was all in for the challenge. I had been wanting to make justice for this top ever since I got it, about a year ago. I mean… It has a picture of a vicious cobra and the words “Bite It” printed in golden letters – if I’m not the one wearing that, no one else should LMAO
This top wasn’t just another piece of clothing: it was a personal statement, and I had to make sure the rest of the outfit would be as well.
Despite the difficulty of the task, I was starting from a familiar place: reptile print. I had already pulled that a few times before, so I decided to go looking for things I had used before in a similar context. My golden snakeskin came up first. I had already tried that combination back when I was putting together my King of the Concrete Jungle outfit and failed. This time, however, I had a different feeling about it…
I thought the match had some nice potential, but I didn’t really know where to take it from there, so I asked myself a practical question: ‘What are you gonna wear underneath the top?’
Obviously, you don’t go out in three-quarter sleeves in February (or, at least, I don’t LOL),.. I had to come up with something that would keep me warm and look nice at the same time. That’s always the biggest challenge.
I picked my grey Dismero top more by routine than by inspiration, after having tried a few other options (which included my relatively recently-purchased green, yellow and orange Custo top). It had done well in my Our Lady Of Skulls outfit, and I thought it might be a good idea to give it a try.
I wasn’t too convinced about how it looked at first. The grey sleeves showing from underneath seemed a little weird, even though the bizarre cracked texture of the top did somehow look like reptile print of some kind. After a few minutes, however, it occurred to me that the double sleeve kinda looked like a snake in the process of shedding its old skin. The idea was conceptually appropriate, so I let it be.
At that point, the fate of the outfit was going to depend entirely on the jacket that would be going on top of it, so I had to choose wisely.
I had very little idea of what I wanted for this look, aside from the vague thought that it could use some black denim on top. I have no shortage of black denim jackets, so I started trying different options. My favourite candidate was a second-hand biker-style denim jacket I got from Humana a few years ago that’s still waiting for a chance to come out in the spotlight. It’s a really nice jacket, but it failed to provide what I needed for this outfit: the size was too big; the shape was too sporty. I really tried to make it work, but I just couldn’t find the right approach to it, so, eventually, I had to let it go.
The solution to my problem, however, was waiting for me at the bottom of my denim jacket drawer, in the shape of this fantastic studded denim blazer. I hadn’t seen it in a really long time; actually, I had sort of forgotten I had it, despite the fact that it’s one of my favourite jackets ever.
Pulling the sleeves of my Bite It top through it while preventing them from getting stuck somewhere in the middle was a pretty tricky task: both sets of sleeves are three-quarters, and they’re both made of a pretty thick fabric too. Once I had it on, however, I had the chance to confirm what I had always thought: that this jacket is one of those things that can transform players into kings (see how I gratuitously squeezed a Sons Of Anarchy quote in there LOL)… which was exactly what I was trying to do.
Its peculiar hybrid nature made it look elegant and vicious at the same time… just like me ;) LOL
The length of the sleeves allowed me to show off a nice chunk of my Dismero top, preserving the shedding skin effect. I still wasn’t sure about how much I liked that, but it definitely looked interesting… and it was virtually the only option I had.
As usual, I had to adjust the length of the top with a couple of well-placed safety pins, but that was rather easy.
I knew I had to do something about the neck area too (you know I can’t just wear a round neck and walk out there like I’m not naked LOL), so I started looking for scarves and necklaces that could fill the void. Fortunately, this scarf came along pretty quickly. It had the perfect colours and texture, so it was a quite a no-brainer. Reusing the concept from my Our Lady Of Skulls and my Denim And Stripes outfits, I tied it into a huge bow.
The result was quite spectacular, as you can see. The scarf definitely looked like it was made just to be worn with this jacket… which is quite curious, since they’re not even from the same brand.
I wanted some really extreme footwear for this look, so, naturally, the first thing I did was try on my black studded creepers. Unfortunately, they didn’t quite fit with the outfit’s identity. They looked a little bit too brutal, and, unfortunately for them, this outfit required something more refined, so I moved on to my other option: my black cowboy boots – for instance, the same I wore as part of my A Cowboy in the Court of Louis XIV and Ride The Light(ning) outfits. For a few seconds, I wondered if the boots would perhaps be a little too much combined with the rest of the look. That concern however, only lasted until I saw the result. The boots totally balanced out the lower chunk of my outfit, following my number one style guideline: if you go over the top in one place, make sure you go over the top everywhere else ;)
I thought about leaving my head uncovered at first (you might have noticed I’ve been doing that a lot lately), but I decided against it for that very same reason. I gave my black cowboy hat a chance, and it turned out to be an absolute winner.
Without really thinking about it, I had probably created the Deadly Bitest outfit of all time (LOL). It combined many of my trademark elements (cowboy hat and boots, huge bow at the neck, reptile print, gold, studs...) in a way that was old and new at the same time, and the most interesting thing is that I didn’t really take inspiration from anything, aside from my own looks. How weird is that? I guess the slogan on the top was pushing me to be self-referential, and I did just that LOL
Anyway, this type of shit is for rock stars only, so you really shouldn’t go out dressed like this unless you’re feeling like one. I do that every day, so I guess I’m entitled ;) LMAO
And what better way to celebrate the creation of the Deadly Bitest outfit ever than playing the song that gave me my identity in the first place? Listen closely to the first phrases of the second verse and you’ll understand ;)
The most mindblowing thing is that, a few weeks after I did the photoshoot for this outfit, I found out I that have a tribe of stylistic soulmates I never even knew about: turns out there’s a community of rockers in the heart of Botswana (yes, the fucking Botswana!) that has an amazing dress code based on a mix of the biker aesthetic of studs and black leather and ideas taken from Sergio Leone western movies that applies to both men and women. Referred to as Botswana Metal Cowboys, these people have somehow created a tight community based on a deep love and respect for hard rock music that borderlines on religious devotion. They give themselves cool nicknames (like Dead Demon Rider or Coffinfeeder), play in bands, and spend weeks getting ready for the concerts they attend, trying to look every bit as vicious as they can , hoping to beat all the other metal cowboys in a fierce stylistic battle.
I would seriously consider moving to Botswana, but I think I already have enough trouble dealing with the Spanish summer… Wouldn’t be a good idea to go messing with the heat factor LOL
Anyway, (cowboy) hats off to my soul brothers from another continent. Thank you for keeping it alive, guys… and girls ;)
But going back to the cold Europe…
After preparing my battle attire, I just sat down and tried to enjoy the last hours before my dreaded birthday (LOL). I always hate the thought of it… right until the moment I start receiving my birthday gifts. That usually helps kicking the demons of birthday depression out of my sight for a while ;)
On this occasion, I got some nice second-hand clothes, along with the best birthday gift you could possibly imagine – THIS:
Alice In Chains + Sons Of Anarchy. What else could you possibly want in life?
I’ll tell you something: if a huge volcano erupted somewhere and we all had to stay hidden for a year in some creepy basement, I probably wouldn’t even notice… as long as I had these little thingies with me LOL
I’m using (and abusing) both on a daily basis. I have so much Alice In Chains and Sons Of Anarchy in my brain there’s barely any room left for anything else (LOL). But don’t worry – I’m perfectly fine living just like this ;)
After the lavish gift session, I went on to celebrate my birthday the way I love best: with a fantastic Japanese meal (eel sushi included) in my favourite Japanese restaurant. Yeah!
I don’t get to eat Japanese food this often nowadays, so it’s always nice to find an excuse to indulge myself. Guess birthdays exist for a reason, right? :)
On the train back home ;)
Steel Panther - from let to right: Lexxi Foxx (bass), Satchel (guitar), Michael Starr (vocals) and Stix Zadinia (drums)
I also did some Mango Outlet shopping afterwards, even though it was pretty disappointing. The store was packed with the ugliest and cheapest (in terms of quality, not price – it was rather overpriced actually LOL) shit ever… and by that I mean you’d find much better quality and design at a gipsy flea market. No kidding.
I don’t know what the hell is going wrong with fashion, but what I saw inside that store was outright apocalyptic. I had to leave with just a pair of jeans and an ironic Hollywood T-shirt… as well as a bag full of necklaces LOL At least, they had a nice display of fancy chains and cross necklaces near the cash counter, but this is still my poorest Mango Outlet purchase ever, considering the fact that I usually leave that place with huge bags full of stuff. I honestly hope this is just a bad day and not the start of a new chapter in Mango’s design history… Or it could just as well be the end of my wardrobe as we know it :S
I had my second birthday with friends a week later.
I was getting really bored with my usual night outings and I desperately wanted to escape that routine, so I decided to do something about it. I thought I’d check out which bands were going to play in town that Friday and just choose one and go to their show, wherever that took me. The first band I came across happened to be Steel Panther. I knew nothing about them at the time, aside from the fact that, apparently, they were some sort of joke hair metal band. The concept didn’t seem too attractive, but I had already committed myself to give it a try anyway, so I bought a couple of tickets and dragged my hipster friend along.
As soon as we walked into the venue, the house speakers started playing We Die Young by Alice In Chains, to my more than pleasant surprise. I absolutely didn’t expect to hear Alice in that context… Guess that was God giving me thumbs up LOL
And that wasn’t the only good thing that played through those speakers that night… We also got to enjoy a couple of immortal classics like Ace Of Spades and Highway To Hell. Not bad, considering that the concert hadn’t even started :)
Looking around, I realized that my outfit was surprisingly adequate for the occasion, which is quite amazing, given the fact that I OBVIOUSLY had no idea I’d be going to a fucking Steel Panther concert when I planned it LMAO It’s not that everybody was dressed like me, of course; in fact, most of the guys were pretty normcore (aside from the occasional leather jackets and the abundant heavy metal T-shirts), but some of the women were actually wearing flashy leggings and 80s style wigs. Definitely not a Botswana gig, but…
Steel Panther turned out to be a pleasant surprise straight from the opening song. Given the fact that my initial expectations were close to none, that might not sound like much of an achievement, but it actually was.
One thing I definitely didn’t expect from a band committed to recreating the antics of 80s hair metal bands was that they’d have such a potent live sound – with vicious guitar playing and all! Singer Michael Starr (yes, he actually shares a stage name with Alice In Chains’ deceased bassist Mike Starr, even though his real name is Ralph Saenz LOL) displayed some pretty solid vocal skills, including a rather uncommon agility in the high-pitched heavy metal falsetto range, and I was mildly amused to find out he can do the David Lee Roth (with whom he shares a notable physical resemblance) kick too, which makes sense, if you consider that he used to sing in a Van Halen tribute band.
It was when they started to speak, however, when I really understood why the critics referred to them as a half rock band, half stand-up comedy act. “Good night, Barcelona! I just wanted to say that the band collectively fucked 19 girls last night” was the phrase that served as the band’s presentation, and it pretty much set the pace for the each of their abundant (and extended) speeches, which basically took the ancient ‘sex, drugs, rock & roll’ motto to a brand new dimension of depravity in a surprisingly hilarious way.
Steel Panther - from let to right: Lexxi Foxx (bass), Satchel (guitar), Michael Starr (vocals) and Stix Zadinia (drums)
The thing about Steel Panther is that you never know how much of what they say and do is a joke and how much of it corresponds to the band’s actual ideology, and I guess that’s exactly the point. Eventually, you get to a place where you no longer care and you just find yourself wanting to believe all of it (I have to admit I was slightly disappointed to learn that two of the band’s members are actually married and even have children, despite their numerous anti-monogamy on-stage claims LOL).
For a band that speaks so much, you’d expect their shows to be a real drag, but they are not, for some reason I can’t quite explain. Put it down to personal charisma, but I guess they just get away with it because they can (LOL).
Their songs don’t have anything you’ve never heard on a Mötley Crüe album, but that doesn’t get in the way of their music being enjoyable. Steel Panther is a party band, and their aim is to make fun songs that also happen to be well-executed. They often quote 80s metal classics and standards in a way that showcases their extensive knowledge of the matter – their massive party anthem Party All Day (an extremely convincing parody of Bon Jovi’s Living On A Prayer) has a chorus that could have easily been written by Desmond Child, only I’d say their take on the song is notably better (LOL) – and their lyrics are so explicitly pornographic they’d make Bon Scott/Brian Johnson feel uncomfortable. It’s all so over-the-top it’s hard not to crack a smile while you’re listening to their records.
Yes, this actually happened. The audio quality in the second part of the video is not that great and it kills the song a bit, but the solo in the first part sounds every bit as awesome as it should
The venue during the concert, photographed from my perspective
Of course, like all the rock bands out there, Steel Panther are in their 40s, because you just can’t find younger people who can really play rock music these days. Despite that, they’re relatively new as a band: their first album was released in 2009, and they seem to be on their way up right now. Right after their show, I found out they were getting a lot of press (rock press, not normal press LOL). On the day after the Barcelona concert, they opened for Scorpions in Madrid and, just a few weeks later, they performed during half-time at the first ever match of KISS’ own football team LA KISS, where Lemmy Kilmister himself did the coin toss. Not bad for a bunch of guys I’d never heard about until a few months ago.
|Steel Panther and Scorpions, all mixed up|
I would have probably never bought into this band if I hadn’t seen them live first. I’m glad I did, though.
A more accurate example of what Steel Panther's live sound is really like
After the show, I was heavy metal deaf for a while, but I didn’t even care. After all, this was ‘not a 30 Seconds To Mars concert’, like Satchel said. Man, you’re so right :D
Just as I had suspected, my hipster friend was thrilled about the show. “It’s like being back in the 80s!” he said with an enthusiastic grin on his face. Such an improvement for someone who was wearing a Coldplay T-shirt back when I met him eight years ago.
|Michael Starr (who incidentally happens to be half-Spanish), posing in front of the Sagrada Familia, less than 200 metres away from my hipster friend's home LOL|
We celebrated our new discovery with some nice aftershow pizza and Hawaiian cocktails with a few more friends.
Weird dude watching us from the wall of the Hawaiian bar. See how the colour combination matches my outfit :'D
I finished the night listening to Alice In Chains in my headphones, in the solitude of my friend’s guest bedroom. That means I didn’t really go to bed until 8 am (LOL), but hey – that’s the life I have chosen. I just CAN’T go to bed without listening to Alice. That’s rule number one of my MC LOL
We shot the pictures a week later, at a pretty curious location. We didn’t really know what we were going for until we got there, so it was all a bit of a surprise. The place we had originally planned to shoot at had some really bad lighting, so we had to explore and improvise… which turned out to be the best idea ever.
First, we stumbled upon this pretty interesting enclosed area. I think it used to be a small water-treatment plant back in the day, but now it’s a weird storage facility for recycling containers (LOL). Despite the industrial nature of the place, it was surrounded by some of the most beautiful nature ever. The sun was shining bright and hot (so hot that I got a bit sun sick at first LOL) and there were almond trees blossoming everywhere, so this photoshoot was a bit like our own particular hanami ;)
After that, we kept walking down the mysterious path and we discovered some really interesting landscapes. It seems like this place was a gardening facility at some point… that’s why there are so many plants of the same species planted in regular rows that have grown wild after years and years of abandonment. Whenever that was, it must have been really long ago, because I’ve never heard of a gardening facility in this place during all the time I’ve been living here… which is more than a decade already.
The feeling in there was fantastically weird… like we had walked into some strange magical maze just a few minutes away from home.
While I was editing some of the pictures for this post, I came across this song by Velvet Revolver, and I was notably surprised to see it suited the mood of the photoshoot quite well. I’m not generally a fan of the band, but this song has a bit of an Alice thing I can relate to (and Slash has a bunch of killer leads in there too).
As you probably noticed, it’s called Slither (just like Metallica’s Slither LOL).
You just can’t escape the fucking snake :D
In case you're wondering - yes, I'm standing on a giant flowerpot LMAO
Almond blossom :)
Bite It top: H&M
Grey top: Dismero (second hand)