Category Archives: Features

Parent category for all our assorted feature narratives. Each is filed under its proper theme.

Heavy Metal Arts and Crafts: My Concert Ticket Album

If you are like every Metal fan that I’ve come to know over the years then you most likely have a pile of used ticket stubs stashed in a drawer somewhere in your house or one very overstuffed envelope with the same such contents. The pile exists based on your diligence in keeping the ticket stub for any and all of the events you attended safe and sound until you got home so you could place it with its new brothers and sisters. Some of these warriors fail to make it home from the battle of music and alcohol or others fly off to the winds as we search other things in our pockets yet through it all we try our best to know exactly where they are before the clothes go in the wash. Each of these trinkets hold a special place in your heart and I am willing to bet that if you browsed through them on any given day you would have a story or a particular memory that revolved around the show that it originated from. This little Blog is an effort to offer you some suggestions about how to turn them into something worthy of admiration because this stashed pile has been all too long hidden and should once again become part of your life. It might even spark Blogs and stories of your own and cause you to sit with friends and reminisce on the shows and times long gone. So get some paper and a pencil and take notes as necessary for Professor KP now moves from the Music Channel to something more akin to the Arts. Consider this a PSA.

Inside My Ticket Album

Book ‘Em:
The first idea is to set them up into some sort of binder or photo album and the aspect of doing this does come off by definition as “scrap booking”, for our purposes the intent is a little more regal and powerful like the music we are focused on. We are presenting the means of accessing some of the worlds greatest shows to the world once again so let’s keep a strong and stern “The Ticket Book” as our working title. Now there might already be thousands of you who are way ahead of me on this but my deciding to do this myself leads me to increase the power of suggestion among you acolytes to the cause. I just decided to do one when a large amount of free time made its way to me (on this I shall say no more), so since I had been only beginning the music journalism and was not as consumed with it I had another little avenue to set this thing up.

The necessary ingredients for the recipe are found in Staples, and these include:
* A decent sized binder
* Those clear plastic sheets that hold one sheet in tight and not a mass amount of pages.
* A reasonable amount of your favored color construction paper, and since we are dealing in realms Metal here lets move with good old Black.
* Scotch tape helps as well and you need a fair amount of it.

Once you have all these things the sense of order and organization is up to you on how you put it together. Here are my recommendations.

1. Set It Up Oldest To Newest: See how it looks historically from the oldest show to the most recent – this is the common way to do it and it makes for more fun to retrace your concert adventuring past from your earliest memories to the ones that just might have happened.

2. Set It Up By Band: If you are one of those people who followed a band everywhere and as result have dozens more of their concert stubs you might want to make a section devoted solely to them. Using the Internet I am sure you could find some legacy posters for tours and with a decent color printer can make some nice start pages for ticket stubs for the particular tour. The especially applies if you only go to see this one particular band. I had friends who would only to go see The Grateful Dead or Dave Matthews Band if it came to concerts and they would travel hundreds of miles for any gig that they were doing.

3. Set it up by Venue: The least common thing is setting it up by Venue attended. People will be more inclined to show interest in the bands or historical aspect as opposed to where you saw the show. This aspect is purely for reference inspiration. Think of it like this, what interests you more – how many times you saw Guns N Roses or how many times you went to Madison Square Garden?

** Remember that you don’t have to limit this to concert ticket stubs. Perhaps you are one of those hardcore Yankees, Mets or Rangers fans that goes to almost the whole season and sometimes to away games. It becomes a worthy perusable for the room you watch the game in with the guys.

My own Ticket Book is presented by the first two ideas I lined out above. We have some appearing in date order for the most part and for those bands I saw more than a few times, well they get their own page. The downside of Music Journalism is the fact that it lowers the supply of tickets you get to collect. While I am certainly not complaining about getting in – more often than not being on the list does not get you a ticket for the event. I do get photo passes and sometimes they reflect the tour or the band name. These can also be placed in the book in a section lined out for such stuff. Maybe one of these days I will compile a post for you of all the photo passes that I have. Let’s see how time allows. A page from my book is up above in the article for your viewing pleasure. It’s more interesting to browse in person but the apartment is not big enough for you to all come over and see it. Hmm, maybe I will scan all of these pages for a future post as well.

Now back to the usual stuff that you come here to read. Thanks for listening to my little crafting piece.

“You Shall Not Pass (Photo Pass That Is)” – Story 2

My plan is to use this little headline for the tales which revolve around some of the more amusing adventures I have encountered while trying to snare the proper image for the sake of solid reporting. If such a thing is even possible based on the surroundings. My goal is never designed to be mean-spirited, unappreciative or as “finger pointing” but instead to show how a lot of this leaves a consistent amount of head scratching in this journalist. With that, the curtain draws up on Cappy smoking a pipe and sitting in his chair as he lines out the tales of not too distant past.
PiercingKen Avatar
I remembered attending one of the shows for super hot Glam band that was still going strong many years later, and while I focus on the heavier side of things there are shows that find me looking for nothin’ but a good time when it comes down to it. So I get there and enjoy a couple of beers with friends and get my tickets and lo and behold my photo credentials are present at the same time – no fuss, no muss and frantic wait times for any of this stuff to come to pass. Once in I found my actual seat and told my friends that I would soon join them when the “work at hand” had been completed. So down to the front I went and found the barricade that I usually stand in for shooting but when I arrived the security chap said and where do you think you are going. I smile, showcase the pass that said Media/Photo and said “well I am off to shoot the first three songs of the show”. For those that don’t know how this works, the three songs are what you are allotted as a member of the media forces. I then asked how to get into the pit to do this stuff and he replied well that is for the photographers and journalists to which I double checked my pass and was pretty sure it said the exact same thing. Well, despite this he would not let me in the gate but did not give me shit about remaining directly there to do my work and be crushed by the audience who were excited to see their heroes.
Continue reading “You Shall Not Pass (Photo Pass That Is)” – Story 2

“You Shall Not Pass (Photo Pass That Is)” – Story 1

I’ve been lucky to attend a lot of concerts and do the journalism “thing” and while I totally appreciate every experience I was musing recently about some of the more painstaking endeavors I had undertaken and felt that they might be some fun recanting for this new blog offering of – The common view about I do this seems to be that I simply just call the magic powers that be and then its all set. Not really, there is a lot of work around the request and certainly during and after any show as well. This posting is not about that aspect but instead about a couple of instances where for whatever reason things did not run as smoothly as I had been led to believe. Let me also be clear that this musing is never about pointing fingers or being vindictive and just aims to show this is not without surprise issues so don’t read too far into it.

PiercingKen Avatar

One of my favorite encounters was when we were hitting a “Super Mega Tour” that was happening and we had decided to trek out to Poughkeepsie instead of here closer to NYC. I am going back to 2005 for this tale and the day started out fine with it being a scorching hot Summer day. We had been confirmed by our reps and were excited to be lending the journalizing love to this one. Once we were situated and at the venue’s window I presented my ID and email to prove I was actually me. I got my ticket and then my photo pass. It said the event name on the pass and this was great since it allows you the ability to shoot the show and not just one group. With my camera and ticket in hand I made my way in and was given the “HALT!!!” by Security. He said “you cant bring the camera in here, go back to your car”, so I smiled politely and showed the pass and said “no worries, Media Guy official business”. He looked at me sternly and said “not with a counterfeit pass you ain’t” – and here I was stymied because not five feet away did the venue themselves issue me this Rep Approved pass and ticket. I asked what the idea was and how such a pass could be counterfeit and he said it just is and we are not letting you in with it. My associates behind me had the same pass and tickets and since the venue was letting people all in as a straight line I have now amassed hundreds of Metal heads eager to get into the show. From there we moved aside since I was curious how to resolve this based on the new information.
Continue reading “You Shall Not Pass (Photo Pass That Is)” – Story 1

“Pre-PiercingMetal Beginnings” or “The Origins Of What I Do” hit the two year mark only a couple of weeks ago and now that its broken the “sophomore curse” this little narrative was penned about how it came to pass in the first place.

I grew up on Spider-Man and Batman comics so a detailed origin story always appealed to me. I mention it like this since one of the questions that I often find myself getting is how I even started up with the reviewing music and concert coverage stuffs. So for those that are interested here is the “official origin story” of this little adventure. It began in the Summer of 2003 when the band Nightwish was making an appearance at the once legendary and now closed L’Amour club. I had been a Metal fan for most of my life since I once was a performer in several local bands of note from my area. The weird thing was finding myself attending a lot more shows around this time since so many fresh and exciting sounds were becoming more available from Europe and some were beginning to travel to our regions. I felt that if they could make the thousands of miles trek then I could certainly hop a car service from one neighborhood to the next.
Continue reading “Pre-PiercingMetal Beginnings” or “The Origins Of What I Do”

My Dinner (or Lunch) with Finland’s Sonata Arctica

This week was an interesting one and had I taken the initiative to generate this thing earlier the information would have flowed a little more in order of occurence. This fact troubles me as the Technical Guy, since I am a fan of both order and detail. That which confuses, ruins the flow of information or makes things come off as nonsense and with Music Adventuring there is plenty of nonsense to come naturally without me offering any extra. Be that as it may, I digress from my original point.

Food & Metal Uniting As One
My week started off with a really cool opportunity to enjoy lunch with members of the Finnish Metal sensation Sonata Arctica, who were in town for a CD Listening that was open to the general public. Lead singer Tony Kakko and keyboardist Henrik Klingenberg would be present to spin this CD for the fans and mingle among them answering questions and posing for the ever-necessary MySpace photos. Earlier in the day the guys and their rep from Nuclear Blast Records would head down to New York City’s Chinatown and hit one of my very favorite restaurants “Nha Trang”. The selection of this place came as a pleasant surprise to me, for I had recommended it to the label rep when Hammerfall was in town for a similar listening event but there was just insufficient time to do it. Luckily, they would keep the card for future reference and bring it on the next adventure into the City. Nha Trang is a Vietnamese restaurant, and there are so many delicious things in the place that I would be writing for days just explaining them. It’s been there for a number of years, and I only first heard about them when my friend Peter Pardo (Publisher of suggested I join him before we hit a show. Been a fan ever since, so back to “The Metal Lunch”.