OC: Barbella & Puke N’ Vomit
I'm back, not that I ever wrote commentaries before (or anything else besides a cd review); I'm going to start with a bang. I've lived in the LA county for 12 years. Those years were the best years of my young incomplete life, at least the last two when I gained access to some transportation (borrowing vehicles under the shade of night). There's plenty of stuff going on in the area. You've got your damned city LA, your clubs and venues in Hollywood, your Melrose shopping street, more venues in Santa Monica, shopping for bongs or incense (that'll cloak the bong-musk) in Venice, even more venues on Sunset Blvd, your illegal weapons suppliers in Chinatown, and last but not least your Wilshire Blvd in front of the federal beaural building to do all your protesting. There are independent record stores everywhere, at least a handful in the Southbay alone.
You keep going on and on about LA, what the fuck is your point?
My point is LA is such a fucking great place to live and you cunts and cocks better fucking appreciate it! Moving on, my 12 years; at the end of my 12 years I was uprooted and relocated to Orange County for college.
Ooh! That's so cool, tell me about OC!
It's hot here. I was in school only 3 days and I already hate it. It's like high school, all over the place. I visited several shops; among them: Ispo Facto, Nothing Shocking, 2 Bionic Records, and several tattoo places. This is what you do when you go to a new area, you scope out places to do your DIY and satisfy your needle, ink, and listening needs. (This may not apply to all of you.) The places I've listed above were OBSCENELY expensive. I bought some studs from Nothing Shocking, some 100 medium piramid studs and the total rang up about $17. they were even selling simple skirts with a waded up piece of fabric, that could have been sown by someone's little sister. Half those clothes that were going anywhere from $15 to $60, I could have made given a pattern and fabric, totaling about $10. Bionics taxes their $3.50 laser-cut vinyl car decor stickers, cut with a laser, a la-ser.
Don't knock my county bitch!!
Bionics isn't that bad; they have a decent collection of metal, rockabilly and everyone's punk on the shelves. I actually found the newest Sanity's Dawn there. Ispo facto is expensive on their clothing, that's understanding, custom tailoring right there. They actually have some cool goth metal band shirts and some pagan affiliated stickers. There's also one venue out here that's still pushing punk and oi, in CORONA (the showcase). You have to be at least 21 to checkout the better venues, like the Doll Hut. Nothing Shocking has some really nice retro and rockin lady shoes. They even sell Vision Street Wear. I just would never buy clothes from there.
Despite the heat and wave of cruel prices, I did find a couple places that I thought were fucking awesome: Barbella and Puke N Vomit. After my second day of college, I was in the shits, so I decided to treat myself. I drove over to Barbella after checking out their website (http://www.barbellapiercing.com). I walked in, was greeted, asked some questions, and I was saved. My septum was done for about $30.
That's fucking cheap! But I pierce myself with safety pins, that's tough.
They even give you aftercare, which most places try to make you buy seperate. My self-piercing days has left scars, plenty of scars. They know what the hell they're doing, and will walk you through it. It's a comfortable setting, though real plain, it was the first time I felt somewhat better about being in OC.
What'd I say?
Talking to piercer Steve Guerrero definitely took away some of my OC bitterness; he made sure to answer every question I had about my piercing. Steve and Collen Cantwell opened up Barbella about a year and a half ago. Steve's been piercing for 4 years, and had been previously employed by the Leopard Lounge in Huntington Beach. I've known about Barbella for some time but never was in the mood to go because it was so far from LA. After finally visiting, I know now that the drive would have been every bit worth it. The best part is that they also offer tattooing. Vince Dorsey does the tattooing, and has been at it for 5 years. He specializes in gore and traditional. I looked though a photo profile of his work and he did a great tattoo of the Germs logo with the skeletal fucker clawing through it and another one of the skankin wanker logo of the Circle Jerks (on someone's side).
I want a skankin wanker!
From what I heard he charges good prices, so call or go in to get quotes. (Then come skank it across my belly.) Honestly, is there a punk scene in OC? I've only seen a handful of kids. None at my school. This is for everyone, if your looking for some old school punk tunes, shirts, patches, belts and such for what I think are unbeatable prices, checkout Puke N Vomit. (http://www.angelfire.com/ca5/pukenvomit) It's a mailorder punk record store based in Fullerton/Placentia. They have a number of great comps and shit for the family, no not for the family. I'm pretty sure they'll ship anywhere in the US; you may have to ask about international shipping if it applies to you.
I've never heard of Puke N Vomit!
Puke N Vomit has been around for years. It started out in founder Gnat Hall's garage, in his teen youth, and finally ended up in Fullerton. These two places aren't just a couple places you want to checkout whenever you're in Orange County. You should check them out if you're in California! They're likely the best in the state.
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A Body In The Gears