“We Are All Doomed” — Monthly Metal Showcase at The Fire
“Whatever you have said in the dark will be heard in the light, and what you have whispered behind closed doors will be shouted from the housetops for all to hear!” – Luke 12:3
Almost by definition, the freakiest among us, those who make art, music, and write are people who spend hours on end in quiet rooms creating, and do so by choice. As far as trades go, this is a group of people who are very difficult to unionize. It’s harder still among those who feel drawn towards dark, morbid, and occult expression. Whether they do what they do off the clock, driven by an insane psychic compulsion, or if they do it to earn a living, what we end up with is a lot of people in small bedrooms with six-packs complete in their solitude embracing communion with the non-existent. This disinclination to gather makes it pretty goddamned hard to get things done in the world.
Existing as a center of gravitational density around whom artists, musicians, and other industry folk orbit and meet is Shannon Void of Anthropic Records and Perfect World Productions, who also sits on the chair of Dark Arts Collective. “The joke in the metal community is that I’m the dot-connector. I always try to bring people together.” Though she does this by her very nature, it’s been an uphill battle given what brings these people out of the house: shows. This is an event in which everyone is silently together side-by-side with their collective focus at a single point. Sure, there’s those cigarette-length breaks between bands, but it’s really just not an environment for getting to know anyone.
Her solution for getting around this? Multimedia art showings of the dark side’s finest.
“It was just me doing it, and I wanted to have a place where heavy metal people or people that are into weird art and music get together and it wasn’t a show setting so people could actually talk and get to know each other and network.” Since February, she’s been hosting these things with a different artist featured each month and her curated playlist of doom metal, black metal, and industrial, which tend to favor Philly acts.
Where? The Fire. A large, unpretentious bar at 4th and Girard which you’re likely already familiar with. In their venue space adjacent to the bar, ledges line the wall which can easily hold fifteen large pieces and easels on the stage hold more still. Without exception, the artists end up selling prints, finding tattoo clients, being commissioned for pieces, and sometimes earn enough to make rent. This has a lot to do with the fact that she carefully curates the event, making sure to consistently pick talented artists to feature.
Who’s up this month? A man named Brian Mercer, whose name you may not have heard, but whose work you have definitely seen. As Shannon giddily explained over coffee, “He’s legendary; he’s done art for bands, he’s done – I can’t even tell you how many pieces of work for bands. He does print work and he does really beautiful drawings of nature and animals and incorporates these into beautiful pencil drawings and stipplings and all these things.” A quick google search reveals that he’s done pieces for everyone from Eyehategod and Mastodon to Soundgarden, Skrillex, and Muse.
If you work creatively, want creative work done, want to work with someone else creatively, meet new people, or hell, even just enjoy art, music, and/or beer, well then, I can’t think of a better way to spend a Tuesday night, more specifically the first Tuesday of every month. On October 4th, at 9PM, we shall gather.
Check out We Are All Doomed on Instagram @wearealldoomedphilly or email firstname.lastname@example.org for more info. •