Who says punk can’t be festive? This past Saturday, Boston Hassle teamed up with Ignore Rock’N’Roll Heroes to put a spin on classic holiday shopping with a “Black Market X-mas.”
Local music, film, and arts website Boston Hassle and its accompany paper The Boston Countercultural Compass are a sect of the BRAIN Arts Organization: a non-profit, volunteer run group that aims to “Foster an innovative, compelling, and interconnected music, art, and film community in the greater Boston area through grassroots and inclusive participatory culture,” according to their website. Ignore Rock’N’Roll Heroes is a marketplace based in Somerville, Massachusetts that advertises its goods as “Simple Pleasures in a Chaotic World.” Combining Boston Hassle’s passion for punk music and related literature with Ignore Rock’N’Roll Heroes collection of cassette tapes, clothing/jewelry, and associated items resulted in a market filled with awesome, one-of-a-kind trinkets and collectables. The market was held at the Cambridge Elks Lodge this past Saturday, December 13.
Several booths at the event were dedicated to locally produced zines, operated by the writers themselves. One of the zines, “Thrifty Times,” is dedicated to telling stories through comics about thrifting; it features special editions, such as the Tokyo Issue, and aims to guide Boston shoppers through the curious world of shopping secondhand. Other homemade style booths were hosted by local artists, such as Zoard Wells Tyeklar, who displayed his collection of original drawings, silkscreens, and buttons.
A number of vendors encouraged the creativity of shoppers by providing hand-bound journals, meant for buyers to fill with their own words or doodles. Of course, they provided plenty of inspiration through their own mini-zines, with original art and printed projects. For as little as one dollar, shoppers could pick up a folded booklet that contained a comic book-style story; when the sheet is completely unfolded there is a main graphic found on the reverse side.
Another section of the market focused on homemade candles, bath products, and baked goods. These specialty items were only heightened by their packaging. For instance, the candle wax was molded into old beer glasses that can be reused when the candle burns out.
A few of the booths played with classic Christmas gifts like knitted hats and scarves, but a selection of studded belts and vintage records were never far away. There was even a table covered with antique video games and related paraphernalia for nostalgic gamers. Whether holiday shoppers were out looking for unique jewelry, like earrings made out of old guitar picks, or simply to build up a stock of vinyl albums, CDs, or tapes, an eclectic mix of collectables made for the perfect treasure hunt.