Here’s a quick tutorial on making smooth lines (which are helpful for tracing etc) in Illustrator, here’s a tutorial on using the Pen tool, here’s a quick post about situations in which to use the pen tool versus the pencil tool …
In the 1990s San Diego was a happening place for a few indie, punk, and postpunk bands, some of the most notable were Drive Like Jehu, Rocket From the Crypt, and Pitchfork. Many were on a label Headhunter Records. Singer/guitarist/artist Rick Fork/Rick Froberg/Rick Farr did the art for a lot of these bands and Headhunter Records ads. Here are some scans of some of the art he did for Headhunter Records including ads for Drive Like Jehu and Rocket from the Crypt. Some of the scans were contributed by Paul Stanley and Jeffrey from the Swami Records forum. ..
Awesome piano: Thollem McDonas and Frank Abbinanti; awesome art openings/events at the Fine Arts Building
From our Chicago correspondent:
Just saw the phenomenal Thollem McDonas play at the awesome Pianoforte gallery in Chicago, with pianist Frank Abbinanti. Thollem McDonas plays all sorts of piano; his sound ranges from classical to experimental indie music, prog rock, death metal, it’s hard to explain, but it’s fantastic. I imagine fans of any classical to music like Sonic Youth and Don Caballero and Slayer would enjoy his playing. Frank Abbinati is also awesome though I can’t find any videos of his stuff on YouTube. His playing was amazing though kind of scary! My wife liked Frank Abbinati’s performance the best and I liked Thollem McDonas’ performance the best, so it was a great night all around. Check out these videos of Thollem McDonas playing. I bought two of his CDs last night which I haven’t listened to yet. I heard him first on the WNUR, Northwestern University, and lo and behold, I found out he was playing the same week in Chicago! He lives in the Bay Area and travels playing around a lot, so if you like any kind of music, make sure you see him, it’s quite a treat.
The piano show was put on by the Pianoforte Foundation, which puts on lots of piano shows in a variety of venues, and they have a piano showroom/store also in the building, as well as their performance studio where we saw the show.
The show was in the Fine Arts Building, a hidden treasure on Michigan Ave in the Loop in Chicago, just a few blocks from the park and the downtown library. It’s amazing; a whole building with tons of art galleries, music stores and performance spaces, and every second friday each month they have a killer open house kind of thing, where all these galleries etc put on shows and have wine and cheese and art openings. It’s like a dream, kind of a multi-level art opening/hotel/co-op/mall/party. You literally can walk up and down the stairs and there are art shows and openings on every floor with great art, nice people, wine and cheese, etc. Going up and down on the elevators you can look out onto each floor thinking, “Wow, that looks amazing, I’d better stop off on that floor later!”
Ah, their website blurb reads, “The Fine Arts Building in Chicago is a haven for artists. Established in 1885, it has become an all artists colony that promotes all the arts.” It’s an f’n arts colony! That is a great description. I kept thinking of the Happiness Hotel in the Muppets Movie, I’ll have to see if that is an apt comparison, I saw it so long ago.
A great night all around and quite a find. If you like music and art at all, you will probably enjoy visiting second fridays at the Fine Arts building!
The Cure’s “Fascination Street” is Based on Kool & The Gang’s “Fresh,” and The Dazz Band’s “Let it Whip” is Based on The Sweet’s “Love is Like Oxygen” (See the videos!)
The Cure’s “Fascination Street” is based on Kool & The Gang’s “Fresh” (video)
Okay, I’ve mentioned these before, that The Cure’s “Fascination Street” is based on Kool & The Gang’s “Fresh” and that The Dazz Band’s “Let it Whip” is based on The Sweet’s “Love is Like Oxygen”, but now you can watch these videos which demonstrate how–you can tell that the bands practiced their versions over these songs that they liked by the other bands. Check it out!
The Dazz Band’s “Let it Whip” is based on The Sweet’s “Love is Like Oxygen” (video)
Here are the mp3s:
The Cure–Kool & the Gang-Fascination Street–Fresh (mix)(mp3)
The videos and mixes were created by the L & S–check out the L & S’s new indie/postpunk album, in the instrumental vein of The Cure, Sonic Youth, Drive Like Jehu, and Voivod:
L &S –Random Sounds with Rhythm (mp3s)
New album: L &S-Random Sounds with Rhythm (mp3s)
Someone posting as “anything” has been writing about the Cure/Kool & the Gang connection, and influences of David Bowie’s Let’s Dance on the lyrics of Fascination Street at:
Also, fans of the Cure’s “Just Like Heaven” will surely love the first 12 seconds (and again later during the choruses) of Wire’s “Ex Lion Tamer” from 1977′s “Pink Flag” album.
Wire–Ex Lion Tamer
Here’s another great Wire song for good measure:
I think this song was covered by fIREHOSE in the 1990s…
The finer points of 80s aesthetics are still just being mined and rediscovered…now people are picking out the best aspects of 80s aesthetics which also had traces of the best of 70s aesthetics in them as well. I think it probably goes way deeper than what has been brought to light so far, as much activity so far has just been picking out superficial signifiers of the 80s. Even though 80s revivalism started back in the mid/late 90s, it is still going strong and has probably the surface has only just been scratched. Here are some recent examples, notable for how mainstream and current everything 80s is beginning to seem…
Housse de Racket – ” Oh Yeah “
Geez, everything from the Prince album to the NES cartridges to the tennis fashion…and look at all that wonderful 70s/80s gear in the photo above!!!
Evian commercial–Roller Babies
A lot of retro and current design/fashion/style can be seen on the The Cool Hunter (http://www.thecoolhunter.net) website, which has some pretty fantastic stuff.
By the way, speaking of aesthetics, this is like the first photo I’ve ever seen of a real band using/posing for photos with a Fender Squire guitar!!! I only ever played a Squire because it was the only guitar I could buy at the time!!! Now, that is quirky/art!
Lupe Fiasco’s Food and Liqour album cover is very superhero-ish–check out the comparison with this panel from issue one of Alan Moore’s Miracleman comic. Of course, there are probably shots like this in Akira too…I’m going to stay pretty confident it was inspired by this Miracleman art though, look at how the eyebrows and facial features, the head tilt lines up…look at the angle and positioning of the feet…
The whole Miracleman copyright dispute story (best comic book ever, has been out of print since they 1990s due to a copyright disupte) is a good illustration of how screwed up copyright law is sometimes, especially in the hands of irrational and greedy people…The trade paperback reprints now go for hundreds of dollars…people have scanned these classic comics and uploaded them onto BitTorrent to share and preserve these great stories…I like Miracleman even better than the great Watchmen series…
Steely Dan–Don’t Take Me Alive (Live 2003)
Steely Dan…I can never tell if they’re “taking the piss,” if at all, or if 95% of the time, or if always. Of course they have amazing songs like Deacon Blue and Peg (“it’s your favorite foreign movie”…) but there are rather few songs by them that I can listen to without having some nagging suspicion in my mind, and this is one of them…that there’s some sort of running in-joke in the whole concept of the band that I’m not privvy to, like that Steely Dan developed as some sort of warped jazz-rock elevator music ironic/satirical art project that just happened to be particularly successful in the music industry and they ran with it, not letting most people in on the joke/art/satire/commentary aspect of the band. Like some of Frank Zappa’s music, but rather than blatantly advertise the commentary, they buried it deep beneath their smooth jazz cabaret exterior, out of sight of up to 95% or more of their fans.
I mean…Steely Dan is sort of like Throbbing Gristle or the Swans in wielding and creating a sort of extreme element of musical aural attack/musical offense except their weapon isn’t noise it’s sort of this artificial-machine made-saccharine sweet-plastic smooth-granite cold machine sheen of sort of killer smoothness…like an artificial intelligence program is pumping out what are supposed to be “smooth” licks all day but it’s some sort of cognitive experiment too…kind of scary.
I feel like the music may be composed by some AI machine built at MIT in the 70s, hence the “Steely Dan” reference (look it up on Wikipedia)–they’re actually trying to tell us that the music is created by a machine, a machine pleasuring device in not strictly the physical sense but in the aural sense…maybe that’s the secret pun, they seem to be pretty super-intellectual, punny people, I’m sure the irony of the name “Steely Dan” as an artifical pleasuring device did not escape them at all during any part of their career but in fact was a founding principle/guiding force of the band.
That said, of course they are great musicians. I like the sort of LA jazz rock sound, I slightly prefer that kind of sound on Joni Mitchell’s 70s albums like Court and Spark and Hissing of Summer Lawns (with Larry Carlton, etc), as it’s done so much more organically, a lot less elevator music-like, on those albums. What would be great is if Joni Mitchell had a new album with Steely Dan as the backing band, yeah.
Steely Dan–Babylon Sister (Live 2000)
Ed Paschke’s getting major props from Daft Punk and Jeff Koons. This Paper Magazine interview of Daft Punk features the human/robotic duo lounging in some office with an array of brilliant Ed Paschke paintings on the wall. Makes sense–Ed Paschke was way ahead of his time, making flourescent and neon art that looks like it was made by a computer–a sort of manually created digital-like image manipulation that predated Photoshop and other common digital image manipulation software. At a retrospective show at the Chicago History Museum, I gathered from a video and a recreation of his studio that perhaps Paschke had developed a technique using sponges to apply paint to looks like it was airbrushed, but I’m not sure, and his unusual technique wasn’t explicitly addressed (look up close at his work, and it looks computer generated or airbrushed, quite unique and mysterious–no globs of paint, no brush lines, etc, very smooth and seamless ).
Jeff Koons has an exhibit, “Everything’s Here: Jeff Koons and his experience of Chicago,” June 14 – October 26, 2008, the for which the main image pictured is an Ed Paschke painting. According to the description:
Everything’s Here is an exhibition drawn largely from the MCA’s Collection that focuses on the art and artists Jeff Koons was interested in and influenced by during his formative years as a young artist in Chicago.
Koons attended the School of the Art Institute in 1975-76 on a student mobility program at the Maryland Institute, where he received his BFA. His interest in the artists and art of Chicago predated his residence here, as he first encountered the work of Jim Nutt in his MCA-organized 1974 exhibition at the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York. Especially important to Koons was the work of and his personal relationship with Ed Paschke, often considered the most prominent of the generation of Chicago-based artists who are collectively known as the Imagists. H.C. Westermann was also an inspirational figure to Koons, and his woodblock print The Dance of Death is featured in Koons’s Elvis, 2003.
One of my favorite Ed Paschke paintings is held by the Kalamazoo Institute of Arts, but I can’t find an image of it online…
I hope that the Chicago History Museum makes a catalog for the Ed Paschke show and at puts up a website describing the show, I can’t hardly find any details of it on their website! The man surely deserves better remembrance than that and it was a great show–but where’s the catalog?
Here’s an interview with Ed Paschke on YouTube:
7blackhole9 (7 months ago)
My fucking hero, former next door neighbor, and inspiration(Mr.Paschke)). Next century he will be infamous. Every artist should understand the power of origin, a definition of culture, and resource the void to create from within. Ed Paschke is a genius.