My band Bad Breaks (like us on Facebook!) is playing a show with Austin’s TV Torso, Hundred Visions, and Austin Leonard Jones this weekend at the Ten Eleven, and above is the Halloween-inspired poster for the gig. TV Torso is led by Matt Oliver, formerly of seminal ATX indie group Sound Team. I saw Sound Team open for Spoon at La Zona Rosa in 2007, which was their second-to-last show with that lineup and name. Four years later, I saw Oliver’s new project TV Torso open for the Walkmen at Stubb’s and was blown away by the songwriting and sound. The next day I downloaded their Status Quo Vadis EP and loved it, especially tracks “Slanderer’s Stew” (below) and “Two Glass Eyes” (which also inspired the poster above). TVT just released a new three-song EP, Clear Lake Strangler, which is unsurprisingly excellent. Really stoked to play this show.
I’ve been a jazz fan for a long time, and a huge fan of the classic Blue Note Records album sleeves designed by Reid Miles. Last weekend was Jazz’SAlive, our annual free jazz festival (not “free jazz” — just free as in “doesn’t cost anything”) held downtown, and so I finally got a chance to do an homage to the Blue Note style with photos of the headliners, Béla Fleck and Marcus Roberts. It was especially fun adding all the little details like the worn circle (from the vinyl inside).
No cats were harmed in the making of this cover, but many animals are still being harmed (i.e., put to sleep) because San Antonio is still not yet a “no-kill” city. I wanted to put a face on this topic, so I found the cutest, most innocent, wide-eyed kitten I could on shutterstock.com and had a little funeral for him. People asked me — horrified — whether or not Mittens was a real cat who got put down. Well, “Mittens” might not be “real,” but there are tons of cats and dogs like him, and they all need good homes … or else.
This cover was a lot of fun to put together. It’s been a personal goal of mine to create a cover entirely out of Lego (as a kid I used to build my own X-Wings and Batmobiles out of the stuff), and when the Team Better Block story came up, I knew this was a perfect opportunity.
To replicate Alamo Plaza and the surrounding city block, I needed to turn to the experts: The Texas Lego User Group. I saw their amazingly detailed and expansive train build at this year’s Texas Comicon, and knew they could help make it happen. Chris MacDougald, founder of TexLUG-SA (the local chapter in San Antonio), and founding co-chair of Brick Fiesta (an annual fan-run event that draws Lego master builders and thousands of Lego maniacs) created the Lego Alamo from photo reference (called “free build” in Lego terminology) and built up the rest of the city block around it. I had a hand in populating the city with mini-figures: tourists, locals, punks, construction workers … and then we threw in a mummy, Wonder Woman, an Ewok (yep, it’s in there), a gorilla, and other easter eggs. My own personal favorite — a Lego recreation of the Beatles’ Abbey Road cover.
Huge thanks to Chris and Connie MacDougald for their Lego expertise and hospitality, and to Steven Gilmore for the great photos!
My favorite easter egg: a Lego-fied Abbey Road!
An Ewok in the pet store, just because.
Hey, that Lego figure on the left looks … familiar …