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.
Posts Tagged ‘inspiration’
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).
On July 18, 2012, the Current relaunched itself as a glossy-covered, stitched-and-trimmed, full-bleeding, too-legit-to-quit weekly magazine. This is my second full top-to-bottom redesign of the Current — my first was in summer 2007 shortly after becoming Art Director. Not only are the covers slick, glossy, and beautiful (like our previous Best of SA and Drink issues), but the interior pages have been redesigned down to every detail and some things have been re-imagined from the ground up with an eye toward a more magazine-like visuals. This has given me some more leeway to create different kinds of pages, with bolder graphics, more photos, and more playful layouts. So far reaction has been pretty positive across the board. We’ll keep thinking of ways to surprise, delight, and occasionally infuriate our readers week in and week out.
Below are some pages I particularly liked. Enjoy!
This week’s cover story gets into possible misdealing by the American GI Forum, a veterans group that some claim is being paid off to lobby for big businesses like Boeing, American Petroleum Institute, and AT&T. For the cover, I proposed doing a take-off on the iconic movie poster to Stanley Kubrick’s Full Metal Jacket — with BORN TO KILL recast as BORN TO SHILL and the peace badge replaced by the AT&T globe logo. However, at the last minute we decided to remove the helmet text, which the editor and writer felt was too harsh and could possibly be construed as the Current accusing the military (in general) as doing the shilling. My other headline, “Brand of Brothers” ended up being the main text. I think this cover lost a little of its overall impact, but I’m always wary of sending the wrong message. And a mixed message is just as bad, or even worse.
Miranda Studios — the hardest-working videographer in San Antonio — shot a sweet video recap of my recent Second Saturday art show at LoneStar Studios. Check it out! (And watch for the amazing Marvel Films-style intro, which might be the coolest thing I’ve ever seen).
Everyone involved with the event did an awesome job, and they deserve a huge “thank you” on the internets: LoneStar owner Sean Fitzgibbons, Current publisher Michael Wagner, Current editor Greg Harman, Chuck Maurer at Alternative Ink (who produced the gorgeous prints), Andy Benavides, Say.She.Ate gourmet food truck, Rocker Dogz, Nicolette Good and Jesse Basham, Travis Simpson, my bandmates in Bad Breaks, illustrator Alex Fine (who drew the kickass Jackie Earle Haley/Rorschach illo featured in the video), and Justin Parr. And, of course, big thanks to everyone who came to the show — especially if you went home with a cover.
Two weeks ago, Chris Maddin, Chris Guerra, Leonard Rader, Matt Thomas, Jaime Rader, and myself performed Radiohead’s Kid A in its entirety for a packed house of more than 250 Radiohead fans at the Broadway 5050 in San Antonio, Texas. Just like last year’s full live album cover shows (which included Arcade Fire’s Funeral and Radiohead’s OK Computer), this was a 100% free show, put on to salute one of our all-time favorite albums. We’re not a cover band, either — we deconstruct and learn an album for a few weeks, perform it, and then we move on to another project. (The only exception was performing OK Computer again for my favorite local radio station, KRTU 91.7 Indie Overnight).
Stephen Castro of local video production house Miranda Studios was front-row and recorded the whole event, and it really captures what it was like to be inside the room with us. Fun fact: YouTube contacted Stephen to take these videos down, citing copyright infringement — but we only sampled a few bits and pieces of the album. So apparently our live version was good enough to fool YouTube’s lawyers. I can’t think of a higher compliment.
Below is all six parts of Kid A live, for your viewing and listening pleasure. Once again, a huge thanks to my fellow musicians, Miranda Studios, the Broadway 5050, and everyone who packed it like sardines in a crushed tin box. Most of all, huge thanks to Radiohead for being the best band in the world.
“Everything in its Right Place” and “Kid A”:
“The National Anthem” and “How to Disappear Completely”:
“Treefingers” (audio only):
“Optimistic” and “In Limbo”:
“Idioteque” and “Morning Bell”:
“Motion Picture Soundtrack” and special encore “15 Step”:
The “Kid A” band:
Chris Maddin (vocals, guitar)
Chuck Kerr (drums, drum samples, iPad 2)
Chris Guerra (Fender Rhodes, synths)
Leonard Rader (guitar, vocals, synths, loops)
Matt Thomas (bass)
Jaime Rader (samples, loops, synths, guitar)
Last Wednesday, me and a group of musician friends performed Radiohead’s classic 2000 album, Kid A, live in its entirety at the Broadway 5050, to kick off our second season of live album covers. (You can read more about our 2010 season — which included Radiohead’s OK Computer, Arcade Fire’s Funeral, and Wilco’s Yankee Hotel Foxtrot among others — by searching the “album covers series” tag on my site.) Videographer Stephen Castro of Miranda Studios was filming from the “front row” and has released the first four songs of the set: “Everything in its Right Place,” “Kid A,” “The National Anthem.” and “How to Disappear Completely.” The Kid A band consisted of Chris Maddin (vocals), Chris Guerra (Rhodes and keyboards), Leonard Rader (background vocals, guitar, samples and effects), Matt Thomas (bass), Jaime Rader (samples, loops, guitar), and myself on acoustic/electronic drums and an iPad. “The National Anthem” also featured Ryan Teter (trombone), Steve Mohacey (tenor sax), and Jacinto Lefebre (trumpet). Meg Lobasso played cello on “How to Disappear.” Everyone did an amazing job bringing this album to life, I will post more videos as they pop up. Cheers!
Illustrator Brian Taylor (who has some great work you should check out) just posted this on his Facebook page and I just had to share it. These minimalist superhero-themed flags, created by Fabian Gonzalez, are perfect reductions and further proof of how iconic some of these characters’ designs actually are. I mean, when I see six black triangles on a yellow background I can’t NOT see Wolverine. (Seriously, it’s a condition.) A few of these had me stumped, but I was able to identify almost every character flag pretty much instantly. Fabian has lost of other cool minimal designs (like a Simpsons alphabet), so check them out on his Flickr page.