Friday, December 31, 2010

Roxaboxen "Best of 2010 Poster Show"

Pleased to announce a happy and very welcome end to 2010 with a great exhibition of poster art from Chicago artists. Some of my posters and flyers for local music (including my band Sadhu Sadhu) will be shown at Roxaboxen Gallery in Pilsen as part of their Best of 2010 poster show.

Other artists include some friends of mine you may know: Ryan Duggan (of Black Ladies, Loose Dudes), Kyle Reynolds (of Cacaw, Heavy Times), Josh Davis, Marion Jackson (of Sadhu Sadhu), Spudnik Press, etc. Be sure to check it
out if you can make it down there, here are the details:

My Top Singles Picks of 2010

Best Singles of 2010

1 Dirty Beaches “True Blue/Sweet 17” Zoo Music

2 Dirty Beaches “Golden Desert Sun/Night Drive” Italian Beach Babe

3 Grinderman “Heather Child/Super Heather Child” Mute

4 Sun Araw “Sun Ark/Bump Up, High Step” Not Not Fun

5 Bitchin’ Bajas/Moon Duo “Fresh Hair/Bopper’s Hat” Permanent

6 Moon Duo “Catch As Catch Can/Set It On Fire” Agitated

7 Heavy Times “No Plans/Ice Age” Hozac

8 The Great Society Mind Destroyers/Dark Fog “Divinorum/Space” Galactic Zoo Disk

9 Vermillion Sands “Mary” Rijapov

10 Vibes “Psychic” Not Not Fun

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

My Top Album Picks of 2010

Best Albums of 2010

1 Grinderman “Grinderman 2” LP Mute

It's pure rock fury as Nick Cave again steps away from the Bad Seeds and into the trashy, no holds barred, wolfish pomp of Grinderman. Comprised of Cave and three Bad Seeds members, this second foray as a stripped down garage band takes it to new levels of noisy bombast and sleazy lyricism. Haven't been so sonically punished in years, and the live show is even more intense!

2 Magic Lantern “Platoon” LP Not Not Fun

Where Cameron Stallone's Sun Araw side project favors the thubbing, bass-heavy, dubbed out side of psychedelia, the newest (possibly final) release from Magic Lantern, brings it back around to it's Hendrix-inflected, guitar wailing, funk-blues origins. If you were lucky enough to grab the first few copies of this release that contained a bonus 7", then you know the power of Magic Lantern's funk side, displayed on their cover of Iron Knowledge's "Showstopper".

3 DA! “Exclamation Point” LP Factory 25

One of the many forgotten legends of Chicago music, DA! played a gothy, arty style of punk that should not be understated. With haunting female vocals, its not hard to imagine an influence of Siouxsie Sioux lurking behind the Joy Division-esque guitar and drum work, but there is much more here than mere post-punk artiness. This album collects many of their oft unheard songs into one convenient package, although I highly recommend trying to get your hands on their original EP "Time WIll Be Kind" and single "Dark Rooms/White Castles". Great liner notes and artwork comprised of old flyers and photos complete this essential release!

4 Group Inerane “Guitars of Agadez” LP Sublime Frequencies

Simply put, this is one of the best releases of Taureg guitar music I've yet heard. Transcendent tribal rhythms and call and response chanting meet raw, trance-inducing guitar grooves. These songs of protest against the Niger & Mali governments can strike a chord with anyone willing to listen, knocking down the barrier of language in the process.

5 Zola Jesus “Stridulum” 12" EP Sacred Bones

I was first blown away by the beauty of Nika Rosa Danilova's music when I heard her first full-length on Sacred Bones. Recently she's cut through the grit and grime of previous releases to reveal gorgeous baubles of pop-inflected synth-washed gothic anthems. Can't wait for the next full length!

6 Silver Bullets “Citta Invisibili” Cassette Stunned

These Italians should not be overlooked by anyone interested in the recent rush of tranced-out minimalist psych bands popping up all over the country (and world for that matter). Building on their stunner (no pun intended) of a debut "Free Radicals", the band has begun to let fly with a more experimental bent that sits nicely alongside their ethno-driven grooves.

7 Emeralds “Does It Look Like I’m Here?” LP Editions Mego

Moving away from their purely analog beginnings, Emeralds has transcended both past and future to usher in the purely "now" sound of the digital age. Lush ambience provides a sweeping lull that allows the scattering shards of melody to take us beyond the dense drones and noise blasts of previous releases, making this record Emeralds' most approachable and aurally attractive album to date. Fans of Nova should take note!

8 Einst├╝rzende Neubauten “Strategies Against Architecture IV: 2002-2010” 2CD Mute

The great Neubauten return with a compendium of songs collected from releases of the past 8 years. Their sound has advanced so much since earlier classic albums like "Halber Mensch" and "Kollaps" that one might be under the impression that these pioneers of Industrial music might be losing steam. Not the case however, as their songcraft has developed to include not only elements of metallic percussion, power tools, and noise, but now contains spoken word, pop traces, digital sampling, field recordings, and laptop electronics. Simply beautiful stuff on this double album.

9 Sun Araw “Off Duty” 12” EP Woodsist

A return to form for Sun Araw! After the genre-defying juggernaut that was "Heavy Deeds", I was unfortunately less than impressed by the sprawling double album "On Patrol". On "Off Duty" Cameron Stallones brings the dub I was so desperately missing and in the process reminds us that although the heavily-reverbed lo-fi sounds of his contemporaries are fast getting played out, he can still delivery a solid dose of drugged out bliss that sounds completely his own.

10 Cave “Pure Moods” 12” EP Drag City

This EP gives just enough of a hint of what's to come from our boys in Cave. A great blend of the Krauty rhythms that have defined them since their first release and their newer synth-driven Kosmische sound.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Page One "Rock-A-Dub"

Yes! Been trying to find this album by Page One forever! It’s got one of the greatest reggae album covers of all time in my opinion. The artwork is from an era in Jamaican music that has transcended time, the whole package sounds and looks as fresh today as ever. Dig the back cover too! That painting could have have only been created in 1970’s Jamaica! I’m tellin’ ya!

This Album Is Strictly
Rockers Dubbing And Rootsy Smoking
‘Cos Babylon Must Fall.

Hiromi Tanaka

Great new pieces from this Chicago-based Japanese painter.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Welcome 2 the Void

The poster for Chicago Psych Fest 2 at The Hideout, curated by The Chicago Metaphysical Circus. All art and design by yours truly.

Monday, December 6, 2010


"Welcome to the Void" - india ink on paper

Friday, November 26, 2010

R.I.P. Peter Christopherson 1955-2010

A great article about this seminal figure in experimental music.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Grinderman @ The Riviera Theater 11/22/10

Had the great fortune of witnessing a punishing Grinderman concert yesterday at the Riv! Unbelievable energy from the entire band, particularly Nick Cave and Warren Ellis.

Ellis was absolutely on a different plane for the entire show, running wildly back and forth from his side of the stage to the drum stand, slamming into Nick, alternating between his guitar, violin, and electric bouzouki, and thrashing like a mad man possessed underneath his mic stand, violently shaking and beating two maracas against a mic'd hi hat. I think anyone in the audience on his side of the stage left feeling a little more sane and a lot more deaf...

Cave was in truly ecstatic form as well, howling to the rafters and screaming lyrics into a stunned and god-struck audience. His old Bad Seeds dance moves were there as well, gyrating and pulsing like a writhing corpse-thin version of Elvis.

Overall, a mesmerizing and intense performance!

Also had an opportunity to (very) briefly meet Mr. Cave after the show and have a copy of his first volume of lyrics and writings, "King Ink" signed. My friend Eric and I were totally in fanboy mode for this, so I didn't get to spit much out, but Nick gave me a funny kind of "" when he saw the book. Must have been a long time since he'd seen a copy of it, since it was published in 1990 on Henry Rollins' publishing company, 2.13.61, and has been out of print nearly as long. Thanks to my wife, Candace, for standing out in the cold with us to wait after the show and for taking pictures!

Totally geeked out! It's a strange experience meeting one of your idols, especially someone who's artistic output stretches through nearly 3 decades of incredible live performances, legendary albums, film appearances, and written word.

Sadhu Sadhu at Empty Bottle 12/20/10

New flyer I designed for our first show since July!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Psych Fest II: Welcome II The Void

I'll be working on the poster art for this years Psych Fest at the Hideout! Jan. 21st and 22nd are the confirmed dates, with a possible pending secret show. Here's a preview sketch for the poster.

Thanks be to our brethren at the
Chicago Metaphysical Circus for putting on yet another kick ass event. Check the Hideout's page for all the info and updates. We're all keeping our fingers crossed that Moonstone Continuum will make it down from Minneapolis for this great series of shows!

Super Minerals

Excellent side project of Magic Lantern members Phil French and William Giachhi (or is it the main project now that Magic lantern has disappointingly called it quits?). Layered and expansively unfolding drones permeated with subtle naturalistic field recordings that seem to suffuse into the blood like rays of bright California sunshine. These guys are also responsible for Stunned Records, which has been releasing hard-to-nab tapes by promising acts like Italy's magnificent Silver Bullets. Check out the album "Magnitudes" by Super Minerals on Digitalis.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Up the Yangtze

Saw a great documentary yesterday, Up the Yangtze. It really made me ponder the effects of civilization and industrialization on nature. There are few films that can really hit me in such a way that I'm brought to tears and this is one of them. The film discusses China's decision to dam the Yangtze river, the pro's and con's of this decision, and the human toll that this decision has taken. Up the Yangtze really captures the loss of cultural identity that has permeated China as a result of its governments devotion to modernization, globalization, and national power.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Grinderman are back!

Grinderman 2 is finally out on US shores via Anti- and it is BRILLIANT! A true reclamation and decimation of the spirit of primal rock n roll fury. The sounds on this record sit well between such punk-blues-psychedelic upstarts as John Spencer Blues Explosion and Comets on Fire and the noisier expansive explorations of the German Krautrock/Kosmische set, and it's all filtered through Nick Cave's sneering and whip-smart lyrical vision of male mid-life lust, longing, and languidity. Can't wait to catch these miscreants when they get to Chicago in a few months (it'll be my first time witnessing monsieur Cave live and in person, words cannot express my excitement!). You bet yer ass I have tickets already!

By the way, I hope you have a turntable, because the LP version of this album is killer. Comes with a 12"12" booklet with lyrics and drawings, a huge hilarious poster, CD version of the album, and the lettering on the heavy-duty sleeve is embossed with blue foil! Woooo, fancy...just get it!

On our way!

A little caricature of me and the love of my life. Just a few short weeks to the wedding! Watercolor and ink superimposed on canvas.

Check out our wedding site!

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Sadhu Sadhu @ Zebulon July 23rd, 2010

Here's our most recent live recording from Zebulon in Williamsburg, NYC. Great venue with killer Franco-Moroccan vibes (good French sammiches too!). It's a bit of a raw recording, direct from the soundboard and I haven't tampered with the file at all (mixing, EQing). Track listing is: Vibratory Moon, The Colour Out of Space, Walkabout, Sun Bridge. Enjoy, and eternal peace, ya'll!

Grinderman 2

Absolutely cannot wait for this album to drop!

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Sadhu Sadhu: On Tour Again!

Here's the new flyer I created for our New York show coming up in a couple days. It's freeing to use colored pencils, which have such a nice rich look about them. If you're in or around NYC, come check us out! Have some new merch available as well!

Monday, July 19, 2010

Free Monday!

Be sure to check out our first free Monday show at the Empty Bottle on July 26th! Should be a great time! Andrew and I have been putting up flyers around the city and we want you to bring everyone you know to this one, folks. Wanted to go with a punk rock photocopy aesthetic, with a few psychedelic touches thrown in. The image is from my mom's Clay High School yearbook, Mishawaka, IN 1976. Enjoy the teenage 'stache.

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Tribute to an American Primitive

India ink on watercolor paper

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Heavy Times!

Congrats to the guys in Heavy Times for gettin' their new album out and playing some great shows over the past few weeks. Had the pleasure of doing the album art for 'em. Not sure, but I think the first pressing of 200 on Rotted Tooth may be sold out. Here are some images of the final product: Heavy Times "Dead" LP.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Mission Accomplished!

Here's the final product! The "highly" anticipated silkscreen poster for our show with Thee Silver Mt. Zion Memorial Orchestra at Schuba's in a few weeks. I'm happy with the finished design, but I gotta say my friend Jim and I had a hell of a time gettin' this 2-color sucker to print properly.
19"x25" metallic gold on sea green ink in an edition of 50.

We'll have the print for sale at the show and on our myspace page for around $12. The band and label will get a portion of the prints as well as some of the local stores in order to promote the show, so they will be in limited supply. Get 'em while they're hot!

Africa Unite!

A few weeks ago, I was asked by my Tanzanian friend Sebastian to do a reworking of a painting motif originally created by an African artist. The plan is for the image to go onto a t-shirt that will be distributed to close friends. The image is meant to celebrate the diversity of people, culture, and flora/fauna throughout the massive continent. Be sure to check out the not-for-profit Tamiha organization that Sebastian is involved with. More on the t-shirt as news arrives!