Celebrity Art Party with Jim Mahfood

Posted in art, comics, interview, video on June 26th, 2015 by Nick – 3 Comments
Celebrity Art Party is a semi-occurring feature, wherein the artists we enjoy interpret their favorite song. This installment features one of our favorite artists, Jim Mahfood (aka Food One), who will descend upon Lawrence this weekend for a variety of activities surrounding The Free State Festival. Mahfood's work has paired him with everyone from Colt 45 to Ziggy Marley. Given his deep involvement with music, we're proud to have him for this series. Jim Mahfood - Beastie Boys 'B-Boy Bouillabaisse' web Artist: Beastie Boys Song: "B-Boy Bouillabaisse" Version of song (live, album, remix, etc.): Paul's Boutique LP [embed]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uKuYFexR_pg[/embed] Why this song? There's no way I have an all-time "favorite song." I've been collecting/obsessing over music since I was 10 yrs old, so to narrow it down to just one would be impossible. But this track comes pretty close. It was masterminded by MCA (rip), the Dust Brothers, and Matt Dike. With a line-up like that you can't go wrong. The song is a ridiculous, over the top hip hop/funk medley masterpiece, composed of 8 different shorter songs. It's over 12 minutes long. It represents the absolute pinnacle in music sampling. Nothing done since even comes close. When did you first hear it? 1990. How does music such as this inspire you in your work? It reminds me that anything is possible, the sky is the limit, and to do whatever you want as an artist. Take it out as far as you can, be completely bugged out and funky. Have a sense of humor. How has this song changed for you since you first heard it? I have a much better understanding and deeper appreciation for the samples and the pop culture references the older I get. When I was younger I sort of didn't know what they were talking about, I just thought it was an ill track. What upcoming projects do you have? Miami Vice: Remix comic book series from Lion Forge/IDW (four issues out so far, issue 5 drops on July 1!). Howard the Human comic book from Marvel Comics (written by Skottie Young!) drops on August 5! And we just finished the live action Grrl Scouts Pilot for New Form Digital which everyone can check out here: [embed]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y8Gt4Jxn3lk[/embed] Jim Mahfood will be in Lawrence all this weekend. He appears at Astrokitty Comics from 5-7:00pm on Saturday, June 27. On Sunday, June 28, at 2:00pm, he'll be part of a panel with Greg Smallwood and Jai Nitz, talking about "All Ages, All Inclusive Comics." Details on attending that can be found here. He'll perform a live art jam for the closing ceremonies and film awards portion of the Free State Festival at the Lawrence Arts Center on Sunday at 5:30pm, and you can find details about there here. For more information, follow Jim Mahfood on Twitter @JimMahfood, or hit up his website.

Podcast #135, “Cinematic”

Posted in movies, podcast on June 22nd, 2015 by Nick – 1 Comment
Cinema Paradiso We once again delve into the world of film scores, Italo disco, synth, and progressive rock with this installment of the podcast. Given that it's been so hot, movies have been our primary source of entertainment. When it's hot, air conditioning and minimizing physical activity go hand in hand. Thus, you get this mix of music, perfect for a day in the AC or a hot night out. Podcast #135, "Cinematic" Bernard Herrmann, "Prelude" (The Day the Earth Stood Still) Will Bates, "Going Clear" (Going Clear soundtrack) The Dust Brothers, "Chemical Burn" (Fight Club soundtrack) Afrika Bambaataa & Family, "Bambaataa's Theme (Assault of Precinct 13)" (Beware (The Funk Is Everywhere)) Irving Force, "Backalley Creepers 2" (Carpenter) --- Federale, "Sarcophagus" (A Girl Walks Home Alone At Night soundtrack) The Daily Flash, "Theme" (Pit Stop soundtrack) Joe Strummer, "Storm In A D-Cup" (When Pigs Fly soundtrack) Gianni Giublena Rosacroce, "Incubo sulla città contaminata" (Nostra Signora Delle Tenebre) Brian May, "Hot & Ready" (Turkey Shoot soundtrack) --- Disasterpeace, "Title" (It Follows soundtrack) Goblin Rebirth, "Mysterium" (Goblin Rebirth) David Arnold & Michael Price, "How It Was Done" (Sherlock) Repeated Viewing, "Three Sisters (Umberto Remix)" (Three Sisters soundtrack) Tangerine Dream, "Stratosfear" (Stratosfear)

Podcast #134, “Melting”

Posted in podcast on June 8th, 2015 by Nick – 2 Comments
Incredible Melting Man 39 It's entirely possible this is the first podcast I've ever opened with the phrase "hot as balls," but it's not likely to be the last. My AC was out as I recorded this, and even in the usually pleasant confines of the Nuthouse basement, things were muggy as fuck. So, please enjoy this slowed-down summery jams, as I attempt to never move ever again. Podcast #134, "Melting" Greenhouse Culture & CS Luxem, "Song to the Cicadas" (digital) RAC featuring Nate Hendricks, "Back of the Car" (digital) Jamie XX, "Gosh" (In Colour) --- Mitch Murder, "Enter the Fury" (Kung Fury soundtrack) Bernard Fevre, "Earth Message" (Cosmos 2043) The Wonderland Philharmonic, "Dune" (Shogun Assassin soundtrack) --- Ahmad, "Back in The Day" (Ahmad) Fishbone, "Slow Bus Movin' (Howard Beach Party)" (Truth & Soul) Primal Scream, "Loaded" (The World's End soundtrack) --- T.Rex, "Mambo Sun" (Electric Warrior) Beastie Boys, "Dub the Mic" (The Sounds of Science) Ocote Soul Sounds, "Tu Fin, Mi Comienzo" (Coconut Rock) --- Dr. John, "Gris-Gris Gumbo Ya Ya" (Gris Gris) DIIV, "Air Conditioning" (Oshin) Beach House, "Zebra" (Teen Dream)

Celebrity Art Party with Doug Cole

Posted in art, interview, rock 'n' roll on June 1st, 2015 by Nick – 1 Comment
Celebrity Art Party is a semi-occurring feature, wherein the artists we enjoy interpret their favorite song. This installment features Doug Cole. Cole is singer and guitarist for Kansas City's own Death Valley Wolfriders, as well as the writer and artist for the comic Mortimer & The Dethwulfs, which appears monthly in American Roots Magazine, as well as in comic book form at Wolfrider gigs. A musician who writes a comic about a band -- of course we are happy to have him for this (very) occasional series. Doug Cole - KISS 'Detroit Rock City' web Song title: "Detroit Rock City" Artist: KISS Version of song (live, album, remix, etc.): Regular album version from Destroyer [embed]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0R5J6dvpujs[/embed] Why this song? My 'favorite song' changes daily, so I chose a song that is extremely influential to me. This song and band have had a major impact on me ever since the first time I discovered them. When did you first hear it? My exact age at the time is difficult to pinpoint, but I feel that I was about 7 years old, which was 3 years after the album containing this song was released. I have an cousin who is a few years older than me, and he had some records and a player in his basement. I was at his house one day, going through his records, and I came across KISS' Destroyer. The album cover itself instantly blew me away. I dropped the needle on it, and as soon as the guitar kicked in on "Detroit Rock City," I was hooked. The lead guitar lines haunted me for weeks. To this day, it remains one of my favorite pieces of music. How does music such as this inspire you in your work? The way that KISS mixed that kind of comic book imagery with badass rock & roll is a perfect combination of my two favorite worlds. It's like having your favorite superheroes playing in your favorite band. That kind of music and imagery really shaped my world, and have a tremendous effect on both the kind of music that I play, and the way that I draw. Ace Frehley, and his guitar work in that song, is the reason that I picked up a guitar in the first place. I love rock & roll music, and I love looking at cartoon/comic book images. KISS gives me both in one package. How has this song changed for you since you first heard it? Musically, it still has the same effect on me. Whenever I hear it, (and any other KISS record, for that matter), the volume goes to 11, and I'm right back to where I was the first time I heard it. The biggest difference is now knowing the personalities and history behind the makeup and the music, and so some of the magic is lost. But, despite all of my comrades who just don't understand the attraction to this band, they will forever remain my favorite, and the most influential, band in my life. What upcoming projects do you have? Death Valley Wolfriders are always hitting it hard, playing locally and regionally as often as we are able. We just released the album Play For Blood in February, and are currently writing material for the follow up. The Mortimer & The Dethwulfs comic is an ongoing project that will hopefully continue to develop into bigger & badder things. You can find more information about Mortimer and the Dethwulfs at the comic's Facebook page and hear music from the Death Valley Wolfriders on Bandcamp.

Podcast #133, “Cover Your Ears”

Posted in podcast on May 26th, 2015 by Nick – Be the first to comment
plug your ears This marks the first actual mixtape-style podcast in months. Guess I've just been too busy talking to people about their favorite music to actually play any of my own. That means I've a whole bunch of stuff that's accumulated, going all the way back to Record Store Day and before. Starting off the podcast is the latest installment of the Too Much Rock single series, from Kansas City's the Uncouth!. It's been a year since Sid's last installment, and it's worth the wait. Good, solid streetpunk, the likes of which hasn't come out of KC since the heyday of the Main Street Saints and Tanka Ray. And, continuing Sid's ability to read my mind, the b-side cover is my absolute favorite Slade song, so go grab it, because there's no finer slab of blue-collar rock 'n' roll you'll hear all year. You can pick up copies from Teenage Heart Distro. Usually, I don't write a lot in these intros, but that's a pretty sweet release you needed to know more about. Also on the podcast: new music from Magnetic South Recordings, Fat Wreck, and more. Podcast #133, "Cover Your Ears" The Uncouth, "Gudbuy T'Jane" (Too Much Rock Single Series #4) The Saints, "Lost and Found" (Eternally Yours) Zero Boys, "I'm Absent" (Crazy Al's Indiana Punk & New Wave '76-'83) Thee Tsunamis, "Saturday Night Sweetheart" (Saturday Night Sweetheart) --- Western Addiction, "Clatter and Hiss (demo)" ("I'm Not the Man That I Thought I'd Be" single) Radioactivity, "Silent" (Silent Kill) The Flatliners, "Fangs" ("Resucitation of the Year" single) Sad Boys, "Turds On A China Plate" (Cry Now, Cry Later) --- Exhumed, "Gravewalker" (split with Iron Reagan) Iron Reagan, "Pay Check" (Demo 2012) Raw Distractions, "No. 7" (Japan 2014) --- The Swan King, "Invisible Hands" (Eyes Like Knives) Meat Wave, "Keep Smoking" (Meat Wave) Thou, "Even In His Youth" (Whatever Nevermind) Off With Their Heads, "On the Attack" (Flexi Series #3)

Various Artists, “Crazy Al’s Indiana Punk and New Wave 76-83″ cassette

Posted in cassettes, punk, reviews on May 20th, 2015 by Nick – 1 Comment
cover - crazy als indiana punk cassette My review of Crazy Al's Indiana Punk & New Wave '76 - '83 on Twitter consisted mainly of "BUY IT" repeated a dozen times, and I stand by that. Hell, even if the majority of the bands and songs were mediocre, I'd probably recommend you snag this cassette just for the previously unreleased Zero Boys song, "I'm Absent." However, it also has the amazing compilation staple of Dow Jones and the Industrials' "Can't Stand the Midwest," and it's just crazy good across the board. The advantage of this being punk and new wave is that we're not limited to three-chord bangers for two sides. There's weird synthesizer and keyboard cuts like the Dancing Cigarettes' "Pop Doormat," which is one of those things you discover and wonder why it's not getting played during those retro radio lunches instead of another run through "Take On Me." There's also the electro-punk of We're Jimmy Hoffa, whose "Rock 'n Roll" seethes and oozes like the nastiest underground goth, only to blast through with razor-edged guitars. It's the sort of thing that counterbalances the snotty basics of Panics' "I Wanna Kill My Mom," which is exactly the sort of thing the Killed By Death crowd adores (having appeared on volumes 9 and 15 ½ of that compilation series). Crazy Al's even dips into power-pop with Latex Novelties. Their "Kiss and MakeUp" is a perfectly Midwestern take on early UK underground pop: Boy-era U2 or the Skids, for instance (although both of them are actually Irish, come to think of it). There's a two-disc CD version of this comp that has another unreleased Zero Boys song, "Commies." The CD version is about double the length of this cassette, and some artists have more tracks than are on the tape, while others have the same, and there are even bands on the CD that don't make it onto the tape. I don't know enough about the Indiana punk scene to say whether the bands on the Magnetic South cassette are more notable or they're better cuts, though. You can buy the cassette version of Crazy Al's Indiana Punk and New Wave 76-83 from the Magnetic South store, or the double CD version from Time Change Records.

Psychic Heat signs with High Dive Records

Posted in garage rock, local, rock 'n' roll on May 19th, 2015 by Nick – Be the first to comment
psychic heat Oh, shit. Lawrence's premiere psychedelic garage-rockers (we have enough of them for that to be a thing) Psychic Heat signed with Kansas City label High Dive Records. The label and band both announced that info today via their respective social media pages, along with this tasty jam called "Stargazer." The track's not new: you've been hearing it in promos for KJHK all semester, and it comes from last year's Brighter and Lighter EP, but it's definitely a solid taste of what you can expect from their debut full-length, out later this year. [embed]https://soundcloud.com/high-dive/psychic-heat-stargazer[/embed] That full-length, by the way, was recorded by Kid Congo and the Pink Money Birds' Ron Miller, and mixed and mastered by Kliph Scurlock, so I've no doubt it's going to sound bonkers. High Dive's been signing every local band worth knowing lately -- we're eagerly awaiting Bummer's Spank EP -- so here's to hoping for some kind of label showcase soon. I'm sure it's warp minds and melt faces. Speaking of shows, Oh! Snap! Photography shot some video of Psychic Heat at the Replay Lounge in Lawrence this past weekend, and you should totally watch it. [embed]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LVdh69Fhd84[/embed]

Spoon / Sweet Spirit at the Midland

Posted in photos, rock 'n' roll on May 19th, 2015 by Nick – 1 Comment
spoon header Last night, I went and saw Spoon, with openers Sweet Spirit at the Midland in Kansas City. For all the things I thought about the show, you can read my review over at the Pitch. However, I ended up with a ton of good shots that didn't make it up over there, so check out the galleries below. Spoon [gallery ids="18390,18391,18392,18393,18394,18395,18396,18397,18398,18399,18400,18401"] Sweet Spirit [gallery ids="18402,18403,18404,18405,18406,18407,18408,18409,18410"] Spoon and Sweet Spirit are on tour together through June 2. You can find tour dates at Spoon's website.

Podcast #132, “Jordan Smith of Diarrhea Planet”

Posted in interview, podcast on May 11th, 2015 by Nick – 1 Comment
diarrhea planet Apologies for the break. Life once again got in the way of the podcast, but this new episode is a fantastic guest DJ set from Jordan Smith of Diarrhea Planet. We interviewed him for the Runout, where we did a kind of oral history of the Nashville sextet. You'll be able to read that later this week at The Runout, but in the meantime, let's go take a listen to what Jordan has to play for us. Podcast #132, "Jordan Smith of Diarrhea Planet" Bob Seger, "Old Time Rock 'n' Roll" (Stranger In Town) Smashing Pumpkins, "Cherub Rock" (Siamese Dream) --- Nirvana, "Smells Like Teen Spirit" (Nevermind --- Jimi Hendrix, "Manic Depression" (Are You Experienced?) Twin Peaks, "Flavor" (Wild Onion) Taylor Swift, "You Are In Love" (1989) --- The Who, "Baba O'Reilly" (Who's Next) The Darkness, "I Believe In A Thing Called Love" (Permission to Land) Diarrhea Planet, "Hammer of the Gods" (I'm Rich Beyond Your Wildest Dreams) --- Roy Orbison, "She's a Mystery to Me" (Mystery Girl) David Ball, "Thinkin' Problem" (Thinkin' Problem) Wipers, "Mystery" (Is This Real?) Diarrhea Planet is currently on tour, and you can find their tour dates at the band's website.

“VHS Video Cover Art” both a nostalgic trip & celebration of under-appreciated artists

Posted in art, books, movies, reviews on May 4th, 2015 by Nick – Be the first to comment
vhs - cover art I'm not the biggest fan of Tom 'The Dude Designs' Hodge's work on posters – the bubbly, neon '80s stuff has always felt far too busy to me. He's basically the antithesis to Drew Struzan. Struzan's work is clean, uncluttered, and offers up just enough to stir your interest, whereas I've always felt that Hodge's art tries to fit the entire plot to the movie within a one-sheet's 27x40 dimensions. That said: the work from which Hodge draws his inspiration shows that the artist has deep taste. His new book for Schiffer Publishing, VHS Video Cover Art, is a treasure trove of astounding and astonishing VHS cover art from the '80s and early '90s. These painted covers are what drew so many of us into the stranger sections of the video store as kids. As so many documentarians have pointed out, VHS covers needed something to make them stand out, and those covers were a prime way of maximizing their appeal on the video store shelf. VHS - BlackRoses What makes this book interesting is that it's a collection of VHS art from UK releases, meaning that while some of the titles might be familiar to Americans, the covers are totally different. There's a lot of work by the likes of Graham Humphreys, whose work is bonkers in terms of quality and detail, and only stands to be the stick by which all of the other art is measured. Given that so many of these VHS cassettes had artwork with bad perspective, strange homages to movies to which they weren't at all related, and just perplexing choices overall (for instance, I cannot believe that so many sex comedies featured nudity on the covers), this is the sort of book over which you can repeatedly pore. Given that these aren't just the covers, but the entire VHS box, in addition to admiring the art, you can admire the way some copywriter sums up a film in just a short paragraph. Some are dead on the money, while others are out-and-out lies – a lesson many of us learned the hard way. It's great that all this text is included, because otherwise, you'd just be staring at images with little to no context for them, aside from Justin Ishmael's introduction and Hodge's opening reminisces. A big hand must go to Hodge for the way in which the book is organized. While the titles are arranged alphabetically, it's done so under a series of categories, making VHS Video Cover Art the coffee table equivalent of a trip back in time. You want to wander the horror section? Let's try and choose between The Evil Dead and Annihilator. Also, you start to notice certain trends. There are quite a few images which look an awful lot like other films. I know that Enforcer II isn't related to Cobra at all – nor does the star look anything like Sly Stallone – but damned if you wouldn't have rented the film if you liked Cobra. Similar things occur when you have facing pages showing the career trajectory of stars. Linda Blair in both Savage Streets and Savage Island? Obviously, she's found a trend. In the end, this is a wonderful collection, showcasing these VHS boxes just as one would have found them in the UK video shops during their heyday. For the connoisseur, there's a lot into which you can delve, recollecting over your youth. For the novice, there are quite a few films of which you've likely never heard, and a definite starting point for obscurities over which to obsess and search. Samples of some of VHS Video Cover Art's images, including the Black Roses cover pictured about, can be found at the book's website. You can also read an excellently in-depth interview with Graham Humphreys over at Film On Paper, which goes into great detail about his video cover art, as well as the rest of his career. VHS Video Cover Art isn't out until May 28, but you can pre-order it from Amazon by clicking here.