I am going to play this post straight and narrow; no histrionics, no chatter, no pike-pulling esophagus slapping. Well, apparently a little, but I aim to ingratiate the setting with a little slippery ease, looking to set a record for writing one of these things in a final-throw phase and not get so complicated. Commercials for things shouldn't be complicated, shouldn't be a riddle to figure out I am trying to sell you something or set an idea as a good one in your head with a litany long in the tooth. And so with that, I am on-this to on-you with some helpful "What am I going to do in Los Angeles on April 9th?" information....which do to some bug in the blogness gets really small and you should get out the magnifying eye Sherlock because remember, I am trying to keep this short in type and upkeep so I can't get all "under the hood" and try to bring up the font size. Ramble.
HERE IS WHAT YOU ARE DOING via the Art Debauchery Organization site :
ART DEBAUCHERY ORGANIZATION presents
// ALT to the ALT
// an xxx-themed art event
3501 Eagle Rock Blvd
Los Angeles 90065
Saturday, April 9th, 2011
"ALT to the ALT" is an XXX-themed art event showcasing some of the well-respected movers and pornographers within the alt porn industry through their photography and art.
"ALT" is "Alternative". True to the saying, there is an Alternative to everything. The "alt" in adult cinema is an aesthetic difference that showcase the work of these pornographers as artists, rather than playing to the general public's stereotype of the adult industry. By pushing the boundaries of the artform, these artists bring forth the true ALT to the Alt.
Now, I am in this show, as you can see on the Steak designed flyer. The four pieces I have in the show are three original works (one being the one below) and one Risograph print of a photo manipulation I did (of a still from the absolute creepfest PAIN MANIA) for Landfill/Manymono called TENDER LEATHER. Minus me, because we should always minus me, Rae Threat (who is a wicked shutterbug; check her site for some NSFW type darkness) has wrangled, snapped and slopped some fucking awesome artists (who fit the carnal criteria) into Showcave's space : Eon Mckai, Kimberly Kane, Carlos Batts, Courtney Trouble & Bob Coulter. All of these links, may I mention for all your teens reading this blog or day workers stealing time from the "man"....are pornographic in the absolute prurient settle, tone and touch of the word Pornography. So, they are 18+ as fuck and NSFW as hands grab ankles. Beware and all that. But more importantly, COME TO THE SHOW.
Here is a list of important links :
And that's it. I don't have a good sign off this year, sorry.
To your browsing left is the web-flyer for a group show, curated by Alexis Anne Mackenzie and opening at POVevolving on Saturday December 11th. If you have ever been to an "art" opening anywhere in America or......Berlin, then you are familiar enough to know that these things start at 7pm. I can promise this is also the case with DISSONANCE's opening.
And if the web-flyer is read correctly, you will see the show features five artists and someone named "Christopher Norris", which also if read correctly or fuck, with adverse affect to this writer, will reveal that I am showing not under the idiotic Steak Mtn. name but the original one taped to my back in year 000.1. This was at the request of Alexis, who didn't want to have to have her fingers snap & crackle S-T-E-A-K-M-T-N-. into/onto anything involving DISSONANCE. I agree with her and thus this post is twofold announcement and pronouncement, which be so no confusion gets confused if you are looking for that stupid, staunch or sticky Steak Mtn. artwork in your Southern California gallery crawl this Saturday night.
Just so you know the kinks of the story and why you should be at the opening or at least give the space a poke when you are in the Chinatown area of greater Los Angeles this 2010 December, Alexis has constructed a serious denouement for her main event. Here goes the show's lifesblood in direct English :
In music, “dissonance” is a term used to describe elements such as chords, harmonies, and intervals, which have a clashing quality. It is often, by definition, a harsh sound, but one which contributes greatly on many levels to the beauty and expressiveness of music.
Dissonance is intended to explore the similar overlapping/clashing qualities of visual artworks which are neither figurative nor abstract; or both at once. I'm hoping to highlight a certain grey area within which artwork can exist by either definition; wherein abstract sensibilities heavily inform figurative renderings, and vice versa, so that the two become indistinguishable, and can be simultaneously appreciated.
That sounds like you need to be there to me, so see you there!
Regardless, I work with music groups who usually are the earnest, linear type with a fetish for pop music in structure and/or touch. You know the deal because you like them. And after a complete cavern year (2009), 2010 has been a 38" muffin stuffing itself into a 24" velvet box, which for those bad at trig : overflowing with a number of few things that make me feel busy and wanted. You probably like to be wanted, you are normal and reading this and know that : Everyone wants to be wanted. Obviously, I am not here to talk to you about the human experience, I am here to shill like a slow Saturday night on the other side of off season, if you dig my meaning.
So, here we go, Round Three:
FAKE PROBLEMS - REAL GHOSTS CAUGHT ON TAPE
came out last week. I am a little slow these days with the updated and timely blog postings (see the post before this for a little riddle of steel as to why), but, whatever, I showed to the party with a bag of cats and some yoke, so screw. I should have whited that out, probably. Anyway, regardless, segueway, the record - Well, for me, the record plays like a band that has officially shadowed past whatever shadow critics keep pouring their intent into (Short hand : Americana fused with the youth musical movement known as punk rock. Shorter hand : bands that sound like Against Me!) and while I never really thought that Fake Problems were ever a punk band, more a solid pop band that shakes hands with punk bands while they boat shoe the faces of punk band show audiences, I get the laziness of music critics punching in the hotline for byline. Fuck, I do it as well, hell, we all cheat sometimes right? And sometimes it's just lunch time and you need to get your thoughts internet wide, cheap and dirty. And next you will read me typing, GHOSTS is a pop record, through and through, from the beach to the blanket it surfaces and soothes in a mature complexity that reads with a granular touch (pretentious : auteurs in hand & product) that is so hard to breach in most currents of popular (or unpopular) music. It's a comfortable (but not dead) listen that is drawn, scribbled out and redrawn from hard work and the pouring of personality into their music making career's muscle memory. Meaning, GHOSTS doesn't skip on any frayed moment or thought to deliver to the farthest edges of it's intent and that, in my opinion, is hard as fuck for even the most talented singer songwriter band types. So, to me, the record is a success. It's also the sort of record I don't normally search out but am always happy to find & when the opportunity unearthed to work Problems through the Steak grinder once again, I was well into the lather of hand wringing the different directions we could go with the design. And, as ideas and outset intent tend to be transient lovers of disappointment and Frankenstein's monster, the project's design started as a thick, dark mood piece and transformed into an (early) Jade Tree VHS tape dipped of water damage, memory & road trips. Or something. And I am happy with it, I think Steak Mtn. did a nice job. There is more attention to design over imagery (as the flip is usually, well, the flip of that as far as what Steak viewers view or casually comprehend, map, etc.) and it was an interesting experiment of my ego and collaboration to take Casey Lee's rummaged ruminations and retrofit them into a constructed memento of a band in the next phase of their creative careers.
To take a look at a lean presentation of the record, you can check the Steak site. If my baroque idiocy has formed an interest in Fake Problems you never knew was there, well here, here, and here is where you meet the business end of their craft. And if you get really adventurous, check out three chord futurists (now there is a riddle of steel that stretches to a "reaching" and VERY "obtuse" rhythm), The Gaslight Anthem infuse an empty belly on a key track from GHOSTS, "Songs For Teenagers".
The Steak web presence has peaked and splattered. "Being sincere" is a walk when vibrating in person, but the joy of masking is for the Internet, so, fuck it. I promise everyone is in on the same joke with this "Artwork" stuff. Let's get sunny & talk about Minneapolis.
"Oogum Boogum" by Brenton Wood
Crowning & careening past your notice while doing double duty as Living In the Legend for one personable, awesome artist & another that is well, hell, you know the deal, I am here to just fuck around with your attention span if you are willing and my "career" if I am Steak immolating....is the fantastique appearance of new (or new-esque depending on geography) work by my friend Heather Gabel & Steak Mtn., which, Me......but saying me without mentioning Steak Mtn. first makes it seem like we are friends and we are totally not friends Reader, unless in real life, we are & right now you are wishing we were completely not friends in real life because you have to pretend you don't really pay attention to these idiotic blogposts so that you can take me semi-seriously when I say anything at all to you. Don't worry, with the run-on sentence noted, I pretend I don't write these idiotic blogposts most of the time anyway, which means we still have something in common and can continue to be friends. Regardless, because I say regardless a lot to move something past the point of shoddy commercial writing, TERROR EYES is the name of the show and man, it's opening in Minneapolis on Saturday August 28th (8PM tonight of the day I am writing this) at Cult Status Gallery.
THE FACTS :
1. Heather is hitting you hard with her self-squeezed bevy of buxotic, Frankensteinly fashioned, sew and splatter images that always sharpen to the belfry and beyond.
2. I am trying out some new stuff. Test marketing, taste testing and titularly tightening a stronghold on American Punk Rock's resilience to see everything you do minus the intent and it's strings.
"Voodoo Voodoo" by Laverne Baker
I don't have images of the Steak pieces, as they are mammothy in size & really I just couldn't do it before they had to travel to the Great White North. As far as Heather's work is concerned, I have it on good authority that her work is wooly to my mammothy (see modified -made up- word in first sentence), although she may have some pictures....hit her site up HERE for a checker or more importantly, if you are unfamiliar with her art styling and images. I do however, have the web flyer that features a Heather and some Steak typography. Check it & dude, check all the links in this post, because : TEST. Although I will hit you with all the answers after the fact, so you know, you can cheat and shit.
Index finger, middle finger & a lot of right hand wagging to get them to snap together. Shit is crazy hard, but once it's mastered, man, you look like a fucking REAL idiot.
Here is the bubble, pop it carefully :
FAKE PROBLEMS "REAL GHOSTS CAUGHT ON TAPE" ARTWORK HERE!
I will be going over this more around 9/21 when the record rears & drags about, but if you are occasionally wondering about the art, get summer at the link.
GUILTMAKER "THE EMERALD COAST" DIGITAL EP IS AVAILABLE HERE!
It's always exciting to hear what a band creates when song craft reflects their interests rather then feeding the collective ability obese with fickle fans and/or an omniscient marketing department. "The Emerald Coast" runs alongside a band attuned to the end-and-over sounds that are possible in the confined space of a basic rock-n-roll set up. An awesome example of which can be found in the final track, "Looming", 4 minutes and 35 seconds of slow boil, sonic tension that triggers an understated finale of rumbled noise & dotted harmony, sending you out in the comfortable hum of them powering down, closing the door, folding their day clothes, etc., you get my point : they nailed this fucker to the wall for sure (with the help of producer Jeremy Griffith). Tough call, I am onboard for the art, viewable at the link a few words back and as is the case in popular music these days, physical product is 99 and 44/100% dead so this is a straight laced, self released DIGITAL EP so go the distance (THIS SPOT) & download the record.
As one may have guessed by now, or at least one of the ones that grip attentively to the happenings of Steak Mtn. or more specifically the Steak Mtn. who works for the band Against Me!, or even more more more in the swarm of scaring off your eyes by my endless typing, which is to say I am fully about to be getting out of control with the asides here and should rally the point proper for the reader reading.....Against Me!'s "White Crosses" got viral a few months back but officially bent about to make room for itself in the clutter of the digital music market and/or (for the sum that still enjoy the texture of a physical purchase) gathered into the ten fingers (or less...or more, handicap or mutant, probably more...fucking mutants) of the eager-to-hold-it, earlier this week, Tuesday to be perfect. I would have shuffled this post much much sooner, but I was out of the office all week vacationing minus a computer. And I say all the last detail as if you needed to know/care about that piece of information. Waiting with the baited breath (or is it bat'd breath? I am sure not many vampires read the Steak blog and I might be positive most of the '10's vampiric Grave Wavers prefer the sound of maybe something other then the Against Me! music. Now, I am often wrong and you never know really, they could in fact glean the darkness from WC. Fuck, I see it there and I am stoked, but I am also not a goddamn vampire.) that loves to wallow the depths of this infrequent and fragmented blog. Blog. Still a stupid name for these self indulgent things. The cliche writers were wrong, time does not heal all wounds.
So, yeah, it's out. What does that mean for you? I don't want to speculate but (even if speculating and then judging out of hand is one of the favorite hobbies I get in trouble for) maybe you bought it already because you are a Steak Mtn. fan but not an AM! listener. You got it because you like a brother and I thank you for that blind faith & curiosity, truly. No lies. But more really, you are a fan of the band (and likely have ambivalent lightning in the Steak spot) and you have the record in one of the capacity's I riddled on about above. You have it and you are publicly complaining that it's a pop record and want the scrappy punk sound back and won't take no for an answer even though you could actually just drop it, grow some foresight and move on because no one really cares about how you are glued to hindsight or pragmatically leveling it as the logical evolution of the band or are loving it because fuck it, you love it...which is super-brave past the issue of the subject of this post...I mean, who the fuck loves loves anything anymore? Or moreover, who has the strong swing to publicly love anything anymore? Don't answer that, I actually don't care what you have to say. And regardless and boringly (and back onto the vast chatter about the record), that's basically how human preference, personal opinion and the free will of pop culture works : who cares, you do what you want. You know that, you're a smart kid or at least a cool, informed parent.
And really, no typed enthusiasm about how this is my favorite record cover I have done or how my creative relationship with this band is at one of my favorite spots ever in Steak history or that the cover of "White Crosses" is personally cool to me because it angles against the sonic fiber/pop structure of the record and that is something that I rarely get to do with bands, especially ones the size of AM! or how I really do know it's invalid to be "excited" that a rock act with a "commercial" path got away with a truly "subversive" piece of smeary smut art inside of a giant corporation, as in, I know at this point everyone knows the common case that often no one is actually paying attention to a record cover because the majority of consumers are not consuming a physical product anymore (but a possibly heisted version or at best, really tiny-on-an-MP3-player-screen version of any record are in their ownership) and that's why we might have got away with such an abject image on the cover because it's almost like it doesn't exist.....will or would (and welcome back to the point I was making at the beginning of the run-on.....man, if I was reading right now I would not be reading anymore. Not to insult your attention or nothing, I'm just saying...again, thanks, truly.) boil or cool your want or diswant to purchase (hope, hope) "White Crosses". Really, I am just writing to write, since I don't do it as much Steak commercial campaigning as I use to and this is one of those "big" events in my commercial career that I would like to at least mark with anything that could confuse, anger or shame the older me....when I am the older me, which could be tomorrow. And then I might delete this. Possibly. I think it's a good thing that I keep potential commenters from being able to comment on these posts, it gives it that dessert island flare that I always appreciate in others posts across the internet. I mean, we all know that I am never saying anything of substance in these things usually, it's just a stack of alliteration, tiresome self deprecation and the occasional use of the word "moist" (and if that doesn't fit, "oozing", "dripping", "squeezed" or "sprayed".)
If you have made it this far and are interested in seeing some of the unused art that got dramatically discharged from the construction of "White Crosses", go to this link. It's all in line with the rest of the record, there are no great surprises at all, it's just all stuff that ended up getting run over or discarded or in the rare case, argued over in some capacity....you know who you are, jerk. And if you forgot to buy the record, check Against Me!'s webstore here : HERE, there are a few cool things to purchase, including a "White Crosses" Bundle that includes a tote bag with the front and back cover images, sans fonts. Which I think is cool, because I am a fan of myself in the context of this record's art.
IMAGE GUIDE :
Picture 1.) A stack of all the pieces of paper used to turn "White Crosses" into "White Crosses". It's like Frankenstein. Does that make Against Me! my Igor?
Picture 2.) Two other pictures of two other vantage points of the same stack of paper. I know, impressive. No big deal. I screen grabbed this when they was iChatting.
Picture 3.) The World Famous Contortionist, Jay Leno, holding up a vinyl copy of "White Crosses". It had an obtuse and ark-like effect on his face. Exciting.
The Easy Reader :
Alexis Mackenzie's "Dreaming Is Easy" opens March 13th at POVevolving in Los Angeles. The opening is at 7pm. Click HERE to preview the work!
The Hard Rider :
If you, dear reader, are in the Los Angeles area this weekend (Saturday March 13th to shackle the real sharpness of the calender) and want to get your sockets saddled and frayed.....then come on down to Chinatown where Alexis Mackenzie is filling the walls of POVevolving with her new show "Dreaming Is Easy".
As I mentioned above, the show opens this Saturday, March 13th at POVevolving in Los Angeles and runs for three solid weeks. Check here for gallery hours if you are LA but cannot make it to the opening.
Here is a list of important links :
I have a new site. It's exciting in a particular tarotorial sort of way, plus the injection of pure goof proofing has made it leg-up for any looker to peel the piecemeal visual history of Steak Mtn. Right. If you misread the link at the outset, or I got too wily opponent with that last sentence, what I mean to tell you is you can see the new site HERE.
Light Yourself on Fire's new digital EP is official, on the ramp, finalized in it's triplicate malaise and ready to purchase. Click on this THIS and it will take you to where you need to go and shake some dollars for it. As is my personal and professional history with LYOF, Steak Mtn. has supplied the face for it's digital life. It's funny that we are at this spot in time that I design xeroxed veneered images for records that will never really be printed for the rub & handle.
Against Me! are currently out in the Canadian tundra with Billy Talent. If you are going to that event in your North North American town, you will see some of the new stage show I have designed : 24x24 stage banner of the White Crosses cover, some grill covers featuring the "signs" that a purchaser will eventually see in the Deluxe version of WC and a new kickdrum head for George that has another melting lady on it. If you are in fact not a show going civilian, can't stomach the boys touring mates or are just waiting for them to return for a US trip, then I will direct you to this youtube vérité shaker which has some bits and pieces of the items. The banner looks like a terror.
I will write more on this this during the week, but Alexis Anne Mackenzie has a new show opening on March 13th at POVevolving in Los Angeles. It's called DREAMING IS EASY & the work for the show can be viewed HERE. So set your body clocks for the March 13th opening Los Angeles, you will want to magnify your night in her phantasmagoric caress.
I first heard about HAUSU in Tom Weisser's (reportedly)(terribly researched?) Japanese Cinema: The Essential Handbook in the mid 90's. At that point in my youngish life, I was going goofy for any transgressively slanted, odd or outer spaced take on the "horror" film I could find. I found that Europe had it in fingers and toes, but Japan's rich cinematic history seemed to have it in 360 points of articulation, and HAUSU sounded like my CITIZEN KANE. And then it became our MAGNIFICENT AMBERSONS due to an ominous availability on the grey market, mixed with it not having English subtitles on any dupey copy I tried to find. A few years ago, I ran into one of those infamous 8th generation tapes of HAUSU for rent at MONDO KIM's, and the excitement swelled heavily in the jeans of my mind.
is a new UK-rooted designing, printing, creatively retentive hub of fright like malevolence. I have lent a horrible hand in their fundraising machinations via designing a two color Risograph print called "Wearing Them for a Cannibal Night in Fear.", well me and a nice number of other design types. That's right I did write Risograph, that antiquated producer of undead printing quality, making all your recent memories of inkjet one offs and mashed pdf four color drabness take a time machine vacation to the 80s and before. And let me say once more I did write fundraiser, meaning the mentioned myself and a small group of line placers and markers are helping the Landfill/Manymono lot make some extra bank account to purchase pieces of a rainbow for the Risograph printer, which will runoff the option of offering their future clients multiple options of printing colors. Oh....I forgot to mention, that the MANYMONO slice of LF/MM are open for business and willing to take your money to print your zine, poster, pamphlet, terrible drawing, Christmas in Summer card, etc.
SO! RECAP! I have made a new Steakcentric, non band piece of "Artwork", a first in a minute it seems and a new direction of photo manipulation started with last years Cult Ritual record and probably ending when I want to do something different a few months from now. Click all the links, links and links, understand the Europe to US sizing (A3) and hit the kids up for the nice nice from me or if you think I am terrible, then from the likes of the other styles and manipulators that LF/MM have group hugged into the basement of their new empire.
Here is my Martino sliced and spurted piece in it's pre-printed computer form. The final can be viewed here and man, did them kids do a nice job on quality control.