This portrait of Muddy Waters is part of an exhibition of relief-block prints by artist Stephen Alcorn entitled Modern Music Masters. The series “pays homage to the men and women who bridged the gaps between tradition and innovation, craft and genius, entertainment and art, music and poetry, composition and improvisation, black and white.”
What a brilliant idea for an art show. Over 70 of Ireland’s leading illustrators, photographers and designers were asked to contribute a piece that would re-imagine or re-design their favourite album covers: CandyKaraoke. Shown here is Cliona O’Flaherty’s take on David Bowie’s iconic Aladdin Sane cover.
Most of the time, I’m unaware that music videos still exist, so I was extra thrilled when I found this during some evening YouTube trolling: an animated music video for one of my favourite songs, Lambchop’s “Is a Woman”. The pacing and storytelling here, like the song itself, is gentle, deliberate, and altogether lovely.
The story (written by Jillian’s cousin, Mariko) follows an angst-ridden teenager through a particularly turbulent semester of highschool; in a year marked by suicide of a classmate and a romance with an English teacher.
You can check out a six-page preview here.
I asked Jillian what she listens to while she’s working in the studio. I’ve already become hooked on some of her great audio suggestions. Here’s what she said (*I added the boldface to help you scan the essay):
I have a confession.
I listen to public radio. Lots and lots of public radio. Enough radio to hear the programming loop once or even twice in a day. Sam bought me a satellite radio for Christmas two years ago and it only fueled my addiction: I’ve gone through two radios in two years. How do you WEAR OUT a radio?! Virtually all my work is created to a soundtrack of streamed National Public Radio (NPR) and The Canadian Broadcasting Company (CBC) programming. For this list I will highlight some of my favourite shows available on podcasts. All are available via iTunes.
This American Life
This American Life is pretty much everyoneâ€™s favourite public radio show and is a good place to start for the uninitiated. Each weekâ€™s show has a theme and contains several stories related to that theme in some way. Most stories involve some sort of acute observation on modern minutiae that makes you feel good and/or thought-provoked. This show is pure comfort food and the gold standard for comics-making (especially if you consider Chris Ware was, for a long time, provided the graphics for their printed and online material).
This is one of the finest interpretations of Superman I’ve ever seen. Music and illustrations by concept artist and regular Flight contributor, Chris Appelhans (aka Froghat Studios).
You may have seen it on his site (it’s been up there for a while), but I love watching it a couple times a year and it’s worthy of its own post.
Also of interest:
Appelhans across America
Jeremy Holmes sez:
Behold the animal-band kingdom and itâ€™s wonderous variety of herds, hives, breeds and gaggles brought to you by none other than yours truly. The Homo sapiens over at Paste Magazine were in need of â€œA Field Guide to Animal Bandsâ€. Up to the challenge, I grabbed my gear and ventured out into the land of beastly monikers. And this is what I saw…..
Studiotunes is a new series of essays by illustrators and comic book artists who tell us what they listen to while they draw and how the music influences their work.
We’re kicking off the series with an essay by Kean Soo, whose first full-length graphic novel, Jellaby, was released last month. Jellaby is a Calvin-and-Hobbesian comic about a girl and her pet monster.
Without further ado, here’s Kean Soo’s Studiotunes essay:
I tend to have music running almost constantly in the background as I work — when drawing, I listen to just about anything, but when I’m writing I have to stick to songs without lyrics otherwise I’ll get completely distracted.
This usually means I’ll be listening to classical (I can still point out quite a few scenes in Jellaby that I’ve written to Beethoven’s piano sonata cycle), or something along the lines of progressive trance (Hybrid has always been a favourite of mine), but for this particular Jellaby mix, I decided to stick to the more traditional pop songs that might accompany scenes or the reading of the graphic novel.
So. Here we go:
Nada Surf – Imaginary Friends (YouTube)
Wilco – Just a Kid
Here we are with two songs to really kick the mix off with a bang. From Nada Surf’s opening lines of “Hey! Calling all imaginary friends!” to the chorus of singing kids in Wilco’s “Just a Kid,” these two songs are pretty much indicative of the mood and tone of the book: Fun! The songs also touch on recurring themes that seem to keep cropping up in Jellaby: friendship and the occasional difficulties of just being, well, a kid.
Check out this brilliant animated video for Myriad Harbour by The New Pornographers. The song is off the album, Challengers.
Here’s the hi-res Quicktime version of the video.
The video is called “Hair Band” and produced by Montreal production company, Fluorescent Hill.
You know how it goes… one two three FOUR FIIIVE six seven EIGHT NIIINE TEN eleven TWELVE… doo doo doo do do doo doo doo do…
Cover-song blog Fong Songs has compiled a surprisingly comprehensive collection of cover versions of the original musical number (no pun intended) composed and produced by Walt Kraemer, and performed by the Pointer Sisters. The post includes remixes, videos, parodies, and even international varieties: Pinball Number Count Revisited
My favourite, though, is this recut version of David Fincher’s Se7en.
This post has been brought to you by the number 12.