After providing the Record Store Day poster design last year for local landmark Bananas Records, I was fortunate enough to be asked to work on the 2019 version. Sometimes it helps to be in the know with those in the know.
I was given a lot of leeway in terms of direction again this year. Since Bananas doesn’t really have a budget for these things, it’s essentially a pro bono gig. I’m big believer that designers should be compensated for their design. I’m also a big believer in the relationships you form with people and being in position to help out in ways that don’t always result monetary transactions. Let’s just say my vinyl copies of Depeche Mode’s Black Celebration and Simple Minds’ Sister Feelings Call have left me properly compensated. I look at it as a chance to flex my creative brain on projects outside of my job at the hospital. I’ve worked hard in recent years to build relationships that afford me the privilege to work on fun side projects like this.
There are a lot of great designs of past RSD posters and since it’s an international event, that allowed for a treasure trove of ideas to inspire what became the finished design. I liked combining the idea of the vinyl record and its grooves with the orbits of our solar system’s planets. It helped that the lineup at the store consisted of eight acts and a food truck (sorry Pluto, at least you were represented).
As with any design exploration, a lot of the fun is coming up with various concepts and then leaving it up to the client to decide which they like best because they always choose your favorite. Excuse me while I turn off my sarcasm alarm. I was really happy with my exploration on this one though and although my personal favorite is the minimalist design utilizing the banana silhouette as the arm of the record player, I was still happy with what Bananas chose.
One thing I wanted to accomplish when I moved to St. Petersburg from D.C. was to experience a night at a local bar spinning some of the music that has shaped and influenced my life. I had no equipment, no experience and no idea if anyone in St. Pete even listened to the stuff I’d want to play.
Jen and Genevieve, co-workers at local vinyl shop Bananas Records, asked me to be a part of a three-headed-DJ team and we’ve been doing a monthly Flashback Fridays gig at The Independent Bar for a few months now. We spin all vinyl and we keep it simple and fun. It’s less a dance party and more background music and that suits me fine, although random acts of dancing do occur.
It also gave me a chance to throw down some design ideas for the night’s promo posters.
For our 60s night, I took inspiration from the Quadrophenia film poster since I lean towards the British end of the 60s spectrum (plus, I practically own stock in Ben Sherman). I prefer to keep my design simple and clean, so I liked the bits of blue, red and black on the white background. The type is Helvetica Neue.
Some people love Helvetica and some loathe it. Personally, I love it. I still vividly remember it as part of the New York City Subway maps in the 70s, before I even knew what I was looking at.
I don’t know how long the dj gig will last. The way I look at it, I’ve already surpassed my dream of doing it once. The happiness bonus has been getting the opportunity to channel my love of music into the promo posters. I can’t help but smile when I see them out there in the wild.
Podcasts are dropping left and right analyzing the latest Star Wars blockbuster, The Last Jedi. But one major plot point that’s not being discussed in all these podcasts is, “What happened to that Star Wars disco record?”
On this episode, we’re taking it back to the funky Seventies to talk about the brief era where John Williams’ iconic themes were slapped and slathered with a jazzy disco sheen. We also go in depth on the album below by noted* jazz funk surf legends, the Jeff Wayne Space Shuttle. If you have any desire to listen to some, err, interesting interpretations on the Star Trek, Planet of the Apes TV show as well as the Superman and Batman themes, check out this blog post from 2012 that has a link to access .mp3 files of the entire album.
The Pill, the epicenter of Boston Britpop, mod, soul and indie subculture and home to Boston’s ambitious outsiders, misshapes and beautiful ones, took its final bow after 16 improbable but mostly glorious years at Great Scott this past Friday night. I was 430 miles away. A part, yet apart.
English, twisted and sexual. That’s how guitarist Bernard Butler described Suede in 1992. For a brief moment that was all but lost to most Americans, Suede had the lot. The look, the tunes, the love and poison. To paraphrase singer Brett Anderson, if mainstream music was the rose-covered bed, Suede was the used condom on the floor. Continue reading “(Re)Introducing the Band”→