31 March 2012

Self indulgence (I'm better than George Zimmerman, and so are you)

Greetings from my dimly lit apartment on this brisk Chicago morning! I'm currently cooking hashbrowns and waiting for my friend Matt to come over so we can go skateboarding. I finished a new art print yesterday, for which the key line film is visible to the left. The print will be a part of "In the Garage," a group exhibition at Blank Space Gallery in Milford, CT.
During the summer of 2004, my friend Nate's parents went out of town while he was home from college for the summer. He and I (along with our beloved friend Derek) moved all of our music equipment into the basement and used bookshelves and old mattresses to create a sound dampening room within the basement. I really wish I had more pictures of the actual structure, as it was quite impressive. The original drawing for this print is based in part on a photo I took of one of Nate's guitars--a 1978 Gibson Marauder he had proudly just purchased--at rest in our ephemeral suburban punk rock laboratory. That summer we devised a plan to record and self release an EP and embark on a month long tour of the US and Canada.
The following summer, we had made it through the Canadian leg of our tour (not quite half of the way through) when perennial van troubles, Hurricane Dennis, and a sick loved one back home would have us decide it would be best to cut our losses and head in early. The band pretty quickly dissolved after that and we're all still friends of course, but I recall being pretty devastated about how things ended.
I remember how exciting it was to be playing music with each other on a regular basis for the first time since high school. I remember not being able to wait to get off work so I could drive over to Nate's parents' place and work on songs in the basement. I remember summer nights sitting on the screened in back porch of his parents' house listening to records and talking enthusiastically about music and our plans for the band. None of the plans ultimately panned out how we'd hoped, Nate later sold his Gibson Marauder, and that house (basement, porch, and all) has since been bulldozed. Still I think that those two summers, along with the months in between, helped shape the trajectory I was on at the time. I was trying really hard not to grow up, to hang onto youth for a bit longer, to procrastinate an inevitability. I was quite pessimistic about life after graduating college, and I think it took the colossal failure of this music endeavor and my lackluster completion of a degree that I didn't truly want in order to realize what I'm personally capable of and what I can do in my brief time on this planet.

18 March 2012

While everyone was in Austin

It's unseasonably warm here in Chicago. To the right is a cellphone picture I took upon leaving the studio the other night. There are no windows in the rooms of our studio, so sometimes I don't know what to expect when I walk outside at the end of the day. It was nice to see that it was still light out and very temperate as I rode my bike to Native Foods for an outstanding sandwich and some pie. The following day (yesterday), I took my first full day off in a quite a while. Granted, the previous week I did take spend a couple of days in a recording studio laying down drum tracks, but I'm not so sure that counts.
Anyway, aside from all the printing, drawing, and extracurricular music making, my girlfriend and I hosted our friends Luke Drozd and his girlfriend Eva for a night while they were visiting Chicago. Luke, like almost every other poster artist, was on his way to Austin for Flatstock 33 at South By Southwest in Austin, TX. For the third year in a row, I waited too long to decide whether or not I'd go to Austin for Flatstock, so I'm sticking around in Chicago to tackle a whole bunch of posters and art prints I've got planned. I do want to finally get down there for SXSW, so hopefully I'll do it next year.
I'm lazing on the couch with the cat right now, but I'm about to head to the studio to print a color on a large run of prints. Seriously, my whole upper body is aching from doing this run by hand.

16 March 2012

Crimpshrine is a good band.

Hey! Sorry for the lack of updates here. I've been working on a few too many things at once, including a really large run of prints that I can't wait to finish. I've also been helping out my friends in the band The Sky We Scrape on drums, recording an album with them and prepping for a small tour next month. Lots of cool stuff is in the works, so I'll try to keep the updates coming.
Anyway! The reason I'm posting is because my very good friend Logan is about to finish graduate school at IIT's architecture program and he and his classmates are tackling a pretty intense final project. Check out the video and Kickstarter below.