Sunday, January 14, 2007

Workin' 9 til wolf.

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

It's been a long, uncompromising road getting to where we have gotten. In the span of a few short months, anthropologists, asshats, pundits and dickheads alike have united like half the population of a civil war to bring forth a stedfast and reputable collection of ten album covers that represent nothing. Much like a banker from Boston, or perhaps a carpenter from Ohio, or even a farmer from Illinois, I hope to have shed a little bit of light on the realities of 19th century pioneer life on the Oregon Trail.

1. Helios- Eingya


Matthew Woodson (Ghostco.org) is the designer. After exploring his website a good deal, it's easy to dismiss this specific piece amongst the more complicated and seemingly more lush illustrations he's produced. It's also quite easy, and notable, to say the man is extremely talented at what he does. No doubts there. But regardless of the context this piece is used, it also holds much more restraint and genuine sentimentalism than his other illustrations. Many of his works, rich and subtle at the same time, are a bit too "over emotional" (for lack of better terms) for their own good. I'd go as far as to chuckle at some of the heavily dramatized pieces that look like the sketch book of a 15-year old Linkin Park fan, albeit a very talented Linkin Park fan. But criticism of his concepts is not the issue. The artwork for Helios' Eingya is.

Like it should be, I saw the album art well before I heard the record. The art managed to formulate an interest in the album, and a brief description of the music prompted me to pay the import dollars and get a tangible cd in my hands. Within the first 15 minutes of this album, it was clear, without a doubt, how brilliantly the artwork correlated with the music. Whatever bullshit longing, eager yearning, or dreary melancholy Helios was subjected to while making this album, Matthew Woodson's depiction of a couple holding hands and gazing into the ocean was about as appropriate as any cover art could be. And I suppose in the end, that's the most important part to me. Of course sometimes a completely awkward and inappropriate cover supplies an ironic and ammusing twist on shit, but for an album that holds a humble dignity to it, I think this works too well.


This is the entire fold-out. It's housed in a standard jewel case, with dark grey production credits on the inside of the sleeve.

Sunday, December 24, 2006

2. ISIS- In the Absence of Truth

Here is another example of a band I don't have to like in order to give ultimate praise to in terms of album artwork. But it should be no surprise that ISIS would have amazing art direction considering their frontman owns the awkwardly dark yet inherently nerdy Hydra Head label which bleeds (evil term) beautfiful artwork. I don't own many of the label's albums, but what I do have seems to glow a putrid neon green when left in pitch black darkness (evil term); I'm looking at you Oxbow. But back to this thing. It's anxious and gold. It's actually a slip cover over a jewel case. The cover on the jewel case if great, but not blood-boiling (evil term). That circle with the type is not on the cover. It's a sticker on the shrink wrap. So when gone, you feel like you're perched on a thrown at the top of mount blood (evil term).

Sunday, December 17, 2006

3. Panda Bear- Young Prayer

The rest of my choices are really disappointing. I like em, but I'm not sure how many others will be really impressed with what I consider good artwork. Then again I don't think anyone is reading this. So pussy, pussy, fart, fart, dick sneeze, art, art. Break the pickle. Tickle, tickle, tickle. The last picks will be really lame. Oh yeah, CS3 Beta.
4. Liars- Drums Not Dead

I've already stated how I enjoy their childesh art direction (as previous with the single "It Fit When I Was a Kid"), but I really enjoy the hand-done "bored in class" look that rarely comes through unblemished unless, of course, you are bored in class. It's not an awesome album or anything, and the packaging is a standard jewel case, with liners, but there's an unremarkable quality here which in turn makes the work remarkable. Or shitty, I don't know.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

5. Mojave 3- Puzzles Like You

In my forthcoming book Things I'd Like to Do Well, aside from Miranda July, I list "drawing like this" (pointing to the above). I envy those who can draw well. I can draw body parts ok, and farm animals too, but I really want to draw is what it feels like to substitute cocain for sugar in your coffee. Neil Halstead knows how to draw like that. Leewok too.
Now that finals are over, I can resume telling you what I think is "aight" and "not tight" in musica coverre arte. Considering I'm making up for time lost, I'll be posting them at great velocity. so now...

6. North Seas and Rameses III- Night of the Ankou

This might have been further up if I didn't have it as my desktop for a quarter of the year. This is a collaboration album between Tulsa freak folk-artist North Seas and London-based ambient three peice Rameses III. It's extremely air-y and causual folk-drone which is conveyed beautifully with great sense and emotion within the cover art. The focus lies on the lone flower which is appropriate for the slightly cryptic optimism of this album.

Monday, November 06, 2006

7. Mono- You Are There


These dudes bore me incessantly, but who cares. Their album art looks like what they should sound like. They want me to be there, but I'm not there. The lone type isn't actually printed on the cover, rather added with a clear vinyl sticker. Which makes it awesomer. Some may argue they're as epic as a rough pastel sunset landscape painting in the dead of winter, but imagine actually being in the middle of that scene: no Nip/Tuck; no hj's; no Macintosh. BORING.

Thursday, October 26, 2006

8. Feathers - Synchromy


There's another band called Feathers. They're a shit neo-hippie folk band that are known for being good at sports because they eat, sleep and drink ballz. This Feathers are from Miami and they do some weird shit that kinda sounds like Stereolab if Stereolab weren't so into themselves. Anyways, it's a gatefold, super0duper0pooper heavy cardboard digipak with all kinds of neat streamlined artwork embossed into it.