Tuesday, December 30, 2008


from top to bottom:

-pancake - new addition to the clan as of xmas 2008
-isis in the studio - contemplating snacks while "listening" to mixes
-isis in the studio - the reliable series of masks
-isis in the studio - maintenance
-isis in the studio - aaron harris hitting some things
(isis studio photos: faith coloccia)

someone asked about a title for the new isis song that we "debuted" in our live set on our recent trip to europe. since there are already some lo-fi videos of this on youtube i figured we could share the title: "20 minutes/40 years". so that's that. i'll spill more as the time gets closer. all tracking is finished at this point, 6 or the 8 songs are mixed. closing in on it. artwork to commence shortly.

holiday cheer: pancake + robot + orange, xasthur "all reflections drained", krallice s/t, cat power "jukebox", desert christmas, T.R. vs the GZA, TJ's chocolate covered peppermint jo jo's, the golden noose around my neck, lustmord "other", boris "smile", james hollis "under saturn's shadow", dreams of flight, yoga songs from split with ghäst, etc.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

TORCHE 12" etc

above - images form the forthcoming torche 12" ep. top to bottom: front cover with sticker (black ink on gold metallic foil stock), back cover, A + B side LP labels. the photos were supplied by reed segovia and mark thompson, and the background watercolors were made by faith coloccia.

a quick response to comments left in regards to the last post about the election of barack obama and my related enthusiasm: to clarify, i don't think obama is a savior of the world or even the US, nor do i believe him to be perfect. i don't believe that all or most of the massive problems we currently face (globally and nationally), will be solved quickly and cleanly in the next 2, 4 or even 8 years. that said, i do believe that obama is a far sight better than what we've suffered over the last 8 years, and certainly can't make things worse than they already are - and even provides a formidable prospect of improvement. i am perfectly aware that he is fairly middle of the road as far as his record is concerned, as was the rhetoric espoused during his campaign, and also as exemplified by his choices for his cabinet. he is however the first presidential candidate in my lifetime (to have had a real shot at the presidency), that i have found in any way inspiring or truly promising. considering there was widespread slavery in the US a little over 100 years ago, and rigid segregation in many parts of the country well into the 1960s, the election of barack obama is a significant statement in historical terms for that reason alone. another important aspect that i've considered in regards to prospect of an obama presidency is this: while a really radical shift is needed on many levels in this country, it is highly unlikely that a candidate with equally radical views would and could be elected to the presidential office. obama may be able to affect at least some perceptible level of change due to the fact that he IS fairly middle of the road and therefor won't draw continual and vehement resistance from the right. it's inevitable that the post election enthusiasm will wane and a visible degree of cynicism will set in once he takes office - the reality of his presidency cannot possibly live up to the idealistic expectations that many have pinned on him. there is a long hard road from this point forward towards a recognizable degree of ascendence, but i remain optimistic that obama is a truly capable catalyst for raising us up a good measure from the depths we're in which we're currently treading.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

cause for celebration

it's a few days after the fact now, but i just wanted to express my profound elation in regards to the election of barack obama. like many other people of my generation this seems to be one of the only truly positive socio-political events to occur during our lifetimes, and perhaps the paramount one - at least as far as this country is concerned. as i watched the poll results roll in i felt a greater sense of joy than i would have even imagined possible in the final moments of a presidential race, and that feeling grew even more pronounced when his victory was declared. i was lucky enough to be able to share these moments with others who are not only dear to me, but shared similar feelings of happiness and great relief - my girlfriend, brother, and my sister-in-law (as well as a good many other folks via phone and text message). all were in agreement that this was a profoundly moving and important occasion, perhaps unlike any other we had known.

though obama has certainly been handed one enormous pile of shit to shovel (far more than any other president in the last few decades), he seems more than capable of the job, formidable as it is. i've never had much confidence or enthusiasm about any major US politician (let alone president), and perhaps i'm pinning too much hope on our new president elect, but if he does even half of what he has proposed, our currently dismal situation can only improve from here on out.

thank you mr. obama for providing a glimmer of light in this uncertain age. thank you to everyone who helped make this possibility a reality.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

MUSIC UPDATE: mamiffer, isis, jodis, greymachine

MAMIFFER: i am pleased and honored to announce that i have been asked to become an "official member" of mamiffer . i gladly accepted the offer, and while i'm not sure what form the results of this venture will produce i imagine that i will contribute to upcoming recordings in some capacity as well as to select future live performances of the group. though i have collaborated with mamiffer in the past i was not at all expecting to be invited become a more involved part of it, and i'm very excited about this opportunity.

ISIS: someone left a comment from a previous asking about isis news - here's what's happening at the moment: 8 tracks have been written for our upcoming recording session in november. most likely 6-7 of them will be used for the next album, and the remaining tracks will be used for an EP that will be released some time there after. we are recording with joe barisi at various studios in los angeles with the expectation that the whole thing will be mixed and mastered by mid january or so. if all goes according to plan that means a spring time release, though no specific date has been set yet. the album will be released by ipecac in the US, conspiracy in europe, and daymare in japan. album and song titles will be forthcoming shortly.

JODIS: after much hesitation, accidentally choosing a name that was already taken, and arguing amongst ourselves, james plotkin, tim wyskida and i have finally decided on a name for our new project. the group will be called jodis, named after a type of moth commonly found in woodland areas across the british isles. the debut album ("secret house") has been finished for some time now and a preview track from it can be heard here . the album is set for release via hydra head in early 2009.

GREYMACHINE: another project long in the works is the debut album from greymachine (justin broadrick, dave cochrane, diarmuid dalton, and myself), which is finally in the finishing stages. titled "disconnected", the album will be out on hydra head sometime in the first portion of 2009. in the meantime you can hear a track from the album here . there has been loose talk of live shows at some point in the future, but the only concrete plan at the moment is to get the album out, an event all the participants have been greatly anticipating to despite our inability to get it done in a timely fashion.

fall supplements: "the psychic soviet" ian svenonius, xasthur "all reflections drained", prurient "cocaine death", helms alee "night terror", "memories, dreams, reflections" c.g. jung, "gotham central" brubaker/rucka, the monorchid "let them eat", deathspell omega "fas...", kayo dot - live in los angeles at the knitting factory, modern jazz quartet "pyramid", the bug "london zoo"....

Saturday, September 20, 2008


see post below for info & more images


pictures (from top to bottom - cont. from post above):

1. mamiffer "hirror enniffer" - a new hydra head release coming out 9/23 (tuesday). masterminded by faith coloccia (former participant of everlovely lightningheart, current participant in pyramids, and collaborator for upcoming house of low culture recordings), with contributions from chris common, brian cook and ryan frederiksen (these arms are snakes), myself, and annie and ben from helms alee (who also just released a new album on HHR). the album can be preordered from HHR here and sampled in its entirety here .

2 & 3. house of low culture "hollywood squalls" cassettes. 2 tracks, roughly 30 minutes, culled from a live recording from 2007, mixed and mastered by james plotkin. handmade cassettes produced in in conjunction with the most recent HOLC shows. edition of 50, the remaining copies of which made available through the hydra head webstore, and possibly live HOLC or isis shows if any are left by the time those actually roll around.

4, 5 & 6. snapshots of my installation in the "catalyst" group exhibition at the fifty24sf gallery in san francisco (more info/pics here ). consists of wall painting with 40 framed drawings from the old man gloom "christmas" album artwork. the gallery will continue the exhibition through october, so if you are in the area go check it out. there are prints and posters available at the gallery from myself (see past post for print image), as well as many of the other participants (seldon hunt, aaron horkey, justin bartlett, stephen kasner, etc). there is talk of bringing this show to LA in 2009, an event which would be pleasing to all involved.

7. seldon hunt licking a cookie in front of his piece at the "catalyst" exhibition. alluring.

8. "catalyst" group shot (from left to right): exhibition curator brett aronson, florian bertmer, a.t., justin bartlett, seldon hunt, stephen kasner. 5 out of 6 wearing t shirts with skulls on them and/or unreadable logos.

nourishing supplements: carcass - live in los angeles, like a kind of matador "halfway to dangerous", bergraven "til makabert väsen", are mokelbost "omni 4" (collage 2007), the wire - season 1, carl jung "dreams", "secret invasion" #5 & 6, empire auriga "auriga dying", irr. app. (ext) "perekluchenie", modern jazz quartet "pyramids", boris w/merzbow "rock dream", etc.

Thursday, September 4, 2008



this coming weekend house of low culture will be doing 2 (possibly 3), live performances in the northwest along side mamiffer and hemingway, and in portland with trees as part of their record release show. here are the specifics:

9/12 Portland OR @ Someday Lounge w/ Hemingway, Mamiffer, Trees
9/14 Seattle, WA @ Rendevous w/ Hemingway, Mamiffer

house of low culture will be performing unreleased material, and to the best of my knowledge mamiffer will as well, and possibly hemingway too. i'm hoping to have a new HOLC cassette release ready in time for the shows, but we'll see if those come into being before the deadline. mamiffer will have the new "hirror eniffer" album available to the "public" for the first time to coincide with these shows - record release performances of sorts, even though it may be an unintentional coincidence. more on/from mamiffer here . more on/from hemingway here

this comment was left in response to my last post:

"...until we are all ready to make real sacrifices I just see us spiraling downward.

I mean, are we ready to curb oil consumption in everything we do?

Touring bands burn a lot of fuel, so does shipping records around the world. Know what I mean? We're all implicated to an extent, myself included.

And then let's say I make drastic changes and sacrifices and stop buying glorious colored vinyl, and get rid of my car, will everyone else? Or is it all for naught."

in response to that chain of thought i would say this: i am certainly implicated in the problems i addressed in that posting, and i didn't mean to imply otherwise when i chose to quote the info that comprised the bulk of the content therein. in order for change to occur we must make sacrifices, including in regards to the things we hold dear, and it seems crucial to me that we should do so regardless of whether or not everyone else is going to do the same. it's unlikely that we are going to collectively make drastic changes that will halt these ever expanding problems, but if we can individually make steps towards lessening the current rate of damage it certainly seems worth doing so. whether that means trying to drive less, consuming fewer commercial goods, voting for a candidate with more sensible energy policies, remembering to turn the lights off when we leave the house, or committing to studies in the realm of alternative energy sources, every choice and action we make in this direction (seemingly insignificant though they may be), is a step towards a future of greater promise.... though as someone else alluded to in reaction to the same post, the world may be better off if we wipe ourselves out sooner rather than later. it is worth considering that humans are only temporary blip in the grand scheme of things and that our time may be drawing to a close. that said, my (possibly) selfish wish is to be able to continue on, with the belief that we can and will better our current situation by stepping forward conscientiously, rather than downward thoughtlessly into oblivion. i don't know whether this makes me an idealistic optimist, a human-centric narcissist, or just utterly naive, but i feel increasingly compelled to contribute (albeit in a very minor way), towards the struggle to be a less destructive presence on this planet...

*flyer: faith coloccia

Wednesday, August 27, 2008


- In a CNN/Opinion Research Poll from last month 70% of respondents said gas prices would be "extremely/very" important in their choice for President. The same poll stated that 73% of respondents backed offshore drilling, and 69% were in favor of drilling in currently protected federal lands.

-Other polls have shown that the majority of Americans believe that more drilling for oil in the US would alleviate the problem of dependency on foreign oil and rising gas prices.

-The US Department of Energy estimates that the amount of recoverable oil available from offshore drilling in the continental US would last only 7 months at the current rate of consumption.

-A D.O.E. report from last year indicates that it would take 2 decades for domestic drilling to have a noticeable impact on domestic production and the impact on overall fuel costs would be insignificant. Recently John McCain himself has admitted that offshore resources would "take years to develop". He is now running on a platform that promotes the idea of vastly increased domestic drilling, which will have little to no effect on overall fuel costs or the long term energy crisis. In addition, his overall stance on viable sources of energy is heavily reliant on our current model of oil production and use, the dire consequences of which have been predicted by such disparate sources as NASA, Al Gore, the United Nations, and the Pope (along with a continually rising number of other organizations and individuals).

-The US only accounts for 5% of the world's population but uses 25% of it's oil. The US is second only to China as the world's largest emitter of greenhouse gases. 1 barrel of oil burned adds approximately 1000 pounds of carbon dioxide to the air.

Source: New Yorker Aug 8-11 2008.
Illustrations: A. Turner, Fall 2000.

Friday, August 22, 2008

CATALYST exhibition

the first image above: preview of a large silkscreen print based off of the agoraphobic nosebleed "pcp torpedo" 2xCD layout that i designed for hydra head a couple years back... well maybe it was as recent as 2007. anyway, the print is going to be part of my contribution to a group exhibition taking place in san francisco at the fifty24sf gallery, opening on september 4th. the show is titled "catalyst" and will feature works from a host of interesting folks including but not limited to: seldon hunt, aaron horkey, stephen kasner, justin bartlett, etc.

the second image above: another fine piece by aaron horkey, commissioned specifically to promote the previously mentioned exhibition. horkey never ceases to create wonders.

....and.... this is the stuff the days (and nights) are made of: helms alee "night terror", henry miller "tropic of cancer", m. allen thompson's matress delivery service, chris ware "acme novelty library" vols. 16-18, canine steroid abatement program, mark millar "1985", washington cabin in a future that doesn't exist, joy division "closer", a rubbed raw spine and shakey arms, tarentel "ghetto beats on the surface of the sun", brown jenkins "angel eyes", the wailing and gnashing of teeth....

....and..... below is a press release about the catalyst exhibition written by none other than mr. eugene s. robinson (for those of you who don't know, eugene is the frontman for the inimitable oxbow and author of the recently published "fight", on harper collins/audio version on hydra head):

The aural to the visual, the ears to the eyes, and the ragged run through limbic systems both animal and even vegetable, the graphicists who have made their way into carving a visual fucking identity for our soundtrack are no less compelling visionaries because they deal in imagery. It is the opposite, in fact. The lasting memories of that which is seen, emblematic of the same unspecified disaster that's framed this post-post-modern thing of ours, fiercely clings to our understanding of the place, the space and the time of our lives. Like eight shots across the bow of the lame and the same, Seldon Hunt, Josh Graham, Aaron Turner, Justin Bartlett, Aaron Horkey, Stephen Kasner, Dwid Hellion, and Florian Bertmer contest the assumption that this fine art thing, this aesthete thing, this dainty goddamned pursuit of color, lines, concepts, and meaning need be left to the pampered boulevardiers and galleristas. Far from it, this stuff is coming, not from some place nearly so prosaic as the illusory STREETS, but from the heart, balls and soul of a Promethean desire for ILLUMINATION.
In other words: they're going to SHOW YOU SOMETHING. Whether you like it or not. Whether it serves your purposes or not. Beyond irony and therefore almost outside of comfortable efforts at mockery, THIS art [yeah, I called it art] sidles up to you. It insinuates its way into you and while turning away or closing your eyes is always an option there still is that thing that marks these moments as different and that IS their aural qualities as well. Fury, sound, symbol, and the capture of it all in a flash of light and dark and everything else in between.

This is alright. This is goddamned OK.

And if you leave here unaffected it will be, in all likelihood, because you left here dead.


--Eugene S. Robinson

FIFTY24SF Gallery Proudly Presents the Group Show “Catalyst”
Opening Reception: Thursday, September 4, 2008 from 7 – 9:30 p.m.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

BERGRAVEN art, MELVINS comic, etc...

above, from top to bottom:

1. front cover for the forthcoming bergraven album "till makabert väsen". photo is black and metallic gold duotone, with the framed picture in full color. mini-frame with band name and album title will be a sticker affixed to jewel case. basic ideas and photos supplied by bergraven - i've been creating additional elements and assembling this thing, with help from faith coloccia once again...

2. back cover for the same bergraven album. text and frame printed in metallic gold. all artwork will be printed on uncoated stock for that "ole tyme" feel. listen to bergraven.

3. front cover of the newly completed "your disease spread quick", a comic inspired by the music of the melvins. written and drawn by tom neely , published by robotic boot, a hydra head industries subdivision. available at san diego comic con this weekend at tom neely's booth, and at the merch table on the current melvins tour. later to be made available as part of the melvins "senile animal" 4xlp box set, and individually on the HHR webstore. melvins = awesome. tom neely = awesome.

4. back cover of the aforementioned comic. also recommended: tom neely's "the blot".

in other news: mixing of the grey machine album (new project from justin broadrick, with contributions from myself and other affiliates), is finally underway. completion imminent and samples available soon. isis "live IV" and "holy tears" vinyl now available . new isis album still in the writing process, currently on hold due to upcoming shows in chicago and oslo. new lustmord album "other" now available, with guitar contributions from adam (tool), buzz (the melvins), and myself. new house of low culture releases in the works. the band with james plotkin, tim wyskida, and myself is no longer going to be called "vessl", since apparently there is already a band with that name. we're trying to think of something else and having a hard time... really hard. all the good names seem to be taken.

improving the quality of life: wold "stratification", gridlink "amber gray", "batman: the dark knight" (though not quite as good as i was hoping), "bill moyers journal", ghostface killah "supreme clientele", evoken "a caress of the void", helms alee - live in los angeles, orange and robot: excellent (but disobedient) italian greyhounds, organum "omega", carne asada burritos from yuccas too....

Monday, July 7, 2008

ZOZOBRA art pt 2

above are some preview images from the completed zozobra "bird of prey" layout. peices shown are the front of the o-card, the back cover/outer tray card, and an interior spread from the booklet. the final layout will consist of an embossed o-card/slipcase, regular cd face and tray card, and a 12 page booklet. the color displayed on screen as a sort of tan/dirty yellow will print as metallic gold. aside from the music of zozobra and the notes they gave me, inspiration for this layout came from the black flag "family man" 12" cover. the connection may not seem readily apparent, but i just couldn't get that cover out of my mind once i began work on the assembly of this project. i would hardly classify that as one of my favorite black flag releases, but i've always found that particular sleeve fascinating.

aside from work on the zozobra i've completed the drawings for the forthcoming pelican/these arms are snakes split 10" (formely a 7", upgraded to the larger format to accomodate the track lengths). the layout is now in the hands of the very capable ryan frederiksen, and i'll hopefully be able to post some previews of that stuff in the coming weeks. next up will be the layout for the forthcoming bergraven album for hydra head, which i might add is a motherfucker. while i thought "dödsvisioner" was a pretty remarkable piece of work, its successor is superior in every respect - i'm truly excited for other people to hear this thing, and they will come october of this year. in the mean time you can find a small and inadequate sample of bergraven here

in the aural realm, the previously untitled collaboration between james plotkin, tim wyskida, and myself, finally has a name: vessl. the debut album has finally been completed and hopefully samples will be made available in the near future - most likely through james' website . it also looks like there's going to be some house of low culture live performances this fall, specifically in the northwestern US. the only confirmed date as of this moment is seattle, wa, on september 14. HOLC wil have the distinct pleasure of sharing the stage with mamiffer and hemingway . more info on those shows as things get firmed up. hopefully i'll get my ass in gear to put together a new HOLC release in time for those shows - but that remains to be seen...

pretty, pretty, pretty good: daughters - live at the troubadour, torche and clouds - live at the relax bar, hellblazer vol. 2 "the devil you know", twin peaks: fire walk with me, pierrot le fou, ashpool "the world turns on its hinge", leviathan "massive conspiracy against all life", wu-tang "8 diagrams", boris "smile" japanese version (a totally different mix/version than the US version - well worth seeking out), further visitations from astral traveller of the 4th dimension, and animal companions (even the whiny one jacked up on steroids)....

Saturday, June 7, 2008

ISIS euro tour photos 2008

i claimed i was going to get these up a while back and am just getting to it now.
from top to bottom they are:

1. the sky at dusk in köln, germany. i found an incredible park 5-6 blocks away from the venue we were playing in köln - a nice refuge from the usual confines of the darkened clubs. that's not to say that i don't enjoy the clubs for the purpose they serve and the playing of the shows, but it's always nice to find an open space with some greenery to clear your head when you've been stuck in a van all day and a club all night. don't remember the name of the park, but will certainly visit it again when we return to that area.

2. wooden wall next to a construction site in munich, germany. once again i was out in search of a nice place to walk and breathe, away from the club environment. i walked for quite some time through the city, passed some sort of mammoth fair/carnival, ate a nice thai dinner by myself, came almost to the city center before having to turn back, and managed to catch this wall as the sun was setting and the light was golden.

3. wheatpasted posters outside the venue in leipzig, germany (there were a lot of shows in germany on this particular tour). this was one of the better shows of the tour in my estimation - we'd had to cancel our show in leipzig on the previous tour, and it seemed people were quite excited we'd managed to make 'round this time - always nice to feel welcome. on top of that we had a nice meal and played reasonably well, and you can't really ask for much more.

4. subway tunnel in moscow, russia. first of all it was unbelievable just to be in moscow - i never imagined being in a band would take me so far from home and too such incredible places. needless to say we all felt very lucky to have been granted such and opportunity, not to mention having it turn out so well. anyway, we managed to see some of the city the day following the show (thanks to our very helpful guide and host), and even the subway tunnels and stations were of great interest, hence this shot and a slew of others i took on our trek throughout the system.

5. another shot in moscow - this doesn't say much about the place - this just happened to be a nice cluster of wires that caught my eye as we were walking about. this photo and all the others were taken with my iphone - hardly ideal as far as the quality of the pictures go, but certainly handy and easier to carry around. i guess i got lazy as far as lugging a camera goes on this tour.... and my pictures suffered for it, but there were still some great moments decently captured.

...and in other news, zozobra layout is finally done - will be posting some more fragments from that soon. isis has almost completed two more songs (sans vocals/lyrics) for the next album - that brings the total to 6 nearly complete tracks at this point, though we still have some fine tuning to do on all of them. next up as far as design/art related activities go, will be a drawing for the forthcoming pelican/these arms are snakes split 7" on hydra head - ryan frederiksen of the snakes will be handling layout duties for that. there's a bunch more stuff in the works, but i'll save that for another post.

absorbing/ingesting: prurient "pleasure ground", sophia "technology won't save us", bergraven - new album for hydra head, neruda - essential collection, hellblazer volume one, sandman volume 7, auntie em's cupcakes, seattle invasion, dog trauma, leg trauma, marvel "secret invasion", chinese herbs.

Monday, May 26, 2008

Are Mokkelbost

above is an image by multi talented norse artist Are Mokkelbost. aside from making multimedia visual works, Are is also a participant in a host of musical groups and projects, all interesting and largely unknown outside of his rather small neck of the woods - quite a shame in my estimation. for those who are so inclined, i suggest taking a look at his site . it's filled to the brim with samples of his aural and visual work - just looking at the vast output he's generated and the almost exclusively high quality of it all is both inspiring and daunting. thanks for making the rest of us feel inadequate Are....

there was talk at one time of releasing a record for his project Single Unit via Hydra Head, but apparently Are hasn't gotten around to finishing that just yet - seems he's been busy with about 8 billion other things. hopefully one day - in the meantime i can certainly recommend checking out the debut full length from Single Unit " Family of Forces"....

Saturday, May 24, 2008

envy/jesu split pt 1

initial attempt on the envy/jesu split EP sleeve art....

line drawings and text from my sketchbook. text will likely face some alterations.
photo courtesy of faith coloccia.
to be released via daymare in japan and licensed by hydra head in the US.

more coming soon....


supplements: prurient "and still, wanting", late night/early morning electric piano, ultimate iron man, circle "katapult", enchiladas, deathspell omega "fas - ite, maledicti, in ignem aeternvm"...

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Friday, May 9, 2008

ZOZOBRA art pt 1

one of 5 drawings for the zozobra "bird of prey" album. perhaps one of the more over the top metal illustrations i've done, which is not all together inappropriate for this project, and in fact rather fitting. the color scheme i have in mind will alter the tone of this piece significantly as well, but more on that later. back to the drawing table....

todays hymns: zozobra "bird of prey", velvet cacoon "genevieve", portishead "3".

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

ISIS artifacts

hello. back from tour and getting settled in. i wanted to post some pictures from the tour, but haven't gotten to that quite yet, so here are some random isis artifacts in the mean time.

from top to bottom:

1 & 2: the newly completed ISIS toy courtesy of UNKL toys. this is a different figure from the one that was part of the Ipecac toy series which was also generated by UNKL. it was designed by the folks at UNKL with graphics and minimal input which i provided - have to say i'm pretty excited about the results. we sold a few of these on the european tour and they'll also be available through the isis webstore in the near future. they were made in an edition of 1000 and will not be made again after they're gone. we may continue to make toys in the future, but if we do they will be completely different designs. this particular edition was based off the art for the last isis album "in the absence of truth".

3. an old flyer i dug up when doing some house cleaning. from one of our earliest shows, march 1998. we were really excited about this show, about playing with buzzov*en, about doing an out of state show. we thought we were going to be good, we thought we'd really show the crowd what we were made of, ha ha ... and our hubris brought us down. we were far less than good, played poorly, were received poorly, and broke a kick drum pedal in the process. thanks to whoever lent us the replacement. at least we got to see buzzov*en....

4. another item dug up during a house cleaning rampage - my "transcription" of the godflesh track "streetcleaner". isis originally covered this track for a split 7" with pig destroyer that subsequently came out on relapse in 98 or 99. the cover was later released on the japanese 2xCD version of "mosquito control/red sea" (ritual records) and the "sawblade" limited 12" (tortuga records), and most recently on the repressed version of the "sawblade" 12", which was included in the "shades of the swarm" vinyl box set. it was recorded at in the same session as the material for the "red sea" ep and to our surprise came out fairly well. we were hesitant to record our take of such a monumental track, but our fears were somewhat allayed when we found out that justin broadrick, the creator of the original track, approved of our efforts, or so he said anyway. ha.

i'm working on drawings for the zozobra (formerly heatseeker) "bird of prey" album and will post a preview of those when i've made some headway, and will also post some of the isis tour photos when i have the opportunity. currently/recently enjoying and/or absorbing the following supplements/events: the continued health of precious creatures, most notably the one named orange, top pot hand forged donuts (particularly the cherry blossom variety), immortal technique "vol 2", homemade breakfast burritos, cursed "III", new xasthur, guilty simpson "ode to the ghetto", blanket beds on the floor, wu-tang "8 diagrams", fuck buttons "street horrrsing" (terrible band name, tremendous record), thomas e. ricks "fiasco: the american military adventure in iraq", spiderman: brand new day, tiny vipers through the wall, pulling off surprises, cool weather in los angeles.....

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

CLOUDS art cont/ISIS tour etc

greetings from austria. currently on another european jaunt with isis and all is well. we started the tour in moscow, which for us was an absolute highlight, but everything that's followed subsequently has also be quite enjoyable. fellow tour mates kill the thrill, jakob, and the austerity program have all performed splendidly and have been great traveling companions, so thanks to them for making our experience more complete. i've been taking quite a few photos along the way, so i hope i'll find the time to post some of those before tours end. in addition, justin from the austerity program has been writing a tour diary which will eventually be published in decible magazine, and later on the austerity program website. justin is a very capable and humorous writer, so you can expect a lot of scathing comments hurled at isis, and possibly some of our deeper eccentricities revealed.

above are some finished pieces from the clouds "we are above you" album layout - i was able to complete most of this before departing, but required aid from couple of hydra helpers in order to get it into production on time. the watercolored backgrounds and all the lettering was hand drawn/painted by myself and faith coloccia, so thanks to her and james o'mara for their invaluable assistance. i'm not sure when this record is actually due for release, but i would suggest checking the hydra head website for further info/updates. i listened to the album more than a dozen times during the creation of the artwork and i must say it currently stands as one of my favorites of the year, hydra head or otherwise. thanks clouds.

now that that's out of the way i've started work on some drawings for the upcoming MGR vs Destructo Swarmbots album (featuring isis guitarist extraordinaire mike gallagher). i believe the artwork will also feature photos by mike gallagher topped off by a layout courtesy of hydra head's james o'mara. the album will be released on neurot, and again i have no idea when the official release date is or if one exists at this point. shortly after completion of these MGR drawings i'll be onto the artwork for the upcoming heatseeker debut, a new band consisting of aaron harris (isis) and caleb scofield (zozobra, cave in, old man gloom). there are a bunch of upcoming musical endeavors as well, but i'll save those for another post.

fuel for the road: alice sebold "the almost moon", darwyn cooke "batman ego, and other tales", elysian blaze, clouds, "allan moore and kevin o'neil "the league of extraordinary gentlemen: black dossier", mamiffer, funeral mist, sonic youth, helms alee, justin foley, der blutharsch, dälek, etc....

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

CLOUDS art pt 1 AND thanks AND no thanks

hello again,

above is a preliminary drawing for the forthcoming clouds album "we are above you". this drawing had yet to be approved for use by the band and therefor may be scrapped, but hopefully this will not turn out to be the case. this drawing is intended for the cover of the album and will be colored and situated in some sort environment before it's complete, but this is a beginning at the very least, presuming the band approves. i'll continue to post bits and pieces of this layout as it comes together as it's my priority project at the moment.


the "decimal" album by ringfinger is out now, available digitally, as well as on vinyl from magic bullet records. the band is the brain child of a long time friend and champion of music by the name of tracy wilson. i contributed vocals and guitar noises to one track on the album, which also features contributions from members of engine down, dälek, steve brodsky, and a slew of others. i recommend, and not based on the fact that i was a contributor, but because it's a sincere and well executed piece of work.

in the off hours: leviathan "conspiracy against all life", clouds "we are above you", helms alee "night terrors", caleb carr "the alienist", "no country for old men", "twin peaks" DVD box set, il cappricio pizza, pilot hi-tec-c pens, ellis and nord "ultimate human", guilty simpson "ode to the ghetto", etc.

thank you and goodnight.


Monday, March 10, 2008

negative approach

found a couple amusing/irritating comments people had posted in response to a couple of recent posts on this blog. somehow felt compelled to respond....

here's the first comment in reference to the sxsw poster:

"As an artworks its nice, but as a poster its horrible. Text is hard to read hence the poster does not serve its purpose to inform about the event. Nicely chosen typography would do better in this case."

well, the poster isn't really intended to "inform" folks about the show - these posters are made to commemorate the event and will be made available the day of the show with that intent in mind. on a broader scale, i also generally reject the idea that posters and album sleeves and t shirts have to be marketing tools with overly obvious type/graphics, as opposed to more artistically oriented pieces that invoke the true spirit of the music they are intended to represent. if the bands being represented aren't writing 3 minute pop songs with inane choruses that beat the listener into submission, why should the representative graphics serve that purpose? i like to think the audience that follows these bands isn't the type of audience that requirers overly simplified/commercial imagery and type in order to draw their attention to the "product". it is precisely the type of corporate design mentality as exemplified by the statement above that i have striven to avoid with what i do in the realm of music related graphics. we're not trying to sell our music to wal-mart shoppers, so if you expect our graphic personality to fall in line with what you were taught in design school about corporate branding and "truly effective" type and illustration techniques you shall be continually disappointed. clean type has its time and place, but this poster which is meant to showcase the personality of our label and by extension the show itself isn't it. music related design can be art simply beyond the idea of selling something.... so, as far as this poster being "horrible", you are certainly entitled to your option, but please understand that it was my intent that the text be personable and artistically rendered, rather than a typeface created by someone else which has little or nothing to do with the music to which the poster is connected - but thanks for the advice.

...and that brings me to the next one - "anonymous" posted this in response to my brief explanation about the cancellation of the old man gloom tour (see last post if you are interested in the comment i made that prompted this response):

"Sounds so typical and moralistic - sorry."

listen, i wasn't trying to promote a family values agenda with my explanation, or come off as some moralistic enforcer. my explanation was vague because i was respecting the privacy of the member of OMG to which this situation pertains. if i felt i could explain the specifics and the gravity of the situation which caused us to cancel the tour i would have, but i thought what i wrote should've been sufficient for anyone with half a heart and/or loved ones of their own, family or otherwise. perhaps "anonymous" hasn't experienced anything sufficiently traumatic with someone dear to them in order to enable them empathize with the situation, and if that's the case they should consider themselves lucky. in the face of the threat that faced one of our members, the tour seemed vastly unimportant. if "anonymous" can't wrap their head around that, and instead feels the need to spout off rather than offer up some sort supportive comment they need to find some some fucking empathy in themselves, if not for humanity at the very least for those that matter most to them...

i don't generally feel the need to respond to negative feedback, but i just couldn't let these 2 go - guess i'm feeling sort of petty at the moment though i'm not sure what to attribute that to....

AT - 03/10/08

Thursday, March 6, 2008


above: poster for the imminently approaching hydra head showcase show, at this year's south by southwest "festival". the poster is a collaborative effort between tom neely and myself, tom having done the central figure/tree, and i the lettering and colors.
apologies to tom for ruining his spacious drawing with my clutter.

...and, to answer a question raised in the last post:

-the guitar pictured in the last post was made for me by the electrical guitar company: click here

good stuff from the last week: deadwood season 2, "the sea" by john banville, cavity "laid insignificant", mamiffer "hirror ennifer", the ultimates vol. 1 and 2, shining "through years of oppression", cat power "moon pix", new comics from this week and last - daredevil, captain america, and the programme....

Thursday, February 28, 2008

sounds all around

(in the studio with mamiffer/photo: kelly akashi)

it's been a while since i've made an mention of musical activities, and there has been an excess of that lately, so here are some updates:

ISIS - we have been steadily whacking away at songs for the next album. in october of last year we started toying with a few bits and pieces we had lying around, and continued to do so through parts of november and december. however, the floodgates seemed unwilling to truly open until we reconvened in january after our holiday excursions/adventures. since then we've managed to complete the skeletons of 4 songs, and it seems things are finally starting to take shape. i'm not sure how to assess our work so far, but things are certainly moving at the moment. we're going to keep our heads down for the time being and keep chiseling away til we feel we've accumulated a satisfactory amount of material before we even consider going into the studio. in the meantime we're working on correcting the recently recalled "holy tears" single as well as the companion single for "not in rivers, but in drops", amongst other things....

GREY MACHINE - not sure where justin and co are at with this, but i've nearly completed my tracking for this project - hopefully they're not just waiting on me! i have no idea what'll happen to it all once i pass it back to JKB for the mixing process, but i feel fairly certain the results will be monstrous. there is no definitive plan for this project as of yet (at least to my knowledge), but i suspect that it will see the light of day late this year or early next. there maybe further updates in the near future: avalanche inc

MAMIFFER - new band centering around the efforts of faith coloccia, otherwise known as 1/2 of the core of everlovely lightningheart. i recently contributed some guitar work and a lot of noise to 2 tracks on a forthcoming mamiffer album, which also featured contributions from chris common, ryan frederikson, and brian cook (aka 3/4ths of these arms are snakes), as well as annie and ben from helms alee (another new band, with forthcoming 7" and album on hydra head). there may have been some other folks involved as well, but i'm not entirely certain. in any event for those of you that are familiar with the work of everlovely, that might be a good place to start as far as what this band actually sounds like, but that is certainly not the totality of its personality....

PLOTKIN/TURNER/WYSKIDA: this still unnamed project is nearing completion. tracking is done and the pieces are now in the very adept hands of james plotkin for the mixing process. the sound of this project will likely take lot of people by surprise, which in my estimation is a very good thing. i won't give away too much, but there may already be some clips on james' site: plotkinworks if there isn't there should be soon. no fixed info on release date or label as of this precise moment.

PUSCIFER - also known as the solo project from maynard keenan (yes, the tool guy). i have been drafted as a remixer for an upcoming EP from puscifer, tackling the track "trekka", originally produced by mr. lustmord. i completed my track two days ago (i actually made it one day before the given deadline, sort of unbelievable), and sent it off to the puscifer camp. again, i have no idea when this thing will see the light of day, but i imagine there will be further info here: puscifer website

..and there's actually more, but i'll leave it at that for now since this has already become way longer than intended.....
oh, and for those of you that didn't catch it: OLD MAN GLOOM tour has been cancelled due to a family related matter concerning one of our members, that greatly surpassed the importance of doing a tour....