Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Famous Album Covers

"These initiation rites have been monetized.  My social network ate your Web 2.0.  Hang pierced from a tree and call it a film festival.  Cunning like a conservative news network.  Your dreams are in violation of international copyright laws.  You will be persecuted.  Upgrade now or perish.  I used to read books; now I read faces.  I have an ambient awareness of birdsong.  He painfully pricked his skin with pixels.  Practice safe file transfer protocol.  Silence equals relief."

In the course of sharing digital artwork here and at other blogs, I caught the attention of and was invited to contribute to the blog, "Famous Album Covers."  I love the concept of this site: album covers of fictional bands.  That is, using the format of album (now CD) covers as an inspiration for producing art. 

The blog includes the following opening description of its purpose:
Perhaps the greatest art movement in America is the series of album covers generated from the 1960s forward. Perhaps it isn't. Here it is though. Some of the most famous album covers you have never seen.

For the art historians out there, yes, Pop Art has British beginnings. And no, I'm not going to look beyond the technology of the phonograph to discover that the Mesopotamians had the first album cover. Sorry.

Can't a guy get a word in edgewise? 
Lately, when I post to the blog, I like to include a playlist with the album, the list of song titles and running times offering its own kind of poetry and an interesting interaction of words with image.  For example:

01 Goony (3:15)
02 Alpha OMG (2:17)
03 Nixon's Confession (18:30)
04 Pay to Pray (4:22)
05 My Tarnished Agony (2:37)
06 Error Message 401 (3:20)
07 Why Were We Thinking? (2:54)
08 Partial Funding (1:10)
09 You Gum My Spirit (5:02)
10 Mother Whore (2:06)
11 My Own Private Taliban (3:32)

01 Sine Qua Non (3:17)
02 Labial Fold  (4:13)
03 STFU (2:37)
04 My Own Private Eye To Hoe (3:32)
05 Ball Sweat and Pantyhose (3:23)
06 Send In The Clowns (4:13)
07 Dead And Buried (3:23)
08 Outrageous Fortune (5:06)
09 Sylvan (3:12)
10 For Ani (5:12)
11 Clown Shoes (2:24)
12 Vibrate (3:47)
13 Brick By Brick (4:13)
14 Title Wave (2:17)

01 My Mom Just Wants Her Bomb Back (3:17)
02 Daughton Park (2:20)
03 Claws In Them Paws (3:15)
04 Shit Eating Grin (1:35)
05 No Mushrooms (6:23)
06 There But For The Grace of God (5:10)
07 The Secret Garden (3:13)
08 Ruthie's Request (1:54)
09 Tan Your Hide (4:20)
10 Crisis Hotline (7:33)
11 Walk With Me (3:15)
12 Call Your Father (2:27)
13 Labor Is For Life (6:11)
14 Daughton Park (acoustic) (2:25)

And then sometimes, I provide no playlist:

My partner makes music on his computer.  In the last several years, I have followed my visual sensibilities in the tools and networking possibilities offered by this increasingly digitized world.  He has pursued his considerable sound sensibilities.  In all of this, we share an interest in intermedia and the DIY ethic -- the potential of new media to open up creative possibilities and cultural production.  We can get a bit utopian in all that, if we are not careful:  Viva la remix society.  Take back the systems of production.  Free the imagination from the prepackaged and prefigured.  Explore together the unknown territories of truly free expression. 

Maybe "Famous Album Covers" contributes to that dream.  Maybe it just shows how we are all tied to the forms we grew up with.  It's a complicated world.  But the important thing is that we are all producing and letting our creative sensibilities flourish. 

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