podcast

Background Noise, Episode 84: Mark Jenkins by Matt Valerio

 THE BACKGROUND NOISE PODCAST SERIES FOCUSES ON THE MUSIC THAT ARTISTS LISTEN TO WHEN THEY WORK, WHAT MUSIC INSPIRES THEM, OR JUST MUSIC THEY LIKE. THIS WEEK, IN EPISODE 84, THE FOCUS IS ON ARTIST MARK JENKINS

THE BACKGROUND NOISE PODCAST SERIES FOCUSES ON THE MUSIC THAT ARTISTS LISTEN TO WHEN THEY WORK, WHAT MUSIC INSPIRES THEM, OR JUST MUSIC THEY LIKE. THIS WEEK, IN EPISODE 84, THE FOCUS IS ON ARTIST MARK JENKINS

Mark Jenkins' sculptures are a sight to behold. Witnessing them in all their glory in person is absolutely fascinating. Using a combination of saran wrap and tape, he makes life-size replicas of humans and various other objects that seem real until you're right up close. 

His work has been perceived to be SO realistic, that people often call the police, concerned that someone is actually in one of the predicaments that Mark has staged his sculpture. Somehow, I think Mark relishes this, as part of the reason he places his work in the street is to see how people interact with it. 

You can see many more of Mark's impressive creations here.

What was your first concert?
The Fixx

Last concert/show?
Glastonbury Festival

First album, tape or cd you bought?
AC/DC - If You Want Blood (You Got It) 

Last album you bought?
Rolling Stones -  Tattoo You

Was there any album that made a significant impression on you?
Rustie - Glass Swords

Who is your musical hero?
Beethoven, Ennio Morricone

How important do you think music is to your creative process?
Instrumental music a lot, but I just need it in bursts. Reflecting on music for me is as important as listening to it.

Death Mountain -- Rustie
Unrequited--Cylob
Quest -- Nosaj Thing
Slow Spines -- Clark
IOIO -- Nosaj Thing
Coke Sniffah -- Bong Ra
Dark Steering -- Squarepusher
Her Tears Taste Like Pears -- Dorian Concept
Horizontal Figuration -- Take
Imagination -- DJ Hidden & Switch Technique
German Clap -- Modeselektor
Ruk -- Dark Sk

Check out Mark's mix below, download it directly here, or subscribe to the Background Noise podcast on iTunes. Be sure to like Background Noise on Facebook for updates on future episodes. You can browse ALL the Background Noise episodes here

Background Noise, Episode 83: Darcy Yates by Matt Valerio

 THE BACKGROUND NOISE PODCAST SERIES FOCUSES ON THE MUSIC THAT ARTISTS LISTEN TO WHEN THEY WORK, WHAT MUSIC INSPIRES THEM, OR JUST MUSIC THEY LIKE. THIS WEEK, IN EPISODE 83, the focus is on darcy yates

THE BACKGROUND NOISE PODCAST SERIES FOCUSES ON THE MUSIC THAT ARTISTS LISTEN TO WHEN THEY WORK, WHAT MUSIC INSPIRES THEM, OR JUST MUSIC THEY LIKE. THIS WEEK, IN EPISODE 83, the focus is on darcy yates

Bio:
Colorful swirls and bold imagery balances the still images of Darcy’s imagination. Her artwork embraces color and shape through vintage photography and playful characters. Darcy grew up in Los Angeles in the middle of the LA national forest. She finds herself growing with the bustling streets of her derelict town. Photographs are a dominate feature in most of her artwork because she love the raw emotion it conveys.  Darcy’s work is gritty, colorful and embodies the essence of soul and imagination. Her favorite tool is The Spirograph because of childish innocence it suggests. Her use of different media balances the stories that coincide with each piece. Her infatuation with unconventional interaction is explored through every piece she creates. 

What was your first concert?
Frankie Valli and The Four Seasons when they had their reunion tour! 

Last concert/show?
Kimbra at Space Jam in Silverlake 

First album you bought?
Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band was the first CD I ever bought on my own. It was right when CD’s became the new thing, I honestly hated them when they first came out. I grew up on my families record player and cassette tapes,  CD’s were super strange to me. When i saved enough money to purchase this “new” technology I decided to pick my favorite Beatles album. Sgt. Peppers still holds a special place in my heart. 

Last album you bought?
“Jesus Use Me” by Dorris and Sammy Ogg from my local thrift shop. The image on the album cover was way too special not to pass up. I actually used it as my main image for my show “ Day Destroy’s the Night”. Oh man, the music is horrible and the album is awful. The meaning, very questionable. But the name and face of the album is pure gold. I tried to listen to the entire album but just couldn’t. If there was a music burning pile this one would defiantly be the first to burn. Music can be inspirational and meaningful even if its horrible. 

Was there one record that made a significant impression on you?
I grew up constantly listening to music/musicals and many albums have changed my outlook on life… But the one that truly molded me was “The White Album” from The Beatles. I use to listen to this two part record over and over again because it made me feel alive. I have never felt so inspired and scared listening to these songs. I still can’t listen to Revolution no. 9 without tearing up ( it still scares the shit out of me!) Fear is a beautiful emotion that truly effects the way I create. This record gave me these emotions to explore my visions as an artist. Its an epic record that is the sound track to my life. 

Who is your musical hero?
This is way too hard to pick. So many amazing musicians,  this like having a mother pick their favorite child!  So… I’ll pick Janis Joplin… She opened so many door for musicians and will always be the soul/blues/ gospel queen.  She is  the voice to my screaming soul. 

How important is music to your creative process?
Before I start a piece I always think “ How do I feel, whats my mood, whats wrong, whats right? ”.  Music deeply inspires me and through my mood I pick songs that reflect my current state, it keeps me centered throughout my entire process and inspires most of my pieces. 

The Crystal Ship- The Doors
The Long and Winding Road- The Beatles
Chelsea Hotel No. 1 -Leonard Cohen
Without You-ODESZA  
Bungalow Bill- The Beatles White Album
CMYK -James Blake
Don’t Fear the Reaper- Blue Oyster Cult
Revolution No. 9 - The Beatles
Honey moon- Lana Del Rey
Summertime -Janis Joplin
Norwegian Wood - The Beatles
Brother Can You Spare A Dime- Spanky & Our gang
Plain Gold Ring (Live at Sing Sing Studios)- Kimbra
Mirror Maru- Cashmere Cat
She's Leaving Home-The Beatles

Check out Darcy's mix below, download it directly here, or subscribe to the Background Noise podcast on iTunes. Be sure to like Background Noise on Facebook for updates on future episodes. You can browse ALL the Background Noise episodes here. Check out Darcy's website for more of her work.

Background Noise, Episode 82: Bleep by Matt Valerio

 THE BACKGROUND NOISE PODCAST SERIES FOCUSES ON THE MUSIC THAT ARTISTS LISTEN TO WHEN THEY WORK, WHAT MUSIC INSPIRES THEM, OR JUST MUSIC THEY LIKE. THIS WEEK, IN EPISODE 82, THE FOCUS IS ON BLEEP

THE BACKGROUND NOISE PODCAST SERIES FOCUSES ON THE MUSIC THAT ARTISTS LISTEN TO WHEN THEY WORK, WHAT MUSIC INSPIRES THEM, OR JUST MUSIC THEY LIKE. THIS WEEK, IN EPISODE 82, THE FOCUS IS ON BLEEP

Bleep loves both food and pop culture. He loves them so much that they get absorbed right into his art. Literally. Not only has he painted sidewalks with mustard, but he's led some pretty interesting experiments in the shelf-life of McDonald's burgers. Recently, he even had a show at Stone Malone Gallery in Los Angeles, fittingly titled "Eat."

Whether he's drawing demented Mickey Mouse figures , interpreting album covers from the Doors, or just drawing the wickedly imaginative images his brain 'splodes onto the canvas, he's always putting his own signature style forward. 

What was your first concert?
Imma say local bands cuz the major label acts were too embarrassing to name.

Last concert/show?
Squarepusher at the Regent Theatre

First album you bought?
Usher "My Way" the single with 3 different versions on it

Last album you bought?
No idea

Was there one record that made a significant impression on you?
Squarepusher's Ultravisitor completely destroyed the way in which i thought about orchestrated sound, it will probably be the greatest musical moment of my life.

Who is your musical hero?
Les Claypool

How important is music to your creative process?
Being a classically trained musician, I would say music is all encompassing. I hate to parrot great quotes by people I cant remember but "music is how you decorate time, art is how you decorate space."

Check out Bleep's mix below, download it directly here, or subscribe to the Background Noise podcast on iTunes. Be sure to like Background Noise on Facebook for updates on future episodes. You can browse ALL the Background Noise episodes here. Check out Bleep's Instagram here.

Background Noise, Episode 81: Dee Dee by Matt Valerio

 THE BACKGROUND NOISE PODCAST SERIES FOCUSES ON THE MUSIC THAT ARTISTS LISTEN TO WHEN THEY WORK, WHAT MUSIC INSPIRES THEM, OR JUST MUSIC THEY LIKE. THIS WEEK, IN EPISODE 81, THE FOCUS IS ON DEE DEE

THE BACKGROUND NOISE PODCAST SERIES FOCUSES ON THE MUSIC THAT ARTISTS LISTEN TO WHEN THEY WORK, WHAT MUSIC INSPIRES THEM, OR JUST MUSIC THEY LIKE. THIS WEEK, IN EPISODE 81, THE FOCUS IS ON DEE DEE

No one really knows a whole lot about mysterious street artist Dee Dee. There is literally no revealing information on the internet about her. Despite this, Dee Dee has quickly amassed quite a cult following over the past couple of years. Her colorful, collage edits often feature beautiful, sultry women smiling, screaming or staring right through you. It's all quite mesmerizing, to say the least. 

She just hosted a small, but impressive pop-up show called "The Day Is My Enemy"  in New York City with the fine folks at Montreal's Station 16 Gallery. Being one of the many "cult followers" of her work myself, I nearly hopped on a plane to make the opening. From what I've heard from friends, it was quite the success. 

Dee Dee doesn't really say much. As you can see, the answers to my music questions are not exactly, well....verbose. She prefers to let the music do the talking, as you can witness yourself with the excellent gothy/synth mix she compiled for this. 

Oh, and for a limited time, she's got some artwork available for purchase direct through Station 16. I'd say get them now, while you can still afford them. She's rising fast. 

What was your first concert?

Last concert/show?

First album you bought?

Last album you bought?

Was there one record that made a significant impression on you?

Who is your musical hero?
I love David Bowie. Like a caterpillar to a butterfly he is always changing. Always risking.

How important is music to your creative process?
Music is everything.

1. "Masked Ball" - Jocelyn Pook
2. "The Calling (MkII)" - Death In June
3. "A Question Of Time" - Clan Of Xymox
4. "Baby Turns Blue" - Virgin Prunes
5. "Cities In Dust" - Siouxsie And The Banshees
6. "Deep Ocean Vast Sea" - Peter Murphy
7. "Films" - Gary Numan
8. "Sometimes I Wish I Was Dead" - Assemblage 23
9. "Night Time" - Killing Joke
10. "Chance" - Red Lorry Yellow Lorry
11. "Baby's On Fire" - Brian Eno
12. "Do Ya Think I'm Sexy?" - Revolting Cocks
13. "Now I'm Feeling Zombified" - Alien Sex Fiend
14. "I'm Insane" - Sonic Youth
15. "Lucretia My Reflection - Sisters Of Mercy
16. "Oh Cruel Darkness Embrace Me" - IAMX
17. "Applause" - Lady Gaga
18. Coming Down (Slow Version) - Daniel Ash

Check out Dee Dee's mix below, download it directly here, or subscribe to the Background Noise podcast oniTunes. Be sure to like Background Noise on Facebook for updates on future episodes. You can browse ALL the Background Noise episodes here. Check out Dee Dee's Instagram here.

Background Noise, Episode 80: MRtoll by Matt Valerio

 THE BACKGROUND NOISE PODCAST SERIES FOCUSES ON THE MUSIC THAT ARTISTS LISTEN TO WHEN THEY WORK, WHAT MUSIC INSPIRES THEM, OR JUST MUSIC THEY LIKE. THIS WEEK, IN EPISODE 80, THE FOCUS IS ON MR. TOLL

THE BACKGROUND NOISE PODCAST SERIES FOCUSES ON THE MUSIC THAT ARTISTS LISTEN TO WHEN THEY WORK, WHAT MUSIC INSPIRES THEM, OR JUST MUSIC THEY LIKE. THIS WEEK, IN EPISODE 80, THE FOCUS IS ON MR. TOLL

I've seen Brooklyn artist MRtoll's work in various states of decay. Sometimes, his colorful clay creations are new, freshly epoxied onto carefully chosen walls. Other times, you only see what's left after someone tries to remove it to take home for their home. I doubt anyone has gotten one of these pieces off a wall in one piece, which is a testament to why these beautiful pieces of art should stay where they belong. 

Raised in Australia, Jamie Toll is no stranger to straying from the pack. As so many artists are relying on paint and stencils, MRtoll is sculpting for the streets. When other artists are blowing up their own Instagram feed with one dimensional photos of their work, he's taking people to Arizona via a virtual reality installation to view his sculptures in a remote desert. (You can download that for free right here).

His work can be found in many places outside of Brooklyn, including Colombia, Los Angeles, Miami, Arizona, Asia, Australia and Malaysia, to name a few. He is also one of the handful of artists to have participated both the East AND West Coast "Surplus Candy" art shows that Hanksy has put on. 

You can find more of MRtoll's work over on his Tumblr page

What was your first concert?
Arrested Development in Canberra , Australia

Last concert/show?
FKA Twigs at art Basel Miami 2014

First album you bought?
Supertramp

Last album you bought?
Bomba Estéreo

Was there one record that made a significant impression on you?
Radiohead -  OK Computer

Who is your musical hero?
Thom Yorke  

How important is music to your creative process?
Music is very important to my artistic process. I use music to set the pace of my sculpting and the mood and feel for the work. If I'm working to a deadline I may put music on that has up-tempo pace to make me work faster. 

Radiohead - How To Disappear Completely
Radiohead - Everything In Its Right Place
Radiohead - A Wolf At the Door
Thom Yorke - Harrowdown Hill
Atoms For Peace - Default
Atoms For Peace - Amok
The National - Hard To Find
Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds - Into My Arms
Erik Satie - Gnossiennes No. 4
Die Antwoord - I Fink U Freeky
Bomba Estereo - Somos Dos
The Weekend - The Hills
FKA Twigs - Glass and Patron
Future Islands - A Dream of You and Me
Glass Animals - Black Mambo

Background Noise, Episode 79: Matt Geer by Matt Valerio

 THE BACKGROUND NOISE PODCAST SERIES FOCUSES ON THE MUSIC THAT ARTISTS LISTEN TO WHEN THEY WORK, WHAT MUSIC INSPIRES THEM, OR JUST MUSIC THEY LIKE. THIS WEEK, IN EPISODE 79, THE FOCUS IS ON ARTIST MATT GEER

THE BACKGROUND NOISE PODCAST SERIES FOCUSES ON THE MUSIC THAT ARTISTS LISTEN TO WHEN THEY WORK, WHAT MUSIC INSPIRES THEM, OR JUST MUSIC THEY LIKE. THIS WEEK, IN EPISODE 79, THE FOCUS IS ON ARTIST MATT GEER

BIO:
Matt Geer has been a Chicago artist for over a decade. A self described “artopuss” with tentacles coiling many different styles,utilizing different mediums.

His work is often broken up into separate series of work, allowing himself to explore each obsession to its end.

Current series of his work are ink n brush,fine line works with a liner brush to produce series like his NECROCOLOR and MEN HAVE NEEDS. neo-minimal portraits such as in the series "PRESSURIZED'' and “PREDATORY,” the found object works of the "NEVER LOST” series, and neo-expressionistic works of his recent series “CRIMESPREE,”as well as side works in any medium imaginable.

He also writes short fiction and beat poetry, and makes clothes under the label BLACK SQUARE.

Coming a long way since his early days in a high school tagging crew, his passion for art has only intensified.

Man of melancholy and sadness, his work reflects the pain society causes, and his personal love of all things dark.

Matt Geer is a modern beatnik, living a minimal life in utter poverty that only seems to fuel his creative drive.

Thank you, your chum the friendly ghost, Matt Geer.

First album you bought?
First album I bought, I think it was Ice Cube - “AmeriKKKa's Most Wanted.” Gangster rap was the most rebellious music I was exposed to in grade school, plus, I had no white friends, so we listened to a lot of rap and house.

Last album you bought?
Last album I bought was Savages out of England. Think Wire mixed with Siouxsie & the Banshees.

First concert?
Hmmm, first concert..Circle Jerks at the Vic Theater when I was 13. A fat skinhead punched me in the stomach, I remember it well.

Last concert?
Last concert I went to was at the Uptown Pub in Westmont to see my friend Robot Hilarious. He does like punk, folk rap...better then it sounds.

Was there one album that made a significant impression on you?
The album that had the biggest impact on me...the Cure - Disintegration. Got me though the worst time in my life.

Who is your musical hero?
My musical hero is, and will always be Lux Interior of the Cramps...he taught me in my youth that I was okay being me, loving horror flix, high heels and sexy tight clothes and pussy was okay.

How important is music to your creative process?
Music is very important to my creative process, and like my work, my taste in music varies from each end of the spectrum. I even like dub step.

1. Savages - No Face
2. The Birthday Party - King Ink
3. The Cramps - Dopefiend Boogie
4. Ministry - Primental
5. Uncle Acid and the Deadbeats - I’ll Cut You Down
6. Bauhaus - Stigmata Martyr
7. Claw Toe - The Drugs Song
8. Geto Boys - Mind of a Lunatic
9. Nitzer Ebb - Shame
10. Big Black - Crack

Check out Matt's mix below, download it directly here, or subscribe to the Background Noise podcast on iTunes. Be sure to like Background Noise on Facebook for updates on future episodes. You can browse ALL the Background Noise episodes here. Check out Matt Geer's website here.

Background Noise, Episode 78: Clayton Brothers by Matt Valerio

 THE BACKGROUND NOISE PODCAST SERIES FOCUSES ON THE MUSIC THAT ARTISTS LISTEN TO WHEN THEY WORK, WHAT MUSIC INSPIRES THEM, OR JUST MUSIC THEY LIKE. THIS WEEK, IN EPISODE 78, THE FOCUS IS ON CLAYTON BROTHERS.

THE BACKGROUND NOISE PODCAST SERIES FOCUSES ON THE MUSIC THAT ARTISTS LISTEN TO WHEN THEY WORK, WHAT MUSIC INSPIRES THEM, OR JUST MUSIC THEY LIKE. THIS WEEK, IN EPISODE 78, THE FOCUS IS ON CLAYTON BROTHERS.

Rob and Christian Clayton have collaborated on their artwork for years. Rarely working on the same canvas at the same time, the Pasadena, CA brotherly duo have perfected their psychedelic abstract art by taking turns, adding layer upon layer to what's in front of them.

It's not easy to say who does what, whether one painting is more Rob than Christian, or vice versa, but it is said that they both have very different styles. They do share inspiration though, often taking queues from local businesses and local regulars. Watch this great video of the two of them in a thrift store talking about some of these inspirational objects, sayings, etc.

You can learn more about the Clayton Brothers over at claytonbrothers.com.

What was your first concert?
CC: The Clash, Red Rocks Colorado
RC: My first concert was the Kamikazi Klones at the Rainbow music hall in Denver Co.

Last concert/show?
CC: Slim Cessna’s Auto Club
RC: The last show I went to was with Christian we saw a band from Denver Co. called
Slim Cessna’s Auto Club, two of the band members Daniel Grandbois and Todd Moore are childhood friends of ours. Slim Cessna’s Auto Club is a truly amazing group of talented musicians.

First album you bought?
CC: The Clash "Give em’ Enough Rope”
RC: Elvis Costello “ My Aim is True” 1977

Last album you bought?
RC: Morgan O’Kane “Pendulum”
CC: Bob Dylan "The Times They Are a-Changin"

Was there one record that made a significant impression on you?
CC: Tom Waits “Rain Dogs”
RC: I would have to say The Pogues “Rum, Sodomy And The Lash” Every song on this album is great!

Who is your musical hero?
CC: Nina Simone
RC: That would be Joe Strummer

How important is music to your creative process?
CC: When in full-working mode; I would say very important… I love listening to a variety of music when Im in the studio.
RC: I think a lot of the ideas that find their way into our paintings come from the eclectic music we play at the studio. We also make ambient noise recordings from around our neighborhood that we use in our installations.

1. Bob Log III - Six Stringer Kicker
2. The Damned - Dozen Girls
3. Daniel Johnston - Funeral Home
4. Doo Rag - John Henry
5. The Pogues - If I Should Fall From Grace With God
6. The Pogues - Navigator
7. Rocket From the Crypt - Ditch Digger
8. Slim Cessna’s Auto Club - Pine Box
9. The Clash - This Is England
10. Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds - Into My Arms

Check out Michael's mix below, download it directly here, or subscribe to the Background Noise podcast on iTunes. Be sure to like Background Noise on Facebook for updates on future episodes. You can browse ALL the Background Noise episodes here.

Background Noise, Episode 77: Michael Hsiung by Matt Valerio

 THE BACKGROUND NOISE PODCAST SERIES FOCUSES ON THE MUSIC THAT ARTISTS LISTEN TO WHEN THEY WORK, WHAT MUSIC INSPIRES THEM, OR JUST MUSIC THEY LIKE. THIS WEEK, IN EPISODE 77, THE FOCUS IS ON ARTIST MICHAEL HSIUNG.

THE BACKGROUND NOISE PODCAST SERIES FOCUSES ON THE MUSIC THAT ARTISTS LISTEN TO WHEN THEY WORK, WHAT MUSIC INSPIRES THEM, OR JUST MUSIC THEY LIKE. THIS WEEK, IN EPISODE 77, THE FOCUS IS ON ARTIST MICHAEL HSIUNG.

Bio direct from the artist:

Born in Chinatown, Los Angeles, Michael C. Hsiung is a self taught artist known for his black-and-white pen and ink drawings. His work features a range of strangely rotund characters from fantastical creatures, such as centaurs and mermen to somewhat contemporary and/or old fashion bearded males often celebrating, imbibing, and rebel-rousing.  He has exhibited his works in various galleries and shows, such as the East of Eden (2008), Helsinki Biennial (2008), Murray State University (2009), Slingluff Gallery, PA (Solo show: 2010), THIS gallery (2012), LA HEAT at CAM (2014) and most recently had an exhibition “Who Cares Wins” at the Vincent Price Art Museum (2014).  He also has done freelance and commercial work for various companies including, Dr. Martens, Enjoi Skateboards, Momentum Wheels, Matix, VICE, Ambig, James Iha, VANS and most recently awarded gold in New Zealand’s Best Graphic Design for three of his designs with Y&R for Blunt Umbrellas (2014).  Michael currently lives with his wife, Rachel, in LA where he continues to make art, zines, and show works.

First album you bought?
A Beatles tape in Taiwan but all sung by Taiwanese musicians so not really the Beatles hahah.

Last album you bought?
Sleep, The Clarity Ep

First concert?
Michael Jackson, Dodger Stadium, 1984.  I remember everyone wearing the glitter glove, and I was thinking weird no one got the pair.

Last concert?
Black Sabbath Reunion tour, Greek theater, 2015?

Was there one album that made a significant impression on you?
Probably Metallica’s Master of Puppets

Who is your musical hero?
Geezer, Cliff Burton, Danzig!

How important is music to your creative process?
Music is very much a subliminal aspect of my creative process. I often listen to the same songs and playlists over and over to sort of zone myself out.  In order to sort of get myself going artistically I will play music from a playlist I titled Wake and Bake, much of that I’ve included in my playlist for Background noise. ENJOY!

1. Forever My Queen, Pentagram
2. Dragonaut, Sleep
3. Gypsy, Mercyful Fate
4. Death Is The Answer, Early Man
5.  Wizard King, Inside
6. Run To Your Mama, Goat
7. I Am The Skull, Danava
8. The Four Horseman, Metallica
9. Don’t Take Me Alive, Steely Dan
10. Lord Of This World, Black Sabbath
11. Only Death Decides, Exodus
12. Obolus, Thrones
13. In The Air Tonight, Godheadsilo
14. Moans, Tweak Bird
15. Skweetis, Melvins

Check out Michael's mix below, download it directly here, or subscribe to the Background Noise podcast on iTunes. Be sure to like Background Noise on Facebook for updates on future episodes. You can browse ALL the Background Noise episodes here.  Check out Michael's website here.

Background Noise, Episode 75: Plastic Jesus by Matt Valerio

 THE BACKGROUND NOISE PODCAST SERIES FOCUSES ON THE MUSIC THAT ARTISTS LISTEN TO WHEN THEY WORK, WHAT MUSIC INSPIRES THEM, OR JUST MUSIC THEY LIKE. THIS WEEK, IN EPISODE 76, THE FOCUS IS ON LOS ANGELES STREET ARTIST PLASTIC JESUS

THE BACKGROUND NOISE PODCAST SERIES FOCUSES ON THE MUSIC THAT ARTISTS LISTEN TO WHEN THEY WORK, WHAT MUSIC INSPIRES THEM, OR JUST MUSIC THEY LIKE. THIS WEEK, IN EPISODE 76, THE FOCUS IS ON LOS ANGELES STREET ARTIST PLASTIC JESUS

Some have called Plastic Jesus the "Banksy of LA." I suppose it's easy to do that theses days.  Anyone doing stencil-based street art with a message, or intricate street installations meant to provoke thought could be called the "Bansky of (whatever)."

Plastic Jesus has gone a bit viral as of late, due to his commentary on celebrity culture in this day and age. Putting up "Kardashian Parking Only" signs all over Los Angeles got him a bit of attention, as well as his "Stop Making Stupid People Famous" campaign, which emblazons everything from walls to stickers and t-shirts. The phrase resonates so much with people, due to it's simple, but to-the-point statement that says exactly what most of us non-reality tv-watching folks have been thinking the whole time.

He made a bit of a stir in Hollywood a couple of years back due to his life-size depiction of an Oscar statue shooting heroin outside the Oscars. The sculpture featured a placard at the bottom reading "Hollywood's Best Kept Secret," a not-so-subtle statement following the brilliant Philip Seymour Hoffman's tragic drug overdose that happened a mere few weeks prior to the award ceremony.

Not all of his work is quite as heavy, but all of it does force you to stop and think for a few moments, whether it's about celebrity culture or consumerism, which is something more people should be doing instead of sitting idly by, doing nothing.

What was your first concert?
The Yellow Magic Orchestra, Hammersmith Odeon. London 1980

Last concert/show?
Above and Beyond - Acoustic at the Greek LA

First album you bought?
David Bowie - Scary Monsters

Last album you bought?
Jean Michel Jarre - Equinox released 1978 - Changed electronic music for ever.

Was there one album that made a significant impression on you?
Placebo - Without You I’m Nothing.

Who is your musical hero?
David Bowie

How important is music to your creative process?
Hugely. Music has been a huge part of everything I do. I taught myself to play keyboards age 12 or 13 and built a number of synths. I still write and record my own material. I think everyone needs a creative outlet, without we wither and die. I usually have Absolute radio (a London station) on in the studio, playing anything from Radiohead to The Clash

(VIA RYOT)

Radiohead - Creep
New Order - True Faith
The Clash - I Fought the Law
Happy Mondays - Loose Fit
Edith Piaf - Non je ne Regrette Rien
Placebo - The Crawl
Counting Crows - Long December
Underworld - Born Slippy
John Lennon - Mind Games
Lou Reed - Walk on the Wild Side
The Buzzcocks - Ever Fallen In Love With Someone
Rui De Silva - Touch Me
Athlete - Wires
David Bowie - Ziggy Stardust
Catatonia - Road Rage

Check out Plastic Jesus's mix below, download it directly here, or subscribe to the Background Noise podcast on iTunes. Be sure to like Background Noise on Facebook for updates on future episodes. You can browse ALL the Background Noise episodes here.  Check out Plastic Jesus's website here.

Background Noise, Episode 75: Adam Wallacavage by Matt Valerio

 THE BACKGROUND NOISE PODCAST SERIES FOCUSES ON THE MUSIC THAT ARTISTS LISTEN TO WHEN THEY WORK, WHAT MUSIC INSPIRES THEM, OR JUST MUSIC THEY LIKE. THIS WEEK, IN EPISODE 75, THE FOCUS IS ON ARTIST ADAM WALLACAVAGE

THE BACKGROUND NOISE PODCAST SERIES FOCUSES ON THE MUSIC THAT ARTISTS LISTEN TO WHEN THEY WORK, WHAT MUSIC INSPIRES THEM, OR JUST MUSIC THEY LIKE. THIS WEEK, IN EPISODE 75, THE FOCUS IS ON ARTIST ADAM WALLACAVAGE

Adam Wallacavage's South Philly residence is most people's dream home. Outfitted with the kitschiest of the kitschy, he's surrounded himself with exactly what he likes, things that stimulate and inspire him. It's here in this home that he started creating his now well-known chandeliers, which range from various octopi to dragons and snakes. Hand-sculpting them with epoxy clay, he then paints them and covers them with resin to presents a glass or ceramic look.

They're all both terrifying and beautiful, frequently snagged up by art and kitsch collectors alike for a slightly hefty price. Adam is a photographer as well (he's has shot in the past for magazines like Thrasher). The playlist he put together for this series features a great mix of modern skate garage/trash (Thee Oh Sees, King Khan, Cramps) and some classic goth-y tracks (Bauhaus, Sisters of Mercy, Tones on Tail). I love it.


First album you bought?
DEVO: Are We Not Men

Last album you bought?
Thee Oh Sees: Drop

First concert?
It was in 1985 at the Atlantic City Elks Club for The Electric Love Muffin, Die Kruzen and Articles of Faith opening for The Faction but The Faction didn't show up.

Last concert?
Electric Wizard at Union Transfer in Philly.

Was there one album that made a significant impression on you?
It was a tape my friend made me with Bauhaus on one side and Siouxsie and the Banshees on the other. I listened to it constantly when I was 14 or 15. It totally influenced a lot in my life.  

Who is your musical hero?
Lux Interior

How important is music to your creative process?
I got my whole house/studio hooked up with SONOS speaker system and it's pretty much on all day and night. My studio is in my house and sometimes I won't leave at all during the day so I tend to go to a lot of shows whenever I can at night to be somewhat social. Philly is a great city to see music. There's a ton of venues and great bands come through here. I try to stay current so that there's more shows I want to see and with the online streaming, it's so easy to find new music without leaving the house but I make up for getting free music online by buying lots of records at the shows.

Watch Adam give a tour of his fascinating house above, and see a great article about his home here.


DEVO - Gut Feeling
Crocodiles - All my Hate and Hexes Are For You
Monster Magnet - All Friends and Kingdom Come
Slowdive - When the Sun Hits
Dead Skeletons - When the Sun Comes Up For the Last Time
Kate Bush - Moving
Roxy Music - In Every Dreamhome A Heartache
Blonde Redhead - Spring and By Summer Fall
Siouxsie and the Banshees - The Rapture
Sisters Of Mercy - Marian
Tones on Tail - Rain
Bauhaus - Exquisite Corpse
The Dark Horses - Radio
The Asteroid #4 - Windmills of the Autumn Sky
Thee Oh Sees - Corprophagist (A Bath Perhaps)
The Altered Hours - Sweet Jelly Roll
Queens of the Stone Age - Hanging Tree
The Gun Club - Breaking Hands
The Cramps - Voodoo Idol
King Khan and the BBQ Show - I wanna Be a Girl
Creepoid - Yellow Wallpaper
The Tough Shits - Try Not to Laugh
Melody's Echo Chamber - I Follow You
Pearls Before Swine - Surrealist Waltz


Check out Adam's mix below, download it directly here, or subscribe to the Background Noise podcast on iTunes. Be sure to like Background Noise on Facebook for updates on future episodes. You can browse ALL the Background Noise episodes here.  Check out Adam's website here.