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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 39: Cosbe 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 39, the focus is on BROOKLYN artist COSBE.

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 39, the focus is on BROOKLYN artist COSBE.

It has to be a little tough going by the name Cosbe right now, with the original, sweater-wearing pudding popper in the news so much. "Haha shit's been kinda fucked lately with the OOG getting those charges," he says.

Overall, I doubt he pays much attention to all that business, or would even have time to if he wanted to. He spends most of his time wrapped up in creating mind-melting art out of his Brooklyn studio. Whether he's creating paintings using whatever he can get his hands on, or plastering up stickers throughout the city, he's always busy.

Cosbe (who has sometimes referred to himself as Kosbe, or Kosby) started doing graffiti in Chicago about 20 years ago, honing his chops on the street with fellow writer Drel, eventually transitioning to his first studio, which was provided by his mom, a huge supporter of his artistic interests. After relocating to New York, he continued getting his name up throughout the city with paint, chalk and his wild, and sometimes random stickers. His stickers were what initially caught my eye when I'd see them on my block, and then I started seeing some of his chalk drawings on dumpsters and what not, which were interesting because if it rained that night, they'd be gone the next day. I've always had a thing for temporary art. It wasn't until a while later that I realized he did these paintings that he does. I saw some of his work at Hanksy's "Surplus Candy", and then saw a piece of his in a group show at Woodward Gallery on the Lower East Side which really blew me away. This particular piece is the one featured in the main podcast image up top here. It was so colorful and chaotic. There was so much going on. I loved it. I've been following him ever since.

He's compiled an extremely eclectic mix of music for his episode, and I've been enjoying it quite a bit as I've been stitching it all together. Check it out down below.

What was your first concert?
My first concert was a Common Sense, Artifacts, Organized Confusion, Boogiemonsters show at Congress Theatre in Chicago. (link)

If you are into early 90's hip-hop you can imagine that was a pretty heavy line up for my first show.  

Common Sense had just dropped the Resurrection album so Chicago was really hyped on him and he was the hometown hero at the time. 

When Common came on stage everyone went nuts and rushed the stage. He finished his first song and then as he started to go into the second he stopped the DJ and called out a couple of knuckleheads in the front row who were grabbing the mic cord while he was trying to rap. as he went into it again all I heard was the song abruptly stop and the sound of the mic as it smacked into someones face! Hahah! Next thing you knew punches were getting thrown and some people just started getting stomped out! All of the group's posses from backstage ran out on stage and the whole thing kind of turned into a malay! I remember seeing a couple of people being pulled out with Timberland marks on their faces hahaha! That's some Chicago shit right there! The Fire Warden ended up tossing everyone out. Just pure, grimey hip hop from the start and that was only my first hip hop concert.

I also used to go to a lot of underground Chicago gettohouse parties, those were the shit too. Everyone would be jacking in the middle and then breaking on the sides. Respect to all the original Chicago Breaking Crews. JAM Masters Crew. Decepticons. Brickheadz. Molemen.

Uh-Oooh!  (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wJofQq710Wk)

Then I got into Raves. I think my first Chicago Rave was Psychosis in 1993. 

It was 5 bucks and you got a tab of acid. It was amazing. Changed my life. I was hooked on that scene after that. It was like go to some basement hip hop party and smoke blunts with a buncha dudes or do acid and E and hang out with a buncha cute raver girls? No brainer! lol. 

Last concert/show?
I'm not sure, I think it was a SMIF -N- WESSUN show. I was drunk with my artist friend The Sucklord and I think we just walked into the concert randomly from off the street. I always liked Nervous Records, especially the underground techno stuff! I was a raver in my past for a minute too! untz untz untz!!! 

First album you bought?
I think it was a twofer:  Beastie Boys Licenesed To ILL and Nirvana Nevermind. On cassette!  

Last album you bought?
The internet changed the way I find music for the last ten years or so. Now I just listen to whatever the fuck pops up on my radar. If I like it then I'll listen to it. Nothing like getting old man. I remember being much more selective about my music, but now Im old and I just listen to whatever comes up on the radio. Listening to that top 40 shit and I'm like yea, yea, yea I guess I can tolerate this for a while. Hahaha. I don't even know what the kids are listening to these days? What's cool now?

I do really miss record stores. I miss buying an album and not being sure if I would like it or not, or even buying something based just off the album art.

Was there one record that made a significant impression on you?
Bizarre Ride, Brooklyn Zoo, Ready to Die, The Purple Tape. I remember smoking my first bong in a basement with some gangster kids from my neighborhood and someone put that Raekwon album on. Changed my life. That and Dr. Octagonecologyst, Kool Keith on some trip hop shit with Q-bert. Blew my mind. Temple of Boom, Jealous One's Envy. Then I got into hardcore rave shit and underground Chicago House Jack shit like Plastikman, Delta 9, Frankie Bones, Terry Mullen, Drop Bass Network, Liquid Sky, drugs, E, fun shit. Raver shit. Burning Man. Chicago. Soul. Jazz. Juking, Jacking. Whatever.

Who is your musical hero?
Anyone who currently makes the serious effort to be a musician in anyway. I respect anyone who takes a serious stab at it. Especially now. It's not like before when you'd get a record deal and be able to chill off that money for a while. Now it seems to be all about touring, selling band merch, and streaming your album online and hoping iTunes gives you a fucking cut of that 99 cents! I don't pretend to know what that's like but I have to say it seems like anyone who is willing to get into the music biz nowadays and go up on stage and put their heart really into it, well that's pretty heroic. A hero can be someone who does anything creative they regardless of what they get from it. I respect anyone who fucking pushes it hustles and keeps it real original and innovative.

How important is music to your creative process?
I have to have something on while I'm doing anything creative. I'm listening to music right now. Sometimes I'll have an album on repeat for weeks and just listen to it over and over while I'm working on a certain drawing or project. If it's something that is helping me get into the creative mood of what I'm working on, or to convey a feeling in my work then I'll probably be playing it over and over. I know my wife loves that!  Haha I love you baby.

I think one thing I enjoy the most is driving my car somewhere far and listening to music. I think that's my favorite thing to do -- when I'm on the road, on an empty highway when no one else seems to be around and I'm in middle of nowhere like some desolate road. That's probably one of the best feelings in the world for me. Just driving somewhere playing music I enjoy. I'm sort of hyper inside and love to go to different places and travel and I think that maybe that frenetic energy sometimes translates into my artwork. My art communicates like a frenetic energy of how I can't stay still and need to move. Maybe that will chance but for now I'm on like a  Fear and Loathing style. Like we can't stop here! This is Bat Country! 

RIP Hunter S. Thompson.

Thank You Matt and thank you to everyone who takes the time to read this interview and listen to this playlist. I hope you enjoy my 1990's/Modern Mixtape style. I love it. Let's go!


Song: Enter Sandman / Artist: Motorhead
Song: Everybody's Free (To Wear Sunscreen)/ Artist: Quindon Tarver 
Song: Hot Nigga/ Artist: Bobby Shmurda 
Song: Am I Demon/ Artist: Danzig 
Song: She's Lost Control/ Artist: Joy Division 
Song: So What'Cha Want/ Artist: Beastie Boys 
Song: Attitude/ Artist: Bad Brains 
Song: Could You Be Loved/ Artist: Bob Marley 
Song: Back in Baby's Arms/ Artist: Patsy Cline 
Song: Closer/ Artist: Nine Inch Nails  
Song: Clifford's Mustache/ Artist: D-Styles 
Song: Jealous Guy/ Artist: Roxy Music 
Song: Dr Hell No and The Praying Mantus/ Artist: El-P
Song: Fantasy/ Artist: Dye 
Song: SHINE/ Artist: Antipop Consortium 
Song: Part 6/ Artist: Henry Miller 
Song: NY is Killing me/ Artist: Gil Scott Heron & Jamie xx 
Song: The Man Who Sold The World/ Artist: Nirvana 
Song: Rabbit In Your Headlights/ Artist: Unkle Thom Yorke 
Song: Shimmy Shimmy Ya/ Artist: Ol' Dirty Bastard 
Song: Old Man/ Artist: Neil Young 
Song: Dragula/ Artist: Rob Zombie 
Song: Don't Let Me Be Misunderstood/ Artist: The Animals 
Song: Every Breath You Take/ Artist: The Police 
Song: Birth To Death/ Artist: Ravi Shankar 
Song: Ohm/ Artist: Saul William 
Song: Natural Peace/ Artist: Sleep Sounds of Nature 
Song: A Horse With No Name/ Artist: America 
Song: Amen- Live in Chicago/ Artist: Curtis Mayfield
Song: Coupe / Artist: Future

Check out Cosbe'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 Cosbe on Instagram and Tumblr.


Background Noise, Episode 15: Left Handed Wave by Matt Bomarr

My new "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 15,  the focus is on Chicago-based artist  Left Handed Wave    .

My new "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 15,  the focus is on Chicago-based artist Left Handed Wave.

Chicago's Left Handed Wave is another prolific artist who tends not to take himself too seriously. His character of choice is "Banana Man", a man who is often seen in a banana suit, smiling and waving at passers by. While Banana Man started off in this outfit, he's taken on various other disguises throughout his evolution on the streets. Sometimes he'll be grinning at you from inside a bunny suit, sometimes he'll be dressed like a hot dog. Other times, Santa Claus, a ghost, etc. It never ends, really. He's constantly evolving.

Most prolific in his hometown of Chicago, his work will often be spotted in the streets of Brooklyn and Manhattan. He was yet another of the select few artists that Hanksy chose to participate in Surplus Candy, his 2-hour abandoned building art show in NYC's Alphabet City a few months back.

He always has great merchandise to sell. He made a limited run of stuffed plush Banana Men, recently made some limited edition t-shirts, and almost always has stickers and prints available for sale on his Big Cartel page. Go there now though, because his work almost always sells out.

A few words from LHW:

Hanksy and Left Handed Wave at "Surplus Candy" (photo by Matt Bomarr)

Hanksy and Left Handed Wave at "Surplus Candy" (photo by Matt Bomarr)

What was your first concert?

All shit talking aside... I'm pretty sure the first concert I attended was New Found Glory at The Riv in Chicago, I must have been in the 7th or 8th grade. My best homie's dad took us and I remember him advising us not to take any drugs or alcohol from anybody while he was slyly getting dad drunk at the bar. The show was god awful, being a young kid from the suburbs I had never seen so many people going nuts before and I was a little weary to see another show after that. The next concert I went to wasn't until high school, I did everything my friend's dad said not to and then shows got pretty rad after that.

 

Last concert/show?

The last concert I went to was George Clinton & Parliament Funkadelic at the Concord. I drank a lot of delicious adult beverages and found a five dollar bill, it was fun...

Photo by  Billy Craven

Photo by Billy Craven

First lp/cd/tape you bought?

I'm pretty sure Blink 182's Enema of the State was the first CD I bought with my own cash which makes me feel like the whitest, most generic suburban kid ever. Everyone I knew had that album though, it has that skanky looking nurse on the front and it made me feel a little rebellious listening to it. The songs they swore in the most were my favorite, look up 'Family Reunion', its no hit, but for a sixth grader I was easily entertained.


Last album you bought?

I recently picked up RJD2's latest release, 'More Is Than Isn't'. It's no platinum joint, but I can rock some of it, especially the collaborations. I don't get down with too much of his new stuff like I do with the classics, but RJD2 was a big player in my transition into hiphop and electronic music so I always keep up with what he's doing.


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

There has to be a dozens, but as of late, 'Daily Bread' By Hassaan Mackey and Apollo Brown has me listening on repeat. It's somewhat of an underground classic, but maybe it's too early to make that distinction. The beats on the album have this old school hiphop vibe and Mackey's lyrics are super raw, I feel a lot of struggle them which kinda reflects our current brutal winter here in Chicago. If I could describe Chicagoins right now all I'd say is we're fucking miserable, I've lived here my whole life and this is by far and wide the coldest winter ever. All that grit in the lyrics has really been reflecting my mood, but it gets me through the day like all impressional albums usually do.


Photo by  vivaspygirl

Photo by vivaspygirl

Who is your musical hero?

If you don't play dubstep, well, your my hero then.


How important do you think music is to your creative process?

Music is incredibly important to my creative process and daily routine in general. I'm not super hip to what the kids are listening to these days, but I always need something to narrate my day. I'm always plugged in, if I suddenly had to work in silence nothing would ever get done and my creative drive would most likely shut down. Art and music have always gone hand in hand, for myself it'd be impossible to have one without the other.

You can follow Left Handed Wave on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook and Tumblr.

Listen to his podcast below, or download it direct here. Don't forget to like Background Noise on Facebook, and subscribe to the podcast on iTunes.