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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 29: Elbow Toe 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 29, the focus is on Elbow Toe.

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 29, the focus is on Elbow Toe.

photo by  Redboy

photo by Redboy

It was a few years ago that I started noticing Elbow Toe's work around NYC's East Village. Although at that time, the only works of his I'd seen were random phrases he'd write. Phrases like "Instantly Transparent With Your Obvious Actions", "It's a sad day for somedays", and what not, would appear on trash bins and various surfaces. This was around the time I first moved to the city and had begun to notice Jim Joe's work, which was similar in its abstract nature, and to be honest, not knowing anything about else about Elbow Toe, I sort of wrote him off. Turns out, that was a big mistake.

photo by Matt Bomarr

photo by Matt Bomarr

It wasn't until about a year or two later that I found out that Elbow Toe (who also exhibits his work under his birth name, Brian Adam Douglas) doesn't focus strictly on writing these phrases all over the place. His main focus was wheat pasting his drawings and paintings in the streets, and displaying his extremely detailed collage work in galleries. While he's insanely talented at painting and drawing, it's really his collage work that stands out to me. These collages are not the type of collages one would expect to see in the typical sense of the word. They are pieced together using a very meticulous process, where Elbow Toe paints tiny pieces of paper the colors he wants, and then assembles them together to create beautiful, almost paint-by-numbers-looking pieces of art. The type of work you really have to look closely at to truly appreciate it.

Elbow Toe gets a good amount of praise as it is, but he's still quite underrated. Every time I see one of his pieces, I'm blown away and absolutely fascinated by the amount of patience and detail that goes into each of his creations. All this from a man who is also the father of two twin boys. Being a new dad myself, I'm also impressed that he's able to find the time to devote so much to his work. The world needs to see more of this man.

photo by  Lenny Collado

photo by Lenny Collado

What was your first concert?
Sadly it was Julian Lennon. I went with my parents. My first concert on my own was Depeche Mode - Music for the Masses Tour.


Last concert/show you went to?
The last concert I paid for was Radiohead’s Kid A Tour. I caught Yo LaT engo a few years back at Celebrate Brooklyn, but I spend so much time in the studio that there is little time to get out to shows.

photo by Matt Bomarr

photo by Matt Bomarr

First album you bought?
The Cure - Standing on a Beach/ The Singles on CD.


Last album you bought?
I think it was the deluxe packaged Radiohead Amnesiac album. I still have the booklet. After that I started using E-Music and I never looked back.


Was there one record that made a significant impression on you?
I was a mopey kid and the album that got me through my high school years was Disintegration by The Cure.


Who is your musical hero?
These days I would say Tom Waits. His story telling is beyond compare. In terms of music I like to sing out loud to in the studio, Radiohead. I love Thom Yorke’s voice, and my natural singing voice is in his range.

How important is music to your creative process?
It’s very important. When I am struggling with a piece of work I listen to quite a lot of classical music, in particular Marin Marais. I often will listen to one song over and over for hours at a time if I have gotten into a groove. I tried to compile a playlist that I could loop over and over as well as loop each song over and over.
 

Wake Up/ The Walkmen
Three Changes/ The Good, The Bad And The Queen
Picture In A Frame/ Tom Waits
At Long Last/ Swell
It’s Never Over (Oh Orpheus)/ Arcade Fire
Zig Zag Wanderer/ Captain Beefheart
I Am Citizen Insane/ Radiohead
I’m Still Here/ Tom Waits
Fish And Bird/ Tom Waits
Mothers Of The Disappeared/ U2
Futura/ Battles
Treefingers/ Radiohead
Juveniles/ The Walkmen
Why Would You Want To Live/ Wilco
Culture War/ Arcade Fire
You & Me/ Damon Albarn
“40”/ U2
Where I End And You Begin/ Radiohead
Last Goodbye/ Jeff Buckley
Fawn/ Tom Waits

Check out Elbow Toe's excellent 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.

Also, you can find Elbow Toe's website here and his Instagram here

Background Noise, Episode 5: Dane Rex by Matt Bomarr

Dane Rex.jpg

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 5, the focus is on Dane Rex .

danerex5.jpg

I first noticed Dane Rex back when he was calling himself Memo (he's also been known to go by Nonesuch and Milo). This guy would hit my street in the East Village HARD with stickers. As in, every day there were new stickers of his on my street. Often, they were just a sticker with his name written on them, but then I started noticing some really interesting little collages, usually fairly colorful ones that really stood out to me.

I forget the chain of events, but somehow I found him on Flickr and reached out about getting some art from him. He ended up sending me a padded envelope FILLED with stickers and mini collages. So much, that I invited a couple of friends over and let them pick some of their favorites. This guy is quite prolific. He invited me to show of his in Brooklyn. Unfortunately, it was only open to the public for one night and I couldn't make it in time, but Dane agreed to meet me at his studio and give me a personal tour of the exhibit. I showed up on a Saturday and he let me in and led me to the studio. I was blown away. So many great pieces all over the place. Lots of little collages similar to the ones I'd see on my street, the types of collages I've always loved. Some reminded me of the early Guided By Voices album covers that originally got me started on doing my own collage work. He also had large paintings that looked like they were taken straight out of children's books, very colorful as well, and done on rice paper. 

(CLICK THE PICTURE BELOW FOR A SLIDESHOW)

I'm very much looking forward to seeing what Dane does next. He's a very talented artist and you should keep an eye out for him.

What was your first concert?

The first real show was Slaughter and the Dogs at CBGB's.

First LP/CD/Cassette?

First tape was a stiff little fingers  mix tape my grade school French teacher gave me. She told me that the new green day dookie album I was listening to in class was inappropriate. The next day she gave me the tape.

Last album you bought?

The last album I bought was Yeezus.

For the past few years I have been listening to old jazz bebop albums pretty regularly. Thelonious Monk, Miles Davis, Charlie Parker and John Coltrane are really fantastic. Hopefully you all enjoy these songs as much as I do.

 

Listen to Dane's excellent mix of 30 classic and lesser-known punk songs over on iTunes , Mixcloud, or stream it below, and be sure to follow Dane on Instagram, Tumblr or pick up one of his awesome zines right here