graffiti

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 73: Phobik 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 73, THE FOCUS IS ON ARTIST PHOBIK

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 73, THE FOCUS IS ON ARTIST PHOBIK

Phobik is a self-taught artist from Hollywood, CA. Starting with gory, angst-filled drawings, he quickly progressed into bright colored paintings, drawing inspiration from comic book superheroes to He-Man cartoons.

He's collaborated on canvas and concrete with everyone from Septerhed to MadMan, and recently wrapped a dual show at LA's Stone Malone gallery with Ratchet Man.

First album you bought?
Limp Bizkit - Significant Other


Last album you bought?
Ghostface Killah - 36 Seasons


First concert?
System of a Down / Mars Volta at the Long Beach Arena


Last concert?
Post Malone / Og Maco-Hamoneverything

Was there one album that made a significant impression on you?
Deftones- Deftones


Who is your musical hero?
Jimi Hendrix

How important is music to your creative process?
Imagination needs a soundtrack. As an Artist you gotta try to fit this huge movie worthy story into one scene. sometimes the chords of a background song make the Art Piece come together in a different, satisfying way.

       1. Deftones - My Own Summer (Shove It)
       2. Led Zeppelin - Since I've Been Loving You
       3. Jimi Hendrix - Machine Gun
       4. Ghostface Killah - Love Don't Live Here No More
       5. Queens of the Stone Age - Make it wit chu
       6. Queens of the Stone Age - You Think I Ain't Worth A Dollar, But I Feel Like A Millionaire
       7. Dimmu Borgir - Puritania
       8. GZA - Liquid Swords
       9. Black Sabbath - N.I.B
      10. Janis Joplin - Summertime

Check out Phobik'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 Phobik's Instagram here.

Background Noise, Episode 72: Adam Void 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 72, THE FOCUS IS ON ADAM VOID

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 72, THE FOCUS IS ON ADAM VOID

Adam Void is an Outsider. He lives on the edge of a mountain in the green paradise of Appalachian North Carolina with his wife, Chelsea Ragan and his daughter. He has been making art in the public sphere since 1998. He has been politically active from childhood, spending a moment everyday to take a jab at the dominant, oppressive, racist, misogynist, elitist, capitalist, police state of contemporary culture. He has been blessed to visit 40 of these United States (mostly by freight train or rideshare) and has determined that the people of this country vary widely by region, and are only united through this thing called Popular Culture. He is very interested in understanding how art/music/literature that is counter to this culture can use the distribution methods of popular culture to subvert the system. He has also made noisy music since 1997, the most recent of which can be found here.

What was your first concert? 
REM (Green Tour) - April 25, 1989 - Carolina Coliseum, Columbia, SC
I was very young, but the fact that REM was from the South was not lost on me. I quickly got into the B52's, Flat Duo Jets, and Pylon. My parents had me when they were teenagers, so they were kinda hip and cool. I saw the B52's with Tears for Fears pretty early on too. We were into the early 90's environmental movement of recycling, anti-Styrofoam, and anti-CFC's. I grew up political-minded with an emphasis on Southern American counterculture.

Last concert/show? 
Jefferson Mayday Mayday, Secret Boyfriend, Yohimbe, Sagan Youth, and Adam Void - December 2014 - Meadows of Dan, Carrboro, NC
My lifelong friend, Jefferson Mayday Mayday asked me to play this show with him during his recent trip to the US from Sydney Australia. Sadly, I haven't been able to afford to see many of the great shows that have come to Asheville recently. Neutral Milk Hotel, Kraftwerk, Panda Bear, and Daniel Johnston have all asked for over $30 a ticket.  Add to that, the fact that I am a father of an eight month old baby. No time.

First album you bought?
New Kids on the Block, Hanging Tough - 1988
What can I say, I bought into the popular current of those bad boys, the New Kids. I saw them in concert too, slightly after the REM show. It was pretty impressive to see Donnie Wahlberg hanging by one hand off of an elevated cage while singing a pop song. There was lots of girls there too.

Last album you bought?
Laurie Anderson - Mister Heartbreak or Bell Biv Devoe - Poison single
I mostly listen to cassette tapes that I find at the pay-by-the-pound thrift store in Asheville, NC. This way, what I hear is a coincidental luck-of-the-draw based on what people are throwing away at any time. I mostly put them in my pocket as I walk around the store, but sometimes I pay fifty cents a piece for them.

Was there one record that made a significant impression on you?
Nirvana - Incesticide
I was a devoted Nirvana fan with the whirlwind of Nevermind and the cultural upheaval that followed, but Incesticide managed to strike a much different chord in my mind. It was the most under-produced recording I had heard to date, blending pop with noise in an infectious, chaotic mess. From there, I better understood Devo, the Vaselines, the Pixies, Daniel Johnston, and Sonic Youth. Going down the rabbit hole. And the artwork.... I still wear my original Incesticide shirt, and sadly just got a bunch of black paint on it from a recent spot with Fishglue NGC. :(

Who is your musical hero?
Black Flag (as a whole)
Through all of the line-up changes, they managed to create the independent distribution, touring, and promotion network that became the vehicle for the late 80's to early 90's US underground. They created what's understood as Hardcore, and then abandoned the cliche to experiment with spoken-word, instrumental jam, and metal edged sounds. All this plus the amazing artwork of Raymond Pettibon and publicizing through graffiti and wheatpaste.

May I also say, that I would not be the same artist today, if it were not for the musical impact of a single individual, Joe Ahearn. I met Joe in Brooklyn during the Summer of 2006. He had recently taken over curatorial duties at the original Silent Barn, and had just launched (in partnership with Todd P) a monthly publication of underground music shows called Showpaper. I was, and still am, amazed by the creative energy and DIY ethos embodied in Joe. He introduced me to all the sounds of my four years in New York; Secret Project Robot, Dead Herring, Death by Audio, the Woodser, Goodbye Blue Monday, and later, Shea Stadium. This man is a creative and organizational genius.

How important is music to your creative process?
Music is essential to my creative process.
I got into graffiti through promoting for my high school punk band, Plain Crash. We would follow Black Flag's model by spray painting controversial slogans and wheatpasting fliers on telephone poles of rural South Carolina side streets. Nowadays in my studio, I jam crackly thrift store mixtapes, and on the way to the spot, Ive been rocking this amazing rarities album from the Cure titled Concert and Curiosity.

Black Flag - Spray Paint the Walls (1981)
Circle Jerks - Deny Everything (1980)
The Choir Quit - MBUR (2010)
Sonic Youth - Mildred Pierce (1990)
Nirvana - Tourette's (Live 1992 - Reading Festival, UK)
Japanther - Radical Businessman (2009)
Neutral Milk Hotel - Holland, 1945 (1998)
The Germs - Forming (1981)
The B52's - 52 Girls (Live 1980 - Capitol Theatre, GA)
Skull and Dagger - GPS Atlantis (2014)
Rage Against The Machine - Freedom (Live 1996 - Munich, DK)
In/Humanity - Against All Youth (1997)

Check out Adam Void'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.

Background Noise, Episode 71: Shark Toof 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 71, the focus is on artist shark toof

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 71, the focus is on artist shark toof

Shark Toof has been a fixture in the Los Angeles street art scene for years now. His iconic shark wheat pastes, which featured "TOOF" strategically placed in the negative space left from rows of shark teeth, were commonplace throughout the streets of many cities, from Los Angeles to New Hampshire. And his gallery art, much more detailed and thought out, continues to wow art collectors worldwide

He has worked closely with PangeaSeed, a Hawaii-based non-profit organization that helps educate and raise awareness about the importance of shark conservation and preserving ocean habitats. PangeaSeed even helped coordinate a shark dive for him so he could better connect with the sharks and the ocean life.

In addition to his website, his work can be seen at the Chinese American Museum in Los Angeles, where his work is part of their permanent collection. He also has two 100 foot murals located in Miami and Los Angeles. The latter of which recently had a preservation fundraiser to keep it visible.

What was your first concert?
New Order or Jesus And Mary Chain, but The LA Dream Team played a lunch time
show at my middle school.  Does that count?

Last concert/show?
The Make Up

First album, tape or cd you bought?
New Order - Substance

Last album you bought?
It's been so long I can't remember.
Either The Wedding Present or Casiotone For The Painfully Alone

Was there any album that made a significant impression on you?
Jane's Addiction -  Nothing's Shocking

Who is your musical hero?
Robert Smith

How important do you think music is to your creative process?
Music is important to my living process.

1975 JAWS THEME SONG
Summertime Rolls - JANE’S ADDICTION
Dance Yrself Clean - LCD SOUNDSYSTEM
Corduroy - THE WEDDING PRESENT
Vapour Trail - RIDE
We Can't Be Contained - THE MAKE UP
Sunshine Smile - ADORABLE
Star Sail - THE VERVE
So What - MINISTRY
I Luv The Valley Oh - XIU XIU
The Fire In Which You Burn Slow - INDELIBLE MCS
Summer Babe - PAVEMENT
2 Kindsa Love - JON SPENCER BLUES EXPLOSION
Birthday (Christmas Eve Christmas Day Remix) ( with Jesus and Mary Chain) - SUGAR CUBES
1969 - THE STOOGES
Ladies And Gentlemen We Are Floating In Space - SPIRITUALIZED
Mersey Paradise - STONE ROSES
Just Like Honey - JESUS AND MARY CHAIN
Looking At You - MC5
If You're Feeling Sinister - BELLE AND SEBASTIAN
Little Yellow Spider -DEVENDRA BANHART
Thirteen (Demo Version) - FORWARD RUSSIA
Between Us and Them - MOVING UNITS
Do They Owe Us A Living - CRASS
In My Eyes - MINOR THREAT
Plainsong - THE CURE
Ceremony - NEW ORDER
Disorder - JOY DIVISION
Sheep - GONJASUFI
El Camino - ZACKEY FORCE FUNK

Check out Shark Toof'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 Shark Toof's website here.

Background Noise, Episode 70: Morley by Matt Valerio

Los Angeles street artist Morley likes to break up the monotony of everyday routines. He uses witty black and white wheat pastes, often put up strategically based on their surroundings, to provoke thoughts and inject humor when it is needed most.

He uses these wheat pastes to put his own internal thoughts out into the world. Thoughts that he knows others out there can relate to. "Oh Alarm Clock, You Have No Idea What I Can Do With Nine More Minutes," or "I Love You Because We Hate The Same Stuff." They're all quick little reminders not to take ourselves too seriously. Reminders that it's ok to have a little chuckle on your way into work or your way home after a long day.

The art world needs more people who don't take themselves too seriously.

What was the first album you bought?
TAPE: The Pretty Woman Soundtrack. In my defense, my parents had pretty good music taste- so I didn’t need to buy any albums by The Beatles or Tom Waits as they already had them and played them in the house. But I got an infection from hearing the song “The King of Wishful Thinking” by Go West and it was beyond my control. Plus I was 8 years old, so give me a break.

CD: Naughty By Nature’s “19Naughty3.” I wish I could redeem myself with this being better than my first cassette tape, but sadly I cannot. This time you don’t have to give me a break- by 11 I should have known better!

What was the last album you bought?
“Another Eternity” by Purity Ring. It’s pretty good. I got the cover album of Elliott Smith tunes by one of the Avett Brothers on the same day. They’re decent covers for sure but there really is something uniquely magical about Elliott Smith that just can’t be recaptured. I think the attempt was a respectful homage, but on a purely sonic level, any cover of his will always be missing something.

What was your first concert?
White Zombie. It was the “Astro Creep 2000” tour, though- to be honest I went because I had a friend who was really into them and I was more of a fan of the opening band, The Toadies. Looking back, it’s kind of a strange pairing, musically. I still love that first Toadies record, “Rubberneck.” It’s pretty underrated as far as ‘90s post-grunge albums go.

What was your last concert?
Stars at the Henry Fonda Theater in Los Angeles. The band KILLED it and it’s a really great venue. I had seen Built to Spill there right before they broke up. There’s not a bad spot to stand in the house and it’s not obnoxiously large. I don’t bother seeing bands if they outgrow places like The Fonda or the El Rey. I just don’t feel a connection with the band if the venue is huge and overflowing with people.

Was there one album that made a significant impression on you?
“The Blue Album” by Weezer was a monumentally important record for me. After outgrowing “Hip-Hop Hooray” just in time for Nirvana to abruptly end, I found myself searching for a band that I felt represented who I was. At 12-years-old, you really want a band that will be the bones that you can build an identity around. You take your fashion cues from them, your sense of romance, rebellion and swagger. As much as I would have liked to relate to Kurt Cobain or Eddie Vedder, they just seemed too handsome and mythic. Instead, I gravitated to Rivers Cuomo. He sang about seeking refuge in his garage and playing Dungeons and Dragons. It was like he was singing just to me! In a time of somewhat dour music, Weezer seemed happy with who they were. They weren’t ashamed of their nerd status, they wore it as a badge of honor. This was incredibly empowering at a time when I really needed it. Even though the band has since evolved in a direction that I don’t dig, I still wear the same horn rimmed style glasses that Rivers’ sports and take it as a compliment when people say we look alike.

Who is your musical hero?
My all-time biggest musical influence has to be Beatles-era Paul McCartney. I’m a bit of a Beatles nut and in studying their influence, I’m fascinated with how much they altered pop culture and the musical landscape. It’s mind boggling. I saw him play in Dodger Stadium last summer (breaking my “only small and medium sized venue” rule) and it was honestly magnificent. That’s a pretty big word but for me, it’s appropriate. My wife and I had crappy seats but just to hear some of my favorite songs sung by the man who wrote them. I mean- I got to hear “Hey Jude” live! It was a bucket list moment for sure.

How important is music to your creative process?
It’s vital for me. I always say that if my work seems like lyrics to a song you like, then I’ve done a good job. Music is really how I grease the wheels of creativity. I have to have something playing any time I work or create. Silence just feels like a brick wall. When I was developing the idea for what I wanted my work to become, I looked to music because unlike a lot of methods of creative expression, there is a more profound relationship formed between the musician and the audience. You can look at a beautiful painting without forming a connection to the artist because the artist isn’t really part of it. Ditto with film and photography. You can feel a connection to an author but it’s still removed from hearing an artist sing directly in your ears. With music, a 12 year old boy in Iowa can listen to Weezer and finally feel like he’s not alone in this world. I wanted the people that saw my work to feel that same connection. I wanted them to feel like it was someONE, not just someTHING talking to them. This is why I include a drawing of myself in all of my work, to try and realize that connection between two humans and remind those who might see what I do and relate to it, that none of us are alone, and hope is not lost when there’s someone to help you back up, even if that help is just a few words pasted on wall.

 

1. “Life of the Party” - Longwave
2. “Sax Rohmer #1” - The Mountain Goats
3. “The Song In My Heart” - Gomez
4. “Beautiful Beat” - Nada Surf
5. “Scenic Pastures” - Archers of Loaf
6. “Bad Reputation” - Freedy Johnston
7. “That’s How Strong My Love is” - Otis Redding
8. “I Should Have Known Better” - The Beatles
9. “Car” - Built to Spill
10. “To All My Friends” - Atmosphere
11. “'Til I Get There” - Lupe Fiasco
12. “Losers” - The Belle Brigade
13. “(This Is) The Dream of Evan and Chan” - Dntel
14. “Eat, Sleep, Repeat” - Copeland
15. “Every Stone” - Manchester Orchestra
16. “Your Hand In Mine” - Explosions in the Sky
17. “Not Miserable” - Frightened Rabbit
18. “The Tracks of My Tears” - Smokey Robinson and the Miracles
19. “Nowhere We Cannot Go” - Hayden
20. “Place To Be” - Nick Drake
21. “Heartbeats (The Knife cover)” - Jose Gonzalez
22. “To Sing For You” - Donovan
23. “Murder In The City” - The Avett Brothers
24. “Grizzlies” - Jim & Sam
25. “England” - The National

Check out Morley'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 Morley's website here.

Background Noise, Episode 69: Lunar New Year 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 69, THE FOCUS IS ON ARTIST LUNAR NEW YEAR.

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 69, THE FOCUS IS ON ARTIST LUNAR NEW YEAR.

Lunar New Year (sometimes referred to as simply LNY) is an Ecuadorian-born street artist/muralist currently based out of New Jersey.

His works often depict the lesser-seen people in certain cultures or locales, bringing attention to those who wouldn't normally have their faces front and center.

He says this about his chosen alias:

"LNY is a label that I found for myself that later gained meaning and is still gaining meaning and changing. After adopting the letters as a moniker I found out that the acronym stands for "Lunar New Year" and when I Googled it, i saw all these pictures of celebration and teens having a great time in Asia - so now I have adopted this moniker because of that experience but also because of the of the Lunar New Year being this metaphor for an alternative; be it the lunar calendar or a different way of counting time or experiencing life and viewing the world."

Music is very important to him. Case in point, he not only included an hour's worth of music hand-picked for this series, but he also included a BONUS MIX that is near and dear to his heart. You'll find that further down below.

What was your first concert?
Manu Chao at Central Park Summerstage

Last concert/show?
The Freq Show at Seed in Newark

First album you bought?
more like first song I illegally downloaded: Thom Yorke and Bjork, "I've Seen it All"

Last album you bought?
Las Cafeteras - It's Time

Was there one record that made a significant impression on you?
"What if someone is watching their T.V." by Screaming Females because it showed me that independence, hard work and community support is all the success you need.  

Who is your musical hero?
Cafe Tacuba, hands down.

How important is music to your creative process?
It carries me, inspires me and keeps me sharp - I play music pretty much 24 hours a day which so it's like the blood flow of my creativity.

 

Cruzada Mix
It's Movement Time - Las Cafeteras
Alright - Kendrick Lamar
Latinoamérica - Calle 13
Lenape Lane - Ratking
Bikini Weather / Corazon en Afrika - Princess Nokia
Mi Bandera - Whitest Taíno Alive
How We Chill - Mello Mel
Never Catch Me (feat. Kendrick Lamar) Flying Lotus
Sycamore Tree - Kali Uchis
Half of it  - Kap G featuring Devour
AyAyAy - Snow Tha Product
Working Like A Mexican Feat Chingo Bling -  Kap-G
Whip It (Remix) Feat. Migos  Rich The Kid -  ILoveMakonnen
Teach Me (feat. Kiesza) - Joey Bada$$
Rose Mountain - Screaming Females
Jardinera - Rita Indiana & Los Misterios
Birthday Song - Kali_Uchis
Mexico Momma Came From Mexico - Kap G
Olita del Altamar - Cafe Tacuba
Ahora Nosotros Mixtape - Chancha Via Circuito

Check out LNY'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 LNY's website here.

LNY's BONUS MIX:

INTENDED TO BE LISTENED TO IMMEDIATELY FOLLOWING
BACKGROUND NOISE, EPISODE 69

Background Noise, Episode 63: Septerhed 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 63, THE FOCUS IS ON ARTIST SEPTERHED.

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 63, THE FOCUS IS ON ARTIST SEPTERHED.

It took me a while to find out that Los Angeles artist Septerhed did more than design cool stickers. His psychedelic black and white square stickers were all over Manhattan around the time my wife and I moved there in 2010, and I was drawn to their simple, but almost Pushead-esque font. Maybe not even Pushead-y, but that’s who I thought of when I saw them. I later learned he did quite a bit more than just sticker art. 

Inspired by street signs and religious imagery early on, Sept graduated at the top of his class at Otis College of Art and Design, where he went for graphic design. He later became a street artist as a personal challenge shortly after graduating. Over time, he’s evolved into more of a muralist than anything else. Beautifying dull walls in Los Angeles and beyond with his brightly-colored illustrations of everything from crazy-looking wolves and rabbits to indescribable abstract greatness. 

A few fun facts about Septerhed……he was born in Japan, but only spent his first year there before moving to the United States. In addition to being an amazing visual artist, he also makes music. Also, one of his public murals was just spotted in the background of Willow Smith’s new “F-C-Q #7” video.  (Seen, top right).

First album you bought?
Poison- Look What the Cat Dragged In

Last album you bought?
DeafHEAVEN- Sunbather

First concert?
David Lee Roth

Last concert?
Melt Banana

Was there one album that made a significant impression on you?
Smashing Pumpkins - Siamese Dream

Who is your musical hero?
MIke Patton

How important is music to your creative process?
Sometimes, sometimes not. I never have enough new music. I used to know what I wanted and had no way to get it. Nowadays, I can get whatever I want and I don't know what I want. I need to hire someone to find good music for me. Music is like an amazing curse to me. I fall in and out of love with it all day on the daily. Silence works just as well, but then there's always that time when you find a great bunch of songs and they guide your work.

1. Beck - It’s All In Your Mind
2. Babyland - Structure Fall
3. Wild Nothing - On Guyot
4. Clark - Everlane
5. Deafheaven - Violent
6. Behemoth - Shemhamforash
7. Napalm Death - How The Years Condemn
8. Black Dahlia Murder - Carbonized In Cruciform
9. OHGR - DoG
10. The Armed - Culture Faded
11. Broken Social Scene - All To All
12. Bon Iver - Wisconsin

Check out Septerhed'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 hereCheck out Septerhed's Instagram here.

Background Noise, Episode 55: BEAU 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 55, THE FOCUS IS ON NEW YORK ARTIST BEAU

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 55, THE FOCUS IS ON NEW YORK ARTIST BEAU

I first noticed BEAU's work on a discarded mattress in New York's East Village. Fear of bedbugs aside, it's a great canvas to really get people's attention with due to its size, and due to the fact that most people will do a double take like I did and say "did that guy just paint a mattress!!??" Like his contemporary JIM JOE, BEAU chooses to do a lot of his art on trash these days, primarily resulting from one too many run ins with New York City's Vandal Squad. What's great about this is that it not only is this something that (I believe) you can't get arrested for, but it also becomes disposable art. Something that just appears there and exists in the world for a quick moment before being picked up by sanitation workers and discarded forever. Obviously, items as large as mattresses aren't usually going to be picked up and taken home, but a lot of the art that BEAU leaves on the street can be. It is often taken and collected, especially as familiarity with BEAU's work grows.

In addition to having a handful of regular collectors of his work, he's gotten the attention of Jay Z's former Roc-A-Fella business partner Damon Dash, who's Poppington Gallery on the Lower East Side opened a couple of years ago, with a show curated by-and-featuring BEAU's work.

He covers all different types of mediums with his work. He does straight up graffiti, stickers, sculpture and fine art. His fine art work is extremely impressive, especially when you factor in that he has absolutely no formal artistic training. Oh, and he raps too (you can hear a bunch of his songs on his mix). He's obviously not the type of person who is content just sitting still.

What was your first concert?
A house show with Jason Anderson, The Jerry Riddle and Adrian Orange taking place at Jef Logsdon’s flat in Panama City, Florida.

Last concert?
Don’t really go out.

First album you bought?
I stole most of my music, a lot of Bone Thugs n Harmony stuff, pop wouldn’t buy me that stuff at that time.

Last album you bought?
Scot Bazar’s experimental sound compositions

Was there one record that made a significant impression on you?
A series of albums had an affect on me that was necessary in building the character I am today.

Who is your musical hero?
Rza, Gza, Vincent Gallo, Johnny Cash

How important is music to your creative process?
It depends on my mood and what I am working on. But in life music is important and beyond life transforming.

1.  Adrian Orange and Her Band - Keep Your Money
2. Charly Madigan - 322-beat: unknown
3. Chet Baker - Almost Blue
4. Devendra Banhart - Aperpareplane
5. Charly Madigan - Back To the Basics feat. THAUTZ
6. Charly Madigan - Black Swan
7. Bob Dylan - Blood In My Eyes
8. Charly Madigan - City of Babel
9. Raekwon - Cold Outside feat. Ghostface Killah
10.Charly Madigan - Dat Instagram Shit
11. The Love Letter Band - Everybody Sings Their Own Little Song
12. Charly Madigan - For All My People
13. RZA - Killer Bee Till Ya Die
14. Charly Madigan - Lab Drunk
15. Self Scientific - Live N Breathe
16. Pure Horsehair - Mangoes
17. Neil Young - My My, Hey Hey (Out of the Blue)
18. Charly Madigan - New Rap feat Sudoxe
19. U-God - Night the City Cried
20. Vincent Gallo - No Regard
21. GZA - Paper Plates (50 Cent Diss)
22. Charly Madigan - Put In On Blast
23. Krayzie Bone - Sad Song
24. Charly Madigan - Scooby Snacks (Weed Song)
25. Charly Madigan - Smokin’ Relish
26. Masta Killa - Soul & Substance
27. Charly Madigan - The EYE
28. Nate Dogg - These Days
29. Tupac Shakur - They Don’t Give A Fuck ‘Bout Us
30. Charly Madigan - Up In Tha...
31. Outkast - Wailin'

Check out BEAU'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 And be sure to check out BEAU's website here

Background Noise, Episode 43: NDA 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 43, the focus is on New York artist NDA..

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 43, the focus is on New York artist NDA..

photo by pascal j bonnett

photo by pascal j bonnett

NDA takes his inspiration from Marvel comics to classic Warner Bros cartoons. Although born in New York, NDA grew up in Portland, Oregon. He's now based back in New York, but as of late, doesn't seem to be spending a whole lot of time there. In the late part of this year, he spent some time putting up his art overseas for the first time. He traveled to Norway, England, Spain and Portugal, all the while enjoying the less urban landscapes, which allowed his art to stand out more than it does in a crowded city.

His colorful, abstract drawings have gradually adorned many walls throughout the US since around 2010, when friend and frequent collaborator OverUnder convinced NDA to start putting up his work in the street. He's since participated in many group art shows, showing alongside Icy & Sot, Mata Ruda, Sonni, Lunar New Year and Labrona. He's been featured in Yoav Litvin's Outdoor Gallery book, participated in the Lower East Side's Centrefuge Public Art Project and the Welling Court Murals, painted murals on Williamsburg rooftops,  and has been involved in NYC's ever-growing LISA Project. 

He's put together a great mix. As always, I love it when some of these artists construct a mix with some diversity, and when someone includes both The Silver Jews and Freddie Gibbs, and transitions from a Smog song into Kendrick Lamar, they get respect from me.

What was your first concert?
When I was about six or seven my dad took me to see Smokey Robinson at a state fair. I can't remember if any of The Miracles were with him but I can still recall this older man up on stage with an impressive amount of energy. 

Last concert?
I don't go to a lot of concerts anymore but I think the last one I saw was my man Steeve Sam. He's a Newark artist and to call him hip hop is a bit limiting. He's one of the more versitle musicians I know and someone to watch out for for sure. He opened and did a couple freestyles and some real soulful tracks. People did not see it coming. He's going to have some new albums coming out soon. Keep your ears open.

photo by  jaime rojo

photo by jaime rojo

First album you bought?
I'm pretty sure it was the Regulate single cassette. I was about 11 and heard it on the "Above The Rim" soundtrack. I bought it and thought I was the fucking coolest. Me and my friends listened to the song then flipped it to the insturmental until I think it popped. 

 

Last album you bought?
This is one of those questions that makes me look like a real asshole because I can't remember the last album I bought. I feel like a total jerk. I keep telling myself that I'm going to buy a record player again and then I'll make up for all my musical transgressions.

Was there one album that made a significant impression on you?
I suppose there were a lot of albums that made an impression on me. When I was about 19 and living in Vancouver, B.C. a friend recommended I listen to "American Water" by The Silver Jews I was struck by the abstract poetry of it. In the very first song on the album Berman comes in with "In 1984 I was hospitliezed for approaching perfection" and I was hooked. I think a big part of it has to do with the fact that I associate this album with striking out on my own away from my home town for the first time. 

Who is your musical hero?
I don't know that I have a musical hero honestly. I'm impressed by a lot of people's abilities but my creative heroes tend to be visual artists. I suppose RZA stands out.

How important is music to your creative process?
Music is a driving force to me while I'm in the middle of painting large scale murals. I don't like to listen to anything when I'm figuring out technical aspects at the beginning but when I need to start moving in the middle of a piece and not chat with anyone familiar hip-hop drives me forward. And when I'm a bit stressed some Jazz and classical music can calm me down.

photo by taylor langone

photo by taylor langone

Danny Brown- The Wizard
Vince Staples-45
Freddie Gibbs/ Madlib- Knicks
Sam Cooke- That's Where It's At.
Silver Jews- Like Like The The The Death
Steeve Sam - Masterplan
Kanye West- I Wonder
Elvis Costello- Imagination (Is a powerful decieiver)
Sly and the Family Stone- Underdog
RZA and MF Doom- Biochemical equation
Cafe Tacuba-olita del altamar
Smog- Dress sexy at my funeral
Kendrick Lamar - Bitch Don't Kill My Vibe


Check out NDA'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 NDA on Facebook here and on Instagram here


Background Noise, Episode 42: CB23 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 42, the focus is on New York artist CB23.

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 42, the focus is on New York artist CB23.

There's not a whole lot of information out there on artist CB23. However, The Street Museum of Art seems to have a little tidbit:

In his youth, CB23 fluctuated between a life spent absorbing absorbing cartoons and the surrounding urban denigration of Atlanta’s abandoned complexes.  Although he may have left the south behind, the adventure and animations have absorbed into his psyche, leaving a deep yearning for self-expression within his newly found urban environment. Influences include: Pee-Wee’s Playhouse, Rock-A-Doodle, Ren and Stimpy, and all those cartoons that, in retrospect, your parents’ probably shouldn’t have let you watch.
CB23 / Edapt / foxxface collaboration (photo by taylor langone)

CB23 / Edapt / foxxface collaboration (photo by taylor langone)

CB23 (known as "Classic" to some), left the southern states for the cold northeast, where he could immerse himself in Brooklyn's bustling art world. It was there, alongside fellow artists/collaborators Foxxface, Edapt, Tony Depew, Clint Mario and others that he started to make a name for himself. His stickers, wooden bolt-ups, and graffiti started appearing everywhere. All different shapes and sizes, and all using the same general image: a man with thick eyebrows, a wide nose and often narrow, almost closed eyes. The biggest variation on his imagery being the mouth, which usually conveys a different mood for each character. Sometimes somber, sometimes surprised, and rarely smiling.

His prolificacy has worked wonders. It's gotten his work into NYC's Fountain Art Fair, and various group shows. It's a classic (no pun intended) example of how if you can use image familiarity to create brand awareness. Just keep putting an image (or variation of an image) out there, and if you're persistent, people will start to take notice. Especially if it's well done.

What was your first concert?
My first show was probably Raffi or some kid's shit but I can't really remember...

Last concert/show?
The last concert I went to was Ty Segall at The Bowery Ballroom.

First album you bought?
The first album that I ever owned was Weird Al Yankovic's, "Greatest Hits."
The second was Hermans Hermits self titled record.

Last album you bought?
These days I usually get my music off Spotify and the last playlist I added was 'Run The Jewels 2.' But the last physical record I bought was an Oh Sees LP from a concert last year. I wish I had more money to spend on music.

CB23 / TONY DEPEW COLLABORATION

CB23 / TONY DEPEW COLLABORATION

Was there one album that made a significant impression on you?
The one record that really made an impression on me was Gorillaz, "Demon Days." I only used to listen to punk music in high school (Ramones, Briefs, Johnny Thunders) and during my first year of college a girl persuaded me into smoking a joint with her and we to Demon Days. It had so many dense layers of sound, the complete opposite of punk music, I was sucked in. I went to my local record shop and bought the first two Gorillaz CD's and skipped class for a week.

Who is your musical hero?
Danger Mouse

How important is music to your creative process?
I always like to have some tunes playing while I create. Sometimes the mood of the music can dictate the mood of the faces that I draw.

1. Slow Country- Gorillaz
2. Porno Disaster- The Octopus Project
3. O Katrina- Black Lips
4. The Mall & Misery- The Broken Bells
5. Crushed Bones- WHY?
6. Trouble In Your Mind- Carolina Chocolate Drops
7. I Just Dont Know What To Do With Myself- The White Stripes
8. Skin- Ty Segall
9. Motorlicker- Tobacco
10. Sipping on Some Syrup- Three 6 Mafia
11. Havana Affair- The Ramones
12. Tender- Blur
13. Wet Paste- Two Blushing Pilgrims
14. Symphony 6: Fair Thee Well & the Requiem Mix- Emily Wells
15. The Downer Song- The Shortwave Set
16. Last Living Souls- Gorillaz
17. Modern Art- Black Lips
18. Poor and Weird- The Briefs
19. Find A New Way- Tune-Yards
20. Shake Appeal- Iggy Pop
21. Benzi Box- Danger Doom
22. Sun Lips- Black Moth Super Rainbow
23. Forgot About Dre- Dr. Dre

Check out CB23'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 CB23 on Instagram here.