mural art

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 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 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 49: Gaia 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 49, THE FOCUS IS ON GAIA (photo via  gammablog.com )

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 49, THE FOCUS IS ON GAIA (photo via gammablog.com)

PHOTO BY SCOTT LYNCH

PHOTO BY SCOTT LYNCH

Four Generations of Arabbers, Baltimore, MD 2013

Four Generations of Arabbers, Baltimore, MD 2013

I saw Gaia in action once. Funny thing was, although I was very impressed by his work in progress, I wasn't aware that it was him at the time. I was walking south on 1st Ave in Manhattan's East Village, and saw someone painting a beautiful mural of two bulls bashing heads on the security gate of the Empellon Cocina restaurant. I made a mental note to go back at some point a few days later and see who it was. Much to my surprise, it was Gaia. A few weeks later, I found myself at that very restaurant with my wife and a friend, and noticed that not only did Gaia do the facade, he also had painted the walls behind the bar. 

Gaia is a very busy man, with seemingly an endless amount of energy (I had a lot of energy in my late 20s as well). Technically, although he grew up in New York's Upper East Side, he calls Baltimore home, but from the sound of it, he rarely spends much time there. He's constantly being called to places all around the world to do his murals, which have become a hot commodity these days. He has murals in Cape Town, South Africa, has done murals at Art Basel, had a solo show at NYC's Jonathan Levine Gallery, and even curated Open Walls Baltimore, a mural festival featuring work from contemporaries such as Maya Hayuk, Swoon, Chris Stain, OverUnder and others. To be honest, I'm surprised he has time to sleep. 

The work itself often depicts animal imagery, which comes from his fascination with bringing nature to urban landscapes. This animal imagery sometimes depicts animals with human hands and torsos, resulting in a very interesting juxtaposition. He tends to lean toward social and political messages as well, incorporating portraits of influential, and sometimes controversial urban developers. 

He was recently asked by Atlanta's Center for Civil and Human Rights to complete a mural for its Martin Luther King Jr gallery and temporary exhibition space. He impressed them with a mural based on the Twitter #iftheygunnedmedown phenomenon. Read more about that here.

It seems as though the more murals he does, the more work he gets. The word of mouth just doesn't stop, and I don't think Gaia will ever stop either.

What was your first concert?
I dont like to go to big concerts, especially not festivals. Most memorable concert was Philip Glass performed by Bruce Levingston

Last concert?
I went to a show last night in Baltimore which has one of the best small venue/diy space scenes in the country. Saw a member of Smoke Bellow play an electronic set

First album you bought?
Mase - Harlem World

Last album you bought?
Last album I bought was Roomful of Teeth by Roomful of Teeth

Was there one album that made a significant impression on you?
The Planets Suite by Gustav Holst

Who is your musical hero?
Philip Glass

How important is music to your creative process?
As a consumer of music, and not having any musical experience since orchestra practice in high school, I am blessed to be able to enjoy the boundless nature of music without being privy to criticism. Because painting is such a contemplative, labor intensive process, I prefer repetitive music of all sorts in order to help pass the time. 


Sita Ram - Alice Coltrane
Victim of a Drive By - Triple Six Mafia
Prashanti - Ravi Shankar
RIP Kevin Miller - Isaiah Rashad
A Musical Portrait of Chuck Close - Bruce Levingston
Stainless Staining Lisa Moore 
Medicine Man Rip Ho - Tommy Wright III
Klepsydra - Kate Moore
Courante - Roomful of Teeth 
Busta ass Niggas - Lady Bee
Hai Na - Art Blakey
Ave Maris... virgo serena, Pt. 1 - Josquin
Ave Maris... virgo serena, Pt. 2 - Josquin
Ave Maris... virgo serena, Pt. 3 - Josquin
Ave Maris... virgo serena, Pt. 4 - Josquin
Ave Maris... virgo serena, Pt. 5 - Josquin
Ave Maris... virgo serena, Pt. 6 - Josquin
Ave Maris... virgo serena, Pt. 7 - Josquin
Workers Comp - Mos Def

Check out Gaia'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 Gaia's website at gaiastreetart.com