music

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 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 74: Danny Minnick 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 74, THE FOCUS IS ON ARTIST DANNY MINNICK

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 74, THE FOCUS IS ON ARTIST DANNY MINNICK

Danny Minnick does it all. Not only is he a well-respected artist in the Los Angeles art scene, he is also a professional skateboarder and actor who has appeared in films by everyone from Gus Van Sant to Marcus Raboy and Larry Clark. You can catch him in 2016's The Brits Are Coming, starring Crispin Glover, Uma Thurman, Sofia Vergara, Parker Posey, Tim Roth and others.

His art sometimes resembles the manic, stream-of-consciousness paintings of Jean-Michel Basquiat. Whatever is going on in Danny's mind at that moment ends up splattered on the canvas. Sometimes it's simple, sometimes it's chaotic. He's a man who must create. His work resides in the private collections of Mena Suvari, Nick Cassavetes and Fred Durst, among others.

 

First album you bought?
Winifred Atwell . From a thrift store

Last album you bought?
Velvet Underground - Fully Loaded

First concert?
That I can remember .. NIRVANA AT THE OK HOTEL

Last concert?
Joseph Arthur

Was there one album that made a significant impression on you?
Led Zeppelin Houses of the Holy

Who is your musical hero?
Jimi Hendrix

How important is music to your creative process?
Very important .. It feeds Me.. 

Brian Eno - Baby's on Fire
WInifred Atwell - Poor People of Paris
Jimi Hendrix - Machine Gun
The Velvet Underground - Oh Sweet Nuthin
London Grammar - If You Wait
Bob Dylan - It's All Over Now Baby Blue
Miles Davis - Whispering
The Beatles - Dig a Pony
Rolling Stones - Emotional Rescue
The Animals - Hey Gyp
The Cry - Twist of Faith
Nirvana - Oh, Me
Lana Del Ray - Florida Kilos
Coldplay - Amsterdam
Courtney Barnett - Anonymous Club

Check out Danny'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 Danny's website here.

Background Noise, Episode 68: General Howe by Matt Valerio

I stumbled on artist General Howe strictly via the internet. I'm not sure if it was via Tumblr or Instagram, but I was initially drawn to his animated Disasters of War GIFs. The GIFs depicted war cartoons, mainly of the GI Joe variety, either looped at significant moments in order to relay a message, or digitally altered to tell a different story. (You can see a whole bunch of these amazing pieces of digital work here).

When I first reached out to him to do an episode for this series, I hardly knew much about him aside from these particular works. It wasn't until I did a bit more research that I stumbled on just how much General Howe really does. Turns out, it doesn't exist solely on digital servers and personal computers....he's done a whole slew of installations on the street. Whether it's wheat pastes, or little plastic army men set up in the streets of Brooklyn, he's on a mission to remind people about the casualties of war and the fact that there are still wars going on in this beautiful world of ours.

I decided to dig a little deeper and find out what makes the General tick:

Where are you from, originally?
I grew up in Northern Virginia. A place called Reston.

I'm primarily familiar with your GIF work. How much do you find you manipulate the GIFs? Or are you finding quick snippets from cartoons that have significance, and highlighting them? I guess I'm curious more about that process. Maybe you even draw them completely from scratch! Would love to know more.
The Gifs are mostly borrowed from GI Joe and Rambo cartoons from the 1980's. Some of them are untouched and I just find the perfect moments to loop. Others like the 9/11 specific gifs involve lots of manipulation and collaging of imagery. I'll draw in blood and guts, change colors, or eliminated parts of a figure or background to simplify and make the message more clear. Reacting to the imagery is the root of the process. I'm also reacting to war, history, culture, current events, my own condition. The recent short film I made (Hector Delgado Has PTSD) took the gifs a step further.  I took whole scenes of animation and dialogue and re-edited them to tell a story of war. This process could definitely be pushed further. (Check out Hector Delgado Has PTSD below):

I've read a bit about your Battle of Brooklyn project. Is that still ongoing, or have you wrapped that up?
The Battle of Brooklyn work went on from 2007-2011 and then I left New York for three years. It was primarily a site specific street art project so it made no sense for me to continue it elsewhere. If I hadn't left New York I may not have gotten into all the gif work which has been really exciting. Now that I'm back I'm deciding if i want to continue the B.O.B. or close that chapter. New York has a way of making those decisions for you. To be determined is my official answer.

What other type of work do you do? I'm fascinated now that I've learned that you do so much more than the GIF art.
Man I do almost everything. I studied painting in art school so everything I do is approached as a painter. I just returned from three years of isolation in Wisconsin. I did tons of drawing and big sloppy painting. I also learned how to do the gifs while there. The last two presidential elections i've merged the candidates with the batman mythology. Thats been realized through silk screen, street art, a fake news blog, zine, stickers... In the four years of working on the B.O.B. i did installations, silk screen, lino cut's, some clay pieces, mixed media and a mural.

What's next for you project-wise?
This is the big question for myself right now. I have a 3-d printing idea that I really want to execute. Glitch paintings. The animated Disasters of War still has a lot of potential. Keep learning and pushing new technology. While in Wisco I made big strides in my process and understanding of painting, I don't want to lose that. Hopefully I'll find a way to get a space and keep that going. I might have a show next year and that might force a particular direction to be focused on. I'm definitely at a cross roads right now.

First album you bought?
First album(s) I bought were NIrvana- In Utero and Snoop Dogg - Doggystyle. On cassette! The comic in the Doggystyle album was so clever.

What was the last album you bought?
S.S. Brooklyn by Loyd H. Miller. It's a sing-a-long album for my 2 year old son. It's good, one song has a reference to the Battle of Brooklyn.

First concert?
First concert was Red Hot Chilli Peppers show and Foo Fighters opened for them. My friend had an extra ticket and invited me, I owe him big time for that.

Last concert?
I had a student who played in a school-of-rock kind of band covering classic rock songs. Some of his performances were the last shows I saw.

Was there one album that made a significant impression on you?
Maybe the Nirvana Albums. I used listened to them all the time as a kid. The Unplugged album. As an adult I can never get enough Wu-Tang.

Who is your musical hero?
My friend Pam Reyes is a young artist and musician pursuing a music career. I'm humbled to know and follower her on the journey. She's my musical hero.

How important is music to your creative process?
When I need to grind out a long laborious physical piece I'll have music playing. Shuffling music is perfect for me, the constant contrast of genre's keeps me from getting to comfortable or complacent. For a recent short film I made, I researched and listened to music that was used to torture inmates at Guantanamo and Abu Ghraib prisons. A list of some of those songs is what I chose to present for this Background Noise episode.

The Torture Playlist

1. Eminem - The Real Slim Shady
2. Dope - Take Your Best Shot
3. Bee Gees - Stayin Alive
4. Meow Mix Theme
5. Marilyn Manson - The Beautiful People
6. Queen - We Are The Champions
7. Metallica - Enter Sandman
8. AC/DC - Hell’s Bells
8. Barney - I Love You
9. Bruce Springsteen - Born in the USA
10. Sesame Street Theme Song

Check out General Howe'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 General Howe's website here.

Background Noise, Episode 67: Noah Scalin 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 67, THE FOCUS IS ON ARTIST NOAH SCALIN

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 67, THE FOCUS IS ON ARTIST NOAH SCALIN

*A portion of this blog post was originally featured in an article I wrote on Noah Scalin for RYOT.org. Read the whole article here.

Virginia-based artist Noah Scalin will not allow himself to go a single day without creating something.

This is no exaggeration.

He is a strong proponent of exercising your creativity on a daily basis. He’s written books about it, with names like 365: A Daily Creativity Journal: Make Something Every Day and Change Your Life! and Unstuck: 52 Ways to Get (and Keep) Your Creativity Flowing at Home, at Work & in Your Studio. He founded Another Limited Rebellion in 2001, which helps business and individuals develop their own creative practices to grow and succeed. AND he has his Skull-A-Day project, in which he made a skull out of whatever material he could find for a year, every day. Whether is was drawing one with his fingers using ketchup at the breakfast table, or assembling a large quantity of Q-Tips into the shape of a skull. As long as it was a medium he could manipulate, he would do it.

His newest creation, Dead Media 3, is part of a series he began in 2012, and one plans to continue. The focus of the Dead Media is to use materials that are slowly being phased out of daily life to create something new. The first installment was made using 497 VHS cassettes. The second, 456 books. And now, for Dead Media 3, he brings vinyl LPs into the mix. A site-specific installation at Austin Peay University in Clarksville, TN, Noah used approximately 100 old LPs to create another skull in the series.

A musician himself (check out his band, League of Space Pirates self-described as "the bastard child of Doctor Who and Depeche Mode), Noah was more than happy to send over a playlist and answer a few music-related questions.

1.     First album you bought?
The first album I bought was Synchronicity by The Police at Back Alley Disc (RIP) in Richmond, Virginia in 1983.

2.     Last album you bought?
Late Night Tales by Django Django

3.     First concert?
Nona Hendryx in probably 1982 or so. She was formerly part of the group Labelle, most well known for their song Lady Marmalade. My parents brought me to see her in a live outdoor concert at Shafer Court on VCU campus here in Richmond.

4.     Last concert?
Amanda Fucking Palmer at The National in Richmond, VA

5.     Was there one album that made a significant impression on you?
I grew up listening to my parents Beatles records, so they are an integral part of who I am. It’s hard to pick one, but for its sheer overwhelming range the White Album is probably a good representative of their oeuvre.

6.     Who is your musical hero?
If I can pick a fictional character it would be Buckaroo Banzai. Neurosurgeon, particle physicist, race car driver, rock star and comic book hero – yep, that sounds right to me.
If it has to be a real person, definitely J.G. Thirlwell. He’s got such an amazing range of abilities and he’s always been uncompromising about his creative vision.

7.     How important is music to your creative process?
I listen to music constantly! I honestly find it hard to work in silence – which is something I have to do when writing, but luckily the majority of my time I can have music blasting while I’m making art. When I think about my relationship to music I always picture a series of gears in my brain and the music as a matching set of gears that lock into place and makes the whole thing turn even faster.

Dizzy – Tommy Roe
Soul Makossa – Manu Dibango
You Don’t Love Me (No, No, No) – Dawn Penn
I Got This – DJP and MrT
Fortune Teller – Menace Beach
Don’t Wanna Lose – Ex Hex
Jamais Vu – The History of Apple Pie
Avenger – The Bamboos
Hamstra Sjama – Prins Póló
Autumn – Bear In Heaven
Hail Bop – Django Django
Sheen – Xeno & Oaklander
Firefly – League of Space Pirates (a new track from the forthcoming album from my own band!)
Where Does This Disco? – YACHT
Busy Earnin’ – Jungle
Matin Lunaire – Plaid
Astronaut – Amanda Palmer
Land of Broken Dreams – Weyes Blood

Check out Noah'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 Noah's website here.

Background Noise, Episode 65: Noah Lyon 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 65, THE FOCUS IS ON ARTIST NOAH LYON.

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 65, THE FOCUS IS ON ARTIST NOAH LYON.

There aren’t a whole lot of things that Noah Lyon can’t do. He’s yet another brilliant artist who simply cannot deal with having idle hands. One of those guys who just has to constantly create, create create.

A graduate of NYC’s Cooper Union, Noah’s drawings and paintings often comment on the state of consumerism, pop culture, commercialization and the like. Often using pop art imagery and colorful, cartoonish characters to get his point across. On the flipside, some of his work doesn’t seem to concern itself with having a point. Veering more toward the surreal brain drippings of someone who just has to get this stuff out of his head somehow.

Noah is well known for founding Retard Riot, a network of radical individuals devoted to art, music, and philosophy. Retard Riot produced a popular zine of the same name, as well as radio broadcasts, cassettes, flyers and stickers.

In addition to all of that, he has about a zillion bands (some featured on his mix, below), with names like The Grateful Dead Kennedys, Elderly Youth, Lead Paint Zeppelin, etc. If you’re curious, you can explore that aspect of his output a little more in-depth here.

Naturally, Noah was a no-brainer for participation in this series.

First album you bought?
Beastie Boys - License To Ill in 1986 on cassette. Around the same time I found a tape in a dirty bus station parking lot, it was Foghat – Fool for The City. No cover just the tape but there was a song called Slow Ride on it and the Beastie Boys also had a song called Slow Ride. The tape was stretched & warped and side A was bleeding through to side B and the music would fade in and out consistently like somebody dropped a magnet on it. So it was basically like a weird dub version of a classic rock album. The first used album I bought was “Weird Al” Yankovic’s self titled debut on cassette.

Last album you bought?
I got a bunch of records in the mail this week: G.I.S.M., The Varukers, Broken Bones, Hellkrusher, Wu-Tang Clan’s Enter the 36 Chambers on clear vinyl, the new Lighting Bolt album, an old Smif-N-Wessun 12”. The most exciting thing I got though was the Scharpling & Wurster box set which included a tiny piece of a smashed telephone (the actual telephone that Jon Wurster used on the Rock, Rot or Rule recording). Tomorrow I’m going to either Academy Records or Turntable Lab to pick up the Shogun Assassin soundtrack on Cinewax and the reissue of Amanez “Africa” on Now Again Records.

First concert?
The Ramones. They played all their songs literally twice as fast as normal. That blew me away. They probably played 90 songs. It was crazy.

Last concert?
Parliament-Funkadelic was the last concert I bought a ticket to. Or it might have been Jello Biafra and the Guantanamo School of Medicine, I can’t remember. I see a lot of good free shows, it’s kind of an occupational hazard. There is always some live music happening in New York, on the street, at art shows. I saw Thurston Moore and Ho99o9 at the LA Art Book Fair. I’m hoping to see Mobb Deep and Smif-N-Wessun next week. I just missed a CockSparrer concert I would have like to have gone to that. Oi!

Was there one album that made a significant impression on you?
That Foghat tape that got run over by a bus. Seriously though, there are lot of albums that blew me away the first time I heard them and still do twenty years later or whatever, off the top of my head… The Slits – Cut, Beastie Boys - Paul’s Boutique, Public Enemy - It Takes A Nation of Millions, Black Sabbath - Master of Reality, Dead Kennedys - Give Me Convenience or Give Me Death, The Crucifucks’ first record, The Feederz – Ever Feel Like Killing Your Boss?, Crass – Feeding of The 5000, all the Sockeye 7” EPs, Wu-Tang Clan - Enter the 36 Chambers (and all the solo records that lead up to Wu-Tang Forever), Funkadelic – Maggot Brain, Junjo presents Aces International 1982 live dancehall session, Boogie Down Productions – Criminal Minded, Lee Scratch Perry – The Upsetter Collection (Upsetter and Friends), Black Moon – Enta Da Stage, The Anthology of American Folk Music. Sorry I could go on forever. Any one of those albums will lead you on a discovery path to a wellspring of amazing sounds. Actually some of them might just make you want to take an axe to your stereo.

Who is your musical hero?
Thomas Edison

How important is music to your creative process?
Part of my art practice is deconstructing music. I play records while I’m painting and while I wait for the paint to dry I play them backwards looking for secret messages to put in the paintings.

I actually produce music too. I have eighteen different “bands” all of which are long overdue for an album release. I’m not into the whole crowd-funding thing, some of the music is actually made to disperse crowds.

Right now I’m going through a John Cage - 4'33 period. My new album Doctor Ninja “I Draw Blood” comes out April 20. It’s a twenty minute long quadruple album. It comes preinstalled on everybody’s phone. You don’t even have to download it. It’s just there. All you have to do is turn your phone off for twenty minutes. There’s also going be to a limited edition mentally numbered 0 gram invisible vinyl release on Record Store Day.

1. The Grateful Dead Kennedys - The United States of Hardcore
2. Sockeye - Cut off Your Arm
3. Nausea - Cybergod
4. Subhumans - Us Fish Must Swim Together
5. Crass - Big A Little A
6. Smif-N-Wesson - Sound Bwoy Bureill 
7. Parliament - Children of Productions
8. Hellsongs - Run To the Hills
9. Funkadelic - Biological Speculation
10. Amanaz - Easy Street
11. Black Moon - I Got Cha Opin
12. Sean Price - Straight Music
13. The Cenobites - Mommy
14. Dave McCarn - Cotton Mill Colic
15. Ill Bill - Exploding Octopus
16. Black Sabbath - Children of the Grave
17. Goat - Diarabi 
18. El-P - Tougher Colder Killer (feat. Killer Mike and Despot)
19. Guilty Simpson - The American Dream
20. Dr. Alimantado - Best Dressed Chicken In Town

Check out Noah'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 Noah's website here.