pop culture

Background Noise, Episode 82: Bleep 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 82, THE FOCUS IS ON BLEEP

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 82, THE FOCUS IS ON BLEEP

Bleep loves both food and pop culture. He loves them so much that they get absorbed right into his art. Literally. Not only has he painted sidewalks with mustard, but he's led some pretty interesting experiments in the shelf-life of McDonald's burgers. Recently, he even had a show at Stone Malone Gallery in Los Angeles, fittingly titled "Eat."

Whether he's drawing demented Mickey Mouse figures , interpreting album covers from the Doors, or just drawing the wickedly imaginative images his brain 'splodes onto the canvas, he's always putting his own signature style forward. 

What was your first concert?
Imma say local bands cuz the major label acts were too embarrassing to name.

Last concert/show?
Squarepusher at the Regent Theatre

First album you bought?
Usher "My Way" the single with 3 different versions on it

Last album you bought?
No idea

Was there one record that made a significant impression on you?
Squarepusher's Ultravisitor completely destroyed the way in which i thought about orchestrated sound, it will probably be the greatest musical moment of my life.

Who is your musical hero?
Les Claypool

How important is music to your creative process?
Being a classically trained musician, I would say music is all encompassing. I hate to parrot great quotes by people I cant remember but "music is how you decorate time, art is how you decorate space."

Check out Bleep'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 Bleep's Instagram 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 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.

Background Noise, Episode 50: Ron English 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 50, THE FOCUS IS ON ARTIST RON ENGLISH

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 50, THE FOCUS IS ON ARTIST RON ENGLISH

PHOTO BY MATT VALERIO

PHOTO BY MATT VALERIO

Chances are, you’re already familiar with Ron English’s art, even if you may not have known it. The extremely prolific artist, born in Dallas, TX and now residing on the outskirts of New York City, has infiltrated all sorts of artistic mediums throughout the past few decades. If you saw Morgan Spurlock's award-winning 2004 documentary Super Size Me, you’ve most likely seen Ron's MC Supersized character, an obese Ronald McDonald stuffed to the brim on his own brand of food. Or maybe you’ve seen his Abraham Obama, a visual mash up of our 16th president and Barack Obama. That iconic Abraham Obama image was originally painted as an oil painting, and then images of the oil painting were turned into limited edition prints, and sold to raise money for the Obama 2008 campaign.

English is a respected street artist, fine artist, toy maker and musician. He did an album with Daniel Johnston, collaborated on a toy with Pearl Jam, and has done album art for artists like Slash and Chris Brown.

He's a legend in his own time, and to say I'm honored to have him commemorate the landmark 50th Background Noise episode would be an understatement.

What was your first concert?

Three Dog Night. Probably not the hippest first concert. My parents brought me and my best friend. They held their hands over their ears during the entire show. But there you go. You only get one first concert. When my daughter came of age I tried to make sure her first show was hipper than mine so I brought her to see Mindless Self Indulgence. Definitely hipper than TDN, and since LinZ the bass player was my sometime assistant, we got to go backstage and meet the band. LinZ took my daughter Zephyr to the merch booth to get her some free stuff. The obsessed fans clawed at LinZ as we pushed our way through the crowd, some girls even shoved their tits at LinZ to get them signed. A lot edgier than the Three Dog Night experience. Later when my son Mars came of age I got him into a Linkin Park show where we had backstage passes and special seats on the side of the stage. Linkin Park was his favorite band so it was quite a coup.

Last concert/show?

The last concert I saw was The Dandy Warhols in Seattle. I have been missing them by one or two days in various cities for years so finally we found ourselves in the same town on the same night. I brought Mel, my partner in the Popaganda clothing line, who only likes Hip Hop. He agreed to come along if I agreed that we would leave after two songs. He ended up staying for the whole show. He was very impressed. These days we mostly see shows now at the Town Crier here in Beacon. Phil the owner is a good friend of mine so he always lets me know when something good is going on. Tonight it is an Elvis impersonator. I once had the chance to see the real Elvis but I passed. Thought he was for old folks. Three Dog Night, now that was a band I was all in for. Oh well.

photo by  s. butterfly

First album you bought?

Black Sabbath Vol. 4. Before that I only bought singles. Albums seemed stupid, I mean they release all the good songs on singles right? My cousin Robin disproved this theory by playing The Doors Strange Days for me.

Last album you bought?

I don’t remember. Does downloading count? In that case the last two full ”albums” were Dandy Warhol This Machine and Pearl Jam’s Lightning Bolt. These days I mostly download individual songs. Full circle.

Who is your musical hero?

Wow, there are so many. I guess if I had to pick one all time musical hero it would be John Lennon. Most people just think what they’re supposed to think and create what they think they are supposed to create and if it’s controversial it’s inside the bounds of accepted faux controversy. It’s scary to really go out on a limb with a little truth and honesty. Usually doesn’t turn out well.

photo by matt valerio

photo by matt valerio

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

Probably more live performances. I remember seeing The Polyphonic Spree and thinking afterwards, “I just can’t be the same person anymore. I have to step up my game.”

How important is music to your creative process?

People are usually surprised that I don’t listen to music when I paint. It messes with my concentration. I am involved with music personally. Check out my band The Electric Illuminati on iTunes. I have also written songs with other artists including Wammo, Sara Hickman, Daniel Johnston, Mojo Nixon, The Sutcliffes to name a few. Every now and then I get to do an album cover. The last two were for SLASH and Chris Brown.

Track list:

We Still Hate You Yoko, by the Sutcliffes
Signs by the Electric Illuminati
Mr E’s Beautiful Blues, by the Eels
Lights Out by Mindless Self Indulgence
Disney is the Enemy by Mojo Nixon
The Little Things You Give Away by Linkin Park
Nth Degree by Morningwood
Enjoy Yourself by the Dandy Warhols
True love Will Find You in the End by Daniel Johnston
Turquoise House by Jim White
Pop God by Illness
Democracy by Leonard Cohen
Your Hands (Together) by the New Pornographers

Check out Ron'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 Ron's website at popaganda.com

Background Noise, Episode 27: Stikki Peaches 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 27, the focus is on Stikki Peaches

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 27, the focus is on Stikki Peaches

Stikki Peaches is a street artist out of Montreal. His work is often pop culture-based, using well-known imagery that we all know and love.  One of his best known characters, known as "Bat Bond", blends the Caped Crusader's head with James Bond's body, with some spiked shoulder pads and a gun with a flower in it for good measure. This piece is usually accompanied by a question that Stikki asks in frequently in his pieces: "What if art ruled the world?"

You'll find that he also has a penchant for Star Wars. Darth Vader's helmet, and the Stormtrooper helmet have become iconic images in their own right, but Stikki takes them another step further, juxtaposing them onto men in suits, usually with some form of bright pants on.

His work is eye-catching from afar, but he adds yet another layer to his work to make it that much more interesting. He'll frequently fill in the faces of his pieces with hand-written words and drawings, sometimes looking like facial tattoos that might look like a bunch of scribbles until you get closer and see words like "hope" , skulls and crossbones, diamonds, "troop life" and more. Or for some extra color in the pants, he'll paste in some colorful comic book pages, and sometimes lays out stickers given to him by his friends in the street art scene to create hair or other features on his work.

Stikki has risen fast in the Montreal street art scene, and shows no signs of slowing down. He'll always get his stuff up when he visits NY as well, and people are taking notice.

Check out more of his work here, as well as his Tumblr, and buy some of his art via the great folks at Station 16.

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What was your first concert? 
U2

Last concert/show?
Jay Z, Holy Grail 

First album, tape or cd you bought?
Thriller vinyl (Still have it!) 

Last album you bought?
Kissland (The Weeknd) 

Was there any album that made a significant impression on you?
Kiss (Psycho Circus) I was crowd surfing and unexpectedly ended up onstage. 

How important do you think music is to your creative process?
I couldn't imagine working with no music either in the background or plugged in my ear. It helps me get lost in my work, no other distractions. It’s like an escape. The music comes on, the creative juices start flowing and before you know it, you've created magic, all because of those good vibes running through your veins :)

Episode 27 track list:
Bonobo - First Fires
Blackroc - What You Do To Me
The Weeknd - Wanderlust
Bob Marley - Three Little Birds
Radiohead - Creep
The Bad Plus - Sing For A Silver Dollar
Nirvana - Come As You Are
The Roots - The Seed 2.0
The Killers - This River Is Wild
Frank Sinatra - You Make Me Feel So Young
Arctic Monkeys - Fluorescent Adolescent
Oasis - Hello

Check out Stikki'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.

COMING NEXT WEEK............HOW + NOSM

Background Noise, Episode 22: Eric Yahnker 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 22, the focus is California artist    Eric Yahnker .

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 22, the focus is California artist Eric Yahnker.

California-based artist Eric Yahnker has a knack for creating absurd, yet humorous imagery out of the most basic and unpredictable subject matter. A lot of his work has that "damn, I wish I thought of that" feel to it. For example, his "Star of David Lee Roth" piece, featuring a blue triangle and one of Eric's signature colored pencil and graphite drawings depicting David Lee Roth making up the rest of the Star of David. Some pieces from his brand new "Sticks and Drones" exhibit at Paradise Row in London show that Eric is on top of his current events. He has a detailed, hand-drawn portrait of Vladimir Putin with a blue Crimea-shaped tear dripping from his eye with the title "Crimea River". Or his "Wrecking Ball" piece, which depicts Barack Obama looking out the window of the Oval Office, watching Miley Cyrus swinging on a wrecking ball. It's all simple, yet amazing. I could look at his work for days.

His sense of humor comes as no surprise, considering his past experience in the comedy world. He worked on the storyboard for South Park: Bigger, Longer, Uncut, and drew and directed a series of animated bonus features for a few seasons of Seinfeld DVDs called "Seinimation", some of which can be found on YouTube.

I was absolutely fascinated to see what songs Eric would choose, and he came through with an impressive mix of smooth 60s/70s R&B. Click through the gallery below for an additional glimpse at some of his work, read the brief Q+A below, followed by Eric's mix.

What was your first concert?
The first concert I remember hitting without an adult chaperone was Lenny Kravitz feat. Slash...must've been circa 1990.


Last concert/show?
I see my buds play small local venues just about every week, but the last major show I went to was either Sade @ Staples Center or Men of Soul: feat. Jeffrey Osborne, Freddie Jackson, & Peabo Bryson @ The Hollywood Bowl.


First album, tape or cd you bought?
My first 45RPM was Stevie Wonder's "I Just Called To Say I Love You."  My first cassette was Paul McCartney's "Pipes of Peace," because it had "Say, Say, Say" on it.  My first CD was The Beatles "Rubber Soul."


Last album you bought?
DJ Rogers, "It's Good To Be Alive"


Was there any album that made a significant impression on you?
There were several albums throughout my formative years that blew my young mind.  During some particularly sensitive periods, my parents assumed I was gay:
Beastie Boys, "License To Ill"
Guns n' Roses, "Appetite For Destruction" 
George Michael, "Listen Without Prejudice"
Fiona Apple, "Tidal"
Jeff Buckley, "Grace"
Marvin Gaye, "Here, My Dear"
Maxwell, "Urban Hang Suite"


Who is your musical hero?
Quincy Jones + Michael Jackson, together.


How important do you think music is to your creative process?
Music is pretty necessary to help me zone out while I draw, but since I can't focus on two things at once, I usually have to turn it off when brainstorming or beating off.

Check out Eric's website, stream his mix below, download it here, or subscribe to the Background Noise podcast on iTunes. And don't forget to like Background Noise on Facebook for updates on future episodes.


Background Noise, Episode 20: Wizard Skull by Matt Bomarr

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 20, the focus is on Brooklyn's  Wizard Skull .

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 20, the focus is on Brooklyn's Wizard Skull.

There's no concept or juxtaposition of two pop culture icons that is too weird for Brooklyn-based artist Wizard Skull. Not only does the man also known as Alex Duke have one of the most epic beards in Brooklyn, he has an incredible knack for making you laugh and feel uncomfortable with his drawings.

Some of these concepts include: Kanye West as a duck, Rick Ross as Robocop, Slimer and the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man as muscle men, rappers holding their cats (the subject of his handmade "Pussy" zine), or even 2Pac and Biggie in a shirtless embrace (for his "Sex Daze" trading card series for MIshka). Not only have these images been wheatpasted all over the city, shown in galleries, or sold as prints, they've also shown up on a series of skateboards he designed for Death Skateboards. He's quite prolific, and always up on his current events.

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He was yet another one of the great artists who contributed to the recent Surplus Candy show, one of the pieces, pasted to the inside of a toilet seat, featured Charlie Brown with a squiggly penis to match his squiggly shirt. And most recently, he and our mutual friend Killer Acid organized Zine Friends, a zine fair that took place at Brooklyn's Cotton Candy Machine.

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I feel like I can't even keep up with the number of zines that he produces. If I could afford it, I'd buy them all. If you think YOU can keep up, you should keep an eye on his online shop, or follow him on Instagram.

What was your first concert?

My first concert was Conor Oberst and The Mystic Valley Band. Other than that, I never had much interest in going to see bands live, but I went to a lot of local band shows with friends just for something to do.
 
What was the last concert you went to?

The last concert I went to was at Bowery Ballroom. I don't know the name of the band. I only went because friends wanted to.

Transient

What was the first album you bought?

I forget what the first music I bought was, but it was probably something I wouldn't be interested in listening to now.

What was the last album you bought?

The last album I bought was Devendra Banhart's Mala. It was alright.

Is there one album that made a significant impression on you?

The album that made a significant impression on me would be Wu Tang's new album. I haven't heard it and have little interest in hearing it,but they are releasing only one copy, which significantly impresses me.

Who is your musical hero?

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There's no way someone could be my hero for playing music. I don't know anything about the people who make the music I like, I just enjoy their music. Aren't hero's supposed to do something heroic? I guess I'd pick the people who sang the "We are the world" song, I forget what that was for, but I think it was a benefit or to bring awareness to something. So I guess that's heroic..

How important is music to your creative process?

Music is important to my creative process because I draw a lot in coffee shops and there are always really annoying conversations happening near me, so if there is music on, it helps drown out the sound of those conversations, and keeps them from distracting me.


Check out Wizard Skull's mix below, download it here, or subscribe to the Background Noise podcast on iTunes.

Be sure to check out Wizard Skull on Facebook, and don't forget to like Background Noise on Facebook as well, for updates on future episodes.