Tag Archives: ala muerte

Screen printed posters!

thought I’d better get a couple pictures of these up. This first one was done for the ala muerte show on april fools day, which was awesome. I managed to sell a couple of prints and swap a few for various albums and other things on the night.

This next one was a bit trickier, and it took a couple of goes to get the exposure right for the line work. The print outs I had weren’t good enough so I just drew over all the linework on the positive with a sharpie, which worked brilliantly, although it meant the lines were a little thicker than I wanted them to be. I started out printing a yellow-ish skin colour which covers the legs and snakes, then mixed the blue with more medium than usual so it was more transparent, and printed that over the background and snakes. This means the snakes come out a greenish blue colour where the blue ink has semi-covered the yellow. I started out printing the linework in black, but because the lines were slightly thicker than intended they were a bit overpowering, so I mixed it down to a softer slate grey, which works well with the blue also I think.

I apologise for the slightly poor images, it’s hard to capture colours of course, but you get a good idea. Unfortunately, although the night was amazing in musical terms, it was a Sunday and there weren’t many people there, so I only got to sell a couple of posters, but I did also manage to swap one with Bill Horist for his album Covelant Lodge, which is a beautiful collaborative chamber piece with some pretty fancy finger pickin’.

To do both these prints I’ve been going to Hot Bed Press, an open-access print studio in Salford. It’s a really friendly place and they’ve got equipment for almost any kind of printmaking, and it costs £1.50 an hour (excl. materials) which isn’t too bad.I’m really excited to start printing the wolves in the throne room posters; I think tickets are selling fast and it looks like it’s gonna be quite a night.

I’ve got a couple of the ala muerte ones left and about 8 of the master musicians ones, so I’ll be putting them up in my shop on my website soon for dirt cheap! If you’re interested, they’re printed on 300gsm Snowdon cartridge paper, and measure, at a guess, about 80 x 30cm.

Currently listening to: Bill Horist – Covalent Lodge (North Pole Records)

Upcoming Fat Out Show Flyers/Posters

I’ve recently been designing some flyers for my good friends Emma and Vez, otherwise known as promoters Fat Out Til You Pass Out, and there’s some sweet gigs coming up. I’m going to make some prints of these designs, probably using a mixture of lino cut and screenprinting, which will be available to own in exchange for cash if you manage to get to the gigs.

The designs are obviously suppossed to compliment the sort of music being played and the image relates in some way to the headline acts. Emma said she didn’t want any crazy psychedelic designs where the text is incorporated into the image, and I know she definitely doesn’t want anything that’s really kooky or deliberately odd.

One of the bigger shows coming up is the Master Musicians of Bukkake, who are an insane collection of musicians based in Seattle. The band includes members of some truly legendary bands, most notably Earth and Sun City Girls. They whip up shamanic droning mantras that seek to genuinely synthesise influences from west and east, combining dustbowl folk instrumentation, noise/drone elements, ritualistic percussion and obscure chants.

Although some see this sort of music as westerners dabbling in a bit of eastern exotica, I think when done well it can be seen within a more interesting tradition of experimentation. They seem very influenced by Gamelan, a form of music that originated in Indonesia and has proved inspirational to many of the 20th century’s most significant musical minds, including Cage, Bartók, Reich, Boulez…..King Crimson and so on. I’m really excited for this show; the music’s gonna be amazing and it’s Fat Out’s first gig at Islington Mill, which is always a great place to see bands, and shall hopefully be host to a good crowd on the night.

Here’s the flyer:

The illustration was done as a pencil drawing which I scanned in and finished up on the trusty GIMP.  The image depicts some kind of transcendental experience, where one’s ascension to freedom is not necessarily seen as contradictory to one’s rootedness in physical existence, symbolised by the snakes (which crawl on the earth) and the plant (which grows from within it). Obviously the image is about the false distinction between man and nature:  if you see them as separate, the image will probably have negative connotations, but if you see them all as one entity, such worries tend to disappear.

The next show was initially going to have The Death of Her Money headlining, so I prepared this idea, which relates to the band’s name:

This is about the decline of empire in the post WWII period, specifically relating to when hundreds of Royal Navy ships were scuttled or sold to other countries due to economic hardship and our navy for the first time since the 18th century gave up it’s position of global dominance. The moon is waning, again emphasising ‘the death of her money’.

The gig now has a new headliner in the shape of Ala Muerte, and thus, a new image (click on it for fullsize):

Muerte means death, and the phrase ala muerte kinda makes me think of ‘a la carte’, so this is literally just a meeting between death and food. This is a deer skull that lives in our garden,  which I set up a while ago with some fruit to do a time-lapse series of photographs.

I think animal skulls are always interesting to look at, and I think its funny that when you strip the head down to its bare functionality it always seems hideous or scary, as if the things that people find appealing or cute or attractive about animals and each other is merely surface; skin, eyes, hair, fur, clothes. Everyone likes to think that metaphorically it’s what inside that counts etc etc, and yet the giblets and meat and bones that fill us are usually a source of disgust rather than celebration. It’s also interesting to ask carnivores whether they would eat human meat, and in their reactions you can see flash past every superstitious justification to not do so, based solely on a distinction between ‘us’ and ‘them’. When you put an animal skull on a platter is ceases to represent pain or death, but rather food, feasting and enjoyment…. you just wonder how many people would enjoy the feast with human skulls scattered around. When Peter Greenaway’s 1989 classic The Cook, The Thief, His Wife and Her Lover was released, there was outrage at the film’s ending and it was subsequently released with an X rating or not released at all. As you may know the film ends with The Thief being forced to tuck into the cooked corpse of the Lover, which is rolled out ceremonially like a hog roast. This is  a perfectly choreographed and powerful scene which serves huge allegorical purpose within the film, and actually, I don’t even find it distasteful at all and don’t see why it should be so shocking to people. It seems to me that those who refuse to engage with imagery or content about supposedly shocking or distasteful topics like death or sex are really just refusing to engage with life.

Anyway, I’ll be turning these into prints which will hopefully find their way up here soon.

Currently listing to: Master Musicians of Bukkake – The Visible Sign of the Invisible Order (DOWNLOAD)