Tuesday, July 31, 2007

This really nice illustration is from the album cover for Goombay Carnival by the Confidential Club Orchestra, a group consisting of native Nassau musicians and was release in 1956.

The Goombay Festival is a two-day carnival centred around Key West's Bahama Village, giving the local Caribbean community the chance to celebrate its roots with food, drink, music and dance.

Goombay music is similar to Calypso, but its rhythms are based on a fire dance brought to the West Indies by American slaves during the Civil War.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Xavier Cugat - Favorite Rhumbas

''Rumba King'' Xavier Cugat was the first bandleader to front a successful Latin orchestra in the United States. Affectionately known as ''Cugie,'' he was largely responsible for popularizing Latin music among North American audiences, paving the way for such future stars as Desi Arnaz, Perez Prado, and Tito Puente.

I love this artwork, but I haven't been able to track down the name of the illustrator. If anyone knows, please send me an email so I can give proper credit. It might have been drawn by Cugat himself who was also a cartoonist.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Rush - Snakes and Arrows

The cover painting, chosen by lyricist/drummer Neil Peart, is by scholar/artist Harish Johari.

Monday, July 16, 2007

Arctic Monkeys - Favourite Worst Nightmare

“Liverpool designers Juno, who also did the artwork for the first LP, spent a week gutting three unoccupied houses from the estate, before moving a team of spray artists to paint the interiors.” source www.gigwise.com.

Monday, July 9, 2007

The Smashing Pumpkins Team with Shepard Fairey For ‘Zeitgeist” Cover

To capture the mood of our times with the album cover for ZEITGEIST—the forthcoming album by THE SMASHING PUMPKINS—the band turned to acclaimed Obey Giant graphic designer and illustrator Shepard Fairey. After being given the album’s title to work with, Fairey came up with a haunting image: it’s a red, black and white illustration of a drowning Statue of Liberty, positioned in front of the sun that is either setting or rising.

“Like a great artist can do, Shepard had summed up very simply a lot of complex themes,” says the band’s Billy Corgan. “He also used the type font from our very first single, and I asked him about it and he had no idea. He was just on point.”

Says Fairey, whose Andre the Giant street art has been seen around the world and whose credits include creating anti-war posters and the poster art for the feature film Walk The Line:

“I think global warming is an issue that is currently relevant, time sensitive, and a symptom of the shortsightedness of the U.S. As a broader metaphor, the drowning Statue of Liberty, a revered icon of the U.S., symbolizes the eminent demise of many of the ideals upon which the nation was founded. Civil liberties, freedom of speech, privacy, etc. have been decreasing since 9/11. The sun in the image could either be setting or rising and this ambiguity shows that there is still hope to turn things around.”

Due out July 10, ZEITGEIST (Martha’s Music/Reprise) marks the Smashing Pumpkins’ sixth album and first of new material since 2000. It was produced by Billy Corgan and Jimmy Chamberlin, with Roy Thomas Baker and Terry Date working separately on various tracks, and represents the culmination of two years of work. ZEITGEIST features the first single “Tarantula”—due to arrive at radio May 22—and such songs as album opener “Doomsday Clock,” “United States” and “For God And Country.”

Asked why he feels the image captures the feeling of the world at this time, Fairey says: “The U.S. is the dominant global force. When things are going wrong in the U.S. they are probably going wrong around the world. I think this image conveys both the U.S. situation and its larger global implications.”

The illustration derives strength from the usage of the color red. Explains Fairey: “I use red frequently because it is a visually powerful, emotionally potent color. Red gets people’s attention. In this case there is the added possibility that the red liquid could be blood, giving it an even more sinister sense of foreboding. Red helps people to realize immediately that something is wrong and the image is not a soothing postcard.”

Saturday, July 7, 2007

Crowded House - Time On Earth

As he did for the first four Crowded House albums, Nick Seymour, also an artist, created the cover art for Time on Earth. The group's name "Crowded House" appears with jumbled case, some lower and some upper case, appearing as "cRoWdED HOusE" and the album title also in a part jumble with all but the last two letters in upper case, appearing as "TIME ON EARth." The cover also features a blue dragon eating a human. This is to symbolise former member Hester being consumed by depression (symbolized by the dragon being blue) and this brought his time on earth to an early end. The cover art is almost completely composed of newspaper cuttings collaged together--even the image of the man and the dragon are newspaper cuttings which Seymour painted onto. Only the tree on the right, and the title text are not composed of newspaper cuttings. The human figure appears to be grasping at this newspaper-free title text; this may symbolize the figure's desire for freedom from all that a newspaper may represent (politics, consumerism, media manipulation, war: the horrors of modern life). This also implies that a person's "time on earth" should not, ideally, be tainted by such things. This same significance may be applied to the painted, newspaper-free tree, as it was under a tree in a Melbourne park where Paul Hester took his own life. [Source: Wikipedia]

Sunday, July 1, 2007

Heart and Torch: Rick Griffin’s Transcendence

Griffin's poster for the Grateful Dead album "Aoxomoxoa" was created in 1969.

June 24 to September 30, 2007

Heart and Torch: Rick Griffin’s Transcendence, the artist’s first major retrospective and solo museum exhibition, opens on June 24, 2007 at the Laguna Art Museum at Laguna Beach, California. A cult figure that set the iconographic terrain for the 1960s and 1970s counterculture, in his art Griffin expressed idealism and hope along with a darker side that perfectly embodied the contradictions of the era with its mixture of hedonism, politics, and avant-garde expression.

The exhibition, which includes some 140 paintings, drawings, posters, album covers, and artifacts, surveys thirty years of Griffin’s work from the 1960s until his death in 1991. The accompanying 156-page catalogue, published in association with Gingko Press, is the first publication to address Griffin’s impact on the surf, psychedelic rock, and born-again Christian movements.