Friday, January 29, 2010
Thursday, January 28, 2010
MP3: Vetiver - Everyday
Wednesday, January 27, 2010
MP3: Tiesto ft. Tegan & Sara - Feel It In My Bones
Monday, January 25, 2010
MP3: Ted Leo - Joey
Friday, January 22, 2010
MP3: She & Him - In The Sun
Wednesday, January 20, 2010
The Camera Obscura will head back to the DFWd area in April as they play Hailey's in Denton on 4/10. If you can't make it, enjoy this big of video from their concert in Williamsburg in November.
Although Tracyanne Campbell looks like she bored/sad most of the time she's on stage I can't help but crush on her... she's cute as a button.
Tuesday, January 19, 2010
However, it's home to septet Seabear, whose chamber pop style puts them in the same class as The Clientele, Camera Obscura and Belle and Sebastian. It's not just their style that puts them in league with these genre heavyweights, but their talent as well.
Their album We Built A Fire will be out in March.
MP3: Seabear - Lion Face Boy
Monday, January 11, 2010
Bona Fide Darling: To start off with... who are your favorite bands, what do you listen to most?
Dirk Fowler: Always start with the hardest question, right? I’m pretty old school really. I listen to a lot of Ramones, The Clash, stuff like that. I really like very old country and bluegrass too, Roy Acuff, Bill Monroe, Stanley Bros., etc. Don’t get me wrong though, I listen to tons of new stuff too. Today, I am listening to a band called Delta Spirit.
BFD: You started off as a musician, then went into advertising, then to teach at Texas Tech... kind of an odd route to where you are now. What do you think you learned along the way that you use in gig poster design?
DF: Well, though I played a little music in my time, I would never really consider myself a “musician”. I think my years in advertising have made me appreciate making design like concert posters a lot more. It was very stressful, I worked tons and I wasn’t always excited about the projects I had to work on. I’m also much more mellow about things now. Spending a few years in advertising will help you see what is really important in life. Teaching has been great. I enjoy being around the students great deal. It is very satisfying to see them graduate and become successful designers and know you played at least a little role in that.
BFD: Has anyone ever told you that you resemble Mike Mills from REM? I didn't just bring up something bad did I?
DF: I suppose there are worse people you could have compared me to, but no, you are the first to tell me that.
BFD: How did you get your start in gig poster design?
DF: Like most, I started doing flyers for local bands and venues. I made a trip to Nashville in the late 90s to visit Hatch Show Print. After that, I was hooked on letterpress and within a few months, I had a press and started making prints.
BFD: You use a letterpress for you work, how similar is it to working with screen printing?
DF: Really, the only similarity is that you are printing by hand and not through digital means. In screen printing, you push ink through a mesh and onto the paper. Letterpress is printing from a raised surface. The ink is applied to the raised plate and the paper is pressed against it, transferring the image.
BFD: What is your design process like? Do you sketch, then clean it up on a computer an press it out?
DF: Yes, that is basically what I do. I usually make sketches that are scanned and then redrawn/cleaned up on the computer. I print out paper templates that I use to hand cut the printing plates. I am not anti-computer, I use it all the time, I just don’t get much enjoyment form sitting in front of it. I use it mostly like it were a drawing table. I use it to assemble and rearrange.
BFD: Who was the first big name band you worked with?
DF: Well, I had done a few bigger names like Modest Mouse and The Decemberists (before they were known) through the venue, but the first really big band to hire me directly was probably Wilco. I’ve done quite a bit for them over the years.
BFD: How long did it take before they started coming to you?
DF: I was pretty lucky. Not long really, only a couple of years.
BFD: Are you surprised by the rise in gig poster popularity? What do you attribute it to?
DF: I’m really amazed at how big it has gotten. It seems like everyone is doing it now. I think it is just that music people really like having a visual to connect with their favorite band or to commemorate a great show they went to. It also seems that over the past few years, their is a section of people who really appreciate things that are made by hand. Look at the popularity of screen printing in general now and websites like Etsy, etc.
BFD: Fonts are really important in a design, maybe as much as the graphic. How do you decide on what font to use?
DF: I used to be really snobby about type, but being a letterpress printer has gotten me over that quite a bit. I really depend on just a few fonts and it happens to be what cases I own in metal and wood. I decide now based more on what size I need than what the type looks like or what it is named. That being said, I do quite a bit of hand lettering mostly based on wacky old display type. I have never really been able to explain how to pick the right type for anything, it just seems to work out for me most of the time. I will say that for me, it is usually a matter of choosing or creating something that compliments rather than competes with the image.
BFD: Do you have a favorite piece that you have done? What about one you wish you would have done differently?
DF: I suppose my Loretta Lynn print is still my favorite. In some ways, it sort of set a standard for what people expect my posters to look like, which is sometimes difficult. Not sure I can single out one I wish would have done differently. Probably some of my earlier posters, but I really try not to look back and regret, instead just move on to the next one. They are all building blocks. One day I will make a really good poster.
BFD: How do you deal with a client that wants a change to a piece that you think would be detrimental to the design?
DF: Like I said earlier, I think I have mellowed out quite a bit over the years. One thing I try to do now is actually listen to the client and not just brush off what they have to say. I think a lot of the time designers tend to think we are the only ones with good ideas. Most of the time the suggestions can be worked with. Sometimes a challenge from the client can actually make your work better. I’ve had situations where a suggestion was made that I just knew was wrong, and then I tried it and I’ll be damned if it wasn’t a good idea after all. I would probably do it and try to explain to them why it doesn’t work. If it is a case where we just are not able to see eye to eye, I might suggest another designer they can work with. This hasn’t happened too many times in my career, but I think it is important for both parties to be happy. Life is too short to hate what you are doing. There will always be another project and another client.
BFD: Do you have any horror stories about horrible "nameless" clients?
DF: How much time do I have? No, actually I have had mostly good experiences. Most of the things I thought were horrible at the time, looking back were pretty much nothing. One of my favorite times was years ago I had worked all night on some comps for an ad campaign. I sent it to the client and later that afternoon she faxed it back to our office. Her only feedback was the word YUK! (yes, spelled that way), written in sharpie across the ads. Do I miss advertising? No.
I haven’t had the best luck designing CD covers either. On at least two different occasions, I have designed an entire jewel case package and had it ready to go to the printer, only to be told “We’ve changed our mind. Our drummer is a pretty good drawer and we are going to let him do the art.” What are you going to do?
BFD: Any words of wisdom you can give to aspiring graphic designers?
DF: You just have to work really hard. It could take years to get to a point where you are getting the kind of work you really want. You simply have to hang in there. Wading through the muck will build up huge muscles in your legs and eventually you can use those huge leg muscles to jump over everyone. Oh, and also wear comfortable shoes.
BFD: Finally, do you have an opinion on what happened with Mike Leach? What do you think the Red Raiders chances are of being good next year?
DF: I’m not a huge football fan, but it was definitely big news here in Lubbock. My opinion is that anytime someone thinks they are too big and powerful to have to play by any rules, bad things usually happen. This is what happened on both sides of the fence as far as I can tell. I suspect that with a high profile guy like Tuberville, they will be OK. The more people there are at the stadium, the easier it is for me to eat at a restaurant on game day.
MP3: Van She - (Don't Fear) The Reaper
Friday, January 8, 2010
MP3: JJ - Ecstasy
MP3: Holy Ghost - Side A
MP3: Holy Ghost - Side B
Thursday, January 7, 2010
Bona Fide Darling: Who are your influences?
Emma Lucia: Adult, Gary Numan, You Love Her Cause She's Dead, Ladyhawke, Caribou, Big Black, Ministry, Aphex Twin
BFD: How did you guys get together?
EL: Mark (Reveley) and I have been making music together for about 15 years or something, the last 5 as Jed and Lucia [jedandlucia.com]. We knew Mike aka Mike Genius years ago in LA and got back in touch with him through Purple Crush (mutual friends) out in Brooklyn...Mike and Mark then started WZRDZ which dovetailed with me starting to write songs for beats. The three of us started Kite in the Air last year. Now Mike lives in Berlin and we're working on our third ep.
BFD: There seem to be a lot of really good indie bands coming out of San Francisco, Kite In The Air, Minipop, Collider and Photons. Is there something in the water out there that isn't in other towns?
EL: THC? We didn't know those groups but digging them now. I've been listening to the Collider song "Translator" over and over like 10 times right now, its so good.
BFD: What is the music scene like in San Francisco?
EL: Its awesome. Its kinda new to Mark and I cause we moved up from LA relatively recently and don't go out a whole lot, but we dig it. The venues are really nice. Its fractured in a cool way. There are distinct scenes from punk to metal to electronic to circus wackiness, etc. and they all coexist nicely. San Francisco kinda marches to its own drummer. Some groups we're fans of from up here - Sleepytime Guerilla Museum, 40 Thieves, Faun Fables, Girls, Liars, Beats Antique, Gamelan X, The Dodos, The Fucking Champs, Earthless, High on Fire the Daly City Records and Six Degrees stables.
BFD: Do you guys collaborate with other bands? That's kinda how KITA got together, right?
EL: Not yet but that would be great, we'd love to have tracks remixed and should reach out to some folks soon. In the meantime if anyone reading this wants to remix one of our tracks hit us up at kiteintheairmusic (at) gmail.com.
BFD: Have you gotten the point where music is your life or are you still grindin' at a day job?
EL: We make a little here and there from sales and licenses. This fall season we had a couple Kite in the Air TV licenses, one to "90210" and one to "A Beautiful Life."
But yeah Mark and I have jobs, I tracklist the radion shows for scionav.com each month, and Mark is a mastering engineer, reveleymastering.com (plug). Mike was a computer programmer until recently when he left to bust moves full time on the music front.
BFD: I've always thought that writing lyrics for electronic music would be difficult, searching, tweaking and looking for just the right sound. Do you guys create the music first then head for the lyrics?
EL: I mostly write songs on the guitar, I wrote a couple on a synth, then with each all of us build production around those roughed out versions. I tend to write the lyrics and melody at the same time and tweak them both as I go. Mark's written some too, Magic Marker & Filed Away... another new one too coming out on the next EP called I Would Have Made It Up. He writes melody first and then lyrics.
BFD: Where do you see the future of Kite In The Air heading?
EL: We're shooting to release 3 or 4 eps this year, hopefully some remixes at some point in 2010 too.
BFD: Are there any producers or artists you would like to work with?
EL: Some remixers would be Harvard Bass or Drop the Lime or Designer Drugs... Holy Ghost!... Rusko... Stars of the Lid... Tipper... Fake Blood... Mr. Oizo.
BFD: Lastly, what the deal with all this Twilight mania and are you wrapped up in it?
EL: Someone in Kite in the Air is a secret fan of Twilight but we won't say who. If they want to put one of our songs on the next film it should be at the part where they dig out an ancient vampire god out from an antarctic glacier where he or she has been frozen for a thousand years and then wakes up and shoots giant fireballs at the moon which kill the guy and whatshername. They should also pay us a gazillion dollars.
Submissions are due by January 22 and will be judged by the Har Mar, Eva Mendez and George Augusto. If your track is chosen as the weiner it will be posted on Spinner.com.
Nudge, nudge Leht?
MP3: Har Mar Superstar - Tall Boy
Wednesday, January 6, 2010
MP3: Headlights - Teenage Wonder
Tuesday, January 5, 2010
MP3: Collider - Time Concerns
Monday, January 4, 2010
All-in-all, it was a great night... thanks to everyone who came out.