New HD Cover Art Standards

It’s weird to get an email from Universal Music Group, but that’s the manufacturer used by Willowtip Records for the Impaled “The Dead Still Dead Remain” CD. So, I get the same mass email from them as someone doing layouts for Los Tigres Del Norte and probably Adele.

The gist of this latest email has something to do with HD digital media and a lot to do with Apple. The standard requirement of art provided for an album used to be for CD cover layout size of 1:1 print at 300 DPI. The streaming companies are now asking for cover art to be available in 600 DPI at minimum 5×5 inch. This makes a lot of sense when you consider people are digesting their music more and more digitally and throwing it up on big, oversize monitors and flat screens.

It also means bigger file sizes and my personal need for better photo gear. Shiiiiiit. Well, you need some damn big art as LPs take prominence in the merch market these days, anyway.

Full details are provided here by UMG for any designery folk to check out: Universal Music Group cover standards

Two New Posters

Yes, it’s been a very busy year for posters. Which is a good thing for me… and you! If you like my posters, anyway.

First up, I got to do a gig poster for the classic garage rock band The Sonics. In keeping with their classic sound, I did a classic parody of the old Charles Atlas comic book ads. But instead of ordering some dumb rubber bands to become a muscle-bound dullard, you get an Epiphone Riviera and become a guitar god!

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Next up, I did a commissioned shirt design for Punkstuff.com that will be available soon. In the meantime, I got the go-ahead to make this fabulous art print for fans of Daryl on that show about zombies. I refuse to not call them zombies, because that is the dumbest part of that show. Mashed up with one of Manga’s most prominent heroes, Daryl walks with confidence to his hog.

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Both of these LIMITED screen-printed gems are available in the Sewage Shop, so do me and yourself a favor; pick one up.

High on Fire… and probably other things, too

My most recent High on Fire poster was a pretty exciting job to get. The call for a tour series went out late, so like Judge Harry Stone from Night Court, I got the call after everyone else didn’t answer the phone. Not only was this their big hometown show, but it was being held at San Francisco’s amazing Regency Ballroom. It’s a big time venue and absolutely littered with the gig posters from living legend Chuck Sperry. I wanted to do a poster that was as big and bombastic as High on Fire.

And nuts. Totally fucking nuts.
And nuts. Totally fucking nuts.

Were folks expecting another picture of a barbarian? A devil lady? Another skull with a helmet? Well, they got my poster instead: a 24×24″ pseudo-drug filled black light induced nightmare of form and function. This is not something I was able to spin out of whole cloth, but from a myriad of inspiration.

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DIY Movie Screen

My wife is a once-a-month DJ at the Monday Metal nights at the Golden Bull in Oakland, CA. Recently having acquired a quality video projector, I thought we could gimmick her night up a bit by showing movies along with the metal. Horror movies, of course. Who needs sound when you can just watch Herbert West reanimate corpses?

We're a classy couple, to say the least.
We’re a classy couple, to say the least.

The only issue was where to project the movie? They have a screen at the Golden Bull, but it faces sideways. I wanted the screen to be visible down the long room from the door to entice people (as if the tunes shouldn’t be enough). I had to build my own screen to sit on stage next to the most super hot DJ ever.

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Dawn of the Faith No More

I guess Yo! MTV Raps is a weird way to get into hard rock and heavy metal, but that’s how it worked for me. In junior high I dutifully recorded every episode of Yo! MTV Raps to learn to dance and be cool. Guess what? It didn’t work! But the first time I heard Faith No More was on that program with their metal / rap blended song “Epic”. I bought the CD and was hooked. When Angel Dust came out, it was the soundtrack for my freshman year of high school as I grew my hair out while the other brats listened to shit like Pearl Jam and Spin Doctors. Imagine my pleasure when Secret Serpents threw me a bone and accepted my begging to be part of the current Faith No More tour poster series.

Just look at the joy on my face
Just look at the joy on my face

The poster series for Faith No More‘s current tour is entirely published by Secret Serpents. That meant, for once, I was on the clock while printing my own artwork. It also means the posters all belong to Secret Serpents and they just went on sale this week exclusively through their website, www.secretserpents.com. I hope it sells well for them, of course, as I busted my ass to get this thing done on time!

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Swans poster for Yugong Yishan, Beijing

Justin from Secret Serpents asked me about participating in an upcoming Swans tour-poster series and asked, “Do you want any weird places?” Well, yes. I chose the show at Yugong Yishan in Beijing, China. This will mark the first time my art has appeared in a communist country; unless you count Impaled’s Death After Life printing in Vladimir Putin’s Russia, which for all intents and purposes, might as well be the U.S.S.R. I’m just as giddy as a school girl halfway around the globe. One of my favorite bands is playing a show in Red China and this little piece of art will accompany them:

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You’re probably thinking, “I’m going to go buy this poster right now from the Sewage shop,” and then noticed that the poster features a lot of non-English. Is it because I’m a cunning linguist or a polyglot? Yes to both. But I don’t speak Chinese. The Internet, however, does speak Chinese. In fact, it speaks Chinese almost as much as it speaks English (and more than Spanish). With the help of some faceless forum members and my Wacom tablet, I created the poster above. Thanks, Internet.

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Keep Calm… They Live

Some time back, my English friends asked me to design a tee for their band with “some gnarly riot cop with a beer gut and snarling face.” With the 2011 English race riots still fresh, I opted for a more wicked idea: a riot cop inspired by the movie They Live. I wanted to eventually do an art print parodying the “Keep Calm…” poster. It is the most They Live-ish poster design ever. You don’t even need special sunglasses to see the message of subservience. A few years later, I’ve finally gotten around to making that poster.

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This very limited art print is for sale in my shop right now. It was kind of a bitch to print and I lost about half the prints. That’s because that bright red is actually a metallic ink and it ain’t the kinda shit you can go buy in the art store. It was specifically formulated at our shop, Monolith Press, by moi for another job. I had plenty of ink left over to make a kick-ass poster of my own, though.

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