Monday, November 9, 2009

TVD's Fall Vinyl Giveaways Week

Sometimes running this blog is akin to a juggling act. We’re quite happily inundated with offers and opportunities often too numerous to address, yet find ourselves saying “...yes!” to the point of having a backlog of contests in the queue.

With that said, ...welcome to ‘TVD’s Fall Vinyl Giveaways Week!’ whereby we get to upend the backlog of vinyl offers we’ve been given and pass on the vinyl right to you guys. Right from the ‘first taste is free’ playbook.

Here’s how it’ll play out: each day this week we’ll post a new LP on the blog in anticipation of your breathy comments to come. Persuade us in some manner that you should be the rightful owner of said LP, and in turn we’ll choose all of the winners this coming Saturday (11/14) and ship all of the vinyl out on the following Monday (11/16.)

And man do we have some cool stuff to offer every day of this week.

First up: The Gossip’s new Rick Rubin-produced ‘Music for Men’ on double 180gram vinyl which has seen pretty heavy rotation here at TVD HQ.

More surprises await tomorrow and all week, but for now, you’re up!

TVD's The Screening Process

I am often asked about the criteria for a great poster. The immediate answers are pretty simple: decent concept, nice image (boobs optional) and competent type. A more in-depth answer is that a poster must be able to hang on a wall for years, stared at and dissected AND still be able to hold your attention. It could be the poster is multi-layered with colors allowing the viewer to focus on different imagery. Or the designer could have placed small jokes, flourishes, text, details that takes time to find and enjoy.

Either way, the designers of Young Monsters (Zach Hobbs, Nick Dupey, and Scott Cambell with Alison running the store) have found a way to create time spanning, INCREDIBLE posters - posters I proudly hang on my walls to gaze at whenever I need a jolt to make my work better. Their posters are distinct, have incredible palettes, rich imagery, layers and layers of goodness, and come from an unknown time. And yes, some even have boobs on them.

Not content being solo, the designers have teamed up to make one of the best and most interesting new design firms out there creating posters. I am always eager to see their latest batches of prints. I was lucky enough to have two of the Monsters answer some questions! Enjoy.

Nick Dupey - 30 - Chattanooga, TN
Scott Campbell - 31 - apartment hunting in New Orleans

How did you start doing posters?
ND - I played in a band and booked shows. I wanted to make the posters for them. Kinda typical story. The posters won the battle for my heart.
SC - I always made posters for my bands and friends' bands. That led to working with Bullhorn Bandits and Spanish Moon (Baton Rouge, LA), which has given me a chance to do posters for tons of great bands.

How did all of you start working together as Young Monsters as you originally worked individually?
ND - I got a grant from a local organization to start a screen printing / design collab. I had lunch with Zach and talked posters. We had meetings and decided how we were going to do this thing with Ali, Zach and Scott. Next thing you know, things are totally different than how we planned them.
SC - I was living in Atlanta last year and met Nick through a friend, after he had gotten the grant and set up the shop. I've been a fan of Zach's for a few years, so I was stoked work with him.

What's your favorite thing about being a designer in your city or town? The most challenging?
ND - Chattanooga is beautiful. We are between Nashville, Knoxville and Atlanta - so we get a lot of perks (bands coming through) with out the big city crap. We have a fantastic local music scene with a lot of talent. The challenge is finding work that pays the bills.
SC - I've moved around a couple times this year (Atlanta, Chattanooga), but I'm excited about living in New Orleans. There's a great vibe there right now, lots of new galleries opening & great music. I agree with Nick, the challenge is finding work that pays the bills.

You are primarily known as poster designers, do you have "straight" design work - such as logos, annual reports, etc. - that pays the bills.

ND - I just resigned from my day job to do Young Monster full time. Young Monster is now really scary!
SC - YM does it all

Describe Your Creative Process. Collaborative? Designated roles?
ND - I manage jobs as they come in. Or hustle to get them. Then I kick the coolest ones to Zach or Scott cos they don't really get paid much. We have mountains of top secret source material. We scan and draw a lot. Then we may or may not show them to each other. If we do we usually get a response like, "eh, that's pretty cool" which means its crap or, eh "it's cool" which means all systems go! Then we work out a print day and mix colors and DO IT!

Fight about clipart and bands?
ND - We have some secret magazines that Zach STOLE from me when I was on vacation. I want those back before he uses them all up! Steely Dan maybe the best band on the planet and I am not wild about Grizzly Bear.
SC - It's usually a first come, first served type of deal with the source material. There have been multiple usage situations, but we try to avoid them. Grizzly Bear maybe the best band on the planet and I am not wild about Steely Dan.

Describe your work day:
ND - Wake up at 8:30. Cereal or nothing. Emails and scanning and Facebook distractions. Lunch on the cheap. More emails and clients and bills and scanning and designing. Dinner and TV. Printing at night in our haunted building.
SC - Shower. Yogurt & grapefruit. Emails and Facebook distractions. Work on something. Cereal for lunch. More emails. Work on something. Dinner and TV. More cereal. More work. Sleep.

What has been your favorite piece you have done (gig poster or art print):

ND - I tend to be tough on myself. Especially with all the talent around me. I was really proud of my Superdrag poster and the Died Young Stayed Pretty poster that I collaborated with Print Mafia on. Also this poster I did for a Psychedelic poster art show that our friends at Leo Handmade Gallery did. (Of course, Zach did the second part of the exhibit and blew mine outta the water)
SC - I guess my favorite at the moment is the Andrew Bird poster I did recently

Group(s) you wish you could do a poster for (Current):

ND - I'm working with a lot of the bands I love (Hiddens Spots, Future Virgins, Harlem). I would love to do some bigger bands like The Flaming Lips, Jay Z, Lil Wayne... scary stuff like that that I would freak out and be all worried about whether or not it was right.
SC - Boards of Canada, Washed Out, Black Moth Super Rainbow

ND - Oh man. Talk about freaked out. I would love to do a take on classic bands like The Clash or the Stooges. Those bands are so classic historically that you would almost want to make something epic out of it while maintaining the rawness of the sound. But who knows, cos those bands are dead. I'll say the Wednesdays or Harlan. Those bands would be tough to please.
SC - Beach Boys, Kraftwerk (70s), Miles Davis (late 60s)

Do you do your own printing or outsource - pros and cons.
ND - We print 99% in house. It is difficult from an organizational standpoint, but it helps to know the process. That being said, eventually we would like to get to the point where we can just design and outsource to the real pros. (Even though I think we are pretty damn good).

Currently listening to:
ND - Jay Z, Blue Print 3 / Flaming Lips, Embryonic / Hidden Spots 100million Voices - WATCHING a lot of horror movies. This is a huge influence on what I do and October is our month! I stick to the classics (Halloween, Texas Chainsaw, Friday the 13th - boogie men!)
SC - Washed Out, Neon Indian, Toro Y Moi, Grizzly Bear, Memory Cassette, Generationals, Cut Copy.

Upcoming projects:
ND - Mostly local shows. Monthly gig for JJ's Bohemia (local venue), Jucifer, A bluegrass Night, and I will be helping my friend from the Shaking Ray Levis with some art prints. Right now I am making beer bread with jalepenos in it!
SC - Shirt design for a surf shop in Belize, shirt design for Dirty Coast in New Orleans, album art for a friend's band, more posters for Spanish Moon.