Tuesday, 28 December 2010

The Best of 2010 - The Records

Here are some of my favourite albums of the year in no particular order.

Special Benny - 'Toys' (Proper Songs)

And a few great compilations too.

A few other notable mentions include Sufjan Steven's 'Age of Adz' which I really struggled with initially but it's growing on me of late and Deerhunter's 'Halcyon Digest' which isn't nearly as good as 'Microcastle/Weird Era' but has my favourite song of the year on - 'He Would Have Laughed' dedicated to the late Jay Reatard.

Not sure what the fuss is with Caribou's 'Swim' - everyone's wet-tipping it and it seems to be popping up in numerous best of 2010 lists but I think it's a big dancey turd - all the more disappointing seeing as I loved the previous two albums.

I'm still reeling from the passing of Don Glen Vliet aka Captain Beefheart a fortnight ago. My friend Hugh summed it up for me with this;

"The good Captain has left us.

Our ship of fools sails on though the void a little more sadly and a little more lost."

Wednesday, 22 December 2010

Merry Christmas!

I made some Christmas cards this year using this odd acid casualty take on Santa Claus I drew but given the limited time frame I've given myself to get them posted chances are only my nearest and dearest will actually see them this side of Christmas.

With that in mind I would like to take this opportunity to wish you all a very pleasant festive period and a right good New Year!

Sunday, 19 December 2010

Dr Alimantado's 'Best Dressed Chicken in Town' lp illustration

Another day, another fantastic album trashed by my rubbish drawing skills. 'Best Dressed Chicken' was famously name-checked by John Lydon and features the engineering contributions from the likes of Lee 'Scratch' Perry and King Tubby amongst others. Highlights include 'Poison Flour' and 'I Killed the Barber'. I have a dreadful hangover so words aren't coming very easily and reggae isn't really my strong point - sorry about that.

Friday, 17 December 2010

The Return of SkyJack

This is my latest submission for Threadless - it's about a woodsmen that goes by the name of SkyJack - he ferries animals around the forest on his magical floating beard. Votes, comments and positive vibes are all welcome - click here.

Monday, 13 December 2010

The Loneliness of the Long Distance Panda

I reworked a panda sketch I did last year making it a bit more polished in the process. Behold 'The Loneliness of the Long Distance Panda'. Over a month into my punishing and occasionally snowy London Marathon training schedule I feel his pain.

Friday, 10 December 2010

Beastie Boys 'Check Your Head' lp illustration

I have loved this record probably longer than any other record I've illustrated up to this point and it still sounds as fresh (FRESHHHHH-H-H-H-H) as it did to me as a teenager. I don't tend to get misty eyed about music too much - there's always something new coming out that has me champing at the bit (H Hawkline's 'A Cup of Salt' lp since you asked) but 'Check Your Head' has everything you could want as 15 year old boy or indeed a 33 year old boy - scuzzy low slung hip hop, two minute bursts of hardcore punk and blissfully wigged out instrumentals. To be honest I could've happily drawn 'Paul's Boutique' or 'Ill Communication' as well but I think 'Check Your Head' wins on account of it coming out when I was an easily led spotty sixteen year old with a skateboard and a stupid haircut. Cowabunga.

Monday, 6 December 2010

Rotary Connection 'Songs' lp illustration

I'm gathering some momentum with these lp covers now which is encouraging. This is my take on Rotary Connections 'Songs' lp beautifully produced and arranged by Charles Stepney which is pretty much all killer and no filler - 'Respect' is worth the admission price alone. The Cadet Concept label hit a rich vein of form towards the end of the sixties releasing superb albums by the likes of Rotary Connection, Archie Whitewater and Muddy Waters - dragging the blues man rather unhappily towards a more experimental psychedelic sound. He later said 'That Electric Mud record was dogshit. But when it came out, it started selling like wild, but then they started sending them back. They said, 'This can't be Muddy Waters with all this shit going on, all this wha-wha and fuzztone.'

It's a shame he only made one dogshit fuzz album if you ask me.

Wednesday, 1 December 2010

Dusty Fingers

This is an illustration I did inspired by many afternoons spent trawling through charity shops in the hunt for decent records. Unfortunately I can't grow a beard due to God smiting me in a past life (true story) but the shoes are pretty similar. It brings me great pleasure foraging through scattered piles of albums and singles in the hope of finding some vinyl goodness!