Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Glam Slam

T-Shirt Of The Week #7: Prince Glam Slam Official Club Tee

This is my weekly feature on a favorite t-shirt that I own, number seven... This tee was given to me by my future wife. The tee is a souvenir from Prince's Atlanta club, Glam Slam that he used to own for a while back in the '90s. It features the classic Prince microphone shaped like a pistol. It is smokin' (the pistol, that is)... The back has the Glam Slam logo in black.

This is a cool shirt, very unique. The fact that some guy bought it for my future wife a million years ago and she gave it to me, makes it even better. She gave it to me... or did I borrow it and never give it back? Anyway. The weird thing is-- and I don't know if it is a printing glitch- his hand is really kinda white for a black dude.

Overall its a cool graphic... People used to kinda give it a once over and not know entirely what to make of it when they saw it. All the Prince fans in town (all seven of us) knew what it was at 1st glance. Word!

Glam Slam.... escape! Free your mind from this rat race....

BONUS BEATS- Glam Slam video- check out the blindfolded P-man and his giant hairdo in this one...

Sunday, March 29, 2009


OtherWisz Poster Featured in Buffalo Spree

The Buffalo Spree 2009 Music issue arrived in my mailbox yesterday and I was excited to look through it. It has a big Buffalo polka story, a Terry Sullivan story and a roundtable discussion with some of our local concert promoters like Marty from the Mohawk Place and Donny K. As I am looking at the photos in a piece titled "Ron's Museum of Musical Ephemera- Sections From the Permanent Collection 1967-2005" I turned the page and almost fell off my chair. I was shocked as I saw an OtherWisz designed poster featured as part of his collection! What an honor.

Ron's entry for 2003 is a Joe Strummer Tribute poster that I designed! I was psyched! You know you have designed a good poster when they start showing up as artwork in people's collections or framed on their walls. This particular poster was from the second year we did the event which happens every December at the Mohawk Place- there have been 7 poster/events so far. The 2003 poster featured a digitally re-rendered shot of mohawked-Joe (Combat Rock era) Strummer singing into the mike in stark red, black and white. It was one of my favorites... and to see it in the Buffalo Spree Music issue was a pleasant surprise. Thanks Ron!

Pick the latest Spree up at your local newstand. It is a great issue!

Here is a large view of the featured poster. You can click through all seven of them in this Joe Strummer poster gallery on the dejablu website.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

The Only One I Know

T-Shirt Of The Week #6:
Spiderman White Art on Black Tee

This is my weekly feature on a favorite t-shirt that I own, number six.... This tee was given to me by this girl that was selling vintage apparel during the Allentown West Art Festival.

Back 3 years ago or so, we set up the Where To Roam shop out in front of the now-gone Comic City during the Allentown West Art Festival and this girl shared the spot with us. When we were all said and done, she said I could have a tee and I picked this one. It is a cool reverse Spiderman graphic on a well-worn black tee. It is the pose Spiderman makes when he is dropping out of the sky or making a landing from a web swing. He right hand is poised and ready to web and the graphic behind looks like a spider dagger.

It is an official Marvel product (has a logo on it), but it always looked like a bootleg. I guess because it is so worn already. I bought it worn, it's vintage, ya know. This tee reminds me of my friend Natetrax who owned Comic City, he used to give me all kinds of cool comic books, tees and other superhero paraphernalia. We had a good time selling tees that Summer weekend and I have this shirt as a memory.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

She Bangs The Drum

Top Reasons You Should Buy The CD Box Set The Brit Box

I have had the pleasure of listening to the 78 tracks in this The Brit Box over the past few days. I have listened to them in my kitchen, in the office, in my car, on my Iprobe as I have waited for the school bus and taken nightly walks up Elmwood Ave (got to keep that heart a beatin') and it is very good for you all so you should buy it. Go ahead.

  • Ladies And Gentlemen We Are Floating In Space (Spiritulized)-- I don't know much about Mr. Jason Pierce, but I like what I've heard so far. Give me more! Space!

  • Wide Open Space (Mansun)-- another good space song.... More space!!

  • Sleep Well Tonight (Gene)-- This was a CMJ sampler song when it came out and it's a great mix of Smiths meet Queen.

  • Both 'Alrights'- (Supergrass & Cast)- 2 songs, same name, 2 great pop songs. Alrightee, then.

  • Lucky Man (Verve)-- classic.

  • Pearl (Chapterhouse)- rich, droney rock.

  • Duel (Swervedriver), Grey Cell Green (Ned's Atomic Dustbin), April Skies (JAMC)-- rockin' again!!

  • Primitive Painters (Felt)- I never heard this before, a Creation label band.

  • Only Shallow (My Bloody Valentine)-- this could be my new favorite band, for real!
    Probably one of the best tracks on thebox set.

  • I Want To Hold You (Catherine Wheel)- - I did a poster for these guys when they played at someplace in Buffalo back in the '90s, like the Scrapyard (I think).

  • Metal Mickey (Suede) !!!

  • Brimful of Asha (Cornership)- everybody needs a bosom for a pillow....

  • The extensive liner notes and photos, a nice page layout and flashing lights built into the box graphics.

  • 78 total songs.

  • And the #1 reason.... The Madchester set: She Bangs The Drum (Stone Roses) - The Only One I Know (Charlatans UK) - Step On (Happy Mondays) - Loaded (Primal Scream) - This is How It Feels (Inspiral Carpets)- all in a row... nuff said.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Complete Control

Local graphic artist is ripped off by big rock and roll stars!!

I hate to get ripped off.
Click image for proof >>

Someone associated with the band Los Mondo Bongo, which is an alt. rock super group of sorts, stole my poster design and I am pissed. You can see in the accompanying graphic: the original OtherWisz-designed artwork (on the left), and next to it, the version that the band used on it's recent European and Canadian tour. They were suppose to visit Buffalo earlier this month, but some 'visa issues' prevented them from touring the States.

The Story
Here is what happened and how I got robbed by Los Mondo Bongo. I was asked by local rock maven Chris Malichowski to design a poster for the Mescaleros last Spring. The band, which consisted of two of remainder members of Joe Strummer's Mescaleros, was going to tour the US. Since Chris was instrumental in building up such a great event with the annual Joe Strummer tribute concert (every December at the Mohawk Place), the manager contacted him to arrange the Mescal shows over here. I did a poster (for FREE) which was never used because the band imploded before the tour began.

Last year, some of the members from the Mescaleros joined forces with some other '80s rockers including Mike Peters of The Alarm. Chris asked me to do a new version of the poster. I graciously donated hours of my time and came up with a new poster design. I emailed a PDF proof to the manager in England, and they LOVED IT (exact quote : "top class, the boys love them..."). They asked me to edit the poster to make several different versions that they could use throughout the tour. I told them, via email it is doable, let me work up a cost. Next thing I know, the gig is canceled (again); the band couldn't get the proper visas to tour the US.

Well that all happened in December of last year. Fast forward to last week. Los Mondo makes it to North American soil for their gig at The Horseshoe Tavern up in Toronto. I hear from a friend, who went to the show, that they are using a bastardized version of MY POSTER! I checked the band's My Space page, AND FOUND the poster art is the header; I did a Google image search and up comes the new version of my poster-- a stolen, bastardized version of my work!!!!! If fact, the Google image search (try it, search for 'Los Mondo Bongo') revealed various versions of this poster that were edited by someone else including one that has the same Strummer cowboy graphic, more text added and my name removed, but the evidence of my logo still there (see it at right). Bastards!

Can you believe it? Someone took a low res PDF (that I sent them to proof by) and built a new poster from the same artwork! Same fonts (Rosewood regular and fill), same colors, same graphics and same layout! The kicker is they used some crappy 'wanted poster' graphic to COVER UP the spot where my logo and website address was on the original poster (see above).

I would love to know who the 'artist' was who did this, and if they felt justified in taking my graphic design work-- which I did as a favor and did not get paid for-- and stealing it for several gigs by the same band. I am not cool with this. Plus the remodeled version is kinda crummy-- the uninspired centering of the headline, the noisy background, the page crammed with graphics- it's a freakin' visual overload.

This is what I get for being a nice guy... well, to the guy that did this- F U !
I would bet Joe Strummer would not have found this to be cool!!

UPDATE 03.23.09-
I got an email from the guy in England who was setting this up. I sent him the link to this post. I fail to call him 'their manager' because I don't think he is officially the band's manager:

Hi Mark,
thanks for the link, posters look great...big thanks


Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Some Girls

T-Shirt Of The Week #5:
To Tough To Die-
White Art on Black Tee

This is my weekly feature on a favorite t-shirt that I own, number five.... This tee is an awesome graphic of a young Keith Richards face. He looks a little out of it with one eye is sorta closed. The headline, set in a sporty-athletic type font proclaims TOO TOUGH TO DIE. if I am not mistaken, this tee was made by fuct, but is a Krudmart exclusive- the white art in the black. But I don't think they make it anymore...

I once heard this joke about a nuclear war-- the only things left to survive would be the cockroaches and the Stone's rhythm guitarist, Keif! The man has defied all laws of nature and has managed to survive decades of self abuse with drugs and alcohol... somehow he still remains standing. It is voodoo, weekly blood transfusions, some miracle of modern medicine??... no, he is simply the toughest man alive!

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Station to Station

My posting has been interrupted by that damn Facebook. I gotta try and stay away and tonight is one of those days when I say 'no more,' and I turn off the computer. This little screen is hurting my eyes. We had some out-of-town guests in town last night and I have plans to spin some tunes tomorrow night at the Mohawk Place. I am listening to the Sabs game and Max A almost got a second goal!?!? When was the last time that guy had 2 goals in one game (but I think it is going to happen tonight).

I think I will get some rest. I can't Twitter, I have too much to say and such a small area to type in.

I was proclaiming my love of all things analog the other day to my intern and I think she was looking at me like I was a little nuts. Hey I am old school true and true. I am Nice Price- all this for $4.99, you have got to be kidding me.

Come out Sunday night, it will be fun!

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Free Way

Special DJ Alert!


with DJ Dr. Wisz of deja blu
Sunday, March 15, 2009 @ 8:00pm
Mohawk Place
47 E Mohawk St.
Buffalo, NY

This Sunday, March 15th, I am DJing as the warm up for this indie rock band from Barcelona, Spain called Poets in Process. I think they are flying in to the good ol' USA to play the Canadian Music Week and then the famed SXSW (according to the Mohawk Place weekly email calendar). Luckily Buffalo falls in between those two concert stops. Buffalo has always had the 'quick extra concert stop between concerts on the East Coast thing going for it'... TO, Cleveland, Pittsburgh, NYC... It has been this way for ages, every since bands of any sort-- even big bands, back in the day-- they always stopped in Buffalo when touring the East Coast.

Here is what they sound like: MySpace page Poet In Process and their own site
My favorite song so far is A New Poet in Progess, #5 on the MySpace list.

Rich from P22 and The Western New York Book Arts printed the seventy-four awesome letterpress posters (in the photo above). Each one is unique. Letterpress-- which might undergo the popularity rise the silk screen rock posters had over the past 8-10 years-- is hand setting metal letters, inking blankets and printing the old fashioned way. It is the ANALOG of the print world really.

I think he said this square poster is 6 colors and the starburst is made with strips of lead. Don't forget all the characters are individually handset letters- time comsuming. Awesome skill, very cool. And to see my DJ moniker set in 72 pt Futura Bold metal. Extra cool.

Should be a blast, it's only $5, and it's an early night... you could be home by 11:00-12:00 or so.... you should all come on out!

Here is some more info cribbed from the Mohawk email (for those of you who don't receive it, you should), thanks Marty:
Spain’s Poet in Process, virtually unknown on this side of the Atlantic, are, in the words of their publicist, by way of their translator, a gem to discover, a truthful "nugget". Their compositions, attitude and presence on stage make of them the future of the pop rock scene. The combination of shrilled and ripped guitars with the delicacy and softness of the melodies, invites the voice to create captivating and violent melodies surrounded by a tender and whispering cadence. 

After five years working and performing in a great number of venues and festivals, they have had the opportunity to support bands such as Stereophonics, OK GO, Albert Hammond Jr., Muse and Take That. The song “Why”, from their first LP Free Way has been included in the Guillermo del Toro's film Hellboy II, and several of their songs were featured in the soundtrack of the Spanish soap opera Cuestion de sexo. Four of their songs have been chosen to be playing on the website of the famous Spanish Chef Sergi Arola (www.sergiarola.es ).

Between appearances at Canadian Music Week and SXSW, the band is stopping off in Buffalo, with assistance from P22 fontmeister and The Western New York Book Arts's Rich Kegler.

Monday, March 9, 2009

Down in the Tube Station at Midnight

T-Shirt Of The Week #4: W2R SnowBuffalo Tee
White Art on Dark Gray Tee

This is my weekly feature on a favorite t-shirt that I own, number four.... This one is a shameless self-promotion for sure, but it truly is one of my favorite tees. This is from the very first offering from our line of Where to Roam apparel. This SnowBuffalo tee features the design that started it all- the word Buffalo made up of thousands of Zapt Dingbat snowflakes. I built this art with layers and layers of overlapping dingbats. It the old days this would have 'crashed the rip,' as we used to say.... which just means the math that renders this art could have never happened on your average desktop computer 10-15 years ago, or it would have taken a very large hard drive and hours upon hours to render the art. Times sure have changed.

The comfort level of this tee is very high as it is a well-worn American Apparel and it is super-soft. It fits great, has a graphic I designed on it and the color is really cool too, the 'asphalt' as it is called on the website when it was launched in Oct, 2005.

Favorite tee number 4 promotes that Buffalo snow, which I have had entirely too much this year...

Friday, March 6, 2009

(I Can't Live Without My) Radio

Radio, suckers never play me.....
-- Public Enemy

Several years ago I took part in an art opening at the now-closed "blu" on Main Steet, near the UB campus. This was a club we used to spin tunes at that was also a sushi bar. They used to have this great open-DJ night where you could sign up for a 1/2 slot and play whatever, it was great. Scott and I-- as dejablu-- used to spin there often, a lot of Saturdays, we played the opening night, etc.

DJ Scotty organized a few art openings there as the event booker. I was invited to join in on a 'music and art' project that involved digital art, photographs, paintings and more. For my project I created this 3-D sculpture which consists of a boom box that was covered in layers and layers of paint and objects including toys, photos, stickers, labels, magazine clippings, bubble gum cards, action figures, and all sorts of little knick-knacks. It took weeks to apply each layer and shellack the heck out of it. The final boom box has every single square inch covered in something and came out quite dense. It was inspired by some photos I saw of old-school Brooklyn B-boy dudes with their custom boom boxes from the '70s. Thye used to sticker-the-hell out of them and spray paint them up; basically 'tag' them as theirs.

My friend Nate (Funk Ship), who is a photography nut, spend some time, while we were hanging listening to records, taking snapshots of the art piece. I borrowed a few of his images and posted them so you could see the details of the boom box (see below). If you go to pharaoh8's Flikr link here you can see all his cool snapshots of the boom box.

And if any of you Gallery Owners want this piece on loan, just let me know.

Just for the record 1- the boom box still works!

Just for the record 2- the crappy photo at the top of this blog was mine, I didn't want you think it was one of Nate's shots. I should probably stop taking photos with my laptop and use a camera. I have one.

Archie McFee do-dads and such.

I want youth, horizontal, space, electricity.

Bunny vs. OtherWisz.

Clarity victory.

More wants.

Monday, March 2, 2009

Confusion The Waitress

T-Shirt Of The Week #3: Turntable Tee:
Washed-out Black Logo Art on White Tee

This is my weekly feature on a favorite t-shirt that I own, number three.... I received this t-shirt as a gift from my friend Jay one day. I was admiring a similar shirt that he wore to my house on a warm Summer day. The next time I saw him he handed me a bag with this tee in it. You know, I think he bought it at Old Navy, but I am not sure. He was a generous guy like that.

This tee came pre-worn-out looking, which I am never a big fan of. I prefer to do the wearing and tearing in a shirt myself, but I guess kids can't wait that long these days to wear-out a shirt on their own. This particular tee is also a big one so it goes good with layering and its gets used a bunch this time of the year (12 degrees as I type this).

It is a simple black and white graphic of a Technics turntable, nothing fancy. I love records so this turntable appeals to me. It is a stationary object, just sitting there. But when I see it, it says, "Action! Music! Disco-party! Beats! Grooves! Yeah!" Well, to me it does. For some reason, this shirt always reminds me Underworld 12" records, I am not kidding. And for the record, Underworld is the only electronic dance music band my Dad likes. I played some once for him to test some speakers I bought. He loved the loud bass of the opening track 'Jaunita' from the Second Toughest of The Infants record and he went nuts.... I had to make him a copy so he could blast in his truck driving around in FLA... but, I digress. Sorry, fav t-shirt number three!