Q: So, you want to start a record label?
A: YES, because I hate my money and want to do something that’ll be fun.
In 2007, my friends Ryan McManemin and Matt “sasquatch” Belknap started a comedy record label. Jen Kirkman and I were the first two releases. I had only been doing comedy for a handful of years and wasn’t anywhere close to thinking I was allowed to put out any sort of “comedy album” (although Jen’s “Self Help” is a classic and needed to be released). But, having been a part of Scott Aukerman and BJ Porters “Mbar/Comedy Death Ray” scene I had become friends with Ryan, as we were both punk rock kids that were now at comedy shows all the time. I had always thought it would be neat to treat my comedy as if it were a band. By making buttons, stickers, and of course, putting out a 7” record. The 7” record is usually a punk/indie bands first release, and I never got to a point with any of my bands to do it. So, when Ryan asked me if I was interested in doing exactly that, I couldn’t say no.
Patton Oswalt, who I describe as the current comedy scene’s combined Fugazi/Sonic Youth/Black Flag (not only that he helped pave a way, but paved it with the added intent on helping those around him), brought up the notion that people will start to follow comics like they follow musicians. In the way that you’ll get a bands early single, and then see them develop and become better musicians/songwriters. He even, with Chunklet’s Henry Owings, put out a split with The Melvins.
So if that then what? Well, I was tired of saying “Somebody should…” or “Wouldn’t it be cool if…”
So, with AST RECORDS I am now starting my own imprint label:
LITERALLY FIGURATIVE RECORDS
I am gonna put out the stuff I like in the hopes that other people will too. Also, to maybe shed some light on some comics and bands that I really dig that people may not know about. This is a comedy label, this is a music label, this is probably some weird vanity project. Fuck it, though.
What’s in store for releases?
- -Vinyl of NICK YOUSSEF’S DEBUT ALBUM “STOP NOT OWNING THIS”
- -THE DEBUT 7” RECORD OF ONE OF MY FAVORITE NEW LA COMEDIANS “PAIGE WELDON”
- -The first LP from the legendary MATT DWYER
And this is the fun one, a split 7” series with a comic on one side and band they are friends with on the other called:
THE MUTUAL APPRECIATION SOCIETY!
Releases in this continuing series to include…
- Sean O’connor / Upset
- Matt Mira / Jenny Owen Youngs
- Alex Hooper / FARTBARF
- Wil Wheaton / Nerf Herder
- Kyle Clark / Chris Ferren (from Fake Problems)
- Jonah Ray (that’s me!) / Mikal Cronin
- Powerviolence / Powerviolence
- Rhea Butcher / G.S. Schray
And more as we go a long, but l don’t want to get too ahead of myself.
All this will be done under the guidance of Ryan and Matt from AST RECORDS as well as be distributed by them.
I don’t know if this will be good, I DO know that it will be fun.
One of the best Simpsons jokes ever.
Oh my gosh this guys laugh after he set up two motion sensor trash cans to trigger each other endlessly… it brings me so much joy.
I’ve spent many mornings before and nights after work to complete my first typeface. From what I can gather from internet searches (so take it with a grain of salt) there was a tee shirt shop in Brooklyn in the 70’s and 80’s where this typeface orginated. The legend goes that an Old English / Blackletter typeface was simplified enough so it could be cut out of felt letters and ironed on to shirts and jackets of many a rapper and b-boy crew. From Grandmaster Flash to the Rocksteady Crew, Biz Markee and Joe Strummer visiting on tour with the Clash. I couldn’t find a digital version of this font anywhere so I decided to make one. With a focus on making similar replica shirts of that era - I didn’t include much for extra characters but I did throw in some alternate Y’s and T’s based on different versions I’ve seen (Do you Like Big Audio Dynamite's “Y” or the version on Joe Strummmer' s “C. City Rockers” shirt?). Either way I hope you like the font.CLICK HERE TO VISIT THE PURCHASE PAGE
Melding Heavy Metal and Fine Art with @BenVenom
"I’m interested in juxtaposing traditional handmade crafts with extreme elements found on the fringes of society," Ben Venom (@benvenom) writes in his artist statement. In repurposing discarded denim and old heavy metal t-shirts into quilts of painfully exacting detail, Venom questions and challenges his audience’s conception of fine art.
"My current body of work is directly inspired from the Gees Bend quilt exhibition I saw at the de Young Museum (@deyoungmuseum) in 2006,” says Ben. “I was blown away by the attention to design, craft, and handiwork by women from a very rural region in the American South not to far from where I grew up. They did not have a lot of materials at their disposal and would use recycled denim jeans, blankets, and fabric scrapes to construct some really amazing work.”
Ben cultivates an even deeper appreciation for his craft through Instagram by bringing people into his studio and documenting his process. “For me Instagram operates as a timeline that visually displays the progression of my art and life. I tend to post works in progress and occasionally finished pieces to give the viewer an idea of how the work has progressed.”
Join Ben Venom in his studio as he continues to explore the intersection between heavy metal and fiber arts by following him on Instagram, @benvenom.
So inspired. Time to start really practicing on the old sewing machine.