Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Poster: Yup'ik Haze

A parody ofJimi Hendrix and Native Alaskan culture meets Gangly Moose psychedellic art.
Spent all dang day yesterday goofing around with this one, when I should have been working on serious stuff (again): I like to think of side-projects like this as "warm-ups," so as to justify the expenditure of time & effort on something that's really for no real reason other than just to have fun. Following your muse and all that. Plus now the band'll have something to use for a few gigs this season. In all likelihood it's still not finished, as per my usual habit of continual tweaking every time I reopen the file. Can't wait to print out a few on 11x17" glossy coverstocks tomorrow before my class' final; holding the end result is definitely the moment, and I dig the rich, poppy colors I get from Date Line.

Here's the original ballpoint pen doodle scanned from the sketchbook - showed it a friend who teaches Native Arts for a couple pointers on the hoop drum. Also I bounced it off a whole bunch of folks at the Golden Eagle ("field research"): not a damn one got it/recognized/remembered the reference, except for the guitar player. Not like I ain't used to feeling old and out of touch with the times. Still, the addition of miscellaneous psychedelia and 60's lettering might go a long way to cluing folks in. Maybe. Below are the two sources that I remixed: album cover art for 1967's "Axis: Bold as Love."
"For this particular album, and reflecting the pop-culture styles of the era, artist Roger Law was commissioned by Hendrix’s British label (Track Records) to create an Indian-influenced, psychedelically-colored design using a Karl Ferris photograph as the basis for the design. This painting was then super-imposed on another popular image of the time, based on a Hindu devotional painting of the deity Vishnu." - from Rockpop Gallery

So this is another in a long line of interwoven influences with this design. Also the main concept came from the classic, iconic image of Jimi burning his guitar on stage (original image taken by Ed Caraeff @ 1967's Monterey Pop Festival):
"Setting guitar on fire
A move usually credited to Jimi Hendrix, involves literally setting the guitar on fire and burning it partially or fully, sometimes playing it during the process, sometimes with an outcome of injury. Setting the guitar on fire is often also followed by smashing it to pieces.
Jimi Hendrix is known to have performed this trick on at least three occasions with his Fender Stratocaster guitars:
* March 31, 1967 at London Astoria club. Going a bit too far, Hendrix sustained hand burns and visited the hospital. The Fender Stratocaster that Hendrix used in the performance was thought to be lost. The Strat eventually ended up in the hands of Hendrix’s press officer, Tony Garland and stored in his parents’ garage in Hove, East Sussex. The guitar was unearthed in 2007 by Garland’s nephew. The Stratocaster is still showing the burn marks from that famous Finsbury Astoria show.
* June 18, 1967 at the Monterey International Pop Festival while performing "Wild Thing" (this event is illustrated in the Monterey Pop documentary). Jimi Hendrix Experience was working as an opening act for The Monkees and later left the tour.
* May, 1968 at Miami Pop Festival, after playing 4 songs of his set (including "Foxy Lady" and "Purple Haze"). Jimi gave away the burnt guitar to his friend, Frank Zappa, who restored it and played it afterwards. After Frank's death, his son, Dweezil Zappa inherited all his guitars, including Jimi's burnt Stratocaster, and sold it in an auction in September 24, 2002 in UK for ₤400,000 ($615,000)." - from Wikipedia
And meanwhile, in the background, the soundtrack for this piece was my personal favorite recording: "Live at the Fillmore East," which is just an utterly insane amount of noise to come out of three dudes jamming away. And yeah, makes me wanna set my #2 pencil on fire, which would further traumatize the cats even after enduring Hendrix's feedback the entire day.
"Along with Billy Cox he hired another of his friends, drummer Buddy Miles (formerly with Wilson Pickett and The Electric Flag) for his Band of Gypsys project, they rehearsed for ten days at "Baggies" studio. They then performed a series of four concerts over the two nights of New Year and New Year's Day, which created the Band Of Gypsys LP, produced by Hendrix (under the name "Heaven Research"). This is the only official complete live LP released in his lifetime." - from Wikipedia entry

Lastly, here's the raw material scan (except for the last-minute add-on aurora), actually just about the only parts drawn by hand & scanned in to be reassembled over the course of many hours. Not that the end result actually reflects the invested time all that much - I'm still learning the wonderful world of using layers in Photoshop (this poster's got about a dozen different ones). Also posted is the preliminary design and initial coloring done in Freehand.
This one's dedicated to my long-time friend Kliff, who's spectacular drumming, truly the most intense and inspirational noise to see live, has never failed over the years to make me wanna go home and draw my ass off.

Well, I stand up next to a mountain
And I chop it down with the edge of my hand
Well, I pick up all the pieces and make an island
Might even raise a little sand


- Jimi Hendrix

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