J-Zone’s new 7″ single: “Stick Up” b​/​w “Mad Rap”

 "Stick Up" b​/​w "Mad Rap" 7" Single

We finished up the latest J-Zone 7″ last week at Solid Mfg. Very psyched to see this finally out so I can share it around. I’ve had the tracks burned to a CD and playing in my car for weeks.

Definitely cool to hear J-Zone back at it. I’ve been working with him on-and-off since 2005-ish pressing CDs at the old company doing stuff like A Job Ain’t Nuthin’ But Work and the Boss Hog Barbarians’ Every Hog Has Its Day and a few more.

You can check out the tracks from the 7″ below. “Stick Up” is an instrumental with J-Zone on drums duking it out with a hammond organ. “Mad Rap” has him back behind the mic taking down Russel Simmons and a bunch more.

Stick Up

Mad Rap

You can order the 7″ on at j-zone.bandcamp.com. Save the guy a trip to the post office and get your order in over the weekend.

No interns at Old Maid Ent.

J-Zone’s Mail Room (from instagram)

Nontheist Quaker Caretakin’

In July my partner (girlfriend? significant other?) and I started work as live-in caretakers at a Quaker meetinghouse here on Long Island. My hope is to use this blog to write about some our experiences with the nuts-and-bolts of caretaking as well as how that process intersects with Quaker ideas about decision-making, simplicity, and community.

I’ve been a member of this meeting since 2011 and consider myself a Nontheist Quaker. Wikipedia does a good job of describing what that means:

“Nontheist Quakers (also known as nontheist Friends) are those who affiliate with, identify with, engage in, or affirm Quaker practices and processes, but who do not necessarily accept a belief in a theistic understanding of God, a Supreme Being, the divine, the soul or the supernatural. Like traditional Friends, nontheist Friends are actively interested in realizing centered peace, simplicity, integrity, community, equality, love, joy, and social justice in the Society of Friends and beyond.”

How I wound up being a Quaker is probably a topic for another post. For now, I wanted to share some of the photos we’ve taken over the past few months. I hope to have some more in-depth posts in the coming months, but in the meantime here goes:

Grounds

Here’s a look at some of the property around the meetinghouse.

Renovations

We worked all of July and most of August renovating the caretakers’ space upstairs. With that being done (for the most part) we’ve moved on to some outside projects like repairing the front walkway and getting the mower working.

Great finds at the meetinghouse

In the course of moving in we found some great stuff: pamphlets, guestbooks, and notebooks dating back to the late 60s. There was sewing-table-turned-drafting-desk that one Friend believes may have belonged to William Huntington and outside we found an unnervingly large mushroom.

Thoughts on Designing a Tour Poster That Works

Warm Needles Poster

Andy texted and said, “If you were to make a Warm Needles tour poster how would it look?” I replied, “Better than if you made it.” And that’s how I got roped into making the Warm Needles East Coast Tour April 2014 poster.

I recently finished up this tour poster for my buddies’ band Warm Needles. Below are some thoughts on the process and application of the design I came up with.

Design for the medium

Before sitting down to design the poster I thought about all the different places the image would wind up and how it would or would not work in each. I was designing it primarily to be printed but had to be cognizant that it would wind up in a bunch different contexts on the web.

Meatspace applications

  • Tour Poster
    • Either silkscreened or short-run digital print
    • Used for promotion or as limited/numbered print for sale at shows
    • Needs the dates for the entire tour
  • Show Poster
    • Either silkscreened or short-run digital print
    • Needs a spot for show specific info
      • Ability for local promotors to manipulate and print poster
      • Ability for local promotors to write in info on printed poster

Web applications

  • Facebook Event pages
    • Just about every show on this tour had event page on Facebook
  • Instagram photo
    • Would need to be square
  • Twitter, Bandsintown, Web Forums, etc.
    • Scaled images would need to be legible

Once I had all that stuff sussed out I designed the 11″ x 17″ tour poster first. While putting it together I kept in mind that I’d need a version that worked without the dates and a version that could be made to work well as a square. I also made sure that any type was big enough to be read easily at common sizes on the screen.

Idiot Proof Deliverables

I knew this project would be out of my hands once I delivered the digital files to Andy. Now, I’m not saying he’s an idiot (I’m also not not saying he’s and idiot either) but once out in the wild any number of promotors, bands, printers, printmakers, etc. could be handling the files. I wanted to set them up in a way that minimized any ambiguity or unintended consequences.

Here’s a run down of what I supplied:

  • PDF file for the tour poster
    • Included all the tour dates.
    • An 11″ x 17″ PDF file with images set to 300DPI CMYK and all the type outlined.
    • Clearly labeled as “For Print”
    • I purposely created a design that didn’t require bleeds to minimize confusion.
  • PDF file for the show poster
    • Included space for show information.
    • An 11″ x 17″ PDF file with images set to 300DPI CMYK and all the type outlined.
    • Clearly labeled as “For Print”
    • I purposely created a design that didn’t require bleeds to minimize confusion.
  • Web versions of each poster
    • Included for Facebook, Twitter, etc.
    • A 792 × 1224 pixel RGB JPG
  • Square versions of each poster
    • Intended for Instagram.
    • A 2376 × 2376 pixel RGB JPG
  • Facebook Header
    • A 851 × 315 pixel RGB JPG set to Facebooks specs.

I also included the files for the typeface I used which was the awesome League Gothic Italic (more on this below). This way it’d be easy for any of the local promotors to drop in information to print or post. You can check out one such image here.

Promoting the shows

The whole point of doing all this shit is to propagate the images and get ‘em in front of as many eyeballs as possible. The more eyeballs, the more people at the shows. Here’s how the band implemented getting these images around:

  • Andy did a short digital run of the show posters and snail-mailed a grip of ‘em to each of the promotors.
  • The band used the header image to create and event page for the tour
  • The square tour image was used around twitter, facebook, instagram, etc.
  • An e-mail went out to all the show promoters that included all the deliverables to implement as they saw fit.
  • E-mails with images were sent out to press (web news sites, alternatively weeklies along the tour route, etc.)

A note about Creative Commons and Public Domain

I have no natural drawing ability and only limited photography skills. As a result I’ve always relied on reworking, reusing, and remixing photos and typefaces to make stuff like this. In the early days I’d photocopy images from newspapers or library books with no thought to copyright or any of that stuff.

Nowadays it’s so easy to use find really great stuff that’s in the public domain or licensed to share with Creative Commons or other open licenses. So that’s what I usually do.  Here’s what I used this time around:

"Pam"

The background picture is from the National Archives UK. It’s a public domain picture on Flickr.

I used League Gothic Italic  for all the text which is licensed with the Open Font License by The League of Movable Type.

League Gothic Italic graphic from The League of Movable Type

League Gothic Italic graphic from The League of Movable Type

Solid Mfg. Year End List

Here’s my list of the top 22 records we printed stuff for at Solid Mfg. in 2013. The list includes the projects I enjoyed working on the most… either because the music ripped, the artwork was awesome, or the customer is just plain fun to work with.

This year’s list is made up from all printed parts we did, but now that we’re doing manufacturing for vinyl, CDs, and band merch next year should be rounded out with more of that stuff.

Cool. Thanks to all the bands and record labels that used us this year!!!

  1. Boilerman “Loss Leaders” LP Jacket and Insert  (Self Released)
    • First LP from Chicago piece. Great record but they’re even better live.
  2. No Sir, I Won’t “The Door” 12” Jacket and Inner Sleeve (Framework Label)
    • Six song EP from Boston anarcho-punkers. Dudes from Libyans and Awful Man.
  3. Odz Manouk / Tukaaria LP Jacket (Final Agony)
    • Final Agony is one of my favorite labels to work on stuff with. Always top notch packaging!
  4. Argentinum Astrum “Malleus Maleficarum” LP Jacket and Insert (Anti Corporate Music)
    • Knoxville, TN Black/Sludge/Doom.
  5. Fucking Invincible “Downtown is Dead” 7″ Jackets (Atomic Action! Records)
    • Dudes from Drop Dead. Ripper 8-song EP!
  6. Canadian Rifle “Deep Ends” LP Jacket (Dirt Cult Records)
    • Tons of great releases on Dirt Cult this year. Hard to pick just one!
  7. Murder-Suicide Pact “Die Screaming” LP Jacket (Give Praise Records)
    • Last LP from Florida legends. On the prolific and Give Praise Records. Hi Paul!
  8. Skeletonwitch “Serpents Unleashed” Gatefold LP Jacket (Prosthetic Records)
    • Prosthetic Records scores an A+ on being a big label that’s beyond great to deal with!
  9. Mallwalkers “Shake The Rust Off” LP Jacket (Peterwalkee Records)
    • Matto of Phlegm Chuckers fame releases funk-punkers first LP.
  10. The Slow Death “No Heaven” LP Jacket (Rad Girlfriend Records)
    • LP version of the CD on A.D.D. Great band on a great label
  11. RVIVR “The Beauty Between” LP Jacket, Insert, and Poster (Rumbletowne Records)
    • One of our first customers. Last I heard, they were trying to make a video for each song on the record.
  12. Best Practices “Sore Subjects” 7″ Folder (Tor Johnson Records)
    • Record label impresario Paul Dechichio releasing his own band’s 7″. Just like Ian MacKaye.
  13. Potboiler “Rolling Boil” LP Jacket (Salinas Records)
    • Old New Paltz, NY band gets a vinyl re-issue of cassette release.
  14. Multiple Truths “No One Wins” (Halo of Flies)
    • Mariam from MRR and friends.
  15. Cloud Becomes Your Hand “Rocks Or Cakes” (Feeding Tube Records)
    • My old Long Island buddy Stephe Cooper doing some weirdo stuff.
  16. M. Akers “Unused Score For La Puntura Velenosa Della Notte” 7″ Jacket (Death Wound Zine)
    • A mystery wrapped in an enigma.
  17. Descontrol “Producto De Las Circunstancias” LP Jacket (Odio Los Discos)
    • Peruvian dis-punk from the 80s. Reissue of classic demo.
  18. Weed “Deserve” LP Jacket (Couple Skate Records)
    • Who doesn’t like weed?
  19. Angry Gods Greyed Delay/The Swell  7″ Folder (Nervous Habit Records)
    • New Chicago, IL punk and hardcore label. Nice people!
  20. The Dentists “Some People Are On The Pitch” LP Jacket and Inner Sleeve (Trouble In Mind)
    • Re-issue of this 80s U.K. band’s debut full length.
  21. The David Liebe Hart Band “The David Liebe Hart Band Album” LP Jacket (Evil Weevil Records)
    • David Lieve Hart from Tim and Eric Awesome Show, Great Job!
  22. Parquet Courts “American Specialties” LP Jacket (Play Pinball! Records)
    • Debut cassette released as an LP by the awesome Play Pinball! Records.
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Traffic Violation Records Distro Catalog 2001

I scanned this whole thing a couple of years ago but never did anything with it.  So, here it is. This is the 16 page distro catalog that I did for Traffic Violation back in 2001. Pretty cool looking through these short descriptions of records all these years later. Some of the writing is cringeworthy but oh well.  Take a look:

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finaly

Band Map Progress

finaly

Tons more bands added to the map

I’ve made a lot of progress since yesterday’s post! Big thanks to all the people who e-mailed and replied on Facebook and Twitter! I was able to link up 3 out of the 5 bands that were giving me trouble. Also, the websites Discogs.com and BandToBand.com were both extremely helpful. The OmniGraffle program has been indispensable for putting this all together.

Here are some of the improvements since yesterday:

  • Through some heroics using Brian from Striped Basstards connection to Kevin from Beyond I was able to link up to Divide and Conquer and Robotnicka to the rest of the cloud – mostly thanks to Paint It Black. I also found an alternate path that goes back to Latterman through Paint It Black. It gets a little convoluted up there, so I’ll probably try pruning it down as I move forward.
  • Arun from I Farm chimed in on facebook and improved the band’s links back to the cloud.
  • Dave from If You Make It and Laura Stevenson and the Cans helped get Operation: Cliff Clavin connected. Thanks homie.
  • My buddy Micah on Facebook provided multiple helpful hints which helped add and connect a bunch of bands.
  • I filled in a lot of the important shared but non-essential bands linked to TVR stuff. ie. The Gay, Gay, Gay, Gay, Bonerz.

More to be done

So that leaves All The Answers as the only band not linked back to the cloud. I’ve got a feeling that the Whiskey Trench -> Omegas connection will somehow get us back to the rest of the map, but we’ll see.

Once that’s connected, I’ll probably move the project over to a small group of people to finish up. I’m looking forward to some hard editorial choices on what bands to add and subtract from the basic structure. Then on to arranging the the flow of the thing to a more sensible configuration. After that, hopefully Lubrano will help me to illustrate the whole thing… then I’m thinking 33″x23″ newsprint poster via Solid MFG.

Any homies looking to help

Anybody but with additional ideas about connections, please hit me up at wells.tipley@gmail.com. If you want to keep track of progress, you can sign up to follow this blog by e-mail over to the right. Thanks!

Traffic Violation Records 20 Year Anniversary

tvr

You’re not old school, you’re just old

We’re coming up on 2015 which will mark the 20 year anniversary of the founding of my old record label Traffic Violation Records. The label released almost 30 records for a slew of DIY punk and hardcore bands from Long Island, NY and beyond.  In it’s short existence between 1995 and 2002 we released records by Splurge, I Farm, Operation: Cliff Clavin, Contra, The Insurgent, On The Might Of Princes, Latterman, and a bunch more.  A lot of the folks from old TVR bands went on to be in bands like Bent Outta Shape, Small Arms Dealer, Sainte Catherines, Ghost Mice, Bridge and Tunnel, Fellow Project, RVIVR, Iron Chic, and more.

Traffic Violation band map

One of the things I’m working on ahead of the anniversary is a band map charting the relationships among TVR bands by way of shared members. Think Seattle Band Map or Band to Band. My idea is to wind up with a nice big poster illustrated by someone like Righteous Indignation (wink, wink).

Here’s what I’ve got so far:

bandmap

I have all the TVR bands on there in maroon boxes. I’ve connected them all to the best of my knowledge. In white I’ve added “connector bands.” These are bands with shared members that help link TVR bands to each other.

There are a lot of related bands that I’ve left off so far. These are bands with shared members that are notable, but don’t help in directly linking TVR bands.

Here’s the list of those:

related

Of course, these will eventually go in.  But for now, I’m more concerned with clarifying what I already have and connecting the few remaining unconnected TVR bands.

Help me, please!?!

Here’s what I need help with:

  • I need to figure out a way to connect the unconnected TVR bands to the larger cloud. I realize this may be a long chain, but if it’s possible I’d like to do it. Here are the bands that I don’t currently have connected:
    • Operation: Cliff Clavin
    • All The Answers
    • Divide And Conquer
    • Robotnicka
  • I’m sure I’m missing connections between bands already on the map. Any help with that would be appreciated. Examples: Does Nakatomi Plaza share members with any bands on the map besides The Insurgent and De La Hoya? Probably Bridge and Tunnel, right? I need to clarify stuff like that.
  • Some of the ways I used to connect bands to the larger crowd are probably not the best available. I think those pathways can be improved. Specifically I’m talking about:
    • Latterman -> I Farm
    • Disenchanted -> Striped Basstards

If you have any information you can add please, please, please, hit me up at wells.tipley@gmail.com or leave a comment below. Ideally I’d like to hook up with a few dedicated Traffic Violation nerds who can help me polish this thing off and get it into some kind of shape to pass off to an illustrator.

Other projects going forward

I’ve got some other ideas about ways to celebrate the anniversary by compiling audio, visual, and written documentation. My archives are spilling over with flyers, photos, records, tapes, DATS, VHS videos, zines, interviews, etc. Documenting our particular scene was always the mission of Traffic Violation, so it would be neat to revisit that mission 20 years later.

If you have any ideas or material, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with me at wells.tipley@gmail.com.