The calendar says December, so that means that somewhere within a thirty-mile radius of where I am right now, “Wonderful Christmastime” is ruining someone’s day. On the bright side, it’s also seasonally appropriate to insert Bad Santa references into your repartee (especially if you work in an office).
It’s also a fine moment to pass along an unusual gift idea—an amusing painting about rock music painted by an actual rock star!
For a few years now, you see, the highly amusing Eddie Argos, frontman of the British rock combo known as Art Brut, has been offering actual painted creations for sale on his website Lo-Fi Punk Motherfucker. Most of the paintings Argos does are of album covers. He does Art Brut album covers, of course—you can buy a painting of Art Brut’s third album Art Brut Vs. Satan or It’s a Bit Complicated if you want one. He also has a series of Pulp album covers (Different Class, Intro: The Gift Recordings, Separations, and His ‘n’ Hers).
He also has a few typically unpretentious canvases dedicated to coffee and tea and ones about mix tapes.
The most intriguing category, for my money, is the “submit your own” one, which invites you to name your favorite album. Eddie will paint the album cover while listening to the album and then submit a hard-copy review of the same album along with the finished painting. The whole deal costs £70 for the small (15 cm) and £100 for the large (30 cm)—shipping included! He will perform this service for any album you name—even the Stone Roses. (It says that, “even the Stone Roses.”)
Last year I sent Eddie the requisite cash and title (The Meadowlands, by the Wrens) and he duly reciprocated by sending me the artwork pictured above. I’m very happy with it, and it now occupies a special section of my bathroom wall (this is true).
Eddie’s Instagram page consists mostly of his album cover paintings, and they’re worth a look. Often he will append a brief comment about the album, in which you learn that he had not listened to Minutemen before (??!) and also, apparently, the Beatles, much. His comment on Soul Mining by The The is an absolute must-read.
At some point a few months ago Eddie made it known that he was no longer doing the favorite album series but a mysterious confrontation involving a spectre and a tombstone has apparently softened his heart and he has made it known via Twitter that he is “still making album paintings ... if you are looking for a Christmas present for someone.”
Much like Eddie and accepting album cover requests, Art Brut has similarly resumed an activity, namely that of releasing record albums. Earlier this year they put out a stimulating exercise in punky Sprechgesang called Wham! Bang! Pow! Let’s Rock Out! and you should certainly buy it.
More after the jump…