Category Archives: hey! they made something!

On Paint Pens in Purses (aka a totally rad female urban art collective).


Photos from a series I shot for the Boston Phoenix of the Paint Pens in Purses art show at the recently-closed Marty’s Liquors space. See the whole series here.

Previously: Photos, video and a write-up of the Paint Pens gals muralizing LAB’s windows

“Paint Pens in Purses” #2

From the Phlog:

Don’t try to say the name of the show three times fast, just go see it. I was lucky enough to loiter around LAB – the city-hip clothing store/experimental art space/purveyor of weird Japanese toys/record seller and occasional DJ party spot – on Friday night, while store owner Kim Harris, “Paint Pens in Purses” founder Shayna Shenanigans, and other artists hung prints and photographs on the store’s walls, and created a large, trippy, animal-filled mural on LAB’s front windows, before the eyes of anyone passing by on Brighton Avenue. (Transforming windows into canvases, thus taking advantage of the instant audience: Allston’s heavy sidewalk traffic, is the LAB crew’s thing – check out photos and time-lapse video of past works here and here.) Shenanigans and friends were at LAB till the wee morning hours, prepping the space for the opening of the second installment of PPP, the “all-female urban art series” – the first was at Via Matta in August. From the looks of the packed reception party Saturday night, it was worth it. Here’s hoping there’ll be a third, fourth, etc. installments. Look here or here, for more information about the show. Below, you’ll find photos of PPP coming together.

Wednesday headphone songs

Oh, hello. Here’s a list of songs I’m currently listening to overandoverandoverandover. Some are old, some are new, some aren’t even officially “out” yet. Listen to them with a solid pair of headphones – not earbuds! Why not try the sparkling pair above? – they’re better that way. Sort of like hot dogs are always better at baseball games, popcorn is always better at movies (even when it costs half your paycheck), and coffee is better… oh wait, coffee’s always good. Listen away, friends:

French Kicks, “Abandon” from Swimming

Blitzen Trapper, “The Green King Sings” from Wild Mountain Nation

Beck, “Chemtrails” from Modern Guilt

The Helio Sequence, “Keep Your Eyes Ahead” from Keep Your Eyes Ahead

Faces on Film, “Natalie’s Numbers” from The Troubles

Deerhunter, “Little Kids” from Microcastle

Boards of Canada, “Dawn Chorus” from Geogaddi

Age Rings, “Rock ‘n’ Roll is Dead” from Black Honey (But I’m not allowed to post this one yet, because I don’t have the final version. So you’ll have to trust me – it’s awesome.)

Daniel Johnston’s art sale

Via OTD:

Dirty Pilot, an art gallery based in Cochituate, is hosting an exhibit of Captain America drawings by the indie cult-favorite singer-songwriter Daniel Johnston. The artwork’s entirely online – the gallery used to have a physical space, but now has retired to the Interwebs, according to their website. From the inbox:

“Over the course of Daniel Johnston’s career as well documented through this survey of drawings from the mid 1970’s thru 2005, Daniel has continuously wrestled artistically with his signature character Captain America. This super hero has not only been equated by Daniel with a symbol of Divine Glory and the American Dream, but also with the worship of his father Bill a decorated war veteran.

This overview explores a range of work from Daniel’s early College notebook drawings through his later finished color and B&W drawings.

Recent accomplishments include the award-winning documentary “The Devil and Daniel Johnston”, a property of Sony Pictures Classics, opened to rave reviews on March 31st 2006, in both NY and LA, and the long-awaited DVD release of the film was released on September 19th, ‘06. Running concurrently with the opening of the film was a major show of Daniel’s artwork at a prominent NY gallery and a collection of Daniel’s work at the Whitney Museum’s Biennial exhibit!”

We’ll admit it – we loved The Devil and Daniel Johnston. It was a fascinating documentary of a musician whose influence is evident in today’s indie rock, yet he’s still not particularly well-known (outside of ’80’s and ’90’s indie rock fans, and the aforementioned cult followers). We feel it should be required viewing for any music fan today, along with Stop Making Sense and Runnin’ Down a Dream. Kurt Cobain liked Johnston’s music enough to rock a “Hi How Are You” t-shirt at televised Nirvana gigs:

And Johnston’s artwork was a common thread in the movie (a reflection of the role it’s played in his life), lending an air of levity to a story that’s somewhat heartbreaking, though Johnston’s still around, still playing the occasional gig. Below, a sampling of works in Johnston’s Dirty Pilot show. Purchase if you’ve got the funds – looks like pieces are selling for about $75 – $1,800, and a few have already been sold.

See more here.

Street art attack: the crafty side of street art

From the Phlog:

Street art is fascinating enough on it’s own but, given it’s ephemeral nature, the act of photographing it is essential. And sometimes a photograph of street art, when it’s from an interesting angle or incorporates experiments with color, light, and/or contrast, is a piece of art in itself. Annie Ridlon, of Moontree Studios in Jamaica Plain, writes on her Flickr page:

“In my neighborhood there’s a 300 foot wall tucked away behind the train tracks, which serves as the canvas for one of the most gorgeous, ever-changing street murals I’ve ever beheld. It’s pretty much a secret, so there’s not many people who even know of its existence.

The wall is in a constant state of flux. Every day new pieces are added, old paint crumbles or is intentionally destroyed, layers of tags and signs and full-blown pieces are layered on top of one another. It’s an incredible riot of color and texture. It’s also a testament to the creative subculture which created it, and to the ever evolving nature of art itself.”

Photographing the mural has become a project for Ridlon, as it has for many members of Flickr’s street art groups, who scour the streets on an unending treasure hunt for the perfect (or imperfect, which can be just as alluring) stencil or freshly wheatpasted poster. Below, a smattering of Ridlon’s photos, which she’s selling prints of on the website/crafters heaven, Etsy.


Photos by oxymephorous.

We’re also digging this conceptually similar, up-close photo of the Wall in Central Square, snapped by eatskisleep.

And speaking of crafting, knitgirl is injecting originality into Vancouver’s street art scene, one brightly woven cozy at a time. If Banksy spent a few afternoons hanging out with your grandmother, this might be the result, and we totally adore the concept. knitgirl’s works seem to be everywhere – poles, trees, bikes – and it’s making us want to steal the idea, pick up some knitting sticks, and spread the trend to Boston. There’s just something so friendly – not to mention more accessible – about it. Not all street art is so easily likeable – sometimes glaring tags can be offputting. knitgirl’s work is like a friendly reminder that street art can be created in any medium, and in any place. After all, who hates mittens? Photos below.


Photo by Yorri¢k.


Photo by REDRUM (AYS).


Photo by Knightmusik. [Ed. note – We totally want one of these for our bike.]

More knitgirl photos here.

MIA launches clothing line for people with clothes-stealing friends.

Via OTD.

WWD reports today that MIA, who’s been the face of Marc Jacobs as of late (about that, she says in the article: “The whole time I was doing that campaign I was like, ‘Does Marc Jacobs know who I am? He didn’t let me into his parties and stuff six months before.'”), has started her own clothing line.

“‘I have my own label now,” Arulpragasam said, ‘which is the only thing I’ve been wearing recently.’ The eponymous collection (M.I.A., that is), which is repped by London-based publicist Mandi Lennard, included tour bus-friendly items such as bomber jackets, leggings and T-shirts, all done up in the bold hues and graphic prints for which the singer is known. And, aside from reflective glory, buying an Arulpragasam-designed piece affords its owner a little extra sartorial security. Explained the fashionista: ‘With my stuff, because everything’s really bright, if you lose it or someone steals it, you can see it from miles away and you can be like, ‘Oy! Give me my shirt back!’ Talk about bang for your buck.'”

Ooooh. I totally love that. Clothes that are bright so that your asshole friends won’t steal them! And, if I ever decide to start a band and go on a national tour, I won’t be embarrassed by my decidedly lame (and too fancy) tour bus clothes! Seriously, though, I’ve got more faith in threads created by MIA than other celeb clothing lines – anyone from the Hills, I’m looking at you – especially since I’m guessing they’ll be somewhat like the Cassette Playa-designed outfits MIA has rocked in the past (Google Images hasn’t coughed up any sneak previews of the line yet, and MIA’s website of flashing madness doesn’t have anything either). It’s a safe bet, though, that it’ll be at least three time less scary than the prospect of Amy Winehouse’s clothing and cosmetics line.

White Williams to play free Boston gig.


Photo by FensePost

Good news from the inbox:

“White Williams is playing a free show at Urban Outfitters (11 JF Kennedy St.) in Boston on Wednesday, May 21st at 8 PM to benefit WERS as part of the Toyota/Urban Outfitters Free Yr Radio campaign. Although each show is free, concert-goers must present an invite upon entry which can be printed at http://www.FreeYrRadio.com prior to each concert.”

I’m not so surprised that White Williams would be playing the Urban Outfitters gig – Free Yr Radio tends to snag either Blog Buzzed Bands (which White Williams has been over the past few months) or cult favorites, a la Dinosaur Jr. last year. Still, even faux-vintage clothing haters have to admit it’s a pretty sweet deal to catch a free outdoor well, nearly outdoor show (it’s at least not your usual dark, steamy concert venue), especially once Boston decides to throw us a bone with non-crappy weather after months of cold and slush. And who better to drag us all out of our grumpy winter stupor than White Williams, aka Joe Williams, the Cleveland-based dance pop purveyor, whose “New Violence” single (which has a backbeat that sounds vaguely like “I Wanna Be Sedated”) has been firmly lodged in my brain since, oh, November or so? The Stranger recently described him as “a Cure & The Bunnymen kind of dance-rock,” and I like that, but don’t slot him with the Killers, the Bravery etc. Williams eschews all that drama – he just wants to dance!

MySpace: White Williams
Live: White Williams on PRI’s Fair Game
Free tix to the show: Free Yr Radio