K for The Record!

Tuesday, July 3rd, 2012

Next week the Henry Art Gallery in Seattle, Washington will be hosting the traveling exhibition called The Record: Contemporary Art and Vinyl. It explores the culture of vinyl phonograph records in contemporary art through sculpture, installation, drawing, painting, photography, sound work, video and performance and was organized by the Nasher Museum of Art, Duke University. The Hive Dwellers will be performing at the opening night party at the Henry Art Gallery on Friday, July 13.

The Henry Art Gallery have added a local component to the exhibition they call The B-Side, which examines Northwest labels and recording artists. K was invited to participate in The B-Side and has sent ten K albums from the last twenty-something years for spectator perusal. What follows is a list of said albums with brief descriptions.

Lois Butterfly Kiss [KLP015]
A perfect pop record. The beautifully designed cover says everything you need to know about the music: black guitar, arched eyebrow, artful calligraphy and a cup of tea. Butterfly Kiss was produced by Stuart Moxham (Young Marble Giants) in the Northwest to tour with Lois, Beat Happening, Heavens to Betsy and Bratmobile; the latter contributing drummer Molly Newman to these recording sessions.

Chain & the Gang Down with Liberty…up with Chains! [KLKP203]
Says IanChainSvenonius: “Everywhere that liberty goes, it leaves a path of destruction: fast food, bad architecture, materialism, rampant greed, environmental destruction, imperial conquest, class struggle…” He does have a point. However, being chained to the bedpost every night doesn’t keep him from rockin’ that battered guitar. Prepare to sing along.

Dub Narcotic Sound System Boot Party [KLP040]
While mixing up a batch of demon’s head pudding the Dub Narcotic Sound System accidentally rubbed two sticks together and Flame On! We’ve got Robotica in overdrive, a new season of the twitch. Bend yourself in two. The cover displays the fabled Frese Audio Pilot (developed in Wenatchee, Washington).

Old Time Religion Catharsis in Crisis [KLP184]
An ultimate statement from Old Time Religion and their continued residency at Dub Narcotic Studio. Catharsis in Crisis is the third volume in their Lost Light Trilogy, which began with Lost Light [KLP159] and continued with 2012 [KLP171].  Steve Fisk contributes his mixing prowess and it really ties the whole room together. Cover art by Arrington de Dionysis just gets better and better.

Mirah You think it’s Like This but Really It’s Like This [KLP112]
This is the first album by Mirah, with an LP cover completely different than the compact disc version (a photograph of the artist in oversized goggles). This is a drawing by Khaela Maricich (The Blow) of Mirah’s family farm in Pennsylvania, where she stays each winter to tap maple trees to make syrup. This record is the first of Mirah’s fruitful collaborations at Dub Narcotic Studio with Phil Elverum.

The Beakers Four Steps Toward a Cultural Revolution [KLP163]
The Beakers were a Seattle combo that existed for one eventful year and had a lasting impact on a young Calvin Johnson. This album collects their one single and multiple previously unavailable recordings to provide a snapshot of a time and place and ver amusing human race. The cover art mutates Picasso’s famous Guernica (1937) painting into a gridiron melee, an illustration from their “Football Season Is in Full Swing” 45 rpm phonograph record (Mr. Brown, 1980).

The Curious Mystery We Creeling [KLP225]
We Creeling represents the Curious Mystery’s second journey from Seattle to Olympia’s Dub Narcotic Studio, this time with production guidance by Karl Blau. The cover design is by Stacey Rozich, her first foray into album cover artwork.

Some Velvet Sidewalk Shipwreck [KLP032]
The vision of Alan Larsen, Some Velvet Sidewalk recorded several albums and singles for K over the course of ten years. Shipwreck was their second album, recorded with the brief line-up of Tobi Vail (The Go Team, Bikini Kill, Spider & the Webs) and Australian Louise Olsen (Matrimony). It includes some of the favorites from Some Velvet Sidewalk‘s live experience, “Dumb”, “Mousetrap”, “Eyes Like Yours”. The cover art by Alan Larsen utilized a sign printing machine purchased from a shoe store in downtown Olympia and features a photograph on the record label of Alan in front of the iconic Yardbirds Family Shopping Center.

The Crabs Sand and Sea [KLP095]
Labeled “the most Succulent pop stars in the Northwest”, the Crabs were rumored to be the inspirational amalgam for several characters on Twin Peaks. Sand and Sea adds Sarah Dougher to the basic Jonn Lunsford/Lisa Jackson line-up. Cover art is by Olympia paper cut artist Nikki McClure (also a K recording artist with two volumes in our International Pop Underground series of 7” 45 rpm phonograph records).

Beat Happening Black Candy [KLP006]
The third album by Beat Happening, recorded in Ellensburg, Washington with Steve Fisk during the summer of 1988. Cover drawing is by band member Heather Lewis. Lee Conner of the Screaming Trees provided auxiliary noise spectacular.