Last week, as I was leaving my local record store (oh wait, I don't have to give an explanation for this nearly historical term - "record store" - do I?) a fairly horrible home-scrawled poster caught my eye. Whether it announced a band appearance or a DJ night, I wasn't sure. A quick check of My Space, the OED of musical moments, confirmed it was a band and a more horrible one than it's lousy poster suggested. The poster tugged at my heartstrings for a nostalgic moment as I crumpled it in my hand. Suddenly, the paper shot up into the air and hovered over the room bathed in a golden glow. From far, far away a deep voice boomed, "What is wrong with you earthlings? Where have all of the good band posters gone? WTF?"
"Indeed!", I responded to the growling extra-terrestrial voice. "And what about all the great lost pet posters that used to blanket telephone poles?" Oh, the sad and sorry state of band poster affairs is all because of the My Spacebook era, I mused. But, the lost pet thing, I can't explain. Maybe home computers have made all pets super well behaved and they never ever stray far from home. Wow, Steve Jobs really IS a god.
Remember when a band worth its' dirty jeans spent half their time practicing and half at the local copy shop? Of course having a member who worked there greatly boosted the chances of a slick band poster. No shadows around your cut-N-paste technology! Oh, the long nights of creating text and cutting and re-arranging, prior to the magic of photo shop. Now every band can look as clip art lame-ass as the local pizza parlor. The democratic ability for ALL visuals to look bad is so very, very sad!
Thankfully we have randomly placed saviors in certain cities who have greatly aided the local scene. They help bands stay attuned to high visual standards AND tasty licks. Providence, RI has an abnormally high preponderance of art driven band posters. So much so, that the local Museum was actually forced into giving them a show to get this volume out there into the public eye. Crafty guy Mat Daly makes Chicago a prettier place by providing lovely visual scores to many traveling troubadours.
I'm going to sit right down, put Free Kitten on the hi-fi and scrawl a band poster for an imaginary band. Then I will clutter a few poles with the imagery and feel like I have done a good deed for today.