Album Cover Hall of Fame’s Quickie News Update and Link Summary for June, 2023
Posted June 1, 2023 by Mike Goldstein, AlbumCoverHallofFame.com
Happy post-Memorial Day/early Summer season to you all. I know that I’d told you last month that I’d be skipping the regular monthly newsletter for a month (i.e., June) in order to catch up on a ton of work that I keep having to put off, so much has happened – or is about to happen – that I thought I’d figure out some way to deliver some sort of update so important details and events are now available to you, but with much-truncated introductions. I hope that you still find the info useful.
Posted onMay 11, 2023|Comments Off on Interview with 2023 Grammy winner Dave Van Patten on the award-winning work for Rhino Records for the Grateful Dead
ACHOF’s Mike Goldstein’s interview with artist and illustrator Dave Van Patten on his 2023 Grammy Award-winning (for “Best Boxed Or Special Limited Edition Package”) work for Rhino Records on the IN AND OUT OF THE GARDEN: MADISON SQUARE GARDEN ’81 ’82 ’83! package for the Grateful Dead.
By Mike Goldstein, AlbumCoverHallofFame.com
Posted May 11, 2023
Each year, I look forward to learning more about the talented people who bring their abilities to clients in the music industry, because each year I realize that there are many artists, from all different backgrounds and disciplines, who are asked to contribute to album package projects of all sizes and styles. The past few years, while serving as a judge for some of the better-known packaging awards, I get to see the results of efforts to produce packages that, at least to me, run the gamut from pedestrian (AKA “cookie cutter”) to truly inspired and everything in between. I’m typically most-impressed by artists and design teams that, rather than take the simple path (particularly on projects for clients with a well-establish design guide), try something new and exciting, even at the risk of ticking off the purists who will accept nothing but the status quo.
I personally experienced the wrath of fans for a particular anime series that the company I was working for adapted for an American audience, even BEFORE we showed any of it to the public (“don’t you DARE touch this or change that, or you’ll be sorry” was the typical threat), so when I learned more about how the team behind this year’s Grammy-winning package in the “Best Boxed or Special Limited Edition Package” category approached the project for their client – i.e., the Grateful Dead, the band with perhaps the most-integrated fan base in the music business – and made the decision to introduce some new graphics to the package, my first reaction was “I wonder if they felt the need to take alternate routes to the office for a while?” (perhaps that was a bit dramatic, but I’m damaged goods). Of course, I also wanted to know more about the coordinated effort to produce such an impressive package, so I took my questions to one of the people responsible for this year’s award-winning project – artist Dave Van Patten – to see what he could do to both illuminate the details of the creative/production effort and also show me proof that he’d survived (and in fact, been fortified by) the reactions of Dead fans to the set he’d help put together.
Posted onMay 5, 2023|Comments Off on Interview with Martin Atkins about The Museum of Post Punk and Industrial Music
Interview with Martin Atkins about The Museum of Post Punk and Industrial Music(and album covers, naturally!)
An ACHOF Special Report by Mike Goldstein
Posted May the Fourth, 2023
Introduction – Why do people collect? It’s a question that has challenged marketing professionals, medical/psychological experts and many, many journalists over the years and, as such, many scientific studies have been done and theories have been proffered, and still there are many questions that remain unanswered, including “does collecting help us document the special moments of our lives?” or “can collecting help us reduce stress and increase our pleasures?”, etc. Scientists will geek out about the production of dopamine (a neurotransmitter that controls the brain’s reward and pleasure response) and a human being’s need to somehow preserve (or conserve) things that solicit fond memories of things we’re passionate about, while marketers and advertising pros in every segment of the product/service promotional world do their best to help us all collect souvenirs, memorabilia, fine art, stamps, sneakers, wine, wristwatches, fond memories of unique experiences and everything else that fulfills our needs in this area.
Where is the fine line between simply gathering a few of these desirable items and obsessively collecting thousands of them at great cost? Each of us surely has a story…
Posted onMay 1, 2023|Comments Off on Album Cover Hall of Fame News Update and Link Summary for May, 2023
Album Cover Hall of Fame’s News Update and Link Summary for May, 2023
Posted May 1, 2023 by Mike Goldstein, AlbumCoverHallofFame.com
Mid-Spring greetings to you all. As a mostly-retired person, I spend a fair amount of time each month corresponding with people I know all over the world (yes, album art fans are EVERYWHERE!), and this past month I noticed an uptick in the people from outside the U.S. who’ve asked me “what the hell is going on over there?!”, a blanket statement that covers questions people have about our current political divide, courtroom dramas unlike we’ve ever seen before and the credibility of our national media organizations, to which I reply “which London dry gin will I be using in my G&T today?”. These days, I’m limiting my media exposure to my Financial Times Weekend Edition (which, in addition to its coverage of world news, comes on the cutest color newsprint), episodes of House Hunters International and whatever I find of interest on the BritBox, Apple TV and PBS Passport services. Yes, I know that I’m hiding, but having watched friends and relatives lose themselves to the 24 hour news cycle here, it’s the only way I seem to be able to stay focused on both what’s good in my life and what’s interesting in the world of album cover art and the people that make it so, if you don’t mind, let’s get on with this month’s news summary.
As it’s been the case for the past several months, this past month was a rather busy one prepping things for the ACHOF site, with work being finished on Part 2 of “The Art of Imitation” articles I collaborated with Richard Forrest on (it being posted early in April) and work nearly finished on two more interviews I’ve teased you on, those being with musician/artist/museum curator Martin Atkins and artist Dave Van Patten on his Grammy Award winning work on the Grateful Dead at Madison Square Garden box sets released late in 2022. Both should be ready within the next week or so, so thanks for your patience as I work to complete those ASAP.
Posted onApril 5, 2023|Comments Off on The Art of Imitation — How Fine Artists Have Drawn Inspiration From Album Covers, Part 2
The Art of Imitation — How Fine Artists Have Drawn Inspiration From Album Covers, Part 2 of 2
By Richard Forrest and Mike Goldstein
Posted April 5, 2023 (and updated May 1, 2023)
In Part 1 of this 2-part series, we focused on Richard’s overview of the people who’ve been inspired by album imagery to create new forms of art in a wide range of different styles and media. To continue on in our exploration and discussion of reproductions and album art reimagined by those so inspired, Mike G reached out to his old chum, Boston-area artist Howie Green, to ask him some pointed (yet pointed with love and respect) questions about his work in the area.
Album Cover Hall of Fame News Update and Link Summary for April, 2023
Posted April 1 (yes, really), 2023 by Mike Goldstein, AlbumCoverHallofFame.com
Is it March or April that goes in like a lion…? In any case, I am beginning to see daffodils outside my window, so I’m in a pretty decent mood. How about you?
Before we dive into this month’s newsletter’s details, let me pontificate for a minute or two…
Every other morning, I ride an exercise bike for 48 minutes (45 minute program plus a 3-minute “cool down”) and, as a habit, listen to either podcasts or music (or both, time permitting) to distract me from the general pain/shortness of breath that I experience being an old man trying to stay ahead of my genetics. One of the shows I listen to fairly regularly is Alec Baldwin’s “Here’s The Thing”, as he often has guests talking about subjects related to art and journalism and, in late March, he hosted two investigative journalists and writers – Chris Jones and Michael Mooney – who were there to talk about a book they’d written about the team of Siegfried and Roy, whose careers as magicians/entertainers came to a dramatic end after Roy was mauled by one of the white tigers featured in their act.
In early 2023, I was reading a travel article in the FT about how some of the towns in Newfoundland were working hard to shift their economies from what they’ve relied on for ages – fishing the icy offshore waters – and learning to rely more on tourism as a source of income (if you’ve never been, you’ve got to go – it’s beautiful up there!). In the article, they introduced a local entrepreneur who was chasing two of his passions – fine art and distilling spirits – and as a fan of the products produced by both of those pursuits, it really caught my attention. What also caught my attention was that the person being featured – Peter Wilkins – had produced a series of art pieces that were based on his photographs of album covers spinning at high speed on turntables so that the resulting circular images showed only the relative positions of the graphics and their respective colors. For example, his image based on the Are You Experienced? LP cover for Jimi Hendrix shows circles of the psychedelic reds, yellows and blues (and all of the variations within) but, when you see it, you know immediately that it’s that record cover! I reached out to Peter and asked him whether he’d be up for an interview about his process and the inspiration behind this particular series (available for viewing and purchase on the website of his local gallery partner Christina Parker – https://christinaparkergallery.com/artist/peter-wilkins/). I also wanted to learn a lot more about the seaweed-flavored gin he manufactures (not yet available in the U.S., sadly, but all the more reason to venture on up there sometime soon, perhaps), but that’s for another article…
Posted onMarch 1, 2023|Comments Off on Album Cover Hall of Fame’s News Update and Link Summary for March, 2023
Album Cover Hall of Fame News Update and Link Summary for March, 2023
Posted March 1, 2023 by Mike Goldstein, AlbumCoverHallofFame.com
February might be a bit shorter than other months, but that doesn’t mean that we album art/artist fans were short-changed in the news department. Starting off with the Grammy Awards and continuing with new exhibitions, art and book releases and a lot of ancillary items, there’s plenty for us fans of album cover art/artistry to dig into, so let’s cut the chit-chat and take a look at what I’ve put together for you.
Preliminary judging has begun on the entries vying for another noted industry award – the Making Vinyl Packaging Awards – and, as one of the judges on the panel tasked to review the hundreds of submissions received, I’m curious and eager to see what always turns out to me a fascinating cross-section of examples of album covers/packages coming in from all over the world.
This month’s newsletter contains a human-curated (as opposed to an AI-generated – we’re old school here at the ACHOF) summary of the news in all of the main topic areas, with updates and info about several new museum and gallery exhibitions, new auctions and sales and a goodly number of art and artist-related articles. As always, I’d like to once again say “thanks” for your help and support, so let’s get started with some updates on the award shows recently ended and currently in progress:
Posted December 1, 2022 by Mike Goldstein, AlbumCoverHallofFame.com
Greeting to you all – nice to see you all again!
Once again, I have to apologize for leaving you without an update for the month of November, but my wife and I decided to brave the travel scene to complete a vacation trip we’d started in late 2019 that had to be truncated a) by a death in the family and b) that crazy COVID-19 thing that shut things down a bit for a year or two. This journey, which took us to NYC and then over to the U.K. and Ireland, was quite restorative and, I must admit, was timed so that we’d be out of the country on November 8th so we’d be able to have some distance between us and the pre-and-post-election media madness for a while. Of course, there was no escaping the news, but at least it was offset by all of the excitement that took place in the UK’s government while we were there, and we enjoyed the scenery/people/food there so much that it kept us in the right frame of mind, allowing us to return after a month with some degree of sanity and appreciation of life’s better things in tact.
Of course, during our travels we came across a number of album/music art-related things that added to the overall enjoyment of the experience, including a visit to the site of the new (set to open in its entirety in 2024) Universal Hip-Hop Museum in the Bronx Marketplace (NYC), with a tour provided by the museum’s director, Rocky Bucano; a visit to Liverpool, England (our first) that included an escorted overview provided by designer/author/all around great guy Andrew Dinely (of the Soft Octopus design studio there) that also included a stop at the British Music Experience – an “immersive exhibition” that takes attendees through an illustrated (via memorabilia, videos, etc.) review of the immense and diverse pop music scene in the U.K., from its beginnings in the 1950s through the most-recent BRIT Award-winning artists, and several other finds along the way (such as a memorial sculpture dedicated to the late Irish rock guitarist Rory Gallagher). I’ll be including brief articles about that as I unpack the info gathers and photos taken over the course of the next month or so.
Of course, while I was away, the first ACHOF Reader’s Poll took place, and the results of the voting will be shared a bit later in this newsletter. At the same time, another major album art-related poll – Art Vinyl’s Best Art Vinyl Awards – began gathering votes on its site (see more on this a little later as well) and the Recording Academy here in the U.S. released the names of the nominees for their upcoming Grammy Awards voting, with results to be announced early next year. Lots of great art and artistry on display, so it’ll be interesting to see how the voters/voting public responds to the announcements of the top vote-getters in all of these competitions.
Posted onOctober 1, 2022|Comments Off on Album Cover Hall of Fame’s News Update and Link Summary for October, 2022
Posted October 1, 2022 by Mike Goldstein, AlbumCoverHallofFame.com
Greetings to you all. I have to first warn you that this month’s edition of the ACHOF newsletter will be a truncated one as I’ve had to spend a lot of time and energy managing several things that have popped up and couldn’t be ignored. It will also force me to put off the publishing of the next summary until December 1st.
Sorry about that.
In any case, there should be enough basic info now to get you the basics, but it’ll be up to you to click through to get “the rest of the story” (apologies to Mr. Harvey).
I’m also working feverishly to set up the voting for this year’s fan-driven voting for “the best of the best of” in all of the main ACHOF categories, so be on the lookout in a week or so for the official announcement and a link to the polling site. Voting will be open from October 10th thru November 13th, with the final tallies announced right before Thanksgiving here in the U.S.. It’ll be exciting to see who the fan favorites are in each category – tough choices must be made, but let’s do our best to honor all of those whose names will be on the lists.
Thanks in advance for your help and your patience while I get my world back in order. Now, on with the newsletter.