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Indie Rock, the Electric Viola and Art Nouveau

6 March 2008


My sister plays the electric viola. A member of multiple bands over the past decade, she has played in warehouses and for house-parties; for weddings and in street fairs. For the larger shows she asks me to do the poster art.

The life of an indie rocker violist dictates a measure of flexiblity when it comes to performance locales. Venues include concert halls and ballrooms, but also smoky pubs and basement parties.

Below is my favorite such story:

I had yet to visit the venue in which my sis’s band was to play. Next door to the indie-rocker hipster glam bar, Tube, I figured it to be similar–expensive drinks, skinny jeans: the typical see-and-be-seen Portland crowd.

I should have been clued in by the name, Food Hole. It just sounds gross. And gross it was. I could wax at length about the lack of decor, windows (except for one that was boarded) and utter filth, however many a dive bar fit that description. Food Hole out did even the nastiest dive bar.

The single toilet was behind the stage. Not in a room, mind you, simply just behind the stage there was a toilet. And that was the bathroom. Absolutely disgusting. But highly memorable.

Tomorrow my sister leaves for SXSW in Austin, Texas in both her capacity as a musician and as a booker for the Wonder Ballroom here in Portland.

Pictured is my Art Nouveau style illustration of her wailing away on her viola. Designed to be used on business cards illustrated especially for her SXSW sojourn and screenprinted by Julie of Handmade Julz, she is now ready to assume full rock ‘n roll status.



Post a comment
  1. March 11, 2008

    I love that story and your illustration. The business cards are beautiful! I cannot wait for you to see them! Brian asked what typeface was used and he was surprised when I told him that you had drawn all of the type by hand.

  2. March 11, 2008

    What fun… an indi rock electric viola! Love the illustration you did. Good luck to you and your sister!

  3. March 12, 2008

    Loved reading your blog and your work is gorgeous. Thanks so much for visiting me. Hope you visit often. ~ Lynn

  4. March 12, 2008

    really lovely!just beautiful

  5. March 19, 2008

    Me finding beauty……? You *make* beauty. What a gift. PS Love the wine label, too.

  6. March 20, 2008

    Ack! The Food Hole! At least you were fortunate enough to see your sister there–I was once dragged in to watch the band of a friend of a friend. Little did I know that the band played death metal….!

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