DID YOU READ

The Artists of Flatstock: Peter Cardoso

The Artists of Flatstock: Peter Cardoso (photo)

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This year marks graphic designer and poster artist Pete Cardoso’s sixth time showcasing his Ghost-Town Design work at Flatstock, and when I ran into him he was celebrating, not a run in with a musician, but with another kind of rock star. “I was at The Sounds’ show with my girlfriend last night and we met Jon Hamm. My wife wanted to say hi, and I was like, ‘I mean, of course. It’s Don Draper.'”

Cardoso strikes me as a fellow who would have done well in the Mad Men days of advertising — he is a man of varied inspiration, with diverse applications for his talents. In addition to his posters, he designs apparel, merchandise, and album covers. It’s not very punk rock for a poster artist to talk about their day job, but Cardoso proudly speaks of his full-time graphic designer gig at Reebok — like Draper, he understands that behind every shiny corporate image is a valuable creative brain that helps construct the message. Refreshingly upbeat, Cardoso is an encouraging, mentorly voice in the small, competitive world of gigpostering. Talking to him, you know he believes with a little talent, and a lot of perseverance, anyone can break into poster making.

How long have you been making rock posters?
About 12 years now.

And how did you get started?
I learned from this gentleman here (referring to the man in the next booth over), Mr. Mark Medina, in a little arts community center in Rhode Island called AS220, which was one of the country’s only free arts centers for a long time. It was an incredible opportunity. I think I was Mark’s only student. But that was where I learned how to print.

Who was the first band you ever did a poster for?
My first poster was for the The Mr. T Experience. It has an image of Marilyn Monroe on it. I talked to Frank Portman (lead singer of Mr. T) and he said, “I found this great old image of Marilyn Monroe, lets put it on a poster,” and I was sold.

How many posters do you churn out a month?
I do about 2-3 jobs a month, which is a lot, actually. I work a lot with Lupo’s Heartbreak Hotel and the Met Cafe, both clubs in Providence. And I work with a variety of bands who hire me. But I try to work as much in New England as possible. I try to keep it as close to my home base as I can.

How would you describe your signature style?

Pop with a punk aesthetic in there. I think I default to design tactics, but would love to do more illustration. I usually use a combination of the two. I love the use of typography and really old imagery. A lot of my poster design heroes did that early on. Art Chantry is definitely one of my favorites. And the guys at Methane Studios — I’m really inspired by them. And Mike King. I sort of look to those guys for inspiration.

When you’re making a poster for a particular band, draw the inspiration for your ideas from?
It pretty much come from the overall feeling I have about the band. I love a lot of different kinds of music, so there’s not just one thing that I listen to or gravitate towards. I love folk, I love punk, I love jazz — I actually own a ton of jazz. A lot of times I just go to bookstores and the library and look through books and old catalogs of images I’ve never seen or are long forgotten that might match up with a feeling I have about a particular act. I have a collection at this point of images I’ve uncovered and thought, ‘Wow. That would go great with this type, and this image, for this band when they need it.’ It’s definitely like a puzzle for me.

Do you have any words of advice for people trying to break into poster-making?

Definitely make friends with your local scene as far as various artists and various bands. When I started out it was just about working with the clubs close by. Because you never know — bands go on tour and they put you in touch with other bands. And all of a sudden you have groups calling you up, saying, ‘We love your work — can you do something for us in Boston or New York.’ Your ability to network helps you get bigger and bigger from there. And the other thing, is just study design history. Look at a lot of things form the past. Look at books and posters and paintings. I got to a lot of museums for inspiration. You should pay attention to your peers in the present too, but you know, trends are trends.

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New Nasty

Whips, Chains and Hand Sanitizer

Turn On The Full Season Of Neurotica At IFC's Comedy Crib

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Jenny Jaffe has a lot going on: She’s writing for Disney’s upcoming Big Hero 6: The Series, developing comedy projects with pals at Devastator Press, and she’s straddling the line between S&M and OCD as the creator and star of the sexyish new series Neurotica, which has just made its debut on IFC’s Comedy Crib. Jenny gave us some extremely intimate insight into what makes Neurotica (safely) sizzle…

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IFC: How would you describe Neurotica to a fancy network executive you met in an elevator?

Jenny: Neurotica is about a plucky Dominatrix with OCD trying to save her small-town dungeon. 

IFC: How would you describe Neurotica to a drunk friend of a friend you met in a bar?

Jenny: Neurotica is about a plucky Dominatrix with OCD trying to save her small-town dungeon. You’re great. We should get coffee sometime. I’m not just saying that. I know other people just say that sometimes but I really feel like we’re going to be friends, you know? Here, what’s your number, I’ll call you so you can have my number! 

IFC: What’s your comedy origin story?

Jenny: Since I was a kid I’ve dealt with severe OCD and anxiety. Comedy has always been one of the ways I’ve dealt with that. I honestly just want to help make people feel happy for a few minutes at a time. 

IFC: What was the genesis of Neurotica?

Jenny: I’m pretty sure it was a title-first situation. I was coming up with ideas to pitch to a production company a million years ago (this isn’t hyperbole; I am VERY old) and just wrote down “Neurotica”; then it just sort of appeared fully formed. “Neurotica? Oh it’s an over-the-top romantic comedy about a Dominatrix with OCD, of course.” And that just happened to hit the buttons of everything I’m fascinated by. 

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IFC: How would you describe Ivy?

Jenny: Ivy is everything I love in a comedy character – she’s tenacious, she’s confident, she’s sweet, she’s a big wonderful weirdo. 

IFC: How would Ivy’s clientele describe her?

Jenny:  Open-minded, caring, excellent aim. 

IFC: Why don’t more small towns have local dungeons?

Jenny: How do you know they don’t? 

IFC: What are the pros and cons of joining a chain mega dungeon?

Jenny: You can use any of their locations but you’ll always forget you have a membership and in a year you’ll be like “jeez why won’t they let me just cancel?” 

IFC: Mouths are gross! Why is that?

Jenny: If you had never seen a mouth before and I was like “it’s a wet flesh cave with sharp parts that lives in your face”, it would sound like Cronenberg-ian body horror. All body parts are horrifying. I’m kind of rooting for the singularity, I’d feel way better if I was just a consciousness in a cloud. 

See the whole season of Neurotica right now on IFC’s Comedy Crib.

The-Craft

The ’90s Are Back

The '90s live again during IFC's weekend marathon.

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Photo Credit: Everett Digital, Columbia Pictures

We know what you’re thinking: “Why on Earth would anyone want to reanimate the decade that gave us Haddaway, Los Del Rio, and Smash Mouth, not to mention Crystal Pepsi?”

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Thoughts like those are normal. After all, we tend to remember lasting psychological trauma more vividly than fleeting joy. But if you dig deep, you’ll rediscover that the ’90s gave us so much to fondly revisit. Consider the four pillars of true ’90s culture.

Boy Bands

We all pretended to hate them, but watch us come alive at a karaoke bar when “I Want It That Way” comes on. Arguably more influential than Brit Pop and Grunge put together, because hello – Justin Timberlake. He’s a legitimate cultural gem.

Man-Child Movies

Adam Sandler is just behind The Simpsons in terms of his influence on humor. Somehow his man-child schtick didn’t get old until the aughts, and his success in that arena ushered in a wave of other man-child movies from fellow ’90s comedians. RIP Chris Farley (and WTF Rob Schneider).

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Teen Angst

In horror, dramas, comedies, and everything in between: Troubled teens! Getting into trouble! Who couldn’t relate to their First World problems, plaid flannels, and lose grasp of the internet?

Mainstream Nihilism

From the Coen Bros to Fincher to Tarantino, filmmakers on the verge of explosive popularity seemed interested in one thing: mind f*cking their audiences by putting characters in situations (and plot lines) beyond anyone’s control.

Feeling better about that walk down memory lane? Good. Enjoy the revival.

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And revisit some important ’90s classics all this weekend during IFC’s ’90s Marathon. Check out the full schedule here.

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Get Physical

DVDs are the new Vinyl

Portlandia Season 7 Now Available On Disc.

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In this crazy digital age, sometimes all we really want is to reach out and touch something. Maybe that’s why so many of us are still gung-ho about owning stuff on DVD. It’s tangible. It’s real. It’s tech from a bygone era that still feels relevant, yet also kitschy and retro. It’s basically vinyl for people born after 1990.

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Inevitably we all have that friend whose love of the disc is so absolutely repellent that he makes the technology less appealing. “The resolution, man. The colors. You can’t get latitude like that on a download.” Go to hell, Tim.

Yes, Tim sucks, and you don’t want to be like Tim, but maybe he’s onto something and DVD is still the future. Here are some benefits that go beyond touch.

It’s Decor and Decorum

With DVDs and a handsome bookshelf you can show off your great taste in film and television without showing off your search history. Good for first dates, dinner parties, family reunions, etc.

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Forget Public Wifi

Warm up that optical drive. No more awkwardly streaming episodes on shady free wifi!

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Inter-not

Internet service goes down. It happens all the time. It could happen right now. Then what? Without a DVD on hand you’ll be forced to make eye contact with your friends and family. Or worse – conversation.

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Self Defense

You can’t throw a download like a ninja star. Think about it.

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If you’d like to experience the benefits DVD ownership yourself, Portlandia Season 7 is now available on DVD and Blue-Ray.