dave - are you still in touch with adam? last time i saw him (maybe 5+ years ago), he was working on a fishing magazine and had little to do with the "music scene". i got the feeling he burned out and walked away from it (like a LOT of people did in seattle).
anyway, if you do still have contact with him, tell him i said 'hi'. i always liked him.
dave - thanks for getting on here and solving the mystery of this poster. do you have any more of dawn's pieces to post up here (or anybody else's)?
you moved to portland in '94. but, i suppose you still played in seattle after that? could this be from a later show? i suppose it really doesn't matter. besides, jeff was already working for sub pop by that point. seems to me he got a 45 by your band onto that label, right? i seem to remember something like that...
i rmember some dude tellng me to go see sleep if i ever saw them. i had a copy of this zine-THORAZINE with an article on them. i saw mZt pike in front of that orange amp (well, it was green, actually-which struck me as beyond cool). funny thing is, i didn't like 'em when i first heard them. then i saw that opening scene in gummo, set to dragonaught. i could feel the hook set in my lip...
I did this poster...I'm pretty sure. I can't find the original to prove it but all of my early lettering is an exact duplicate of this stoner doodling. Back then I smoked like two eighths a week so, sadly, embarassingly, when Art started posting all of this old stuff I realized there were many things that I didn't remember doing (it was 13 years ago, afterall). It's funny to read the discourse on this piece after all of these years. I was like 22 and baked and, as I have done for 13 years since, I was simply responding to something. I must have gotten it in my mind at the time that the poster needed bad stoner lettering and no image to sum up this show.
It's been almost 4 years now since I smoked any pot and I'm a totally different person (for the better).
Even more unrelated: my band Stymie played with Sleep at the Off Ramp a couple of years after this show (in 1992 or something). It was my first taste of them and I was blown away. We did our sound check and then these hesher dudes who looked like Black Sabbath from the old days (my favorite band since 7th grade) came out and started loading in all this Orange equpment. They set up and fucking blew me away. So heavy. So loud.
i don't know how old these comments are but, from my point of view, i can't read it either, even after studying it; is that neurosis, sleep, bone, something, sore, something? its TOO illegible, making the lettering difficult to read but decipherable to like minds is one thing, but this one is next to impossible, its the milemarker debate again! i don't think the poster has been executed well enough to make the gig look particularly tempting. nice in theory, but this one doesn't convince. :|
Point taken Art, I tend to judge things aesthetically FIRST (human nature?) and if it doesn't please my eye immediately, I move...perhaps I'm a brainless lemming, a perfect victim for the advertising world. I buy Skippy™ because I thinkit has the best label of alkl the peanut butters, although JIF™ is running a close second.
jeph - ya know, the point i was struggling to make was to point out that the choice of illegibility is realy no different than puting on a flower, or a dead baby or a saturn vs. a lexus, or yellow or red. all of these things mean something to the casual viewer (depending on their interests and backgrounds and sghared experiences) and will attract ot turn away people depending on how we use it. the instinctive skill of the human mind in doing this is the root basis of advertising, marketing , even art and language - dare i say CULTURE. the mere fact that you reacted negatively to illegibility is just another tool at the designer's disposal to control the message in the viewer.
same with with no color pictures in newspapers. same thing.
I think Jeff's comment is really valid about anyone coming to check out a band. One of the worst things to develop in the punk scene was the really stupid boneheaded elitism and reverse bashing that went on. It ruined shows in Chicago.
to be honest, i have always been able to read this just fine, but then i've been initiated into that subculture. never had a single problem reading this. in fact, i first spotted it from a passing vehicle and pulled my car over to pick it off a pole.
so, the rest of this conversation is up to you. if you reject this poster's communication technique, then you don't get, then it's not for you. that is the point. beyond that, i can't explain any more.
"If my band were playing a show I'd want anyone to come in check us out, and THEN they could decide if they liked the band." Jeph, a lotta folks wanted to keep "the others" away, like jocks who would start fights with the weirdos.
What kind of logic is that? If my band were playing a show I'd want anyone to come in check us out, and THEN they could decide if they liked the band. If it were a graphic like skulls or something then I could see your point, but being that it's just type, it should be readable.
I dig it. Since Punk rock made me listen to music differently, It also, in combination with Dada and Expressionist/Raw art made me look at the visual world differently. I really like stuff that is off the beaten path in every way. I think what is kind of cool about these posters is the sort of "freeness" or lack of caring what others think, just cranking it out. Some are more succesful than others, for sure. the graffiti art that a lot of artists have used in the last decade, esp the lettering , just stops me in my tracks. I like it even if I CANT read it. But then, again, Im kind of goofy.
you are absolutely right, if you view postering from the 'billboard' school of thought (i.e. 3-second attention span, must be read from a passing vehicle). however, the psych and punk eras were not trying to attract mainstream audiences. they were trying to scare off the mainstream and only attract 'like' minds. illegibility was actually a tool to scare off the straights and attract their own community. it was almost a secret cypher or coded approach. it was intentional, therefore, illegibility was a GOOD thing.
of course, that all changed when profits and financial success entered the picture and the mainstream dollars were highly desirable. sorta like today...