The New Now Sounds Of Today!
Subtitled: Songpoems by Twenty-One Contemporary Artists. "Songpoems are a unique 20th-century American artform, created in factory-like recording studios from amateur lyrics solicited through small ads in the backs of comic books and pulp magazines. Promising the possibility of stardom, the small recording companies churned out dozens of vanity recordings each week during their heyday in the 1960s, usually in quantities just large enough to fulfill their contractual obligations. The New Now Sounds of Today! picks up where the songpoem tradition left off. Art issues Press solicited lyrics from 21 contemporary visual artists, primarily from Los Angeles, and commissioned one of the last remaining songpoem companies, Magic Key Productions of Ogden, Utah, to set the lyrics to music. The results exceeded all expectations. From the opening track, John Baldessari's 'New Age Luois Prima' lesson Learn to Draw to the closing number, Jeffrey Vallance's 'Johnny Rotten mutating into Elvis' Tak Sa Mycket (Swedish for 'Thank you very much'), The New Now Sounds of Today! is a hilarious, rollicking, and often surprisingly moving journey through a series of wildly original hybrids between fine-art words and popular musical forms. The elaborate letterpress packaging is designed by renowned underground artist/musician Bruce Licher of Independent Project Press and the bands Savage Republic and Scenic. It is offered in a limited-edition and numbered first pressing of 2000. The New Now Sounds of Today! is both a fine art and record collectable, but is most importantly an exploratory document of the collapsing boundaries between fine art, popular culture, theory, and commerce." Artists include Mike Kelley, The Museum of Jurassic Technology, Jim Shaw, Alexis Smith, The Rev. & Mrs. Ethan Acres, Judy Fiskin, Joe Scanlan, Eleanor Antin, Sharon Ellis, Tamara Fites, Doug Harvey, Robert Heinecken, Steven Hull, Martin Kersels, Dave Muller, Ruben Ortiz Torres, Stephen Prina, Gary Simmons, Pae White.