Music Monday: Artificial Heart (self-titled)

Ok, I can only start this post by saying that it is RIDICULOUS how long I’ve been away from blogging.  It’s something that’s actually  kind of hard for me (my old skool web comic friends know that I used to really stink at keeping up to date with comics, and apparently this is equally difficult), but I’m going to really try to post more frequently.  Write what you know (and love), so I’m also going to hop on the #musicmonday band wagon and try to post about a band or song or video or mix each week.
– xocm


These are “the books.”  They were part sketch book, part scrap book, part photo album, and I carried them around constantly for years.  They are one of my most treasured possessions, because they faithfully document my early twenties.  So many memories are in these books.  The photos behind the translucent covers are of me and my friend Justin. (I always call these “the hair dye days.” If you could see the photos better, you’d count no less than five different colors of Punky Colour between the two of us!)  We dated for a few years, and on one of our very first dates, he took me to my first punk show. We went to this great club in Detroit called the Shelter, which is actually the basement below the larger St. Andrews Hall upstairs.  We saw a band called The Impossibles, and it was a crazy fun show.

At some point, Rory and I started chatting, and since I was a big Internet nerd, I ended up running the band’s message boards.  The Impossibles always had this super-tight fan base and an awesome crowd at all of their shows, and the boards had a similarly awesome group of people.  My bestie, Sarah, and I were nineteen and our primary interest at the time was having crushes on boys in bands.  I’ll totally admit I had a big goofy crush on Rory, which probably helped to cement the Impossibles as my “Favorite Band.”


The Impossibles broke up in 2002, and my friend Jack road-tripped to Austin, Texas to see their last show.  I couldn’t afford to go, but Jack brought me back a t-shirt, which I wore until it had an obscene amount of holes in it.  Rory and Gabe did a tour in 2003 as a new band called Slowreader (with Ozma, who were also really great), which was quite a bit different than the Impossibles, but really awesome.  We interviewed Slowreader for the LSR zine, and I drove all over the Midwest in order to see them twice. (Two nights in a row, no less! ^_^)


Not long after that that I met Tod, and moved to San Diego.  The Impossibles/Slow Reader remained “my favorite band” and I kept putting their songs on mixes for people and wearing my Impossibles hoodie.  I thought about getting some lyrics tattooed a couple of times, but was always too chicken to actually come that close to a needle.


So anyway, when Rory and I got in touch again last year through Twitter, we caught up on art & music. I was stoked to check out his new band, which had just put out a self-titled album.  It played practically non-stop on my itunes last winter.

Then, a  month or so ago, Rory told me about the vinyl release* that they’re doing of the album, and offered to let me do some art for a lyrics insert.  I’ve spent a ridiculous portion of my life poured over lyric inserts, so it was really fun for me to get to design some.

I took the existing album artwork and created this folded insert to go along with it.  I found some great anatomical heart diagrams in an old anatomy textbook, which I recreated with pencils and watercolors. I also hand-lettered and painted all of the song titles, then scanned all the watercolors and combined them with some vintage textures in photoshop.  I’m really excited about how it all came together.

This is what it looks like folded:


This is the outside:


This is the inside:


Here’s a close up of one of the hearts that I painted:


There’s lots more of the Artificial Heart (plus lots of the Impossibles and some Slow Reader, too!) on the youtubes, and you can get their songs on itunes, too.  Happy #MusicMonday everyone!

* (Available here if you’re a vinyl person! )


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One thought on “Music Monday: Artificial Heart (self-titled)

  1. good to read from another Rory+Gabe fan. and the Artificial HeArtwork (ha!) looks sweet, great job!
    think you could post a bigger version of the ’10 Questions’ scan so a rabid Slow Reader fan could read it? cheers!

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