An Introduction

I first became interested in 4AD, a UK independent record label founded in 1980, towards the end of the '80's. I was falling in love with the music of Dead Can Dance, Clan of Xymox, Pixies, Bauhaus and The Birthday Party and was surprised when the 4AD label sampler "Lonely Is An Eyesore" came out in 1987 that all these bands were from the same label.

After visiting a Pre-Raphaelite exhibition of some American's collection of art, I came to thinking of all this musical art that 4AD have released that may one day drift into obscurity unless someone shows it as art. So now I'm on a crusade, to collect the first ten years of 4AD's releases and exhibit the collection on 4AD's 50th anniversary in 2030. This is a big task which will have some interesting twists and turns along the way.

Saturday, 7 April 2012

The 13th Month is Jack

Over the last few weeks, after putting my wantlist together, I have been able to see the road even more clearly in front of me. At the moment I have about 900 items still to collect. That puts me about a third of the way through, maybe more.

That’s quite depressing. If I bought one item a day, that would take me three years to complete. And that would not include the stuff discogs doesn’t have listed, including items not yet listed and other formats outside of discogs’ wantlist such as posters, postcards and other promotional items. Of course, this doesn’t reflect how much this daft venture is going to cost me.

At least I have two kidneys if times get difficult!

Joking aside, this does bring up some philosophical conundrums. How can I justify spending money when I could send money to charities that do good work saving lives. Am I putting valuable resources into something futile that could actually be saving people’s lives instead? That is very hard to justify. I hope that the history of our culture is worth saving. 4AD were a landmark label and this history I feel should be documented. With evidence rather than just words. Besides which, this collection would be better with me than rotting in a land fill.

I also bought the domain this week and stuck a single page on there for now. A website is still required for the great plan. Frustration is setting in though, as I have big designs for the website without the ability to execute them at present. Damn my limitations. I could go on a three year university course on web development in order to attain the skills, but how the hell am I going to afford the money and time to do that??? and of course keep everything else going.

I may be able to do it myself, it will take a lot of organising, designing and, as with anything IT related, a lot of patience and plenty of things going wrong. You have to love IT, it promises everything, then constantly mocks your intelligence, only to find in most cases that the solutions are simple, they have just been made unnecessarily complicated to begin with. The website is possible to achieve, I need to invest some time in to it. TIME, Ha! As previously explained, time is something that is at somewhat of a premium of late. Oh well, I can never use the excuse of ever being bored.

I recently attained one of the more exciting items for the collection. In 1989 4AD released a calendar for 1990. What a laugh, it’s a 13 month calendar and, as with most things that are designed when graphic designers have full freedom, is totally impractical. The 13th month is called Jack, of course. Thank goodness it’s impractical anyway, as the calendar is in incredible condition. If you ever find a calendar from 1990, it will be just about impossible to find one where someone hasn’t scribbled something on at least one of the months. Fortunately, there’s not a mark on it.

1 comment:

  1. I envy You this callendar - a gem! I love 23envelope design as much as the music on the 4AD label, but aren't we all? :)