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I found 20 of the greatest vinyl album sleeves of all time in the attic

A few years ago I was clearing out the attic of my family home and I found a treasure trove of fantastic vinyl that my father had accumulated throughout his life. It made me excited to see musical gems from my own past, as well as jewels in the crown from my father’s extensive, eclectic collection of records. Below are a selection of the twenty most unusual, wacky, funny, cool or downright odd record sleeves in the collection. It reminded me how remarkable a vinyl album cover is. To see it in such a large format, announcing itself so boldly. I felt transported to that moment when you would buy a new record and hold that sleeve in your hand, turning it over, studying it in detail, marveling at the thought process and all of the hands & minds that had brought this cover art to the world. And sadly that tradition is largely fading with the shift to digital formats, but as the masterpieces below illustrate, nothing compares to a striking album cover, no matter how odd or unintentionally strange it might be. Enjoy!

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I presume the dog’s name is Seamus Gallagher. Big Shay they call him.

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The voice of Erin. The jumper from Christmas

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Rock ‘n’ rollies

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Hearty AND Hellish. The ultimate combo

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Go on admit it. You are imagining that Batman theme riff in your head right now

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Sequel to George Gershwin at the front door

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Five ants are greater than four elephants. Swedish album title FTW.

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It’s time to start the music…

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As boring as it looks

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There’s only one Jacques Dutronc

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Airline bands. A sadly neglected genre.

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Swedish jazz. O ja, jätte cool bejbi.

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57 varieties of coolness

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Really good vibes

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She might be lonely but she has her own modern jazz soundtrack. You don’t have that.

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Bad-ass Biggles Bebop

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I want whatever that golden key around his neck unlocks

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Pitchforks at the ready

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This guy is living in the past

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Probably better than most London Underground buskers. Certainly better dressed.

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One saxophone, good. Three saxophones, better.

The Subterranean Homesick Fresh Prince of Bel Air by Bob Dylan

For the past decade or so I curated and hosted a variety night of music, spoken word poetry and sketch comedy called The Brownbread Mixtape. It was always themed and we asked along some of the finest local or touring musicians and poets to perform on the theme of the night, and I would usually write some old school radio comedy sketches that myself and the resident sketch troupe would perform. We gathered a really great following of thoughtful, warm fans over the years and it took us on great adventures to several festivals around Ireland. There are also many amazing artistic moments that stemmed from those shows that I will share in future posts. But maybe to start I’ll share this fun snapshot of the rowdy and freewheeling sort of fun we would have. Back in 2013 at one of our monthly shows, we chose the theme of “Chillin’ like Bob Dylan”. As always we made an effort to write sketches and come up with fun interactive magic moments for the audience and, so, our very own Enda Roche appeared as a very passable young Bob Dylan and he delivered this unique Subterranean Homesick Blues style interpretation of the Will Smith classic. I was literally given the cue cards as he stepped to the mic, so it made the moment as spontaneous and electrifying for me as the audience. The video is a great snapshot of the energy of the night by the brilliant Dyehouse Films, and there is an air of mischief and magic about this moment that will forever stick with me.

Dig this man!

ART doesn’t need you!

ART DOESN'T NEED YOU

Charcoal/Pastel drawing by my father Tony Ryan (c. 1989)

A new year, lots of new art to share and explore

 

On New Year’s Day for the past few years I have toyed with the idea of starting a blog or website dedicated to creativity in some way. So, this is the year I am finally doing it!

An early variation of this site I had in mind was to offer creative prompts daily and see what others came up with — essentially give away loads of great ideas that i simply don’t have time to get to, or perhaps even use the blog posts as a catalyst to finally tackle those ideas myself. I was particularly enamoured with the idea of interacting with other artists and creative souls and see where we might end up.

The idea then evolved, and I thought that might be too time intensive, or even worse, nobody would respond or interact, and the blog would become some static repository for unused ideas. So then, I thought about a blog dedicated to exploring my own creative work. Either looking at a current idea and how I am approaching it, or take a past creation (a story, photo, video etc) and break down the thinking behind it and how I arrived at a final outcome (a dive into the creative mind of sorts)

Then I arrived at the idea of sharing art that inspires me or has fired my own artistic impulses. A list of influences and inspirational sparks in my creative journey if you will.

And then I realised all of those things are of interest to me, and hopefully to a wider group of likeminded souls too. So, this website & blog will be a mixture of all of those things. While I would love to commit to a daily post, I think that may be a little tricky, but I hope to consistently post different strands of all of the above.

I crave structure so often, and it is a vital part of the creative process to my mind, so I will try to categorise the different posts clearly, so that each one is clearly marked. Hopefully that helps those of you who are only interested in the creative process for example, but less interested in cool music clips that have inspired me.

My loose thinking on this is to group them as follows:

#ARTCHIVE A personal piece of creative work from the past, coupled with some insights into the creative process that went into it

#CREATIONSTATION A new idea or artwork that I am currently working on, and an attempt to share some thinking on it, as well as get thoughts and responses to it

#LOVEBOMB Sharing work by other artists in an effort to spark imagination and conversation, and simply just to share cool stuff that speaks to my creative mind.

#SPARKINTHEDARK A creative blog would be nothing without an open-ended creative category! So, in this one I would like to keep it open-ended and playful with what I share – This is the wildcard category that gives me license to post !

Anyway, that’s about it for now. I hope you find some joy, inspiration and ideas in this site. Let me know what you think and please join in the conversation and I’d love it if you shared your own work, or things you’d like to hear more about

Here’s to a creative 2018!

Kalle