The fine folks at Boo-Hooray and Milk Gallery have partnered for an exhibition of DIY record cover art in New York City. The focus of DIY OR DIE! is geared toward the ‘70s punk scene in the US, UK, and Australia, as well as the Jamaican Dub/Ska/Rocksteady movement. The original paste-ups of punk fanzines from the collections of John Ingham (the music journalist who first interviewed The Sex Pistols), Geoffrey Weiss (whose record collection would make a grown person weep), and Bruce Griffiths (of Aberrant Records fame) are also on display, along with hand-printed punk posters created between 1976 and 1983. As if this treasure trove weren’t enough, Milk will also feature original stencils from the Crass archive. As the gallery explains: “These stencils are the ground zero of recent urban wall art. They were hand cut and utilized to full effect for the détournement of advertising billboards on the London Underground. They were also the origin for the backs of tens of thousands of punker leather motorcycle jackets.” If handmade silkscreens, stencils, and angsty collages on 12 and 7-inch vinyl sleeves are your happy place, stop by the gallery through August 10 to check out DIY OR DIE!. Here’s a teaser — highlighting covers for The Residents, Sun Ra, and more — to whet your appetite.
Ardy the Painter of Love (Ardy Strüwer). Pregnant Rainbows for Colourblind Dreamers. [Sweden]: Editions Sonet, [ca. 1968].
Das Schnitz. 4 A.M. UK: Ellie Jay Records, 1979. This Torquay, Devon band acquired 500 picture sleeves of recent and old mainstream records and added messages and their band name, using a magic marker.
Pete Horobin. DIY Live. Dysart Fife, Scotland: DYSart, . 7” sandpaper “record” in paper sleeve, with tipped-on bandage. Neoist and mail artist Pete Horobin was active in the eighties, and published this sculpture in 1983. A slice of sandpaper the size of a 45, this echoes Guy Debord’s Mémoires, published in a sandpaper dustjacket, The Feederz Ever Feel Like Killing Your Boss LP in its sandpaper sleeve, and the early nineties sandpaper records by Aphex Twin.
Flipper. “Sexbomb” b/w “Brainwash.” Berkeley, CA: Subterranean Records, .
Bill Gilonis & Tim Hodgkinson. I Do – I Do – I Don’t – I Don’t. London: Woof Records/France: Recommended Records, .
Les Raving Sounds. Les Raving Sounds. [USA]: Terminal, 1981.
Metabolist. Drömm. [UK]: Drömm Records, 1979.
David Thomas, Chris Cutler, and Alan Ravenstein. Didn’t have a very good time. [UK]: Re:, 1983.
The Residents. The Beatles play the Residents and the Residents Play the Beatles. [San Francisco]: Ralph Records, 1977.
Dub Specialist. Roots Dub. [Kingston, Jamaica]: Studio 1, [ca. 1975].
Sun Ra. Beyond the Purple Star Zone. [Chicago]: [El] Saturn, 1981.
The Residents. “Satisfaction” b/w “Loser ≅ Weed.” San Francisco: Ralph Records, .