My Amazon review of Mr. Chantry’s new book: First, you must know Art can be a curmudgeon. From Tacoma. And highly opinionated. It happens, however, he has a very qualified opinion. Art has designed a couple million album covers and posters. He was Art Director for the long-deceased Seattle music rag The Rocket. He basically gave Sub Pop their look when they started out.
Early in his book, Art claims he is no scholar, but he is in fact an erudite observer, with a passion for thoughtful and obscure detail. He knows his subject deeply and well. He has a keen eye. And most importantly for this book, he can string words together in a way that makes you want to jump to the next page and then go back 5 pages to see if he really said what you thought. His writing is a greedy little pleasure to read.
So what does Art have to say? The first chunk of the book is a reasonably linear description of graphic design in the 20th century. You don’t have to be a designer to get it. It is constantly illustrated, with Art directing the reader to actually focus on the detail that is in front of them. He looks at design through his unique lenses which are punk rock, commercial design and typography (for starters). The second section is his reflection on his design heroes (and a couple villains), some well known, some I had never heard of. In all cases Art is sublimely articulate about why he loves or despises (or both) these designers. The final section is about obsolete items from the printing trade. If you want to know what Art thinks about packaging design for boxes of carbon paper, you may wish to start here.
“A Heretic’s History” is a great read, entertaining, informative and ultimately satisfying. Buy it.
Nice review in DC ROCK LIVE: ” Tom Dyer and his band the New Pagan Gods have a good grasp on this material, bringing their own personalities into these cuts and reminding listeners of how tough and universal this music is. This is a fine rock album, gritty, with good songs and even a funky version of ‘Louie Louie’ that made that overplayed cut worth hearing again.” David Hintz
TOM DYER’S NEW PAGAN GODS – BUSYBODY!!
Starring: Sheila Powers Dunagan – Dance Instructor, Tom Dyer – Singer, Scott Sutherland – Guitar, Joe Ross – Bass, Scott Vanderpool – Drums.
Director – Douglass Willott, Editor – Jeff Kelly, Cameras – Jeremy Wahlen, Mark Daniel, Douglass Willott.
From History of Northwest Rock Vol. 1 1959-1968.
Richard Rossi – Carolina: “we get an idea how great their originals were as they stand up extremely well to the covers they chose from other, more high profile acts. In many cases, the Heaters originals are better.
Much of the set is made up of tracks that would appear on their only LP, “Have an Idea”. These include classics like “Let’s Smoke”, “She Belongs to Me”, and “I Don’t Like Your Face”. “New Saddle” is an outstanding original that didn’t make it onto an LP but probably should have.”