Post #1042 – Enchilada/The Last Goodbye

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Spent the weekend digging through a milk crates worth of random old cassette tapes and, among other things, came across one filled with all the old Obese Pharaohs of Funk recordings, including, much to my surprise, the two songs we recorded for Switch Skateboard Shop’s Switchstance compilation back in 1994. I’m super stoked, since I’d lost my only copy of the comp years ago so it was nice to hear these tracks, which were the first recordings we ever did. These two songs were recorded by Nick Rotundo at our bass player Bret’s house, back when Nick was using his mobile 8 track reel-to-reel recorder. For the comp, each band had to record one “skate rock cover” and one original song – for the cover we went with The Last Goodbye by Agent Orange, a song we played live pretty frequently (As a young skate rat, I was a huge Agent Orange fan). For the original, we recorded a tune called Enchilada, which was one of the band’s earliest songs, and one of the few (along with Last Time I Laughed and Beginnings) where I wrote both the music and lyrics. And, no, I’m not claiming greatness on any of those tunes – this is just a nice walk down memory lane and a chance to finally put these lost tracks out there with the rest of the Nero/Obese Pharaohs of Funk material.  The sound quality is a little bit dodgy, as the tape had been through some wear and tear over the years.  Anyway, hope you enjoy them.

For those who want to download, here are the links: Enchilada/The Last Goodybe

And, as always, Rest in peace Jeremy Tuschak. Thanks for all the memories.


Post #1041 – Record Store Day

Don’t forget – this Saturday is Record Store Day so be sure to stop by your local shop and pick up some tunes. Plus there’s plenty of limited edition discs being dropped just for the occasion, so don’t miss out or risk lurking on ebay with their inflated prices.

People often ask why I care so much about record stores (or independent book stores for that matter) and, more often than not, I get told “record stores are dead – they’re on the way out. no one cares anymore.” Well, just because the media are once again ringing the death bells doesn’t mean I’m going to follow the sheep and just give up. The way I see it, the future’s unwritten – so you gotta support the scenes you believe in. And the record store is about community, a gathering place where music fans can meet up, talk about rock-n-roll, hunt through the crates for hidden gems and random discoveries, a place to hang out with your friends and people watch while listening to new tunes being blasted through the house sound system. You can’t get that online. The album cover art and liner notes in all their 12 inch glory – you can’t get that online. And you can’t get in-store performances by touring or local bands online either. Sure, the internet is convenient and easy but that’s what makes it soul-less. And this is no nostalgia trip either – this is about fostering and supporting the culture you love. So, if you’re a music fan, you have to support music and the bands or else watch it all come to an end.  So put that on your soap box and choke on it.

Viva indie record stores. Viva indie book stores. Viva indie skate shops. Viva the art of life.

Click here for a list of participating shops.


Post #1040 – Since Day One in 91

Went to Kinetic for the DE premier of Real skateboard’s new vid, Since Day One. Definitely dug it – kind of an old school vibe, not a lot of fancy camera angles or arty fades, just raw street skating. Busenitz killed it as hard as you hoped he would, skating to Roadrunner by the Modern Lovers. The whole soundtrack was solid actually (Public Enemy, Iggy, Fugazi) and if anyone knows the name of the song in Chima’s part, please let me know. Other standout parts (of the top of my head):Justin Brock, Ishod, Alex Perelson, Ramondetta and Chima. The whole thing’s pretty solid though. Pick it up at your local shop or download it via iTunes.

And below is a nice little video recap of A.skate Foundation’s 1 in 91 Art Auction that took place a few weeks ago in Venice, CA. Looks like it was a fun night – really wish I could have made it out to that one. Bonus points it you can locate my collage in the background.


Post #975 – Servant Suburbia

Here’s another new collage,  ntitled Servant Suburbia, which will be included in my upcoming show at the Slingluff Gallery in Philadelphia this October. This piece was created using images taken from vintage magazines and other ephemera, hand cut with an xacto knife and then adhered to paper using a gel medium.  The matte and framed size for this pieces is 16″ x 20″. It was completed in May 2010.

Servant Suburbia collage by artist Joe Castro



Post #974 – A Deep Sleep

Finished a new collage, in preparation for my upcoming show at the Slingluff Gallery in Philadelphia this October. It’s entitled A Deep Sleep, and was created using images from vintage magazines and other ephemera that were hand cut with an xacto knife and adhered to paper with a gel medium. The matted and framed size is  16″ x 20″ and it was completed in May 2010.

A Deep Sleep - cut paper collage by artist Joe Castro



Post #964 – Skate Videos 101

I was pretty bummed I wasn’t able to make it to Patrick O’Dell’s round table discussion on skate videos at MOMA last fall but, luckily, for those of us who missed it – they just posted a decent recap on youtube. Spike Jonze, Gonz, Lance, Ty, Templeton – lots of heavy hitters. Enjoy.


Post #963 – The Migrant Living In Your Ear

Been working on a bunch of new paintings & getting prepared for my solo show at the Slingluff Gallery this October, and recently finished this one – it’s called The Migrant Living In Your Ear (Christopher).  It’s oil on canvas, 44″ wide by 30″ high.  For those who don’t know, it’s a tribute to my friend and band mate, Christopher Tucker, who passed away in 2008. Rest in peace my friend – I hope I did you justice.

The Migrant Living in Your Ear oil painting by artist Joe Castro



Don’t Knock the Rock, Billy (podcast #1)

Mighty Joe Castro music podcast boombox


It’s been a long time coming, but I’m happy to announce that I’m starting a regular music podcast via this site, with plans on posting a new installment every two months.  There’ll be no one particular music style or anything but each episode will have it’s own theme or vibe to it. And, down the road, I’d  like to have special guests throw a playlist together as well, which should be cool.

So,  for the inaugural episode, I decided to take it back to the roots and drop a rockabilly flavored mix.  As a little kid in the 70’s, I was exposed to lots of early rock-n-roll records, thanks mainly to my parents and the slew of 50’s themed movies (American Hot Wax anyone?) that were popular at the local drive in, and that music has always held a special place in my heart.  Most of the stuff on here’s fairly rare so don’t expect to hear Johnny B. Goode or anything like that.  Much of the vibe takes inspiration from Lux Interior’s infamous Purple Knif radio show, which I first heard a few years ago and immediately fell in love with, so this podcast is also an homage to Lux for all his inspiration. RIP Mad Daddy,

And I know some of you are probably scratching your heads thinking “But Castro, weren’t you called Joey Marr at one point? Shouldn’t you be dropping a classic Brit-pop mix?” or “What about that old school hip-hop!”  Don’t worry – it’s coming.  But, regardless – no matter which way your prejudices swing on rockabilly – give this podcast a chance.  It’s a lot of fun – and this isn’t your everyday bag of oldies but goodies.  I tried to give it that Quenten Tarantino kind of vibe, if you get what I mean.

So here’s Don’t Knock the Rock, Billy – I hope you enjoy it.  And for those interested in downloading it – click here and rave on children.

Dont Knock the Rock Billy rockabilly podcast tracklisting



Post #959 – Bedbugs and Ballyhoo

A few prints of the poster I designed for Echo and the Bunnymen’s April 25th Keswick Theater show are now for sale over at my etsy store – click here for more info. They’re printed 2 color on a really nice 130lb Night Blue French paper cover stock. Only 70 of these were screened so they’re extremely limited and, once they’re gone, they’re gone so don’t sleep on it.

And, if I haven’t said it already, I was extremely honored to do this poster – Echo and the Bunnymen was one of my favorite bands as a teen and I definitely copped a lick or two off guitarist Will Sergeant. I believe tickets are still available for the gig, which shouldn’t be missed.

Echo and the Bunnymen poster by artist Joe Castro



Post #957 – Frightened Rabbit

I recently finished a poster for Scottish indie-rockers, Frightened Rabbit’s sold out show at the First Unitarian Church in Philadelphia. It’s a 2 color silkscreen on French paper, to be printed by our good friends at ABNRML. Below is a sneak preview. They will available for purchase at the show so, if you were lucky enough to score a ticket, then pick one up. I may have a few extra ones up for sale at some point as well.

I also reworked the poster for Echo and The Bunnymen’s rescheduled show at the Keswick Theater. They’re being screened this afternoon and should be up around Philadelphia soon. Hope to have a few extra of those around as well so, if anyone is interested, let me know.

And for more design work, don’t forget to visit redatticstudios.com by clicking the design button at the top of the page.

Frightened Rabbit silkscreen poster by contemporary artist Joe Castro
Echo and the Bunnymen poster by contemporary artist Joe Castro