Jul
3

Post #1093 – The Art of Rock and World Cafe

This July, I’ll be showing some gig posters as part of The Art of Rock: Sight and Sound, a music-themed art show at the Chris White Gallery and Shipley Artists Lofts in Wilmington, DE. The show also features art and photography by David Norbut, Dave Mele, Noah Gabriel, Brian Wild and Amber Q.  Facebook event info here.  And if all goes according to plan, there should be a few limited edition, one-off prints of posters that were never printed before, like the infamous Death Cab/ACDC one.

But wait – there’s more! The opening bash is this Friday, July 6th and The Lift Up will be playing live along with This Temper.  All this for the low, low price of free. The show starts at 6pm – bands should go on around 7pm or so.  It’s part of the art loop so it should be a fun night with an old school basement show kind of vibe. Come stay young and invincible.  7th and Shipley Streets in Wilmo.

And speaking of The Lift Up, we’ll be at the World Cafe Live in Philly on Friday the 13th, opening for our friend’s The Big Black Night, who are celebrating the release of their full length disc.  The show also features sets by Hijack and Harper.  And good news for all you old heads – it’s an early show, with the first band at 8pm and The Lift Up playing at 9pm sharp.  Stop by, grab a bite to eat and celebrate the superstition of your choice.

And I know I said this before, but seriously – these two shows will be our last for a few months, as we’re taking a temporary hiatus to write new songs, get our new website up and running and handle some personal business.  We should be back on stage in early fall with plans to hit the studio before the end of the year.  Stay tuned.

More art shows to come as well.

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Jun
27

Post #1092 – More from the Berman Museum

Got to check out the National Collage Society show at the Berman Museum of Art over the weekend and was super impressed.  Lots of different styles and approaches from artists from across the United States – definitely honored to be a part of such a great show.  And as a bonus, the downstairs has an excellent exhibit on Francios Gilot, which is also worth checking out as well.  Win, win.

But for those who can’t make it to Collegeville, PA before August 12th, the entire collage exhibit is now available for viewing online – click here to check it out. Honestly, the photos don’t do a lot of the pieces justice though.

And WRTI posted a nice little interview about the exhibit and collage in general on thier site – click here to listen.

And just a friendly reminder – my new band The Lift Up is playing The North Star in Philly on Saturday.  This’ll be our last Philly show until sometime in the fall – hope to see you there.

The Lift Up Norh Star Joe Castro

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Jun
22

Post #1091 – Bones Brigade: An Autobiography

Bones Brigade autobiographyI was lucky enough to worm my way into the Philadelphia premier of Stacey Peralta’s Bones Brigade documentary last night and I’m happy to report the film does not disappoint.  Much like Dogtown and Z-boys, it’s insightful, funny and sometimes touching, with in-depth interviews of all the major players, but focusing heavily story-wise on Hawk, Mullen, Lance and Stacey’s guidance in general. It does a good job capturing the feeling of that decade, the excitement surrounding that team and just the joy of skateboarding and progression in general.

I’ll be honest – as a child and skater of the 80’s, this film was pretty much tailored for my generation so of course, I am somewhat biased, as watching the old footage brought back waves of nostalgia for sure. My first board was a Lance Mountain mini and I can vividly remember my friends and I watching Animal Chin and Public Domain over and over again.  I went to the demos in ’88 and ’89 and saw the madness for myself.  I was a full on fan. So I would definitely be interested in hearing someone’s take on it who is younger and not necessarily into skateboarding.

And although the movie was well done, my only criticisms were these: I was a little surprised they didn’t mention their artist, VCJ, who easily created some of the most memorable and long lasting board graphics of all time (the Hawk skull, Mullen chessboard, Cab’s dragon, the Bones logo, etc. etc.) and was a major part of the success and impact of the brand.  Also, they really glossed over the downfall of Powell-Peralta, crediting their first demise entirely to Stacey quitting, with no mention of Mullen and Vallely leaving to create World Industries with Steve Rocco and the company war that soon followed. Given Peralta’s dual role as both participant and director in the film, it sometimes comes off as a propaganda piece (no pun intended), and a one sided account of how great a mentor Stacey was and how amazing a company Powell-Peralta was.  Very little to no criticism whatsoever – which leaves you wondering what the film would have looked like had a different director  been behind the lens. (to be fair though, the film is billed as “an autobiograhy”, and, because it was Stacey doing the interviews, the riders were generally extremely open and candid about their feelings toward that time in their lives. Their guard obviously left down, I was a bit shocked at the number of tears shed throughout the film. I’m not sure another director could’ve gotten that much out of the crew.)

And I’m not sure why the Philly crowd was booing Shepard Fairy but cheering for Fred Durst? No need to hate on Shepard because of his success. And why was Fred Durst in the film?

Anyway, minor criticisms aside – definitely make a point to check the film out this fall when it gets the official movie theater release. For all the ground it covers, it’s’ really well done and worth checking out.  I personally can’t wait to see it again.

And thanks to Vans for the free drinks and Hampton for the hook-up. Much appreciated. And Thrasher has some photo coverage.

 

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Jun
7

Post #1090 – Big Class no.2

Big Class

Big Class no 2

Just about a year ago, I was invited (via clubmumble) to contribute a drawing to an indie publishing project out of New Orleans called Big Class.  The project involved a group of first graders from Lincoln Elemantary who had each written a short story.  Each story was then sent out to various professional artists who created coloring book style illustrations, which were then collected into a book and sold to raise money for future projects.  Always down for supporting an organization that’s getting kids excited about reading and writing their own books, I did my drawing last June, sent it off to the organizers and, honestly, had forgotten all about it.

Anyway, I was super stoked this morning to find a small brown paper package waiting in the mail box containing the finished Big Class no.2.  Very nicely packaged, the box contains 5 mini coloring books (with art contributed  by 45 different artists from across the country), an activity book and a set of crayons.  The book box is currently being sold at a number of independent book and comic shops in Nola so, if you’re in the Big Easy, pick up a copy.

About Big Class:
Big Class is an organization that facilitates student-driven creative collaborations to enrich literacy in public schools. Our work so far has resulted in published books that feature the written work of students illustrated by adults. For those involved and their audience, this has had a unique impact along a cross-section of literacy, art, community, and education. When students experience literacy with its highest potential in mind – as a means of communication and expression – they find an inherent connection with its meaning and importance.

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May
31

Post #1089 – Collages at the Berman Museum

Berman Museum National Collage SocietyVery excited to announce that two of my collages were accepted into the National Collage Society’s 28th Annual Juried Exhibition.  The show will be on display at the Berman Museum of Art at Ursinus College June 9 until August 12.  Admission is free.  According to the press release, they received 528 submissions from 279 artists, 80 were selected and 62 will be on view at the museum, so it’s an honor for sure and I’m definitely looking forward to checking out the rest of the artwork as well. My two submissions are The Rushing Fog and A Deep Sleep (images below).

Location:

The Philip and Muriel Berman Museum of Art
at Ursinus College.
601 E. Main Street,
Collegeville, PA 19426-1000

nationalcollage.com

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May
30

Post #1088 – The Lift Up in Philly

Return to the North Star…

Stoked to announce The Lift Up will be playing it’s first Philly show Saturday June 30th. It’s been a long time coming for sure and what better place to kick things off than the North Star, which was almost a second home for The Situation back in the day. Also playing are The Scovilles and The High Five, both Philly area high energy garage rock outfits, so it should be a fun night.

And, if you haven’t done so already, please take a moment to follow Mighty Joe Castro on instagram and twitter. Thank you for your support!

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May
14

Post #1087 – Lift Up post gig come down

The Lift Up Mojo Main Newark Thanks again to everyone who made it out to The Lift Up’s debut show at  Mojo Main this past Friday – technical difficulties aside, we had a great time and were sincerely touched by the warm reception.  Always good to see so many old friends (and make a few new ones as well). Special thanks to the guys from Lush Farm, who not only played a killer set but also came through with a new instrument cable and saved our set – much appreciated. The Jolly What played a solid set as well.  And thanks to Danny, Billy and Jared at Mojo, and to Andrew Miller for setting everything up.  Also thanks to Justin Clowes for shooting these photos. Finally, thank you Delaware.

And for everyone who asked, the cover we played was Wine, Wine Wine by The Nightcaps (listen to the original below).  And for those keeping score – yes, Tom Waits does name drop the band/song on the Nighthawks at the Diner  album.

As for Philadelphia, The Lift Up have a new show lined up for Saturday June 30th at the North Star Bar with The High Five, Outernational and The Scovilles so put it on you’re calendars. More info in the weeks to come.

And to stay up to date on all things band related, join us on facebook. And don’t worry art lovers, more news on that front coming in the next day or so.

 

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May
11

Post #1086 – Interviews and pre-show press

Interview: So, in anticipation of tonight’s show, I was interviewed by Damon Howard (formerly of Elan and The Verge, for you old heads), for his blog, switchflip.com.  Click here to get the inside scoop on The Lift Up.  Thanks again Damon!

And Wilmo News Journal reporter Ryan Cormier posted a little pre-show write up on his blog as well.  I know this piece has a few folks up in arms, so I just want to be clear that I had nothing to do with this, no one from the paper contacted me about the show or doing a write-up.  We don’t use the words “surviving members” when talking about this group, and we’re not out to exploit our past lives or the life or death of our dear friend. So let’s just leave it at that. If you know, then you know all to well.

And in preparation for our debut show, I’ve been sneaking out stealth style and hitting a few open mic nights here and there to test out the material – this past Monday I went to Jazmine Thai in West Chester, which oddly enough is in the same building that used to house Rex’s back in the day, a spot I played quite a bit in both Nero and The Situation.  In fact, the last time I played there I think was with Raccoon, right when they were first starting to morph into Dr. Dog.  Was it really ten years ago?  Damn.

Anyway, open mic night host Jan Bohan was kind enough to write this little review on her facebook page:  “Joining us for the first time was Joe Castro, who I’d met out at Burlap and Bean a couple months back. I remember being impressed with him the first time around, but think the even more ‘intimate’setting at Jazmine served to compliment his direct, pop-infused folk songs that much more. Each line within a given verse seemed to be that much easier to grasp and examine, before moving on. Hook lines would then emerge for balance, giving the music a chance to take over the listener’s attention. Joe clearly enjoys toying with changes in time signatures, and this couldn’t have been better demonstrated than on his third song of the night which speaks of ‘trading in dreams for a good night’s sleep’. Music is far from Joe’s only creative outlet, as he is a very accomplished painter and graphic artist as well!”

Enough rambling – I’m very excited to play tonight and am looking forward to everyone hearing what we’ve been working on.  See you at Mojo Main!

interview The Lift Up Joe Castro

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May
2

Post #1085 – Aftershock at Home Grown Cafe

aftershock collage Joe CastroI have a small collection of collages and gig posters (9 total) for sale at Home Grown Cafe in Newark, DE throughout May and June, including this brand new one, entitled Aftershock.  It’s mixed media on paper, 12″ x 16″.  April 2012. Prints are available through Society6.

Home Grown is a great spot with good food – lots of vegetarian options and well worth checking out, especially with the weather getting warmer.   And if you’re planning on heading down to Newark for the debut show of my new band, The Lift Up (Friday May 11th), it’s a good spot to grab dinner and drinks before hand (hint hint). 126 East Main Street, Newark, DE.

 

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Apr
26

Post #1084 – Odd and Ends with Friends

Friends Friends Friends…
For you long term readers who may have wondered “What ever happened to Nick P?”  Well, he’s NYC based now (Queens to be exact) and recently started his own podcast, Tales from the Outlaw Shack. From his site: “Remember that amazing story you heard at a party? Wish you could remember the details so you could pass it on? That’s what we do on Tales from the Outlaw Shack. We’re telling true stories that shouldn’t be lost to the sands of time.”  The debut episode, Crazy Cows and Psycho Squirrels, is now available for your (free) listening pleasure. Funny and engaging – definitely worth checking out.

 

Good friend and occassional video collaborator Justin Clowes recently put the finishing touches on a documentary about Philly bad, East Hundred (trailer below) Entitled Kings, Queens and Fools, the doc will get it’s world premier at Johnnny Brenda’s, Sunday May 6 as part of the band’s farwell show.  Looks cool – can’t wait to check it out..

And we finally got the lineup worked out for The Lift Up’s debut show on May 11th at Mojo Main.  We’ll be playing with Lush Farm, The Jolly What and Echo Mission.  We’ve been working hard, getting the new tunes ready and we’re super excited to finally get out there and play. Hope to see you there.

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