Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Unicorn Mountain and the Underground Art Scene Volume 1 Comics Writing Music, Pittsburgh Art

If you've never been to Unicorn Mountain it's time to make a trip... Unicorn Mountain, http://www.unicornmountain.com/ , is a publisher of independent comics, art, literature, and music which features undergound Pittsburgh artists. In this blog I'll briefly cover the details of Volume 1 which includes the work of over 70 local writers, illustrators and musicians. For $10 you get 129 pages of creative comics, illustrations, writing plus the 19 track cd. Crazy.

So maybe you're not into comics or not sure. Doesn't matter. From thought provoking to bizarre and even goofy you see into the minds of many artists via comics, writing and music. Not to mention you're supporting a group intent on trying to keep artists from leaving Pittsburgh and giving them outlets. Check it out because it's worth it. That and Unicorn Mountain can continue it's work and put out Volme 3.

There's no need to wait to read the blogs on their other great releases including Volume 2 and Wolfman's Got Nards, my personal favorite, because they're all worth owning and the price is right. Get started on buying Volume 1 here .

Also Publisher Curt Gettman was good enough to send me an update on some of the band members who have moved on to different projects so you can refer back to this blog and follow up on the bands which you want to check out around Pittsburgh. Below the band and track listing you will find which bands are known to still be playing live. If you want to find out more about the underground music scene check out http://www.nevertellmetheodds.org/ .

To purchase Vol 1 go here

Bands and Tracks from the Unicorn Mountain Volume 1 Cd:

1. Adams and the Blackout, The Larvis,

2. Air Guitar Magazine, The Mariachi vs. the Rusyn

3. Boombox, March of the Boombots

4. Conelrad, Taepondong

5. Fangs Of The Panda, Polynesian Love Fest

6. Harangue, Among Us

7. Hotness, If you are what you eat, then I must eat a lot awesome

8. Ice Capades, Hey Manny, Nice Baby

9. (((microwaves))) , R.V.I.S.

10. Midnite Snake, Throttle (Live WPTS 2003)

11. Minister Squid, Tow the line

12. Paytoilets, Smoov Kriminal

13. Silver Thread, Gravity

14. Slices, Limit Break

15. The Sea, Like Lead- Last Vestiges of Rust

16. Two Sexy Beasts, Fist Pumper

17. Vale And Year, American Bridge

18. Warzone Womyn, Hippy Camp-Welcome Home

19. Young Men's Dept, Juno-God of Lightning
....

Which bands, projects are still kickin (as best as can be known):

Boombox- in a way, this band became centipede e'est: http://www.centipede-eest.com/

Fangs Of The Panda- http://www.myspace.com/fangsofthepandaband

Harangue- plays live shows you keep your eye out for them.

Hotness- is clinton doggett. http://www.myspace.com/hotnessisthenewcrack

(((microwaves)))- some press on john roman & co: http://www.crucialblast.net/microwavescontagionheuristic.html

Midnite Snake http://www.birdmanrecords.com/midnitesnake/index.html

Minister Squid- phil boyd from modey lemon's alter ego modeylemon.com; http://thehiddentwin.com/

The Silver Thread- still playing Slices- brothers john and mike kasunic. drummer mike mostly plays guitar now under the name Tusk Lord: http://www.myspace.com/tusklord

Vale And Year- dave bernabo's projects : http://www.davidbernabo.com/

Info from the Unicorn Mtn site About Volume 1:

http://www.unicornmountain.com/products/UMVOL1.htm

Unicorn Mountain - Volume 1 Anthology

This 129 page comic anthology, literary journal, and music compilation includes work by over 70 Pittsburgh writers, illustrators, and bands.

COMICS

Illustrator Joe Deferrari and writer Alan Dubinsky, the guys behind the independent comic and 7" inch single series "Killing Cupid", contribute a deep space action story entitled "Cosmotopia". Joe also serves as the art director for Unicorn Mountain.

Jeff Shreckengost, noted painter and guitarist (1985, Paytoilets, Young Men's Department), delivers a twisted sword and sorcery epic. He'll kill us for bringing this up, but Jeff's great-grandfather is Max Schreck (the actor who played Nosferatu!). Shhh...

Dave Bernabo and Tim Brown contribute a story both psychogical and poetic. In addition to pursuing writing, Dave plays in the bands Vale and Year and Johnathan Swimmingly. Best known for playing drums for local psych-rockers Harangue, Tim is responsible for putting together the Unicorn Mountain CD compilation.

Illustrator Beano Gessler and writer Curt Gettman have collaborated to tell "Starfire", an autobiographical childhood tale set in the waning days of the nuclear age. Beano has previously self-published the well-received comic zine "Make Way For Victory". In addition to his writing contributions, Curt is the publisher and chief editor of the Unicorn Mountain anthology.

With his story "Pigoney Island", Chris Matranga gives us an imaginary place full of "freaks, goons and other oddities". In addition to his beautiful pen and ink work, Chris plays drums for the local rock band Young Men's Department.

There's a strange knock at the door in the contribution from artist Tom Hall and writer Curt Gettman. The result is a paranoid update on the Twilight Zone style of sci-fi. "Fangs of the Panda in Polynesian Love Fest" harkens back to the humorous band comics and cartoons of the sixties and seventies. Written by FOTP band members Michael Baltzer, Benjamin Macensky and Eric Webber (with art by Michael and Ben).


Writer and artist Dave McKulka gives us "Happytime" and with it a welcome philosophical weight to the anthology. A much-anticipated late addition to the collection!

The prolific Beano Gessler contributes a second story - this time with writer Josh Hehr. "F. Scott Wimbley: A Success Story" explores the psychological consequences of time travel gone awry. At the time of this writing, we don't know what kind of story to expect from artist Owl Kahol - but we do know it will be incredible. In addition to being a crack illustrator and graphic designer, Owl has played drums (yet another drummer) for the bands Glowinthedark, Kloaking Device, and Meet The Butcher.


FEATURE WRITING

Justin Cummings, best known for the self-published taxi zine "Junket", tells a previously unpublished story of theft and late-night taxi driving. Illustrated by Jeff Shreckengost.A transplanted PA native, Mike D. Dwyer delivers a surprising, matter-of-fact narrative on the ones left behind. Illustrated by Nell Hendricks.Trapped in the suburbs, Ross Golowicz wonders whether there's an easier way. Illustrated by Nell & Maeve Hendricks.Freelance writer Karryn Lintelman strives to out-smart and out-bike herself, with illustrations by Bill Wehmann. Writer Shahrzad Samadzadeh suffers from transmuted addictions and designer shoes, with illustrators Nell Hendricks and Jim Lingo. Shahrzad also serves as the editor for the feature writing portion of Unicorn Mountain.
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