Residency is a two-part journal entry brought to you by one of our favorite artists.
This week, the Leesburg, Virginia-based artist Car Seat Headrest takes us on a tour through the works of art that have inspired his music.
Visuals, Part 2:
Last year I read James Kaplan‘s biography of Sinatra; having spent my teenage years immersed in bands like Neutral Milk Hotel, who held sincerity so dear to their identity that they dropped off the face of the earth at the first sign of national success and returned to collect their money in a Fidel Castro disguise, I was impressed with the idea of anyone consciously tailoring a public image for themselves without sacrificing the integrity of their music. The photographs of Sinatra bewitched me—he looks like a young Voldemort!—and his image found his way into several songs on the upcoming Teens of Denial.
Plains of North Dakota
When I moved to Washington, I spent a solid day driving through North Dakota and looking at this shit. The vast, unchanging landscape may have had some influence on the long-form soundscapes of How To Leave Town, but at the time it just bored me.
Photo by Don Graham
Théodore Géricault, Monomania of Theft
Another from art history class. Géricault did a portrait series on mentally ill folks, including the antiquated Monomania of Theft. A photo taken of me at around that time bore a certain resemblance to this painting, and inspired me to change the name of the album I was working on from Death of a Lady Man to Monomania. (This was about a year before Deerhunter’s Monomania; no idea what inspired their title!)
I’d known Andrew and his art for a while, but while recording How To Leave Town I ended up with a folder full of his older art, which I browsed often during the mixing process. This served as partial inspiration for the track “is this dust really from the Titanic?” I was a big fan of his simple, colorful style, so it was a natural choice to have him do the cover for the album.
The significance of this one should be made clear soon. Meanwhile, here’s how Wikipedia describes this painting: “An old man with a bald head is sitting on a yellow chair by his fire. There is a low fire in the grate. He is dressed in blue clothes. He is holding his head in his hands.”
Read Car Seat Headrest’s first entry here.