John Dwyer: Exploded Globes – Posters from 1999-2016
Book Profile – Books We Love From Other Printers
(File Under O.P.P.)
In 2017, John Dwyer’s book, Exploded Globes – Posters from 1999-2016 was published by Castle Face Records. John Dwyer fronted several American underground bands spanning roughly twenty years. Many of these bands emerged from San Francisco and surrounding parts of the bay area of California. Dwyer experimented with sounds rooted in Southern California punk with his band The Coachwhips a Stooges-like proto-punk outfit as well Liars and jazz-punk with The Hospitals. Since then a myriad of musical styles of popped up in his many musical projects including The OCS, The Oh Sees, Thee Oh Sees and most recently and more succinctly a final play on these variations, Oh Sees as well as his most recent band Damaged Bug.
Dusty from Publicide Inc. has had a long-standing crush on John Dwyer and his prolific output of all things punk. Dwyer co-founded Castle Face Records in 2003 with Brian Leee Hughes and Matt Jones initially formed to release Sucks Blood by the sixth studio album by Thee Oh Sees. Castle Face releases an eyebrow-raising number of bands for an independent label, The I.L.Y’s, Ty Segall, The Fresh and Onlys, White Fence as well as reissues of Coachwhips.
Dwyer constructed the book, Exploded Globes, a collection of annotated show posters and flyers to showcase seventeen years of his work. It was released on March 24th, 2017 and printers all over the world savvy to the punk scene stood at attention. The hardcover book was printed in a beautiful red linen with a turned edge, gold edge gilding on the book block, a deboss well on the cover with a tip on a full-color print of one of the Images in the book stuck to the front, with gold foil stamps on the spine, back and front. It’s a printer’s dream or nightmare depending on how you look at it and creates a vivid set up for the contents of the book: images of Dwyer’s hand forged and often silk-screened images made to promote rock shows for all of his band and many others as well. The handbill, posters, and flyers for the shows appear in no particular order. Dwyer employed styles that were imperfect and hard to describe. He wasn’t a DE constructivist using standard printing methods to give an alternative look to a recognizable format. Dwyer was simply just not that interested in making them look like every other traditional rock show poster. And they are self-admittedly kind of a mess. But this aesthetic, if you must, matched the tone of the music that was emerging in a post-grunge, San Fransisco garage rock scene where previous generations of punk had been identified, named, commodified and sold to the highest bidder. Dwyer made a clear break from that aesthetic. His work both musically and visually was raw, a little bit clunky and totally in your face inventively reminding a new generation punks to keep it jagged and play it unsafe.
Nice work John Dwyer + Castle Face Records! We love you!