Notes #1: I just
took a friend to the Bolt Bus stop in the International
District, it was rainy and close to 6pm, so the traffic was really bad.
When I finally got home I was really hungry, so I ran across the street
to the market to get some spinach. While I was there, somebody told me
that they really liked my hat, a compliment that I've been getting a lot,
as it's a really good hat. I was in a great mood as I left the store,
excited to eat some spinach and feeling nice about the compliment,
and crossed the street on a red light at the crosswalk and just then
a car driving fast locked up its brakes and totally ran into me. I ended
up rolling on the hood and then off the side, spinning and landing on my
feet. Somehow the spinach stayed on the hood of the car, which was
silver and was driven by a woman who appeared to be in her 40s.
She was really apologetic and nothing seemed broken, so I told her
it was no big deal. For some reason she had a bag of leftover Hallo-
ween candy in her car, and she demanded that I take it. So now I have it.
Notes #2: If you're
anything like me and you love to listen to police scanners
that are mixed with random ambient tracks, then you should listen to this radio
station, because it's really fucking excellent: YOU ARE LISTENING TO
(Warning the following is
Notes #4: This year for me and so many other people has been rather
trying, but I won't really bore you with the wallowing details. I do want to take
a second to tell you that an old friend with whom I used to work at record
stores back in Chicago killed himself last week in Baltimore. I'm sure
you'll read that and feel terrible, which I did as well, receiving the message
while I was at a pizza restaurant, kind of cursing the fact that you can now
just receive that sort of news instantly all of the time. But man, he was such
a great dude and we lost track of each other after awhile, and life is really
something and I'm really sorry that he didn't have people around him all of
the time to take care of him, because that stuff is really important.
Joe Skoczylas: wherever you are, I hope you're okay.
Notes #5: JUST A
SHORT DISCLAIMER - I remember a very long time
ago that Liz Clayton, a very important person to me, told me that she hated
when people who wrote on the internet made posts like "listen, I don't
have very much to say here, I apologize..." Since then I've gone out of my
my way to not write things like that, but really I am just writing all of this to
let you know that I didn't really make a whole lot of paintings or drawings
in the last month. I mean, I did, but just nothing really unique or wonder-
ful. I mostly spent the last month driving and flying to places far away and
kind of, you know, just not working. And I bring up Liz Clayton because
you'll see her later in this bunch of photos, as well as some other
people who are good close friends who I love.
David Bowie Temporary Tattoos, Chicago IL 2014
"I drew two temporary tattoos
for the Chicago MCA David Bowie exhibit
(happening now, and it's GREAT!) and they sent me a stack of them in the
mail. If you're interested in one of them, text me at
and I'll hand
you one out of my window at 16th and Madison. Offer good until they're gone,
happy November!" (OFFER RESCINDED: PLZ DO NOT TEXT)
Clown Town, Seattle WA 2014
This is just a drawing that is
1/2 of a tribute to a drawing that
was on a record that I really loved as a youngster and 1/2
a tribute to a person named "prettybraindead," who I find
to be rather funny.
Digi-Jerks, Seattle WA 2014
Twice in the last month I've been
subjected to wildly pointed text
messages from people. The other one (which I won't show here,
but text me if you'd like a screen shot) is much juicier and angry.
Why are people so mean? I don't even understand mean!
Derek Erdman by Jason Polan, New York NY 2014
I ran into Jason
Polan in front of Baby's All Right in New York. He
was just coming back from tie-dying a bunch of t-shirts and he brought
a sample of his signature model smoothie that he made for Tiny Empire.
He's doing such a good job right now, I'm going to mail him keys to
Exciting Whites, Chicago IL 2014
"MOVE OVER BORING WHITES, DEREK ERDMAN IS COMIN' THRU."
Some Breakfast, Seattle WA 2014
I don't remember the reason for
taking this picture, other than
I think it was a bunch of leftover foods that I cobbled together into
some soft of breakfast sub sandwich. I made a giant breakfast on
Sunday and as soon as I was finished cooking it, a friend came by
and surprised me with a mountain of BBQ and I wasn't sure which
food to eat, so I tried to eat both and got soooooo full. I ate more of
the BBQ three days later, which was a huuuuuge mistake.
Fifteen Dollar Paintings, Seattle WA 2014
These paintings came back from
the show in Reno and I
wasn't terribly shocked that a painting called Kim Selling
and the Skinheads didn't sell like hotcakes. I was glad to
get $30 for these two paintings though, and I bought a
bunch of Triscuits and cigarettes. Please don't get the
impression that most of my paintings are fifteen dollars
now, because they're not. Also, smoking is really gross.
WFMU Best Show Box Set Paper
Dolls , Seattle WA 2014
I made some paper dolls for this incredible comedy collection CD box
set of laughs. You can pre-order it right over here.
This is a Nice Thing, Seattle WA 2014
See! Here is a text that is not
mean! People can be nice if they'd
prefer to. It probably helps if you're not, you know, wasted.
Jason Polan, New York NY 2014
I just did some research on the
sweatshirt that Jason is
wearing here, it appears to be an actual diner, and only
the child's version of this is available. It's $40 though, which
is pretty reasonable!
Lindsey's Legs, Chicago IL 2014
Julia and I went to a place called
Antique Taco with baby Georgie
and while we were there our server was very kind and we
got to talking a bunch and when I went to the bathroom the
server said to Julia, "I'd like a baby someday but I can't find
a good guy," and Julia said, "he's a pretty good guy," re-
ferring to me so I asked her on a date and we drove around
in a rented VW Beetle while she read my chart on a flip phone
and later was able to tell me the star signs of most Hollywood
celebs with 99% accuracy.
Liz & Bela, New York NY 2014
Liz has a giant house in Bed-Stuy
full of interesting things
and she introduced me for the first time to Bela Koe-Krompecher,
who is featured on my favorite Guided By Voices bootleg of all
time. These two hours were my favorite part of being in America
in the last five years and I almost didn't even go, which should serve
as a reminder that you should always go.
Pine & Madison, Seattle WA 2014
I have a group of people who I
send "traffic report" text messages
to, they're just photos of this corner near my house. If you want one,
you can request at 773-595-9708. Simply send the words:
Magic City, Cleveland OH 2014
A few weeks ago I drove around
Cleveland in a rented car with my mother. We
talked about past life as I took pictures of old buildings on the near-east
side. Cleveland is a kind of wonderful place, if you don't have to live
there. It does seem that the rent is really cheap, but it's probably imposs-
ible to find a job. Everybody that we encountered was really nice, but we
also didn't encounter anybody. The Day-Glo corporate offices can still be
found in this area, you can read more about the inventor here, what a nice
story. Day-Glo is neat! Also RIP: Tom Tierney, the person from whom I stole
my drawing style.
Mama Santa's, Cleveland OH 2014
While in college I dated a person
named Tara for a short but intense period
of time. We went to a holiday party for a laundrymat, but I can't remember
anything else that happened then. I have two really good photos of Tara from
back then, she's wearing a green ski sweater in a bedroom of my apartment in
Kent, Ohio. We also went on a date to this restaurant back then, and
then came back and ate nearly the same meal. This restaurant has been and
probably will be in business forever. When you order food, they bring you a
basket of sliced untoasted white Italian bread. We ate it, it was just fine.
Some Cats of Neah Bay, Neah Bay WA 2014
My friend Sarah and I took a weekend
trip to the north part of the Olympic
Peninsula, sleeping in an A-frame cabin on the sea shore, watching the tide
come and go each day. I had no idea that the tide does that at random
times, I thought that it was more exact. I mean, it is exact in a way,
there are books that will tell you what time the tides will come and go
hundreds of years from now. Math is so hard though, I just want to trudge
around in tide pools looking for creatures & stuff. We were told that a
nearby reservation had good pizza, so we went there and found this family
of tux cats living in an abandoned house. They were timid.
Sea Shore, Sekiu WA 2014
Here are tide pools! This is near
cabins where we stayed at Chito Beach.
It's a rather good place to stay, there are VHS tapes that you can
borrow and a giant dog that will knock you over with its weight. You're
not allowed to clean fish in the rooms though, but who would even want to
do that, killing fish is mean and gross. I found a nearly spherical rock
here and felt like I had finally found a missing part of my life, but then
I dropped it and lost it the next day. So, you know, whatever. This place is
on the Strait of Juan de Fuca, so aren't many waves. Just salty water.
Yes 2 Healthy Babies No 2 Drugs, Neah Bay WA 2014
On the road leading to and from
Neah Bay, there are a number of hand
painted anti-drinking and anti-drug signs. Sarah and I were so happy to see
them, the messages are to the point and partially witty, in the best way. I
tried to steal one, but then we felt bad because we instantly recognized
that we were white people trying to steal stuff from a reservation. Which
is ultimately pretty fucked up, you know?
Shoot For the Stars Not ^ in Your Arms, Neah Bay WA 2014
See what I mean? The border, the
color placement, the word choice, the
star that is shooting itself? It's all the work of a rather talented person who
probably has no idea that they're currently having the best fucking art show
on the west coast.
Don't Huff Don't Puff Keep Away From That Stuff, Neah Bay WA 2014
I'm pretty sure this one was our
favorite, and I still think it's the best
because it's all encompassing. "That stuff" could really mean anything,
like drugs or booze but also maybe Taco Time or getting pulled over by the
police for speeding and having to pay a $175 ticket, which actually
happened to me the day after I took this picture. We were speeding back
to Seattle and I was caught doing 84 in a 65. The cop kept asking
questions like, "Where are you in such a hurry to go?" and "Do you know
how fast you were going?" I don't know how to answer those questions!
Avoid a Tragic Death Stay Away From Crystal Meth, Neah Bay WA 2014
Here's another, much more to the
point, with no border and the stars have
made a return appearance, though stars aren't mentioned in the message. But
I don't know why you would even want them to, because that rhyme is so perfect.
Good Outdoor Cat!, Clallam Bay WA 2014
This sign was so perplexing to
me, because it's for an outdoor cat that
needs a home, but it's also an outdoor cat, but it needs a home, which I
think just means that you call this number and get a cat that stays outside
but you have to feed it every now and again. I called the number just now , this
cat is still available.
You're No Punk So Don't Drive Drunk, Neah Bay WA 2014
Okay, here's the last one. If I
were a teenager in a punk band, I'd totally
write a song called "We're So Punk So Let's Drive Drunk." Man, punkers
are so dumb, I can't believe I have a Black Flag tattoo.
Sarah & the Cape, Cape Flattery WA 2014
This is quite near the northwestern
most tip of the USA (you know, the big
part) and one of the most breathtaking places I've ever been, aside from
the Cliffs of Moher. You have to park your car and walk for a little while
to get to this point, and during the walk Sarah started complimenting me a
a bunch and then she said, "CAPE FLATTERY, GET IT!" and we laughed a
whole bunch. This is also very near where I lost my spherical rock that rolled
under one of these wooden things that you stand on to see the sights. We
also encountered a mean dog, but mostly just wonders of nature. If you're
taking a trip, I recommend this place.
Nirvana Nevermime, Seattle WA 2014
I consider this to be just one
more step in my never ending quest to create
the dumbest fucking thing in the entire world. #mimeyourownbusiness
#mimeismoney #mimeaftermime #mimeisonmyside
Second Beach, La Push WA 2014
After much consideration, I've
decided that this is my absolute favorite
place on earth. La Push is really close to Forks and the northern most
beach is really easy to access, the waves rage so hard that even the
surfers out that day had enough after a while. There are giant pieces of
lumber washed up on the shore, like actual 100-year-old trees that must
weigh thousands of pounds just lying on the beach. There are other
beaches just to the south that you have to hike to, but they're absolutely
pristine and deserted. This is a photo from Second Beach, shortly before
I decided to get into the ocean and swim out really far and stay in that
fucking water for nearly an hour. It was so cold that I couldn't feel my
fingers for three hours, and so loud that it was deafening until you were
thrown under the surface into silence by what must have been seven or
eight foot waves. It was terrifying and so much fun. And you can camp
there, right on the beach with fires and stuff, which I totally intend on
doing at least a dozen times next summer.
It's Guillaume, New York NY 2014
Here's Liz Clayton's cat named
Guillaume, laying on her kitchen floor. This
cat is the perfect combination of timid and loving, unlike some cats which
are annoying or too standoffish. Make up your mind, some cats!
Kitchen Things, Peninsula OH 2014
Here's a perfect selection of things
in my mother's kitchen in Ohio. There
is a bottle of Elmer's Glue-All, a rusty cleaver, an open can of Coca-Cola,
some butter, an onion, and the greatest bread of all time in the entire
world. It's really just some rye bread, but it's the stuff that I grew up
with, and you know how you really like those things? I could probably just have
an empty Schwebel's bread bag and put local rye bread into it and not even
know the difference. <- LOOK AT THAT LIFE METAPHOR THAT I JUST MADE.
Picture of Lilly, Peninsula OH 2014
Here's my mother's giant dog, which
is pretty nice but usually dirty and
maybe at times a little needy. Lilly doesn't really come when you call
her, and when you want to do something she just runs away wildly. She
apparently pushed a yoga ball into a ravine a couple of days before I came
to visit and my mother asked me to retrieve the ball. The ravine is really
steep and I considered going down there and stabbing the ball so I could
carry it back deflated, because it seemed like it would be really hard to
carry it back inflated. Instead I just slept a lot and at a lot of
toasted rye bread.
Protomartyr, New York NY 2014
Working at a record label and listening
to a lot of music makes music a
really important thing in a person's life, and the Protomartyr record
called Under Color of Official Right that came out in April is
definitely my favorite record of this year. Sometimes I come home from
work, and either the day was great or not so great, and I can listen to
this record so loud and dance like crazy in my living and it's fucking
excellent. And these guys are from Detroit, so everything just makes
that much more sense to a person from Ohio. It took me a whole bunch of
times to get into it, but now it's forever etched into my brain frame.
Sundays W/ Anna, Seattle WA 2014
I decided to sell some paintings
before my trip, and Anna happened to be
over, so I posed her in the picture, like she was just reading that book, which
is called The Secret Sex Lives of Famous People. You'd think with a title like
that, such a book would be rampantly exciting, but it's actually quite boring.
While I was taking the picture, Anna said something like, "God, this book is
so dumb, who reads this shit?" Then we ate caramel apples. Anna used to
work for the Best Buy Geek Squad, but she doesn't any longer and I'm not
exactly sure why.
HI ERDS!, New York NY 2014
Sarah left this message in the
hotel room that we shared in New York, and
she was super nice to let me share her hotel room. The bed was extra
comfortable and I slept like 1,000 babies, having consumed a giant bagel
and huge can of beer right before sleep. When I woke up I was so well
rested and in a wonderful mood, only to find that Sarah didn't seem very
happy. "How'd you sleep?" I asked her. I then found out that she didn't
sleep at all, because I snored the entire night away. SORRY SARAH.
Street Cat & Lady, Seattle WA 2014
I saw seven different people with
cats in downtown Seattle one day. I met
this lady who told me that she named her cat Storm because she found her
"during a storm." I asked the lady if the cat liked being outside and she
said that she wasn't sure because the cat "was a cat and I don't speak
Sexy Osama Bin Laden, Seattle WA 2014
US Weekly wrote earlier asking
for some "unique" last minute
Halloween costume ideas, so I sent them this Sexy Bin Laden
drawing and they haven't written back, so I'm guessing that
somebody already came up with Sexy Bin Laden as a costume.
No Cities to Love Mystery Posters , Seattle WA 2014
I made these faux-80's-hardcore
flyers to secretly
announce the new Sleater-Kinney LP that will be
released on Sub Pop early next year.
Spitting in the Bath is Fine, Seattle WA 2014
Street Sleeps, Seattle WA 2014
Pine Street, Capitol Hill.
Tatoosh Island, Cape Flattery WA 2014
This is an island in the water
off of Cape Flattery. Sarah and I stared
at it for a very long time and eventually hatched a plan to take it
over and claim it as our own country. Of course when we started
discussing the details, it became a pretty stupid idea. There's a
lighthouse on this island that hasn't been used in a really long time.
Ages ago, close to 40 people lived on the island, and sometimes
the wind is so strong that it once blew a cow over the edge of a
cliff, but the cow lived and was apparantly "upset by the incident."
You can read a lot more about Tatoosh Island here.
Teenager Me, Strongsville OH 1988
Here's a picture of me at 15 years
old, complete with tight
rolls and an oversized red cardigan. Most likely at the very
beginning of my Smiths obsession, and obviously not yet
uncomfortable when surrounded by piles of unorganized things.
Introducing Georgie, Chicago IL 2014
Here's the only baby that I've
ever truly loved:
Georgia "Georgie Babbidy" Elizabeth Art. One day,
when this webpage is 15-years-old, she's going to
say something like, "Hey uncle Derek, can you take
that baby picture of me off of your ancient website?
Because I look ridiculous in it." And I'll be like,
"Hush up, teenaged babbidy!"
Sleeping Punker, Chicago IL 2014
This punker was drunk on the CTA
train in the middle of the
afternoon, which is understandable, because the life of a punker
is hard. Sorry I talked so much about punkers on this webpage!
See you next time!