While there are many great shows this week that can all be seen here at the Rock Report, there is one show that rises above all the rest. As you probably know, we here at WKNC worship the North Carolina bred synth-pop fanatics Future Islands. But what you might not know is that Future Islands was not the first endeavor of Samuel Herring, William Cashion, and Gerrit Welmers. Before Future Islands, the three of them were in a band with Adam Beeby called Art Lord & the Self-Potraits. They played their first show 10 years ago on Valentine’s Day. The band toured vigorously around North Carolina as well as a tour with Dan Deacon up and down the East Coast. After 2 years of existence, they laid the Art Lord to rest and started Future Islands.
This Valentine’s Day, Art Lord & the Self-Potraits are getting back together for a 10 year anniversary of their first show to release a double LP retrospective off Friend’s Records entitled The Definitive Collection. This release is their first vinyl release to date and compiles songs from their four albums. The show is at Kings Barcade this Thursday at 9pm. Brian Corum opens with a special solo Lonnie Walker set followed by GOOGOOLOO. Art-Lord and the Self-Potraits will then close out the night which is sure to be one of the best shows of this year. So grab your loved one and come on out to the show.
Check out a synopsis from Samuel Herring of how Art Lord & the Self-Potraits came to be below:
“AT THE BEGINNING OF THE 1980’S, THE SPECTRUM OF MUSIC AND ART WERE BEING BLOWN WIDE OPEN. THE WORLD WAS CHANGING AND THE PEOPLE WANTED A STAR, AN ICON, TO CHALLENGE THEIR MODE OF THINKING. SOMEONE THEY COULD FOLLOW, WHETHER TO WATCH THEM ASCEND OR PLUMMET INTO THE HISTORY OF TEXTBOOK LORE.
AT THE AGE OF 18, LOCKE ERNST-FROST, WOULD BE SUCH A MAN. PROPELLED INTO BEING—LOCKE—THE SELF-PROCLAIMED, GERMAN LORD OF ART (FROM GERMANY, OHIO), THE NEW YORK ART SCENE BY STORM. GIVING HIS ONE OF A KIND VIEWPOINTS ON THE BANALITY OF LIFE, HE TORE APART THE AMERICAN POP CULTURE IDOLATRY, AND CHASTISED THE WORLD AUDIENCE’S FOOLISHNESS FOR FALLING FOR SUCH SIMPLE TRICKS.
HOWEVER, THIS PROVED TO BE TOO GREAT OF A CHALLENGE FOR THE YOUNG MAN. WHILE THE WORLD HERALDED HIM AS THE SAVIOR OF ART, HE REALIZED THAT HE WAS BECOMING THE THING THAT HE DESPISED. THE SPOTLIGHT WAS TOO GREAT, THE LEVEL OF OBSERVATION TOO HIGH. HE WANTED TO ESCAPE THE LIFE HE HAD CREATED. AND SO, AT THE RIPE OLD AGE OF 19 HE BANISHED HIMSELF FROM THE SPOTLIGHT, TO A BUNKER IN ZURICH, NEVER TO BE HEARD FROM AGAIN.
FLASH FORWARD, FEBRUARY 2003, LOCKE ERNST-FROST EMERGES FROM THE BANKS OF THE TAR RIVER, IN THE SMALL, COLLEGE TOWN OF GREENVILLE, NORTH CAROLINA. IT HAS BEEN TWO DECADES SINCE THE ART LORD HAS SPOKEN, AND NO ONE KNOWS HIS NAME. THE MYTH. ERNST-FROST HAS BEEN IN SECLUSION FOR THE LAST TWENTY YEARS TRYING TO CRACK THE AESTHETIC CODE. HE HAS SPENT EVERYDAY, SINCE HIS RETIREMENT, DREAMING, SCULPTING AND PAINTING THE MOST BEAUTIFUL THING IN THE WORLD. HIMSELF. AFTER BEING SET AWAY FOR SO LONG, HE BELIEVED IT WAS TIME TO FINALLY STEP OUT OF THE DARKNESS, AND SING TO THE WORLD HIS TALES OF WOE.
AFTER AUDITIONING MUSICIANS FOR HIS PROJECT, HE REALIZED IT WAS FRUITLESS. NO ONE WAS GOOD ENOUGH TO PLAY FOR HIM. DETERMINED, HE GAVE LIFE TO THE ONLY BEINGS WHO WERE WORTHY TO STAND ON THE STAGE BESIDE HIM, FOUR TEARS DROPPED ON CANVAS, AND HIS SELF-PORTRAITS WERE BORN. TOGETHER, THEY SET OUT, LOCKE, #1, #2, #3, AND #4. FINALLY, THE ART LORD AND HIS SELF-PORTRAITS, COULD TELL THEIR STORY TO THE WORLD…HOW HARD IT IS, TO BE, SO GREAT.”