Rain, Rain, Come Today
Sometimes there's nothing better than a rainy day. All that water falling from the sky makes you turn inward, find someplace cozy and dry. That goes for It Rained All Day, a book/music collaboration between Austin band ((SOUNDER)) and Los Angeles artist Mel Kadel, which gets a release party at Okay Mountain tonight at 6pm.
With a 7" vinyl record tucked into a cover sleeve, the 36-page limited-edition hardback recalls the read-'n'-play sets from childhood, where you'd put a 45 on your turntable and listen to a story be read or acted as you paged along through the book. And the interior reinforces that with Kadel's simple yet vivid illustrations – one for each line of lyric by the titular ((SOUNDER)) song.
The project began with ((SOUNDER)) frontman Mike Aho, who was inspired by reading Shel Silverstein to his daughter. For ((SOUNDER))'s first CD in 2006, Kadel had created an illustration for each song, and those were bound into a few hundred handmade books that were released with the disc. For It Rained All Day, Aho sent Kadel the lyrics, and for each line she crafted an image using her trademark antique papers, which are cut, layered, and drawn on in liquid acrylic ink with Micron pens. She has described her work as being "like an old pillowcase, with a narrative."
Last weekend, the finished product – published by the small-run arts and photography firm Unpiano Books – had a release party in Kadel's hometown of L.A., with Aho and ((SOUNDER)) band members in attendance to play live. This weekend, the party is on Aho's home turf, with Okay Mountain hosting. Art from the book will remain up through Sunday.
"It Rained All Day" will be on view Jan. 24-27, Thursday-Sunday, at Okay Mountain Gallery, 1619 E. Cesar Chavez. Opening reception: Thursday, Jan. 24, 6-10pm. For more information, visit www.okaymountain.com.