Dream Tape- Go Astral
by Dan Olsen
YESYESYES met Dan Olsen through our buddy Grant Lavalley, who did a comic for our first issue. Those two make pretty funny contemporary art. Dan's work reminds us of our youth, in both the hand-drawn and digital forms, the content and the comics. I appreciate those who are thoughtfully nostalgia-drawn, not just dumbed-down for our post-modern obsessed web culture. But I really appreciated Go Astral, a tape of songs to fall asleep to that Dan dropped by No Shop. I'd argue that it's not only good to fall asleep to, but probably good to do any drug to. It's also good background music to get stuff done to. I asked Dan some questions about his tape and being an artist. Because, you know, it's nice to know how other people are. Play these tracks and read on. It's good concentrating music.
TRUTH FROM NASA YesYesYes: So how did you come to make music to fall asleep to? Do you actually sleep to it? Do you have to sleep to background noise? My bedroom shared a wall with the living room when I was growing up, so I used to listen to my parents watching TV at night. To this day, I like to fall asleep to music or movies with the sound down so low that it's almost inaudible. Dan Olsen: Yeah I grew up with a similar house-thing. There was a lot of TV happening at the same time. Nintendo on, TV on. So much imprinting was probably going on. I think the dream tapes are fun, peaceful things, if I can do a sales pitch. Sometimes I draw with one on and I'll happen to fall asleep then, but I go through phases of nothing. Like only plumbing and creepy house sounds, or classic wind with crickets. One that requires more effort that I'm into lately is oceans on one side of the room and OM chants above my head. That's a hit. I dunno, maybe I'm tired. I was really into making pop songs and they sorta kept getting slower and slower and now it's shit I'm gonna sleep to. This could be a jam 'cos I'm going to go to sleep. Ideally I'd like it to feel like the opposite of TV or blankness, medicine or a seminar on setting goals. YYY: Give me a highlight from your road trip. DO: We've befriended a lot of dogs which is nice. YYY: What do you do for money? Are you afraid of getting old and being an artist? Or are you just like, Ehhhh, I'll deal with that later? Isn't it annoying that one can't just make their way in their desired profession anymore? DO: I have had around 25 not hard-to-get jobs in various fields. I pretend I'm Quantum Leap. I have bonded with co-workers only to disappear. I'm more afraid of getting older and being a bozo. It would be cool to make money but it's probably going to get real meaningless soon, then everyone will have a good laugh. It will be important to have learned competent companion skills by then. I do really wish to go Walden someday, spend more time whittling, building earth-works. Yeah, the money thing is annoying. YYY: People often cleave to the obscure or rare. Maybe it's a sense of ownership that comes with being the only one who gets to relish something, especially in this day and age where everything is so available for anyone. With art and music, there's a lot of regurgitating older forms and styles that were once considered underground or uncommon. Do you worry about this? Does it seem like we've used up all the good, original ideas or something? Like possibility is finite. Or are we just paying homage? There's that Picasso quote: "Good artist borrow, great artist steal." Is everything just an amalgamation of tastes and inspiration? Basically, what the fuck is going on with the modern world? DO: Puke-fest to singularity. Reimagine it all! It's your world! We are apparently in a computer program anyways these days. Truth from NASA. Everything is like putting up pictures on Tumblr of t-shirts you find that have the words you want to say printed on them. Maybe the words are Photoshopped on the shirt. Who knows? Why's it got to be on a shirt? It's a challenge to discover the truth. Jim Henson and the Muppet crew - that's real. Maybe nobody gives a shit anymore and living inside a computer is A-OK by them. I was thinking today about how a good lie is one that you truly believe in. I believe in jokes. I believe in Picasso. YYY: Just wonderin', how'd you meet Grant? DO: I met Grant diggin' through trash behind this show we were both in in Columbus. We found this awesome Wiffle Ball toss game with this pair of wooden cage jai alai things. What drives a person to throw that in the trash? Friendship. -Jen Snyder, YYY