Category: Guest Author

Poster given to VO on his 60th birthday, with tributes from Warren Defever, Tanya Donelly, Simon Larbalestier & others. Design: Timothy O'Donnell

Vaughan Oliver, 1957-2019

Vaughan Oliver (4AD/v23)

Graphic design legend Vaughan Oliver (4AD/v23) passed away on December 29, 2019 at the age of 62.

Early on Sunday, December 29, Adrian Shaughnessy of Unit Editions announced, “My friend and design hero Vaughan Oliver died peacefully today, with his partner Lee by his side. Vaughan Oliver, 1957-2019.”

I had a moment of intense disbelief, followed by the ludicrous hope that it was a sick joke of some kind. As the news sank in, I still couldn’t believe it — intense, profane, puckish Vaughan, one of if not THE iconic designer of the 1990s (sorry, Carson, it ain’t you) — was gone far too soon.

Ut: Digging Deep

Ut live at Sonic City, November 2017

Live at Rough Trade, London
November 18, 2017

Warped Reality readers will know Ut, the legendary No Wave underground band that formed in New York in 1978. A reminder: Jacqui Ham, Sally Young and Nina Canal were Blast First label mates of Sonic Youth. They left the USA to tour with The Fall (1981), and even more interesting to those comrades who fight for active, not passive, listening daily, a young Steve Albini engineered the 1989 Griller album. Consequently tonight’s Rough Trade audience is made up of a generous portion of the alternative music world’s patrons, champions and groundbreakers, including Ana (Raincoats) and Bjork. Lovely.

Even more adorable is how their loud sound, jazz attitude, building layers of rhythm and awkward guitar shapes still swallow you whole, exemplified most in “Wailhouse” tonight (off Griller), and by which time they’ve warmed up.

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