The Artwork of Jealous Butcher Records' Rob Jones

When asked to submit artwork for his Behind The Scene story by Ryan J. Prado in the debut issue of Vortex Music Magazine, Rob Jones of Jealous Butcher Records provided us with not only the perceptibly pleasing elements he's designed for local album covers and show posters over the years but also the corresponding backstory of each piece, further illustrating the man's ethos: Every Jealous Butcher release carries both an appealing visual and tactile aesthetic as well as a meaningful story.

The following are Jones' own words about his work.

Album Artwork

JB-070: M. WardTransfiguration of Vincent
John King, a very lovely and exceedingly talented person, has designed the cover art for many of M. Ward's records, starting from the beginning of his career up through the present day. I've had the very good fortune of working with both John and Matt on various aspects of these covers starting with Transistor Radio. Working with John on layout and design projects is so rewarding and just plain fun. This is for a vinyl reissue that JBR was lucky enough to get to release. All the art was created by King and then he and I put it together. I love that we got to make a record cover that is so striking and has no words on it. I'm not anti-function with design by any means, but it's nice to not be beholden to it.

JB-108: Loftus—Loftus
When JBR got the chance to reissue this we were so stoked! I remembered this CD from my friend Adam's collection. It was this cool silkscreened CD sleeve with a piece of sandpaper glued to the front, designed by Steve W. at Screwball Press. I was already a big fan of "build it yourself, make it complicated" packaging, so this really appealed to me. Flash forward and the band asked me to recreate this for the LP version.

JB-043: Various Artists—Anatomy of a...
Sometimes it's really fun to try and copy styles or designers you like. Saul Bass is one of the most amazing album cover designers ever. I think the idea for this came from the picture of our friend Ryan on the floor at a party—for some reason it reminded me of the body on the cover of the Anatomy of a Murder soundtrack, so I set about recreating that with that photo as a basis. Originally this comp was going to be called Anatomy of a Rocker—this was vetoed.

JB-106: Perhapst—Revise Your Maps
It's not always about the front cover.

JB-065: Colin MeloyColin Meloy Sings Live!
Anytime I get to do anything with art from Carson Ellis my heart is happy. I'm pleased with the text looking like it was cut out of the painting.

Posters

Elliott Smith: This was a commission from my friend Wendy Miller. Elliott has always been one of my favorite humans and I was so stoked to be asked to work on this poster. It was a benefit for the Lovejoy Columns and I was given specific photos that they wanted to incorporate into the design. I was really happy that this turned out as it did, and the folks I turned it into were equally stoked. Unfortunately, the show was canceled. Of note is that M. Ward is opening this show and I believe that if we'd met yet it was only in passing at this point.

Rachel: I often like to start with photos when working on any design, and I really like incorporating as much of the folks I care about as I can into posters, when it works. This is a photo of my friend Rachel in Arch Cape. I believe it was taken by Chad Crouch, but it may have been me, or maybe my wife. If you look closely at the bottom you'll see two silhouettes against a skyline. That's Chad and I in Brooklyn on top of our friends Bryce and Neil's apartment.

Diane: Diane is one of my heroes. As a kid, I got to see her amazing band Oswald Five-0, who inspired me to get started in all this in the first place. Many years later, I got to be in a band and write songs with her (The Valiant Arms). This photo is from a funny shoot we did—again I think this was a picture by Chad. It always stuck with me and I figured it was fitting to use it for this poster where we got to play with Alan Low's rock band and the folks from the Hot Snakes!

Animals: I woke up one morning at our friends Derek and Stephanie's house in Minneapolis, and when I came downstairs I saw these three fellows set up and staring out the front door into the sun. It was one of the coolest things ever, so I had to take a picture of it. Turns out it was Tuesday, my daughter, who had set them up that way. (She was around 5, I think.)

Ladies: I took this one on the beach with Tuesday and four of her amazing friends. A few Christmases back I decided to make a poster out of it for the parents of those friends.

To learn more about Jones' local music legacy, start reading Behind The Scene: Jealous Butcher Records Founder Rob Jones below:

There was a time in the early 1990s, as local lore has it, that was hands down the most vibrant, inspiring time for the region’s underground music community. Yesteryear venues like the X-Ray Cafe (later the O’Hell Cafe), Pine Street Theater (later La Luna), and Satyricon are mentioned reverentially as cathedrals of late-20th-century anti-establishment promise. Rob Jones cut his teeth among this burgeoning community... read more

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