Since 1998, Hoodlums has kept a steady foothold in the Tempe music scene. It was located in the Memorial Student Union on ASU's main campus — the go-to independent music and movie store for many Tempe residents. After a fire late last year, owners Steve Wiley and Kristian Luce left their longtime spot for the southeast corner of McClintock and Guadalupe, a few doors down from fellow indie Changing Hands Bookstore.
And, now, Hoodlums is taking on yet another discipline — visual arts. "We feel like music and movies naturally tie in — and we are passionate about album art, pop culture art, movie posters, etc.," says Wiley. Hoodlums' first art show coincided with its grand reopening and featured work by four Valley artists: Mike Maas, Roy Wasson Valle, Matt Connelly, and David Quan.
For round two, Hoodlums has teamed up with Chuck B. of Spraygraphic.com, a locally based free networking Web site where members have posted intricate personal profiles to pimp their music, visual art, and other creative work since 2002. B. is curating "Fill in the Groove," an art show that uses vinyl as canvas, scheduled to open at Hoodlums on December 13.
As a longtime customer of Hoodlums, B. saw a potential marriage. "I knew of some vinyl-art shows around the country," says B. "I figured that would be a perfect [fit] for Hoodlums and Spraygraphic because we have a huge artist community that loves music and loves vinyl even more."
B. put out the call to Spraygraphic members, Wiley provided the vinyl and more than 30 Spraygraphic artists are participating — notably, local graffiti artists MadOne and Dumperfoo.
Most of the works display street aesthetics. Tim Ham completely covers his vinyl in paint. A bright light bulb is coiled in a tangle of white wire that squiggles across the surface and attaches to a skeleton-like face. Random puzzle pieces in turquoise and mint bounce over a yellow backdrop.
This is what you'd expect to see on the walls of a music store. It's lively, it's graffiti-style, and it's rough around the edges. Other pieces range from clean, comic-like illustrations to spray-painted stencils to abstract splats and designs.
Each work is an exchange of art for art. The paint creates a visual piece while destroying the audio capabilities. It's a sacrifice. And, like its venue, it has true indie spirit. — Lilia Menconi