Pandemic-related venue shutdowns and tour cancellations have affected nearly everyone whose job revolves around music and nightlife, including the artists who create gig posters. When I talked to Screwball Press founder Steve Walters in January, he echoed a sentiment I’ve heard from many artists: 2020 was a nightmare. “I thought at first we’d be down for a few months and just weather it out,” Walters said, “but yeah, it’s going to be a while still.”
People who make gig posters as part of their business expended plenty of labor on art for events that just didn’t happen. This week, we’re featuring two such posters from Chicago designer, artist, and screen printer Josh Davis of Dead Meat Design (whose work has been previously highlighted in this space). These paired posters were supposed to advertise two September 2020 Oh Sees shows, and when the concerts were postponed with no new date announced, Davis decided to go ahead with the printing process to get the art out into the world anyhow. Visitors to his webstore can buy six-color silk-screen prints of both.
Those concerts have since been rebooked for this coming September at Thalia Hall. Oh Sees are now Osees, which probably had nothing to do with the pandemic—they’ve gone through many name changes since Los Angeles-based guitarist and vocalist John Dwyer started the band in San Francisco in 1997, including Orinoka Crash Suite, OCS, the Ohsees, Thee Oh Sees, and Orange County Sound. Davis has designed posters for some of the band’s previous incarnations, and in 2016 (during the Thee Oh Sees years) one of them appeared here. He says he’ll create new posters for the new shows.
The Reader is still happy to take your suggestions for gig posters to feature each week—and fantasy and historic gig posters remain fair game. E-mail email@example.com with your contact information and poster submission. Even though many venues are back in business in a limited way, promised federal aid has yet to arrive, so if you’re able, please continue to support staffers who’ve lost work and tips in the past year and those who still can’t return to their jobs—here’s our list of fundraisers. And don’t forget record stores! The Reader has published a list of local stores that will let you shop remotely.
ARTIST: Josh Davis
CANCELED GIGS: These posters were created for two Oh Sees shows scheduled for Fri 9/11/20 and 9/12/20 at Thalia Hall, both of which were canceled.
UPCOMING GIGS: Two 2021 shows have been announced, for which Davis will make new art. Osees and openers Mr. Elevator play Fri 9/17 and Sat 9/18 at 8:30 PM at Thalia Hall, 1807 S. Allport. Tickets are $30 and both shows are 17 and up.
ARTIST INFO: Dead Meat Design