Image: "The Lovers" by Erica Williams

Artist Erica Williams

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While the world is jam-packed full of illustrators better than myself, few really hit me in the face with that knowledge like Erica Williams and her screen prints. Her work is so intricate, beautiful, and wild that it makes me mad. Mad at myself mostly, for the toddler’s doodles I produce compared to her phenomenal work. Currently working out of Minneapolis, Williams specializes in lush neoclassical floral patterns framing various animals, themselves hung with beads and arcane relics or pierced through by blades. It’s part religious iconography, part Victorian storybook illustration. Her linework is immaculate, and a restrained color palette really brings out the strong design sense of her compositions. She has prints for sale on her website, along with updates on bands she’s doing commission work for, events she’s attending, and extensively detailed profiles of her cats. She also has T-shirts for available through Triple Stamp Press. It’s really gorgeous stuff and worth checking out, even if I have to be wheeled around afterward, muttering, “I am the patron saint of mediocrity.” [Nick Wanserski]

Diego Luna loves Jabba The Hutt supercut

It’s been months since the supercut of Diego Luna talking about Jabba The Hutt made its way onto the internet, and in that time it has not lost any of its charm. The backstory: During the Rogue One press tour, Luna frequently brought up his interest in touching Jabba. The texture of the giant slug creature has apparently been a point of fascination for the actor for quite a while. He really, really, really wants to know what Jabba feels like. He thinks the experience even “might be delicious.” So some wonderful soul edited all the clips together, and the rest is history. Let me tell you: I cannot count how many times I’ve watched this. It’s just so delightful, and he seems so genuinely excited to bring up his—admittedly bizarre—obsession. I only hope that he finally gets to touch Jabba and, when that happens, that we all get to witness his reaction. [Esther Zuckerman]

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Stnnng, Veterans Of Pleasure LP

It’s a rare thing to be able to say you saw the very first show of a band you love. Rarer still is the experience of continuing to enjoy a band’s music throughout its entire career. And yet, well into the second decade of its existence, and long after I first saw the band as a hungry young four-piece act unleashing musical chaos upon an unsuspecting audience in a small residence in the Twin Cities, Stnnng is back with a new album, and it’s as vital and rewarding as anything the band’s recorded to date. Those lucky enough to have caught the band live know what to expect: a full-on sonic assault of churning, ambitious noise rock with just enough melody and bombast to make it larger than life, without sacrificing any of the grime or dark intensity at which the group excels. Stnnng carries on the proud tradition of Jesus Lizard-style mania, with even more frenetic instrumentation and gonzo musicality. Plus, singer Chris Besinger’s come-hither-meets-fuck-you sing-speak has always been second to none, a more interesting Bukowski operating as a carnival barker. Stnnng has gained enough notoriety at this point that I don’t need to single out its live-act bona fides, but still, if you’ve never treated yourself, pick up the new album—arguably the band’s best—and get to the bar when they roll into town. [Alex McLevy]

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