Over the years I have come across a fair number of singer-songwriters whose talents extend well beyond music to other artistic mediums. Justin Duerr, vocalist and secondary percussionist for the Philadelphia transcendental punk trio Northern Liberties, is also known for being an exceptionally talented visual artist. New York City’s antifolk and punk artist Jeffrey Lewis has created and shared his own comics for some years now, as well as having designed the album covers for his releases. Most recently, about four years ago, give or take, I happened upon San Francisco native Andrew Goldfarb (aka The Slow Poisoner). And this piece is on Andrew and his artistic endeavors.
Andrew keeps himself remarkably busy with his art, starting with recording and releasing albums, and playing shows in his surrealistic rock one-man band The Slow Poisoner. Other than The Slow Poisoner, Andrew records and performs for a bizarro psyche-folk duo called Kingdom of Not. Once the music stops, he immerses himself in the act of pulling oddities out of his overactive imagination and committing them to the page. Among Andrew’s visual art projects are his black velvet paintings, editions of his comic Ogner Stump’s One Thousand Sorrows, his album covers, and the visual portions of a short novel of bizarro fiction titled Hypno-Hog’s Moonshine Monster Jamboree. In addition, Andrew has provided original artwork to other bands for their album covers, like the Las Vegas roots rock quartet Yeller Bellies’ second, and last album, Here to Suffer.
As The Slow Poisoner, Andrew has been quite successful, garnering notice from obscure music fans and press outlets. With albums titled Magic Casket, Roadside Altar, and Lost Hills, and a 7” titled The Green Chair, one can tell that he deals largely with esoteric and occult subject matter, and sometimes just incredible weirdness. Speaking of weird, in 2013 The Slow Poisoner teamed up with Budd Underwood for Kingdom of Not’s Journey to the Far Side of the Room album, along with a handful of other contributing musicians. With a sound that is removed from The Slow Poisoner’s, although not so far removed that one cannot recognize his unique participation, Kingdom of Not give us twelve strange, organic tracks. Journey to the Far Side of the Room’s song titles include “The Girl with the Demon in Her Head,” “On a Raft Made of Bones,” “Radio Beam in Your Dreams,” “Debbie & the Demons,” and “The Beetle is ALIVE!”
Whether penning stories or drawing comics as Andrew Goldfarb, or writing and playing music for The Slow Poisoner or Kingdom of Not, this is one artist that is always pulling something worthwhile out of his sleeve. So it is probably wise to check in on his web updates and listed endeavors every so often.