We have a few very special surprises in store for City Pages readers this week, as we reflect back on developments in the Twin Cities scene with our annual Year in Music issue. One of the largest and saddest moments of the year came in October with the passing of beloved rapper, writer, and artist Michael "Eyedea" Larsen; for this week's cover we had local musician and painter Michael Gaughan create a custom portrait of Eyedea.
[jump] Music fans may recognize Gaughan's work from the cover of Eyedea & Abilities most recent album, By the Throat. He also created the album artwork for Moonstone Continuum's LP and painted the iconic "hottub portrait" from the gatefold of Gayngs' LP, Relayted. And of course, Gaughan can be seen around town playing in groups like Ice Rod and Little Dog on Top of a Big Dog.
Gaughan planned out the cover in stages with our art director, Mike Kooiman. First, they worked out issues of negative space and typography by completing a few sketches of the cover. You can see an example of that stage here:
When Gaughan submitted his watercolor portrait to City Pages, the colors had to be adjusted to make it suitable for printing on newspaper. Here's the original version of the portrait, which shows a truer range of colors:
And here's the finished version of the cover, complete with our Year in Music logo.