Adrian Bruhm is an energetic lad. Onstage with his band The Graboids, Bruhm flings himself into the crowd, wrapping himself and various audience members in microphone cords, rolling on the floor and singing into people's faces. At $Rockin 4 $, where Bruhm co-hosts the weekly open mic at Reflections with Craig Hamlin every Monday, he hands out old VHS tapes, gets smacked on the head with cookie sheets, pelted with beer, cake and/or flour—all in the name of consoling those who didn't win that week's prize money. Off-stage, he snaps photos—copious amounts—documenting a lively scene full of short- and long-lived bands and the characters who love them.
And when not watching a band, he's on the streets—Bruhm's poster art has been gracing telephone poles and poster boards for years. Hand-drawn and finely detailed, Bruhm is influenced by iconic artist Raymond Pettibon, and it's work from the heart. "It's all I know," he says. "I have trouble picking up and figuring out new tools and tricks, so I stick with what I know: making eye-catching pictures of silly things. Is it perfect? Not at all, but I have complete control over it and I haven't gotten enough negative feedback to tell me to stop."
Bruhm has collected his body of work into four packs of 13 trading card-sized prints, and is selling them under the name Radrandal Trading Cards. Named after his cat, each card features a poster and a write-up on the back about memorable things that happened at the show and inspiration on the design. Each pack contains a stick of gum, a comic, a hand-written message and a sticker.
The final pack (and complete box set) is being released June 2, to coincide with Bruhm's annual birthday show, and ninth anniversary of $Rockin 4 $. Of his longtime hosting gig, Bruhm says: "We cater to everyone, we don't discriminate and we represent something undeniably local. We're also sort of an underdog that people will go out of their way to support. It's really nice when we're having an off night for the bands to thank us for our hard work and commitment. People know how much we care and how much we want them to succeed."
His posters are a bit of local music history. "It's a very niche concept to a niche market. I love and appreciate wholeheartedly those who have taken the time to really get what I'm going for," he says. "The time and detail, the hours and memories. The moments in time that I refuse to let them forget."
The Graboids w/Fat Stupids, Hot Dog Kids, The Donairs, Juvenile Life Waste, Mackoids cover band and more
Monday, June 2 at 10pm, $3
Reflections, 5184 Sackville Street
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