A few weeks back, we were sitting in a very hard-to-find-yet-awesome bar in the Shibuya ward of Tokyo when a local and his friend pointed across the bar to me and said ‘Sonic Youth?’ in a very confused manner, gesturing at the shirt I was wearing (pictured above).
Turns out the two guys—both sporting the ubiquitous post-work Tokyo salary man look (suit, no tie, collar open)—both worked for the Japanese beverage giant Suntory, who’s largely responsible for the Japanese whisky boom of today. But the one guy—Shin—used to work for years at the gigantic Tower Records down the street from us and was a big indie music fan. I responded that I was grateful that he got the reference to the cover of Sonic Youth’s seminal album, Goo. A lot of people just think it’s a weird Taylor Swift shirt. Don’t get me wrong—Taylor Swift’s fine, I’m more Team Sonic Youth.
And Team Scissorsaurus, who created the shirt and illustration in the first place, and whose work I’ve been meaning for a while now to call out here.
Scissorsaurus is Leeds-based artist Katie Nicholls. I came across her current work while free-falling through the web, researching her old work as the drummer in one of my favorite mid- to late-2000s bands, ¡Forward, Russia!, a wonderful art-punk band that I miss to this day. These days, judging by what little I can find on the internet, Nicholls spends the lion’s share of her time working in Huddersfield New College’s design department and creating awesome new shirts, totes, aprons, and cards for Scissorsaurus, all of which you can check out on her store.
Also, that shirt led to some great stories + recs from our friends at Suntory, so thanks, Scissorsaurus!