a brief history of Carlos Grasso


Carlos is a filmmaker, designer, sound artist, writer, musician and jumpsuit aficionado, but not necessarily in that order.

IRS LOGO_masked_051716

His early career was defined as the first art director/designer, creative and video ambassador, and quasi co-founder of the 1980’s influential label, International Record Syndicate – I.R.S. Records. Besides creating the labels’ distinctive logo Carlos designed, illustrated and art directed hundreds of record covers, singles, cassettes, CD’s, posters, ads and pretty much everything else for the likes of R.E.M., The Cramps, Buzzcocks, Wall Of Voodoo/Stan Ridgway, The English Beat, Timbuk3, The Go-Go’s, Circle Jerks, etc..

A filmmaker since his teens he produced, co-directed and co-wrote the label’s pioneering MTV show, The Cutting Edge (1983-89), which featured many future stars of music including The Red Hot Chili Peppers, Madonna, R.E.M., Public Enemy, Henry Rollins of Black Flag, Los Lobos, Nick Cave, Public Image, Dwight Yoakam and L.L. Cool J, to name a few. At the time it was the first television appearance for most of them. The Cutting Edge was also the first TV show in America to feature hip-hop as an emerging pop culture movement. The show was iconically hosted by Peter Zaremba of The Fleshtones and smartly directed by Jonathan Dayton and Valerie Faris who went on to direct the Oscar nominated film, Little Miss Sunshine. The title music was composed and performed by Klark Kent, aka Stewart Copeland of The Police. This sequence is from the March, 1986 New Orleans show featuring Alex Chilton.

After leaving I.R.S. Records Carlos directed a plethora of music videos for many artists including Oasis, Cracker, Camper Van Beethoven, Grant-Lee Buffalo/Phillips, Stan Ridgway, Sam Phillips and J.J. Cale. He grew tired of that world, and in a passive-aggressive fashion, self-sabotaged his promising music video career. He was then dropped from his production company at the time and is still grateful for that. Carlos then started making art, wasting money and writing scripts like every other knucklehead in Hollywood.

 

Since 1992 he has self-released a series of electro-acoustic and electronic music recordings which he has also performed frequently as well. His first release, Depression Sessions, features a cover assemblage and photograph by renowned punk/art photographer, Edward Colver. Selections are posted for your listening pleasure and enjoyment.

DEPRESSION-SESSIONSDEPRESSION SESSIONS, 1992

Released by Pigs On Corn

Copies of this CD are available for a nominal fee

 

 

 

 

RememberToBreathe_frontcoverREMEMBER TO BREATHE, 1994

Self-released

 

 

 

 

TINY-LADDER-OF-DREAMS-frntTHE TINY LADDER OF DREAMS
Found recordings of DNA replication, 2004. Compiled by Carlos Grasso.

Self-released

Read more about this project here.

 

 

 

GreatAss_frontcoverGREAT ASSASSINATIONS OF HISTORY, Vol 1
The Syd Field Project, 2004

Demos for a score to a film never written.

 

 

 

A New Orleans resident, Carlos continues to be active as a filmmaker, live video mix performer, designer and artist who has exhibited at various galleries and exhibitions. He also performs as DJ FLIMFLAM where he mixes live electronics/electro-acoustics and vintage 78s. Thank you for your time.

My First Film, 1971 Includes the original foxtrot soundtrack from a 78 recorded onto cassette.

CARLOS GRASSO YOUTUBE CHANNEL

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  1. […] Carlos Grasso, presenting his short film using 1920s plantation life dioramas at the Louisiana State Museum as part of a narrative with found dialogue and live performed soundtrack, as well as a performance of “Tiny Sounds” amplifying low level sounds (purring, pin dropping, sighs, leaky faucet, bugs, etc.) […]

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