Thom Yorke - Tomorrow’s Modern Boxes Tour

Thom Yorke - Tomorrow’s Modern Boxes Tour

By Jennifer Blaesing Lotus Mob | A.F.T.A.

In a highly anticipated return to Chicago for Thom Yorke, the Radiohead frontman gave a solo performance not to be missed this evening.

The show featured opener Oliver Coates, an experimental cellist from London. I arrive soon after he begins his set with his haunting, voice like cello singing through the entire Chicago Theatre. I am seated about 20 yards from the stage, all the way to the left in an aisle seat, directly across from a statue of a cherub-like boy holding up a bowl, on a black and white checkered floor, in a half-circle cutout in the wall - a statue I had never seen before in my many visits to the Chicago Theatre. It seemed rightfully fitting to be seated next to this angelic presence for this special occasion.


Oscar took a shy moment to muster up some words about how Yorke had found him on YouTube, and asked him to be part of his tour, and he was now to play for us some atmospheric dreamy melodies “to prepare us for the storm that is to come…”

Nevertheless, it isn’t quite clear how to prepare for a Thom Yorke show. This was to be a Tomorrow’s Modern Boxes tour, which was released in 2014. Just recently, he composed the film score to the remake of Suspiria. Not to mention with his debut solo album, The Eraser, and the works created with Atoms for Peace, his solo library is such a vast collection from so many branches, it's hard to determine what surprises he will throw in.

Yorke enters the stage with Radiohead producer Nigel Godrich and visual artist Tarik Barri. The show begins with “Interference”, with hypnotic, colorful visual effects by Barri. The audience is eager and enthusiastic, a welcome treat for a Chicago crowd. No one is sitting in their seats, everyone is standing. In my aisle seat, I am fortunate enough to have a killer view whether seated or standing, but of course, I opt to stand as well. Others from seats further back have scooted up the aisle and are hanging out in the cherub boy’s lair beside me.


It all started to swirl together in a euphoric haze (and no, I was not on mushrooms)... the geometric and hypnotic graphics show, the ebb and flow of the songs from dreamy and haunting to hard, wicked dance beats, the angelic boy statue crew, people dancing and cheering. I was swept up, like surfing a wave or a whimsical carpet ride in their geniusly crafted sensational art world.

Much like Yorke’s performance at the Radiohead show over the summer this year, there was a noticeable focus on vocal and emotional precision, more so this year than in tours of distant past, where he seemed to enjoy convulsing around the stage a lot more often. The performance with the trio was fully engaging and mesmerizing. And to see Nigel Godrich joining on the stage was a rare treat as well.


Thom was sure to thank the audience after each and every song. Possibly to show genuine appreciation, or to note the division between songs, as many of the tracks bled together. There was a good selection from Tomorrow’s Modern Boxes, as expected. Notables from The Eraser were “Black Swan,” “Atoms for Peace,” and “Cymbal Rush.” Several thrown in into the mix weren’t recognizable, even for a pretty die-hard Yorke fan like myself. More favorites included Radiohead’s “Reckoner,” and Atoms for Peace’s “AMOK” and “Default.”

Thom had mentioned in interviews that writing the Suspiria score was more like casting spells than writing songs, a process he called “fuckin’ weird” just before playing his 2nd encore and final song, “Unmade,” which was the only song he played from the film score. But it was evident that he seemed affected by this process creatively in the way that he was interacting with the crowd. Of course, he was his usual energetic, jumpy-twitchy happy self, but as opposed to a Radiohead show, this one had a feeling of actually being cast under Thom’s spells. It was hard to tell if it was the music that gave this kind of feel, or the way he was looking out at us, the way he was gesturing to us with his arms wide open, as if preaching, or as if opening his heart out and welcoming us all into some secret world only Mr. Yorke and his crew seem to know about.


It was almost as though he seemed to have a new appreciation for his own work, and was joyous to share and present it with all those present, who had the ears to hear. Check out the set list below!

SHOP TALK: Featuring Ted Lody "A Comic Artist on the Concept of Existentialism"


“Featuring Ted Lody”

"A Comic Artist on the Concept of Existentialism"

By Hope Taylor | DDPROD | A.F.T.A.


Each month we feature one exceptional career artist in Chicago that we find stand out above the rest in their creative fields. We had the luxury to sit down and pick the brain of one of Chicago’s longtime comic artists, Ted Lody. He was kind enough to share his creative journey, inspirations and insider knowledge on the graphic art industry today.

When did you first know you wanted to make comics and what were the first steps you took to make that a reality?

In the summer of 1977, I starting collecting comics books as a young child. Some of my first comic books were Spiderman, X-Men, Batman, and the Marvel Comics adaptation of Star Wars. At the same time, I enjoyed the Spiderman and Super Friends animated series on television. From that point on, comic books and superheroes, in general, became a huge influence on me. Somehow, I always knew comic books were my destiny, either collecting, drawing, or even writing them. Being involved any way I can, just felt right; as if this is where I truly belong.

Years later, I self-published my first comic book in early 1995, called “Vampire Nation: Vampire Subway,” under my own comic book label called “Letterbox Comics.” 3000 print copies were distributed and sold in local comic book stores in the greater Chicago area, including southern Wisconsin, Northwest Indiana, and Central Illinois. I attended several “meet and greets” and book signing in those first few weeks of the book’s release. In 1997, I launched a website and digital copies of the book were made available; I instantly recognized the power of digital publishing and the endless possibilities it created.

I heard you were also a graphic designer, how do you find time to manage your graphic design business and still make digital comic books?

Finding the balance between projects is the key to creative harmony. If you truly believe in a creative endeavor enough, you will find the time and means to make it happen. Since I’m an Indie Publisher, I have greater flexibility with the release schedule and distribution of my product than most traditional comic book publishers. Not having to strictly adhere to the limitations of their production and publishing schedules, it gives me the ability to create comics on my own time and on my own terms. As I got older the old saying “If you want something bad enough, you will eventually find a way to make it happened, by hook or crook..” made the most sense.

Is there a main message or theme behind your comics?

I have several comic books in production at the same time, all with their own unique message. A common story element they all share is the concept of existentialism: a philosophical theory or approach that emphasizes the existence of the individual person and free will; and the “struggles of man versus the system, versus man, and ultimately himself.” Like a young Luke Skywalker, I often looked to the stars and wandered the quintessential question “What is my place in-universe?” or “What is my destiny in the grand scheme of the cosmos?” One thing that learned early on was “Your focus determines your reality.”

Who would you say is the biggest influence in your craft?

The artist and writer team of Chris Claremont and John Byrne would be my earliest and greatest influence for me as a comic book writer and artist. Claremont used classic literary themes with greater complexity that was ever attempted in the comic book hero narrative. One of their most memorable stories included “The Dark Phoenix Saga" and “Days of Future Past.”

Do you have any inspirational advice you’d like to give someone thinking of making their own comics?

Follow your dreams, don’t overthink it. The hardest part of creating comic books, as either a writer or artist, is writing that first paragraph or drawing that first page. So many creative people are worried about their first attempt being perfect, being a hit or being a masterpiece. The creative process is ongoing, and it truly never ends. You have tuned out your own expectations and obsession with perfection before you can move forward or even get started. You will be your own worst critic and the greatest obstacle to your own success; until you clear your mind of self-doubt and second-guessing. Lose yourself in the creative process and JUST CREATE. Most of all, don’t worry about your critics. No matter what you do or how well you do it, someone won’t like it. At the end of the day, their options really don’t matter. DO pay attention to your fans. I have fans, then you are doing something right. Stan Lee said it best: “You will have critics before you have fans…”

Can you tell us where we can follow you and find your work?

My newest comic book “Jack WhoAmI” is available for download on the following platforms:

Drive Thru Comics:

Comix Central:

Gum Road:

Deviant Art:

Follow me on social media:

Top 10 Ways To Market Your Video Content in 2018
By Hope Taylor | DDPROD | A.F.T.A.

By Hope Taylor | DDPROD | A.F.T.A.

So just how important is marketing your video content in 2018?


Video Marketing 2018

Video Marketing in 2018 has transformed into one of the most important strategies you can apply to your business to drive results. Using video opens up so many doors for marketing, sales and analytics the opportunities are limitless. Just look at the stats reported from Wyzowls annual video marketing survey and see for yourself.

For Businesses

99% of businesses who use video say they will continue to do so in 2018. (the same percentage as last year)

85% of businesses regard video as an important part of their marketing strategy. (up from 82% in 2017)

78% of marketers say video gives them a good ROI.

97% of marketers say video has helped increase user understanding of their product or service.

76% say it helped them increase sales.

47% say it helped them reduce support queries.

76% say it helped them increase traffic.

80% of marketers say video has increased dwell time on their website.

Consumers Say…

95% of people have watched an explainer video to learn more about a product or service.

81% of people have been convinced to buy a product or service by watching a brand’s video.

69% of people have been convinced to buy a piece of software or application by watching a video.

Having watched a branded video that they enjoyed, 83% of consumers would consider sharing it with their friends.

85% of people say they’d like to see more video from brands in 2018.

Where both video and text are available on the same page, 72% of people would rather use video to learn about a product or service.


That’s Great…But How Do Does That Work For Me?

As great as video marketing is there is a specific way to go about it or else it could cost you BIG TIME! Video marketing done correctly and you can take your business to the next level, video marketing done wrong and your business may suffer…

So how can you effectively market your videos?

Below we composed some best in practice tips to go about strategy planning to launching your next video campaign.




To have any success creating or marketing your video I wanted to stress how important it is that you ask yourself these questions before you begin your endeavours.

Who is your target audience?

This is who you are wanting to market your video to. Targeting your audience gives you a clear goal of who you want to see your video and who you think your clients are. By defining your demographic you increase your chances at reaching more clients that will convert. Try writing down a list of who you see as your clientele noting their interests, location, age, etc. Creating this will give you a general idea of who to go after when setting up your advertising platforms.

What’s the goal?

What are you trying to achieve with your video marketing. More website traffic, increase sales, increase awareness? Having a definite goal in mind keeps a system of checks and balances for each video campaign ran. You can then use the information from each finished campaign to see how close you came to your goal and improve on it or continue to stay the course.

Where will your video be going?

What platform are you choosing to market your video on? This is important because optimization of your final content is important for conveying your message. No one likes to look at cut off words or scrunched up images, try to plot these out beforehand. Pro Tip: Vertical video and square video has taken horizonals place as having the most engagement for social media platforms. It shows users interact more when coming across vertical or square video. This is contingent on the video’s goal and target audience of course, but I would still use all methods because platform to platform you need a good mix of content as well as optimization.

When will your video be released?

Set a goal for your production and stick to it. Pro Tip: if you are releasing a music video or something that you can build anticipation for, then starting a month out from your release date and use smaller custom promo videos, snippets from the video or stills to ramp up your campaign!




TIP #1 Keep It Short

There are a lot of videos out there and a lot of video watchers, but long drawn out videos will hurt you more than help. Depending on what you are trying to achieve 15 seconds to 2 minutes MAX is reasonable for your content. Think as if you were a customer. How long do you watch videos you see on a daily basis?


What does that mean? I will give you an example. You post a video on youtube, then you go to facebook and share the link to your video as a post. It doesn’t seem like there is anything wrong with this and I would even recommend doing this after you do this next tip I’m going to tell you. Upload your video through facebook even if it is already on youtube. Facebook and most platforms will not rank your content as high if it comes from a 3rd party source. Weird I know, but trust me this will help. Then you can repost during the week your youtube link as well as resharing the facebook post for remarketing. This goes for all social platforms in my opinion.

TIP#3-4-5-6 Before You Light Your Hard Earned Money On Fire…

Before jumping into the pay to play advertising pool (which you will have to …we all have to arghhh) I would recommend sharing your video content on as many platforms as possible, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Websites, Blogs, Groups and Chats, Google+, family, friends, non-friends.

Start up social business pages on all platforms that apply to your company. Get a google analytics account and link it to your website, (oh yeah, get a website if you don’t have one!). Get an adwords account, but make sure you have an idea of the who, what, where, when and enough content to keep pushing out to stay top of mind with your consumers. It’s one thing to run a campaign and a successful one at that, but what happens after… Honestly you are probably forgotten, it’s just the way it is. I can’t stress enough to think as your audience. Do you remember the name of every company’s video you see online or social platforms? Probably not so keep up the hard work if you got this far. It may seem overwhelming, but think of them as important biteable tasks to get you where you want to go and chip away at them one by one.


TIP #7 Claim Your Fame

Another budget friendly tip I can give is to get some good press. If you sit around and wait to get noticed by the “right people” or somehow it will come crashing into your house, like some giant successful Mr. Kool Aid Man ( that would be sweet by the way), then you will be sorely disappointed. Features and write ups by bloggers or online magazines are a great way to boost a campaign and build hype before and after the video release. There are always online publications looking for stories and new releases to fill there deadlines. Reach out to your local media or scout some blogs that fit in with what your target audience and goal is.

TIP #8 Have Fun With It

These are the best years you have and honestly if you’re considering and acting on video marketing, then you’re taking your business seriously and hopefully making a living off doing what you love. There are a lot of “how tos” on the web and information on the “best in practice” ways to go about marketing your content, so learn as much as you can and apply as much that fits in to see what works best. If you need any consulting, graphic design, websites, photography or video production services we do all of these things. Digital Distortion Productions can be the remedy to all your creative content needs with in-house and on-site production and design experts to cover you from beginning to end. We started this company to ease the confusion and garbage tornado that is brought upon when having to put the seemingly never ending puzzle pieces of a brand’s image together. Don’t hesitate to contact us for more information by phone, email or filling out some details on our site. Contact Us Here

(Yes, that was a plug. And now it’s over.)

NIN Tour: "Cold and Black and Infinite"


"Cold and Black and Infinite"

Photography By A.F.T.A.

Photography By A.F.T.A.



Reaching the middle of their tour, “Cold and Black and Infinite” Nine Inch Nails played night one of three at the Aragon Ballroom with The Jesus & Mary Chain and Gabe Gurnsey.

It was as if Trent shot out of a cannon on stage Thursday night starting off the show. I have to say from his dancing, smiling and ad-libbed lyrics he really brought something special to the event you can only get from being there. The band did not disappoint, taking us on a musical emotional roller coaster, as well as Reznor telling a story of his time seeing Ministry at Aragon as a fan in 1989!

Trent also whole heartedly told the crowd, “Thank you, we needed this”. I am not exactly sure what that means, but if he is referring to the love and support of his Chicago fans, he has it! Two nights remain in Chicago and I’m sure they won’t disappoint.

Check out the set list below.


  1. Mr. Self Destruct

  2. The Perfect Drug

  3. Wish

  4. Less Than

  5. March of the Pigs

  6. The Lovers

  7. This Isn't the Place

  8. Reptile

  9. Shit Mirror

  10. Ahead of Ourselves

  11. God Break Down the Door

  12. Copy of A

  13. Gave Up

  14. I'm Afraid of Americans

    (David Bowie cover)

  15. The Hand That Feeds

  16. Starfuckers, Inc.

    (first time played since 2008)

  17. Head Like a Hole


  1. All the Love in the World

  2. Over and Out

  3. Hurt

( Setlist from

Get your tickets for nights two and three of the Chicago tour here: