Welcome to my Astro-Man archive

This site is meant to be a visual archive of every variation of every Man... or Astro-Man? 7" single ever released. Most of what you'll see here comes from my personal collection. As information pours in I will post it, so please comment if you think you have something to add. I have no intention of posting MP3s here. I'm sure you can find the music elsewhere. This is just an attempt to collect information about the band's prolific creation of singles into one spot. If you can get past the fact that I rarely clean my scanner, I think you'll enjoy what you find here.

Use the Table of Contents on the sidebar if you are looking for details on a specific 7".

Friday, September 12, 2014

Estrus Promo Astro-Vision Glasses

The Estrus Astro-Vision glasses were an early promotional item that date back to the astro blur of the mid 1990s. The glasses were made in the standard 3-D glasses style using folded and die-cut printed card stock paper. Plastic green and reddish-purple inserts were added for each lens of the completed glasses. These were distributed at the time that Estrus released the second full-length LP Project Infinity in 1995. They were used by the band and the label as a promotional item and were available briefly through the Estrus mail order catalog. Art Chantry was the lead designer of this (and of most Estrus swag back in the day) and he had some help from Lance Thingmaker (who was also involved with the production of the much loved UFO's and the Men Who Fly Them 7" single). Here are a few more pictures of the glasses:

The above photos were lovingly saved from the eBay listing. Thanks Gearhead Records!

When I first created this post, I wrongly assumed that this piece was earlier -- that it had been made in 1993 as the band first signed to Estrus Records. Many people immediately called me out on my assumption. One of these, frequent contributor Benjamin Brinkman, was able to articulate why exactly my guess was so far off. He wrote to me: 

"A better dating of these glasses places them to the summer of '95. The Man or Astro-man? and Estrus logos as seen on the glasses are identical to those on the Word Out of Mind 7" (also a collaboration between Art Chantry and Lance Thingmaker). Per the sleeve details, the WOoM EP was recorded in February 1995 and, as indicated by the price tag date on one of my copies, was in stores by May of that same year.

Digging into my back stock of Estrus mail order catalogs, I noticed the same MoA? logo makes it's first appearance in Sir Estrus Quarterly Vol. 6 No. 2 (May 1995) In this issue is this 4 3/8" x 5 1/2" ad:" 

Brinkman also pointed out that Estrus had a bit of a 3-D obsession in 1995, with 3-D movies playing a part in that year's Garageshock festivities -- with the May 27th show being described in this same edition of Sir Estrus Quarterly as a "3-D EstroPhonic shitfest!". 1995 was also the year that Brinkman scored his own pair of Astro-Vision glasses, from the band themselves after an in-store performance at Ozone Records on August 4, 1995. Interestingly enough, his glasses have the colored lenses reversed from how mine are.

Along the same lines, Chunklet's Henry Owings remembers getting several pair at around this time, and contributor Brandonio Granger got a pair when he ordered a 3-D Project Infinity poster through the Estrus mail order.The glasses were sold separately as well, as evidenced from this ad in Sir Estrus Quarterly Vol. 7 No. 1 (January through April, 1996):

cell phone pic courtesy of Benjamin Brinkman
As far as the process for design and building, here's what Art Chantry posted. This came from Facebook a few years ago:

"One of the fun things we always did at estrus was make crazy promo swag. We had no money, so we had to figure out ideas to pull of and THEN figure out how to get them done with no money. To this day, I'm not sure how we managed to produced so much quality product and generally great stuff with the zero budget world we worked in. A LOT of the big secret was simply doing it by hand. it's amazing what you can get done with a couple of friends, a case of beer, pizza and a bad movie to watch while you work.
For example, these are astro-vision glasses we made as a promo item for one of the Man…or Astro-man? records (I forget with one--maybe Destroy All Astro-Men, maybe Project Infinity). The design is essentially based on those crummy 'x-ray specs' glasses you used to buy out of the back pages of comic books. These things were die-cut and assembled by our good pal Lance Thingmaker. He was a saving grace for us. Lance could do ANYTHING (with enough lead time) and he would do it for us at an affordable price.
I designed the cutting ring and the graphics. Lance added those amazing "split-cellophane" lenses (two-colors side by side in each peep hole). If you wore them, the result was a massive headache. But, they were really cool things we used to promote the record. people ate them up like candy."

I picked up my own pair of these promo glasses last year through eBay. They came to me from the collection of Gearhead Records, as the label was thinning out some of its own promo collection. You'll remember that Gearhead also put out an Astro-Man single, the split 7" with the band Chrome that came with Gearhead #5

This was the second time that something cool had come to me from the offices of Gearhead. Many years back I had won a Gearhead contest by completing a word puzzle and sending it in faster than anyone else. The prize was a lone, personalized Gearhead "Kendall Oil" sticker and a blurb about me in the next issue of the magazine. I present my evidence: 

Here's a bonus pic of my boy wearing the glasses:

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