River City Extension at The Stone Pony 2011 poster

I was fortunate enough to have another to opportunity to make a poster for one of my favorite bands, River City Extension. They’ve sort of made it annual thing to come home and play a show at The Stone pony once a year and it’s been falling on the eve of Thanksgiving, and it’s become something that a lot of people, myself included, look forward to. Joe had shared with me his vision of making this show something people would dress up really nicely for .”Something like a wedding invitation” he told me. Not that this is like a typical wedding invitation, but that was the jumping point.

I started by sketching out a few quick ideas, and when I found the one I wanted to run with, I went into illustrator and started making it happen. I don’t normally post the beginnings of things, but I’d like to start, and no better example than this one.

Definitely proof that knowing what you want to do before you start doing it ALWAYS helps. And it’s sort of funny that things really didn’t end up too far from the original sketch.

Hope to see some of you at the show, wearing something sharp, of course. Get your tickets early, these guys have a bad habit of selling out. Also, rumor has it there will be a few of these posters at the show if you’re looking to pick one up.

Music Monday 5.24.10 – 5.16.11

Well, it’s been a full year of doing these little old Music Monday posts. I started making posters for my “most listened to artist for the week (according to last.fm)” one year ago, and for 52 weeks have made something every Monday. I decided to make a collage of the work, much as I did the last time. It’s nice to see everything all next to each other and see how I evolved, or what waves of style I went though, or better, the waves of music I had interest in.
However, I think this is going to be the end of Music Monday if not forever then at least for a while. I sort of like doing things with a definitive start and end, and a year is a pretty good time to round things out. It’s been great, but I don’t want to be locked down to doing this anymore on a week to week basis. There’s many more projects I’ll probably work myself into, and I’m excited to do something completely different. Or maybe something terribly similar. Who knows.

Music Monday 11.21.10 Squeeze

So I know this is more than a little overdue, and I know it’s far from being a Monday, but hey, some weeks are just like that. So let’s get to it…

About two weeks ago I was lucky enough to pick up the vinyl of a favorite record of mine, Squeeze’s Singles 45′s and Under. It’s basically a collection of some hits from Squeeze, but unlike some singles compilations, this one was released by the band, which always seems to make it more legitimate. Regardless, this album is really filled with songs that honestly get better every time I listen to them. The back half of this record keeps getting better and better and it ends with Annie Get Your Gun which I could probably listen to on repeat for an hour.

It’s sort of funny because Squeeze just put out a new album (new recordings of old songs) on XOXO records, home to River City Extension. Glenn Tilbrook has taking a liking to the band, and actually sings on one of their songs. I’m hoping that sooner of later our paths cross, because you know, that would be awesome.

This poster was strongly influenced (okay, almost entirely) by their song Black Coffee In Bed, which if you aren’t familiar with, please check it out now.

Music Monday 10.18.10 The Black Keys

I’m just loving everything about The Black Keys lately. It’s bluesy, riff heavy, and you actually feel cooler just listening to it. I have to put the windows down and turn the music up anytime I’m listening to them in the car. It’s funny how certain music has that command, and these guys are one of those bands. I have to admit, I was sort of late on this band, not really listening to them until this summer when I heard them on a hot ride into Philadelphia with Mike in Wechter’s old truck. That sort of seemed like the perfect setting for them. Their latest album Brothers is definitely one of the best releases this year.

Another band I’m late to the game on is Miniature Tigers. I finally wised up and checked them out this week and was so glad I did. River City Extension is playing with them tomorrow night in Brooklyn, and if you like either of those bands and can make it out, that’s a show not to miss.

Black Churches. One of my favorite bands, some of my favorite people, and another band where the windows go down and the volume goes up. These guys have been blessed with the strange ability to write a song better than the last one they wrote. Sort of unfair for the rest of us, but so long as they’re continuing writing music, I’ll be benefiting in some way.

Ba Babes just released their new EP called Hate The Beach which they have put online for free. If I were you, I’d download that right now. It’s classified in my iTunes as “garage wave” which is a pretty decent indicator of what you’re going to get. These guys are doing it the right way, and I expect big things from them. They have a split cassette with Dark Surfers coming out on Cassanova Cassettes very soon. Stay peeled for that one.

Music Monday 9.27.10 Secret Mountains

When listening to Secret Mountains I often have to ask myself “Is this my favorite band”? The question itself is more indicative of how good they are then any answer could be. However, the answer could easily be “yes.” I’ve watched this group grow from one lonely guy, to a 2 piece, to a three piece, and so and so forth. They are certainly in their strongest stride to date working with a 6 piece line-up for a over a year now. One of the most interesting and charming bands to see live, now working with 2 of the best EPs from a band of their stature I can think of. Their newest, Rejoice, caught my ear this week, and it demanded multiple listens back to back to back to back. Despite how good their first EP, Kaddish, is, this yet again ups the game. Joe Michelini of River City Extension just recently said this band was “effortlessly cool.” I can’t think of a better way to describe them. Beautiful music from beautiful people, and aside from The Wire, the best thing Baltimore has to offer.

This is a band who you would literally be a fool to not check out. Live or recordings, there is so much being offered and all you have to do is rejoice, and take it in.

Music Monday 9.13.10 Weezer

I first heard Weezer in the summer before my freshman year of high school when I saw the video for Hash Pipe when it was fresh on MTV. I remember loving that they looked like nerds and thinking it was just the coolest thing ever. There was more to it than the pop punk I had been listening to, but still had an edge that made it cool. After that, I got my hands on the Blue album, and from there I was set. A year later Maladroit came out, and I remember buying that from a kid I went to school with who bought it but didn’t like it, and was willing to sell it to me for $5. I bought all the Weezer shirts Hot Topic was carrying at the time, one that looked like it was a shirt for a metal band, and the other which had a photo from the Keep Fishin’ video, which was the band posing with all the muppets. You really have no idea how cool I felt.

Anyway, the Blue album and Maladroit completely set the tone for my relationship with Weezer. Since then, I’ve gone both backwards and forwards in their catalogue making myself familiar with all their albums. I find that most people say they like Weezer and quickly follow that up with “Just Blue and Pinkerton,” and for whatever reason, that always bothers me a little. The more and more I listen to Weezer, I come to the realization that I actually do genuinely like them, not out of nostalgia, but because I like the songs. I’m accepting the fact that I’m not a casual listener, but instead a legitimate one.

Weezer has no doubt gotten worse over the recent years, and the albums have gotten cornier and cornier, but the truth of the matter is, if they have a new album, I will be listening to it, forming my opinion, and trying to come up with where I will place it in the inescapable album ranking list. (For those of you interested; Maladroit > Blue > Pinkerton > Green > Make Believe > Hurley > Red >>> Raditude.)

So when I set out to make this poster it took me a while to figure out the approach I wanted to take, but I finally arrived on this idea. For a band who is so often defined and dissected by their albums (whether it be which ones are classic or which ones are just plain awful) what better way to represent them then by there iconic (for better; Blue, Green, Red, or for worse, Raditude, Hurley, Make Believe….leave your own list in the comments) album covers?

By the way, Hurley is actually decent.

Music Monday 9.6.10 Megafaun

MEGAFAUN. That’s all I can say. They released a new EP called Heretofore that is just beyond most words. Such a fantastic follow up to Gather, Form & Fly. If you are a fan of these guys, then this should excite you, and if you’re not so familiar, then now is a better time then any. They are one of the kinds of bands who just work so well together, everything sounds perfect. Also, I read this album was written in like 6 days. Unbelievable.

I got the new Junip album Fields this week as well, and I am thus far very pleased with it. It’s more or less what I expected to after hearing their Rope and Summit EP which came out earlier this year. José González can do no wrong in my book, and I’m just thrilled he’s making music in any form. If you’re a listener of his, this is right up your alley.

River City Extension At The Stone Pony

A few weeks back Joe asked me if I would make the poster for his upcoming show at The Stone Pony. As always, I leaped at the chance. I just love doing stuff like this, and River City Extension are my boys and girls, so it’s extra fun to work on anything for them.

I thought about this one for a while, feeling sort of uninspired for what seemed like too long. I was  wanting it to be something to keep up with the last poster I did for them, but something completely it’s own. Finally, this idea came to me, and I ran with it.

So, here it is, mark your calendars, clear your schedules, this is going to be quite the event. If you know anything about me, you know RCE has my complete backing; they are a phenomenal band and group of people. Both their live show and recorded music are each impressive in their own and respective ways. Not to mention, this show is stacked an unreal cast of supporting bands. Brick + Mortar are another favorite of mine, check them out if you haven’t yet. I will be at this show singing and dancing along, so to anyone else who’d like to do the same… see you there!

Music Monday 8.23.10 Sufjan Stevens

This week I got one of the greatest surprises one can get: news that Sufjan Stevens is recording a new album. But instead of “recording” it was “recorded” and “snuck one up on us”. He released an EP on Friday called All Delighted People which definitely delighted all people. Maybe those in the serious know had heard about this, but to me it came as a complete surprise, which is of course something he would do, all of the sudden just drop something on everyone that no one knew about. It’s 8 songs and around 60 minutes, which is a completely legitimate new release. Something we’ve been waiting for for quite some time, and let me say, this delivers. Sufjan has elevated to new grounds and is truly on maestro status. He is by far one of the most insane songwriters of our time, and will be held close to the heart by many for years and years and years to come.

I saw the video for the song Drugs by Ratatat and thought it was absolutely genius, (and I liked the song too) so I got this album. If you’ve EVER looked for any kind of stock photography, please watch this video, I promise you will get a kick out of it. I’ve never listened to these guys before, so I have nothing to compare it to, but it’s very fun to me.

Belle And Sebastian have been doing me quite right recently. I hadn’t listened to them in so long and I forgot how good they are. I mean, seriously, some of their songs are unbelievable. They have a new album coming out this fall and I have to say, I’m feeling pretty excited for it for whatever reason.

I also listened to Peter Bjorn & John this week for the first time in a few years, and Writer’s Block is still a good album. I really over listened to it when it came out, and need some serious time away from it, but some things you just cannot deny, and this album is one of them.

Tetragrammaton



This is severely overdue, almost to the point where I feel silly posting it. But still, here it is. This is the cover I designed for the 4 way split between River City Extension, We Were Once Children, Plesiosaurs, and me, Wood Goold. This gave me the excuse to write and record a song, which is always fun, and I was glad to be sharing disc space with all these guys as well. You can hear the song I recorded here. Or download the whole thing here http://www.mediafire.com/?iyyqznzxzno

Contest Name Here



So I got a text from my buddy Jason Small, who runs XOXO records, asking me if I could turn a poster around for a contest his label was throwing. This was aroud 8 pm, and they needed it by 8 am the next day. The information was scattered and coming to me in bits and pieces, but I was glad to help out anyway. So with the pressure on, and the clock ticking, I started working on this.

The contest itself, named “Contest Name Here”, is a pretty awesome deal and a great chance to catch these 1 of these 3 super bands if you live in or near one of the cities they’re playing in. Apparently this is going on absolutepunk.net, so if you frequent that site, you might catch it on there. If not, I’ll try to screen cap it once it’s up.

In another news, I heard that the ad I did for River City Extension’s new album is in the current issue of FILTER magazine right now. Broken Social Scene is on the cover if you’re trying to pick that up, I know I am.

Music Monday 5.17.10


It’s been just under 4 months since I started this Music Monday thing, and I wanted to talk about what’s been topping the charts in that past time. And because next week will introduce the new format of Music Monday, I wanted to give you a culmination of the past time. So above is all the accompanying pieces of art from past entries combined to make one big piece. Last.fm offers me a chart for the past 3 months, so that’s what I give to you.

Real Estate is not surprising to be found at number one because I went through a few waves of obsession. These guys are playing with Kurt Vile at Johnny Brendas on July 11th and I will be there, so do me a favor, and do yourself a favor and meet me there and let’s have a good time. If you still haven’t checked these guys out…well I don’t know what to say besides help me to help you.

Joanna Newsom no undoubtedly makes this because of her seriously great new record Have One On Me. I know that some of you may be on the fence with her, for various reasons, but in my opinion, this is by far her best work. It such a dense record that has a lot to offer in its many layers, which keep unpeeling themselves a few listens in. I also love the album artwork.

Harlem is one of those bands that almost slipped by. But I obviously was able to latch onto them, and once I did, I realized it was a good thing I did. Hippies is one of the most fun sounding albums I’ve heard recently, and it makes you want to put it on loud and drive with the windows down.

I came across Local Natives in the beginning of February and have been listening to them pretty consistently since then. They are one of my favorite new bands, and I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, these guys are on the edge of blowing up in a big way, pretty much in the same way that Fleet Foxes did. The dynamic of this band isn’t necessarily anything you haven’t heard before, but they are doing it so well that it just doesn’t matter at all.

Dr. Dog is a band that because of their latest album, Shame, Shame, my interest in them has grown even stronger. It’s a great album that I wouldn’t be hesitant to call their best, and like I said, has put them on my permanent radar. I feel like I can recommend these guys to almost anyone and they would enjoy it.

King Tuff had a wild grip on me these past few months, and much like Harlem, I want to put it on loud and drive my car. The music makes you want to get wild and eat pizza. I can’t really think of a better way to describe it than that…so if anything of those things sound like stuff you can get down to, well by all means, this is for you.

The Avett Brothers are a huge staple in my music listening. In the past year I’ve become obsessed with them, and now they’ll be a part of my life forever. I can’t really think of better songwriters than this band, and I think anyone who gives them a chance, will soon be bitten by their bug, and from there on out, you’re pretty much helpless to them.

Broken Social Scene garnered some plays in part of their new record which reconnected me with them. The cool thing about BSS is that their records are usually packing some serious songs, this most recent one had 14, which is pretty impressive with all things considered. I don’t think I need to convince any of you to give these guys a listen, as I’m sure you have already. But if you haven’t heard the new album yet, I certainly would advise you to give it your ears.

River City Extension just happens to be a group of people who I know, but they’re also a band that even if I knew none of them, I would still be in love with. I’ll spare you because I’ve more than talked your ear off in regards to this band, but RCE is by far one of my favorite bands and I will forever be recommending this band to anyone willing to listen.

Washed Out. To be honest, I can’t really say that I listened to this much after it initially captivated me. It’s one of those things where I listen to something perhaps too much too quickly, and then it’s hard to go back to it for a while. I’m sure by the next EP, the ban will have been lifted. Which speaking of, if you’re looking for a place to start, Life Of Leisure is the way to go.

As always check me out on Last.fm.

We Were Once Children / Foxes & Lions Split


Had the pleasure of working with these two fresh bands from the Toms River area on a DIY project they were undertaking. I’m actually really pumped with how this turned out, and it’s a good example of how you can make something look good on a budget. This has started being sold at shows a few weeks ago, so if you can catch either of them live, check this thing out.

In fact, there’s a big show in 2 weeks with these guys, and River City Extension in Baville. It’s on all their myspaces if you need more information. It’s also for my birthday, so I’d like nothing more than to see all of my friends.

River City Extension Record Release Poster



I had another great opportunity to make something for River City Extension. This time, the poster for their record release show. I wanted to do something reminiscent of an older movie poster, which wound up only serving as a loose guideline, and I was somehow influenced by the thought an old army band or something like that, which is where I was pulling the color scheme from. This show is going to be insane, and I highly recommend everyone doing everything they can in order to get there. Something tells me this night is going to be one you won’t want to miss. You’ll also finally be able to purchase The Unmistakable Man, which you all know by now, I designed. Confirm your attendance on facebook!

#musicmonday 3.8.10



The Avett Brothers have finally made a significant dent in my music listening again. It has been a while, but it finally felt right again, and I went through most of their albums and I was loving it. I guess however, the most significant part of this (at least for me) is that they have surpassed The Beatles as my number one listened to artist of all time, one last.fm. I’m sure the two will teeter back and forth for a while, but The Avetts are on top! I think you all know I love this band, and they are probably my favorite of all time, so this one is a strong recommend.

Next is Sigur Rós. They probably aren’t new to any of you, but I just got so excited thinking about Jónsi’s new album, that I needed to listen to this to wet my whistle for when that comes out. I mean, just watch this.

Gorillaz new album Plastic Beach is certainly the source of these plays…and in fact any plays regarding Gorillaz. I never really listened to them aside from anything that was on TV or the radio, and I was interested enough to give this a shot. To be honest, I really didn’t mind it, and some stuff was particularly good. I have to say, I enjoy the songs that aren’t featuring anyone better than the ones that are, but there are some stand out parts, Mos Def’s songs for sure, that I’d say make this album at least worth a few listens. Also, the more chances I gave it the more I got into it.

Local Natives are still dominating me. Such a good band, and I’m so pissed they canceled their show at Kung Fu Necktie. My wait to see them live continues…

Fool’s Gold I stumbled onto by using the last.fm radio player, and I was glad to see the thing actually played me something I’d never heard, and liked. These guys are in the style of an afro-beat band similar to something like Rubblebucket, but with a zest…the zest being the singing is done in Hebrew. It makes me want to put on my Jim Duncan jersey and daaaaaaance. To start, check out this video.

River City Extension. Obviously.

Nurses is another band that came onto the last.fm radio and I remembered I had seen a video of them playing a song I really liked. So I got a hold of the album, and I still really really love the song I had originally heard, which is called Technicolor, but I don’t really like much else of the album. There’s one or two other decent songs, but the rest is just really not that good. However, I will say that Technicolor is worth your ears.

And finally, Discovery. I had heard a Ra Ra Riot song that I knew I knew, but didn’t know where from. Well, it turns out that it was Discovery who was doing more a less a cover of on their LP. That makes sense since Discovery is one part Ra Ra Riot, and one part Vampire Weekend, two bands I don’t really care for that somehow equals one band I’m moderately interested in.

So that’s how this week panned out, as always, check me out and last.fm.

#musicmonday 3.1.10



I got my ears on Frightened Rabbit‘s The Winter Of Mixed Drinks and had a field day with it. I really wound up liking The Midnight Organ Fight and in turn had high hopes for this new record. I read that they were being conscious about clearly making this a studio album, and taking advantage of what that could offer, and I think that shows through. The production on it is great and the songs are just simply good songs. Definitely check this one out.
The Strange Boys also released a new record with Be Brave. They are sloppy, they are raw, and they are fun. His voice is so unique that for me it’s hard not to like, even it’s only because you haven’t heard anything like it.
So glad I’m getting to talk about Secret Mountains. I’ve been chipping away at their awesome EP Kaddish since the summer, and pretty much since then have been looking for more tunes to satisfy my interests. Well, I’ve finally got some more ammo to work with. As they seem to keep on doing, they are cementing themselves as Baltimore’s most promising up and comers. However it won’t be long before they’ve outgrown that title. This past week they recorded a microshow at Mobtown Studios. SO good. I almost have to insist you head over and download the session, FREE. We’re talking about a Smokey Robinson cover of “I Second That Emotion”. Yeah, do yourself a favor this week, and let this be your soundtrack. Jeff is a great friend of mine and I’m so happy for him that this is going in great directions. If you’re in Baltimore at all, be sure to check them out. They’re playing at the Ottobar on the 12th with Hop Along. Decent, Decent.
The Beach Boys. So nice. I really think everyone should listen to The Beach Boys. It’s so much fun, and there’s so much to enjoy. If you don’t know where to start, Endless Summer is a great compilation of their best and brightest. Also, I got Love You on vinyl this week, mainly because I was loving the cover, but it proved to have some nice jams on it as well.
I got to see Algernon Cadwallader this week at a Haiti benefit show they played at Rowan University. Which got me back into their albums a few times through. I know I’ve said this before, but Algernon is doing Kinsella better than the Kinsellas are. It’s pretty impossible to not have a good time while listening to these guys, and even harder while watching them. If you have the chance to see them, just give it a shot, especially if you can catch them in Philly.
Akron/Family is a great band who I haven’t had a chance to talk about since I’ve been doing these things, but I had a few moments this week where they were hitting the spot so well. I was listening to their self titled a bit and really appreciating some of the great moments on there especially the three song span of I’ll Be On The Water into Running, Returning into Afford. That’s like you’re three best batters up with the no outs and the bases loaded. For anyone completely unfamiliar, go ahead and watch any video they’ve got on YouTube, and I guarantee you’ll fall in love with the stuff they’re doing live.
The Consecos is my band, which is a bit embarassing, but hey, I was listening. It’s a two piece band I have with Biff. At this point in my life, I can’t commit to anything more serious than this, but I still love playing live music, and this is feeding that desire because it happens when it can, and there’s absolutely no expectations. Except for crowd surfing. We expect that you do that.
River City Extension. Have I shot this one dead yet? Listen to them! Honestly one of my favorite bands ever. The live show is amazing, the record is amazing, the people in the band are amazing… I can’t stress this enough. You all know I’m a huge advocate for these guys and I hope to bring you all over to their side with me.

You know the drill, let’s get groovy on last.fm, add me and we can monitor each other’s weekly mp3 intake. Sound good?

River City Extension And The Unmistakable Man



Wow. It’s been a long few months since taking on the project of designing the new River City Extension album The Unmistakable Man. Let me tell you, that nothing has made me happier than to be given the opportunity to work on this album. Aside from it being a designer’s dream to be able to take on such a healthy sized project, the band is by far one of the greatest bands going right now, and to be affiliated with them in any way is so awesome. This record is going to send them into a stratosphere beyond belief and I’m so glad to be a part of it.
The Unmistakable Man comes out courtesy of XOXO Records on May 11th. If you’re familiar with RCE, or if you’ve heard nauticalsabbatical you know what this band is capable of. Sort of. This new one blows the roof of the whatever house you tried to put them in. This is the album to be excited for. Right now, they are selling advance copies at out of state shows, so if you can catch them out of NJ, pick up an album!
I went to see them last night in Philly where as usual, they wowed me. I also finally got to see the record in person as well as the “skull with mutton-chops” shirt I got to design for them. It’s so great to see something you created come to life, and I couldn’t be happier with the whole record.

#musicmonday 2.1.10


Vetiver rightfully took my number one space this week as they have been doing recently. I wasn’t always as into them as I am now, and I don’t even have a good reason to back that up. Ian told me “Tight Knit” would have been on his top albums of 2009 list had he made one, and so I checked it out and it put me into a Vetiver whirlwind hearing them like I never have before.

Speaking of Ian, European Swans, his musical moniker, comes in at number two due to the leaked version of “Demon Line Up” I received. So good! I’ve been waiting for it for a long time, and it’s just truly sweet. The album cover is also amazing, and I’ll try to get it on here soon.

I revisited Four Tet, which I hadn’t since 4 years ago. His new album is in the style of Tycho, with a bit more dance in it, so if you’re into getting stuff done, listening to this would be a good idea.

Surfer Blood is some new jams I’ve been feeling. I heard Bryce from Chalk Talk recommend this to Biff, and I swooped in and listened for myself. They are fun beachy music similar to The Drums.

River City Extension. Man so good. I know I talk about them all the time, but I finally got a hold of the final final final tracks for The Unmistakable Man, and it’s just some of the best stuff ever. I got to design their whole album which I am soooo pumped to have my name attached to this album. I’ll show that work soon.

Yeasayer’s new album Odd Blood is awesome. I liked All Hour Cymbals but it had some filler…this is all good. And Ambling Alps is such a good song, and the video is amazing. Please go watch it.

Princeton is very fun, and I’ve been jamming to Cocoon all this week.

And finally Holiday Shores makes it back again. Really good stuff from them. Plus I don’t know if I said this last time or not, but the cover is pretty awesome. Which makes any album that much more listenable.

Again, feel free (to feel free) and add me on last.fm.