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.
After 15 years, Cinder finally gave it up. He died an old man this morning in his sleep.
When we picked him out, we asked for the feistiest cat of the litter, and we certainly got it. He made up his own rules. He persistently fought to go outside despite being an inside cat until we finally just accepted that he was going to run out the back door every time we opened it anyway, and just let him go. He even learned to stand on his hind legs and scratch his claws on the glass door knowing that sooner or later we’d come and let him out. He loved to spend all day just laying on the deck, or in the weeds, or under some tree. Despite being old and frail he continually proved he still had the fight inside him, coming back from what looked like death 3 times before this. Even last summer he went into the weeds and killed a bird and dropped at our feet as to show us all he still had it. He drank the sap water from the basin of the Christmas tree. He was that kind of cat.
I can’t think of a better picture than the one above to exemplify all that Cinder was.
Even though it was his time, he’ll be missed greatly.
I got a chance to get into the studio with Mike Smith to watch as he made some shirts for the band We Were Once Children. I’ve known Mike for 3 years now and watched him just completely nuts with all forms of art. Do your self a favor and start checking his blog on a regular basis, he’s continually putting out lots of quality work.
Again, Local Natives took up the majority of my listening this week. I’m becoming obsessed with them. I found out their playing at Kung Fu Neck Tie in May, and I’m getting excited already. Such a great band, listen to them if you haven’t yet.
I heard a little more of Hot Chip than I was familiar with while driving with my friend Anthony, and I liked what I heard so I downloaded some of their stuff, and I’m diggin’ on it. Very cool dancy stuff, just really fun.
Another peak of interest for Surfer Blood, who hit the nail on the head picking a name describing their sound. Another really fun band.
Both Raekwon and Dangerdoom showed up because of my new embark on an M Nice project. They are two of the top rappers today, and listening to them helped me get back on my game. MF Doom makes these unreal rhymes with off the wall references that make you think, and then make you laugh. The Dangerdoom album is one of the few albums I can listen to at almost any point. Ever.
The Drums are a super cool band I literally stumbled upon, and I’ve been loving them the past few months. The trouble is, since they only have an EP out, they’re never getting onto these lists, because there’s just not enough songs to make a heavy hit. But I was listening to a bunch of EPs this week, and this one got action a few times. It’s Beach Boys meets Joy Division.
Toro Y Moi, you know about, but if you don’t listen…just go ahead and start.
Chalk Talk recorded a live set at WUML, and that aided to their plays. I love these guys. So fun, so nice. Learn their lyrics, see them live, sing along, have a blast. Download the live set here.
Add me on last.fm and we can be e-buds.
I wanted to make something geometrically based, because I’m still pretty much obsessed with Simon Page. I hemmed and hawed a while before I ended up with this, which I’m pretty happy with.
Here’s the poster I made for the upcoming Haiti Relief show at Rowan University. If you are a student there, or in the area, make a donation and see some bands play. I’m pretty excited to see Foxes And Lions as I’ve only heard good things.
I was heavily influenced by Simon Page for this. I would seriously check out his blog, he’s has tons of inspiring work. He’s had no training and is completely self taught. I wonder if he just followed the 10,000 hour rule?
Local Natives took over the past few days with force! I checked these guys out after hearing a few more things about them, and they have quickly become one of my new favorites. I haven’t been this into a new band in years. I highly recommend listening to these guys, and I anticipate them gaining a lot of attention in the next while.
I have to say, I sometimes forget about Dr. Dog, but I was just reading about their new album due in April (I think?) and it got me excited, so I went back and listened to Fate, which is such a great record, and then went back and listened to some older stuff which I hadn’t had. They’ve got that unique psych-rock sound without it being annoying or contrived.
I was turned onto the The Morning Benders after watching this video. They’ve got a new LP coming out, so I stocked up on past releases to hold me until them. I’m definitely anticipating what that’s got to offer.
Owen Pallett ditched the Final Fantasy moniker (for legal reasons I assume) and put out his new batch of cuts Heartland. The cover for this album is another great one, and I obviously wouldn’t be talking about it if the music wasn’t just as good. He’s got the violin act down pat.
Toro y Moi is more new music to me. I had heard the name, and finally just checked it out. It’s in the style of bands like Four Tet and Tycho, but I feel like this is just a bit edgier than acts like those. And the guy went to school for design, so you know I’m interested.
Volcano Choir hit the right note with me this week, and I was loving it. Put this on while driving through some snowy scapes, and enjoy the ride.
CAKE is such a bizarre band. I only started listening to them this summer once I knew I was going to be playing with them at Art Scape, and it opened a world of unknown. CAKE garnered some success on a few songs, but they are so much more than what I think the general public recognizes them as. If you don’t already, try to give them a listen, I think you’ll be surprised with the songs you’ve never heard.
And of course I’ve talked about Beach House before, but they caught a few more listens this week because of their new record Teen Dream which I think is their strongest yet.
Get on over to last.fm and check out what I’m listening to at any point, or if you’ve got an account, we can be friends.
I’ve talked a little about this album before, but it’s finally been officially released, and I wanted to take the time to talk about it a little more. European Swans‘ Demon Line Up is the culmination of almost 2 years of musical meandering through the mind of Ian Everett. It’s absolutely worth the download, as it comes with not only the music, but a book of lyrics, information, and pictures from the same session as the cover shot, taken by Ace Kieffer. Speaking of, the cover for this is one of the best I’ve seen ever, and as usual, makes me like the music that much more. It’s also one of the many things I see that I wish I had done first. Most of the songs feature help from friends/musicians, which simply makes for some really great stuff. I, fortunately, got to be one of those friends, and I made my way to the cover!
Anyway, download this, right now.
I got to design the cover for the newest Cake Life Compilation, which this time was split with some bands from American Buffalo, and what seems to be a few rogue stragglers who are friends with both. We Were Once Children has a song on here, so if you want to hear what that’s all about, now’s a good chance. So if you’re feeling ripe, head over to the Cake Life myspace, and check this out, or if you’ve finally made the jump to the new social media site Facebook, check it out here. Or if you’ve heard of downloading, have fun with this mediafire URL.
This week was all about Broken Bells. Granted, I think I will forever be interested in anything Dangermouse, or in this case, Brian Burton, is a part of, but this is really one of the best yet. He’s paired up with James Mercer of The Shins. I’d have to say this is one of the better new things I’ve heard recently, and the artwork for the album is very awesome.
Grateful Dead was my second most listened to artist this week, something I’d never expected to happen. I could never get into them, and found them very corny, but Ian told me that’s because I never listened to Workingman’s Dead. So once I did, I moved on to Live/Dead, and then just this past week American Beauty. I’m far from a dead head, but I’m not at all opposed to getting down to them.
For a while I only had M.Ward’s Post War on my computer, which is by the way is very good, but I downloaded Transfiguration Of Vincent, which I hadn’t listened to since 2005, and I was enjoying that. He’s got such a distinct voice.
The Strange Boys are a band I caught wind of on Jeff’s blog. They are sloppy and fun and sound like a couple of guys who you’d like to see play in a crowded house show. Actually, I’d like to see that happen in a big way.
Dirty Projectors I’m sure you all know and love. I can almost always turn to them when I’m unsure of what I should be listening to. Make it a priority to see this band live.
Squeeze falls in next. Almost everyone loves them because almost everyone loves Tempted but I was determined to know more about them that. So I got Singles 45’s And Under because that’s what my Uncle Tim had when I was younger, and that was what I first knew about Squeeze. Some of their music still holds up, and some of it…well, you know.
I seem to always underestimate Why? Which is a shame to end all shames. But man, Alopecia is one of the best albums, like ever. It has so much to offer. Yoni has got so many great ways of arranging his words, and the way he half speaks his lyrics yet still the melodies are prominent, and good. If you walk away with this with one album, Alopecia should probably be it.
And finally I rounded it off with Tame Impala, a few dudes from Australia. Certainly psychedelic, they sound like the 60’s came to visit and dropped them off as a gift. I can’t help but hear the yelps of John Lennon popping through the vocals. Listen for a wild time.
As always, if your feeling like a bad boy, add me on last.fm
I don’t dislike football, but I never seem to be able to commit to watching a season. Even the playoffs don’t do much for me in the way the NBA or MLB ones do. However, I always take interest in the Super Bowl. I don’t really know why, but every year I feel like I should be having a Super Bowl party. If nothing else, it’s an excuse to spend time with your friends.I wanted to make something for it, and I liked the visual idea of actual saints and colts. Hope you have a great time watching, and hopefully the team your rooting for wins. I’m going Saints!
I got to take some promos for We Were Once Children this weekend. I had a few ideas, and was glad that I got to hash them out. I got to use some of the stuff I’ve been messing around with, as well as try some new stuff out. The panoramic picture gave some pretty trippy results, deformity being one of them. We actually have a few more ideas that we’d like to tackle when we have some more time. Give these guys a listen, and if you have the opportunity, try to catch one of their shows.
The idea for this just came to me one day. I don’t know where or why, but the way it looks now just entered my head, and I finally made it. I like when that happens. Mike and I saw the movie Art & Copy a few months ago and one part that I really just loved was when they talked about how creative people don’t know where their ideas come from, they just arrive. It’s really a blessing.
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.