Rotten Pampers

There’s no shortage of bad smells in our apartment. This in most part is due to our downstairs neighbors, who always seem to be deep frying a diaper. At least that what it smells like. The term “rotten pampers” soon got coined and ever since it’s creation, it’s made me laugh. Whether someone else says it, I say it, or I just think it, I usually blow my cool. It’s thankfully been a good way to make light of the fact that at certain times it honestly smells like rotten pampers.

Anyway I don’t know who else would have an interest in this, but I wanted to make something cool involving this small piece of insanity within my life. Click for full size, and save as wallpaper from there!


Music Monday 4.26.10

I thankfully came across Shugo Tokumaru this week. He’s a Japanese artist combining folk, pop, electronic, and irresistibly. I read about his new album Port Entropy and listened to a few songs on his myspace and realized I needed not only that album, but also his previous Exit. Sometimes it’s hard for me to have interest in music from other countries, but I seriously had no problem getting into this, and I don’t think you will either. For fans of Jonsi’s funky stuff, this is calling your name.

The New Pornographers new album Together was this week’s unexpected gift. This is some of my favorite stuff I’ve heard from them, and for anyone (if there is anyone) who’s doubting their ability to put out good music, this should squash that. This is another one I recommend checking out right away. Something tells me this will be a very summer album.

REAL ESTATE. I’ve been feeling these guys so much over the past few weeks, and just last Sunday I finally got to catch them live at The Barbary in Philly. Seeing a band who you’ve never seen live before lets you hear their recordings differently after that. It’s one of my favorite things about music. It literally transforms songs almost to the point of you hearing them for the first time again. Anyway, after I saw them, I needed to re-hear that album again over and over again.

I started getting into Bill Callahan last week, and this past week I just kept on loving it. I got Rough Travel For A Rare Thing which is his latest, a live album. I’m always really hesitant about live albums. I tend to feel like it’s not the real thing. But I fortunately keep learning that it’s just a different thing. This album is one for the books, and if you’re trying to feed your Callahan fix, hit this up now.

I had such a Secret Mountains day yesterday. I feel like I say this every time I talk about them to anyone, but I’m just so proud of them. They are getting all sorts of press and becoming one of Baltimore’s brightest shining stars. If you’re not already listening to these guys I need you to fix that now. They have two FREE recordings online, their Kaddish EP, and a mobtown studios session. Start listening now before they blow up and you come in late on the game, like an idiot.

Simon & Garfunkel. So I went to Kirby’s friend’s birthday get together this Saturday night at a bar at Seaside. There was a lot of people who I only kind of knew, and much more who I didn’t know at all. While Kirby was making rounds, I watched this old TV above the bar that was on mute with subtitles playing the YES channel, which yes, that’s a Yankees channel. BUT, it had an interview with Paul Simon on it, and I was just so into it. He talked about how he met Art in the 4th grade. Art got up to sing and Paul looked up and was wowed. The interviewer asked him if he thought it was because he had a beautiful voice, and he said no, it was because that was the first time he realized that he wanted to do that. After that, I needed to listen to Simon & Garfunkel in the worst way.

Still experiencing some Broken Social Scene fever due to their new album which will be another summer smash.

I finally got the new Black Churches EP, Black Gold which features some of their finest written and produced songs yet. The songs are just so slick and smooth, but dark and rough at the same time. Another group of guys who I just love. Check out the shirt I made for them just a few posts down.

Add me on!

Michael J. Ritacco, Fraud & Corruption

Many of you already know who Michael Ritacco is, and are quite familiar with his latest brush with the law. For those of you who don’t, he’s the superintendent of the Toms River Regional Board of Education. In other words, he’s the biggest name in all of Toms River regional schools.

A few days ago his house was raided by both the FBI and the IRS for what we are told is part of an investigation for corruption. This honestly comes as no surprise, and raises more of an “it’s about time” reaction. I know that coming from the perspective of students, parents, and teachers, Ritacco often came off as pompous to say the least. He’s the kind of guy who has an enormous building, that became the centerpiece of the school district, built and named after himself, but can’t provide new books to the high schools. Looking for a few more kickers? In addition to his wife, he’s got a girlfriend…her house was also searched. And oh yeah…that guy Chris Christie? They’re pals.

I found it so fitting how “Michael J. Ritacco” and “Fraud & Corruption” went so hand in hand, both as words and an in real life, that I wanted to make something to show that one was just an extension of the other. Feel free to post this wherever.

Check out the article on

Impeach Chris Christie

Since my “Chris Christie Sucks” poster has gotten so much traffic, I wanted to expand on it and create something a little more “school friendly”. Not that “sucks” is particularly a crude word, and there are far worse words he deserves, but I was trying to think of something that could be hung in an elementary grade classroom. Teachers, students, parents, and those who care about the future of any of those… feel free to print this out and show your defiance at your public school. Here’s to hoping for a better New Jersey.

Vulture Desert Wallpaper

I started making this wallpaper with the idea that I wanted to make something rich with texture, and I wanted it to be a desert, but I didn’t really have much else mapped out in my head other than that. Which is kind of a dangerous way to work, but also sometimes very fun. Thankfully this had no deadline and I was able to spend time making revisions and going back to it after spending some time away from it.It’s 1680 x 1050 and if you click it you can view it full size, and save from there. Hope you enjoy!

Black Churches Shirt

My good friends in Black Churches asked me to help them with an idea they had for a shirt. All they had in mind was some sort of three eyed monster. So I gladly took on the challenge, and this is what came of it. These guys are seriously tearing it up, and they also couldn’t be a nicer batch of dudes. Grab one of these shirts at one of their shows.

Music Monday 4.19.10

Broken Social Scene was laying it on thick this week in part of their new album Friendship Rock Record. Now I can’t say I’m the biggest listener of BSS, partially because I forget about them a lot. I feel like I’m hearing mixed reactions to this record, but I think it’s actually really strong and I’ve been giving it all the listens it deserves. If you liked them before, this is another little gift. If you haven’t listened….where have you been?

I was having such a Bob Dylan week. And I can tell you why! I’ve been blowing through Mad Men this past week, and at the end of one episode (which I wish I could remember more exactly) it ends with Don sitting on the stairs and “Don’t Think Twice It’s Alright” playing the show out. It was such a perfect scene that reminded me how much I love that song. I listened to The Freewheelin’ Bob Dylan a few times in a row right after that.

I had my first experience (aside from a few Smog songs) with Bill Callahan. And now I’m a believer. His baritone voice can go toe to toe with Josh Dean anyday. A compliment to both. Too Many Birds is one of the best songs I’ve heard recently.

I was part of a time warp video for a little bit as I listened to Clap Your Hands Say Yeah this week. I loved their self titled in 2005, didn’t care for their follow up in 2007, and feel pretty much the same way about both in 2010. Their self titled also still reminds me of driving to Kirby’s house when I first started dating her. Apparently this band isn’t doing much these days, but if they do nothing else again, that first record will always be something I’ll go back to at some point or another.

Paul Simon is a king. And his self-titled debut album is one of the finest examples of a group of songs I can think of. Check that out if you don’t have it already.

Nick Drake can put me at ease on the tensest of days. Bryter Layter into Pink Moon is also one of the strongest succession of albums I can think of.

Townes Van Zandt popped up this week because I had a hankering for Flyin’ Shoes. Speaking of, that’s a great album to start on for those who know nothing of his and want to get into it. He’s probably the most underrated and under appreciated folk singer I can think of.

Let’s talk about She & Him for a minute. Right before Volume Two came out I started to realize that She & Him is bad music in a sheep’s costume. You may be in disagreement because we are told that Zooey Deschanel can do no wrong. But the truth of the matter is that she shouldn’t be doing what she’s doing. She’s kind of inserted herself into everyone’s heart with an image of herself that she created in order to do so. And I’m not buying it anymore. She’s not even that good looking. It’s all in how she’s styling herself. Ayway M. Ward is leagues better alone than he is with her on any account. I agree with my friend Jeff who said that I hope I never see a Volume Three. friends dude.

Dark Surfers Poster

So about two weeks ago I got to catch my friend Yapes’ new incarnation of music project he’s been working on for a while called Dark Surfers. It’s a full blown band now and they are doing things alllllll right. I was inspired to make this after I saw them. The poster is dark, yet also has a light side, much like the music…and the name! It’s a good example of the classic balance between silly and tough. Make it a point to catch a show with these guys.

Music Monday 4.12.10

Still heavily feeling Cymbals Eat Guitars.

Bonnie “Prince” Billy & The Cairo Gang did me right throughout the week. It amazes me that he is capable of writing so many songs, doing some many collaborations and keeping it fresh all along the way. He’s a magic man.

Last Friday I had the pleasure to catch Truman Peyote in a basement. They quickly exceeded me expectations. They are kind of a more human Animal Collective. Some of their record is a bit too noisy for me, but their New Wife, New Life is just too good. I listened to that on repeat because I literally could not get enough of it. Check that song out right now, and if you can catch them live, do so, it’s a dance fever.

I finally got into Alex Bleeker and the Freaks this week. Upon first listen I thought it just sounded like a few guys jamming in a garage, which I didn’t care for. But maybe I just listening to the music at too low a volume, because upon revisiting, and turning it up a bit, this was exactly what I was looking to hear. Not as good as Real Estate, but still good.

Listened to Dinosaur Jr. for pretty much the first time ever time this week. I feel like I’ve heard so many people talk about or reference this band in the past year or so, that I wanted to finally understand what that was all about. Some songs are awesome and sound like they could have been put out this year. Others sound dated, not necessarily in a bad way, but it is indeed very 90s. Sometimes it also sounds like Eddie Vedder is singing. If that’s your thing.

Ramona Falls is the solo project of the dude from Menomena, who I haven’t yet heard, but have been told I would like. It’s pretty decent, as you can tell I didn’t listen to much, but what I did hear was alright. I don’t want to say too much because I really don’t have the right too say anything at this point. I’ll be giving this some more time.

Sun Araw is certainly the strange pick for this week. A cross breed of dub and chill wave and who knows what else, this is some lo-fi music to relax to. I honestly feel like the time I spent listening to this was kind of a blur. All the songs are super long and wind you up in a weird cocoon of fuzz. If you’re feeling wild, give it a shot. Also, backwards this bands name spells out War Anus. I tried to figure out if it was intentional or not, and couldn’t. Either way, I like it a bit more because of that. friends dude.

iPad and iPhone Wallpaper

So my good friend and all around tech-savvy guy, James Ramirez, asked me to make a wallpaper for his new iPad, and his old now seemingly less cool iPhone. I was up for that challenge. Now, the interesting thing about the iPad wallpaper is the because the iPad operates both horizontally and vertically, the wallpaper rotates to accommodate how it is you’re holding it. So it’s a square layout, but that’s so it can be of service in both ways. For any of you already have your hands on an iPad, or for the larger mass of of you using an iPhone, feel free to use these.

James actually just sent me a photo of this actually on the iPad! Feeling so futuristic right now.

Cymbals Eat Guitars!

Billy O’Brien asked me to create a poster for this Cymbals Eat Guitars show and I couldn’t have been happier to say yes. This is going to be such a great show, and yes, it’s only $2. I’ve had their album on blast for the past few days, because it’s so awesome. I am super stoked about these guys, and I’m hoping this poster will get me into their inner circle…I can hope right?

Music Monday 4.5.10

This week, I was ALL about Joanna Newsom. I was listening to her new triple LP Have One On Me and I was loving it. I’ve always liked Joanna Newsom, but she was never someone I would often listen to. However, this new release just made me crazy for her. It’s like two hours long, and there are some moments on there that are just too fine for words. Good Intentions Paving Company is the ultimate groove. For anyone remotely interested in Joanna Newsom, Have One On Me is a must!

Real Estate is still doing so much right by me. I just love these guys. I am seriously trying to see them in Philly in the next few weeks, so if you’re interested in going, let me know, we can make a night of it.

Billy O’Brien asked me to make a poster for Cymbals Eat Guitars for an upcoming show they are playing in Asbury. I knew them by name, but hadn’t listened, so I wanted to familiarize myself with them before I started designing anything. And hollllllllyyyyyy cowwwww. These guys are so good! They are a new favorite already. For fans of Dinosaur Jr and Pavement, or more contemporary counterparts, Surfer Blood, check these guys out if you haven’t already. I’m seriously digging these guys and I need to find a way to make it to their Asbury show and maybe get my poster signed or something!

Ry Cooder came as a recognition from Kirby’s dad. And boy am I glad I found out about him. It’s just so good. He’s an Americana king. If you’re into any of the old folk guys, don’t pass him up. I got Into The Purple Valley on vinyl, and that’s just a sweet listen.

I had some Neil Young time this week. Everyone knows and loves Neil, so I won’t go into too much depth. But I think we can all agree that there’s some days where nothing else makes sense.

Givers are one of my favorite bands out there right now. I can’t wait to see these guys and girl live again. Also apparently some kid my sister goes to school with used to be in this band. I definitely need to explore that avenue a bit more, because you know, obsession.

Fang Island. I don’t really know about this band. I was hoping for a bit more than what I got I guess. First listen was pretty impressive, but as I listened again it just got a little corny to me. Seems like they are trying to fit a certain feel or something. Apparently these guys were also in the band Daughters, which kind of lends to my point that they are just trying to morph themselves into something a bit more relevant, but like there predecessor, this won’t have much lasting power either.

Graham Nash. I was having such a Graham Nash day last Thursday. I’m a fan of any respective letter making up CSNY, and N seems to never let me down. friends dude.

From Awesome To Awful

Sorry things have been so inactive here for the past two weeks. I am happy to say that it’s because I’m busy and my time is being filled with lots of work.

Anyway, my friend Oscar has been doing a project called “Ten Minute Designs”, he takes a phrase he hears at work and creates a poster for it in a ten minute time frame. So then one day Mike is telling me how he made something awesome for work, and it got shut down and he was literally told to make something “less cool”. I told him things went from awesome to awful in a matter of minutes, and he relayed that to Oscar, who wanted to use that for his TMD. Still following? So Oscar asked me to make one with him, and that’s what we have above. Mine is on top, and his is beneath. Interesting to see how we went in almost complete opposite directions. Check out his blog for more of his TMDs.

I promise I’ll have some more stuff up here soon, and like I said, I’ve thankfully been very busy, and as soon as some stuff wraps up, I’ll be putting it all on here.