Music Monday 5.31.10


I was finally tuned into the world of No Age this week. And in all fairness it was because I saw a photo of my buddy Mike Walsh showing off a vinyl of theirs. He’s up on the good stuff as much as anyone I know, so I took it as a sign to give it a peek. Described often as noise rock, I found them to be less noisy then some of the other bands being called the same. Which I was happy about…I often find those bands too be a little too noisy. No Age was doing it all right in my book. I’ve only listened to their album Nouns but I’ll be exploring some of their other stuff for sure.

Some other new bands I just got into are Avi Buffalo, who I’m just loving, The Alps who are this chill instrumental band who I was feeling, Junip and their awesome new EP, which led me into some José Gonzalez who I hadn’t listened to in a while and it was long overdue. I also found the first Bruce Springsteen album I actually can say I liked thanks to my pal James Ramirez. Surprisingly enough it was his 2005 album Devils & Dust. Despite my distaste for The Boss, and the fact that guys like him make worse each year starting from their debut, this actually did something for me. Check it out if you’re not too embarrassed to have it show up in your last.fm.

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Contribute



I hadn’t made a strictly Nom Now poster in a bit, but with the Facebook page in full gear, I’m more excited about this than ever. Go on over and “like” it if you haven’t already, there will be many updates through there, and plenty of ways for you to get involved. Speaking of, that’s sort of where the inspiration for this came out. We’ve had quite a few people looking to get involved with Nom Now, and while I’m not in the business of turning people away, especially those looking to help, the idea is that you go out and do your own thing and contribute something of your own to the world. Because you can, and because you should. I’ve asked myself many times “How are you going to contribute?” It’s a question worth asking often. It keeps me in the mind set of never becoming stagnant. It’s also a reminder that our world is only comprised of what we put into it, that being said, we have quite the duty. I hope this all sparks something in you, and you “contribute” this week. Let us know what you’ve done, we’re looking for inspiration all day every day.

Music Monday 5.24.10


So this is going to be the new style for Music Mondays. I’ve decided I’m going to make a poster for the top artist rather just a general accompanying image. I’ll also continue to post screen grabs from my last.fm, but I don’t think I’ll be talking about much besides the week’s top artist. I’m doing this in part because I was feeling slightly stressed out trying to talk about new things week it started to impede how I might normally listen to music. I also wanted to turn this into an opportunity for me to make more posters. So we’ll try it like this for a while. If things don’t work out, we’ll move on.

So this week I was getting into Fruit Bats who’s album The Ruminant Band was hitting the spot in all the right ways. It’s a lot of acoustic songs with an occasional supporting backing band with tons of great harmonies/melodies. I had this on Saturday morning, and it just seem to be the perfect music for the day. I’d really recommend checking them out and The Ruminant Band is a great place to start. Below is how the rest of the week rounded out…if you’re interested in anything else, just leave a comment.

Seaside Music Festival



Here’s a little poster I made for the Seaside Music Festival, which is actually today. I forgot about this thing until now, and while this isn’t really doing much as far as getting you there at this point (although you still could go), I just wanted to let you have a look see.

And Where Did You Come From?



In regards to the Arizona Immigration Law…
It’s pretty mind boggling that is actually happening. I’m ashamed by the regression of our country through this bill, so I wanted to flip this around and ask a question to the people who are afraid of immigration. We’re here because our ancestors came and stole the land from the indigenous people who were living here. Now, if that isn’t an illegal immigrant, I don’t what is.

This new bill is opening the door for legal racial profiling and is absolutely a step backwards in history.

Agree? Disagree? Feel free to leave a comment.

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.

Building Week



I just got in contact with my friend Joe Shure who told me he had been reading this blog. Joe is a very talented guy who I used to play a lot music with. Now he’s somewhat of an entrepreneur, he’s started his own company, and even more recently, and more poignant to this, he’s started his own blog. It’s called Building Week and it’s dedicated to interesting buildings. I told him I would link him up on here, and I used this as a chance to make something interesting. So go and check it out, he’s a great writer. It’s a tumblr, so if you’re on there, be sure to follow him.

Music Monday 5.10.10


I was feeling Blitzen Trapper a bit this week. I had got my hands on Furr a while back which is a pretty good album, and a very good song. This week though, I was more about Wild Mountain Nation, which was a recommend of Jeff, and that’s another instance of a great title track song. I don’t know how to categorize these guys really, some of it sounds like it’s from 1969, and some of it is more modern, but just very weird. However, weird isn’t bad, and these guys are certainly worth a check out. Also, I love the song Saturday Nite.

Best Coast. Can I take a minute to say this band just grew on me in the biggest way possible? I’m seriously loving her stuff, coming from thinking it was just okay. The song Something In The Way is one of the catchiest songs I’ve heard this year and it’s usually in my head at least once a day. She’s writing some great melodies and mixing them with a fuzzy guitar sound, but deep down most of the songs are just awesome pop songs.

I had a need for Luke Brandfon this week. Luke has this strangely enormous canon of songs that range from really minimal acoustic diddies to really complex multi-instumental 6 minute songs. He’s one of the most honest and in love song writers I know and also one of the nastiest musicians I’ve heard. While all his recorded songs fair closer to the traditional song in one way or another, his live sets are something very different and maybe even more incredible. He does looping better than anyone I’ve seen or heard. A lot of guys with a loop pedal are boring me after their first press, but with Luke you somehow forget he’s looping anything. I love seeing him play because you can see his mind work, and it’s incredible how precise he is with what he does. Most of you probably don’t know him, and might have trouble getting access to his music, so if anyone wants anything, I’d be glad to hook you up.

Death Vessel is one of my favorite bands who can never steer me wrong. I happened to catch them with The Books in 2006 and I remember not being able to tell if the singer was a woman or a man. I was far enough away, and his hair was long enough to fool my eyes, but his voice is in such a high register that it sounds so much like a woman, it’s hard to believe it isn’t. This unique quality certainly sets them apart from any other band I know. He’s also a great lyricist and the music is really good folk based rock. I always recommend this band to anyone who hasn’t heard them, and I’m doing the same right now. Stay Close is one of my favorite albums ever.

I somehow got a hold of Tame Impala’s upcoming album Innerspeaker and for those who are anticipating this, you’ve got a gem coming your way. Their little 5 song EP was only a slight indication of what they’re capable of. They are supposedly touring with MGMT soon, so along with their record release, it won’t be long before these guys blow up.

The Soft Pack is another relatively new band I’m feeling. It’s kind of west coast punky but still poppy and not at all corny. I saw a video of these guys playing ten shows in one day to promote their new record and I loved it. The self titled record pretty much draws you in right away. This is a major summer album. Get it while it’s hot!

Harlem is still doing me right. I’m still surprised by how much I like this band, considering I went into them thinking I wouldn’t care for them too much. A definite must hear.

I finally had the chance to see GIVERS again this past Tuesday. I caught them in November opening for Dirty Projectors and was blown away. Since then I’ve been waiting and waiting for them to come around and after a few canceled shows because of the February snow storm, the wait was getting unbearable, but my hopes and dreams finally came true at Kung Fu Necktie, which by the way is an awesome bar/venue. I can’t stress how much I love these guys and girl. They by far have one of the best live shows I’ve seen, ever. Too much energy, too many priceless faces, and too much dancing. It was also great seeing them knowing their songs this time, and it was even more fun seeing how they riffed and jammed on the regular. This is going to be one of the strongest recommends I’ll ever give, so please see them live, get their EP, and GIVERS, if you’re reading this, I’m looking for the full length ASAP!

I may be changing the format of how I do music monday soon, but I will talk a little more about it next week, which will most likely be the final week of this current state. It’s not going anywhere, but it is changing. Add me on last.fm if you’re on there.

Photos From April 2010


I saw this sign everyday driving home from work for weeks, and just a few weeks ago I finally was able to get a picture of it.

There is so much construction going on in Mullica Hill, and I have to drive through it both ways to work. These yellow tubes are the new things showing up everywhere.

The plus side of driving through Mullica Hill is all the nice farm land and huge properties. This house sits next to a vineyard.

Nom Now Wheat Pasting


This past weekend I took a trip into the city with my brother in graphic design, Mike Smith, along with a few helpful friends to continue the spread of Nom Now. I’m kind of a baby (at least for right now) when it comes to this stuff, but I wanted to help further this idea as much as I could, so I decided to film it and compile a video. It documents the work, and immortalizes the often short life of street art. Nom Now is all about making yourself a better person and the world a better place. These posters are largely inspirational. Those two facts are far from being new notions, but the approach to them is what sets them apart. These aren’t the inspirational posters hanging in your elementary school classroom. I hope this inspires all of you to become active and creative. No one is going to give you permission to make the world a better place, you just need to go ahead and do it.

Keep an open eye for this stuff, it’s popping up everywhere.

Music Monday 5.3.10



Last.fm was being a little jerky boy this week and it carried over some artists from last week, so I just cut it down to six.

I got very into Harlem this week. I had heard a few songs a while back and dismissed them, and then kind of put them in the back of my mind. But this week I re-listened and I wondered why it didn’t click the first time. So many catchy songs, so many catchy melodies, and just an over all recklessness that you can’t help but love. Gay Human Bones is such a good song title, and song.

I somewhat strangely got into an Eminem cyclone this week and literally could not get enough. It all started when I heard a new track which is being billed as a freestyle (which i doubt it is, because it’s just too good….but even if it’s not, wowwwwww), and I was blown away. He honestly is probably the best rapper of our time, and despite all his crudeness and controversy, he’s phenomenal at putting words together. Take a moment and listen to this new one Despicable or this older one tearing up Mariah Carey.

I realized I didn’t have Vetiver’s More Of The Past so I grabbed that and loved it, and did as I do anytime I listen to one of their albums, listen to all of the others. They are one of the best bands going right now and I think will be looked back on with the same favor as bands like The Band.

I experienced some extreme TIME WARP going back to summer 2005 with Mates Of State. I’m not sure what propelled me to download Team Boo but I did, and seriously started to physically feel strange because of how nostalgic it was. Music seems to be able to do this like nothing else. And you know what? Mates Of State is actually decent and I didn’t mind listening to it.

I gave Girls a listen a few months ago, but I didn’t give them a fair enough chance. I tried to, but his voice sounded really corny and strained at times. However, I really like their song Laura, and this week I finally got into the rest of the album a bit more. I saw this make a lot of “Best Of” lists, and I don’t know if I’d put it in the same place, but for the most part it ain’t bad. Saint Bad.

And finally I was still hanging out with Shugo Tokumaru some more. I mean, take this as a cue to give this guy a listen.

As always, let’s be friends on Last.fm.