Looky, looky, the Seawhawks and the Broncos made it to the Super Bowl this year to each have a go at being the greatest team in the world (this year). It’s a pretty exciting Super Bowl—more exciting than we’ve seen in the past few years—and I think no matter how the game turns out, it’ll be a fun one to watch. That being said, it would be most fun if the Seahawks won because it feels right for a team with lime green in their uniform to win a championship. I also like the narrative of Peyton Manning having an insane season—maybe the best by any quarterback ever—failing to get to the ultimate prize. It’s what made the Giants beating the perfect Patriots in ’07 far more interesting than a potential perfect season.
I liked the idea of representing each team with the things that made them up and letting the overlap of the sections be the things that brings them together, the game itself. Design bomb, it’s also in the shape of a football. Do you see that Roger Goodell? I care about the details.
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.
So upon the recommendation of just about everyone, I gave Kanye West’s new album a few more listens. I’m not exactly sure how my tone came off a few weeks ago so I want to make this clear: I think this a good album, and probably one of the better of the year. But I don’t think it’s this year’s best… I don’t even think it’s his best. But it is good. There’s something to it, that you can get behind the songs that you don’t even really like that much. I think it’s a creative album by most standards, but not all. It’s funny to me that it’s getting showered with the compliments of how unique it is, but in comparison to some truly unique acts, I think it still falls short.
Again though, it’s good.
The idea for this poster came from the couple of Egyptian references Kanye makes on the song Monster, which I just couldn’t get enough of. You may also notice this is in the style of the last poster I did for him. I don’t know if it makes sense to say this or not, but the album sounds very black and red to me, and I think it would be cool to do a few more that fit this style of illustration.
Kirby’s dad lent me a few albums that he loves, that he thought I might enjoy, one of which being Eat A Peach by The Allman Brothers Band. He had told us that he wanted their song Blue Sky to play at his funeral. And even though that’s strangely sort of morbid to think of at this point, the song is pretty awesome, and would probably be the coolest funeral song ever. This album is southern rock, perhaps at it’s finest.
Brick + Mortar, who I know I’ve talked about before, are just one of the most creative and talented bands out there right now. They are emerging from the Asbury/New Jersey music scene and gaining a lot of deserving recognition and respect. If you have the chance to catch these guys, I would certainly not miss the opportunity. I actually had the fortune of seeing them twice over this Thanksgiving break. Once at The Stone Pony, and two nights later at a bar in Seaside. It was awesome to see that even in two completely different venues, one with a stage and an intense sound system, and the other with neither, they still performed great and made each environment work for them. I took some video of them from The Stone Pony, and I think it’s best you check them out. John Tacon is an absolute crazy person on the drums.
Two nights ago I got into a fight on Facebook. Not something I’d normally be proud of (necessarily ;)), but it was one of those instances where you are unable to hold back and you know you are signing yourself off for a night of back and forth arguing. I’m sure you can tell the nature of the argument by looking at the poster, but if it’s unclear, a girl was claiming that people aren’t born gay, that it’s a choice you make, and on top of it all, it’s wrong.
The fact that people believe this is appalling to me, and so for better or worse I entered into what became a huge debate between me and some future members of the Westboro baptist church. I don’t know if it got anywhere (arguments online rarely do) but I felt glad that I stood up against something I believed was absolutely wrong. My final input to this 80 plus comment bomb, was a single line informing her that I was deleting her as a friend.
You’re not going to talk much sense into people like this, they’re too caught up in their own twisted belief, but one question that no one cared to answer was the one on the poster above. It seems simple enough to answer… or not. But in its unanswerable quality, you kind of see where I’m going with it.
So a few things… I hope you’ve all remembered to wear purple today, it’s a seemingly small action, but anything raising awareness is not only important, but integral. Secondly, be brave in confronting people, standing up for what you believe, and do not be afraid to take the leap and delete anyone on facebook who is holding onto these ideas of hate and homophobia. You’re better off without them.
I’m beyond looking for tolerance and am looking for complete equality and acceptance.
Sufjan Stevens released another album. Am I surprised? Well actually, surprisingly, no. By now I’m not surprised by anything he does, or how, or when he does it. He’s producing such a high quantity of quality. So much on both accounts that it’s left him fairly unparalleled. The Age Of Adz is his latest; a proper full length (his first since Illinois some could argue) and it’s on a different page from anything we’ve heard yet. It’s Enjoy Your Rabbit meets The BQE meets All Delighted People. But more importantly it’s just really good. I’m certain that we’ll be teaching Sufjan Stevens to our future music majors of the world, and I’m even more certain we’ll be hearing Chicago at high school football games half time shows in 2050. Probably sooner. I’m sure it’s already happened.
Anyway, I wanted to make something that touched on not only the very electronic side of Sufjan, but also the colorful and layered nature to all his music.
I had the pleasure of seeing Hop Along this week when they played with my buddies Secret Mountains. All I can say is this band keeps getting better and better. Their latest EP, Wretches, a 3 song, nearly 23 minute motion, is in my opinion their best yet. Second Voice, is the better half of this record clocking in around 11 minutes, is probably my favorite song, not only on the album, but in their full catalog of songs. ALSO, Frances is no doubt an alien… because there’s no way a human’s voice can do the things hers can. She pieced together a little band, dropped “Queen Ansleis” and is now a full on rock band. Best thing she could have done for herself. Pretty amazing live show, the sound is just THICK.
Paul Simon gets me every once and while with one of his records, and this weekend Graceland was just doing it all for me. Such a really great record.
No Age. Get their new record. Just get it, and listen to it. Better than Nouns. I have to say, I was really really impressed with it. These guys success story is also pretty off the wall, but good for them.
Dungen was sounding perfect to me this week. Which honestly, I have a really hard time getting into their songs some times, so I was glad that it all seemed to be fitting into the grooves. I have a feeling if I saw these guys live, my opinion on them would change completely. But for now, they are sitting plain and fancy in my book.
Feel free to add me on last.fm.
This past weekend I went to my parents house to grab a few things I needed to bring to the new apartment, most importantly: another set of bookshelves. Anyway, I wanted to take a few shots of the cats, the house, the backyard, my trip there and back, just basically anything that made up the little trip. Hope this serves as a peek into what I was up to and gives you a little representation of what it’s like there.
“It may look like a truck. And it may run like a truck. But the 18-wheel, 400 square foot tractor-trailer is more than the sum of its parts; it’s a vehicle for long-lasting social change. The Mobile Food Pantry will hold 45,000 pounds of food, distributing fresh produce and non-perishable products to some of South Jersey’s hardest hit low-income areas. Traveling to under-served markets in four counties, the Mobile Food Pantry will also feature chefs and nutritionists to run cooking classes, coordinators to assist with food stamp applications, and surplus fruits and vegetables from South Jersey farmers to reach people with limited access to supermarkets. This grant will help outfit the truck with equipment necessary for wider distribution, networking, and education, helping to enact long lasting social change where it’s needed most.”
So our friend Nyssa is a part of The Food Bank Of South Jersey, an organization dedicated to bringing food and well-being to those in need. Pretty awesome. Well, right now, they are in a contest of sorts that could land them $10,000 to help their cause. And fortunately all you have to do is vote for them. So Nom Now thought we could help them out in the way we can, and make some posters for this, and hopefully help them pull in a few more votes, and hopefully bring them the prize. Again, the cause is awesome. People helping people. The kind of stuff we’ve been advocating long before Nom Now. It takes a minute to vote, so think about how that time you put in can really help make an actual change in hundreds of other people’s lives.
Mike had asked me if I wanted to make a poster for this, and I definitely did. I wanted to make something that highlighted the mobility of this project. It’s literally a truck that drives around and gives out food. The Mobile Food Pantry. The image of that happening really stuck with me, and so I chose to feature this around the truck. So in a reversal of roles from the other poster Nom Now did for this, I called upon Mike for some help as I worked this out, and he gave me a few fresh ideas, and I was finally able to reach what you see above.
We all have the chance to “make it better.” So let’s see what we can do!
So I saw today that John Bradley had put together an informational break down of who was playing when for Grow That Beard Fest, and it was pretty rough to say the least. John, I hope you don’t take offense to this, but I took the liberty of taking your basic idea and turning it into a pretty cool infographic. These are always fun to make, and this works as a nice companion piece to the flyer I made for the show earlier.
So here it is, everything is laid out nice and easy for you, so you can catch the bands you like, and miss the ones you don’t. Just kidding, don’t do that.
I can’t believe it’s lined up so perfectly, but today, and this post, marks both my 1 year anniversary of this blog, and my 100th post. It feels like I’ve been doing this forever, and at the same time, it feels like this past year just flew by. Much has happened in this time, I got hired full time (my initial reason for starting this), Nom Now has emerged as a tower of power (to add to the list of stuff going on today, we’re in our first real deal art show Power In Numbers tonight in Philly), and I’ve gotten a few awesome clients. It’s been awesome, and here’s to hoping this next year is as bonkers as the past one.
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!
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!
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.
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.
Here is a wallpaper I made. I feel guilty because I usually only remember to make these after Mike does. But even so, I had fun with this one. You can click it to get it full-size, and then I’m sure by now you know how to save something from the internet. Downloading, they call it.
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.