I’m not the biggest Kanye West fan, to the point now, where I’m not sure if I’m a fan at all. I liked his first album, and the next two each a little less than the one before, and didn’t even listen to his last album at all. So when I heard he had a new album coming out, I wondered what I had missed in the few years I spent away from him. This new album My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy was greeted with some early praises, and I had been seeing a slew of people give it praises I could tell were hyperbolic before I even listened to it. There was no way this could be the best album of the decade. Unless you were starting a new decade from the day you heard it. Maybe then. I don’t want to knock Kanye too much, because I think he’s a decently skilled lyricist and his samples are usually interesting, and this album really isn’t bad, but I will say I think he’s way past his prime, and also a jackass.
Nonetheless, in thinking about him more than I have in a long time, I realized that everything about his persona, and his iconic personality, would make for a great poster. So this idea came to me and I went with it.
Also noteworthy is Good Old War’s self titled album. I’m actually happy that this album feels like a continuation of their last. They’re clearly good at what they do, and that’s what I want to hear them doing. Some bands need to realize this and accept it, Good Old War seems to have done both.
M. Ward’s Post War is a phenomenal album. I’m forgetting which song, but one from that album came onto my iPod early in the week, and it just did me so right, that I got into a bit of an M. Ward groove that lasted the next few days. While all of his albums are great, Transistor Radio and Transfiguration Of Vincent, being in the top three, nothing beats Post War. If you don’t listen, that’s the place to start. But also, why aren’t you listening already?
I got Cee Lo’s new album this week. Something I was certainly looking forward to. Unlike most mainstream pop records, this actually packs a few punches and delivers on more than the single. I think we can all agree Cee Lo has been pretty impressive on anything he’s worked on, and this is really no different.
I picked up Scout Niblett’s record The Fool Can Die Now this weekend mainly because I was drawn to the cover, but also because I saw Will Oldham had some work on the album, and that was good enough for me. The songs where he sings certainly shine, but the whole thing ain’t bad.
I think bought Daydream Nation 5 or 6 years ago on a bit of a whim. I’d not listened to Sonic Youth before that, and knew very little of what to expect. And while I thought it was an okay sounding record, it was really dissonant for my taste at the time and I was never really able to get into it. However, through the next few years, I would occasionally revisit the record hoping enough time had passed and perhaps something would have clicked and I would finally get it. This unfortunately never really happened for me. Not until this weekend that is. For whatever reason, I put on Daydream Nation and got reallly into it. I’m pretty excited that actually happened. Like I said, I’d been waiting years for this day. I also downloaded Goo and Dirty, both of which I enjoyed. I can definitely say I am a fan now, and whatever triggered me to purchase that record 6 years ago, I’m glad that happened.
I also listened to a bit of Weezer, which definitely happened after I heard about their new record. Hurley. That should be interesting. But Maladroit does me right every. single. time.
Listened to Ty Segall after seeing my boy Mike Walsh hyping him a bit, and he’s killing it. Caeser is such a great song. Check him out.
Beach Fossils are decent.
Post Post are amazing. One of the best young bands I’ve seen. Philly locals, 3/4 girl band, impossibly catchy. Just doing everything right to every degree. Catch this band as soon as you can.
Otis Redding kept me sane one night as I was sorting with some old stuff and cleaning some bookshelves. Impossibly smooth.
Belle And Sebastian’s Push Bar Man To Open Old Wounds is my favorite thing they’ve done. It’s a collection of their EPs and singles, which in this case, are some of their best songs. I hadn’t listened to this in a few years, and it was great to listen to again.
Flying Lotus is decent.
“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!
Most of you probably already know, I am huge fan of The Wire. I started watching the show because I wanted to watch something that was going to be as good as The Sopranos was, and what I got was something that was even better. In fact, better than any TV show I’d ever seen, or have seen since. Arrested Development comes close, and they hard to compare because they are so different, but honestly, nothing touches The Wire.
There is one now famous scene where D’Angelo Barksdale is explaining the game of chess to Bodie and Wallace after he catches them trying to plass checkers with the game pieces. He goes though all the players, which each are paralleled to some player of “The Game”, the game of the street. When asked how you become the king, D’Angelo replies “It ain’t like that. See, the king stay the king, a’ight? Everything stay who he is.” Watch the scene here.
The design of the poster comes from the ubiquitous British WW2 poster “Keep Calm And Carry On.” Mock-offs of that poster are pretty much every where, good, bad, and ugly. But because of my love for both this poster and that quote, they seemed like a perfect match for each other. Fans of either will hopefully agree.
I’ve got a whole ton of these posters, 18 x 24, and if anyone is interested, just hit me up!
After our first run of Nom Now stickers, we quickly realized how fast 1000 stickers can slip through your fingers. So we decided we need to move into the next design, which I had the pleasure of doing. So here they are folks, you voted on them, and this one won. Be sure to pester me or one of the other guys for these, and we’ll gladly hook you. We’ll be giving these out at our art show on the 30th, which if you’re in the dark about that, Facebook has all the details, just look for Nom Now Art Show.
So get these while they are hot, and believe me, this batch is piping!
When I first heard Best Coast I hated them. But then one day I heard the song Something In The Way in a new way, and I was changed forever. Now, I’m at the point where I can’t get enough, and thankfully this past week I got their new album, Crazy For You, and I’m crazy for it. It’s warm and fuzzy and she’s got that perfect voice. All the songs are about falling in love, or already being there, and it’s to me, the perfect sound of summer 2010. I give this a strong approval and recommendation.
Other things to take note of is that for the first time in the 4 years I was aware of them and on and off listening, I finally understood Woods and really enjoyed listening to them. I don’t know what clicked, but something did. I was cleaning my old bookshelves while listening to this, and it was really late at night, and the music added something to that.
I also realized that Pedro The Lion’s Achilles Heel is my favorite thing David Bazan has done.
I also listened to The Books new album, which classic Books, but I like that. If you like there other stuff, this won’t disappoint.
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.
Last.fm friends dude.
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 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.