Music Monday 5.24.10 – 5.16.11

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.

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Music Monday 1.31.11 Smith Westerns

This week I got so into Smith Westerns, some young boys from Chicago who just put out a new album called Dye It Blonde. The first song/first single is a track called Weekend, and after hearing that I just went bonkers over them. The whole album is made up of some fine licks and melodies, and although this album is impressive regardless, the fact that they are as young as they are just makes it even more awesome. Really fun songs and this album if nothing more is a great sign that they are a really promising bunch of dudes.

Finally was able to find the very first and self titled record from Peter, Paul and Mary, something I’d been thumbing through bins looking for for a while now. I think they are unfairly remembered for Puff the Magic Dragon, and nothing could make me more upset. They’ve got some really good folk tunes from their early days, and this album is prime example of that. I mean, just try to listen to this only once. Impossible.

Music Monday 12.20.10 Good Old War

If you’re new to my blog, or have been living under a rocking chair for the past while, every Monday I post a poster I made for the band who I listened to the most that week according to my last.fm scrobbles. This has opened the door for new music and staying active with making things…

I had a strong renewal of my faith in Good Old War this week. Not that I didn’t like their first album, because I did, but I really love their new self-titled album. I know I am really late on this, but I finally got to really listening to it this week, and it’s pretty great. I sort of was beginning to write them off as just a bland pop band, but they’re really a bit more remarkable than that. I hear tinges of early Paul Simon creeping through, and their harmonies are nothing to scoff at. If you’ve heard their first album, the second album really is a great progression from there. It’s nothing too unfamiliar, which I liked, but it really is just more impressive all around. Great album art too.

Modest Mouse’s The Moon And Antarctica is their best album (by a long shot) and a great example of a band at their peak. I got this album my junior year of high school and it’s never not sounded good to me. I think their early albums were inventive, but sometimes too rough to enjoy, and I think everything past this album was far too polished and fussed over, making this the perfect medium.

More Vince Guaraldi, obviously. Christmas is so soon, and I’m loving it!

Forgot how great Arcade Fire’s The Suburbs is. But, really great is how great.

 

 

Music Monday 12.13.10 Vince Guaraldi

Vince Guaraldi is infamous for scoring the music for the Peanuts movies and television specials, not the least of which being A Charlie Brown Christmas, which just so happens to have become synonymous with Christmas itself, putting Vince Guaraldi in that category as well. This album is perhaps the most perfect Christmas music ever made. It’s at heart a jazz album, though I don’t think it’s recognized as one. Mostly because it’s voice is so much louder than just that. If this can’t get you in the Christmas mood, you’re a hopeless grinch. This is one of the most classic albums of any genre, of any time, and the fact that it’s a Christmas album just gives us something to look forward to every year.

This is an absolute must own album. We’ve still got a few more weeks before Christmas, and you should be playing this throughout.

Sufjan Steven’s Songs For Christmas is the new classic, and between these two you should be set on appropriate Christmas music for life.

Anyway, the iconic Christmas-tree-in-need-of-love seemed to be the perfect subject for this poster.
I know these next few days can be very stressful, but try to relax and enjoy this very special time of year.

Music Monday 11.29.10 Kanye West

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.

Music Monday 11.21.10 Squeeze

So I know this is more than a little overdue, and I know it’s far from being a Monday, but hey, some weeks are just like that. So let’s get to it…

About two weeks ago I was lucky enough to pick up the vinyl of a favorite record of mine, Squeeze’s Singles 45′s and Under. It’s basically a collection of some hits from Squeeze, but unlike some singles compilations, this one was released by the band, which always seems to make it more legitimate. Regardless, this album is really filled with songs that honestly get better every time I listen to them. The back half of this record keeps getting better and better and it ends with Annie Get Your Gun which I could probably listen to on repeat for an hour.

It’s sort of funny because Squeeze just put out a new album (new recordings of old songs) on XOXO records, home to River City Extension. Glenn Tilbrook has taking a liking to the band, and actually sings on one of their songs. I’m hoping that sooner of later our paths cross, because you know, that would be awesome.

This poster was strongly influenced (okay, almost entirely) by their song Black Coffee In Bed, which if you aren’t familiar with, please check it out now.

Contest Name Here



So I got a text from my buddy Jason Small, who runs XOXO records, asking me if I could turn a poster around for a contest his label was throwing. This was aroud 8 pm, and they needed it by 8 am the next day. The information was scattered and coming to me in bits and pieces, but I was glad to help out anyway. So with the pressure on, and the clock ticking, I started working on this.

The contest itself, named “Contest Name Here”, is a pretty awesome deal and a great chance to catch these 1 of these 3 super bands if you live in or near one of the cities they’re playing in. Apparently this is going on absolutepunk.net, so if you frequent that site, you might catch it on there. If not, I’ll try to screen cap it once it’s up.

In another news, I heard that the ad I did for River City Extension’s new album is in the current issue of FILTER magazine right now. Broken Social Scene is on the cover if you’re trying to pick that up, I know I am.

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.

#musicmonday 2.8.10


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