3 mois pour le départ / welcome to my blog
26 December, 2008, 1:23 pm
Filed under: Design, Lacoste, Transit

First “offical” post.

Welcome to my blog. As so eloquently stated in the “about” page, this… in the long term… will be my “design” blog. It will occasionally be used for other things.

One of those occasional things will be my upcoming trip to France. I am currently a student at the Savannah College or Art and Design, attending their Atlanta campus. I have been accepted to study abroad at the school’s campus in Lacoste, France for the Spring Quarter of 2009. Today marks three months until departure for Lacoste. Even though the trip is three months away, Megan(my wife) and I have begun preparing for me to take this epic journey. Read on if you’d like to join me in obsessing over some of these small details.

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BEST OF 2008
19 December, 2008, 2:33 pm
Filed under: Music

This is by no means a list of the top 10 albums of 2008 in a critical sense. This is a list of the ten albums that I enjoyed the most this year. I consider myself to have decent music taste… however, I don’t claim to be a taste maker or have any sort of credibility when it comes to music journalism. I just like what I like.

Unwed Sailor - Little Wars

10. Unwed Sailor – Little Wars
Long in the making and anticipation of release (at least for me and other US fans), Little Wars represents a return to the more rocking sounds of Johnathan Ford and co. Just enough of the textures and sounds of the mellower releases seep in to make this the most encompassing statement from Unwed Sailor yet. Pretty much the soundtrack of my late spring and early summer.

9. Brad Mehldau Trio – Live
Brad Mehldau is a badass. That said I was sort of disappointed with his last release. But this… this is welcome addition to my Brad Mehldau collection. Joined here by Grenadier and Ballard, and in a live setting, this live offering is a solid listen. Usually known for his Radiohead covers, Mehldau instead offers up renditions of tunes by Oasis and Soundgarden along some of his original compositions.

8. Constantines – Kensington Heights
With Tournament of Hearts the Cons turned in a batch of songs that made the band sound as if they were weary. On Kensington Heights the band is still tired of all the bullshit but prove they got some fight left in ‘em.

7. The American Dollar – A Memory Stream
I absolutely hate unsolicited friend requests from bands on Myspace. That said I decided to give this band a listen. Fast forward two years later and said band drops this record. My ears are thankful. Seriously good instrumental “rock” that eschews the trends and delivers the goods.

6. Mogwai – The Hawk Is Howling
A little bit of bias may be at play here. Mogwai is one of my favorite bands. Their last record, Mr. Beast was quite good. This is better. Mogwai shows us that they remember their past but they’re still stretching out.

5. M83 – Saturday = Youth
Did you love John Hughes movies and Molly Ringwald when you were a kid? I did, too. Buy this record (if you haven’t already.)

4. The Drift – Memory Drawings
I like Miles Davis. I like Mogwai. I like Tristeza. I can even appreciate a little dub. Take those four things, and this is where The Drift begin. Their second full-length, Memory Drawings, finds them taking it up a notch and into the ether.

3. Helios – Caesura
If there’s a theme for my top 10 this year, it’s bands one-upping themselves from their previous releases. The last Helios full length stopped me and my wife (whom I rarely agree with on music) dead in our tracks with it’s dazzling beauty. This is even better. Believe it. The perfect winter record.

2. School Of Seven Bells – Alpinisms
OK… the discovery of my favorite record of the year (see below… duh) led me to the discovery of this band featuring ex-Secret Machines guitar player Benjamin Curtis. I was not prepared for how much this record would exceed my expectations. The best part is that it didn’t immediately do so either. It was very good upon first listen but then seemed to slowly charm me into realizing it’s greatness.

1. Collections Of Colonies Of Bees – Birds
I cannot do this record any justice with words. Anybody who reads this will think I am crazy. A four song instrumental record gets top ranking? The simple answer is: YES. Clocking in at almost 40 minutes, this record is what flying must feel like. ‘probably why they called it Birds. What may seem boring and repetitious on the surface actually reveals some of the most exciting music I’ve heard in a long time. Chiming guitars, jazzy percussion, electronic noises and keys pulsing beneath the surface, expanding within the confines of what seems like a simple and straightforward structure until it can’t contain itself any longer and reveals it’s true glory. Epic in scope. Flawless in execution.


Remember Remember – S/T – Kind of like if Mogwai had a baby and it looked (and sounded) like Steve Reich
Bon Iver – For Emma, Forever Ago – Good rainy day record.
Grouper – Dragging a Dead Deer Up a Hill – Haunting and eery in the best way possible.
Fennesz – Black Sea – If you’re patient enough you’ll be carried away into a trance-like state.

Mogwai @ Variety Playhouse, Atlanta, GA – September 15
Aside from the fact that Mogwai are always blisteringly loud in concert… aside from the fact that early songs such as Tracy, Christmas Steps and Like Herod were played… this show ruled because a) the Variety Playhouse could possibly be the best venue in Atlanta and b) nothing beats quality music enjoyed with quality people while throwing back a few quality brews.

The Mercury Program
The Life and Times
Rival Schools
From Monument to Masses
Collection of Colonies of Bees & Bon Iver Collaboration
Trail of Dead
The Bad Plus w/Wendy Lewis
The Appleseed Cast

Click HERE to download a .zip file containing samples from each record.