What Glorious Things / New iPhone Wallpapers
8 March, 2011, 7:38 am
Filed under: Design, Music

I recently wrapped up some artwork for my good friend Jason Hansen, who has a new band called What Glorious Things. The plan was to release his band’s EP via download only, but I convinced him to do a small run of CDs for any fans who might still appreciate holding some sort of physical product in their hands.

I ordered up a small quantity of my favorite paper in the world from the good folks at French Paper and designed envelopes for the CDs to easily slide into. A total of 50 were made (i.e. cut with an exacto knife and glued one by one) and each was numbered as an edition. A lot of people probably don’t care about this kind of stuff but I thank Jason for indulging the nerd in me and letting me try to create some sort of minimal experience for the release of his new music.

As an additional thanks for those who purchased the EP physically or from the band’s bandcamp site, we offered a series of iPhone wallpapers inspired by the art we’ve been working on for the EP and forthcoming album.

Click on the images to download the wallpapers.


Yo La Tengo
31 January, 2011, 2:32 pm
Filed under: Music

Until three days ago, I would’ve called myself a casual Yo La Tengo fan. No longer. On Friday night, my girlfriend Samantha and I saw the band perform at the Variety Playhouse in Atlanta. I think it’s a sign of a great show when you’re still thinking about it three days later. And so… I think I’m developing a serious crush on Yo La Tengo.

In their over-25-year career, the band always seems to have such a passion for their craft in addition to a reverence for the music that has preceded them. If not releasing albums full of covers they also seem to throw in subtle winks and nudges at rock ‘n’ roll’s history within their own material. In turn, they’ve probably inspired countless other musical acts themselves. The fact that they’re still cranking out quality records is quite impressive.

In regards to Friday night’s show, it’s even more impressive how easily they can cull from their immense discography. For this tour the band decided to let their first set of each night’s performance be decided by the spin of a wheel, a la Wheel of Fortune (the tv show’s theme music played as the band took the stage). There were several categories that would establish the direction of that first set. One being “S Songs” – songs from the band’s oeuvre that started with the letter “S”, to which the band claims could easily amount to over 45 minutes of music. We got “Sounds Of Science, Part 2” (the second half of the band’s score for filmmaker Jean Painleve’s underwater documentaries and shorts. A bit meandering and abstract for some, but it really showcased the band’s ability to do more than just write great pop songs or scorching rockers.

For the second set we were treated to a slew of gems from the YLT pantheon. Starting with “Autumn Sweater” and running through personal faves like “Flying Lesson (Hot Chicken #1),” “Today is the Day (EP Version)” and “Pass the Hatchet, I Think I’m Goodkind.” This was followed by an encore featuring “We’re An American Band” (their own composition), followed appropriately by a cover of GFR’s “We’re An American Band” and ending with a mellow reading of “Big Day Coming.”

I was in awe of the band’s musicianship, their energy and their connection to their audience. It was loud, it was delicate and it was beautiful. It was a perfect show. It made me reminisce about playing music myself. Ultimately, I think that’s why the showed impressed me so much and why I’m such a huge fan now. Yo La Tengo remind me of why I love music.

Bonus points, because the band were selling coffee mugs at their merch table.

Best of 2010
8 January, 2011, 12:16 pm
Filed under: Music

Like the list I did in 2008 (‘totally slept on a 2009 list…), I make no claim to having any critical acumen when it comes to talking about the “BEST” records of the year. What follows is a conversation about the albums that I enjoyed the most this year.

Eluvium - Similies

10. Eluvium – Similies
Master instrumental composer Matthew Cooper mixes things up a bit and releases a record of songs that prominently feature vocals. The gamble turns out to be some of his most beautiful and haunting work. The vocal performances become another layer of his compositions and in no way subtract from the atmosphere he so excellently crafts.

Balmorhea - Constellations

9. Balmorhea – Constellations
A bit more of a hushed affair compared to their previous release, “All is Wild, All is Silent”, but just as equally captivating – if not more. Using strings, banjos, pianos and stomping percussion, the band creates fantastic passages of contemplative beauty. Not necessarily an immediate listen… but careful attention will reward the listener. Catching the band live this year was an added bonus.

8. Aloha – Home Acres
After the excellent “Light Works” EP, fans of Aloha became very eager for the full length that was rumored to follow. Three years later proved to be well worth the wait. Possibly Aloha’s finest moment in their 13 year career. All enclosed in beautiful artwork by Daniel Danger.

7. Kenseth Thibideau – Repetition
Pinback/ Sleeping People/ Tarentel/ etc member Kenseth Thibideau releases his first solo album of summertime krautrock-inspired jams. Half the disc is peppered with breezy vocals that lend a carefree 60/70’s pop vibe to the record. Put this in your car stereo and cruise around as summer days turn into night.

6. Superchunk – Majesty Shredding
Superchunk is easily a band I should have been listening to a long time ago. I have no idea why I didn’t listen to them before they broke their 9-year silence and released this gem. Immediately catchy rock and roll songs that just get better with every listen. As a bonus, go here and check out this excellent cover of The Cure’s “In Between Days.”

5. Arcade Fire – The Suburbs
I think this is another choice influenced by seeing the band live this year. I also think it’s pretty freaking awesome that an independent band topped the Billboard charts. Oh yeah, the record’s about growing up in the suburbs and stuff.

4. The Octopus Project – Hexadecagon
Intended as a document of shows the band played earlier in the year, where the band played in the round and the audience was then surrounded by speakers and video screens. Naturally, the listening experience wouldn’t be the same on a conventional stereo… but still, at the heart of listening is what’s being listened to (i.e. the content). TOP get their Steve Reich on and compose 8 pieces of swirling melodic gorgeousness. You’ll be a better person for just having listened to the third and fourth tracks.

3. Pomegranates – One Of Us
For such a young band, Poms show a lot of growth on their third full length. One of Us is choc full of catchy, dreamy anthems. The contrast between the tenor of one vocalist to the deeper voice of another broadens the pallet with which this band paints its songs that seem to incorporate many influences. Yet, this record marks their most cohesive statement.

2. Shipping News – One Less Heartless To Fear
This was a strong contender for number one. Shipping News have been a favorite for some time. Born out of other faves, June of 44 and Rodan, this band is equally essential. A couple of factors make this album so compelling. 1. The band have traded in their usual long, slower-paced songs for short bursts of controlled chaos. 2. This is a live recording. An illness in the band forced plans for a studio album to be scrapped. This in no way detracts from the quality of One Less Heartless… If anything, it speaks to the band’s strength as a tight, cohesive unit. The energy contained within the recording is invigorating and only serves to compliment the shift in sound.

1. The Besnard Lakes – Are The Roaring Night
Most pleasant surprise of 2010. Yes, their last record was good, but this one is GREAT. Song for song, listen for listen, this record just kept finding its way into the speakers at work, in the car and on the home stereo. Not a weak moment. Each listen revealed more. Songs would mysteriously appear, lodged in my brain, when not actually listening to the record. Mixing elements of shoegaze, Beach Boys-inspired melodies and straight up rock-and-roll, Are The Roaring Night is quite something to behold. The opening two tracks alone are worthy of a record called “The Besnard Lakes Are The Roaring Night.” Lyrics about trains to Chicago don’t hurt either.


Parlour – Simulacrenfield – Awesome jams by Louisville instrumental vets.
Les Savy Fav – Root For Ruin – Another “come back” record that sounds like the band’s best.
Mark McGuire – Living With Yourself – No, not the baseball player.
Medications – Completely Removed – DC band changes it up a bit and writes their best record.

Arcade Fire at Verizon Amphitheater
Tortoise at The Earl
Balmorhea at The Earl
All Tiny Creatures at 529

Collections of Colonies of Bees
All Tiny Creatures
Rival Schools (yup… been waiting since my 2008 list for this)
The Appleseed Cast

Click HERE to download a .zip file containing a mix of songs from this list.

16 August, 2010, 8:24 am
Filed under: Design, Music

This is probably one of the most beautiful pieces of video I have ever seen. Featuring equally beautiful music by Keith Kenniff (of Helios, Goldmund fame). The first time I watched it I was just struck by how beautiful and weird and crazy life is… The second time, you begin to see the connection to each scene and the concept of the video itself. Do yourself a favor and take ten minutes of your life and watch this at least 3 times.

AS far as what I’m working on? I’ve decided to take a full time position with an agency based out of Columbus, Ohio that is involved in a pretty big project here in Atlanta. I’ll still be doing a bit of freelance on the side and hopefully I’ll finally get to some personal projects I’ve been dreaming up. I’m currently working on artwork for my good friend Tyler, who’s going to be putting out two new EPs very soon.

ATL Collective Poster – Graceland
27 July, 2010, 7:34 am
Filed under: Design, Music

The ATL Collective was established to foster the Atlanta music scene, encourage collaborations and cross-pollination and to create happenings that will inspire and entertain. Each month the collective picks one album to cover in its entirety. Next month, they’ll be covering Paul Simon’s Graceland. For the poster I chose to represent Simon’s travel to South Africa where he collaborated with several musicians there to achieve the sound of the record. The map, though, is of Atlanta – symbolizing the collective of Atlanta musicians traveling to one spot in order to give their own face to the music of Paul Simon.

Schunck* Gallery Poster Show
22 April, 2010, 10:57 am
Filed under: Design, Music

Schunck* Gallery in The Netherlands have asked for two of my posters to be included in their upcoming show entitled “Poster Park.” The show focuses on the combination of music and (graphic) art that is present in gigposter artwork. The exhibition is planned for May 8 – June 27 2010, and will take place in SCHUNCK*’s publically accessible staircase. The gallery asked specifically for my Felix Culpa poster and Sincerity Guild/ Forget Cassettes poster. I’ll post photos as soon as I receive them from the gallery.

Felix Culpa posters//plus some news (a change is gonna come)
6 April, 2010, 3:23 pm
Filed under: Design, Music

Hello out there! ‘been way too freaking long! A few things to share. First is the poster I designed for my friends, The Felix Culpa, that I mentioned a while back. (WOW! January to be exact!) I was able to hang out with them a bit when I went to Austin for SXSW and finally got my hands on a few copies of these bad boys. There is nothing like the joy of pulling your own print, but alas these were done in Chicago by 108 Print Shop and I think they did a fine job. There’s quite a bit of detail in this poster and it printed quite well. This poster was for the show celebrating the release of their new record, Sever Your Roots. I interpreted this concept by showing medical drawings of arms and legs that, when viewed from far away, resembled a tree. Upon closer inspection it becomes clear that the image is really a mass of “severed” limbs or “roots.”

Click here to see it real big like.

Starting now, a few things are going to change with this blog. The first thing that will happen is that it will be updated much, MUCH more than I have been updating it in the past. Second… It will eventually be redesigned and incorporated with, which is also going to be redesigned and overhauled within the next month. I’ll be adding a bunch of work to it as I am in the final stages of putting together a solid portfolio and finishing my degree at the Savannah College of Art and Design in Atlanta. Suffice to say, that is what has been keeping me pretty busy and will continue to do so for the next month or two.

Twitter peoples, I have a new twitter account that is specifically for anything design related for me. Follow me, if you will.

What else, what else… Hmm. I think that’s the meat and potatoes of what I had to share. I am excited to see The Appleseed Cast in Atlanta in a few days. They’ve been one of my favorites for some time and on this tour they are performing their double album, Low Level Owl, in it’s entirety, which is probably my favorite of all of their output.

‘back soon!