brett//andrew//miotti


Best of 2011
2 January, 2012, 8:16 am
Filed under: Uncategorized

‘Coming out of blog hibernation to bring you my “Best of 2011” list (oddly enough, the last recorded post on this blog was the release date of my favorite record from this year. A few things have changed since I last blogged – most significantly a new and way better job and the birth of a joint venture between myself and my girlfriend Samantha. Admittedly I kinda slept on listening to a lot of records that came out this year. Instead, most of my music listening consisted of going backwards and listening to bands I’ve always loved (read: lots of 90’s bands) or discovering records I should have in 2010 (I’m looking at you Shannon Wright’s Secret Blood). But there were definitely records released this year that I thoroughly enjoyed. (Yes, I liked that new Bon Iver record… No, it does not appear on this list)

Sonic Youth - SYR9

11. Sonic Youth – SYR 9: Simon Werner a Disparu
I loved The Eternal, but this release reminds me of my favorite era of Sonic Youth recordings. This release fits right in with records like SYR1, Washing Machine, NYC Ghost & Flowers and the like. Like many, I’m a little concerned for this bands future output (and sad for the people involved) due to recent developments. I have no doubt that the individual members will continue to make great music (Thurston Moore’s solo outing from this year was considered for this list) in other outlets, but the future of this particular collaboration seems uncertain.

Tim Hecker - Ravedeath, 1972

10. Tim Hecker – Ravedeath, 1972
Soundtrack for a trip to the ether. Seriously, this is what the most amazing dreams sound like. Played many times during early mornings or late nights working on freelance projects.

9. Battles – Gloss Drop
People may have been skeptical about this release due to the departure of vocalist experimentalist Tyondai Braxton. The vocals were a new thing for Battles on their last release and seemed to be a large part of the success of that record. The band not only succeeded with this record, but outdid themselves – enlisting a handful of guest vocalists to give these new songs an even greater dimension. Add to this the amazing visuals the band put together throughout the year. From the jaw dropping performance of “Wall Street” in Paris’ City Hall and the hilarious video for “My Machines” featuring new wave icon Gary Numan.

8. The Appleseed Cast – Middle States EP
The fact that The Appleseed Cast is still making music in 2011 is impressive and inspiring. The band has long proved themselves as something different and more complex than their “emo” beginnings. In four songs the band proves that they might just have their best material still in them. The 14 minute B-side improv jam is worth the price of admission alone.

7. Mogwai – Hardcore Will Never Die But You Will
It’s no secret I like the band Mogwai quite a bit. But this year the band pushed themselves a bit and introduced some new textures and approaches to their sonic palette while reminding everyone why they are seasoned veterans in the game of controlled chaos.

6. The Psychic Paramount – II
Take the skill and craft of a band like The Mercury Program and add in some fuel-injected catharsis… and you’re maybe just getting close to describing The Psychic Paramount. This record made me want to listen to lots of “heavy” records again. Not that this record sounds like you’re typical “heavy” record, far from it, but The Psychic Paramount pour every amount of the best kind of aggression into this long player.

5. Radiohead – The King of Limbs (Live from the Basement)
Sure, I liked the studio version of The King of Limbs alright. But, like 2001’s I Might Be Wrong, the band show that they are possibly at their best when fleshing their shit out in a live setting and all the little nuances in their studio creations come screaming to the forefront. Things that are barely hinted at in their previous form become the lifeblood of each composition and propel each song to new heights.

4. The Drift – Blue Hour
The death of a close friend and band member can have a devastating effect on a band, not to mention the personal lives of all involved. The Drift picked up the pieces after the passing of member Jeff Jacobs and put together this stunning statement in celebration of his life. Equal parts pensive/meditative and tribal celebration of life.

3. Cymbals Eat Guitars – Lenses Alien
I never bought into the hype surrounding this band with their last release. I tried to really like them… and they just sort of seemed “OK”. On a whim, I listened a song from this record that was floating around the interwebs at the time. Suddenly I was hooked. But could the rest of the record be this good? Yes. Yes it could. Seemingly more focused, more catchy and more agressive and more better than any previous output.

2. M83 – Hurry Up, We’re Dreaming
All the best parts of the previous M83 releases congealed into one beautiful double album. Either Anthony Gonzalez was holding out on us all these years or his entire career has been building to this.

1. Wye Oak – Civilian
Without a doubt, this is the record that I kept coming back to again and again, every song becoming ingrained with each spin. A perfect listen from to start to finish. Lush, dreamy guitars, the soulful and husky voice of Jenn Wasner, the steady pulse of the drums – not overly complex, but every hit perfectly placed – all make for a listening experience that is haunting and beautiful. The song “Holy Holy” gets stuck in your head and doesn’t leave without a fight. It starts out alternating between dirge and terrifying squall before it’s glorious climax immerses you in a wall of sound that you’ll never want to escape from. Similarly, “We Were Wealth” begins in a state of beautiful melancholy before transitioning into a surge of beautiful noise. The band most certainly delivers in the live setting as well. If you can believe the “big moments” sounding even bigger as Andy Stack plays one-man-rhythm-section, handling drums and keys simultaneously, you’ll be swept off your proverbial feet for sure. I was anyway.

HONORABLE MENTION:

Mastodon – The Hunter – Atlanta’s favorite sons of metal soar to new heights.
The Soft Province – The Soft Province – One current member and one former member of The Besnard Lakes make one hell of a catchy dream pop/gaze album.
The War on Drugs – Slave Ambient – Bossgaze. In all seriousness, a lush record with raw beauty.
Explosions in the Sky – Take Care, Take Care, Take Care – EITS return with a record as strong as the material that originally made them great.

BEST REISSUE OF 2011:
Smashing Pumpkins – Siamese Dream – In a recent interview regarding the reissue of Siamese Dream, Billy Corgan stated: “I captured Chicago suburbs, 1991.” Being in that exact place at that exact time, I have to agree. He did. This reissue does a great job of paying the proper respect to the original album. It always kinda bums me out when a band chooses to re-do the artowrk on these things (*AHEM* Jawbox’s For Your Own Special Sweetheart) but honestly, the artwork is done very well if you were to consider it without the original packaging in mind.

BEST LIVE ALBUM OF 2011:
Sigur Ros – Inni – Stripped of their string section and sounding as raw and powerful as ever.

BEST SHOWS OF 2011:
Yo La Tengo at The Variety Playhouse
Minus the Bear at Masquerade (due mostly to all the early material played on their 10th anniversary tour)
Wye Oak and Explosions in the Sky at The Tabernacle

LOOKING FORWARD TO IN 2012:
The Life and Times
The Appleseed Cast
Shannon Wright
Baroness
Bear In Heaven
Pelican
Codeine Reissues
Sigur Ros

FAVORITE MOVIES OF 2011:
Hugo
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2
Girl With the Dragon Tattoo
Super 8

If you’ve read all the way through this, I say “thank you.” Lists are silly little things sometimes. For a good read on such things as lists and their complexity go here. I definitely have similar thoughts on the matter.

P.S. I miss Do Make Say Think. Their albums always sound like they are meant for the turntable.

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ATL Collective identity
14 January, 2011, 8:53 am
Filed under: Uncategorized

It’s been some time since I posted some work that I’ve actually done. I recently completed an identity for my friends in the ATL Collective. According to their mission statement, “ATL Collective was established to foster the Atlanta music scene, encourage collaborations and cross-pollination and to create happenings that will inspire and entertain.” These happenings often include the selection of a record to cover from start to finish. The musicians take their turns interpreting each successive track on said record. December’s event saw them tackling Van Morrison’s Tupelo Honey. Next month, they’ll be putting their spin on Nebraska by Bruce Springsteen.

As a music lover and a friend to several of the members of ATL Collective, this was not only a fun project but a “must-do” project. I’ve often attributed any interest in design at all to growing up with my father’s record collection. Many of the record’s covered at their events are records I heard skipping on the turntable as I would run rambunctiously past the stereo and promptly (and rightfully) be scolded by my father for making the records skip. It’s exciting to hear the Collective’s take on these records, and in a way, discover them again. I’m happy to do a poster for these events when asked, so naturally the choice to help them brand their mission was an equally fun endeavor. The mark will be featured on posters, a new website and any collateral produced in the future. Stay tuned for future events, now being held at Eddie’s Attic in Atlanta.

http://www.facebook.com/atlcollective
http://thecollectiveatl.tumblr.com/



??
29 December, 2010, 1:05 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

Psst. Still here?

Me too. More soon. ‘Been to long (again).



Update on posters in Schunck Gallery
4 June, 2010, 1:13 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

Today, I received some pictures from Schunck Gallery in The Netherlands of their “Poster Park” show which featured two of my posters. The show included a pretty cool variety of posters by artists such as John Vogl (including a very cool Mogwai poster of his), Judge, Ken Taylor, and Furturtle, just to name a few.

I’m pretty stoked to have been included in a show which featured a lot of really great posters by artists that I have a lot of admiration and respect for. So thanks to Virginia at Schunck and the gallery for inviting me to take part in the show.



Wrapping the lamb, sir
23 May, 2010, 10:58 am
Filed under: Uncategorized

Here’s a preview of one of the projects I’m wrapping up for my final quarter at the Savannah College of Art and Design. This project has been with me for a while. It was actually initially completed about 2 plus years ago. I’ve decided to edit it and add a few things, as well as attach it to next year’s Record Store Day… as if it were offered as a fun give-away for Record Store Day customers and new vinyl collectors. Maybe I should contact RSD? I’ll post pictures of the full project later.

I forgot to mention on here that my website is now done. I’ll be adding a few more projects to it, but it is now a fully functioning website.

I graduate one week from now and in the meantime I’ve been fortunate to land a freelance gig with a shop whose work I have a lot of respect and admiration for. Here’s to hoping many good things come forth from that.

More fun projects coming soon.



Christmas Song(s)
17 December, 2009, 10:31 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

Alright, so I’ve thrown together a little “Christmas” mix. This was mainly just for my lovely roommates to express my love and gratitude towards them and to feature a teddy bear in some sort of design project. (Not really on that last part…) I ended up pretty pleased with the way it turned out and decided to share on a broader scale. Anyway, here’s a batch of songs I thought would sound good together, some of them blatantly about this holiday season that is upon us and others require a little bit of deeper digging or just “sound” like winter to me. The oddest choice is probably the opening track. A song that is (holy crap!) now nine years old, but resonates with me even more now than when I first heard it. To me this song sounds like it should be listened to during the winter months and deals with themes that I think are appropriate, or seem to come in focus during the holidays – loneliness, friendship, traffic, work, money (mostly, the lack of it) and figuring out how to really appreciate those closest to you.

“Just lonely, baby–doesn’t mean I’m looking for a friend.
I’ve got plenty, I’m still learning how to lay down my life for them.
Don’t want to find yourself alone at thirty-five,
spending half what you make on your car (and hating that drive).
Just crazy, maybe–doesn’t mean I’m looking for a cure.
I’ve got stability that scares you,
’cause it’s hard to believe when you’re so sure.
No matter how different you are, you’re just like everybody else.
No matter how hard you try and fit in, there is no one like you.
You will find you spend a good deal of your life, sitting at red lights”

A Lull in Traffic by The Gloria Record

Please feel free to share with others. Happy Holidays, all.



Musée du Tire-Bouchon Poster Contest
23 May, 2009, 7:01 pm
Filed under: Design, Lacoste, School, Transit, Uncategorized

tirebouchonposter_web

As part of the program here at SCAD Lacoste, there is a contest for the students to design a poster for a near-by museum of corkscrews (“tire-bouchon” in french.) The prize is 1000 Euro, however this year two winners were selected. The good news is that I was one of them. This was a nice addition to finishing up the quarter and selling a print in our big gallery show.