Dark Was The Night
What album would you direct people to that represents perfectly your ideal music? Not your favorite song, or artist… I think that is an impossible question to answer for most people. But what’s the style that you are into.
I found mine yesterday thanks to my buddy Scott of Surly Birds acclaim. He heard just a snippet of the the compilation album Dark Was the Night and was on a mission to get it to me. He had a feeling that I would geek out about it, and I have to tell you that he was absolutely right. I am in his music sharing debt for at least a year.
I had read about this album back in February on a few blogs, and seen it on iTunes as well. I even downloaded a few tracks from it randomly, with out knowing their original source. But I passed it up, didn’t pursue it. I missed out on some amazing music on account of it. Til’ now.
Check out the artists featured on this two disc compilation:
Antony (of Antony and the Johnsons)
Cat Power & Dirty Delta Blues
Aaron Dessner + Bryce Dessner
Kevin Drew (Broken Social Scene)
Ben Gibbard (Deathcab for Cutie)
Iron & Wine
Sharon Jones & The Dap-Kings
Stuart Murdoch (Belle & Sebastian)
My Brightest Diamond
My Morning Jacket
The New Pornographers
Dave Sitek (TV on the Radio)
Yo La Tengo
If that list doesn’t mean anything to you, I’m sorry. You are missing out on some tremendous musical forces dominating the ears of the world for the past few years, and the years to come.
These some 31 tracks are a part of an ongoing project from Red Hot, who describe themselves this way:
The Red Hot Organization is the leading international organization dedicated to fighting AIDS through pop culture.
Since 1989, Red Hot has produced fourteen groundbreaking albums, related television programs and media events incorporating the talents of leading performers, visual artists, producers and directors to raise funds and awareness for HIV and AIDS.
To date, these efforts have donated nearly 7 million dollars for AIDS relief around the world.
So, in essence this auditory bliss of a project is some of the best artists of today and tomorrow performing everything from original music to covers and remixes in order to raise awareness about and money to fight the AIDS virus.
This isn’t your standard charity song project. We’re not talking Springstein, Wonder and Jackson in a recording boothe here. These are amazing songs with powerful writing, playing and arrangement. Awesome original music written by the performers or amazing covers of underground classics.
Many of these tracks also offer unexpected but obvious musical pairings I haven’t heard before, but hope the colaboration continues. For example, check out the song Train Song featuring Feist and Ben Gibbard of Death Cab and Postal Service fame.
Check out these songs, but please, consider buying this amazing album which goes to support a really good cause and other musical projects hopefully just as good or better than this one.
So next time you ask me what kind of music I am into, I will direct you immediately to this album. Hopefully you will like this enough to do the same when you are asked.
Sony vs. Tango Juice
So the other day I posted a Sony Bravia commercial that is probably my favorite pointless commercial of all time.
Here it is again, along with the rest of the campaign:
(This is all stop motion, no CGI, by the way)
I know, I know. It’s the brilliant color and beautiful images that the TV has. I’m already second guessing the initial intent of this post, which is that this Bravia spot is really just an amazing execution affixed to a product or brand. However, this was a related video to the original, that I saw yesterday:
Now… I think I’m prepared to propose that this commercial for Tango Juice is actually a better, more brand specific commercial. Plus, I like how they piggybacked on another successful spot to effectively push their product.
I am arguing with myself, so I know someone out there disagrees with me. Comment. Let me know your thoughts.
Also, really quick. I want to give a shout out to the song featured in the bouncy ball Bravia commercial. That’s Jose Gonzales covering the song Heartbeats by The Knife. His awesome voice takes that song to an amazing level, but I really want to speak a bit about the The Knife version. Listen to this song.
Heartbeats – The Knife (mp3)
This song came out in 2003, and I know, in my “in denial” state of how old I am, 2003 doesn’t feel like all that long ago. But when you think back to what was out at the time, this song is super progressive… in a throwback sort of way (It came out the same year as Stacy’s Mom by Fountains of Wayne, Loose Yourself by Eminem and pretty much witnessed the rise of Jack Johnson).
This song was on the front line of the current hipster scene, and and has lead the way for some questionably awesome repercussions including but not limited to really tight pants, funky design, re-synthing America and apparently scrunchies and everything else at American Apparel.
You don’t believe this song is influential or relevant? Check out this track off the mixtape Sky High by Mr. Hipster himself Kanye West:
Hope you like.
Martin Luther King Tribute
I wanted to attempt this style in February, and being Black History Month I chose the Rev. as my muse.
His face is made up of the words of his epic Lincoln Memorial “I have a dream…” speech.
Take a look. I am having it framed as I type.
Smoking Goat Branding
I like beer.
Beer high in flavor, alcohol and price. I brew at home, but wouldn’t consider myself very good at this point. I’m working on it.
We have friends in Louisiana who I would consider really good. I designed some branding for their forthcoming brewery down there.
The Smoking Goat will hopefully be amazing, especially if I get some good beer out of the deal.
Have a look. Then drink a beer and have a look again. Continue this process until the logo looks awesome.
This is a poster I made for my buddy Dustin.
A classic quote from him as we drove by Effingham, IL’s infamous and huge cross.
I thought it would look good in his new apartment.
I recently got the chance to work on a project for the Humane Society. Given the fact that every time I walk into an animal shelter I have to be talked down from taking home every animal in the place, I was happy to help in anyway I could.
With the majority of pet buying in the United States coming from breeders, mall pet shops and unfortunately mills, animal shelters (specifically the Humane Society) are left overflowing with pets that need loving homes. They are running into a perception problem however, and many misconceptions about shelter pets are accepted as fact, and often repeated as such.
To get past this, we decided to take the problem head on, and address the most common misconceptions individually.
Here is where we landed:
Lauren and Dan sit’n in a tree…
My good friend Lauren is getting married in July, and though I am extremely jealous of her fiance Dan (don’t tell my wife), I made their save the date cards.
I use VistaPrint to print these types of things. Though the quality suffers, and the rumor is that they are destroying local community printers nationwide, for the price they can’t be beat. Check them out next time you want to customize your own holiday card or invitation.
Here’s how Lauren’s STDs turned out: