Love and War

Love and War

Mark Ronson’s 2007 album Version has played a pivotal role in defining what I have been listening to for the past two years. It exemplifies exactly what I want out of music. I want it to make me feel. I want it to make me dance. I want it to make me proud that I am listening to it. Version and Ronson harness the soul of Motown, the pop of the late 80’s and the attitude of today’s elitists creative youth.

While the Midas touch is usually reserved for financial behemoths, I feel the argument can be made that Ronson has helped orchestrate the Second British Invasion with his finger prints all over the likes of Lilly Allen, Amy Winehouse and Adele. He’s also making waves with other acts like American rapper Rhymefest, Brit Rockers The Kaiser Chiefs and his protege Australian Daniel Merriweather… yeah the guy singing in Ronson’s biggest hit thus far and Smith’s cover “Stop Me”. This song is so good… try not to bang your hands on the steering wheel/desk/person in front of you when you hear the beat kick in.

If you liked that song, then I have good news for you. Last week Daniel Merriweather released his sophomore album “Love and War” masterfully produced by, you guessed it, Mark Ronson. Though this album is no Version, the style is there, and is the perfect fit for the soulful yet popularly palatable voice of Merriweather. Listen to any of these songs, picture Merriweather in your head, then (if you don’t know already) guess what his racial background is… I’ll tell you right now I was wrong.

Boy’s got soul.

At the same time that this album has all the characteristics of Ronson’s go-to sound (tambourine tempos with brass heavy, organ rich Motown/Philly soul) Merriweather really chills out for a few of the tracks, even eluding touches of Ben Harper (Cigarettes) and Prince (For Your Money) at points. These few variations make the album a lot fuller and will help keep singles jumping off this thing until his next album. I love this thing. There’s something here for everyone. Change and Red have been tapped as hits, and are quality cuts, but my ears can’t stop lusting for Impossible, Chainsaw and Water and a Flame Ft. Adele:

I don’t know if Ronson’s golden touch or status as Britain’s most Stylish Man (according to GQ) is enough to bless the american radio waves with any of the many hits from Merriweather’s “Love and War” any time soon, but really, who cares? Buy it for yourself, and impress your friends with your impeccable taste in music.

Or click here and D/L it for the next two days. But make sure you support the album if you like it, and tell everyone you know.

Fun work

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.

New Poster

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.

Sheltered Perceptions

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:

Humane Society - Misconceptions"Mutt"

Humane Society - Misconceptions - "Bark"

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: