Friday, December 31, 2010

Wednesday, December 29, 2010


Women-Live on CBC

Wednesday, December 8, 2010


Monday, December 6, 2010



Sunday, December 5, 2010


Thursday, December 2, 2010

The Walkmen-"Juveniles"

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Song of the Week | Wire-"Blessed State"

Totally simple and totally brilliant song by one of the greatest (post)punk bands ever. I dare you to write a song so repetitive and dynamic at the same time.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

'...To Our Despair' Installation Mock-Up

The above image contains two posters positioned in a public space with 3 pieces of paper. Both posters pull quotes from 2 opposing texts. The black poster is from Georges Bataille's written response to Sartre's critique of Bataille's writings on Religion
and the white is from C.S. Lewis' succinct treatise on the Christian faith, "Mere Christianity". Each poster's quote is an argument regarding each author's position on the idea of Religion/God, both of which end in the word "Despair".

The point of having the posters large and high on a wall with tiny text (The quote text is set at about 30pt.), is so that people literally have to find a way to get closer to the posters themselves, and even closer to grab one of the publications/documents. They have to use their surrounding to access the information...otherwise he/she is left simply with the ambiguous headline text. This is based on the concept of reversing the "Despair" inherent in any existential pursuit, and actively engaging in the on-going dialog within Religious/Philosophical theories.

The pamphlets/publications attached to the wall originally started as a reference to Martin Luther's nailing of the 95 thesis to the church wall, but was not really explored beyond that initial idea. In general, I see the attached papers as an even further explanation of the positions presented in the posters, once again requiring added effort to reach the depth of the content, literally and figuratively. I left the idea of the publication slightly open, as I see myself exploring this idea for next week's assignment.


I would see this piece as an idea that would be created in multiple locations, possibly with a variety of different posters, yet the same free publication, functioning in a similar way to the free newspapers that you find all over los angeles. Obviously areas of religious or intellectual interest would be the main spots that this would exist. Churches, Universities, Libraries, Graveyards, are among a few that come to mind first.

Musics: Agalloch, Deathspell Omega, Women, Al Green, Arcade Fire "Sprawl II" (and only that song), The National, Cat Power, maudlin of the Well, Underoath.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Huge Update over at League's website

One of my absolute favorite firms, League just updated their website with some stunning work. The above photo is titled "Discussing Water Colour Techniques", and that makes me that much more a fan of them. I placed some images below from the website, but obviously you need to go see all the work and quickly. I especially like the fact that they basically own, in an Yves Klein kind of way, that bizarre teal color that appears all over their website. They even posted some shots of a specimen book they did for their customized version of futura for gig posters. It's all a little overwhelming in the best way.

It's especially nice to see musicians like Ulver and Attila Csihar get a nice contrasting, yet intense clinically structured graphic treatment. Extreme music's visual language has been marred by the slumping ghost of punk's DIY aesthetic for too long. It's nice to see disciplined and sharp work done like this that completely refreshes the band's image and shines a new light on their work.

Considering the many directions design is moving in Europe, especially with this whole resurgence of "The Cult of Ugly", well documented in the zeitgeist capturing book "Turning Pages", League fits in an interesting slot. Thankfully, I would argue, this second wave of anarchic design is fronted by an avant-garde that is fully aware of the history it is helping shape. Obviously for every 032c magazine we get this bastardized commodified version, but the discourse remains valid and exciting to watch. League's work obviously has foundations in the International Typographic Style, but I think they stray away from rote & predictable solutions time and time again, consistently injecting an element of bizarre whimsy. They have a style entirely their own and I would not be surprised if we see more and more people trying to replicate the elegantly subversive work of these Swiss folk.

Great work, I can't stress that enough, take a look.

Ondskapt-Lord of All Unclean Spirits

(Attempt at Black Metal done via 60's modernist tropes)

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Song of the Week | Al Green-"Just For Me"

Now some of you, out of ALL two of you that kindly visit from time to time, may think it is at least mildly absurd that this song, from Al Green's 2006 album "Lay it Down", is the first jam of his that totally caught my ear. Woops, I guess I'm as late as one can be to this party, but as long as that perfectly smooth guitar line exists I am quite content. Just spend of few extra minutes and listen in awe as the bass and guitar play off each other in the most perfect way. Cool.

Beach House-Better Times

Typefaces: Gill Sans Book, Century School Book Regular Italic, Akidenz Grotesk Medium

Belle and Sebastian-Read the Blessed Pages

Typeface: Garamond Premier Pro Display

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Cat Power-Maybe Not

Typeface: Karina

Candy Claws-A Strange Land Discovered

Cults-Go Outside

Friday, November 12, 2010

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Underoath-In Division


Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Crystal Castles-Suffocation

Dedicated to C.W. Moss

Deathspell Omega-Malconfort

Monday, November 8, 2010

Song of the Week | The Tammys-"Egyptian Shumba"

Now, I have a certain roommate that plays many an oldies girl band tune, and although I have always enjoyed that kind of music on some kind of weird nostalgic level...or something, it has never been the type of stuff I put on repeat. This song on the other hand is absolutely one of the best songs I have heard in a while. The elongated harmonies and eerily metallic background drone drive the song into a cathartic collapse of frenzied screams and yips that I have never heard anything like before. COOL SONG YOU GUYS.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Women-Locust Valley

Friday, October 29, 2010

Song of the Week | Watain-Black Salvation

Happy Halloween Weekend. Here is your soundtrack. The quick, truncated snare beat right at the beginning of the guitar riff is THE BUSINESS. Stay safe this weekend and make smart adult decisions.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010


Sunday, October 24, 2010

Song of the Week | Warpaint-'Majesty' Acoustic

Warpaint, also known as your next favorite band, is releasing their debut full length 'The Fool' .his week. Its utterly fantastic. The album cover is not...but the music is. This is an acoustic rendition of the song "Majesty". I am especially fond of the chorus, at around 2:40, and the fact that Theresa sings in this song, as she is very pretty and also a pleasantly 'ok' singer. She can't quite reach the high register's here and it's kind of lovely. Feel free to explore their small catalogue, 'Stars' and 'Krimson' are real highlights from the earlier days.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Quietness & Assurance

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Emeralds-"Now You See Me"

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Song of the Week: Deathspell Omega-"Devouring Famine"

If all the contemporary metal bands disappeared off the face of the earth in a grim fog of death or whatever…Deathspell Omega would somehow manage to survive. This band has been incredible since the start, but it was really at the turning point that was "Si Monvmentvm…" that solidfied their place as masters of their Craft. Since that point in 2004 they have only grown more technical and utterly engrossing. Two years ago saw the release of the 20-minute epic "Chaining the Katechon", where much of the ambient interludes seemed to have been dissolved, leaving the buzzsaw guitars and breakneck rhythm and key changes to lead the assault. Music Hyperbole aside, "Devouring Famine" off of the new album "Paracletus" is an exciting taste of what we can expect from the proper album. For the terminally obsessed, Amazon has 30 second samples of the other tracks. Album of the year material indeed.

Grizzly Bear-About Face

Monday, October 18, 2010

'Squalor Victorian' Book

This is a little 4.5x6.5 book I made over the weekend, based on an essay about the National, basically taking the opening lyric of Terrible Love, and interperating it over the course of 20 pages. Live Photos by Mr. Cole Moss and myself are included. Just a quick little project.

Musicologies: Warpaint-'The Fool', The Sundays-'Blind', Women-'Public Strain'…

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Bonfires for Nobody-"Moments Like These"

A couple months ago, I designed a couple album covers for my friend Jordan Leal's project, Bonfires for Nobody. He chose the one above to house his lovely album of music. You can download the record for free here.

I personally enjoy the track "Summer", the cascade of sparkling notes and the subtle frenzy of the drumming are really quite nice. This song's mood was a primary catalyst for the 'soft blue' colors and airy aesthetic of the cover. "High and Dry" is utterly perfect background music for anything, very reminiscent of the washes of sound created by Wolfgang Voight and The Sight Below.

Here are some other versions of the cover I made:

Thursday, October 14, 2010

The Branding Mastery of Field Notes

I remember first seeing these Field Notes notebooks thanks to my classmate Mr. Sean Batac a year or so ago. It's a simple and pleasant little empty notebook, identical in shape to a plethora of others, but there is something about them that sets them very much apart. No, it's not the fact that they are all set in Futura (although it is gorgeously done) but something else. Visiting their website you can see that they have many variations of a similar style employing different colors schemes, themes, subscription services, pens, pencils and even a calender and a boxset(!) to create a diverse brand. Now, maybe my interest is tethered to our recent readings in our Design Theory class, but I think this company is a fantastic example of how powerful branding and good design are. They have taken are relatively dull little notebook and transformed it into an object of desire.

Part of what prompted my renewed interest was the fact that their "Raven Wing" series has recently sold out. As you can see in the link, it is the same design and layout as the other notebooks, but the website explains the differences "The outside cover is letterpress-debossed and varnished, black-on-black. The charcoal-colored inside cover is printed in black on a vintage offset press". That's it, just a change of color, vintage printing techniques and some debossing. The simple fact that this minor change contributed to the books being completely sold out, while the other numerous and similar options remain in stock is fascinating. Reading through the post explaining the process of making the books gives a narrative to the object, it shows how they were made and expands your experience with the notebook. This, I think, definitely contributes to peoples desire for the objects, plus they manage to make an already stylish item even more striking.

It's really quite brilliant and I think one of the most poignant and uncomplicated showcases of the power of design and branding. If such an attention to detail and narrative can be applied to something as seemingly banal as a notebook...imagine what other fascinating things are in store for this company and the creative team behind it. Keep your eyes on these guys and pick up some notebooks for good measure, they are quality notebooks, paper and all.

(All Photos are from the Field Notes Website.)