Sunday, October 31, 2010

Powder to the people

My junior year of college, I was assigned a 10-page paper that required I choose a long-running magazine and research everything from its target market to its editorial-to-advertising ratio.

Without hesitation, I chose Powder Magazine, a.k.a. "The Skier's Magazine."

I first was drawn to its stunning photographs and crisp layout. The great writing soon grew on me and became the style I would strive for in my own writing -- conversational, descriptive and evocative.

In my research I discovered the magazine published its first issue in 1975. Knowing the average life span for a magazine is about five years, I found that pretty impressive. What's more impressive is that, while skiing has changed greatly since 1975, Powder has stayed true to its core identity. Powder Editor Derek Taylor writes: "In short, we don’t harp on what makes us different, but rather portray the beauty—through compelling written and visual stories—of the passion we all share."

To say I'm stoked that I will have a story published in the February issue would be an understatement. I'm more honored than anything.

The story is about the rich history of skiing in the Adirondacks and how two resorts are bridging that past with the present.

If you love skiing, photography or great writing in general, I would highly recommend subscribing to Powder. Plus, you could read my story!

Before I wrap this up, I have to give a shout out to Powder Associate Editor Mike Rogge, a buddy of mine without whom this might not have been possible (or at least not as fun).

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Paper is timeless

I love the idea of saving trees by going digital. However, when it comes to producing eye-popping designs and images, good old fashioned paper is still the medium of choice for most design firms.

I recently read an interesting article about Moleskine. The Italian notebook/date book company recently launched a new line of notebooks that will make you rethink the role of print today.

According to the article, "The company’s masterstroke was capitalizing on the link between the notebooks and icons such as Picasso, Van Gogh, and Hemingway, who used similar-looking ones long before the brand existed. The lineage strained credibility (“It’s an exaggeration,” one of the company’s founders told The New York Times in 2006), but it was genius."

Check out this video. If you're like me, you can't wait to get your hands on one ...

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

A minimalist band in rustic Old Forge

While attending a wedding at an Adirondack great camp in the beautifully rustic and wild Old Forge this past weekend, I happened upon a great band playing in a bar in town. The bar was Slickers and the band that blew the roof off the place was Syracuse's Tim Herron Corporation.

Most of the year this bar would probably be serving pints to just the locals, but it just so happened the weekend we were in town coincided with the Moose River Fest -- an annual kayaking festival that was made all-the-more happening due to the rain-swollen rivers.

Looking to extend the evening after the wedding, a group of us hit up Slickers, which was a short walk from our hotel. As we approached we could hear the place was jumping and inside, people literally were jumping -- up and down, in unison -- to Tim Herron Corp. His blend of jam band/Americana was just what you would want to hear in that rustic setting. Herron, a moose of a man, fronts the band as the name might imply. His voice is reminiscent of Patterson Hood of Drive-By Truckers minus the southern accent, yet his delivery is like that of Jeff Tweedy of Wilco. As a whole, the band's stripped-down sound can be compared to The Band and their songs just as catchy.

We heard only the last few songs of his set; one a more country sounding tune that featured Herron's twangy and fuzzy Telecaster overdrive. After being beckoned back on stage by the saturated 20-to-30-somethings, Herron and company returned with Harry Belafonte's "Banana Boat Song." An odd choice I thought -- my dad sang that song to me when I was a kid -- but it was executed in a way that just made you feel good. One more number and they were forced to pack it in, sending the weary river-goers paddling back to their hotels.

Check out Tim Herron Corporation on MySpace. Word has it they are releasing their second album very soon.

P.S. One of their songs, "Tipp Hill Love Story," can only refer to Tipperary Hill in Syracuse, a place where I visited many times while my brother attended LeMoyne College. Kind of cool when you can relate to the song in a personal way ...

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Good TV

These are the days I wish I had a 42" flat screen, or at least standard cable. On top of what is proving to be some dramatic playoff baseball on TBS (better to mute the commentators and listen to the radio), the Bruce Springsteen documentary, "The Promise: The Making of Darkness on the Edge of Town," will air on HBO tonight at 9 p.m.

If October baseball and the Boss is not enough entertainment for you, fire up the Gorillaz live Letterman webcast on, also at 8 p.m. ET.

Today's baseball lineup:
Texas (C. Wilson) vs. Tampa Bay (Sheilds) at 2: 30/ Yanks (Pettitte) vs. Twins (Pavano) at 6 p.m./Braves (D. Lowe) vs. Giants (Lincecum) at 9:30 p.m.


Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Gorillaz live webcast Thursday

The Gorillaz will be taking their acclaimed live act to the Ed Sullivan Theater on Thursday. Tune in to tomorrow at 8 p.m. to check it out live.

New Umphrey's McGee tunes

Jam prog-rockers Umphrey's McGee announced they will be offering downloads of new songs that fans can either purchase individually as they debut or in a bundle. UM, known for their web-savvy, non-traditional methods of releasing new material, has offered up the first new tune, "Wellwishers," for free. Download it from the widget below. They debuted the song live at the Knitting Factory in Reno, NV, on Oct. 2. It's a catchy tune that builds into a bright refrain. Parts remind me of U2/Peter Gabriel. I think its Jake's Edge-like guitar work, but that's just my opinion. Enjoy.