Saturday, December 31, 2011

Happy New Year

Friday, December 23, 2011

Alabama Shakes

Vintage rock guitar meets a soulful voice and indie sensibilities. What more could you want from a young new band? If you like Black Keys, Kings of Leon and/or Otis and Aretha, you'll dig this. Their EP rocks. Download it for $4.

- J

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

The Rearview Mirror: My Morning Jacket and Band of Horses at MSG, 12.14.11


Although it was a week ago now, the My Morning Jacket/Band of Horses show at MSG last Wednesday is still fresh on my mind.

The day began with a relaxing train ride along the Hudson River courtesy of Amtrak. We arrived at Penn Station around 4:45, checked into our hotel, met up with friends, and grabbed food and drinks at a couple taverns near the Garden. The pre-game couldn't have gone more smoothly -- I knew it was going to be a great night.

I wanted to be sure to catch all of Band of Horses set that started at 7:30, but I was more than disappointed with our sideview, stage right seats (the price you pay for waiting until a month before the show to buy tickets). After hearing Band of Horses' "Cigarettes, Wedding Bands" opener, I was determined to move. So we shimmied over a few sections and grabbed some empty seats so that we could at least see the screen behind Band of Horses (which played a fluttering photo montage of the band on tour and nature). And empty seats were easy to come by. With just a small crowd in the pit and a thousand or so scattered in the seats, the place felt empty and cavernous while BoH was playing. I don't think it's because no one knew who they were, it was simply too early for the New York City crowd. BoH still played like the place was packed to the gills, running through a "greatest hits" setlist, playing songs from all three of their studio albums in a little over an hour, not allowing much room for the intimacy you would expect, even during tender acoustic songs like "For Annabelle". They still sounded great, but I wasn't quite satisfied. But, I guess I can't expect much more; they were there to get the crowd primed for the main event, and lead singer Ben Bridwell was obviously stoked to have that pleasure, saying, "Man, we're so happy to be here in New York City for the last show of our tour. It's been an honor opening up for My Morning Jacket. Those guys are the best. The Jacket's up Next!" (or something like that). I was equally as fortunate to see them at all.

Anyway, here's Band of Horses' setlist:

Cigarettes, Wedding Bands
The Great Salt Lake
Is There a Ghost
The General Specific
For Annabelle
The First Song
Islands on the Coast
No One's Gonna Love You
Infinite Arms
Ode to LRC
The Funeral
Am I A Good Man (I had never heard this one, a really nice surprise. He also brought out flute player/composer Brian Jackson)

By the time My Morning Jacket came on, I was on another planet, or at least in a new seat. We made our way "stealth-like" around the arena so we could get a front facing view of the stage -- and it payed off big time. The sound was infinitely better. The point in opener Victory Dance when the bass kicked in was so loud it made my hair stand up. Same goes for Circuital, when the band kicks in following the acoustic intro riff .. it was like ... holy shit awesome. Then, as few bands can do after hardcore rockers, they brought it back down to earth with the deep and tender It Beats 4 U. First light and I'm Amazed brought the tempo back up steadily, followed by the acoustic favorite Golden, which saw Jim James share the stage with Ben Bridwell - one of the highlights for sure. The rest of the first set was rocking and seemed to get better with each song. I was on cloud nine and didn't want to come down. Thankfully, after a short break, Jim James came back on, wearing his cape -- which is a sure sign of good things to come.

After a beautiful Bermuda Highway with Jim performing solo to open the second set, Wordless Chorus steered off into the dark and mysterious. Day is Coming was a nice choice for a follow up to such an ominous song. Then came a cover of Gil Scott-Heron's "The Bottle" (I had to look this up). I knew Jim and the band were fans of 70's soul/funk jams, and this was a rare treat, complete with the "Uno, Uno, Dos, Tres, Quattro" intro (Jim obviously enjoyed it). It also took full advantage of guest Brian Jackson's flute. Then came the two everyone was waiting for, Holdin' On To Black Metal and One Big Holiday: a live concert experience I'm glad I had a chance to see, and one as good as any these days.

I'll Be Home For Christmas with the Band of Horses fellas was a nice nightcap to a special evening.

MMJ's setlist:

Set I:

Victory Dance
Beats 4 U
First Light
I'm Amazed
Wonderful (w/ Ben Bridwell of Band of Horses)
Steam Engine!!!!!
Outta My System
Dancefloors (with horn section)
Dondante (guest playing flute and keyboards; extended Carl sax)
Smokin' from Shootin'
RunThru into Touch Me I'm Going to Scream Pt. II
Off The Record
Extended Jam of Gideon closing first set

Set II/Encore:

Bermuda Highway to start the encore - Jim solo
Wordless Chorus
Day is Coming
Cover - The Bottle (1974, Brian Jackson and Gill Scott-Heron, composers; Brian Jackson on flute)
BLACK METAL with horns!
One Big Holiday
I'll Be Home For Christmas (with all of Band of Horses)

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year everyone!

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Type of Inspiration

A few weeks back I spotlighted the work of Brooklyn designer and illustrator Jon Contino, whose lettering work really inspired me to open the sketchbook and experiment with hand-drawn type. Well, I stumbled upon another Brooklyn designer/illustrator recently, Dan Cassaro (aka Young Jerks), whose work is equally inspiring. Like Contino, Cassaro specializes in hand-drawn lettering, which, I've discovered, is so much harder than it appears. While I've been to emulate their styles in my sketchbook, I realize that I lack advanced understanding about typography. It's some kind of hidden knowledge about kerning, serifs and attention to negative space that makes their lettering pop and gives their work that authentic quality.

I'll continue to study their approach and typography. In the meantime, check out Dan Cassaro's website. Also check out this awesome set of T-shirts, featuring hand-lettering by Jon Contino. Good gift idea ...

Monday, December 12, 2011

Even Indie Rockers Exercise

When it comes to working out, I procrastinate as much as the next guy, but I make time for it. I went from playing baseball in college and working out at least six days a week, to working out three times a week if I'm lucky. Well, come to find out, Bon Iver lead singer and guitarist Justin Vernon makes time for it as well, even between touring, chillin with Kanye and playing the role as Americas indie heartthrob.

Gotta love Justin's quote:

"The word 'workout' just sorta sucks. It doesn't make you feel good and it's sort of, like ...dorky."

On the road DVD Trailer from Rogcity Fitness on Vimeo.

As far as technique is concerned, the boys have some work; and Justin - please keep your shirt on. In all seriousness, though: above all pills, diets or remedies that claim to make you "feel better", exercise works every time.

- J

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Wish List

Hoping I find this little guy underneath the tree on Christmas morning ; )

Also hoping the neighbors don't want to sleep in #mannheimsteamroller

Saturday, December 10, 2011

The Day Is Coming

2 round-trip train tickets, Albany-Penn Station: Check
1 Night's Stay at the Holiday Inn Express Madison Square Garden: Check
2 tickets to Band of Horses/My Morning Jacket 12/14 at MSG: Check

Indeed. The bags are packed and the anticipation is growing for my mid-week trip to New York City to see BoH and My Morning Jacket rock MSG. And what better time of year? The Big Apple dressed in holiday garb, and the bustle of the city made a bit more tolerable by jolly shoppers and holiday greetings (not you, homeless guy).

So the question you're probably asking yourself: Who am I more excited to see? Well, funny you asked. Both bands have a reputation for great live performances; but being that I've seen MMJ live on two occasions (see photo above from MMJ at Essex Junction in '10), I would have to say that I'm more excited to finally see Band of Horses. My last opportunity to see them was muffed when Kings of Leon cancelled their scheduled appearance in Saratoga Springs this summer. I'll also be interested to see how the softer songs of their newer album translate to the arena.

These are two rock juggernauts descending from the Black Forest of deep space to rock the Big Apple, and I'll be there to witness the hammer fall. Sure there will be tender moments (when Ben Bridwell reaches for the highs), but mainly, it's going to fucking rock my face.

So, check in late this week for some amateur photos and a recap of the experience. It should be epic.

- J

Friday, December 9, 2011

New Dr. Dog Album Out In Feb.

Classic-rock jammers Dr. Dog will release their fourth album in February, entitled Be The Void. You can pre-order the album here.
I was lucky to see them live in 2010 at the now defunct Revolution Hall, in Troy. Since then, they haven't come within stone's throw of the upstate NY region. Damn it, Dog! Looking foward the album, which is sure to be full of the Beatles-esque arrangements and riff-heavy tunes that have made Dr. Dog one of my favs.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Monday, November 28, 2011

Looking forward to the new Black Keys album, El Camino, due out Dec. 6. Here's one of the new tracks, "Lonely Boy".

1. Lonely Boy
2. Dead and Gone
3. Gold on the Ceiling
4. Little Black Submarines
5. Money Maker
6. Run Right Back
7. Sister
8. Hell of a Season
9. Stop Stop
10. Nova Baby
11. Mind Eraser

Taking a (news)Stand

As a magazine journalism major, I'm in favor of anything that helps the magazine industry survive. Working for a paper company, I kinda wish it didn't involve eReaders.

Check out this Wired article about how Apple's virtual Newsstand is giving magazines a much-needed avenue for sales.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Happy weekend

- J

Thursday, November 17, 2011

This Weekend, Live

I heard the turnout to Further at the Times Union Center was pretty weak. It sounded pretty good. Here's some good live shows in the Capital Region this weekend:

Thursday, Nov. 17
hris Cornell - (After party: Red Square)

Coming off an appearance in PJ20?? A professional rocksmith, doin his thang.

Friday, Nov. 18

The Brew - Putnam Den in Saratoga Springs

Touring in support of a new 3-disc "experience", Triptych

(After party: The Bullpen Tavern or the Saratoga Tavern. Looking low-key, head over to the artsy Beekman Street irish pub, The Local)

Saturday, Nov. 19

Capital Zen - Hot Shots Bar in Glens Falls, NY

A fiery young jam band that will rock you for hours on end. They've played festivals big (Camp Bisco) and small (Backwoods Ponds Fest), but can hang with the best (#bonnaroo). Check em out if you haven't already.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Miami Virtue

Gotta love the Marlins' new logo! #shitshot

Hopefully some other teams follow suit ...

Art of the Menu

An awesome menu design all the way from Russia:

The website is devoted to showcasing great menu design; an end use of paper that probably won't go digital any time soon ... or will it?

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Sunday, October 23, 2011

I may not be able to make it to New York City to join the Occupy protests, but at least I can monitor from afar. Someone's doing a good job keeping the Occupy website up to date with some good reporting. I wonder if the writer is former NPR staffer Lisa Simeone ... (hmmmm)

Power to people!

"The one thing we all have in common is that We Are The 99% that will no longer tolerate the greed and corruption of the 1%."

Friday, October 21, 2011

PJ20 on PBS

Cameron Crowe's Pearl Jam documentary, "PJ20", makes its television premier tonight on PBS at 9 p.m. ET as part of the American Masters series. Check your local listings to make sure you're not getting fucked over.

Thursday, October 20, 2011


Skiing to me is getting towed up the community hill where my dad taught me how to ski and nearly killing myself run after run, then warming up with some free hot cocoa while I dried off by the wood stove in the one-room cabin at the bottom. Skiing, at its very simplest, is a feeling. I could care less how I look or how many runs I get in - it's just about making some turns.

How it is that I got more days in skiing 10 years ago, with no job, than I do today is beyond me. Lift ticket prices are out-of-control and it's hard to justify buying a $1,000+ season's pass when you have bills to pay. So I had the idea of buying a randonee setup to take advantage of the Adirondack slides and avoid pricey lift tickets at resorts. Well, that isn't quite panning out either. After doing some research, I've found the cost of randonee gear -- freeride skis, lightweight boots, touring bindings and skins (which alone are $175) -- is just as pricey, if not pricier, than traditional alpine gear - as this article in Outside details. I guess I'll have to suck up the price of tickets, get at the back of the lift line and settle for another stellar five-day season.

I'll still manage to get psyched up to ski though. This video helps!

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Want 'Em

Add the V-Moda Crossfade headphones to my Christmas list, please! They should come with a disclaimer: "Excessive headbanging can cause neck soreness."

Decemberists-This Is Why We Fight

Here's a good tune off the Decemberists' newest album, The King is Dead. The album showcases the band's versatility and ranges from indie-rock to folk, to country (some nice lap steel work). I hear a lot of R.E.M. in their music. It seems like I always get into them this time of year. Something about their music fits well with the changing of the season, when the hills set ablaze with color and then decay into the earthy browns and grey's of November. Refreshing stuff ...

Monday, October 17, 2011

Yeah, that's the stuff ...

Courtsey of Wilco/Autumn de Wilde

Wilco played an NPR Tiny Desk Concert recently and "nailed" acoustic versions of new tunes "Dawned on Me", "Whole Love"(starting to grow on me), and "Born Alone", throwing "War on War" for good measure, make of it what you may. It's a really tight performance from the most professional musicians out there, and there's a light-hearted energy between Jeff Tweedy and a room full of like-minded liberals.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Under Cover

Fruit Bats cover "The Other Woman" by Loretta Lynn

Love the Fruit Bats, and the AV Club's viral music series, "Undercover" -- where popular artists cover a list of classic tunes chosen by AV Club staff (I guess). Here, the Fruit Bats cover Loretta Lynn.

Happy Monday ...

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Who dat font?

This logo seen in the new Captain Morgan TV ads is a great example typographic design. I liked it enough to seek out the fonts used. So, I went to and submitted an image, never thinking it would be able to identify the fonts because they're intertwined so tightly; but, MyFonts amazed once again, with some exceptions.

Life: Bodoni STD-Poster Italic
Love: Could be a combination of a script font, like Acroterion, and Bell MT Italic.
Loot: Tart Heavy (or close)

The bad news: The fonts aren't cheap; so I had to settle cheap knock-offs. Still, MyFonts is an amazing resource for anyone serious about typography and fun for people like me.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Jon Contino

I really want this print by illustrator Jon Contino. I've stumbled across Contino's work numerous times in my inter web musings, and am always left inspired to pick up a pen and create something. He plays around with typography and hand lettering, combining them with other design elements in super clever ways. And he's a New York native! (Go Yanks!)

Check out more of his work here.

- J

Monday, October 3, 2011

Pink Floyd on Late Night

Pearl Jam and MGMT contributed to Jimmy Falon's Pink Floyd Week with a couple standout performances.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Digital Illustration Taking Over

I've been experimenting with digital illustration for a while now, after seeing the work of French illustrator/graphic artist Stephane Manel, whose career was launched with illustrations in Vogue Paris magazine.

Since then, I've starting to notice digital illustrations all over the web and in print. Here's a couple I saw within the past few days:

A lot of news publications use illustrations for their columnist. The Boston Globe's (or gone digital.

This illustration is one in an impressive series that accompanies an Adweek feature on celebrity chefs. This one features upstate New York native Rachael Ray. I noticed three different illustrators worked on the various images (one did portraits, the other the diagrams, the other the products). Read the article and see the other illustrations here. (Adweek's probably the least sensational and most interesting media trends magazine/website out there, btw)

Friday, September 16, 2011

ACL Festival

The 10th Austin City Limits Festival is currently going down in Austin, TX, and you can catch all the action live on You Tube right here. (Listening to Secret Sisters now ... they're really good). This year's festival is loaded -- 130 bands, eight stages (yeah, fuckin huge). There are two channels so you can do some virtual stage-hopping. The big ones you don't want to miss:

Ray LaMontagne (4:45 today)
Stevie Wonder (8-10 on Saturday)
Fleet Foxes (6:30-7:30 on Sunday)
Arcade Fire!! (8:30-10 on Sunday)
And, of course, My Morning Jacket (Saturday, also at 8) ...

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

If you like watching concerts sprawled on your couch in your skivies(sp), surrounded by your pets (a.k.a. jungle friends), computers and flashy devices - you're in luck. Check out these webcasts this week.

Phish Vermont Flood Benefit Show: Wednesday (tomorrow!) Sept. 14 live from Essex Junction, Vt.:
When Phish plays in Vermont, it's naturally a big deal. While none of the band members are natives of Vermont, they formed at UVM in '83 and have since become synonymous with the Green Mountain State. They also have a history of giving back to places near and dear to them, and back a couple of foundations, Mockingbird Foundation and Waterwheel Foundation.

Click here to order the webcast for $20 and test your audio/video capabilities.

Wilco, Live on Letterman: 8 p.m. on Wednesday, Sept. 21:
Stream Wilco live on Letterman's stage in New York City. Likely debuting some new tunes off their upcoming album, The Whole Love, and hopefully playing some staples #jesusect #iamtryingtobreakyourheart

Click here to watch the webcast free next Wednesday.

- J

Friday, September 9, 2011

New Explosions in the Sky

Beatiful stuff as always from EITS.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011


Gotta love Arcade Fire's approach to "alerting the media" about progress on their most recent album, Suburbs. Good-old-fashioned paper correspondence (the stamp is a great touch).

Here's to hoping the United States Postal Service is able to adapt to the reality of online bill paying, email and the like.

I used to write,
I used to write letters I used to sign my name
I used to sleep at night
Before the flashing lights settled deep in my brain

But by the time we met
By the time we met the times had already changed

So I never wrote a letter
I never took my true heart I never wrote it down
So when the lights cut out
I was left standing in the wilderness downtown

Now our lives are changing fast
Hope that something pure can last

- "We Used To Wait" by Arcade Fire

Wilco "Born Alone"

A new tune off Wilco's upcoming release, The Whole Love, to be released Sept. 27.

Friday, September 2, 2011

Newbalance 890

If I'm going to get into this running thing, I gotta have the right shoes ... The New Balance 890 found its way onto many Gear of the Year lists, including Outside Magazine's.

Nor'easter Festival

In case you're not already in the know: For the past few years Eastern Mountain Sports has been holding a music/camping/outdoor sports festival featuring at least a few really good bands. This year's Nor'easter Festival is being held in Waterfront Park in Burlington Sept. 23-25. It's the perfect venue for this festival. I was in Waterfront Park a few weekends ago at the same time as the US Amateur Triathlon Championships. It was a huge event. Plenty of cool shops, nightlife and they love their outdoor sports in Burlington.

The headliners this year are:

G-Love and the Special Sauce
Okkervile River

Should be a good time if you haven't made plans that weekend and want to wook out at a festie.

- J

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Social Shredding

I had to share this new social gaming app I stumbled on. Following in the footsteps of Foursquare and Facebook Places, Vail Resorts introduced the Epic Pass.

With Epic Pass, Vail Resorts (including Vail, Keystone, Breck, Heavenly, Beaver Creek) enables skiers and riders to track their activity on the mountain and gain points and badges for number of days skied, runs in a day, being first on the mountain and more -- all tracked by a microchip inside the pass itself (you don't even need a mobile phone or GPS because the pass does the work for you). Then, you can share your accomplishments with other Epic passholders on Facebook (and iPad/iPhone via the Epic Pass app). Too bad I don't live near Vail, or else I'd jump on the Epic Pass (Shaun White's in, dog!). Especially for a mere $650! Not bad ...

I never pictured the day when social media and the outdoors would coexist. But it may be upon us.

I wonder if you get points for being first in the bar at the end of the day?

- J

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Stream the new Blind Pilot Album

Photo by Ben Moon, courtesy of

Head over to NPR to listen to Blind Pilot's new album, We Are The Tide, in its entirety. I began supporting Blind Pilot once I learned they were touring on bicycles across the Northwest with nothing but a couple guitars. Three Rounds and a Sound was beautiful in its simplicity and We Are The Tide is satisfyingly similar, with the swoosh of acoustic guitars, crashing cymbals and strings gradually building into catchy, uplifting melodies.

It's nice to see this band have success. Hopefully they maintain their minimalist approach to songbuilding.


Sunday, August 28, 2011


It was at least three years ago when I first saw this illustration for Nike 6.0 in a magazine:

Every time I've picked up a pencil since, I've had this illustration in the back of my mind, atempting to pick up on some of the great detail and warped perspectives. I finally did the research and found out who's pen was behind it: Adam Haynes. Some of his clients: Nike 6.0, Timberland, Adidas, ESPN, Fuel TV ... Not bad.

When it comes to inspiration, I don't need to look any further than Haynes (Squidbillies illustrator Ben Prisk is a close second, then Stephane Manel). Check out his online portfolio.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Big Box Fall Hard

In the summer of 2006 I was working as an intern for an independent newspaper in Bolton Landing, NY, called the Lake George Mirror. I was sent on assignment to cover a story in Ticonderoga where approvals were being sought to build a Lowes that would bring jobs and tax revenue to a city normally stifled by the Adirondack Park Agency's land-use regulations that aimed at keeping the Adirondacks rural in nature (and rightfully so).

However, when I got to the public meeting, held in a school gymnasium packed with local residents and local politicians (including a state congresswoman), I expected to find townsfolk reeling with excitment. Instead, I found many were in opposition. The big box store, they said, would put smaller businesses like the family-owned Aubuchon Hardware out of business and spoil the nature of their Adirondack town.

The Lowes was approved, and a 120,000 square-foot box was erected - nearly infringing on a fragile wetland (The sign looked Adirondack-y!). But it never met its targets over the years and was among a few others in the country to abruptly announce it will be closing.

Aubuchon Hardware, on the verge of being choked out by Lowes, was suddenly given new life. This article was one of the more fullfilling I've red in recent memory. A real David vs. Goliath sucess story.

Still, that mega-box will have to be filled. A Bass Pro Shops has the popular vote.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Whiskey and Paper: An Intoxicating Blend

Yee-Haw Poster Documentary from Aggrodesign on Vimeo.

Saratoga Springs: The Popular Vote

Dylan, Suze Rotolo, Pasha the cat, and Cafe Lena founder Lena Spencer.
Photo by Joe Alper, 1962.

Saratoga Springs, NY: Home of the Saratoga Race Course, Hatties Chicken and the historic Cafe Lena -- the coffeehouse that hosted some of the earliest performances by Bob Dylan and Arlo Guthrie, and was reportedly the place where Don McLean wrote "American Pie" -- was recently listed at No. 75 on Money Magazine's list of Top 100 Places To Live.

But the people have spoken, and in the past few days, Saratoga has risen 72 spots on the list to No. 3 on the fan favorite poll. Take that Money!

Click here to vote for Saratoga and help get it to No. 1 on the list.

Saratoga Race Course

Cantina Restaurant on Broadway, downtown Saratoga

Monday, August 15, 2011

Wilco: The Whole Love Teaser

Here's a teaser vid for Wilco's upcoming album, The Whole Love, due out on their independent label, dBpm, on Sept. 27.

It's a rain soaked start to the week here in the Northeast - but we need it. Plus, I had to deal with these views all weekend ...

Beautiful, and easily accessible, country up here if you ever get the chance to visit #lakegeorge #adirondacks

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Wacom Portrait

The victim, on right ...

I'm finally working in color. Here's a portrait of my friend, TJ. Check out my other Wacom portraits here.

WTF: Moar Explaination Please

Well, that's that. No Truck USA festival. With it goes my chance to see Fruit Bats and Vetiver, Okkervil River and the rest of em ... Maybe one day.

On a brighter note. I did just buy Warren Haynes Band tickets ...

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Prayers Answered?

In a recent post, I wondered how Band of Horses would respond to Kings of Leon's cancelling of their remaining U.S. tour dates. BoH, of course, were slated to open all shows on the tour. To say I was looking forward to their Aug. 27 date in Saratoga Springs would be an understatement. I've had a man crush on them for the past two years and I wasn't sure how many times I'd get to see them north of New York City. But, alas, it was not meant to be. Or was it? ...

BoH sent this email to me today:

Hey there Friends Of BoH!

We're thrilled by all the support you're showing us, and have been working behind the scenes to do everything we can to come see you. Unfortunately, we won't be able to hit up all of the places we'd planned on visiting with Kings of Leon. BUT!!! We're happy to announce that we're going to play SOME SHOWS!!! Details are below. We are working on adding more, and will have another update very soon.

We would like to thank Kings Of Leon for the opportunity to play the shows we did, and wish them all the best.


The band have asked their fans to help them pick the setlist for each show. Check the BOH facebook page for details. Here are the new club dates:

Friday, August 5th - Charlotte, NC - The Fillmore
Tickets ON SALE NOW here: BUY NOW

Tuesday, August 9th - Philadelphia, PA - Theater of the Living Arts
Tickets ON SALE NOW here: BUY NOW

Wednesday, August 10th - New York, NY - Hammerstein Ballroom
Tickets on sale Friday, August 5th at NOON EST here: BUY LINK

Well played, BoH. Now, let's hope you're "working" on lining up a gig upstate NY.


- J

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

NEW Blind Pilot

We Are The Tide - Album Preview 1 from Blind Pilot on Vimeo.

Download their new single "Keep You Right" on their site.

The new album We Are The Tide is due out Sept. 13.

Wilco Towers

Ever wondered what's behind the iconic Marina City towers in Chicago, used for the cover image on Wilco's 2002 album Yankee Hotel Foxtrot?

Check out this great video on AV Club that offers some pop-culture history behind the towers and Wilco graphic designer Lawrence Azerrad's approach to designing Wilco's album covers.

I was just recently in the midst of the "corn cob" towers while attending the HOW Conference in June. Even though I stared at them out my hotel window each day and night, I'll admit, I never made the connection to Yankee Hotel Foxtrot. I did, however, listen to a lot of songs off the album while in Chi Town.

- J

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

KIngs of Leon Cancel US Tour

So incredibly bummed to hear that Kings of Leon have cancelled their remaining U.S. dates. I like Kings of Leon and all, but that's not what's got me bummed. The cancellation means I'll have to once again wait indefinitely to see Band of Horses, whom I've never seen and who were slated to open their show at the Saratoga Performing Arts Center (a mere 15 minute drive) later this month.

Maybe BOH will do something really cool and schedule another NE date a little closer than Darien Lake or Jersey. I would recommend Higher Ground or the Burlington Waterfront Park. F#@k it. Maybe they should just come and play a three-hour SPAC set, as scheduled.
This is the explanation we are given (courtesy of

2011/8/01 - Kings Of Leon
We are so sorry to say Kings of Leon are canceling their entire US tour due to Caleb Followill suffering from vocal issues and exhaustion. The band is devastated, but in order to give their fans the shows they deserve, they need to take this break. Unfortunately, the US dates cannot be rescheduled due to the band's international tour schedule. Tickets will be refunded at point of purchase. Tickets purchased online or via phones will be automatically refunded. The band will resume touring in Canada at the Rogers Center in Vancouver, BC, on September 28th. That show was originally schedule for September 14th.

Friday, July 29, 2011

John Butler Trio

John Butler has a way of speaking to you, and I've had some pretty deep conversations with him in the past, especially the summer of 2006, when Sunrise Over Sea never left my car stereo.

Here he is, playing "I'd Do Anything" off the Live at John Butler Trio: Live at Red Rocks DVD.

Enjoy the weekend.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Print Liberation

I can't wait to get this book in the mail and start gathering screen-printing supplies. Maybe I can be like this dude.

#awesome! (Photo courtesy FPO)

Gotta start somewhere.

- J

Smooth Sailin'

Here's a cool featurette starring Andy Cabic of Vetiver, cruising along a coastline in California, swinging by the guitar shop, and talking about his approach to the new Vetiver album, The Errant Charm, all to the tune of the mellow new track "Faint Praise".

I've been listening to The Errant Charm for a few weeks now. You need to be in the right state of mind to really get into it, but it's a great album with awesome musicians nonetheless.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

New Umphrey's This Fall!

Illinois face melters Umphrey's McGee have announced fall dates on the heels of a new album, Death By Stereo, to be released Sept. 13. It's their sixth studio album (or seventh, depending), and the first since 2009's Mantis, which was an ambitious new direction for the band, featuring explorative, prog songs (think Yes meets Pink Floyd).

The track listing for Death By Stereo hasn't been released yet, but I suspect recent live staples like "Conduit", "Booth Love", "Nipple Trix", "Puppet Strings," and lead singer/guitarist Brendan Bayliss' acoustic number, "Susanah", will make the cut. Though, they could surprise with a mess of new material that we don't even know about, and that's exciting.

After a four-night stint at the Brooklyn Bowl from Sept. 6 - 9, Umphreys will hit other perennial stops on the east coast such as the Higher Ground in Burlinton, Vt., and the Calvin Theater, in Northampton, Mass. Click here to see all their fall dates.

Umphrey's camp says:

"We are pretty jazzed about this one - we think you will be too."

Yes, sirrr.

- J

Monday, July 11, 2011

TRUCK America

I'm just catching wind of a super exciting thing that will go down in the Catskills, NY, in September. It's called TRUCK America Festival and it's the baby brother of a hugely popular annual festival in England called TRUCK Festival, that's been going on since 1998.

I'm super excited to learn, not only about the fest, but also about some of the headliners:

The Hold Steady, Okkervil River, Ra Ra Riot (Syracuse, natives), and -- all the way from Washington State -- Fruit Bats and Vetiver (plus many more to be announced).


TRUCK America will be held at the Full Moon Resort in Big Indian, NY, and early bird tickets are on sale for $99.

TRUCK America is in its infancy and I can't wait to be a part of what is sure to become a big deal (and probably move to NYC or something).

See you there

Vetiver/Fruit Bats Tour the Northeast!!

A nice surprise for my Monday when I read on Sub Pop's website that the Fruit Bats and Vetiver will be hitting the road together this fall and will actually venture away from their native Pacific Northwest for shows on the eastern seaboard, where I, for one, will welcome them with open arms.

Take the opportunity to catch them at these east coast venus in September:

Sep 10 Mr. Smalls Theater, Pittsburg, PA
Sep 11 TRUCK America Festival, Big Indian, NY (See you there!)
Sep 12 Middle East, Cambridge, MA
Sep 13 Bowery Ballroom, New York, NY
Sep 14 First Unitarian Church, Philadelphia, PA

Some awesome musical inspiration to start your week:

Vetiver - Wonder Why from Bella Union on Vimeo.

Fruit Bats - The Ruminant Band from The General Assembly on Vimeo.

Also, here is a teaser for the Fruit Bat's upcoming album, Tripper, to be released Aug. 2. Details on the new album, as well as a download of a super cool, bright new song "Tangie and Ray" HERE.

- Thanks ; )

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Check out this piece by moe. guitarist Al Schnier that he wrote for's blog, Cleanest Line.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Wilco: The Whole Love Details

Click here for a track listing and details about Wilco's upcoming album "The Whole Love", set to be released this fall, the first on their new label dBpm.

Monday, June 27, 2011

NEW Wilco!

Wilco is in the studio recording their first album under their independent label, dBpm, and they've released a brand-spankin new single "I Might" that you can hear on Stereogum and pre-order on their site, along with some cool new merch. It features a kicking base and vintage, Ray Manzarek-esque (Doors) organ. Yeah, it rocks. I was listening and thinking that there aren't many bands where you can crank your volume up before you hit play and know you'll be happy with the results EVERY, DAMN, TIME. God, I love Wilco.

I didn't make it to Solid Sound Fest for the second year, but I did spend the weekend in Wilco's native Chicago, where I attended the HOW Live design conference, and made sure I listened to only Wilco and fellow Illini, Umphreys McGee while there. I will share some photos/inspiration (free posters, yay!!) from the conference later today.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

HOW in the world ...?

After college I had aspirations of becoming a graphic designer. It was a tall order for someone who had a journalism degree and 18 credits of design courses. But I fell in love with it and I was determined. I recieved some great advice on how to get there, but, like it or not, I'd be forced to lean on my journalism degree to pay the bills. I trusted that if I continued to work at it and kept my creative side alive (thank you, cas:ev), fate would lead me to my destination.

Here I am, four years later and, after having spent three years at a newspaper writing community news and doing page layout, I find myself in a marketing position with a paper company that markets many of its paper lines primarily to graphic designers.

I've learned more about graphic design (best practices, pre-press, paper selection, ect.) in the past seven months than I could have ever dreamed of learning in a classroom. Not to mention learning how to coordinate a world-class marketing campaign. Better yet, this weekend I'm off to Chicago, where I'll be in the thick of things at the HOW Design Live Conference: a mecca for graphic designers and industry experts. I'll be sitting in on sessions with some of the best graphic designers and typographers in the world.

Who woulda thought, little old me, at the HOW Conference?

As fate may have it.

- J

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Stream the new Bon Iver album!

No one knows how to label Bon Iver anymore. Lead singer Justin Vernon was once considered an indie-folk singer, but maybe it's indie-pop now that he's graced the cover of Billboard magazine and is collaborating with Kanye West? Anyway, you can still stream Bon Iver's new album "Bon Iver, Bon Iver" in its entirety for a limited time at Its a nice collection of tunes. many named after cities or states (Calgary, Wash., Perth, ect.), that often drift off into ambient jams that add to the solidarity and deep expression of the record. It's good stuff, enjoy.

- J

Monday, June 6, 2011

Festive Mood

Courtesy of My Morning Jacket's Tumblr

After a good stretch without seeing any live shows, I definately got my fix this weekend.

It started Friday night with Ray LaMontagne and the Pariah Dogs at Saratoga Performing Arts Center. Ray and the dogs played through 2010's God Willing and the Creek Don't Rise and other Ray staples (Trouble, Shelter, Jolene ..). A stand-out highlight of the night was a gritty, freewheelin' version of Merle Haggard's "Mama Tried" that saw Ray accompanied by the Secret Sisters. Ray sounded better than advertised, especially from front-row Orchestra. He is no-doubt one of today's premiere performers and I've been lucky enough to catch him twice now, with the other being at a festival, so this was a whole new experience -- and a great one at that.

Early to wake and I was off to Mountain Jam in Hunter, NY. My fourth year in a row and it was a dandy. Highlights from Saturday and Sunday: DAWES! Dawes made a name for themselves among the some 5,000 that caught their Sunday afternoon set. While I had been listening to When My Time Comes, Western Skyline and a couple other songs by them, they delivered way more than I was expecting. I will be buying their albums, including their new one, Nothing Is Wrong (release tomorrow). Ryan Montbleau, Edward Sharpe and Grace Potter also delivered great sets (I got to hang out with Ryan Montbleau and chat during Avett Brothers' less-than-desired set) and My Morning Jacket capped things off with a strong showing that showcased everything off Circuital and many of their staple favorites (see setlist above). As I assumed they would, Preservation Hall joined them late in their set. Still, it didn't reach the height of my first MMJ show I caught in Essex Junction. Some shows just can't be matched.

Here's to live music and being fortunate enough to get to see the bands that inspire me with the people that mean the most ; )

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

My Morning Jacket UNSTAGED

Last night My Morning Jacket took to the stage in a much-hyped show at Louisville's historic Palace Theater. The event, directed by Todd Haynes, was live webcast. I experienced a pretty shaky webcast that led to me giving up after watching a beautiful version of Gideon and their new one, "Outta My System."

Watch highlights from the show at MMJs Vevo channel, including a version of "Wordless Chorus" with guest Erykah Badu (who also joined the band for MMJs "The Day is Coming" and two of her tunes, "Twinkle" and "Tyrone"). Watch it here.

Oh yeah, I'll be cozying up to the stage to watch My Morning Jacket at Mountain Jam this Sunday (Preservation Hall Jazz plays a set or two before so I'm sure they'll join). I'll also be catching Dawes, Avett Brothers, Edward Sharpe & Magnetic Zeros, Gov't Mule, Umphreys and many more. #pumped

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Fleet Foxes Live Concert Webcast TONIGHT!

See Fleet Foxes perform material off their new album, Helplessness Blues, tonight at 9:30 p.m. at Helplessness Blues is the band's full-length follow-up to their 2006 self-titled debut album -- and, for those who like folk/rock melodies and great musicianship -- it kicks ass. The songs are well-crafted like a fine wine and the earthy tones fill your senses. Goes best with: A fishing trip deep into the Adirondack wilderness.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Gotta Share ...

Stream the new Fleet Foxes album here.

Stream the new Gov't Mule album here.

Stream the new Okeervil River album here.



Friday, April 22, 2011

Bon Iver, Bon Iver

Exciting news today as I've learned Bon Iver will release their sophomore album, self-titled "Bon Iver, Bon Iver," on June 21. My wishes have been fulfilled as all my favs are releasing new stuff this summer: My Morning Jacket, Fruit Bats, Vetiver, Fleet Foxes, the Beasties!, and, now, Bon Iver.

Track listing for Bon Iver, Bon Iver

Minnesota, WI

Hinnom, TX
Lisbon, OH

Listen on ...

- J

Thursday, March 24, 2011

The Blitzen Trapper Massacre from Brian Adrian Koch on Vimeo.

Houston we have a ... problem?

Hmmm .... Oh. I get it. NASA, Houston, Johnson Space Center. Clever ...

Friday, March 18, 2011

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Sketchy Profile

Self portrait done on Wacom Bamboo Fun.

News Media Milestones

A couple interesting media stories that caught my eye yesterday -- this coming from a former newspaper journalist and someone whose father has been a newspaper reporter for more than 40 years, still at it well into his 60s ...

1. Reuters reported yesterday that online news consumption surpassed newspapers for the first time, attributing the milestone mostly to new technologies such as the iPad and other mobile devices.

2. One thought I hadn't given to things like e-readers is how they will affect the public library system, like this NY Times story details.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Free MMJ leading up to Circuital

Head over to My Morning Jacket's website where, for six weeks, My Morning Jacket will offer free downloads to celebrate the forthcoming album Circuital.

According to the site, "The first five downloads will be live songs taken from each of their shows at New York’s Terminal 5 this past October. Scroll over the poster artwork below for the download dates.On April 12th, the countdown ends with a new song from Circuital."

Give your email to receive all the music as it's revealed.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

New Robin Pecknold (of Fleet Foxes) tunes

Check out Robin Pecknold's beautiful new acoustic jams on Stereogum. They are both organic and bright, reminiscent of Nick Drake and culling up scenes of a backwoods stream and a misty Dublin morn.

Thursday, March 3, 2011



This, on Vetiver's blog:

"Vetiver are currently in the studio with Thom Monahan putting the finishing touches on their next album. Recorded in Los Angeles (Melva), Hoboken (Water Music), and Sacramento (The Hangar), Vetiver's fifth album should be out by summer on Sub Pop and Bella Union.

Soon we'll be hitting the road again, playing select cities en route to SXSW. Dates and venues are up on the site.

Andy also has a solo show in February with friends Eric Johnson (Fruit Bats) and Richard Swift, part of a series to benefit the Buckman Arts Focus Elementary in Portland. Info is up here.

(From 24/01/11 @ 3:28 PM) "

: )

Friday, February 18, 2011

Breakingviews | Rocknomics

Breakingviews Rocknomics

Radiohead - Lotus Flower

Here we go ...

The first single released from Radiohead's new album, King of Limbs, available for digital download tomorrow!

Jason Isbell performs "Streetlights" Live at WTMD

Here's some nice Friday morning music -- a song called "Streelights" from Jason Isbell and the 400 unit. It's slow-cooked rock-and-roll with a southern, hickory flavor. The album never gets old.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Oh yeah, and Radiohead's new album, King of Limbs, can be downloaded Saturday!!

A true crouching tiger, hidden dragon move by Radiohead to announce their album a week before it's released (and then sneak it out a day earlier than the press was anticipating), but I'm all for it! This First-Listen, album preview nonsense takes all the excitement out of holding a new album in my hand and tearing it open when I get into my car -- love it or hate it. I would say that was the reason why I haven't gone out and bought the new Decemberist and Iron & Wine albums (although they are good).

More good news for your Tuesday:

This, on the Fruit Bats blog:

"Just starting work on the latest album, expect new Fruit Bats jams sometime this year! Also, I've composed the score to a couple of movies this year. The first of those is called Ceremony (in theaters April 8th!), directed by my buddy Max Winkler. You can check out the preview here - we even used an old Fruit Bats chestnut for the trailer as you'll hear! More to come very soon, friends... Much love, EDJ"

Check out said trailer for "Ceremony" here.

Monday, February 7, 2011


Inspiring CD jacket design by Chicago-based firm, Arlo.