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