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.