25 November 2009

Monster Mash(up)

::   S  P  U  D    L  O  V  E   ::
Okay, I am keeping this post light and breezy. I stumbled upon some killer mashups (a craft that I am just beginning to learn about) and wanted to pass them along in the spirit of Thanksgiving. They're clever + whimsical and will linger w/you for a while, I guarantee. So please enjoy (and post your any feedback and other mashup resources care to share.)

Have a fab Thanksgiving! ~ Joy

djBC creations:

Gimme The Nightclub
50 Cent + George Benson. This is the most tight mashup in this offering. I've always loved In Da Club because I am a shorty. ;) And the injection of George Benson's Gimme the Night is sweet.

New Order meets Bossa Nova. In this case Confusion + Elis Regina. Divine.

Promiscuous All Night
I've always loved Nelly Furtado/Timbaland's Promiscuous. Throw in a lil Beyonce/Jay-Z (not too much) w/some old school dancehall reagge. Yummy.

Snoop's Nu Shooz
I've a weakness for Snoop. I can't explain it. I just like him (along w/KidRock...) so this mashup really pulled me in, as back the day I la-la-loved this Nu Shooz tune.

Summer In The City
ANY tune that successfully works in "She put de lime in de coconut and called de doctor, woke 'im up." is alright by me.

PartyBen Creations

Pump Up the Doorbell
I chose this tune during my CD101 Guest DJ stint last summer. Great energy via White Stripes + MARRS's Pump Up the Volume

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05 November 2009

Fall Moon

::  T H E  B L U E   M O O N   A R T   P R O J E C T   ::
( Moondance by Dan Gerdeman + Under a Blue Moon by Angela Lichi )

Blue Moon Beer. Fall beverage goodness. With citrus fruit, even better. And a brewery which supports art? Holy Hey Joy jackpot, I say! :) The Blue Moon Art Project was developed to extend the brand's passion for art beyond the brew kettle and connect with the local art communities in Philly, Chicago, Columbus, and Boston. The submissions were impressive. I encourage you to take a look. And proof if ever that these guys take this Belgian-style witbier seriously artistically.

Alas, this post is a celebration of fall + fall-inspired activities. And most certainly an homage to the amazing full moon seen in CMH this week– just glorious! The 16 tunes (is that too many?!) below are a potpourri of indie/jazz/electronica/big-band treats designed to bring the ideas in this post full circle. Love when that happens! As always, thank you for reading all this! Salut~ Joy

:: Howling like a Wolf
These two tunes I've had in my library forever. I think I've stated before-I must have a subliminal affinity towards tunes that have 'wolf' in the name/band/lp title. Ha! Here are two of the best in my offering:

Wolf Like Me
TV on The Radio
Love these lyrics. Werewolf to the hilt, Baby.

You're a Wolf
Sea Wolf
Love love love the enunciation on, "Cut to the ocean"...

:: Boo!
Yah, I hear ya, Halloween was last week. But my blog, my rules. :) Enjoy these devilish delights.

Seven Steps to Satan
I swear, I could post a Luna tune every blog post. This one is particularly lush in the melody and lyrics: "Seven vodkas to the wind / Seven ways from sundown / Seventh heaven seventh veil / I was only joking". Sigh.

Blood Bank
Bon Iver
This song gave me chills when I saw them this past Lollapalooza. So haunting. And so worth it standing in the rain for the performance: "And I said I know it well / That secret that we know / That we don't know how to tell / I'm in love with your honor / I'm in love with your cheeks..."

Everyday I Love You Less and Less
Kaiser Chiefs
This tune made this playlist as EVERY time I hear the laugh in the background at the :30 mark, it reminds me of Count Von Count (One, muhhaah... Two, muhahhah...) which is even more fitting in light of Sesame Street's 40th Anniversary. Google did a fab job w/the custom mastheads too.

:: Fall With Me

Autumn Sweater
Yo La Tengo
Much like Luna, I've forever share YLT tunes w/you guys. Their range is just ridiculously diverse. I love the shy yet flirty context of the lyrics. And the gentle tambourine throughout. 

Fall Bicycle (The Album Leaf Remix)
Lymbyc Systym
I started listening to The Album Leaf years ago. Then I was on a shoot in '07 in San Deigo w/photographer, Bil Zelman. His iPod started playing TAL and he was surprised I named the band as he had just finished shooting their launch promotional materials. Kismet. :)

Carry Me Ohio
Sun Kil Moon
I'm forever the romantic: this is such a great love song.

Come On Over (Turn Me On)
Isobel Campbell + Mark Lanegan
I know I am in the minority but, I am not a Belle + Sebastian fan (sorry Vince!). However, when Isobel is paired with Mark Lanegan (Sunday at Dirt Devil LP) it's a whole different story. Their combined talents are mezmerizing.

Time Won't Let Me Go
The Bravery.
From The Sun And The Moon LP. "Whenever I look back on the best days of my life..."

:: Under the Milky Way

"You had a hand and it was loneliness. And all I wanted was you, oh, you..." Note the narrative that endulates in and out of this tune to the bitter end. Nice touch.

Fade Into You
Mazzy Star
I try to not post obvious tunes, but when they are just this good, I allow it. This song was released in 1993. Timeless.

Moon and Sand
Kenny Burrell
My jazz collection is huge. As such I want/need to start peppering my posts w/more of it. Here's a fab start. Take it away, Kenny.

Old Devil Moon
Frank Sinatra
Ah, Frank, you old devil... Cocktails anyone?

:: Moon Rocks

Metal Heart
Cat Power
I am bending my rules here again. This tune is in this post b/c it's from the "Moon Pix" LP which aligns w/moon theme I've got goin' on here. Granted, a stretch... But it IS a killer tune and this version is the best of them all. Dripping w/angst and guitars and Chan Marshall.

Star Guitar (featuring Au Revoir Simone)
Shinichi Osawa
This song captures the essence of taking a star-lit walk on a brisk night.

: : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : :
Can't count to
All the lovers I've burned through
So why do I still burn for you
I cannot say

Sorry that
I could never love you back
I could never care enough
In these last days

Heal her soul
Carry her my angel

~ Carry Me Ohio by Sun Kil Moon
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28 September 2009

Living Vi-CARY-iously

:: R O C K + R O L L S I G N A T U R E C O L L E C T I O N ::
Cary Whitt's autographed Yeah Yeah Yeah's "It's a Blitz" LP

I admit it: I've been a lazy blogger this summer. But for good reason: I've been out catching a lot of live music. Yay! Between Lollapalooza '09 and CD101's Summerfest, I've seen A LOT of great live music. (On my fall hit list: Ra Ra Riot, STS9, Passion Pit, Wilco, + Stone Temple Pilots to name a few...) And while I am still basking in the afterglow of the summer's bounty, simulatneously I am ruminating on few shows I've missed over the years.

Enter my good friend, amazing designer, gifted photographer and music aficionado, Cary Whitt. He's seen more shows already than I will in my lifetime, I'm fairly sure. A strong distinction between Cary and my verve for live music is his fortitude to take it one step further: he gets autographs. That painstaking craft of waiting and waiting for the elusive moment a rock star will give their John Hancock. Thus I'm living vicariously through his good fortunes by pairing autographed LPs from his Flickr collection of artists/shows he's seen— which I've either missed fully or are on my future radar— to tunes I love.

Enjoy. And long live rock + roll~ Joy

Well I Wonder
Of all the music I listen to and have fallen in love with in my lifetime, The Smiths is one of my Top 5 Bands. Morrissey and Johnny Marr made magic in the '90s. I love this tune and it's perfect for my theme as I do wonder what it would have been like to see them live. Sigh...

Do It Clean
Echo + The Bunneymen
Okay, I did see Echo + the Bunnymen play live in Pittsburgh circa '91, but they did not play this song. I was in denial. They played 2 enchores and I was like, "wait for it.... wait for it...." then boom, auditorium lights on. Total "You don't have to go home, but you can't stay here, Folks" deelio. Boooo.

Cut Your Hair
I became a huge fan of these "indie rock trailblazers" far too late. My loss, without question. I love this song and serendipitously, it's from the LP Cary had autographed. If you aren't familiar w/Pavement, do so now.

(Bonus: Pavement's version of Echo + the B-men's "Killing Moon" from my March "Vox Boxing" post.)

Love Like a Sunset
While I haven't seen them live, I can safely add, "yet" to the end of that sentence as Phoenix is hot, hot, hot right now. When I do see this produit au France play, I hope they play this mostly-instrumental tune. C'est magnafiqué.

Find My Baby
I have scoured the web trying to find the video for the American Express commercial featuring Tiger Woods and this Moby tune to post, but it doesn't seem to be anywhere. Which I find remarkable— as the 30 sec spot of Tiger hitting a lone golf ball in Manhattan juxtaposed to this haunting Moby tune was just that— remarkable. (Please send me a link if you find this vid!)

ps: I'm rather impressed that Moby took the time to sketch his Little Idiot vs merely a quick sig, Cary.

Over and Over
Hot Chip
Hot damn does Hot Chip produce some catchy cool tunage or what? I hope to see Hot Chip in the near future and I def hope they play this song. I love the repeated spelling in the lyrics which surely is a crowd fave when played live:

Passing By
Zero 7
Just a mellow dandy of a tune from Zero 7. Not sure if this is in their live repertoire or not, but if I get the chance to see them live, I will keep my fingers crossed.

My self-profesesd love for jumping (vs actually dancing...) would be in full force upon hearing this song live. Me, and every other Fratellis fan, that is. Fun stuff. ;)

Get out: "Cary, Hi. Kim Deal". Bragging rights for sure, CW! And Happy 20th "Doolittle" Anniversary, Pixies (although I wish you were coming closer to CMH than your 11/20 show at Aragon Ballroom in Chicago.)

"Hey" is a fab tune. Raw lyrics and riffs. Pure Frank Black and Kim Deal.

(Bonus: La La Love You from last November's "Heavy Metal" post.)

Ending on a high note here with this full blown rock anthem for the Ladies. I am sure this song gets the crowd in an uber frenzy— air guitars a wailin'. lol Stay tuned...

: : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : :
All the promises I gave you
Helped me to survive
And all the times I wished you'd save me
You were the love of my life

~ passing by
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31 July 2009

Holla for Lolla >> Hooray for the Underdogs

::   L O L L A P A L O O Z A   B Y    D A Y   ::

Lollapalooza is next weekend!! The 3-day music festival in Chicago's Grant Park has become an annual voyage for me — 4th year running, in fact (all thanks to my ever gracious hostess + festival partner in crime, Newman!)

What I relish most about Lolla aren't the headliners (although Radiohead last year was truly an out of body experience for me) but the energy the lesser-known bands create. Their enthusiasm is electrifying as for most of these bands, Lolla is a make-or-break deal. I mean just a few years ago, Kings of Leon, were the new kids on the block (forgive the pun) and now look at their chart success. Need further evidence? KOL's set is up against Depeche Mode Friday night. That's a lot of progress in one year. And last year, Vampire Weekend played mid-day to small crowds. This year they garner the top billing at GALApalooza (the eve before Lolla fundraising extravaganza benefiting The Parkways Foundation)

There are enormous expectations of the headliners, and beautifully, they always deliver. But man, when the newer/greener bands come on stage w/a verve for their craft, it lingers. I love reading the pubs/blogs days after Lolla where, "Daft Punk was amazing... but I still can't get MGMT's set off my mind" gets posted. Bingo, Daddy-O.

THAT is what makes Lolla special for me: to say, I was there-I was part of something much larger. Dare I say, 'history in the making'? Perhaps. And for me, being a part of music IS important. It makes me feel connected in a way that my other creative outlets do not. Best yet, being a part of music is timeless. My Mom's hospice nurse told me our sense of hearing is the last sense to leave us. Evidence music is ever lasting in our minds + hearts.

This year's Lolla is chock full of added fun: I've got my iPhone loaded w/my Lolla App. I will be attending the Blind Pilot/Ezra Furman Aftershow Sat. eve at the House of Blues, courtesy of the fantastic Val Haller of Valslist. And I just received notice that I've been selected to be an "Official LP33.tv Fan Correspondent at Lollapalooza". I don't know the deets but it's going to put a wildly fun and unanticipated lens on my Lolla experience. Surely all good blog fodder. Stay tuned.

Lastly, if you can't make it to Lolla this year, help yourself to their generous FREE 15 Song iTunes Download. You will discover some new music and get a glimpse of what next year's music landscape sound like.

So, I see I've said too much. I meant to be brief... ehgads. ;) Thus, I bid you adieu w/some of my fave Lolla Underdogs: past + present. My best~ Joy

The Underdog
Spoon Lolla Saturday 2007
A fitting kickoff to this playlist is by Spoon, of Lolla '07 fame.

Get Yo Shit
Black Joe Lewis + the Honeybears (playing Friday 1pm)
I have high hopes for Black Joe + his crew. This song just rocks, and the lyrics are so raw, so pure. Can't wait to see them to see if they are real deal or not.

Bon Iver (playing Friday 3pm)
I posted this tune in my Ode to Oliver post back in November. A haunting tune. Looking forward to hearing it live.

The Story I Heard
Blind Pilot (playing Saturday 4:15pm)
If you follow me on Twitter, or are a Facebook bud of mine, you've read my threads touting Blind Pilot, as well encouraging everyone to come out to the House of Blues Sat night to catch them w/Ezra Furman + The Harpoons for an official Lolla Aftershow sponsored by valslist.com. (And while you're at it, please become a fan of valslist.com on Facebook!)

Tell Me in the Morning
Cold War Kids (playing Sunday 5:30pm)
Oh man, Newman + I caught CWK last year and lead singer, Nathan Willett, got everyone in a frenzy. Looking forward to see what their sophmore appearance will entail.

Cage the Elephant (playing Sunday 2:15pm)
"Ain't No Rest for the Wicked" was featured in my June Urban Daddy post, so thought you'd enjoy this Wicked Devil Reggae Remix version. This band will surely be a huge draw!

Jump in the Pool
Friendly Fires (playing Sunday 12:30pm)
This past May, I had the amazing experience to be a Guest DJ for CD101. One hour of me on air, w/the divine Ms. Lesley James, and the tunes of my choice. It was an adrenliene rush like no other! Of the tunes I selected to play, I chose this Friendly Fires song knowing Lesley would dig it. Just a fun, high energy song.

Sugar Cinnamon
Portugal. The Man (playing Sunday 1:30pm)
I've loved this song for a long time (part of my "Rest in Peace, Chef" post last August) despite still having NO clue what the song is about. ;) But, it def has an inherent 'festival' vibe to it which should make for a deelish set.

: : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : 

I know I can't slow down,
I can't hold back,
Though you know, I wish I could.
No there ain't no rest for the wicked,
Until we close our eyes for good.

- ain't no rest for the wicked

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04 June 2009

Urban Cowboy


:: U R B A N  D A D D Y  D O T  C O M ::
Giddy up, and then some.

As an Art Director, I feel the creative team for UrbanDaddy.com must have received a crystal clear creative brief: create demand for geo-specific products + services via uber provacative photography and whip-smart copy that appeals to time-starved, libido-influenced males. Bingo was this web site's name-o. Did they hit their mark? Oh Daddy, yes.

Better, I love UrbanDaddy as a consumer, despite not being their target demo. But damn, their over-the-top sexist site delivers with its content + approach regarding lifestyle offerings for the largest markets: NYC, LA, Chicago, Miami, and across the pond; yet w/smart nods to the fairer species.

Opt into your fave locales and receive city-specific eNewsletters that quickly become must reads vs must deletes. Also, download the newly launched UrbanDaddy iPhone app (deemed the "iPhone App You've been Craving") so you and your guy are good to go in any tony city your travels take you.

When I started to compile this playlist, I naturally gravitated towards some tried and true urban songs, and was happy to leave it at that until I played Snoop Dogg's My Medicine (link launches YouTube vid) in my library. It gave me pause. Much like jazz, country licks can be found at the root of many urban and current day indie + electronica tunes. So I challenged myself to post tunes that meet both the urban and cowboy criteria and man did I unearth some fab tunes: current, relevant, urban and edgy and all laced with country music. Yeehaw Dawg, or Beeotch, whichever fits your bad self. Enjoy. ;)

California Love
2Pac featuring Dr. Dre   (iTunes)
You may not know this, but I lived in Southern California from '99-04. (Okay, I hope you are laughing as when do I NOT mention I did time in So Cal...grin) But, those years effected me on myriad levels and this urban gang bang sound didn't elude me. I love this song as it brings back driving up the 405 to LA amidst the masses. Just felt right to kick off this playlist w/Dre + 2Pac (may he rest in peace) as it's the full monty: Urban AND Cowboy.

Ain't no rest for the Wicked
Cage The Elephant   (iTunes)
My Lollapalooza tix are coming next week. (They were to arrive in April. Whoops says Lolla.) But I am not complaining as I was one of the miniscule few who snagged the $60 3-day tickets. In fact, fermé ma bouche.

My point, all the big acts will be amazing and better, the lesser known bands are the diamonds in rough. I have high hopes for Cage the Elephant. And as you can see: they are as fresh as fresh can be, and are laying down some very country-esque sounds. So, stay tuned as we surely have not heard the last from them.

Talk of Indolence
The Avett Brothers   (iTunes)
I love this song. Just reaps of madness in its quasi rap-style account of one damn good time in New York amid a splendor of banjos. That, and I just plain love the chuckle at the very beginning.

Medicine Show
Big Audio Dynamite  (iTunes)
Here's a bit o urban cowboy served up UK punk style. Big Audio Dynamite is a late 80s band fronted by Mick Jones, the ex-guitarist + singer of The Clash. I appreciate this song as it's a 6:33 minute journey where we meet characters, hecklers, and hear the tried and true old western whistle amidst a bevvy of other sound effects. Rather epic for B.A.D., yet very good. 

Knock 'Em Out
Lilly Allen   (iTunes)
So where BAD left off, enter one Lilly Allen. She, without question, is our modern day Mae West. Can't you just see her swaggering through saloon doors with the opening piano melody? I can. So, suspend reality and simply replace "saloon" with each mention of "pub" in the song. It works, trust me. ;)

Don't Tell Me
Madonna   (iTunes)
Sure, this entire LP was cowboy inspired, but this song in particular shines as it's pure Madonna via the dramatic lyrics with a relevant, danceable groove and lush country undertones. Kudos, Madge, Lisa Douglas would be proud.

Knives Fighting Guns
Tommy Guerrero   (iTunes)
Man on man, what a find this artist is: much like designing + music go hand and hand, so does skateboarding and tunage. Tommy Guerrero is a skateboard legend hailing from team Bones Brigade circa 1985, as well as an accomplished musician (similar to Jack Johnson w/surfing + music, perhaps...) It's clear he's has a great ear for rhythm and the country tempo is ever present in this tune. Tommy G = me-likey.

Enjoy the Wait
Morcheeba   (iTunes)
For a 67 second song, this packs a whollup o twang. For this song to come from Morcheeba, who's reputation is uber trip hop + electronica, it's all the more 67 secs o' deelish.

Enjoy the Ride
Morcheeba   (iTunes)
I love Skye Edwards with Morcheeba, but Judy Tzuke breathes such a different life into this song as lead vocalist. Britt + Lisa: if you read this, know it's an hommage to you, your family, and your faith. 

6 Underground
Sneaker Pimps   (iTunes)
Agreed: this tune might be a stretch in this category. BUT, Sneaker Pimps tunes are very electronica yet this tune has an earthy vibe that feels country at its core. Sorry, my blog, my rules. Basically, I love the attitude and love the overlay of the acoustic guitars (starting at 1:20 secs). I hope you do as well.

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With the moonlight to guide you
Feel the joy of being alive
The day that you stop running
Is the day that you arrive

~ enjoy the ride

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04 May 2009

Cinco De Joy-O!


 ::  M I A M I   T H R O U G H   T H E   L E N S   O F   J A I M E  S A N T I L L A N   ::

This blog post has me fairly smitten as the elements came together so incredibly effortlessly. I've had this playlist theme for a while, but not until I was reviewing a photography portfolio of a close friend's did it all click. Yesterday, in fact.

The photographer is Jaime Santillán of Jamie Santillán Photography. The images above were taken a few weeks ago in Miami on assignment for Think Brand (more great friends of mine. It's good to be an F.O.J. Friend of Joy. Ha!) I love these shots in particular as they capture the colors and lifestyle of the Little Havana vibe so wonderfully. Please check out his entire portfolio-wonderfully diverse. Thank you, Jaime!

Enjoy this playlist: a fab latin-infused jazz explosion of sorts with succulent doses of tango, mambo, salsa + bossa nova. I had 30 songs in my original list but trimmed it down to these 16-which was damn near impossible. And you'll see I am not providing any commentary, per my usual posts. None needed in this case. Crazy madness. I love it so. How could you not–just look at the uplifting titles?!

This playlist is perfect for BBQ, beers, margaritas, or just chillaxin'. So however you choose to celebrate Cinco de Mayo, celebrate well. Here's how I'll be celebrating mine:

Cinco de Mayo + Jamie's images + Hey Joy playlist = Cinco de Joy-O

Funky Lowlives   (iTunes)

Soul Bossa Nova/N.A.S.A. Remix
Quincy Jones   (iTunes)

Le Spinner
Isabelle Antena   (iTunes)

Pink Martini   (iTunes)

Sun Is Shining
Trippy Nova   (iTunes)

Feeling Good
The Quantic Soul Orchestra   (web site)

Nota Bossa
The Funky Lowlives

Latina Asscape
Brownout   (iTunes)

Cantoma    (iTunes)

Fela Brasil/Main Mix
Raw Artistic Soul   (iTunes)

So Tinha Que Ser Com Voce

This Is Not A Tango
The Juju Orchestra   (iTunes)

Luna Roja/Soul Mix
Soda Stereo   (iTunes)

O Caminho do Bem
Tim Maia

Gustavo Cerati   (iTunes)

Rodrigo y Gabriela   (iTunes)

: : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : 
One day she passed him by
A twinkle in her eye
He said " she was meant for me!"
But when he turned around
He lost what he had found
Oh where can his Lilly be?

- lilly
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21 April 2009

Ghost in the Machine

 ::  A   B I L   Z E L M A N  O B S E R V A T I O N  ::

(Hahahahaha! Caught you off guard w/that one, didn't I?! The shot above is brilliant. And shot by a damn hilarious and out-of-this-world talented photographer, Bil Zelman of Zelman Studios in San Diego. He used to have a section on his site titled, "Hate Mail". Great dose of self-deprication.)

So, okay, no I don't hate blogs, but I strongly dislike Boxstr.com right now. They are the file storing service which been down for almost a WEEK thus rendering my yahoo player silent...BOOO. The fact that I chose them is NOT the point here, people.

Moving along... in light of this temporary set back (while I'm off choosing another service provider and relink my tunes for your listening pleasure) I'm gonna keep this post short and sweet with these audio visual substitutes.

I hope to be back up and running soon. Peace- Joy

Ankle Injuries by Fujiya & Miyagi    (iTunes)
This light and campy tune oddly conjurs up the scene in Stephen King's Misery when Kathy Bates just whacks the hell out of James Cann's. She's one intense mamma-jamma.

In the, "Man, Bjork IS unusual, huh?" category, here's our Icelandic Sweetie  discussing her love for her TV. I do love her analogy of the circuit boards/fuse/wires resembling a city. Oh, and her metallic colored tights. Nice touch. Trés Bjork.

09 April 2009

Vox Boxing

:: L I G H T B O X I N G  via  V E E R ::
Nov '08 Bout: "All is LOST for Adelle Charles + Donna Holesworth" 

In keeping with their mission of "Elements for Creativity", Veer hosts a wonderful lil creative shoot-out called Lightboxing ("One lightbox, Two Designers"). It's a brilliant mechanism to draw art directors to Veer's site (and products) and prove to the advertising and design world what can be accomplished within their image, illustration, and typographic portfolio.

As Veer deems it: "The rules are simple. Using only the images and type provided in a Veer lightbox, make something great. Crop. Cut. Paste. Fight dirty. Write copy. Make a knockout design. The voting public decides the winner. The prize? Bragging rights, and some sweet Veer swag." (ala the Lorem Ipsum Cuff I boasted about back in November's Heavy Metal post. Tres cool swag. Perfect for us design freaks)

The Lightboxing bouts have netted some industry heavy-hitters w/surprising results given the fact they are using all the same image assets (Check out the bout featured above). Kudos to Veer and Lightboxing for clevelry creating a relevant reminder that photoshoots are not the end-all-be-all for amazing conceptual design. A hard pill for many of us to swallow but with today's challenged budgets, a growing reality.

[ sidebar: Coudal Partners' Layer Tennis is pretty sweet too.  Just further evidence that the design community is competive as hell at the core.  ]

So, per this blog's manifesto, how does this design theme relate to music? Well, ya ever hear of a "Cover Song"? ;) Think about it: the same melody, same lyrics yet one song can be translated so many wonderful, or lackluster, ways. Often times the remake/redo/remix/mash-up surpasses the original song by breathing new life into the tune. But the beauty of it all is that the original was an inspirational catalyst for next generation artist or band.

Vox Boxing is my musical spin to Veer's Lightboxing. These tunes are some of the best remakes from my library and am eager for the debates to begin! I'd love to hear your fave remakes. Please, drop me a note.

For those readers who celebrate Easter, have a great one. A sense of renewal can never be a bad thing. For those that don't, may your weekend be special + fullfilling. Joy

Fell In Love With a Boy
Joss Stone   (iTunes)
While I love my boy Jack White and his gal Meg, Joss knocks it out of the park w/this remake in her own velvety way.

Some Velvet Morning
Slowdive   (Wikipedia)
In keeping w/Ms Stone's dreamy vibe, Some Velvet Morning envokes memories of a Southern California June Gloom. Just fluid, yet a bit murky. The kicker is, this is a Nancy Sinatra and Lee Hazlewood remake. I was pretty surprised when I discovered that fact. Hats off to team Sinatra/Hazlewood, as after hearing their version, it's clear Slowdive didn't deviate too far from the orig.

Feel Good Inc
Editors   (web site)
I'll be damned if these bloody brits didn't one up the Gorillaz on this tune. This acoustic version is a vast departure from orig pop tune yet demonstrates the strength of the orig tune (still love the orig vid, though. Quasi-anime and a wonderful nod of rockstar self-deprication.)

Gin and Juice
The Gourds    (iTunes)
This Snoop Dog remake is commonly attributed to Phish. A LOT. Just Google it...Poor Gourds. But to their steet cred, The Gourds' unique alt country touch to this song is pretty brilliant. From what I've read, Snoop approves. Word.

Lively Up Yourself
Charlie Hunter Trio    (iTunes)
So, how about this tasty treat from the Chas Hunter 3? Irie, Mon.

Guitar Man
Cake   (iTunes)
Cake contemporizing Bread's 'Guitar Man'. Could have been a train wreck but it's not. Totally works in my book. Stays true to the orig w/a healthy dose of some guitars + Cake's cake-ness. Yum.

I Will Survive
Cake   (iTunes)
Oddly enough, Cake does an angry woman well. Or at least John McCrea does an angry Gloria Gaynor well. I believe him when he says he "should have changed his effin lock..." It's so 'laid-back-indie-dude-channeling-scorned-disco-diva'. And it's soooo good.

(programming note: channeling my college music days here in this home stretch offering. Circa 1988. Ha!)

Secret Machines   (web site)
I applaud any band that takes on a New Order tune. Hard to improve on perfection.

A Forest
Nouvelle Vague   (iTunes)
A Forest is in my Top 5 Fave Cure songs. Robert Smith's unique voice and look just mesmeriszed me back in the day. Nouvelle Vague's version of this song mesmeriszes me equally. Marina Celeste's voice is wonderfully layered over a bossa nova dappled tempo.

The Killing Moon
Pavement   (iTunes)
And now for an Echo and The Bunnymen Top 5 fave: The Killing Moon. The orig song was featured in the 2001 indie movie Donnie Darko ("Life is one long insane trip. Some people just have better directions"). The best part of this remake is the rambling, "Cucumber, cu-cu-cumber, ca-ca-ca-ca-cabbage". Love Pavement's nonsensical gloom + doom. ;)

Ryan Adams   (iTunes)
The brothers of Oasis, Liam and Noel Gallagher, are talented indeed. But their brotherly feuds can be draining. Ryan Adams is equally fraught w/strife, but
what the hell, he's insanefully talented and does this song sweet justice.

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And I've never seen anyone quite like you before
No, I've never met anyone quite like you before
Bolts from above hurt the people down below
People in this world, we have no place to go

Oh, it's the last time
Oh, I've never met anyone quite like you before
Oh no, I've never met anyone quite like you before  

- temptation
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12 March 2009

Poster Child

 :: T H E   A E S T H E T I C   A P P A R A T U S  ::
Test Print No. 176

This blog theme is so obvious it's ridiculous:

I love design.  I love music.  Enter: The Concert Poster.

And not just any old concert poster. Not the ones that if you Google, "Rock Poster Design" can be created in 3 lame-ass Photoshop filters (makes my blood boil, Jerry). I'm referring to posters that simply, yet highly conceptually, capture the essence of a tune/mood/vibe/show via four mere elements: typography, imagery, ink, paper.

Posters that make you want to go to the show.

Posters that reignite the full body experience you felt during the show.  Cigarette, please. ;)

The creations below are crafted by the Minneapolis masterminds at The Aesthetic Apparatus. There are a bevvy of studios I want to blog about when it comes to poster creation, but AA's concert posters aligned so naturally w/tunes I already had in my music library—making them a fitting partner for my initial foray into such rich subject matter. Their dialogue surrounding their work is worth reading as their insights are wonderfully entertaining, and definitely poignant.

Whether you are here to just read or just listen, enjoy. I am highly confident I did not disappoint w/this offering. At best, I hope this post entices you to reflect on some of your favorite concerts and rekindle that awesome yummy feeling you had when you were at the gig. Concerts are money well spent as memories last a lifetime.

Happy Spring! Joy

I'll Believe in Anything
Wolf Parade  (iTunes)
 Love this poster, love this band, and love this song-def in my top 20 tunes. Just the energy, the screetch, and the lyrics... Amazing lyrics:
"I need sunshine. Your blood, your bones, your voice, and your ghost..." Made me a believer, that's for sure.

As for this specific poster, I dig the overlapping silk-screened details. They are poetic, in a vertigo kind of way.

Underwater (You and Me)
Clap Your Hands Say Yeah
As you've read in prior posts, I saw CYHSY at Lollapalooza and the live experience was incredible. They sounded amazing-my fear was their unique sound was studio produced. Quick sidebar: I am a water rat and love everything about water thus was drawn to this song. This poster's depictions of these bobblehead-esque shapes just jives w/the undulating tempo of the song. And a fab dose of orange. Always on my visual hit parade.

Do the Whirlwind
Architecture In Helsinki
On the same bill was AiH...surely an over-the-top high energy show. AiH is a pretty campy group, and this song is thematic of their style.

One More Hour
Sleater-Kinney    (iTunes)
Another act I caught at Lolla (06?) was Sleater-Kinney. It was high sun, high heat, and man, were they an angry duo just rockin it full blast. And, I can't stress "angry" enough which clearly Aesthetic Apparatus picked up on as that's one hissy fit of a kitten image, yes/no? This poster does the band justice: The use of fuschia is a sarcastic nod to a female band who'd never want to be aligned w/the stereotypical pink. A playful attention to detail. Bonus points.

The Seed
The Roots    (iTunes)
Late Night with Jimmy Fallon house band. Love it. Love this song. Just groovy. The vid does a fab job of capturing the Roots' essence, as does this poster. I mean, come on, if you walked passed this poster stapled to... a wall, ...a pole, ...in any city, ...of any size, you'd know right away the funk and groove this band was gonna put out. Strangely, I like to cook to this song. That is NOT a euphemism, btw. ;)

Revolutionary Kind
Gomez    (iTunes)
I like this song as I'd like to think I am the 'Revolutionary Kind'. Um, up for discussion. ;)  A few time codes to share as this song just strikes a chord w/me on these occasions: at 1:15 "Keep on in the jungle with your techno-cality..." (what does that mean?) and the tilt-a-whirl instrumental from 1:56-2:43, and then the finale w/the acoustic guitars starting at 2:46, me-likey. I like this poster as Gomez' music is like a tree in the forest. You can find your way, but it will take some introspective navigation. If you are lucky enough to be in Austin for SXSW Music, put them on our agenda. And, send me pics.

Don't You Evah
Spoon    (iTunes)
Mostly b/c I have no musical aptitude in my bones




I gravitate towards songs that provide a glimpse of reality, of honesty, or rawness to them. I love this intro...kinda like you are there in the studio w/Spoon. I mean if evah, I'd love to be that Roadie Gal saying, "Check check, One two, One two... Hello Cleveland". Rock star moment (note: not Rock Band 2 moment. Distinct difference.) As far as the poster, just love the frenetic visage and the stark two-color palette.

Liz Phair    (iTunes)
I am not an angry female. But I do have a healthy appreciation for when Liz let's loose on her opinions regarding love + relationships. She and Juliana Hatfield came on my radar during my Witt days as being enlightened yet rather pissed off gals. Nice nod(s) to my alter ego, I suppose. Ha! I love how this poster captures that dynamic (sexy yet angry) via the hard-to-miss typographic treatment! Girl rule, boys drool, eh, Lizzy? ;)

Lake Michigan
Rogue Wave    (iTunes)
Guess I have Lollapalooza 2009 on my mind as every time I hear this tune I think about Chicago in the summer. I love Chicago and have had many good times there. And based on my ability to snag two elusive $60 3-day souvenir tix today, I will be at Lolla for another year. This poster, it's blue hues, and the teenie tiny postage stamp area that has the concert info speaks to Rogue Wave's success-tiny, but mighty. Give them a listen, please.

Sister Havana
Urge Overkill    (iTunes)
How awesome is this tune? Man, loads. Funny enough, my high school kin (Boardman High School, thank you very much) has taken to Facebook like a fish out of water in the past two weeks. I love this poster due to it's Class Ring inspiration. I never had a class ring, but def respect angst high school can conjur. Vote for Pedro!

Pinback    (iTunes)
By most fans' accounts, this song is about a fish dying. We owned a fish once. Sharper Image made a case for their bookshelf circular fish tank... I guess. And then the fish stared to die. I cried. I felt so bad.... This song doesn't make me cry, but it does remind me that I should stick w/kids and dogs. That, I can handle. This poster... is it a fish?, or maybe a bunny?... wow, hard to say. But it does radiate a sense of higher being which this song brings forth for me.

If I were a runner, I'd def put this in my run playlist. Just seems like a great pace to do that runner like thing. Oddly, most folks I know run... I need to do some reconnaissance. Read: I'm a power walker, trampoline-er, yoga/pilates doer. Not a runner. Run Forest Run c'est moi.

Love Dog
TV on the Radio   (iTunes)
So this has been a long blog post. Thank you if you've stayed to this bitter end. My point: this last song is amazing and this poster-just proves the eloquence of simple design. The details across the wrist are the perfect touch to such a pristine and highly graphic design.

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I am extraordinary, if you'd ever get to know me
I am extraordinary, I'm not your ordinary
average every day
sane psycho
super goddess
average every day
sane psycho

See me jump through hoops for you
You stand there watching me performing
What exactly do you do?
Have you ever thought it's you that's boring?
Who the hell are you?

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05 February 2009


:: facebook ala web without words ::

I have been on a social networking frenzy as of late. And will admit, it's damn near exhausting. Between ordinary Google-ing (my fave verb); YouTubing (a made up word); Twittering (@HeyJoy) like mad—esp during the Super Bowl (which now seems rather sacreligious); getting my Facebook on w/my fantastic + inspiring peeps; and working on a new design for my esteemed colleague, Kirk Phillips' blog (brandStoke-new design launching soon), I'm spent. Not categorically, just short-term. I mean, I am a social beast-just part of my DNA and no way around it. But am relishing this blog post's nod to less is more when in comes to words.

Recognize the image above? Millions of people interact w/the page structure daily, hell, hourly. It's Facebook's user interface. And, while it might not be dead sexy to you (spoken in my best Mike Myers Scottish brogue), it's why FB works for the masses. Information Architecture and User Experience are the precise sciences of how users will interact w/a site. And I love that Web Without Words celebrates this craft. Their approach of taking the most popular mainstream sites, then displaying them distilled, stripped away from brand, graphics, the motion, is refreshing. They have great examples. Take some time to see if you can identify the sites they highlight. Fun stuff... er, for a geek like me. ;)

The tunes I've chosen below are from bands who's reputations are built on lyically-driven tracks. This offering showcases their lyrical hiatus, thus rendering me speechless. As always, enjoy. The play button, or player at the bottom, now await you.

The Air
Modest Mouse   (iTunes)
When I came across this tune, I was surprised it was by MM. From the band that brought you Float On, 3rd Planet, etc, they have an air of angst to them. Isaac Brock's vocal range and whit make it so. Thank you, Isaac.

I have a (bad?) habit of art directing music videos in my head when I listen to tunes. This one conjurs up some type of manufacturing, (ala the Rube Goldberg Honda TV spot), but much more darker, more sinister. Say, in the deep recesses of a castle. Hold that thought, and go darker. There. End scene.

Ricky's Theme
The Beastie Boys   (iTunes)
How much do I love the Beasties? Oh, stupid amounts. And while we all know their popular tunes, I love their lesser-known tunes. They are laced w/intrumental explorations (vs the overt rapping) that pull me in. Ricky's theme is a laid back, hazy kinda tune. A choice compliment to their portfolio.

I Heard You Looking
Yo La Tengo   (iTunes)
YLT has some of the best songwriters around. And the fact they are such strong musicians sometimes gets overlooked. Enter this gem: starts out slow and exaggerated, but wonderfully comes alive at 2:56 mark, and fullfills YLT's trademark of taking you on a journey for seven glorious, guitar-laiden, minutes.

Evil vs. Good
Clem Snide   (iTunes)
When I am melancholy, I love to listen to Clem Snide's Moment in the Sun. They master thoughts/emotions that help elevate my mood just so. I love this specfic tune for one– the title. I like the juxtaposition. And then– for the song itself as it's haunting, lingereing, embodying a contemplation of the dynamics of evil and good. Eef Barzelay's voice droning is perfect closure.

Inland Empire
Peter Bjorn and John
I saw Pete Yorn at Lollapalooza two years ago and he was telling a story of how earlier in the year, fans rushed the stage shouting, "Young Folks...Young Folks!". It wasn't until he got off stage that he and his manager realized the fans thought he sang the PB+J smash anthem, "Young Folks" due to how similar his name is w/the other bands'. Whoops. 

But "Young Folks" is what made PB+J famous. Which makes Inland Empire, from their instrumental album, Seaside Rock, such a find. The sound is quite different for them: moody. gritty. I hope they keep teetering between these two personas as it's a fab mix.

New York Skyline
Saint Etienne
Short and sweet, but I dig this piano compilation. I fell in love w/St. Etienne via "Lose that Girl" due to the 60's, Beatle-esque tempo and lyrics, and this mellow piano arrangement is very much in keeping with their feel good vibe.

You're so evil
And I'm so good
I'll make it up to you someday

- evil vs good