Yeppers... those crazy swing-blues-country revivalist kids have their very own Daytrotter session. Check it out and get some insight into how they drunkenly recorded their version of "Goin' Up The Country" and you even download it. You can download an exclusive track "The Ska Song" that is an unreleased song they recorded.
Besides that, I'm constantly impressed how awesome their harp player is, that girl can blow!
It's that time once again when to good folks over at Stereogum unleash their bastard pop hell on the rest of the world. Mysplice 4 is once again helmed by team9 as he mashes up the best indie from 09 with the best songs of days gone by. Right now, I'm diggin' the Doors vs. Bat For Lashes "Riders Sleep Alone" and Phoenix vs. The Cure "Phoenix Get Cured." Denton ex-pat Alan Palomo gets in on the action as his Neon Indian project gets mashed with the Pixies.
Danger Mouse has continued his trend as the new Rick Rubin. His work with James Mercer under the moniker Broken Bells is impressive and shows the produce/musician has skills beyond the world of R&B and Hip-Hop.
"The High Road" is a cross between Shinsian dour-pop and psychedelia... which is to say it's a really good track.
While our list of favorite '09 singles may have been dominated by the females, the list of our favorite albums is a little more diverse, but, definitely twangy. It was a great year for local music on our end with Naptime Shake, 100 Damned Guns, Ronnie Fauss and Bosque Brown making our list. But, there was also good stuff out there that isn't really covered on other blogs either, but, we like it.
15. Girl In A Coma - Trio B.C. These three girls from San Antonio really know what pop-punk should taste like. Throughout this album they wear their influences on their sleeves as they move through punk, rockabilly and pop-punk not giving in to sex kitten kitch, a la The Donnas, this trio prove that they can hand with, and rock just as hard as the boys can.
14. The Low Anthem - Oh My God, Charlie Darwin Soft spoken, folky and haunting. This album kinda snuck up on me this year.Combining harmony with dark sounds the record sounds like Fleet Foxes singing a bunch of Appalachian death songs.
13. The Naptime Shake - Blood And Panic Noah Baily's band take twang to another place all together with the Shakes debut album. It's not often that you hear twang mixed in with ragtime and New Orleans flavor as well as classic country elements. The mixture of styles and excellent songwriting make this album a real local gem for the year.
12. Ryan Thomas Becker - Neighborhoof Lo-fi and gritty, this album from Denton's Ryan Thomas Becker continues to show of his impressive musicianship as well as his songwriting. A bit of a step away from his side band RTB2.
11. Justin Townes Earle - Midnight At The Movies Absolutely nothing like his dad would do, this soft-spoken album harkens back to the days of classic country before Music Row got their hooks firmly planted in country music.
10. Trouble Andrew - Trouble Andrew Snot-nosed, electro-punk. If you have a problem with authority of any kind, then you will probably love this album. If you like your electronic music with a little bit of bad attitude, then you will probably like this album. If you already hate skaters or anyone of their ilk because they are too arrogant and assholish... you will probably hate this album.
9. Pretty Lights - Passing Behind Your Eyes Prolly the artist I've obsessed about the most this year. His style is on par with DJ Shadow during his creative best. Samples layered over original instrumentation that is good to get any party started.
8. Ronnie Fauss - New Music For The Old Frontier, Vol. 1 Fauss combines tear jerking ballads and a bit of honky tonk into a big mash of goodness with this one. Songs about drinkin', lost love and everything in between... what else would you expect?
7. Camera Obscura - My Maudlin Career 60's girl group pop completely reimagined by a group of pouty Scots. For fans of Chamber Pop like Belle & Sebastian, there isn't anything better. It's awesome to put on an album and your parents ask you who it is... and they like it. 'Cause everything else is just noise, ya know?
6. Great Lake Swimmers - Lost Channels Hushed and gentle folk, there really isn't a better way to explain this album. Tony Dekker and crew put together a great album.
5. Jaydiohead - Jaydiohead Are mashups getting played out? No. What about Jay-Z mash-ups? Not when they are done right... and this album has been completely done right. "Wrong Prayer" gives Jay's "Pray" a big dose of urgency when fused with Radiohead guitars.
4. Neko Case - Middle Cyclone Like Mara Lee Miller Neko has one of the best voices in music, period. She's indie, she's twangy, she's rock all mixed up into a big bag of badassness.
3. Metric - Fantasies Although this album came out in April, it didn't get on my radar until the last few weeks. In those few, precious weeks I have only listened to this album. Emily Haines has one of the best voices in female-fronted rock. And, their songs are hella catchy to boot. "Help, I'm Alive," "Sick Muse," "Satellite Mind" are some of the catchiest, rockin' songs of the year. I dare you to listen to them and get them out of your mind anytime soon.
1. 100 Damned Guns - Musica de Tormento Cowtown's 100 Damned Guns are a treasure for the DFWd music scene. Sure, the scene is dominated with twang bands of one sort or another. But, the Guns blend of bluegrass, outlaw and classic country set them apart from the rest of the twang-infused brethren. I can see this band, more than any other, breaking out of the local scene and making a name for themselves either regionally or nationally... they have that much talent.
1. Bosque Brown - Baby
Mara Lee Miller probably has one of the purest singing voices on the planet. She doesn't need autotune, multi-tracked vocals... just sweet, sweet harmonies. At first listen I liked the album, particularly the three parts of "On and Off" are what really piqued my interest. Then upon further listenings I was completely in love with this album... all killer, no filler.
I've been rather infatuated with Metric's Fantasies album the last few weeks. I found a great 8-bit cover of "Help, I'm Alive" from said album. I can't help but be reminded of the Christmas when my brother and I got the NES when I listen to this song.
Hello, boys and girls. Today we get to peek inside the mind of graphic designer Steve St. Pierre. I first took notice of Steve when designed all the great posters you use to see for the gigs sponsored by My Old Kentucky Blog.
Bona Fide Darling: What inspires you for a gig poster design? Band, music or venue?
Steve St. Pierre: It's usually the music that puts me in the mindset. Once I'm assigned a project, I won't sit down right away and hash it out, even if I think I've got an idea that hits the nail on the head. I'll put the music on and go about some other business - but it design-related or cleaning out my refrigerator. I'll keep the poster in the back of my mind, then eventually hunker down and sketch out some ideas, still with the music playing.
BFD: What tools do you use to create your designs?
SSP: Always starts with a pen and paper. Just lightly sketching out some ideas. Then, depending on the style of poster I've got, I'll either open Photoshop and Illustrator and go to town. No tablet for me - I'm all mouse, baby. For now, at least.
BFD: What skills do you think a good graphic designer should have?
SSP: An eye for the small things. It's those that count. You can have the big idea, but I find it's usually a bunch of really small great ideas that make up the big one, you know? This is also a curse, because you'll never be able to look at the world the same way again. You'll notice every nook and cranny and their shapes and how things fit together. It's kind of nice, actually.
BFD: You were, at one time, doing gig posters for My Old Kentucky Blog... how did that come about?
SSP: Dodge, the head honcho for MOKB, put (essentially) an open casting call looking for designers. I was a fan of his blog, so I wrote him and he asked for some work. The first piece I did was for the Rosebuds, and then another for Someone Still Loves You Boris Yeltsin. He dug the work, so he kept sending projects my way - which was pretty great because that work got me some jobs with some pretty decent clients (like the Monolith Music Festival). Dodge is a good dude.
BFD: You are web designer by trade, how do you think those skills translate into graphic design?
SSP: I actually studied advertising in school and started out doing small print projects for family and friends (usually how most people get going). Only recently was I scooped up by a web design firm as their lead designer. But as much as people say the two mediums are completely different, I don't like to treat them as such. I'm all about simplicity and grids and such. I love type, I love colour, I love shapes - and all those things appear on both sides of the spectrum.
BFD: What bands or artist do you most want work with?
SSP: In all honesty, as much as I would love to do pieces for my favourite artists and bands (like Bon Iver), I'm more excited about working with my pals in the local scene here in Ottawa like the Love Machine and Amos the Transparent and Paramedics. There's so much great talent and if I'm able to create designs and packaging and posters and such for them that'll help get them noticed, I'm all for it. It may not pay as well, but that's what the day job is for, right?
BFD: Are your designs based on something you've previously sketched out or are they based on the project?
SSP: Sometimes I'll have some ideas that I lock away for the perfect project. But I usually feel more accomplished if I think of an idea after the project lands on my desk. I don't know why that is - maybe it sort of feels like I'm cheating the other way? I don't know. Maybe I'm just an idiot.
BFD: Do you have designers that inspire you?
SSP: First and foremost, I'm a huge Charley Harper fan. It may not reflect in my work, but let me tell you - that man's work is something else. As for contemporaries, I love the guys at Doublenaut, Invisible Creature, Frank Chimero, Aaron Draplin, Aesthetic Apparatus, and Jason Munn. I've sent all of these guys emails along the line and all of them have been kind enough to shoot back words of encouragement. I really hope I get the chance to do the same.
As you take a look through the list of my favorite singles from this past year, you may notice something a little off. Yep, my favorite songs this past year have been dominated by a lot of female artists or female fronted bands. But, the men also represent this year... just not as strongly as last year.
16. Trouble Andrew - Chase Money
Snowboarder turned electro-punk Trevor Andrew turned in one of the best songs of the year with "Chase Money." It keeps the punk philosophy, adds some electronics into them mix and comes out with awesome, snot-nosed electro-punk.
This band of Scots take an approach to pop music that hasn't been seen since The Supremes went out of style. Their girl-group pop sound is a delight to my ears. They take the girl-group, 60s style pop and create something that should sound like a copy and make it sound fresh.
A very, very late addition to my list. One of the best power-pop songs to come out this year from a band not fronted by a dude. Poppy and catchy as hell, a song with a killer hook that won't easily get out of your head.
Sure, KXT is a great way to hear good local music... so is actually going out to shows. But, now we have another way to hear some really great bands and listen to insightful banter between the hosts. Well, maybe not insightful, but funny.
What started off as a music night at The Libertine has transitioned into a podcast. So far the boys have 8 episodes up. The format is basically, if you and I were sitting around drinkin' some cold beer, talkin' about local music and the goings on around Dallas... then you have it.
While sonically, at least, "Chasing The Tear" is more upbeat than the majority of Portishead's catalogue... it's still lacking a lil' something.
Beth Gibbons vocals don't seem to instantly engaging as they once were. While the production and instrumentation is infinitely better and more approachable than on last year's "Machine Gun," it's hard to instantly like the song. But, I'm sure after a few more spins it will stick in my head anyway.
You can get a download of the song here, the proceeds go to Amnesty International. So, do your good deed for the year... it's almost over.
It's hard to explain to someone who lives outside of the DFWd area exactly how great the music scene is around here... particularly in Denton. Now the explaining can get a little bit of help with the Gutterth Compilation 2.
It features tons of local artists like our SubEx buddy Cory Graves band Mount Righteous, a favorite of ours Sarah Jaffe, RTB2, Ryan Thomas Becker, Shiny Around The Edges and literally dozens more.
Doug Burr's bring-you-to-tears excellence of "Mirror Ball" is an instant goldmine find for me. But, I've got to give it up that my favorite Jaffe song "Black Hoax Lie" is featured on the comp as well. Good choice fellas.
You can download the sprawling two album set right here... tomorrow. However, if you would like a hard copy of the compilation you can get it at Good Records.
Vermont's Jer Coons gives his sensetive singer-songwriter spin to the Jackson 5's classic "I Want You Back."
It's not bad, actually a nice sensative interpretation. But, I can't help but see the fans of this song wearing mom jeans or stuck in their dorm room/bedroom fretting over a failed relationship and they will never find anyone else like them again.
One of the most gratifying things about college was my group of musically minded friends. We would always ask each other "Have you heard..." and turn each other onto new music. Since then, I've turned to a few blogs and this here blog to find new, great music.
But, sometimes things fall in between the cracks and I miss out on something that is fantastic... like Metric. I've been listening to their newest album Fantasies non-stop this weekend. Such a great, wonderfully produced record. Electronic/synthesized/rock music with a great sound.
I've been a fan of the Spoon for a while now. However, when I heard the first plunky piano strikes of "Written In Reverse," the first single off it's new album Transference... I was not... to... excited. I knew the band produced it themselves which made me a little scared. Because, isn't that when most bands go all out with their most bizarre shit? Yes.
But, after my initial listenings the song has grown on me and I see the error in my ways. I just hope Transference keeps the bands streak of fantastic albums alive. It's pretty hard for most bands to come out with six straight fantastico albums... Spoon is at five... and counting? You tell me.
As I started this post I noticed that it's number 1,000 in our long illustrious blogging career. So, tip that Lone Star back celebrate peoples.
Back to our regularly scheduled program...
Kite In The Air have release their second EP, Magic Marker, and their second single "Stretch It On." It's a spacey chilled out, blissed-out, baby electro track that is perfect for... well, anything. But, alas, there is better news kids-- Magic Marker is available for free. Yep, as in you don't have to pay for it and it's not stealing! Just go here and you can listen to individual tracks or download the whole album.
Hello, kids! I'm happy to announce that we are having our first music showcase at City Tavern on January, 2.
Know, New Years Day gives you plenty of time to sleep off that hangover... or catch up on some sleep. We were lucky enough to get a really strong line-up for what hopefully will be a long line of shows. Ronnie Fauss will start things off, followed by the excellent Elkhart and Bosque Brown will be the evening's main attraction.
Cover is only $5, so, with some rest and cheap cover you really have no reason not to check the show out!
Richmond, VA's BbopNRokstedy seem to have a problem with an ex-girlfriend. The incoming voice message to "Message Erased" sounds authentic enough, but, you know how creative the kids are these days with the computers and internets and all.
However, the duo turned it's rejection into a club ready banger. Except for two unfortunate repeats of "...take care of yourself" from the voice mail, it turns into an excellent adventure into the land of indie electronica. It's better than anything I've heard Neon Indian do.
This is probably the most interesting song I've heard of late. Jihae (jee-heh) combines the smoky vocals of a female Tom Waits backed by His Name Is Alive.
Lyrics of relationship curiosity pepper this acid-jazz meets trip-hop tune that captured my imagination. It's not subject matter that is necessarily new, but, the vocals and music together give it a darling sense of urgency.
Of late, Ed Helm's character "Andy Bernard" has been my favorite anger suppressing character on the show that has gotten pretty stale. But, he joined Old Crow at a show last night playing banjo and singing. (annarbor.com)
It's never a surprise when great music springs up from our neighbors to the north in Denton County.
The latest in a long line of noteworthy bands is This Old House. The name kinda fits them perfectly, with their pop influences on their folk-rock songs.
I first noticed them when they were the subject of an episode of "DC9 In Space" a few weeks ago. From there I went and checked them out on Myspace and the hook was sunken firmly into cheek.
Musically, their style isn't that different from Fleet Foxes, but, that would be where the comparison for them would end. Their voices aren't drenched in reverb to get the singing in an empty cathedral vibe. And where some of Fleet Foxes songs are upbeat, even sunny numbers, the few I've heard from This Old House lean heavily on the mellow vibe... perfectly fitting for the colder weather ahead. Or smoking lefties with your buds.
Their next show will be at Dan's Silverleaf (with Unwed Sailor) on 11/29.
I've had the opportunity to see Neko Case in concert twice now and I've not been disappointed either time. She is in a category with the like of Alison Krauss as far as her voice is concerned, they both have pure singing voices where they don't have to strain to hit the notes needed in a performance.
You can check out my "Last Night Review" of the show for The Dallas Observer here. Last night the place was packed and I was sandwiched in between a few really tall guys, so, I only got a few pics an no video this time.
Ryan Thomas Becker is better known around these parts as the frontman/geetarist for Denton's RTB2. But, Ryan is releasing his latest solo album that has him keenly treading the line between sensitive singer-songwriter and full-on rock master.
Don't look for any John Mayer type ballads to make the girls weep, it's not that kind of singer-songwriter album. He deftly moves around the spectrum of with a slowed down, rocked up lo-fi sound that would make Gorilla vs. Bear jizz his pants.
It's kinda criminal that "Seek Fire, Anime Kids" is not even two minutes long as it starts Neighborhoof off with a vibe you are use to hearing with RTB2. But, that seems to be where any comparisons to his other band can stop until the middle of the record. Which is probably good, since I doubt he set out to make a solo record that sounds like his other band.
The rest of the album flows with songs like "Whistle" that goes through country-blues, "Premaries" the sensitive duet and "Where Your Father Didn't Go" which sounds like lo-fi doo-wop.
Neighborhoof will have a release show at J&J's Pizza in Denton on 12/1.
Unfortunately I missed Sarah Jaffe's performance on KXT earlier in the week. But, hopefully I won't have to miss 100 Damned Guns performance at 1030a on 91.7... music to the core. But, you may want to play it safe and tune in around 1015a just to be safe.
I've really been diggin' the hell out of KXT this week. Throughout the week when I've been able to listen to it I've heard a few unexpectedly great cover songs. The best one that I heard just today is Iron & Wine's cover of New Order classic "Love Vigilantes." It gives a whole new spin on the song while keeping the emotion of the song intact.
It hasn't really been that long since we told you about San Francisco's Kite in the Air. But, they are already back with their second EP of the year, Magic Marker. This time the production is a little bit tighter, however, they are still rockin' it like Ladytron's poppy, non-maniacal kid sister.
Emma Lucia's voice perfectly compliments the groups throbbing electronica sound. This song shows maturity and progression in their sound, they deserve to be up there with the big names in the electronic scene.
Last night was a testament that you don't have to have a major blog presence to be able to draw a strong crowd. Granted, it wasn't a sold out crowd, but, the floor level was pretty packed most of the night as revelers danced around to the electronic beats provided by Pretty Lights and his touring drummer.
Any apprehension I had about a live drummer being a part of the show was gone by the first song. He mixed in seemlessly with Derek Vincent Smith's glitchy melodies and brain-rattling bass. From "Keep 'Em Bouncin'" to "Who Loves Me?" the SMU crowd was getting sweaty moving around that much. It was nice to see a crowd so responsive and active during a show. There wasn't a moment during the show when there wasn't a body moving to the music.
The least impressive part of the evening was the "visual" element to his show. Touring with a huge LED screen lit up behind them the images they were showing were less than impressive. It seemed like they bought up a bunch of Flash movies and screen savers and added them to the show. Granted, this isn't a big deal, but, when you've seen DJ Shadows audio/visual elements to his shows it's a high bar to reach. But, I digress as some of the images were interesting to look at.
You can check out the pics from the show on your Facebook page.
On a different note: is every 14-16 year-old kid in Dallas a little shithead or was it just the ones who were at the show last night? They were some of the rudest kids I've ever witnessed.
This Saturday The O's and Shibboleth are playing with Rhett Miller of The Old 97's at Granada for the Breathe Easy Cystic Fibrosis Foundation. If you wanna check out the show we have a pair of tickets to give away.
Just email us at bonafidedarling(at)gmail.com with "Rhett is so dreamy" in the subject line and the tickets are yours!
*UPDATE - Tickets are gone, congratulations to our wieners.
In today's second installment of "Designed To Rock," we talk with Round Rock, TX gig poster designer, Todd Slater. Todd has designed for a variety of different artists ranging from Green Day to Elvis Costello. You can check out his portfolio of work here.
Bona Fide Darling: How long have you been designing?
Todd Slater: Well, I graduated in 2003 from Stephen F. Austin and worked in a t-shirt shop for a couple of years before going freelance. I've been designing professionally for seven years now.
BFD: What was the first design you did for a major band? How did you get that gig?
TS: It was for Pretty Girls Make Graves and it was a show at the Trocadero in Philadelphia. I knew from gigposters.com that the Troc commissioned tons of silkscreened posters and I was able to finally track down their promoter after numerous phone calls and emails.
BFD: What is your preferred medium to work in?
TS: All hand-pulled silkscreen if possible.
BFD: Why do you think there has been such a boom in screen print rock poster sales over the last several years?
TS: Several major books have come out on the subject: Art of Rock & Art of Modern Rock which have helped. I think that bands selling their music digitally has put less emphasis on album art and that posters can fill that void for some.
BFD: Is there a band you would really want to work with?
TS: Man, so many. Bob Dylan is really high on my list. Tom Waits and Beck too. I'd also really like to do a Fiery Furnaces print and a Daniel Johnston print. There's tons really. Ween was a big reason I got into poster art and I've been fortunate to get to work with them on many projects.
BFD: Are your concepts driven from the band, their songs or neither.
TS: It's evolving actually. When I first began everything was driven by a single song or a theme on the band's album. I think I focused on this because I wanted to make sure people "got it". I sort of feared people (or the bands) staring at my prints with blank expressions on their faces. In the past couple of years I've focused on that less and just concentrated on vibe and feeling and mood and atmosphere when working on a print. I think it can be better to make the imagery difficult sometimes.
BFD: Do you prefer to hand design or computer design your projects?
TS: It's an even mix I'd say since everything starts as a sketch. I use programs like illustrator and photoshop to refine and polish those sketches. A wacom is a really handy tool for drawing I must say and I wonder if I'll move to that full time at some point.
BFD: Is there an artist you wouldn't want to work with?
TS: Haha...well, yes. There are bands I don't listen to that I've done work for but I can't give you a list. Eventually, I'll detail every bad experience I've had in a retrospective or book but now is not the time to go scorched earth. It will happen though and I will spare no details.
BFD: What drew you to graphic design?
TS: Failure to develop as a painter? I'm kidding (sort of). I think my work has an equal balance of design and illustration. I'm interested in both equally and making prints has been the right balance for me. There's also some sort of boldness and immediacy in graphic design that I'm attracted too.
BFD: My brother and I have a debate as to what make a good rock poster. He feels that they have to be screen printed and not any type of photograph. Where do you fall in this debate for the ages... and poster nerds.
TS: This is a pretty common feeling, your brother is not alone. Screen-printing is a must I agree, but photography has it's place in rock posters. I use stock photos quite a bit in what I do. Poster art is evolving and while I agree that most of the greatest posters are illustrated I can't rule out photography.
BFD: Any tips for aspiring designers out there?
TS: Trust your instincts and make a poster that is as important to you as the music you're creating it for.
I saw this video a while back and just about instantly liked the song, even though it's very disco-ey. Brooklyn's Holy Ghost! have as they have said, something that is retro, yet relevant. The hook is extremely catchy and will serve you well as a part of your party time, night time city driving soundtrack.
Fun fact: the burly, bearded guy in the video is the same guy (who did the same thing) in New Order's "Confusion" video.
You can get the track, along with several remixes, here.
Now, I posted an piece about this on "Today In Music News" over at DC9, and truth be told... this song is actually pretty good. And informational, it's entertaining... it's infotaining. I've always been fascinated by space and other planets, so, this came a quite a pleasant surprise to me. The songs is great and comes off quite nicely.
But, it's also interesting how much Carl Sagan sounds like Kermit The Frog.
The video for Great Lake Swimmers new single "Palmistry" is pretty fitting for the feel of the song. Late afternoon, on the water on a big-ass boat, laid back. The only difference is... it's like a clipper ship and not a bass boat.
If you're a fan of the Pearl Jam, you know there are certain things to expect at their shows.
1) They are probably not going to play "Leash"... even if you call them pussies. 2)They probably aren't going to play "Bugs" and they probably they aren't going to play "Sweet Lew" either, because they've never played either of them live. 3) If it's Halloween, they will more than likely dress up, you know, 'cause it's fun!
The fans in Illedelphia got a treat on Halloween as they played "Bugs," "Sweet Lew" and dressed up as Devo and covered "Whip It," all of this on top of a 40 song set. Pretty good for rock dinosaurs who don't mean much any more, right?
Today we're starting a new feature here on BFD that will be recurring somewhat regularly. As much passion as I have for music, I have the same amount of passion for graphic design of all kinds... advertising art, web design, stencil design and especially rock n' roll poster design. Our hope is to have Q&A's with some of our favorite designers around North Texas and the nation.
In the beginning when I first became interested in graphic design I was drawn to the work of Ames Bros, since then my taste has changed a little. Currently my favorite designer around is Jason Munn who designs for his own design company, The Small Stakes. I first saw his work in a design book I have, I Googled him and found his web site and from there... that was it. There are a lot of talented designers around the country and in the DFWd area, but, Jason is my favorite one around right now.
So, I'm absolutely thrilled to present a little Q&A he took part in this week... enjoy.
Bona Fide Darling: How long have you been designing and why did you get into graphic design?
Jason Munn: I've been designing pretty consistently for about the past 8 or so years. I worked in a couple different studios for awhile before going out on my own about 6 years ago. I got into design through growing up skateboarding and listening to punk and independent music. Skateboard graphics, magazines and album covers were really my introduction to art and design and after going to school for a couple of years as a fine art major I was steered in graphic design by a teacher of mine and things began to click a little.
BFD: What is your approach to each poster design? Do you feel like the band, venue or band's subject matter hold any importance to your designs?
JM: The band holds the greatest importance to me, but sometimes locations of shows and so on can play a role. I approach each design essentially the same way, research and listen to the band and do a lot of sketches and see what I can pick up on.
BFD: You use a lot of nature in your pieces--bugs as instruments and what not. Do you get a lot of inspiration from nature?
JM: I don't think I do, but I must in some way. I'm just trying to come up with something appropriate for the band and I know natural objects are used quite a bit in my work, so there is usually something in the music or identity of the band that will lead me this way.
BFD: Your Josh Ritter poster, where Idaho is a piano is one of my favorites of yours. Do you have a favorite you've done? Is there one you wish you could redo?
JM: Thanks, that was one of the rare posters where the artist or band had a request and Josh's was to have something to do with Idaho on the poster and I came up with the piano. I've got a few favorites, the couple I've done for The Books and for Deerhunter have always been some favorites. There are plenty I wish I could redo, or sweep under the rug.
BFD: How did you get your start working with bands and creating show posters?
JM: Most of my early posters were for a venue in Berkeley, CA called The Ramp. It was located in the basement of a church and the shows were quite small, and really amazing. Some friends of mine booked the shows there and they asked me to make all the posters. There was typically 1 - 2 shows a month, so the shows were pretty special and unique. Deerhoof, Why?, Damien Jurado, and Animal Collective were some of the shows to play at the The Ramp. Unfortunately, the venue only lasted a year, but I've continued to work with some of the bands that played there.
BFD: Is there a band you would like to work with that you haven't had a chance to work with yet?
JM: I actually don't think about this too much, but TV On The Radio is one band I haven't had a chance to do anything for that I would really be happy to create a design for.
BFD: You have a very particular style, your designs have a very clean and minimalist feel. Do you think that style works best for the bands you've worked with?
JM: I'm just trying to come up with ideas that work for the band, whether it is clean or minimal is not exactly the goal, but my ideas can be pretty subtle sometimes and adding more aspects to a design can make it feel confusing and the idea can be lost quickly, so I typically try to keep to what is needed to convey the idea or mood.
BFD: Do you approach your designs differently for publications than you do for music?
JM: Not really, my approach is pretty much the same. Sometimes other client work can have more guidelines in general, which is sometimes welcome.
BFD: Would you rather design for a band or venue? Which one would be better?
JM: Most I've my work is through the band, but I occasionally do work through venues, but the bands typically approve the designs either way, so its becoming one in the same.
That line from Band of Horses "The Funeral" has always stuck in my head, beside the beautiful "ooohs" at the beginning of the song I always found that line to be particularly poignant and heart felt.
Serena Ryder & The Beauties have done a pretty faithful, although minimalist, cover of that song. She doesn't necessarily add to the beautiful sadness of the song. But, she does give it her own little spin.
The Laughing will take part in this year's Fun Fun Fun fest down in ol' Austin... the hometown of Gov. Good Hair.
They sound like a combination NYC bands Stellastarr* and Radio 4. They've got the punk aesthetic with the exaggerated vocals that are just right for partying. But, being that the band is from Austin, that kinda figures right in.
It's not really hard to fuck up a song if it has Karen O's voice on it. You could probably have a garbage can as a drum and barking dogs for the backing vocals and as long as the lovely weirdness of Karen O is singing, it will probably be good.
A-Trak remixed Yeah Yeah Yeahs "Heads Will Roll" and turned it into a dance friendly, little electronic number.
Despite being an overall jerk and supreme narcissist most of the time, I have a lot of respect for the art he makes. He has gone against the grain in hip-hop and done things the way he wants to do them.
We Were Once A Fairytale is actually a good little short movie. Sure, 'Ye plays drunk very badly, but, it's actually pretty good.
So, it was technically like three days ago, but, it's all good. You can check out pics from the show here. And you can check out the "Last Night Review" of it here on DC9.
Ft. Worth's Best Fwends were, for me, the unlikely hit of the night. You have to give it to two nerds who perform back by music loaded on their iPod. Their stage presence was stellar and they knew how to work a crowd. And, throwing two large gargoyles into the crowed for them to bounce like balloons didn't hurt either.
When I received an email announcing The Naptime Shake'sBlood And Panic I wasn't sure what to do. I know their singer Noah Bailey through writing with the Observer and I was kinda afraid of what would happen if I didn't like it. But, my fear was eased from the first track of the album.
Once I got Blood and Panic started, the first track "Nourishment" reminded me of two things: Dr. Pepper and Emmet Otter's Jug Band Christmas--two things that always make-ah-me happy.
Don't get me wrong, not every track on the album is a winner, but, the band connects more times that it whiffs. I like the twanged-up ragtime sound of "Honeybear" and "Ease My Mind." It's not a sound that you often hear, if ever, coming from a twang band from The D. Oh, and did I mention they rock the kazoo on "Wolves And Water?" I didn't? Well, I should. Not since Old Crow's Eutaw album have I heard a kazoo... on anything... of any kind. But, I digress.
There are several tracks on Blood... that are really good songs, the first five songs on the album come to mind...
Noah can rest easy knowing he's joined the ranks of Neil Tennant and Chrissie Hynde as music journalists who've moved behind the mic and onto the stage and don't suck at it.
When I read that an electronic artist is compared to some of my favorites like Underworld, Depeche Mode and New Order you can bet my interest has been piqued. And, add that to the fact said band covered a favorite song of your my interest is piqued x2.
However, once you get into it you find out the group sounds nothing like your favorite bands and instead sound like a slightly better version of Neon Indian.
But, Relation have given the electronica treatment to the Pixies "Here Comes Your Man." It's definitely interesting to hear that song in a different genre and without my love Kim Deal singing on it.
Ronnie Fauss seems to be on a roll this year. He released his fantastic Songs For The Old Frontier, Vol. 1 earlier this year... and we really dug it. Now he's released I Can't Make You Happy, a lil' three-song EP that is available on iTunes.
Fauss is one of the alt-country/roots/indie/americana acts in Dallas that doesn't seem to get any kind of recognition. His songwriting teeters on heart string tuggers like "I Can't Make You Happy" and songs ready made for the honky tonks like "One Eye Open."
But, coming in January you'll get to see him open up play with Elkhart when both bands open up for Bosque Brown at our first show at City Tavern! Yes, I'm very excited about these developments... deets to come.
Sometimes it takes a while for me to wade through label hype about a band and give them a chance. New York's The Low Anthem has been the latest to win me over. I've been listening to their album Oh My God, Charlie Darwin! this afternoon and you could "knock me over with a feather."
From the folky plaintive tenderness of "Charlie Darwin" and "To Ohio" to the bluesy stomps of "The Horizon Is A Beltway" and "Home I'll Never Be" the album is great.
They will be playing the Granada on October 28 with Blind Pilot. I for one will check them out.
It was a reunion... for one song. But, since it was at a Pearl Jam show that really only makes sense. Chris Cornell joined Ed for the vocal duties on "Hunger Strike" for a show last night out in L.A. Oh, and just as a side note, Chrissy can still hit the high notes... he just makes bad album decisions.
I've been told recently that I talk about Pretty Lights quite a bit. I was told it was every other-other day. Maybe. But, I can't help it the guy puts our really good records.
Anyhoo, I would've posted this yesterday but the man's site crashed due to the massive amount of people trying to down load the new album. But, it's back up and running today and you can get the new album here.
Once you download it, I HIGHLY suggest you check out the track "Keep Em Bouncin" and turn the ol' headphones/speakers to stun.
The vocals, vibe and melodies of the Aussie band get me where it counts. "About The Money" has been rolling around in my head when I'm not listening to the album, and when I do listen to it I find myself listening to it twiced.
If you love Britpop inspired music then you really need to check these guys out.
Thanks for checking out Bona Fide Darling. Our goal is to offer up the best local Dallas music you can find. All the music posted is for sampling purposes only. If you like what you hear, do like I do and go out and buy the record.