Friday, June 25, 2010

My Favorites of the year vol. 2.1

Yesterday was my birthday and last year at this time, I took stock of the year's preceding entertainment that I found amusing, inspiring, and all around great. So I decided I would make this an annual tradition and make a few lists of my favorite bits of whatever from the past year. I have broken these lists into three parts: music, movies, and artists.

So this week I've scoured my iTunes library to see what I've added in the past 12 months that have made me smile or inspired me while working. Maybe you'll find something new from my list to enjoy in the coming year. The other lists will be coming shortly AND I reserve the right to add to these lists as I remember items. Enjoy! R.I.P – I heard a lot of music through you this year, but Apple bought you and shut you down.  I hope iTunes learns something from them.
The Black Keys – Brothers

MuteMath – Armistice
Needtobreathe – The Outsiders. I love this guy’s voice. They rock AND have some mountain instruments for texture.

The Heavy – The House that Dirt Built. That song "How you Like Me now" from the Kia commercial is still cool to me.

Sufjan Stevens – all his stuff is amazing and will probably be on my list every year whether he has a new album or not.

Instrumental Movie soundtracks. It’s like modern classical music. Makes good background music to paint to.

Regina Spektor – Far. She is also a perennial favorite.

Owl City – Ocean Eyes. Kind of a guilty pleasure, but I just think it’s fun music.
Matt Kearney – City of Black & White

Sara Watkins from Nickel Creek finally came out with a solo album

Punch Brothers. I heard them in concert on NPR last week. They make “genius” fun. I plan to get their new album ASAP so they will be on my list next year for sure.

Imogen Heap – Ellipse
Ingrid Michaelson – Girls & Boys

Fiction Family – guitarist from Nickel Creek and singer from Switchfoot come together and got me through some tough times last year.

Switchfoot song “Always” came out just before my daughter was born and it helped me look forward to her first day of life

Wynton Marsalis – Christmas Jazz Jam. My favorite trumpeter made an incredible Holiday album
Wynton Marsalis – Mr. Jelly Lord. Old timey jazz and Dixieland
Harper Simon, son of Paul Simon. Enough said.

Broken Bells is a collaboration between Danger Mouse and James Mercer of The Shins
She & Him – Volume One & Volume Two
Brooke Waggoner – Go Easy is so beautiful, like a more serious Regina Spektor
Remedy Drive – song “Heartbeat” gets my blood flowing
Toby Mac – Tonight
The Classic Crime – The Silver Cord. Just plain rocks!

Monday, June 21, 2010


A branch of my wife's family in St. Louis ran as a team in a 5K race this summer. The race was to benefit the Saint Louis Science Center where my wife's cousin works as the PR & Marketing Manager. They asked me to design a T-shirt in the name of team unity based on the name they had come up with. The cousins are products of the '80s and way into music so I combined a spoof on RUN DMC's logo and the universal rep of science- Mr. Albert Einstein. The glasses and huge gold chain were added to make him fit into the rap group's persona. I could have added a fedora, but it would have covered up the crazy Einstein hair he is (partly) famous for – I mean he did other things besides have electric hair. I think.

We changed the theory of relativity! So sue them. It's ALL relative anyway. Did you even notice?

This was a very fast, fun, and free design that paid off big in comments like "that is hilarious!" by me mostly. I also got a first run printing of the T-shirt so now when I work out, I can feel smart AND hip!