Don't Take This Too Seriously

Monolith Recap (Top 10 List and iPod Winners)

This past weekend we flew out to Colorado for the Monolith Music Festival. (For those of you that don’t remember, we branded and designed nearly all of this year’s campaign). We had an amazing time—going into great detail would be too difficult—so we decided to break it down into a simple, concise list of our favorite moments/things.
Our Monolith Top 10 List
10. The epic landscape
9. Boston band, Passion Pit, causing Red Rocks to bounce. Literally.
8. Being on the verge of sickness from endless honey-roasted peanuts courtesy of the SouthWest Airlines booth
7. Riding in Method Man’s van (you’ll have to ask us for the sorted details)
6. Watching M. Ward at arm’s length
5. Experiencing The Mars Volta experience from back stage
4. MF Doom performing 20 feet from our booth
3. Being on stage while Rahzel KILLED IT and then getting high-fives from the legend-himself.
2. WaterCourse Foods – epic vegetarian dining
1. Cross-promoting our services, cavorting and sharing a booth with our pals at Jakprints!
Speaking of Jakprints, we teamed up with them to give away an iPod Touch on both Saturday and Sunday. The contest consisted of a festival-photo-scavenger-hunt. In true-fashion we branded the giveaway, designing hand-out cards, a horde of banners and some insanely sick, dye-sublimation t-shirts—all beautifully printed by Jakprints (of course!)
In order to be entered into the drawing one would need to shoot photos of the 5 items on our list before the last band went on (each day). We were really pleased with the amount of people that participated. We received some fantastic images to put it mildly. In the end there could only be one winner each day—so big congrats to our winners!:
Jenna Spencer and April Ramquist
Jenna’s photos from the Saturday contest:
1. The Jakprints/Alphabet Arm booth 2. The Monolith Logo 3. Someone with a band tattoo 4. A white dude with dreads 5. Someone wearing fresh, green sneakers
April’s photos from Sunday contest:
1. Someone doing a handstand 2. The Esurance logo 3. Someone with a completely righteous tie dye shirt 4. A radical mullet 5. A recycling bin

Sounds We're Digging: Ryan v.1

• The Gaslight Anthem “Sink of Swim”

• Wu-Tang Clan “8 Diagrams”

• Defiance Ohio “The Fear, The Fear, The Fear”

• The Aggrolites “Reggae Hit L.A.”

• Ben Weasel “These Ones Are Bitter”

Sounds We’re Digging: Chris v.1

• Radiohead “In Rainbows”
• M. Ward “Post War” 
• Cadence Weapon “Breaking Kayfabe”
• Beirut “The Flying Club Cup”
• Aesop Rock “None Shall Pass”
• Matt & Kim “Matt & Kim”

Sounds We’re Digging: Aaron v.1

• The Almost “Southern Weather”
• Peter Bjorn & John “Falling Out”
• The Thrills “Teenager”
• The Little Ones “Sing Song”
• The Broken West “I Can’t Go On I’ll Go On”.

Sounds We’re Digging: Ira v.1

• The Hives “The Black and White Album”
• Jay Reatard “Blood Visions”
• The Chinese Stars “Listen to Your Left Brain”
• The Nekromantix “Curse of the Coffin”
• The Bloody Hollies “Who to Trust, Who to Kill, Who to Love”

    Sounds We’re Digging: Aaron v.2

    • CSS “Cansei De Ser Sexy”
    • Bon Iver “For Emma, Forever Ago”
    • Miracle Fortress “S/T”
    • The Futureheads “News and Tributes”
    • Lee Morgan “The Procrastinator”
    • Radiohead “In Rainbows”

    Sounds We’re Digging: Ira v.2

    • The Riverboat Gamblers “To the Confusion of Our Enemies”
    • The Horror Pops “Kiss Kiss Kill Kill”
    • Goverment Issue “You”
    • X “Los Angeles”
    • The Flesh Eaters “A Minute to Pray, A Second to Die”

    Sounds We’re Digging: Chris v.2

    • Murder by Death – Red of Tooth and Claw
    • Bon Iver – For Emma, Forever Ago
    • MGMT – Time to Pretend
    • Cat Power – Jukebox
    • The Raveonettes – Lust Lust Lust
    • Why? – Alopecia

    Sounds We’re Digging: Chris v.3

    • The Kills – Midnight Boom
    • The Roots – Rising Down
    • Cadence Weapon – Afterparty Babies
    • The Dodos – Visitor
    • MC Frontalot – Secrets From The Future
    • Death Cab For Cutie – Narrow Stairs

    Sounds We’re Digging: Aaron v.3

    • Matt Costa – Unfamiliar Faces
    • Gnarls Barkley – The Odd Couple
    • Jeru The Damaja – Wrath of the Math
    • Black Keys – Attack and Release
    • French Kicks – Swimming
    • The Last Shadow Puppets – The Age of the Understatement

    Check your Fakts

    We’re happy to report that a record we designed about 5 years ago has finally been manufactured and about to hit the streets. For those of you who don’t know Fakts One, he’s 1/3 of the Perceptionists (Mr. Lif and Akrobatik) and one hell of a DJ. We hadn’t heard a bunch of these tracks until recently, but it was well worth the wait!

    Sounds We're Digging: Ryan v.3

    • One Day As A Lion – EP
    • The Gaslight Anthem – The ’59 Sound Single
    • Lagrecia – On Parallels
    • Chinese Telephones – Chinese Telephones
    • Joe Strummer – The Future is Unwritten (documentary)

    Music picks for ’09

    We had fun last year highlighting our favorite releases of the year, so we thought that we’d do it again this year. Well, fun like a stick in the eye, but we decided to do it anyway. The reality of the situation is that it’s so difficult to pick one release over another. Some folks out there—principally every music magazine in existence—are releasing their top releases of the decade. That just seems like an exercise in cruelty for us, so we’re going to keep it to the past year. In no particular order, here’s how it breaks down:

    Ryan’s List

    Ira’s List

    Aaron’s List

    Chris’s List

    Recent Records Rocking the Studio 2012 / PT. 01

    As a musical public service blog-a-nnouncement, we wanted to share some recently released records that are gaining serious play in the studio (and since people always seem to ask what we are listening to at the moment).

    Young Knives > Ornaments From the Silver Arcade // rev’d up, Brit rock featuring hooky tracks, snarky vocals and gorgeously obsolete synth patches // HIGHLIGHT “Love My Name”
    Cloud Control > Bliss Release > trippy, super creative, spaced-out indie melodic rock heaven // HIGHLIGHT “There’s Nothing In The Water We Can’t Fight”
    Plants and Animals > The End of That // surprisingly catchy, laid back, organic rock with killer dynamics // HIGHLIGHT “Crisis!”
    Yellow Ostrich > Strange Land // jaring dissonance pared with pop sensibilities and much in the way of percussion // HIGHLIGHT “Marathon Runner”
    Ben Kweller > Go Fly a Kite // sing-a-long 70’s songwriter sensibilities crowbar’d into a contemporary slant HIGHLIGHT “Gossip”
    Good Old War > Come Back As Rain // subdued acoustic rock sounding both vaguely familiar and brand new with more hooks than a bait shop // HIGHLIGHT “Calling Me Names”
    22-20’s > Shake/Shiver/Moan // epic guitars and sparkling harmonies make for an intriguing intersection of British Invasion inspired Arena Rock. HIGHLIGHT “96 to 4”
    Jack Peñate > Everything is New // imagine Robert Smith sounding 64% less annoying while fully embracing a quintessential UK pop aesthetic // HIGHLIGHT “Pull My Heart Away”
    Thomas Dolby > The Golden Age of Wireless // okay, busted, this is not a new record. but, it’s a brilliant collection of cinematic synth tracks circa 1982…don’t hate // HIGHLIGHT “Europa And The Pirate Twins”
    How about You?

    Akrobatik's new album arrived

    We just received samples of Ak’s new album that dropped this week. Did we mention we designed the 12in as well as the CD? We were enthusiastic about seeing the artwork on the matte finished goodness of the LP sleeve—have to say it looks pretty sweet!

    Akrobatik’s new release

    Sounds We’re Digging: Ryan v.2

    • Fake Problems “Viking Wizard Eyes” EP
    • The Copyrights “Learn the Hard Way”
    • Lagwagon “Trashed” repress on blue vinyl (isn’t that fancy)
    • Joe Strummer & the Mescaleros “Streetcore”
    • Dinah Shore “Shoo Fly Pie and Apple Pan Dowdy” Dinah Shore

    Recent Records Rocking the Studio 2012 / PT. 02

    The second installment of what is currently spinning in the studio. This time a not-so-subtle punk rock thread carries through our featured favorites.

    Sharks  > No Gods // English punk rock band that are often compared to The Clash… there could be worse things. However, they’ve definitely put their own youthful spin on genre // HIGHLIGHT “Arcane Effigies”
    The Underground Railroad to Candyland  > Knows Your Sins // Quirky, dark, jangley, surfy, DIY, indie rock. Yes, this was realeased last year, but it’s new to us! // HIGHLIGHT “Jimmy V”
    Classis of Love  > Classics of Love // Energetic and angry. The classic voice of Jesse Michaels from Operation Ivy returns with fury // HIGHLIGHT “What a Shame”
    The Menzingers  > On the Impossible Past // Quality songwriting on this mature sounding take on singalong anthems and self-deprication// HIGHLIGHT “The Obituaries”
    The Men  > Open Your Heart // Garage rock meets 80’s hardcore with great riffs throughout  // HIGHLIGHT “Turn It Around”
    Apologies, I Have None  > London // Emotionally charged, heart-on-your-sleeve debut from the English four piece // HIGHLIGHT “Clapton Pond”