Friday, December 31, 2010

Happy New Year

Party hard or take it easy.Love, Daniel and Alec

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Concept Art

First things first: Go down and look at Alec's last post if you haven't.

Don't tell anyone but I am secretly a nerd. As such, I'm a real sucker for sci-fi and fantasy culture. I think something really tragic and beautiful about so many games, movies and shows is the concept art. Tragic because it's rare that the final product ever matches the feel of the concept art, and beautiful because, well:

Yeah, C3PO used to be very Metropolis. Star Wars is one of rather few movies that reliably lived up to its concept art. Often, it occurs that when concept art is held up next to the finished product, they seem like two independent IPs. This isn't really a bad thing, and can make up for some interesting contrasts between the concept and the way it is carried out. I think concept art might be what really sparked my interest in illustration, and it's definitely the kind of thing that I can see myself doing.
What really constitutes concept art is kind of nebulous but I've read it defined as illustration with the objective of representing and idea, design, or mood for another creative work, be it a video game, movie, or comic book. For a little reference, I'll throw some stuff up that calls itself concept art:
This is a digital painting by Tim McBurnie. Scenes this involved are usually limited to the pages of comics and webcomics because of the relative cheapness to produce compared to the cost of making a movie or game. At any rate, I am into exploring fictional worlds and I think concept art generally makes them seem a lot more concrete and nearer to existent, whether or not the art is made as part of a bigger production or in relation to an existing work. See more of Tim's work here:

This is the work of Matt Gaser, and it pains me to post only one image of his, but I'll post the link to his portfolio in a sec. Something I am noticing as I write this is it seems like many of the illustrators that use digital painting assume a sometimes of generic style full of colorful, glowy luminosity when painting big scenes. It might have something to do with the wide appeal of the style. It doesn't really bother me, because there is enough variety between scenes and in they way that certain elements are handled that I don't really get tired of looking at concept art. Mostly, it just makes me really want to get a Cintiq. Matt Gaser Home

A blog that I came across while looking for artists was Muddy Colors. Muddy Colors is "An Illustration Collective" and they have a lot of guest posts by working illustrators. I think it's a really good resource of information and expect to probably visit it more in the future. I hope you liked this post and Alec and I promise to post more regularly soon.


Wednesday, December 8, 2010


So I guess because I started it as a draft a while ago, the latest post is below Daniel's post, so look there.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

College Update

So some good news came in the mail today. I went to a National Portfolio Day at VCU last month, and had my portfolio looked at by a MICA (Maryland Institute College of Art) admissions officer. The woman was generally very enthusiastic about my work, which was a big confidence boost and I guess she really did like it, because today, I found out that my portfolio has been approved, meaning I don't need to send one in as part of my application package. "In fact, the quality of your portfolio placed it in the top 25% of those we have reviewed so far this year." Wutup. This is very good news because MICA is pretty much my top choice school, up there with CMU and RISD.

In other news, I have been watching a lot of Starcraft 2 commentaries. I have always enjoyed Real-time Strategy Games, and although I have not really put that much time into getting good at them, I think they are very interesting. If you are interested, and even if you are not, I will be posting some links to a few of the commentators that I follow.

Another Link
Third Link
A final link, but as far as you're concerned a link that is exactly as attractive as the three before it.

I hope you decide to click one of those, and sorry we haven't been very consistent with posting, but we will get better, I promise. Alec promises too.


Friday, December 3, 2010

That Time of Year

So as the year comes to an end it is time for me (like everyone else) to make a favorites of the year list. Not necessarily the "best" albums or whatever, but just my faves. It is a "top 17" list because I am 17.

17. Astrocoast - Surfer Blood

16. Down There - Avey Tare

15. M M R - Mickey Mickey Rourke

14. Broken Dreams Club - Girls

13. Hippies - Harlem

12. High Violet

11. Romance is Boring/All's Well That Ends EP

10. Islomania - Lester Brown

Lester Brown is the number 1 most underrated "chillwave" artist. His only release so far, Islomania is so incredibly good. I've listened to it a ton this year, and featured a song from it ("American Smokes") in the summer mix and also posted about him. He's also collaborated with Mickey Mickey Rourke under the name Mickey Brown and their songs are awesome as well. Islomania is available for FREE on Lester Brown's myspace, so check it out pleeeease.

Also: check out a vid:

Lester Brown // Let Your Hair Grow from Jarred Beeler on Vimeo.

9. Beach Fossils - Beach Fossils

This album was pretty perfect for summer. It's sorta similar to the Drums, only it doesn't suck (sorry, but except for their EP they totally suck). Really fun to drive to. Their new Face It/Distance 7" is really great as well and only shows more promise.

8. King of the Beach - Wavves

♥ Wavves. This album will hopefully have shut up all the people who said that he wrote shit songs and just hid it by lo-fi recording. While I do miss his old noise and fuzz, King of the Beach has just as much energy as his other albums. The addition of a bassist also really helped things especially when live.

7.Turning On/Didn't You 7"/Leave You Forever

They just refuse to stop making good music. I felt really bad when basically no one danced when they opened for Wavves.

6. The Years/To the Lighthouse 7" - Memoryhouse

Really excellent, soothing music. Posted about 'em before with lotsa vids.

5. Earl - Earl Sweatshirt

I think it's always really weird when bands get popular a while after they've released stuff. This happened with Earl Sweatshirt and basically all of OFWGKTA. I don't really like too much rap, but Earl is just incredible. Fuck Kanye/Drake/Kid Cudi/Lil' Wayne. Listen to Earl Sweatshirt

4. Various Jeans Wilder Releases

I don't really know what to put for a pic here because I've gotten so many songs by Jeans from various mixes/websites and stuff that I'm not even sure of what all his releases are. He does have his first LP, Nice Trash, that comes out today so you should probably buy that. Jeans Wilder has flirted with popularity, especially on a split 7" with Best Coast, but drone-y sad beach songs are not really all that well liked. It's a shame really.

3. Everything in Between - No Age

More polished and built up than anything they've done before. Still awesome/noisey/fun.

2. Teen Dream - Beach House

It's hard for me to think of Teen Dream as coming out in 2010 because it leaked so so early. It's incredible though. Filled with dreams, reverb, and Victoria Legrand.

1. Halcyon Digest - Deerhunter

Deerhunter. Bradford Cox has had quite the year. Aside from releasing Halcyon Digest (on my birthday no less) he also put out 4 albums for free as Atlas Sound on his blogspot (his label got mad at him and tried to remove them though. The release posters/street team was a really cool idea and hopefully you printed them out and stuck them everywhere. There is an in depth review of this album posted earlier, but it is a little different than other Deerhunter. Still amazing though. "He Would Have Laughed" the ending track dedicated to Jay Reatard is incredibly depressing and the perfect closer. You must listen to this.

- Alec

Sunday, November 28, 2010


I'm sure you've heard of Dungeons and Dragons, also known as D&D, and I think it is definitely worth talking about a little. A few months ago, my brother linked me to a podcast about D&D sponsored by Wizards of the Coast, the company behind the game. The podcast consists entirely of audio recorded during sessions of D&D. Notably, the podcast features Gabe and Tycho of Penny Arcade, and maybe less notably, Scott Kurtz of PvPonline. It is a pretty entertaining podcast if you are interested in playing, or even just curious about what it's like.

I have not actually played, but Alec and I are working on getting a game going, but it takes a pretty sizable amount of planning, and we are lacking some objects that are critical to making the game happen.

I am really excited to start playing. It is a pretty unique opportunity to bond with a group of friends, as well as a rare chance to indulge in some very involved make-believe. I think many people are pensive about exploring D&D and D&D-type games because of the social stigma surrounding them since they were demonized in the media in the 90s. Also, they are stereotypically pretty much the nerdiest things in the world. Another obstacle facing people interested in playing is the prohibitive amount of materials necessary to play, though recently Wizards released something called the Red Box which is essentially a starter-kit for one to five people. I think there is a pretty good chance I will end up purchasing it, though I would still need to pick up a lot of die.

I will let you know how it all goes when college applications are no longer taking up every weekend. In the meantime, if you have the time, do check out the podcast, and start from Series 1, Episode 1, near the bottom of the page. Link


Thursday, November 25, 2010

Adrian Orange! (Thanksgiving!)

happy thanksgiving to everyone

- Alec + Daniel

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Real Estate/Ducktails/Alex Bleeker and the Freaks

I once heard Real Estate described as "a band about nothing" (the Seinfeld of bands) and it was maybe the best description of them I've heard. There's not really a unified theme among their songs (maybe a kind of overlying beach thing (maaaybe)) but really they are about nothing. You are supposed to "write what you know" and that's exactly what Real Estate does.

The above pic also perfectly captures what they are all about. It's the middle of summer. It's hot. Really hot. You're in some pretty unremarkable venue (apparently in Texas) (although they are from New Jersey). You're bored. And then this band comes on. They're pretty lazy, lofty, groove-able. Very soothing. You forget it's hot. You stop being bored.

That's what Real Estate is for me. They're one of my favorite bands, and, they are kind of like those toys where you move some of the pieces around and it becomes something new.

Which brings us to the next band on the agenda (and another favorite of mine) Ducktails. I already posted about him but he should be mentioned in the post about all things Real Estate.

See this post for more in depth info (along with Jeans Wilder)

Last of the Real Estate bands is Alex Bleeker and the Freaks. Alex Bleeker is the bassist and he writes the music in this one. It's way more folky based, although pretty freak-folky. Think of like Woods mixed with Bon Iver with a pinch of some more traditional folk. He's got an album out, and it's pretty good. There's less of a connection between The Freaks and Real Estate than between Ducktails and Real Estate, but one common link is the killer guitar work. There's more distortion (Woods style) here, but it's great. He's way less known than Ducktails, and it's kinda a shame. Definitely worth checking out.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Alec is out

Hello everyone, Alec is in Pittsburgh for Amnesty International's national conference. I wish I was too but, alas, I am not. Just letting you know we're still alive and it may be another day or two before the next post

Thanks for your patience,

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Holy Grail

You might recognize this. This is the McRib by McDonalds; the famed and fabled Mcsandwich of legend. Today, Alec and I each consumed one of these godsnacks. Alec seemed less than thrilled but I will let him talk about that if he'd like to. Personally, I found it to be a pleasant surprise. Given, my expectations were very low; just look at that picture, or even just imagine what it is. Still, I think without any anticipation of how it would taste, I would have enjoyed it.

It has something that very few other things at McDonalds have- a flavor that is discernibly of the meat of the creature from which it comes. Take the Chicken McNuggets, or,"McNuggs," if you were to simply taste them without knowing that they were McNuggs, I do not believe you would naturally assume that they are of a chicken. Even the hamburger straddle the line that divides manufactured flavors from those that occur in nature. Other than the McRib's pork patty, only the Angus series and items that include cuts of chicken breast meat taste much like real meat. Though this doesn't say much about how tasty it is, I think it is a commendable quality of the McRib. As far as tastiness goes, there is much in the McRib; it's as tangy as they say, and the sauce is of a pleasant spicyness that leaves a light tingling over the whole of the tongue, as the sandwich o'erfloweth with tangy-sweet-spicy bbq sauce.

I am something of an onion fan, so of course the onions provide a welcome variance to the unfortunately textured patty, and a nice, organic crunch that makes the manufacturedness somewhat less apparent- likewise with the pickles.

The McRib cannot hope to live up to its hype because people's expectations are damningly misinformed. The fame of the McRib comes not from its taste but from its nostalgia value-the sandwich sold poorly enough in its time to be removed from the menu. Its return is a callback to the 80s, to birthday parties, and to the wonderland that McDonalds once was, replete with ballpits and intricate plastic structures. Now, these are the memories of another generation, but maybe I'll one day feel the same thing for Sprite Remix, or some other treasure that has been lost in a sea of cost-cutting corporate greed. In the meantime, I look forward to eating a few more of these before they go away again. Thanks for reading.


Oh, and if you haven't, listen to Alec's songs. Both rock but I am really big on Sweater Bed.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Some Self-Promotion (Sorry)


I recently finished recording a virtual 7" under the (tentative) name Shitface Cat Skeleton. Daniel made some cover art for both sides, so I'd really like to thank him for that. Some influences when writing/recording this stuff were Ducktails, The Microphones/Mount Eerie, Pavement, Fluffy Lumbers, Julian Lynch, Wavves, and Smith Westerns.

The A Side, Skate or Die, can be found here (streaming and downloading):

The B Side, Sweater Bed, can be found here (streaming and downloading):

Alternatively, you can download them both here if you'd like:

I'd really appreciate it if you could check these songs out.

Thanks - Alec

Saturday, October 30, 2010


Hello everyone. Today, rather than examine a single artist, we are going to look at a site that I have recently gotten into in a big way. Unurth is a site run by Sebastian, and a sort of database of street art from around the world. The volume of art is pretty impressive on its own but what really adds to it is that the artists of each work are identified, (by their pseudonyms of course) which seems pretty daunting considering how often street art is unsigned.
This is from a set featuring Escif and Hyuro. Something that is pretty common on the site is collaborations between artists. I can't think of much more to say about the site as a whole but I just think it is a commendable effort to document some genuinely remarkable art.
Please enjoy,

Wednesday, October 27, 2010


Ducktails is Scrooge McDuck Matt Mondanile, who just so happens to be the guitarist in one of my fave bands, Real Estate. I've been listening pretty heavily to Ducktails since early in the summer and I'm actually suprised I haven't posted about him yet, I was pretty sure I had. Better late than never though, right?

Ducktails makes me think of driving back home from the beach one summer night, when it was pretty hot in the day, although not humid, but has now cooled down to that perfect, just right temperature, in a car filled to the brim with my friends. We're d
riving just a little too fast maybe, and it's probably not really the safest option or anything, but it is due to two things: 1. We've just finished one of the best days in a while and we're feeling pretty confident. and 2. It's been a long day and we're all tired in the sort of way you get after having the sun beat down on you all day and we're a little delirious and sleep-deprived. We are happy.

It's beach-y, phased-out, filled-to-the-brim-with-soothing-wah-y-guitar-lines, nicenice keyboards, simple-but groove-y drums, and often-hidden vocals, all mixed together and repetitive in the best, relaxing way.

He has so many more good tracks than the few I've linked you to. CHECK HIM OUT (PLEASE)

Jeans Wilder (Andrew Caddick) makes music in a semi-similar vein to Ducktails. I've more often heard him being compared to Wavves and Best Coast (before King of the Beach and Crazy for You) and I think that's a more decent comparison. His stuff is lo-fi for sure, and there's a sort of beach-y influence that seems to be really popular and common these days, but the vast majority of his songs are sort of drone-y, gloomy, and more somber. Jeans Wilder is a very druggy, stoned-out guy, and that's really apparent through his music. The downside of this is that I think it causes some of his tracks to drag on a bit sometimes, but he is still a good listen (even if you are not smoking DSG) so give him a try.

Kiss You from Hazed Nostalgia on Vimeo.

hope ya enjoy - Alec

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Scott C.

Pardon the spacing, but I wanted this picture to be the first thing you saw. It's the work of Scott C., and like almost all of his work, it draws heavily upon pop culture. Exhibit B: his tumblr- Great Showdowns. Great indeed. The site is a series of illustrations of adversaries from movies, more or less. Some are really nutty:
“Have you ever wondered if there was more to life, other than being really, really, ridiculously good looking?”

Others are a little more serious:
“Well, there were eleven votes for guilty. It’s not easy to raise my hand and send a boy off to die without talking about it first.”

Something all of the showdowns share is a remarkable style that seems to shine optimism upon the often dark movies they illustrate. Man, looking back through the older ones, I just want to post all of them here because they are making me remember movies as being much better than they really were. I am also a big fan of watercolors, so Scott is like my man. You can see a lot more of his work on his blog, and his flickr, and there is absolutely no reason for you not to click at least one of the links I've posted.


Thursday, October 21, 2010


No, not Cop-out like the hit movie starring Tracy Morgan and his sidekick Bruce Willis. Unfortunately, this post is the kind of cop-out where I just post some of my recent art. I promise to have a real post in a day or two, but things are getting crazy.Sorrys, thanks,


Sunday, October 17, 2010

Things I Like/Midly Enjoy



Despite their terrible name (they are named after th
e Richter piece, but still, it's pretty bad and way too similar to Beach House) these guys are amazing. They are a duo, composer/ambient musician Evan Abeele and Denise Nouvion, and make beautiful, shimmery, sleep dream-pop. The background music is great by itself, but it is Nouvion's vocals that really make it great. They were lumped in with chillwave for some reason, but I think they're gonna make something of themselves. Check out the videos below as well as their tumblr, where they post cool vids as well as songs and older pieces by Abeele.

Memoryhouse - Bonfire from Jamie Harley on Vimeo.

Lately (Troisieme) - Memoryhouse Music Video from Malcolm Klock on Vimeo.

In My Room: Memoryhouse "When You Sleep" from Yours Truly on Vimeo.


The new Avey Tare (Down There). Avey's my fave of Animal Collective and I never really listened to Panda Bear's solo stuff until pretty recently (although I'm really liking it), and I really liked his older solo stuff (like "Abyss Song") and the album he did with ex-wife Kria Brekkan, so I had super high hopes for this. I've listened to it several times but I can't really make up my mind about it. None of the songs really stand out or are particularly great, but it really does flow well as an album. You should give it a listen, but don't expect to be blown away. I feel like a lot of people like it just because it's by Avey.


Sunday, October 10, 2010

Happy Holidays!

Alec is off visiting a college in far away Portland. That's okay, though; we can celebrate the rape of North America without him. Happy Colombus day!


Friday, October 8, 2010


I thought briefly about saving this artist for Halloween, but I figure I'll come across another gem between now and then. Anyway, Alec showed me this fella's work and he definitely ranks among my favorite artists that I've written about. His name is John Kenn, and he posts his drawings on his blog, confusingly named "Don Kenn Gallery". His posts are all wordless and untitled; they are just drawings of monsters, and I think his blog is an ideal example of properly executed simplicity. According to the only words he has written on his blog, John writes and directs television shows for kids, and with twins of his own, is free time is lean, but he devotes some of it to drawing "monsterdrawings on post-it notes." It's as simple as that.
Though I know nearly nothing about him, I feel like I can relate to John in a way. Many of my doodles use a lot of patterns, and while this might not be the case for him, I find it very relaxing and, ultimately, rewarding to be able to remove myself from thought and just put lines on paper for a while and to eventually come up with something that I like to look at. Additionally, I appreciate the apparent intimacy that I feel in his drawings. By this I mean it seems like he draws for himself, and is simply sharing some of his personal drawings with us, because they lack the pretense of an artist who creates with and audience in mind.
I also enjoy drawing all sorts of creatures, so his little post-it illustrations are right up my alley, and I sure hope they're up yours, too.

AP 2D Design

Hello you,

I may have two posts up before the day is out, but i'd like to share with you two illustrations that I've done for AP 2D Design. They're not necessarily done, but they're the done-est things I have at this point.

Feedback welcome.

Thanks for reading,