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Ani Difranco Poster

Ani DiFranco Poster

This Ani DiFranco poster is actually the very conception of what would eventually become FUTURALBUM. During my final weeks at my last job, I discovered Flickr Internet Archive Book Images, and since Ani’s show was our next upcoming event, threw together this quick design just for fun.

It was one of those instances where you see some sort of image you can’t help but make something cool with it, even if it only gets a few minutes and you know no one might ever see it. Sadly that was the case here, as this poster never saw light of day (hopefully you’ll still make it to the show).

Sometimes a piece of work without the inherited anxiety of trying to please someone else—even if thrown together quickly—can be the most effective. It is that magical thing where the purity of creating is imposed upon the creation itself.

It was such a simple design and reminded me of my early days as a designer… which got me wondering what else I could do with that Flickr archive… Naturally I went overboard and jumped into plans for FUTURALBUM the next week.

Today it is pretty cool to see all that’s transpired because I took 10 minutes just to do some fun design work.

2014 Favorite Albums

2014 Favorite Albums

My favorite albums this year are mostly predictable, but nestled in there among my safe bets of the 2010’s (tUnE-yArDs, First Aid Kit, alt-j, etc) and long-term commitments to 1990’s heroes (Weezer, Beck, J Mascis) are a handful of really fun new discoveries from 2014.
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Lyle Lovett Gig Poster

Lyle Lovett Gig Poster

Well no sooner do I post about my exciting new job for a creative startup company, that I’m afraid to announce it has already ended. Anytime you jump into a startup you run the risk of it never starting up at all, and sadly that’s what’s happened this time around.

At least I was able to throw together a few posters this summer. That Brandi Carlile poster with the beer goddess illustration is something I’ll always be proud of, and this concert poster for the Lyle Lovett show in Traverse City turned out pretty cool too.

New Job and New Brandi Carlile Poster

Brandi Carlile Gig Poster

I started a new job recently as the Art & Design Director for a local event production company. Many friends have asked about it, but I have not had time to share any details about the change publicly, since I began right in the midst of our busiest (read: crazy) season and had to jump in with both feet—which honestly is the best way to do anything.
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Pete Seeger’s Banjo

Pete Seeger's Banjo

Download Free Print: Pete Seeger’s Banjo

Pete Seeger will always remain one of my personal heroes. It’s not his political activism that necessarily draws me to him, but rather how much he valued the things in life that really matter; how he truly believed you can change the world by getting people to sing together. I admire his commitment to working people and human rights, but it is his 70-year marriage that places him above others who I respect, into a special group of those I aspire to be.

Every time I hear him speak he manages to say something so wise it moves me instantly and stays with me permanently.

I once heard him say the happiest people he’s met are those who are hurting in some way.

At the time I was hurting pretty bad, and it was incredibly moving to hear someone else who understood how on earth I could be so completely happy.

Strong Odors Favorite Albums 2013

The National - Trouble Will Find Me

With new albums in 2013 from favorites Arcade Fire, Neko Case, Avett Brothers, Vampire Weekend, and (after a 17-year wait) Mazzy Star, my list is relatively predictable, but hopefully there are at least a couple surprises in there too.

I’d imagined a new Churchill album on the list this year, but sadly it seems to have landed in musical purgatory after the band disintegrated last summer…

What was your favorite album this year?

You can subscribe to the 2013 playlist on your favorite streaming music service:

2012 Favorite Albums


Here are a few of my favorite albums from the past year. Listen for yourself in my “2012 Favorite Albums” playlist on Spotify.

2012 Albums I Anticipated

  • Andrew Bird – Break it Yourself / Hands of Glory
  • Animal Collective – Centipede Hz
  • The Avett Brothers – The Carpenter
  • Beach House – Bloom
  • Feist – Metals
  • Grizzly Bear – Shields
  • Japandroids – Celebration Rock
  • Kathleen Edwards – Voyageur
  • Mumford & Sons – Babel
  • Passion Pit – Gossamer
  • Regina Spektor – What we Saw from the Cheap Seats
  • Sigur Ros – Valtari
  • Sleigh Bells – Reign of Terror

2012 Albums that Surprised Me

  • Alex Winston – King Con
  • Bill Ryder-Jones – If…

  • Diiv – Oshin
  • Fang Island – Major
  • First Aid Kit – The Lion’s Roar
  • Frank Ocean – channel ORANGE
  • Lightships – Electric Cables
  • The Menzingers – On the Impossible Past
  • Miike Snow – Happy to You
  • Norah Jones – Little Broken Hearts
  • Of Monsters and Men – My Head is an Animal
  • Sharon Van Etten – Tramp
  • Spiritualized – Sweet Heart Sweet Light
  • Twin Shadow – Confess

Strong Odors on Spotify

Strong Odors: Music-inspired Art



How Ya Feelin, MCA?

illustration by Troy DeShano

There is something that happens when you cross a dark valley.

If you’re lucky enough to reach the other side, you discover all these other individuals who had been in there with you. People you know, some you don’t and some whom you never will. They are all down there together, you just can’t see one another through the pitch black.

But when you’ve made it out, whether by scraping and clawing; being dragged or drugged, the valley leaves you charged with static electricity.

You don’t know it’s there, and you don’t know the next person has it until you come in contact… and then something pops.

Whenever I see or hear stories of cancer, I get really emotional.

I somehow managed to make it through that movie 50/50 recently, despite the knots of familiarity in my stomach, but today when I heard that  that Adam Yauch (aka MCA) had died, it really got to me.

He was my favorite Beastie, and though I’ve always rooted for those guys as underdogs, I’ve been rooting just that much harder for him these past few years.

It’s tough to hear, man.

But little do you know about something that I talk about

I’m tired of driving it’s due time that I walk about