Sunday, November 30, 2008

More Little Joy

Yep, I LOVE Little Joy. Their debut album is one of my top 3 of 2008. Here's another track.

- Joel

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Little Joy

I'm sitting at home, casually watching Oklahoma and Oklahoma State trade touchdowns, still waiting for my feet to warm up from a snowy/rainy seat at the Kansas/Missouri game, happily thinking back on the past three days of Thanksgiving with my family, and looking for new music. I've found a lot of fun stuff, and this band may be the best of what I've found tonight.

They are Little Joy. This quote from Pitchfork's review of their self-title debut album says it best, "Little Joy is not going to stop the world or change your life, but it's one of the sweetest, most listenable, consistently enjoyable records of the season."

Watch the fan video of the song "Brand New Start" below.

- Joel

One of My Faves

Vampire Weekend put out my second favorite album of this year. They deserve all the hype.

- Joel

Little Drummer Boy

This version is by the band Low. I'm usually a skeptical of modern versions of classic Christmas tunes, but I really like this one. The video is a little strange, but the song is great.

Download it here.

- Joel

Fun Winter Song

Check out this song by the band Boy Least Likely To. It's a chill acoustic song called "The First Snowflake." This will be released on December 15 as the first single to their album which won't drop until March. Enjoy.

- Joel
the first snowflake - the boy least likely to

Friday, November 28, 2008

More Traditions

#12 - Basketball at the Sheridan Center - since we no longer celebrate in Dodge City, we've moved it to the North Kansas City Community Center
#13 - Playing Knock-Out (the basketball version)
#14 - Half court shot contest and Dave pays the winner
#15 - Go to a movie as a family
#16 - Hang and knock down a pinata - we almost missed this one this year
#17 - Friday night Mexican dinner - used to always go to El Charo's in Dodge City
#18 - Dave reads the tradition list at the Mexican dinner
#19 - We all eat Atomic Fireballs - almost missed this one this year
#20 - Clogged Toilets - happens every year, I won't name names
#21 - Guys play poker
#22 - Girls play Nerts (a fast-paced card game)
#23 - Celebrate Aunt Mary's birthday
#24 - Do puzzles
#25 - Go to the park - it used to be the park down the street from Grandma's house in Dodge City

More to come...

- Joel

Thursday, November 27, 2008

More Traditions Accomplished Today

Tradition #5 - Thanksgiving Day 5K - my cousin Eric ran a 15:41 and placed 5th (this just officially became a tradition this year because it's the 3rd year in a row to run the 5K)
Tradition #6 - Cinnamon rolls & Coffee Cake for breakfast
Tradition #7 - Thanksgiving meal
Tradition #8 - Name Cards at every place setting - it's always a surprise where you sit
Tradition #9 - "Nut Cups" - little baskets with nuts and candy at each place setting
Tradition #10 - Men of the family do the dishes after the Thanksgiving meal
Tradition #11 - Frisbee golf (this also officially became a tradition this year)

More traditions to come!

- Joel

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Thanksgiving Traditions

More traditions have been upheld tonight. These are in no particular order or importance.

Tradition #2: The men of the family play the card game Hearts.
Tradition #3: Electronic games. This years it's Madden and Rock Band on XBox360. Back in the day it involved bringing Nintendo or other systems to play on my Grandma's old TV in Dodge City, KS.
Tradition #4: Chex Mix. We always have homemade Chex mix. My aunt brings her spicy homemade mix from Odessa, TX. That arrives tomorrow.

- Joel

PS - Here are the two ovens.

Thanksgiving Night 1

Above is a picture of my new scarf. I bought it last weekend at Standard (Daniel's store). I plan to wear it every day of Thanksgiving break.

In the Thomason house, Thanksgiving has started off with a bang. My mom went to cook dinner tonight and found our oven to be broken! Not a good thing. So we are replacing the oven the night before we need to cook the turkey (and we'll have almost 30 people at the celebration). But all great holidays involve some sort of adversity. This is ours.

In the meantime, we are missing Tradition #1 - Wednesday night before Thanksgiving Chili Supper.

- Joel

One More

© Joel Thomason
Greg Gillis is in the mask. Hipster girls love him. After second thought, a few other shots from that night turned out ok. You can see them on my Flickr page.

- Joel

Girl Talk Photo

© Joel Thomason
Unfortunately the title of this post is not "Girl Talk Photos." For a multitude of reasons - I'm not a great photographer, I was distracted by dancing, it was dark, I'm not a great photographer and didn't pay close attention to apperture/shutter speed - only one photo really turned out from my trip to see Girl Talk over a month ago. Yep, it took me forever to get the photos developed.

But stay tuned for lots of Thanksgiving pictures, as well as a running tally of my family's numerous Thanksgiving traditions. It starts tonight!

- Joel

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Reading List

I just finished Blood Makes the Grass Grow Green by Johnny Rico. It's a soldier's memoir of his time spent deployed in Afghanistan. I finished the book tonight and still need some time to digest it before I decide what I thought about it. As of now, I'm neutral.

Here's what is next on my reading list:
Animal Farm by George Orwell - an allegory on the dangers of communism
Let Us Now Praise Famous Men by James Agee (photographs by Walker Evans) - a journalist's narrative on lives of three sharecropping families in the Depression-era Deep South

- Joel

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Stream Kanye

You can now stream Kanye West's new album, 808's & Heartbreak, on his blog. Like him or love him, you cannot deny that Kanye is a creative force in popular culture these days. I've only listened to a few tracks, and I'd give it a so-so rating - too much auto-tune (which I could say about most hip hop these days). The underdog, College Dropout Kanye fresh off the car accident was a lot more likeable than the modern day Kanye. I'll probably still buy this album (sigh)....

- Joel

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Creative Writing

Check out this website called Da Font. You can download really cool fonts for free. Another shout out to Cassie who told me about the website. I think it's going to be addicting. They have over a thousand to choose from.

- Joel

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Shout Out

Shout out to my sister. She's got a new blog. Love you, Abby.

- Joel

New Music

Beach House - "Used to Be"
Good stuff. I love this song.
- Joel

New Music

Horse Feathers - "Curs in the Weeds"
Nice strings-heavy indie folk.
- Joel


My friend Cassie made a great addition to the new slang. Yesterday it was trillion (someone who is trill) and trillionaire (someone who is the most trill).

Today it is trillionette - a female who is the most trill. Cassie is definitely a trillionette.

And to respond to my sister, I'm not making up a word, I'm making up a slang definition of a word.

- Joel

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

New Slang

No, I'm not talking about the song by The Shins that changed Natalie Portman's life in Garden State. I'm talking about taking the word "trill" to the next level. It's catching on in Dallas. I first heard it used in the Clipse song of the same name. But now we are kicking it up a notch....

Trillion = a person who embodies trill characteristics

Where "trill" was an adjective, "trillion" is a noun. For example, "Keep holding it down, trillion." Or, "What's up, trillion?" I think you get the idea.

So go forth and use trillion. Maybe a trillionaire is someone who is the trillest.

- Joel

Monday, November 17, 2008

Photographer of the Day

Trey Kazee. A friend of my friends in Dallas. I met Trey this year on my trip to the State Fair with the crew. Check out his Flickr.

- Joel

Songs That Ben Wrote

My friend, Ben Rector, is in the midst of releasing his new album, Songs That Duke Wrote. Since he is not yet signed to a record label, this album release is semi-gradual; albums can be bought at his shows and eventually on iTunes. Check out his myspace here. Also, you can read about the adventures of recording an album on Ben's blog. He stayed at my apartment while recording in Dallas, so I had a chance to share in some of the adventures - one of them being a trip to Fuel City for tacos and the Texas State Fair. Though I think that adventure came a few days after he had finished recording.

- Joel

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Let It Snow


It snowed in Kansas City today - first snow of the season. It wasn't a real snow, just a dusting. But as I waited in the cold for the Pilgrim Pacer 5K run to start this morning, and the wind swept across Shawnee Mission Park, it was fun to see the tiny little snowflakes. By the way, apparently I placed 7th in my age group (20-29 year old men) and 16th overall. Who knew? It's probably because most of the serious runners were running the 10K or Half-Marathon options.

For those who think Kansas City is sooo cold and sooo far North, it's not. This is pretty early to get snow flurries. The real stuff doesn't come until January or February. Then, as Pusha would say, "While I'm shovelin' the snow man, call me Frosty." But I don't think he was talking about the same kind of snow.

- Joel


I wound up at RecordBar in Westport last night. It happened to be the CD release party for this guy Max Justus (Justus isn't his real name). He was alright. It's electronic music that hipsters would love. And they did love it, as evidenced by the most unhip, akimbo dance party that ensued.

Check out Max Justus here.

- Joel

Thursday, November 13, 2008


I bought a pair of Nudie Jeans today. Daniel sold them to me (at a discount, because he's my hook up). They're great. Plan on me wearing them everyday for many many months. I have a feeling they're going to be addictive. I'll want to buy more. I already do. Good thing they don't come in liquid form or I would consume them intravenously. Not really.

- Joel

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Upcoming Music

Grizzly Bear has a new album dropping this spring. They were on Letterman a few months ago and played a new song called "Two Weeks." I happened to be watching Letterman when this came on and absolutely loved it.

- Joel

Christmas Cards!

Those who know me know how much I love Christmas. It's my favorite holiday. I get goosebumps just thinking about it. Christmas is Karen Carpenter's voice, Plaza lights, snow, Home Alone....Christmas is the best. I love Kansas City at Christmastime because it's cold and it's festive (more festive than most cities, if you ask me).

Christmas is also Christmas cards. And you can find some really cool hand-crafted Christmas cards made by my good friend Cassie. Just go here. They'll be on sale soon. I'm definitely getting a set or two. She has just started posting the sets to her blog, so keep checking back for more designs. From what I hear, there are more sets coming that are much more festive. I LOVE the set pictured above.

- Joel

Photographer of the Day

Hale County, Alabama, 1936 © Walker Evans
Walker Evans. LaSalle Bank's Collection contains works by Walker Evans. I only saw them in passing and can't remember which pieces they actually own. Regardless, in a hallway full of photographs, his immediately jumped out at me.

- Joel

LaSalle Bank Photography Collection

Trolley, 1955 © Robert Frank
Today I took a quick day trip to Chicago to meet with LaSalle Bank (actually they've been recently bought out by Bank of America). Don't worry, it was not as glamorous as it may sound. I spent all of the time either sitting on a plane, sitting in a taxi, or sitting in a small conference room with windows opening to the side of a building. However, in my walk from the elevator to the bank's restaurant on the 43rd floor, I walked through a hallway full of photography from the bank's private collection. They have an incredible collection. I was excited to recognize a piece from Robert Frank's The Americans hanging in the hallway. The picture, seen above, happened to be my favorite from that collection of Frank's photography. Personally, I was excited to recognize a piece of artwork and not only know the artist but the piece's cultural implications as well. One year ago, this would not have been the case.

- Joel

Friday, November 7, 2008

Ronald Jenkees

Thanks to Ben for showing me this.

- Joel

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Current Jam

Brandy - "Right Here (Departed)"

Girl Talk Recap

Last night, Daniel and I (accompanied by my brother Cory and Daniel's wife Hattie) made the trek to Lawrence, KS to see Girl Talk in living color. It seems Mr. Gillis decided to make an October/November trip to the Kansas City area an annual event. Daniel, Hattie, and I had the opportunity to experience the madness that is a Girl Talk show for the first time last year. For some reason, this year's show was remarkably different. Though this year's set wasn't as power packed or heavy hitting as last year, the contrast between this year and last year hinged on the crowd. Let me explain what I mean.

Over the past year, Gregg Gillis' popularity has grown immensely. He is no longer the secret of pop culture savvy hipsters seeking a retreat from an indie music scene increasingly invaded by frat guys and high school kids. Now, everyone, at least most everyone 18 or older, knows Girl Talk. During last night's show, I commented that the crowd was the perfect "worlds collide" experience. There were frat guys ill-prepared to dance, "too cool" sorority girls actively ridiculing hipsters for PDA, aging hipsters, pretentious hipsters making a point to say MGMT was the "most boring band" they've ever seen live, completely inebriated college guys threatening to pour beer on Daniel's head, and the average college crowd hoping to go-out and get drunk. And then there was us. I don't know what we are.

Hattie described the crowd as aggressive. It was apparent that the majority of the crowd was unfamiliar with the standard concert-going patience and protocol. As we waited for Gregg to emerge, the crowd grew restless and rambunctious. They also grew more intoxicated, which multiplied the issues. When the show finally did start, the best term to describe the experience was inorganic. To me, it seemed as if the majority of the crowd was trying to manufacture an experience, like they wanted to recreate the YouTube videos of Girl Talk shows they had seen online. Everyone immediately rushed the stage, not so much for more room to dance but so that they could say they were on stage during the show. With so many people on stage, there wasn't any room to dance anyway. I left feeling like most people there just wanted proof that they were there: photos on stage, sweat from rubbing up against Gregg Gillis, the ability to say, "I just loved it when he played that one Notorious B.I.G. song with that Tiny Dancer song"...

The difference between this year's show and last year's show is simple; last year people went to actually experience the show, while this year the majority went to say they experienced the show. And this is why I believe Girl Talk will be a victim of his own success. The very fans that made him who he is today no longer have the room, or the patience, to dance on the dance floor. They'd move to the stage, but it's crowded with people too drunk and too preoccupied to appreciate the genius flowing through the speakers.

- Joel

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Shoal Creek Wilderness Run

This morning, in the midst of the thickest fog Kansas City has seen in awhile, I participated in the 7th annual Shoal Creek Wilderness Run, held each year to raise awareness for the Shoal Creek Living History Museum. The 5-mile course took runners through village of 19th century buildings, built between 1807 and 1885, back and forth across Shoal Creek four times, and through the woods of Hodge Park. It was a great course and enjoyable run, and the fog added a Hollywood-esque feel. I felt like a Civil War soldier running through the woods, ducking enemy fire (I'd be fighting for the Union of course). Though I didn't stick around for the Awards Ceremony, my time would have placed me 4th in my age group according to the 2007 results.

Also, I have a pretty funny and embarrassing story from the race. Ask me if you're interested.

- Joel

Blast From the Not So Distant Past

With my new job, my commute has become substantially longer. Fortunately, in Kansas City, gas can be purchased at QuikTrip (best gas station in the country) for $1.95 a gallon. The blessing in disguise is this - it gives me some time in the morning and evening to go through all my music. The last two days I've been enjoying the rediscovery of Peter Bjorn and John. Back in 2007, I listed their album Writer's Block as my fifth favorite album of the year. If you're super hip, you'd correct me and say, "Didn't that album drop in 2006?" I would answer, "Yes and no. It was released in Europe in 2006 but wasn't available in the U.S. until 2007." Anyway, I'm loving me some PB&J right now. Below you can see/hear two of the better tracks on the album.

- Joel

Young Folks

Object of My Affection