Tuesday, January 27, 2009

LV and Kanye

I was out of town for the weekend so I've been catching up on all the Fall Fashion shows from Milan and Paris today on Men.Style.Com. One stand out is that Kanye West has collaborated with Louis Vuitton on a sneaker that debuted at the LV show in Paris. Of what I've seen so far I really like Junya Wantanabe's show, which was my favorite from Spring 2009, and Alexander McQueen's 19th century America looking show was pretty great as well.

Here's to a great week,


Friday, January 23, 2009

Packing List

© Joel Thomason
* Passport
* Cameras (Canon AE-I, Holga, and digital)
* Film (lots of it both color and b&w)
* Books (four to be exact, I'll probably finish the two I'm currently reading on the plane ride down)
* White v-neck t's (a must)
* iPhone loaded with new music
* Tetanus shot (not packed in a bag, but I did get one today.  Hopefully it kicks in!)

And off we go.  I leave for the Dominican Republic tomorrow morning at 4am.  Yikes!  For those of you that helped support this trip, thank you so much!  For those that don't know where I'm going or what I'm doing, here's an update.  I'm headed to the Dominican to be part of a dental mission team serving children in the city of Santo Domingo.  I don't know dentistry but I can hang out and love on the children and their families and assist the team in any way possible.  It's going to be fun.  I'll blog all about it when I get back.  Plus I'll have lots of great pictures to post (hopefully).

See you next Saturday!


Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Animal Collective

Panda Bear (aka Noah Lennox, one of the members of Animal Collective) put out my second favorite album of 2007 in Person Pitch.  The highlights of the new Animal Collective album, Merriweather Post Pavillion, sound a lot like Person Pitch.  And that's a good thing.  I have yet to make it all the way through the album, but the song "My Girls" is the standout so far.  This track will probably be near the top of most indie-music lovers "Best of 2009" lists.  

Check out the "My Girls" music video below. 

- Joel

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

New Music Tuesday

It's Tuesday (almost Wednesday now), the day when new music drops.  There is some stuff worth your time, in my opinion.  Bon Iver released a new EP today called Blood Bank EP.  Check out the song "Woods" below.  It's the highlight of the EP, which only costs $3.96 on iTunes.  

Also released today was Animal Collective's Merriweather Post Pavillion.  This album has received rave reviews.  I haven't purchased it yet but will probably do so tomorrow.  So I'll let you know my thoughts.

One more thing.  Coldplay released a music video for their song "Life in Technicolor II" off of the Prospekt's March EP.  I absolutely LOVED the video.  So creative.  Watch it below.  The looks on the faces of the parents and children in the video are priceless.


- Joel

Love Day '09?

This was also posted on the 10 Lunches Blog.  But maybe a few more people read this blog.  It's time to start inviting other people to join me on this quest to serve the less fortunate.  So far, my brother and sister have each joined me on a trip to pass out lunches.  Tomorrow, my friend Conner is joining me on another trip downtown.  Next it's time to rally more troops.

So I'm dreaming up next steps. Here is my idea - Love Day '09. We could rally people to make 10 lunches of their own (or 4 lunches or 32 lunches or whatever), meet up downtown before lunch time on Valentine's Day, and pass out the lunches to the less fortunate. Why not show some love on Valentine's Day?  Plus, it's a Saturday, so more people would be available.

It wouldn't have to be exclusive to Kansas City. If people were interested in doing it other places, that would be cool too.

Let me know if you are interested - joelrthomason@gmail.com or 10lunches@gmail.com or just post a comment to this blog post.

- Joel

Saturday, January 17, 2009

B&W Holga

I busted out my Holga after a jog late one afternoon. The black & white film turned what probably would have been ordinary, boring shots into shots with some personality. You can see some below and more at my Flickr page.

- Joel

© Joel Thomason

© Joel Thomason

Friday, January 16, 2009

Around Kansas City

These are some pictures that I took as I walked around Kansas City passing out lunches. You can see more here.  While you are at it, check out the 10 Lunches blog.  I just posted something and need your feedback!

- Joel

© Joel Thomason

© Joel Thomason

© Joel Thomason

Thursday, January 15, 2009

John Mayer HAS a TV show

I've never been shy about my disdain for John Mayer's music and my overwhelming love for his comedy. So I've been excited to hear that John Mayer is close to signing a deal with CBS for a variety show. I fully endorse John Mayer related comedy, I can't say the same about his uhhhhhhh fashion choices.


If you like Indie Music...

then you need to buy this. 

It's a compilation album released by the Red Hot Organization, an international charity dedicated to raising funds and awareness for HIV and AIDS. This is their 20th anniversary and 20th release. The two-disc compilation, called Dark Was the Night, will include tracks from Feist, Ben Gibbard, Bon Iver, Grizzly Bear, Spoon, Sufjan Stevens, Iron & Wine, and many more.

This album will hit stores in the U.S. on February 17. Because Kansas City doesn't have an independent music store, your best bet will be to order it online. Tonight, I pre-ordered this album from InSound.com. Dallas folks could go to Good Records, the best music store I've ever visited. Either way, if you enjoy music, and especially if you enjoy indie music, this is worth a purchase. Most all of these tracks are exclusive to this compilation.

To preview the album, a new track will be streaming on the Red Hot Organization's Myspace page.


- Joel

Laura Veirs

I've been listening to an old album by Laura Veirs this morning, Year of Meteors, as I've been searching for jobs.  I'd forgotten how much I enjoy this album.  Below are two music videos to songs that I think you might enjoy.

- Joel


"Secret Someones"

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

10 Lunches

The Scout © Joel Thomason

So this idea to creatively serve people in simple ways has generated a warm response.  In an effort to move with this momentum and explore the possibilities of this idea growing arms and legs, I've created a blog and a Twitter.  We're calling whatever this is "10 Lunches" (thanks to Blake Area for the name).  So you can check out the 10 Lunches blog, which is currently a work in progress, here or from the links on the right side of the screen.  If you are a Twitter-er, you can follow 10 Lunches on Twitter here.  

If you have ideas as we build the content and format of the 10 Lunches blog, let me know.  This whole idea isn't about me but about mobilizing people to creatively serve other people.  So let's engage in a dialogue about how to make it happen.

- Joel

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Gran Torino

I don't make it out to movies on a regular basis.  Last night, I made the trek to Johnson Drive for a late night showing of Gran Torino, starring Clint Eastwood.  This was a movie I knew I wanted to see after catching a preview in which Eastwood points his finger like a gun pretending to shoot some gang bangers driving through his neighborhood.  

What I expected to see what a melancholy movie about the dangers of living in an urban neighborhood.  While Gran Torino certainly depicts the realities of urban violence, the violence is peripheral to the movie's core narrative.  This story is one of a man, Walt Kowalski (played by Eastwood), coming to terms with the reality of his humanness - the legacy of his life and his inevitable death.  It is a story about growth, Kowalski's growth in the twilight of his life and Thao Van Lor's, Kowalkski's 16 year old Hmong neighbor, growth into a man.  Finally, it is a story about friendship, and the sacrifices and commitment found in true relationship.  

This is vintage, quintessential Eastwood, yet with a vulnerability uncommon in many of his roles.  Though Gran Torino was not what I expected, it far exceeded all of my expectations.  If you can get past the vulgar language (both expletives and racial slurs), then I would highly recommend it.

- Joel


Hov is so cool now, and not rapper cool just normal cool. Only he can mix nerd glasses and an iced out ROC chain. I'm so stoked for the Blueprint 3.


Friday, January 9, 2009

Reppin' KC - Kind Of

Kid Cudi is an up-and-coming rapper out of Cleveland.  He released a mixtape last year called A Kid Named Cudi, and is destined for big things in 2009.  I get that Cudi wheres a KC Royals hat because KC = Kid Cudi to him.  But it's always cool seeing people don that clean royal blue flat bill, the flyest hat around.  The picture above is from a recent Louis Vuitton party.  Peep the hat.

- Joel

Thursday, January 8, 2009

FYI - Daniel's Back

This blog began as a partnership.  Actually, it was Daniel's idea to start the blog in the first place.  Then he took a hiatus, then another hiatus.  But he's back.  And that's a good thing.  So check the signature if you're interested to see who wrote the post.  For instance, I'm not the guy into scotch.  Liquor isn't my thing.

- Joel

Prints For Postage

© Kevin Miyazaki
I'm stealing the title of this blog post from Kevin Miyazaki. Over at his blog, Miyazaki is offering to send out every print that was a part of his show 100 Very Small Observations, exhibited at the Milwaukee Institute of Art and Design. This is a chance to get work from a talented photographer FOR FREE! All you have to do is email Kevin, kevin@kevinmiyazaki.com, with "100" in the subject line of the email. He'll email you back instructions on how to receive a print. Basically, you'll need to mail him a self-addressed stamped envelope big enough to hold a 4x6 print.  He'll then select at random one of the prints from his exhibition and mail it back to you. Not a bad deal! Read more about this project on his blog here. I just put my envelope in the mail today!  At last check, 66 of the 100 prints were spoken for.  

- Joel

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

I've been busy liking new things.

2009 Resolutions:
1. Read at least 1 book a month (I'm not aiming very high on this one)
2. Dunk by December (Really just work out ever, being able to dunk again is just to make it some what measurable)
3. Post more (And by more I mean ever)

So with a week of 2009 under my belt, in which I've been reading but not working out, I'm going to post.

Over the past few months I've developed a taste for scotch. A lot of people find that strange for someone my age, but I don't really do things in bulk so a drink that you sip is perfect for me.

If you've never tried scotch before, it's a new year why not give it a shot (no pun intended). I recommend trying it at Czar Bar if you're in Kansas City, they'll give you a good pour of MacCallan for $6. Everywhere else is $9 or up.

Here's to a new year!


Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Front Page News

Picture in the KC Star
This was certainly unexpected.  Yesterday, I decided to make something of my first official day of unemployment.  I packed 10 sack lunches, threw a pair of gloves into each sack, and headed to downtown Kansas City to pass them out on the street to people less fortunate than me.  Along the way, a Kansas City Star reporter saw me and asked to follow me on my walk through the city.  This was the result.  A front page story in today's Kansas City Star.  

This certainly isn't about me.  I just want to love people.  But it has got me thinking.  Consider this the beginning of something I'm calling the Tender Culture Project.  A movement, which may later turn into an organization, to care for people in Kansas City, across the nation, and around the world.  Let's see where this thing goes.

- Joel

Monday, January 5, 2009

Live Bon Iver

I'm pretty far behind on this, but I thought it was pertinent because Bon Iver's For Emma, Forever Ago made so many Best Of '08 lists.  So go here and you can freely download. Bon Iver's live set for Myspace Transmissions.  Below is an example of what you'll find in the set.  I already posted this in my Best Of '08 list.

- Joel

Bon Iver - "For Emma" from MySpace Transmissions

Saturday, January 3, 2009

You Don't Know Me

I realized that what I thought was the entire Ben Folds song in my last post was in fact just a short clip.  Here's the music video with the entire song.  The video is kind of cheesy, but don't let it taint your opinion of the song.

- Joel

Reading List/New Music

The holidays are officially over. This is my least favorite time of the year. But January has always been a great month for reading. Maybe it's the cold weather that keeps me inside (though it hasn't been too cold in Kansas City lately). Here is what is on my reading list. Also, you can find a few fun songs below. I think the format in which they're posted allows you to legally download the songs for free.

- Joel

1. Bill Hybels - Axiom
* This is an essential handbook for any leader or aspiring leader. Thanks to my parents for getting me this for Christmas.

2. George Orwell - 1984
* A few months ago I read Downtown Owl by Chuck Klosterman. Klosterman kept referring to 1984, so I decided I needed to read it. Thanks to my sister Abby and aunt Charlotte for giving me a copy for Christmas.

3. Malcolm Gladwell - Outliers
* Gladwell is an interesting character. He deals with such ambiguous subject matter that his conclusions are relatively safe from critical evaluation. His observations are what they are. You can't necessarily prove or disprove what he says. In his first book, The Tipping Point, that is a great thing. In Blink, on the other hand, this ambiguity makes for a boring, aimless read. But here we are at book #3 and I'm still reading. That must say something. Thanks to Daniel for this Christmas gift.

Ben Folds featuring Regina Spektor - You Don't Know Me
* I heard this song on the radio last week and found myself singing it the rest of the day.

You Dont Know Me (feat Regina Spektor).mp3 - Ben Folds

The Helio Sequence - Hallelujah
* When I lived in Dallas, I used to listen to music on Pandora at work. This was one of the few songs that Pandora "suggested" that I really enjoyed.

Hallelujah (Album) - The Helio Sequence

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Favorite Songs of 2008

It's always so hard to pick my favorite songs of the year, because what I listen to is determined so often by what mood I am in. Plus, who's to say that one song is better than the other? But here are my favorite songs of the year. I would like to think that I give any genre a fair shot.

- Joel

33. The O's - You've Got Your Heart
32. Fly Golden Eagle - Orangitango
31. N.E.R.D. - Everyone Nose (Official Remix featuring Kanye West, Lupe Fiasco, & Pusha T)
30. The Republic Tigers - Buildings & Mountains
29. Lil Wayne - Let The Beat Build
28. Hercules And Love Affair - Hercules Theme
27. The Welcome Wagon - Up On A Mountain
26. The Cool Kids - Gold And A Pager
25. Little Joy - Brand New Start
24. Beyonce - Single Ladies (Put A Ring On It)
23. Usher featuring Young Jeezy - Love In This Club
22. Beach House - Used to Be
21. Ben Folds featuring Regina Spektor - You Don't Know Me
20. Bon Iver - Re: Stacks
19. The Walkmen - On the Water
18. Cut Copy - Lights & Music
17. Kanye West - Love Lockdown
16. Department of Eagles - No One Does It Like You
15. Fleet Foxes - White Winter Hymnal
14. Vampire Weekend - M79
13. The Submarines - You, Me, and the Bourgeoisie
12. The Walkmen - Red Moon
11. Estelle featuring Kanye West - American Boy
10. Lil Wayne - A Milli
9. Ben Rector - The Kill
8. Cut Copy - Out There On the Ice
7. Kidz In The Hall - Drivin' Down The Block Remix (featuring Pusha T, Bun B, & The Cool Kids)
6. The Dodos - Fools
5. Jordin Sparks & Chris Brown - No Air
4. Coldplay - Viva La Vida
3. Vampire Weekend - Oxford Comma
2. The Walkmen - In The New Year
1. Leona Lewis - Bleeding Love

Favorite Albums of 2008

These are my favorite albums released this year. I try to listen to as much music as I can. Let me know what you think of the list. What were your favorites of 2008? Enjoy.

- Joel

10. Bon IverFor Emma, Forever Ago
(self-released in 2007; officially releases in 2008)
Justin Vernon, recovering from a broken relationship and a dissolved band, travels to a lonely Wisconsin cabin, writing songs to pass the frigid winter. Great album but I wonder: if no one knew the story, or liked to tell other people they knew the story, would they care so much? Still, Bon Iver released one of the better albums of the year.
Listen To: Re: Stacks, Skinny Love, Blindsided

Bon Iver - "For Emma" from MySpace Transmissions

9. Lil WayneTha Carter III
It’s safe to say the self-proclaimed “Best Rapper Alive” was the Best Rapper of 2008.
Listen To: Let The Beat Build, A Milli, Mr. Carter

8. The Welcome WagonWelcome to the Welcome Wagon
Welcome to the Welcome Wagon was the most honest collection of songs I heard this year – a husband and wife (and friends) making music in their living room because it’s fun. This may be the closest I get to Sufjan Stevens, who produced the album, for awhile.
Listen To: Up On A Mountain, I Am A Stranger, Deep Were His Wounds and Red

7. Girl TalkFeed The Animals
There are few listening experiences more exciting than the first time through a Girl Talk album. I can remember exactly where I was (a sunny day in Dallas, driving up 75 back to work after lunch) when Feed the Animals first blasted through my speakers. Here you find Gregg Gillis forced to confront his newfound celebrity status. The underdog role suited him well on Night Ripper (a superior album to Feed the Animals), but as the frontrunner, Gillis refuses to disappoint.
Listen To: The whole thing.


6. Ben RectorSongs That Duke Wrote
I am admittedly biased. Ben is one of my favorite people. This album is genuine yet radio-ready, a quality effort from a well-rounded musician. Listen to Songs That Duke Wrote and you’ll find yourself singing Ben’s tunes for the rest of the day.
Listen To: The Kill, Ready For A Change, Associated

Not on the new album, but the a good example of Ben Rector's talent.

5. Beach HouseDevotion
Tragically, hauntingly beautiful. The appropriately titled Devotion conjures up images of romantic commitment bleeding into obsession. Maybe I’m getting this from the album cover, but this music is the equivalent to a candle-lit room in the middle of the night.
Listen To: Gila, You Came To Me, D.A.R.L.I.N.G.

4. Fleet FoxesFleet Foxes
In Fleet Foxes you hear a band producing a fully developed sound – lavish harmonies, layered arrangements – so thoroughly carved out it is hard to believe you find it on a debut album. After such a gorgeous introduction, where does Fleet Foxes go from here? That will be their question to answer in 2009.
Listen To: White Winter Hymnal, Ragged Wood, Sun It Rises

3. Vampire WeekendVampire Weekend
It took a little more than a month for Vampire Weekend to make it to Saturday Night Live after their album’s release back in January. For most indie-darlings, this type of mainstream exposure would lead to immediate hipster backlash. But here’s the thing about VW – they deserve the hype. Infectious melodies. Intelligent lyrics. The Ivy League did them well. This album becomes more enjoyable with every listen.
Listen To: Oxford Comma, M79, Walcott

2. Cut CopyIn Ghost Colours
I waited the entire year to purchase this album, content to settle with tracks downloaded here and there and songs streamed over Myspace. Now that I own it, I wonder, “What took me so long to officially purchase this?” There was no album more beautiful released in 2008; In Ghost Colours is a techno-pop masterpiece. A year from now, Cut Copy will be the next big thing – and I’ll be happy that everyone joined the party.
Listen To: Out There On the Ice, Lights & Music, Feel The Love

1. The WalkmenYou & Me
You & Me occupied more of my time this year than any other album. In my opinion, this is The Walkmen at their best: comfortable within the cavern that is their distinct sound. As a frontman, Hamilton Leithauser can compete with anyone. From top to bottom, this was the best musical effort of 2008 – raw, earnest, and full of life.
Listen To: In the New Year, On The Water, Red Moon

Honorable Mention (Alphabetical Order):
Coldplay – Viva La Vida or Death And All His Friends
The Cool Kids – Bake Sale EP
Deparment of Eagles – In Ear Park
The Dodos – Visiter
Kanye West – 808s and Heartbreak
Little Joy – Little Joy
She & Him – Volume One