Thursday, February 26, 2009

Boy Least Likely To

Boy Least Like To, an indie-pop duo from the UK, drop their next album on Wednesday in the UK (it doesn't hit the U.S. until April 14th, two days after my birthday...).  Here's a fun song, "Every Goliath Has Its David", from their upcoming release.  

I'm about to head to the airport.  I'm not bringing my laptop, so I'll see you upon my return.

- Joel

Every Goliath Has Its David from The Boy Least Likely To on Vimeo.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Headed to Marfa

Marfa Lights. October 2006. Marfa, Texas © Allison V. Smith
I hop on a plane and fly to Texas tomorrow.  The special occasion is my friend Allison's Marfa Light exhibition and opening reception at the Thunderbird Hotel in Marfa, TX.  After a quick overnight stop to see my aunts in Odessa, I will join up with Jeff, Nicole, Holly, and crew to make the 3 hour drive south to Marfa.  It will be a wonderful weekend to celebrate Allison's incredible talent, make new memories with friends, and experience the Davis Mountains, Marfa Lights, and whatever else comes our way along the Pinto Canyon Road.  Hopefully it will make for lots of stories and lots of pictures.

- Joel

In case you're interested, here is where Marfa is located. Pretty much out in the middle of nowhere.

View Larger Map

Up on Flickr

© Joel Thomason
I've added all of my photos from the Dominican - or at least the ones worthy of posting - to my Flickr page. Check them out here. I'll also post some here on the blog sporadically. Enjoy

- Joel

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Dominican Republic

Reyes © Joel Thomason
Last week I had my film from the Dominican Republic processed.  I was hesitant to work through those pictures for two reasons.  First, I found out that I incorrectly wound some of the film.  Maybe I've always been doing it wrong, I don't know.  But two of the 35mm rolls didn't come out. The Holga stuff came out just fine, though.  So I'm a little embarrassed about the mistake, but I'll work through it by coming clean here on the blog.  Second, I wasn't as excited about how a lot of the pictures came out.  I'll just use the excuse that all of my good pictures were on the rolls that were incorrectly wound in the camera!  But I'm posting them anyway in an attempt for feedback and for the sake of giving people a glimpse of what the Dominican was like.

I'll be getting a lot of the pictures up on my Flickr page soon.  In the meantime, the picture above is of a friend I made named Reyes.  He gave me a motorcycle ride around Herrera, where we worked.  That's him and his motorcycle.

- Joel

Monday, February 23, 2009

Paper Planes - Slumdog Millionaire

M.I.A. dropped the song "Paper Planes" way back in 2007.  Then came along Pineapple Express which propelled the song to Top 40 status.  But to me, the song felt at home nestled in the midst of Slumdog Millionaire, last night's Best Picture Academy Award winner.  You actually hear it twice throughout the movie - once remixed.  In honor of last night's win, here is the movie-version of the Paper Planes music video.

- Joel

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Day 'N' Nite

The title to the song is fitting for me.  I was up late last night watching Slumdog Millionaire, thanks to my new hook up at the movie theater.  I'm waaaay late on this movie but finally got to see it and absolutely loved it!  Then, this morning I got up at 5:45 to play basketball.  So that's my day and night...or night and day, I guess.

Kid Cudi, fresh off a post-Grammy's run-in with a Reebok shoe rep, has released a new video for his single "Day 'N' Nite."  The song is old, off his A Kid Named Cudi Mixtape from last July, but the video is new.  If Cudi releases an album this year, it will be big news.  Stay tuned.

In other news, I want to get a new pair of glasses like the ones Cudi is wearing at the end of this video.  Thoughts?

- Joel

Thursday, February 19, 2009

10 Lunches Blog Post

In case you're interested, I posted on the 10 Lunches blog.  It looks like we'll be doing another outing similar to love day on March 21.  Maybe we can promote this one a little better and get 100 people involved.

Also, I'm thinking that the 10 Lunches blog would be a great place to celebrate people who are taking action towards loving other people.  If you have a story or know someone with a story of this type, let me know and we'll post it on the blog.

- Joel

Monday, February 16, 2009

From The Basement

From the Basement, a live music TV show produced by Nigel Godrich, boasts quite the lineup of musical performers who have graced his basement with their presence.  I've never listened to much Andrew Bird but thought this performance was pretty cool.  All he has is a violin, which he loops to great effect.

- Joel

Dark Was The Night

Dark Was The Night is released tomorrow.  It was a nice surprise to receive my copy in the mail on Valentine's Day.  After some casual listening (I don't even think I've made it through all the tracks, just skipped around a bit), here are three of my favorites.

- Joel

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Love Day Article

Here is the article that ran in today's paper. It's neat to know that people in the community resonate with what is going on.

- Joel

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Love Day '09

Today was a success.  Really success was the only option - because we were out in the community doing something, anything, to show people they are loved.  More than 30 people braved the cold on beautifully clear day to pass out lunches to those less fortunate living in the community of downtown Kansas City.  My best estimate is that 150-200 lunches were distributed today!  Wow, it starts with 10 lunches.  Now it's 150.  What could be next?

Above is a picture from this morning, graciously shared by Tammy Hughes.  As I get more pictures, I'll share some here on the blog.  Also, a reporter and photographer from the Kansas City stopped by to do a story on the group.  I'll share a link to that story as soon it is up.

This is still only the beginning.  I can't wait to see what happens next...

- Joel

Friday, February 13, 2009


Papercuts, the musical outlet for Bay-area native Jason Quever, releases its next album April 14th (two days after my birthday) titled  You Can Have What You Want.  Download the track below for a little preview of the album.

Coldplay on 60 Minutes

Apparently Coldplay was on 60 Minutes recently (thanks to Conner for alerting me to this interview).  Well, more like Chris Martin was on 60 Minutes recently.  But still, I found the interview to be incredibly insightful.  For being the biggest band in the world (or maybe 2nd biggest depending on how you feel about U2), the members of Coldplay are thoroughly genuine on screen.  Their music comes under a lot of fire - some accurate and some not, in my opinion.  But as I wrote back in June when their album came out: 
Isn't art supposed to lend itself to discussion? Because so many people talk about Coldplay, could that lend more artistic credibility to their music?...Amid the criticism, I guess Coldplay can take solace in this: people will talk, but at least they're talking. Not that Coldplay needs to take solace in anything. I think they'll be just fine.
After this interview, I like these guys even more.  They're just normal guys, who happen to make music whose melodies resonate with the world.  I can live with that.  I think I'll go put on Viva La Vida...

- Joel

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Substitute Teacher

My current occupation is substitute teaching.  It's actually been really fun.  It's also made me appreciate this Saturday Night Live sketch.

Gilly!  Giiiillllyyy.....

- Joel

Valentine's Day Card

Today, I received a nice surprise in the mail.  My friend Cassie, who already bestowed upon me the coolest Christmas cards ever a few months ago, sent me a hand crafted Valentine's Day card.  I actually saw the picture of the card above on her blog last week.  I remember thinking, "That's a cool card.  I'd love something like that."  Guess what showed up in my mailbox....that card!

Thanks to Cassie for spreading the Valentine's Day cheer.  Check out her blog, where she highlights all her imaginative creations.

- Joel


Photographed by Zach McNees
I'm home.  I was supposed to sub for a business teacher at my old high school (right up my alley, I know!), but was called while driving to the school only to be told my services were not needed.  It was an honest mistake - the teacher had made a commitment to a particular person then she posted the sub opportunity incorrectly on the website.

So anyway, I'm home this morning, and I'm reading about music.  I just read this interview a writer for Stereogum conducted with Rev. Thomas Vito Aiuto, leader of the band The Welcome Wagon.  I found this interview to be interesting on a number of levels.  
1) Aiuto is the leader of a band whose music I enjoy, and I'm interested to hear his opinions.
2) Aiuto is a Christian, as am I, who speaks with a unique combination of sensitivity, confidence, patience, relevance. (I'm not saying I always speak in that way, though I hope I do more often than I don't, only that I am a Christian.)
3) In spite of their beliefs (or maybe because of...I haven't decided yet) and because of their thoughtfulness and sensitivity, Aiuto and The Welcome Wagon have been warmly received by an independent music community not always excited (and for good reason sometimes) about individuals with clearly espoused religious beliefs.

So whether you are interested or uninterested in spiritual things, I think you'd enjoy reading this interview.  Plus Stereogum offers a free Welcome Wagon mp3.  Or you can just download it below.

- Joel

Download a Welcome Wagon mp3:

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Terrell James

Diver, 2007, oil on canvas, 48 x 32"
I saw the work above on the Barry Whistler Gallery blog today. It jumped out at me for some reason. I'd love to see work by Terrell James in person. The above painting brought to mind this work by Daniel Lehrer and this work by my friend Kristen Cochran.

You should check out Barry Whistler Gallery. Not only is Barry Whistler (the man) a pillar of the Dallas art scene, but the gallery employs my friend Leila Grothe and shows the work of my friend Allison V. Smith. I won't lie. I'm biased.

- Joel

Monday, February 9, 2009

Love Day '09

So it's happening.  Love Day '09.  The inaugural edition.  Here are the details:

When? 10:30am to 1:00pm on Valentine's Day

Where? Meet at The Scout Monument in Penn Valley Park; we will spread out through the community after we rally there

What? We will be passing out sack lunches to members of the community as an act of love on a day that is kind of dedicated to love.

What to Bring? Sack lunches to pass out - there is no minimum or maximum number of lunches to bring, just bring what you can.

What About Lunch For Myself? For those who are interested, we will meet for lunch around 1:15pm at Waldo Pizza (75th and Wornall)

This event is the product of a warm response to this article that ran in the Kansas City Star at the beginning of January- - people said they'd be interested in doing the same thing. So that's what we're doing, passing out lunches around the community. Why not dedicate an hour and half of your Valentine's Day to serving other people? Bring your friends. Everyone is invited. We'll go out in groups to different parts of the downtown community.

If you have questions, don't hesitate to contact me ( If you don't live in Kansas City, do something similar in your city! Spread the love.

- Joel

Saturday, February 7, 2009

The Grammys

The Grammy Awards lost their credibility years ago.  Considering the last three "Album of the Year" winners were Herbie Hancock, Dixie Chicks, and U2 (most credible of the three), it is apparent that The Academy considers a thin sliver of the recording music pie, if you will.  Yet whatever credibility is lost as awards are handed out this year may be off set by that gained from the impressive list of live performances scheduled for tomorrow...

Radiohead, Coldplay, Lil Wayne, Kanye West, T.I., Jay-Z, Katy Perry, Miley Cyrus, Taylor Swift, Rihanna, Estelle, Chris Brown, M.I.A., Justin Timberlake, Kid Rock, the Jonas Brothers, U2, Paul McCartney, Dave Grohl, Robert Plant, Alison Krauss, Carrie Underwood, Jennifer Hudson, Kenny Chesney, Adele, Sugarland, Ne-Yo, Jamie Foxx, Duke Fakir, Terence Blanchard, Neil Diamond, Smokey Robinson, Robin Thicke, Allen Toussaint, Stevie Wonder, B.B. King, John Mayer and Keith Urban.

Yep, there are a lot of people on that list. How will they fit them all in? Tune in at 7pm on CBS to find out.

- Joel

Thursday, February 5, 2009

An early V-day gift.

I've been looking for a good work boot for a few months now, and other than the Nice Collective combat boot I've been out of luck. Until I found these Red Wing 8-inch soft toe work boots. I'm loving them, ask anyone at work I haven't taken them off since my wife bought them as a gift for me,not only because I love the modern work wear trend that's been going on in men's fashion but because I can wear them forever.

So my recommendation? Buy a work boot, pair it with jeans and a fitted button up, and wear the hell out of them. (The more beat up the better)

Here's to Friday!


Photographer of the Day

Cassie Edmondson.  Leave it to a photography teacher to make great photos.  Plus she quilts, makes holiday cards, and keeps it as trill as can be.

- Joel

Does Everyone Use Stop Motion?

Here's a new music video from Fleet Foxes.  The song is "Mykonos" from their Sun Giant EP, the precursor to their critically acclaimed, self-titled debut.  For those who saw the Foxes on SNL, this was the first song in that set.

- Joel

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

500 Days of Summer

This movie looks interesting.  Maybe it's just because I like the song that plays during the trailer.  The song is "Sweet Disposition" by the Australian band The Temper Trap.  Download the song below.  It will be interesting to see what this movie does for this band in 2009.  Watch the trailer for the movie 500 Days of Summer below.  I like Zooey Deschanel.  She's cool.

- Joel

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

New Sufjan, Spoon and More

I've already mentioned the Dark Was The Night compilation dropping on February 17th in the US.  It's a must have.  Here are a few tracks from that album.

- Joel

White Antelope

White Antelope is actually Robin Pecknold, Fleet Foxes' frontman.  There's no telling if this is actually a real solo act, but White Antelope's "False Knight on the Road" will show up on the Fleet Foxes upcoming deluxe version of their debut album.  I really enjoy this laid back, acoustic track.

I've finally figured out how to kind of post songs here on the blog, so if you right click on the link below, you should be able to download this track.

- Joel

What Are The Chances?

Two minutes after posting the previous stop-motion music video, I stumble across another one.  This is for my current favorite band - The Walkmen - and was just released today.  The song is "Four Provinces".  The subject matter is a bit different (a girl traversing the mountain landscape of Nepal vs. two people doing silly things in a bedroom), but both have their own artistic merit.

- Joel

Check This Out

A really cool stop-motion film - or I guess it's more of a stop-motion music video. Either way, it's worth the 3 minutes it takes to watch it. The song is "Her Morning Elegance" by Oren Lavie.


- Joel

Monday, February 2, 2009

Selling Out for a Heineken?

Have you noticed how many indie bands are getting their songs on commercials these days? Was this a trend started by Apple? I don't know. But I find it funny that most people wouldn't recognize the songs behind the commercials (besides Apple commercials, because Apple causes bands to blow up). Take a recent Heineken commercial (which may or may not have run during yesterday's SuperBowl, I can't remember). They used the song "Higher Than The End" from obscure indie band Twi The Humble Feather.  But this is far from filler music.  I really like this song.

Download the song here.

Watch the Heineken commercial below.

- Joel

Air France

This song by Swedish group Air France, called "No Excuses", is the perfect addition to a mixtape made for a sunny day.  I find the song to be half elevator-pop (music that sounds like what you'd hear in an elevator) and half pure indie-positivity.  The video may be black and white but the song is all bright hues of red and orange and green, like the colors you see when you close your eyes.

Ha, that's kind of a funny explanation of a song.  I've heard similar things said about Panda Bear.  But the description fits, if you ask me.  If you like this song, also check out the song "Collapsing At Your Doorstep".  If you like both songs, check out the album by Air France entitled No Way Down, available for a mere $7.99 on iTunes.

- Joel

Air France - "No Excuses"

Speaking of Panda Bear...

Sunday, February 1, 2009

I'm Back!

© Joel Thomason

What an incredible experience.  I polished off 10 rolls of film.  But the trip was meaningful far beyond photo opportunities.  The Dominican people are some of the friendliest, most generous people I have ever encountered.  I'll write more later, but for now it's off to the first night's sleep back in my bed.  Here are two pictures I took with my point & shoot digital camera from the roof of the school where we worked.

- Joel

© Joel Thomason