Tuesday, May 31, 2011


London producer Deadboy chopped up one of my favorite Bon Iver songs ("Woods") and created the track below. You can also listen to the original below that.

- Joel

Deadboy - "Down On My Mind"

Bon Iver - "Woods"


I am and will forever be a fan of the Kansas City Chiefs. Who's your team?

- Joel

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Photographer of the Day

Ginger Ale on Ice. May 25, 2011. © Allison V. Smith
Allison V. Smith. How does she make plastic Southwest cup look so good?

- Joel

Friday, May 27, 2011

Western Quotes

I'll admit that old Western films have some pretty cheesy dialogue. However that makes them all the more enjoyable for me. Here are a few memorable quotes from movies I've watched recently.

- Joel

"When ya pull a gun, kill a man!"
-- Old Man Clanton, My Darling Clementine (1946)

"There are only two things more beautiful than a gun: a Swiss watch or a woman from anywhere."
--Cherry Valance, Red River (1948)

"Fear not! Their wits are as slow as their blades."
-- Zorro, The Mark of Zorro (1920)

Frenchy: "You'd better mind your own business or you're going to get yourself into trouble."
Destry: "Trouble is my business ma'am."
--Destry Rides Again (1939)

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Photographer of the Day

© Keith Davis Young
Keith Davis Young. An Austin based photographer.

- Joel

© Keith Davis Young

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Texas Flashcards

In a little more than two months I'll be relocating to Austin, Texas. From what I understand, Texans speak a unique variety of the English language. Fortunately, the Public School team has created this set of flash cards to aid in the immersion process. They've even added a convenient "Texan Sayings" card. I'd better study up.

- Joel

Monday, May 23, 2011


Cults drop their debut album on June 7th, but you can stream the album in its entirety over at NPR right now. I've been excited about this band since first hearing "Go Outside", though I may like the track below even better.

- Joel

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Marissa Nadler

Check out a tune from folk mistress Marissa Nadler's forthcoming album due in June.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Song of the Day

© Joel Thomason
It's a beautiful Saturday. The youngest of the Thomason siblings graduates this afternoon. Here is a fittingly sunny tune from Washed Out, whose debut album drops in July.

- Joel

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Mister Rogers

During my formative childhood years, my family didn't have a lot of money. Some of my fondest memories include rummaging through hand-me-down clothes from older cousins, "special times" at the mall with my Dad riding the escalators, family outings to Antioch Park, and our annual summer trip to the Lake of the Ozarks. One thing I greatly appreciate about my parents is that they didn't need money to provide us with a great childhood.

As a family with a tight budget, we didn't have cable for many years. Thus PBS programming was a mainstay on our television, especially with three young children separated by only four year in age. Like many who grew up in the 1980's, Mister Rogers' Neighborhood was one of my favorite shows. It's been many years since I've thought about the wisdom of Mister Rogers, but a recent article opened my eyes to the value of the program, both culturally and developmentally. Fred Rogers, a devout Christian, taught lessons in imagination, self-esteem, and community ("Won't you be my neighbor?"). He provided children with an example of how to experience and process emotions in a healthy manner. He reminded us of our inherent value with his famous sign-off, "There is no person in the whole world like you, and I like you just the way you are.” I can remember my Mom echoing those words and the warmth and affirmation it brought to my life.

I say all of this to encourage you to read this article chronicling the cultural impact of Fred Rogers and his neighborhood. Reading it today struck a chord in me and for whatever reason brought me encouragement.

- Joel

Jonathan Merritt - "Restoration in the Land of Make-Believe"

24 Hour Video Race

A Dallas friend, Trey Kazee, and team produced this short film as part of the Video Association of Dallas' 10th annual 24 Hour Video Race. It's a refreshing piece of work and impressive for having been completed (from concept to final edit) in only 24 hours.

- Joel

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Olly Moss

I've never seen any like "Olly Moss Art Show", the first solo exhibition from Olly Moss, an emerging graphic designer from the UK. Every piece showcases a paper silhouette of a figure from popular culture. Some you'll recognize and others you won't, but the precision of the work is fascinating to me. Check out a few photos below and watch the video for a closer look at the exhibition.

- Joel

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Bon Iver

Some new Bon Iver will make for a good summer. Enjoy a new track below.

- Joel

Monday, May 16, 2011

Phil Jackson

I really enjoyed Bill Simmons' article on the recently-retired Phil Jackson. Jackson is the best (or second best depending on where you rank Red Auerbach) coach in NBA history, yet his coaching ability is often discounted because he coached Jordan, Shaq, and Kobe. Simmons gives a thorough explanation of why Jackson's greatness can't be measured simply by the talented players he was privileged to coach.

- Joel

City Limits

Here's a pretty cool time lapse video featuring the cities of Montreal, Quebec, Toronto, Manhattan and Chicago. What makes the video for me is the last 45 seconds when the scene suddenly shifts to the wildnerness. No wonder I enjoy hiking so much. The HD on this one is excellent, so be sure to watch it in full screen mode.

- Joel

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Photographer of the Day

Yosemite National Park © Claes Källarsson
I've been daydreaming about these photos all week. European photographer Claes Källarsson roadtripped from America's East Coast to West Coast and back again in 2009. He has a wonderful set of photographs on Flickr documenting the experience. I'm clearly biased having grown up in the Midwest, yet I can't help but notice that 80% of the photographs come from the western half of the country.

- Joel

Sunset Crater Volcano, Arizona © Claes Källarsson

Mount Rushmore © Claes Källarsson

California © Claes Källarsson

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Mission: St. Louis

It's been a bit of a hectic week leaving little mental energy to expend on blogging. I did, however, see a video today for Mission: St. Louis that is blogworthy. They are participating in Toyota's 100 Cars for Good Program with the hopes of receiving a truck for their organization. I don't use Facebook apps, but those that do should vote for them on Toyota's Facebook page. Watch the video below to see why.

- Joel

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Happy Mother's Day

I have the greatest mom in the world. That's her and my handsome brother Cory up above. I really don't know where I'd be without her. Here's a song in her honor. I've always had it in my head that I'd learn this song on the piano and play it for her, but that has yet to happen.

- Joel

The Beatles - "Your Mother Should Know"

Wednesday, May 4, 2011


Here's a crazy good cover of Radiohead's "Creep" by Jayme Dee. I'm not sure who she is, but you can download an mp3 of this cover below. It sounds like she may just be lip syncing to a recording that she previously made (based off of the reverb effects), but she still sounds great.

- Joel

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

High-Five Nation

© Joel Thomason
This article by David Brooks, shared with me by a friend, ran in the New York Times in September of 2009. I found the message to be relevant in light of the American response to Osama bin Laden's death. Many have questioned whether a celebration is appropriate under the circumstances (i.e. someone was killed). The recent response is markedly different to that of the generation who celebrated the end of World War II. Yet why has our country's reaction to such an event changed so much over the years? Brooks argues that we, as Americans, have fundamentally changed; we have lost the humility that characterized generations before us.
[H]umility came under attack in the ensuing decades. Self-effacement became identified with conformity and self-repression. A different ethos came to the fore, which the sociologists call 'expressive individualism.' Instead of being humble before God and history, moral salvation could be found through intimate contact with oneself and by exposing the beauty, the power and the divinity within.
An interesting read during a tumultuous time in our nation's history.

- Joel

David Brooks - "High-Five Nation"

Photographer of the Day

© Jake Stangel
Jake Stangel. Stangel showcases a diverse portfolio on his website. I'm obviously a sucker for photographs from the western half of America. Having been to a variety of photography websites, I really enjoy the user-friendly layout he has employed. These photos remind me that summer is on the way!

- Joel

© Jake Stangel

© Jake Stangel

Monday, May 2, 2011

Royal Wedding

© Fanni Williams
Maybe it's just the people I follow on Twitter, but I noticed quite a bit of backlash to last week's coverage of the royal wedding in England. Over and over last week, I saw or heard comments like this one: "Wait...there's a wedding tomorrow? Oh sorry, I was distracted by things that actually matter." While I was not personally interested in the wedding, I found it interesting how quickly others dismissed the attention it gained as utterly ridiculous. Because the event did not matter to some, many people decided that it should not matter to all. Yet of those espousing this disgust, many are likely devote entire days to the Super Bowl or entire weekends to the NCAA Basketball tournament (events which I myself enjoy). It could just as easily be said by those with no interest that these sporting events are silly nonsense and do not actually matter in the grand scheme of things; it could be said that those who enjoy them would be better served by directing their focus elsewhere. It made me stop and think. How often do I believe that what matters to me should matter to everyone (or that what doesn't matter to me should matter to no one)? This belief, in my opinion, is the essence of selfishness. Though I can often fall into this trap, it's my hope that I can live out a different belief more consistently: "Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility of mind regard one another as more important than yourselves."

- Joel

(By the way, there are some great Royal Wedding photographs here.)