Thursday, November 20, 2008

Love Lives Here

Wishing you happy and enjoyable listening. -- manual for the JVC JR-S61M/61W/61H

Continuing my quest back in time, my friend Strick gave me a rather large JVC stereo receiver for the office- complete with manual. And it is a whopping 18 watts per channel, 1970s of a sound machine. It is big and silver, has large knobs and can play both tape or radio. I hooked it up to a modern style seven compact disk changer and J.'s old Infinity speakers. And though one of the speakers needs a cone repair, it sounds awesome.

To really get it tested out, I figured it was better to listen to music actually made in the 1970s as Stricker warned me that, "Mark, it will probably take a good hour for this thing to warm up." And he was right, as a I enjoy the warm, rich tones of Woody's guitar on some old instrumental Face's song (the song for the record it is called Pineapple & The Monkey)-- I really appreciate what he meant. I may have to drag one of the turntables up here for a real test!

I am ashamed to say that, although we have the DJ setup in the downstairs lounge, we have always been listening to a boom box upstairs. A crappy, tinny, no-bass-at-all, Sony radio/cassette/CD player. Man, I have been letting us down(musically) in the office. This new rich, big tone is a much better replacement. It sounds better, no matter what I have listened to today-- we have tried a variety of 'test' CDs including: Santogold, Pharoah's Funky President mix cd, TV On The Radio, and my favorite of the day (besides the Ronnie Wood: the ballads CD) has got to have been the The Very Best of Otis Redding. And an old golden throather like Otis sounds just right coming out of the ancient JVC box. I had to listen to it 3 times already.

So all you kids out there that are happy with the tinny, crappy headphones listening to compressed and degraded MP3 digital files: come to my office, sit down and I will play you something cool. Hey, you may have never known any better if I hadn't schooled you, eh?

Old school rocks, literally.

Analog in 2009!

Ooh la la.

The Evening Papers

There is no stopping this guy! My friend, artist Julian Montague was featured in today's Daily Heller email newsletter. Everyday I got the email newsletter, sponsored by PRINT magazine and written by design guru/writer Steven Heller. It usually consists of a short blast about a single topic with images and links. The topic is a design of note from today (like the Obama marketing, logo, etc) or something vintage like a old design magazine, ads or often about a particular designer or artist.

When I open today's Daily Heller and saw the shopping cart photo, I know it was Julian he was talking about. Congrats to him! There is a link to his website (this is a traffic driver, for sure), info about a group show Julian is in this weekend in NYC: Sign/Age: Lost in the Supermarket at Armand Bartos Fine Art in New York, including William Eggleston, Martha Friedman, Claes Oldenburg, Andy Warhol and a quote from his Montague Projects blog. Very cool.

Julian's Blog- click here.
Art Show website- here.
Sign up for the Daily Heller- here.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008


From Violet to Hazel: Postcards From Our Past (part 4)
this space for writing messages

This may be it, I think I lost the postcard scanning buzz I had going last week. This last batch has some cool images including another Kleinhann's, which looks like it is Florida for some reason. There aren't a lot of trees and very little structures beyond the building- which is odd to see after living in this neighborhood off and on over the the last 20 years or so. The Main Street Shopping District is amazing in it's New York City-ness as it is has people galore on the streets among theaters, street cars and the famous AM & As Department Store. The back is great too- it is postmarked Nov 20, 1933 and begins "Hello Mother" and includes the calming "We did not have to use the car chains coming here as the road was in pretty good shape."

The crowds of people in the Zoo card and the Boat House at Delaware Lake are impressive, as well is the street scene which includes several folks on bicycles (including a woman), horse drawn buggies, Louis Sullivan's Guaranty Building, the St. Louis Church and that big building, which is no longer there but I think was the old City Hall. The back of this card has "Besser's and Sons, Buffalo. No. 104. Printed in Germany." But no tell-tale postmarked date, unfortunately. Oh and the interior shot of the Historical Building which is postmarked August 22, 1912, looks pretty close to how it looks now.

All these vintage postcards have a beautiful haunting quality to the coloring and especially the people frozen in Buffalo's past. In fact these four with the people in it have become some of my favorites. If you look close you can pick out certain people and I wonder about their day captured at Hoyt Lake or the Buffalo Zoo.... were they having a good time?

Sunny afternoon in Buffalo with smiling lady in a big hat.

Feeding the seal at the Buffalo Zoo. Only one seal.

Eerily similar to today, the History Museum.

Another awesome Kleinhann's painted postcard.

Biking in downtown Buffalo, NY. This shot was the cover image used on the original Buffalo vintage postcard book, Buffalo Views by Rich Kegler.

Busy downtown shopping district, in 'beautiful river"....

This is the end, my friend...

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Can It Be All So Simple

Your design sucks! Just kidding.

I am one of the senior Camp Counselors at this year's Portfolio Camp (shades of Meatballs) on Saturday. Set up by the Ad Club of Buffalo, four professionals (and I use this term lightly) are going to speak to a large gathering of ferocious young designers and upstarts.

I did this once before a few years back... it goes like this:

  • You sit in front of a bunch of youngsters.
  • You give them your 2 cents, tips, tricks, secret handshakes, etc.
  • Answer some questions.
  • Show your portfolio- which is recently updated so it is on fire!
  • each some pizza and drink some soda, talk with the kids.
It's a lot of fun, but I have seen some really crappy student work in my days and some really great stuff. I am an old school 'show me your book' sort of art director. Though we deal in a lot of digital media at OW headquarters, we still like seeing actual work. I like to also see sketches and optional designs and logos- I like to see the process.

Panelists this year are:
  • Jordan Case, AD Eric Mower & Associates
  • Mark Wisz, OtherWisz Creative Corp.
  • Mike Telesco, President/Creative Director, Mike Telesco Design, Inc.
  • Dan Wangelin, Designer/Illustrator, [re]noun creative
I don't know any of these folks, except Mark Wisz. He's got a new haircut!


Action-packed weekend-- no time for reading. Though I did read an Elmore Leonard (detective writer, Get Shorty, etc.) western story last night from a volume of short stories. It was pretty good, but it was only one story from a book of like 40-50 stories... I am not sure if this could be a new direction in reading (western fiction) for me or not. We'll see.

Anyway, there is a rock show Friday night,at Mohawk Place that I did the poster for affectionately titled "Punk Rock Reggae Clash!" featuring Chosen Ones, Neville Francis & the Riddim Posse and Wolf Tickets, host by Uni aka DJ Universal. I am not sure how the punk rock is going to come into it, but Chris Malichowski's band Wolf Tickets has a strong Clash bent to it. Should be a good gig, though I am not DJing and I really like DJing at The 'Hawk, especially punk rock music!! ...

See the poster art below featuring an oldie, but a goodie P22 font- click for larger view. Above is a version of the flyer on one the band's MySpace page... "You know you've made it when....."

Saturday, my friend and client Joe Gambacorta is going to be displaying some of his memorabilia from the Buffalo Hockey Experience + Museum at the Convention Center for the Farewell, Old Friend Memorial Aud Live Aid event. Should be a good time, the French Connection will be there and Dr. Joe has the most amazing collection of Sabres and Aud stuff. We did the logo, website, blog and swag for the BHEM. The event includes the limited Aud Edition of the BHEM hats that New Era donated (+ OW designed) for the upcoming Museum. Very cool. See hat on post below.

So may be I'll see some of you kids this weekend. I know a lot of people read this and think I never leave the house... but I do, in fact, I was at The Place twice yesterday.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Sweet Emotion

We designed these cool hats that New Era made for the Buffalo Hockey Experience + Museum special exhibit at the Goodbye Yellow Brick Road Aud Hootenanny this weekend. There are only 100 hats I think, so get them while they're hot.

I put up a post (with cruddy laptop photos) on the
Bleed For The Blue And Gold blog- see here.

Someone asked me about... The 1939 to 2009 on the back of the hat-- is the lifespan of the building. It was finished being built in 1939 It will be a pile of rubble by this time next year.

How to wear a New Era cap training video- here.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

The Joker

Every man with a bellyful of the classics is an enemy to the human race.
Henry Miller

Comedy just ain't pretty.
Steve Martin

I always have considered myself a reader. I have my particular interests, nothing fiction really, some classics: Catcher in the Rye, Henry Miller books, Gonzo journalism, etc.

I like newspapers and design and art magazines, music magazines... I sometimes look at skateboard magazines, Esquire and the New Yorker while at the gym. I like biographies.

I have plowed through several rock and roll bios this year alone-- slammed through both Slash's book and ex-Face Ron Woods in about a week each. But how much excessive rock and roll lifestyles can you read about? Both Slash and Woody are luckily to be alive. I mean Slash details heroin addiction and drinking and though Ron glosses over his drugs, he describes light-heartedly troubles with booze, crack, coke and other consumables. And he is a close friend with Stones death defying Keef, for God's sake. Both books were a bit boring overall.

When I was in the bookstore I thought, maybe I need to read something more deep besides stories of Jim Morrison fantasies, Jimmy Hendrix, Walter Yetnicoff and other screaming maniacs... design magazines, the Buffalo Snooze, hockey stats...? I though, maybe I should read Infinite Jest? Now that looks like a reader's book, a writer's writer, eh?

I read the story about the genius-off-the-meds-suicide of writer David Foster Wallace in the 2nd last Rolling Stone magazine (which I gotta say, I am not sure about the new run-of-the-mill-paper-saving-tree-saving size it is at now, kinda average...). But 981 pages of tight type (with over 100 pages of Notes in the back)!! I am not sure I am that much of a reader-- maybe I should start with something just as deep, but smaller, with more pictures perhaps...?

Maybe I'll get the Steve Martin bio instead. Maybe I am not really such a reader after all.

BONUS BEATS: “Son,” Presley told Martin, “you have an ob-leek sense of humor.”

Monday, November 10, 2008

Shout Me Out

Postcards From Our Past (part 3)- place one cent stamp here

I think I am hooked, I may have to put up a flkr page of these.

I have another 6 great oldie views of the good lady, the Queen City. Back story: a friend had lent me these postcards and I was taking by the history, the colors and the weird ghostly aspect of them. As well, I was inspired by some feedback- info provided by Rick Barrett's grandfather who used to own the Morgan Building. I posted a query on the last postcard post and he responded! Now there's the power of the internet for ya, eh? very cool.

Last night I was reading a cool piece on Eero Saarinen in Metropolis mag (Reconsidering Eero)-- the designer of the super slick "new $1,300,000" Kleinhans Music Hall, who did the St. Louis Arch among other architectural marvels. There is great postcard of that building below. I also like the dirt road leading past the back of the Albright Knox and the Zoo postcard with the baby elephant threatening scared purple-coat Pete.

Early Buffalo, NY gun fight.

Kleinhans Music Hall: the back lists Director Mrs. Fred D. Corey.

I have a bunch of Ellicott Square Building images on loan from P22 Rich and this one has a nice crowded street scene in front. The back says "published by the Buffalo News Company." J. used to work in this building- it is still massive!

Concrete ladies on the Buffalo Harbour.

Any of you West Siders know anything about this one:
Old Stone Castle, Fort Porter, Buffalo, NY... Do ya?

This is no longer a car road around this side of the
Albright Knox Art Gallery, let alone a dirt road...

Here are the my other 2 sets of scanned, brightly-coloured history: part 1 & part 2...

20th Century Fox

Kicks on Fire or Fairies Wear High Tops (and you gotta believe me)

Last week dragged to a halt as it got a bit slow going. We went to another funeral last week-- three so far this year-- so I was not in the best of moods to end the week. J. has a report due for a class she was taking (she is simultaneously taking a class and teaching a class) so I was busy with the girls all weekend, giving J. some peace and quiet to work. That was good and kept us busy.

But now on a Monday, I am surprisingly enthusiastic. It did snow a bit this morning and it is cold. The office is usually cold on these Monday mornings during the winter. But I have a habit of dragging in on Monday morning, working up to a Wednesday peak, and them coming down towards the weekend. But today I am ready to go. I think because I have some design work to do and not just paperwork- that helps. Running your own business comes with many hats to wear- I just like putting the design hat on more than the others, most of the time. And no, the 'design hat' is not the Slash stovepipe hat as you may have been thinking... though it sure is hat weather today.

I saw an ad for these Converse Doors sneakers and some Black Sabbath "We Sold Our Souls For Rock and Roll" sneakers. I thought it was kinda cool, but who is wearing these? Not the kids, the kids don't like the Doors and Sabbath do they? Converse must be catering to us old guys... And I guess this point was proven to me as I was shopping in Weggys yesterday AM with the girls. This old dude came up to me, looked at my red high-tops and said,"You can judge a man's character by his footwear." I looked at his feet and he was sporting similar high tops, ratty old and punk rock pink ones. I smiled and sharing in his attitude, simply stated "rock on." He grinned and continued on his way to the deli section.

Monday, November 3, 2008

Since I've Been Loving You

Postcards From Our Past (part 2)- this space for message

Here are some more really great old Buffalo postcards (1st batch posted here) which are very graphically pleasing. This collection of six images represent some of Buffalo's lost treasures including the Chippewa Market (dated 1910) and the D.S. Morgan Building which has two businesses located in its lower level, one being a turkish bath, baby!

The aerial view of downtown features a great view of the waterfront with the Aud in the center and the Statler Hotel postcard includes the hotel and it's garage and notes it has "1100 rooms with bath and radio reception." Handy.

Last note, the Ruins of the Seneca Building is dated 1909 and seems like a strange image for a postcard, a building being destroyed? Very Buffalo though, if you think about it.

Seneca Building ruins- please explain...?

Rand Building shooting death rays to fight nazis, apparently.

Hotel Statler with a really nice parking facility.

Chippewa (meat) Market without 3rd Room

Cool Downtown (must be 30s with Aud).

DS Morgan Building- anyone know where this was (is)?