Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Blue Rabbit: Separate

Do you ever pull out an album that you used to listen to so much before you had to take a break, then you start listening to it again and you realize all over again just how AWESOME it is? That's how I feel about Blue Rabbit's EP album 'Separate'. I illustrated and designed the album cover for them and it's one of my favorite projects I've ever done. The concept of a blue rabbit alone on a moonscape surrounded by a mass of white rabbits fits perfectly with the album title and entire feel of the album.

It's a goose-bump-causing album that I want everyone in the world to hear. This band has a unique emotional sound with beautiful lyrics that you connect with instantly. If you have ever loved and lost, been in a relationship, or even just lived in this crazy, scary world, this album will make you feel less alone.

Blue Rabbit was started by one of my best friends, Heather Anderson, who is an uber-talented songwriter and composer. She pulled together the band's amazing musicians and singers via a Craiglist's ad and now a couple years later, the band is going strong. They just got back from SXSW and are gearing up for their second album. Kudos to Heather for not only doing the roadtrip to Texas in a van while heavily pregnant, but for your endless love and devotion to this band. You have made your mark on the world and many look forward to hearing more from you!

Check out Blue Rabbit:

Download Album on iTunes

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Music From Down-Under: Casual Projects

Last night I checked out a local live music venue called the Evelyn Hotel on the corner of Brunswick and Kerr. This place will definitely be a regular for me as it's only a couple blocks from my house and has live music almost every night.

The line-up was an excellent sample of Melbourne hip-hop, including You 'n UR Music, Emcee Whisper, and The Movement Fam, but my favorite band was the Casual Projects. These guys are definitely worth checking out if you love a unique combination of hip-hop, funk and rock. The band features talented musicians (guitar, keyboard, bass guitar, and drums) and several MCs who create a powerful sound of rhythmic rapping and singing, including harmonies. The performance was really tight and full of charisma. I look forward to seeing these guys again! If you're in Melbourne, their next show is at Bar Open on April 10th.

Check out Casual Projects:
Facebook Page
MySpace Page

Tonight is Earth Hour!!

Monday, March 22, 2010

Music Down-Under: Pixies

I was lucky enough to get to see the Pixies on Saturday night here in Melbourne at the Festival Hall. The experience was amazing! Such a solid, fun, snappy show and those Australians LOVED it. And no wonder, in the 34 years since the band started (minus the 11 years of separation), they have only been to AU once before in 2007. Tempers would run high if someone was in the way of another fan with enthusiastic dancing. I heard one guy yell "I paid $200 and waited 10 years to come to this show!" It was incredible to feel the energy and passion these Aussies have for the Pixies.

Being a tad too young to have enjoyed them in Chapter 1 of their career since they formed in 1986, it was a delight to discover now just how unique and special this band is. They have been influential of alternative rock that us later generations have enjoyed. Each song was super short with concise and sharp composition of intense, deep lyrics and emotionally provoking music. They performed their 1989 'Doolittle' album live, enhanced by beautiful, authentic visuals displayed on the screen behind them. Each song had coordinating photos and video in sepia tones; some with select lyrics displayed.

The Festival Hall was packed to the gills with eager fans that didn't allow the show to end. The band ended up coming back on stage twice for encores after much stamping and chatting from the crowd. I think my personal favorite aspect of the show was Kim Deal's bass playing and singing. She's a strong female musician one can respect, holding her own in an all-male band for so long and uber-talented to boot. I never considered learning to play bass until I saw her play.

There's a rumor the Pixies will be going back into the studio this year to do a new album. I can't wait to hear what fresh music will come out of their long history and years of experience. In the meantime, we can get their new release, Minotaur, a box set of their previous albums. Presales start July 15th.

Pixies' Website:

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Amy's New Portfolio Website - Just Launched!

After months of development, I have finally launched my new portfolio website! I've pretty much have had it done for a while, the launch just kept getting pushed to the back burner because of a bunch of other projects. Also, relocating to Australia this past month or so has occupied a lot of my time.

I put a lot of thought into the illustrations and design of my new website. I wanted to reflect the positive and uplifting mentality that I've been striving for in my career and personal life. After researching and thinking through what type of image I thought would best show this, I selected the image of a bird taking flight off from a tree branch. I researched many birds, their traits and size, and felt a swift would best represent me. The tree branch is drawn from a tree in my parents back yard.

I wanted the the color scheme of my design to be light and airy like a sky to help reinforce the feeling of 'taking flight'. I also used all organic shapes and lines to help give the feeling of flexibly and freedom. I build the site in simple HTML in Dreamweaver, using images I created in Adobe Illustrator. I drew the header illustration in pencil, scanned it, and edited it in Photoshop.

For the sake of launching the site, I included only a handful of images for my portfolio. I have a lot more pieces to add which I'll do soon, expanding my gallery with several more categories within my two galleries. I struggled a bit to figure out how to simply my portfolio pieces since I have such a wide range of projects I've done and mediums that I've used. I decided to keep it really basic and divide up my work by design and illustration. The design section includes logos, graphic design, and website design. The illustration section includes many of my design pieces that include some of my best custom illustrations. There's a big overlap between the two sections. I also felt it crucial to add a note on my gallery pages to also view my work on Blooming Footprint's website. Really, the amount of work I've produced the last couple years is rather overwhelming when trying to select the best for my portfolio. :)

New Portfolio Website:

Blooming Footprint Website:

Friday, March 12, 2010

Karl Denson & His Tiny Universe in AZ

Great show last night at The Compound, in Scottsdale AZ!!

Check out the videos below for the funk filled grooves from: Karl Denson (sax), Chris Stillwell (Bass), John Staten (drum king), Chris Littlefield (trumpet), David Veith (keys), Brian Jordan (guitar)

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Music From Down-Under: Ganga Giri

I've recently moved to Australia and have fallen in love with a local band here in Melbourne called Ganga Giri. My first weekend here, a friend of mine, Ben Erickson (Elysian Artists), put me in touch with Ganga, who's a good friend of his. I had seen Ganga Giri at one of my favorite festivals, Joshua Tree Music Festival, last year and loved their high-energy, fun performance. I ended up going to Ganga's house here in Melbourne for a BBQ and felt instantly at home in his loving, accepting group of friends, even though I'm American! :)

A few weeks ago, I got to see Ganga's band live at a Sustainable Living Festival in Federation Square. I helped out selling CDs and could see how much love this city has for the band. The band has a beautiful, full sound driven by Ganga on a didgeridoo backed up by an awesome dance beat. If you like tribal dance music with a unique twist, check them out!

On a side note, and because I love promoting all my friends' art as much as possible, notice the cute little outfit I'm wearing - custom-made Onesie by Warrior Within Designs, founded by my one of my best friends, Jen Fritz, who, of course, is also friends with Ganga (the circle of friends goes round and round, even with a giant expanse of water between us!)

Ganga Giri has several great albums out, but check out his most recent one, Raising It Up.
Click here to listen and download on iTunes.

MySpace Page:

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

BLVD - CO Run Next Week, Free Track

After wrapping up a full length album last spring with producer Jeff Saltzman (The Killers, Fischerspooner, The Black Keys) BLVD continued it's '09 blitz on the North American festival circuit with performances at Camp Bisco, Summer Meltdown, Shambhala, & Earthdance. A West Coast run with The Disco Biscuits ensued last November followed by NYE shows in Fiji. After a January tour of Australia, BLVD returned home to San Fran to a sold out crowd at The Independent in February. They just headed up the west coast and will be in Colorado for a run with BoomBox next week. See you on the dance-floor!

Vail, CO
Tuesday, 3.9.2010
Samana Lounge
RSVP here

Aspen, CO
Wednesday, 3.10.2010
Belly Up w/ BoomBox
RSVP here

Fort Collins, CO
Thursday, 3.11.2010
Aggie Theater w/ BoomBox
RSVP here

Boulder, CO
Friday, 3.12.2010
Fox Theater w/ BoomBox
RSVP here

Denver, CO
Saturday, 3.13.2010
Bluebird Theater w/ BoomBox
RSVP here

Steamboat Springs, CO
Sunday, 3.14.2010
Ghost Ranch Saloon
RSVP here

BLVD's 5th album "Return to Center" will be released in May 2010.
Download "Getting Away" FREE from the new album!

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Beyond Vegetarian: The Vegan Diet

Deborah Crooks, a singer/songwriter and freelance writer, from FYI Nutrition contacted Amy regarding an article she was writing on a vegan and raw food diets.

This was submitted by Amy...
"After a life-time of eating poorly and sporadically, becoming vegan about a year and half ago has improved my life and health dramatically. It began with a girlfriend loaning me the book, Skinny Bitch, which completely grossed me out about the food I had been eating and I was intrigued. I went on to do more research in the food industry and it's effect on the economy and the environment. To continue supporting the meat and dairy industries made me feel sick, so it was a very easy transition to completely stop eating those products. It became a fun, exciting challenge to view my body as a temple that I needed to fuel with only healthy, organic food. I thought twice about everything I bought at the grocery store and ordered at a restaurant, familiarizing myself with every ingredient. I feel and look great and another major bonus is I haven't gotten a cold or flu since I became vegan, something I used to be very prone to."

Check out the full article, featuring a couple quotes from Amy here.