Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Help Spread the Word

Can you hear the buzz? Have you heard the good word? The bible of alt country style+design, REFUELED magazine, is spreading - and you can help move it's effort along further. Join the grassroots campaign. Be a part of the DIRT ROAD TEAM by adding banners, ads and animated gif files to your blog, website, myspace or Facebook page. Let us know about your efforts and your name will be added to a drawing to win REFUELED swag. More details coming soon. Thanks for your support and being a member of the DIRT ROAD TEAM.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Guest Blogger: Don Weir

After seeing some of the things Don Weir collected and speaking with him on the phone, I knew I had to have him as part of the REFUELED team. Don is the magazines contributing editor-at-large. Not only the proprietor of Open Road Antiques (set up in Uncommon Objects) in Austin, his skills expand to photography and writing. Ladies & gents, Don Weir:


Those, folks, are the blessed words of a musical savior named Jay Farrar - founder of long defunct Uncle Tupelo and frontman of the venerable Son Volt - and they ring dead true and honest when applied to REFUELED, the new bible of alt-country style and design. Without naming names, it seems that for years now, the traditional print magazines that focus on "country" design have rehashed the same old themes over and over again. Shabby-chic cabinets, pie safes, mantle pieces, enamel ware, watering buckets and the like fill their pages month in and month out. All worthy subjects for sure, but there's a whole 'nother world outside of those tight white lines, and Chris Brown has tapped into it hard and heavy with REFUELED.

Strange thing is, what Chris has tapped into is exactly the stuff that really gets me going - a reverential love for the unusual
remnants of yesteryear with a modernist graphic twist. Sure, I can get excited about an old piece of stoneware - but not like the beautiful decay of an ancient horse-hair stuffed doll, the worn zinc of a table used to make lightning rods in the '20s, or the folky, hand painted wonder of a warning sign from a railroad tunnel somewhere in Kansas. Then to embellish those wondrous finds and photographs with a raw yet sophisticated graphic style - well, to borrow from another midwestern tune-smith - it just "hurts so (damn) good." And it's different. Much different. Outside the lines is where Chris likes to tread, and I thank the hell out of him for asking me to be a part of REFUELED.

So, I haven't taken pen to paper in a serious way for years, but here we are. It's not The Paris Review -- but better in my opinion. Slang is accepted. Foul language is not considered foul. Dirt is good. Blood is better. Booze is welcome. It's all part of the alt-country design world that we inhabit, and Chris and I are gonna do our damndest to bring ya'll stories you'd never find in more traditional rags. Stay tuned. It's gonna be fun.

Monday, July 21, 2008

REFUELED Magazine In Hardcopy

I have been invited to be a publisher with MagCloud. MagCloud is an HP Labs research project evaluating new web services that will provide small independent magazine publishers, online content owners, and small businesses the ability to custom publish digitized magazines and economically print and fulfill on demand.

This will answer the thousands of REFUELED readers who have asked for the magazine in printed form. The next issue, due in November, will be available in brilliant full color on 80lb paper with saddle-stitched cover. More details to come.

Etta Industry

Urban Prairie friend D'Ette Cole has launched a total redesign of the site Etta Industry.

The Austin, Texas designer, previous co-owner of Uncommon Objects and Clutter, showcases her works in interiors, photography, creative direction, print and art.

Photos by D'Ette Cole/Etta Industry

Friday, July 18, 2008

Vintage Shaving Blades

There is a great collection of vintage shaving blades and packaging, dating back to the first half of the 1900's , at the Flickr site of The Klockarp Institute. Very cool typography.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Seven Signs

Possessed by a vision similar to that of the tent-show evangelists down in Dixie, Colonel J.D. Wilkes (the charismatic frontman and songwriter for the Legendary Shack*Shakers) sets off with a camera crew to prove that the older, stranger South still exists in all of its eerie, time-worn, & gothic glory...despite the expansion of the "New South's" urban sprawl.

Along the way, he walks the backroads of Appalachia, nailing up seven signs, each one representing a different apocalyptic theme...themes which only help to reenforce the awesome thrill and dread that lie at the heart of our own "Christ-Haunted" southern heritage.

Akin to other Southern documentaries like "Searching for the Wrong-Eyed Jesus" and "Dancin' Outlaw", Colonel J.D.'s "Seven Signs" has officially begun shooting. "The first wave of our taping was a huge success," declares Col. J.D. Wilkes, first-time filmmaker and full time frontman for his equally Bible Belt-influenced rock 'n roll band.

"This movie seeks to give resonance to the voices of true, southern individuals...each one unique, fearless and most importantly intelligent. This is NOT an exploitational slam-job on the South. This is about the humanity of my homeland. These are my people." explained Wilkes.

The film, as of yet, has no release date.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

FARM AID Date Announced

John Mellencamp has revealed the details of this year’s Farm Aid concert, to be held September 20th at the Comcast Center in Mansfield, Massachusetts. Mellencamp will be joined by co-headliners Neil Young, Dave Matthews and Willie Nelson, with more top artists to be announced soon. This year also marks the first time in the event’s history that the concert will take place in the New England area. “New England was built on the strength of independent family farmers,” said Mellencamp. “We can honor that independent spirit by joining Farm Aid to grow the movement that is changing the way all of America eats.”

As in years past, the concert will “feature family-farm identified, local and organic foods at concessions, setting an example of the many ways that family farm food can be integrated into the general marketplace.” Since its creation in 1985, Farm Aid has helped raise over $30 million for programs that support farmers, expand the Good Food Movement and promote food from family farms. Tickets for this year’s Farm Aid, which is presented by Whole Foods Market and Horizon Organic, go on sale July 28th via Ticketmaster.

iReport Film Festival: Campaign 2008!

Do you volunteer for one of the presidential campaigns? Have a video camera? CNN wants YOU to make a short film for iReport Film Festival: Campaign 2008!, an online festival of short films from the campaign trail. Put your creativity to the test and give them a glimpse of what goes on behind the scenes whether you are organizing in your community or following the campaign.

The deadline for entries is midnight, October 12. The best films will vie for Grand Jury and CNN Audience Awards, and as with all iReports, may be featured on CNN. Award winners will receive a trip to Washington D.C. for the inauguration of the next president of the United States and a top-of-the-line HD camera.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Vintage Camping

There is truly nothing like getting out of the city lights and camping under the stars. Grab a tent this summer and experience what mother nature has to offer. Can't you smell the bacon cooking?

Photos from Toast

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Austin Digs

Hotel San Jose in Austin has a brand new site, featuring photos from one of my favorite photographers, Allison V. Smith.

The San Jose will be the location for a upcoming "fashion" photo shoot to be featured in issue two of REFUELED magazine. Look for the issue in November.

Saturday, July 5, 2008

Peace & Love

Wherever you are in the world, join Ringo, on July 7th at noon, in making the peace sign and saying, singing, shouting, whispering, signing, writing or quietly thinking one simply beautiful and universal message: "Peace & Love."

Some are gathering at the Hard Rock Cafe in Chicago with Ringo; others are meeting outside Abbey Road Studios in London, Capitol Records in LA, Strawberry Fields in NYC and the Peace Tower in Iceland.

For the latest information about the day visit:

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

The Dirty Old South

I'll be heading out tomorrow, to celebrate the 4th in the dirty old south. Making this trip always reminds me of the documentary "Searching for the Wrong-Eyed Jesus", in which alt country musician Jim White describes his idea of the rural South. The film is a collage of stories and testimonies, almost invariably of sudden death, sin or redemption: Heaven or Hell, with no middle ground. And all the while, a strange Southern Jesus looms in the background.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Giddy Up

Really diggin' these cowboy/cowgirl theme paintings from artist Camilla Engman.