Designs that Rock

If I told you that I had an album autographed by a Grammy-nominated artist, you might think I was referring to the recording artist.

That’s Matt Berninger’s solo album, Serpentine Prison, but the autograph isn’t Matt’s. It’s from my good friend (and list member) Dale Doyle, who created the album artwork. And Dale is the one up for the hardware:

I’m thrilled for Dale, (a.k.a. “the original d2”). He and I worked together at the Cincinnati office of Landor Associates. Dale spent 23 years there, until he was “downsized” back in 2018. In hindsight, it was the best thing that could’ve happened to him professionally.

Speaking of getting fired from an ad agency and being nominated for a Grammy, Japanese Breakfast is up for “Best New Artist” this year. (Even though this year’s release Jubilee was their third album… where was the Grammy committee when JB put out Psychopomp in 2016, or Soft Sounds from Another Planet in 2017, or when they were just blowing us away live in the Taft Ballroom back in 2018?) Bandleader Michelle Zauner talks about how she used her two-months’ severance from an ad agency to pursue a music career in this Broken Record podcast:

The moral of the stories: if you want to win a Grammy, the first step is being let go by an ad agency.

OK, let’s get into this week’s list of live shows:

Freekbass is hosting Funksgiving tonight at Ludlow Garage, Darlene has a record release show at MOTR, Ben Levin plays Arnold’s, and Patti LaBelle is at the Hard Rock Casino.

Saturday’s shows run the full gamut of genres and venues: The Reverend Peyton’s Big Damn Band is at Southgate, The Lions Rampant are at MOTR, Ben Levin plays Ghost Baby in OTR, local Tom Petty tribute band Tom the Torpedoes plays the Redmoor in Mt. Lookout… and Michael Bolton is at the Lawrenceburg Event Center in the Hoosier State.

Ben Levin is at it again on Sunday morning (must be trying to work off that extra helping of turkey yesterday), playing the Blues Brunch at the Hard Rock Casino from 10 a.m. until 1 p.m. If 10 p.m. is more your style, Gringo Star and The Harlequins play MOTR that evening.

Tuesday, author David Sedaris is at the Aronoff. (Yes, I know it’s not a music gig but he’s a rockstar writer and just so damn entertaining in a live setting.)

On Thursday, Devotchka plays the Woodward Theater, with Milquetoast & Co. as the opener. The irrepressible Ben Levin plays Shires Garden. And if you need more cowbell, Blue Oyster Cult will be at Ludlow Garage.

Max Weinberg’s Jukebox makes a stop at Ludlow next Friday (12/3). And yes, Ben Levin has a gig – he’s playing Muse Cafe.

Next Saturday (12/4), Shakey Graves plays Bogart’s, local Dead/jam band Spookfloaters play Fretboard (my wife’s cousin is in that band, so I’ll be there), Ben Levin (him again!) plays BrewRiver, and Jess Lamb & the Factory will be at Findlay Market for a 5 p.m. happy hour gig.

That brings us full circle to yet another great design on a record: Keith Neltner (who worked with Dale and me at Landor) did the artwork for the limited edition 7-inch vinyl record featuring two songs from Jess Lamb & the Factory.

The record — a collaborative effort among Neltner Small Batch, Otto Printing in Newport, Musicol (recording studio/pressing plant in Columbus), Arnold’s, and Maker’s Mark — was released at Arnold’s on Wednesday evening, and a handful of the splatter vinyl copies went on sale today at five local record stores (Shake It Records, Everybodys Records, Plaid Room Records, Torn Light Records and Herzog Music).

Jess Lamb & the Factory band member Warren Harrison also worked at Landor…

Shop local stores. Support local artists (recording and otherwise). They might wind up winning a Grammy someday!

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