“Good Old Dog”: Helping Your ‘Good Old Dog’ Navigate Aging, Dr. Nicholas Dodman on Fresh Air

Click to read or listen to the interview at NPR's Fresh Air.

Driving and doing a post office run yesterday, (with our pup Sprite! in the car, of course) I heard this fantastic interview with Veterinary behaviorist Nicholas Dodman on NPR‘s awesome Fresh Air.

Dr. Dodman is the head of the Animal Behavior department at Tufts Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine who was being interviewed about his work and his newly published collaborative book: Good Old Dog: Expert Advice for Keeping Your Aging Dog Healthy, Happy and Comfortable.

If you know us? You know that we’re dog people to the max. Seriously. All of our dogs (a good 7 and counting) have been rescues as strays or from local shelters and it was really great to hear Dr. Dodman be such a vocal proponent of adopting not only shelter dogs, but older dogs who are so desperately in need of a new chance and a new home and the love they deserve.

The interview with Dr. Dodman, and the book both cover the adult lifespan of human’s best friends, from our 4-legged BFFs from diet and exercise to behavior and table scraps. Basically, everything we humans love and think about for our beloved furry loves. If you love pups like we do, and have all the way to their last days with us, then I can’t say enough about this interview, and the book (which is of course, now on my Wishlist!) Especially the considerable attention paid to doggie Alzheimer’s, which as many of you who read our blog regularly, our dog Jettson suffered from until we had to make the hard decision to let him go last September 2009. Above all, Dr. Dodman’s love of dogs and committment to their security, health and happiness through all stages of their lives with us is so evident that it’s the tops.

Check out the interview on Fresh Air at this link here, and to read more about the book click here.

Click to learn more about this book.

NPR All Songs Considered Holiday Music Mix ’09

Click for All Songs Considered

It’s a good time!

If you read my blog even semi-regularly, you know that I am a fan of the NPR music show All Songs Considered. And while I don’t get to listen to every single show, you may consider me curating their offerings for you when I post about a show here on my blog.

Christmas and holiday music is something so ubiquitous as to almost be a joke. Either the crushingly sweet songs that you come to expect are blaring at you from all directions from retail stores from Thanksgiving (or sooner, ugh) until practically New Year’s, or the “ironic” or what I call trashy Christmas & holiday music is thrust out like some sort of cure to the overly sentimental traditional offerings. (It’s not.)

However, look, the reality is that we all grew up with the experience of music switching from whatever is on the radio to a slew of holiday cheer for a few special weeks a year. I still get nostalgic thinking about that inexplicably special day when the Christmas music vinyl records would come out of the catalogue my parents had and the hours that I would pour over their cover art and listen so closely to each note. From the Harry Simeone Chorale “The Little Drummer Boy” collection, to the slightly weird and awesome Victoriana throwback “A Music Box Christmas” by Rita Ford. Or the parade of hits from the 1940’s – 1980’s that would fill my neighbor’s house for 2 or 3 days at a time, day & night while 3 generations of women made dozens of types of cookies creating a bounty of literally hundreds and hundreds of treats for us all.

Somehow, while being able to laugh at ridiculous songs as well as collecting some really great tunes, the All Songs Considered Holiday Music mix isn’t smarmy or ironic or jackassed. (Have I told you that I am completely sick of and over irony as a statement? I am. It’s boring. Knock it off.) It’s just good, fun, and yes, ready? Jolly.

There. I said it. I’m listening to it right now as I write this, and I’m recommending it to all of you. Enjoy , Happy Holidays and Merry Christmas!

Click here to listen to the All Songs Considered Holiday Music Mix ’09.

My favorite childhood Christmas album cover art.

Lovely new Jason Lytle live NPR set

Let’s get this truth out of the way first: I love Jason Lytle. Unabashedly and completely. What’s not to adore? His songwriting is orignal and fantastic, he’s a funny assed dude, and a sweetpea. He is just super dupes.

We got to see Jason Lytle play a live set as the opening act for Neko Case while touring in support of his first and incredibly good solo record (Yours Truly, The Commuter) this summer at possibly the weirdest venue that Pittsburgh has yet managed to pull out of thin air: a swampy downslope on the Monongahela River next to a water slide park. It was a warm and muggy night full of folding chairs, teenaged ushers with no real idea where one’s seat were, and the slow roll of Jason Lytle‘s music weaving magic. I can’t say it was ideal, but it was perfect, if you get me. Thanks for being so nice too after the show sir, I love my poster and doodley postcards.

With all of the work and travel that I’ve done in September this year, I’m a little behind on some things, and this NPR’s excellent All Songs Considered recorded show of Mr. Lytle’s at The Bowery Ballroom in NYC this past July, but posted by All Songs Considered on 7/11/09 is one of them. Just listen and fall in love.

You can listen and stream or download his set here or click on the photo below.

Jason Lytle, live in concert at The Bowery Ballroom in NYC on 7/11/09. (Photo courtesy of All Songs Considered.)

Au Revoir Simone, live on KEXP

Au Revoir Simone play live at Seattle's KEXP (photo by Dan Shultz)

Au Revoir Simone play live at Seattle's KEXP (photo by Dan Shultz)

As a bit of an NPR junkie, you might be able to imagine that the musical offshoot, NPR Music’s All Song Considered is an even bigger addiction for me. If you are not familiar with it, come on, climb out from underneath that rock friend.

As a designer, I’m always interested in how things are put together, and more specifically as a rock poster designer, well, of course I listen to what is likely an ungodly amount of music, all day, and sometimes all night long. So the gigantic culling breadth of All Song Considered and it’s amazing way of finding and showcasing music, bands and process makes it just about one of my favorite stops to park on the web.

A recent addition to All Song’s Considered’s list of Studio Sessions site is this live show by the Brooklyn-based band Au Revoir Simone at the KEXP studios in Seattle, WA. Being fans of both the incredible work of KEXP and Au Revoir Simone for quite some time now, it was one of those “Awww yay!” moments when I came across it.

More photos from Au Revoir Simone‘s live session at KEXP are here on KEXP’s Flickr page.

Hope that you dig it too!

Picture 8

Picture 5

Fun, fresh, All Songs Considered.

NPR's All Songs Considered


NPR's All Songs Considered


I listen to music all day long, always in the car (unless it’s NPR time), and when I’m printing, cleaning the house, etc. Like, basically? A lot. A ton if you will, even. And despite the fact that between me & my fella’s huge collection and varied tastes in music, I still find myself bored with what I’m listening to from time to time. It’s really sort of crazy if you look at it from a volume standpoint. But, it makes perfect sense really if you think of music as a driving force in creativity. Especially for people like us who also work in and for the music industry. Music, creativity, art, emotion, thought…they are all linked in a nice messy complicated creature.

One of the ways that I regularly combat this need for fresh sounds is to check out what’s new on National Public Radio (NPR)’s awesome show All Songs Considered, (a show featured in NPR’s also excellent NPR Music offerings) hosted by music fanatic and super open Bob Boilen. If you are a NPR junkie like myself, you’ll get the pun, if not…the title is still apt and clear.

What I love about All Songs Considered is the easy mixing of live shows at music clubs or in studio at NPR and exclusive studio recorded music, as well as the variety of bands and performers covered. Lots of music outlets promise variety in their catalogue, All Songs Considered delivers. It’s a little bit insane. You are as likely to find the newest in new movements, let alone artists, from all around the globe working in genres as varied as human history as you are an old favorite working out something new over yonder. I consistently find stuff that I didn’t know existed, forgot that I had liked, or thought that I would never dig and yet…BANG. Awesome. There is something to be said for excellence in curation.

A  new and cool feature for 2009, All Songs Considered will be debuting new work from musicians with online record release parties, followed by live chat sessions to review and discuss a couple of days later. To start off this new venture, January has record special releases from Andrew Bird, M. Ward, and Animal Collective Neat, right? The first in the series is Andrew Bird’s record release yesterday  Janury 5th, 2009 followed by a live chat on Thursday January 8th, 2009 at 1pm EST.

Enough chatty-chat by me. If you like music, this is heaven. GO listen, GO dig, GO play!