Dusting Off The Cobwebs: Back in 2k17

Whoooooooa Nelly! It's been almost a year since we last updated this site. Pretty ridiculous, right? Well, my wife Marie and I welcomed an unbelievable new addition to the family in our first son Henry last August, and we've frankly been pretty wrapped up in child-rearin' ever since then. Henry is an incredible little man with a really kind, gentle, and funny disposition. Seeing him discover the world around him more every day is inspiring and eye opening, and watching his personality grow (and become weirder and more hilarious by the day) has blown my heart up about 250 sizes bigger than it's ever been. I'm doing full-time dad duties these days (which mainly consists of changing diapers, putting him in as many Kansas City Royals outfits as possible  and making sure Henry doesn't get attacked by our cats and WHY DO YOU FEEL THE NEED TO PUT EVERY SINGLE THING IN OUR HOUSE IN YOUR MOUTH) and not digging my nose into designs quite as much as I was before Henry was born. I'm still trying to find a good balance of dad life/normal life, figuring out how to schedule my day around someone else's naps, and taking on a few projects here and there to stay sharp and do cool stuff for friends when they need some help. Here's a few snaps of Henry's first 11 months on Earth. I've never been prouder of anything in my life. He is the best. 

 

One project of note lately was doing a concert poster for my buddies in The Anniversary. Back in college, I played in my first "real" band (The Believe It Or Nots), and we ended up becoming buddies with The Anniversary when they played their first show (as The Broadcast at a skate park benefit) and played a ton of shows with them, including a hilarious "battle of the bands" competition on the back patio of the Replay Lounge (I made fliers out of old pairs of tighty whitey underwear and taped them up all over the University of Kansas campus; wish I had photos of them, as it was one of the best flier ideas I've ever had). We had a couple "brother bands", bands where you'd set up shows together and try to do as much as you could with each other; for us, it was Proudentall and The Anniversary. We were all goofy kids in Lawrence, Kansas just trying to make music that we liked, not thinking it would really matter anywhere else outside of our little bubble. Fast forward 20 years to Seattle, WA in 2017, and just how crazy it was to so far away from the place where all of these original memories had been created, and see them play to a room full of strangers who loved those songs as much as our little group of friends back home did. They sounded awesome and it was just good to see that crew again; I hadn't seen a few of them in at least a decade if not more. Anyway, spiel over; here's the poster. 4 color process silkscreens, printed in a run of 75 by the incredible humans at Broken Press in Seattle, WA. These are up for sale on my Etsy shop and on eBay, or feel free to contact me here if you want to purchase one! Go buy some merch from The Anniversary as well!

I also just did the logo design for our good friends Amanda and Cory Chigbrow's new restaurant Bar Abajo. Amanda and Cory were kind enough to host our engagement party (at their incredible bar The Upstairs) as well as cater our wedding and do an mind-blowingly great job at it, to the point that people still come up to me and tell me how good the food was. They're phenomenal people who love food and whose passion for culinary adventures absolutely fill a gap in the Seattle restaurant scene. Bar Abajo is now open (in the location of their old restaurant, Pintxo) in Belltown, directly across the street from The Crocodile. Look for the giant sardine tin and tell 'em Greg sent you. Keep an eye out for the re-opening of Pintxo (and their new whiskey bar, Commonwealth) in the old Spitfire location in the fall, as well.

More designs coming later this week, including a new poster design for Diplo's show at Capitol Hill Block Party! Come on back and peep the new freshness. 

 

New posters for Car Seat Headrest, The Life & Times/Molly McGuire

It's summer! Things are busy around the old hive here; my wife is 8.5 months pregnant and we're expecting to meet our little dude at any given moment! I've known anxiety in my life, but nothing quite like that feeling of knowing that, at any moment, all of the bells and whistles could potentially start going off and it's go time. So, if you message me and I don't respond immediately...well, things could be happening. 

I'm pretty happy with the projects that have been coming through the pipeline this summer, too! First up, I got commissioned by the Capitol Hill Block Party to design a poster for Car Seat Headrest, whose new album Teens of Denial is on a nearly non-stop loop around the Kentucky Chrome HQ. I recommend picking it up (and maybe grabbing one of these posters while you're at it). There's a long story behind this design, but if you'd paid attention to music blogs lately, you're probably fairly familiar with it. 

I also got commissioned to design a poster for The Life And Times/Molly McGuire mini-tour that's coming up! If you know anything about Kansas City music history, you realize that this is basically some holy grail territory here. The Life And Times are touring in support of their most recent record (Lost Bees), and Molly McGuire is celebrating the 20th anniversary of their 1996 album Lime. You may see where the design went from there. 

The bands are playing 3 dates together throughout the midwest, and these posters are only available at these shows! Tell 'em Franklin sent ya. Date are as follows:

  • Thursday August 25 - RecordBar - Kansas City, MO
  • Friday, August 26 - Empty Bottle - Chicago, IL
  • Saturday, August 27 - The Accord - Champaign, IL

New designs

As always, Kentucky Chrome Industries enjoy taking on fun projects, especially the design of printed ephemera. Here's a couple of things that have passed through our somewhat hallowed hallways recently.

T-shirt design for our favorite space cat, Lil Bub! If you don't know the greatness of Lil Bub, you are truly missing out on one of our favorite corners of the internet. We did a Royal Basement podcast with Lil Bub and her dude (Mike Bridavsky) earlier this year, and this shirt design came out of that fantastic conversation. A few of these loving tribute shirts are available at Lil Bub's Lil Shop in Bloomington, Indiana. I recommend buying one, even if you are not what you own. 

DirtNap4.jpg

We also got asked to design a poster for the triumphant return of Kansas City's own Dirt Nap, and their mini-Monsters of Rock tour that left the outer lanes of Interstate 70 scorched and covered in debris. Traindodge and Riddle of Steel were also along for the ride, and what a ride it was. Limited run of 50 posters, 2 colors (black and metallic gold) silkscreened on heavy white stock by the incredible people of Vahalla Studios in Kansas City. Message me if you're interested in grabbing one and I can send you over to the appropriate folks. 

More fantastic work coming up soon. Keep your eyes peeled here. 

New works

Times are busy 'round the ol' design corral. I've been booked pretty solid lately with a lot of exciting/awesome projects. Here's a little taste of some of what's been going on.

Album art for Boys Life "Departures and Landfalls" reissue (Topspin Records)
One of the more significant bands of my adolescence, Boys Life (Kansas City, MO), asked me to redesign their LP art for their upcoming reissue of their classic sophomore LP "Departures and Landfalls". I recreated some of the outside art (using watercolors and inks), took some liberties with the inner gatefold, and you can see the finished product in August 2015. Preorders are available here. 

Poster art for The Replacements
When you get offered the chance to work for one of the most brilliant pop bands to walk the face of the planet, you take it. I got commissioned to design the poster/ad that announced The Replacements first dates in the UK in a looooong time. These shows ended up being their next to last shows ever, as the band broke up earlier this week in Spain. (I swear, I had nothing to do with it!)

Poster art for Swervedriver
I got commissioned to design a silkscreened poster for Swervedriver for the Sled Island Festival up in Calgary at the end of this month. Copies of this will be for sale at the festival and on display in a poster show on June 23rd in Calgary. More information available here. Go buy one and go see Swervedriver for me. 

Poster design for Slow Bird/The Velvet Teen @ Barboza
More commissioned work for incredible bands (Seattle's Slow Bird and the Bay Area's Velvet Teen!). Built for silkscreened output. I was out of town for this show and am terribly bummed that I missed it. 

And of course, I've been working regularly on my music blog/podcast, The Royal Basement. We're up to 12 published episodes over there with more on the way. Swing over and give 'em a listen.  

Welcome to Kentucky Chrome Industries, version 3.0!

Hey, stranger! You look great! Have you been working out? What are you doing with your skin these days? You're just...you're glowing. Whatever you've been doing, keep doing it.

Welcome to an all-new version of Kentucky Chrome Industries, coming at you from Seattle, Washington. We're not anywhere all that near to Kentucky, but we tip our cap toward their general direction on a daily basis. 

We've been busy designing things for corporations and rock and rollers alike, so please feel free to take a look around and see what we've been up to. Buy something from the shop while you're at it. That'll make us feel great, and we will probably spend the money on cat treats. 

We've also been busy on a new undertaking, a music blog/podcast called The Royal Basement. Go put your eyes over there for some music writing and some fun interviews/podcasts and stripped down basement sessions with some of our favorite friends and inspiring artists. 

Like what you see? Want to hire us? Drop us a line in the contact section.