Pedalin’ to work, pedalin’ for pets, and pedalin’ to Vapours by Islands…

Photography by moontalk

Dear sweet bejesus on a unicycle, what a rough ride in. Tiiiiiiiired legs, a flat, and a ever-so-slight & ever-so-annoying headwind made for a loooooooooong ride in. Plan on hosting two Ride-To-Work rides in the next two weeks, one on my normal 20 mile route with a couple stops to pick people up and one going up and out through Westerville by the Hoover Dam (a 30 mile route) with stops to pick people up, sooooo with the bike being new, with about 500 miles put on it in the past 3 weeks, AND with a 3 year service plan included with purchase at roll — they still have a massive sale going on — I think I’m going to take her in to make sure we are still tuned up proper and there’s no potential for more flats on the group rides.

Also, this weekend is Pedal For Pets!

WOW… AMAZING graphics team they have, eh? Why does the dog have his ass all up in the cat’s face? Even the cat’s leaning back a little like, “what the fuck, you lookin’ at this guy?” but at the same time, he looks pretty happy about it too. While I’m at it, why isn’t the dog holding on to the handlebar grips? I think he’s holding the stem! He’s the damn captain on that tandem, he’s being very reckless… and is he popping a wheelie to boot?? Jeezus! What kinda ride is the CHA Animal Shelter holding??? There’s even a t-shirt I can order for the ride? Dang.

Regardless of the potential tandem antics, riding to raise funds for an animal shelter?? Hell yeah I’m in!! The longest route is only about 40 miles, so I think we are riding to the ride, meaning I want Clem ready to rock it, with her cock out! So, yeah, think I’ll take her in at lunch to roll for a once over, make sure we are solid gold, tried and true, all texas tea and what not…

Though the commute was long and annoying, there was a silver lining to this otherwise dark cloud, the pot of gold at the end of a shit rainbow, the “gettin’ some” after a long night of buying drinks and offering up your best “how YOU doin’?” is that I had the latest gem from my beloved & last year’s #1 album creator, Islands and their latest endevour Vapours!

I’ve found with the creatives of the world, that some designers/artists/etc work best when given free range to do whatever they want, a blank canvas, no guidelines, a full studio at their complete disposal. Then there are those that work best when given a theme, focus, restrictions, etc. Don’t believe me? Watch, oh I don’t know, something like Project Runway, throughout the season, they are told “this challenge you must do X”, and some of the designers really kick some butt, but then come the end where they have to design a collection, anything they want, free range, and fuck it all up (and of course, vice-versey). Then, of course, there are a few that kick ass in both like, I believe, Mr. Thorburn

Personally, I find in my own creative endeavours, I work best under a certain theme or guideline. Once I find it, say my recent “Motel Girls” series, I can excel in it, but when it’s time to come up with something brand spanking new, I can stare at my camera for days before Baby’s like, “hey, why don’t you try this?” — she ain’t “my muse” for nothing guys — and then suddenly the idea starts to focus & I can build on it.

But here we got our boy Nick who, for whatever reason, decided to reel it in a bit after the gorgeously ornate, lush, and anything goes Arm’s Way and get his straight-up Nick-style pop monkey on, streamlining the songs, setting some kind of guidelines on what Vapours was going to be… As I’ve asked in a few anticipation posts, was it a reaction to the less than positive (and quite erroneous) critical receiving of Arm’s Way? Or was it just where he wanted to take Islands next? No clue, only he knows for sure, all we have are the results of his efforts…

And let me tell ya, my friends, PHEW! I was so nervous that I wasn’t going to like this, because I LOVE Arm’s Way so so very much and I thought this was going to be some kind of shunning of that masterpiece and we’d end up with a sort of Green Album from what was a Pinkerton, if you will. Nope. It’s a blast. It’s creepy, dark, and really, really fun, in a creepy, dark way! I’ll say it again…

How will this land in our best of the year? No clue, not sure if it’s as “meaty” as some of our other candidates, but time and only time will tell. I will say this… man, what a battle this year, eh? Almost all of our favourite bands have incredible albums out this year! The Most Awesomest Tsururific Albums Of 2009 Mixtape is going to be EPIC!

Okay, time to listen to the first few songs, then go get the rest…. good times, good times, enjoy!

Islands – 01 Switched On
Islands – 02 No You Don’t
Islands – 03 Vapours

Islands ARE forever, baby! Here’s a bit o’ link love…
Myspace | Official | Label

Buy it at Insound!

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