September 27, 2009

Something to hold you over until something actually interesting happens.

I saw this years ago, during the annual Spike & Mike's Sick & Twisted Cartoon Festival. I had attended regularly when a resident of San Francisco. Lydia See reminded me that this movie existed. Hoorah for YouTube.

This second one was brought to my attention via John Murphy of the Stupid Creatures fame, which made me revisit and actually foster a newfound love for the latest Gnarls Barkley joint.

Las Mananitas Redesign.

Las Mananitas.

This card is not a best seller. But the people who get it get it so hard that it deserves another run. It's one of those cards that a retailer will buy a few for personal use in addition to whatever larger order may happen. I've added an English translation to the back of the card so it might appeal to a wider audience. I really love this birthday card. Reprints happening in a week or so.

September 26, 2009

Oh Shit! It's a fire sale.

Well we announced it everywhere two days ago everywhere except here on the blog, and so far our fire sale has been a massive success. We are clearing out styles that have been sitting idle in our stockroom for three years or more to make room for 2010 product. All single cards cost $1 each, selected boxed notecards (6 to a pack) $4. Check out the stuff we're practically giving away here. The sale will continue until the cards are gone.

September 13, 2009

Oh, when me friends come down.... to Asheville!

Dustin Hamman of Run on Sentence

MP3 of Run on Sentence song, The Afterlife Pt 1.

One of the many benefits of having Kyle Durrie under our wing for a year was getting to know her boyfriend Dustin, who came to Asheville a couple of years ago for an extended visit while on tour for his band Run on Sentence.

PBR in hand, Dustin, in a rare beardless moment, prints the covers for Run on Sentence's debut album on the BBH Vandercook.

Run On Sentence involves a rotating cast of musicians and could easily be a one man show or a 12 piece extravaganza. I've seen him play as both, and the songs have this rich, complex, and charming quality to them no matter how he dishes it out. Dustin gives a powerful and engaging performance to say the least, and really, I think, alot of us here at the shop were taken aback by how freaking good his music is.

Run on Sentence's debut album Oh When the Wind Comes Down.

MP3 of Run on Sentence song, Stonewall.

This isn't an album we keep in rotation in the shop because he's a friend of ours. It is simply great music. I am all about sonically and lyrically cohesive albums and this one nails that feeling like few can. We've all been itching for a new one to come out, and his next album is nearing completion and should be released in early 2010.

Impromptu coaster designed by Power & Light and printed by BBH for Thursday's upcoming show.

Dustin & Kyle are headed to Asheville as we speak, and somehow miraculously at the last minute we finagled a hosting a performance at the Rocket Club this Thursday (9/17) at 10pm which is absolutely FREE. Seth Kaufman's band Floating Action, a local favorite, will be opening the show.

September 12, 2009


Did I put this image on the blog already? I don't care. It makes me have insane fits of jealousy. STOP THAT SHIT KYLE!!!

So I'll make this super quick, cuz I also have to blog about Kyle's boyfriend today, but Kyle, former BBH apprentice/employee who went on to start Power and Light Press, recently landed an interview w/ a cool craft oriented site called Meet Your Maker.

She is also sharing a table with us at Renegade Craft Fair Chicago this weekend, for the second time in a row, and I totally would be bummed about not being there myself were she not headed to Asheville next.

September 11, 2009

Oh, James.

Cigarette box style vinyl packaging we concocted for 5MA

James Clarke is an enterprising young chap from Northern Ireland who has worked with Blue Barnhouse for more than 2 years making limited edition package for his record label, 5 Minute Association (5MA.) The 5MA philosophy is pretty well matched with our own as described on their website:

5MA an independent record label based in Ireland, releasing lathe cut records in editions of 100.
With a strong focus on the design & packaging we strive to fulfill an aesthetic of creating an item that is as equally visually enthralling & appealing as it is sonically.

James Clarke of 5MA

While that's pretty interesting, what is way more entertaining are the emails we get from him, and after a particularly amusing one from him yesterday, I decided that's what I shall dedicate this blog to today. Below are some of my favorite excerpts from two years of emails. Cheers to you, James, you cheeky bastard. sorry boss, just pre-occupied with my new job as mayor, & satisfying my supermodel wives (yes, my first act as mayor was to abolish bigamy)...

Oh yeh, did I tell you about the time I drove into a lake & left my female passenger to die?! No? Well, that's one for the grandkids!!

Finally got the sleeves the other week, & was so excited that I accidentally jizzed over several of them, so could you make a couple more up?

You'll never guess what happened to me today. I was mugged & brutally attacked & left for dead by a group of 5 year olds. They're getting worse these days.

Canadians scare me, they're like Americans, but a little off kilter. They're wrong I tells ya! Like non-alcoholic beer, or electric cars... just not natural!!

"I was working in the lab late one night. When my eyes beheld an eerie sight. For my monster from his slab began to rise. And suddenly to my surprise..." He got up & said "F**k you, I've had enough of this shit".

Who you callin' a nutjob? You just wait till I get stateside, I'll cut you! I'll cut you good!

[half Irish/] half Belgian, by blood, so when someone confronts me, half of me wants to beat the shit out of them, the other wants to run & hide, but both like to drink!

Oh yeh, forgot to mention about me being a Dark Lord Of The Sith, sorry about that. I wasn't joking when I said I had pasty white skin, it's these black hooded cloaks, & hiding in the darkness all the time, it does nothing for my health.

Lies make baby jesus cry.

Did you find Juan? The little portugese boy who was stowed away in the box with the records? I treated that boy good, so don't let him tell you otherwise!

I already have plans for a project, you can rope in the rest of yr good time employees if you'd like... I'm working on the blueprints for a scale model of the Death Star, made out of cardboard. If you guys can have the reactor core made up by the time I get there, I'll work on the rest.

Be well, & as Jesus once said, "look at me like that once more, & I'll knife ya!!!" Jesus, the Spanish kid down the street... not the religious dude...

I need that cardboard deathstar made up for next week if possible, just keep yr fedex guy away from it.

I think I caught Farrell's strip show when I was in Tijiuana, he was playing support for a donkey sex show. Ah, good times.

Jesus died for our sins so as we could all have easter eggs.

I'm back home from the U-S-of-A! Crazy shit man. Got married to a half woman/half beast in Vegas, then turned gay in San Francisco, & got divorced. Nice!

So here's to future madness, & many a wasted hour on things we should know better not to do.

Be bad,


September 10, 2009

The Summer NYIGF 09 Report: A circle of hell even Dante couldn't dream

by Emily Wismer, BBH Snarkmaster Supreme

Ah, the NY gift show. After many of these shows, Brandon writes about the great things to be seen, and there are great things - creative and skilled folks selling the fruits of their intense labors. Our journey, however, will be a bit different. Join me, your intrepid guest blogger, as I lead you into the bowels of a hell so wondrous, so tacky; an altar to the possibilities of plastics; a tour through a crystal castle the Snow Queen would envy; a search to find the tackiest gift of all. And be certain, the competition is fierce.

To be honest, the first 2 days of the gift show are a bit of a blur. There is set-up, and sweating, splinters in the fingers. I meet BBH's favorite bartender in NYC, Barry, and have the first 2 martinis I ever like. The blur is more literal for Brandon, who somewhere in the first night's drunken stumble back to the hotel loses one lens from his glasses and has to spend the following day in a perma-squint.

Barry Foley of the Hudson Yards Cafe

By day 3, I am ready to venture from our comparatively tasteful booth full of dirty cards into the wilderness of geegaws, knick-knacks, and tchockes. I aim first for the other lovely letterpress booths, seeing fine work by Oblation, 9Spot Monk, and Snow and Graham, and then, toes acclimated to these rapid waters, take the plunge. The water is cold, and loud, and a lot more colorful than I remember water being. The gift show is, above all things, an assault on the senses.

As I begin, I try to think of what it might be like to be a blind person led around the aisles, listening to the bings and hoots and whirs of various toys, the mood music and constant salesperson chatter. And after seeing a few more booths of flower-topped pens, rhinestone-studded hats, and enough tiny crystal animals to sink the Ark, I wish I were that blind person. I ask to take pictures of various booths for this blog, and am surprised that absolutely no one asks for my credentials or thinks I might be writing anything other than a boffo review. Is any press truly better than none?

And here are some of the highlights:

Flair Hair?

I'm not sure of the purpose of these furry visors. A joke when you take your client to the golf course? But I like that the sign specifies that they are "the original." Lord knows, no one would want to be caught dead wearing an imitation visor with fake hair, that would just be embarrassing.

The guy at this booth was so nice I almost felt bad that I was only taking pictures to make fun of 2 foot high Star Wars carvings that retailed for about $1500. But really, if you're willing to stand by and try to sell this stuff, I can't take responsibility for that. My personal fave was one I call, "ass with hands." It was life-size and I had a hard time picturing the classy individual who would hang it proudly on a wall to show off to friends, or their mom.

The totally tubular fuzzy phallic lamps. This is the name I've given them, and I think it works.

There were about 6 different booths full of these headless ladies who can hold necklaces, bracelets and such. For some reason, they really creep me out. There's something very, um, serial killer about them, and if I had one on a nightstand I think I would wake up in a cold sweat too often.

Ok, so when I first saw this booth, I thought I'd found the holy grail of tacky. This one had everything, a bizarre wall poster, sparkly porcelain animal heads the size of a moose trophy in a hunting lodge, doll heads that begged a psychiatric evaluation for the makers. And yet...By the time I'd toured the floor a few times, bored by the run-of-the-mill hideous, this became, by far, my favorite booth. Even now, I have a little dream of receiving that black, glittery chihuahua head and putting it above my letterpress, feeling its cheery stare on me as I slog away with my metal type and cantankerous old machine.

And so our trip ends, until next time Brandon is foolish enough to let someone else take over the blog. I'd love to tell you more about the slap-happy nature of the final gift show days, and to make make you feel the Tim Burton undercurrents that flow beneath the gift show, I'd even love to buy you a drink with Barry at the Hudson Yards, but you can't have all that nice stuff unless you chose to suffer as we did: don your badge, sit in a booth, and be part of the grand carnival, the search for the creme de la crap.

Emily Wismer is one of those apprentices at BBH that wouldn't go away when their apprenticeship was up, and now she gets paid to be a smartass. She has a letterpress studio as well, called Lady Pilot, which she runs out of her basement. You can check out her blog, Lady Pilot Takes Off, here.

Living la Vida Letterpress

This week I switched teams and posted a rant on our Pacific Northwest Rep's blog, Crow and Canary. Enjoy!