Telethon & Halloween Records
Band & Record Label • Dec. 2014 - Present
• I am the lead singer-songwriter and rhythm guitar in a moderately successful & critically-acclaimed indie power pop band called Telethon!
We've made four full length LPs (one is still slated for release in Summer 2019) and an EP in a little over four years of being a band.
• Partly out of necessity and partly for fun, I founded a record label called Halloween Records with my bandmates to put out our own music and, nowadays, other peoples' music, too.
HOW'S THIS RELATE TO DESIGN?
• In addition to writing/singing/playing the music, I've handled almost all of the art direction, layout design, package & merch design, project management, video creation, social media, illustration, graphic design, packing, shipping, ordering, customer service, and much more for each and every one of our releases so far (Examples in the gallery below).
• This role has taught me holistic end-to-end product design and how an idea becomes reality in both the digital space and the physical space.
• Making & releasing records is, in many ways, an exercise in Experience Design, Project Management, Storytelling, PR, and Customer Engagement.
When I started a scrappy little DIY band in late 2014, did I expect to ever put it on this portfolio site? Nope! But, as it turns out, I'm very proud of how far we've come and this stuff belongs here just as much as any other design project I've worked on.
• Telethon's 2017 album "The Grand Spontanean" is a 90 minute, 30 track, five act rock opera about modern technology, relationships, mental health, and the apocalypse. It took a ton of effort to write, rehearse, organize, record, and eventually release. I handled most of it -- including the deluxe CD and Vinyl release, which included a 46-page Playbill I designed and had printed.
People liked it! It made a number of year-end 'Best Of' lists and really moved the needle for us as a band. Pitchfork called it "tuneful and stupefyingly ambitious", the Shepherd Express called it a "magnum opus" and even compared it to Ulysses and Berlin Alexanderplatz... huh?!?!?
• Telethon's 2018 EP "Modern Abrasive" is a little 22-minute record of power pop character studies. I wrote each song from the perspective of a different unnamed person. In these songs, I tried to find universality in the specifics while maintaining a sense of mystery. Here is an exceptionally nice review from a music writer who really 'got it'.
• Telethon's latest album, 2019's 'Hard Pop' is the album I think we're all the proudest of. It's still pretty fresh, but making it was a crazy & fun creative process the likes I'd not encountered before (long story short: I blew it all up and started anew about a month before recording). Other people seem to like it, too!!!