Saturday, March 1, 2008

Hustler's Convention

On this day in 1922 a convention of bootleggers convened in Seattle. Prohibition was in full swing and the Northwest's most notorious rumrunners and smugglers sat down for a week-long meeting to discuss the rules and procedures of their trade. More on this here.

Above, Alfred M. Hubbard, a local inventor who worked with the king of Seattle bootleggers, Roy Olmstead. As a radio operator, he would signal the rumrunning boats over the air. Pretty cool looking dude.

Below, clockwise from top left (click to enlarge): Confiscated stills; King County Sheriff Matt Starwich and women in Scottish gear at a 1925 ceremony to destroy confiscated alcohol (wow, fun party); More confiscated liquor; During prohibition, houseboat speakeasies were common in Seattle; Seattle's Imperial Liquor Co. at start of Prohibition.
Houseboat speakeasies. Someone make this happen now.
Images courtesy the Museum of History & Industry.

Friday, February 29, 2008

Up the Down Staircase

My brother Sky is in the FDNY (Engine 3, Ladder 12 in Chelsea). This weekend he'll be in Seattle to participate in the Columbia Center Stair Climb, benefiting the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. If you want to sponsor him with a tax deductible donation, go here. If you think of it while you're filling out the form, please designate that your donation is in honor of Sky Shepard / Firefighter Stairclimb / FDNY.

The Columbia Center is the second tallest building west of the Mississippi. It takes 69 flights of stairs, 1,311 steps, and 788 feet of vertical elevation, in full gear, to reach the 73rd floor. I used to work up in that brioche as a file clerk at a law firm (my first job after WWU). The Columbia Center is built to sway 12 feet in either direction when it's windy, and I remember people getting seasick and leaving work early when that would happen. I DJ'd a wedding there a couple years ago when our good buddies Lily and Matthew got married. We marveled at the views from the top floor. It's not a short building but my brother is raw dog and I know he will make it.

Here's a little about the event: The Scott Firefighter Stairclimb supports the mission of The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, raising money through sponsorships, individual and department fundraising, and entry fees. In 2007, the event brought in a record $365,000 for blood-cancer research and patient services. Awards are given to the fastest climbers and to the top fundraisers.

Raw dog. Please donate if you can.

Update: here are some photos from the stairclimb (click to enlarge).

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Sound and Vision

An exhibition of images and tracks from Visionaire 53 SOUND is currently on view at Visionaire Gallery in Soho, NYC (11 Mercer Street at Howard, open Monday–Friday noon–7pm and Saturday noon–6pm).

SOUND took over two years to put together and was the last of nine issues I worked on with Visionaire. I'm really happy with the way it came out. The issue was sponsored by Mini Cooper and consists of five picture discs containing one-minute recordings by more than 100 different musicians, artists and fashion designers. It comes with a special edition Mini Clubman vinyl killer—a toy car with a record needle in the bottom that drives around a record, tracking on the grooves and playing the songs through an internal speaker. (You can see some more images at

I was actually not that involved in the graphic design of this issue, focusing mostly on sourcing the vinyl killer and the picture discs, and getting musical contributors. Lalo Schifrin, Fiery Furnaces, Miranda July, the Go! Team, Liars, Th
urston Moore & Kim Gordon, José Gonzalez, Panda Bear, David Byrne, Michael Stipe, Cat Power, Spank Rock, UNKLE, sunn O))), Dan the Automator, Malcolm McClaren, Karen O, and many others each contributed exclusive one-minute tracks.
Raymond Pettibon (above left), Peter Saville, Robert Longo, Inez van Lamsweerde & Vinoodh Matadin, Mario Sorrenti, Mert Alas & Marcus Piggott (above right), Nick Knight and others contributed visuals for the picture discs.

The issue is available now from Visionaire for $250, or for $675 you can start a three-issue subscription with this issue. Check the website for more info.

Top, photography by Dan Forbes

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Putting it on Wax

I am happy to announce that Pacific Standard has been retained as art director for Wax Poetics books and special projects. I've been a fan of the magazine since its first issue and there are tons of great new releases and plans in the works as the empire expands.

Their first two books are pictured below, and can be ordered (along with magazines and other stuff) from

Expressway to Your Skull

Best album name ever.
R.I.P. Buddy Miles, 1947–2008

Buy it here.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008


This car has been parked at Lafayette and Great Jones the last couple times I've walked by there. You don't really see cars like this in Manhattan so the whole scene seems like an installation or something. I'm sure at some point it will be with gas prices expected to hit $4 a gallon. Regardless of all that, it's a beauty.

More photos of misc on my Flickr page

Monday, February 25, 2008

New Impulse

In recent weeks I've been finishing up the design for Impulse Seattle's upcoming new website. I won't say anything about it at this point, other than that it's going to be a totally new way of shopping online, taking all the things that make the Fremont boutique so good and applying them to the web.

Impulse has been in Fremont since mid-2006, stocking designers such as A.P.C., Acne, Comme des Garçons, Junya Watanabe, Margiela, Mayle, Rachel Comey, and Yohji Yamamoto. Last fall it was named by Lucky magazine as one of the country's top ten visionary boutiques (along with Opening Ceremony, Bird, and others), and by Seattle Citysearch as Best Womens' Boutique 2007.

For more info check out the Impulse blog at