Posts Tagged ‘Texas’

Reckless Kelly’s Sunset Motel / 2017 Grammy Nominee for Best Recording Package A closer look at the artwork

Saturday, December 17th, 2016

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The lyrics to the title track of Sunset Motel, written by Willy Braun, set the stage for the storyline behind the most recent collaborative effort between the Dodds Sisters and Reckless Kelly. Written as somewhat of a love letter, the track voices a plea to not be left to his own devices, hinting at concerns of PTSD. You quickly learn that our main character fears that, if the lady-in-question were to leave, he’d be lured by the temptation of his vices back to the one place he hoped to never return.

Don’t turn me away don’t leave me out in the cold
You know that I’ve only got one place to go
And just like the last time it won’t work out well
Don’t let me go back to the Sunset Motel

The packaging presents itself as an enticing 1950s-60s era travel brochure for the Sunset Motel, promising a desert oasis – a place to “escape from it all.” The reality, however, as only seen through the translucent red Motel Key Tag included within the CD Digipak, is a run-down possibly-abandoned flea-bag motel. It’s hey-day: far gone. The bathing beauties and welcoming staff: all but a memory. Saguaro cactus towers outside it’s walls – not the swaying palm trees pictured… Lurking in these hidden images, you see the true culprit: darkness/addiction/temptation, embodied in the archetypal nemesis and Reckless Kelly classic icon: The Serpant.

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Enclosed within the brochure, a poster sized fold-out US Highway roadmap, covered with handwritten lyrics, illustrations and doodles (from both Willy & Cody Braun), documenting a road trip. The reverse side is filled with advertisements for tourist attractions and travel-related goods, with artwork and themes derived not only from the lyrics of Sunset Motel, itself, but from the full library of Reckless Kelly music and fan culture spanning the past 20 years.

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But, after any amount of analysis, you’ll quickly realize that the ads and slogans on the map don’t accurately represent the concepts or themes included in the lyrics on the record…. “Volcano,” for instance, isn’t about a Tiki Lounge, “One More One Last Time” is definitely not about Mt. Rushmore, and “Lucky Stars” has nothing to do with a casino. So, what gives?

Well, in the end, our protagonist was, indeed, lured back to the Sunset Motel, and did what he’d predicted: he got back on “that stuff” and sufficiently hit the bottom. Conceptually, the tracks on the record were born of hallucinations inspired by the advertisements found on his highway map… a la alice in wonderland, wizard of oz and the like. The handwritten lyrics and doodles on the map are those of a man with a broken heart spiraling downward on his way to the one place he worried he’d return.

Where IS the Sunset Motel? We can’t really say… the path traced on the highway map ends before he got to the final destination. When viewed at a distance through the Motel Key Tag, you’ll see, yet again, the culprit.

The artwork is reminiscent of the golden age of interstate travel – when Route 66 was lit by the warm glow of neon and gas-guzzling classic cars hit the open road to see America. In contrast, the design also presents a somber look at the remnants of that lost era.

Pick up your copy at RecklessKelly.com, and dig in. To reveal what is hidden, peer through the Motel Key Tag… lean in…. stand back… enjoy. Paradise awaits!

Follow us on Facebook for more insights and revealed secrets.

Continue Scrolling to view images of Reckless Kelly’s Sunset Motel
2017 GRAMMY Award Nominee for Best Recording Package
from Shauna & Sarah Dodds of Backstage Design Studio in Austin, Texas.

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And so much more . . . when you think you’ve found it all, look again.

Download High Res Images (328mb)

Art Direction & Design by Shauna Dodds & Sarah Dodds
Creative Direction by Willy & Cody Braun
Illustration by Shauna Dodds, Sarah Dodds, Willy Braun & Cody Braun

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Big Thank you to Bruce Chambers at ICLA and Aaron Prohuska at National Hospitality for making those clear red Motel Key Tags a reality! And, to PrintCraft and Thirty Tigers for bearing with us through this, and for getting it to the finish line!!

2017 Grammy Nominee for Best Recording Package: Sunset Motel Third Consecutive Nod for Reckless Kelly and The Dodds Sisters

Tuesday, December 6th, 2016

View images of Sunset Motel, GRAMMY Award Nominee for Best Recording Package from Shauna & Sarah Dodds of Backstage Design Studio in Austin, Texas.

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Download High Res Images (328mb)

Still the King / GRAMMY Nominee for Best Recording Package

Friday, December 18th, 2015

Still The King Cover Art - 2016 Grammy Nominee for Best Recording Package: Shauna Dodds, Sarah Dodds & Dick Reeves

It’s nearing two weeks since we received the incredible news that our efforts for Still the King had been honored with a GRAMMY Nomination for Best Recording Package, and the gleam still lingers on our faces.

When Dick Reeves and the folks at Bismeaux approached us last year about the third (and final) Asleep at the Wheel Bob Wills tribute that Ray Benson was cooking up, along with a slew of amazing artists (a veritable who’s who of today’s country and americana), we knew that the packaging design had to be special – something deserving of the music it accompanied and representative of the legacy that Benson has built in honoring Wills and keeping his works alive.

As Bob Wills had a well-known and iconic affection for cigars, we felt that Still the King, “the fondest of tributes to the man justly billed as the King of Western Swing” (New York Times), should be celebrated as Mr. Wills, himself, would have deemed appropriate: with a box of cigars.

What we created was a cardboard cd package that is reminiscent of a vintage cigar box, in the vein of those treasured boxes found tucked away in a closet holding a collection small treasures from decades past. We took a great deal of pride in developing an air of authenticity, with mindful care to leave no detail excluded.

  • Delicate raised emboss adorning the cover and inner panels
  • A tax stamp featuring original illustration from local Austin artist, John Wilson
  • Custom portrait illustration of Wills adorning the inside of the cigar box lid
  • Asleep at the Wheel product seal
  • An illustrated set of Still the King Cigars in the style of early cigar advertisements, with branding similar to that of Will’s favorite brand: Roi-Tan
  • 22 Page booklet, with cover artwork like that of vintage collectible cigarette cards
  • CD label artwork evocative of a vintage 78 record
  • As always: A secret goodie hidden away underneath the cigars…. Bet you didn’t even know it was there.

We’re eternally grateful to be so fortunate as to have been a part of this amazing project, let alone be considered for a GRAMMY for simply doing what we love. Thank you to Ray Benson, Mindy Espy-Reyes, Dick Reeves, Sam Seifert, Peter Schwartz and everyone else at Bismeaux for bringing us in on Still the King, embracing the big ideas, entertaining the insanity that is our creative drive and for reeling it in juuuuuuust enough. Love y’all. 

And, a big ah-haaa to Jim Cocke and the team at Crystal Clear CDs. You guys knocked it out of the park, again.

Still the King - Asleep at the Wheel - Tribute to Bob Wills and his Texas Playboys - Grammy Nominee for Best Recording Package - Shauna Dodds, Sarah Dodds & Dick Reeves

Still the King: Celebrating the Music of Bob Wills and His Texas Playboys - Grammy Nominee for Best Recording Package - Shauna Dodds, Sarah Dodds & Dick Reeves

“The most beautifully packaged cd I’ve ever seen in my life”
– Bob Cole, KOKE FM

Still the King - Bob Wills - Asleep at The Wheel - Grammy Nominee for Best Recording Package - Shauna Dodds, Sarah Dodds & Dick Reeves

Grammy Award Nominee for Best Recording Package - Still the King - Asleep at the Wheel - Shauna Dodds, Sarah Dodds & Dick Reeves

“The packaging of Still The King is quite unique: a salute to the old King Edward cigar boxes, obviously a nod to Wills’ swing monarchy, and his signature cigar-smoking.” – Daniel Mullins, The Bluegrass Situation

Still the King - Best Recording Package Nominee - 58th Annual Grammy Awards - Shauna Dodds, Sarah Dodds & Dick Reeves

Best Recording Package Nominee - Grammys - Still the King - Asleep at the Wheel - Shauna Dodds, Sarah Dodds & Dick Reeves

“[This] is easily the most beautiful, intriguing, and nostalgic jewel case I’ve ever seen. The manila background with raised brown letters is exactly the way and old cigar box was made. Lots of easter eggs in the design–the faux stamp on the outside corner, the names of the artists involved on the outside edge, and then when you open it up–the cigar inset, and the CD itself, with the look of an old 78 record. To top it off, the inside of the case is in the design of an old ashtray–you’d almost expect an ash from ol’ Bob’s Roi-Tan to fall out.” – Randy Atkins, Amazon.com Customer Review

Best Recording Package Nominee - Still the King - Shauna Dodds, Sarah Dodds, Dick Reeves, Asleep at the Wheel

Grammy Nominee for Best Recording Package - Still the King - Asleep at the Wheel - Shauna Dodds, Sarah Dodds & Dick Reeves

You can order a copy of Still the King, today, at AsleepAtTheWheel.com

The 58th Annual GRAMMY Awards will be held on Monday, February 15, 2016, at the Staples Center in Los Angeles.

 

William Clark Green / Ringling Road

Monday, November 16th, 2015

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William Clark Green‘s drive and enthusiasm is not only infectious, but he’s also always on board (and insistant) for us to stretch our creativity. It was over a year ago that he first came to us to talk about Ringling Road, with this grand scheme of a circus freak show gone awry based on the title track of the record which pivots on the Eastland, Texas lore surrounding Ringling Lake, and it’s supposed relation to the world-renowned circus family of the same name.

The resulting packaging design is just that, complete with all the performers and madness one might expect to see. If you look closely, you may even recognize some of the characters in this mad scene.

But that’s not even half of it. The passion and hard work that we put into this design work only pales in comparison to the music, itself. You need to hear this record! Get on over to iTunes to download a copy, and hit up WilliamClarkGreen.com to get your hard copy in the mail today!

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NPR Music SXSW Studio Takeover 2015: Hank Shocklee Microphone Check / Hank Shocklee: 'We Had Something to Prove'

Thursday, April 16th, 2015

Hank Shocklee: ‘We Had Something to Prove’

The Public Enemy producer tells us how hip-hop revolutionized recording technology.

Interview with Ali Shaheed Muhammad and Frannie Kelley

People often refer to the multi-layered, cacophonous style of Public Enemy’s production team the Bomb Squad as a “wall of noise” — similar to Phil Spector’s “Wall of Sound” — but to let Squad member Hank Shocklee tell it, their sample-heavy approach was less like Spector’s and more akin to a particular collage-based visual artist’s:

“I had a ridiculous record collection. And I wanted to prove that it was the records that inspired me. Because … I understand scales and musical arrangements and that stuff but I didn’t have — I was not a player. I’m not going to pick up a bass or a guitar or keys and I’m going to, you know, put some virtuoso stuff down. That’s not going to happen. But what I do have is a turntable and records. And so I just want to create this collage, almost like a Romare Bearden kind of a painting.”

Shocklee — alongside his brother, Keith, P.E. front man Chuck D and Eric “Vietnam” Sadler — was an architect of Public Enemy’s distinct, attention-grabbing sound, and helped sampling evolve into an art form unto itself. Racking up production credits for a diverse list of collaborators that ranged from Ice Cube to Bell Biv Devoe, the Bomb Squad was an inspiration to a generation of influential musicians like Microphone Checks own Ali Shaheed Muhammad. At SXSW 2015 in Austin, Texas, Microphone Check spoke with Hank Shocklee about hip-hop’s underappreciated technical ingenuity and why pop music doesn’t appeal to him.

Click here to read the full interview at NPR.org

 

NPR Music SXSW Studio Takeover: Earl Sweatshirt Microphone Check / Earl Sweatshirt: 'I'm Grown'

Tuesday, March 24th, 2015

Interview with Ali Shaheed Muhammad and Frannie Kelley

The 21-year-old spoke with Microphone Check in Austin, Texas, during SXSW a couple days before the release of his second major label album. He says he feels like I Don’t Like S—-, I Don’t Go Outside is really his first album, though. “This is the first thing that I’ve said that I fully stand behind, like the good and the bad of it,” he says. “I’ve never been this transparent with myself or with music. I’ve never been behind myself this much.”

Click here to read the full interview & listen to the full podcasts at NPR.org

 

Robert Earl Keen / Happy Prisoner: The Bluegrass Sessions

Wednesday, February 11th, 2015

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In case you were wondering what we’re listening to in the studio today…. it’s this. What a wonderful world we live in that we got to work with one of our heroes on such an amazing project. If you haven’t picked up a copy ofRobert Earl Keen‘s new record, Happy Prisoner: The Bluegrass Sessions, get after it.

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Reckless Kelly / Long Night Moon

Tuesday, December 10th, 2013

The GRAMMY-Nominated Long Night Moon packaging features Glow In The Dark ink, with hidden images and messages, secret codes and all kinds of other goodies. Plus, comes with it’s own coordinating LED UV light! It’s difficult to do the design justice with a flattened image, but included below is our best shot at it. Click on the images for larger view.

Reckless Kelly, Long Night Moon, GRAMMY, Grammy-Nominated, Best Recording Package, Record Packaging, Glow In The Dark, Shauna Dodds, Sarah Dodds, Austin, Texas, 2014, TX, Cody Braun, Willy Braun, David Abeyta, Jay Nazz, Neil Gallagher, Nominee, Nominated, 56th GRAMMY Awards, Backstage Design Studio, Backstage Designs

Reckless Kelly, Long Night Moon, GRAMMY, Grammy-Nominated, Best Recording Package, Record Packaging, Glow In The Dark, Shauna Dodds, Sarah Dodds, Austin, Texas, 2014, TX, Cody Braun, Willy Braun, David Abeyta, Jay Nazz, Neil Gallagher, Nominee, Nominated, 56th GRAMMY Awards, Backstage Design Studio, Backstage Designs

Reckless Kelly, Long Night Moon, GRAMMY, Grammy-Nominated, Best Recording Package, Record Packaging, Glow In The Dark, Shauna Dodds, Sarah Dodds, Austin, Texas, 2014, TX, Cody Braun, Willy Braun, David Abeyta, Jay Nazz, Neil Gallagher, Nominee, Nominated, 56th GRAMMY Awards

Reckless Kelly, Long Night Moon, GRAMMY, Grammy-Nominated, Best Recording Package, Record Packaging, Glow In The Dark, Shauna Dodds, Sarah Dodds, Austin, Texas, 2014, TX, Cody Braun, Willy Braun, David Abeyta, Jay Nazz, Neil Gallagher, Nominee, Nominated, 56th GRAMMY Awards, Backstage Design Studio, Backstage Designs

Reckless Kelly, Long Night Moon, GRAMMY, Grammy-Nominated, Best Recording Package, Record Packaging, Glow In The Dark, Shauna Dodds, Sarah Dodds, Austin, Texas, 2014, TX, Cody Braun, Willy Braun, David Abeyta, Jay Nazz, Neil Gallagher, Nominee, Nominated, 56th GRAMMY Awards, Backstage Design Studio, Backstage Designs

Reckless Kelly, Long Night Moon, GRAMMY, Grammy-Nominated, Best Recording Package, Record Packaging, Glow In The Dark, Shauna Dodds, Sarah Dodds, Austin, Texas, 2014, TX, Cody Braun, Willy Braun, David Abeyta, Jay Nazz, Neil Gallagher, Nominee, Nominated, 56th GRAMMY Awards, Backstage Design Studio, Backstage Designs

Reckless Kelly, Long Night Moon, GRAMMY, Grammy-Nominated, Best Recording Package, Record Packaging, Glow In The Dark, Shauna Dodds, Sarah Dodds, Austin, Texas, 2014, TX, Cody Braun, Willy Braun, David Abeyta, Jay Nazz, Neil Gallagher, Nominee, Nominated, 56th GRAMMY Awards, Backstage Design Studio, Backstage Designs

Reckless Kelly, Long Night Moon, GRAMMY, Grammy-Nominated, Best Recording Package, Record Packaging, Glow In The Dark, Shauna Dodds, Sarah Dodds, Austin, Texas, 2014, TX, Cody Braun, Willy Braun, David Abeyta, Jay Nazz, Neil Gallagher, Nominee, Nominated, 56th GRAMMY Awards, Backstage Design Studio, Backstage Designs

The 12-panel poster fold-out insert features a vintage-style lunar map with invisible glow-in-the-dark art hidden throughout. Each of the moons encircling the Lunar Map represent a date of relevance to Reckless Kelly and Long Night Moon, with the specific moon that graced the night sky on that very date, the Shoshone Indian name for that moon phase, and the GPS location of the event. Hidden within the design is a code to unlock the chords to all the tracks on the record, a story created from mixmatched lyrics from the record, an explanation of what the Long Night Moon is, a Homeric Hymn, constellations and a link to visit for unlocking ALL the secrets online.

Reckless Kelly, Long Night Moon, GRAMMY, Grammy-Nominated, Best Recording Package, Record Packaging, Glow In The Dark, Shauna Dodds, Sarah Dodds, Austin, Texas, 2014, TX, Cody Braun, Willy Braun, David Abeyta, Jay Nazz, Neil Gallagher, Nominee, Nominated, 56th GRAMMY Awards, Backstage Design Studio, Backstage Designs

Reckless Kelly, Long Night Moon, GRAMMY, Grammy-Nominated, Best Recording Package, Record Packaging, Glow In The Dark, Shauna Dodds, Sarah Dodds, Austin, Texas, 2014, TX, Cody Braun, Willy Braun, David Abeyta, Jay Nazz, Neil Gallagher, Nominee, Nominated, 56th GRAMMY Awards, Backstage Design Studio, Backstage Designs

Little known facts:

1. The stars included in the artwork are not randomly placed – but rather, in their true astronomical alignment to one another. If you know your constellations, you may likely find them, throughout.

2. The moon phases on the lunar map that line the outer rim represent the actual moon phase that lit the sky on that specific date and place.

3. The numbers within the ‘swirls’ of the lunar map also represent a secret code.

4. The moon phases included on the back cover represent the moon phase from the date that each track was written. The dates for these are included on the Lunar Map.

5. Along the bottom of the inner spread, you can find the Austin city lights on the left with headlights departing toward the mountains on the far right. This, as well as the entirety of the packaging design is a nod to the traveling theme of the record, and the lyrics of “Long Night Moon”: Sleepless nights where the stars above are drowned out by the city lights / and I wonder why I keep torturing my soul beneath this urban sky / but in my mind I know I’ll be home soon / surrounded by the winter beneath the Long Night Moon.

6. The Long Night Moon for 2013 is December 16th.

7. If you have the physical copy of the packaging, you can visit RecklessKelly.com/CrackTheCode to . . . crack the code.

If you don’t have Long Night Moon, yet, head over to RecklessKelly.com to snag your copy, NOW!!!

The Long Night Moon / Glow In The Dark

Monday, December 9th, 2013

Reckless Kelly Long Night Moon - Recording Package - GRAMMY Nominated Design - Nominee - CD PackagingCheck out the sweet glow effect on our design for the new Reckless Kelly Packaging

Reckless Kelly’s Long Night Moon – 2014 GRAMMY Nomination for Best Recording Package!

Saturday, December 7th, 2013

Reckless Kelly, Long Night Moon, GRAMMY Nominee, Best Recording Package, Record Packaging, Design, CD COver, Shauna Dodds, Sarah Dodds, Backstage, Austin, Texas, TX, Graphic Design, Nomination

Unbelievable.

While Back Wednesday: Wheeler Brothers / Gold Boots Glitter

Wednesday, November 6th, 2013

A while back, around the beginning of the year, we had the pleasure of working with the Wheeler Brothers on their new record, Gold Boots Glitter. The guys had what everyone thought were two separate and conflicting concepts: one being this really rad glitter-filled jewel case cover and felt letters that Patrick had literally taken an iPhone photo of, and the other being this amazing painting by Molly Brau. To us, however, the two melded together seamlessly.

What resulted was a 10-panel digi with custom die cut pup-up and glitter-coated (literally) sleeve. To see it in all it’s glory, check out the vine below.

Follow us on Vine to see more!