Thursday, December 10, 2009

Fresh Ink!

I got this for my birthday last month, but it's finally all the way healed up-

Done by Kyle Grover.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

The New Bike!

Just thought I'd throw some pics of the bike. Still in progress, but almost there...

Out of the box...
Striped and sanded


Primed


Green!

Headset going in

Going together...

Just got the bottom bracket put together today, I'll post soon.

Cheers!

Drew.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Ask

Friday, July 10, 2009

Josh's Short Film

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Your Castle Bicycling, Anyone?

Charles Roberts has asked me, very nicely, to start a YCRE Bicycling club. Which sounds great to me, even though I'm on a college-special Diamondback mountainbike and will be SMOKED by you guys on street bikes.

I digress.

So I would love to start a bike club, but I need your guys help with routes. I'd like to do some sort of tiered setup, like babies, weekend warriors, and crazy dudes. Babies just circle Wash Park or something, Warriors could do the Cherry Creek trail from Colorado Blvd to Confluence Park, and Crazies could do stuff like ride through downtown after a Rockies game (Thanks to Josh for that idea).

Thoughts, my friends?

Thrive Social Media

Hey everyone,

Just wanted to let you guys know Chelsea and I have posted a few new things on our Thrive Social Media blog. I'm trying to make this blog about my stuff, and all the techie, social media stuff is moving over to that blog.

I hope you all check it out!

Here's the link:

http://ThriveSocialMedia.blogspot.com

Enjoy!

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Thrive is Here!

Our second book, Thrive: How Realtors Can Succeed in a Down Market, was delivered yesterday!I wrote a lot of this one, along with Lon Welsh, Mike Welk, and Bruce Gardner.



We did a ton of research on this one, and found some pretty interesting trends in the industry. Let me know if you want a copy!


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Top 5 Cities with Recovering Markets

Thanks to Mel Phipps who just posted this on Facebook.

According to the Today Show's Real Estate Expert, Denver is the number 1 recovering city in the United States. Pretty cool, huh?

Their criteria rated things like education level, weather, job growth, thriving downtown, etc. It's pretty cool that our little ville is viewed as the TOP city to watch.

Watch the video here, it's worth the wait.

http://bit.ly/16bVa9



Until next time...

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

The Power of Twitter

I just read this article on Mashable, a fantastic Social Media blog.

The author, Jennifer Van Grove, wrote about NASA Astronaut Mike Massimino Tweeting from orbit.

Yes. TWEETING from ORBIT. As in circling the Earth. In Space. That orbit.

This, in my opinion, is what Twitter and Social Media is all about. True transparency. I don't know about you guys, but I never really cared about space junk, but the fact that I can read tweets from a dude circling the planet as he writes them is pretty darn cool.

Here's the original article. I'd highly recommend a read through.

One Giant Leap for Twitterkind

Cherio.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Best Places Around: Salvegetti

You know what's a drag? Snobby bicyclists. And being a daily bicycle commuter, I have a right ot complain about this.

It's really annoying to get stuck behind some jerk in a Lance Armstrong jersey going 15 mph in the middle of traffic. I AGREE that bicycles should be treated as traffic. But slow traffic gets honked at, flipped off, and passed. So don't be an a-hole about it.

Anyway, it seems that a lot of my bicycling friends (who just so happen to not ride 4 thousand dollar racing bikes) don't like bike snobs either.

Case in point. Try going to the bike shop on Iliff and Colorado Blvd. You can't miss it, it's right where Iliff does that little jig. Try going in there wearing jeans and a t-shirt. Not a particularly nice day, as I did, or a busy day. Just a regular old day being your regular old self.

Now, here's what I look like on the weekends, for those of you who may not know:

I really don't think I'm THAT scary.

I DO, however, look like I'm 15. Or thereabouts.

So back to the point. Try going into said bikeshop on Iliff and Colorado and play "How long until I'm even acknowledged." It's fun.

For me, the answer was "Never." Yes, I was in there for about 15 minutes, trying to look at single speeds and fixies. I tried talking loudly about having questions with the jerks standing around nearby. I tried playing around with the floor models.

Still nothing. So I started taking bikes down off the rack, playing around with them, and left them leaning against the wall.

Jerks.

On Saturday, I had the great PLEASURE of stopping in to Salvagetti on Speer. I was greeted at the door by the owner himself. His name is Scott. He's the man.


So this place is completely awesome. To give you a taste of exactly HOW awesome, here's a quote from their website-

"Sal-va-jet-tee

Salvagetti is simply the english word salvage with T-T-I added at the end to make it sound Italian. The pronunciation is sal-va-jet-tee. The word literally means a bike shop at 1234 Speer Blvd. in Denver, CO. We aren’t making fun of other bike shops with big attitudes. We promise."

Awesome.

Scott helped me find a pretty cool fixie, a Jamis Beatnik 53cm. He knows my pal Robert Koch as well, so that was cool.

It's nice to just talk to people who like to ride bikes. Nobody is going to confuse me with Lance, and that's ok with me. I just like being on 2 wheels. And so do these guys.

So pop on by, their nice. Park in the allyway right before the shop (immediately after you pass 12th) though, because there is no street parking and 13th is one way to the west. So it's a hassel to go around the block. Especially when the Cinco de Mayo parade is going on and 14th is a mess.


Links!

Salvagetti's Site


Denver Post: Best Tea Places Around


My colleague and beloved pal Mike Welk posted this on my Facebook wall this morning. Good stuff, thanks Mike.



http://www.denverpost.com/lifestyles/ci_12329843

I also read an article over the weekend in the magazine Living Without on the healing properties of tea. Black tea (which I drink religiously) decreases the risk of Parkinson's, Alzheimer, diabetes, heart disease, and a bunch of other cool stuff.

So check out the places on this list. I know I will. In the meantime, buy your own up at Urbanistic Tea and Bike (see previous posts). Their Earl Grey is absolutely superb.


Cheers.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Found my College Portfolio...

For what it's worth, Colorado State University wasn't completely a waste of time. I did get to color. Good old Landscape Architecture.







And some Photoshop and SketchUp renderings...


Comments, as always, are welcome.


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Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Denver Highlands and Such

Just thought I'd slap up some pictures of our outing on Sunday.


Me (@drewshope) and Chelsea Willis (@weddinggal) in Confluence Park, Right by the REI.


Confluence Park, with the high rises on Little Raven Blvd in the background. That bridge on the left is 15th Street.


Confluence Park. REI is to the right.


I didn't know International Harvester had a place in Denver. I knew about the Willys Overland plant on Broadway, but not this. It seems Denver was kind of a hub for 4 wheel drive manufacturing. Hmm.

And a little further up the road, we headed to Highlands-

Sorry I'm such a nerd.


Right outside Urbanistic Tea and Bike (see previous post)


32nd and Lowell.

More from 32nd and Lowell.

And on the way back home we stopped by Buffalo Exchange on 13th Ave. and Grant St. I just thought the view of the Denver Art Museum was nifty...


Hope everyone enjoys some random pictures from around Denver.

Until next time.


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Monday, May 4, 2009

My first Twittargument!

So the morning of Monday, May 4th, something strange and wonderful happened. I got into my first Twitter Argument, or Twittargument for, er, short.

It all started when the user @monkmusic posted, 5 or 6 times an hour, things like:

"My music sounds like Kurt Cobain and Timbaland in the boxing ring. Check it out www.monk-music-monk.com"

(we'll save the debate over what Kurt Cobain and Timbaland would actually sound like in a boxing ring for another time).

and

"I have a new website with free downloads. Check it out. www.monk-music-monk.com"

Over. And over. And over.

And over.

So, I doing my Twitterly duty, thought I would send a discrete direct message:

"D monkmusic: your shameless self promotion is getting old."

A little harsh? Probably. But I didn't call names or use too many big words or anything.

A little while later, he replied:

Whoa! My favorite one is:

"@drewshope and why didnt [sic] you have the balls to write that as a @ ? Could it be that you faer [sic] my followers?"

To which I kindly replied:

"@monkmusic wow man. touchy? I thought I'd let you know WHY you are losing followers. It's tiresome to hear ads all day."

So yes, you can do nothing but tweet about your business all day. But it gets really old. I tell my clients to tweet 5 or 10 things about others for every 1 about themselves.

I just thought I'd take this opportunity to share a little something about the greatness of Social Media.

It's user controlled!

Now, could I have just stopped following him? Of course. I unfollow around 10 or 15 people a day, just trying to thin out crap from the valuable stuff.

I honestly was just trying to give some feedback. Tactful? No.

But I want to use this to show everyone the really cool thing about social media. If you don't want spam, you don't have to.

So don't be spam!

I know, right?

Hope this inspires.


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An Interview- Urbanistic Tea and Bike

This is my first 'interview' for this blog. I have to admit, I felt a little strange asking the poor guy running the place if it was cool for me to snap some pictures.

I stopped in to Urbanistic Tea and Bike at 32nd an Lowell on Sunday afternoon. Partly because I wanted to get some different Earl Grey (Sorry Twinnings, you have just started to get stale) and partly because it was nice out and I'm pining for my new bike.

Ethan, the owner, is a pretty cool dude. He wasn't put off at all by my nonchalant inquiries on Surly frames, custom wheels, and tea stuff.

Here's the fine fellow...

He was working on a bike, as he was the last two times I stopped in.

The place has been open for about a year, says Ethan. I asked why the choice to combine Tea and Bike-

"I have been a bike mechanic forever, and we have been selling teas for a while, so we just thought we'd combine the two."

Well said, sir. Well said.

The cool thing is that they accomplish the two incredibly well. Their selection of teas is pretty darn complete. I counted 4 different kinds of Earl Grey (!).


They have a good selection of kettles and pots as well, and everything was very reasonably priced.

To the left of the store is the bike accessories wall.


A couple things on this wall-

First, the wood-grained rims are awesome. Secondly, the seats they sell here are awesome. Double awesome.

So planning my custom bike, I'm thinking a black Surly frame with a drop handlebar and wood grain rims and a brown leather seat. Just so you guys know.

Stop by, check it out. Let me know what you think.

Links!

Urbanistic's Blog


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Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Coolest Places Around - Urbanistic Tea and Bike



One of the things I really enjoy doing on my weekends is cruising around town and trying new indie coffee shops. After years of Suburban Starbucks, now is my time to live a little.

I have my favorites around- My top three would be, in no particular order:



Kaladi Bros. Coffee on Evans and Gilpin
Cafe Europa on Pennsylvania and Bayaud
Paris on the Platte on Platte St between 15th and the pedestrian bridge over I-25.

Other favorites include Stella's Coffee Haus on Old South Pearl. Decent drinks, kind of nice atmosphere, but tends to be a little crowded. Another runner-up would be the Dazbog Coffee on 17th and Downing (chain, yes. But awesome coffee). I actually did a Summer internship for Lifescape Associates up the street from this place, the Summer BEFORE it went in, so I was forced to drink Starbucks. Common Grounds on 32nd and Lowell and The Tattered Cover Coffee Shop deserve mention as well.

I definitely like riding my homely old Diamondback over to Kaladi or Stella's to get something on Saturday mornings. There are cool bike shop's right by each of them as well, so it's fun to go get some tea and look at the bike's I can't afford.

But at long last someone has come up with the AMAZING idea of combining the two.

I present to you, my humble followers:
Urbanistic Tea and Bike

This place is the combination of 2 of my top 3 loves; Bikes and Tea.

I know.

Take a minute to breath.

This place, while not serving tea, has an incredible selection of teas too choose from. Rare stuff. Exotic stuff.

The thing that I really love is you walk into this tiny place, and you basically have 3 options of where to look- the wall displaying bike parts, the wall displaying teas, or the stand where the owner, Ethan, is working on some bike up on the stand.

That's it.

Seriously, how cool is that?

It's on Lowell just down from the intersection at 32nd (right across Lowell from the Pizza place in Highlands Square).

Go check it out. I'll be doing an interview with Ethan soon (hopefully this weekend) with more pics and more info, but trust me; this place is awesome.

Links!
Urbanistic's Blog
Kaladi Bros. Coffee
Stella's Coffee Haus

Monday, April 27, 2009

Denver Gardening Examiner: City vegetable garden tips for Denver

I just read this article that I found via Twitter. I think it's worth noting what gardening you can do in a city setting, especially since I grew up in the 'burbs and I did go to school to learn Landscape Architecture.

Adding a garden to a city property actually tends to add a lot of value.

Check it out and let me know what you think.

Denver Gardening Examiner: City vegetable garden tips for Denver

Posted using ShareThis

Friday, April 24, 2009

My Favorite Twitter Applications

I know I go over this stuff really fast in class, so I wanted to put these down in one spot where they would be easy to find. So without further adieu...

1. TweetDeck.

TweetDeck puts everything in 1 spot for you. It defaults with a column for a feed from all the people you are following, a column for your @replies, a column for you Direct Messages, and a column for you Facebook Friends' Status. You can also shorten URLs (handy) and it has a TwitPic plugin (see below).



I like it mostly because using Twitter.com to do this can be a total drag. Nothing like a celebrity plastering their mug all over a site to really slow it down. Thanks guys.

It is a download, but I'd highly recommend it. It also minimizes to you toolbar so you can leave it up without giving away (to your boss-types) that you are on Twitter.

www.TweetDeck.com




2. TwitterGrader.

Knowing where you stand is the only way to know where you're going. Twitter Grader is a website that allows you to put in any Twitter username and see where you fall on their scale. As of this post I'm ranked somewhere in the 60k's. Not bad, but not spectacular. That's out of 2 million TwitterGrader users, by the way.


The really cool feature of this site is to view the Twitter Elite (top right-ish tab) which will show the top 50 worldwide users. Here's a free tip- FOLLOW THEM. Simply following the top users in the Twitter Elite section, and some of the top users by location will boost your follower count. Which is a good place to start (more on when to knock that technique off later).

http://twitter.grader.com



3. TwitPic.

So you want to tweet some pictures, eh? Go to TwitPic and you can upload a picture, write a little something about it, and tweet it to the world. Very cool.

www.twitpic.com




4. TwitterCounter.

A kind of baby version of analytics for your follower count. Not a big application except to see where you are and where you are predicted to go, but kind of neat. It tends to be a little slow though, but worth knowing about.


Give them a shot and let me know what you think.



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Thursday, April 23, 2009

Linking Twitter to Facebook and Blogger...

This is super easy and I get this question a lot in my classes, so here you all go. Now I can just say "read my blog."


So you have a blog, a LinkedIn account, a Facebook page, and you’re tweeting away. You’re spending some time each week to update each one, and you start to think that there has to be an easier way to take care of everything at once.

Twitter’s tiny little 140 character tweets can show up in a lot of places, which is a fantastic way to get noticed.

First, we will show you how to link Twitter to your blog and to Facebook.

Go to your Twitter account and sign in. At the bottom of the screen, you will see a link named “Apps.” Clicking here will lead you to this page:



You can scroll through the list and pick some that sound interesting to you, but for now we are going to stick to the “Widgets” application.


Once that is open, select the Facebook tab and click “continue” in the bottom right corner.

Click on the “Install Twitter in Facebook” button in the middle of the page.


Click “Allow,” and enter your Twitter login and password. Now anything you text to your Twitter account will be displayed as your Facebook status. Two birds with one digital stone.

Go back to the Apps link on Twitter. This time, click on the “Blogger” link, and then click “Continue” at the bottom to navigate here:

You can tweak the settings as much as you’d like, then click the “Add to Blogger” button. It will ask you to sign in to your account, much like Facebook.


Click the “Add Widget” button and you are up and running. This link brings you to a page that will let you finesse your blog’s layout. Spend some time here, as this will likely be the place a prospective client will end up on, and you want them to get a good idea of who you are and what you do.

Click “Save” when you’re all done.

If you need to get back to that page, it is the “Page Elements” tab under the “Layout” tab.

Hope that helps, leave a comment if you have any questions.

Links!

Twitter Apps
Facebook Apps


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Wednesday, April 22, 2009

SEO, SMO, and why you shouldn't care

So I'm assuming that most people have a general idea of what Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is, and the basic concepts of how to use it.

For those of you who don't know, SEO is a tactic that a company or individual will use when building a website to ensure the site shows up in Google results. Which is good.

SMO is Social Media Optimization, which is a little different, but basically the same idea; you want to show up in Social Media results easily.

I do a lot of consulting for Realtors and other small businesses, and the thing they always want to know is, "how can we increase our SEO?"

And I always say, "It's not all about your Google standing!"

The most difficult part of what I do is not explaining how to Tweet or how to link everything together, although that is usually what people are most interested in at first (probably because they think it will help their SEO). The most difficult thing is trying to help people wrap their heads around the concept that "Push Marketing" just doesn't work anymore.

The power is no longer in the hands of the marketer like it was in the 50's, or even the hands of the channel like it was in the 80's and 90's. It's in the hands of the consumer. The consumer is all knowing, all powerful, and they are all talking to each other.

This always scares the people in my classes, but it's not a bad thing. This will make the products higher quality because the poorer quality products will be ripped apart in the blogosphere. Good.

Companies and Marketers need to understand that they are no longer able to put a spin on things that make them look new and shiny. They need to engage in a conversation with their consumers, and trust that the loss of control will result in the gain of momentum.

Thoughts?

Friday, April 17, 2009

Social Media for Small Business!

Our 1st SocMed class is coming up!



Gimme a shout for details.


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Monday, April 13, 2009

Twitterpated


I am using Twitter. A LOT. It's really awesome. The thing that is hard to get across to people, however, is that it can be a really useful tool for doing business.


If you spend any decent amount of time on there, you will start to be able to follow other people's conversations. The thing that I like about this, rather then say Facebook or a blog, is that the conversations show up to anyone following you; in some cases, this can be thousands of people.

I follow a lot of nerdy/tech people, and I have learned a ton by following their conversations and clicking on the links they drop. Imagine sitting in on a dinner with 10 of the most successful, smart people you can imagine; that's Twitter. Kind of.

I use TweetDeck, and it's pretty cool. I have heard a lot about seesmic which is a little more "Mac-ish" if that makes any sense. TweetDeck can be a little finicky, but the new version is pretty good. It has a good integration with TwitPic that I like.

TweetDeck allows you to view a good feed of what's going on with the people you are following, and allows you to see your Friend updates on Facebook without signing on (there's always a danger of that guy you don't really like all that much chatting with you. I hate that).

It's easy to use, it's free, and it links to everything. I'm sure you will all see this blog posted in like 3 or 4 places because of good ole Twitter.

Until next time.


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Sunday, April 12, 2009

Social Media 101

I am getting a lot of questions about social media lately. You know, just because I wear box-frame glasses and am skinny doesn't mean that I'm a computer nerd. Even though I kind of am. And so what that I do know what I'm doing with computers and junk.

Anyway. Social media is the fancy term given to the hugely growing phenomenon of websites like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and all that fun/exciting stuff. You may have heard the term "Web 2.0" for it. Web 2.0 simply means user-created sites, like a blog that people can comment on, or a MySpace page, or your Facebook page. The sites where all the coding is already done for you.

I first heard about blogging in high school about 7 years ago. I signed up for Facebook in 2005, but canceled my account with the message "Zuckerberg is a sellout" when they opened it up to the public instead of just college students. It's all great fun, but what I keep hearing when I am talking to people about this stuff is "Who cares?"

Excellent question. The short answer is nobody. And everybody.

When I first heard about Twitter I thought it was the dumbest thing imagineable. I remember thinking, "Who cares what I'm wearing right now? Or that I'm mowing the lawn? Seriously?"

And the answer is nobody. Nobody cares if your haven't showered yet. Or what mood you're in.

But what I have come to realize is that there is a huge power in these little updates.

In the past 3 or 4 jobs I have had, I spent a lot of time texting while I was working. In fact, everyone did. You have a lull, and you text your friend to say hi. They text back while your busy, and you answer them an hour later, but the conversation is still going, regardless of what else is going on. It brings continuity to background noise.

I think of Twitter as the same sort of thing. The thing that got me really hooked was that you can text your tweets, and that can link to your Facebook page as a status update. So say you are going into a meeting, or closing a sale with a client. You text "Closing another one, it's been a great week!" and all of a sudden all your friends, followers, and possible future clients can see that your busy and doing business. Powerful.

There are really countless possibilities here. I talked to a Realtor in Chicago a couple weeks ago who tweeted everything from quotes to stats to links to tax and mortgage information. Smart.

Add into that the power to hit your blog, your Facebook, and all your Twitter followers from a 5 second text message on the run. Man, this is really damn cool.

Now I'm not saying I know everything there is to know, but I do know a thing or two about how and why you should spend a little time to get onto these sites. And use them. Twitter especially requires minimal maintenance.

And hell, it's a blast.

So join in the conversation. I have learned a ton already, and this stuff is onlt getting bigger. Facebook hit its 200 MILLIONTH user last week for cryin' out loud.

And on that note, follow me on Twitter!


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Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Some interesting things...

So a friend (of a friend, shout out to weddinggirl) just moved into a pretty cool neighborhood that I haven't spent a lot of time in. It's called the Cole Neighborhood, and its just east of the notorious Five Points neighborhood in Denver. Now, we have been hearing for a while that Five Points was an up and coming area. Which I agree. Being from the suburbs, I really like the grittiness of neighborhoods like Baker and Highlands East.

So Cole is really nifty as well. Little boutiques with hand done, spray-painted signs. Stores selling "Zappos y Boots." It's like Colfax when Colfax was a little scary. In a good way.

The sub-culture group has always been the catalyst of some cool stuff going down, in my opinion. Haight is San Fran, the Bowery and the Village in NYC. Even SoHo was a hell hole not too long ago.

And while I think Denver is a little... well, a LOT less edgy then San Fran or New York, it has it's moments. The neighborhoods that have that eclectic sub-culture tend to have a more active nightlife, more active foot traffic. How many 20 somethings do YOU know living in Cap Hill, for example?

So watch for Cole, I think it's rad. I guess it will take a while to see if it is going to be the next Highlands, but for now, it's a cool place to just hand around.


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Friday, April 3, 2009

Friday, March 13, 2009

The Decemberists


So, I believe it is HIGH TIME that I mention some music on this here blog. What really brings this up is the pending release of The Decemberists' new album The Hazards of Love on March 24th. And, as announced today, released on the 17th via the ubiquitous iTunes. From the sound of the pre-released single the Rake Song, it sounds a trifle differn't then there prior releases, but it's definitely still The Decemberists.

For those of you who don't know, The Decemberists are a Portland based indie (for lack of a better term) band whose sound is truly unique. Maybe call them alt-folk, maybe alt-antebellum. Colin Meloy (one BAMF, I might add), the lead singer/guitarist, went to Missoula for creative writing (and playing with the band Tarkio, who I would also highly recommend). And it shows.

The songs envoke a quite subtlty of long-lost words that we SHOULD still be using. Lines like "the royal ubiquitous handy cam" and "you had a charming air, all cheap and debonair, my widowed mother found so sweet."

Personally, my favorite album is Castaways and Cutouts released in 2004 under the Kill Rock Stars label. Her Majesty (2004) is also a superb album, and the one I first heard. It's hard to believe I have been following the band for near-on 5 years.

Another album worth listening to, if you can get your hands on, is Colin Meloy Sings Morrissey, of which they only pressed 1,000. I was lucky enough to receive a copy for my big Christmas present (thanks Chels!). The track list is as follows:

I Know Very Well How I Got My Name
Pregnant for the Last Time
Jack the Ripper
I've Changed My Plea to Guilty
Sister I'm a Poet
Everyday is Like Sunday (a line of which is the title of this very blog)

If you find this album for anywhere south of $200, BUY IT. It's worth finding, and is appreciating in value very rapidly, especially with the release of only the second major-label EP from the band (the first being 2006's The Crane Wife).

I know I'm a total Decemberists nerd. But that's ok, I kind of like that fact. I like that I have heard the band from nearly its conception, and I like that I have watched them grow and become popular (sort of). And not sell out (you SUCK, Death Cab).

Mr. Colin Meloy and I after his Solo show at the Fox in Boulder last Spring

So when I get my shiny new 180 gram vinyl (yes, I preordered), I'll let you know by how much it kicks ass. I'm sure it will be a lot, but we'll see. In the mean time, I will be pining for the release, and the upcoming show at the Fillmore on May 26th. Which seems an impossibly long time away, but well worth the wait.


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