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Category: Louisville (page 1 of 2)

The Carjoela Wedding

My associates Alicia Cavender, Chris Reinstatler, Carla Wettig and I, at Carla’s wedding to former teen model Joel Jacob in Louisville.

Rooftop sweating and drinking in steamy Louavull.

Highlands Sirens


Sarah, Megan and Maya – The Highlands Sirens

Nutmeg


Joel is dusting nutmeg upon the season’s delightful egg nog.

Li’l Goober


Jasmine in her new shop Old Souls Vintage on Bardstown Road in the Highlands.

My “First Time”

In July, I was featured in The Courier-Journal, the daily newspaper in Louisville, Kentucky. For their “First Time” segment, the paper asks notable Louisvillians to reflect back on an important moment in their life when something (non-sexual!) happened for the first time. Here’s what I wrote:

View the original at courier-journal.com

Louisville native Scott Ritcher publishes K Composite Magazine, has run for mayor of Louisville and the Kentucky Senate, and now lives in Sweden.

Here he shares the moment when his career as a designer and publisher essentially began.

In 1988, in a Kinko’s copy shop on South First Street near the University of Louisville, lit by fluorescent tubes and decorated with all the charm of an abandoned conference room, I used a Macintosh computer for the first time.

Nestled in a tiny cubicle with worn carpet underneath it was a 13-inch-tall beige box bearing a rainbow Apple logo and the name Macintosh SE.

The machine had a 3.5-inch floppy disk slot on the front and a 9-inch black and white screen with a resolution of 512 by 342 pixels. Those pixels were so big and so few that the machine’s entire screen could now be fully displayed 16 times on your iPhone 5, or nearly 24 times on the MacBook I’m using to type this today.

I was at Kinko’s working on the liner notes for an upcoming cassette album by the Louisville skate-punk band Spot which would be released on Slamdek, my record label.

In those days, there were no scanners, color printers or design software to speak of; however, earlier that year, a brand-new device called the Apple LaserWriter had been released. The Mac and LaserWriter brought publishing power literally to your desk.

Before that happened, I visited a printing shop for any typesetting I needed. I’d type out the text on a typewriter and hand that sheet of paper over to a man who would enter it into a Linotype machine to make it look pretty, charging me by the word. Even that was a world away from the scratch-on letters that preceded it.

By renting time on a Mac at Kinko’s for $6 an hour, I could cut out the middleman and begin experimenting with typography myself. The power this gave me was seriously exciting.

On this early Mac I was still only playing with the dozen or so fonts available on the machine — most often sticking with Helvetica or Geneva — and typing out everything on a blank page in MacWrite. I’d print out those pages of text on the LaserWriter and cut them up. The actual “design” part was still quite analog and the tools were X-ACTO knives and glue sticks. You know, cutting and pasting.

When I think back on my first time with the Mac, it seems like I knew at the time that it was an important moment. Typography and design are what I do now. Without them and without the Mac, I surely wouldn’t be making magazines in one of the world’s design capitals and living (what I consider to be) the dream.

My Old Kentucky Home


Untitled

Five years ago


Five years ago I was a candidate for Kentucky’s State Senate.

Little Scotty


Untitled

Ramblers!


A little place near Stavros, Crete, has excellent taste in names. Ramblers was the name of the award-winning Sunday night trivia group I was a member of in Louisville.

Kentucky’s Bourbon Royalty Visits Sweden

I recently had the opportunity to meet a true Kentucky legend right here in Stockholm.

Though he’s not a celebrity in these parts, everyone where I’m from knows the name Fred Noe. Better still, most people know the name of his great-grandfather, Jim Beam.

As the seventh-generation distiller of the family-run Jim Beam distillery in Clermont, Kentucky, Fred Noe is both a living piece of Kentucky history and the foremost face of his family’s company, founded in 1795.

Summoned to the Castle

The evening was a special opportunity for members of the Stockholm press to mingle with Mr. Noe. The small gathering of about 15 people included journalists from food and drink magazines, restaurant trade papers, as well as a couple people like myself who are enthusiasts of both writing and drinking.

“I’ll have the… um, I guess I’ll have a Jim Beam.”

The mingle was held in Stockholm’s Vasastan neighborhood, right around the corner from where I work at Bonnier Magazines. It was hosted by Beam Brands and their Scandinavian distribution partner Edrington.

I walked a few blocks to Edrington’s offices, then took the elevator up to their beautiful top-floor space, where each attendee was individually greeted at the door and introduced to Fred Noe. This was a real thrill for a Kentucky boy in Sweden.

Everyone chatted for a while, in English of course. Mr. Noe said his Swedish wasn’t very good. I have a feeling he hasn’t learned much more than “skål” (cheers).

I asked him if he was a fan of Louisville’s basketball team or Kentucky’s. He’s a Kentucky fan. I excitedly said, “right on!” Then I quickly confessed that I would have said “right on” no matter which answer he gave. I don’t really care too much either way. (This meeting, by the way, was before Louisville won the national championship a couple weeks later.)

Warm-Up

The room we gathered in is a lounge, outfitted with a large, natural wood dining table, a view over Vasastan’s rooftops, and a minimalistic bar stocked with an unrestrained collection of Beam Brands’ products.

After a short greeting, we all gathered around the table for a light meal of Kentucky-style food. Miniature barbecued hamburgers were on hand as well as a delicious corn-mash soup. This small meal warmed us up for the main event.

Fred Noe, whose full name is Frederick Booker Noe III, walked us through a bourbon tasting of seven different Beam varieties.

It began with the most uncomplicated type and proceeded toward the more complex. So at the beginning we had a taste of Jim Beam’s white dog – white dog is the bare, raw, un-aged liquor that comes straight off the still – and ended with the taste that has been most tampered with, Jim Beam Honey.

White Dog

White dog is a strong, clear alcohol that has never been in a barrel. Most distilleries don’t sell their white dog, nor do they allow the public to taste it. But with the growing interest in bourbon over the past few years, it has become more common for distilleries to take some off the still and share it, mostly as a novelty or for guests in their visitors’ centers.

Another Kentucky distiller, Buffalo Trace, comes to mind as one which has bottled their white dog and brought it to market.

Most people would find this beverage undrinkable. White dog is undilluted and doesn’t have the warm, woody flavor that bourbon has after spending years inside charred oak barrels.

Buffalo Trace’s white dog is just what you would expect: it’s an incredibly potent 125-proof (62.5% alcohol) monster that is both sweet and hairraising.

Dynasty

You’d think that a guy as steeped in bourbon culture, who was born into it and has spent a lifetime enjoying it, would be at least a bit immune to its pleasures.

Hmmm. Smells like bourbon.

This is not so with Fred Noe. He seems to enjoy bourbon as much today as anyone who isn’t a part of a seven-generation bourbon dynasty.

In addition to walking us through the varieties of bourbon that were presented for us, he spent a little time discussing the evolution of the family. Mr. Noe himself started working in the lowest ranks at the distillery decades ago, working his way through virtually every job on site in order to learn every detail of the process.

Fred’s son, having just graduated from college, is now working on the loading dock, helping to bring deliveries of ingredients into the warehouse.

Getting used to it

There were a couple things I liked about Fred Noe that left an impression on me during the evening.

First, as the standard-bearer of one of America’s most legendary alcohol-producing families, I had expected him to be the type of guy who would have a high tolerance for alcohol.

To the contrary, Fred had been out with some bartenders and PR people the night before and started our event by saying that he had a really bad hangover.

In the same way Swedes don’t get used to the winter cold, bourbon distillers like Fred apparently haven’t gotten used to the intoxicating effects of their own products.

There’s ol’ Fred sporting a mustache on the side of the bottle.

“It’s your bourbon”

The second thing I liked was that Fred is not a bourbon snob, as one might expect. He didn’t advocate drinking it straight or neat or undilluted. In fact, he spoke to the versatility of bourbon as a straight drink and as a component of other drinks.

“That’s the thing about bourbon,” he said, “mix it up any way you want to. It’s your bourbon, drink it how you like.”

I liked this a lot. Some people are purists and advocate for always enjoying bourbon straight or on the rocks.

Personally, I’m as big a fan of straight bourbon as I am of mint juleps, bourbon sours and pretty much any other way it can be mixed. Most often, for me, it’s a bourbon and Coke.

It was good to hear from a bourbon professional that he didn’t look down on any of the varieties of ways that anyone drinks the drink.

One of my favorite bourbons is Knob Creek which is only available in Sweden by special order. Jim Beam Honey was also on hand, which was introduced first in Europe.

The Devil’s Cut

One of the high points of the bourbon tasting was the opportunity to try several varieties which aren’t available in Sweden. A 90-proof, rich, woody one called Devil’s Cut was one of these.

Devil’s Cut is a unique bourbon made from a “proprietary process that actually pulls the rich whiskey trapped inside the barrels’ wood after they’re emptied,” they say. “We hold this barrel-treated extract until it develops the proper balance of bourbon notes, and bottle at 90 proof.”

After the bourbon tasting, I had the opportunity to chat a little more with Mr. Noe, which was a riot.

He loves talking about his friend Kid Rock who is sponsored by Beam. Apparently, Mr. Rock was responsible for giving Devil’s Cut its name.

Fred made my night by personally giving me a neat glass of Knob Creek’s Single-Barrel Reserve which is still unavailable in Sweden.

This bourbon has been out for a couple years in the US and has been one I’ve really been looking forward to trying.

It was spectacular. And potent.

Laid out on Knob Creek

While I was enjoying it, Helena reminded me that my band Metroschifter released a song a few years ago called “Knob Creek” that mentions bourbon. Fred asked me to made a note of this so he could check it out on iTunes when he got back to the hotel. Yep, Fred Noe has an iPad.

If there are bourbon celebrities, Fred Noe is definitely one of the big stars. So it was a big thrill to meet him – here in Stockholm no less – and to have the opportunity to get a firsthand presentation of some of Kentucky’s famous flavors.

 

Louisville shirt

I can’t believe I’m the only person at my office wearing a Louisville shirt today. What the…?

Cards!

Alice, Junebug and Disco helping me show some hometown support from abroad.

Time Capsule

I just found this while moving stuff. Absolutely no idea what’s in it. It was in the bottom of the bag I brought to Sweden in February 2009, so it’s at least four years old. Updates to follow!

Crash Course in Cocktails with Drambuie

While putting the finishing touches on the new “Quick Guide” video for K Composite’s iPad magazine tonight, I took a break to fix some dinner.

Not now, honey. Daddy’s playing bartender.

Usually around this time, if I want to have a drink with dinner, I’ll have a beer or a bourbon and Coke. However, tonight I found that my supplies of both had been depleted. This was obviously the work of some phantom drunk who lives in my apartment.

Luckily, I’m moving to a new place in two weeks, so I won’t have to worry about him haunting me anymore. That is, unless he follows me wherever I live, which has unfortunately been the case for the past couple months, I mean years, I mean decades.

Instead of my usual go-to beverages, I decided to play bartender and whip up a proper gentleman’s cocktail. (You know, in case a gentleman happens to stop by.)

To accomplish this, I reached for a bottle of Drambuie’s latest creation, Drambuie 15. I had picked up this bottle and some other Drambuie supplies recently at a press event here in Stockholm.

Drambuie enthusiast Jenni-Lee with one of Stockholm’s foremost connoisseurs of unusual beverages

As an elite member of the Stockholm media specializing in food and drinks – I’m the publisher of a magazine that has almost nothing to do with either – I was joined by about twenty of my alleged colleagues while a Scottish bloke name Bruce from Drambuie walked us through some quick and dirty recipes. All of them were delicious.

Drambuie is – according to my most reliable anonymous source (Wikipedia) – “a sweet, golden colored 40% ABV (80-proof) liqueur made from malt whiskey, honey, herbs, and spices.”

It’s basically a very mixable beverage that is really easy to drink and results in cocktails that don’t taste too much like alcohol. Perfect for high school kids.

If you’re familiar with the product, you might not recognize it these days. They recently redesigned the packaging.

If the goal was to take a memorable and unique bottle you remember from hotel bars and grandparents’ house and make it look more boring, generic and to blend in with everything on the shelf, they hit a home run.

The newer blend, Drambuie 15, is a stronger, more whiskey-ish version which was described by Bruce the Scotsman as “more masculine.”

The three cocktails we mixed were essentially Drambuie versions of famous drinks that you wouldn’t ordinarily think of as being something in which you’d use a Scottish whiskey-based liqueur as a main element.

These drinks were variations on the cosmopolitan, the margarita and (gasp!) the mint julep. As a native of Louisville, home of the Kentucky Derby which made the mint julep famous, you better believe I voiced my strong objections to this.

Surprisingly, all three drinks were pretty damn good and they made short work of destroying my faculties. Yes, even the Drambuie mint julep, sacrilegious as it may be, was in fact, sacrilicious. Truth be told, they called it a Honey Apple Julep.

Ready to drink!

None of the drinks were purported to be replacements for the classics upon which they were based, however, all of them were excellent changes of pace and could be fun substitutions for the same tired old drinks. That’s kind of what I was thinking tonight as my bourbon supply was empty.

With that in mind – and the foggy memories of having way too much fun at Snickarbacken 7 where the event was held – I grabbed the Drambuie 15, a lemon, some honey, an egg, a bottle of ginger beer and a carton of orange juice. What you see here is the result, my own version of their recipe, the Extraordinary Fizz.

I’m not a fan of grapefruit, that’s why I went for the orange juice instead. As mentioned, I also used the “more masculine” Drambuie 15 instead of the normal stuff.

Below you’ll find the recipe for the Extraordinary Fizz and the Apple Mint Julep.

Have fun. But don’t let me catch you with Drambuie on Derby Day.

Emma, Bruce and a bunch of writers/drinkers

Emma, Bruce and a bunch of writers/drinkers

Drambuie Extraordinary Fizz

Here’s what you’ll need to make one cocktail:
50ml Drambuie (I used Drambuie 15 instead)
20ml Honey
30ml Lemon juice (about half a squeezed lemon)
20ml Grapefruit Juice (I used orange juice instead)
1 Egg White
Ginger beer

Emma, Bruce and a bunch of writers and drinkersIce (I believe this is the same as frozen water)
A shaker

Here’s how to make it:
Pour the juices, honey and egg white into the shaker.
Fill it up with as much ice as it can fit.
Shake the crap out of it and pour into a tall Collins glass or tumbler.
Top with ginger beer.
Drink it up.

Helena and Jenni-Lee

Honey Apple Julep

Here’s what you’ll need to make one cocktail:
40ml Drambuie
50ml juice
10 ml honey
12 mint leaves
Ice
A shaker

Throw everything in the shaker, shake it up, then pour it in a glass and drink it.

Hank Schrader

Agent Hank Schrader from “Breaking Bad” also loves Knob Creek bourbon. My man!

Julia + hot toddy

My soon-to-be wife has her first Kentucky bourbon hot toddy, while looking as cinematic as ever.

Tough Choice

Tough choice. Would I write-in Francis Buxton or Larry “Bud” Melman?

Miss Holsclaw was at lunch

“Well, Miss Holsclaw was at lunch so I just give Tammy a roll of dimes and she run to the libary and just use they mimeograph for the struction sheets.”

Absentee ballot application

My absentee ballot application for November’s presidential election.

The Young Publisher

The young publisher in his pre-K Composite years. Here I am seen at about age 12, working on my magazine Cosmicpolitan.

Jason and I in the blue house

Jason and I in the blue house on Broadway a long time ago. xo

Thanks to Layla Searcy for the photo.

“Au Revoir, Pee-wee”

In the mid-1990’s, Jason Noble and I were sharing a house at 1207 East Broadway in Louisville. The whole time we lived there, some type of sewage backup – or something – was causing a painfully putrid odor to emanate from inside the mid-century steel cabinets under the kitchen sink.

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THE BLUE HOUSE ON THE RIGHT

The house is just a few blocks from where Broadway begins in the Highlands. On summer days it was cooled by a monstrous, hideous, 100+ pound, industrial-strength air conditioner we received as a gift from Hilary Newton’s family. At night, when the windows were opened, the fresh air that came in was accompanied by the sounds of Dem Reggae Bon, or whatever band was on the patio stage at Phoenix Hill Tavern, “conveniently” located about 30 yards from the back door.

This little, blue, shotgun rental house quickly became a factory for creative projects, the side effect of which was laughing until we couldn’t stand up. But by the time we moved in, Jason had already had me in stitches for five or six years.

SNUG

Jason and I had been in each other’s orbits in the late ’80s, but it wasn’t until early 1990 that we began to actually become friends.

When we started hanging out, he recalled later, “my only claim to fame was a few ’zines, the fact I had once vomited on a typewriter, and a 90-minute rap opus called Snug – thankfully unavailable to all music lovers.”

Snug was the first cassette tape that he and his fellow teenaged, white, suburban rappers produced under the name King G and the J Krew. As a side business for my record label, Slamdek, I ran a cassette duplication service. When the J Krew employed me to make their tapes, it was my first real exposure to working with Jason on a regular basis. It was trial by fire.

I had never really met people like him and Jeff Mueller before. Honestly, they were kind of difficult to tell apart in the early days of knowing them.

Jason and Jeff were the type of kids who adults would describe as “bouncing off the walls.” The proper number of cups of coffee versus the number of times one should bathe seemed to be reversed for them.

The way they joked with each other was so quick that you couldn’t tell if it just wasn’t funny or if you simply weren’t fast enough to get what they were talking about. It took quite a while before my stock thoughts of “what the…?” turned into an embrace of their madness.

Soon enough, Jason was off to art school in Baltimore and my doses of him began arriving in the form of hilarious and elaborately illustrated letters.

It was a comparatively slow, analog world we were living in then. Obviously it was before the future turned communication, art and music into drag-and-drop bits. Telephones were connected to the walls with wires, a mix tape took hours to assemble, and you had to wisely choose your long distance company because calling outside your city was expensive.

It was certainly long before I could type this on a train in Stockholm, Sweden, on a cassette-sized computer that can instantly play every song Jason and I ever recorded, which is also a telephone that’s connected to countless libraries of information, videos, news and commentary on any subject imaginable. At once it seems like a lifetime ago, yet as warm as last week.

110% LOUD

Around the time Jason was coming back from college, my sister Greta shared an apartment in Deer Park with Robin Wallace. They had been high school classmates and had recently graduated into making music together in the bands Your Face and, later, Sister Shannon.

Greta and Robin were dating Joey Mudd and Jason Noble respectively. We were all friends in the same small circles. Joey was an alumnus of Cerebellum and soon a part of Crain. Jason was still bouncing off the walls.

It was on one night in this small apartment, packed with too many people, too much enthusiasm and too much caffeine that Joey berated Jason for being “about 110% loud.” This is a quote I’ll never forget when I think of Jason.

Nothing in Jason’s life ever seemed to be done with an ordinary, reasonable level of energy. Jason Noble was always at full tilt in the direction of whatever it was he was doing.

When he drew something he used way too much ink. When he laughed at a picture of a monkey dressed up as a person – like the vintage calendar of them he had hanging on the kitchen wall – he visited every ridiculous detail in the photo. When he basked in the water glass scene from Jurassic Park, his enthusiasm betrayed the fact that he could see the big picture of the entire symphony of choreography that was taking place on screen. When he finally bought a house, it was a “compound.”

Most people know Jason for his music and it was also pushed to 110%.

When he had ideas for an important song, it would become an eleven-minute episodic journey. Most songs annoy or bore me within the first minute, but Jason and his collaborators could build the kind of song that, even if you had heard it a hundred times and you were late for work, you would still sit in your car out in the parking lot to hear it until the end. (Unless, of course, you were working at ear X-tacy – as Jason and I both did for several years – in that case you could put the record on in the store.)

Louisville musicians are infamous for their loud/quiet dynamics and the precision with which they switched between the two volumes. Jason’s bands explored this relentlessly, developing it with an organic personality that humanized it from its mechanical beginnings.

Whether bombastically with Rodan, elegantly with the Rachel’s or subtly with Per Mission – when he was loud you’d wonder how one person could make so much noise and when he was quiet you’d have to strain to hear him. Regardless, Jason’s bands always made the kind of music that you wanted to hug.

HOUSE HUNTING

By the mid-’90s, when the two of us were looking for a house together, we had actually lived together before. In a house on Bardstown Road, shared with friends and lovers, we were just shouting distance from Zetti’s and the cheese loaf they regularly sold to dirty punk rockers.

However, the new new place we were seeking would grow to be our own 24-hour canvas.

I was excited about the prospect of living with someone who understood that creativity doesn’t follow regular business hours and that working on the same few details of a project for a week is not an absurd way to live. In fact, it’s the only way to live.

Before we found the blue house on Broadway, we looked at a number of other locations. I remember looking at an apartment one cool morning in Old Louisville. When leaving and shaking hands with the real estate agent, Jason said to him, “Okay, then. I just gotta run this by my parole officer and we’ll be in touch.” Exactly what the old guy wanted to hear.

Finding a freestanding house instead of an apartment was also important because it would offer a higher limit on the noise level.

The blue house turned out to be just what we were looking for. The other rental properties we looked at didn’t have the same rustic charm (“shitty disrepair”) of the Broadway house. That was important because it was inevitable that we’d make a mess.

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AVIARY

Within weeks of moving in, our new nest was already stretched in a web of sound cables, amplifiers, Tascam multi-track recorders, guitars, beige Macintosh computers, Zip drives and scanners with SCSI interfaces, paper samples, Pantone books, tape, staples, notebooks and Sharpies. Name a mid-’90s tool for the production of music, Super 8 film editing or graphic design and you could probably trip over it in our house.

Seemingly overnight, the first album by Jason’s new band The Shipping News, Save Everything, was being recorded in that house, as was the Generation Rx album by my band, The Metroschifter.

The Broadway house was where Jason painstakingly perfected the ink and paper combinations for the Rachel’s magical album The Sea and the Bells. Revision after revision. That’s when he introduced me to Deepdene, his go-to typeface at the time. I still think of him every time I set words into it.

Jason began work on the first Per Mission record there, while I was interviewing people for K Composite Magazine and a short film about field hockey. A second house, two doors down at 1203, eventually became the home of Initial Records, a workshop in its own right where countless other projects were launched, including a split CD by both of our bands, Metroschifter and Shipping News, and their unique aluminum covers engraved with the band names by Chris Reinstatler. Our little blue house even played a cameo role in a 1999 episode of This American Life.

AND KNITTING AND KNITTING AND KNITTING

I feel like a great deal of the energy and creativity that was born and cultivated in those four rooms was fueled from an unlikely source (no, not the full tank of unleaded that I dispensed into my girlfriend Julie’s diesel Rabbit and then had to siphon out with Jason’s help).

If Jason and I had been sent a bill for each time we viewed or quoted a movie in the house, our tab for Pee-wee’s Big Adventure would have been through the roof. All our house guests were aware that there was no basement at the Alamo, that every night was a night “just like tonight… ten years ago,” and that every movie was “Great so far! Action-packed!

Did we have any dreams? “Yeah, I’m all alone, rolling a big donut, and this snake wearing a vest…”

That movie infected our lives, our thought processes and humor.

One day while using the restroom in our house, I burst into laughter when I unexpectedly saw some of Jason’s artwork on the toilet paper package.

The package had a typical illustration of an “adorable” baby giggling atop clouds of soft, cottony toilet tissue. Jason had scrawled in Sharpie next to the baby’s face, “I’m so happy I could just shit!”

STINK CAPSULE

The whole time all of this fun stuff was happening in the house, that same nasty smell was coming out of the cabinets under the kitchen sink. So after multiple attempts over a number of months to locate the source and to disinfect and deodorize this perpetual spring of stank, Jason and I ultimately determined that the best solution was containment.

Equipped with plastic packing tape, we set forth to hermetically seal the steel cabinets in an attempt to prevent any further unpleasant wafting. Our operation was successful and the scented monster was subdued.

We always feared that we had only applied a temporary solution to a permanent problem and, in fact, perhaps the cabinets could explode at some point. It was always possible that the stench could seep through again. Jason was a huge fan of Dr. Ian Malcolm (Jeff Goldblum’s character in Jurassic Park), so we never forgot his words, “Nature finds a way.”

Perhaps, by the day of this writing, the seal on the cabinets has been cracked. Perhaps the cabinets have even been removed completely. If either of those days has come to pass, a new homeowner or contractor has found more than just an unbearable odor inside. They found a time capsule. A very smelly time capsule.

Before sealing that reek away for someone else, Jason and I wrote a note to the next person who would breathe in its sweet goodness. We scrawled something to the effect of: sorry you had to find this, but this is what we did, and why, and the date, and our signatures. Further, we posed for a Polaroid of the operation which we also sealed inside the steel box for a later day.

LETTERS HOME

Unfortunately, the last time I saw Jason was more than a year ago. I was in Louisville visiting from Sweden where I moved in 2009. We met for coffee in the sunshine of the patio at the Heine Brothers’ on Bardstown Road at Eastern Parkway. It was a crisp, bright, breezy day.

I remember him looking stronger than when I had seen him before. I remember thinking that if it were me in his place, my attitude and demeanor wouldn’t be anywhere near as positive and warm as his. But I imagine that part of Jason is what connected him to the character of Dr. Ian Malcolm, who observed in protest, “Life will not be contained. Life breaks free, expands to new territories and crashes through barriers. Painfully, maybe even dangerously, but, well… There it is.”

When you live far away from Louisville, it’s easy to believe that everything in Kentucky will be the same when you come back. It’s easy to think at least that everything will be okay.

The friends you’ve always had will always be there and the important people who make you who you are won’t disappear. You always leave everyone when you leave thinking “you will be safe.” When something dreadful does happen, you truly realize how much you’ve been missing.

Jason helped shape my ideals and my personality. In sadness, when I am tempted to think a part of me is now gone, I’m reminded of how much of myself I owe to my time with him. As long as I am here, his contributions to me will not be gone and my memories of him will be as embraceable as his music is in my ears right now.

Of course, Jason taught me about functional things that I use every day – printer’s plates, electronic pre-press, and techniques for massaging notes and silences into special little places.

But what crushes me the most are the things he showed me just by being himself. Sincerity, humility, generosity, and whatever the opposite of personal ambition is. These are things I really needed to learn. These are things you can learn only by seeing them exhibited by someone you admire and trust.

If you are as talented and recognized as Jason, it could be so easy to believe that you deserve the good fortune and opportunity that comes with that. You could expect it, take it for granted, or use it as a source of pride or validation. I never saw any hint that he entertained any of those things.

He was always excited about the opportunities and accomplishments his bands and projects were able to achieve, and he was gracious, but he seemed disinterested or even amused by recognition. He seemed like he wanted to just keep making music and share as much of that experience as possible with friends.

What’s the point in making wonderful things if you’re not sharing the experience with people you love? What’s the point in doing something serious and intense if you don’t have a common laughter in your heart with your collaborators? What’s the point in doing anything if you don’t push it as far as you possibly can to make it as wonderful and complete, as meaningful and memorable as it can possibly be?

Providence, Rhode Island, 2002

Providence, Rhode Island, 2002 ❤

Jason Noble

My beautiful friend, old roommate, collaborator, inspiration…

He was irreplaceably sweet, funny, kind and amazing. We shared a love for pictures of monkeys wearing people’s clothes, Jurassic Park and absurdly crafted music packaging.

I love you, Jason.

I can’t watch this

I really want to watch this game on Saturday, but if I do, Louisville will lose.

I grew up in a home full of Kentucky fans, but somewhere along the way Louisville’s team became just as good, if not better.

Every year when the NCAA tournament is underway, there comes a moment when Louisville is set to play a huge game. That is, they are playing a game that wasn’t expected. This year, that moment is Saturday.

And every year when it happens, I can’t resist watching. And they can’t resist losing.

So I’m going to have to skip it and hope my theory is correct: I am the center of the universe and the outcome of basketball games depends on whether or not I am watching.

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Just downloadin’

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Just grabbin’ some “content” from “Hollywood” at a speed that would be a sick fantasy in America. It would be especially crazy in Louisville where there has only been one cable/Internet provider for too many years.

And this is just a random download. I’ve seen it get up to 12 MB per second, and I have the “middle” plan for about $40 a month. I could upgrade and get ten times this speed.

Regular people are the new celebrities

Early this past summer, I posted an article here about the magazine I publish of interviews with my friends.

The story detailed how I was bringing K Composite Magazine into a new world by beginning to publish it to the iPad.

I asked you and your fellow Snuggling readers to get involved by applying to be interviewed, and many of you stepped forward to be subjected to the third degree.

Now, the new issue of K Composite is available as a free download for your iPad and you can see for yourself what I’ve been working on all summer.

And it’s off to a big start, too. In its first week in the App Store, K Composite was the #6 app in Sweden in the Lifestyle category which includes magazines and such. Pretty exciting.

My goal is to put out a new issue on the iPad every other month. The second iPad issue, which is actually issue #15, should be out in December.

For those of you who don’t have iPads, some of the interviews will soon be available on the magazine’s website at www.kcomposite.com and in the companion iPhone app K Mate which is also free.

If you’d like to get involved by interviewing one of your friends, helping with the photography or web aspects, or even by being interviewed yourself, stop by this link and let me know: www.kcomposite.com/participate

Music by my bands

Available in iTunes:


Best Actress - When I Wake Up I Play This Song
Best Actress
When I Wake Up
I Play This Song



Carbonistas
from Metroschifter



Whatever’s Wrong With
Me Is Here To Stay

21-song retrospective
of Metroschifter

 

I want you in my REAL magazine

I have published 13 issues of my own magazine, K Composite, which consists of interviews with my friends and non-celebrities. Now I am working to launch the next issue in an amazing new edition on the iPad, distributed through Apple’s App Store. This video will tell you all about it – and how you can get involved!

Visit this project on Kickstarter.

What I am doing

K Composite Magazine began as a fanzine in 1991 and the first full-color edition was released in 1999.

The early issues gained a cult following and national attention through features in Rolling Stone, Harper’s, The Chicago Tribune, and NPR’s Talk of the Nation. Ira Glass of This American Life beamed, “I love K Composite.”

Since then, the magazine has expanded to include other contributors who interview and photograph their own friends.

Moving the magazine to the iPad is already an exciting project. Gorgeous layouts will no longer be limited by the number of pages available, distribution costs will be dramatically decreased, and availability will be unprecedented.

How I am doing it

I have worked intensively with the Mag+ production team at Bonnier Magazines here in Stockholm, for six months.

As a result, I will be able to produce this new edition of K Composite using the same professional Mag+ production tools that are employed for the iPad versions of magazines including Popular Science, Transworld Snowboarding, and MacWorld Sweden.

Mag+ publications are stunning magazines with multiple layers and rich content. Steve Jobs himself hailed Mag+ in his 2010 keynote when discussing publications on the iPad, particularly Popular Science.

Standing on the shoulders of those giants, the innovative finished product of K Composite #14 will be a truly unique reading experience.

Kickstarter

I have launched this project on a creative funding site called Kickstarter. The money raised there will go toward production in the Mag+ environment and the costs of moving the magazine through the necessary gateways for worldwide distribution in the App Store.

As a reward for your support, you can have your picture in the magazine or even be featured in a complete interview!

Check out the project on Kickstarter and check out the magazine’s website at kcomposite.com.

Be in the magazine without spending a krona

I really want to get readers of Snuggling With the Enemy involved in this project!

If you’d like to take a shot at being interviewed in K Composite without spending a krona (or dollar), you don’t need to invest a single blueback (or greenback). Just apply on this page at the magazine’s website at kcomposite.com/participate. Be sure to mention that you heard about this through Snuggling!