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The Though Kitchen - Dedicated to Stirring the Pot

Posts by

Rick Albano


Posted by Rick | March 23rd, 2011 | Filed under Art, Music, Who We Are

Something about the barrage of images from Japan and Libya over the course of the last few weeks reminded me of the film Baraka, which was released almost twenty years ago. The movie has no plot or narrative, instead relying on powerful imagery and a dramatic soundtrack to convey a deeply resonant message about the relationship between mankind and nature, mankind and each other, civilization and the wild, good and evil, and the common thread that connects it all.

Music by Dead Can Dance draws you into the imagery; the lack of narration lets you draw your own conclusions. In today’s digital world, where we consume visuals in a montage-like way, this film forces you to slow the carousel down a bit and meditate on the blessing that is Earth.


Posted by Rick | March 21st, 2011 | Filed under Music

This jam from the forthcoming Guided By Voices tribute album Sing for Your Meat—featuring Flaming Lips, Blitzen Trapper and Thurston Moore to name a few—builds perfectly and actually allows you to decipher the lyrics, which are almost inaudible in the perfect, crunchy original. Hard to believe this live cover has higher production value than the original, but hey—it’s a GBV song.

Get an MP3 of the Cymbals Eat Guitars version below.



Posted by Rick | March 15th, 2011 | Filed under Art, Design, Positive Change


Screen shot 2011-03-15 at 10.42.37 AM




Japan is facing a monumental challenge in the wake of last week’s earthquake, tsunami and the resulting volatility of several nuclear power plants. In times like these, we ask ourselves what we can do. Several artists/craftspeople have started to contribute by donating proceeds from the sale of their work to relief efforts. A few of our favorites are displayed above (top to bottom):

Corter Leather | For Japan Bracelet | $20 to benefit the Red Cross

Wall Space Gallery | Bunny Face by Stella Kalaw | $50 to benefit Direct Relief International and Habitat for Humanity (see complete Life Support Japan collection)

W+K Studio | Help Japan Poster Series | Minimum $25 donation to benefit the Red Cross

Michael Rubenstein | Selected Prints to Help Japan | $100-$150 to benefit Japan Relief Efforts

Grant Cornett | Prints via TheLivest1.com (scroll down) | $50 to benefit the Red Cross

Roll with Me

Posted by Rick | March 11th, 2011 | Filed under Art, Bikes, Design



It’s Friday and the sun has broken through, giving us a taste of spring. Biking with somebody you’ve got a crush on to somewhere you can get a buzz on is one of the things we look forward to most when the mercury rises. Which brings to mind a couple pieces of art that capture that feeling, no matter what the weather is doing. The top image is a poster available for $10 from Buy Olympia and the second is from PaperCutsbyJoe on Etsy, the ideal $40 “paper anniversary” gift.

Music Monday: James Blake – A Case of You (Cover)

Posted by Rick | March 7th, 2011 | Filed under Music


James Blake’s music has been dubbed “Robot Soul” for its warped dubstep-in-slo-mo sound, over which he lays some seriously heartfelt vocals. After hearing his heralded debut album The Wilhelm Scream, one might think he relies on auto tune or some other digital trickery to hit the highs and lows throughout. But his acoustic rendition of Joni Mitchell’s “Case of You,” which he recently performed on the Beeb, puts any doubts to rest—dude’s got skills. The songwriting also reminds you of how amazing Joni Mitchell’s 1971 album Blue was.

Get the track for free below, grab a bottle (or a case), and enjoy.

A Case of You (Joni Mitchell Cover) – James Blake | Download

James Blake – A Case Of You (Joni Mitchell Cover) by Hypetrak

Is there change in the air?

Posted by Rick | March 2nd, 2011 | Filed under Environmental Change, Positive Change


Will smart design put the first step to better air quality—awareness of an invisible problem—in our own hands (or on our chests)? We hope so.

We all know that Portland is a marvelously green city. So green is the haze around here, in fact, that most residents are oblivious to the offensive air quality caused by industrial waste. Two years ago, USA Today published an in-depth article called The Smokestack Effect that looked at the impact of industrial pollution on children, particularly those who attend schools near factories that emit toxic chemicals. The results were shocking: higher rates of cancer, mental problems and respiratory disease seemed to tie directly to a school’s proximity to polluters. And even more shocking was the fact that Northwest Portland is in the lowest 2 percentile of air quality in the nation. (A form on the website allows you to check how your neighborhood ranks.)

Our office is in the Pearl District of Northwest Portland, around a mile from Portland’s worst culprits for air pollution. We have kids who attend school in the neighborhood. So the question is, what can we do? Read More »

A cameo on Portlandia

Posted by Rick | February 23rd, 2011 | Filed under Art

Nau Portlandia_Yellow

Now that the Portlandia hype is simmering down a little, we’re settling into watching the show like normal people (ie, on-demand or via youtube clips). A few episodes ago, our Riding Jacket made a cameo alongside another Pacific Northwest classic, Kyle MacLachlan, who plays Portland’s yoga ball-bouncing mayor.

So far, they’ve poked fun at Stumptown’s bike culture, ad agencies, book stores, locavores and adult night clubs, to name a few. Now IFC is giving them a second season, proving that Portland humor has national appeal. Which Portland stereotypes do you think they still need to tackle?

Music Monday: Eyes Wide (Fool’s Gold Remix)

Posted by Rick | February 14th, 2011 | Filed under Music, Who We Are


This track is stunning. The original was already pretty perfect, but there’s really something incredible about the remix Fool’s Gold put together, featuring rhymes by Aristotle. Often remixes don’t add much more to a track than a heavy bassline and distorted vocals, but this one goes way above and beyond. Download it for free below and throw it on a Valentine’s Day mixtape for your sweetheart!

Local Natives – Eyes Wide (Fool’s Gold Remix ft. Aristotle) | Download

Eyes Wide (Fool’s Gold Remix ft. Aristotle) – Local Natives by Thissongissick.com

New School/Old School Cool

Posted by Rick | February 11th, 2011 | Filed under Outdoor Sport, Who We Are

Skateboarding has always been a controversial sport around here, not in a “skateboarding is not a crime” way, but from a brand perspective. Basically, there are some people who feel like skating isn’t a “Nau sport” and others who do. A couple weeks ago we came across a video that we all agreed upon—Killian Martin: A Skate Regeneration. No doubt, his style is highly influenced by ‘80s freestyle skating, along with his background as a gymnast and his obsession with surfing. Killian’s also getting a lot of love in the fashion blog world for a video that shows a totally different take on street skating, where he’s decked out in ‘50s-style clothing and pulling off his crazy acrobatic moves to a soundtrack by Ricky Nelson. We’ve always appreciated athletes who push boundaries, and if this style proves to be a new direction for skate culture, we’re all for it.

Control Yourself

Posted by Rick | April 25th, 2008 | Filed under Environmental Change, Personal Reflection, Sustainability

Picture 4.pngThere’s this band called MGMT (pronounced Management) and most of their music sounds like a debaucherous 3AM party soundtrack, but I was listening to their song “Kids” the other day and I heard these lyrics:

“Control yourself,
Take only what you need from it.
A family of trees falling,
To be haunted.

The water is warm,
But it’s sending me shivers…

Decisions are made and not bought
But I thought this wouldn’t hurt a lot
I guess not…”

My interpretation is that these guys are talking about sustainability, global warming and considering the consequences of our actions, so that there will be something left for the “kids” in the future. I could be wrong. Whatever the meaning is, it’s a pretty good jam for a Friday.