Last week we announced the launch of our new Wipf and Stock website. Responses have been positive. We hope it is a better online experience for customers, authors, and casual browsers.

As you might imagine creating a new web space for a company like ours is not easy. The project has been in the works for a good long time. This blog, however, is published using WordPress software, which comes with a standard set of templates. And it is sort of a side project for us editors. What that means is the look of the blog is pulled together with some extracurricular tinkering from one of the editors. And what that means is the blog will be pretty basic. With the new look of the website, we thought maybe the blog ought to get a makeover as well. Not much of one, mind you, but something in line with the look of the website. So I did a little tinkering yesterday and settled on the template and image you now see on the blog.

Wizard Island at Crater Lake.

Wizard Island at Crater Lake.

We have the capability to put different header images up pretty easily, so you may see different Oregon vistas from time to time.

As well as a new look to the blog, we are welcoming a new voice. Christian Amondson, previously our very capable assistant managing editor, changed positions last year to become an acquisitions editor for Cascade Books. You will find posts from Christian on the blog every now and again.

Finally, it’s been a while since I’ve mentioned new music. Two years ago alt-J’s An Awesome Wave led my list of albums of the year. They’ve come out with a new album this year, This Is All Yours. It is good and I’ve listened to it quite  bit, but it is not as accessible as their debut. Three other albums that in many ways are alt-J-like stand out:

I Forgot Where We Were by Ben Howard

Never Get Lost by Duologue

ZABA by Glass Animals

None of these albums has dethroned Sturgill Simpson‘s Metamodern Sounds in Country Music, a shoo-in for my album of the year unless something surprises me in the next seven weeks. Glass Animals has come closest. There are about half a dozen songs I could highlight from their album, but I’ll leave you with the one that has the most interesting video.