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I’d like to share with you something very near and dear to my heart. I think I’ve mentioned it before, but never properly introduced it. The Yellow Bird Project is a non profit organization started by my brother and his best friend. They collect designs from musicians and print them on American Apparel shirts. The profits of the shirts go to the musician’s charity of choice. The Shins, Of Montreal, Devendra Banhart, Bon Iver, Broken Social Scene, New Pornographers, Rilo Kiley and The National are just a few of the members of the YBP family. AIDS Society of Canada, Elliott Smith Memorial Fund, Greenpeace, St. Jude’s Children Hospital and World Wildlife Fund are just a few of the charities that benefit from the sales of the shirts.

YBP isn’t just about collecting designs from musicians. It encourages people to harness their creativity and imagination, whether it be through designing posters, photographing the shirts or spreading the word. The website just underwent a major makeover, where people can now register a profile, track your orders and upload your own photos. It also has a blog section, with The Middle Distance Runner as the guest blogger. Here are a few of the shirts captured by different photographers.


(Photograph by Alicia Vega, design by Devendra Banhart)


(Photograph by Alicia Vega, design by Broken Social Scene)


(Photograph by Alicia Vega, design by Bon Iver)


(Photograph by Hello Romantic, design by Of Montreal)


(Photograph by Hello Romantic, design by Stars)


(Photograph by Hello Romantic, design by Clap Your Hands Say Yeah)

Coming out shortly is The Indie Rock Coloring Book.

” The Montreal-based nonprofit Yellow Bird Project has worked with an amazing range of indie rock musicians over the years to create unique T-shirt designs that benefit an array of charities. This first ever indie rock coloring book is a fitting tribute to the DIY spirit of the bands, featuring witty, hand-illustrated activity pages from artist Andy J. Miller. Music fans can keep themselves out of trouble for hours with mazes, connect-the-dot games, and coloring pages for the Shins, Devendra Banhart, Rilo Kiley, the National, and more than 20 artists. With all royalties going to charity, The Indie Rock Coloring Book is sure to warm even the coolest of hipster hearts.” – Chronicle Books

the indie rock coloring book

Here is the Yellow Bird Project theme song written by The Tallest Man On Earth called “A Field of Birds”

‘ >The Tallest Man On Earth- Field of Birds


Come on skinny love just last the year
Pour a little salt we were never here
My, my, my, my, my, my, my, my
Staring at the sink of blood and crushed veneer


I tell my love to wreck it all
Cut out all the ropes and let me fall
My, my, my, my, my, my, my, my
Right in the moment this order’s tall


I told you to be patient
I told you to be fine
I told you to be balanced
I told you to be kind
In the morning I’ll be with you
But it will be a different “kind”
I’ll be holding all the tickets
And you’ll be owning all the fines


Come on skinny love what happened here
Suckle on the hope in lite brassiere
My, my, my, my, my, my, my, my
Sullen load is full; so slow on the split


I told you to be patient
I told you to be fine
I told you to be balanced
I told you to be kind
Now all your love is wasted?
Then who the hell was I?
Now I’m breaking at the britches
And at the end of all your lines


Who will love you?
Who will fight?
Who will fall far behind?

Photos from Natasha Klimchuk

Lyrics from Bon Iver– Skinny Love

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