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Welcome to HipTour. Or the HipTour Blog as it was once known. 

My name is Darren and I began working on what you see here back in December of 2008. The Hip were about to have a big year and I was messing round trying to learn a little bit more about the Internet, social media, programming, SEO, digital manipulation, etc. It seemed like a good way to develop some of these skills while delving into a topic that has always been near and dear to me: The Tragically Hip.

I am originally from south-western Ontario and have lived in Windsor, Chatham, London, Exeter, Wroxeter, Mitchell, Seaforth, and Owen Sound. I attended Georgian College in Barrie, ON & Southern New Hampshire University in Manchester, NH. I worked in the hospitality industry for a number of years at some of Canada's grand hotels. I know St Andrews, NB and Jasper, AB quite well.

I met my wife while I was in New Orleans, LA on business trip so I feel a kinship with The Hip in my affection of that great city. My wife moved from San Francisco to Toronto where we stayed for almost 5 years before moving down to Las Vegas, NV and then on to San Diego, CA where we are currently located.

I saw my first Hip show in 1993. It was at The Markham Fairgrounds as a part of the first Another Roadside Attraction tour and I have gone on to see them many, many times since all across Canada and the United States. Besides The Hip my other musical tastes include heavy doses of Phish, the Grateful Dead, Furthur, Floyd, Neil, Rush, The Band, and Dylan to name those that come immediately to mind. For a change of pace I like Steel Pulse, Curtis Mayfield, Miles Davis and random funk mixes.

HipTour always strives to bring Tragically Hip fans current, informative and relevant information regarding the band and what's going on in it's circles. Bear in mind that this website and the social media outlets associated with it are not affiliated with The Tragically Hip in any way. The opinions expressed and the content that appears herein is always at my discretion.

I refer to Tragically Hip fans as 'Hipheads'. I encourage this. It's a nod to The Dead. I like to use the hashtag #TheHip when tweeting about the band. You can find a lot of my Tragically Hip content on Twitter via that hashtag.

HipTour Designs is a concept borrowed from the pre-show parking lots of Grateful Dead shows of the past and Phish shows of the present where the audience gathers long before the show and a mini-economic zone is born. With this comes a lot of creativity and much fun can be had with known images, concepts, etc. And with some stuff it's like a secret language. Our first release in the genre was a t-shirt design with a pigeon and a camera on it which when looked at by a Tragically Hip fan represented the song "Pigeon Camera" off of the Fully Completely album. We have lots on the drawing board and we will continue to have 2 or 3  designs available at all times.  Some designs will have limited run though.

Digital Lyric Art is a concept that I came up with some time ago and it was the origin of Setlist Art. Digital Lyric Art is exactly that... digital art based on a songs lyrics. The concept has gone from a basic 'word cloud' model to becoming quite a bit more fine tuned in that I am able to manipulate the images get across the feel of the song visually... the lines that pop in the song pop in the art. Some of the older art does not reflect this and I will be going back to redo many of my early efforts. The colours used in the artwork coincide with the colours used on the albums themselves. I also create full album art. Example of that can be seen on the Digital Lyric Art Page.

Setlist Art is done the same way but its make-up is that of whatever a particular night's setlist song titles are. I have so far been using local sports teams as inspiration for colour my palettes. Tragically Hip Setlist Art can be found by visiting the individual setlist posts here on HipTour. Not every show has artwork yet.

SetlistArt.com came out of what I began here and it has up to this point been solely Phish content - both of current shows as they happened and archival shows. Spring of 2013 sees me branching out to add a few more bands. Please check it out if you get the chance and you can follow along with what we're doing via the Setlist Art Facebook Page and @SetlistArt.

It's my intention to make this art available for purchase and I am working on finding a reliable and cost effective way to make it all available from one place. Some of the artwork can currently be seen HERE.

Where can you find me?
Twitter@hiptour ; @SetlistArt@mrjackstraw (personal)
Facebook - HipTour & SetlistArt
Email: mrjackstraw at gmail

Please follow, like, share, contact and do whatever to get involved in the conversation. I respond to absolutely everything and I'm not really limited topic-wise. If I think something's interesting, I'm going to throw it out there. The support means a lot and it's a lot of fun for me. If you have any suggestions, thoughts, etc, let me know. If you are interested in producing anything for the website please contact me and we will see what's cooking.

Thanks for taking the time to learn a bit more about me & the website(s). Visit any links you find interesting. Some of them allow me to take my wife out for dinner as a bit of compensation for all the time I spend tinkering on here.


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