Senses + Dynamics

The song premieres just keep coming for the new Makeup and Vanity Set record, Wilderness. The latest, "Senses + Dynamics", features Big Black Delta* on vocals. I can't think of a more appropriate match of artists and it certainly shines on this track. There's an unnerving sense of darkness, sexiness and forelorn love mixed together here (at least to me, I can't speak to the original intent of the song).

The album is available to preorder here and you can read a ton more about the process of making the album in this interview. More previews and information about the coupled short film, Eidolon, coming soon.

*If you don't know Big Black Delta, fix that.

Elise Tyler

Nashville photographer Elise Tyler has many admirable skills - i.e. music video production, running a great bar - but her photography has really been speaking to me lately. Her work consists largely of Buildings, Signs, People, Strange Phenomena and did I mention Signs? There's a pleasantness to the ramshackle nature of much of it that I associate with more rural living. A lot of it feels Southern to me but I believe the images stem from across the nation. Really can't endorse it enough - please dive in.

David Doran, London Illustrated

I've mentioned the work of David Doran previously but I'm loving this recent series he did for Penguin Random House entitled London, The Weekends Start Here. The book shows fifty-two weekends worth of things to do in London - that's a lot of illustrations! Well worth checking out if you haven't seen his work recently.

Going Clear: Scientology And The Prison Of Belief

After much anticipation, I sat down to watch Going Clear: Scientology And The Prison Of Belief, the Alex Gibney documentary on the religion of Scientology based on the book of the same name by Lawrence Wright. By all measures, it lived up to my expectations and I'm still kind of in shock that HBO was capable of producing, and releasing, a piece of this nature that is so critical towards an organization that is notorious for litigating harmful information into oblivion.

You are likely familiar with the belief system of Scientology thanks to South Park but, honestly, I don't really care what wacky backstory is involved in the foundation of their tenants. I don't care that L. Ron Hubbard was a science fiction writer or that volcanoes on our planet are supposedly inhabited by lost alien souls. It's certainly not for me but if someone wants to believe it, go for it.

What does shock me is the organizations able manipulation of the government to establish themselves as a religion, the punishing Rehabilitation Project Force, blatant lying and their comfort level with labeling someone a Suppressive Person and, thus, tearing families apart.*

Long story short, great documentary. Terrifying religion. I am going to dive into the book for more details on everything but I can't recommend this enough. Definitely scary how much power, money and influence they have. Hopefully this film opens up some new conversation about it - even if Scientology themselves says its all lies.

See also: 10 Things We Learned From Scientology Doc 'Going Clear'

*other religions do this as well. I'm looking at you Amish!

Secret 7 inch

Thanks to Drew for the heads up on Secret 7", a charitable art undertaking that produces seven different 7"s from different musicians and then asks 700 different artists to create unique sleeves for them. The proceeds from the sleeve sales are donated to Nordoff Robbins and there's a big exhibition to showcase them all.

The show doesn't open until April 10th but I'm following along to see the goods as they are revealed.

Friday Videos - March 27th, 2015

How's your week? Mine's been great. Maybe it's the season change but it seems like there's some serious optimism around these parts. Always good to take note of that feeling when you have it. But I digress! Enjoy these distracting videos.
  • Wilderness Promo One - I will continue to talk about this new Makeup and Vanity Set record, Wilderness, and the short film, Eidolon, it accompanies. Listen to Hand in Hand for a taste of what's to come.
  • Fritz Learns to Catch Compilation #1 - I was crying laughing while watching this. This poor dog has a heart of gold.
  • Puppy vs. Orange - at some point I found myself immersed in the world of Maymo and Penny, two adorable dogs having their antics posted to Youtube. I suggest you dive all the way in.
  • Subconscious Cinema - great compilation of dreams from a variety of movies. Be warned.. it does contain some graphic imagery. The clip from 'Un Chien Andalou' at 35seconds will haunt you. The rest is great.
  • Made By: Chris Coyier - I've been a huge fan of CSS Tricks for a long time and it's nice to hear this interview with Mr. Coyier. Seems like an incredibly awesome dude.
  • Album Covers Come Alive - this falls on the side of absurd and ridiculous but it's mostly impressive for it's sheer length. It's insane how much work was put into this!
  • TIE Fighter - I don't geek out on Star Wars fan creations that much but the artistic style of this short film is something I, personally, rarely see these days.
  • Darkel - L, 2014 - I don't know if you are familiar with Darkel, aka Jean-Benoit Dunckel, aka half of AIR - but I had forgotten about this project and was quite pleased to see this crazy long datamosh video pop up with his work (and a new EP).
Need more? Nerd out on this 1 Minute Physics Video about computer colors or this adorable Mom and Daughter Dance... you know, because Ellen.

Have a great weekend.

Tempescope

The Tempescope is part art display, part technology project. At first glance, I assumed the device would gather weather information from the web and then create an artful version of it inside the device... but upon looking through the documentation of the Open Source version - OpenTempescope - it seem that you control if via your iOS app directly. Maybe that means you can do anything with it you like!

All and all, it seems like the possibilities are a bit open for the Tempescope. It's certainly cool looking and that's a helluva start.

Sofia Coppola's Dreamscapes

This examination of Sofia Coppola's Dreamscapes is less about the actual dreams of the characters portrayed in her work and more about the actual dreaming and lost nature of the characters. It's pretty compelling to see this consistent behavior from all her films put together this way - there's a nice consistency and it certainly takes a more upbeat path as it progresses, a welcome optimism.

Northern Army Preservation Society Of Canada

There's always something appealing about vintage logos - often it's a simplicity and straightforwardness that is lacking today. Typically I'd say that nostalgia plays a part as well but having a look at this archive of Canadian logos, I have no personal memory banks in reference to them - but I still find myself with that same loving enjoyment of a strong, simple, bold mark. That 1992 CBC logo should live forever!

Stuart Wade 3D

There is something deceptively simple about the 3D design work of Stuart Wade. It's clean and simple but there's a lot of great personality and character coming through on every image. Even the very simple geometric pieces seem to have a life to them that I'd love to see in motion. Even the skeletons.

Makeup And Vanity Set - Hand In Hand

As I mentioned earlier this week, Makeup and Vanity Set has a new album, Wilderness, coming out in early April. It's a beautiful piece of work that I'm happy to present alongside Telefuture.

Take a moment to listen to the first revealed track, Hand In Hand - featuring vocals from Jasmin Kaset. It's a very appropriate indicator of the vibe of the entire album. So, if you like this track (and you should), go pre-order the album, you will love it.

Javi Grillo-Marxuach on LOST

Javier Grillo-Marxuach is a writer and producer, best known for his involvement with the much-maligned LOST. During it's run, I certainly counted myself as a dedicated fan to LOST. I was also equally disappointed with its slow downfall and it's sour end.

But this isn't about that. This is about The Lost Will and Testament of Javier Grillo-Marxuach, in which a great deal of behind-the-scenes history and insight is shared about the conception and first two seasons of the show (arguably the best). This is a long read, with a load of fascinating anecdotes throughout. Here's a good one:
So the reason the hatch doesn't come up until the end of the tenth episode of the series -- even though JJ was stumping for it since before the pilot was written -- was because Damon didn't fully believe in any of the ideas presented to him for what was there.

As a writers' room, and a think tank before that, we kept pitching possibilities, but nothing we threw out ever overrode Damon's concern that if we shat the bed on that reveal, the audience would depart in droves. The hatch was pitched as a gateway to a frozen polar bear habitat, the mouth of a cave full of treasure that would so entrance the castaways with dreams of avarice that Jack would ultimately be forced to seal it shut with dynamite, the door to a bio-dome whose inhabitants could only breathe carbon dioxide, and even a threshold to an Atlantis-style lost civilization.
Great, right? All and all, it doesn't really settle any of the sour taste that may still stem from the finale but it's nice, refreshing, bit of LOST history that is compelling to read. Highly recommended for anyone that felt themselves trapped with that series and wanting to know what happened, particularly at the start of it all.

We Own This Town - Volume 65

The We Own This Town hibernation lasted quite awhile (about a year) but I was still listening to plenty of new Nashville music - just not compiling it into a listenable form. So, Volume 65 continues compiling pieces of that lost bit of time as well as some newer goods that have been popping up.
Download MP3 | Download M4A | Stream It
Long story short, here's 30 minutes of great new music that you probably haven't heard before that includes the late Dave Cloud and a slew of others - all worth your listening time.

Redemption And Ridicule In Birdcloud's America

I've been a Birdcloud fan ever since stumbling across their song Indianer on Myspace many years ago. I've always thought of them a surprisingly accurate commentary (and a bit of satire) on Southern stereotypes but have never been able to fully articulate what it is about them that makes me consider them far more than a joke. Then I ran across this Noisey article and the articulation was done for me. There's not a single passage that sums it all up but these two bits come close:
Subverting the popular cliche that tries to reduce country songwriting to a single trope of self-pity, "Bandit" is the ingenious exception that proves the rule, a blubbering elegy with so much weirdly empathic depth and weight that it justifies the cliche's existence. The song doesn't mock the woman's probable alcoholism and casual negligence, nor does it rationalize her pet's wholly preventable death. What it does do, though, is give the loneliness of an anonymous woman a couple of absurd moments to strut and fret in your mind before disappearing once again into oblivion. Historically, this is what country music has always done best.

... "The last thing in the world either of us wants is to be seen as a comedy band, because, actually, I don't really think the music is all that fucking funny anyway," Green says. "Sure, life is fucked up and it's funny to laugh at that sometimes, but our songs are grounded in the real experiences of real people."
All and all, it's a great piece about a band that skirts the line of pathos and offensiveness. It's that underlying sadness mixed with their manic energy that makes the whole thing work so well. Dive In if you aren't familiar yet.

Donkey-Me

I haven't even played it yet but the aesthetic of Donkey Me is tugging at my nostalgic heartstrings pretty heavily. I was a big Donkey Kong fan and this takes that adoration and combines it with a shared love of Star Wars, Alien, Total Recall, Flash Gordon and more. I bet it's actually fun to play as well.

via John.

Makeup and Vanity Set - Wilderness

I have been listening to Makeup and Vanity Set for roughly eight years - ever since the release of the 8-bit remix album of songs from The Protomen. In that time, I've heard his music evolve from dancefloor anthems into dark, anthemic, soundscapes. Seriously, if you haven't heard Never Let Go or Manifold or 88:88, you are denying yourself some real pleasures.

So, with that in mind, I'm extremely happy to announce that his new album, Wilderness, will be released on my own yk records, in collaboration with Telefuture. The double vinyl artwork was designed by (version) industries and it's a beauty to behold. All in all, it's been a helluva collaboration.

The album is a companion of sound to a new short film from Joey Ciccoline entitled Eidolon. You could call it a soundtrack but it's more like a conceptual sibling - they exist in tandem to one another. There will be plenty more on this topic in the coming weeks but, for now, go watch this teaser and pre-order it now.

Return of QBN

There was a time, many years ago, that QBN and NewsToday were the spot for design minded folk to gather, look at intriguing links and comment amongst each other (prior to that, K10K). Since its demise, there's been plenty of other communities to spring up - Dribbble and Designer News among my personal faves - but it's great to see that QBN has returned. It's a much simpler design but it seems to be a quality spot to bookmark.

Google Feud

I am sure this made the rounds while I was away at SXSW but I'd be remiss if I did not share Google Feud - a Family Feud style search game in which you try to guess the top ten predictive answers that Google provides for any number of topics. It is, surprisingly, quite fun.

via Casey.

Friday Videos - Mar 20th, 2015

I've returned from Austin! It was 80 degrees and a wonderfully good time with the best of friends. Quite frankly, I didn't even see that much but I've been going for 10 years, so I don't feel like I missed much either.

Because I didn't browse that much, this weeks playlist is just a mish mash of random videos we watched while drinking on the porch. Best way to discover new videos. Many of these are old but new to me, that's all that matters. Thanks to Paige, Kevin, Chris and Mac for the goodies. Glad to be back. Lots of good news on the horizon.