Simplify It

I'm smitten with this Simplify site that takes any image you throw at it and boils it down to essential geometric elements. Generative art can often be a little overwrought but the barebones results that this gives is pretty fascinating. I've been throwing in yk records album covers all morning to see what I get and the results are quite interesting. See them all together here.

Windows 93

Sites parodying Windows are not a new thing but this version of Windows 93 really takes it up a notch due to the sheer vastness of the project. Even after running everything on the desktop there are a ton of applications in the Start Menu and even more tucked away in the File Explorer. It is, truly, bonkers.

via Andy.

yk mix: Revival Denied

I've shared quite a few Halloween themed mixes already this year but I wouldn't feel right if I didn't throw my own hat into the ring. So, here's my 2014 Halloween mix submission to you all - Revival Denied.

I attempted to follow suit from last years mix and find a balance between some more light hearted fair and a progression into a little darker territory. I think it turned out successfully - if the mix were a person it would, hopefulyl, be more Creepy than it is Murder-y.
Revival Denied
[ Stream It | Single MP3 | Single M4A | Compiled ZIP ]

Previous Halloween Mixes
Potions & Brews for Countless Horros (2013), Paralyzed with Fear (2012), Endless Hell (2011), My Descent Into Madness (2010), Dark Despair (Undead Trespass) (2009), Crepuscular (2008), Et Tu, Morte? (2007), Songs for Spooks (2006), Pure Terror (2005)

  1. Alan Parson Project - Lucifer
  2. Unicorn Kid - Phantom Unicorn
  3. Plone - The Greek Alphabet
  4. HAM1 - Saluki
  5. Little Viking - It Works Out
  6. Quasi - Loopy
  7. Sweet Valley - Impending Doom
  8. Mogwai - Remurdered
  9. Jim Guthrie - Death To Everyone
  10. Black Moth Super Rainbow - Sunburn Fudge
  11. Nossaj Thing - Fog
  12. Ral Partha Vogelbacher - Lonely Dreadnought
  13. Makeup and Vanity Set - Yearling
  14. Forget Cassettes - Catie Age 30
  15. Mogwai - Repelish
Continue Reading...

Diggin' In The Carts

I'm consistently impressed by the offerings that Red Bull puts out into the world beyond their energy drink / can business. The entirety of Red Bull Music Academy is somewhat baffling - both in term that it exists at all and, moreso, that it's actually often quite compelling content.

Long story short, they recently launched a six part series called Diggin' In the Carts that explores the musicians and creators behind early videogame music. The likes of Yoko Shimomura, Hirokazu Tanaka and Nobuo Uematsu aren't exactly household names but Street Fighter II, Metroid and Final Fantasy certainly are.

The trailer for the series does a good job of showing just how influential this music has been and the series site lets you dive right in with plenty of additional background info. I will certainly be watching all of these.


Not gonna lie, I often have a hard time picking out a complimentary, engaging color palette for sites (see my obsession with Brown + Orange and now Grey + Pink) and often don't love the over complexity of Adobe's Color Wheel Picker. Fortunately, Coolors seems to ease my pain a bit by creating a very simple interface for generating palettes. Look at this one - I'm totally going to snag that for version 10.

Long story short, it's handy and it's simple, a combination that almost always wins my heart.


So, I tried out Google's Inbox and I've been having a hard time adjusting to it's overall message handling. I swore to myself that I would be patient and try to give it a solid run but it strikes me as non-linear and trying to be a bit too smart. All and all, I feel like a Grandpa using it.

I recently stumbled across CloudMagic - an app that seems to embrace the simplicity of the official gMail app but goes a little further to add some integration tools with other services. It looks to be almost entirely devoid of personality and I think I like that. Has anyone used this?

To be clear, I am not on a quest to replace my gMail app but I am curious about how people try to reinvent such a common experience as email.

The Master Switch

Over the past year I've been making my way through Tim Wu's The Master Switch. It's an incredibly easy to grasp read tackling a huge historical problem - the rise and fall of technology empires, government involvement and innovation disruption. It's taken me a year to read because I've enjoyed it so much - it's not a book that I wanted to end because the context of it is so pertinent to exactly what we're experiencing today with Net Neutrality.

The rise of AT&T and it's stranglehold on competitors or the Hollywood establishment putting up walls against independent theaters is not only historically fascinating but almost 1:1 what we're seeing now with the Internet. Wu's writing style is not overly verbose and he does a great job of explaining all the players involved along the way - from Edison himself to Theodore Vail down to AOL's Steve Case.

Long story short, it's great. I will likely start re-reading it immediately and continue to sing its praises to anyone willing to listen.

The Digital Media Layer Cake

Really enjoyed this D.A. Wallach article on the Digital Media Layer Cake - a distinct stack of concepts that just about every Internet company uses to, ultimately, reach a consumer. They are, in ascending order:
  • Hardware
  • OS
  • Connectivity
  • Apps
  • Creators
  • Advertising (sometimes)
  • Content
The article goes on to describe how companies like Apple, Amazon, Time Warner or even Adult Swim are using these in varying degrees to get their content to you. That, in and of itself, is pretty interesting.

However, the big takeaway is that digital media is still playing by old media rules. Windowing and restricted availability being the biggest culprits for giving consumers a hard time. Is it really optimal to channel customers to one specific viewing area when that's not their normal viewing habits? Disrupting convenience is not a moneymaker.

All and all, it's a good read to think about the possibilities of today's new media empires - Apple, Google, etc - being a bit more risky as a means to appease the customer. The question is, would any of them be daring enough to go against the old ways?

via Hawk

Halloween Mixes Galore

The Halloween mixes are really crawling out of the woodwork this year! That is, in no way, a complaint. I'm loving it. Check out these two phenomenal contributions that found their way into my life yesterday:
  • Vintage Obscura: Halloween Mix - the Vintage Obscura mixes are always a great compilation of legitimately old tunes put together on a proper theme. This is no exception. Look at those band names!
  • Mean Beard Happy Halloween 2014 - Paul Bullock is a wealth of musical knowledge so I'm quite pleased to see him start putting out more of his favorites out into the world. This mix is comprised of songs released in 2014 but it fits the spooky bill.

Doooooom by Schwartzblog

It's one week until Halloween, so it's kind of the perfect time for this Schwartzblog mix to find its way out into the world. Doooooom is as you'd expect - a dark aural journey aided by the likes of The Sword, Sleep and Black Sabbath. It's a great way to get you in the mood for the final push to the sum for the month of October.

Jeremy Okai: Long Time Mix

It's been awhile since Jeremy posted a mix (a feeling I certainly understand) but he's corrected this error and shared Long Time over on his blog. I gotta get him on that streaming tip for previewing the songs but I do love that he maintains the ability to download and enjoy the songs individually. There's plenty here I've never heard of and I can't wait to dive in.

Friday Videos - Oct 24th, 2014

Can I have a boilerplate for these Friday videos? Like "Another week, another dose of friendly distraction." Something catchy that really brands my Friday video contributions to your day being less productive but also more enjoyable. Just kidding, that's a terrible idea.
  • Rob Cantor - "Shia LaBeouf" Live - Rob Cantor has made some amusing videos in the past but nothing that comes close to being this epic in scale and perfection.
  • Shaboi - Curse Rock Pumpkin Dance - there is no limit to the number of times I can listen to Shaboi's Curse Walk album and, equally, no limit to the amount of time I can spend watching the Pumpkin Dance. Together, these things make for a truly wonderful combination. Thanks again to Paul for this.
  • Wunder Wunder - Hail the Madmen - I've somehow never seen this video before and it is absolute perfect chaos. Love it.
  • John Oliver: Supreme Court - if you haven't seen this greatness from Last Week Tonight featuring the best new way to display Supreme Court hearings, do yourself a favor right now.
  • Ko Tama Cat - I don't know what's going on with this cat but all of these clips are mind boggling. Why does it behave this way? Was a training regime involved? Is it prone to be this awesome naturally? Both?
  • Clingy pandas don’t want to take their medicine - I am sure being a Panda wrangler is not an easy job - particularly when administering medicine - but this is out of control cute. It's a Panda Pile and I approve.
  • NASA Space Sounds - this isn't exactly compelling to watch but NASA recently released these sounds recorded from space - all within the human range of hearing - and they're perfect. It's exactly what you hope and imagine space sounds like. It's also amazingly soothing.
There's plenty more weirdness to see on the Internet but hopefully that will satisfy you for the moment. Have a great weekend.

Every Frame a Painting

Thanks to Jeremy I've really been diving into the Tony Zhou movie blog Every Frame a Painting. It's a wonderful repository of animated gifs showcasing different directors and different shooting techniques - i.e. lateral tracking shots or the Spielberg Oner.

Moreso, it's a portal to these wonderful video essays on film. Watch the above piece on What David Fincher Does Not Do for a proper taste of the kind of passion and thoughtfulness going into his explorations (or the previously mentioned Texting in film).

All and all, this is a channel to subscribe to on all fronts. I've yet to see something on it that didn't intrigue me at least a little bit.

Drug Cabin - Yard Work

The other week I wrote about the band Ambulance LTD and how I somewhat lament the fact that they only have one album (and some wonderful demo's of a second album that never was). But bands break up all the time, wonderful singular albums exist in many cases and people move on.
Enter Drug Cabin and their full-length album Yard Work. It features Ambulance LTD's Marcus Congleton sharing vocals with Nathan Thelen and, while different, certainly feels in a similar genre. Maybe it's the familiarity of Congleton's vocals - there's a particular sweet sinisterness to it or maybe it's just the laid back style that mixes just the right amount of genres. Whatever it is, it's enjoyable.

Digits by Twitter

I'm pretty intrigued by this new Digits service from Twitter. Onboarding via mobile phone is not something that I feel super comfortable with from a desktop environment but when it comes to app or mobile experiences, it feels right at home. It looks like they implemented it in a way that is shockingly easy to adopt as well, so I expect to start seeing it a lot more. I wonder what level of concern there is that somewhere down the line Twitter will just decide to change the rules / freeness of it all?

The new framework is actually part of a much bigger plan that involves Twitter becoming more of a mobile platform that provides inroads to analytics, onboarding and, obviously, social chatter from their user base. How all this turns into monetization I'm still not sure but I love seeing them go from a service that was lambasted for the frivolity of content into something truly useful!

The Skinny On Promo CDs

There's a great article over on the Nashville Cream with the problem with Promo CDs. Basically, the music industry insists on sending physical compact discs as promotional material to press and radio. Not only is this hugely wasteful from an ecological standpoint but it's also incredibly bothersome if you're the kind of person that has a computer from the past 5 years without a CD drive. The article states all of these things and I couldn't agree with it more.

But here's the thing. There are a few comments on the article from "Veterans" of the industry and folks working in terrestrial radio that insist that having a physical presence is more powerful than a deletable email or more efficient than simply encoding the archive of CD's that already exist. All the arguments stem from laziness, antiquated habits or hands being tied because upper management isn't going to spring for new technology.

I don't want to go on a tear about something that seems somewhat trivial in the grand scheme of things but I also would love to understand why people are so quick to say "what can I do?" and give up immediately. This tactic creates massive waste and creates a barrier for worthwhile independent artists who don't want to pony up the money to make promotional copies of their album that will be thrown away. If you're a promoter or a record label, please stop doing this.

Inbox By Gmail

The new Inbox app for reading email has been making the rounds and I'm keen to try to work it in as my regular mail reading app. It's a blend of what was once Sparrow and the multi-tabbed inbox that Gmail has been pushing as of late. My first impression is that the interface is not as tight or legible as the regular gmail app but I do love the quicker access to information at a glance and the ability to "Snooze" emails if you so choose ( I realize other apps do this but that doesn't mean I can't like it here as well ).

The promotional page for the app is pretty great. Scrolljacking is always a questionable decision but when it works, as it does here, it's really nice.

Angela Deane Ghost Photographs

It's safe to say that if I encountered the ghostly painted works of Angela Deane during any time of year that I'd be into them but it just so happens that during the month of October they feel just that much more appropriate. The somewhat cartoony ghost characters painted over photos is engaging enough at the start but then you realize that these photos are old enough that all these people actually are ghosts now.

via Becky

This Is Not A Conspiracy Theory Official Trailer

I've mentioned the ongoing Kirby Ferguson project This Is Not A Conspiracy Theory previously but he's just launched a brand new trailer that explains the content of the series and the concept of buying in while it's being made quite well. I love this kind of subscription based film making where the audience is aware of the process and, in some cases, even involved with helping out.

The subject matter of Conspiracy Theories and "dark forces" that influence our lives is right up my alley - I couldn't think of a better person to bring that out into the world and I absolutely love how he's doing it.

Curse Rock + Pumpkin Dance

It's rare that you can take two things you love, mash them together and create a new thing that is equally as enjoyable. Fortunately, when Paul Hinman combined Shaboi's "Curse Rock" and KXVO's Pumpkin Dance, he created something new and wonderful. Stick with it to the :40s mark, it really hits it's stride then. I stand by the claim that it's every bit as good as Pink Floyd + The Wizard of Oz, or Peanut Butter and Jelly. The perfect combo.

Ulay, Oh

I recently mentioned that pop outfit How I Became the Bomb has resurfaced after several years of silence and they're really pushing out some new goods out into the world. Their new EP, Adonis, is now available to stream in full over on Soundcloud and they've released the above video for "Ulay, Oh" - a song directly inspired by the reunion of artist Marina Abramovic and her companion Ulay.

You may have seen the footage of The Artist previously but it has a nice impact when paired with a song directly inspired by and narratively retelling the event. It's powerful and sweet.