Friday Videos - March 6th, 2015

First and foremost, watch this. It's delightful.

Then enjoy the videos below. Not a ton this week but some entertainment to be found for sure. Have a great weekend.

Peter-John de Villiers

It's very difficult to capture the work of Peter-John de Villiers in a single image. Aside from their format being too immense for the web they are also very intricate detailed undertakings - so many great textures and characters all balanced together.

These snowboard designs are definitively badass - no two ways about it. I'm also a big fan of this Hemsedal Brettklubb Branding - but, honestly, I can't find a single piece in the portfolio that I'm not staring at for awhile.

via James

Reverberation

Received an excellent heads up from Gina regarding the mix repository known as Reverberation. There are plenty of sites out there hosting mixes but these have been a particularly welcome aural treat.

You can follow along on Mixcloud or Tumblr but, however you do it, be sure to dive in deep.

Bop English

I am a fully professed fan of White Denim and am happy to see that frontman James Petralli is forging out on his own with a new project entitled Bop English. You can hear one of the first tracks, "Sentimental Wilderness", here and also check out Dani's Blues.
I'm not sure what this means for White Denim but that's really beside the point. This new work from Petralli forges into new territory and I'm loving it. More on the album can be found here.

Staci Janik

Atlanta's Staci Janik has some serious chops. Her branding work is right up my alley and there's a great deal of illustration and letterpress throughout the portfolio that is gorgeously executed.

She also offers a 50 Favorite Things print in which you email her your fifty favorite things and she will write them out and send it over to you. You just need to see it to understand it's allure.

Plenty of goodness to see over there, get to it.

Beeteeth Relics

I've got plenty of great things to say about the work of Dan Christofferson, aka Beeteeth, but for the moment I'm going to focus on his available works from the Beeteeth Relics Shop. The enormous Masonic-esque banners like Think Twice or Never Waver are astonishing (and, sadly, very sold out). The screen prints, pennants and other creations all have a similar style - crests and symbols from long ago. It feels cryptic and a bit creepy but in the most flattering of ways. Long story short, I'm in love with this stuff and can't wait to get my hands on some.

via Becky.

Juan Rayos, Chinese Moleskine

Juan Rayos is many things - photographer, videographer, documentarian and a quality source of inspiration (assuming my google searches all led to the same person). What caught my eye in particular is his series of Moleskine notebooks - this Chinese moleskine is great - an excellent balance of contemporary imagery, gold paint and native language and illustration. Collages like this always remind me of BEAST, as that was my first encounter with such techniques done this well. It's a praiseworthy comparison.

Rayos has more collages that should be investigated as well - the Black and Great Purge sets are particular favorites of mine.

via

Mary Laube

Peruse the painting work of Mary Laube, particularly the set titled The Museum. Lots of great atmosphere to these works and a pleasant implementation of pattern and texture. From there, dive into the remaining sets for slightly more abstract configurations that manage to maintain that great texture work.

via.

That Damn Dress

Over the weekend I found myself encountering a plethora of articles on #TheDress (not the one shown above - you know the one I speak of) and felt myself getting rather annoyed. Not because of the phenomena itself - that's fine - but because it stirred such a backlash ranting about the privilege of society or the viral bandwagoning it's sure to cause. Almost everything I encountered felt overblown and unnecessary. Soapboxes to say "this is such BS but I'm still going to chime in on it because I want to be a part."

But the very end of this Atlantic article did say something that I agree with and think we should keep in mind:
And what are memes if not games? They are small; they are low-stakes; they are often silly. (Sorry, #llamadrama.) But they are also communal. They invite us to participate, to adapt, to joke, to create something together, under the auspices of the same basic rules. That is not a small thing. That is, in fact, a huge thing - particularly when it comes to the very concerns the attention police like to remind us of. If we have any hope of solving the world's most systemic and sweeping problems, we will have to come together. Inequality, climate change, injustices both enormous and less so ... these will require cooperative action. They will require us to collaborate and compromise and value diversity. The dress makes a pretty good metaphor for all that.
As it says, "that is not a small thing." Social media is often absurd and low-stakes and ridiculous but it DOES bring people together. You can dump on #TheDress all you want but it's the same mechanism that causes people to band together over Net Neutrality, getting a candidate voted into office or raising awareness of god awful things like police brutality or terrorism against freedom of speech. We can't be serious 100% of the time and events like #TheDress help to bring people together over something trivial, which builds communication and the ability to act when it really does matter.

Men, Women & Children

Over the weekend I finally took in Jason Reitman's Men, Women & Children - an engaging tale about families and technology. For me, it seemed like a cautionary tale for parents and how they treat their children's technology, particularly when they don't understand it. Raising kids in the Internet Age seems very scary and being able to handle the proper amount of restriction and education does not seem like an easy undertaking. The basics - plot, acting, characters, etc - are all executed in a compelling fashion.

The real clincher for me was how the actual tech was treated on screen. The whole movie reminded me of this Tony Zhou piece on Texting and The Internet in Film. Most movies do not do this well but Men, Women & Children handled it in an incredibly simple and elegant way while keeping it informative. You can see a bit of it in the trailer but it feels a bit obtrusive there because there's so much of it back to back.. in the actual film it's much more spaced out and feels more natural.

Overall, big thumbs up. Go for the plot, stay for the pleasant effects.

The Jinx

Is everyone watching The Jinx? The story of multi-millionaire Robert Durst and his multiple murder involvements is absolutely bonkers. Director Andrew Jarecki has a lot of quality creations under his belt already (Capturing the Friedmans) and continues to craft a seriously WTF story. If you were into Serial, loving episodic content focused on How Did This Happen, you will undoubtedly love this - particularly because Durst is 1,000% more creepy and terrifying than anyone in those stories.

It's great and I highly recommend diving in. There's only six episodes in total but every single one has been fairly unbelievable.

Friday Videos - Feb 27th, 2015

This week was kind of huge - I'll share the news starting next week once the loose ends are all tied up but I had a helluva good time working with a great new client. Always nice when work is as satisfying as can be. Enjoy these distractions:

Sever

It's been awhile since some street art caught my eye but I'm loving what I'm seeing from Sever. There's a bit of traditional tagging work but always mixed with some rather incredible type work. The pop-culture character play is always nice - who doesn't love an obese Captain America?

Inordinate amount of things to see here, so really carve out some time to explore.

User Onboarding

Really enjoying these User Onboarding teardowns - walkthroughs of signup processes, their pitfalls and their successes. Enticing and informing users to a specific action is not a simple task and looking at these insights is certainly helpful, particularly in contrasting it with whatever you are working on yourself. I've been through the Rdio and Instagram studies and come away with plenty of good, useful, ideas.

Mike Perry Studio

It came to my attention the other day that Mike Perry is responsible for the branding and art direction on Broad City - a recent favorite. I've always enjoyed the title sequences and now can see that it's just the tip of the iceberg of enjoyable projects from Mr. Perry.

Do yourself a real quick favor and head over to his site, scroll down and take in the greatness of animated gif's depicting the range of title animations. Then dive into his other work and be amazed by his wealth of talent. It's a nice feeling.

TMBG, Alive and Kicking

I had the great fortune to see They Might Be Giants last night during their Brooklyn residency at Music Hall of Williamsburg as a belated birthday present (complete with a visit from best bro Cody). Huge compliments to Becky for the entire experience.

The show consisted of the band's entire first album and it really struck me how entertaining and energetic the songs were even after 29 years. The band wasn't tired of them and the audience was eating it up. If you have the opportunity to see them at any point, I suggest doing so as they really seem to be in revitalized place (or maybe I'm just paying more attention). They're also going strong with their Dial-A-Song service - a new song every week. It's hard to think of a band that's been together this long that never took time off and still manages to be as joyous and fun as these guys.

Friday Videos - Feb 20th, 2015

I'm not fully convinced my experiment was a successful one. I actually missed seeking out things to write about and posting about them - even if my pessimistic self doesn't think my writeups are really worth your time. I gotta do me for me, ya know?

Anyway, here's a playlist of distracting and amusing greatness. As usual, enjoy yourself.
  • Man keeps falling over while shoveling snow - I saw this in gif form yesterday and absolutely lost it. Is it fake? I choose not to wonder and embrace the insanity of it. Please watch at least 10x.
  • Sleater-Kinney - A New Wave - I don't have a terribly strong opinion about the song but I love seeing a good crossover between pop culture items, especially when it involves Bob's Burgers.
  • A Dog's Snow Day - strap a GoPro to a little pup and let them frolick in the snow. Imagine this when you've got your VR glasses strapped to your head.
  • Chmielewski Fun Time! - There's something strangely alluring about this dance. She isn't going bonkers but she is into it.
  • Freaks and Geeks - Uptown Funk - it doesn't sync up very well at all but Bill's dance is always worth a rewatch.
  • Garth Brooks First Facebook Post - the earnestness of this is way too much. God bless ya Garth but settle down!
  • Natalie Prass - Why Don't You Believe In Me - really enjoying this record and the simplicity and effectiveness of this video is spot on.
  • The Golden Egg - Short - a man by the name of Dave Cloud passed away this week. He was a Nashville gem - a strange character with a penchant for the audacious. He lived hard but made some truly excellent music. This short film showcases his personality pretty well - hard to understand and absolutely hilarious if you really get it.
If you still need more entertainment I dare you to watch this without skipping. No way you can do it.

Have a great weekend. Stay warm.

The .gifys

It's unfortunate that I'm using a still image to entice you into voting for The Gifys but there's just no way I can capture all the great animated clips in one contained image. Treat yourself and browse the categories - even if you can think of better candidates for every set you'll certainly enjoy the offerings they put forth. I mean, the "Animals" set alone is worth your entire afternoon.

Sim Chi Yin

Please take some time today to browse the portolio of Sim Chi Yin. The Burmese Spring set contains some unbelievable gorgeous captures.

Beyond that, there's also an excellent series on China's Rat Tribe - a collective of people that can't afford public housing and find themselves living underground. The name is certainly not a compassionate one because these folks are making it work but it's a sad state of affairs. Read more on it here.

via Becky.

An Experiment

So, for awhile now I've been running the sidebar blog over there - called the Syndicate that is a compilation of Youtube & Vimeo likes, Delicious "Quicklinks", MusicNews, Twitter Favorites and Posts and Soundcloud Likes. Visually, it needs some serious help but lately I've been finding that it's the most enjoyable and consumable part of the site. These main blog posts are nice but you don't need 100 words on why a photo gallery is nice.

So, here's my experiment. Over the next one to two weeks I'm going to write less here on the main blog and focus posts only on things that I've built or just showcasing a bunch of nice images. I'll post more on the syndicate and see how that feels.

How will I measure this? No clue. I've no way to know if it's actually a success or not except for feedback directly from readership.. which I realize is pretty low. Long story short, this site is supposed to be a fun outpouring from me, not an obligation. Hopefully refocusing some aspects of it will make it better for everyone.

do615

I recently re-worked the We Own This Town calendar to be powered by Do615 - an arm of Do Stuff Media that is laser focused on surfacing events for a particular region.

Previously, I was powering the calendar with Songkick and had enjoyable results but I felt like there wasn't as much automated surfacing of events as there could be for the Nashville area. Meaning, I had to input a lot of events that should have been there already. Do615 takes care of that issue for me.

All and all, it's a simple JSON feed based off of a single users "attending" flag. Easy to consume and redisplay as a curated list. The team has been quick and responsive to all my inquiries too.. so, that's a huge, gigantic, thumbs up for them altogether.