Friday Videos - Oct 9th, 2015

It's October! Okay, technically it was October last week but I was out of town and not really quite feeling the excitement of the Halloween season descending upon us. You know what I love the most about this time of year? Candy corn. Yea, that's right - the waxy, questionable, candy treat that's plagued kids treat bags for years is one of my favorites. Now you know a little something about me.

Enjoy these distractions:
  • Pumpkin Dance - I'm going to post this every week until Halloween because it needs to be seen as much as humanly possibly. 3 million views? We can do better than that.
  • American Ninja-saurus - nothing like an obstacle course in an extremely awkward dinosaur suit.
  • Hey Folks - an hour of Marc Maron saying Hey Folks. How much can you endure??
  • Sarah Moody on Hardly Art Records - Moody's take on what role a record label should play with an artist is exactly what I'm trying to do with yk records, though she states it way more eloquently than I ever could.
  • Will Butler "Anna" - entertaining music video featuring Emma Stone dancing around. Not too shabby. There's a solid Song Exploder episode about this song too.
  • Input/Output - I can't even begin to express what is happening here but there's a myriad of unexpected output from the inputs.
  • Breakmaster Cylinder - Chordettes - I've been listening to a lot of Reply All lately and when they mentioned this Chordettes remix put to Horror movie clips, I knew it was an appropriate introduction to the Halloween season. And the song is bonkers.
They can't be embedded unfortunately but I highly suggest this series of Saddam Hussein replacing sad movie deaths series. Ridiculous.

Mikey Burton

I had the distinct pleasure of meeting Mikey Burton the other week. His talk at Creative Works was hilarious and educational as a peek behind the curtain of how someone with such an immense portfolio goes about continuing to feel inspired and churn out new work, not just the same ole American Flag.

He has a great deal of amazingly balanced line work, subtle textures and entertainment throughout his undertakings. If you don't know, he's great. Pore over the work, please.

Jake Vest - Summer Knowledge

Really enjoying the latest from Memphis' artist Jake Vest, Summer Knowledge. It's the kind of air-y indie-rock that works great for hot summer days or brisk fall roadtrips - its just the right mix of upbeat feels and a twinge of melancholy. My favorite.
I suggest just loading up track 1 and letting it roll. If you're not hooked by the time the rolling force of "Weeds in the Woods" comes through, you're a loon. Hear the whole thing here or on your preferred streaming music service.

Design Disruptors

When I think of InVision, I think of web software that aids designers not documentaries. However, they're the folks behind Design Disruptors, a documentary focused on the likes of Dropbox, Netflix, Pinterest, Spotify and the kind of company that has a focus on design as a means of driving their product. Granted, that focus can be questionable for some of the companies involved but the trailer looks to be pretty interesting.

In the end, cultivating more appreciation for Design and the world surrounding it can only be good for InVision so I applaud them for reaching into new media types to preach their philosophy.

Shaboi, Halloween 2015

Guess what? It's October 8th. That means it's prime time for you to start embracing Halloween themed music because you've only got 23 days to fully enjoy it before it becomes a little weird. In my opinion, there is no better spooky album to achieve that goal than Shaboi's Curse Walk.
I talk about this album in great abundance every year and, amazingly, it still never gets old to me. It's unfair to call it "novelty" because the songs are good, they just happen to mention ghouls and the undead fairly regularly. I implore you all to take to Twitter and implore the man behind the music to make more of it.

If you're not a Bandcamp listener - no problem! Hear it on Spotify, Rdio, Apple Music, Soundcloud and just about everywhere else.

Bryce Mccloud Wants All Of Nashville To Be Neighbors

I have long admired the work of Bryce McCloud and his print studio Isle of Printing - the ongoing Can Wall Project never ceases to impress me. This recent interview with him contains a few insights into the methods behind his madness that I find myself inspired by. His concious decision to move back to Nashville after school in an attempt to garner a tighter community was, obviously, a wise decision. It may have taken him 17 years to make the impact he was hoping for but it's tough to meet someone around town that isn't aware of the self-portrait Our Town project or his McCloudWall. Maybe you remember him from this Mystery Twins 7" he designed and I released. It's a long list of great work.

His philosophy to bring art to a wider community through public art projects seems like the kind of undertaking that might evoke some eye-rolling but his approach isn't cheesy (or producing art that isn't worthwhile). The article ends with this quote that I think I'll keep tumbling around in my head for awhile:
McCloud's goal, he says, is to make fine art as popular as NFL football.

"It has a place in everyone's lives and it doesn't need to be for just one small group of people. It's a huge part of what makes a city livable and interesting and a place that people want to be. Art and music, those are things that bring people together from all walks of life to become friends and community members together, and can be used as a common language for folks that don't really have one otherwise."
Read the whole thing, please.

The Wonderful World Of Creatures & Code

Mnemonic Productions have taken it upon themselves to create a definitive children's book that imparts the wisdom of code to a new generation. The Wonderful World of Creatures and Code is "an A-to-Z picture book that introduces kids (and adults) to code terms from HTML & more with memorable rhymes and quirky creatures."

I think it's fairly safe to say that anyone growing up in our society these days is going to get exposed to a lot of computing devices and having an understanding of how things work will only help develop more problem solving skills and an appreciation for the tech involved. I'd hate for future generations to not be able to "look under the hood" of just about any technology they encounter. So, having a book like this will inspire them to even want to make that peek. Bonus points for the illustrations being adorable and involving monsters - always a treat for kids (and big kids).


I love the alluring simplicity of Typatone - a little web experiment that takes the letters you type and turns them into looping blips. The end result can be quite calming but I'm also fascinated by these kinds of undertakings from a technology standpoint - anyone that laments the end of Flash should look to these sorts of things and know that there is plenty of room for experimentation and delight with plenty of Javascript.

The Ultimate Funny

I don't want to oversell it but I think Seth Pomeroy is a hysterical person. His most recent undertaking* is The Ultimate Funny, a show that started as a failed web series, turned into a failed live show and then a failed podcast, which is now all documented in an actual podcast.

It's intentionally convoluted and possibly entirely untrue. I can't really tell. Just listen to Episode 1 of the series and decide for yourself. If you don't find some enjoyment from the DMX Science Show, I'll be shocked.

He also made this awesome documentary but that's a whole other non-funny thing that should still be watched.

CITE: Tech Ghost City

The CITE ( Center for Innovation, Testing and Evaluation ) project has some fairly incredible descriptive qualities. It is a billion dollar project from Pegasus Global Holdings that will emulate a 35,000 person residential district - urban, suburban and rural zones - intended for the purposes of testing new technologies. There will be no residents.

It is a test city for companies to try out new tech. Want to see how responsive road paint holds up in a variety of weather conditions? Or driverless cars? Or drone mail delivery? Or new home designs for natural disaster survival? Alternative energy sources at scale? The City and Field labs can help facilitate it all through the intense monitoring of the somewhat scary sounding CITE Backbone.

For whatever reason, this this sounds like equal parts New World Order and Actual Great Idea. I don't see how a personless city can be a fully fortified test of new technology but it certainly seems like a good place to start.

Vietnam Zippo Lighters

Not gonna lie, looking at this collection of Vietnam Zippo Lighter Engravings as a source of inspiration for design, texture or typography feels wrong. Given how many of the enlisted died, it feels like a bit of a tainted topic to gaze upon with that kind of admiration. That being said, I can't help but feel moved by the simplicity and intense, understandable, pessimism.

Project Apollo Archive

The Project Apollo Archive is a huge repository of space images culled a Johnson Space Center DVD-R and other official NASA sources, posted by Kipp Teague to Flickr. They're all public domain images and some of them are, unsurprisingly, stunning and a bit chilling. It's so hard to wrap my brain around Space and the enormity of it all so seeing these images pulled from our moon and manmade objects orbiting our planet is just... Awesome. In the most literal sense of the word.

Mitchell Bat Co.

Last week I met Jeremy Mitchell, proprietor of Mitchell Bat Company, a shop focused on selling high-quality vintage baseball bats and other related paraphernalia. I can't say that I know much about baseball, and am especially ignorant to vintage baseball, but the design of the wares supersedes that knowledge. I mean, look at this logo! If someone told you that was lifted straight from the 1920's, you wouldn't blink an eye. Same goes for these pennants - they feel incredibly accurate for the time they are reflecting.

Great work to Jeremy not only designing this stuff but having it produced in a way that feels right. It's a real impressive accomplishment to be able to make something like this appealing despite the audience, potentially, not knowing anything about it.

Day One

On the recommendation of trusted friend Arlo Jamrog, I started using the Day One app, a very well designed app aimed at journaling your day. I've never been one to really document my days events beyond photographing the interesting parts but I was intrigued by the idea of having a singular place to reference spots I ate at while out of town, or people I interacted with at various times. It also seems like a good way to strengthen overall memory by having to recall the events of the day.

Maybe it will be a total bust but I'm enjoying the interface at the very least and, hopefully, able to enjoy a little reflection later on down the line.

Creative Works Wrapup 2015

I'll get back to the regular blogging material tomorrow but I wanted to throw out a big thanks to Josh Horton and the entire crew of Creative Works for putting on the second edition of their gathering. From the outside, it may appear to be Just Another Design Conference but it's rather remarkable that it's in Memphis and gathers a lot of talent from the immediate area to partake. I don't think Memphis (or Tennessee in general) is thought of much of a Design central so it's quite refreshing to be around that many creative people in an environment where people can let their guard down a bit.

I am sure I will be posting more effusive praisings of the specific people involved but it was great to spend some time with Demetre, St Francis, Jason Powers, Mikey Burton, Jeremy Mitchell, Ghostly Ferns, Reka Juhasz, Dan Cassaro, Dan Christofferson, Matt Lehman, Matt Stevens, Rick Trotter and a slew of others whose names escape me.

It's a good time and I would recommend it to anyone looking to refresh their brain and get excited to get back to the work of making the Internet more awesome.

Friday Videos - Oct 2nd, 2015

I've been traveling quite a bit this week and attending this wonderful conference in Memphis - Creative Works. That is to say, my browse time for videos has been extremely slim. The offerings here are meager but, hopefully, still enough entertainment to fuel your fire. I'm off to see more Creative Works goodness. Hopefully the above keeps you mildly occupied and satisfied for another week.

AFK: Creative Works Conference

I'm away from the ole keyboard for the next few days attending the Creative Works conference in Memphis, TN. I, regrettably, missed last years first installment and decided I'd be damned if that was going to happen again. The lineup is incredibly solid - filled with some familiar faces, some names I've admired forever and some new talents that I can't wait to hear from.

If you're around the area, please say hello. It'll be awkward at first (as all human interactions are) but I promise I'll keep needling you with questions until we're both loosened up to the level of New Best Friends.

We Own This Town: Volume 69

It has, admittedly, been awhile since I posted a mix from the We Own This Town archives. However, I've been diligently compiling them the entire time, just not releasing them. Turns out that last step is one of the most important.

So, without further ado, here's Volume 69 of the Nashville music podcast. Sure it would have been great to have been enjoying these songs all summer but better late than never, amirite? Good music is good music, no matter when.

  • 1. Steelism - The Serge
  • 2. PANGS - Already Dead
  • 3. Photo Ops - Maybe We'll Change
  • 4. Supermelt - Nobody Else
  • 5. HeCTA - Give Us Your Names
  • 6. BEDROOM - Work this out
  • 7. Iron/Fox - Octogenesis (Something Beautiful)
  • 8. The Minor Toughs - Don't Mess With Tennessee
Continue Reading...

Buran Shuttle Model

I am always game to take a browse through a photo gallery capturing the remains of the Soviet space program but this quick repository of the Buran wind tunnel model really caught my eye. You can read a bit more about it here but I think the photos themselves tell the story quite well - a neglected and decaying wooden model left to suffer the elements. The wooden texture on an object, ultimately*, intended for space is such a delightful treat for the eyes.

* no, this 1:3 scale model wasn't intended for space but you know what I mean!

Al Paulsen

They say good things come in threes, right? We had our Blood Moon, Water on Mars news and now it comes to my attention that two of my favorite designers - Invisible Creature - have a lineage responsible for the Golden Record.

The designers posted this image on Instagram to set the record straight that the designs on the infamous record were put together by Alfred Paulsen, the duo's talented grandfather who worked for NASA for 25+ years. I'm sure Carl Sagan, his wife and Frank Drake had insight on helping but Mr Paulsen is the man who actually did the illustration.

You can browse more of his creations here but, mostly, it's just great to think about his work floating forever through space and how his influence continues to inspire so many great things.

Dennis Congdon

I was really struck by the color palette of Dennis Congdon's latest works - lots of pastels and desturation - but I quickly became enamored with the bizarre subject matter. The landscapes portrayed are beautiful because of their coloring but seem to depict a graveyard of trash and ruin. A post-apocalyptic world filled with ruins from another civilization.