Get Thee Behind Me

Recently, Nashville artist Benjamin A. Harper released his solo album Get Thee Behind Me, an album of lush harmonies, diverse styles and just the right amount of subtle touches that you only unearth on the third or fourth listen.

The title track, and accompanying video, are a grandiose affair. Very moody and entrancing. However, it's not indicative of the vibe of the whole album, as there are many upbeat numbers awaiting further in.
Mr. Harper has been involved in a number of great projects over the years - The Comfies, Magnolia Sons, My So-Called Band - and it's excellent to hear that experience express itself so confidently and personally. It's a superb album, no doubt.

Deathsong

I've been a fan of Malcolm Sutherland since first seeing his submissions to the Star Wars Uncut project. Following his body of work has always shown great experimentation and improvement over time but this latest - Deathsong - is a major step up. The story is simple, the style is decidedly Malcolm Sutherland and the slight mixing of media evokes a bit of Don Hertzfeldt. In short, it is great. Take the four minutes out of your day to appreciate it.

via Steve

Moon Beom

Caught a great show at the Kim Foster gallery this weekend of the works of Moon Beom. The textured pattern work is ambiguous - evoking floral and sea life - with a wonderful palette to boot. The online images don't really do justice to their scale but, at the very least, you can dig into their general pleasantness.

Friday Videos - July 24th, 2015

I'm having a hard time believing that it's nearing the end of July. Summer is fleeting to be sure.

If you are in the Brooklyn area this weekend, please come see Birdcloud. If you are not, please see them in your town.

The above image depicts real chip flavors. Just think about that for a bit.
  • Jurassic Park: High Heels Edition - the GIF is actually funnier than the trailer but both are nice commentary on the absurdity of the worst part of Jurassic World, the high heels.
  • Rue McLanahan Cat Party - maybe this is super old but I don't care, it's my absolute new favorite combination of words.
  • Reflektor Tapes First Look - Arcade Fire documentary seems like an inevitable thing, which it was. Because here's the first teaser for it.
  • Batman covers Kiss From A Rose - I openly admit to how stupid this is but I can't resist the enjoyment it brings.
  • Here We Go Magic - Falling - new song and video from a consistently enjoyable band.
  • Fargo Season 2 - this show feels like a critics favorite but not really widely enjoyed by the masses. This is unfortunate because Season 2 looks like it will be even better than the first, a hard task by every stretch.
  • PIXELS, the review - sometimes you encounter a diatribe of the perfectly worded and executed vitriol and can't help but love it. I watched this entire 10 minute review of Pixels and would watch it again in a heartbeat. I'm not surprised the movie is awful but I am pleased at this takedown. Do yourself a favor and just watch the original short that they bought the rights to - it's 1,000x better.

Web Design: The First 100 Years

I'm really at a loss for words for how much I enjoyed this Maciej Ceglowski post Web Design: The First 100 Years. His historical comparison of the web to jet airlines would be enough for me to immensely enjoy it but he continues into a well composed argument for the potential futures of the web (as he sees them currently). I could go on and on about all the parts of this that I enjoy but, please, just read it. In its entirety. Yes, I know it's long. Just read it and I bet you'll want to read it again, for pure enjoyment.

via Arlo.

antitext

It's been quite some time since I've encountered a repository of art creations like Austin, TX's antitext. The presentation harkens back to the late 90's web, rightfully so given that the work presented dates from March 2015 to May 1999. The deconstructive collage pieces are a nice mix of chaos and control. It's not an overwhelming amount to see, so be sure to click around.

If those beauties don't do it for you, he's also got a massive repository of banana peels to check out, dating back to April 2011. How's that for art?

Fuzzco

The screencapture might not be much to look at but I highly recommend diving into the portfolio site of FuzzCo. Aside from having a body of work that's well worth your eyeball time, their homepage has an excellent trick to it - it's endlessly scrolling, in a loop. Okay maybe that doesn't sound that enticing but it's an incredibly clever effect and it's done quite well. Really impressive and envy-inducing work in all regards.

Mosh

There are plenty of tools out in the world to create data glitched imagery but I've really been enjoying MOSH. It provides an unbelievable amount of controls, the option to use your webcam or an existing image and even export as a GIF. It's well done and fun.

via Chad, of course.

Dmail

To me, Delicious does not have a long history of reliable software. So there's some trepidation around my intrigue to their latest offering - Dmail, the self-destructing email tool. The concept is solid - send an email with sensitive information and after a predetermined amount of time, the information becomes scrambled and useless. How this actually works is a bit beyond me as I don't see how any service can alter the contents of an email sent through Gmail but I guess that magic is what the offering really is. It's also not clear if the recipient needs to have the Dmail plugin installed as well and, if so, why anyone would do that instead of just keeping your sensitive info?

So, yea, interesting concept but I have questions!

2015 Main Title Design Nominees

Art of the Title has a great gallery on the 2015 Emmy Nominations for Main Title Design. I don't really get the one for Bosch in terms of it's allure but the rest of them are worthy of their nomination. I used the Halt and Catch Fire as an example GIF above but I really don't have enough praise for Daredevil, Olive Kitteridge or the, new to me, Manhattan.

If that's somehow not enough for you, dive into this gallery of equally amazing title sequences from 2014.

via Ben.

Rauschenberg and Talking Heads

When I was diving headfirst in the catalog of Talking Heads I recall reading that they had teamed up with Robert Rauschenberg for a limited edition version of Speaking In Tongues artwork but I'd never actually seen it. Over the weekend, I ran across a copy at Earwax and was stunned to see it. Granted, it was high up on a shelf far away from my grubby hands (wise move) but it was striking even from a distance.

Fortunately, the Internet makes all things accessible and this gallery on the collaboration gives some great insight into the process behind the artwork and tons of photos of examples of the vinyl print. It's gorgeous, period.

Why 1980s Tape Tech Is Still Making Noise

Occasionally I'll see a new release from a band that I like and find they've released their album on cassette - a format that has notoriously terrible fidelity and a short lifespan. Also, it's not exactly easy to find a ready tapedeck these days. Much the same could be said of vinyl - it's impractical, it can sound terrible depending on your system and it's not exactly readily available. But vinyl has somehow emerged as the "audiophile format" - an object to put on a pedestal and behold as a prize. Tapes don't feel that way (to me).

So, when David sent me a link to this lengthy article on Why 1980s Tape Tech Is Still Making Noise, I was quite intrigued. The piece goes through the whole history of the format and really focuses on how it remains the definitive format of DIY culture. They're cheap to make, they're affordable for new fans and they still feel like a physical prize that shows off your taste. Win win all around. Great read.

Beginning Post-Capitalism

This Guardian UK article, The end of capitalism has begun, seems like a bit of a link bait headline but it turns out to be a pretty fascinating read. Before I shower the piece with any adoration I think it's safe to say that I'm far too ignorant to really give a true opinion on these kinds of matter. Economic theory is far beyond me but I am able to recognize that a few of the elements discussed within this piece are most certainly becoming more and more prevalent all connected societies; i.e. the Sharing Economy, the rise of automated production, more and more niche concentrations of everything.

This will certainly be a piece I need to re-read a few times but I can't help but think everyone should partake in the thought experiment.

via Paul

Radiant Human

The story behind Christina Londsdale's Radiant Human photography is questionable but, clearly, it adds to the overall allure:
Back in 1970, Guy Coggins built a camera that could capture people's auras, otherwise known as the electromagnetic field surrounding the body. There are supposedly about 100 of these cameras in existence, and one now belongs to Christina Lonsdale of Radiant Human, who goes on tour with her mini geodesic dome, photographing people's radiant energy on Polaroid film.
Whatever is going on, the results are clearly worthwhile.

Friday Videos - July 17th, 2015

This feels like one of those good weeks. The list of distractions may be shorter than usual but they are serious quality. Enjoy. If you need further entertainment, just google image search YOUR NAME with "the hedgehog". You get some wonderful results.

Barbara Kyne, At The Museum

There's a stunning simplicity to these photos in Barbara Kyne's At the Museum collection. They are blurry, anonymous, captures of people viewing pieces of art. The official writeup is a nice bit of insight:
Making and viewing art is often a quest for knowledge of ourselves and our mysterious world. As a photographer, I witness the moments that occur during the profound activity that is looking at art. I want to show how it feels to be engaged with art aesthetically, intellectually and emotionally, and demonstrate our interconnectedness with each other and the world in which we live.

I'm looking for a manifestation of what's beneath the surface. The images are stripped of narrative and yet rich in color, shape, light and energy. Blurring helps the viewer get there - the dynamic is revealed. The work is both physical and metaphysical. By sharing these experiences in photographs, I hope to allow my viewers to relive the actual sensations of the museumgoers themselves. I hope we can live vicariously through each other and relish the mystery.
Intentionally out of focus photographs of folks viewing art that becames art itself. What's not to like?

Brave Wave Productions

Josh clued me in to the existence of Brain Wave - a record label dedicated to releasing original compositions, thoughtful compilations and soundtracks under the mantle of chiptunes and electronica. You want to hear the Shovel Knight soundtrack? They got that. You want to hear original music from Keiji Yamahishi, the man behind Ninja Gaiden and Tecmo Bowl's sounds? Easily covered. Oh, and World 1-2 won Best Remix Album from VGMO, no small feat.

Even if you're not into chiptune or videogame inspired tunes, browse the site to check out the artwork - it spans a wide range of styles. In other words, something for everybody.

Specimen

Specimen is an iOS game of color recognition that takes place inside a petri dish. The surrounding canvas of your dish is a particular color and you pick the specimen that matches. Sounds simple but once you get into some more subtle palette changes, it gets quite challenging. I was fortunate enough to play a beta version and got quite hooked. Now it's officially available and I think everyone should dive in.

The team behind the game includes Erica Gorochow and Upright T-Rex Music - so there's the added bonus of supporting awesome people by playing a fun, free, game.

Edison's Rival Birthday

Today, in 2009, Codaphonic released the EP Edison's Rival via my own yk records. It was the second release for the project and I'm still proud of how it turned out - great screenprinted artwork from BOSS Construction and five wonderful pop diddies.
Over time I think I've become partial to Mrs. Pepper but my love for the horns of Knock, Knock has never subsided.

You can hear the album over on Bandcamp, Rdio or Spotify. Please celebrate this great little EP's birthday by giving it a spin.

Google Contributor

Google's Deep Dream is getting all the attention right now but the behemoth also recently launched a bit more altruistic project called Contributor that's worth taking a look at. It's one part crowdfunding and one part ad blocker - you agree to contribute a predetermined amount of dollars per month (and to visit a few participating sites like The Onion) and instead of banner ads, you get blanked out pixel patterns. Your contribution directly removes the ads and contributes money to the participating creator sites. It's invite only for now but it seems rather appealing.

The Wolfpack

I'd been reading about The Wolfpack for awhile now - a documentary about a family of teenage boys living in the lower east side of New York, very rarely allowed to ever leave their apartment and sustaining themselves on a steady diet of movies. The trailer paints an understandably sad and oppressive picture but the movie itself shows a real triumph of will for these kids. They seem amazingly well socialized (on the whole) and incredibly creative with their tactics for swede'ing scenes from their favorite films.

It's in theaters, on iTunes, Amazon and the other usual suspects. Highly recommend. If you've seen it already, be sure to watch this interview with director Crystal Moselle and Mirror Heart, the short film that the brothers wrote and directed.

Creepy Co.

I acknowledge that going too far down the path of nostalgia can be a trap - a mindset that prevents you from allowing anything new to be appreciated. However, a few nods now and again to the bits and pieces of the pop culture zeitgeist are certainly appreciated. The folks at Creepy Co are walking that fine line pretty effectively. The Divine and Dr Frank Furter pieces are straightforward homages (although creative in their own way) and the drip pins are, obviously, nice sendups to genres on the whole. Definitely going to keep my eye on their future original creations.

via Lee