yk records: Codaphonic 2014

Continuing my year in review of YK Records, take a moment to familiarize yourself with the double EP release from Codaphonic, unleashed in January of 2014.
To provide some further insight on the whole record, I knew Cody Newman - primary songwriter and namesake to the project - had something intriguing on his hands when he told me that he had a release of two EP's consisting of different songwriting approaches my interest was piqued.

Mindwrecker and Oh Radio! definitely work together as a cohesive piece of "Codaphonic" work but their distinct approaches are the refreshing part. I will be entirely honest and admit that Oh Radio! is my personal preferred side - as it is most assuredly something new for the band. Instead of the glossy, clean pop sound they are exploring something with a bit more rough around the edges production and a vibe that's just more fun in general. Don't get me wrong, Mindwrecker is filled with great songs, but Oh Radio! grabs me in a special way.

The artwork was executed by two different artists - Elizabeth Williams for Oh Radio! and Rachel Briggs for Mindwrecker. Read more about those two creations here and here, respectively.

I'm not sure what's next for Codaphonic but if he continues down the road of new sounds and execution styles, I can't wait to hear it.

YK Records 2014

Tis the season for a little reflection, so it's all too appropriate for a quick look back on my own personal project - yk records - and the releases from the past year. I put together this Sampler Mix for anyone looking to get familiar.
I'm incredibly happy with all the music that I was able to help come out this year and am equally excited for the year ahead. The project may have started as a hobby but, for me, the music has always been incredibly compelling. I'm proud to say I worked with these folks and I hope to keep pushing forward and elevate everything even more in 2015.

Over the remainder of the year I will do some longer form posts about each record but, in the meantime, just go listen.

Linehan + Harmon

I would generally recommend listening to the Harmontown podcast but last weeks episode deserves some particular attention as it features a rather lengthy bit of dialogue between Dan Harmon, co-host Jeff Davis and one of my favorite writers - Graham Linehan. The Irishman is responsible for, first and foremost, The IT Crowd but he also created Father Ted, directed Black Books and more.

It's fascinating to hear such creative minds talk through their process. I particularly enjoyed hearing Linehan talk about Twitter, accessibility and, most of all, the "light being turned on" metaphor for the amount of information we're inundated with these days.

It's seriously great. Get the audio or video version.. just get it.

Guy Billout...

There's a lot going on with the work of Guy Billout. It has a vintage feel akin to the early 50's Rin Tin Tin comics or possibly great travel illustration from the same era. Subdued color palettes depicting landscapes and various people observing the world but almost always with a slight twist of something a little off. Window blowing off of buildings, reverse reflection pools, symmetrical cloudscapes or misbehaving shadows are all par for the course. There is a ton of work to see over in this gallery but it never falls flat.

via Kate

Tim Lahan

Rather enjoying the portfolio of Tim Lahan. You may remember his work from the previously posted Prize Pins and it's rather fascinating to see his original illustrations that inspired those pins.

He's done extensive work for some big names but all of the work still feels authentic to his style. It's simple but incredibly fun.

Friday Videos - Dec. 12th, 2014

Greetings! As far as I can tell, the above image is from Robocup - a robot soccer tournament. I just can't bring myself to look up videos of it, as that gif is just too perfect.

Was a good week! Lots got accomplished and I'm looking forward to ending the year on a high note. Be sure to check these VHX Gift Guides for some great insight on things to watch for yourself or something nice to give to a friend.

Enjoy your videos!

Have a great weekend!

This Year's Best Actors In 9 Kisses

The NYTimes has posted 9 Kisses - a series of short video vignettes featuring "this year's best actors paired up in a series of intimate encounters." I think John Lithgow + Julianne Moore win for most ridiculous but despite the hit-or-miss nature of these things, I enjoyed them all. It's nice to see actors just playing around with their craft - be it indulging their silliness or going full drama. Like their more longform works, you know they're putting on but somehow they still make you believe it.

via Kate

Jaq Chartier

While recently nerding out on early Foo Fighters memories* I ran across the name of Seattle, WA's Jaq Chartier. His paintings strike a beautiful balance between a seriously scientific, DNA-esque vibe and blurred water samples. It's tough to pin down but these seemingly sequenced pieces have me entranced.

* had totally forgotten about this

Invertuals 4 - 'Cohesion'

Loving this series from Raw Color of photos shot through various perforated screens. The idea is incredibly simple but the outcome is striking. I particularly enjoy that gray one on the right... it feels almost pixel-y in nature. You can see many more variations here but I do recommend skipping the video version.. takes a little bit of the magic away.

via

VHX Gift Guide

Over at VHX we're doing a handful of things to make gifting digital gifts easier this year. First and foremost, you can send a gift to someone and have it delivered on Christmas. So, buy a gift copy of any movie on VHX and it can show up on Christmas morning.

That's great and all but maybe you don't know what to send. Sure, Indie Game is a phenomenal choice but VHX has a lot more to offer. Check out Part 1 and Part 2 of our ongoing Gift Guide that points you in the right direction. Lots of movies broken down into the film fan type in your life - Video Game Lovers, Music Lovers, Cinephiles, Makers, Smarties and even kids.

Turns out, VHX has a ton of content and lots of it would work quite well as a surprise email present (or just a treat for yourself).

They Never Went To The Moon

Gavin Rothery played a huge hand in the development and execution of the Visual Effects soon in Duncan Jones Moon. He also documented a large portion of the work. His VFX log for the movie - They Never Went To the Moon - has been around for a few years but every article within (And there are a lot of articles) is fascinating. Wanna know how Sam Rockwell wrestles Sam Rockwell? Here you go. Want to see hilarious rough CG versions of some shots? You got it. An early trailer used for fundraising? Okay.

All and all, Rothery is hugely entertaining and informative throughout. As a Moon fan, I'm disappointed I didn't know about this sooner but equally to be able to nerd out on so many of the little details.

VideoPizza

Wolf Choir Home Video has officially released Video Hawaiian Pizza, an hour long video featuring a hawaiian pizza rotating in space. An hour.

There are two versions - the soothing Waves edition or the ambient Music Edition. There's even an earlier edition and a combo pack over on their website - VideoPizza.Biz.

I think this surpasses any need for explanation. It's just simply money-well-spent.

Snow Job: Lost Christmas Gems

Jingle Bell Rocks is a new documentary about crate diggers and music fanatics that toil year round looking for random 45's and various vinyl containing lost and rare Christmas music. The trailer is pretty great and I'm excited to dig in to see the full thing. Weirdos being open about their obsessions has to be compelling, right?

In promotion for the film, Oscilloscope Labs and Christmas Music fanatic John Soss have released a rather great mix of exactly the kind of sought after songs discussed in the movie - left-of-center Christmas goodies. Listen to Snow Job while you can.. who knows when the copyright holders will come out of the woodwork claiming it be taken down!

Citizenfour

Last night I took in a viewing of Laura Poitras latest documentary, CitizenFour. The film chronicles the lead up, release and after math of Edward Snowden's whistleblower leaks regarding the NSA and the major privacy violations they incurred not only on US Citizens but on anyone, anywhere.

The film itself does a great job of telling the story - maintaining the feeling of intense secrecy and tension of the actions involved. Just watch the trailer and you get a feel for the mood of the movie.

But the truly scary part is the information that Snowden unveiled. Maybe it doesn't pack as much of a punch anymore because it's been out and about for so long but it is unreal to think of the systems that exist that are capable of fully monitoring 1.2 million Americans - and that's just US Citizens. The lack of regard for due process, judicial permission or even probable cause is shocking enough but it's even harder to comprehend the sheer amount of information being saved.

As a citizen of the planet, you should see this movie. What the NSA is doing is wrong, no doubt. What can be done to turn off the machines? The answer is beyond me. I hope that whistleblowers like Snowden and changes in private company functionality (i.e. iCloud's asymmetric cryptography scheme) can help make the slightest dent but I'd love to know things people can do to help make it impossible to track at this level.

Alien Typeset Study

Typeset in the Future is the epitome of goodness on the Internet. It's a site dedicated to exhaustive exploration on a niche topic - typography in sci-fi films. The latest posting, an exploration of Alien, covers a lot of ground. Debating whether or not Helvetica or Futura was used is mostly uninteresting (to me) but the insights about the Purge screen overlaps with Blade Runner or the control panel buttons featuring Sanskrit iconography is wildly engaging.

I'm looking forward to digging into the Moon, 2001: A Space Odyssey and Eurostile spottings posts next.

Year End Lists

Despite it being four years old, I really enjoy these words from Yancey Strickler (Kickstarter) on Year End Lists. Basically, he calls bullshit on the whole ordeal and even goes as far as to dissect the mentality behind the slot selections (i.e. Always avoid number four.). It's a worthy read but I particularly enjoy this little positive spin:
At some point over the next week I’ll probably break down and post some records that I like. But I won’t expect you to like them. My taste is mine and your taste is yours. I claim no agency over what moves you - it assumes a dynamic that doesn’t actually exist.
I will likely do the same. Revisit some releases that did something for me and maybe you'll like them but I, by no means, look to rank anything as The Best.

Hollywood in Vivid Kodachrome

Really loving this collection of Hollywood Stars in Vivid Kodachrome from David Wills. It's absurd but when you think about the 1930's and 40's it's easy to slip into a headspace that things weren't as bright and colorful as they are now. Maybe that's just a trick I play on myself but seeing these photos is a nice kick in the pants to remember the world has always been fully saturated.

Friday Videos - Dec 5th, 2014

Not gonna lie, this is not my strongest offering of videos. I've been playing catch up all week from Thanksgiving neglect and that hasn't allowed a lot of time to browse around. I haven't even read the AV Club once! That's unbelievable. Despite that disclaimer, please enjoy: That's it! Have a great weekend. If you haven't watched High Maintenance yet, do yourself a favor over the weekend and get to it.

Jason Lytle - House Show

It's been a few years since I've heard from Jason Lytle. His last record, Department of Disappearance, was a fine listen and I suppose he's been busy moving from Modesto up to Portland. His latest, surprise, release is a House Show from this past May. Lots of fun stage banter and familiar songs. Recommended.

Spotify Year In Music 2014

I have plenty of mixed thoughts about Spotify but I can't deny a good Year In Review - particularly when it's laid out this well. Seeing that Katy Perry, Coldplay and Ed Sheeran are the top artists isn't exactly compelling but I'm still loving browsing through all the layouts and color schemes. Nice testament to the design overcoming the content!