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.

Super Best Friends Video Game Sleepover

The amount of gaming I partake in these days is fairly slim. I'm mostly an iOS kind of participant than I am any of the consoles. However, I'm still fascinated by that whole world of creation - both in terms of independent and largely commercial undertakings (tho I'd say those lines are really started to blur a bit). So, when my friend Adam and David launched their Super Best Friends Video Game Sleepover podcast, I was intrigued. There are two episodes up and it's just some funny dudes gabbing about games. Do I know what they're talking about all the time? Nope. Do I find it interesting and entertaining regardless? You bet.

Bauhaus Brew Labs

I don't make it out to Minneapolis very often but if I did, I would make it a priority to seek out some Bauhaus Brew - specifically for the can design. It's a nice blend of pop art and, obviously, some Bauhaus inspired styles.

Bill Murray on Howard Stern

Rarely, if ever, do I listen to the Howard Stern show but this episode with Bill Murray is worth making an exception. Stern actually asks some great questions, isn't offensive in the slightest and it's an overall treat to listen to. Murray is honest and forthcoming with plenty of insights into his long, enjoyable, career.

Kino Cult

Over at VHX, we recently helped Kino Lorber launch a vanity brand called Kino Cult - which puts revamped horror titles available in digital HD. They market it as "Sexy Vampires, Gothic Chills and Nightmare Visions in Spine Tingling HD."

They also went as far as to cut a great trailer and a bundle of five movies for cheap. It's a great idea and I'm really happy to see them grow this mini-brand into a real destination.

Friday Videos - Oct 17th, 2014

Do you need introduction to weekly distraction? Without further ado, I present you with - lack of productivity for 5-10 minutes! Have a great weekend!

Potential Unfulfilled

Scott Benson has been rather busy this year making Night in the Woods - a video game that, honestly, looks unlike anything I've played before. Despite that, he's still found some time work on a short film called Potential - a "Brancing bubble narrative" that explores alternate realities through choices. You should watch it big. His animation style is unflappable and the concept here is solid - rewatching it only adds to the enjoyment. Some sound and music would certainly add to it but it's unfinished! So, no complaints. Just great animation and plenty of rad GIF's that stem from it.

HT Davis

Highfive, Video Conferencing.

Having spent over a decade working there, I have a huge affinity for the work being done over at KNI. One of their latest creations is the full blown site for Highfive - a video conferencing device and service. There's a whole lot to love on the site but I'm particularly fond of the shifting rooms marquee on the homepage, the device rotator on the product tour and the shifting galleries on the team page. Overall, I love the whole vibe of the thing and look forward to more big projects from the ole homestead.

Android - 5.0 Lollipop

The newest version of Android is making its way out into the world - titled Lollipop - and it looks to be embracing more of Google's Material Design in all the best of ways. I can't speak to the actual experience of using it but the screenshots they provide and features they are touting with the upgrade are very nice. It's been a slow build but Google / Android has been pushing their design techniques into a really admirable place.

Channel Apps Heating Up

If you didn't already realize it, the future of television is apps. Hulu, Netflix, Crackle, ESPN, etc are all working to be consistent destinations for your eyeballs via their apps. Now CBS is throwing their hat in the ring with a $6 month subscription to all their content and HBO is promising a stand alone app in 2015 as well. Obviously, the HBO news is a bit more exciting but something about this kind of news really strikes me as exciting as it is the future that was predicted when we were younger - no more bundled television crap, just what you want!

The next trick is who will bring all that content under one roof?