Shyp - Mailing Distruption

No industry is safe from disruption in this day and age so it should be no surprise that someone is tackling "mailing things." Shyp is a new service (available in San Francisco and slowly emerging in NY) that basically sends a courier to you, picks up your content, packages it and gets it to its destination. Rates a bit cheaper because of the scale they are working at and they don't require you to put anything inside a box beforehand. Just hand over the goods and supply a destination address. We've tried it out at the office and it works quite well. Personally, I'm curious if I could use it to ship records at a cheaper cost because, frankly, that is a firmly established PITA.

I believe if you use the code "HELLONYC" you get a little bonus credit to kick things off.

Friday Videos - Sept 5th, 2014

It was an incredibly short week for me this week. How is it Friday? It feels like Wednesday. Regardless, I'm looking forward to the weekend and zoning out on videos like those below.
  • Run Walter, RUN!! - This has to be exactly what it felt like to ride on the back of Falcor, right?
  • Rammer Jammer Cheer - this is too weird not to include. I get the context but I like it even better approaching it completely ignorant as to what a "Rammer Jammer" is.
  • Oh! it's just me! - subtle but a nice surprise for this little Scottish Fold.
  • Unnecessary Explosions - I highly enjoyed this gallery of unncessary explosions and it seems there are plenty of youtube clips showing the same thing. A meme I can approve of.
  • Red Panda Does Pullups - the Nashville Zoo recently welcomed a new baby Red Panda. In celebration, watch this little guy do some pull-ups.
If you're looking for something more to watch - how about helping us increase the view count on this Icarus video for Mount Sharp? Gotta juice those numbers!

Have a great weekend.

Summer Mix Series 2014 Horizon

Given the changing landscape of music procurement, instant streaming and much easy discovery - I'm not surprised that this years Summer Mix Series has been a bit slow going. Fortunately, what has been submitted is all incredibly good. So, head over there and have a listen.

I will shut down the site in two weeks. So, you've got this weekend and the next to bang your head against a wall and get something together. If you've never tried it before, I highly recommend you give it a go - even if it's just an Rdio or Spotify playlist. It's fun to make a mix, I promise. Mine is on the way.

Sept 10th: The Internet Slowdown

In the ongoing battle for Net Neutrality, Wednesday, September 10th, 2014 has been picked as the official day for Internet Slowdown. Much like the prior Internet blackouts, this undertaking is meant to unify websites far and wide to bring awareness to the issue - and, moreso, drive calls to Congress and the FCC to let them know what the people want.

Personally, I don't understand how US government has the hubris to make laws on a thing that is a global phenomena but that's neither here nor there. It really boils down to people having power over the utility that is the Internet and not corporations.

If you're unaware of the fight for Net Neutrality - watch this and then raise awareness and do something.

Somebody By Miranda July

Miranda July never ceases to impress. Even if you aren't into what she's doing, you gotta enjoy the variety in which she immerses herself. Her latest undertaking is Somebody, an app that invites nearby strangers to engage with one another. You write a little script, pick a recipient and then choose a stranger to deliver the message. She even made a short film to accompany the app and it's perfectly quirky and weird. As it should be.

Android Smartwatch

With wearables on the horizon as The Next Big Thing I'm quite curious what tech companies and various press think of their early review options. This Molly Wood Review of the forthcoming LG watch is a pretty fair take on how the newest round of Android devices operate. Spoiler: she doesn't love it but doesn't hate it. Basically, wearables just aren't there yet. No surprise on that but I am curious to start seeing these in the wild and have people hack them into something more useful.

Dragon*con 2014

This past weekend I spent a great deal of time at Dragon*con 2014 and I can't express enough how much every single person I know should attend in the future. It isn't really about sci-fi or fantasy - it's about fandom. People gathering to express their enthusiasm over the love of a particular movie, tv show, graphic novel or piece of art. The commercial aspect of it, as opposed to San Diego Comic-Con, is slight - it really is a fairly pure expression of the love of a topic.

There are some decent galleries of the proceedings but I recommend just diving into the Instagram Tag and losing yourself for a few hours. I've got a few over on my my feed but it's almost impossible to encapsulate the whole thing via media. Just take my word for it, you gotta go.

Photos By Daniel Arnold

After reading this WIRED article on the street photography of Daniel Arnold I was intrigued and immediately started following him on Instagram. Some of the photos are the result of perfect timing, some are ballsy and some are just beyond explanation.

Based on the interview he seems like a rather down to the Earth guy that's just completely unafraid to point his camera (in this case, an iPhone) in the proper direction. I'm certainly jealous of that kind of confidence and the results are worth a follow.

Kris Johnsen and Weird Fears

I recently mentioned the great work that Kris Johnsen does. One additional noteworthy fact is that he's responsible for the full vinyl etching that appears on the b-side of Mount Sharp's latest release, Weird Fears. I caught up with Kris to find out more about his history, his process and how he made that beautiful piece that appears on the record.

Can you provide some background info on where you're from, how you got started, what got you going in the first place? You know, you're origin story.
I'm from a small town called Barrington in New Hampshire. I moved to Maine in 2005 to go to school at Maine College of Art. I graduated in graphic design and just never left Portland. I eventually got my own small studio to work out of and started interning at a local music and arts venue called SPACE Gallery after school. While working there I started booking smaller shows and making flyers and screen printed posters for events and eventually started liking making art and promotion for the shows rather then being in charge of booking them. I also worked as event staff and got to meet lots of touring bands along the way.

Your work involves a great deal of texture and hand drawn elements - what are your primary tools? What's the optimal toolset for any particular job?
I've always loved doing everything by hand and only using a small amount of the computer to create imagery. To make posters and album art I generally draw everything by hand and use to computer to put it together before building it to be a screen print. I always enjoyed printing my own items rather then deal with print shops. Also living in a smaller city I found it quite hard to get exactly what you want it print form so I just taught myself different ways.

Do you prefer to be doing gig posters or more album art and alternate client work?
I've done a lot of gig posters the past few years and I would say I enjoy doing them the most but have broadened out to album art and other jobs. I also like creating imagery that is not for a certain client and just for myself. That is most of the work I have done the last year.

How do you know the folks in Mount Sharp?
When I started working at SPACE Gallery Bryan Bruchman, the guitarist in Mount Sharp had also started there maybe a year before and we eventually started to learn that we had the same interests in events, music and art and worked really hard to make the events that happened at the venue the best we could! We've remained friends ever since. Through him I've met the rest of the band and seem them play live when they are in Maine.

What was the inspiration behind the etching used on the b-side of Weird Fears?
The inspiration for the etching was through talking with Bryan and Sarah Wood. Sarah had the idea of a certain machine where the repeating pattern and dots came from and also used elements of personal projects I was working on at the same time. I draw the whole thing as one piece on a wood panel and scanned it in without editing it very much. So what you see is what was initially drawn. I made the piece have a circular shape to see on a record player and see if any interesting shapes or designs would come out when it was spinning.

Where can we find you on the Internet?
You can find me a few places. I have a personal website called www.KrisJohnsen.com. a process blog here. and use my Instagram feed for mostly art related things, and pictures of my pets.
Continue Reading...

Jordan Speer

Over the weekend I caught this Lucky Peach cover and immediately fell in love. The work, courtesy of Jordan Speer, is an odd mixture of strong simple color palette, claymation and a child's playset vibe to the elements. It has a detail and a nuance while feeling like you're peeking into a kids crazy brain. I love it and think the humor of it is exactly the kind of feel I imagined certain things when I was a younger one myself.

There's plenty more to see beyond the portfolio here and here.

Emojli

Have you tried out Emojli yet? It's an iOS app that only allows you to speak to others using the Emoji set of characters - all the way down to the usernames being Emoji only. Hit up Taber - he's nice. I'm on there too but my site is a bit too archaic to display the characters. It's an oddly compelling way to tell stories to another person with a limited language set. It's both challenging and entertaining - something we all probably need a bit more of.

Tamara Reynolds

Really enjoying this Signature series of portraits from Tamara Reynolds - particularly the children. I love the personalities that shine through without it being too over the top or schmaltzy. The families and individual photos are solid as well but she is really able to capture something special with the kids.

via Becky.

Friday Videos - Aug 29th, 2014

Sorry for the slow posting schedule this week. I'm actually back in TN for a few days hanging with family and friends - thus, much less Interneting. Regardless, I found a few gems for you. Enjoy!
  • Worst Music Video Ever - they say Rock n Roll is a young man's game. Here's why.
  • Mega64 ICE BUCKET CHALLENGE!! - I actually have relatively positive feelings about the ALS social sweep that's been happening but I have very positive feelings about the sheer insanity and absurdity here. These guys are probably a nightmare to hang with in real life but it's a solid, weird, video.
  • Tammy and the T-Rex Trailer - Jurassic Park had a number of influences but this one is beyond words. Watch for al teast a full minute.
  • Now THIS is a Pool Pawty! - Sorry but I can't get enough of dogs in pools. That's some serious Feel Good.
  • 99 Beer Can Pack - 24 cans seems like chump change after you see this 99 can pack.
Happy Labor Day! Have a great one (even if you live outside the US).

yk027: Mount Sharp 'Weird Fears'

After last weeks Brooklyn Vegan debut and the previous unveiling of the Icarus video - the official release of Mount Sharp's EP Weird Fears has been a long time coming. Fortunately, the wait is over!
The EP is six "eerie pop songs" about relationships, science, crazed lovers and space. The vinyl sounds great and there's an unbelievable etching on the b-side. No music, just art. It's hard to capture but you can stare into the void here.

You can get Weird Fears now - digital and vinyl are ready to go!

Bryan Bruchman Photo, Etc.

I've known Bryan Bruchman since approximately the year 1999, 2000. Over those fourteen years, he's continuously been both a huge champion of local music - whether it be Portland, ME or Gowanus, BK - and an avid, talented, non-stop photographer. He's also a relentless blogger and a helluva guitarist.

Long story short, I'm singing this guys praises. I'm incredibly happy to work with him for the first time via his band, Mount Sharp and their yk records release, Weird Fears. He's good people - follow him every where.

A True Hermit

Multiple people recommended that I read about The Strange & Curious Tale of the Last True Hermit aka The North Pond Hermit aka Christopher Thomas Knight. The tale of Knight is a pretty unbelievable one - he departed into the woods sometime in the 1990s and hasn't spoken to or interacted with another human being since. His legacy was well known in the area for the series of break-in's that plagued the area wherein Knight would find and gather supplies from empty homes but no one had every actually seen him or had proof enough to know it was a singular individual.

His story is interesting but I won't provide any spoilers here. It's a great longread that certainly gets to some very fascinating issues regarding human interactions and how they affect you and current event awareness. The man had barely even heard of the Internet, much less used it.

I do not envy his lifestyle or his choice to abandon all his family and friends to be alone but I do appreciate many of the insights he provides into the living of a life.

Ed Freeman Photography

Really enjoying these digitally augmented works from Ed Freeman - particularly the Country and City collections. There's just something a little off - too much saturation and flatness but still plenty of decaying details. It's strange but engaging. The NSFW Underwater seems like it would be the most appealing but I'm rather sold on these manipulated landscapes.

via

Friday Videos - Aug 22nd, 2014

What a week! I was busy busy busy but there is much goodness on the horizon. If you haven't heard the new Mount Sharp EP, please head over to Brooklyn Vegan and give it a listen. I'm excited for it's release and they're even touring a bit! Exciting stuff. Have a great weekend! If you haven't read this comic yet, please do so STAT.

Hovee

I'm intrigued by the offerings of Hovee - a rideshare app that recently quietly launched in the app store. It is, at the core, an app for organizing a carpool - sometimes with strangers. From a tech perspective, it's cool to see an app that is learning about people's routes to and from destinations and able to make suggestions for carpooling based on that data. From a social perspective, I find it fascinating that we continue to embrace a more friendly environment of sharing and community. Maybe I'm overthinking it but an app for riding with strangers requires a lot of trust and is, somewhat, a sign of quelling some paranoia that I think runs as a steady undercurrent in our country.