The NIN Trivia Hole

I went down a deep hole into the NIN Wiki last night. The best gem I returned with? Easter Eggs showcasing Trent Reznor's early 90's hatred of TVT Records - my favorite of which is found in this Gave Up video in which a Pro Tools screen shows a "F*ck You Steve" sequence. Also, please note "Puddy Pud & The Jerkoff Bunch" being referenced in the upper left. Bonus: A young Marilyn Manson and Richard Patrick in the same video.

Maybe all hardcore NIN fans know all this already but it was a real treat for me. Also, there's a bunch of exclusive NIN instrumentals and alt versions on Apple Music? Doesn't seem very fan friendly but good to know there's a way to hear them.

The Reflektor Tapes Trailer

Is it lame to like Arcade Fire yet? Who cares, I'm excited for this Reflektor Tapes movie that is coming out in September. I've seen them three times and can't imagine a movie that features live footage not being compelling. Just watch the trailer and I'm sure you'll agree.
The film recontextualizes the album experience, transporting the viewer into a kaleidoscopic sonic and visual landscape. It charts the band's creative journey as they lay foundations for the album in Jamaica, record in Montreal and play an impromptu gig at a Haitian hotel on the first night of Carnival, before bringing their breath-taking live show to packed arenas in Los Angeles and London.

yk031: Sleep Good - Dream Dealer

I'm extremely excited to announce that my own yk records will be releasing the latest record from Austin TX's Sleep Good, Dream Dealer.

The album was originally released at the beginning of the year on Bandcamp and I was a bit shocked to learn that there were no plans to release it in another format (not from lack of wanting). So, I reached out to the creator behind the project, Will Patterson, and suggested we partner up. The artwork was fleshed out into full packaging, including a wonderful spot gloss Merkabah overprint, and pressed to the format that it most deserves, vinyl.
I realize it sounds overly precious to say that the album deserves to be on vinyl but I love this album. It's been in heavy rotation for months and I imagine once the final pressing is in my hands, it will be in heavy rotation for years to come. Please, go give it a listen and order the vinyl, you can pass it on to your wonderful children and blow their minds.

The Making Of Overland

Really extensive and eye-opening read from Adam Saltsman (maker of Canabalt and Hundreds among many others) on The Making of Overland and, more specifically, bootstrapping yourself. His story is about the trials and tribulations of the game industry but it seems like the lessons and insights apply to just about anyone looking to invest in themselves. It's a lengthy read but well worth your time, especially if you're even mildly interested in what goes on behind the curtain of independent game development.

via Andy

Wael Shawky

Over the weekend I visited the MoMA PS1 exhibition from Wael Shawky entitled Cabaret Crusades. The majority of the exhibit featured 50+ marionettes showcased in glass cabinets. The puppets are the players in three hour long pieces retelling the history of the Middle East starting from the Crusades. It sounds undeniably over the top but the results are oddly compelling. The notion that you're watching puppets slips away once you're immersed in the dramatically lit sets and landscapes they traverse. Watch this video review (or this NY Times review) to get some history on the creations and plenty of great up close looks. It's every bit as unique as it is engaging.

Black Love

It's not that often that I get a lot of direct music submissions here on the site but, when I do, I tend to pay a bit more attention because I know the hustle is hard. So, when Black Love decided not only to submit their offerings to me but mail out a full copy of their record on vinyl, I paid attention. The included bio was both curious and intriguing:
Black Love makes primitive, disorienting hard rock - urgent, purposeful music about loss, using heavy and basic instrumentation to the effect of creating something that's between an Appalachian snake handling revival and a lighthouse crumbling and re-building itself in 4/4 time. It's majestic, forceful break-up music: wretched and redemptive blues about annihilated love.
Turns out, that description is apt. There's a cacophony of drums and an overall darkness to it - not unlike Cloroform or one of the more focused Mike Patton projects. I suggest starting with one of the more melodic pieces, Airlessness is a good place to start.

I certainly wouldn't have stumbled on this in my own browsings and it's a little off the radar from what I typically listen to but I completely appreciate the submission and can imagine their live show is quite a spectacle.

This Is My Jam, Preserved

I've been a semi-regular user of This Is My Jam for a few years now. Once a week you login and post what song is exciting you the most - you know, your jam! It's a great idea and has been executed quite well over the years. However, it is shutting down as of September 2015. The reasons they cite are having to spend too much time maintaining API integration with all the services they piggyback on and not being able to focus more on a mobile experience or proper monetization. It's unfortunate but, honestly, I applaud them for stepping away when they feel the pull to try something else. Without the passion of the team behind it, it won't be the same project so I'm glad they aren't just handing it off or letting it live in perpetuity to linger and break down over time. I've seen the opposite and it's heartbreaking to not be able to use a service you love because there's no one actively monitoring it anymore.

Hats off to you This Is My Jam, you're doing the right thing and you've offered a helluva thing for the past few years.

Friday Videos - August 7th, 2015

Hey! Another week of meetings and distracting entertainment for you. And, let's be honest, for me too. Go ahead and stop working now, you earned it.

Gizmodgery Vinyl

Well, they did it. They actually did. Fifteen years after it's originally release, Self is reissuing their album Gizmodgery on vinyl (for the first time ever I might add). The album, for those that do not know, was recorded entirely with children's toy instruments. Give it a listen, I imagine you'll fall in love with it immediately - as most do. Happy to see the band continue with their re-issues, I'm ordering mine stat.

The Persistence Of Vinyl

Just by happenstance some interesting pieces on vinyl and record labels have come across my desk in the past few days that seem worthy of a share (and are, clearly, right up my alley):

Kelli Anderson

It's been many years since I shared the works of Kelli Anderson but in that time her portfolio has just grown more and more into the impressive beast that it is. Most of the work finds a great balance between the digital and the analog, such as this illustrated NPR piece on women's vocal stylings - lots of silhouette cutouts and stop motion animation but also clearly edited in software to keep you glued in. Or this Powers of 10 Flipbook, a riff on the Eames short film but entirely comprised of images from google (read the article, there are some very clever animations).

No surprises here - her portfolio is inspiring. Just click around indiscriminately and I bet you land on something great.

Joe Coleman

If you're a fan of folk art, please dive into the offerings of Joe Coleman. His work features terribly intricate paintings that depict both a narrative and a stream of consciousness outpouring of ideas. Load up a painting and use that zoom control on the right to really dig in.

The Alligator Hour

Did you know Apple Music has a number of radio shows released through the Beats1 brand? I have yet to dive into any of these but the St. Vincent show definitely looks interesting and and the semi-recent Alligator Hour with Josh Homme really piqued my interest. If you aren't an Apple Music user, you can surely find some rips of the episodes without searching too hard.

I'm sure as streaming services become more ubiquitous we're going to see more and more exclusives per service - such as these radio shows - and I'm excited to see how it shakes out.

HT Ronnie

Friday Videos - July 31st, 2015

Goodbye July, we hardly knew ya. I've got lots of good stuff on the horizon for the remainder of the year and July ending feels pretty exciting actually.

Enjoy these distractions!
  • Adavi Donga Songs - this is the sort of thing I'd usually tag on the end of Friday Videos to say "look how nuts this is!" but it's so good that we should all appreciate it right off. Watch the whole thing, Please!
  • Beyonce Chicken Dance - if you told me this was real, I would not doubt you for a second.
  • Hard Copy 1991 - an investigative report on a found video tape and an unsolved murder... or maybe just lost footage from a Nine Inch Nails video.
  • Tame Impala - Cause I'm A Man - when I thought about the video for this song I imagined exactly zero things depicted here. This is so far off the wall it's hard to explain. 80's CG to the extreme. I think it's so bad it's good but it might just be too weird to tell.
  • Mini Mansions - Cheap Leather - not my favorite song from their latest record but a good one nonetheless. This video goes through a treasure trove of glitchy DVD effects, so it wins me over.
  • Workin' In a Cocktail Bar - stick with it. The absurdity gets better and better as it goes along. via.
  • Fox TV - literally, foxes for 97 minutes. Not exactly a thrilling video but great background fodder for myself.
Oh, and watch this. A bunch.

Midgoods

The fine folks at Monkey Ink Design have rebranded and relaunched themselves as MID Goods. They're still making the same incredible work but under a more straightforward name. To prove they haven't lost a step, they've unleashed their State Print Series, a wonderful collection of state outlines paired with their state flowers. They also have a number of Art Prints and Gig Posters but those State Prints... that's going to take them to the next level. Expect to see them flooding your Pinterest soon*.

Follow them on Instagram to get the goods early.

*this is not meant as snarky, I honestly can't imagine them not blowing up there

Knock Off Toy Collection

At this point in the Internet, you've likely seen tons of knock off toy galleries but take a moment to visit this Dangerous Minds ones and enjoy the likes of Space Wars, Special Man and Spook Chasers. Sure, you've seen the likes of these before but what's wrong with a pleasing refresher course?

Return of Wilderness

Back in April, Makeup and Vanity Set released Wilderness through Telefuture Records and my own YK Records. The double vinyl version sold out fast. We started a repressing job but it's taken until now to get them back in our hands.
If you haven't heard the album, you can hear it in the embed above or on any of your favorite streaming services. However, the vinyl version is a beautiful thing to hold. Literally, it's gorgeous. The artwork from Caspar Newbolt at Version Industries is such an excellent pairing with the music within.

If you missed your chance the first time, please do yourself a favor and go pick up the second pressing. There won't be another!

Randy Martin

Really enjoying the photographic works of Portland's Randy P Martin. The few images I've chosen for this post all share a similar ambiguity in their presentation of their subjects but he has quite a bit of diversity. I really love the entirety of his series Miniatures and On The Road. If composition is everything, Mr. Martin has it all.

via mpdrolet.

Styleguide

Enjoying this new Tool from HUGE for creating and maintaining Styleguides. I've really only had much interaction with Corporate Styleguides and they are so overly in-depth that they actually surpass the line of being helpful. But documentation is helpful, especially in the visual world. I've always enjoyed the Mailchimp UX System and it seems like this tool could help just about anyone quickly and easily whip that up.

via Will

Talking With Hands Birthday

On this day in 2013, the debut album from Talking with Hands was released on my own YK Records. The album, The World and Ourselves, is an incredibly tight package of explosive pop.
If you're a fan of the likes of Jason Falkner, Jellyfish, Nilsson and their ilk, I am positive you will enjoy the album. You can start to dive in with this simple video for Alasseo or, if you're the kind with children, connect with Newborn Friends.

Not a Bandcamp fan? Hear it on Soundcloud, Rdio or Spotify. Oh, or Apple Music.