Friday Videos - April 15th, 2015

This weekend is Record Store Day 2016. Despite some store owners having concerns and where it is headed, I'm a huge proponent, fan and contributor to the idea that records - particularly vinyl - are a phenomenal way to experience music. I don't think any sane person disagrees with that. So, make a little trek to your local brick-and-mortar store this weekend and throw em a few bucks, keeping their doors open another year - just for me, okay?

Enjoy these wonderful distractions:
  • Bust a Move - Dog Dancing - This is the original vine I encountered of this and the music is perfect. I can't find that version on Youtube, so enjoy the alt version in the embed. No matter what music is set to this pup, the dance moves are undeniable.
  • Infinite Schwarzenegger - thanks to Kevin and Austin I was introduced to this gem and I'm shocked I've not seen it before. Aside from the obvious enjoyment of it, I'm amazed at how well Schwarzenegger and steel drums pair together.
  • How a TV Show Gets Made - I kind of love this series of Vox edutainment pieces. I knew 90% of this but that last 10% was still interesting enough to get it listed here.
  • Logan's Sick Jump - this goes exactly as well as you'd expect it to.
  • Rob Crow's Gloomy Place "Oh, The Sadmakers" - maybe not the most compelling video but it's great to see Rob Crow back making music. The style of this song runs the gamut but still manages to work.
  • Dancing Dog: 10 Minute Version - what's that? You want a 10 minute version of the first video but with a different song entirely? I got you covered thanks to Pinnix.
Oh yea, give a listen to this - you'll be hearing plenty more about it later.

Persona

The keen minds behind Cargo Collective have launched a new service entitled Persona that enables anyone to create a simple homepage for themselves. Yes, it is fundamentally the same as Flavors.me or About.me but the devil is in the details - particularly typography choices, layout options and mind-numbing javascript image manipulation. Please take just a moment to peruse the available styles to see the great styles they have to offer - particularly the subtle, tasteful but acid trip-y environments they offer. If your simple website is your business card, these certainly make a very impactful statement.

Now I just hope they merge it with Cargo Collective so I can give my own portfolio a serious scrubbing.

CaptionBot

Microsoft had a bit of a false start with their new Bot Framework but they're following up with CaptionBot; a bit of AI that looks at an image you upload and describes it with casual language. The results are surprisingly accurate and, dare I say, sometimes pretty funny. At the very least, upload some screenshots of your co-workers and throw them into Slack, it'll be a hoot.*

* But seriously, AI is seriously improving and this is a nice, simple, example of some legitimate progress. Speaking casually isn't exactly something robots normally excel at.

The State of Emoji

Maybe journalists all share the same notebook but I've seen a strangely large amount of articles about Emoji recently. For me, it started with this Paul Ford tweet and then articles have just been popping up left and right. Here's what I've been reading: Oh, and there may actually be a Colbert Emoji on deck for Unicode 10.0.

Hyper Light Drifter Released

I originally stumbled on Hyper Light Drifter back in 2013 when it was just a massively successful Kickstarter project. After years of development, the game is finally released for PC and Mac. I imagine that once the console versions are available, the game will explode to a whole new level.

I've barely scratched the surface of gameplay but it actually manages to deliver on the ambiguous mythos that it setup at its inception, three years ago. Beyond that impressive feat, there's also the Disasterpiece Soundtrack that is the perfect otherworldly companion to the visual intrigue that the game brings.

There are far better writers to exalt its greatness but I think the reviews are unanimously positive. If you're one that plays games, go get it. If you're not, just watch the gameplay on Youtube, you won't be disappointed.

Bartkira Nuclear Edition

Are you familiar with the Bartkira project? It's an ambitious undertaking started by James Harvey to gather together 700 artists to have them uniquely redraw the Akira manga series, in its entirety, using a Simpsons cast. The amount of absolutely amazing art created in tribute to both series is staggering to say the least. Oh, and if you haven't seen the trailer, treat yourself!

The latest news in the Bartkira world is that they've launched a new book and an exhibition at Gallery Nucleus showcasing a ton of the mash-up pieces. Even if you're entirely unfamiliar with Akira, you can appreciate the humor of Ralph's Awakening, the alluring disgust of Bartkira Homer and the total badassness of Springfield Nightmare.

Paper Monday

After a recommendation from Miles, I've become fairly intrigued by Paper Monday. The project is described as "a monthly digital print publication featuring visual stories and news by Rog Walker." While I must raise a suspicious eyebrow to anything claiming to be a "digital print publication," I do enjoy the idea of an undertaking formatted, designed and executed for smaller screeners from the onset. Walker's portfolio is enough of a reason to sign up, so I did. Let's see what happens.

Larry Sultan

Thanks to Jeremy Davis, I've recently been familiarizing myself with the photographic works of Larry Sultan. He passed away in 2009 but he published a body of work that spanned 30 years. His Pictures From Home have a quiet sweetness to them, while his Swimmers have a real mysterious vibe.

There's so much to see on his site, I recommend picking one set and sitting with it for a bit and then returning later. The gift that keeps on giving.

Monster Children - 50 People

The latest issue of Monster Children is a huge compilation of interviews entitled 50 People. They sit down with the likes of David Lynch, Cleon Peterson, Kelia Moniz, Ian Mackaye, Gemma O'Brien and a ton more. The artwork, by Evan Hecox, is beautiful and I imagine the entire issue itself is a helluva read.

It's understandably easy to get worn out on Interview features with successful artists - there's no shortage of them - but I continue to feel inspired by them. Hearing about others creative processes can be enlightening, particularly if they're open about their hardships and blockers.

Retrodust

I'll be honest, I struggle with finding the balance between the over fetishization of 80's art styles and legitimate appreciation of it. Retrodust is a tumblog full of images, designs, advertisements and other ephemera that pay homage to the 80's. Sometimes it is awesome, sometimes it feels entirely too on the nose... almost trying too hard to fit the mold. On the whole, I'd say there's more good than bad and discovering new artists capturing the style in the right way is refreshing.

Leah Phillips

I've been diving in deep into the work of Leah Phillips aka American Squares aka American Roads aka "Girl Friday at The New York Times." Her beautiful photographic captures of various bits and pieces of America feel extracted from a different era. The restaurants and store fronts often feel dilapidated and fading from their previous glory but it's that neglect that makes them so interesting.

Friday Videos - April 8th, 2016

One week into April and one week closer to the May 1st Reboot. The heat is on! I've got so many other great things to announce as well. The spring and summer are going to be filled with new goods around here and I'm excited for it.
  • Ray Parker Junior - Bustin - this strange edit of the RPJ classic only gets better the further in you get. Find out just exactly how "Bustin" makes him feel.
  • Rogue One Trailer - I admit enjoying the teaser for the forthcoming Star Wars expanded universe title but I'm really loving the immediate remixes. The Internet loves to focus on one fickle thing, huh?
  • Swiss Army Man - I posted about this earlier in the week but if you haven't watched the trailer for DANIELS new movie I suggest you do so now, it's a weirdness worth knowing about.
  • Run and Run - even if you're no fan of hip-hop / J-Pop, take a moment to watch this on your phone. How has no one done this yet? Pretty brilliant.
  • SNL: Trendy Restaurant - the joke may be immature but it works.
  • Generic Campaign Ad - the Dissolve took a bunch of stock footage and created a generic campaign ad. It works alarmingly well, particularly the very middle bit. Stick with it.
  • Memories of Paintings - Chad tuned me in to this video and I can't stop staring at it. Mesmerizing and absolutely beautiful.
  • Legs and Devices - this is supposedly a music video for Carl Finlow but the video was released in 2016, the EP in 2002 and the video material itself in the 70's. Despite all that, it's a nice matchup.
If you require further distraction, I will once again recommend /r/youtubehaiku as it contines to provide some quality nonsense.

KNI 2016

I worked at Kurt Noble, Inc. - aka KNI - for a solid twelve years. I have endless amounts of fond memories and pride from the experience. I'm happy to be a part of their legacy but even more overjoyed to see them launch a brand new site. It's a clean beauty that still manages to be fluid and fun through simple hovers, smart color palettes and well executed site tours for the various builds. Oh, and the work itself is beyond stellar. I'm clearly biased when it comes to their work but I stand by my adoration of this body of work and their new presentation of it!

Revisit Wilderness

It's been exactly one year since the release of the Makeup and Vanity Set album Wilderness and it still stands out to me as one of the finest things he's released. The world of "Synthwave" and "Outrun" style music always delivers with a set of familiar sounds but MAVS takes it a level beyond those expected tropes.
If you haven't picked up the deluxe vinyl I suggest doing so quickly, as we're already on the second pressing and there won't be more made after that. Of course, you can also hear it on Spotify, Soundcloud, Bandcamp or any of your other preferred streaming services.

Caroline Robert

Without realizing it, I've been enjoying the works of Caroline Robert quite a bit the last few years. She is responsible for the Arcade Fire album covers for The Suburbs, as well as Reflektor, as well as plenty of other notable singles and merch items. The work speaks for itself but if you're curious to gain some insight direct from the creator, dive into this interview that gets a bit more into the process of image selection, holographic board usage and how to create something worth keeping around.

Mackenzie K Designs

I love encountering an impressive portfolio of work and realizing that you've been seeing bits and pieces of it regularly already in your every day life. Mackenzie Moore has loads of fun illustrations, typography and branding to peruse - much of which I've seen through her magazine work for American Songwriter and Native.

As usual, there's plenty more to see over on Instagram, once you're done with the portfolio deep dive.

Techies

Recently stumbled on Techies, an online zine focused on interviews and profiles of individuals immersed in the tech world and Silicon Valley. The catch is who they focus on:
We cover subjects who tend to be underrepresented in the greater tech narrative. This includes (but is not limited to) women, people of color, folks over 50, LGBT, working parents, disabled, etc.
There's a lot of talk about the problem of diversity in the world of tech - it's largely a white male empire - but there's plenty of other kinds of people doing phenomenal work that are being marginalized. I picked a profile at random - Emily Eifler - and was fascinated not only by her position in life (she has a brain injury that wiped out almost all of her childhood memories) but the work she is doing in VR.

And that's just one interview! There's so many more interesting perspectives and tales to be read.

Elise Tyler via Southern Glossary

If you haven't been, I recommend following Southern Glossary on Instagram. They're on online zine focused on art and photography "focused on the American South." To put it more distinctly, they invite various photographers to curate their Instagram with photos from a variety of Southern places.

Recently, they had Elise Tyler curating their stream. Tyler's work usually focuses on places that have a dilapidated but charming feel, as well as people somewhat on the fringe. They posted an interview with her as well, that's worth your eyeball time.

Swiss Army Man

I think it's safe to say we're all fans of DANIELS, the directing duo responsible for the Turn Down for What video and plenty of other incredibly amazing creations. Now they're prepping to release their first feature length film, Swiss Army Man and the trailer looks nuts. The film is the tale of Paul Dano on the brink of suicide befriending a corpse (Daniel Radcliffe) that washes up on shore. It's safe to say the humor is bizarre and likely quite offputting but I can't help but be intrigued.

Arthur Hickman

I am loving the macabre vibe of these posters from Arthur Hickman. The extremely clean lines and nod to Eastern European design is a refreshing look compared to a lot of the pre-weathered, highly textured posters that I typically encounter (not that there's anything wrong with those). Of course there's more on Instagram if you're curious - the work there is a much different vibe but also highly enjoyable line work.

Friday videos - April 1st, 2016 (No Joke Edition)

It's April Fools Day, so I am sure there will be no shortage of absurd, hilarious, ridiculous and dumb news items making the rounds. Unfortunately, there's none of that to be found here! I'm doing my best to stay on track for a relaunch on May 1st, which means no time for jokes!

On to the distractions! For further distractions, I recommend this thread or this playlist culled from it.

Wallcat

I caught a reference to Wallcat the other day on Twitter and was hesitant to give it an endorsement before giving it a spin. The service is simple - they provide a new wallpaper everyday or, if you so choose, every time you open a new tab. Not much to it but what if the images were not so great? Having used it for a few days I can attest that it does what it says and provides pleasant images and its even configurable to different sets (I'm currently a Gradient kinda guy).