Uncle Skeleton - VHF

Today's a big day for Uncle Skeleton. First, it's his birthday. So go wish him a happy one. Secondly, today marks the official release of the digital single for "VHF" - the lead track from his most recent album Too Young, Too Old. The collection features three remixes and two solid b-sides. Oh, and a video too.. more on that here.
Listen to the release on Bandcamp or Rdio - all other digital retailers should be catching up if you can count on DistroKid for distribution.

How Norbert Wiener Invented Cybernetics (and Brian Eno)

DAZED has a great article on the grandfather of cybernetics - Norbert Weiner. If you've not read up on the origins of robotics, computer control, systematic feedback and loads of other brilliant ideas take some time to do so today. Aside from predicting that technology would be making decisions for us, he also heavily inspired the likes of Brian Eno... there's even a little Easter Egg hidden in Seven Deadly Finns to listen out for.

Amazon Dash

Until Friday, I was unaware of Amazon Fresh, the grocery delivery service that Amazon is trying out in a handful of markets. The announcement of Amazon Dash, a handheld device that you keep around the house to help you compile your digital grocery list, made me keenly aware of the goings on. This strikes me as such a prime example of The Future happening right now.

When I was younger I would always hear about "every device in your kitchen will be online and aware", "refrigerators will know when it's time to order new kinds of food" and I thought it sounded insane. This seems to me to be exactly that happening right now. Maybe I'm overthinking it but I love seeing the emergence of these devices.. maybe it's just a rough version 1.0 but it's a nice peek into the future (for better or worse).

Welcome To VOX

If you are not familiar with VOX, it's understandable - they are a relatively new news startup focused on reporting news in real time and explaining the processes of such reporting. Their Welcome article is a fresh bit of transparency... I particularly enjoyed this bit:
We're launching today because three more weeks or three more months or 30 more months will not produce a perfect website. We'll always be a work in progress.
This is a great mentality to have to hold on to. You are never done, you are always striving to improve. This goes beyond the web and startups and all that - it's just a good life ethos to have. Maybe that's insanely obvious but it's nice to see it put down so simply.

Friday Videos - April 4th, 2014

Another week, another playlist to distract you from your daily life. Hopefully you find it effective. Have a great weekend!

Stripped (Now Available)

Happy to announce that the film Stripped is now available on VHX. It's a phenomenal documentary that looks at the history and artistry of comics and comic strips. Watching interviews with Jim Davis, Matt Inman and Scott McCloud (to name a few) makes for a fascinating tale. I'm particularly smitten with one portion of the film that tells of the switch into self-publishing and self-empowerment. It is, obviously, a subject close to my heart and it's great to see it being so eloquently expressed from such fine artists.

Oh, and the film features the first audio interview with Bill Watterson in a very long time, as well as some phenomenal poster art to go along with it.

Font Men

Font Men is a great short documentary on Jonathan Hoefler and Tobias Frere-Jones, the premiere typography designers. It is rather refreshing to hear them speak on the creation of typefaces and the obsessive nature of type design in general. Check the great type animation starting around 2:55.

Jordan Wolfson Terror Dancer

The other day someone sent this link around the office of an animatronic figure "dancing" in a mirror - complete with facial recognition to look right at you and a terrifying face mask. It is, without a doubt, nightmare fodder. The artist responsible, Jordan Wolfson has a rather varied and interesting portfolio but this particular show is really something different. Basically, I couldn't live with this image by my lonesome so I had to share the bad dream fuel with you.

GIF Archiving

Given today's date, it seems mildly appropriate to start a new feature - GIF Archiving. This has absolutely no purpose other than to put these out into the world and keep them safe from local hard drive deletion.

Ted Feighan

I've been a fan of Monster Rally for some time now but it never dawned on me to further investigate the man behind the music - Ted Feighan. Just from a quick glance at his page you can tell he's an incredibly accomplished designer and artist. Diving into his store will unveil a number of phenomenal prints that should absolutely adorn your walls - all of them.

HT Will Bryant.

Tipper Whore Party Program

Today I am happy to announce the newest official track from Tipper Whore. The "glitter punk sextet" has a new album waiting in the wings - Just the Tip and "Tipper Whore Party Program" serves as the first taste of what the album offers. As I've said in the past, what I love about this band is that their main underlying function as a band is to have a good time. Listen to the track and you'll understand exactly how they go for that and achieve it with great success.

I'm a sucker for a free-wheeling, fun-loving band that happens to have a song with their own band name as the refrain. Very much so looking forward to sharing this whole album with you but, for now, this is just the tip.

Hear it on Soundcloud or Bandcamp.

The Calarts Class Who Created A Great Renaissance Of Animation

Adam gave me the heads up on this phenomenal Vanity Fair article, The Class That Roared - an exhaustive look at the beginnings of the California Institute of Arts and how it spawned a renaissance of animation from the likes of Brad Bird, Tim Burton, John Musker, Jerry Rees and John Lasseter to name just a few. It's remarkable to think that not only did all of these folks go to the same school but were in the same classes together. It's a long read but well worth the discovery that pretty much every solid animated film from your childhood to today was from the same ragtag group of talented friends.

Friday Videos - March 28th, 2014

Every week I feel like work gets more and more intense - which means less browse time for videos. This is far from a complaint - just a warning that Friday videos may become a solid four each week instead of six minimum. Better to fade away gently, right? All jokes aside, I think you'll enjoy this playlist. Have a great weekend!

Mistaken For Strangers

I had the distinct pleasure of seeing a screening of Mistaken for Strangers this week - a documentary about The National and, specifically, the bond between frontman Matt Berninger and his brother Tom. From watching the trailer you get the sense of comedy and heart that the movie conveys but the film itself is much funnier and much more touching than you'd first assume. It's out today on all the platforms - including direct from the band. If you're looking for some solid weekend entertainment, this is it.

The Afterlife Of Pia Farrenkopf

At it's core, the story of Pia Karrenkopf is a tragic one. In 2009, she died in the back of her Jeep that was parked inside the garage of her home... she was undiscovered until 2014. Her neighbors never noticed because she was traveling regularly anyway and her bills were all paid automatically online. It was only until her funds ran dry and her mortgage payments came up empty. This New Yorker story is an interesting little thought piece on how our lives are changing with the advent of having digital lives as well as physical ones. It's a good one for discussing late night with friends - give it a good pondering.

ToDo Movies

I was clued in to a new app recently called ToDo Movies - which aims to help you keep track of movies you want to see or have seen. From what I can tell, the intent of the app isn't the main draw - it's the slick design and compelling animations and transitions during interaction. Having toyed around with it, I found myself just enjoying the experience of using it - a helluva compliment for any app. It's a free download, so I certainly recommend nabbing it.

After Dark In CSS

As a youth, I did not have a Mac. However, I do recall going over to more fortunate friend's homes and seeing the collection of After Dark screensavers they had available to them. Now, in 2014, such wonders have been recreated entirely in CSS. Yes, that's right, you too can have Flying Toasters grace your screen whenever you see fit. Today is a good day.

Australian Quiet Machine Listening Party

Prior to the release of Quiet Machine, Jasmin Kaset released this preview video - showcasing friends and family listening to the album. I thought it was a pleasant way to preview the record and visually entertaining in that voyeuristic kind of way. Apparently Jasmin's friends and family over in Australia felt similarly because they put together and posted a Quiet Machine Australian Listening Party.

I understand that not everyone wants to watch someone listen to a record but it's a great background visual and hearing Quiet Machine one more time is certainly not a bad thing.