Good Monday! I’m sure everyone is getting ready for the holidays, hopefully you’re already enjoying yours. This week’s #musicmonday is filled with some new fun stuff. First off though, I was listening to a lot of Wolf Parade thanks in part to the new Moonface EP Spencer Krug just put out. I still think Wolf Parade is better than his other bands, though Mount Zoomer was kinda eh. Then you have Midlake popping up with their new album The Courage of Others. The album is darker in tone than Van Occupanther and I haven’t been totally wowed yet, though it has only been like 24 hours since I got it.
After that is a band called Big Spider’s Back, and though the name is kinda silly, the music is spot on. This was sent to me by a publicist or reader, I can’t really tell, but it ended up being an awesome album with a Panda Bear/Washed Out vibe. Finishing up the list was Los Campesinos and their new album Romance is Boring. So far the album sounds really fun and I’m definitely excited to listen to it more. It’s definitely a more mature album and they’re not so crazy and all over the place anymore.
As usual feel free to add me on Last.fm by clicking here.
Last night my buddy Andy Miller posted this new pattern and I was smitten with it as soon as I saw it. I think it’s called Skull Flower and features, well, just that, as well as a few books and some fun abstract patterns. I actually love that it’s black and white, it’s simple that way and colors might just get in the way. I could definitely see this pattern on a pillow in my living room. Wonderful work Andy!
Spencer Krug is an odd fellow. He’s in like 5 bands including Wolf Parade, Sunset Rubdown, Swan Lake, Fifths of Seven and Frog Eyes and now has started his own side project called Moonface. He’ll be releasing an EP through Jagjaguwar on January 26 but until then he’s giving away an “EP” of sorts called Dreamland EP: Marimba and Shit-drums. Like it sounds, the only instruments on the album are marimba and shitty sounding drums, like wet drums you’d hear in a bad 80’s song.
Did I mention the song is like 20 minutes long? 20 minutes of miramba, Spencer’s vocals and shitty drums. I know, this sounds like it can’t be good, but you know what, the download is free and you should try it anyway. I’ve listened to it like 10 times now, including while I was walking around doing my errands, and it’s really awesome. I’m really excited for the whole album, I just hope it doesn’t get too weird.
You can download the EP by clicking here.
I’m still looking for the perfect calendar for my wall in 2010 and I think this is pretty dang close to what I want. Wüsthof, maker of some of the best knives in the world, has released a calendar which features an onion being chopped into 356 slices, showing just how sharp their knives are. The idea is simple and totally clever, appealing to chefs, who these were most likely sent to, and anyone with an eye for design, food or photography.
Found through Ads of the World
When Universal Everything did they’re global rebrand for MTV International they created a ton of bumpers that were pretty amazing but I seemed to have missed the one above. My buddy Wes pointed me to this video called Dance x 1000% / Musicbrain which sounds like the title of some kind of exclusive Michael Lau figure. It features a dude old school break dancing, and as he does it his “Musicbrain”keeps expanding, getting more complex and crazy as he goes. It’s a simple but eye-catching spot that makes MTV feel like old MTV for a change.
This week’s Mixcast is my attempt at a contemporary, indie X-Mas sing-along. The songs on this mix are from all of your favorite indie rock bands, some doing covers, others doing original pieces. It starts out fast and ends slow and smooth. I figure that a lot of you are going to be traveling this weekend and into the next week, so I wanted you to have something to pass the time and get you into the holiday spirit.
I hope you enjoy the mix and hopefully there are some songs on here that are new to you. I think it definitely turned out pretty well and maybe you’ll find some new favorites.
Here’s this week’s tracklist:
Winter Wonderland by Phantom Planet
O Little Town of Bethlehem by Belle & Sebastian
Everything Is Gonna Be Cool This Christmas by Eels
Get Behind Me, Santa! by Sufjan Stevens
Whack Bat Majorette by Alexandre Desplat
It’s Christmas Time by Yo La Tengo
Blue Christmas by Bright Eyes
Cold White Christmas by Casiotone for the Painfully Alone
Wild Animals Approaching The Lovely Country Funeral by Jason Lytle
I Heard The Bells On Christmas Day by Pedro The Lion
O Holy Night by My Morning Jacket
Lo, How A Rose E’er Blooming by Feist
My buddy Ryan over at INVENTORY (formerly h(y)r collective) sent me a copy of his new magazine which is dedicated to “products, craft & culture”, as the front of the magazine says. Over the last couple years there’s been a huge surge in men’s fashion and the idea that durable, well-made clothing is your best bet. INVENTORY covers exactly that trend.
What they’ve managed to do is create a magazine around this new niche while it’s still relatively new and fresh. The style of the magazine is reminiscent of Monocle, in that it’s rather clean and simple with large, bold photos. The editorial is great, featuring stories about Mister Freedom (who I didn’t realize lived in Los Angeles), Duluth Pack (who’s been making men’s bags since 1882) and others. They also offer style tips on how to layer, how to best wear a parka, as well as offering items for sale that they’ve created through exclusive partnerships.
Overall I’d say the magazine is a hit. If you love men’s fashion, especially if your style is more reserved and leans toward classic Americana, you’re going to love this magazine.
You can grab yourself a copy by clicking here.
Flickr user ck/ck has created this simplified poster for Tom Ford’s A Single Man and boy is it pretty. This sums up the movie so well, the tie and glasses are totally spot on and the solitude and grayness of it all really hits the mark. I’d totally buy a poster of this, it would fit in with my black and white motif in my bathroom.
Found through Eric Walton
For our final interview from the Kitsune Noir Poster Club we have Garrett Vander Leun, a Los Angeles based illustrator who chose The Road for his poster. Garrett has been drawing since he was a little kid, influenced by his father’s illustrations and comic books growing up. Garrett’s artwork has been featured on music packaging and t-shirts and he is currently working on several series of portraits.
Why did you choose The Road?
The book hit me very hard when I read it, unlike any book has before or since.
I would be remiss if I didn’t say I’ve had some amazing women in my life, and both my mother and grandmother have had a profound influence on me – but there’s something about the relationship between father and son that is almost indescribable, a kind of shorthand where words are often exercised in light of an unspoken understanding. That bond, and that relationship, is so strong in this book and it reminded me very much of the relationship I have with my father. Even without the father thing, the parental instinct in this novel, the need to blindly do anything for your child’s well-being, has never been captured so elegantly and pure. These two characters live in spite of their grim surroundings, live only for each other really, for as the book progresses you’re overwhelmed by hopelessness and despair. At one point, the boy talks with his father:
What would you do if I died?
If you died, I would want to die too.
So you could be with me?
Yes, so I could be with you.
That’s it right there, the subtext of the entire book. Two people trying to survive in spite of the ever-changing times, a world where love and kindness is endangered, if not already extinct. Cormac McCarthy is a modern master, and the beauty of his words are very subtle, they’re all just-so deliberate and perfect. No quotation marks, no dialogue modifiers, no excessive flourishes of any kind. It’s like a novelized poem or something. Cormac McCarthy operates on this other level – he reminds me of Terrence Malick, the filmmaker, in a lot of ways.
As I mentioned in my previous post, my favorite video at the Flux event was NASA’s Spacious Thoughts by the duo of Fluorescent Hill. The duo is made up of Montreal based Mark Lomond and Johanne Ste-Marie who make music videos, commercials and short films.
The song has lyrics by both Kool Keith and Tom Waits so the idea of duality must have popped up somewhere. The video features this awesome little character they created, a kind of rain drop guy with a red mouth and a Geordi LaForge visor kinda thing for eyes. He also wears cowboy boots. It’s what they do with the character that is really startling and amazing. I was sitting in the theater and I couldn’t close my mouth, I was amazed. I love how the little guy starts to move and 3D colors start to appear, or he slams his fists into the ground and paint splatters everywhere to increase the emotion.
Whatever you’re doing just stop and watch this, it’ll make your day.
To see more of Fluorescent Hill’s work, click here.