Date Archives May 2010


I haven’t done a #musicmonday post in a while, I feel like I hadn’t been listening to anything really new and exciting lately. But that’s all changed and now I have all kinds of rad tunes to share.

First up is Ratatat and their upcoming album LP4 which comes out June 8th. I wouldn’t say this album is a vast departure from any of their others but there’s still something new and fresh about it. The production sounds crisper, they’ve introduced strings in some songs but it’s still the Ratatat you’ve grown to love. Then there’s Smog, who’s A River Ain’t Too Much To Love album was playing for a good chunk of time. I’d highly suggest listening to I Feel Like The Mother of the World if you’re curious.

As I posted last night I listened to the new Catacombkid album Deep Sleep quite a bit. Like I said it’s great to listen to while you work, plus it’s free, so you can’t beat that. After that came Avi Buffalo, which yes, I’m still listening to. I can’t get over this album, it’s struck me so perfectly. When I don’t know what to listen to lately, this is the first thing that goes on. Then there’s Seabear, who I also just posted about, and their new one We Built A Fire. I had been meaning to get this album for a while and I randomly remembered it was out, so I immediately snagged it. So far I love it, though I’m trying not to play it out. There’s something about the lead singers voice that I totally love.

Rounding things out are the new albums from Flying Lotus, Born Ruffians and my old standby Deerhunter. Both the Flying Lotus and Born Ruffians albums are pretty good, but they’re still growing on me, I haven’t been totally enamored yet.

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OneZeroZero Design Studio

There is definitely something special about stationery designed in Korea. Not content to simply design a notebook that is functional, brands such as O-Check Design Graphics and Millimeter/Milligram create stationery with idiosyncratic and fun elements.

The latest Korean stationery and home wares label to capture my attention is OneZeroZero Design Studio, a brand that successfully marries a minimalist aesthetic with smart details. Under its eccentric design direction, a stack of plain white memo sheets look like fractured glass, a clock conveys the time old complaint that women generally make men wait and a bookmark plays with the idea that reading allows for growth. OneZeroZero’s products are ideal for a little visual pick-me-up while you’re slogging away at work. Plus, they’re better for you than a hit of caffeine.

The featured products are In Spring ruler, The Gardener bookmark, She Always Makes Him Wait clock and Broken Paper memo sheets.


Video for ‘Wolfboy’ by Seabear

All morning I’ve been listening to ‘We Built A Fire’, the newest album from Icelandic band Seabear so I thought I’d share a song off the album. This one is called Wolfboy and it’s the last track on the album. I love seeing performances like this because you can see just how talented these folks are. They’re like the Icelandic Arcade Fire! If you dig this song be sure to check out the album, I have a feeling this is going into my Best of Summer 2K10 albums list.


Eric Gjerde

In my hands, paper cranes unfold into ugly ducklings. Origami is hard. Do your paper swans make you cocky? Perhaps you were unaware of Eric Gjerde. His work consists of complex patterns executed with such talent that your cranes look like they flew from the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico directly into your clumsy hands. What a mess.

What’s more impressive about Gjerde’s work is that it’s well-documented on his own site and his flickr page. In his words: “I really dislike the lack of information sharing in the origami world.” Who knew the origami world was just like BP?


‘Deep Sleep’ by Catacombkid, Free Album Download

I figured the best way to start out the week is with lots of free music so how about a new release from Catacombkid? I got a Facebook message last night from Harrison Mills, Catacombkid’s real name, letting me know that he had just released a new record that was free to download over on Bandcamp called Deep Sleep. I’ve been listening to the record all night and it’s pretty damn good stuff. Mostly electronic beats and the such, lots of piano and overall it’s just great music to listen to while I’ve been working.

If you enjoy this one you should also check out his last release called All My Friend Are Wolves. It’s also free to download via Bandcamp and you can find it here. Thanks for the tunes Harrison!


Space Suit of the Week

Space suits are very complex. It’s like wearing a building… or an airplane minus the jet engines. Recently, I’ve devoted some time to better understanding just what kind of engineering goes into and onto these suits. ILC Dover is a Delaware-based company that actually makes space suits or, as they explain it, engineer softgoods products; their website is full of information about their company’s involvement with the Apollo Missions and the fact that it takes 5000 hours of work to produce a single space suit.

This doesn’t explain why their suits have an insult drink bag. For one, I think any bag that holds liquid is correctly referred to as a bladder. Secondly, while I know insult is short of insulation, isn’t it strange to imagine folks in space suits shouting insults at each other? Or fighting? The suit limits you from starting a fight by throwing water on Buzz Aldrin’s face… the option of throwing a bladder against his suit and watching it bounce off into space doesn’t invoke as much anger as it does curiosity.

But what I’m trying to say is that if you have a question about space suits, ask me. It doesn’t have to be about the technical aspects of the suits, but can be. Your question doesn’t have to center around cosmic couture, but can. Your question doesn’t have to concern astronauts fighting robots, but can. If I can’t answer, I’ll point you to someone who can, and future Space Suit of the Week entries will reflect your interesting inquiries.


Carolyn Alexander

I am, quite understandably, easily seduced by the work of many contemporary illustrators, but I am sure that it will be more than a passing fling when it comes to my adoration of the work of British illustrator Carolyn Alexander. And there are a number of reasons why this is the case. Firstly, her work is a real treat for the eyes and incorporates gorgeously intricate detail and quirky narratives. Secondly, Alexander lives in the French Alps and uses her experiences learning the French language and adjusting to French culture as inspiration for her pieces. Thirdly, she gave up smoking in one of the most imaginative and interesting ways that I have encountered. Finally, she possesses a most delightful and witty sense of humour that infuses her illustrations with yet another layer of charm.

Exploring her portfolio provides the opportunity to not only giggle at her très drôle Haughty Bitches series, but also to brush up on French verbs by studying her black and white typographical series, which is aptly titled Ne Parle Pas Francais. In truth, Alexander’s illustrations can be neatly summed up in one word: magnifique!


Video for ‘Rabbit Song’ by Boy & Bear

The current darlings of the Australian indie music scene, Boy & Bear have just released their first EP and are already attracting their fair share of attention. The detractors have claimed that they are derivative of the 1970s folk sound popularised by Fleet Foxes and Bon Iver; however, I would like to sing their praises and I can think of no better way than sharing their music video for “Rabbit Song.”

The video does a brilliant job of visually representing the guitar-driven melody and choral harmonies of the song by following a disenchanted man as he is drawn into an urban game of Cowboys and Indians. It’s the sort of video that makes covering your face in war paint, donning a crazy headdress made out of ties and meeting up with a woodlands cult in the forest strangely appealing. Or maybe it’s just appealing to me.