Arcade Fire have a brand new video out for the song The Suburbs and they got one of my all-time favorites Spike Jonze to direct it. The video is deep in meaning, relating to the ideas of growing up and how people change over time. Spike does an amazing job of showing the fun, innocence of youth and contrasting it with the dark paths people can go down. When I listen to this song and the rest of the album this is exactly what I imagine. Bits of hope with tinges of darkness. MTV.com has an interesting write up about the video which gets a lot headier than I do, so maybe check that as well.
Ben Chlapek, the freelance illustrator, designer and printer behind Never Sleeping, admirably produces work to make people happy and as a way for his presence to be remembered. I think he has succeeded on both counts. Extremely prolific and diverse in his approach to the creative arts, Chlapek has designed numerous logos and identities, made a zine inspired by swine flu (with the fantastic title Ultimate Worrier) and penned illustrations that celebrate “dude time” and show the funny/depressing side of Valentine’s Day. And then there are his band posters that manage to capture the essence of bands such as Beach House, Caribou and Stars. His style has a familiar intimacy that instantly endears you to his work. If you want a little piece of Chlapek-inspired happiness, stop by his online shop.
This isn’t exactly music monday material, but think of it as another option to listen to while completing tasks that require more hands than brains: oxford-style debating from Intelligence Squared. Ok, Ok, stay with me. I listened to one of these debates this past weekend centering around a proposition that “the art market is less ethical than the stock market” and since I like art, I wanted the art market to be ethical… but then I learned more about the art market (while listening to some pretty funny back-and-forth between the panelists, including artist Chuck Close, collector Richard Feigen, critic Jerry Saltz, and others.) The audience is polled before and after the debate to determine the winner.
Over the weekend I had been listening to this live performance from the Gorillaz, though it seems to me that it’s just Damon with a backup and, playing their version of the xx song Crystalised. I’m personally of the mindset that the xx are kinda’ boring but I’m a fan of this version because I think Damon Albarn has one of the best voices out there. I’ve posted the video and an MP3 version just in case the video gets yoinked. A pretty good way to start Monday, am I right?
I wanted to write a little reminder to be sure and update your RSS feeds. I’m sure a lot of you are still pointed at kitsunenoir.com which isn’t very helpful. To update your feed simply point your feed reader to thefoxisblack.com/feed or use the RSS button at the top of the page. Be sure to tell your friends as well!
It’s a bit gloomy In L.A. today so I figure these installations by Gabriel Dawe would be a great way to brighten my mood. These installations are titled Plexus and use gütterman thread and nails for the most part, maybe a piece of wood and some installation hardware and that’s it. The overall effect is beautiful, like when the sun shines through those misters you see outside of restaurants. Also really ethereal like you could go running through it but it might smell or taste like candy. I wonder if he would come to my apartment and just make a quick one of these for me, y’know, like in my dining room?
The incredible Cleon Peterson has a new exhibit opening up tomorrow night at New Image Art and it’s looking pretty interesting. Cleon is known for his hyper-violent pieces and his bright vibrant colors, so it’s cool to see the flyer is a black and white image and almost has an ancient Greek urn sort of feeling to it. From the press release:
The exhibition draws inspiration and its title from Nietzsche’s Daybreak: Reflections on Moral Prejudices. Like Nietzsche, Peterson presents a world in which contrasting schemes of morality result in eruptive hostility between social classes. In Nietzsche’s work, this dichotomy is described as master-slave morality: the tension between an overclass that values pride, wealth and strength and an underclass that values humility, piety and restraint. While Nietzsche claims that the people of the underclass choose this morality to soothe the cognitive dissonance of hegemony, Peterson’s ” DAYBREAK” insinuates that through violence they are breaking free not only from their oppressors but an oppressive morality as well. This role reversal, however, creates an interesting dilemma: when a revolt upends the power structure, which sides do virtue and vice end up on? Can either class be considered virtuous if they literally beat the other to death with morals?
I’ll definitely be there tomorrow night snapping photos for a post, see if I can talk to Cleon and ask him about the work and his changing style. If you’re in LA this weekend be sure to stop by.
I’m unfortunately one of those people who’s always looking for a bottle opener. Whenever I’m out drinking somewhere I’m somehow always looking for a dude with a lighter who can do that cool trick to open the bottle. Last night I was working late at Myspace and we were having beers, and of course, no one had a bottle opener. So I asked my Twitter friends what bottle openers they suggest and got some pretty great answers.
My favorite of the bunch is the top bottle opener from CXXVI, which is actually meant to be worn as a necklace. I’m not much of a necklace dude but I think this would be perfect to rock on my keychain. It’s made of hand-forged steel, is about 2-3/4″ long and their site says it should get a nice patina the older it gets but won’t rust. The only catch for some people is that it’s a bit pricey, but the way I see it is that you’d buy this bottle opener once and never need another one.
The other two that were suggested that I was into was the “Beverage Wrench” from Draplin and the SUCK UK’s Key Bottle Opener. You can’t beat Draplin price and style as this puppy runs you the staggering price of $3. Definitely good for those of you who easily lose things. The SUCK UK one is cute but I think it’s a bit too long and kinda dainty for my taste (that’s what she said). It’s only about $15 bucks though so it won’t break the bank either.
The technological marvel of space travel can easily compel us past the murky bits that distract from sheer cosmic amazement. But the accomplishments of space agencies are built on graveyards of brave and curious people; people with families and loved ones who can’t look at the moon anymore without seeing through microscopic particles they used to know. On the big and small screen, it’s a pretty common device to learn of bad news through the reaction of a spouse or loved one to unexpected visitors; but I’ve never thought about the looks on the faces of folks who watched space travel go wrong. The music video for “Yulia” by Wolf Parade is about such reactions.
The video is sad, but powerful in a way that lends credit to Director Scott Coffey, who makes a cameo as cosmonaut #3. I really like this video, but did I mention that it’s sad?
The titles “freelance illustrator”, “graphic designer” and “artist” are inadequate to cover the variety of mediums in which Swedish creative Sandra Juto successfully dabbles. Her beautiful photographs of walks through Gothenberg, morning coffees and small gatherings fill the archives of her blog. She is an expert crocheter and produces little gentlemen known as the “buttcrack characters”, which sell out very quickly from her shop. Not to mention her wrist worms that are designed to look good while also keeping your wrists toasty on frosty days. When asked in an interview with hunt / gather why she traverses so many varied mediums, this was her simple reply: “I’m always searching for more.”
Frankly, I’m pleased that this is the case. Her work is fresh, bold and exciting, constantly moving in different directions but maintaining a unique and slightly quirky aesthetic.