Driving to work yesterday I was super happy to hear Pollyn’s new song How Small We Are playing on KCRW, which you might remember from the video I posted about a month ago. As a B-side to How Small We Are, they’ve covered the Portishead song Mysteron, which is the first track off of their first album Dummy. The video itself is pretty streamlined, just a flashlight in a dark room, but I thought their version was pretty fantastic.
I’ve also had a chance to listen to their upcoming album, Living in Patterns, and I can tell you it’s really good. I totally get a Talking Heads vibe, which I think is from the bass and steady beats that lie at the heart of their songs. The new album comes out on October 4, so there isn’t too much longer to wait. It’s definitely worth it.
I’ve been browsing over on the School of Visual Arts / Portfolios site regularly, looking for some new exciting talents, and I came across the photos of Jenny Riffle. She has this great series profiling this guy Riley, who she describes as a modern day treasure hunter. He seems like a pretty eclectic guy, kinda’ looks like a punk, he loves to go out with his metal detector and hunting around the dirt and beaches for treasures. I love how she captured his little world, the mood is mysterious and engaging in her photos. I would totally love to check out his apartment or even follow him around to see what he finds. Be sure to check out the rest of the set by clicking here.
I’ll be taking a short trip to San Francisco this Wednesday night until Sunday, so I was hoping you lovely readers could help me out. When I visited Seattle I was able to aggregate all of your suggestions into one, super helpful map that totally helped me figure out where I wanted to visit. It seems like a good idea to do the same thing for San Francisco, and I’d be more than happy to share the results with everyone.
So let me know what’s new and cool, and what’s tried and true. I’d love suggestions for places to eat, to shop, to visit. I’m originally from northern California, so it’s like a second home to me. But it’s hard to keep up with what’s going on there since I don’t live an hour and half away anymore. I’m really looking forward to hearing your suggestions, and thanks in advance for the help.
There are many attitudes about the architecture of art museums, but let’s distill them down to two: some think that architecture should serve as a neutral, unobtrusive background to art and others believe that the museum, itself, should be a work of art. There are good and bad examples of each attitude and this proposed museum by Eero Lunden Studio from Helsinki, Finland and Eric Tan of Danish firm PinkCloud.DK is clearly camping out in later territory. By utilizing a structural facade, the interior of the museum is almost completely maleable to create a unique spatial experience. From the competition entry:
White walls + Isolated Rooms = Good museum? Our design of the Serlauchius Museum extension seeks to deviate from that mantra by developing an architecture that directly facilitates human interaction with art. It is our firm belief that the experience of art can be enhanced through innovative architecture and new spatial experiences.
I’m a big fan of this proposal. In part, because it looks like the structure of bone (science nerd) but also because I think flamboyant structures like this are uniquely-suited for art museums. There wereotherproposals, but none as bold as this one. Sadly, this boney bid did not win (see: winner) and will now begin the slow process of osteoporosis.
I’ve been really digging the music of Kinisi lately. The brainchild of Atlanta native Speros Constantine Kokenes, the project features a mix of breezy compositions that are made up of electronic beats, gentle guitars and rolling pianos. I could have posted any one of his tracks today but decided to run with the excellent A Celestial Path. This track is particularly sweet for the way it meanders around the place; mixing through a variety of sounds and textures but always keeping to a fun and summery tempo. I love how it just seems to keep tripping along.
A lot of Kinisi’s music reminds me of the really great early music that Broken Social Scene were making back in the Feel Good Lost days, and there’s also a healthy doses of Four Tet, Tortoise and Boards of Canada mixed into the vibe for good measure. As I said, I could have posted any one of his tracks so if you like A Celestial Path then I highly recommend you head over to his website and listen to more. Best of all, every releases over there is available for free so there really isn’t any excuse not to give this stuff a proper listening!
Bobby e-mailed me this space-age Smirnoff advertisement, complete with slick copy and a model whose crazy hair is the size of a satellite. And what’s not to like about such an image? It’s kitschy; it’s alcohol; it’s fun. But maybe not always fun. I started looking more into the history of astronauts/alcohol and came across the incident of Lisa Nowak, an astronaut who’s personal life eclipsed her professional carrer when, in 2007, she drove from Houston to Orlando to talk to the girlfriend of a fella astronaut she had a “more than professional” relationship with. What’s the big deal? She also brought the to the talk: gloves, a BB gun, pepper spray, a drilling hammer, and a folding knife along with rubber tubing, garbage bags, a large amount of cash and both a wig and tan trench coat to keep from looking suspicious. So nothing fishy there– oh, and she might have been wearing a diaper.
The confrontation did not go well for either lady involved: one was sprayed in the face with pepper spray and the other lost her job at NASA, the Navy and was convicted of a felony. The incident generated public interest in the mental health of astronauts (oddly enough, the confrontation occurred less than two weeks before Britney Spears shaved her head and generated interest in her own mental well-being.) NASA commissioned an internal report on the psychosocial health of astronauts that, among other things, found ” heavy use of alcohol by astronauts in the immediate preflight period.” NASA launched another investigation to look into statements made in the first report, specifically about the alcohol use, but could not find evidence supporting such statements (both reports here). One critic of the first report was astronaut Scott Kelly, whose twin brother Mark, also an astronaut… that’s right identical twin astronauts, is married to Gabrielle Giffords, another person whose life has sparked public interest in mental health awareness.
I was amused to see this space suit in my inbox. After weeks of grim and dreary space suits, I thought it was time to have a laugh and a drink, but it turns out that even this space suit lends itself to a sobering tale. At least for now, this astronaut has her cumulonimbus hair and a small constellation of drinks within her reach.
It’s my personal goal in life to own a painting by Damon Soule. A fine art painter originally from Georgia, Damon’s paintings make me think of surrealist art done in an incredibly contemporary way. I’d love to step inside his brain and see what makes him create these works of art. I love how he utilizes light and color in his paintings, they always seem so dynamic and consuming. I’m sure if you put a piece of art next to a Damon Soule painting the other painting would look seriously boring in comparison.
I came across this smart little design the other day when browsing tumblr and I have to say it’s a rather splendid idea. Another Picnic Table came about as part of a collaboration between designers Wouter Nieuwendijk (on the left) and Jair Straschnow (on the right). Their simple new spin on the iconic picnic table seems like such a clever idea that it feels odd that no-one has ever thought about making one like this before.
Their variation has two very interesting changes on the traditional table. First, they’ve split the bench into separate seats so that they’re easier to access. This has also allowed them to offer a second option – where the bench can transform into a relaxed seat. This is something which Nieuwendijk believes is lacking within public spaces. “While there are numerous benches for public space” he says on his website, “easy chairs are never to be found in parks and leisure areas, where one would expect them most”. It’s a fair point, and Another Picnic Table really seems to work in adding enjoyable seating to the public space. I’d love to see some of these near the parks where I live. The table is part of a larger collection called Outdoor Grassworks which according to Straschnow, is designed to “refresh the way we use public space”. Take a look at more images from the collaboration here.
I have a hard time discerning art from marketing hoaxes and, with Terranova‘s Take My Hand, I’m not entirely sure if this is a visual taste of what is coming on their new album or if this is simply a means by which to elicit “WTFs?” from fans of the genre. The German band, repped by techno powerhouse Kompakt, created the video for the B-Side of their current single. A lot happens, but nothing really happens here: a mysterious woman emerges from a hut with a mask on, a few masked dancers with insane wigs dance around rooms and forests, and some monkeys run about, looking like they are awaiting Walter Ford to paint them. The visual result is intriguing, fascinating, and even captivating, as the music beats on darker and deeper into a nearly acid house direction. Enjoy the video and stick around for the ending title card, as it may explain a few things…
I’m such a sucker for these videos about Los Angeles or California. I feel like a proud parent or a dog owner, I simply want to show off how beautiful this place is. Photographer Ryan Killackey and his wife decided to document California, mostly the Los Angeles area, through photos, taking over 10,000 in total, and then compiling them into this beautiful video. Technically it’s all stop-motion because they’re all photos, and it’s also all tilt-shifted, so lots of stuff looks like tiny mini-people running around and living their lives. I can’t imagine how long this took to put together but I think the effort was well worth it, as of me posting this it’s already been viewed nearly 600,000 times! Insanity!