One of my favorite artists and designers, Geoff McFetridge, has teamed up with one of the finest bag and accessory crafters, Makr, to create a tote bag that will grab people’s attention. Based on the prints that Geoff created for his wallpaper company Pottok, Makr has crafted a limited series of farm tote bags with a couple of extremely graphic prints, which are personally two of my favorite images that Geoff’s created. I feel like they’re made for two kinds of people, the minimalists and maximalists. I guess if you lie somewhere in between those mindsets you’ll have a tough decision to make.
The folks over at Non Projects are continually putting out quality music from quality artists, and this new track from RareBit is one of my favorites of the year so far. The song is called Emergence and it’s a wonderful bit of electronic goodness. It has a bit of a Japanese tinge to it, specifically it reminds me Takagi Masakatsu, which in my opinion is a huge compliment. But RareBit’s track has a rapid beat to it, something I don’t think Masakatasu would do.
Luis Díaz Díaz is a Spanish photographer based in Madrid and the North-Western coast of the country. He does a lot of commissioned projects, but it was his personal project ‘Music Boxes’ which really caught my attention. The series of photographs looks at the open air stages used by orchestras and concerts during the yearly local festivals in Galicia in Northern Spain.
These ‘music boxes’ stand now as forgotten monuments to times past. Where once this structures were places of festivities and celebration, they have now been replaced by modern mobile stages. Luis Díaz Díaz rigidly documents them with a minimalist style that reminds me of the photographs of industrial buildings taken by the influential German photographers Bernd and Hilla Becher. These empty, abandoned spaces, now seem to haunt rural Galica; leaving only a hollow space where the viewer is left to imagine what celebrations may have once taken place in this part of the country.
Los Angeles’ very own Michael Maltzan has beat out some architectural heavy weights to win a competition for the design of the St. Petersburg pier. The firm, based in Silver Lake, was unanimously chosen over the likes of BIG and West 8 to develop their scheme that reimagines the Florida city’s waterfront and might resemble a giant tiara from certain angles. The usual experience of a pier is to go all the way out to the end and turn back, retracing all of your steps; instead, the winning scheme proposes a series of interconnected loops. Like the mathematical representation of infinity (or the figure eight), tracks cross each other before arching over a series of programmed spaces both on land and over the water. I’m not entirely sure that I understand the crenelated edge, but my favorite detail from the renderings has to be the smaller balconies that punch through the curving wall at the distant end of the pier. The balconies are small and more intimate, which is a nice moment in large, public works like this one.
This is an excellent project for the firm and it will be exciting to see how the scheme evolves as it moves from design to construction to reality.
You may have seen yesterday that we’ve got a special Desktop Wallpaper Project this week featuring the photos of Denise Nouvion. She takes these really dreamy photos saturated with amazing colors. Today’s wallpaper is a gem, and also happens to be the cover to her band Memoryhouse’s upcoming album, The Slideshow Effect. The double exposure is a really nice touch to this image, making it feel like it’s almost moving. And from a tech point of view, there’s lots of room to put your desktop stuff for both Mac and PC users.
It would be easy to get the impression from perusing The Fox Is Black, that the entirety of Scandinavia is littered with small and delightful contemporary projects and not rainy parcels of land between aging modern housing plots. I’m happy to perpetuate the happier impression using the pubic toilets above as an example. The toilets in question live in Norway, along a road that snakes through scenic Aurlandsfjellet. Designed by Lars J Berge, the solar powered reststop, named Flotane, only looks like it’s falling over as it provides hikers with a place to park and start their hike into the mountains. Folks can even hike to the nearby Stegastein, a stunning overlook featured by Philip last year.
I thought I’d share these great paintings by Matthew Bromley that feature in the show. I love how fun and playful Bromley’s crude and quirky style is – and his portfolio is filled with weird looking illustrations of strange creatures, goblins and bat-like creatures. They’re just plain fun to look at.
Folk in London should definitely try and catch Cut & Run before it closes this Saturday.
To coincide with the release of Matthew Dear’s new EP Headcage he’s released a trippy new video directed by Morgan Beringer. The song is called In The Middle (I Met You There) and features vocals from Drums front man Jonny Pierce, which brings an interesting angle to Dear’s music. The song is rather vibrant and melodic, like a natural progression of where Dear’s music is potentially heading. The video itself is pretty crazy, like watching paint melt on drugs or something. It fits though, and certainly sets a mood for the song.
Every now and then I get the song She’ll Be Coming ‘Round the Mountain, totally randomly, for no real reason. I’m pretty sure I sang the song as a child, but I definitely never knew what the meaning was. It wasn’t till about 7 or 8 years ago that I was re-introduced to the song, through a comic called Promethea. Throughout the series there are characters singing the tune, which used as a prelude to the end of the world. When viewed that way it’s the song takes an entirely different meaning which is pretty interesting to me. For whatever reason, it popped back into my head again so i decided to look it up.
According to Wikipedia, the song is in reference to a spiritual song sung by enslaved Africans during the lat 1800’s. The song was actually a reference to the second coming of Christ and the Rapture. Here are the original lyrics:
O, who will drive the chariot When she comes? O, who will drive the chariot When she comes? O, who will drive the chariot, O, who will drive the chariot, O, who will drive the chariot When she comes?
King Jesus, he’ll be driver when she comes, When she comes . . . .
She’ll be loaded with bright Angels When she comes . . . .
She will neither rock nor totter, When she comes . . . .
She will run so level and steady, When she comes . . . .
She will take us to the portals, When she comes . . . .
The song eventually began to change in the early 1900’s into a children’s song, distorting it’s original meaning. It’s interesting how time changes the meaning of things, especially in a time when word of mouth and folk stories were so vital. However, even these may not even be the original meanings to this old, cryptic tune.
A former law student, a poet, a novelist, and a musician, Leonard Cohen is a master of the songwriting craft. You may know him from the innumerable covers of one of his hits, Hallelujah, or how many times people have said that Suzanne or So Long Marianne are some of the best songs ever written. Those people are right, of course, but for whatever reason it took his debut record 22 years to go gold. And that’s back when people bought records.
Somehow he’s still got it. Dorian Lynskey has written a great article about his new record which shows a man still looking for success on a day-by-day basis. His croons are imbued with a gruffness created by his path on the planet as a modern poet and musician. He not-so-famously hid in Mt. Baldy to study zen in the late 90’s. Since then Cohen’s work has been more reflective, accepting of human fate and Amen is no exception. The track moves like the pace of a funeral dirge and has cryptic, unforgiving lyrics.
“Tell me again, tell me over and over, tell me that you want me then… Amen.”