It seems to me like book covers might just be the next big thing that illustrators start migrating into. I think I noticed the trend with Tomer Hanuka’s cover for Marquis De Sade’s The Immoral Mentors, so it’s fitting that he’s back at it again, this time around creating covers for two John O’Hara books. Both of the books are about people and their difficulty with their social status, and he does an exellent job at portraying that in both covers. The books are Appointment in Samarra and Butterfield 8, the first about a social elitist who’s life starts to spiral out of control when he can no longer keep up with the circle he runs with, and the second about a beautiful woman found dead on Long Island Beach, the reason for her death never known.
I really love the Appointment in Samarra cover a lot, the details in the car are superb and the man cast in so many shadows shows just how dark his life is going to become. The Butterfield 8 cover is beautiful and elegant, showing what a waste her death was. Hopefully Tomer keeps cranking these out, he does such an awesome job.
For Emma by Bon Iver
This morning I thought I’d start posting with a little music, just to get everyone’s day started out nice. I was sitting at my computer last night and suddenly I had the strongest urge to a listen to a song, but I couldn’t remember what it was! All I could think of was that it had some really awesome horn parts, but I couldn’t remember anything else about it. After about 10 minutes of freaking out I remembered that it was For Emma by Bon Iver, and then everything was good in the world.
If you haven’t heard Bon Iver’s new album, For Emma, Forever Ago, then you really need to get on it. Bon Iver is actually just a guy named Justin Vernon, who went out into the woods of Wisconsin one day to get some alone time, and three months later he returned with an amazing little album. It’s pretty bare, pretty minimal, but his vocals are extremely warm and impressive. The entire album is good, but the end is my favorite. Starting with Creature Fear and ending with re: Stacks, it couldn’t be anymore perfect.
But in the middle of that ending there’s the title track, For Emma, which really kicks my ass, the song I couldn’t remember last night. It’s got the most amazing horn arrangement, and seems to go on forever and ever, sounding completely timeless and totally capturing your imagination. I probably listened to this song like 15 or 20 times on repeat. Please take a listen to the song and let me know what you guys think! And if you liked it, be sure to check out his performance that was captured by La Blogotheque, very intimate and beautiful.
For some reason I’ve been having these weird dreams, and lately they’ve been about design and art. In my opinion this is pretty damn weird, but it’s also kind of exciting because I’ve been having getting some really creative ideas from them lately, I can only hope they continue. But one dream in particular was about redesigning salt and pepper containers, like the big Morton Salt kind. But my dream “told me” (haha) to make it really modern and awesome looking.
So I came up with the two ideas above, a very simple and modern version of what those generic containers could be. The image on the salt containers is a close-up of salt crystals, and the pepper container has peppercorns. Anyhow, I knew that the salt needed a white band and the pepper a black band that would then translate to the top and bottom of the container as well. So when you go to the store you wouldn’t really need to even look at the words on the side, just look at the top. The font used was Univers simply because I’m sick of using Helvetica, but I think it looks good anyhow. I decided to go with a light version to let the photo be more prevalent than the text.
That’s about it, I just started this a couple hours ago so I thought I’d post about it while it was still fresh. What do you guys think? And if you know anyone looking to buy awesome salt and pepper packaging, go ahead and send them my way.
Scott Hobbs is a British product designer who seems to me like the kind of guy who’s going to create some awesome things in his life. He’s just now finishing his 4th year at Dundee University and he’s already come up with a new form of turntable as a part of a project called Sensing Sounds. He’s taken the record and traditional turntable out of the equation and has replaced them with two touch sensitive screens that gives you a visual of the waveform the music is creating.
Based upon the videos above it looks pretty damn cool. It’s kind of like simplifying the act of DJing to a super-simple level, you can just look at the screen and literally SEE the beats, which I’m sure would make it much easier to match beats. I’m a very visual person, so seeing this makes it seem like something I could really do. For more information about the project including an entire written proposal, visit his site by clicking the link above.
The Swimming Song by Vetiver
The Clockwise Witness by DeVotchKa
Astronaut by Beach House
Last Week in Music was a good week, some new faces on there which makes everything so much more exciting. Starting off the list is Vetiver, who’s new album Thing of the Past just came out today. Lead singer of Vetiver Andy Cabic has chosen 12 of his favorite songs and has created an extremely touching cover album which go all over the place musically, but are all extremely beautiful. I highly recommend this album.
Next up was The Magnetic Fields, who are excellent to listen to no matter what. I tried to listen to all of 69 Love Songs (as well as Holiday and I) but I certainly didn’t make it. Then there was DeVotchKa, who’s newest album, A Mad & Faithful Telling, came out over 2 months ago, but I’m just now getting around to listening to it. I actually like it a lot, I’m pretty sure I like it more than their other albums. I also did a lot more listening to DCFC, mostly Narrow Stairs and The Photo Album.
Grand Archives came in at number 5, and I’ve officially added them to my list of albums to listen to this summer, which I think I’ll share with you guys in early June. I also listened to a lot of Cut Copy in preparation of seeing them live last week. Daft Punk made it onto the last somehow, I’m not really sure how, followed by Stars, Beach House (who I had a sudden urge to listen to) and finishing off with Fleet Foxes.
Last week my buddy Eric gave me a heads up about this photographer Alex Prager, so I checked out her site, and was totally stunned. Alex works in Los Angeles, shooting photos that are extremely retro in their styling, but modern in their execution. Imagine the set of The Birds, or an episode of The Wonder Years, but shot in this weird, almost Stepford Wives kind of way. It’s kind of like she crafted a bunch of personas from different pieces of characters in films and then photographed it. The colors are bright, but somewhat desaturated and definitely surreal.
The top image reminds of a somewhere between The Birds and Jaws, you don’t know whether or not the threat is going to come from above or below, either way she’s totally screwed. The bottom photo makes me think of Dali Atomicus, which captures Dali jumping in the air, cats and water flying by and the easel and other furniture are starting to float. They’re both very out there, but really fun.
On Sunday night, NASA’s Phoenix Mars Lander landed on the far northern plains of Mars called Vastitas Borealis, which I think is so rad. While it’s out there it’s going to be searching the soil with it’s big fancy “trench-digging arm” to see if there’s frozen water below the soil. They’re also looking for microbial life as well, because where there’s water, there’s potential life. And of course they’re taking a ton of photos as well, which is definitely my favorite part. I just want them to rotate the camera and suddenly see a giant alien stature or something (maybe they could put it in the NEXT Indiana Jones film?! hahaha).
The NASA sire also has a cool Phoenix Mars Lander interactive site where you can read all about what the lander does. I had no idea it was so big! The solar arrays that power the lander are 18 feet wide! If any of this interests you be sure to visit NASA’s website, they do a really great job of posting all sorts of awesome photos and info pretty regularly.
There’s also this New York Times article that goes into the details of the landing itself.
Today in the US it’s Memorial Day, and because of our current “war” that’s going on, I thought I’d post these photos I found on DIGG. I read the captions and totally started to cry, I couldn’t help it. I’m very fortunate and haven’t lost anyone that I’ve known to this ridiculous sham we’re calling a “war”, and seeing these photos makes me entirely too upset. Fuck this war, fuck George Bush, fuck everyone involved in getting us into this ludicrous situation. I just hope we can clean up this mess we’ve made so more innocent people, and I mean everyone involved including the Iraqis, and everyone else serving abroad, don’t have to lose their lives in vain.
I know this isn’t very eloquently written or well thought out, but it’s what spilled out of me at the moment.