Wednesday, December 30, 2009

The Dark Lens - The Dubai Invasion by Cedric Delsaux

I just became aware of this series of photographs by Cedric Delsaux even though it is now on the third and final installment. Titled The Dubai Invasion these are photos of modern day Dubai with images from the original Star Wars movies imposed. In some cases the viewer instantly zooms in on the Star Wars elements but on others like the X-Wing crashed into a demolished building it takes a second. When speaking about Dubai Delsaux says "I instantly knew that all the characters from the Star Wars galaxies would be at home here." Having never been to Dubai I can't say if it is out of this world like Hoth or Alderaan but I sure do like these pictures.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Speaking The International Language Of Skateboarding

Born To Skate - First Trailer from Sebastian Linda on Vimeo.

Although I have never seen this movie the trailer gets me pumped up to skate. I spent my middle school and high school years in Germany and that's when I was skating the most. It's great how skaters can approach other skaters anywhere in the world and communicate through a common language.

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Massive Nike Air Max Sculpture Benedict Radcliffe

This wire shoe sculpture by Benedict Radcliffe measures 3.5 measures long. The Air Max 1 was commission by Nike for the roll out of the shoe.

Surfing Goes High Fashion

The sport of surfing is no longer just for that stoned uncle who can't seem to hold down a job. Now it is also for the rich and beautiful. These custom surfboards from Chanel and Proenza Schouler let your fellow surfers know that when your not riding waves you riding the stock market straight to the bank.

Saturday, December 26, 2009

China Unveils The World's Fastest Train

This weekend China has unveiled what they call the fastest rail link in the world. The cities of Guangzhou and Wuhan will be connected by a train that can reach speeds of up to 217 mph (350 kph). The commute will now take 3 hours which is down considerably from the previous time of seven and a half hours. Eventually the train will connect Guangzhou (near Hong Kong) to the capitol Beijing. This would be a great service to offer here in the U.S. on the East Coast.

Vic Chesnutt R.I.P.

Sad news came this holiday season that VIc Chesnutt has died of an apparent suicide. The 45 year old native of Athens Georgia has worked with everyone from Michael Stipe, Lambchop, and Elf Power to Widespread Panic, Van Dyke Parks, and A Silver Mount Zion. He had been touring the last couple months with a band that included Guy Picciotto of Fugazi and member of Black Heart Procession.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Trevor Burks Small Town Skaters

Titled Skate Myths this set of illustrations by Trevor Burks illuminates the plight of the small town skater. Most of us did not grow up in NYC or San Fransisco skating Brooklyn Banks, Pier 7 or any of the other famous spots we saw in the videos. No most of us were happy for a smooth spot of cement and a painted curb. Burks work shows the ingenuity of the skateboarder and his ability to selvage other peoples junk to create his own make shift skate parks. Many of the situations in these images rings true to my own experience growing up in a town in Germany that had far more cattle than people. The only major difference is the size of the boards that were much larger in my day.

Peanuts New Era Baseball Caps

Another inspired collaboration by the folk at New Era. This time they show some love to the late Charles Schulz with a Peanuts collection. The caps feature familiar characters like Charlie Brown, Snoopy, Luci and Woodstock as well as catch phrases like "I need all the friends I can get" and "to know me is to love me". Of course these awesome hats can only be found in Japan or maybe ebay.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Posterboy Not Feeling The Hope And Change

New York City billboard liberator Posterboy is in Miami right now for Art Basel. While in town he unveiled this giant poster with his thoughts on Obama's Afghanistan policy.

More Alex Pardee

These are a couple of his recent horror posters designed for the Alamo Drafthouse here in Austin.

Hugh Hefner's Playboy

It may seem hard to believe now but Hugh Hefner used to be quite the innovator and rebel. This collection from Taschen contains a detailed reproduction of the very first issue of Playboy featuring Marilyn Monroe. With over 700 pages of content pulled from Hefner's personal archives including cartoons, behind the scenes photos and letters a complex portrait of the man is presented. Although including 59 of the magazines best centerfolds it's not all T&A. Work by authors Ray Bradbury, Gore Vidal and Jack Kerouac are included along with interviews with Martin Lurther King and John Lennon. At a price tag of $1000 this collection is only for truest of fans.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Band You Should Know - Television

Founded in 1973 in New York City Television were an extremely important band to the creation of the punk and post punk scene at the time. They could often by found on the stage at CBGB's along with The Ramones or Patti Smith. Where as punk was about returning rock and roll to its basics Television had a more complicated guitar sound. Led by Tom Verlaine and Richard Lloyd Television's songs contained a dynamic interplay between the two guitars. Their debut album Marquee Moon was voted number 128 on Rolling Stones 500 greatest albums list and ranked third on Pitchforks best of the 1970's. It also charted at number 28 in Britain at the time of it's release but remained an underground classic in the U.S. The band recorded one more album Adventure before breaking up. In 1992 they regrouped and released a self titled album and have performed live on and off ever since.

Adidas Brings Star Wars To Your Feet

The designers over at Adidas are obviously fans of the original trilogy. The details are what makes these shoes great. From the orange on the Skywalker's that matches his jumpsuit in the movie to the Tie Fighter wing pattern these were made for fanboys. Adidas has taken the whole footwear collaboration to a whole new level and in the process assured I will be broke next year!

Monday, December 21, 2009

Banksy Takes To The Water

Banksy added four new pieces in London at Regent’s Canal in Camden. They include a boy fishing for Tags and a timely message on Global Warming.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Top Reissues Of 2009

If you don't own it or you have never heard it then it's new to you. Remixed and repackaged these are the best reissues for 2009.

Kraftwerk - The Catalogue
Available as a box set or individual albums these five classics by Kraftwerk contain some of the most influential music ever made.

The Jesus Lizard - Head, Goat, Liar and Down
Just in time for their reunion tour these reissues are a reminder of how powerful a band Jesus Lizard are.

Mulato Astatke - The Story Of Ethio Jazz
This album was a great discovery for me this year. Mixing American jazz with African rhythms this compilation is a real treat.

Jawbox - For Your Own Special Sweetheart
Lost to major label indifference this great album is back on Dischord and sounding better than ever.

Nirvana - Live At Reading
This live record captures Nirvana's power more than any of the studio album could.

Shaft - OST
John Shaft is a bad mother-shut your mouth-just talking about Shaft.

Big Star - Keep An Eye On The Sky
This box set has so much to listen to I have only cracked what is within.

The Feelies - Crazy Rhythms
It's a crime that this post-punk classic was out of print

The Stone Roses - S/T
They don't make em' like this anymore.

Sunny Day Real Estate - Diary
Before Emo became a bad word.

Serge Gainsbourg - Histoire de Melody Nelson
Music to make lover to your old lady by.

Beastie Boys - Paul's Boutique
A hip-hop classic!

Top 20 Albums Of 2009

20. Major Lazer - Gun's Don't Kill People - Lazers Do
Although leaning heavily on Dancehall there is a whole history of Jamaican music mixed into Diplo and Switch's debut album under the Major Lazer guise. The party (album) starts out with "Hold The Line" featuring Santigold and never slows down.

19. Baroness - Blue Record
Sometimes you just need to put on something heavy. When that time occurs you could do worst than reaching for this record.

18. Morrissey - Years Of Refusal
If Morrissey, now in his 50's is having to 'throw his arms around Paris because nobody wants his love' what chance do the rest of us have? Now an old pro "Moz" still writes songs like a jilted teenage boy and we wouldn't want it any other way.

17. Jarvis Cocker - Further Complications
It's interesting that after two decades as the lead singer of Pulp and releasing his debut solo album that Jarvis would abandon the "Brit Pop" blueprint he helped create. Instead he put out his most rockin' album ever. Recorded in Chicago with Steve Albini Further Complication as a solid garage rock album that allows Jarvis to partially reinvent himself.

16. Bat For Lashes - Two Suns
This album would make the list based on the stand out track "Daniel" alone but once you let the whole album seep into your brain there is a whole world that Natasha Khan has created for us to explore.

15. The Thermals - Now We Can See
This Kill Rock Stars Debut sees the band sighing a breath of relief after 8 years of the Bush administration and their civic duty to comment on it. This album saw the band pushing more into a power pop rather than pop punk sound that has a lighter and more fun feel.

14. Rural Alberta Advantage - Hometowns
This is pure indie goodness for those who like Neutral Milk Hotel, Pavement or Bright Eyes.

13. Raekwon - Only Built For Cuban Linx Pt. 2
This is one for those of us who miss the hip hop we had in the 90's. This record fits in with the best of the Wu albums and solo records.

12. Cymbal Eats Guitar - Why There Are Mountains
This one is great for the same reasons as #14, just great classic indie.

11. The Mountain Goats - The Life Of The World To Come
One this record John Darnielle slows things down and tells us some lessons the Bible taught him (sort of). Put on the headphones and listen to every word.

10. Girls - Album
The debut album by Girls is the sounds of a troubled person trying to work it all out. Indulging in drugs and alcohol and sex then waking up the next day to viscous hangover. Oh, to be young!

9. The Yeah Yeah Yeahs - It's Blitz!
The band pulled back on the guitars and put vintage synthesisers in the for front yet it still sounded like them. Zero was one of the best songs of the year but the whole record is worth a listen.

8. Grizzly Bear - Veckatimest
This album defies any current trend in music be it Lo-Fi, glow-fi or anything else. It still became one of the biggest and best albums of the year based on great songs.

7. Animal Collective - Merriweather Post Pavilion
"My Girls" enough said!

6. Passion Pit - Manners
The debut album by Passion Pit might have been the funnest album of year.

5. Mos Def - The Ecstatic
Skilled MC stops acting and starts giving a shit about rhyming. The Stones Throw beats on this album are so good Mos has to come correct over them.

4. The Big Pink - A Brief History Of Love
This is big music made to be played loud to stadiums full of people. Enjoy them before the rest of the world jumps on the bandwagon.

3. Japondroids - Post Nothing
This duo does more with less. The eight songs on their debut is a sonic assault on your ears.

2. Phoenix - Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
You couldn't get away from this album whether you were in a coffee shop, at the barber or just sitting through the commercials during the Daily Show. Good thing it's a great album. These savvy French blokes finally broke through on the back of their best album yet.

1. The Pains Of Being Pure At Heart - S/T
The debut album by these Manhattanites is pure pop goodness. Hearkening back to the days of C86, Sarah Records and early days of twee this album hits all the right spots.

Honorable Mentions

St. Vincent - Actor
Real Estate - S/T
The XX - S/T
Dirty Projectors - Bitte Orca
Cold Cave - Love Comes Close
Fuck Buttons - Tarot Sport
Neco Case - Middle Cyclone

Saturday, December 19, 2009

The Tank Chair

The Tank Chair was designed by Pharrell Williams one half of the production duo the Neptunes. The track half is made of plexiglass while the seat section is full grain colt leather.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Jukebox The Ghost Cover New Order

This cover of New Order's "Temptation" is a great example of taking someone else's song and making it yours.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Christmas Wishes From Ron English

Here is a festive poem from artist Ron English to brighten your holidays.

I don’t mean to offend
Or speak out of turn
But the man they called Jesus
Shall never return
He’s not indifferent
Or above our concern
2000 years later
We still haven’t learned
No matter how we may pray
No matter how we may yearn
No ascension
No return
No he’s not in heaven
No he’s not in an urn
He’s not in that place
Where sinners all burn
No Jesus never died
High up on that cross
No human kind
Never suffered that loss
Being a martyr
Just wasn’t his role
Dying so young
Just wasn’t his goal
Jesus just aged
Into a jolly ole soul
On top of the world
High on the North Pole

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Lost Painting By Alex Pardee

Inspired by the television show Lost this painting by Alex Pardee features the character John Locke who has just killed a genetically altered shark with his bare hands. This piece is one of sixteen produced by artists including Carlos Ramos, Scott Campbell, Nemo and many more. All you lucky LA people will be able to see them all at LOST Underground Art Project, an art show at Gallery1988:LA.

Alicia Keys Joined By Stephen Colbert On Empire State Of Mind

Mr. Colbert gives a shout out to his gated community in Connecticut but still keeps it real with the appetizer deals at the Hard Rock Cafe in Manhattan.

Awesome Street Art By ROA

This piece by Belgium street artist Roa was put up recently in the Shoreditch area of London. Looked at from one angle you see a furry rabbit and from the other the creatures insides.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Colbert Makes The Cover Of Sports Illustrated

Stephen's fan club the Colbert Nation is now the primary sponsor of the U.S. Speed Skating Team.

The Stooges Get Inducted Into The R&R Hall Of Fame

Congratulations to the Stooges who exemplify what Rock music should be: Loud, Snotty and a little bit Dangerous.