I’ve been missing out for a while on Andrew Bird, only recently discovering his beautiful new album Armchair Apocrypha…but better late than never. Probably the most fascinating thing about Bird’s music is the story behind the musician himself and the instruments he plays. Violin, glockenspiel, and guitar combined with a very unique style of whistling and a great voice that “...has been compared to such eminent company as Jeff Buckley, Thom Yorke, and Rufus Wainwright, but has a quality all its own.” (Source). And his lyrics? Intense doesn’t really do his lyrics justice… I love the opening song on the new album, “Fiery Crash”... Describing how basically you don’t get on a plane anymore without thinking of 9/11… just really interesting subject matter and words that he chooses. The Amazon review’s first line says “Strip away the music of an Andrew Bird song, and you’re left with brilliant prose (“across the great chasms and schisms and the sudden aneurysms”), vignettes about mentally fending off plane crashes, infiltrating characters like the kings of Macedonia and Lou Dobbs, and titles such as “Yawny at the Apocalyspe.” I’ve got to check out some of his older albums now too…from what I’ve read they’re equally great. Perfect cover too… What if his last name was Lobster instead? Andrew Lobster.
Ahh…Sunday hang-overs…still lingering at 4:39PM. Not a good look…but what IS a good look is our new interview with Chicago’s own Cool Kids. Call them what you want, hipster-hop, old-school, genre-new, or whatever – they are fresh, and I dig them. And even more so after Virgil and I partied at Underground with their manager, my man Curtis, and Mikey himself – dancing on tables and everything, ha, I love it. They are truly stars in the making…at least I think they are. Anyway – yeah, check the interview…really good stuff. Check their music as well – I swear, its just so refreshing and fun. Not talking about ice and cars, etc…just good old ‘lets have fun and party’ music. Yeah, much needed. Check for an INDISTR.com release from them soon as well (what, you think I wouldn’t try and work that angle? Ha.) Hope everyone had a good weekend – I did. ***Shout to Curtis and Shannon for helping get this interview together!!
My gosh. Seriously. My new favorite snack. You have to buy some of these…I hear the Rosemary and Olive Oil ones are great too. That’s really what I hear, everyone’s saying it. To top it off I bought some fresh mozzarella…goes perfect. That is all. That’s my whole post.
These things are too cool. While vacationing this past weekend my friend (who is neck-deep into photography) pulls out this huge crazy looking all plastic camera…that weighed like next to nothing. It’s was a Holga without a flash. ‘Holga’...does it get any more German? Actually really well designed or over-designed perhaps – like the super chunky classic German-engineered setup, seriously, love it. What’s really wild about them though is the super trippy pictures they take…which are in medium format. Check the Wikipedia link below for examples or search Flickr – but basically they are totally over saturated with color, while looking kind of blown-out at the same time…the results just remind me of what I think the early 70s would have felt like, ha – maybe not. Either way, I took a whole roll, haven’t gotten them developed yet but I’ll post the results on our Flickr page.
Hmm…hard to even start this one. It was absolutely amazing. It met and many times exceeded what I imagined (and wanted) from a visit to the Caribbean…small island style. My destination was the Abacos in the ‘Out Islands’ of the Bahamas…there are quite a few cays and small islands that make up the Abacos…all very small, very unpopulated for the most part. And just amazingly beautiful. I could go on and on saying ‘beautiful’ and ‘awesome’ and ‘wow’ like 2,000 times in this post…seriously, I’ll try and keep it under control, ha. I wasn’t there for very long, but I did get to visit the main ‘town’ area, explore 2 stunning beaches – and got to feel that slowed-down island time, just to chill and relax – time had no relevance for a couple days. Too funny – I literally couldn’t get over how the water looked in person – I don’t know how many times I said ‘man, it looks just like the pictures!’ But seriously, all the magazines I read and websites I waste time on…I never really believed the water looked that blue…it does, even better in person. But yeah, amazing weather, beautiful sky at night, nice sunsets…just an amazing trip. I’ve posted up some pictures on our Flickr account…a quick sampling of the trip. Can’t wait to go back…man. And again, many thanks to my extremely gracious hosts! ***Yeah!! That’s a real shark like 2 feet away from me…nuts!
Funny how no matter how instantaneous blogs are magazines still have the scoop on information and inspiration. Yesterday I did my monthly Borders session. By the time I sat down in the comfy leather couch I had 22 magazines. Its funny, I can go thru some magazines in like 45 seconds. If I like the content I’ll spend 5 mins. and if I’am still interested after then I’ll buy it. The standout out trend for me in magazines lately is the Japanese styled layouts of tons of different products. Anyone remember Conde Nast’s Vitals? I think they folded after 4 issues but that’s how you do the men’s GQ-ish lifestyle magazine. We just got that premiere issues of Antenna the other day and they definitely got me interested. Like Vitals, the layout is awesome, perfect ‘of-the-moment’ content and a great assortment of products. I rarely read magazine articles so I need imagery inspiration to make me consider it. Amongst the stack of 22 magazines I grabbed everything from a Magic magazine (you know the nerdy card game) to Monocle to ELLE accessories. I bought one of those 3 and it wasn’t Monocle.
And I’m out…in a few hours at least. Off to the ‘Out Islands’ of the Bahamas. Wow, can’t believe it…can’t wait either. After all my island posts, research, wasting time on Google image search, and falling asleep reading Caribbean Travel & Life magazine it will be nice to get these pale white feet sandy on the even paler white shores. Yeah, this is going to be nice – little work, little play, little mental re-charging – feels needed. I think I’ll take some pics and do a re-cap post or something. Many, many thanks to my hosts – so generous of you. That’s that…catch me sockless in Vans Eras…I’m out. ***I got ‘Girl from Ipanema’ stuck in my head…it fits well.
That Muji shop in New York needs to open pronto. We talked about their ‘non branded, geniusly designed’ goods before but finally they are taking up roots stateside real soon. For those that don’t know much about Muji you gotta check out the results of their latest design competition they held. Every product that won some sort of prize is so smart and so right on. The industrial design profession is so cool because their bringing ideas to light. Its funny…these are just ideas that can really enhance your life and make the most mundane tasks, cool. As well these are pieces you could have in your place that everyone comments on. Ah…. the hallmark of a good purchase.
This feature on Jim Phillips, one of the most talented pioneers of skate art, starts out like this - “You know what’s great? People who “used to skate,” because that designation covers pretty much every American male from the ages of 18 to 40. Everyone relates.” Hmm. I’m an American male, almost 22, and I didn’t “used to skate”. Not even a little. I really wish I did… I just…didn’t. I played Uno and hung out with friends from my church on Sunday afternoons playing home run derby and watching VHS tapes of Michael Jordan highlights. And here I am, years later, trying to validate being a fan of Jim Phillips work, despite not having ever really skated in my life. But I think that’s what makes his stuff so cool…and what makes any artist good… is that everyone, not just a little niche of people, can enjoy his work. The era when his stuff was emerging and at its most popular is over, but to me, even though I didn’t live that lifestyle in that place or time, doesn’t matter. I can look at it today and totally appreciate it, get into it, and love it. That’s all kind of my intro to talking about this feature on Jim’s work and his studio, but I just had to get that out of the way and give him his proper respect for making universally appealing, timeless work. Ok. So anyways, now that I think about it, there’s not much to actually say besides just click the link and check out the feature, because it’s totally worth it and completely awesome, to be frank. If you’re an artist, you probably grew up doodling a lot in notebooks at school…and I guess my last thought here is that Jim Phillips took those doodles we all did and made them into something more, something complete… So anyways - get to it, and check this feature out…pictures of Jim showing original sketches, the first ever drawing of the Santa Cruz logo, his awesome board collection and garage…etc… CAN HAZ LINK!? YES! IZ BELOW!