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Archive for April, 2010

Mark Kozelek Playlist

Posted by Jakub


This might be a departure from what I post most days but I can’t pretend that this isn’t some of the strongest song writing out of my generation and maybe even the generation before me. Mark Kozelek is a pure talent when it comes to setting a tone and feeling that most can’t control when they hear his songs. Deadly as this playlist might seem for some since a beautiful sunny weekend is in store for the east coast I just think it needed to be done.

I didn’t include my 2 favorite Mark Kozelek songs since i’ve already posted them which are Mistress and Duk Koo Kim, if you need more then the wait isn’t too long, Sun Kil Moon’s next LP Admiral Fell Promises is slated for 7/13.

**Other artist specific playlist: Cocteau Twins

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Martin Skelly’s Playlist Player

Posted by Scott





A novel concept and beautiful exterior make Martin Skelly’s Playlist Player vinyl emulation system a certified object of desire. The device — which plays back digital files in an apparently Serrato-like manner — attempts to simulate the classic ritual of the vinyl LP.

“There are two parts to the design: the player, and the record box containing five different coloured covers. Once the playlists are chosen and synced to the player with a memory stick, the user customises the outside of the sleeve with artwork of their choice. It could be photos of a memorable night or person or typed and hand drawn tracklists. Once the record is placed on the player, the music begins and the outer ring of lights illuminates. As the playlists plays rings of light visible through the translucent record move towards the centre of the disc, like a needle tracking on a record. These lights represent time and not the number of tracks, meaning your music must be enjoyed from start to finish with no distractions like the temptation to skip tracks, fast forward or rewind.”

Seeing people designing experiences like this is always nice, but it does illuminate the rather unsettling fact that the album format is dying. People are consuming media in ever smaller chunks and the LP experience is no longer the norm. I think this is a huge loss and an unfortunate consequence of the on-demand nature of the internet.

Although I grew up listening to 8-track, vinyl, cassette tapes, and then CDs — all of which tended to be enjoyed in album format more often than not — I must admit that I jump around a lot when consuming MP3s. I have recently begun rebuilding my music collection in lossless FLAC though and this has encouraged me to listen to more music as whole albums. If Skelly’s Playlist Player supports FLAC or WAV it might make the experience that much more enjoyable.

The House Among Trees











Any architecture that is built with nature in mind, is made with concrete and has wooden interior elements, immediately gets an instant like from me. There’s just something about the combination of wood, concrete and trees that I love.

In this case the trees were included by law. Local construction codes of Mar Azul, Beunos Aires, Argentina actually restrict the removal of trees. Instead of relocating the house the architects, Martín Fernández de Lema and Nicolás F. Moreno Deutsch, decided to build the house around them. Leaving the end result a beautifully designed, wide open house that is seemingly the perfect spring or summertime residence.

Images via Arch Daily.

Walls+Korallreven+Shahs+Rollerskaters

Posted by Jakub


So happy to be able to share this new project by Walls on Kompakt, the duo which is one part Allez Allez who have started a great mix series featuring Grovesnor(ex-drummer of Hot Chip) and Caribou(which I was going to share this week) have ventured into more guitar based material that gets me excited on how A+R will be going on at Kompakt from here on out. Walls is slow moving with hints of white noise that is completely in control, the release is highly recommended from start to finish.

Lately i’ve been trying to pick my brain because I feel like I never turn down a good Caribbean style song, you play dreamy synths that fit into a Balearic song with light guitar strumming? well then jump into my itunes! deep bongos, disco strings and chimes with water sounds are just bonuses like finding another M&M in my so called empty M&M wrapper. Korallreven is a perfect example of what I like, now trying to find a crowd that loves it in the USA is a whole different story.

When I hear this Shahs track and imagine the instrumental I automatically think it would be the perfect song to start out an episode of This American Life where a normal older man starts off his day by leaving his white picket fence home but starts walking by really weird things on the way to work. I picture the vocals sung by a drunk David Byrne which is a compliment to Shahs, its not a bad thing in my book.

Lead singer Andrew McKee is already doing another things besides The Young Friends, instead of the sunny bike ride sing alongs with friends he brings it into the gymnasium for a overnight lock-in dance party by the punch bowl jam.

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Maxim Zhestkov

Posted by Alex




I’m still wrapping my head around how cool those videos were that Jakub posted yesterday. In a similar (but stylistically divergent) vein, these clips by Russian artist Maxim Zhestkov are stunning. He’s got a few videos on his Vimeo page, the rest you have the see on his site. If you click the thumbnails above, they will link to their corrosponding video. They all remind me of the Minus the Bear “Planet of Ice” album cover, if everything went completely crazy.

Charles Bergquist Projection Collection

Posted by Jakub




After seeing these videos I know now that if Charles Bergquist is doing visuals for a musician in Brooklyn then i’m there. It’s hard to find good visuals these days at a show, a ton of it seems like bland web archive footage and is always an after thought, i’m really liking the subject matter that Chris chooses and the select and simple effects done that fit the music.

Young Friends+Depreciation Guild+Laurel

Posted by Jakub


The Young Friends are teens from Arizona, teens!!! like 17 and 18 years old! making surf / 50′s pop, that blows my mind. Okay now that i’m over that and feel like an old man i’m more than happy to have heard them since its the first record that oozes youth and summer flings like having a gusher for the first time. If you like it stream the LP here with a free MP3 and check them out in the video below.

Going from one young band to another The Depreciation Guild are on the other side of teen feelings, the more sentimental teens. The guitars sound like your favorite early 90s dream pop band that you thought might finally fill that void of Slowdive being done.

Ann Arbor, MI / Brooklyn’s Laurel Halo I think made a song that people might of wished what the new Knife album should have sounded like. With her vocals set in the background while she plays dreamy keys (she plays that part live! I saw it, very impressive) I can put this song on repeat day after day.

M.I.A. went for it, her new video is relentless, shocking and NSFW but that doesn’t make me stop loving this track, should be a huge summer hit at the rowdy outdoor rock parties.


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For Better or For Worse: $100 Bill design


In case you haven’t heard, a new $100 bill was recently unveiled and will be rolling out in early 2011. The good news is that the new bill will be flashy. It has been updated to include some new “3D” anti-counterfeiting features. The bad news is that the design suffered in doing so.

Maybe I’m expecting too much, but the new features that this bill has brought to the table aren’t doing it for me. The few techie “3D” color-shift features are cool but clearly look to be crammed alongside and over other elements in the design. If you look at an old $100 bill, you can see that the design has more of a structured layout from element to element. As hard as it is to say, the new design actually has a couple positive things going for it, but they still don’t outweigh the negatives.

The new design adds vibrant color which something that the old bill lacked. It seems to me that if such a vibrant color is added, it should only be in one location: either in the actual numbers or as the background of the entire bill. I do believe that the spot of color on the back of the bill (second image) is a nice accent when used with the larger ’100′ type but I can’t say the same for the color accent on the front.

With that said, it’s pretty clear that I’m skeptical about this design, but what do you think. Were these design changes for better or for worse?