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A.M. Cassandre

Posted by Scott

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Adolphe Jean Édouard-Marie Mouron is one of my favorite commercial poster artists. Unfortunately, he went from running a successful advertising agency (Alliance Graphique who’s work includes the Yves St. Laurent logo), to losing it all and serving in the French army in World War II, to doing set design to get by, and finally suffering from depression and committing suicide in 1968. It’s very sad to think this was the fate of a man who contributed so much to design. You can find more information on Cassandre here and here.

Perhaps his most recognizable work, the Dubonet Wine poster is all but ubiquitous in vintage poster collections these days. This style of poster art is sort of a bittersweet thing for me. I really do love it, but once you start seeing something sold at Target it’s hard to take it seriously as art. I have a few old advertisement posters from this period around the house (all reproductions), but I really want to start focusing on later modernist stuff.

Images via Alki1

The Wake+Mr. Projectile+Leclair+Dntel

Posted by Jakub

thewakeDigging thru promos can really mess with your head because you just want to find those collection of songs right away that you’ll listen to forever. So what do you do when you don’t find anything? you go back to old favorites or good suggestions from friends and this song by The Wake was the latest recommendation from 800beloved’s frontman Sean Lynch. You can just tell 30 seconds into the song “Man, these guys were probably great but they were definitely overshadowed by The Cure”. Where do you think John Hughes was when this song came out? this is perfect for one of his teen heartbreak films.

IDM I always felt was just a few steps away from being for really big but the majority of the fan base didn’t like to share or support, its like they wanted to keep their precious music to themselves and make it more obscure and not go to the shows to keep the musicians going. Mr. Projectile might of had a gem on his hands when he put out his album Sinking which featured a vocal by a girl named Amy Turany who I thought might of done more work but it seems like this is the last thing she ever sang on.

Montreal has always had a forward thinking music scene, I remember going to the Mutek Festival years ago and seeing electronic vinyl shops thrive, that definitely put a smile on my face. One man Marc Leclair also known as Akufen put an outstanding record together called Musique Pour 3 Femmes Enceintes which I highly recommend.
For how cold it is in Montreal, I always pictured Marc making this song 236e Jour by a window and he just felt the first perfect weather day of the year where the breeze is heavy and every window needs to be opened.

Grizzly Bear and Dntel on the same track, oh its a music bloggers dream to share with friends that come and visit. I really like the catchiness of this song after the breakdown, Dntel did such good work with the builds and sequencing of the 6+ min track. I couldn’t think of better voices to accompany his music than Grizzly Bear, yes even better than Mr. Gibbard in my opinion.

The Wake – All I Asked You to Do

Mr. Projectile – You Need

Marc Leclair – 236e Jour

Dntel – To A Fault

MBW / MLK

Posted by Scott

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Whatever your politics, we’ve got a big week going on here in the States. Thought I’d post these shots of Mr. Brain Wash’s MLK poster series. Bonus: A couple nice MBW takes on Robert Indiana’s iconic LOVE series stamps.

If you’ve got the day off, enjoy it! If you’re in San Francisco, go outside! It’s way too hot here to be January. Images via Tourist of Life

Manifest Hope Gallery Pics

Posted by Scott

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Apparently the Manifest Hope DC show was a big success with a great turnout. Theodor3 posted the pic above on flickr and Piecemaker has some up as well. Unfortunately, I don’t have any personal shots of the print as I didn’t get a chance to grab any before the framed version went out. The print sold so maybe the purchaser or someone else with shots from the show could send a full size head on of it. Notcot also has a lot of great shots from the show here and here. Thanks to everyone who came out and supported, wish I could have been there to see it for myself!

Jelinek+Christ+Circlesquare+E.F.A.

Posted by Jakub

jelinekJan Jelinek does many different styles of minimal electronic music, some under this moniker and also Farben. In 2001 “Loop-Finding-Jazz-Records” came out on Germany’s ~scape label which has artists like Portable, Pole, Deadbeat, etc. The record has so much detail yet sounds like its really small as if you could put it in the palm of your hand, It’s like peeking in and looking at all the gears that run an old expensive pocket watch. You can hear all these thousands of little pieces working away by turning and hissing. If you like “Do Dekor” then the whole album is worth picking up.

Christ. is unbelievable, this song is pretty much a well timed synth solo that is full of character, the synth has this muted oboe sound to it but maybe the reed is cracked, I know that might sound crappy but there’s plenty of charm all the way thru.

Vancouver’s Circlesquare has his own sound because of slow tempo that he makes all his music in and his singing style. This ends up being a great chance for him to get his name dropped when explaining music since I use it all the time when trying to explain a sound that is a little more then just dark, slow and lush. The breakdown at 2:42 and on is remarkable in my opinion, I know its super simple but perfectly written to bring back a song that might of not grabbed you right from the beginning.

*really quick side note: I wish you could all hear how loud the tuba music is downstairs from me while I try to write about Jelinek, Christ., and Circlesquare, its something to experience, I know I play music loud but the guy below me LOOOOVES tubas on a level that I can’t touch as a fellow music lover. Okay, back to this post…

It’s hard to know who’s going to be the next Broken Social Scene, Fleet Foxes, or any big indie folk act since there everywhere. My face sometimes feels so naked during a show since i’m the only one without a beard but i’m there for the music and also lets be honest the kind ladies that make it out to these shows. One band I want to see is Elm From Arm they just sound fun and have that Broken Social Scene build to their songs but with half the band members.

Circlesquare – Fight Sounds Part. 1 video


Circlesquare – Fight Sounds Pt.1 from Bienvenido Cruz on Vimeo.

Jan Jelinek – Do Dekor

Christ. – Pylonesque

Circlesquare – Fight Sounds Part 1

Elm From Arm – Windstar

Hundertwasser Architecture Models

Posted by Scott

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My dad was a civil engineer so he would sometimes bring home project models and I loved to play around with them, but most were your basic hotel mock-ups and the like. It’s probably for the best though, if he had brought home anything like the examples above my head would have exploded. These are simply amazing. I want these under a plexi-glass bubble in the middle of my living room. Apparently they were taken from Taschen’s “Hundertwasser Architecture: For a more human architecture in harmony with nature” book. I found the pics on Doctor Casino’s flickr page where there are more details. Link

Razer Death Adder Mouse

Posted by Scott

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So I was at Best Buy the other day and I happened upon the mouse isle. I wasn’t really searching for a new mouse so much as an alternative input device (more on that later) but I remembered a few of you had recommended the Razer mice in the comments of the design mouse round-up so I thought I’d give them a shot. I played around with both the higher-priced “Lachesis” model and the “Death-Adder” (yes, only “gaming-grade” products are allowed to have names this bad). The Death-Adder felt the best in my hand so I focused in on that one. After playing around with it for a little while I liked it enough to pick one up. I think it was around $60, not cheap, but certainly not as bad as some of the Logitechs which can push the $100 mark.

Once I got it home the first thing I noticed was how light it was compared to my old Logitech which I had weighted with some quarters. I don’t know how I missed that at the shop but I was starting to think it was a deal breaker, I really like heavy mice. But as I used it I started to realize that the extreme precision of the Death-Adder more than compensated for it’s lightness. I think before I needed the weight to make up for how imprecise the Logitechs can be, in this case there was no need. The Adder floats effortlessly across my desk surface and the resolution is incredible. What I really love about this thing is the width, I don’t have to cramp my hand to hold on to it, it fills out the palm nicely.

It’s really a small issue, but this thing looks really cheap. The industrial design department over at Razer Inc. must be comprised solely of 15 year old FPS enthusiasts because this thing is damn ugly (I know it doesn’t look so bad in that pic up top, but you have to see it in person to truly appreciate it’s tackiness). And to top it off, it has a glowing blue thing in the middle of it that looks like some sort of tribal tattoo from 1998. And no jokes, it actually pulsates! WOW….I can just imagine that design meeting… Designer: “Hey, how about we take the ugliest, most tacky part of the design and then draw as much attention to it as possible by mounting a blue light underneath!” Product Manager: “Make the light pulsate and you’ve got yourself a deal.” Overall, the materials look pretty chintzy too but I guess I don’t mind since they seem to have spent the cash they saved on making this thing look good on making it work better.

As for real issues, I definitely miss Logitech’s Micro-Gear wheel and there are only two extra buttons on this thing, back and forward. Other than that, it’s definitely a winner, I certainly prefer it to my Logitechs at this point and I’ve only been using it for a couple days. They have several models to choose from, some with more buttons/features I’m sure but since their site doesn’t have an index it was really hard to see all the mice and compare them at a glance. I would give you a link to the website, but that too seems to have been developed by high school students so I’ll spare you. Seriously Razer, I know your demo is gamer kids, but that doesn’t mean your site has to be completely non-functional.

New Villager+Seefeel+Willits+MF Doom

Posted by Jakub

New Villager - Rich DoorsYou had your fill on MGMT, Passion Pit, and Crystal Stilts or Castles in 2008 but its 2009 and you need that next big underdog party jam to get your friends to the bars and excited again. New Villager’s Rich Doors is exactly that track, the catchy hand claps with big stomps just scream out for your attention. All this week I’ve been saying the lyrics over and over in my head and out loud: “You got the right sound rich enough to take them down, your breakin’ new doors whatcha you think you lookin’ for!”.

I’m not going to lie but when friends early on in my music collecting career tried to play me Seefeel to get me to like it, I wasn’t really feeling it. I’m guessing they always played me the wrong song because I never bought a record once by them, even the Warp Records releases. This song from the Starethrough EP has me all the way though with its hypnotic vocals and rhythm, which leads me to where some of the Gang Gang Dance and OOIOO sound comes from.

I remember buying my first Christopher Willits songs that were on a compilation called E • A • D • G • B • E which had some minimal guitar sounds that i’ve never experienced. Here’s a guy that plays guitar daily like millions of people and it took this long to have someone make recordings this pretty and different sounding?

MF Doom over some strings and horns will never fail once and Ghostface being in the song doesn’t hurt the cause either. I picture this song “Angels” as the backdrop of a 50′s rainforest themed restaurant that offered ballroom dancing in the evenings(maybe i’m thinking of Casablanca?) but i’m sure it was used for Charlie’s Angels in some way, right?

New Villager – Rich Doors

Seefeel – Starethrough

Christopher Willits – Or With The Tea

MF Doom – Angels