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Archive for May, 2009

Dollar Redesign Project

Posted by Scott

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Some cool alternate takes on US currency over at The Dollar Redesign Project. I’ve always admired the more colorful, better designed currencies from places like the UK and Canada so it’s nice to see people apply those design ethics to the good old greenback. Honestly, anything is better than our new stuff with the pink and the huge heads, looking more and more generic by the day.

via @trashrockx

Muxtape

Posted by Alex

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Muxtape is a new platform for bands to create profiles and showcase their music. It was originally designed as a place for users to upload MP3 mixtapes (like Apple iMixes) of their favorite music. This didn’t fly with the RIAA, and Muxtape had to shutdown in August of 2008; the year’s “most heartbreaking death” according to Wired. Rather than spend all of eternity in a futile legal battle, creator Justin Ouellette decided to switch gears and develop a new Muxtape centered around original content.

I haven’t had a chance to use it myself (new bands can only be invited by participating bands), but I see great potential for Muxtape. As a musician, I am constantly frustrated by the chaotic mess that is Myspace. If it wasn’t a necessary evil in the pursuit of a successful music career, I would gladly never visit Myspace again. The possibility of a new (and aesthetically pleasing!) platform is definitely exciting.

The layout of each Muxtape page is very simple and works off a strict three column grid. This creates a pleasing consistency between pages, and still allows a band’s personality to come through with creative implementations of the grid (without crashing my browser *cough* Myspace). It will of course be very difficult to compete with the reach and popularity of Myspace, but I think the simplicity of Muxtape’s design might be refreshing enough to draw a substantial number of users away. Some may miss the social networking component, but I like how Muxtape puts the focus back on the music and doesn’t allow for as many unnecessary distractions. Good luck Muxtape!

(via Subtraction. Great Article Khoi!)

T Croose+City Center+PP+Nacho Patrol

Posted by Jakub

Tom Croose's Beirut edit
Today’s 4 picks might be my favorite in a while, all 4 tracks contain what I’d like to hear all summer while canoeing with friends, a road trip on a breezy tornado weather afternoon or maybe some pick up wiffle ball at McCarren Park.

Tom Croose set the pace on this edit he did of Beirut and with just a few additions the track becomes abit more head noddy. If you’re listening Zach Condon I truely think you should press this on a nice heavy weight 7 inch, with a spine sleeve, on a waxy satin stock and maybe some clear/slate grey marble vinyl, just a thought but i’m sure it’ll sell if you do it, count me in for 2 copies.

The small amount of City Center i’ve heard i’ve fallen in love with, he might instantly have noticeable hints of Animal Collective but without that need making it crazier than it needs to be. Fred Thomas pushes thru Bleed Blood giving us what exactly we want to hear for 6 and half minutes which are the underlaying field recording style vocals and distant surf guitar, echoed woodblocks, a woodsy atmosphere that sounds like its sucking itself inside itself and his entrancing serenade.

Read this in 2 years and i’m going to still have to say I really enjoy this song and i’m sticking to it by “Indietastic” Passion Pit. It has a familiar M83 elements to it but clearer and without the need of the synth taking over but pure good song writing for what it is which is an EPIC indie-electronic pop song.

Are you ready for this Nacho Patrol song? Legowelt aka Nacho Patrol just nailed a genre no one is covering which is the sound of 60′s Johnny Quest meets grainy psychedelic snake charming disco off the coast of an unknown island in South America. I mean come on! when I heard this on Tim Sweeney’s Beats In Space Radio I would of put money down that i’d never find this record because in my mind it was just some hard to find dirty 45 that was found magically at a Florida garage sale under a table sitting on the astroturf and nearly melted in the sun and reeking of some old women’s sun tan lotion.

Beirut – Venice (Tom Croose’s City Of Water edit)

City Center – Bleed Blood

Passion Pit – Moths Wing

Nacho Patrol – Africa Space Program

Tycho Live This Saturday – Tampa

Posted by Scott

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After a very early flight this morning I made it into Tampa, FL this afternoon. Loving the weather, hopefully it’s a little sunnier tomorrow though. I’m in town for the Back in Black 2 T-Shirt Exhibit which is going down this Saturday (May 16th) at Czar’s in Tampa (Ybor City). I’ll be playing a Tycho/ISO50 live set around midnight to cap the event off.

The event will feature special limited edition shirts from several artists including myself. You can check out all the shirts here, they’re only available through the end of the month so get yours while they last. The shirts can be had for $25 online and $20 at the event.

Click here for full event info

On a side note, I’d like to thank everyone or the kind comments in the 1000th post, it means a lot. Good luck with the giveaway!

1000th Post: Thank You + Giveaway

Posted by Scott

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Update: Congrats to the big winners: Luci (Lucizzle), Rob (norby), and Bill (serrano). You’ve all been contacted, let me know via the contact page if you don’t get the email.

Last night I hit the publish button on the Buamai post then glanced at the overall post count and noticed it read 999. So that would make this the 1000th post on the ISO50 Blog. Pretty amazing, I never would have guessed the number was that high. I am really good at missing milestones (birthdays, weddings, holidays, anniversaries, etc..) and somehow I missed it when the blog turned 1 year old. So I’m glad I caught this one, seems like a nice round number to celebrate.

I want to sincerely thank everyone who has visited, commented, and supported over the past few years. It’s been an incredible learning experience for me and I’ve really enjoyed hearing all of your thoughts on the various subjects we post on. I originally started the blog simply because I wanted an easier way to update the small news section that was on the old ISO50.com, but since then it’s grown far beyond that initial scope. I can’t say for sure what the next 1,000 will bring, but there are a lot more upgrades and features coming, along with all the usual posts and music, so stick around!

So now on to the festivities: Drop a line in the comments, then sign up for the RSS Feed or the Newsletter and you’ll be entered to win 3 shirts, 3 posters, and a CD of your choice from the ISO50 Shop (be sure to include an email so we can track you down if you win). If you’re already a subscriber, then just add a comment and you’re set. Two runners-up will get 1 shirt, 1 poster, and a CD. The winners will be chosen from the comments at random in a week (May 20th).

So again, thank you all for your support, it’s always appreciated. I also want to thank Jakub, Alex, Beamer, and Sam for all their great posts, you guys are always on point! And as always, I value your opinions so please feel free to take this as an opportunity to make any suggestions or maybe just list your all-time favorite post(s).

Update: Thanks everyone for the kind words! I’ve been on the road so been hard to get the drawing done, thanks for your patience. I will pick a winner today hopefully and get in touch.

Buamai

Posted by Scott

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Social image bookmarking sites are a dime a dozen these days (think ffffound, Dropular, and their ilk) but Buamai takes the concept to a new level. The brainchild of Michael Paul Young (co-creator of Youworkforthem), Buamai has thus far kept their contributor list closed — something I think is a must if you’re going to keep quality up. It seems that free-for-all sites’ content suffers incrementally as their user count rises. Buamai also has some novel sorting features along with the “Destoy” and “Mutate” options that make for some interesting modes of discovery. Here’s to hoping for an invitation. Buamai

Harlem Shakes+Deastro+Dino Jr+Tortiose

Posted by Jakub

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Do you ever feel like I post too much electronic music? do you ever look at my post and just past by it and put on The Decemberist on? well here is my attempt to make your ears smile.

This summer has alot of promise here in Brooklyn, i’m looking forward to a lot of bands to come thru and blow me away, one in particular is the Harlem Shakes, they maybe my New Villager or your Clap Your Hands Say Yeah or your friends Passion Pit, listen and let me know what you think.

Deastro will be playing a few shows i’m sure with Tycho this year besides just the Detroit and Toronto shows coming up. Randy Chabot is a great if not amazing stage presents when you first see him perform. His sound for Vermillion Plaza is like a young U2 meets the soundtrack to Sonic the Hedgehog(specifically that 3D tube level where you run with tails…blah you might not know what I mean). Either way this band has epic talent and their Moondagger LP will be one that will be remembered on Ghostly’s release catalog.

New Dinosaur Jr. is hitting the record store shelves and all I want to do is listen to Feel The Pain.

When Tortoise comes to mind all I can think about is 3 things: First is fatty synth magic and second is there drummer can’t be a real person and third I remember the first time I saw the drummer play for Prefuse 73 in Detroit years ago and he was soo on point that he literally played one of the most complex parts i’ve seen him play all night while directing, pointing and yelling at the sound guy to the point that playing the song was 3rd on his priority list but still killed it, pure talent in my opinion, oh yeah and the rest of the band is good too.

Harlem Shakes – Strictly Game

Deastro – Vermillion Plaza

Dinosaur Jr. – Feel The Pain

Tortoise – High Class Slim Came Floatin’ In

Dan McPharlin

Posted by Scott

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I’ve been following Dan McPharlin’s work for a few years now, ever since his miniature synthesizer models started showing up on Matrixsynth. I fell in love with his perfectly crafted, perfectly photographed (seriously, the photography is almost cooler than the work itself) paper music machines. But after being introduced to his graphic/illustration work he quickly became one of my favorite artists. His illustrations are very reminiscent of another favorite of mine, Roger Dean, and are evocative of that prog-rock driven 70′s sci-fi art scene that, when done right, is just downright incredible.

So it’s been great to see Dan’s work start popping up all over the place, like here, here (Prefuse 73 cover), and here (Jakub, you really should have know better!). Beyond the visual beauty of his work, it’s just great to see someone being creative with such a novel medium. He brings the mind and eye of a designer to a world previously reserved for 60-somethings hiding out in their basements building model railroads. To see him wrap all this up and successfully translate that future-past-that-never-was aesthetic into commercial projects is a good thing indeed.

You can check out more of Dan’s work at his flickr.

On a side note, he’s posted some shots of his home/work-space here. Are you kidding? Amazing. My house looks like it was built of scraps from a 19th-century Troller Boat that ran aground in front of a hippie commune. Seriously, parts of a boat were used in the construction of this house, I am sure of it. Anyways, I am disorganized at best, slovenly at worst and I don’t think I have the skill set to keep such a meticulously minimalist situation like that up for any length of time. If I win the lottery I will get one of those modernist prefabs and put it in front of this house. I’ll then carefully place completely unusable angular furniture and German-designed objects all around it. Finally I will place a single synthesizer with wooden endbells and an analog sequencer on a white table with a molded plywood chair in front of it. When people come over I will tell them that’s where I get all my work done and then I will sit them down at a walnut coffee table with various important looking design books stacked neatly on top of it and expound on typography theory and then chastise them for not understanding the difference between kerning and leading. After they leave I will go back to my real house and eat a sandwich in my basement and watch Adult Swim and then not clean up the plate for a week or so.