Saturday, January 31, 2009

cookie monster cupcakes

Today I've seen this on both FFFFOUND! (an image bookmarking site) AND It's Nice That (where it was tumbled upon), so naturally it's worthy of recognition on this here blog.
So without further delay I present: Cookie Monster cupcakes.
Favourite childhood treat meets favourite childhood character= one awesome dessert.
I'm going to try and make these one day. Hopefully it's not that hard.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Big Time Waster and Oh so Fun!

Anyone who knows me knows I love procrastinating. It's pretty much my full time job. I have developed a talent, finding endless ways besides the usual to do so. One such way is making your very own Jackson Pollock paintings from .
Here's a beauty I made while procrastinating this blog post.
Lovely isn't it? So if you're looking for something fun to do... this may be your best bet.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

2009 Looking Good

It's the fourth week of 2009 and we've already seen releases from such awesome artists as: A.C. Newman (of the New Pornographers), ANDREW BIRD (more about that sometime soon), Animal Collective, Antony and the Johnsons, and Bon Iver. So far these albums have all been pretttttty good. This leaves me with one theory, 2009 is going to be an awesome year for music.

What follows is a list of some artists with expected releases coming to a record store that I am particularly excited for click here for a larger list off of, that I have used to supplement my own knowledge of SOME upcoming releases (mainly consisting of the alternative/indie-whatsit genre)

FEB 02 - Ben Kweller - Changing Horses
FEB 17 - Beirut - March of the Zapotec (double EP)
MAR 10 - Bell Orchestre - As Seen Through Windows
MAR 16 - Pete Doherty - Grace/Wastelands
MAR 24 - The Decemberists - The Hazards of Love
MAR 31 - Great Lake Swimmers - Lost Channels
MAR 31 - Peter, Bjorn & John - Living Thing
APR 14- Metric - Fantasies

Phoenix - Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix
Patrick Wolf - Battle
Silversun Pickups - Swoon
Yeah Yeah Yeahs - It's Blitz
Maxïmo Park - Rollerdisco Of Dreams (working title)
Kings of Convenience - (title TBA)
Muse - (title TBA)
The Strokes - (title TBA)
The White Stripes - (title TBA)
Wilco - (title TBA)
The Flaming Lips - (title TBA)
Sufjan Stevens - (title TBA)
Arctic Monkeys - (title TBA)
The Wombats - (title TBA)
The National - (title TBA)
Shout Out Louds - (title TBA)
The Shins - (title TBA)
Modest Mouse - (title TBA)
Broken Social Scene - (title TBA)
Ted Leo and The Pharmacists - (title TBA)
The Arcade Fire - (title TBA)
Klaxons - (title TBA)

The aforementioned journal entry I found this list on also states rumours of... wait for it.... wait for it Jeff Mangum / Neutral Milk Hotel WHAT?! HOW?! Man... if that turns out to be true, well that's just plain HISTORIC.

All I can say is... WOW. This year could totally beat '07 for awesome releases of bands I know and love. I mean, 2008 was a fairly good year for music, but most of the releasing came from new bands (think Bon Iver, Fleet Foxes, MGMT, The Dodo's, Plants and Animals, etc.), it was a year of discovery. If new bands keep it up, and the bands listed put out some awesome albums... then... even making a top 100 releases of 2009 could be difficult.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Learning to Love you More

So... I wouldn't call myself a fan exactly because I am not such a huge follower but I'm always impressed with the work of Miranda July. She wrote, directed, and starred in the movie You, Me and Everyone We Know which is fantastic. She has also published a book, and done several performance/video/web projects that have appeared in the Museum of Modern Art,and the Guggenheim.
Today I came across something that reminded me of one of her newer projects called Learning to Love you More. This project is on the web and anyone can participate the website states:
Learning to Love You More is both a web site and series of non-web presentations comprised of work made by the general public in response to assignments given by artists Miranda July and Harrell Fletcher. Yuri Ono designs and manages the web site.
Participants accept an assignment, complete it by following the simple but specific instructions, send in the required report (photograph, text, video, etc), and see their work posted on-line. Like a recipe, meditation practice, or familiar song, the prescriptive nature of these assignments is intended to guide people towards their own experience.
Brian McGovern- Assignment #10: Make A Flier of Your Day

It's kind of like a post secret but with different tasks that range from personal, simple, humourous, and kind. Examples of tasks include: grow a garden in an unexpected place, braid someone's hair, heal yourself, Photograph a significant outfit, make an encouraging banner, make a flier of your day. It's fun to look through what people have sent in. I think it's a pretty cool project, so check it out.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Mike Perry

So... sometimes designers are so great I find myself frequenting their websites only to find nothing new because, well HECK, projects take a long time (that's why I like blogs, CONSTANT updates). One such designer is Mike Perry from Brooklyn NY. He is part of an art/design collective called YouWorkForThem . YouWorkForThem is "an award-winning group of artists that produce some of the most groundbreaking design work available today" featuring some of my other favourite designers.
Anyhow, I was recently very pleased to discover Mike Perry had redesigned his entire website and added new content. The website itself is now cleaner than before, but it is harder to see his work, you need to get PDF's to see properly. Regardless, his stuff is wicked so you should check it out.
I was shocked to find that there is no Wikipedia article on him (well, not one I could find) because he has done work with New York Times Magazine, Dwell Magazine, Microsoft Zune, Urban Outfitters, eMusic, and Zoo York. He has also published two books called Over and Over (a book of hand made designs and patterns and features Travis Stearns another designer I have posted about), Hand-Job (a book of hand drawn typefaces), and has started a magazine called Untitled. You can see he's a pretty busy guy, so the Wikipedia absence is still confusing me.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Bands I sometimes forget exist but are AWESOME- #1 The Delgados

Ok... so there are some bands that are dinosaurs. They have been around forever, and in my itunes since... well, since I've HAD itunes. So I'm going to do a series of posts every once in a while about bands that aren't brand new, but are classic that should keep getting attention even if they've been around a few decades. After all, this is the music that our (my) favourite musicians have maybe listened to or been influenced by.
I was reminded by house-mate Andrew about one such band. He also told me to blog about their awesomeness. That band is The Delgados. They hail from Scotland and formed in 1994. They were making good music before I knew how to do simple math (ok, that's not true I could add and subtract a little) and disbanded in 2005 before I discovered them in 2006. It's a pity. Lead female vocalist Emma Pollock started a solo career which is super and you should check out as well.

The Delgados have a very dynamic sound that varies song to song, yet they still remain consistent. From the layered mellow sounds of 'Clarinet' off of 1998's Peloton, to the more traditional indie-rock 'Accused of Stealing' off of 2000's The Great Eastern, and the baroque-pop soaring melodies of 'The Light Before We Land' off of 2002's Hate, The Delgados have done it all.
So if you appreciate variety, originality, and good music in general I strongly recommend checking these guys out.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Bon Iver's Blood Bank

Ohhhhh dear. Bon Iver's much awaited followup to For Emma Forever Ago arrived this past Tuesday.

Blood Bank is 4 tracks of SOLID GOLD. The only real problem is, it's not enough. Though I've only listened to it a few times I know it's bound to be played as much as For Emma was this past year. For those of you who don't know Bon Iver's music it's kind of across between older Iron and Wine's guitar stylings and a falsetto voice comparable to a raspier Ben Gibbard meets Elliott Smith living in the higher octaves (best analogy I can think of). Anyhow, if you haven't heard Bon Iver, you probably will. It's only a matter of time before the surrounding hype explodes onto radios and TV shows everywhere.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

The Best 25 Bands to Dance to

So, as MANY of you know, tonight is the legendary MIT inappropriate office party. In honour of this function I have put together a list of bands (along with recommended songs) that you may not think to dance to or may not even know about, and unless you go to beat connection, or shake appeal you probably never hear in bars.
So without further delay, here is my list:
  1. Animal Collective- their hyper sound on Winter Wonderland would make anyone get out of their chair
  2. Arcade Fire- Keep the Car running moves quickly and has a catchy chorus
  3. Bloc Party- Helicopter and Banquet are my personal favourites.
  4. Born Ruffians- Where to start? This Sentence, Hummingbird, Foxes Mate for Life, Born Ruffians are one of the funnest bands out there, and Canadian!
  5. Broken Social Scene- It's all Going to break is a really epic song if the crowd knows it... Major Label Debut (FAST) has become one of my top songs to dance to.
  6. Clap Your Hands Say Yeah!- Such a unique sound... Is This Love? and Satan said Dance are definitely key
  7. Crystal Castles- Even if you don't know it, you've probably heard Crystal Castles. From Toronto, in 2008 they quickly became a sensation Worldwide. Try Crimewave, Alice Practise, of Magic Spells
  8. The Cure- a cult classic band, Close to Me, Pictures of You, and Friday I'm in Love are favourites at retro nights everywhere
  9. Cut Copy- Getting more and more publicity for their electropop/danckpunk altogether wonderful 80's style synth sounds they are GREAT. Check out Feel the Love, Hearts on Fire, Lights and Music
  10. Digitalism- Because you can't NOT dance to Pogo
  11. Dragonette- This one may be more for a girls night... Dragonette are fantastic and breaking out, Competition and I Get Around is sure to make for a good time.
  12. Girl Talk- The master of Mashups, with Girl talk everyone will know something. Bounce that, Overtime, Too Deep... I could go on, all of them are amazing.
  13. Holy F***- If you didn't catch them at LOLA fest 2008, well, maybe you shouldn't listen to them, there will only be regret. Lovely Allen and Milkshake are Boss.

  14. The Hood Internet- One of my BEST discoveries ever. Hoodinternet is all free mashups between indie gems and rap/ hip-hop favs. Absorb the Lipgloss (Lil Mama Vs. Marnie Stern), Snatch Da Crystal Cat Back (Khia Vs Dan Deacon), Can You Hear My Kids Now (Lil Kim VS MGMT), and sooo many more will be enough to addict you for life.
  15. Hot Chip- Ready For the Floor, and Over and Over are prime songs for this indie-dance-techno band
  16. Klaxons- Golden Scans, and It's Not Over Yet will leave you begging for more
  17. Los Campensinos!- The exclamation mark says it all. Try You! Me! Dancing! for a good time
  18. The Lovely Feathers- A favourite for my friends, Rome is in the Valley could probably be called our anthem.
  19. Matt and Kim- Dash after Dash and Yeah Yea call for high kicks.
  20. MGMT- No list is complete without MGMT. Electric Feel, Kids, and Time To Pretend were some of the best dongs of 2008. If you don't know them... where have you been?
  21. Muse- No playlist is complete without Knights of Cydonia, or Starlight
  22. Of Montreal- There is no band today quite as psychedelic as Of Montreal. Requiem for O.M.M.2, Grolondic Edit, and so many more are perfect additions to any party

  23. Ratatat- Loud Pipes, Seventeen Years, and Swisha have no lyrics but they will be sure to get toes tapping
  24. Shapes and Sizes- Head Movin', Alone/Alive, and Boy You Shouldn't Have will require a lot of energy for a lot of awesome beats
  25. Wolf Parade- Dear Sons and Daughters, and Grounds for Divorce are welcome additions to any tracklist.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

How much do you REALLY know?

As a student of Media, Information and Technoculture (well ok, I'm an MTP'er but same thing really) I like to think I know a fair amount about how the media works. We can talk all we want about how the system is flawed; awareness is a huge part of change, but how will change come about? One such issue is news report biasing on major networks. Fox Network is a prime example of this bias as seen in "OUTFOXED: Rupert Murdoch's War on Journalism" .
The main problem with the current system is hegemony, people aren't aware that they are being fed propaganda. The machine has become so clever, and so commonplace that viewers don't even question what they are seen and told. In the case of Fox it is Rupert Murdoch's Conservative, rightist views that control his empire.
In the documentary it is evident that employees are encouraged to debase anything that is not pro-republican. Fox can do this because the fairness doctrine no longer exists in America, so they don’t need to show each major political party equally. This may not be such a big deal if one company is doing it, but when one company owns about one fifth of the media in one of the largest and most powerful countries in the world, this becomes problematic. This is even more problematic when the given source of information claims to be ‘fair and balanced’ or says ‘we report, you decide’ while covering a major election (even though leading up to it they would say things like ‘only 204 days left… until President Bush is re-elected’. No, that’s not suggestive at ALL).
So the question remains… can there really be a media source that is fair and balanced with this monopoly of media? For now, it seems, the fate of your views hang in a delicate balance, dominated by five massive conglomerates. However, there are more and more people realizing this problem and taking action by starting alternative news sources. Maybe you should just catch up on your blogs, there are plenty out there with several view points. It may be a little harder than turning to channel 34 to catch your daily dose of Fox, but it will be worth it.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Maybe TOO inspiring...

So... here I am looking at an article entitled '50 Inspiring Vintage Advertisements' on Well Medicated, a design blog when I realise something... THIS LOOKS ODDLY FAMILIAR. Maybe it's the assortment of colours, maybe it's the montage of images, maybe its the helvetica... but this is very reminiscent of every Western Girl's favourite store: American Apparel.
So... perhaps these vintage ads are TOO inspiring. Maybe everything has been done. If one of the alleged 'most original' stores (...) of our time is going back in time, maybe we are too. Maybe we need to rethink where design is headed (back to the design revolution of the 1960's?). Maybe we just need something so fresh that we can't go back in time. I mean those ads were great for the time period! Think of how inventive it would be in a time where graphic design is an emerging occupation. The originality and cleanliness of this style would SHOCK (think mad men and the VW ad for those that watch) and REVOLUTIONIZE the whole industry.
So... why can't we have that kind of innovation today? Is it not possible?

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Merriweather Post Pavillion

It's that time of year again. There's a new Animal Collective CD out. Ok, so it's actually been quite a while since they release Strawberry Jam in September 2007. Still, in nine years they have released eight albums each one more anticipated and eagerly awaited than the prior. In the certain circles (think... pitchfork) the build up to a new Animal Collective album release is like the build up to that of Obama's inauguration (ok, well maybe thats a BIT of an exaggeration, but you get it). January 20th 2009 marks the release of Merriweather Post Pavillion, Animal Collective's ninth studio release. This album is one that does not disappoint. It's psychedelic, experimental, clean but noisy at the same time. It's poetic, ridiculous, nonsensical and absolutely stunning.

They're one of the most original bands out there; they practically have their own genre. With Merriweather Post Pavilion it's as though Animal Collective has perfected Animal Collective. After eight albums they've experimented so much that they now know exactly what works without losing any of their unique sound. It's by far their most accessible record yet, the songs are all epic within themselves but don't go on too long (which for me personally was somewhat of a deterrent for oh say Hollinndagin). For anyone who has wanted to start listening to Animal Collective but not known where to start THIS IS YOUR OPPORTUNITY.

There are 11 tracks on the album that range from the poetic, even romantic soaring and melodic sounds of Bluish or Summertime Clothes (one of my favourites) to the hyper chanting choruses and various juxtaposes layers of sound characteristic of Animal Collective in Brother Sport. My Girls seems to be the main contender for favourite song ( over 15 000 and counting listens on and the cd is being released on January 20th).

Merriweather Post Pavilion is sure to be one of the best albums in 2009 and may very well be the album Animal Collective is remembered for. So check it out, you won't regret it. It's new, it's great, and it's the freshest thing I've heard in a while.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Shutter Speed Rant

Everyone has seen it. It's like some kind of unwritten law that when photographing nature, you HAVE to use a slow shutter speed to capture the beauty. I think there is a right and wrong way to go about this. Sure sometimes you can get really cool photographs but other times, well it's just so COMMON. I mean, slow shutter speeds
and water are SO overdone. Sometimes they can be cool, but other times the calm glass looking surfaces of waterfalls can be strange looking... waterfalls are VICIOUS, rapid, moving bodies of water. There really is nothing calm about them.
So please, photographers, use your speed sparingly. There is nothing wrong with experimenting, but remember there is also nothing new about moving water being blurred together.

Below are some examples of slow shutter speeds and subject matter.

I like this one, look at the sun rays coming through the tops of the trees.

Google waterfall, I guarantee you half of the 'professional' caliber photos will use slow shutter speeds to have an effect like this one.

The water looks so freakishly serene.

Photos from Gabriel Escobar on Photography Served

Thursday, January 15, 2009


So... I found this guy quite a while ago. I really like most of his stuff so I decided to post it here. He is Travis Stearns and he's done work for: Threadless, D&G, and Nylon magazine among a lot more companies etc.
HE experiments with different kinds of design which I think is really cool. I like his mixes of photos, drawings, fonts, and styles.

These are just a few of his images so check other ones out on the behance network.
He has some good typography, collaging, and seems to appreciate skateboarding. It's interesting how much you can tell about a person by their art. See if you can figure more out...

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Where is Your Bike?

The title of this here blog is a tribute to my German neighbour. Anytime I leave the house of foot and he sees me I get "Where is your biiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiike? Why don't you biiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiike?". So here's to him.

I think it would be neat to be in a bike gang. Just riding up and down the streets so badass on the most d.i.y. vehicle since the foot. There is a chance I'll go on a bike trip with some friends this summer. It would be fun, adventurous, relatively inexpensive. We'll see.
I found that image on ffffound!(a really cool image blog) but originally it was from Fecal Face which really covers everything awesome ever. It's quite extensive and time consuming. You can really loose track of time looking at all the features. Check it out. I'll be posting relevant content I find neat from there a lot I think.