Friday, October 31, 2008

Thank God it’s Friday’s song of the day

Oh my God this day. This week, actually.


Allow me to present, for your listening pleasure, the Virgins, with “Rich Girls,” while I simultaneously apologize for this lame post.

Good song, though.

Happy Halloween.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Sincere flattery

Two-sentence review: the World Series

America loves an underdog, and even though the worst-to-first Rays were exactly that—Vegas’s favoring them to win the series notwithstanding—this match-up struggled to excite viewers, the Rays’ Kingdome-ish Tropicana Field shrugged off any sense of drama (those first two games felt like mid-season reruns) and the game 5 rain-delay simply gave Americans more reason to move on to the next thing. Least classic Fall Classic ever.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Straight and to the point

I’ve written a fair amount of negative commentary about and their headlines, but I don’t mind this one, other than I think they’re being a bit harsh on their subject.

Plus, I think it would work almost as well for a story in the Onion.

And though I’m opposed to the practice, you can’t deny this is a news headline worthy of putting on a T-shirt.

Here's the story.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Thank God it’s Friday’s song of the day

Sorry, folks. I’ve been negligent.

Lucky for me—and you—Brian is happy to keep my inbox stocked with suggestions for song of the day. His offering for this week: Oldfolks Home.

Brian says:

I was lured in by the post-rock style opening; then at about a minute in they start with the electro beats. The vocals are sweet and yet somehow haunting at the same time. Plus, props to a band that can make me want to listen to a 5-minute song about someone complaining about the poor customer service of a computer hardware company.

‘Nuff said. Here’s “I Hate Dell” by Oldfolks Home:

Thanks for saving the blog, Brian.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

How close is too close?

Earlier this month a new store opened in Manhattan’s West Village. The Village Pet Store and Charcoal Grill is largely what its name implies: a combo pet store and eatery.

Well not exactly.

More accurately, the “store” is an art installation from graffiti/street artist Banksy. Not that you’d know it. His name isn’t anywhere on the place and none of the ingenious and stunning animatronic displays resemble his two-dimensional works.

Inside the “store” you’ll find a rabbit grooming itself in front of a small vanity, hot dogs and other sausages squirming in display cases (located beneath their wrapped and packaged brethren) and a hen overseeing her little chicken nuggets (beneath a brazier menu).

If having animals for sale in two versions—live and/or processed—in one convenient place sounds a bit unsettling, well, it kinda is. It’s also a mental delight to see fish sticks swimming—actually swimming!—in a fish bowl.

But it’s not all fun and games. Banksy, ever the social commentarian, is asking us to question our interactions with animals.

This is definitely one of those experiences that makes you glad to live in New York.

It’s open from now until October 31st.

See more cool pics here.

Yeah, that's how you do it

It’s not uncommon to create something as a tribute to a lost loved one. Poems, paintings, statues, songs…. So what if you’re not artistic? This is your mother we're talking about. Throw some gang-ish adhesive letters onto the back window of your ride in her honor. Now that’s a fitting tribute.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Thank God it’s Friday’s song of the day

Prior to about 20 minutes ago neither you or I knew who the Everybodyfields were. I've remedied that situation for myself and am about to do it for you, too.

I still don’t know much about them other than their latest release, Nothing Is Okay (on the same label as the Avett Brothers), is more than okay, given the tracks I’ve heard.

Recommended for anyone who misses Whiskeytown.

Check out “Aeroplane,” and have a nice weekend.

Thursday, October 16, 2008


I'm in Washington DC for work and am not going to get around to any real blogging this week.

On the plus side, I've now successfully updated the blog from my BlackBerry.

So there's that.

Monday, October 13, 2008

More Nike goodness

In case you didn’t see this new Nike spot that aired during yesterday’s NFL games…

I get the point raised by Make The Logo Bigger—that it might just as well be a spot for the NFL Network or even the NFL itself—but I don’t see how it would make sense for either of those brands to show the lifespan (to date) of these players. For Nike football, it makes sense.

One anonymous (of course) commenter on Scamp wrote that he/she/it was “waiting for Nike to do something truely [sic] different.” This comment, in my not-very-humble opinion, is an unintelligent load of crap.

If you’re the brand that does this kind of work, that has the consumers’ permission (expectation?) to do it, and doing so makes sense for your brand, you don’t switch to something else just to be different. Different is what everyone else gets to do.

And it kills them that they can’t do what you do.

Friday, October 10, 2008

I don't know how many nails this coffin needs...

... But here's another one.

Incidentally I'd also argue Palin abused her power in forcing her teenage daughter to marry that teenage guy.

Thank God it’s Friday’s song of the day

Vivian Girls is a three-piece rock act from Brooklyn. Their myspace descriptor is “punk/shoegaze/surf.” I say it’s totally lo-fi indie “rehearsal-space” rock. (I just coined that term; use it immediately and everywhere).

Their self-titled album came out on vinyl in March and received a lot of buzz (not all of it good). One online reviewer wrote:

With a penchant for romanticism, Cassie, Katy, and Ali have put out an album that is loaded with songs of love and of chasing after Mr. Right that are packed with hard hitting riffs, steady drumming, and just the right amount of vocal harmonies.

Basically they don’t try to do too much with it.

Here’s the somewhat surfy, kinda shoegazey and totally reverby “Where Do You Run To” by Vivian Girls:

The transient meaning of Obama art

Darryl over at Brand Flakes For Breakfast posed a compelling question today, namely, “What happens to Obama art if he wins?”

Darryl writes:

If he loses the election, his art will live on as a remembrance of what could have been. Hope that didn't manifest itself. The art would retain all of the emotional value that it holds today.

But what if he wins? Six months, twelve months into his term - will people still view his artwork as the inspiration that it is today? JFK crossed into the pop culture icon territory. While he was President. Families proudly hung his photo in their homes.

So...if you're hanging a Hope poster in your apartment today, would it still hang a year from now if Obama is President? Is it possible for a President to cross over to pop culture icon...again?

I had a similar thought while considering the purchase of an Obama T-shirt the other day. The shipping was 6 – 8 weeks, and with the election only 4 weeks away it seemed I’d missed the window of opportunity to show my support for the candidate (via my torso, anyway).

Is there a point to wearing an Obama shirt after early November?

If he loses (heaven forbid), wearing an Obama shirt would would be a symbol of undying idealism; an inability to reconcile hope with reality. If he wins, it would be like saying “I told you so.” I fear I’d despise myself the way I despise those sports fans who wear their team hat and jacket the day after the big victory.

Do these make the same statement?*

* Besides "Ryan Philippe seems like a bit of a prick"?

Thursday, October 9, 2008

MAD about design

Pentagram has done so much great design work—and makes so much of it look so simple and easy—one can forget how difficult and rare great design is.

I love the stuff they’ve done for the brand new Museum of Arts and Design, located in Manhattan’s Columbus Circle. I've been seeing it around town and I find it very eye-catching.

Here’s a series of sketches done by Pentagram's Michael Beirut as well as some produced pieces.

Read the story behind the work and see tons and tons of examples (a pretty astonishing amount of work) here.

Learn more about MAD at their website.

And if you’re into this stuff, I recommend Michael Beirut’s Seventy-nine Short Essays on Design. (Interestingly, the book weighs more than you’d think, a detail that adds a certain something to the experience. These guys think of everything.)

A cure for what ails ya

Hey there, partner.

Are you feeling bored? Do you have a hankering some entertainment but are too tired to go searching for it yourself? Are you also feeling a little negative about the world?

Then Vice Magazine’s “DOs and DON’Ts” is for you!

Check out this awesome Don’t (click for larger, web newbie):

Of course, the real entertainment value is in the vicious captions.

Here’s the link to a whole batch o’ fun (may not be safe for work).

(True, this is far from a new phenomenon, but I had kinda forgotten about it. This month’s D&Ds are exceptionally good.)

There goes the afternoon!

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Don’t do what everyone else does

So many car commercials are essentially the same. Show the car. Show someone driving it. Show it hugging the curves. Show the interior. Show the logo. And use music and visual styling try to differentiate it from other car commercials.

Some advertisers avoid this, and those can be great spots.

The latest Hummer spot, for the HT3, works well because it makes the vehicle almost an afterthought, but sells the thing at the same time.

It reminds me of a cross between Volkswagen’s “Pink Moon” spot and Nike’s “Before” spot. (Maybe even a bit of Nike’s “Move” as well.)

I don’t see the need for the Braveheart tie-in, though. It takes the spot from inspirational to embarrassing and makes me feel dumb.

Ah, so close.

Via Make The Logo Bigger.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Race for the cure (of a different sort)

Seth Gaffney is a strategic planner at Weiden + Kennedy New York. He’s also a blogger, a runner and a Barack Obama supporter. While doing a training run in preparation for the New York Marathon he started thinking about how he might use the race—which will happen two days before Election Day—as a forum for a pro-Obama (Probama?) statement.

He shared this desire with his friend Clay and the germ of an idea began to grow. (Here’s the GChat snippet.)

What they’ve ended up with—not even two weeks later—is Obama Baton.

The idea is pretty clear: runners who are involved will pass a relay baton during the marathon, with the culmination—the baton crossing the finish line—as a sign of their commitment to inspire action and change.

Seth and crew have taken the very simple notion of a marathon and have added a motivated community to create something that’s really impressive. They’ve got a website (of course), a Facebook group, a Twitter account, logos, batons for the race… And they've expanded it to include the Chicago marathon, too.

Their energy for the idea is really something. And I bet not one ounce of it seems like work.

Feeling inspired yet?

Read all about it on Seth's blog.

Monday, October 6, 2008

But will it help me find Electric Avenue?

Word Magazine (I won’t pretend to be worldly enough to know it) has created a cool Google Maps mash-up that matches iconic album covers with the locations where they were photographed.

Pretty cool if, say, you ever wanted to wander down to the corner on the cover of the Beastie Boys’ Paul’s Boutique.

Play around with it here.

Via Brand Flakes For Breakfast.

Make it scarier than it is!

The Dow’s free fall is so awful it has this floor trader gasping in horror!

Oh wait. After further review, it seems he’s just covering the microphone on his headset so he can be heard.

Ha, ha. Good ol’, you guys got me again!

Friday, October 3, 2008

Thank God it’s Friday’s song of the day

A few weeks ago I had the chance to see Meiko, a singer songwriter from LA, perform at a small club in Manhattan. Meiko is funny, quirky and sexy (in a way that reminds me a bit of Liz Phair, though not quite so dirty). Her music can be a little over-simple for my taste, but whatever, I’m an ass sometimes.

At the show, she played an unreleased song called “You and Onions.” Daytrotter had her in for an interview and some live performances and she played the song again. Here she is with the story behind the tune:

“My friend was in film school and had to write and direct a short film. She had this great idea—a story to be about a guy who gets off work, buys a hot dog from a stand and gets really sick. He passes out, and it goes into a dream sequence where this gigantic hot dog girl is waking him up, and they fall in love. I offered to play the hot dog girl and was inspired to write this song. It played during the sex scene that involved ketchup and mustard.”

If that doesn’t merit being song of the day I don’t know what does.

Listen here:

And read the Daytrotter interview and check out her other songs here.

Oh, and yes, she is that hot.

Wait, what?

Is it Friday already? Where did the week go?

Fear not, gentle reader. Today's song of the day will be coming shortly.