On the Record: New Music from the New Pornographers and Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros are Still Great
Last Tuesday brought us "Together," the fifth album by Canadian powerpop supergroup, The New Pornographers, and I scooted out to the record store to grab my copy just before the hail and freezing rain hit over the weekend.
After listen four: it's good. Really good. Besides a few more noticeable R&B references (the just-behind-the-beat pizzacato strings that open the album on "Moves," for example) it doesn't really push into any new territory. And its doubtful that any fans will really care. The formula is great - super catchy, soaring melodies mixed with the odd dissonant chord or change, and arrangements that provide both ear candy and
The iRetrofone is a functioning iPhone dock with a working handset receiver. It's quite fun, and I think I'd actually use it, though it costs twice as much as an 8GB iPhone 3G itself at $195.
Does anyone know if picking up the reciever answers the phone, or do you still have to do the finger slide?
SoftMachines Inc describes itself with the the tagline - "original German cuddle engineering," which is about as apt as it gets. The Deutsch seamsters create pillow versions of classic analog technology, like the Roland TR-808 drum machine, Sequential Circuits Pro-One synthesizer, the Big Muff distortion pedal, and everyone's favorite Tetris format, the original Nintendo Game Boy.
At ManMade, we love a nice big end-grain hardwood butcher block. In fact, we love 'em so much that we've made our own and use it three meals a day. It took me about 12 hours of work, so there's no way I'd ever replace it.
Until I saw these guy. Playing off the pixel-like qualities of glued-up butcher blocks, Etsy artist 1337Motif has created retro electronic inspired cutting boards, like PacMan (above) and Space Invaders (below).
Some things are just plain fun.
"Sharky is a floating tea-infuser that looks like a shark fin marauding through the dangerous waters of your tea mug that simultaneously releases streamers of steeped tea that look suspiciously like the detritus after a nasty shark attack."
So, over the last few months, I've been co-authoring the second publication in the Make it! series from the Curbly Library (I was also a part of the first, Make It! Mid-Century Modern).
It's called Make It! Secondhand Chic, and it's all about repurposing and reviving thrift-store and flea market pieces and make 'em fresh again. I authored five of the fourteen how-to projects, which are organized by rooms, so you'll find budget-friendly makeover projects for every space in your home.
It's available as of this morning, in both download-able PDF form and in print. Next week, we'll do a ManMade Giveaway, offering five free copies, so be sure
The next time you have a subterranean, cathartic bro-battle, and you need to clean your wounds, don't reach for just any pink bar of soap. Go for the real (replicated) thing.
"Replica Fight Club Soap bar cast in useable soap and colour matched with safe soap dye.Absolutely not made in the same way they were in the film."
The cupcake craze may be oh-so-2007, but still, those little guys are delicious.
And according to David Arrick, they no longer only belong in the realm of princess birthday parties, feminine tastemaking blogs, and episodes of Sex in the City. " 'One day I was walking in the West Village by a cupcake place. There was a dad sitting with his little girl at this princess table, all girly and pink. The dad looked at me through the window and just rolled his eyes,' he says. 'That was my 'ah-ha' moment. Who says cupcakes have to be feminine?' "
They seem pretty intense, too - many are soaked in spirits, and each come topped with a masculine pattern. And they're sold in "rounds" of four, six, and twelve.
When is an iPad not just a giant iPhone? When it's a giant iPhone inside a sweet vintage-looking arcade game wooden casement and includes a joystick-and-two-button-combo controls. "To use the iCade, gently slide the iPad into the docking cradle. The docking cradle uses a standard 30 pin connector to link the iPad to the professional-grade arcade controls. Once the iPad is in place, launch the iCade App (available free in the App Store April 3rd) and it's game on! We didn't want to take any chances you'd run out of juice during your favorite game, so we included a 10w USB power adapter so you can charge the iPad through any electrical outlet. Now you're all set to make an uninterrupted run on the Dig Dug World Record!"
What exactly is the difference between a Grotesque and a Gothic? What's the relationship between Didot and Bodoni? And, for goodness' sakes, how DO you tell the difference between Helvetica and Arial.
To answer these, you can do a four-year degree in graphic design. You could purchase a copy of the excellent "Font. The Sourcebook." or "Designing with Type." Or you could head to Just Creative Design, and download their free 27-page eBook, "The Type Classification Handbook."
IKEA has installed furniture vignettes in four high-traffic metro stations in Paris. [For those in the know - Champs Elysées Clémenceau ligne 13, St Lazare ligne 12, Concorde ligne 8, Opéra ligne 8]. Each display includes several sofas, lamps, and large prints of IKEA interiors. From the looks of it, they totally transform the normally drab subway platforms.
Popular Science, the oldschoolest of how-to magazines that continues to capture the mind of manmakers and lay tinkerers, has assembled their entire archives -that's 137 years - and made them available for free browsing. "Each issue appears just as it did at its original time of publication, complete with period advertisements. It's an amazing resource that beautifully encapsulates our ongoing fascination with the future, and science and technology's incredible potential to improve our lives."
Says RetroThing: "It's stunning to recall what a huge impact Popular Science had in the pre-internet days. I remember pouring over the "What's
Forget about Cool Citrus Basil and Cocoa Butter...all the cool zombies wash their decaying flesh in cherry-scented o-positive. "Now you can bathe yourself in true horror movie style, and recreate your favourite scenes from Dracula, Psycho, and Twilight with our ultra realistic bag of blood shower gel."