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Reading

May 31, 2004;/h3>

{     Dang!     }    

Dang! brand comics and stories is a funny little funny book drawn by Mr. Martin Cendreda starring Herbert Hound, Li'l Orphans, Obnoxious Teen, Fashionistas, and Mullet. Previously self-published (I assume, based on "Mr. Cendreda's website":http://www.zurikrobot.com/) Dang! is now published by Top Shelf Productions, Inc. and available in finer dens of geekdom everywhere. Owning your own copy will cost you three dollars and fifty cents plus applicable sales tax or shipping. This issue of Dang! (number one?) deals with the vagaries of fashion in today's highly impressionable and media-centered lifestyle. A minute number of über-hip fashion gurus can make the silliest of clothing a must-have. In simpler, more direct language, Dang! is about a pair of pants. You'll also get three much shorter stories, mostly about very irritable and irritating people Martin Cendreda's characters are squinting, hypercephalic caricatures. Backgrounds are minimal and largely filthy. I had toyed with the idea of writing a rambling, largely nonsensical rant about his use of public spaces and community etiquette as a humor device, but I'll shelve that one in the interest of public decency. Geek alert: See if you can spot heroic Autobot commander Optimus Prime in this issue!

     » Martin Cendreda
     » Top Shelf Productions, Inc.

Twelves

{     12 Beeps & Bloops (NES edition)     }    

_Being a wholly biased list of 12 great video game soundtracks for the Nintendo Entertainment System._ 1. Castlevania 2: Simon's Quest 2. Super Mario Bros. 3 3. The Legend of Zelda 4. River City Ransom 5. Bubble Bobble 6. Dr. Mario 7. Bionic Commando 8. Tetris 9. Mega Man 2 10. Gradius 11. Goonies 2 12. Metroid

Music

May 28, 2004;/h3>

{     One Ring Zero As Smart as We Are     }    

Depending on who you talk to, and just how much shame that fellow has, you might hear that One Ring Zero have, more or less, singlehandedly created an entirely new genre of music: Lit Rock. Yes, that is "Lit" as in "I'm taking English Lit. 201 this term" as in short for "literary." Confused? I wouldn't blame you even the slightest little bit. Frankly, I think the name "Lit Rock" is precisely the sort of divisive prattling that makes me think of most music critics as little more than verbal onanists. Simply put, the "Lit Rock" tag means that the lyrics of this eclectic series of pop songs were written by honest-to-goodness authors, the sorts who write novels and short stories and plays, many of whom you may have heard of. Reinforcing the literary aspects of the album _As Smart as We Are_ is packaged not as a jewel-cased CD but a hardbound book with a CD in the front cover. There are seventeen tracks on _As Smart as We Are_, and there are also seventeen different lyricists/authors. For the sake of completeness they are, in order of appearance: Paul Auster, Daniel Handler, Darin Strauss, Rick Moody, Lawrence Krauser, Clay McLeod Chapman, Dave Eggers, Margaret Atwood, Aaron Naparstek, Denis Johnson, Neil Gaiman, Amy Fusselman, Myla Goldberg, A.M. Homes, Ben Greenman, Jonathan Ames, and Jonathan Lethem. Despite this massed force of bonafide authors these are still pop songs. These songs follow the standard pop music themes. Boy likes girl, girl doesn't like boy. Boy is lonely, wants to meet girl. Girl is lonely, shapes a man out of clay and carves her name on his forehead and the two have a grand old time until the rainy season. Given a less quirky accompaniment these lyrics could be just as easily have been sung by a Timberlake or Spears. . . maybe.

     » As Smart as We Are is published by Soft Skull Press
     » Naturally, One Ring Zero have an official website

By Benjamin in Music
Film & TV

May 27, 2004;/h3>

{     Reflecting Skin (1991)     }    

I've taken a job as a mystery shopper. So i go into stores or gas stations or wherever and pose as a regular customer, but I'm actually a spy that makes sure people are doing their jobs properly. The funnest part about this job (and it's really not that fun) is when I get to go into gas stations and buy beer and cigarettes. Yes, I get paid to purchase alcoholic beverages and the cigarettes of my choosing. Mind you, I rarely drink and never smoke (how ironic), but I've got all the Miller Light and Highlife 24's and 40's I'll ever need for when company comes over and I get free cigs for my best bud eventhough I feel bad about contributing to the possibility that she may one day get lung cancer, because despite the fact that almost everyone else we know has quit, she refuses. But that's just how she is. So, back to the really fun part of this job; besides getting paid to purchase these items, I get to put on glitter and pull my hair back into pigtails and wear lipgloss and dress like a sixteen year old slut. Now I'm 25, but I'd say if I tried hard enough I could probably pull off anywhere from about 19-28. But since I'm 25, I refrain (most of the time) from wearing a lot of glitter and lipgloss and though I despise wearing a bra, I'm too old to go around with my boobs flopping around all the time. But when I'm doing my job, there's no bra required. The cashier is to check my I.D. and verify I am indeed old enough to purchase these items and sometimes I'm even required to tell them I don't have I.D. and still try to get them to sell me the items. I know, how cold. But it's part of the job and it's very interesting.

     » Read a good review at IMDB

     » Buy it...

Music

{     Longwave Life of the Party EP     }    

I can’t remember ever being this impressed by such a small handful of songs. Longwave have trumped the standard set by their earlier full-length by taking some chances with this EP, and it pays off in spades. Extremely listenable and catchy, each song has its own identity and creates its own energy- from the new-wave synth rock of the title track to the organic unplugged melancholy of “There’s a Fire”. The third track, “Here It Comes” offers some Jesus and Mary Chain-esque crunchy guitar chords over xylophone melodies and a stringed chorus. “Sunday Nite Health”, the closing track, feels like an electro-lullaby with guitar accompaniment and the EP’s second track “We’re Not Gonna Crack” is ready to rawk your ass off via some rapid-fire, heavy yet polished, garagey chops with a Sonic Youth “Cool Thing”-feel to them. Usually, make-or-break-your-career EPs are released at the start of a band’s journey, before major label deals and the pressures of putting together a full length album....

     » Big Hassle Media / Longwave bio and pics

     » Buy it...

Interviews

May 26, 2004;/h3>

{     Interview : Jason Siu     }    

Jason Siu has been a major player in the booming Hong Kong Vinyl and custom figure scene since its inception. He is considered to be among the triumvirate of artists who have made the scene what it is today, right next to other HK luminaries Michael Lau and Eric So. Jason has stuck true to his urban-vinyl roots with designs that run the hip-hop gamut, from hard-core gangsta to turntablist freaks while also dipping into other creative and design endeavors. With his Gangster Paradise II series of figures ready to hit, a newly reworked version of his N-3B figure ready to be released (with working speakers as part of its design!) as well as a stint at the recent Hong Kong Toycon, Jason Siu is a busy busy man. We were honored when he took the time to answer a few questions, and since Jason is the kind of guy who kicks it on his own, we did it sans translator. (Notes/Further Info in Red.)

Interviews

{     Interview : Spencer Davis     }    

Spencer Davis just might have the coolest hobby in the world. It's taken him from his workshop bench to art galleries and has afforded him the opportunity to hang with some of the ginchiest guys and gals on the West Coast art scene. It's more than a hobby though, it's sculpting at its most voluptuous. Spencer's work really needs to be seen to be believed, and I guarantee that even once you've seen it you won't necessarily believe it- his Booty Babes defy not only the stereotype of feminine beauty but gravity itself.

Twelves

{     80's comedies that changed my life (and weren't directed by John Hughes)     }    

12. Fast Times at Ridgemont High
11. Caddyshack
10. Bachelor Party
9. Zapped!
8. Trading Places
7. Valley Girl
6. The Jerk
5. Disorderlies
4. Police Academy
3. Real Genius
2. Better Off Dead
1. Revenge of the Nerds

Listed in order of influence upon yours truly.

Games

May 25, 2004;/h3>

{     Nintendo Game Boy Advance SP NES Edition     }    

This is either the single most coolest thing in handheld gaming ever, or the most insanely specific and effective target-marketing to ever hit my eyeballs. Or both. I just can't stop the wave of nostalgic love that fills me when I scope this design. I just got a regular old Game Boy Advance not too long ago, and nothing could have convinced me to upgrade sooner than this. Do I have the money to waste? No. Am I going to anyway? Yes. And I don't think I'll be alone. Nintendo is releasing several old-school titles along with this retro NES-style Game Boy, so you can rock some original Zelda or O.G. Super Mario Brothers on your brand new gizmo. I'm psyched for some Donkey Kong and Pac-Man myself, and I can't think of a better way to break in the new technology than by mashing it up with some of the foundations of video game funk. Geek chic will reach new heights, shipping the first week of June.

     » $99 (the same as any other GBA SP) and it's yours.

By Adam in Games
Film & TV

May 24, 2004;/h3>

{     Invader Zim Vol. 1 DOOM DOOM DOOM     }    

Forget all the Hot Topic mall-goth hype; this cartoon is as critical of consumer culture as a Michael Moore documentary, and more aware of the social-conditioning and inequities of the American school system than a thousand trench-coat mafias. All those kids with their black t-shirts and AFI albums may watch it for the spastic main character’s screeching proclamation of “Death to all humans!” (a sentiment these children of darkness have all scrawled in their pentagram-covered notebooks, or scratched on the bathroom wall at the local Applebee’s.) You’ll watch it because it quietly exposes these kids and their fast-food, consumerism-obsessed, “I wanna be different like all the different people” lifestyles, and because it really is just damn funny.

     » "BUY VOL. 1 FROM DEEPDISCOUNTDVD, FILTHY HUMAN!"

Games

May 23, 2004;/h3>

{     Red Dead Revolver (PS2)     }    

So I popped the disc for Red Dead Revolver in my getting-a-little-dusty PS2 the other day, awaiting my latest immenent addiction to that damn near trademarked Rockstar Games skull-poppin', leg-snappin' violence that all we blood lovin', road ragin' little boys have come to love, only this time with a western twist. Instead of stealing cars, I was gonna be spurrin' horses, and instead of mowing down streets full of Janes and Joes with full clips to the tune of the Pointer Sisters, I was going to be emptying a six-shooter into the foreheads of dag-nasty no-gooders in the dust, 'round front the General Store with nothing but the crows and the whistle of a lonely plains tune floating in on the breeze. And that's just about damn straight what I got.

     » Buy it...

Music

{     Infinite Livez "Bush Meat"     }    

The press release will tell you that Vinnie Tiefilz is a "mild-mannered, former art student, sometime comic book writer and video game designer, who was accidentally bathed in the milk of a glamour model and transformed into Infinite Livez, superhero." What you get is the UK equiv of a hip-hop lunatic, like Kool Keith but a LOT more fucked up, stinky, and completely vacant of all US bling-bling and thuggin' sensabilities. I mean, it's not a hip-hop album, it's head-fucks and riddum, rudebwoy basement nerd synth ragga, told like a hardcore comic your momma found under your bed and burned in the kitchen sink.

     » Infinite Livez @ Bid Dada
     » Infinite Livez Official

Home & Beauty

{     FLOR     }    

Soooooooo, my wife and I strolled into design within reach recently to take a look at some new "innovative" carpet that just came out. It's called FLOR. The concept behind the carpet is customization - the carpet(s) is sold in squares allowing one to arrange a carpet in different patterns and/or colors. It's a great Idea and the price is great as well ( $9-11 a piece ). Word of wisdom . . . I would check out the interfaceflor site and find out a distributor near you and find out how much shipping would be. DWR marks up shipping it seems. Contributed by Ness

     » Interface FLOR
     » Design within Reach

Art

May 20, 2004;/h3>

{     FAFI- Girls Rock     }    

This softcover book is a compilation of French graf artist FAFI's unshakeable images- and the only book she's published to date. Full of brilliant pics of her work, you'll fall in love with her FAFI girls after just one look. Her style is Vaughan Bode meets Barely Legal, and there is no denying the adorable sexuality of her signature characters. She also has a line of capsule toys, immortalizing her girls in PVC, which will receive some attention in a later review. For now, get yourself acquainted with FAFI's freshness (if you haven't already) by picking up Girls Rock and checking out her bilingual website. I haven't seen anything this hot since we found those pin-up pics of your grandma from back in her burlesque days.

     » Girls Rock available from sweatyfrog.com
     » Fafi.net

Twelves

{     Twelve things that need to stop, now.     }    

01. Writing new country music, trust me, it's already been done as well as it can be.
02. Atkins dieting
03. Sideways ballcaps
04. Purposely loud mufflers
05. Bling-bling
06. Old people driving
07. Windows computers
08. Pennies
09. SUV's (okay, we get it, you have a small penis)
10. Suits, ties.
11. Ironic t-shirts
12. Parting your hair that way

Music

{     David Lee Roth Eat'em & Smile/ Sonriza/Sovalje     }    

Say whatever you want; I wave a certain spandex flag high, proud and mighty. Lately, and many times before, I've listened to this album religiously and sadly, it remains one of the true rare gems from one of rock's greatest front men of the millennium. This album is not only a well oiled machine of blistering rock cock assault, it is BILINGUAL. There are two versions, English and Spanish, identical musically, however a spicier version can be obtained through the Spanish one. Don't know why everyone is always calling Dave out as a fruitcake, they must not know the definition of an entertainer, a showman, a man who full on gives a distorted stupor 115%.

     » Buy it...

Toys

May 19, 2004;/h3>

{     LEGO X-Pod (4346, 4347, 4348, 4349)     }    

A LEGO X-Pod is a small set with an assortment of bricks linked by thematic function and hue that fits in a small case a bit larger than an average yo-yo. The case itself is also made of bricks and can be used in your creations (I can already foresee the pods showing up prominently in the models of "adult LEGO fans":http://www.lugnet.com). There are four different X-Pods in all, each designed to make a certain class of model. The green Robo Pod (4346) contains green and tan hinges, clips, and bricks useful for creating vaguely humanoid creatures. The blue Auto Pod (4347) contains blue and gray axles, slopes, and windshield bricks to make a number of simplistic automobile models. The yellow Aero Pod (4348) contains yellow and black wings, engines, and rotors to make jets, spaceships, and helicopters. The red Wild Pod (4349) contains red and orange bricks with something of a mixture of the Robo Pod and Aero Pod bricks to make birds, insects, and fish. Of course, those are only the company's suggested designs. You are free to make anything you can imagine.

     » Buy all four LEGO X-Pod sets (individual sets available as well)
     » Download the rules to the LEGO X-Pod Play Off

Twelves

{     Names to use for dudes you can't remember     }    

01. Tex
02. Billy Bad Ass
03. Padre
04. Teabag
05. Rocker
06. Queen
07. Champ
08. Buddy
09. King Dick
10. Chief
11. Madman
12. Bitch

Film & TV

May 18, 2004;/h3>

{     Jonny Quest The Complete First Season DVD     }    

My favorite thing about this cartoon has always been Race Bannon. When I was a kid, he was the ultimate badass- a government agent turned bodyguard who was always punching dudes out. Looking back, he's still cool- just in a male nanny, Dr. Quest's life-partner, government agent turned bodyguard who is always punching dudes out kinda way. There’s no point in trying to deny the unintended (or is it?) homoerotic subtext of Jonny Quest, and part of enjoying this cartoon lies in embracing everything that is naïve and archaic about it. Whether it’s Dr. Quest’s lengthy explanation of the miraculous scientific breakthrough the “LASER”, or Race Bannon calling a tribe of South American natives “ignorant savages” and “heathen monkeys” (all while painted purple with berry juice to resemble their angry water god) there is plenty to marvel at in this gem of a bygone era. Sure, it’s cheesier than Sharp Cheddar Cheez Whiz served on a Cheezit, but therein lies the charm.

     » Hadji says, "SIM, SIM, SALLAH-BIM! Buy Season One from DeepDiscountDVD!"

Film & TV

May 17, 2004;/h3>

{     The Eye - dvd     }    

It’s been a while since I’ve actually been scared by a film (that didn’t star Cuba Gooding Jr.), and I am hard pressed to recall one that chilled my blood as much as The Eye. The work of Hong Kong filmmakers the Pang Brothers, The Eye relies on subtle camera-work, a paranoia inducing soundtrack, and an engrossing visual style to instill a sense of panic and terror unmatched since the days of Hitchcock. Heavy praise, but this film warrants it. I won’t give anything away with an attempt at plot synopsis, you’re better off seeing this one blind and just letting its terrifying moments of revelation happen on their own. Or you could wait to see the inevitable US remake....

     » Buy from Digital Eyes dvd

Toys

{     Transformers Energon: Arcee     }    

Cybertron has always been a boy's world. The ranks of the Autobots and Decepticons alike are filled with plenty of distinctly male personalities. Conventional toy wisdom seems to stipulate quite strongly that boys don't want to play with girl figures (I'm assuming this can be found in the same file as the idea that kids only buy Batman toys for one reason: Batman, preferably with some oversized action feature component). While there may be some truth to that notion and most American boys would sooner be caught dead than play with a feminine toy, I doubt I'm alone in saying "Welcome Arcee, we missed you."

     » Transformers.com

Art

May 16, 2004;/h3>

{     UPSO Poster (004)     }    

Hey yall, those cuddly bears at the Drama have just released another fine, fine print /slash/ poster designed by none other than that neon jive turkey Dustin Amery Hostetler, aka UPSO. It's a fresh print, depicting his regular characters, his hands, playing with a bunch of colors (okay, they're really called those little graphic design print color wheel dot things) and contrary to what seems everyone must do these days, there's not a single word on it anywhere. No text at all! It's completely exclusive to the Drama online store, is the fourth release in a series of increasingly beautiful posters, is quality printed on a 16x24 chunk of archival paper, is twenty dollars cheap, and is limited edition (so buy it now yo). Damn, this thing is going to look good framed.

     » Buy it at the Drama Store

Twelves

May 15, 2004;/h3>

{     12 favorite childhood 31 flavors     }    

1. Superman
2. Chocolate Fudge
3. World Class Chocolate
4. Chocolate Chip
5. Very Berry Strawberry
6. Pink Bubblegum
7. Oreo Cookies 'n Cream
8. Cherries Jubilee
9. Mint Chocolate Chip
10. Vanilla
11. Rainbow Sherbet
12. Gold Medal Ribbon

Film & TV

May 13, 2004;/h3>

{     Firefly- The Complete Series     }    

Say what you will about Joss Whedon’s other television projects, (Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Angel) but spare me your criticism when it comes to Firefly- I won’t hear any trash-talk. If you’d told me I’d fall in love with this doomed series when it first premiered I would have thought you an insane crazy-person. Looking back now, I wish I’d jumped on the bandwagon a little sooner and done my part to save one of the best TV shows ever made. I’m not going to try and convert you to sci-fi geekdom with technical gibberish and some crap about the underlying message behind the show- and part of the charm of Firefly is that it doesn’t present itself that way either. There’s no bumpy-headed aliens (or any aliens at all), no dilythium crystals or Prime Directives- just some extremely endearing characters, straight-forward storylines, and a unique vision of the universe in which it all plays out. It calls to mind the best elements of Cowboy Bebop, and the grit and harshness of an old Sergio Leone spaghetti western. People get shot (a lot) and people die. There’s plenty of double-crossing and triple-crossing, and when you finally encounter moments of loyalty and the sense of family that’s developed between the characters, it is hard-won and extremely believable.

     » Buy it...

Twelves

May 12, 2004;/h3>

{     12 Hip-Hop Classics that All Sample the Same Damn Song v2.0     }    

(the Honeydrippers Impeach the President edition)

1 the Arsonists
The Session
2 Audio Two
Top Billin'
3 Big Daddy Kane
Smooth Operator
4 De La Soul
Ring, Ring, Ring
5 Digable Planets
Rebirth of Slick
6 Dilated Peoples
Guaranteed
7 Eazy-E
Eazy Duz It
8 Kool Keith
Sex Style
9 LL Cool J
'Round the Way Girl
10 Nice & Smooth
Funky For You
11 Notorious BIG
Unbelievable
12 Wu-Tang Clan
Ain't Nuthin to Fuck Wit

Honorable Mentions: Shabba Ranks Mr. Loverman, Meredith Brooks Bitch, and the end theme of Tekken 3.

Music

{     Sixtoo - Chewing on Glass & Other Miracle Cures     }    

Perhaps best known for his work in 1200 Hobos, and for collaborations with Sage Francis and Aquasky, underground hip-hop producer Sixtoo is stepping out from behind the mixing board and the computer-rig to put together something entirely new, set to release May 17th. Abandoning the sampling techniques that had become his trademark, and swapping the sequencer for a Rhodes electric piano, Sixtoo has pasted together an album that is equal parts free-form electro-jazz and experimental rock. Dark in tone and bleak in subject matter, the album carries a weird energy throughout that is sustained by extremely interesting melody paired with either jazzy break-beats or slower rock rhythms. All of the material seems to have first been recorded live before being manipulated in any way, and there is thusly a very organic feel to most of the record. The packaging reflects that, and is a minor work of art unto itself with a very cut-and-paste screen-printed look....

     » Sixtoo biography/discography/show dates on Ninja Tune

Art

May 11, 2004;/h3>

{     Chris Ware Poster- Hanley Gallery     }    

Submitted for your approval: In March of 2003, The Jack Hanley Gallery of San Francisco, California hosted an exhibition of the work of Mr. F.C. Ware- the proprietor of the renowned Acme Novelty Library. In preparation for the event, an exclusive handbill was issued- capturing the painstaking typography and detail that have become the hallmark of Ware’s work- on a heavy-stock sheet of quality milled paper. The “poster” was originally offered to gallery-goers for an incremental fee as a souvenir of their time spent perusing the work of the artist. Press house Last Gasp Publishing has dubiously acquired several of the prints, and is issuing them for sale at a price of 15 dollars through their internet web-site, conveniently located on the information super-highway. Suitable for framing and measuring the length of your outstretched arm, the print is first wrapped neatly in butcher-paper before being carefully placed inside the sturdiest of cardboard tubes to be shipped to your home, insuring no damage occurs throughout its journey. Prior to my ownership of this fine piece of artwork, I had begun construction on a mechanical man, or “robot” in the modern lexicon, whose sole purpose was to quietly murder me in my sleep- thus whisking me away from the drudgery that is human existence. Now that I am able to peruse the work of F.C. Ware upon awakening each day, I am considering abandoning the project entirely.

     » Purchase from Last Gasp Publishing

Twelves

May 10, 2004;/h3>

{     12 things I saw...     }    

on the side of the road, while sitting in traffic, driving through Newark on the NJ Parkway.

-a rubber Reagan mask
-half of a baseball
-a broom with a green handle
-an unrecognizable pile of dead animal
-a ball of duct tape
-a black sock
-a plastic doll's leg
-a whole cheeseburger
-a lid to a cooler
-3 of diamonds
-one Reebok high-top
-the other Reebok high-top (about 1/4 mile down the raod from the first one)

Contributed by Gary Kost

Reading

{     The Amazing Adventures of The Escapist No. 2     }    

Continuing thematically from issue 1 the most recent issue of _The Escapist_ expands the fictional history of one of the great lost heroes of comic-dom through several more iterations of supposed creative teams. In this issue we are finally given a glimpse of the "classic" Luna Moth (and what a glimpse it is!), treated to the finale of one of the greatest Escapist stories never penned, shown a tale of Tom Mayflower's retirement, and introduced to the "manga Escapist" who fights demons in the Land of the Rising Sun. A wholly solid volume, _The Escapist_ 2 improves upon the introductory issue and in doing so make the first volume even more satisfying by placing the stories contained therein within a well-defined continuum.

     » Buy this issue now from TFAW

Interviews

May 9, 2004;/h3>

{     Interview : Attaboy     }    

Blessed with tons of pure dumb genius, Attaboy has managed to cover the globe with his hallucinatory cartoon-character vision. This renegade toy designer gone AWOL from the industry has recently come full-circle, releasing his first original toy, Axtrx, to high praise from the collectible market. With the "I Hate Cartoons" cartoon festival he curates ready to go on tour, his collaborative music effort Attaboy + Burke ready to throw down a full-length album, and with lots more toys and art in the works, the Attaboy virus is ready to spread.

Interviews

{     Interview : Little Friends of Printmaking     }    

You will laugh. Maybe a hearty guffaw at first or perhaps just a soft chuckle. Even the hippest of hipsters will be forced to crack a wry smile. Eventually you will find your jaw hitting the damn floor. The work of JW and Melissa Buchanan, collectively known as the Little Friends of Printmaking, is so layered and active that you're likely to have many different reactions popping off in your brain pan all at once. These two are up to something very clever, guaranteed to make you look once, twice, or fifteen times.

Interviews

{     Interview : Panic Software     }    

A while ago, I wanted to contribute some interviews to the 'Dozen site, because I've enjoyed the work of the other authors. I didn't, however, know where start or who I wanted to interview first. I'm a Mac user, and love the extra time and creativity that goes into most "Mac Apps". With that in mind, I decided to try to learn more about a company who's products I use everyday, Panic. (http://panic.com), and they were happy to oblige! Founders Steven Frank & Cabel Sasser are the creators of some really great/useful tools: Transmit, a easy to use FTP client, Audion, a audio program that predates the Apple's own iTunes with some extra features and tweakability, and Candybar, icon theme changing app, that's a snap to use! Bear in mind, because this interview was conducted by me sendng them twelve questions, some answers may sound redundant, but it was not my intent, also as of writing this forward, they've added a few more fun/useful tools to their stable of applications. So, read on, even if you're not a Mac user, the interview gives some insight to what a small company of developers is all about. If you are a Mac user hop over to their site and give their app's a test-run, if you like 'em, buy them!

Film & TV

May 7, 2004;/h3>

{     The Office Second Season dvd     }    

There's been substantial hype about this series since it's debut on the BBC, and with good reason. Not only is The Office hilarious, it defies several British comedy traditions- there is no laugh track, physical comedy is (mostly) swapped for wry dialogue, and the entire series is shot in a documentary style that embraces the drab colors and fluorescent lighting of workaday existence. I won't throw around words like "genius", "deftly comedic" or "subdued brilliance"- I will only tell you that you must see it. Start with season one if you haven't already. Season two picks up a couple weeks after the events that transpired in the final episode of season one, and none of the series' freshness or sharpness of wit is lost in the transition. Trying to describe "what happens" would be like trying to tell you about the most fucked-up day I've ever had at work. You wouldn't get it unless you were there, and the most amazing thing about The Office is that when you're watching it, you are there.

     » Visit The Office, courtesy of the BBC
     » Buy both seasons of The Office
     » Buy season two only

Interviews

May 6, 2004;/h3>

{     Interview : Dave Kinsey     }    

Dave Kinsey and his crew BLK/MRKT have been handing out dummy smacks in the art world for years now. Orginally thought of as one of those "so hot right now" skateboard artist / grafiti types, Kinsey has proven his longevity with quality works of substance. Whether its throwing up burners on a wall or making fine art for the tea-and-crumpets set, Kinsey's style is immediately recognizable. This style is one that utilizes Kinsey's personal politics and social commentary alongside stylish portraits of tired, old guys that vaguely resemble my dad. Kinsey's influence, through his own work and that of BLK/MRKT, has left a sizable imprint on popular culture (his DC shoes logo has become the official seal for Pac Sun shoppers / Blink 182 fans everywhere.) I recently had a chance to talk with Dave about life, art, and orange poodle robots.

Interviews

May 5, 2004;/h3>

{     Interview : Matt Clark     }    

We recently had a chance to chat with Matt Clark, aka Manbaby, of Crane Magazine and Robot the Robot fame about a bunch of stupid stuff that really shouldn't be that interesting, but Matt managed to change that entirely. You see, Matt is one of those guys that makes you wish you could make movies out of people's thought processes, and if you could then Matt's would totally make Fantasia or 200 Motels seem about as vivid and exciting as a documentary on white socks. Matt is a fantastically talented guy, and it's a good thing because the dude cranks out work like mad. After finally conquering several issues of Crane and all the Robot the Robot strips, I ended up spending forever wandering around his oh-so-dense portfolio, never tiring of his work, and you should to, after you read what the guy has to say...

Interviews

{     Interview : Seripop     }    

In the two years that Chloe Lum and Yannick Desranleau have been working together as the printmaking collaborative design team Serigraphie Populaire they have managed to spread their work across the globe- in magazines, on the street, in books chronicling the history of rock poster art, and in art galleries across the US and Canada. They aren't stopping there. With a work ethic stronger than steel, and an ideology more powerful than a locomotive, Seripop is moving faster than a speeding bullet to become one of the most renowned forces in the printmaking world, and they're doing it all by hand.

Reviews

{     HelloMinor     }    

Yum yum, we just got some new t's in the post from Minor Industries, and let me tell you little poodles one thing, I am one happy bitch. The thing is, there are a lot of t-shirt/clothing companies out there right now, and while I'm not complaining, it does sometimes start to sound repetitive when you're always stating how the one you're talking about right now is the best one there is. What it does mean though, is that when one company sticks out in such a big sea of real quality threads, they must be, well, incredibly fucking good. So, let it be known that Minor sticks way the fuck out. The shirts are heavier than most and are of that great quality that lets you know that they'll still be your faves two years down the road. The designs are straight up rad, built for the soft-hearted design thug in all of us. Seriously, you will not regret ordering anything from these guys, as the shirts are worth every damn cent you pay. And don't you dare forget to order a Minor Industries koozie when you get your shirts, otherwise you'll just be frontin'.

     » Order from HelloMinor

Film & TV

{     Kids In The Hall - Season 1 DVD Box Set     }    

kith.jpg You know the deal. You innocently happen upon a box set of your favorite show. Upon grabbing it off the shelf, your delight becomes tinged with fear as the ludicrous running time of the 80 episodes stare you dead in the face. Fast forward to the next day as what was once a mildly-passive association with the television has mutated into a full-on unbalanced, unrelenting technicolor obsession. Its 8PM and you haven't stopped watching from the night before when you unwrapped the motherfucker. You're still in your underwear, you smell like cornchips, and there's some kind of gelatinous funk growing between you and the sofa you slept on last night. The hours fly by in an increasingly quicker succession as you talk yourself into one more episode. TV on DVD boxsets have become the "physical challenge" of the home entertainment world, that's word to my man Marc Summers. Your life only continues after the once-unconquerable DVD's have finally been defeated, accept this fate as it is your destiny. Now on to the review.

     » The Official Kids in the Hall website

Art

May 4, 2004;/h3>

{     Brasil Inspired     }    

Curated by Brazillian native Nando Costa of Hungryfordesign renown, Brasil Inspired is a collection of images bound into book format with the idea of "Brazil" as it's theme. While that may sound a bit pedestrian at first, this is no postcard collection from grandma's trip to Rio- it's an exploration of stereotypes, initial impressions, and cultural assumptions as well as honest, real, and true-to-the-land visions of this country. The book features designers including MK12, Rinzen, Speto, Francios Chalet, Carlos Bela and Büro Destruct, along with others, all contributing fresh and original works ranging from street art to hard design. It also contains work and interviews with designers Clarissa Tossin, fêmur, Linn Olofsdotter Costa, Lobo and Tonho/Quinta-Feira, all who work and/or live in Brazil. The interviews illuminate not only the country's influence on these artist's work, but the impact that Brazil carries into their daily lives.

     » Visit the Brasil Inspired website to see sample pages
     » Purchase Brasil Inspired from Giant Robot Store
     » Visit Hungryfordesign.com
     » Visit Die-Gestalten.com

By Adam in Art
Music

{     Blonde Redhead, Misery is a Butterfly     }    

Misery is a Butterfly, Blonde Redhead's sixth record, drags you into your subconcious, leaves you there floating around for awhile, and then brings you back feeling a little bewildered but satisfied, like what happens during a long nap or make-out session. This record feels incubated, like it's been carefully nursed along, unhurried, from a spare concept to a lush and mournful spell. Between layers of violin, cello, clavinet, guitar, and super-crisp drumming, the chilling vocals of Kazu Makino and Amedeo Pace drift unpredictably. After hearing the current crop of throaty songsters who've showboated into big record deals, it's thrilling to hear Makino's unpretentious voice. And Pace's voice, which is attractively nasal, is also expressive without being overly ornamented.

     » 4AD Records' Blonde Redhead site

Toys

{     Uglydolls     }    

I love these things! Uglydolls are the "brain-children" of New Jersey based artists David Horvath and Sun-Min Kim. Back in 2001 they hand-made the first of the bunch named "Wage." Apparently David used to send Kim letters with the "Wage" character drawn on them, so Kim sewed a 3-D plush version of him and gave it to David as a gift. From there, they blew up into, in my opinion, the hottest plushes on the market. They are still made by hand, but now are mass produced to keep up with the demand (still by hand, using the same design and materials as the original). Since the "birth" they have upped the ante to nine uglydolls. All of which are incredibly cool and have a unique story behind them.

     » Uglydolls.com
     » Buy Uglydolls
     » Check out the plastic figures
     » Enter the Uglydolls contest

Clothing

May 3, 2004;/h3>

{     Local Celebrity t-shirts     }    

Local Celebrity gets it right. This ain't for no Abercrombie Zombies- these t-shirt designs are a bit left of the mainstream center and are certain to inspire double and triple takes by passers-by and soon-to-be-girlfriends alike. Phrases such as "I'm in the house like furniture" and "L.A. Gear Where are you?" are matched up with some suitably amazing clip-art and served up on so-soft jersey cotton for a worn vintage look. My personal favorite? It came down to "Black Belt" (above), the O.G. Local Celebrity logo and the eventual winner- "Handle Bar Moustaches - Fun For the Whole Family" They've just released a fresh batch of designs, so make sure to check out the site and pick up a couple favorites of your own.

     » Local Celebrity