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Music

May 30, 2005;/h3>

{     Tom Thumb- Songs From Holiday     }    

tomthumb.jpg Iron & Wine and M. Ward are but a couple of artists whose unique lo-fi approach has earned them their own niche in contemporary music. Now it�s Tom Thumb�s (aka Andy Arch) turn to carve his name in that tree trunk of acoustic melodies. There�s a level of sincerity that shines on tracks like the infectious Josh Rouse flavored �Motel in Phoenix� or the catchy Wilco-esque �Gracie�s Mine�. Other standouts include the reflective school yard tale �Boot(y) Camp� and the handclapping, toe tapping tune �Wine & Cigarettes�. This entire album is littered with intimate songs whose melodies linger around in your head long after their done. Some musicians would kill to have a debut (let alone any) album as good as this. Songs From Holiday is one album that is worth seeking out...you�ve heard of comfort food well this is comfort music. - Written by Jay, read more of his reviews at Caffeine-Headache.net.

     » buy/listen

Electronics & Gadgets

May 22, 2005;/h3>

{     Delicious Library     }    

I'm an organizer. I'm the sort of guy who will spend a Saturday arranging his DVD collection in alphabetical order, only to reconsider the benefits of a genre based system several hours later, and follow it with a last-minute bid at a shelf in which movies are grouped by director. My books have always been grouped by type (this shelf here is all of my computer books, look up here for my novels, and if you're looking for science texts they can be found on the bottom shelf) and my music collection is stringently organized by artist. I like my things to be orderly and sensible. Perhaps it's on account of my upbringing: my mother has been a librarian as long as I've known her. I'm quite well versed in the dewey decimal system. Go ahead, ask me where to find a book at your local library. Over the years I've made several attempts to keep a record of the things I own and collect. Be it a simple text file in which I list every NES cart I own or an Excel spreadsheet, sorted by creator or artist, in which I roughly catalog my burgeoning media shelves, I've made several crude efforts over the years to keep track of my things. Those days are over, because I've found the answer to all of my needs in one powerful and elegant program. I have found Delicious Library.

     » Download and purchase Delicious Library from the adorable official website.

Film & TV

May 19, 2005;/h3>

{     Palindromes     }    

Palindromes is Todd Solondz's (Storytelling, Happiness, Welcome to the Dollhouse) brilliant non-sequel follow up to Welcome to the Dollhouse. In it we get another Solondz-esque (entering the American vernacular right behind "Lynchian") look into the dregs of suburbia. Aviva Victor is a thirteen-year-old on a quest to have babies. Solondz has said he was inspired by the double Darrin Stephens switch on Bewitched so he cast eight different actresses to play Aviva. The movie plays out like Pee-wee's Big Adventure with all the fun characters replaced by molesters, pro-lifers, and a disabled Christian dance troupe. Solondz expands on his earlier work by exposing motives and raking muck on the squeaky clean side of American life. In his films he examines abhorrent people and horrendous situations that we all know exist but would rather ignore. Any Larry Clark film tells us that doesn't necessarily make for a good cinema, but there's something about Solondz's non-sarcastic approach that allows him to make some truly agonizing situations entertaining and really funny. I feel it's safe to say that this will be funniest film this year about abortion, disabilities, molestation, and love. As with any Solondz's film you may feel a bit squirmy, but sitting back and savoring the unpleasantness is part of experience.

     » The Palindromes website.
     » An essay by Solondz about the casting.

Reviews

May 18, 2005;/h3>

{     Breathless     }    

brethless.jpg If you have yet to discover the beauty of Jean-Luc Godard's films this is as good a place as any to start. Often reffered to as one of the most (if not thee most) influential of the French New Wave movement Godard's films ooze with stylized imagery , bebop jazz, and wreckless editing. In this film, nomadic thug Michel (Jean-Paul Belmondo) is on the run from police and finds solace in aspiring journalist Patricia (played by one of the most beautiful women to grace the silver screen, Jean Seberg). The two evade capture as they steal cars in an attempt to drift off into the sunset. This is an absolute must view for film buffs. - Written by Jay, read more of his reviews at Caffeine-Headache.net.

     » buy

Art

May 11, 2005;/h3>

{     Born Again: The Rebirth of a Childhood Icon     }    

Sara_Front.jpg As a fan of circuit-bending technology, I almost creamed myself this weekend when I saw a beautifully hand-painted, fully circuit-bent Speak & Spell while perusing Seattle boutique OKOK. The Speak & Spell on display was one of twelve in a series entitled "Born Again: The Rebirth of a Childhood Icon", a collaboration between self-taught electrician Justin Gerardy and local visual artists. For the unfamiliar, circuit bending is used to modify electronic devices and alter their sounds into beautiful bleeps. Depending on which knob you turn it's as if your favorite childhood toy is on Hydrocodone, then seconds later, trucker speed. Just about any cheap electronic toy can be used to circuit bend, but over the years Speak & Spells, Speak & Maths and the rarely seen, almost Sasquatch-like, Speak & Reads have emerged as the Stradivarius of circuit bending.

     » For pictures and audio samples of all 11 pieces!
     » History of circuit bending.

Electronics & Gadgets

May 8, 2005;/h3>

{     Mac OS X 10.4 "Tiger"     }    

Judging by the deluge of information about the most recent update to Apple's OS X the chances are excellent that if you have any interest in all about what Apple does you're already pretty well informed about what you can expect from this update. My obsession, however, compels me to throw my two cents in. Seeing as I've already bored the recalcitrant Windows users at work to the point of frustration with my excited tales of Dashboard and Spotlight the next logical step is to continue my raving online for the world to read. Simply put: Tiger is very, very good. Maybe even grrrrreat.

     » Tiger at apple.com

     » Buy it...

Toys

May 6, 2005;/h3>

{     Tim Biskup - Gamagon     }    

Tim Biskup's Gamagon is the perfect synthesis of old-school Tokyo-vinyl cool and modern day custom-designed goodness. It's got the look (right down to the air-gun applied paint job) and the soft-vinyl feel of a classic kaiju collectible, rendered in that inimitable Biskup style. Standing 8" tall, he's cute enough to terrorize his way right into your heart. Tim Biskup is just the man to serve it up, and serve it well, as his passion for all things large, monstrous and Japanese has become legendary. There are currently two flavors of Gamagon running amok- the standard red colorway and the limited edition orange. Both versions come with a tiny airplane accessory (adorably in-scale, it can be clutched menacingly) and the limited edition piece includes a signed and numbered 4-Color serigraph print (pictured here). The packaging is also a thing to behold, capturing Gamagon in mid-rampage, seemingly bursting forth from a chunk of ruined city-block. (You can peep it at the Super7 link below.) Share the super-irradiated kaiju love and pick one up today....

     » Super7 Store (red colorway)
     » Ningyoushi's Workshop (limited edition)

Reviews

{     Old Scratch Revival Singers- Oh, Didn't He Ramble     }    

About as far from trendy as trendy can be, Old Scratch Revival Singers have all forms of roots music covered with styles ranging from bluegrass to ragtime, and Dixieland to gospel. This Iowa sextet manage to create an album that is truly refreshing by mishmashing styles that are as old as dirt. Purists will say that these genres have all been touched upon, but they�ll always have something to complain about. Due to the fact that the Old Scratch Revival Singers feature multiple singers and cover a wide range of material, it's almost like you're listening to more than one band. One minute they show some Tom Waits influence ("The Door") and the next they take a page from The Squirrel Nut Zippers handbook ("Blackberry Brandy"). Every once in awhile a band will come along that does something exciting with roots music...this is one of those bands. The highlights are in abundance so do yourself a favor and seek this one out. - Written by Jay, read more of his reviews at Caffeine-Headache.net.

     » listen
     » buy

Reviews

May 3, 2005;/h3>

{     Lismore- We Could Connect or We Could Not     }    

Lismore are a NY duo that flirt with trip-hop and glitch-pop, and this debut album definitly has what it takes to connect with music lovers of all genres. The album opens with the Radiohead-esque �Tremelo� and then jumps into the indie-rock flavored �Pour Un Ancien Ami�. Later Lismore get in touch with their Portishead side on �Cut� and even show some Bjork influence on �Aika Miura�. What is most interesting is how Lismore never get caught up in any specific genre, but rather touch on them and then quietly and seamlessly move on. We Could Connect or We Could Not is littered with so many catchy melodies that one can�t help but wonder how this gem has gone largely unnoticed.... - Written by Jay, read more of his reviews at Caffeine-Headache.net.

     » Listen
     » Buy

Electronics & Gadgets

May 1, 2005;/h3>

{     PodSkinz - Artist Series     }    

As if the iPod weren't aesthetically pleasing enough already, you can now sheathe it's loveliness in one of 35 different custom designs by some of your fave pervasive and lowbrow artists. This not only increases the **sex-appeal** of your iPod, it also keeps it safe from scuffs, dents and dings- the Skinz are about the thickness of a credit card and made of a glossy, scratch and chemical resistant plastic. Each PodSkin is formed exactly to the shape of your model iPod, and offers easy access to all the necessary plug-ins and ports for your accessories and attachments. There's a huge range of artists to choose from: Ragnar, Coop, Joe Chiodo, Bill Wray, Thomas Han (design pictured here), Mary Fleener, Kozik and Glenn Barr to name just a few. There are also designs by Gary Baseman, Sheperd Fairey and others on deck, with more to come. The Artist Series PodSkinz are being produced in limited numbers, only 100 of each design (numbered on the inside), so you best snap up your favorite now before it disappears....

     » MacSkinz PodSkinz Artist Series


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