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Reviews

August 30, 2006;/h3>

{     Surprise, Surprise     }    

http://www.crowndozen.com/main/archives/upload/2006/08/surprise-thumb.jpgThis is actually the title of the current summer show at the ICA, the Institute of Contemporary Art of London, located at the beginning of the Mall. If you happen to swing in that direction before September 10th, pay the super cheap £ 2 entrance fee (£ 3 on weekend) to see this very particular exhibition, showcasing the work of 40 artists all picked between the most famous names in contemporary art. To drop a few, Matthew Barney, Martin Creed, Takashi Murakami, Cindy Sherman and, last but not least, the king himself Damien Hirst are all part of the group. What is "surprising" about Surprise, Surprise is that the works displayed are very different from what you would expect to find. Damien Hirst is presenting a collage on canvas which looks very much belonging to the beginning of the Arts & Crafts movement and Creed has a papier-mache sculpture of a pig on display. Which he did when he was nine years old...

     » Surprise, Surprise at the ICA

By Tacita in Art, Reviews
Singles

August 28, 2006;/h3>

{     Moccasins     }    

http://www.crowndozen.com/main/archives/upload/2006/08/claytonmocs-thumb.jpg Ok.. the time has come. At some point everyone is going to get tired of pretending that they're a time traveller from 1991. Remember Kriss Kross and their eyebrows and Parker Lewis with his paisley shirts? How about pegged pants or *vintage* Bugle Boy jeans? Yeah.. that's what's next if we don't put a stop to it. This is the way to go, just add a poncho and as Vince Noir aka Noel Fielding says you'll be "...off your tits on happiness." Oh and don't worry trust fund kids, these cost twice as much as a pair of custom Air Force One's. Tell Nigo to get fucked... or if you prefer try a cliche like: We don't want your revolution.

     » Wiki some Moccas
     » Get some Minnetonkas
     » Buy some Mukluks

Reviews

August 26, 2006;/h3>

{     Tokidoki clothes your naked iPod     }    

http://www.crowndozen.com/main/archives/upload/2006/07/tokidokiSkins-thumb.jpg iPod skins are dangerous in my opinion: yes, they help you somewhat protect your investment, but they too often detract from it in style. I recently saw iPod skins with hideous baseball teams logos, silly stars and stripe designs, tacky tie-dye patterns, truly ugly leather wallet-like cases... Most of them are an offense for the eye, even some of the transparent jelly ones (radioactive yellow? or even worse, army green? it just looks as if your precious pod has been dropped in mud...). There is little to be argued: iPod are established design items as they are (love them or hate them) and to dress them up (even if those 'dresses' are called paradoxically skins) is not the best move... iPods are best naked. And white. Or so I thought until I found these super cool iPod skins designed by Tokidoki (more about him in a future post) and produced by iSkins. Even less to be argued here: these skins are super!

     » Buy Tokidoki iSkins for iPod Mini
     » ...and for iPod Shuffle
     » Have a look at the gallery.
     » Tokidoki

Reviews

August 23, 2006;/h3>

{     H2O - Perrier Art Series     }    

http://www.crowndozen.com/main/archives/upload/2006/08/perrier-thumb.jpgWater is a necessity for all and a luxury for many: both for who does not have enough to survive and for those super careful at which kind of H20 goes down their throat. Perrier is definitely one of those branded waters commonly associated with wealth, beauty, and, for some people, waste. If you feel the need to elevate yourself above the regular water drinker, probably you are a snob. But if you are a sensible snob, you may be uncomfortable with your desire of shallow superiority. Ok, so....???? So have a look at the 2006 Perrier Art Series: beautiful art work, no? Designed by Sophia Wood, these three bottles are a collector item and they are without doubt very, very nice. And very, very expensive. At least now you have art to prevent you from looking like a fool to spend 5 euros for each bottle....

     » Perrier's cool site (not what you would expect!)

Singles

August 17, 2006;/h3>

{     Post-Deux at GR2     }    

http://www.crowndozen.com/main/archives/upload/2006/08/postitcardfront-thumb.jpg Nearly 2000 works of art made on Post-It notes by a bunch of CrownDozen.com friendly artists (including Peter "Hambot.com" Hamlin, Jeff Soto, Jordan Islip and Gary Taxali) are going to be on display at GR2 in West LA. Curated by artists Mark Todd and Esther Pearl Watson it's called Post-Deux. Nothing will cost you more than $20 at the 3" x 3" size (Larger sizes of 4" x 4" and 6" x 6" will cost a bit more.) so head down if you're in West LA this weekend. The reception is sure to be a feeding frenzy and a righteously good time.

     » GR2

Singles

August 15, 2006;/h3>

{     Beautiful/Decay Magazine presents "Archive"     }    

archive_web.jpg Beautiful/Decay Magazine along with Scion are opening “Archive” this week, an exhibition showcasing artists Skwak, Friends With You, Aya Kato, Jesse LeDoux - all previously featured in Beautiful/Decay mag. From Beautiful/Decay: "For Archive, Creative Director and Founder Amir H. Fallah selected these artists for their ability to move effortlessly between various art genres. The artists in this show display work that rejects classification and defies categorization. Infusing hand drawn and digital media in their work, each artist uniquely reflects the commonalities that exist in art between divergent disciplines. Fallah’s curatorial debut is also the first major US show for both Aya Kato and Skwak." Saturday, August 19th, 2006 Time: 7-10PM Location: Scion Installation LA, 8553 Washington Blvd. Age: 21 "Archive" will be on display from August 19th to September 1st at Scion Installation LA. A 196-page, full-color catalog has been published for the show, featuring articles, interviews and a VERY wide selection of beautifully shot pieces by the artists. All of the artists will be at the opening and will be signing editions of the book. It's sponsored by Scion.com, Faketown.com, Jakprints.com, Kangol.com and Asics.com, so chances are there will be some nice swag there to get your hands on as well.

     » Directions to the event in LA
     » Beautiful/Decay Magazine online

Reviews

{     Hulger Phones     }    

http://www.crowndozen.com/main/archives/upload/2006/08/Hulger-thumb.jpg Met Hulgers yet? If not, take some time to get aquainted with them. In a very Duchamp-esque fashion, Hulgers are nothing less than the fusion of two contemporary utility icons: cell phone and rotary phone. The cell phone stays as it is, just deprived of it's original complex functionality, compactness and dullness. With a Hulger piece, your actual cell phone stays hidden away in your back pocket, however with a classic coiled telephone cord attaching it to your new Hulger handpiece. What is this Hulger handpiece? The old chunky rotary phone undergoes a mutation, loses it's main body so that the classic handpiece becomes the stylish and sexy attachment to your mobile (or of your notebook in case you need to use it as a perfectly functioning Skype phone). Not only the slickest cell phone accessory on the market, but also the sexiest design a cell phone could be seen with. Rejoice silver cell phone: you found a real hottie to go out with...

     » Learn about and buy Hulger!

Singles

August 13, 2006;/h3>

{     Los Peyotes     }    

After watching this I think my head exploded on my pants a little bit. Somewhere in the near future the long time friendship of Quentin Tarantino and Robert Rodriguez will be in question after an argument about whose got dibs on soundtrack rights.

Reviews

August 11, 2006;/h3>

{     Newest news by Swatch     }    

http://www.crowndozen.com/main/archives/upload/2006/08/SwatchTikiBeach-thumb.jpgWe all need to thank Swatch for what they have done way back in the 80s and early 90s. Artist editions of mass produced items readily available to anybody sort of took off with them and their feather encircled watches. Not to mention their own in-the-house extreme creativity: I am still looking for that watch with a 3D mock grass strap populated with true-size bugs and no handles to mark the hours (it had moving rings instead)! Especially if you were a Euro kid in the 80s, Swatch is a mythical name synonymous of the freshest ideas. You may know that recently they have moved into making bijoux, after memorable past ventures like the sunglasses with interchangeable frames (oh so 80s!) and twin phones (one phone could double to two speakers and receivers for three-way conversations): I am so lucky to have a specimen of both. Swatch Bijoux is an expression of the time: the crazy functions of the 80s and 90s are partially set aside (no necklace turning into skateboard yet!) together with that “so flashy you are sure to be noticed” guarantee that was a Swatch trademark, to give room to a study on new materials and colours, remaining within elegant shapes and compositions (and same could be said of their recent watches as well as by the once overly colouful catalogues).

     » Swatch official website+ shop (not selling Tiki Beach though)
     » Unofficial Swatch online Shop selling this.

Singles

August 10, 2006;/h3>

{     Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby     }    

http://www.crowndozen.com/main/archives/upload/2006/08/talladega2233445-thumb.bmpAdmittedly, I'm a prime example of the target audience for this particular brand of southern-fried deeply-retarded buffoonery, but damned if I didn't laugh so hard that my gut hurt after I stumbled out of the theater. It's shit-your-pants funny, pretty much beginning to end. My enjoyment of the film was only amplified by the fact that I shared the theater with many of the dumbass redneck stereotypes Talladega Nights plays for laughs, like the guys sitting next to Shane who every time two male characters kissed on screen said "That's makin' me sick. I'ma throw up...." And by casting as it's antagonist a gay French Formula One driver attempting to conquer American stock-car racing, the film likely intended to do just that. It's that kind of wink-and-nod scripting that allows it to pierce the Mason-Dixon comedy line. And thankfully, the trailers drop only a scant handful of the film's best lines, and every scene is pushed to the comedic limit, played with intensely deadpanned sincerity by the cast. Props also to my man Jesse "The Ladykiller of the Lobby" Clark, for kicking it all up a notch with his karaoke of Crystal Gale at the film's climax. I got $500 worth of laughs for my $7.50.

     » Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby at IMDB.com

Reviews

August 9, 2006;/h3>

{     Nacho Libre iPod Skin     }    

http://www.crowndozen.com/main/archives/upload/2006/08/NachoLibreiSkin-thumb.jpgForget about the movie. Just dive in the mythical Lucha Libre imaginery with these ipod skins by iSkins, made on the Nacho Libre theme. The packaging itself tries to forget Jack Black, in favour of the typical Lucha Libre fighter pose seen in all the illustrations made about this rad Mexican tradition. And the choice is a right one indeed: the skins bears no signs of the tacky movie presentation to be very much comics like with a libre fighter mask just hinting at you from the iPod protection. Even the letter printing seems taken by an old Mexican flier advertising the upcoming fight! Two have been made: for iPod Nano and for evolution3 iPod with video, both in super sexy, smooth silicone. iSkins are definitely super serious about protecting your iPod, which would be kept more safe only in a bank security deposit! The Nano version, light blue+red, is actually made of two silicon bodies layered one on the other (you can use the inner red layer alone or with the blue one as well on top for extra style and protection), a click wheel protector and a hard plastic shield designed not to touch your pod screen: your iPod is literally buried in a protective cocoon! The evo3 skin, instead, black+red, has a full size hard plastic shield on the front, sure to be almost bullet proof, embedded into thick, smooth silicone. Your keys will leave no sign on your precious gadget, nor your mint tin, nor the steel rod those bloody thieves are about to lower in you: a Lucha Libre fighter is watching over you, ready to kick some ass!

     » Buy me.

Reviews

August 8, 2006;/h3>

{     Klaxons - hottest unsigned (?) band     }    

http://www.crowndozen.com/main/archives/upload/2006/08/klaxons-thumb.jpgJust to give you an idea of how relatively unknown Klaxons are, PitchForkMedia does not even know who they are and even DrownedInSound, who have barely noticed them, still have almost no news listed. What is clear instead is that their music is an intoxicating breath of ... not fresh, let's say poisonous air, in the London music scene. And if you know anything about how things are in the British capital, you should recognize it is likely the most lively and kicking music scene of the entire globe. To stand out is never easy. To stand out because your stuff is radically different, almost impossible. Yet, they did it. And this puts them right on top of the still unsigned hot band list (which is pretty long and populated with other very interesting names: no worries, I will get to those eventually). Klaxons are indeed a new musical crossover : their music is a mutation of the meanest seizure-inducing electro rave tunes with soft indie lyrics and instrumental parts. Nothing is not distorted through a synth filter. And yet this unlikely ensamble is wonderfully attractive, very much like salty crackers dipped in Nutella (ever tried that? no? run to the supermarket! It's the most delish combo!).

     » Klaxons empty site
     » On My Space

Twelves

August 7, 2006;/h3>

{     Two-And-A-Half Dozen G.I. Joe Names That Totally Sound Like Porn Innuendo     }    

1. Backblast
2. Topside
3. Undertow
4. Lift-Ticket
5. Crankcase
6. Monkeywrench
7. Sea Slug
8. Croc Master
9. Wild Weasel
10. Swamp Rat
11. Copperhead
12. Red Dog
13. Road Pig
14. Hardball
15. Skidmark
16. Tollbooth
17. Chief Torpedo
18. Crystal Ball
19. Steam-Roller
20. Hardtop
21. Payload
22. Fast Draw
23. Grand Slam
24. Hot Seat
25. Deep Six
26. Crazylegs
27. Starduster
28. Snow Job

Thanks to YoJoe.com for the info.

Reviews

{     Hero Builders - Custom Made Action Heroes     }    

http://www.crowndozen.com/main/archives/upload/2006/07/customActionFigure-thumb.jpg Ok, so you know that toy culture is a widespread phenomenon. Adults shamelessy playing with and collecting toys (read: small plastic figurines, not Barbie dolls!). And you know what was before that: toys were just well, for kids... or for rich comics figure collectors or something. But what is in the toy culture future? It will not be Kubricks and Qees and other Japanese Manga inspired figures forever... as for anything else, these and other form of toys will reach market oversaturation (or will just begin to bore people) and will just be abandoned. In favour of what? This feature is a possible answer to that question: custom made action heroes! Hero Builders is a crazy company producing only action figures: from Jack Black to Saddamn under trial to Dick Cheney to Micheal Moore to a dual headed Uday, nobody is escaping their political and pop culture irreverence! All action heroes can be done to order: you want your own boss figure for a small voodoo session? a version of yourself just more sexually well endowed? Send pics in! Everything can be done! The results are pretty realistic without being dot on, but that adds to the charm of these old 80s toys turned into collectibles.

     » Create you own hero!

Singles

August 5, 2006;/h3>

{     Retro Digital Rollei     }    

http://www.crowndozen.com/main/archives/upload/2006/07/japanRollei-thumb.jpg Only on the Japanese market, something like this could be developed and sold. Yet, this is so silly to be attractive. Imagine: a replica of a 1930s mythical RolleiFlex, but mini and digital, with a 2 megapixel square sensor to emulate the original medium format 6x6 of the 1930s version, and a thrown in video clip capability with audio as well. Funky no? And with a feather weight of 100 grams, this promises to become your best friend! Cute (or should I say annoyingly odd?), and only sold in Japan, but proudly made in Germany. Now party like it was 1934!

     » Rollei Japan

By Tacita in Singles
Singles

August 4, 2006;/h3>

{     Modest Marr     }    

http://www.crowndozen.com/main/archives/upload/2006/08/marrmouse-thumb.jpg When I think of Modest Mouse I used to be all "Damn!" Then for a little while now I've been kinda "Damn..." But now I'm like "Holy Fucking Damn!" Why? Because (as per Pitchfork) Modest Mouse and "ex-Smiths guitarist Johnny Marr have gone public with their intention to stay together forever and ever (or at least until the end of the next Modest Mouse tour)." Apparently Marr was helping out that grimacing sourpuss Isaac Brock with the new Modest Mouse album and it was going so well that Marr now can't imagine ever abruptly leaving the band, Modest Mouse then subsequently breaking up, Brock going on to be a rose-pelted torch-singer, and then their drummer sadly dragging them into court for more money from their tentatively titled new album We Were Dead Before The Ship Even Sank. Also: NO!!!

     » Wiki Marr
     » Buy a Modest Mouse album after you...
     » ... download: Modest Mouse "Never Ending Math Equation"

Reviews

{     Artist’s Choice: Perception Restrained at MOMA     }    

http://www.crowndozen.com/main/archives/upload/2006/08/herzog-thumb.jpg

The room has black walls and raw, pine, picnic style benches in 5 rows. 15 flat panel monitors light it from above. They each repeat a segment from various classic films. Jeremy Irons operating on himself, helicopters bombing the Vietnam countryside, Paul Morrisey's naked ass, heroin injected into an arm, a limp, vacant, mohawked Deniro gun in hand, lays on a dirty couch covered in blood. The light created by the flickering screens forms a muted synthetic daylight. Slits on 3 of the black walls beckon examination.

Walls normally pornographically open with art as Clitoris/Penis exposed on its flat white skin are now inverted. Here it becomes a prude's cross legged blush. Dirty voyeurs, we leer into her folds to see a Gober, a DeKooning, Picasso's Guitar collage, a Cezanne self-portrait, a Giacometti, a Pollack, a Warhol, and a Mondrian. In another opening an Arbus, several Sherman's, a Mapplethorpe, a Dykstra are barely visible. We witness sophisticated chairs, forks, speakers, tables, glasses, clocks, from a view slanting inward and down in a 3rd gap.

Exclusivity, THE hallmark of contemporary visual culture, is rarified beyond itself as walls personify a gallerina's icy snoot. Selectivity is generated through architectural construction. The methodology used to gaze/squint with walls (as opposed to at them) is the renowned architecture partnership of Herzog and De Meuron's take on Moma's Artist's Choice series. The first one given to architects, 'Perception Restrained' utilizes "the perception of art itself" as its subject matter.


     » MOMA
     » Herzog and De Meuron

Singles

August 3, 2006;/h3>

{     Locarno International Film Festival     }    

http://www.crowndozen.com/main/archives/upload/2006/08/akiKaurismaki-thumb.jpgAn overly pretty location on a quiet Swiss lake, in a medium size Swiss town, in the middle of a hot and often deserted summer. You would never imagine that the fourth most important European film festival (after Cannes, Venice and Berlin) is happening there and then. Yet, it's true. Most people think of Switzerland as an overly quiet country, determined to go unnoticed. Politically this may be true, but artistically, well, this is totally another story. And the Festival Internazionale Del Cinema di Locarno (that's right, this is Italian, the third of the four languages spoken in the different Swiss states. This festival happens in the super pretty and touristic Italian speaking area of the country), happening in the town of Locarno from August 2nd to August 12th, is one of the many proofs.

     » Festival Internazionale del Cinema di Locarno

By Tacita in Singles
Reviews

August 2, 2006;/h3>

{     Rabbbit - Ron English     }    

http://www.crowndozen.com/main/archives/upload/2006/08/rabbbit23345-thumb.jpgFans of Ron English's work will recognize this character immediately; a mutated proto-mascot of the artist's own design, variations of the Rabbbit can be found starring in several of English's paintings. The character itself seems to be a post-modern mash-up of several cartoon/comic archetypes: A double-shot of Bugs, a splash of early Mickey, a sprinkle of Daffy/Donald, all laced with a Rat Finkish psychedelic undertone. He's at once the unwitting (and nearly witless) protagonist and the omniscient transcendent observer. It's a potent design, and it's little wonder that English chose this as his first foray into the designer/collectible toy world. Rabbbit as seen here is a product of Dark Horse Comics' collaboration with English, and they've rendered the critter in 9 inches of soft vinyl, painted up to cartoonish perfection. While his gaze is a little unnerving at first, you'll be amazed at how often you find your eyes drawn to his three-pronged stare. One moment you'll swear it's the blank gape of borderline mental retardation, the next it feels as if the Rabbbit is looking right through your soul. And I'm sure that's exactly what English wanted.

     » Pick one up at ThingsFromAnotherWorld
     » See Ron English's work online at Propaganda.com

Reviews

{     Tanya Morgan - Moonlighting     }    

tanyamorgan.jpg Let’s go ahead and clear some things up here real quick. Its obvious that Tanya Morgan’s Moonlighting already has several strikes against it before the first note even drops. First off is the name, which will undoubtedly conjure up images of some ol’ neo-soul torchlight ish on some bullshit Coke Blak steez. And the name of the album… Moonlighting? This ain’t the Return of Bruno motherfucker and last time I checked, Cybil Shepard ain’t hip-hop (although Travis Bickle was pretty gangsta). What the fuck is this? Lucy Pearl? Brian Fellows? Factor in an intro where some herb is talking about how he hates all the vulgarity in hip-hop and you can literally see the A&R reps climbing out on to the ledge.

     » Tanya's house.
     » Download the "Sunlighting" mixtape, chump.

Reviews

August 1, 2006;/h3>

{     Sinks of Gandy - Trust=Damage     }    

http://www.crowndozen.com/main/archives/upload/2006/07/sinksofgandy23322255-thumb.bmpRemember when the words "indie rock" used to mean something? I'm reaching back a bit here, pre trucker-hat, to a time in which punchy emotionally-driven rock-and-roll didn't have a home in the mainstream, when to call a band "indie" was to imply some actual independence, either in their sound, their approach to production and distribution or in their basic philosophy of rock. Russ Fox remembers those days, and "Trust=Damage" is as much a loveletter to the Golden Age of Indie as it is a step forward into newly-discovered sonic territory. Recording under the moniker Sinks of Gandy, and enlisting help from longtime friend Matt Gingerich along with various other friends and cohorts along the way, Fox has crafted an album rich with personal influence and emotional energy, yet equally full of brilliantly poppy hooks and sing-along choruses.

     » Sinks of Gandy on MySpace
     » Tiberius Records
     » Buy "Trust=Damage"


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