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Interviews

November 29, 2007;/h3>

{     Interview : Jim Groman     }    

Jim Groman / Madballs

When I was a kid there was a period of time where I spent every cent I earned collecting those disgusting chunks of foam called Madballs, and while they really did nothing but look cool and bounce inccorrectly, I loved 'em like no other! My faves being Hornhead, Occulus Orbus and Dust Brain, I now realize years later just how influential the creators of those toys were on my own tastes and illustration style.

Brought to my attention by those corndogs at Mishka, illustrator Saxton Moore recently interviewed Jim Groman, the illustrator of both some old-school Madballs and the soon-to-come new series! Mr. Moore, aka SACKS10, has graciously gave us the go-ahead to republish the back-and-forth here on CrownDozen.com. Check out what Madballs have been up to and what's coming soon below!

Singles

November 28, 2007;/h3>

{     Soko "I'll kill her" (MP3)     }    

soko.jpg

Soko is a wonderful new folk/pop act from France whom I believe is about to be a household, or at least bloghold, name given all of the celebrities like Lily Allen quoting her all over the place as their new favorite artist. All that talk even scored her a place opening up for M.I.A. overseas on her current tour. While her MySpace page currently houses her only music available, there is an amazing YouTube video that has been circulating for a minute that could be nearly considered performance art. You should definitely check that out while you wait for the below-linked MP3 to download...

     » Soko "I'll Kill Her" video on YouTube
     » "I'll Kill Her" (MP3)
     » Soko's MySpace page.
     » Soko Not Sokute EP at iTunes Store.

Singles

{     Paper AK-47     }    

AK-47.jpg

Yep, we are all pretty much familiar with the good olde Kalashnikov. It reminds all of us of when we were baby soldiers playing around in the dirt esplanade where previously was the House Of Parliament, in our war ridden countries.

Ahhh, sweet memories! The tears, the sarcastic laughs, the cruelties and humiliations and that sweet first crush on a dirty baby soldier of the opposite sex cannot be forgotten... Anyway, since our mean, blue helmet UN rulers arrived and took our best toy away, goodbye AK47! (Unless you enlisted in the Legion Etranger and started a 5 years killer course in some remote forest, THEN you would surely have reconnected with your inner child a lot earlier.)

Until now! As of today, with only 20 euros you can get yourself a spanking new assembly kit for a real size, (almost) fully functioning Kalashnikov and you do not even have to order it from Kazakistan!

Other

November 25, 2007;/h3>

{     Gift Guide for 2007     }    

Here is a small gift guide for 2007 from one CrownDozen.com author, more to come later in our official CrownDozen.com '07 Gift Guide!

1. Freight Train Graffiti (book) This is a great book about the freight train graffiti scene. Very well put together and hi-res pictures. I've always loved trains and when I found out about graffiti, that was it. It's the best of both worlds.

2. iPod Touch (gadget) It's an iPod but it also functions as a small computer. Pick up wireless signals wherever you go, if they are out there, and surf the net. The only qualms I have about this gadget is that it only comes in either 8gig or 16gig size, but I'm sure that will change soon enough. The other thing is that it's rather small, and so the virtual keyboard takes some time getting used to. If you're anything bigger than a Barbie doll then you may have problems typing. They may want to think about including a touch-point type of pen for typing. Again though I'm sure that Apple with either include one or one of the many many third party companies that make accessories for various Apple products will have one on the market.

3. Apple MacBook Pro (super-computer) Wow.

4. Zodiac (film) I saw this in the theater and was pleasantly surprised and impressed by this film. It's about the serial killer known as the Zodiac. Being very interested in the phenomenon of the serial killer for as long as I can remember, this piqued my interest right away. It's a great film even for those who are not interested in serial killers per se.

5. Fujifilm FinePix S5 Pro (digital SLR) I've owned two Fujifilm digital cameras so far and they both have been great. The reason I had to get another one was because I was taking pictures of some freight train graffiti and tried to chase this one piece down, slipped, fell and busted my chin open and broke the camera in the process. This S5 is a full fledged digital SLR (single lens reflex) camera. I'm not even sure most people would know what to do with it if they had one, but it's pretty much the only camera most people would ever need. At 12.3 megapixel resolution I'm sure that any photographer would be satisfied.

6. Who Is Bozo Texino? (documentary film) This is a documentary film about one of the most famous of hoboes; Bozo Texino. It follows the film maker's search for this legend of the rails.

7. Dexter (DVD) I love crime and shows about crime. I was a little weary about this new show called Dexter about a serial killer who kills serial killers, but once I saw it I got hooked. I am not usually one to purchase a dvd of a television show but if it was given to me as a gift I would surely take it!

8. Riding The Rails (DVD) Riding The Rails is a PBS produced series on freight hoppers and hoboes. It goes over the history of riding the rails, who did it, why and how. I have read transcripts of some of the interviews with those that actually did it in the early days of the railroad. Seems like it would be the ultimate escape and freedom.

- Contributed by Jerry: admit2nothing.blogspot.com

Reviews

November 24, 2007;/h3>

{     Dillinger Escape Plan "Ire Works"     }    

dep-ire.jpg

The last time I saw Dillinger I bore witness to the inconceivable. It happened in the pit. While the band split atoms on stage, the kids were clearing the floor with that stupid, kung-fu imitation bullshit that passes for pit activity these days. One kid grabbed another by the arms. Hand in hand they started swirling around and around until the one who was larger and stronger became the revolving base for the other to gain enough momentum to get his legs in flight like a giant burlap sack of cutlery.

That would have been enough for most of us trooly grim geezers in the back to crack a grin but another kid not content to have his deafening dojo interrupted stepped up and started jumping over the swinging one like he was a jump rope. This went on for a few more revolutions before the one doing the swinging got tired. All who saw cheered and laughed. The whole thing came completely out of nowhere.


     » Dillinger Escape Plan on Myspace
     » Buy Ire Works from Relapse
     » Buy Ire Works from SmartPunk

Twelves

November 17, 2007;/h3>

{     Twelve Artists Who Deserve Your Attention     }    

1. Deer Tick
2. Sea Wolf
3. Bon Iver
4. Elephant Parade
5. Jens Lekman
6. Fink
7. Ian Brown
8. Architecture In Helsinki
9. Peter And The Wolf
10. Luke Temple
11. Le Loup
12. The GO

Listen to each artist after the jump!

Interviews

November 15, 2007;/h3>

{     Interview : Mr. Pinks     }    

Pinky

England is famous for many things, such as The Beatles, crumpets, Shakespeare, the Royal Family, Stilton cheese, fish & chips, and much more. However, even though you may find one of the Princes cute, read some occasional Hamlet, listen to the Spice Girls when you're driving by yourself (they're making a comeback, we heard) or love eating fish out of newsprint, the fact remains that if you haven't seen the work of Mr. Pinks then you need to be adding him to your UK list. Pinky's work is like taking a trip back to a time when "Help!" was the jam and Posh was in diapers. Paper cuts all hand done with no stenciling, psychedelic images of owls, apples and his famous skull are just a few of the images that will leave you wanting more. Lucky for you, Schmancy in Seattle is showing original work by Mr. Pinky this month beginning this past Friday, November 9th, so no trips overseas are yet needed. Kristen at Schmancy had a little talk with Mr. Pinks about his art, his process, his buddy Justin Timberlake, and what's coming next...

Reviews

{     Phase (iPod)     }    

phase-game.jpg

Music game junkies with a video capable iPod need to listen up, because with the latest iTunes update Apple has included support for the iPod's first official music game, Phase. It's made by Harmonix, the makers of all good music games such as "Guitar Hero", "Karaoke Revolution", and the soon-to-be-released GH-killer: "Rock Band"! To put it simply, Phase is like Guitar Hero for your iPod, even one-upping it by letting you use your own songs. That's right, every song on your iPod can now be a playable level! The graphics are enjoyable and it adds a whole other level to listening to your music. Is this going to feel as good as Guitar Hero? Probably not, but after 5 hours of playing my songs as levels I can say it's definitely worth the low price of $4.99.

     » Buy Phase from the iTunes Store (direct link)

Reviews

November 11, 2007;/h3>

{     Dri - Smoke Rings     }    

drismokerings-500x500.jpg

"Smoke Rings" will soon find it's way into your heart, mind, MP3 player, boombox, car stereo, dancefloor and/or transistor radio. The debut album from Adrianne Verhoeven (AKA "Dri") is just that wonderfully listenable. It's rare to find something this refreshing and unique that still maintains some level of universal appeal but "Smoke Rings" is just that kind of gem; words like "crossover" don't even apply, because it's not really crossing over from anywhere to anywhere, it just IS. And it's gonna be huge.

This is due entirely to the profound skill and charm of Ms. Verhoeven, whose vocals range from sensual slow-burn crooners to upbeat and silky-smooth rhymeflows. And it's all delivered with such humble confidence, like "I'm just going to put this out there, I know it's not much like what everybody else is doing, but it's what I'm about and I hope you dig it..." That unassuming attitude allows Dri to have some fun with this piece, it gives her the freedom to genre-hop and experiment, ultimately crafting something that distinguishes her from her peers while simultaneously raising the bar amongst the unconventional/indie songstress crowd.

     » Dri "Meet Me Out" (MP3)
     » Dri "What's Real" (MP3)
     » Dri's MySpace
     » Range Life Records
     » Video for "You Know I Tried"

Reviews

November 10, 2007;/h3>

{     Perry Bible Fellowship - The Trial of Colonel Sweeto and Other Stories - by Nicholas Gurewitch     }    

perrybiblefellowshipbook13825.jpg

I often imagine Nicholas Gurewitch looks something like a cross between Bob Ross and the Hostess Fruit Pie Magician. Perhaps that's just a side-effect of having been religiously devoted to his comic-strip, The Perry Bible Fellowship, over the past couple of years; it's dreamy surreal mix of childhood whimsy and dark reality somehow forces me to perceive the author as existing in the crossroads between the beloved (and be'afroed) cheesemeister star of Public Broadcasting's most popular paint-at-home show and a cartoon snack-cake sorcerer. So be it.

Gurewitch's strip has appeared in a remarkable number of newspapers, magazines and student publications, but this marks the first time the strip has been printed and bound as a collection on it's own (with considerable thanks to Dark Horse for making that happen). It's a treasure-trove of wicked belly-laughs, the Brothers Grimm meets John Waters in comic-strip format. People like to throw the word "dark" around a lot these days, using it to describe everything from plot twists on Desperate Housewives to the new Mountain Dew ad campaign, but Gurewitch's re-purposing of childhood imagery and his ability to exploit otherwise naive subject matter for a laugh is so dark it's positively candy-coated pitch-black. If you haven't had the pleasure of dipping your toe into the PBF pool as of yet, here's a little taste:
0PBF59011BC-Not_Today_Little_One.jpg


     » Buy a Copy
     » Check Out the PBF Online

Singles

November 8, 2007;/h3>

{     Kanye West "Get 'Em High (A-Trak Remix)" (MP3)     }    

kanyeknife.gif

Not to totally overdose everyone on Kanye now that some of the 'Graduation' hullabaloo has died down a little bit, but I just wanted to take a second to bring your attention to this track from Kanye's self-released post-graduation mixtape of remixes and alternate takes. The whole thing can be found on West's blog, but the one to notice is A-Trak's remix of "Get 'Em High", putting 'Ye over top of nothing else but The Knife's "Heartbeats"! Yes!

     » Kanye West "Get 'Em High (A-Trak Remix)" (MP3)
     » Get the whole mixtape here!

Singles

{     BORIS "Flood" (MP3)     }    

Boris_flood.jpg

Boris are a 3-piece band that makes, to put it succinctly, a fuckload of noise. 'Scuse the French. The band got their name from a Melvins song of the same name, a classic 8 minutes of crushing heaviness.

It is said that when Boris release an album with all uppercase letters like "BORIS" then it is most likely a heavy stoner/rock-ish album, but if lowercase letters are used like "Boris" or "boris" then it is an experimental album, usually drudge or avant-noise. I like that, and if I were to recommend any one album then it would most definitely have to be "Flood". It's basically one song, though I've seen it broken or partitioned off into four parts or movements. The song-slash-album clocks in at a not-too-shabby 70:33 (that's 70 minutes and 33 seconds, for those of you living in Montana). Basically what this album sounds like is exactly how it is named, a flood. Like a good film or book I will not spoil the ending but I will say that the album starts out quietly and peacefully, then slowly builds and builds until the levee just can't handle the weight of the water anymore. And then... well, you'll just have to listen to it to find out.

     » BORIS "Death Valley" (MP3)
     » Boris info on Wikipedia
     » Buy "Flood" on Amazon.com

- Contributed by Jerry: admit2nothing.blogspot.com

Singles

November 7, 2007;/h3>

{     Art In The Age     }    

artintheagepeace.jpg

As t-shirts become more of an accessory then an all out solution for your topside, it’s important to pick wisely what your next short-sleeved purchase will be. You don’t want something that can’t stand on it’s own as something cool, and you don’t want something that by the time spring rolls around will look like crap, which brings us to Art in the Age.

Art In The Age is the company you want to support so as to walk away with the reward of a guaranteed classic. Their goal is to bring art to the public in an affordable and enjoyable way - in other words, you really ARE getting culture with your clothing.
By and far one of, if not THE best t-shirt label I have had the luxury of reviewing, Art In The Age’s line of apparel is just aesthetically decked out to the max with awesome designs and made with some serious high-quality material for a truly comfortable wear. It’s hard for me say much more than to insist you check them out ASAP.

     » Check out Art in the Age!

artintheage

By A.J. in Singles
Reviews

November 6, 2007;/h3>

{     Livity - Fall/Winter 07'     }    

livity-877_large.jpg

Baby it’s cold outside, so the famous song goes, but sometimes it’s better to go then stay. Before you let him or her grab your hat, be sure it’s not from Livity Outernational. Livity’s general groovitational attitude towards making and designing hats is, without a doubt, a five by five move. Form, function, quality, aesthetics, design are all taken into account with each piece.

Art

{     Snapshots from the London Art Fairs     }    

The-River-Thames-Skyline.jpg
The London Art Fairs ( Frieze, Zoo, Pulse, Year 07, etc.) which wrapped up in the UK a few weeks ago have been well documented on most all of the major art blogs by now. What most lacked though was a distinct absence of what they are supposed to be all about: the art. Well crowndozen.com has come to the rescue. A few hundred snapshots have been posted on flickr.com of all the work we thought fit to bring to your attention.

A conspicuous lack of credits may leave you wanting for who made what and what gallery exhibited them. We apologize. With too much to see in too short a period of time we only had the capacity to document the frenzy photographically. A justification took the form of an equation that went through our heads while racing around the fairs. It looked like this: No credits + only art = no egos = no pretentious hierarchy = judgement of the validity of the work based on it's own merits = (we hope) better reporting.

I know some of you still might think we're throwing the artist out with the bathwater (refer to aforementioned apology). If you're THAT interested in who'ses and what'ses we suggest you dig into the fair's websites under their exhibitors section and suss it out yourself. They've got all the details covered amply. Or just set the flickr page up on slide show and enjoy the cascade of creativity.


     » London Art Fair Snapshots
     » Frieze Art Fair
     » Zoo Art Fair
     » Pulse London Art Fair
     » Year 07 Art Fair

Reviews

November 2, 2007;/h3>

{     Hellboy 8" Qee - Dark Horse / Toy2R Collab     }    

hellboyqee14679.jpg

Hellboy and Qee are the new chocolate and peanut butter. It's kind of a no-brainer, really, combining Mike Mignola's iconic character with the designer toy market's most venerable production house (Toy2R) has resulted in one of the year's niftiest pieces of collectible vinyl. And The Right Hand of Doom has never looked so adorable.

Following a successful stint in the Qee standard 2.5-inch format, this limited edition run clocks in at a whopping 8" tall and commands some serious shelf presence. This is one massive hunk of vinyl, and it captures the raw lines of Mignola's design amazingly well. The severed horns, broad jawline and even his signature ponytail are present and accounted for, and the production model features a screened-on utility belt that differs slightly from the prototype model seen here, keeping intact all the must-have Hellboy details while retaining the Qee superdeformed cute-factor. Big Red's even packed with an accessory, a Qee-ized version of his huge-barreled pistol (fans of the movie may know it as the "Samaritan") that can be held in either hand.

By Adam in Reviews, Toys

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