Saturday, November 1, 2008

Champagne of the Forest

If you're having a hard time distinguishing the subject of this picture from the bushes behind it, it's because you're looking at the elusive camouflage Miller High Life tall boys. Beer companies engage in a lot of lame gimmickry but I'm on board this time, I can't help it.

Friday, October 31, 2008

A Special Day for Being Afraid

Earlier this week I read a review at Pajiba by John Williams (you might know him from such excellent blogs as A Special Way of Being Afraid) and I am super worked-up to see the new Swedish vampire movie/love story Let the Right One In. Here's the trailer:

You can tell from these short clips how unusual and visually stunning the movie is. Scandinavian people are always doing cool and freaky stuff. Scandinavian people understand the power of empty space and color and lines.

While we're at it, another extremely scary, beautifully-made film that gave me nightmares a few nights in a row is The Orphanage. Get it on Netflix if you haven't seen it.

Happy Halloween.

Myths Of The Near Future

In the shuffle of moving I forgot to mention that Emily and I saw a really good exhibition at James Cohan Gallery before we left New York:
Martha Colburn's handmade 16mm animation Myth Labs.

It's essentially a stop-motion collage that Colburn pieced together using drawings, magazine cut-outs, historical images, and flat puppet-like constructions, and then filmed through stacked glass to distort everything slightly. The extremely high-speed story connects the pilgrims and the conquest of North America to the current epidemics of meth and religious fanaticism.

I found the content extremely unsettling and was completely blown away by the attention to detail that went into crafting the whole thing—it took Martha Colburn nine months to complete it.

The show is over now but I recommend visiting to view a short excerpt and more stills.

James Cohan's current show runs through November 15th and features the work of Brazilian artist Beatriz Milhazes, who also kicks ass at art, so if you're in New York go check that out.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Traveling Without Moving

The New York Times has a slideshow on its website featuring the Seattle neighborhoods of Ballard and Fremont. Click here to check it out.

New Acquisitions, part 5: Bozeman

This is commentary and music, with Ron Carter on bass. Pretty cool.
(I will digitize these and post them up once my whole set-up is back in order.)

This has some covers of tunes from obscure films like Medium Cool, The Libertine, Sweden Heaven & Hell, etc.

I don't really need another Paul Mauriat record (does anyone?) but I liked this cover.

Someone had unloaded a bunch of European pressings at the Goodwill.

I'm a sucker for Ramsey Lewis, I think I have 15 of his records. Good cover too.

Another David Axelrod production.

All the songs on this record are named after parks (Central Park, Parc Guell, etc.)


More rare Pink Floyd, including:
The Pink Floyd See Emily Play mp3,
I sing this to Emily (sing it at Emily, really), which, you can guess, she loves.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Every Single Post Means Something

Check it: Marnie Stern's new record just came out, with artwork by our good buddy Bella Foster. It's called This Is It and I Am It and You Are It and So Is That and He Is It and She Is It and It Is It and That Is That and it's the follow up to her first album, In Advance of the Broken Arm, which is brilliant and complex enough that I still hear all kinds of new stuff every time I listen to it. Go get it at Kill Rock Stars or emusic or wherever you buy your music.

From the new record:
Marnie Stern Transformer mp3

From In Advance of the Broken Arm:
Marnie Stern Every Single Line Means Something mp3

Some other stuff we found on the road.

Seems plausible.

This is a really nice looking bag and the chips are delicious.

Emily and I were drinking Leinenkugel's in Minnesota and thought it was a quaint regional brand, but they appear to be making headway in other states—I've seen a few of their signs at bars around Seattle. It's kind of a weird beer, a little too hoppy for cheap camping-trip beer but I could see how it might grow on you.

I didn't know this was a book first.

Not sure why I bought this.

Can't wait to try this out.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Up in the Hood

On Sunday we walked around Capitol Hill a little, and then had drinks at Redwood and watched the Seahawks wipe up the field with the sorry little '49ers. That was fun for a change.

Redwood is a relatively new bar that feels like it's been there since 1967. Apparently it's owned by (among others) Mat Brooke of Grand Archives and formerly of Band of Horses and Carissa's Wierd. (I realize that everyone in Seattle probably already knows this but I have to go at my own speed here.)

Carissa's Wierd Suedehead mp3

The bar has these old mining lanterns retro-fitted with new lightbulbs.

Taxidermy. Obligatory at this point, but I'm not really tired of it, I guess. It's kind of classic in bars – like you wouldn't get tired of paintings on walls.

The bathroom has all these old targets as wallpaper.

The bar is lined with shotgun shells. So yeah there's a vague undertone of violence…to animals, large and small…but somehow the place is very relaxing…for humans.

When the game ended, the bartender put on the new Mount Eerie album Lost Wisdom, featuring Julie Doiron and Fred Squire, which is so good, we stuck around just to listen. Get it on white vinyl with a gatefold and poster at PW Elverum 7 Sun, Ltd., or download it from emusic.

Redwood mixes a mean bloody maria – maybe the best I've had. It has long green beans in it, and they blend it really well. It makes a big difference.

I didn't order food but the menu looks solid too. I like Redwood – it will definitely be my third place, or at least one of them.

After that Emily and I walked over to Linda's Tavern, the old standby. It's across the street from my old office, and I used to go there sometimes.

After that was the Tiny Vipers show at Cairo on Summit Avenue, which was part of Expo 86.
It was weird to me that there weren't a ton of people there—I think if Tiny Vipers played Union Hall or somewhere in Brooklyn, it would probably sell out. Of course, selfishly, I would rather see a small show, and Tiny Vipers did not disappoint, even considering she only played four songs. I will look forward to seeing her play again.

Here she is playing "On This Side" for the Seattle Burn to Shine session.

Cairo seems like a cool place. It got written up in the T blog several months ago.

I got a zine and a Flexions record there, which I'll cover in greater detail later (rest assured).

And, finally, on the way home I walked by this little installation in a closed check cashing place on Broadway:

Reclaimed (Ace Cash Express), by Joanna Lepore, imagines that Seattle has been abandoned and "left to the mercy of nature." It's pretty cool.


Not particularly attractive, but weird and worth noting: the cover of the new Animal Collective record Merriweather Post Pavillion, available January 20th from Domino (via LineOut).

Cat Wrangling

Yes, Jeans is doing just fine here in Seattle. He thanks you for your concern. The climate is working wonders for his fur – he's extra soft. He has had no problems meeting his 19-hour a day sleep schedule.

Monday, October 27, 2008


(Via Andrew Sullivan.)

Party Politics

I didn't think this was possible, but Seattle is more fired up about Obama than Brooklyn. You might recall that I just drove across the country, and of all the places I've seen, I would venture to say that Seattle is actually the most fired-up. I think it must come from the sense that we're in somewhat of a swing state; the Republican candidate for governor is doing well in the polls, and it would not be hard to imagine Washington going for McCain if he hadn't become so diabolically grumpy. I don't think there's any question that Obama will win here—but you get more of a feeling that people have had to work hard for it over this long election season.

Consequently, election night is going to be nuts – there are a bunch of different parties around town, and a lot of them look fun. Current polling, however, suggests we have found our winner:

It's at the War Room, which occupies this beautiful building on Pike Street…

…and it's hosted by General Bonkers' own Kerri Harrop (aka Cherry Canoe). Miss Canoe is to party-throwing as Barack Obama is to campaigning. She is also really…really obsessed with Tom Brokaw. This magical combination means that nerds like myself will not want for news coverage, and good-time party folks like myself will enjoy a good-time party.

There is no cover. (Also, among other perks, Skillet Street Food will be parked outside all night. I mentioned their bacon jam in a post way back in March and I'm excited to meet it again.)

Here are all the details, see you there:

(Design obsessives may also be interested to know that Shepard Fairey did the posters and flyers, and the identity for the club itself.)

Sunday, October 26, 2008

The Unseen Hand

.Emily found this great British Vogue photography book in Bozeman, Montana. It discusses the process of how the magazine has worked with photographers over the years, and features a bunch of outtakes, contact sheets, re-touching notes, correspondence, etc.

Here are some highlights (click to enlarge).

Michael Cooper, 1965

Helmut Newton, 1966

A 22 year-old David Bailey's first contribution to Vogue, 1960. The letter is an interesting read: "In return for this guarantee, it is understood you will do no editorial work for either Harpers Bazaar or the Queen."

Norman Parkinson, 1958 and 1960.

John Deakin, 1952. ("I am very worried about John Deakin at the moment, since he is obviously a very sick man, and should not really be working at all. As you know, he has noone to look after him, and in his present condition he is finding it extremely difficult to wash, shave, etc., and I think that the whole business is beginning to get him down.")

Ellen Von Unwerth, 1991. (Really classic and beautiful compared to some of her later work—this reminds me of a higher contrast Peter Lindbergh.)

Unknown, 1974. (Looks a little like later Sam Haskins, or Jeanloup Sieff in color.)

Guy Bourdin, 1971 and 1970.

Just Jaeckin, 1967.

Bob Richardson, 1966.

Don Honeyman, 1952.

Horst, 1949.

Guy Bourdin, 1977. (I would not be surprised if this shoot was the inspiration for the current Versace campaign by Mario Testino, below.)