The Heart of a New Yorker, the mind of a Tourist.

animal collective “applesauce”

Posted on January 31, 2013

As you can tell, I’ve become a gif fanatic. This is a warning to prepare yourself for more visual porn in future posts and obviously I’m not talking about nudity–get your mind out of the gutter.  Today’s visual extravaganza comes from the men of Animal Collective and their under appreciated 2012 album Centipede Hz. The Gasper Noé directed video takes us through a journey of watching a girl consume some sort of fruit while she gets attacked by an array of colors. In other words it is visual food porn.

It’s best to play the video in the dark because it enhances the experience, but if you don’t happen to possess the power to turn day into night you can still enjoy it during the sunlight hours.

 

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crystal castles “sad eyes”

Posted on January 27, 2013

 

I would have never thought of myself as a Goth kid growing up. In fact, I was—and still am— the totally opposite. As a kid, I was forced to wear polka-dotted bowties and to tuck my shirt into my pants and on top of that wear a belt to ensure that even through the deadliest of tornados my shirt would stay securely inside of my slacks. Church was a place that I didn’t go to just once a week, but twice.

 

So my love affair with Crystal Castles would shock my elementary and high school friends, but good music is good music and I’ve never felt the need to discriminate. I had an earlier post about their dark “Plague” music video, which may or may not be truly authentic, but passes creeptastic qualifications for a Crystal Castle video. Their latest visual for “Sad Eyes” mixes their live performance with some eerie street masquerade ball.

*WARNING* Beware of you Pupils Exploding *WARNING*

aa: american airlines

Posted on January 26, 2013

“It’s the only airlines in the last 40 years that has not changed their identity. All of the airlines come and go and they change it. American Airlines [is] still the same and how can they improve? They’ve got the best already.” They had the best, but yet and still were unsatisfied. After more than 40 years, American Airlines has stepped away from the identity that has become so synonymous with brand. The man who gave the above quote is the designer of the 40-year iconic logo and also the Italian graphic design legend, Massimo Vignelli.

 

Vignelli’s work has been celebrated across the design community, using key elements of the Swiss design handbook; one can still see his work while riding underground through New York’s transit system, shopping on the streets of your favorite department store and until a week ago one was able to see his work in the heavens. It’s a big deal not only because one is updating one of America’s most known airlines, but also because your updating someone’s work who is seen—not only by himself, but by the world—as one of the best.

 

There’s been a lot of talk amongst designers about the new identity and that’s rightly so. The flying eagle with two A’s surrounding it has been as much of an American icon as a slice of apple pie. The folks at Futurebrand, who have worked with brands like Intel, British Airways, Beck’s and UPS, had the task of updating the logo and bringing it to the modern age. So how does one improve on the best?

 

Futurebrand’s Take

 

 American Airlines is one of but a handful of brands considered true American icons. Strong and proud, its silverbirds are fixtures in the sky, and its namesake sense of possibility inspires deep loyalty. Today, the company’s also invested in that most American of ideals: progress.

American recognized it was time for a new look to better reflect the progress of its multi-year journey towards modernizing the airline and its customer experience.

The new look—the next step in American’s overarching transformation—is inspired by the company’s heritage and incorporates colors and symbols universally associated with American. A reimagined logo—called the Flight Symbol—evokes the star, “A”, and iconic eagle of American’s past, all brought to life in refreshed shades of red, white and blue. Together, they reflect a more modern, vibrant and welcoming spirit.

The logo also debuts alongside a boldly reimagined livery. With proud stripes and a timeless silver body, the livery expresses American’s origins but also the spirit of modern America: innovative, progressive and open to the world.

The New Identity

The new identity is good. It isn’t bad. It’s close to being great, but it is really good. Futurebrand was able modernize American Airlines without ruining the brand’s history. The eagle can clearly be seen between the red and blue color of the airplane wing. It’s strong without being obnoxious and flashy. The misstep with the new identity comes with the overuse of gradients. It feels like a design decision that came from American Airlines and not the designers at Futurebrand. I can almost hear them in the conference room asking the designers for a logo that shines. “We want something that’s flashy and sparkles.” I personally believe that the logo would improve if you took out the gradients, but that is just a personal belief. Overall, as far as the identity is concerned I do feel like that their work is equal to that of Vignelli’s previous design work and in terms of the overall look it may surpass that of the great designer.

 

I’m not going to talk about the livery (a.k.a. the implementation of the identity on the airplanes) because it sucks.

 

Point.

 

Blank.

 

Period.

it’s Coachella, Charlie Brown!

Posted on January 26, 2013

On Thursday, January 24, 2013, sometime near midnight, the great people at Golden Voice finally released the 2013 lineup for one of the most anticipated festival in North America: Coachella. A lineup that is filled with some of my personal favorites like the Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Vampire Weekend, the XX, Passion Pit, Beach House, and the list goes on and on. A three-day weekend of musical bliss, who could ask for more?

 

It has the right formula for amazingness to ensue, but I can’t stay excited for too long though, because every year is like déjà vu. It’s comparable to watching a Charlie Brown holiday special.  You anticipate it before it comes on television, but once it airs you remember how everything plays out and the magic disappears each time you watch it.

 

Now that I think about it, my relationship with Coachella is worse than just watching a Charlie Brown holiday special, it’s like being in one; more specifically the Great Pumpkin Halloween special.

 

Each year, I sit in front of my computer screen waiting for the Great Coachella festival to rise out of the Internet and hand me tickets. He only visits the screens that are most sincere and this year I’ve made sure that my screen has nothing but sincerity as far as the eye can see. The only problem is that I do the same thing each year and miss out. I’ve never been able to travel to Indio, California, and enjoy the desert sun with the other sweat-drenched hipsters.

 

Last year, some people told me to give up and my hopes of ever going to the festival were stupid and to them I said, “STUPID? What do you mean “stupid”? Just wait till next year, Charlie Brown. You’ll see! Next year at this same time, I’ll find a computer screen that is real sincere and I’ll sit at that computer screen until the Great Coachella appears. He’ll rise out of that computer screen and he’ll fly through the air with his bag of tickets. The Great Coachella will appear and I’ll be waiting for him! I’ll be there! I’ll be sitting there on that computer screen… and I’ll see the Great Coachella. Just wait and see, Charlie Brown. I’ll see that Great Coachella. I’ll SEE the Great Coachella! Just you wait, Charlie Brown. The Great Coachella will appear and I’ll be waiting for him…”

 

It’s going to be this year!

lineup-poster.original

breaking bread with bri

Posted on January 24, 2013

It’s always nice to reconnect with old friends. Friends that you think would be long forgotten due to the challenges of becoming a “grown up”.  I, on the other hand, have been lucky with the people that I consider to be more than just acquaintances. They all have a similar “down to earth” quality that ensures me that even though I may not talk to them everyday or every week—like I would like to— I know we can always easily reconnect when need be.

 

My friend and fellow Georgia State alum, Briyonah, visited New York to celebrate her birthday and I had the pleasure of meeting her twin sister Briyyah as we broke bread in the Lower East Side of Manhattan. The original plan was to meet at Clinton St. Baking Company and dine into their delicious menu of pancakes and omelets, but just like most things in life plans change.

 

It was all for the best though. We ended up dining at the Essex Restaurant, which is a few blocks away from the Delancey St./Essex St. stop on the F train. I advise making a stop there for their brunch special for one reason and one reason only: drinks. Their brunch special included the option of three bloody mary’s, screwdrivers or mimosas. Drinks aside, the food was good too, especially the sausage patties even though I had originally wanted to dive into some of their apple sausages that they had inconveniently ran out of—DO BETTER, ESSEX! The best part of the brunch was being able to meet up with an old friend and spend hours talking about everything and nothing at the same time.

 

BLOOM

Posted on January 11, 2013

BeachHouse

There are two types of music listeners in the world. There are those who eat up everything that said music blog is crushing on and then there are those who are anti-hypebeasts and purposely go out of their way to dislike anything that is seen as “in” and then there’s me. I float aimlessly around the middle. I frequently check music websites like Pitchfork and Stereogum to confirm my already impeccable taste in music– I’m kidding, slightly–but ever so often I may have a void in my musical heart. That does not mean that I am going to start panting for any album that Pitchfork deems worthy to review as higher than an 8.0, which is the reason why I’ve never listened to Danny Brown and only know how to spell Ty Segall because you don’t see names like that everywhere.

There are times where I beat myself up for being so stubborn to join the hypebeast bandwagon. A current example is with Beach House’s new album Bloom. I am in no way new to the sounds of Beach House. I’m a big fan of their last album Teen Dream because it helped me fall asleep with ease, which I swear is a compliment. I’ve known that their new album Bloom has been released for a while, but was hesitant on listening to it because I didn’t want to ruin a good thing. I already had a great album with Teen Dream that I could listen to continuously and would take me to my own dream world. What if this Bloom album is terrible and ruins my relationship with their previous album so much that I never want to listen to them again?

No, I’m not over reacting.

These are thoughts that go through my head.

One day at work though, I couldn’t help but enjoy a song that one of my co-workers were playing through the office speakers. Two taps of my iPhone and a few second later Shazaam verified that it was in fact “The Hours” by Beach House that had just satisfied my musical thirst.

Five hours later– because I couldn’t just leave work– I got on my computer and started downloading it. I was happily disappointed that Bloom didn’t compare to Teen Dream’s lullaby music.  I could listen to the full album fully awake!

Although, I’m in love with every single track on the album, the stand out song has to be “New Year”.  The angelic harmonies in the beginning fused with the repetitive staccato chords puts the listener into a trance until the beat drops and the vision becomes clear. “All I wanted comes in colors, vanish everyday,” sings lead singer Victoria Legrand. Repetition is the tool used that makes each chord progression seem brand new, yet gives the listener a déjà vu moment.

I don’t want to spoil the rest of the album for you, but Bloom surpasses Teen Dream by leaps and bounds. Sonically, the sound doesn’t waver, but it hits harder than any of their previous entries.