Jay-Z and Droga5 Recreate Reasonable Doubt and We So Get It

September 2, 2009

Readers of this blog know that aside from my love affair with Fleetwood Mac, I am a HUGE Jay-Z fan, and sometimes, with varying degrees of success, I try to find parallels between graphic design and Jay-Z. Lately, Sean Carter,who apparently is a Grizzly Bear fan, has been all over the blogs. His new album, Blueprint 3, though not officially slated for release until September 11th, was leaked earlier this week. Luckily, you don’t need torrents to hear it, because you can stream the entire thing here on MTV.com.

BUT, that’s not the story here. Hov recently teamed up with ad agency, Droga5, on a spot for Rhapsody. In it he recreates, in realtime, the cover art of all his albums. Not only is it an awesome concept, but it’s flawlessly executed. From the first shot of the Reasonable Doubt recreation, I was sold.

Don’t take my word for it though. See for yourself.


Sufjan’s BQE Cover Art Blows Your Mind

August 11, 2009

I don’t know who this Sufjan guy is, but this artwork blows my mind. Forget that it’s nearly impossible to decipher anything in the typography. It’s got a picture of Brooklyn — That’s all you need to know.

Just kidding. Sufjan was in that broadway show, Chicago, right?

via Pitchfork


Free Beats: Why I Love The People of New York (even the hippies)

June 25, 2009

“Two days after Obama got elected, some skinny white boy named Shock with some mad beatboxing skills set up a mic and a sign that read “Free Beats” and just let anyone come up to the microphone to show off their stuff. And as a result, I now firmly believe that this guy should be hired by the city of New York as a public service, just to sit there and give out beats for anyone who wants to rap or sing or play the kazoo or whatever the fuck that hippie chick’s playing.” – from I Heart Chaos

I don’t know what any of it has to do with Obama, but it damn sure was entertaining.

Links:
Watch The Video


Molest Me Teacher!

June 22, 2009

If my memory serves me correctly, school is just now wrapping up for most kids around the country. However, this new video for the song Teacher’s Pet by the Old Money boys makes me think of the first day of school for some reason. I don’t know if it’s the random shots of pencils, or the attractive young ladies wielding plastic rulers, but something about it says new backpacks, wrapping books in brown paper bags, and hitting the teacher up for her digits.


Glitter Is The Blood and Guts of Indie Rock Videos

May 27, 2009

If glitter is the herpes of craft supplies then what is it to indie rock? Yeah Yeah Yeahs video for latest It’s Blitz! single “Heads Will Roll” surmises that craft herpes is what happens when you book YYYs to play the banquet scene of a Michael J Fox (as Michael Jackson) reenactment of Sleeping Beauty. Somehow Karen O makes dismemberment look appealing.

Watch it here on Stereogum.


Matt & Kim Get Naked, Release New Video.

April 21, 2009

I really can’t say anything bad about these guys. I will be an utter cornball and say I totally had a class with that guy Matt back in college. Anyway, their new video, for the song “Lessons Learned,” is a fitting accompaniment to the fun little romp of a tune. I’m not sure what lessons I’m learning but I never get tired of seeing naked people.

Watch it here on MTVU.


NIN Releases New Album, Produced by Timbaland

April 1, 2009

NIN releases new Timbaland produced album, Strobe Light. Let’s just say it’s Fiyah! Cool site, too.
Get it here

(via Stereogum)


Passion Pit Releases New Single, Unveils Album Art

March 25, 2009

With Fleetwood Mac’s recent show at Madison Square Garden, Tori Amos playing a show at SXSW, the release of 88 Keys’ long awaited album, and Yeah Yeah Yeah’s It’s Blitz!, 2009 is shaping up to be a pretty good year in music. One of my favorite bands from late last year, Passion Pit, is poised to keep things going with the release of the first single off their upcoming album, Manners.

Passion Pit first grabbed my attention when the blogosphere lit up with the song “Sleepyhead” off their Chunk of Change EP. If you haven’t heard it, here’s a link to the video. The song is in constant rotation here at the command center.

The new single, “The Reeling,” is a bit of a departure from the energetic and somewhat frenetic sound of “Sleepyhead.” Instead, the band has gone for a much more relaxed tune — the kind of track that may not initially wow you but you’ll find yourself liking with each subsequent listen. Hear it on Passion Pit’s myspace page.

Here’s the art for the new album, Manners

(via Stereogum)


Why The New Facebook Doesn’t Suck. Part 2 of 2

March 24, 2009


brought to you by the Zuckerberg Appreciation Society

In part 1 of this article, I pointed out some of the changes that made the new Facebook a little, if not significantly, better than the old Facebook. If you’re still not convinced the new Facebook doesn’t suck, I’m not sure what else I can say to sway you, but here are some more notable improvements.

I recently had a client request that I design his Facebook page. “Why would you want to do that?” I asked. My stance was that Facebook pages weren’t all that effective. On Myspace, there is no distinction between a regular user profile, and a musician profile; A musician profile can interact with others in the same manner as regular profiles. It is this direct connection with their audience that prompted musicians, such as David Hasselhoff, to create Myspace pages.


cover for Hasselhoffs hit single, Hooked On A Feeling

On the other hand, Facebook’s band pages were little more than a page on Facebook that served no real purpose. Sure a band (celebrity or business) could message users who became “fans” but beyond that, they couldn’t really interact with users. The overall effectiveness of the page was questionable. I suspect most bands created Facebook pages just to make sure all bases were covered.

The new Facebook has done away with Pages. Instead, profiles for organizations or public figures are no different than regular user profiles. The owner of such a profile now has the ability to become an active part of the information stream on user homepages. This means their messages have a much better chance of reaching their intended audience. Moreover, it forces them to actively engage their audience, which is crucial to successful new media marketing.

While an average user may lament a marketer or organization’s ability to “infiltrate” their content stream, it is important to note that for this to happen, the user would have to have already added the organization as a friend. Also, as I’ve mentioned before, with the click of a button, users can silence an overzealous marketer. This is far more effective than the old Pages model, where contact was made via messages that may or may not have been opened.

The other change, which I have to admit I’m not entirely crazy about, is the Highlights section. This acts somewhat like the old newsfeed in that it shows “photos, notes, and other content you probably don’t want to miss” over a longer period of time. While the stream is updated in realtime, the Highlights section only changes when something you might be interested in is added.

My issue with the Highlights section is that it’s not customizable. Unlike the stream, a user can’t determine what and from whom she wants highlighted. The whole thing seems kind of arbitrary, which was my problem with the old newsfeed. It’s a good idea, but unless they make the section customizable it’s working against what they’re trying to do with the rest of the site.

The last change I’m going to note, and I’m not really sure if this was changed in the last version of Facebook, is the toolbar. In the last version of Facebook, I found it thoroughly confusing that there was no obvious way of seeing all your events, or going to all your applications. If I wanted to go to an application, I’d do the ass-backwards dance of viewing my profile and clicking the app there. To see all my events, I’d look in the right column, and under whatever events were happening that day, there was a “see all events” link.

When the new Facebook launched, I found the link had been removed. After cursing aloud, and even considering writing a Why The New Facebook Sucks post, I realized all that information was easily accessed via the toolbar. This may have been the case in the old Facebook, but the fact that there were several other places to access the same information was more confusing than it was helpful. Now, if I want to access my applications (not that I ever use them. Well, only that cool bookshelf one.), I know to look at the bottom of the browser, on the toolbar.

I also noticed Facebook widened the rightmost column. It may look a little clunky but it makes sense from an ad space perspective. I don’t know much about Facebook’s click-through rates, but I suspect they’re pretty low. Anything that can be done to make it better is a good move on their part.

Well, that’s all I have to say about that. If you still don’t believe the new Facebook is an improvement, you should consider not using it. There are tons of other social networks out there. You’ll just have to convince everyone else to join.

read part 1 of this article


For All You Lovers Out There (with iPhones)

March 17, 2009