Posts from December 2009

Wednesday, 30 December 2009

A Very Alan Thickemas

As a follow-up to my Festivus Round-up, creative collective The Beta Society has posted the entirety of the movie portion of A Very Alan Thickemas. It features the real voice of Alan Thicke, and also an impersonated voice of Alan Thicke. It’s directed by Celene Ramadan, who you might also know as chiptune musician Leeni. Yes, it’s a puppet musical.

Categories: Christmas, Links, Movies, Videos.

Wednesday, 23 December 2009

A Festivus Round-up

Happy Festivus, everyone! I hope you get to air some good grievances. I hope the plain aluminum pole is not too distracting. And I hope you win the Feats of Strength!

Here I’m going to round-up a big random heaping of things I’ve found interesting recently. Artists, websites, musics, games, whatever. In random order:

Michaela Eaves

I saw her at a studio open house where she had some paintings and prints out for display. I really dug the way her paintings have heavy outlines, and the way the lines break up the colors in such a way that her paintings almost look like stained glass.

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She also had an adorable painting of a rocket ship, done in a soft, children’s book style of painting. I dug it, but I can’t find a picture on her website (which is mostly about her graphic design & illustration business):
www.michaelaeaves.com

8-Bit Jesus

8bitjesus
I thought this was pretty spectacular. Not only did Doctor Octoroc (sic) make 8-bit chiptune versions of many Christmas songs for his album 8-Bit Jesus, but he also wrote them in the specific styles of various 8-bit video games. My favorites are definitely “Carol of the Belmonts,” “Bubbles We Have Heard on High,” and “8 Days of Master Robots,” which very excellently captures the essence of the Mega Man experience. Also, “Icarus! The Herald Angels Sing” is quite accurate. Check it out:
http://www.doctoroctoroc.com/8BitJesus/

Machinarium

Machinarium is a beautifully done, old-style, point-and-click adventure video game, unbelievably done entirely in Flash. I like it ’cause it’s about robots. But more than that, the world is completely enthralling, and the puzzles all involve robot logic more than real-world logic.

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The art style is pretty much spectacular. You can play a demo for free, or buy and download the full version here:
http://machinarium.net/

Kaiju Dance to Thriller

Just what the title says: a bunch of Kaiju dance to Michael Jackson’s “Thriller.”

Wonder Woman Pumps

This woman takes shoes and tastefully collages them with pages from Wonder Woman comic books. She tends to use mostly monochromatic images, so the effect is a little subtler than you might expect.

wonderwomanpumps

She has an etsy shop where she makes all kinds of shoes and boots (not just Wonder Woman):
http://www.etsy.com/shop/Pachainkapink

Regurgitated Thanksgiving Dinner Scarf

Taisha McGee sells what she calls “Ugly Scarves.” They’re mostly actually quite pretty, but she nevertheless gives them hilarious names based loosely on their color schemes, names like “Mulched Roses,” “Tidy Bowl,” “Moldy Cheese,” “Mushy Froot Loops,” and my favorite, “Regurgitated Thanksgiving Dinner.” She also has the sense of humor to take photos of the scarves wrapped around a cardboard stand-up of John Wayne. Bravo!

regurgitatedthanksgiving

Check them all out at her etsy shop:
http://www.etsy.com/shop/TaishaMcGee

Alexis St.John

An artist whose work I saw in a tea shop in Downtown Tacoma (Mad Hat Tea, 1130 Commerce Street) and I liked the humor and simplicity in it. I also really appreciated how most of the paintings were really small; a lot of ’em were only like 6″ × 6″, and I don’t think anything of hers gets over 20″ in any direction.

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You can buy the actual artwork, of if you’d prefer you can buy frameable prints of it.
http://alexisstjohn.com/Gallery.html

TheSixtyOne

TheSixtyOne.com is a fascinating idea for a democratic music website, where the more people like a song the more popular it becomes, and ANYONE can upload ANY song they’ve created (as long as they’re legally allowed to blah, blah, blah, y’know).

Not only that, but it turns listening to music into kind of an RPG. You gain experience (called “reputation”) and rise in levels. There are quests (like “Listen to 7 recently-uploaded songs” or “Listen to the radio stations of 5 other people for 5 minutes each”) that let you earn experience and “hearts,” which you can use to mark a song as a favorite (i.e., you heart the song). And you also earn experience as other people later heart songs that you previously hearted. The more reputation you have, the more likely other people are to listen to your opinions (in theory at least). So you get tangible rewards for finding new, unheard songs that you really like and then getting other people to like them as well, other than the reward of discovering good music.

Also, TheSixtyOne.com is the only place right now where you can hear Taisha’s musc (yes, the same Taisha that makes those scarves). Just go here:
http://www.thesixtyone.com/taisha/

A Very Alan Thickemas

THE Alan Thicke, Leeni, and puppets. Lots and lots of puppets. And Blake Lewis is somehow involved. It exists, I just have no idea of how to see it. Other than these:

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That’s about it for now.

Categories: Artists, Arts & Crafts, Celebrities, Christmas, Comics, Japan, Links, Movies, Music, Pictures, Robots, Round-up, Video Games, Videos.

Tuesday, 22 December 2009

Merry Christmas from Daichi

Categories: Japan, Music, Videos.

Wednesday, 16 December 2009

Happy Winter Friends!

Let’s play “Take Turns” together!

Categories: Cartoons, Holiday, Videos.

Friday, 4 December 2009

“Of the Month” December ’09

Link of the Month:
My Wish List
It’s that time of year again: Time for you to buy things for me for Christmas! BUY THINGS FOR ME! Don’t forget to sort the wish list by PRIORITY. Thanks in advance!

Album of the Month:
November 2009 Album of the Month Tori Amos: Midwinter Graces
Tori Amos has released a holiday album! Gasp! This album is Tori’s delightfully weird takes on some holiday classics, with a couple of originals thrown into the mix. She slightly varies the melody, lyrics, and cadence on the most well-known songs, which is at first a little off-putting because you find yourself unable to sing along with the much-extended vowels or the arbitrarily changed or dropped words (for some reason she removes the word “bright” and the entire final line from the chorus of Star of Wonder), and the “Tori Amos Accent” is in full swing—vowels are randomly transposed to different vowel sounds, and she manages to make the word “torches” sound like, “to-ho-ah-chyezz.” But once you get used to her versions then you find that they’re wonderfully idiosyncratic and undeniably all hers.

Game of the Month:
November 2009 Game of the Month New Super Mario Bros. Wii
A New Super Mario Bros. video game is like an old friend (one you are actually excited to see) coming to visit. It’s like a warm fire waiting for you in a home you love. You’re not going to have your world rocked by something new and exciting, but, by gum, you’re going to have a lot of familiar fun. So what if you’ve eaten this food before? This is one of your favorite foods, and you always enjoy another serving.

Categories: Of the Month.

Tuesday, 1 December 2009

November Recap

Once again November has proven to be the busiest/stressiest month of the year, so no real surprises there (and hence only three posts on this website during the entire month). Carrie & I spend most of our energies getting ready for our craft shows. She additionally has a bead festival to put on. But let me now try to recall some goings-on:

One of the most fun things was the re-incorporation of Nathan the Orange Fool into Fools Play Improv after a six-year hiatus. He moved back to Olympia recently and so has re-joined our illustrious cast alongside official newcomer Jamie the Ginger Fool. And with Esa the Periwinkle Fool more-regularly attending as well, that means that Mike & I are going to be faced with two-person shows far less frequently. Good news all around. In fact I took advantage of this by taking off the weekend of my craft show.

Carrie stayed on-site in Bellevue during the weekend of the Bead Festival, leaving me home alone. Well, during the week leading up to the Festival she went shopping for various sundries, and came back with New Super Mario Bros. Wii for me as a surprise early Christmas present because she loves me, or at least that’s the reason she gave. Also so I would have something to occupy my breaks between making crafts for my craft show.

The Tuesday after the Bead Festival was Carrie’s birfday. I had already given her a main present (a new outfit that she wore to the Bead Festival), so on her actual birfday I just gave her a li’l something extra, the holiday album by Tori Amos, Midwinter Graces. We went over to her folks’ place, where we were joined by L&C, which was ve’y fun. We played a lot of bowling on the Wii. Carrie’s mum made “linguine with clam sauce,” which is just like a meal that my mum used to make called “clam sauce spaghetti.” As you can tell, the only real difference between the two meals is the width of the pasta used.

Then two days later we were right back over there for Thanksgiving. With a lot more bowling on the Wii. But less linguine. But more turkey.

But the day before Thanksgiving we went out to the new(ish) place on 6th Ave called “Sax.” It had a very strange atmosphere that I couldn’t put my finger on. Thankfully somebody else did: Sax feels like somebody remodeled their basement into a bar. There are no decorations on the walls, there is a green carpet, and the wood paneling isn’t quite of the highest quality. It is almost as if they set out to make a neighborhood dive bar but then changed their minds halfway through and tried to make it into a classy bar, and so it exists in this weird limbo in between them. But we did share the Slider Trio appetizer, and it was very delicious. They really season the meats well.

The day after Thanksgiving, Carrie had a craft show called Gritty City at a hole-in-the-wall gallery on the very southern edge of downtown T-Town. It was difficult to tell from the outside that the building was anything other than either (a) abandoned or (b) just some old-timey storage/warehouse building. But inside was actually a really awesome space. I would love to get into this show next year because it seems like it would really jibe with my aesthetic.

The next day was the craft show out in Purdy that we do together. I had a couple of new product lines this year: Kawaii necklaces and soldered pendants (which as you can see I am putting up on Thirsty Robots). I didn’t do quite as well as last year, though, and the booth fee was much to high to justify doing it again. So next year I’m going to be looking into doing other, more artsy shows that cater to a younger crowd that would “get” my stuff a little bit better than the upper-middle-aged women who are the primary demographic of the Purdy show.

So now I’m done with craft shows for the year, but Carrie has one more this coming weekend, so she’s still crazybusy. And I’m spending this entire week dealing with the fallout from the show; packing back up my inventory, putting all the new stuff up on Thirsty Robots, etc. Plus I got two special orders that I have to make this week.

And that spins us right on out of November and into December. I’m certain I forgot some stuff that I would have wanted to mention, but such is the nature of the November beast. Ah, well. I leave with with some Baman Piderman:

Tomorrow, time permitting, I shall post my “Of the Month” selections for December ’09.

Categories: Arts & Crafts, Cartoons, Fools Play, Holiday, Life, Links, Restaurants, Round-up, Thirsty Robots, Video Games, Videos.