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:
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.
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):
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:
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.
The art style is pretty much spectacular. You can play a demo for free, or buy and download the full version here:
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.
She has an etsy shop where she makes all kinds of shoes and boots (not just Wonder Woman):
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!
Check them all out at her etsy shop:
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.
You can buy the actual artwork, of if you’d prefer you can buy frameable prints of it.
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:
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:
That’s about it for now.