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Boozin’ in the Hudson

rock out with your torch out, in tha Hudson

rock out with your torch out, in tha Hudson

So as my Graduation weekend wrapped up to a close, I found myself stuck in traffic outside the Lincoln Tunnel to New York City. This is especially torturous because we all know that by the time you get to Lincoln Tunnel, you already have ants in your pants to just be in NYC already, but this time was worse than others, for I was going to ride a boat around the Hudson. A booze cruise, if you will. Not just an ordinary one, but one in which my new favorite band Passion Pit would be playing.

were sad cause were missing our legs

we're sad cause we're missing our legs

Passion Pit has a chronic toxicity to their music. The kind you find yourself listening to over and over again because its Spring, getting to be summer, and everyone is losing their heads and their pants with excitement for a multitude of reasons. Whether its continuing being an undergrad with ill intentions of drinking away your summer, a graduate like myself who has a degree that says I know what I’m doing when I have no clue at all, or just someone who knows summer in Philadelphia is a hell of a lot more fun than the winter. Anyway, I’m at an exciting point in my life, and this music echoes that excitement for me. Chunk of Change, their LP, has been on repeat in my apartment since the end of April. The story behind the LP is that the singer/keyboardist Michael Angelakos originally recorded a set of songs for his then girlfriend. I wish someone made this album for me. Lucky lady.

The boat was rockin’ and rollin’ to some of their new songs off their soon to be released record, Manners. The first single, The Reeling, was recently thrown up onto YouTube, with a great collage style and rapid cuts that mimics the quick beats and rapis synthisizing of this band. Obviously, I’m friggin’ crazy about this band. Also, the guys who made the video seemed to be a pretty awesome group of dancers on the front of the boat.

So if you read this, a year from now, you can say you were listening to them before they were huge. They are also starting a long, long tour, you can check for dates here. A little bird told me theres an August date for Philadelphia.

-posted by samsquared

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May 20, 2009 at 10:47 PM Leave a comment

Bromantic Comedies

bromance original recipe

bromance original recipe

Unless you have been under a rock, you may have heard the word Bromance being thrown around. For those of you who may be confused by the abstract idea, it involves two guys, probably between the ages of 16 and 36, who have a best friends forever  type of relationship. This friendship can also deter women from getting involved with either guy, since he’s already in a monogomous relationship with his BFF, thus, Bromance.

summer lovin': happened so fast

summer lovin': happened so fast

I watched The Wackness yesterday. Ben Kingsley plays a perv, and pervs Mary Kate Olson, and does a lot of pharmaceutical drugs to early 1990s rap jams.  I especially enjoyed the parts that make fun of the inadequacies of high school guys in the bedroom. Anyway, I realized by the end of the movie, the two main characters shared a special summer Bromance in NYC in 1994. How cute.

Bromantic Comedies have been popular since before the word Bromance existed. Take Weird Science for example. This is especially interesting because they create a woman, who helps them eventually get other women. The whole premise of this is romantic in  that they solve their romance problems together. They would probably like my idea of a four way marriage. This comprises two men and two women. So when you get sick of one husband you can have another one, and it’s less responsibility for everyone involved. Plus in hard economic times like this, its better value for your money.

the right idea

the right idea

If you aren’t up to the responsibility of a long-term Bromance, or even a summer Bromance, you could try just a weekend bender sort of thing. You should make sure your boss invites you to his sweet weekend house by the beach. When he accidentally dies the first day,  make hilarity ensue with your bromantic counterpart by pretending your boss is still alive. Instant memories.

its such a perfect day, Im glad I spent it with you

it's such a perfect day, I'm glad I spent it with you

So I guess all I’m getting at is if you want to make a really good movie, it should be based on a Bromantic story. This is a guranteed success, with males and females alike. Although, if you are lucky, it will only be popular with males, and you can make like, 100 more bros to share bromantic adventures and times with.

-posted by samsquared

May 18, 2009 at 4:05 PM 3 comments

Affirmation Station: Vampire Liars

mmm, blood and glitter

mmm, blood and glitter and man rings

As promised, I will do my best to affirm things for the readers out there. (I know, I’m almost as surprised as you are that we have readers!) Moving on, my friend Tony asked me to speak on the subject of those pretending to be Vampires. Ah yes, less known about than the Fury community, we’ll call this group the Fampires. (Fake Vampires)

I can has silly hat?

I can has silly hat?

If you would like to see these idiots in their natural habitat, may I make some recommendations? Travel to the dirtiest, trashiest mall in the area, but they should have a Hot Topic. This is like the corner bodega to the Fampires, if a facial piercing falls out, they’ll need a replacement pretty quickly. They can also access the freshest black t-shirts with bad graphics and hair dye. It’s a one stop shop for these losers. Also, the glass they use on the skylights in malls is sealed with a special magic, that allows these fake vampires to not be burned by the sun. Now don’t piss them off, its well known that these fake vampires also have spirit familiars. Oh, not familiar with the spirit familiar? Think of the hardest, most gothic animal you can think of. That’s your spirit animal, and it follows you and does your bidding. Fampires love to have wolf familiars, they will talk about what this made up creature has been doing all day and compare notes.

Now, people pretending to be vampires have existed for quite some time. I’ve known about them since I was 13, which is a prime age to find yourself hanging out at the mall and learning about those who are dedicated to being a vampire. Part of the problem is that these people think vampires actually exist. Seriously? Well, these people didn’t get the memo, they do not exist.

why am I famous?

how can I look more like a Vampire?

And now we have this Twilight crap, which I’m pretty sure is a Harry Potter-like craze, only Harry Potter went blond and started sucking everyone’s blood. This is going to make Fampires all the more abundant. I mean, everyone loves giving hickies in high school, so I can sort of see the allure. However, pretending to be a vampire is not a solid move. You know why? Because it’s pretend! You are not actually a vampire, you will not live forever, and you can’t convince me that you drink blood for kicks. Besides, being pale is not that cool, I should know, I’m a real day-walker.

must have: myspace fang shot

must have: myspace fang shot

So do us all a favor, turn off the shitty gothic music,  take out the platic teeth, and take off the damn make-up. Fampires equalling the suck: affirmed.

March 26, 2009 at 6:29 PM 1 comment

I Got Dance in My Pants

This is a magical dancing man. He will probably annoy you. His name is Mike Long, and I am pretty sure he is my soul mate. Turns out we have a lot in common. Dancing, design, fun, colorful sneakers, sweet shades and beards. I don’t have a beard, but if I was a dude I imagine I would have a really sweet beard like his. Also, he’s from Canada, and I’ve always liked Canada, unlike most of American. Anyway, he danced everyday for a year, and he pretty much still dances a lot. Its not something you can stop once you’ve started. This video features Sharon Jones & the Dap Kings, who are an excellent band if you are not familiar. Let me tell you a story:

Amy Winehouse was an okay singer. Amy Winehouse had a shitty band and was never going to be famous although she looked just like she should be famous because she was very alt looking. Then she got really lucky because Mark Ronson was all up on the Dap Kings and got them to play her album. Everyone wins, because they all get paid. Except we lose, because we have to know who Amy Winehouse is and what a trainwreck she consistently is. Sharon Jones plays with the Dap Kings and she doesn’t do piles of heroin, not surpsingly, not many people know who she is. She also has moves.

make it rain!

make it rain!

Some of you may have also seen this dancin’ machine, who is a MFA student in Yale’s Design School. This guy has a much more electro-tronic taste, and is very Bootylicious. Now while Mr. Kim has a pretty awesome fashion sense, I still prefer the Beard and sunglasses look. I’m obsessed with sunglasses, here are some suggestions for your summer purchase:

note: do not wear at night.

note: do not wear at night.

I also may or may not have been in and out of the country lately. This would explain my abcense in the internetz and my blog. This also goes to show you can’t count on Russ to run a blog on his own. Anyway, I scored some sweet 45s because I like funny record covers, and now I will share some amazing songs with you.

Grenadine Heart, MMM!

Grenadine Heart, MMM!

I can’t embed this great one by Week’s & Co, but trust me when I say, this video is worth it. I promise silver boots, and disgusting choreography.

It may seem a bit harsh, but this picture does Imagination no justice to the one on the 45 I have. I guess a white Grand Piano just really gets these guys in the mood for seductive faces and crawling, and they are just not that into squats.

can you imagine, gold garters?

can you imagine, gold garters?

Happy Monday!

-posted by samsquared

March 23, 2009 at 8:25 PM Leave a comment

One City to Check Out One Night

sure, it looks nice from over here and with a nice filter...   © Flickr user nicoatridge

sure, it looks nice from over here and with a nice filter... © Flickr user nicoatridge

If you’re like me, you probably have no reason to go to Newark most of the time. Unless it’s to pick up some German friend of yours from the airport, or because your friend from Jerz swears they have a good reason to go. There is a good reason to go next week, March 6th 2009, and I want all of you to go because I unfortunately cannot. It’s sure to be an impressive show, I give you:

holy crap that's a lot of people!

holy crap that's a lot of people!

One-hundred artists? That’s amazing. One-hundred artists who are all alive and producing art? Even more amazing. Collective shows are always interesting in the way that the pieces inevitably show some sort of relation from one artist’s work to the others. It’s that idea that if you spend enough time with other people you start to pick up on  their mannerisms, and in this case, artistic preferences. I don’t know how many of these people know each other, and the reality is that most of these people probably don’t know each other, but that makes it more intriguing to me. The scope of this show is going to stretch a wide variety of mediums and topics. This is held at a place called Jajo Gallery, and it looks like they have a fairly good time here judging by the party pictures.

I found out about this show because my best friend, Emily Kane, has been working a full-time job during the day, and dedicatedly working on new works for the show at night.

this is her day job with Jeni, Fritillaria Earring © De Mi A Ti

this is her day job with Jeni, Fritillaria Earring © De Mi A Ti

The most impressive artists to me are those who are severly dedicated. I’ve never questioned her dedication, even if she could talk her way into good math grades in art school. I am definitely disappointed I will be missing this show, not just for the 99 other artists who will be there, but to miss a good friend’s first show. You will definitely see more coming from her in the future, but here’s and example of her work:

holy crap, that's a big drawing! © Emily Kane

holy crap, that's a big drawing! © Emily Kane

Another friend of mine will be showing his work at the show too, but he’s a great deal more secretive about his process and what he’s working on. Pillis has been up to some really spectacular video and animation lately, and I would hope he is going to share some of that at this show. You can check out some of his past work at his blog.

February 23, 2009 at 4:15 PM 1 comment

Nifty Fifty Shmifties

everybody must parade!

everybody must parade!

I haven’t done a design or illustration post in a while, and I need to redeem myself as an illustrator. While paging through an old Print magazine, I came across a book review for Cartoon Modern: Style and Design in Fifties Animation. I could only see the cover, pictured above, but I knew that this book was for me, and I will soon be in ownership of it! The author, Amid Amidi has also put together a very nice blog, which I have now added to my ever extending list of bookmarks. This is a great supplement to those fans of the wonderful retro blog, GrainEdit, who wish they would update more. They definitely believe in quality over quantity, and I’m not complaining.

the hardest way to play!

the hardest way to play!

I’ve mentioned being into fun drawings before, whimsical characters and drawings. I have not mentioned Jim Flora, who’s work is pictured. He was a really great designer from the fifties. Now I also translate this appreciation to 50s animation as well. Fifties animation had a great style, that also featured off set inking. (Note for non-artists: off -set is when the ink color and the line don’t match up, aka off-registration printing) It also features really great textures and color themes and mixtures that are really unexpected. I wasn’t able to figure out why I was so drawn to this style until about a month ago when I saw a Mr. Magoo cartoon for the first time in several years.

caution: blind man with a temper stuff in traffic

caution: blind man with a temper stuck in traffic

When I was younger, I really had a thing for old men, Mr. Rogers and Jim Henson included. The cartoon old man Mr. Magoo is really great, and I know why I liked it so much. He’s such a strong willed little man for being blind, and he always knows what he’s talking about. I think I developed a great deal of my personality from watching Mr. Magoo navigate his way around the world. He’s very sassy, which I think I’m pretty sassy. He also inadvertently becomes the center of a catastrophe frequently. Plus he acts like he’s drunk the majority of the time, becoming increasingly demanding and condescending of other characters. The cartoon is a visual feast of stuff I’m about to rip off! Netflix will be delivering a DVD to me shortly.

I think I would like to live here

I think I would like to live here

This brings me to a studio who is cleaning up with their monopoly of this style. Invisible Creature is two guys, brothers, sitting around and drawing, having a grand old time. At least that’s what I imagine, but I know they must be working very hard to be producing the amount of work that they do. I mentioned Grain Edit earlier, and they were great enough to have featured Invisible Creature in one of their artist interviews. These interviews are really great because they usually feature some tips from the artist on how to create these visuals yourself. How wonderful is that? Wonderfully nice! I’m not so nice, I probably wouldn’t reveal my secrets.

Don & Ryan Clark of Invisible Creature

Don & Ryan Clark of Invisible Creature

WOW! Doesn’t this all look like so much fun. Well, it’s the weekend, go off and have yourself some!

-posted by samsquared

February 20, 2009 at 8:04 PM 2 comments

Crazy Affirmation: Animal Conversations

sunset1

Sadly, I didn’t receive any requests for me to affirm anything for anyone this week. I would just like to say congratulations to all of you, for being so self-affirming. I’m proud of you. But the weekly post must be posted weekly, and so we press on. This week, I am going to address the phenomena of people who talk to animals. Those who are animaphonic (capable of speaking to animals) are a strange and mixed group.

Exhibit A:

I may or may not have view Dunston Checks In this week.  My point here is this. Some times talking to animals (usually monkeys who are robbers) can be hilarious. There are a slew of monkey movies out there that follow this framework, namely Monkey Trouble with a young, boyish Thora Birch and some more obscure movies like Funky Monkey, MVP: Most Valuable Primate, and MXP: Most Extreme Primate.

Exhibit B:

On the other hand, most people who talk to animals are a few marbles short, and you probably want to stay away. I also may or may not have seen a portion of a made for TV movie about Oliver Twist.Since most of you probably aren’t familiar with this version of Oliver Twist, in which a character named Fagin speaks to a crow in his rafters. He’s exceedingly creepy, and to drive the creepiness home, here’s a picture of Timothy Spall as Fagin in this movie. You may have seen him in Harry Potter: Prisoner of Azkaban, Lemony Snickets, or Sweeny Todd being additionally creepy.

Timothy Spall is a professional creeper

Timothy Spall is a professional creeper

Exhibit C:

We also have the Wicked Witch of the West.Now this woman had all kinds of issues.  She may have spoke with monkeys, but they were flying monkeys.

everyone seems to be enjoying themselves here

everyone seems to be enjoying themselves here

If you haven’t at one point in your life wished for a legion of flying monkeys to do your bidding, you’re doing it all wrong. This is where the talking to monkeys thing stops being funny, and starts being freaky and sort of awesome. But I guess dressing in black and having green face doesn’t really get you too far, might as well embrace it.

Exhibit D:

Then we have the case of Alice in Wonderland. Ah yes, Wonderland. I still want to go here, and if talking to a OCD white rabbit with severe concerns about being punctual takes me there, I’ll talk to him. I’ll even sing him a song and dance. That is clearly the correct hole to fall down, even for all the troubles it causes her. Alice is simply one of those characters in a story who doesn’t understand how to make the best of a poor situation.

running so late, he forgot his pants

running so late, he forgot his pants

This goes for characters like Sara in the Labyrinth as well. Marry David Bowie, and his purple package. I don’t see the downside in the situation. He clearly states, “Forget about the baby.”  Win, win.

Okay. With all the evidence before us, I feel it’s safe to make our affirmation. I would like to affirm that its pefectly acceptable to talk with animals under a few conditions. It can be that it is hilarious. Its always good to do things for a laugh. It’s also acceptable if the animals understand you and do your bidding. Lastly, I find it acceptable to talk to the animals if it is going to be beneficial to you. (i.e. becoming Goblin Queen/wife of David Bowie) Never fail to be an oppourtunist. The only way talking to animals isn’t okay is if you are really crazy and creepy, or if someone is going to see you doing this and have you comitted. Now go make some friends, I’m sure there’s some pigeons or squirrels near by.

-posted by samsquared

February 19, 2009 at 9:14 PM 1 comment

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