Paris Versus New York

The premise of Vahram Muratyan’s Paris vs New York: A tally of two cities is to present a “friendly visual match between those two cities, as seen by a Parisian-based-and-lover on New York: details, cliches and contradictions.” Muratyan, who is the co-founder of art direction and graphic design studio ViiZ, has created a blog that is not only visually striking, but also charming, witty and a little bit cheeky. The juxtaposition of the various icons of the two cities and the details that make up their urban identity is explored through subjects as diverse as bread (baguette vs. bagel), the weather and pests (Parisian pigeon vs. New York rat). I can’t wait to see this project develop further.


October 29, 2010 / By

Works in Progress by Steven Powers

The always talented Steven Powers has put up some work-in-progress on his site First and Fifteenth and there were some goodies I had to share. For those of you who aren’t familiar Steven did this amazing Everything Is Shit Except You Love which I posted a few Valentine’s Days ago as well his immense mural project A Love Letter To You. It’s nice to see some new pieces popping up and the pieces above were my personal favorites.


Bobby Solomon

October 28, 2010 / By

HELLAWEEN II | The Return of Punchy

HELLAWEEN II | The Return of Punchy
Click here to download

So many things going on! I’m sorry I’ve been so quiet lately but I promise that it’s all for you. Better site, better design, better content, more of what you love, free puppies! But seriously, there’s a lot of big things happening behind the scenes right now that will come to fruition in the next couple weeks.

First things first, if you wouldn’t mind taking this quick survey for me, I’d totally appreciate it. I’ve made this blog for primarily me for the past 3.5 years but I’ve started to realize that I need to listen to you and your opinions more. This is growing beyond just a silly project of mines so this is your chance to let me know how I’m doing and what I should be doing better.

Your reward for taking the short quiz is a brand new Mixtape by the amazing Punchy! You may remember him from his Mixtape from two years ago called HELLAWEEN which is still my most downloaded mixtape ever. He’s back now with HELLAWEEN II / The Return of Punchy, an even dancier mix that’s perfect for getting ready for your Halloween party or driving around town to the next party you’re headed to. As you can see from the tracklist this is not the usual lineup of artists that would be featured on the site, but I’m having no problem dancing to this! A big thanks to Adam for the mix!

Don’t forget there’s also We Never Heard It’s Noise, the Mixtape I made last year.

Mad House Intro
Cousin Cole – Thuggish Ruggish Love
The Ting Tings – Hands
Nina Sky – You Ain’t Got It
MIA – XXXO (Riton Rerub)
Sia – Clap Your Hands (Diplo Remix)
Punchy* – Whoomp Like a G6
Nicki Minaj – Check it Out
Bobby Pickett – Monster Mash (DJ Greg J Edit)
Backstreet Boys – Everybody (Backstreet’s Back)
Chromeo – Don’t Turn the Lights On
Mark Ronson & The Business INTL – The Bike Song
Willow Smith – Whip My Hair
Kayne West (ft. Nicki Minaj) – Monster
Drake – Over (Esentrik Mix)
Duck Sauce – Barbra Streisand
New Order – Blue Monday
Rockwell – Somebody’s Watching Me
Lady Gaga - Enter Telephone (DJs from Mars Mix)


Bobby Solomon

October 28, 2010 / By

‘The Rocky Horror Picture Show’

If when watching a film I am confronted with a character who spontaneously breaks into song, I decree the film over. My toes start to involuntarily curl and any investment that I had in the plot is completely destroyed. To be honest, I feel embarrassed. I can’t help but think, “Why are you singing? Do the hills really need to be alive with the sound of music?” I have just never been able to accept the embedded logic of film musicals that utilise singing interludes to develop and punctuate emotionally heightened scenes. There is, however, an exception to this rule: The Rocky Horror Picture Show (1975). Yes, it’s camp, kitsch, over the top and burgeoning on tacky, but if you’re going to sing in a film I figure you may as well do it in fishnet tights, lipstick and suspenders (I should stress that this only applies to men so Liza Minnelli’s performance in Cabaret [1972] cannot be included).

“What is Rocky Horror anyway? It’s just some rock and roll music, a little foot tapping, a few jokes, a bit of sex.”

- Richard O’Brien

The Rocky Horror Picture Show, which began life as a musical stage production, couldn’t be more perfect for midnight screenings and fervent audience participation. From the opening number “Science Fiction/Double Feature”, the film sets itself up as deliciously self-reflexive, uninhibitedly bizarre and rather enamoured with schlocky B-grade movie clichés. Following the newly engaged Brad (Barry Bostwick) and Janet (Susan Sarandon), the film centres on their encounter with Dr. Frank-N-Furter (Tim Curry) and the crazy band of misfits staying in his castle. The birth of gold spandex-wearing Rocky (Peter Hinwood), a handful of murders, an appearance by Meat Loaf, singing, sex, dancing and general madness ensue.

Jim Sharman, who both directed the film and wrote the screenplay with Rocky Horror creator Richard O’Brien, is predominantly known for his role as a theatre director and this is reflected in his rather straightforward filming style. However, given the film’s blatant homage to British Hammer Horror cinema, Sharman’s approach to film direction can be viewed as a pastiche of the naïve, gothic visual look of these films. From the costuming (Victorian corsets for men, anyone?) to the props to the settings, Rocky Horror gives postmodern appropriation and parody the tongue-in-cheek treatment it deserves.

Looking beyond the fact that the performances are brilliant and the songs are insanely catchy, the film is also a wonderful exploration of subversion – it is sexually subversive, aesthetically subversive and certainly a huge contrast to the majority of saccharine musicals that had previously been cinematically released. I am aware that there are a number of people out there who really don’t like this film. Perhaps they have yet to enjoy the fun of doing the “time warp” or maybe they are unable to appreciate the beauty of Tim Curry dancing around in heels proclaiming that he is a “sweet transvestite from transsexual Transylvania.”


October 28, 2010 / By

Loop City Film by BIG

This video starts in 1947, when Danish Urban Planners traced a giant hand over a map of Copenhagen and the Finger Plan was born: each digit becoming a means of connecting the city to the suburbs. Fifty years after someone felt up the map, BIG has introduced a plan for the next fifty years: LOOP City.  LOOP City develops around a future rail line and addresses some of the biggest challenges facing CPH by combining this infrastructure with architectural programming. Bjarke Ingels (founder of BIG) talks about LOOP City briefly here, and longer here.

Even if Danish Urban Planning doesn’t get you too excited, the animation is great: projected on two perpendicular walls with a 3-D bridge form connecting the two. If you have trouble reading the bubbles, try watching these versions of the video, which BIG created with help from Kollision and Cavi.


Alex Dent

October 28, 2010 / By