Last week was a daaammmmn good week for music, lots of old favorites have started to release new albums and they’re all sounding really amazing. First up is Beach Fossils and their new full length, self-titled album. I was a huge fan of the few song I had originally heard so I was stoked that he had a new album out. So far it’s really chill and I’m excited to listen to it more.
After that was Mr. Bert Jansch who I suddenly got a kick to listen to the other day, followed by Broken Social Scene and their new album Forgiveness Rock Record. Then we had LCD Soundsystem and his new album This is Happening and so far I’m really digging it. I hear a lot of people saying it’s perfect but so far I’d say that Sound of Silver is better.
How much longer can any of us wear skinny jeans? Even though it’s almost summer, I’m more likely to wear jeans than shorts. The past few pairs of jeans I’ve purchased have had increasingly wide leg openings. No, not anywhere near JNCO territory, but more of a slim, straight-legged denim pant. And this worries me. For one, I could not have been happier when skinny jeans started to trickle their way down the retail pipe. I am narrow, and my legs tend to float in wide leg pants like the clapper inside of a bell. Another reason I liked the trend? I was tired of seeing butt cracks in low-rise boot cut jeans.
But now I’m tired of seeing the contents of people’s pockets (to put it mildly). And while the wide-leg pants of yesteryear looked awkward on particular body types, the same is true about skinny jeans. So I’m asking for a prediction on how much longer I’ll be able to find slim-fitting jeans and how much longer I’ll be averting my eyes away from suffering anatomy. Do you plan on wearing skinny jeans much longer?
The multifarious artworks and objects created by Australian artist/designer/illustrator Beci Orpin have a cult following of designer lovers who are entranced by her magical artworks, homewares and accessories. Whether she is at the helm of Beci Orpin (her homewares and accessories label), making clothes for little ones for Tiny Mammoth (her children’s clothing line), or working on illustrations for her long list of commercial clients, the one element that is consistent in Orpin’s work is a sense of childlike nostalgia that is suffused with dark undertones. Her latest exhibition entitled “Infinite Shape of Rainbows” continues Orpin’s fascination with fashioning a visual harmony between disparate elements, and includes limited edition giclée and gocco prints, mixed-media collages and hand-painted kokeshi dolls.
Inspired by “60s book covers, educational toys and 18th century paper-cuts”, Orpin’s new works marry pop art aesthetics with folklore details. The iconography that has become her signature – weeping clouds, owls, military medals and hanging hearts – is still intricately integrated into her pieces, as Orpin explores the uncertain polarity between light and dark, good and bad. In this sense, her exhibition’s title alludes to the colourful palette of her works and is a metaphor for the “pretty” illusions that she fabricates in her art. While a rainbow is merely a beautiful and intangible image of refracted light, behind the visual splendour and decorative quality of Orpin’s work is an underlying tension seen in the representation of handguns, skulls and gas masks. Like a children’s fairy tale, all is not what it initially appears to be. The giclée prints featured above are entitled “Life”, “Death”, “Peace” and “War”.
“Infinite Shape of Rainbows” is on at Melbourne gallery Lamington Drive until 6 May 2010.
It’s the future from the past; it’s the Grumman Moon Suit! You might recognize it from the April 27 1962 issue of Life Magazine, or from Matel’s Major Matt Mason, a moon-exploring plastic toy from 1963. The suit was invented by Allyn Hazard, an engineer at JPL in Pasadena, the suit’s distinctive shape accommodates the ability of the astronaut to retract his arms from the sleeves of the suit into a spacious interior. But why? “To perform vital tasks, like scratching one’s nose.” But that’s not all he can do, because other on-board amenities include food, air conditioning and an inexplicable a much needed crotch window, which you can see in the black and white photo above. The model astronaut above is the suit’s inventor, who is doing a great job of hiding the agony he surely must be in as he nervously clambers around the scorching mojave desert in a 200 pound, iron-clad turtle shell terrified that he will fall over and not be able to get up. And the boots are so stylish.
Scientists rarely seem naive, and when they do it’s actually a relief. These are folks who spend their careers searching for explicit understanding, exact analysis and extremely long equations. But designing a space suit in 1960 required less calculator and more imagination. Imagine packing for a 20 billion dollar vacation 240,000 miles away. It’s science fiction, and the personality of the Grumman Moon suit is not just result of accommodating function, but also of exceeding optimism. Let’s call it Lunafest Destiny: “we ARE going to the moon.” (But instead of forcing Native Americans down the Trail of Tears, we are going to kill domesticated animals, forcing them down a meteor’s tail.) Every good story needs an antagonist, and the same science fiction story that invented this space suit, perpetuated a ruthless ambition with regards to animal testing- the cold scientist with a heartless calculator.
But what I love about the Grumman Moon Suit are the design’s traces of the scientists’ hand and hubris. Someone went to great lengths so that space travelers could walk on the moon AND simultaneously pick their noses… all in the name of science. While this moon suit never made it off the ground, I hope that one day the efforts of these scientists will pay off with a big, juicy moon booger. Until the earth rises over the horizon of the moon that day, we’re stuck on the earth’s crust looking out toward other moons with no plans, no crotch windows and no space suits to take us to the future.
The folks over at Drawn! posted a link to Jonaton Cantero and I was totally blown away with what I saw. His style is very influenced by Miyazaki and anime, with all sorts of whacky characters in these bizarre sort of situations. I love how random these images are and the action going on is spectacular. Someone really needs to hook this guy up with animator and give him his own show on Cartoon Network. I would watch it in a heartbeat.