Friday, October 31, 2008

north america halloween prevention initiative

feist and the wolf parade boys are pretty easy to pick out, but see if you can hear arcade fire, REM, rilo kiley, islands, peaches, karen o, devendra banhart, david cross, and thurston moore in here too.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

forget halloween

what are you wearing on election night? i'm wearing this recent ebay win.

Monday, October 27, 2008

two birds fly

apartment therapy is featuring the home of serena and mason, the owners and operators of two birds fly, who run with a pretty serious crew (mollusk, sprout, solitary arts). their place is predictably paradisical. surf and skate boards line the walls, surrounded by thomas campbell artworks and many of their own projects (fingerpainting anyone?). something for the alamo to aspire to.


Something pretty cool happened over the weekend. Novel Designs got its ten thousandth hit.
While this is a mere fraction of what moderately better known blogs pull in on a slow day (it took us about 8 months), it’s gratifying to know that the CAP and ASP posts reach a small consistent audience. We know who you are and appreciate the attention.
Since March, Novel Designs has spawned a published interview with our favorite artist, a healthy online photo gallery (and from it a published photograph), a regular mix tape, a kickass pennant and a myriad of ideas that are on the verge of being realized (podcasts, custom wayfarers, a cruise ship vacation package giveaway...)
So thanks for taking the time, adding ND to your google reader and recommending it to your friends.
We’re gonna keep posting so please keep reading.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Friday, October 24, 2008

bummer free zone

maybe not quite as good as 30 rock last night (noblesses oblige!), but, once again, snl absolutely crushed it. i'm glad that with all the unintentional comedy that comes with the theater of politics these days, the professional comedians can still take it to the next level.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

the only song we like is smells like teen spirit

harlem hails from austin, tx and sounds like a mix of strange boys and white denim, with a little muslims thrown in for good measure.

buffalo will kill paris

"taking a queue from hip hop culture, these posters were made to provoke attention towards an unacknowledged city by starting beef with well-known, prosperous cities in hopes to gain notoriety." i.e. hilarious. well played christopher wade sherron.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

don't look at it no matter what happens

the last three minutes or so are just mindblowing. drew can barely contain himself at about the 9 minute mark. watch the first part too when they discuss "executive experience."

the image of patriotism shining through crying faces (9:30) brings this to mind:

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Monday, October 20, 2008

how strange it is to be anything at all

Neutral Milk Hotel - Engine - 10/18/2008 Brillobox, Pittsburgh PA from Engine on Vimeo.

i would give anything to see mangum play just one nmh song live. even this b-side.

5:32 update. This version is way better quality:

the answer wasn't here

the wordplay of tauba auerbach:

Friday, October 17, 2008

follow up to below

the title of krugman's piece just set in:

let's get fiscal

wow. nobel laureate ladies and gentlemen and he's dropping zingers.

maybe he just watched last week's office?

church of the exquisite panic

to state the obvious: these days, with the economic downturn and the election nearing, it's probably a good idea to read the op-ed section of the nytimes every day.

today though regular friday columnists david brooks and paul krugman are accompanied by guest contributor warren buffet. the result is a collection of three of the greatest minds of our time dissecting our most pressing issues. it's a comfort to know these guys are out there. not for nothing, but they're all explicit obama supporters too. which doesn't hurt.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

cookie breath

turns out the song that project runway leanne chose for her bryant park show is by her boyfriend nathan mckee. so portland. looking forward to his album, which will be posted here in a week or so.

good grief!

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

my friends

space rock!

this is a long overdue post.

earlier this summer, cap and asp, conducted their first interview under the moniker of "novel designs" for the arts/culture large format magazine FUTURECLAW. we spoke with our favorite artist Stevem Harrington. you can read the interview here. it is also pasted in full below, but i encourage you to check out the magazine.
the interview starts on page 146. novel designs contributor info is on page 5 for the devoted reader.

ASP: So you're leaving for a surf trip?

SH: Yeah, I'm leaving at the middle of this week. I'm going down south to San Diego county and camping down there. I'm super looking forward to it. I do it every year and I'll meet up sometimes with my parents.

CAP: But you live in LA?

SH: Yeah I live in South Pasedena and the National Forest studio is up in Atwater Village, Los Angeles.

ASP: You're going on this trip right now but you were just in Europe. How did the show "Our Mountain" come about and why do it in all these different cities rather than just stay in Paris?

SH: A friend of mine, Cody Hudson (Struggle, Inc.) , introduced me to Lionel, who runs Sixpack France and told me "Hey there's this cool guy who has a clothing line, you should do some work for him." I did a couple t-shirts for him, he really liked my stuff and it took off. He hooked me up with Clark Magazine, which is a pretty big culture and music magazine out there in France, and I did the cover for that. Then I worked on several seasons with Lionel just doing the clothing and it was literally like the project grew from three t-shirts to the next season I was doing all over prints and all over graphics for him and then just recently I did my own signature custom line, shortly after which he asked me to work on this art show. I told him that I'd been wanting to do a show based on this idea of going up to this mountain with my brother and my dad when we were really young. He was really into it and since I had such a long-standing history with Element Skateboards we asked them for sponsorship and they said yeah. From there we just took the momentum that we were building and scheduled several days in Paris, Barcelona, Milan and Berlin at various galleries. Then we released a book out there, some prints, Element skateboards, a couple t-shirts, some fabric and some three dimensional pieces. So it was this really natural progression as to how it slowly shaped up and evolved. I had no clue that going into it it would turn into this big touring show and that we were going to be releasing a book. It became quite an exciting adventure.

CAP: Any highlight from the trip? A favorite city?

SH: I think Paris. We were there for the longest. But Paris in general was just a really great city and everybody there was really into the work and really embraced what I was doing. It was cool because most of the time you go to visit cities and, especially cities when you travel overseas, you feel kind of outside the culture. But we flew directly right into this really cool crew of friends and people and they just treated us so well. The food was also very much a highlight.

CAP: And you showed at the Lazy Dog in Paris?

SH: Yeah it's really cool. It's like Zakka, the bookstore out in New York but it's really really design and art-driven. I was really tripping out because I feel like I stay on top of books and publications pretty well, but out there there were so many published pieces that I wasn't familiar with and so many books that I had never heard of.

ASP: I didn't realize that you had designed Element Skateboards in the past. What were the earlier boards are you going to keep designing boards with Element?

SH: Yeah. I've actually designed for them for...maybe two years. I've designed over seventy-five boards for them and over a hundred pieces of apparel. A lot of it is very heavily branded so some of the stuff you would never even know that I had designed it.

ASP: And so clearly, you're a surfer too. Have you ever designed surfboards?

SH: Yeah I've never designed surfboards, but dude I would love to.

ASP: Where do you surf in LA?

SH: We surf Malibu a little bit and then during the summer we take a lot of trips down to San Diego county. This place San Onofre nicknamed "The Old Man," is probably one of my favorite beaches and then San Alejo is a really awesome beach too. They have campgrounds there so you can just camp like a week or a couple weeks at a time down there and just wake up and surf every day.

CAP: Do you go camping alot? It sort of seems like you do.

SH: Yeah, yeah totally. I try to get to Yosemite every other year. I go to Big Sur and every year we go surf camping in the summer down in San Alejo, I've very much a fan of state parks and all that.

CAP: There are a lot of guitars in your work and a musical quality. Do you play an instrument?

SH: I do actually play the drums. My Dad plays the guitar and my brother plays a little bit too.

ASP: You have a little family band action?

SH: Yeah, we definitely get down on the family band.

ASP: What songs do you guys play?

SH: My Dad's way into the blues. So a lot of it's primarily blues. But then as soon as he leaves the room, my brother and I, it just turns into like SPACE ROCK.

ASP: What's a day in the life of Steven Harrington. Does the sun wink at you as you get out of bed at the crack of dawn and high five a bluebird?

SH: I wish that was everyday. Even with a beer or something.. It really depends. With co-owning and operating National Forest with Justin we keep a consistent schedule. I usually either ride my bike into work or just drive in and we'll meet up at like 9:30 or 10 and then depending on what we're working on and depending on how many projects we have we'll juggle things throughout the day and then work pretty steady, try to have normal lunch and breaks . We work up until maybe seven and then after that I'll usually come back to my home studio or stay and work on other personal pieces after that.

I've been really trying to get my schedule locked back down to a nine to five and just try and rest up. The whole European tour was so much work and it really threw me off. I'm trying to watch movies and just immerse myself back into American culture again.

ASP: In the past you've noted Native American culture and sixties hippie culture as an influence, is there anything new that's coming into play for you as an inspiration? What have you been watching, reading and listening to?

SH: I've definitely been watching a lot of, it's kind of funny cause I don't necessarily want you to write it... I've been purposely trying to immerse myself in this Americana culture. Like I just recently went to see that latest Batman flick. Just big-budget stuff like that is really interesting to me right now because over the last several years I pulled myself away from that culture. Things I found really interesting were like thrift stores and Native American imagery. But I've found myself traveling back recently and throwing the radio on, because that's something that I just never do anymore, and listening, just really trying to pay attention to what popular media has to say these days.

CAP: A lot of people note the youthful, playful spirit of your art. There's a lot of basic shapes and bright colors. Did you watch a lot of Sesame Street as a kid?

SH: I mean, dude, of course! Yeah I watched a lot of Sesame Street...are you guys familiar with Ed Emberly? He was one of the first how-to draw artist that I looked at. The way he teaches you how to draw is all based on primary shapes - everything is kind of based on circles, triangles, and squares. My childhood has had a major influence on my work and I'm constantly trying to get back to that, those earlier days of thinking and trying to see the world before you're taught logic and everything. I think that kids have this ability to see the world as though it were alive and that everything around you is animate and then later in your life you are taught the opposite. You're taught that things like fruit isn't alive, it can't breathe, and that wood is dead. I'm trying to find my way back to those days of being able to see everything as these living beings and living personalities.

CAP: Your prints regularly feature the top half of a face winking at us. What do they know that we don't?

SH: I think it's more a voice of optimism. To me it's pretty much not to take things too seriously and to keep looking at the world in an optimistic way.

CAP: So I'm assuming, just from your work such as "Un Royaume Nous Grandirons Ensemble" that you speak French?

SH I don't speak French well. A lot of the French that I've written in my work is because I've worked so closely with a French audience and Sixpack. And I've always been a fan of works that are in other languages. I'm not really one that's big on making literal comments on current events, but [Un Royaume] is definitely a comment on the general state of affairs, just the general war and all that stuff, it's loosely based on that. "One kingdom, we should grow together" It's definitely up for interpretation but it's a loose loose comment on that.

CAP: It seems like a lot of your work does talk about this idea of community, or one world, so do you feel that kind of sense of community in LA? Compared to New York, Los Angeles doesn't seem to have that much of a close-knit feel, but do you feel like you have that sort of artistic community?

SH: Yeah, Los Angeles is a very very strange city compared to New York and to all the different cities that we traveled around to. But I think that once you find your place and meet the right people that it can become something special. You find your niche within the context of this bigger metropolitan, sprawling city. The concept of exploring this social connectivity and community is an on-going theme that I've explored, specifically over the last couple years, and it speaks definitely beyond the Los Angeles area. But as far as the artistic community here, by nature of making things and making art and imagery, a lot of my friends and a lot of the people that I hang out with are very much a part of the art community and they're into show openings and openings at the Family bookstore and various galleries around town.

ASP: If you could do cover art for any novel or film what would it be?

SH: Film, it would definitely be the Adventures of Baron Munchausen by Terry Gilliam. I just watched that movie and just freaked out. And then I've been reading a lot of famous American literature, like really classic American literature, and I think a novel would be The Sun Also Rises by Ernest Hemingway.

ASP: Is your favorite Beatles song Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds?

SH: That's so funny. I actually have to say that my favorite Beatles song is all of the "Magical Mystery Tour." Specifically that instrumental piece "Flying."

CAP: What direction do you see yourself going in next? I know since you were on tour you had to bring a lot of prints that you could carry from place to place, but do you see yourself doing larger, installation type work?

H: We're working on this show in Los Angeles. It's going to be at Subliminal Projects, Shepard Fairey's gallery. It's going to be a lot of the prints from the Our Mountain show but we're adding on. Justin's creating a bunch of work and we're going to bring the teepee in there and then we're going to create a couple more pieces. I also just finished several apparel graphics with Michael Leon of Commonwealth Spec. He's art-directing for Nike skateboarding, so I just designed a couple T-shirts for Nike Skateboarding. I'm working with the guys over at Kid Robot on a bunch of random 3 dimensional pieces. And then I'm doing some skateboard graphics for Habitat Skateboards. Those Element skateboards are out, and then we are reissuing them for the states in new color waves and then we're going to release them on contemporary board shapes as well, so they'll be skateable. And then I'm just excited because I released that solo book, so I'm working on getting several distributors.

CAP: If we were to take the teepee and those bed sheets on a camping trip is there any place you'd recommend?

SH: I'd recommend that you go to Our Mountain. But definitely something very spacey at night where you can see a lot of stars.

the cider house is awesome

thanks to jlmf for introducing nd to this photo blog. love the medium format photos. if i didn't already miss the east coast today, now i do.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

chromointerference mécanique

yes. there's a room like this out in the world. and you can stand in it. but you have to wear hypercolor tshirts and there is an awesomeness prerequisite/screening process. oh, and the guy who came up with this and executed it, is by all appearances homeless.

you've just got like a trapper-keeper full of appointments, right?

in this day in age it's comforting in knowing creativity can still be applied to something as rote and established as day planning and scheduling. i just wish i had the discipline to make use of this notebook. via psfk

never odd or even

Friday, October 10, 2008

here's to waiting

it's the weekend. turn up the volume.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

the last song is thirty seconds long

why not post this? seeing as nd has functionally become the official all-things-grizzly-bear-related fan blog. again, department transcend the already brilliant album version of this song.

Monday, October 6, 2008

struggle inc

cody hudson's new obama poster is excellente. buy it here for a piddling two hundred bucks.

take pride marcel broodthaers

so completely trumping the lackluster performance of no one does it like you on conan last week, department of eagles absolutely crush this version of my favorite/title track off the new album, in ear park. granted this is essentially watching grizzly bear play given that dan rossen is joined by gbears chris taylor and chris bear on bass and drums respectively (how must droste feel through all this?). but i am still eagerly awaiting the announcement that the eagles are going to be heading west. so good. watch multiple times.

i have a sledgehammer in my heart

this looks like just about as much fun as a person can have. i wish i could embed the HD version but i can't so follow the link to vimeo if you've got time and watch it in high def. wow.

Adam Kimmel presents: Claremont HD from adam kimmel on Vimeo.

esoteric vibrations

a fall mix for your listening pleasure

MixwitMixwit make a mixtapeMixwit mixtapes

listed in order of esoteric vibration:
megapuss - crop circle jerk '94
the week that was - the airport line
thee oh sees - adult acid
tim hardin - if i were a carpenter
broken social scene - backyards
department of eagles - teenagers
vetiver - maureen
vivian girls - where do you run to
little joy - no one's better sake
fleet foxes - your protector
arthur russell - a little lost
judee sill - crayon angel

Saturday, October 4, 2008

edge of the abyss

say what you will about "the Edge" loft building going up along williamsburg's waterfront, but their new marketing campaign is genius:

Thursday, October 2, 2008

we did it!

ok so Biden's answer is funny in that he just loves that part where they're running on the beach, but it's nothing compared to the fact that Palin's most favoritest part of Hoosiers is when they win and then that bit in Rudy when they finally let him on the field. beyond the fact that i sincerely hope this prompts a series of great rudy comparisons i'm simply left thinking: really? the ending of the happy ending movie is your favorite part ("the victories! yeah!")? for me, thats sort of like saying you love chocolate and then saying your favorite part of eating chocolate is when it tastes chocolatey. yeah, that's my favorite part too.

COURIC: What's your favorite movie and why?

BIDEN: Chariots of Fire, is I think probably my favorite movie. But the truth of the matter is the thing about it there it's a place where someone put personal fame and glory behind principles. And you know, that to me, is the mark of real heroism, um when someone would do that.

COURIC: Do you remember your favorite scene from that movie?

BIDEN: I think the favorite scene is when he is making the decision and talking to his about do I do this? What do I do? He so desperately wanted to run, but concluded he couldn't.

BIDEN: It was that, you know, that moment of decision, I think that was my favorite scene. I also like the scene on the beach where you know he's just running

PALIN: I love those old sports movies, like Hoosiers, and Rudy, um, those that show that the underdog can make it and it's all about tenacity, and work ethic and determination, and just doing the right thing, so it would probably be one of those two old sports movies.

COURIC: Do you have a favorite scene from either of them?

PALIN: At the very end, the victories! Yeah! Rudy, where he gets to run out on the field and he gets to participate and make a difference. And then in Hoosiers, when they win.



Wednesday, October 1, 2008

epitome of cool

look at this picture before any night out. honestly, it could replace "pre-gaming" entirely as far as i'm concerned.