German illustrator Raphaëlle Martin has the kind of bold style one might expect from a René Magritte admirer. They both love bold colors, vast landscapes, and most importantly, surrealism. This animated tribute is more than just a rehashing of Magritte’s most famous works. Instead, Martin injects new life into these classic pieces by updating the art to appeal to today’s loyal netizens. That’s right–gifs. And while some people might scoff at the increasingly blurred lines between gifs and art, we think this tribute is brilliant.
Probably the most interesting thing about these tribute pieces is how Martin uses an animation style that makes the pieces look old, like some colorized classic film. The pieces jump to life as if you’re tuning in to some broadcast expressionist station. Or, you know, you could also just sit back and take a more laid back approach to this. After all, they’re just gifs.
|Recommended by The Absolute Staff||Friday, September 4th, 2015||No Comments »|
Everybody knows that Sia is basically the coolest woman to ever grace the face of this planet. Whether she has Kristen Wiig dancing on stage with her at the Grammys or whether she is walking down a red carpet with a blonde wig that’s too thick to even show her face, this lady really can do no wrong, including in this vintage studio video of her belting out “The Girl You Lost to Cocaine.”
While it’s great to see Sia getting more and more recognition on the daily, there’s something completely refreshing about this nearly decade old video of her doing what she does best behind the scenes in the studio. Recorded in 2007, I actually prefer this version of the song to the official one. Maybe it’s the fact that you get to watch her jam out, maybe it’s the fact that it’s one take, or maybe it’s the fact that there’s something extra raw about this recording of the Sia classic… but whatever it is, it makes my day. Every. Single. Time. I. Watch. It.
|Recommended by Chelsey Grasso||Thursday, September 3rd, 2015||No Comments »|
Most historical fiction novels about ancient Egypt generally focus on famous queens such as Cleopatra VII, Nefertiti or Hatshepsut. Stephanie Liaci has taken a different approach and chose Tutankhamun’s wife Ankhesenamun to be her heroine for The Last Heiress.
The 18th Dynasty is shrouded in mystery, which works to Liaci’s advantage because it allows her to speculate on what really happened to Tutankhamun and Ankhesenamun. The author weaves in speculation and historical fact to create a heartbreaking tale. Ankhesenamun’s life is swathed in tragedy and the author does not shy away from exploring the darker aspects of her story.
Liaci creates a believable heroine who manages to suffer through unendurable heartbreak. Readers will find themselves sympathizing with this brave Queen who lost her husband at such a young age and was forced to marry a scheming vizier. There are also other heartbreaking scenes such as when Ankhesenamun suffers two miscarriages and makes a desperate plea to marry a Hittite prince in order to keep her dynasty alive.
|Recommended by Amanda Ferris||Wednesday, September 2nd, 2015||No Comments »|
Excuse me for being a tad behind on app games. You see, I owned a Windows phone for the past year (I know, I know–it was those yellow Lumias that hypnotized me at the store) and couldn’t do anything on it. But recently I finally chucked the phone for an iPhone and have been getting caught up again on app games. I already played popular hits like Fallout Shelter and The Silent Age, and now my latest obsession is Framed.
Released late last year, Framed has won tons of awards and has been a critically acclaimed darling amongst reviewers, so going in I already had high expectations. And since I like noir, jazz, and puzzles, I figured this was a formula that would be hard to screw up.
In Framed you’re in control of various thieves who are running away from cops. The game is presented like a comic book with animated panels for each scene. At the beginning of each page we see the events unfold panel by panel, with scenarios that usually end with you, the thief, getting caught by police. To avoid this, you must rearrange the panels to recreate the pattern of events to trigger the correct ending. It starts off easy, but like most puzzles, gets incredibly hard.
The only disappointing thing about Framed is that it’s a tad short, but if you’re a lover of puzzles and stylized silhouettes, Framed will be your new commuting companion.
|Recommended by Tiffany White||Tuesday, September 1st, 2015||No Comments »|
The short stories of Helen Ellis’ upcoming collection, American Housewife: Storiesare all wildly improbable and instantly relatable. In each story, Ellis invites readers into a unique setting, like a sinister book club of traded favors, a child star fleeing the pageant circuit for a new life with a new family (“Drop the ma’am and the sassy walk to blend in in New York,” she’s advised by the woman who connects ex-pageant queens with childless couples seeking pretty white daughters), or a haunted–but terribly clean–Manhattan co-op. Descriptions of Southern manners and Manhattan evenings are both pitch-perfect, which is probably what makes the murder, kidnapping and revenge all seem perfectly realistic.
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|Recommended by Meg Stivison||Monday, August 31st, 2015||1 Comment »|
One of my favorite types of music is the kind where the melody and the beats are absolutely killer and the lyrics are basically poetry, but the theme of the song is a bit hard to interpret. The Staves fit perfectly into that category. A proper way to describe this band of sisters is like if Mumford and Sons and Haim had a musical baby, The Staves would be it.
These three sisters, Jessica, Camilla, and Emily, originate from Watford, Hertfordshire in the beautiful country of England. Their first EP, Facing West, was released in 2010, which was a perfect starting point for the band and their slow rise to fame. This EP also displayed each of their individual talents aside from singing, such as Camilla’s ukulele skills and their striking harmonies.
Though they are initially from across the pond, they have a bit of American influences such as gothic folk and hippie rock. Their most recent album, If I Was, was actually released in 2014 but has only gained legit fame this past year. The album is a great extension to their past EPs and first album. A personal favorite off the album is the first track, “Blood I Bled.” It’s a great first look on the album and the type of music the sisters create. Their style is perfect for almost all music lovers; whether it be the hippies or the hipsters, The Staves will fit in their daily playlist.
|Recommended by Alecxis Rubic||Friday, August 28th, 2015||No Comments »|
What do you call a collection of vintage photos with phrases of brash pop art text slapped on top of it? You call it an Anne Taintor collection, of course.
Someone Has to Set a Bad Example, and that someone is Anne Taintor, author, photo editor, and collage genius behind this not-so-subtle collection. Taintor’s work is one of a kind, taking images from the days when a majority of women spent their time as “homemakers” and transforming them into feminist, cheeky, and at times vulgar moments suspended in time. The odd combination of past and present truly turns this book into something that remains memorable months after you’ve laid eyes on it, and rightfully so.
Taintor’s sense of humor is utterly transparent in her work, as is her fearless attitude when it comes to being anything but polite. Whether you’re looking for something to stew on, a chuckle, or a moment to nod your head along to the feelings of girl power, this woman’s bold artistry is certainly one to spend your time checking out.
|Recommended by Chelsey Grasso||Thursday, August 27th, 2015||No Comments »|