“Throughout the world, there is a feeling of insecurity surpassing that on the eve of the World War.”
Though this ominous quote comes at the end of the clip above, it perfectly captures the tone of these ten minutes of panicked newsreel footage from 1934. A pair of announcers tag-team a summary of the world’s events beginning with the first World War as they focus on mass disorder–wars, revolutions, and financial crises take center stage. The theatricality of it all adds some entertainment value to this early-20th century history lesson. Makes you wonder what our own TV headlines will look like almost a century from now.
|Recommended by Anwar Batte||Wednesday, April 23rd, 2014||No Comments »|
Part spy movie, part film noir, 100% adventure–Jazzpunk is about a silent spy mailed to an abandoned subway station in Japan out of which a top-secret intelligence agency operates. Absurd and nonsensical humor permeate the game with occasional childish interludes–I’m speaking of a moment where you take a seat in front of your boss…directly onto a whoopie cushion. While it might not be the height of sophisticated humor, the scene definitely surprises a chuckle out of you, and the whole game is filled with moments like that.
|Recommended by Melody Lee||Wednesday, April 23rd, 2014||No Comments »|
Artist Robba Saldaña always cited music as being the main inspiration behind his work and wanted to create something that would visually show that. But picking one band or one song just wouldn’t do. Instead he started The Playlist Project, a year-long series where he drew a song illustration every day for a year. After 12 long months, the project finally came to an end this past March.
The illustrations have a ’70s-esque aesthetic with sharp, dynamic typography and edgy, literal drawings. Grouped by month, each illustrated “playlist” shows a colorful assortment of music that ranges from early ’00s rock (remember Papa Roach?) to current indie acts like Lana del Rey. The last song in the playlist? “What a Wonderful World” by Louis Armstrong. Doesn’t get more conclusive than that.
|Recommended by The Absolute Staff||Wednesday, April 23rd, 2014||No Comments »|
King Avriel still only has a few tracks to her name, but each one is better than the last. Her latest offering, “Caricatures,” is our first glimpse at her upcoming and still-untitled full-length release, and it builds on the eclectic style and rich thematic material of her previous singles. The single art for the track provides a definition of “Caricature,” just to make sure we’re all on the same page: “A representation, especially pictorial or literary, in which the subject’s distinctive features or peculiarities are deliberately exaggerated to produce a comic or grotesque effect.” Avriel describes on her tumblr that the song is about realizing when you’re objectifying someone in a relationship, seeing him as an idea instead of a complex human being. It’s a nuanced exploration of privilege and interpersonal relationships, all brought together in a melodic neo-soul song. Avriel’s voice shines over messy guitars and layers of percussion and celesta.
If this is anything like what the rest of the album is going to sound like, I think we’re in for a big treat.
|Recommended by Scott Interrante||Wednesday, April 23rd, 2014||No Comments »|
It seems hard to believe looking at New York City and the surrounding boroughs that there was once way more farmland than there were skyscrapers. However, in Old Queens, New York In Early Photographs, authors Vincent F. Seyfried and William Asadorian combined their massive collection of rare photographs of early Queens to show just how visually striking the difference really is.
Old Queens also includes an introduction that regales readers about the history and neighborhoods of the borough. Each of the 27 neighborhoods is highlighted so that readers can gain a new appreciation for the beginnings of the area. Meanwhile, the photos show the rural history of the borough and include photos of pre-1939 World’s Fair Flushing Meadow, a panoramic photograph of the new IRT Flushing line, and the different rural roads that used to dot Queens neighborhoods. Click through the gallery above and travel back to a different time.
|Recommended by Amanda Ferris||Wednesday, April 23rd, 2014||No Comments »|
Kingdom Ocean is the logical endpoint of several strands of short-film practices online: high-quality footage of flora and fauna, a science fiction-inspired contemporary technology aesthetic, and a kind of emphasis on stylistic flair over narrative. There’s no guarantee of success when you try to throw together assorted elements of “cool,” but Thomas Blanchard really hit the mark with his short effort to “[immerse] you into the depths of the ocean,” heads-up display and all. Blanchard himself is rightly laudatory of the sound design of François Maire, who speeds up or slows down the pacing of the music to match the changing smoothness of the footage.
|Recommended by Anwar Batte||Tuesday, April 22nd, 2014||No Comments »|
After giving up music, taking a 9-5 job, and starting a family, songwriter Andre Nault found himself watching TV one night and asking himself, “Is this how you want to spend the rest of your life? Is this how you want the kids to remember you?” The answer, he says, was a resounding “No.” That’s how Ottawa’s Stand Up and Say No was born. The lead single from their forthcoming Assuming Loyal EP deals with similar themes. Mixing catchy pop synth lines with jangly guitar chords and a haunting rock baritone vocal style, “Can You Feel” is an interesting and catchy track. Nault sings about “a guy who’s tired of climbing the greasy pole, whose success came at great expense.” The video, directed by Nault himself and featuring members of his family, shows a group of scientists studying a man getting ready for a big date. It’s silly and plays into the fun nature of the song.
Assuming Loyal will be released on May 6th, but you can buy “Can You Feel” now on iTunes.
|Recommended by Scott Interrante||Tuesday, April 22nd, 2014||No Comments »|