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||No Comments »|
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 »|
Excuse me if I’m late to the Heather Woods Broderick train. I only recently got a chance to listen to her sophomore album Glider, but I’m glad I did. Broderick, a former member of Efterklang (who I’m also a big fan of…well, before they started making crap like “Modern Drift”), has one of those dreamy, languid sounds that’s immediately familiar. I mean, at the top of my head I immediately think of Grouper or Cocteau Twins. I know the formula of soprano voices smothered by hazy, twinkling music can sound affected after a while, but Broderick holds her own and spins a world that can easily exist in the forefront or lazily drift into the background.
On first listen, “Wyoming” immediately stands out for its introverted intensity, and so it’s no surprise that it’s one of the lead singles. But please don’t let the boring music video mislead you into thinking this is forgettable music reserved for providing ambiance to coffee shops (I actually quite enjoy my boring coffee shop music, thankyouverymuch), but Broderick has a voice that’s intimate but powerful. Don’t underestimate it.
|Recommended by Tiffany White||Wednesday, August 26th, 2015||No Comments »|
As a New Yorker, I’m obsessed with photos/videos of “old, gritty” NYC of the ’70s and ’80s. The past stands in stark comparison to the current pristine present of trust fund kids, new money, and 7-Elevens (shudder). But there’s a right way and a wrong way to glorify the past. After all, what we find beautiful today was considered a nuisance at the time, and in the ’70s, nothing was as polarizing as graffiti.
In 1970s New York, graffiti blanketed the city. It covered subway cars, ran along the sides of every building, and smothered bridges and overpasses. Residents at the time saw the graffiti as a public nuisance that was ruining the beauty of the city, but others saw it as something more, namely as art.
Watching My Name Go By is a short BBC documentary that was one of the first to ask the question, “Can graffiti be art?” It was a radical concept for its time, and the documentary does a great job at injecting points of views from all sides of the debate. However, my favorite thing about the video are the clips of old school NYC, especially those battered subway cars! Sometimes you have to learn about the past to truly appreciate the present, and this documentary does that and more.
There’s also a book out with the same name if you want to learn more about the artists featured in the documentary.
|Recommended by Tiffany White||Tuesday, August 25th, 2015||No Comments »|
Open landing at Bio Bak, one is immediately presented with a host of questions, and none more pressing than, “Just what the hell is this?” And after the initial shock: Why does the French-accented narrator with a megaphone for a mouth have such a long, pimpled tongue? Will the crabby, foul-mouthed metal detector ever wake up again? And don’t those kids know where jam really comes from?!
Such is the chimerical world of Dutch web designer Coen Grit, whose gritty, phantasmagoric creation defies the boundaries of art and websites. It is at times a game, a still life labyrinth of connected and seemingly random creatures and situations, and other times an interactive landscape that begs for exploration.
|Recommended by Rhys Dipshan||Monday, August 24th, 2015||No Comments »|