By Jason Hood, July 22nd, 2011

Photo by Ricardo Louis via Diana Eng

This week, we bring back the blog with help from Diana Eng (RADAR ep 31 – Fairytale Fashion), and she made it easy for me, since I’m already a huge fan of most of her choices. She’s been quite busy lately, with her amazing line and increasing popularity in the fashion world, including her new collection of Laser Lace Tees and Tops. You can also check out her shop, as well as read up on her inspiration on her own blog.

WATCH

nyan.cat

How long can you nyan for? This very well could be the last thing the Internet ever needs, as it combines the holy trifecta of cats, adorableness, and utter randomness. Based off of PRguitarman’s original Pop Tart Cat .gif (I suppose toast is healthier?) times how long you can, well, nyan. It’s so addictive, though, that you can nyan for hours on end if you allow it. Added bonuses here include putting the site into different languages such as Japanese (makes sense), Nyan (exactly what you’d expect) and Catalan, giving double meaning to the .cat domain name. We may think it’s cute now, but once cats successfully conquer the Internet, the rest of the world will surely follow. So cute though!

Unleash the fury of NYAN HERE.

LISTEN

Yeah Yeah Yeahs – Maps

This was Diana’s pick, but I have to interject here—this isn’t just one of my all time favorite songs, but possibly my all time favorite music video, and a big part of my inspiration for wanting to get into filming bands. A ballad off their definitely-classic-by-now debut LP Fever to Tell, it showed that the (at the time) rising buzz band Yeah Yeah Yeahs (and more specifically, lead singer Karen O) could do more than thrash and screech, but also create one of the most touching songs of the last decade.

You can buy the album HERE

READ

Tina Fey – Bossypants

Tina Fey is just one of those people who do pretty much everything right—30 Rock is still the funniest thing on TV after like, what, 5 seasons? Then there’s Date Night and Baby Mama, and the fact that after she left Saturday Night Live the only time people talk about the show is when they mention how far downhill it’s gone since then. So clearly she’s some kind of sorceress and we should all be terrified. Or you can read her hilarious book and hopefully absorb some of its power. If nothing else, reading it on the subway is sure to piss off the disgruntled former frat bros who still insist, “women aren’t funny.” Tina Fey just happens to be at the top of a long list of women who prove them wrong.

You can pick up a copy HERE

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Talk To Me

Talk To Me is a new exhibit at MoMA that examines the ways humans interact with objects. Every day we interact with things like computers and increasingly smarter phones, which in turn, interact with us. Talk To Me offers a look at the history and future of these interaction, going back to products from the 1960s and looking forward with some products in development. A lot goes into it—visual design, interface, information. In keeping with the theme, the organizers encourage communication and feedback from the visitors, ranging from suggestions from designers to visitor interaction using cell phones. Be sure to check out the blog as well.

Talk To Me
July 24–November 7
Museum of Modern Art
11 West 53 Street
New York, NY 10019
EVENT INFO

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Thingiverse and Ponoko

Diana has picked a couple of nice blogs for you to check out, specifically if you like, well, things and stuff. Thingiverse is a blog co-founded by fellow RADAR contributor Bre Pettis of Makerbot (RADAR ep 19), focusing on digital designs from ordinary people and realizing them through the use of machines like laser cutters and digital printers. In a similar vein is Ponoko, which is sort of like a digital Etsy (or rather, a more-digital Etsy), exploring the art of digital making even further.

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Posted in RADAR NYC event music photography

Jason Hood a recent graduate of the University of Texas, he once co-produced Local Live and The Austin Sessions, a radio-slash-TV show and webseries, respectively, that focused on Austin’s famous independent music scene. He’s also directed a number of 16mm short films, and had a diverse and bizarre series of paid jobs ranging from librarian to travel blogger.

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By peter katz, June 18th, 2011

The Cool Kids and other popular musicians at SXSW are signed to a new kind of record label-Mountain Dew’s Green Label Sound. In my opinion, this trend will grow in the world of music and move into the world of indie film distribution as well.

This phenomenon is happening because of the combined economic challenges of record labels and the decreased reach of branded television advertising. Traditional record labels have been struggling to earn enough money through record sales because of piracy. Therefore, record labels are now insisting on 360 deals, in which musicians give labels a percentage of all their income. Many artists aren’t happy with this arrangement. Simultaneously, the reach of branded television advertisements are decreasing due to TiVo and Netflix. “Interrupting TV shows is ‘not something most people will tolerate,’ says TiVo CEO Tom Rogers. In the 40% of all households that have a DVR ‘the amount of commercial avoidance is huge.’” (Source David Lieberman at Deadline Hollywood.com) Netflix has over 23 million members on their ad free platform (Source Netflix Investor Relations), some of whom are beginning to cut their cable cords. In response, some brands are finding a new way to reach an audience.

Remember the music industry isn’t struggling because people don’t love music. Social networks allow artists to have more reach and powerful connections with their listeners. Green Label Sound signed The Cool Kids to be part of their relationship with fans (consumers). I think that is a good investment when you consider the depth and duration of the relationship the fans have with the rap crew. This combined with (last time I checked) 3,370,297 views for their Black Mage music video on Youtube, 4,850,369 plays and 423,384 listeners on Lastfm,  187,861 Likes on their Facebook page, and they have 12,878 followers on Twitter. At SXSW The Cool Kids performed at the Green Label Sound  Showcase and many top music blogs mentioned their label.

In exchange, the Cool Kids get to keep all of their income from iTunes album sales, except for processing fees (Source Billboard). They are promoted by a marketing budget much larger than most record labels, since Green Label Sound is owned by PepsiCo, a Fortune 500 company that has sold billions of dollars worth of soft drinks vs relying on album sales. “Labels suck,” the Cool Kids’ Chuck Inglish said, “What can they do that Pepsi can’t do? We had a good experience with Green Label Sound — we got more from that single than we got from our previous album. I was tired of the album sitting around and just wanted to get it out.”(Source Billboard)

Here’s where indie film distribution fits in. Sponsors at prestigious film festivals might evolve into distributors: starting to acquire titles that make sense for the brand’s identity, focusing on marketing themselves as patrons of the arts, distributing films to theaters where their target demographic lives e.g. college towns. This strategy increases brand loyalty by adding value to people’s lives.

Content producers will win because all of the typical costs associated with theatrical film distribution will be covered by the brand. So, creators are going to be able to keep more money. Filmmakers will still own the digital rights for their project and the buzz from screenings will increase the projects’ value. “Theatrical will drive awareness of the film,” WME agent Liesl Copland said regarding distribution for Blue Valentine (Source Eugene Hernande at IndieWire).

What are your thoughts on branded distribution?
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Posted in Uncategorized audience-building experience marketing movies music

peter katz is an award winning filmmaker based in Los Angeles. Peter has produced genre films that have screened all over the world from the AFI Fest to the Rome Film Festival. His first picture Home Sick starred Bill Moseley from The Devil's Rejects and Tom Towles from Henry Portrait Of A Serial Killer. Next Peter worked with Tobe Hooper (director of Texas Chainsaw Massacre and Poltergeist) on Mortuary, which premiered on the Sci Fi Channel. Most recently he was a producer on Pop Skull, a psychological ghost film, that has received great reviews in Variety and numerous film web sites. Currently, Peter is developing projects across various mediums including film, comics, and the web.

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By Jason Hood, June 9th, 2011
LOOK

My Potholes

What do you do when there’s a pothole in your street? Try avoiding it? Call the city to fill it in? Effective ideas, though they aren’t especially imaginative. With the help of Claudia Ficca and Davide Luciano, a couple of Montreal-based artists, these folks in several US and Canadian cities turned their potholes into works of art—at least temporarily. But the photos on My Potholes capture a number of whimsical moments created from minor nuisances. Watch as they turn common road hazards into swimming pools, donut fryers, gardens, rabbit holes, and more.

Check it out HERE

LISTEN

Noveller – Alone Star

NOVELLER “ALONE STAR” from Matt Kleiner on Vimeo.

Noveller, a.k.a. Sarah Lipstate (RADAR ep 28 – Before I Die) has just released this gorgeous black and white video on her website for her song “Alone Star” off her new album Glacial Glow. Directed by Matt Kleiner, this video chronicles several days in the Australian cities of Sydney and Melbourne. It’s some powerful stuff when paired with the musical storytelling of this Brooklyn-based guitar goddess. Contrasting the busy city with vast desert, it creates a truly surreal scene.

Check out Sarah’s website HERE

READ

Ben McCool Interview

Writer Ben McCool (RADAR ep 41 – Memoir) has a new comic series coming out this September, but in the meantime you can check out a preview of it as well as an interview with USA Today. Titled “Pigs,” the comic takes a gritty look at the Cold War, which if you can believe it, ended two decades ago this year. So now it’s far back enough in our collective subconscious that we can take another look at the whole terrifying era of mutually assured destruction, secret agents and the Cuban Missile Crisis and see that things weren’t quite as black-and-white as we all thought at the time.

Read the article HERE.

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Magic and Bubbles

Poetry Brothel, House of Illusions NYC

Our friends at the Poetry Brothel (RADAR ep 20) are bringing it back this weekend, with a magical twist. The “whores” will be teaming up with a master magician for some old school, Houdini-esque illusions.

Sunday, June 12th, 8pm-1am
The Back Room
102 Norfolk Street
New York, NY
$5-$15
EVENT INFO

Newmindspace Bubble Battle NYC 2011

The folks at Newmindspace (RADAR ep 10) want to make New York a more bubbly, effervescent place for its residents. Join hundreds of other bubble battlers with your own bubble-making supplies, and let the air fill with soapy, prismatic orbs (and yes I was trying to avoid saying “bubble” again).

Location TBA
Saturday, June 18th 2010 @ 6:00pm
Rain or shine. Free and all ages!
New York, NY
EVENT INFO

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Second Avenue Sagas

New Yorkers, be honest, how often do you find yourself silently (or not so silently) cursing the MTA for all the service changes and fare increases? Second Avenue Sagas hopes to answer some of the questions as to why all these annoyances happen. What started as a blog chronicling the progress of the long-delayed Second Avenue Subway, is now a blog covering all forms of New York City transit, offering opinions, insight, progress reports, and ideas to make transit better, as well as listing all the weekend service changes every Friday. It’s a great place for New Yorkers to get informed and involved with the city’s decisions on transportation.

Second Avenue Sagas

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Posted in RADAR NYC comic music photography storytelling street art

Jason Hood a recent graduate of the University of Texas, he once co-produced Local Live and The Austin Sessions, a radio-slash-TV show and webseries, respectively, that focused on Austin’s famous independent music scene. He’s also directed a number of 16mm short films, and had a diverse and bizarre series of paid jobs ranging from librarian to travel blogger.

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By Jason Hood, May 27th, 2011
WATCH

Symmetry

Symmetry from Everynone on Vimeo.

Do yourself a favor and watch this with headphones on, just to get the full effect. Symmetry is an inventive little short showing the dualities of life: peanut butter and jelly, faith and science, salt and pepper, and (spoiler alert maybe?) life and death, among others. And there are a few nice surprises and Easter eggs thrown in there as well to keep it from getting predictable. Tying it all together is a peaceful yet energetic soundtrack, a reminder to revel in the day-to-day things we often take for granted.

More videos from Everynone HERE.

LISTEN

The Antlers – Burst Apart

Brooklyn band The Antlers (RADAR ep 16 – Missed Connections) had the lovely challenge no band wants of having to follow up their nearly universally critically acclaimed 2009 album Hospice. Fortunately for them, their new LP, Burst Apart holds up well (or else I wouldn’t be writing this mini review). Although it doesn’t really burst, as the title suggests—it’s more of a nice slow burn record. Sounding at times like fellow New Yorkers TV on the Radio, other times taking a more electronic turn a la Portishead or Massive Attack, and many other times creating a sound all their own, they’ve crafted another instant classic.

You can buy the album on the band’s website HERE

READ

Sophie Blackall – Are You Awake?

I feel like I mention Sophie Blackall (RADAR ep 16 – Missed Connections) a lot in this blog, but really, it’s purely because she so consistently creating new work. And I should mention a personal bias—I really love her artwork. But this particular book is a bit different from most of her published works. Not only did she illustrate it, but also wrote the story. It’s based on a personal tale of her own, when her son was young and wouldn’t go to sleep. Definitely relatable for any parent, but what makes me particularly want to check it out is that based on her description, it sounds seriously gorgeous.

You can pick up a copy from IndieBound HERE
More about the book on Sophie’s blog

GO

Dr. Sketchy’s – Koala Kunst

Another contributor that’s always busy with something new is Dr. Sketchy’s (RADAR ep 8), this month bringing Australian models Agent Cleave and Jess Daly for “Koala Kunst.” Surely a title as deceptively adorable as Australia itself, a continent home to fuzzy marsupials as well as spiders so big they have their own health bars. The night’s festivities are designed just in time for Amanda Palmer’s Down Under Tour.

Sun, June 05, 2011 • 4:00 – 6:00 pm
The Bowery Poetry Club
308 Bowery
New York, NY 10012
$12 advance, $15 door
EVENT INFO

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FUCK! i’m in my twenties

A question for all 20-somethings: how many of you find yourself saying this on a fairly regular basis? Because I’ve done it at least 15 times. Today. But at least now you know that you aren’t experiencing your quarter-life crisis on your own, right? And existential crises are so much more fun when they happen to someone else, and that someone else has a gratuitous love of profanities. I have no idea who writes this blog, but really, it’s all of us. And someday we’ll all look back and realize that our twenties were actually pretty entertaining, if not utterly terrifying.

FUCK! i’m in my twenties

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Posted in RADAR NYC event movies music

Jason Hood a recent graduate of the University of Texas, he once co-produced Local Live and The Austin Sessions, a radio-slash-TV show and webseries, respectively, that focused on Austin’s famous independent music scene. He’s also directed a number of 16mm short films, and had a diverse and bizarre series of paid jobs ranging from librarian to travel blogger.

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By Jason Hood, May 13th, 2011

This week, we return to our contributor-curated series of blog posts with Lori Nix (RADAR ep 33 – Unnatural History). She found us a nice mix of beautiful works of art and some quirky, off the wall stuff–sort of like her own work.

WATCH

Cravendale Cats

That’s it, I’m officially jealous of the British. After outdoing us in music and comedy for years, they now roll out this oddly addicting TV spot for milk—which is undoubtedly a result of years of its creators spending too much time on the Internet. Because—and I’ve mentioned this before—the equation goes: cats + doing weird things = roughly 85% of Internet content. Also, note the strange milk cartons they use over there (hey, at least it doesn’t come in bags like in Canada).

Find more on this clever campaign HERE.

LISTEN

Bodies of Water: Ears Will Pop and Eyes Will Blink

The music from this extremely talented LA-based collective has this rolling, lively Spaghetti Western-esque epicness to it that hooked me pretty much immediately, sort of like Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros without all the gimmickry. Ennio Morricone would be proud. But don’t get me wrong, there’s still enough theatrics and choral pieces to make this record the very definition of grand. Listen to it while walking down the street makes your life an instant musical. Just don’t blame me if people stare at you when you start singing along.

You can buy the album HERE
Bodies of Water’s website

READ

Hi-Fructose Magazine

Despite new media’s repeated attempts to kill off the magazine once and for all (blogger’s note: hi there, sorry about that!), Hi-Fructose Magazine may be all the proof needed to show that there will always be a place for a beautifully-made, high quality, full color quarterly. Hi-Fructose aims to profile and discuss alternative artists, while at the same time dissecting what “alternative” means, bending genres and shattering norms in the process. Whatever you want to call it, there’s really some stunning work on display here.

You can pick up a copy at most bookstores, or check out their web presence HERE

GO

Otherworldly: Optical Delusions and Small Realities

It may still be a ways off, but Otherworldly at the Museum of Arts and Design should definitely be worth the wait. Lori Nix and other diorama artists will be showcasing their different creations, extremely detailed microcosms of worlds that are both realistic and surreal—glimpses of our world both as it is and as it could be.

Otherworldly: Optical Delusions and Small Realities
June 7 – September 18
Museum of Arts and Design
2 Columbus Circle
New York, NY 10019
$15 Admission
EVENT INFO

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New York Mag (and comments)

When Lori told me she liked to liked to read New York Magazine online to laugh at the comments following the articles, I wasn’t quite sure what she meant. But I didn’t have to look far to find out—the comments section is a nice concentrated cross-section of the Internet as a whole. You’ll find cynical, snarky millennials, sarcastic storytellers, political pundits who insert their opinions of Bush and/or Obama into every conversation, and trolls of course, because trolls simply are and always will be—they are as deeply ingrained into comment threads as the Pope is into Catholicism. It’s worth a laugh on any day you could use a bit of a confidence boost.

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Posted in News RADAR NYC event music photography storytelling

Jason Hood a recent graduate of the University of Texas, he once co-produced Local Live and The Austin Sessions, a radio-slash-TV show and webseries, respectively, that focused on Austin’s famous independent music scene. He’s also directed a number of 16mm short films, and had a diverse and bizarre series of paid jobs ranging from librarian to travel blogger.

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