Friday, November 27, 2009

Push It a Stop

This week Scott Marceau released Flip Clips Volume 1, a BMX mixtape for his Push it a Stop project. All the material was filmed between August and October of this year. The video has a great sense of humour and features some solid biking. It is straight up fun as hell to watch and I look forward to seeing where the project goes.

I love fixed gear cycling and I marvel at the kind of tricks that people have developed on these bikes that are wholly unsuited for tricks. However, track bikes will never be able to match bikes designed for the task when it comes to pure jaw-dropping feats. The new school of BMX kids are doing some incredible things. For a taste of what is coming up I point you in the direction of Volume's Tate Roskelley.

More than anything else I see, these are the kinds of videos that makes me want to pick up a camera again. Winter hasn't even started yet and I can't wait for it to be over.

Thanks to John Prolly for the video link.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Merry Christmas!

I doodled up a little Christmas card last week and figured, "Hey! Why not share it with the internet?" If you'd like to, the hi-res file to print it out is posted after the jump.

The Front

The Inside

Books I've Looked At, Failed to Read

As the decade wraps up, top ten lists are appearing everywhere you look. I expect I will probably point your attention toward a few as December wears on. Over at the Book Cover Archive they have put together their own list of the ten best covers of the oughts. Spoiler alert: lots of Chip Kidd and John Gall, not that they don't deserve it.

I would have been very happy to see the Seth designed Complete Peanuts make the cut, but I am well aware of the ghetto comic books reside in. It is an easy choice, but I was still a little surprised to see Chris Ware's Jimmy Corrigan, The Smartest Kid on Earth appear on the list. I feel Jordan Crane's gorgeous cover for Michael Chabon's Maps and Legends could have been on there too. My favourite of the list is the reprint of Walter Benjamin's The Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction, designed by David Pearson. The gray318 design of The Murder and the Evan Gaffney designed One Perfect Day are also stand outs. I like the "funny" covers, apparently. The gray318 covers for Jonathan Safran Foer get honorable mention, but I would have liked to have seen them make the top cut, too.

You can view the full list over at the Archive's blog. And stop over at the Book Cover Archive proper if you don't mind a portion of your day falling into a pit of cover design lust. Additional covers after the jump.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Major General Despair

Gee Vaucher's collaboration with the anarcho-punk band Crass was seminal in the oft-colliding worlds of protest art and punk rock. Vaucher created paint and collage pieces for the band's album covers and inserts, as well as edited many video pieces which played alongside Crass during live performances. Her influence on and creations for the band were not just complimentary, but integral to their spirit.

Vaucher's Crass art remains every bit as vital today as it was in the early eighties. Sadly, this is as much due to the dark subject matter remaining all too relevant as it is to the work being aesthetically stunning. She still produces art which continues to explore the Crass ethos of pacifism, animal rights, and anarchism. To see more of Gee Vaucher's Crass artwork you can either flip through some old record bins and pray, or hunt around for a copy of the book Crass Art and Other Pre Post-Modernist Monsters, which she published with AK Press in 1999.  More images after the jump. 

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

One Percenters

I recently started catching up with the FX cable series Sons of Anarchy. It is already on it's second season so I'm late to the party, but I am loving the show so far. Sons follows a Northern California motorcycle club in their social and criminal dealings. The show is chock full of great character actors, including more solid work from Katey Sagal, Ron Perlman, and Mitch Pileggi. Charlie Hunnam plays the lead as Jackson, son of the club's deceased founder. Hunnam has come a long way since his days as the Brit heartthrob on Undeclared. He does a great job tackling his Prince Hamlet-esque role on this show, questioning the club's leadership and motivation while trying to live up to his father's expectations.

I think it is impossible for any underworld investigation, fictional or otherwise, to not have a heavy gloss of romance. Sons absolutely dwells on the romance of the outlaw, but there are plenty of scenes in there to remind you of how downright evil these boys can be. Delving into the histories of North American motorcycle clubs is troubling and complicated business. Those histories are chronicles of the social development of modern North America. Clubs like the Chosen Few and the Ching-a-Ling Nomads (among many others) were pioneers of racial integration well before the rest of the United States had any interest in the matter (the latter doing so even while making liberal use of the swastika). At the same time, of course, there are plenty of club histories that trace the spread of crime, drugs, and violence, too. Still, if the first couple episodes of Sons of Anarchy don't make you want a(nother) black leather jacket or leave you wondering just how you'd look on a classic bike, you have no soul.
These photographs of the Hells Angels motorcycle club were lifted from the Life magazine archives. They were all taken by Bill Ray in California in 1965. Each of them are stunning, so please dig through the digital pile for the rest.

Considering the current climate of economic depression combined with a massive resurgence of all things Americana, we seem poised on the brink of another serious Biker Boom, dontcha think?

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Total Death

Thinking about getting this for my new tattoo. Like, full back piece. Y/N?

Props to Kirk Shelton for designing the Brutal Tooth font. And check out this short but sweet interview with Christophe Szpajdel, the designer of over 7000 death- and black-metal logos. These logos seem like they are about as simple as design work can get. . . until you try to make one.

Friday, November 20, 2009

FDR: A One-Man Show

It kills me that Chris Elliot isn't a household name. While he has earned a size-able cult, Elliot deserves to be a bigger star than his recurring role in so many lacklustre projects as, "ooooh, that guy!" When I read that Chris Elliot was working on a new live-action comedy pilot for Adult Swim, I was thrilled. The pilot will centre on Elliot as an over the hill action star who uses his show as a vehicle for far-right wing politics. He clashes with a young executive sent to watch over the series' production and hilarity ensues! Obviously. Eagleheart looks to be Elliot's most promising project in years, and I think Adult Swim is the perfect home for him. His brand of humour is finally growing more popular, and the network should expose him to a new generation of fans.

As if this pilot needed any further seal of approval, the producers are none other than Conan O'Brien and Robert Smigel. If the premise of Eagleheart sounds somewhat familiar, that's because Smigel and O'Brien created a similar show in the early nineties with Adam West. Lookwell only made it to one episode, but it was a hell of an episode. Let's hope for better luck this time around.

Whilst waiting for Eagleheart to make its debut, i recommend a viewing of Elliott's brilliant 1986 special, FDR: A One-Man Show. Also available on YouTube is the only episode of Lookwell. I first watched these shows on a battered VHS tape dub. I love you, Internet.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

You Know That Shitty Bob Dylan Song?

The staff here at TSADT are like sharks: we have to move forward or we die. And in that spirit, we are expanding the scope of your favourite site so that we do not suffocate, trapped deep in the oppressive depths of art house cinema. We will still feature the movie reviews you have come to love so much, but we also want the opportunity to shout at you about design, music, books, humour, and (in my case alone) bicycles. Oh, how I love bicycles! This shift in tone will allow us to talk about the wider world of film as well, including discussion of works in development and the careers of Artistes we love. Exciting, right? I KNOW!

Stay tuned. We hope you enjoy the changes we have in store.