Sunday, December 13, 2009
"How The Grinch Stole Christmas" is without a doubt my favorite christmas story. Watch one of the most recognizable voices in the music industry read the classic tale, with some slight revisions from the D-O double G himself. The video is from friday Dec. 11th when Snoop made an appearance on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon to promote his new album "Malice In Wonderland" in stores now.
Wednesday, December 2, 2009
Although you may have never seen a clock like this before, it's a lot like you in that it needs water to operate. The innovative minds at Bedol bring to life an alarm clock that doesn't require an electric outlet or batteries. This environmentally friendly product runs solely on water and only needs to be refilled or changed every 6 to 12 weeks (time varies depending on chemicals in the water). Also available is the feature to chose between 12 and 24 hour timekeeping. This would make a very nice and inexpsensive gift this holiday season for that gadget junkie or eco-friendly person in your life. The clock is available in other colors including black and pink.
Available at Bedolwhatsnext.com
A Skincare Product of Volcanic Proportions
Last year M.A.C Cosmetics introduced a line that utilizes Earth's natural by-products. After disappearing from shelves for some time it has been reintroduced to the market this fall. One of those items is a very intriguing one, and is generating interest even amongst the male demographic (after all something made from a once lava spewing valcano sounds pretty awesome). The formula only requires you to use it in small doses and can be applied to the body, not just the face. The volcanic ashes are from the Vanatu Islands, providing the key ingredient that leads to smoother and cleaner skin. I have personally tried MAC's volcanic ash exfoliator and can say that although it has an unpleasant and messy appearance during application, it's very effective and does what it's made to do very well.
Available at Maccosmetics.com
Tuesday, December 1, 2009
MTV recently interviewed Kid CuDi about what's going on with the Man on the Moon, post his solo album debut. Aside from the well publicized collaboration albums with Chip Tha Ripper and Ratatat, CuDi is putting together the highly anticipated sophmore LP entitled "Cudder". In the interview the G.O.O.D. music artist reveals who he's secured for the album and what acts he's reaching out to, hoping they jump on board the project. The names mentioned may surprise you and will definitely increase the eagerness of many fans for this project to drop (sometime in 2010).
Monday, November 30, 2009
Recently a very unique and entertaining video was brought to my attention. It showcases two gentlemen who may very well be the U.K's finest beatboxers, performing for Google employees at the company's London offices (nice perks, wouldn't you agree?). The video, which was made back in early 2008, features a set list including a rendition of the Night Rider theme by Nathan "Flutebox" Lee along with fresh beats and an abundance of sound effects delivered by Beardyman. The latter has a fairly decent singing voice to go along with his insane beatboxing talent.
Other cool bits in the video are Beardyman's take on the 80's hit "Take on me" and his impression of Marlon Brando's infamous godfather character while "Flutebox" plays the classic movie theme. These take place in the final six minutes of the video which are definitely the most entertaining since they perform as a duo, combining their awesome skills. The only negative comment I have about this video is that I wish I had discovered it sooner. Hope you all enjoy
Middz Note: The Google offices must be a pretty lax environment seeing as they have beer bottles in the break room fridge.
Thursday, November 12, 2009
Tuesday, November 10, 2009
Monday, November 2, 2009
Recently a video was posted on Kanye West's blog (kanyeuniversecity.com) which is written and directed by Spike Jonze, whose film "Where the Wild Things Are" is in theaters now. The short film, which is about ten minutes in length, depicts Kanye as himself, in a drunken state at a club. Judging by the film's artistic look, especially its use of light and dark as well as colors, it would be safe to assume that Mr. West had a great deal of influence on the project's vision and production. Anyone who truly knows Kanye and has followed his career understands that his fascination with art, fashion and any other forum for visual expression shines through in his work. His "Glow in the Dark" tour and almost every photo shoot he has done for magazines over the years are proof of this fact.
The film entitled "We Were Once a Fairytale" has drawn a lot of controversy and speculation as to its true intended message. Some opinions I have heard include that there is a fairytale living in all of us as we grow up, but once we reach adulthood all of these wonders are drowned by real world responsibilities and temptations. Also, because some of today's biggest artists are rumored to be associated and controlled by secretive groups such as "Illuminati" and "The Free Masons", I even heard comments that the film was a commentary on giving up your soul in order to make it in the music industry. Personally, I don't believe in these far off and incredibly sketchy theories. My intepretation of this film is that it's an exhibition of Kanye's inner revelations as a person and an artist at this present stage in his life. He is notorious for his ego and has spoken out of line on several occassions putting him in a negative spotlight in the media. His "George Bush hates black people" outburst during a televised Katrina fundraiser is a strong example of this behavior."
The film follows Kanye as he acts out different flaws in his character, i.e. alcoholism, arrogance and lust being the most obviously displayed. Part of what the viewer can take away from watching Kanye's antics in the film is that for all his wealth and accolades he seems to be alone in his world and seeking the love of others. This loneliness may stem from the loss of both his mother and break-up with his fiance which both took place over a year ago. These are clearly the catalysts for his latest album "808's & Heartbreak." His desire for acknowledgement and praise is seen when he's shouting "Do you guys like this song?...This is My Song. I wrote all the chords," as if today's generation wouldn't know a Kanye track in the club when they heard one.
I wouldn't describe the film as an amazing work but it is definitely intriguing and can be greatly appreciated from an artistic point of view. Although the material used to represent West's vomit and guts in the dramatic final scene may look cheesy and fake to some, it's very appealing to the eye and we should assume that it was intended to be that way instead of presenting gore and blood. The creature which he discovers can be seen as a symbol of the superstar's demons, and yet appears to be harmless and even likeable. In my eyes this creature is the embodiment of the Louis Vuitton Don's vices, the things that he must do away with in order to live life along a righteous path.
Even though you can tell by Kanye's appearance that this project was filmed quite some time before the recent MTV awards where he stormed on stage and ruined Taylor Swift's moment, the message coincides with the rapper's sentiments after the incident took place. He realized that he needed time out of the public eye in order to re-evaluate himself and figure out how he could be a better person and behave in the spotlight. Both his statements after the MTV incident and this film's message tell us that he is remorseful for things that have happened during his career and it's possible that he has now grown to the point where he realizes the error of his ways. This could be the beginning of a rebirth for the truly talented Mr. West. We'll just have to wait and see. In the meantime enjoy the film which is posted below, and share your thoughts on it.
"We Were Once a Fairytale" Directed by Spike Jonze and starring Kanye West:
Thursday, October 1, 2009
Alice in wonderland can be seen on a big screen in Tim Burton’s upcoming film rendition of Lewis Carroll’s classic story in early 2010. If you’d like to see the smallest version of Alice and the other famed characters that accompany her, look no further than a microscope focused on the work of 52 year old Willard Wigan. In his lifetime this native of England has gone from a dyslexic child, to being dismissed by his peers, to finally being renowned as our planet's leading micro sculptor.
Mr. Wigan’s creative process is very complex. Not only must he be very delicate with such tiny productions, but he must slow his breathing and carve around his own heartbeats. He has stayed still for extreme lengths of time in the name of art (up to 22 hours) and has even passed out while working. His tools always include a scalpel and a microscope, and the paint strokes are often done with the hair of a fly. The tiny objects are placed into their setting using a human eyelash. These works have also included raw materials such as gold and carpet fibers. The substances he cuts the designs into range from rice to a grain of sand.
Having completed about 160 miniature masterpieces (an amazing number considering it can take up to 3 months per piece) and already having achieved national fame in the U.K., the one-time underdog is looking to increase his notoriety in the States. His client list includes Mike Tyson (life size sculpture), Prince Charles and magicians Siegfried and Roy who commissioned the sculpting prodigy to carve the duo with a white tiger. Possibly the largest purchase was made in 2007 by former tennis sensation David Lloyd who bought a set of 72 pieces that was insured for roughly $17 million.
Of his work the artist comments “I can’t say that I enjoy making them, in fact my work drives me mad but it is all worth it when they are finished and I know the impact they will have on people – that’ s when I enjoy it.” Willard’s philosophy is “Everything, life itself, started small”. Clearly his life is not small anymore as his biography “I Spy with My Little Eye” is in stores October 1st and he is receiving offers from film studios for his life story.
Mr. Wigan cites his greatest achievement thus far as carving a sculpture of Jesus and his 12 disciples, but he plans to undertake an even more difficult task when he returns home in November. The artistic genius will attempt to recreate Queen Elizabeth’s gilded coronation carriage. He admits the most difficult part will be the reigns for the horses, and toys with the possibility of using a spider’s web for the job.
Aside from all that he has already accomplished (including having one of his creations named the eighth wonder of the world and being awarded an MBE degree by Prince Charles), surely Wigan has a long list of things left to achieve with his massive talent. The long list of his completed pieces, however, include sculptures of Elvis, President Obama and his family, astronaut Buzz Aldrin, Goldilocks and the Three Bears (on a toothpick), the Statue of Liberty, the Lloyd’s building in London, the FIFA World Cup and Darth Vader battling Luke Skywalker.
Chicago Sep 3 - Oct 2 at the Nicole Gallery, 230 West Huron, Chicago, IL 60654
Houston Oct 3 –Nov 8 at the Gremillion Gallery, 2501 Sunset Boulevard, Houston, TX 77005 tel: 713 522 2701
Washington, DC Nov 13, 2009 - Jan 15, 2010at the Parish Gallery, Canal Square at 1054 31st Street NW, off M Street, Georgetown - tel: 202 944 2310
Middz Note: You can find some great videos of Willard Wigan including interviews, appearances, and speeches on YouTube as well as on his official website