Random, Part Deux

Here’s more random stuff that I’m diggin’ right now:

1. I secretly always wanted to be supremely cool and skateboard.  The only time I ever got on a board, I spent the following week nursing bruises scattered all over my body like Caribbean islands dotting the sea.  Which brings me to my next obsession…super rad Japanese art project, Harvest.

For a while, artists/skateboarders/packrats Harumaki and Hirosher refused to throw away their worn-out decks and in time, the old boards slowly overtook all their space.  Too sentimental to toss them away, they seized the opportunity to transform something old into something new; from the ashes of their outworn skateboards, the artistic venture, Harvest, was born.

Featuring everything from mooseheads, Mario (of Super Mario Bros fame) busts, rhinestone-encrusted graffiti necklaces and teddy bears, every piece of their work is constructed from parts of old skateboards and snowboards.

A statement from the artists:

Skate decks eventually see its life shortened by snapping, cracking and/or wearing out. Purchasing new decks is a never ending cycle and this was evident by the tower of old decks that were reaching to the ceiling of my room. We can’t throw away these decks because they hold sentimental meanings to us. I looked at these unusable decks every day and thought there must be something I can make with these. I decided to make some accessories with the old decks and this was the birth of Harvest. The works of Harvest are through the perspectives of a skater and as an artist. As a skater, I want to take responsibility of reusing skateboards when they were no longer useable. Also, as an artist I want to explore the possibilities of what can be done with skateboards. We see the care and effort that a skater can have for his/her deck and we also acknowledge the origins of a skateboard. We believe that if the small things we do can connect to sustainability then we’re doing something right. We’d be satisfied in our effort when people look at products and start thinking of ways to recycle.

2.  I recently stumbled upon artist Jordan Crane when I spotted a Pink Pearl print at someone’s apartment.  Ashamed to ask who the artist was, I ran home and Googled my little heart out until Wikipedia gave me all the answers.  (What did people do before Google?)

Highly respected for his uncanny ability to capture the uncertainty and mystery of the human experience, Crane has garnered awards for both his designs and graphic novels.  Some of his creepy prints evoke a David Lynchian/Twin Peaks kind of unrest and while these are not amongst my favorite pieces, I definitely respect that the man can create a print that manages elicit a very tangible sense of discomfort and fear.

Below are my (uncreepy) favorites…

3. I rarely do my nails because: a) I’m lazy, b) I’m klutzy and chip everything immediately and c) I have stubby, wrinkled witch fingers that look like pale, skinny prunes.  BUT, I am obsessed with Essie’s Mambo.  This polish is my JAM!  And it’s gonna look really amazing after I bake my skin to a golden crisp. OOH GIRL, I can hear bacon sizzle!

4. If you’re like me, spending $300 on a pair of sunglasses is probably not a wise financial decision.  If you’re like me, spending $125 on real Ray Bans is an immediate fail, considering the inevitable drop into the ocean, onto the train tracks or realization that they are still in the glove compartment of your returned zipcar.  Old Navy currently has an awesome selection priced around $9.50 and actually fit my face better than a lot of expen$ive-a$$ $unglasses I’ve tried at the Saks counter.  So if you have too many vodka-sodas at the bar and forget them, girl it ain’t no thang! IT’S NOT LIKE YOU PAID THE PRICE OF A SMALL ASIAN BABY FOR YOUR SUNGLASSES.

5. Yo, so…is anyone else jamming non-stop to The Morning Benders?

This San Francisco quartet is getting a ton of love for their latest album, Big Echo.  Produced by Grizzly Bear’s Chris Taylor, the band brings an ocean of sound to back their iridescent vocals delivering catchy hooks.  It’s easy to hear the Aracade Fire and Grizzly Bear influences, but the band impressively establishes their own identity, turning the most common indie rock tools into something dreamy and magical.  And even more impressive is the high level of quality the band maintains throughout the entire album.  I can confidently claim there is no filler (cough cough, MGMT).  This is an example of indie rock gone right.

Coming off supporting roles with Girls, Grizzly Bear, Broken Bells, Grizzly Bear and Death Cab for Cutie, the band is finally headlining their own tour and playing three sold out shows in the City this week.  With a solid catalouge of songs, (iTunes deemed their 2008 release, Talking Through Tin Cans, the best indie album of that year), I have no doubt these shows will be nothing short of amazing.

The Morning Benders are: Christopher Chu, Julian Harmon, Timothy Or and Jonathan Chu (go ASIANS!)

Stream Big Echo here.

Check this really fun performance of Excuses (I love how the strings portion sounds like something lifted from an Etta James song):

New York tour dates:

April 22 – Mercury Lounge

April 24 – Music Hall of Williamsburg

April 28 – Mercury Lounge

July 27 – Central Park Summerstage

July 28 – Central Park Summerstage

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