Music

April 17 2008


Jamie Lidell - the IDM nerd turned whiteboyfunksuperfreak - is back.  His 2005 jaw-dropper 'Multiply' found fans on dance floors, head phones, cafes, Grey's Anatomy and in Target commercials.

Berlin based Lidell is an everyman whose cheery Motown soul is simultaneously uplifting and cerebral and his sophomore effort 'Jim' is a cracker of an album. 

Opener 'Another Day' bursts out of the speakers with bird songs and all the hope and joy of a summer dawn.  It's the kind of track that will have neighbours knocking down your door to join the party every time you play it.

Backed by gospel choirs and vaulting keys, Lidell's croon makes you realise how good Michael Buble could be if only he sounded this good.

The album's first single 'Little Bit Of Feel Good' is as funky as 'Jim' gets.  



It's an unmissable plea to the feet-draggers and cynics.

'Jim' is ten tracks of gorgeous pop and soul.  It's a summer record.  But regardless of the season you'll be playing it endlessly and feeling all the better for it. By Nick Christie





Music

April 15 2008


I had the incredible pleasure of seeing Geoffrey Gurrumul Yunupingu perform live in June 2007.

In a packed cafe, Gurrumul sang and played his acoustic guitar, accompanied only by a double bass.  

His voice was the most extraordinary live voice I have ever heard and its impact was devastating.  In a venue that held at most 200 people, the majority were reduced to tears by the power and poignancy of a man whose message lingers with you long after his songs end.

A former member of Australian band Yothu Yindi, Gurrumul was born blind and sings mostly in his traditional language.  

Gurrumul plays the guitar upside down because there were no left handed guitars in the communities he grew up in.

Gurrumul's story will inspire many. But his voice is what will cut through and if it lands on enough ears, his debut album 'Gurrumul'  available on Skinnyfish Music could prove to be a landmark Australian release.



myspace.com/gurrumul 

Geoffrey Gurrumul Yunupingu - Gurrumul

By Nick Christie

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Ads

April 15 2008




To promote the exclusive thrillers and horror films on 13th Street, the toilet of a nightclub in Hamburg was specially prepared. Just after entering the room, the light suddenly goes out and the room is bathed in Black light. And now a bloody crime scene becomes visible on the floor and walls: "See what others don't see. 13TH STREET. The Action and Suspense Channel."

Ad Agency - Creative Director: Bernd Kramer

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Music

April 11 2008


Foals make me jealous. I mean, how embarrassing is it to see these kids blast their way onto the scene with the kind of awe-inspiring, frenetic indie-meets-dance-punk you wished that second Valentinos EP would’ve had? Pretty embarrassing. In the spotlight for less than a year and Foals have already featured on a Kitsuné Maison compilation, inked major deals, and had their drummer pose for Burberry’s Spring/Summer line. Shit, these kids get their record produced by TV On The Radio’s main man Dave Sitek and essentially scrap his mixes in favour of their own. Next thing you know they’ll be ignoring all those MySpace messages from Timbaland. Damn them.

Then they go and rub it in my face with their terrific debut album Antidotes. Look at them - flaunting those nervous guitar lines, those booming drums and fevered vox. Even the horns can’t slow down the raucous second single Cassius, nor the stomp of Heavy Water. By Dave Ruby Howe

Get envious at myspace.com/foals

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Architecture

April 11 2008




The owner couple of this beautiful pre-fabricated cabin on the shores of Lake Simcoe in Ontario, Canada, has been coming to their large recreational property for a quarter-century. But the big property in a great recreational location translated into lots of overnight guests and no privacy for the owners.

They felt they needed a 'getaway,' a place at their own property where they could capture the peace and serenity of the surrounding four-season nature without disturbing any of the existing trees or structures. They needed a place that remembers what the Simcoe cottage-country is all about.

The brilliant, award-winning solution by Toronto-based Taylor Smyth Architects is the one-room Sunset Cabin, a real cabin with a decidedly contemporary feel. The wonderful cabin has won several architectural and design awards and met the clients’ needs perfectly.

It is a one-room (190 square feet in size), self-contained box that was built by furniture craftsmen in four weeks in a Toronto parking lot and installed on site in 10 days.

Three of the exterior walls are floor-to-ceiling glass and of those, two are encased in horizontal cedar-screens for privacy, shade and light effects inside. One of the cedar screens has a large opening providing a direct view of the sunset from the built-in bed. The rest of the screen has random smaller gaps to allow various vignettes of the surrounding nature and to create fantastic light patterns inside. The slats are positioned so that there is no direct view in from the outside, but at the same time, it the inside feels almost wall-less.



The untreated cedar of the outer structure will turn silvery grey over time, helping the cabin blend in with its natural surroundings. In addition, the roof, visible from the existing main building, is a green roof planted with native plants of the area, further ensuring that the building mixes in with the landscape rather than sticks out in it.

All interior surfaces are unpainted birch veneer plywood, including the built-in storage cabinets. Doors at both ends of the cabin allow for cross ventilation. The interior floor extends outside to form a deck where the rustic feel continues with the screened-off outdoor shower.

The owners are apparently spending more time at their property than ever before. They enjoy the cabin year-round, heating it by a wood-burning stove and, if needed, electric heaters. Most likely, they are not inviting guests to share the space, so we can join in only by admiring the images. By Tuija Seipell



Music

April 8 2008




Produced by Guy-Manuel de Homem-Christo of Daft Punk and released by Air's label Record Makers, Sebastien Tellier's new album 'Sexuality' is a rhythmic ode to - you guessed it - the art of love making.

'Sexuality' explores the common ground between Daft Punk's 'Make Love' and Air's 'Sexy Boy'.

Tellier's songs traverse voluptuous synths and sweeping strings.  The drums throb and whir soothingly at the edges of the sound.  Tellier sings in a convincing coo and whisper as if he is updating Serge Gainsbourg and Brigitte Bardot's ascendant 'Je T'Aime Moi Non Plus'.

Where Tellier's French contemporaries like Justice head for the euphoric, chanting hooks, Tellier goes mellow, radiating warmth and revealing subtle analogue textures.

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On the film clip for the instrumental track 'Sexual Sportswear', Tellier loops his keyboards like a double helix as a female body, lit up to resemble the iconic cover art for A Tribe Called Quest's 'The Low End Theory', writhes and moves to the music. By Nick Christie

Most definitely one for the lovers.

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Architecture

April 8 2008




Zaha Hadid's silvery building resembling a sub-surface ferry or a space ship is the winning entry in the competition for the design of the Guggenheim Hermitage Museum in the ancient city of Vilnius, capital and the largest city of the Republic of Lithuania.

Although Vilnius is one of Europe's smallest capitals, it has a long, strong and culturally rich history, beautifully reflected in its well-preserved Old Town with cathedrals dating back to the 12th century. The Pritzker prize-winning architect Hadid's futuristic building will be an arts centre and a museum, housing selected collections of both the New York's Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation and the St. Petersburg- based State Hermitage Museum.




The jury selected Hadid's (Zaha Hadid Architects) design over those of equally famous architects Daniel Libeskind (Studio Daniel Libeskind) and Massimiliano Fuksas (Studio Fuksas).

A feasibility study, commissioned by the recently established Jonas Mekas Visual Arts Centre in Vilnius, is expected to be completed by mid-June 2008. Depending on its outcome, the museum could open as early as in 2011. By Tuija Seipell

Offices

April 8 2008



Diane von Furstenberg Studio’s new headquarters fits perfectly in New York City’s fashionable Meatpacking District, also known as the Gansevoort Market Historic District. The new, six-story building is wedged between two historical, landmarked facades that resemble the wall props in Cirque du Soleil’s La Nouba. One corner of the structure is topped by a Olot, Spain-made faceted glass sphere that is part of the penthouse suite and seems like a gigantic diamond fallen from the sky.

In the design, New York-based WORK Architecture managed to combine old and new, light and dark, openness and enclosure, artistry and practicality. The building houses DVF’s flagship store, a 5,000-square-foot showroom and event space, offices and studios for a 120 people, an executive suite, and a penthouse apartment.



Inside the building, the chief feature is the “stairdelier,” a wide stairway that connects the floors and distributes light throughout the building. Flexibility characterizes all of the public areas. Pivoting walls and built-in unfolding “steamer-trunk” structures allow for a wide use of the space for fashion shows, photo shoots, events and parties.

WORK was founded in 2002 by Beirut, Lebanon-born Amale Andraos and Rhode Island native Dan Wood. Many of their projects are in New York, but their work includes everything from a master plan of an Icelandic town to a theatre stage set, from low-income housing towers in New York to a luxury residence in Panama, plus retail, office and residential projects around the world. WORK is also designing 14 DVF stores in 11 countries.

Diane von Furstenberg was born in Brussels, Belgium, 61 years ago. She started her fashion designer career in 1970. Famous for her wrap dresses, which she started creating in 1973, she has become a veritable fashion icon. She is also the current president of the Council of Fashion Designers of America, the non-profit association of America’s fashion heavy-weights. By Tuija Seipell
 
See also Creative Work Environments

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Transportation

April 4 2008



The annual Detroit Auto Show serves as a platform for American automobile manufacturers, specifically, to flex their muscles, so-to-speak — and this year the Chrysler Corporation did just that. Dodge unveiled three models of the Challenger that will be available in 2009: the SE (3.5 liter V6, 250 hp), the R/T (5.7 liter HEMI V8, 370 hp) and the SRT8 (6.1 liter HEMI V8, 425 hp).

Originally hitting the streets in 1970 at the dawning of a new generation of design in automobile manufacturing, the Challenger was one of the original American muscle cars (along with the Ford Mustang and Chevrolet Camaro). Power and steel were king, gritty, dirt solid performance ruled over clear smooth edges and lavish aesthetics. The auto industry in Detroit was destined to enter its glory days.



Now, almost 40 years later, the auto industry, especially in Detroit is facing more than a handful of obstacles — including attempting to recover from an arguably failed race to build the largest petrol-guzzling trucks on the market. Compact and fuel-efficient has been all the latest rage — but what about performance? Based on the model chosen, Dodge almost guarantees blood-pumping sensation. The SE model doesn’t come with racing stripes and spoilers like its two bigger brothers, and the less sporty version only has a single exhaust pipe in the rear, rather than duel pipes on the more powerful models.

Dodge believes a retro-styled coupe can deliver exactly what auto enthusiasts are seeking in the three Challenger models: a varying array of performance options and features including voice-activated MyGIG Multimedia and UConnect systems, Remote Start with Keyless Go and five-speed manual models get the Hill Start Assist. Time to kick up some dirt — driving’s about to get messy again! By Andrew J Wiener

Stores

April 2 2008



Since being established by Dennis Pahitis twenty years ago, Aésop skin care has become an uncontested success story in the notoriously fickle beauty industry — focused on providing its worldwide clientele with the highest quality botanical skin care, rather than subscribing to mainstream-cosmetic anti-aging hype. Aésop now have 78 international stockists, plus 20 signature stores including stores in Paris, London, Sydney and their most recent Melbourne addition, Flinders Lane.

In keeping with Aésop tradition — that every store is different; conceived and designed individually so as that each store is a reflection and celebration of its location — the Flinders Lane store does not disappoint, providing its customers with a design and infrastructure that is just as alternative as Aésop’s skin care products. Located in one of Melbourne’s most interesting precincts, the Flinders Lane store interior is made entirely of industrial-grade cardboard; from the display shelving, to the massive eastern façade, and even the counter tops— proving that cardboard can be both striking and structurally sturdy if it’s engineered well.



Designed by local interior architects Rodney Eggleston and Anne-Laure Cavigneaux of March Studios, the ambient new store has drawn attention from all sorts of passers by. Store manager, Kate, says she wasn’t expecting how amazed customers would be by the store’s design. “It’s clear it’s a very tactile environment. Most people come in and tend to want to touch it all.”

The Flinders Lane store is located at Shop 1C, 268 Flinders Lane, Melbourne. For a full list of Aésop products and stockists visit www.aesop.net.au. By Anna Byrne.