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Archive for the ‘Lifestyle’ Category

Eraserhead, Wild at Heart, Mulholland Drive; David Lynch’s output has always bordered on the eccentric, to say the least.

Try searching for a trailer for Twin Peaks and you’ll come across this – possibly the most bizarre dance put to celluloid.

Not so long ago, a friend recommended I visit www.davidlynch.com. Meh, probably some bog-standard, self-promoting ‘web destination’ for all things Lynch, shamelessly wrapped around some new film, I cynically thought.

How wrong I was.

Without a doubt one of the most unique websites I’ve seen. Check it out for yourself. It includes, but is not limited to:

A video of the director offering daily weather reports

A dedicated catalogue on the range of David’s ‘Signature Cup’ coffee products

A page of ringtones (presumably created by Lynch)

An online shop selling pins/buttons, distorted nudes books, hats and mousepads

Bizarre but y’know, sort of cool.

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Everyone knows how cool the downloadable applications available on the iPhone are. That’s a given. With an app to suit every occasion, tube journeys need never be dull as long as you have your trusty iPhone/iPod Touch.  With so many apps out there, I thought I’d just focus on one I discovered a few weeks back: the deadmau5 Touch Mix.

deadmau5 (pronounced ‘dead-mouse’ don’t you know, not ‘dead-mow-five’ like I called him for months) is a world renowned DJ – hot on the heels of the likes of Justice and Daft Punk – and is sampled left right and centre.

Pay £1.75 or thereabouts and you can mix just like him. The deadmau5 app includes a top-ten hitlist of his most popular songs, two of which can be played simultaneously and mixed together. You can do all sorts of cool things with the tunes: loop sections, increase/decrease the track tempo, bring specific parts of the songs to the forefront, to create some fresh lyrical beats of your own. All these elements and tune-tinkerings, my flatmate DJ assures me, are crucial ingredients to the real world of mixing.

One major difference is that, once you select a section of music to play, the app brings this in automatically at exactly the right moment – removing the need for what separates the amateurs from the pros: musical timing and a sense of rhythm.

Nevertheless,  I’ve had the app for weeks and still haven’t got it.  It’s somehow hard, even when everything is made easy.

The clip below may not sound that incredible, but they have really mastered this little application.

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Continuing my apparent dominance of Chivalry House in October, here’s a little story that’s vaguely related to the work we do (well, it’s about brands, and we’ve got brands in our title).

Marge Simpson, matriarch of the yellow, four-fingered clan of the same name, has posed for Playboy to celebrate the twentieth anniversary of the Simpsons as a show in it’s own right (it started in ’87 as sketches on the Tracey Ullman, breaking free in ’89 on it’s own).  Aside from the fact a TV show that  gets past four series is on its way to legendary status (Two Pints of Lager notswithstanding), this is an interesting arrangement for both.

The Simpsons, whilst perhaps not reaching the critical heights of its earlier series, is a huge brand that shows few signs of waning. Playboy, on the other hand, is a shadow of its former self, and as confused about its brand identity as any company has ever been.  Is it a porno? Is it a literary mag (don’t laugh, some big literary guns have written for it)? Is it a guide for gentlemen, a sort of GQ-esque establishment? I don’t think it helps that the man who embodies its supposed qualities is a parody of his younger self.  Hugh Hefner tries to maintain his image of a debonair, sophisticated man of means and taste, yet hasn’t adjusted his approach to this image to cater for his advancing years. What worked at forty doesn’t work at eighty.

The magazine itself has suffered at the hands of a wider malaise affecting the print industry. Its online brands have been undermined by the proliferation of free porn sites, and overall it is unable to shake the feeling that its really just grot for kids without the balls to buy the proper stuff.  This is a shame, as it could have been one of the great journals.  As mentioned above, big name writers (with both commercial and critical clout)  have contributed to its pages, with Stephen King on the front cover of the Simpson issue. If it hadn’t gone down the pseudo-Nuts/Zoo route, it might be a brand that makes it to the second half of the 21st century. At the moment, only the Simpsons seem poised to get beyond the next few years.

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Crap dress-up

Over on Brands2Life’s private Creative Cache, I recently referred to cosplay within a wider post. Whilst over on Lily Pad Creek, my personal creative cache, I posted some pics from the New Zealand Body Art championships, where you can see a kind of cosplay done by the pros. But for every gem there’s a gimcrack, and on the wonderful Offbeat Earth you find a collection of crap costumes made by grown-ups. Warning, if you were ever the kid at Halloween with the worst costume (oh, yes, that kid was me), then this could wretch up some bad-tasting memories. That said, there’s a kind of charm about bad costumes. Hell, if you’re not a pro, then slap togetehr whatever farcical costume you can, put your tongue firmly in your cheek, and rock it out.
Death Star swallows giant humanoid

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Ingredients for making a juicy pop/techno music video costing next to nothing:

2 hands
10 digits
1 marker pen
A healthy dash of European flair

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We’ve been waiting along time for a proper summer and, not to jinx the whole of Britain Rihanna style, it looks like it’s finally here. Along with white houses. That said, the winter months have made me forget just how hot the office gets between June and August (no we don’t have air conditioning, that’s for wimps…).

I’ve just had a conversation with @PatrickYiu and we’re agreed that our section of the office is by far the hottest – if you come within two metres of our ‘pod’ you get hit by a wall of heat. The fans just about manage to keep you cool until lunchtime but once you make the suicidal decision to exit the building to get lunch, no fan can help you. SO we’re investigating other means to combat the heat because we’re only in June and it’s (hopefully?!) going to get worse.

So the first option we came across is in the video below but it looks highly complicated and probably a little dangerous. Copper wiring and fans can’t be good?

Then we found this. I’m not convinced on this either, anything that involves me using a circular saw is not a good idea and neither is the substantial use of newspaper in the final assembly. Not to mention it looks like something my niece made after watching Blue Peter – she’s four.

In a final act of desperation I suggested intermittent feet dips into a bucket of cold water but looking at my colleagues around me I’m not sensing their enthusiasm. Do let us know if you have any better ideas, particularly tried and tested methods!

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The real or not question continues.  Are these dazzling damzels actually playing the piano?

After watching Big as a child, the difficulty of oversized keyboarding has always seemed pretty high, but I reckon this pure talent:

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