Télépopmusik

Two albums and one Mitsubishi commerical strong, featuring the vocal stylings of such artists as Angela McCluskey (a direct descendant of Billie Holiday (yes, the)), Télépopmusik offers a fresh, groovy, jazzy, electronic sound received worldwide with favorable reviews. The French group’s core membership consists of three musicians: Fabrice Dumont, Stephan Haeri, and Christophe Hetier, who met in 1997 after playing separately.

Their first CD, Genetic World, generated a lot of attention for the leading track, “Breathe”, and “Love Can Damage Your Health”.

Angel Milk, their latest and very appropriately-named album, has a lot of good songs – my only criticism would be how it seems to feather out a bit in the middle. I like “Don’t Look Back”, “Stop Running Away”, “Love’s Amighty”, and “Tuesday” in particular.

Update: Michael F. Gill from Stylus Magazine kindly sent me a back issue of his Groovin’ With The Millimeters podcast, featuring a very popular remix of “Into Everything” by The MFA. Groovin’ is actually more of a show, inasmuch as it appears regularly with other shows on Stylus’s daily music podcast, Stycast. If you’re the fast-forwarding type, “Into Everything” is at 14:38.

Télépopmusik

Two albums and one Mitsubishi commerical strong, featuring the vocal stylings of such artists as Angela McCluskey (a direct descendant of Billie Holiday (yes, the)), Télépopmusik offers a fresh, groovy, jazzy, electronic sound received worldwide with favorable reviews. The French group’s core membership consists of three musicians: Fabrice Dumont, Stephan Haeri, and Christophe Hetier, who met in 1997 after playing separately.

Their first CD, Genetic World, generated a lot of attention for the leading track, “Breathe”, and “Love Can Damage Your Health”.

Angel Milk, their latest and very appropriately-named album, has a lot of good songs — my only criticism would be how it seems to feather out a bit in the middle. I like “Don’t Look Back”, “Stop Running Away”, “Love’s Amighty”, and “Tuesday” in particular.

Update: Michael F. Gill from Stylus Magazine kindly sent me a back issue of his Groovin’ With The Millimeters podcast, featuring a very popular remix of “Into Everything” by The MFA. Groovin’ is actually more of a show, inasmuch as it appears regularly with other shows on Stylus’s daily music podcast, Stycast. If you’re the fast-forwarding type, “Into Everything” is at 14:38.

Buro Vormkrijgers

The Buro Vormkrijgers design studio, in addition to their clever Pong [video] and Orbit clocks, design innovative furniture and lighting – above is a chandelier and lamp, called Therese and Josephine, respectively. Their Cyclops lamp has two flourescent bulbs attached to an eye-like circular hinge in the middle, suspended from the ceiling on wire – pulling the hinge breaks the shape and switches the lamp off. Katana [video] is a vertical touch-sensitive high-intensity LED lamp, that can be detached and moved from its recharging base. Ceci looks like a light bulb whose glass is melting away, but hides its light source in the socket. Their Stealth chair looks downright badass; and an experiment in what they call Transfurniture actually swings into form as you sit on it [video]. Check out their portfolio and store:

Buro Vormkrijgers

The Buro Vormkrijgers design studio, in addition to their clever Pong [video] and Orbit clocks, design innovative furniture and lighting — above is a chandelier and lamp, called Therese and Josephine, respectively. Their Cyclops lamp has two flourescent bulbs attached to an eye-like circular hinge in the middle, suspended from the ceiling on wire — pulling the hinge breaks the shape and switches the lamp off. Katana [video] is a vertical touch-sensitive high-intensity LED lamp, that can be detached and moved from its recharging base. Ceci looks like a light bulb whose glass is melting away, but hides its light source in the socket. Their Stealth chair looks downright badass; and an experiment in what they call Transfurniture actually swings into form as you sit on it [video]. Check out their portfolio and store:

Earth To America, Space To Earth

Aiming to prove that laughter is the best medicine–even for what’s ailing the planet–Earth to America! is a two-hour comedy event featuring America’s funniest superstars.

Talent includes Jack Black, Will Ferrell, Tom Hanks, Steve Martin, Martin Short, Robin Williams, Cedric the Entertainer, Ray Romano, Ben Stiller, Al Franken, Christopher Guest, Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Kevin Nealon, Wanda Sykes, Stephen Colbert, Rob Corddry, Triumph the Insult Comic Dog and the cast of “Avenue Q”.

It appears the entire show is available online via AOL – I’ve watched a few acts already and will probably finish it over the holiday. Warning: these are all large files, as a whole they’re over a gigabyte.

Especially striking was a segment from Act 2 with about three and a half minutes left on the video, featuring Leonardo di Caprio, an actor I can’t place, and Apollo 13 commander Jim Lovell [image 1, image 2]. Quoted from this:

American Astronaut Al Warden had this to say when he got to the moon: ‘Now I know why I’m here, not for a closer look at the moon, but to look back at our home, the Earth.’

In another corner of the world, Astronaut Fan Twan from Viatnam had a similar experience. ‘During the eight days I spent in space, I realized that mankind needs height. Primarily to better know our long suffering Earth – to see what cannot be seen closeup. Not just to love her dearly, but also to ensure that we do not bring the slightest harm to the natural world.’

I’ve recently become very interested in lunar astronauts, specifically the effect such a journey had on the rest of their lives. I can’t honestly imagine any problem I consider myself having that would persist, much less have any significance whatsoever, from the perspective of outer space looking back at Earth. The idea of this is groundbreaking in terms of where we stand as a race of people, how we treat our planet, and what kind of future we are making for ourselves.

Journalist Clive Thompson wrote this about Apollo 12 astronaut Alan Bean, in his review of Andrew Smith’s recent book, Moondust, a book that follows the lives of Apollo spacemen after their return home:

Alan Bean rode the Apollo 12 mission all the way to the moon, and on the way back he made a promise to himself: “I’m going to live my life the way I want to.” So he resigned from NASA, holed up in a tiny condo and became an oil painter. In the decades since, the only thing he has ever painted has been scenes from his celestial journey: the hyperreal sheen of sunlight on a space helmet, the lunar orbiter slicing through the void. Physically, Bean was back on earth – but some part of him clearly never came home.

Update: OK, Earth to America was kind of lame – not all of it, but a lot. Bill Maher and Will Ferrell, however, were great. I’ve never been a big fan of Bill Maher, but maybe it’s just from underexposure:

I read that the earth used to have 19% oxygen in it’s atmosphere, and now it has 9%. Now, I know that’s not a fact you’ll find in the Bible – and, I know it’s not something we should really care about like activist judges or boys kissing – but maybe it matters a little?! It could effect Tom and Katie.

Earth To America, Space To Earth

Aiming to prove that laughter is the best medicine–even for what’s ailing the planet–Earth to America! is a two-hour comedy event featuring America’s funniest superstars.

Talent includes Jack Black, Will Ferrell, Tom Hanks, Steve Martin, Martin Short, Robin Williams, Cedric the Entertainer, Ray Romano, Ben Stiller, Al Franken, Christopher Guest, Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Kevin Nealon, Wanda Sykes, Stephen Colbert, Rob Corddry, Triumph the Insult Comic Dog and the cast of “Avenue Q”.

It appears the entire show is available online via AOL — I’ve watched a few acts already and will probably finish it over the holiday. Warning: these are all large files, as a whole they’re over a gigabyte.

Especially striking was a segment from Act 2 with about three and a half minutes left on the video, featuring Leonardo di Caprio, an actor I can’t place, and Apollo 13 commander Jim Lovell [image 1, image 2]. Quoted from this:

American Astronaut Al Warden had this to say when he got to the moon: ‘Now I know why I’m here, not for a closer look at the moon, but to look back at our home, the Earth.’

In another corner of the world, Astronaut Fan Twan from Viatnam had a similar experience. ‘During the eight days I spent in space, I realized that mankind needs height. Primarily to better know our long suffering Earth — to see what cannot be seen closeup. Not just to love her dearly, but also to ensure that we do not bring the slightest harm to the natural world.’

I’ve recently become very interested in lunar astronauts, specifically the effect such a journey had on the rest of their lives. I can’t honestly imagine any problem I consider myself having that would persist, much less have any significance whatsoever, from the perspective of outer space looking back at Earth. The idea of this is groundbreaking in terms of where we stand as a race of people, how we treat our planet, and what kind of future we are making for ourselves.

Journalist Clive Thompson wrote this about Apollo 12 astronaut Alan Bean, in his review of Andrew Smith’s recent book, Moondust, a book that follows the lives of Apollo spacemen after their return home:

Alan Bean rode the Apollo 12 mission all the way to the moon, and on the way back he made a promise to himself: “I’m going to live my life the way I want to.” So he resigned from NASA, holed up in a tiny condo and became an oil painter. In the decades since, the only thing he has ever painted has been scenes from his celestial journey: the hyperreal sheen of sunlight on a space helmet, the lunar orbiter slicing through the void. Physically, Bean was back on earth — but some part of him clearly never came home.

Update: OK, Earth to America was kind of lame — not all of it, but a lot. Bill Maher and Will Ferrell, however, were great. I’ve never been a big fan of Bill Maher, but maybe it’s just from underexposure:

I read that the earth used to have 19% oxygen in it’s atmosphere, and now it has 9%. Now, I know that’s not a fact you’ll find in the Bible — and, I know it’s not something we should really care about like activist judges or boys kissing — but maybe it matters a little?! It could effect Tom and Katie.

Michel Gondry

image: © 2005 Sam Javanrouh

Even if his name isn’t immediately familiar, you’ve probably seen his work in television commericials and his most recent film, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind. His corporate clients include Nike, BMW, Coca-Cola, Air France, and AMD. In 1994, his “Drugstore” spot for Levi’s took the Lion D’Or (Gold Lion) at Cannes, and is literally the most award-winning commercial of all time.

Even more interesting to me is his work directing music videos. He’s done promos for The Rolling Stones, Daft Punk, and Beck, among others – followers of Björk will recognize his hand in “Hyperballad” and especially “Human Behavior”, which won nearly every music video award in existence at the time. The White Stripes’ video for “Fell in Love with a Girl”, composed entirely of animated Lego blocks, took three awards at the MTV VMAs in 2002, including Breakthrough Video and Special Effects. His newest piece for The White Stripes is “Denial Twist” starring Conan O’Brien:

My favorite Gondry videos, however, involve his collaboration with The Chemical Brothers. Unlike a lot of musicians, Tom and Ed recognize that their talent in the aural realm does not necessarily translate to the visual. Instead, they adopt a much more abstract, cinematic approach to their promos, rarely appearing themselves, and often telling a story as engaging as the music itself. “Star Guitar” is a stunning example of this, and is featured alongside many other excellent works on their Singles 93-03 DVD. (I recommend this disc highly, for the Michel Gondry videos or otherwise.)

For a more concentrated dose of Gondry Goodness, check out the DVD, The Work of Director Michel Gondry:

The Work of Director Michel Gondry invites the lucky viewer into a wonderland of childlike imagination. Before the Versailles-born Gondry turned his creative ingenuity to feature films (…), these 27 music videos and assorted “stories and things” formed a legacy of supreme cleverness, suggesting a creative lineage from the pioneering film magic of Georges Méliès to the groundbreaking experimental films of Norman McLaren. It’s perfectly fitting that the accompanying 75-minute documentary is titled “I’ve Been 12 Forever,” because Gondry (b. 1964) never lost the sense of wonder and inventiveness that children display when their minds are allowed to flourish in a creative environment.

Michel Gondry

image: © 2005 Sam Javanrouh

Even if his name isn’t immediately familiar, you’ve probably seen his work in television commericials and his most recent film, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind. His corporate clients include Nike, BMW, Coca-Cola, Air France, and AMD. In 1994, his “Drugstore” spot for Levi’s took the Lion D’Or (Gold Lion) at Cannes, and is literally the most award-winning commercial of all time.

Even more interesting to me is his work directing music videos. He’s done promos for The Rolling Stones, Daft Punk, and Beck, among others — followers of Björk will recognize his hand in “Hyperballad” and especially “Human Behavior”, which won nearly every music video award in existence at the time. The White Stripes’ video for “Fell in Love with a Girl”, composed entirely of animated Lego blocks, took three awards at the MTV VMAs in 2002, including Breakthrough Video and Special Effects. His newest piece for The White Stripes is “Denial Twist” starring Conan O’Brien:

My favorite Gondry videos, however, involve his collaboration with The Chemical Brothers. Unlike a lot of musicians, Tom and Ed recognize that their talent in the aural realm does not necessarily translate to the visual. Instead, they adopt a much more abstract, cinematic approach to their promos, rarely appearing themselves, and often telling a story as engaging as the music itself. “Star Guitar” is a stunning example of this, and is featured alongside many other excellent works on their Singles 93-03 DVD. (I recommend this disc highly, for the Michel Gondry videos or otherwise.)

For a more concentrated dose of Gondry Goodness, check out the DVD, The Work of Director Michel Gondry:

The Work of Director Michel Gondry invites the lucky viewer into a wonderland of childlike imagination. Before the Versailles-born Gondry turned his creative ingenuity to feature films (…), these 27 music videos and assorted “stories and things” formed a legacy of supreme cleverness, suggesting a creative lineage from the pioneering film magic of Georges Méliès to the groundbreaking experimental films of Norman McLaren. It’s perfectly fitting that the accompanying 75-minute documentary is titled “I’ve Been 12 Forever,” because Gondry (b. 1964) never lost the sense of wonder and inventiveness that children display when their minds are allowed to flourish in a creative environment.