Friday, May 30, 2008


As part of the Barack Obama Campaign’s ongoing designerly efforts—Scott Hanson, of ISO50 fame, has released his print to support the cause. This beautiful, idealistic print fits soundly next to Shepard Fairey’s silkscreen poster from a few months ago.

It absolutely astounds me how well Obama’s campaign speaks to the Gen-X/Gen-Y crowd. His logo is more or less a Web 2.0 icon, his site is probably one of the best cause-related sites around, and his engagement of exceptional artists and designers is genuinely cool.

Sunday, May 25, 2008

I Feel The Need, The Need For Speed.

For some reason I tend to be the guy that likes the movies that everyone else can’t stand. I’m not sure if this is the case here, but let’s just say that despite the crap reviews—I loved the flick: Speed Racer. In the 1960’s Japanese animation pioneer, Tatsuo Yoshida created the exciting animated series Mach GoGoGo. It was insanely successful and was re-dubbed for US television in 1967 under the name that we’ve grown to know and love: Speed Racer.

This summer, directing their first feature since the ridiculous Matrix sequels, Larry and Andy Wachowski brought Speed Racer to the big screen and I freaking loved it. In fact, I saw it twice in three days.
And here's the review I promised.

Speed Racer (the movie) is an insanely lush experiment in cinematic storytelling. When I finally forced myself to watch the final installment of the Matrix Trilogy on DVD, it was brutally apparent that the Wachowskis we’re fans of South Korean filmmaker Myung-se Lee. Especially since they cold-lifted the final fight scene in The Matrix Revolutions from Lee’s 1999 Sundance-selected, genre-crunching, crime dramady: Nowhere to Hide.

In Speed Racer, the Brothers Wachowski return once again to their homage to Myung-se Lee’s work. Throughout Nowhere to Hide, the director constantly relies on stylized, almost anime-like techniques to cover up edits and intensify the action. These exact methods were utilized in Speed Racer to accomplish a similar result. However, rather than coming off as copycats, the Wachowskis use this type of storytelling in a fun, compelling, energetic way that fits with the original text very well.

For me, the movie itself was utterly unique. I loved the race scenes, the production design (especially the Mach 5 and Mach 6) and even though the acting was campy—I bought into it. John Goodman as Pops: awesome. Emile Hirsch as Speed: awesomer. Matthew Fox as Racer X: awesomest. Granted there are times when the special effects feel stitched in and down right low-budge. But it still worked for me. Seriously, it’s not like the original Speed Racer series was by any means a high quality cartoon to begin with. The coolest detail about the movie, is that the filmmakers actually took the time to work in Speed’s inexplicable gasps and grunts throughout the racing sequences.

For some reason, I have the innate ability to walk into a theater a watch a flick with the eyes of a 13 year-old. Personally, I feel like that’s a gift. (I suppose that’s why I can stomach something like Episode I.) So the big question is, can someone who’s not an original series fan, or a car freak, or a super-gifted man-child enjoy this 2 hour and 15 minute cinematographic explosion? I believe the answer is yes. Just suspend your disbelief, drive really fast on the way to the theater and decide now to be okay with candy-craving chimpanzees.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

The Air Up There.

Ever since Apple discontinued the 12-inch PowerBook with the launch of the MacBook line, I’ve been a little bummed. Granted I’ve enjoyed rockin’ a 15-inch MacBook Pro for the past year, but I loved the unique compactness of my 12-inch G4. Well that all changed as of today. That’s right—I’m typing this very post on a spankin’ new MacBook Air. And I have to admit, so far... so great.

The MacBook Air is an absolutely stunning piece of industrial design. As it sat on my desk at work today—passers by couldn’t help but pick it up and caress it… seriously. Even though it’s ridiculously thin and lightweight, it doesn’t feel cheap at all. In fact it actually seems down right substantial and dialed. It feels like a premium machine as opposed to a standard white MacBook, which at times can come off a bit toy-like.

Besides the sheer weightlessness, the coolest aspect of the Air is the keyboard. It’s essentially a duplicate of the gorgeous new Mac keyboards, with the same tactile feel and user feedback. I also managed to score a killer faux fur-lined neoprene sleeve by Incase.

The only hardship I’ve experienced thus far is the wireless transfer, which was attempted three times and failed three times. Luckily I’d already wussed out and purchased the optional external disc drive, which made the transfer of critical files easy after the no-luck wireless route. But all-in-all I’m stoked! Let’s just say I love all things mini. And on that note I may as well mention that as of today Struck was officially awarded our first interactive project for MINI! So awesome. I’ll be sure to keep you posted on the progress.

Monday, May 12, 2008

Sky Blue Sky.

Here’s the synopsis: two bros, one MINI Cooper S, some serious rock and roll, and nothing but blue skies in all directions. For those of you who haven’t heard, Upto12 and I decided to hit up Grand Junction, CO for some bro time and a concert by a little band simply known as Wilco. First things first, can I just say that 4 hours in a car with no kids feels like 1 hour in the car with kids. And that's not an exaggeration.

Grand Junction is a tiny, super clean town with its share of new and old. We caught Iron Man (two thumbs up) in a brand new megaplex—seriously the floors weren’t even sticky yet. And then later that evening we met up with Dainon and date at the historic Avalon Theater to see the Wilcos in was what was apparently a landmark concert for the GJ.

The house was packed; thankfully there wasn’t a bad seat in the place. In fact there wasn’t a single seat further than 70 feet from center stage in that place, which ain’t very far at all. Folks had settled in their seats by the time Jeff Tweedy and company sauntered onto stage. They kicked the night off with a couple of oldies but goodies, then with their third number they launched into several tracks from their latest album, Sky Blue Sky. Instantaneously the audience leapt to their feet and thus began the 2-hour, mass air-guitar-fest that apparently accompanies every Wilco show.

Wilco is currently, without a doubt, the great American rock and roll band. This is not an opinion, this is a statement of fact. Anyone who has witnessed a down and dirty performance of California Stars transform directly into a sizzlin’, deep-fried rendition of Impossible Germany knows exactly what I’m talking about. Official guitar god, Nels Cline lays down such ridiculously rich and chaotic riffs that constantly teeter on the brink of full-on self-destruction only to return to perfectly synchronized jam sessions within a moments notice.

As much as I love a rock band like, oh say... My Morning Jacket, I fully realized after seeing Wilco live, that a vast majority of the bands I love are amateur hour by comparison. The next day—after nine holes of 3-club golf—we snagged some Chipotle burritos and Upto12 piloted the MINI while I snapped pics of the sky blue sky all the way home.

Sunday, May 04, 2008

New Addition To The Family.

I've been lucky enough to produce a site or two for Specialized bikes and I picked up my own special order yesterday, a silver grey Sirrus Sport. Sure fixed gear bikes are totally hip and totally in. But I grew up doing bikes tours in and around the Hudson Valley, and even though I live on the flat Salt Lake Valley floor, I'm definitely the type of rider who can appreciate more than one gear.

The Sirrus Sport is a heads-up messenger bike with the sleekness of a road bike and the practicality of a mountain bike. Now all I need is a roof rack for the MINI or I can always pull a Southern J: take the front wheel off and hook the fork around the front passenger seat. We’ll see—at least they sort of match.

Thursday, May 01, 2008


In 1978 Lamborghini and BMW joined forces to launch the first official BMW Motorsport car to the public, it was simply called the M1. Since then the Motorsport division of BMW has cranked out super cars in the form of sport sedans, wagons, coupes and convertibles. To honor the first M car’s 30th anniversary, BMW has just released official photos of a new concept car that’s being called the M1 Homage.

The original M1 was an extreme design in it’s own right and the M1 Homage is no different. In fact, I’d say extreme is a mild adjective when it comes to this particular concept. You can definitely tell that BMW purposefully departed from their design language to pull this one off. I guess that’s okay once in a while. It seems to me that the design is both figuratively and literally blurring the lines of the original M1, as though some strange wormhole brought it to this day and age. Everything from the C pillar on seems like it’s been stretched out by a wrinkle in time. There’s no doubt that it’s sexy and cool, but something about it seems very un-Bimmerish to me.

Personally, I believe the real reincarnation of the original M1 came not too long ago in the form of the BMW 1-Series Coupe tii Concept. Based loosely on the 1970’s fuel-injected 2002 tii, the only reason the Motorsport-built 1-Series Coupe tii Concept isn’t being called the M1 is because of the fancy red time machine pictured above. Word on the street is that the tii is actually getting prepped for production. It’ll be interesting to see how many 1-Series enthusiasts actually swap their tii emblem for one alluding a bit more to the MMMMMMMMuscle found under the hood.