Tuesday, September 18, 2007

The Arcade Fires: Live At Red Rocks.

I actually did this. Yesterday, I was picked up from work at 2:30 by my honey. We caught a flight outta SLC to Denver with Upto12 and his woman. Got there in an hour, rented a gas guzzler, check into a hotel and were looking down at the stage at Red Rocks one hour later.
For those of you who don’t know, Red Rocks is one of the most beautiful and classic music venues in North America. It was put on the international music map with U2’s iconic 1983 performance. We’ve always wanted to see a show there, but it can't be just any old band. It has to be a band with some serious passion, you have to have an anthem or two, and apparently you have to be able to boogie to it.

Without a doubt, the 10-member Canadian rocker band Arcade Fire was the perfect primer for a Red Rock virgin like myself. For a venue that’s known for the occasional rainstorm, the weather was flawless; a stunning view of Denver with stars overhead. The crowd was perfect too. Arcade Fire is just big enough to bring in a serious crowd (the place was about 75% filled), but the band is also small enough to only attract the true believers. You know, the one's who will actually stand during the course of a concert.
What does that mean? It means the perfect scenario. The band rocked, the crowd rocked. Never before have I literally been forced to start dancing at a show. The anthemic, hypnotic grooves laid down by the band—just made you move. It was just what you want at a show for a band you love, a few thousand of your closest friends jamming in symbiotic cadence, to the tunes that’ll keep you thumping the rest of the week. The sing-a-long never felt so good.

Best track of the night: Haiti from Funeral, RĂ©gine Chassagne takes the mic on this one. She’s the little musical magician, a cute Canadian version of Gilda Radner who even jumped on the drums for a quite a few tracks (as well as the hurdy gurdy).

Saturday, September 15, 2007

My Life Aquatic.

For my recent birthday, my wife got me an awesome gift: a Team Zissou T-shirt and red cap. And for some reason, ever since then, I’ve had The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou on the brain. I purchased the soundtrack from iTunes and have had it thumping in my car. I also ripped my DVD of The Life Aquatic with an amazing little program called HandBrake and I literally carry the flick around with me at all times.

I completely realize that The Life Aquatic is totally the ultimate hipster "film", but seriously I don’t care. I kid you not that every time I watch the thing, I see new things and pick up on deeper degrees of detail. It’s easily one of the richest movies I can think of. For example, the last time I watched it, I noticed in the scene where the crew is watching an old Life Aquatic episode “Trapped in the Ice”, there are actually little Team Zissou action figures arranged on both sides of the TV set… awesome.

After watching The Life Aquatic for the very first time, I thought to myself this is probably Wes Anderson’s 13-year old dream come true. In fact, I distinctly remembered growing up, drawing pictures of similar expedition teams with cool vehicles and matching uniforms. I even remember building my own little expedition team and vehicles out of my vast Lego collection. I’ve even thought, how cool would it be if Lego actually came out with Team Zissou set! I guess I’m not the only one who’s had that thought.
So check this out. I came across another fan’s blog with a link to this Flickr account. Yes, that’s Steve and Ned in their red caps and Speedos! Though I seem to have enough time to blog about The Life Aquatic, I’m kind of glad I don’t have enough time to take my temporary obsession to this degree. Nevertheless, these photos are awesome and I totally would love to play with the vehicles that would accompany these figures—so enjoy!

Saturday, September 01, 2007

…And Design.

I’ve been blogging now for about a year and it’s been good fun. I was recently asked, why I even have a blog. Well, the reason I’ve chosen to unleash my thoughts and opinions on the world is hopefully to improve my writing skills, which were beginning to wane since the college years. But I’ve also noticed that writing these things has helped me focus my thoughts and be much more observant in my day to day. For what it’s worth I’ve been pretty stoked about my posts.

When I started, Upto12 recommended that I kind of zero in on a few topics. I’m glad he recommended it and I still plan on being fairly focused in my subject matter. But since it’s been a whole year, I felt it was a good time to increase my range of topics just slightly. So I hope you’ve enjoyed my musings on music, movies, TV shows, and automobiles. I’ve decided to start sharing my thoughts on design as well.

As far as design is concerned, I don’t want to limit it to graphic design—so you’ll be hearing what I have to think about art, industrial design, architecture, and even fashion. The trend I’ve been seeing from my little position in the design/advertising industry is an intense emphasis on what I’m calling: living a designed life. This doesn’t mean surrounding one’s self in expensive designer products just for the sake of saying they’re designed. For me, a designed life means I’m looking for products, stores, vehicles, clothes, and media that, for lack of a better word, fit.

It’s all about thought-through integration. For instance, a designed life should be able to show how something like an iPod can integrate into a car, a home entertainment center, and a courier bag from a functional, aesthetic and practical point of view. There are so many companies that are focusing on helping our society to have designed lives, and I’m gonna talk about them.

So sit back, relax and prepared to be informed, enlightened, and entranced by a new look at the way we live our media-intense, consumers-focused lives. Kyality is taking on the rest of it.