Monday, December 31, 2012

2012: A Year in Review

Top 3 Favorite Albums

3. Jack White - Blunderbuss 
Leave it to Jack White to put the clarinet back into rock 'n' roll. Standout track: Love Interruption

2. Sleigh Bells - Reign of Terror
Hip hop meets speed metal meets bubble gum pop in a rockin' explosion of post-modern awesomeness. Standout track: Born to Lose

1. Beach House - Bloom
Victoria Legrand and Alex Scally create what's easily the coolest, most haunting and most stylish album of the year. Standout track: The Hours

Top 3 Favorite Movies

3. Silver Linings Playbook
Can you make a great date movie about two bipolar wash-ups who love football? This dramedy proves it. Standout performance: J.Lawr striking the perfect balance of crazy, sexy and cool.

2. Prometheus
This movie ruined The Dark Knight Rises for me by filling my head with crazy questions, answers and more questions in typical Lindelof fashion. Standout performance: Michael Fassbender as the menacing android David.

1. Moonrise Kingdom
If anyone can turn a #campvibes Instagram into a full-length feature, it's Wes Anderson. Standout performance: Jared Gilman and Kara Hayward deliver flawed yet fabulous freshman performances.

Top 3 Favorite TV Shows

3. Sherlock 
Can't get enough of the detective of Baker Street? Well, these X-files like versions of the Holmes stories are simply the best. Standout episode: A Scandal in Belgravia

2. New Girl
This is the show that invented a drinking game about American history factoids. Standout episode: Menzies

1. Downton Abbey
If you never thought that a BBC drama about turn of the century servants could be crazy compelling, think again. Standout episode: Christmas at Downton Abbey

Top 3 Favorite Cars

3. BMW i3 Coupe
Electric awesomeness in classic Bimmer orange? I'll take it. Standout feature: BMW's "stream flow" design language.

2. MINI Paceman
This is the sexiest crossover coupe around. Standout feature: That sloping roofline.

1. Cadillac CTS-V Wagon
If Lord Vader had to raise Luke and Leia, he'd drive this 556 HP beast. Standout feature: It's a station wagon!

Top 3 Favorite Designs

3. Moonrise Kingdom Font
In a dramatic turn of events—by graphic designer standards—Wes Anderson abandons Futura for a beautiful and nuanced custom font by designer Jessica Hische. Standout feature: An understated, yet striking closing credits animation.

2. Flipboard for iPhone
Easily my number one killer app and the future of editorial and periodical media consumption—not to mention it serves up Twitter faster than their own app. Standout feature: One-handed social surfing at the flip of a thumb.

1. Autodromo
From product design to social media content creation—this line of auto-inspired watches has inspired me all year long. Standout feature: Amazing product photography.

Monday, December 17, 2012

Top 10 Favorite Almost Holiday Movies

10. Edward Scissorhands
Where does snow come from? A Frankensteined man-boy making ice sculptures with scissors for hands.

9. Die Hard
It just so happens that one of the best action flicks of all time is also one of the best almost holiday movies of all time too.

8. Dumb and Dumber
This is the movie that gave us the line: Yeah, we're in the Rockies.

7. Clue
Random, I know, but we watched this movie every New Year's Eve growing up. Amazing, hysterical cast. Trust me.

6. About a Boy
Nick Hornby on the big screen brings us this line, "Do carol singers have to pay you 10 percent?" "They should, but you can't always catch the little bastards."

5. The Lord of the Rings Trilogy
Lots of epic movies seem to fit the holiday vibes soundly. And what's more epic than LOTR? Nada.

4. Catch Me If You Can
We saw this for the first time in the theater on Christmas Day 2002, just a few days before the first of the Kyality Kids was born. It's a surprisingly perfect almost holiday flick.

3. When Harry Met Sally
Nowadays, Mrs. Kyality and I watch THIS movie every New Year's Eve. Best dialog ever. Thank you Nora Ephron.

2. The Empire Strikes Back
Uh hello, it has an abominable snow beast… instant holiday classic.

1. The Royal Tenenbaums
Mrs. Kyality and I saw this opening weekend in NYC over the holiday break in 2001… instant memories with every viewing. Plus it has the beautiful and simple song Christmas Time is Here in it.

Saturday, December 08, 2012

Liberace Returns

Just over a year ago, I finessed a way for Gavin Strange—filmmaker, designer and all-around Renaissance Man extraordinaire—to come all the way from Bristol, England to SLC to screen BÖIKZMÖIND. The day before he left his beloved fixie Liberance was pinched from his flat.

Despite his this sad loss, an insane transatlantic flight, a creepy stay at the Peery Hotel and near crash in my Clubby inspiring Gav to yell at the top of his lungs—"You're a jet fighter pilot, you're a jet fighter pilot!"—he put on a great show. And now the circle is complete. Congrats on the find Gav—can believe you got 'er back in one piece.

Friday, November 30, 2012

Urban Aesthetic Meets Adventuremobile

Stumbled on this cool little vid last night simply called "Backpacker."It's got some nice driving shots and good tunes. What I love about the featured Subaru Forester is its cool blend of urban aesthetic and serious #adventuremobile #campvibes. Give it a gander!

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

First Glance: BMW i3 Coupe

I'm totally digging this. I've been skeptical about BMW's whole "i" initiative. I dunno if it's just this pic, the classic Bimmer orange color, or what, but this car looks great. Excited to see how it evolves!

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

For the Auto Enthusiast In Us All

Wondering what to get your spouse for Christmas? Well, did your spouse own a BMW 2002 at one point or have posters of Porsches on the walls of his childhood bedroom? Does your spouse happend to be an automotive enthusiast who blogs on nearly a weekly basis about European cars under the alias Kyality?

If so, you may want to consider a print from Manual Designs by Christopher Holewski. His stencils are simple yet striking and would make any gearhead go gaga.  

Loving this GTI and E30 ///M3, but the 2002 Turbo in ///M Division colors just nails it for me.  
Can someone please tell Mrs. Kyality about these? Seriously, she'll never read this post... ever. 

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Skyfall: The Best of Bond?

Once in a while a franchise reboot comes around that is truly something special. I think we can all look back to moment when we first saw Casino Royale and agree that it was one of those times. It was so fresh, so subtle and so, for lack of a better term, real. And other than the lack of a proper car chase sequence, it's been my fave since. So can Skyfall do what Quantum of Solace didn't and unseat Royale as the best Bond?

Directed by a Sam Mendes, a guy known for high drama rather than high action, Skyfall is easily the most stylized of the Daniel Craig trilogy. It's the most similar to the classic films, but also has something that no other Bonds have. We see a raw 007, who gets stripped of gadgets and gizmos who has to confront his past. This shotgun-wielding, waxed canvas-wearing, DB5-driving Bond drops his stern façade and shows real emotion. This actually juxtaposes well with the climactic and somewhat playful Home Alone meets Downton Abbey sequence.

By the end of Skyfall, you realize that the Daniel Craig as 007 films have actually been a series of prequels and now the classic, campy Bond storyline begins. What I appreciated most about Skyfall, above its beautiful and straight-up cool cinematography and art direction, is how much it made me love the nuanced and gripping Casino Royale, which for me is still the best Bond. 

Friday, November 02, 2012

Magnus Walker: Urban Outlaw

If you don't want to be complete consumed by the notion of owning/driving a vintage Porsche, then DO NOT watch this vid. It's the completely inspiring story of designer and builder Magnus Walker and his collection of classic 911s.

He also talks about his amazing home/shop, his beginnings as a clothes designer and he his triple digits in a Porsch. Thanks for the heads up, Jason L.!

PS: Totally dig the track "Goodnight Bad Morning" by The Kills featured in this little flick.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Greg Stevens Design

Last year, the team at Struck and I had the chance to work on a site for a Swiss watch manufacturer. In the process of preparing for the pitch, I gained a serious geek-out factor for watches that are completely unattainable—brands such as Panerai and Bell & Ross. I also discovered that my dad, @normanity, shares a similar horological sickness.

Cool watch bands have also been on my radar. So when a decent watch—let's call it "inspired by" Bell & Ross—popped up on Amazon for cheap, I snagged it. It arrived shortly thereafter and though it looked pretty cool, it was sporting a ridiculous vinyl band. 

Luckily, I stumbled onto Greg Stevens Design. GSD just happens to be based not far from me in the Salt Lake Valley and was really able to work directly with the watch to craft a band that really suited the watch's size and style. The quality and craftsmanship is seriously top notch, not to mention some meticulous attention to detail and design.

Not only does the GSD have some fantastic watch bands and leather goods, it also has its own line of custom watches. The current model has a cool, minimalism to it with a Swiss hand-wind movement. So next time you get a chance to score a quality timepiece or need a band to set apart your Panerai (or Panerai knock-off), look up GSD.

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Copper Hills Car Show

Organized and held my first car show! Cool bikes and cars, awesome car tunes and bacon cheese burgers on a beautiful evening—what else could you ask for? Here are some of my favorite pics and you can see more here.

Friday, October 19, 2012

BMW M135i vs. Audi RS3

"This little car absolutely flies." I'll let you guess which car that line is referring to. You'll find out about 17 amazing minutes in.

Tuesday, October 09, 2012

Autodromo's Alfa Romero

This year I've discovered and followed a fantastic little watch brand called Autodromo. This New York-based company was created by an industrial designer with a love for vintage Italian automotive gauges. I love their simplicity and cleanliness of design.

The Autodromo guys shoot a ton of their product in a hot little 1983 Alfa Romero GTV6, which suits their watch design perfectly. Here's a vid of a hot lap in the Alfa... looks like a blast.

You can also spot an Autodromo on the wrist of of the driver in this cool little vid by the guys at one of my favorite blogs (that I've had the chance to contribute to) Motoring Con Brio.

Man, that's a cool 5-series. 

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Falling for Skyfall

Stumbled on this pic today and got way stoked for Skyfall to hit theaters on the 9th of November. Let's hope there's a car chase that equals the awesomeness imbued in this shot.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

My Rides

I was always fascinated with the fact that as a kid, you bicycle's everything to you. It's your car, it's your steed, it's your speeder bike. I thought it'd be fun to see if my parents could locate pics of all my bikes over the years. This fine specimen is actually my second, a Murray Freestyle. Totally diggin' my classic Op t-shirt.

So this here's my very first bike. My dad, @normanity, refurbed this this one for me and it was the bike I learned to ride on. He put some Redline decals on it that went great with the matching mags, but I loved it because for years I thought they said "Red Lion," ya know, Voltron-style. My sis, JessintheCity, had a stellar banana-seat Sting-ray.

In the early '90s 10-speeds started giving way to mountain bikes. The white Giant in the background was my first bike with gears and my parents got a matching green one. I eventually got a rack and paniers for this bike and my buddies and I would stuff all of our tennis rackets in the saddle bags and head off to the courts in downtown Newburgh, NY

When I was assigned to a bike area on the mish to the isles of Hawaii, my parents sent me out the green machine. I slapped street tires and fenders (due to daily rainstorms) on her. She was quick as a whip and eventually came to be known as Trigger. She only bucked me once (with a scar on my chin to prove it). Notice the little pant leg clip hanging on the seat, which would pin my right pant leg in order to avoid chain-snagging. (Yes, that's right pants in Hawaii.)

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

From Paris With Love

This is inspiring and cool and makes me want to watch Amélie like right now.

Wednesday, September 05, 2012

The BMW E30 Reborn

Just this morning I was talking to my pa, @normanity, about how the classic E30 BMW 3-Series is basically this generation's 2002. I see pics of slammed, restored and modded E30 plastered all over blogs these days.

This modern interpretation of the E30 rendered by a Hungarian design studio called TMCars nails a modern interpretation of those classic lines.
I'm totally digging how they took the BMW design DNA and work it into the car, while respecting some of the newer trends we've seen in the ///M1 Homage and i8 concepts.
The stance on this thing is near perfect and feels more BMW than most of the kidney-grilled cars we see roaming the streets these days. Click on any of the pics to enlarge them. Thanks for the heads up @jasonbangerter.