Thursday, 9 December 2010

I heart viral campaigns

Especially when they are promoting anything that J.J. Abrams made/makes. Like Super 8, which I'm super (sorry) excited about.

Wednesday, 1 December 2010

I know this great little website

'cause London's a big, scary city, and sometimes you need to know where to go:

http://www.greatlittleplace.com/

(Also, Timeout reviews mostly suck.)

Good idea, maybe a site redesign once enough info is gathered will make it more user friendly.

Wikitime?

Monday, 29 November 2010

On the potential uses of Facebook

The world is filled with data, and with the massive explosion of the internet and social networking sites it has been easier than ever to gather this data from and in the same place. The hard part is analysing them in a way that will yield original, interesting and truthful results.

Facebook has people's data. They put it there themselves. David McCandless, data journalist, realised this and performed a study on Facebook to locate a possible seasonality in break-ups. His theory is interesting, but also flawed (as pointed out in Digital Society). What is an important take-away from this (apart from the fact that people liked talking about Rihanna and Chris Brown - a lot) is the unbelievable potential that lies within Facebook for data mining and exploitation, and the ways in which it can help us understand the world more than anything else.

Thursday, 25 November 2010

and we live half at night

OMD - VCR (rough mix) by 100% Records

Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark - VCR (XX cover)

Nice



One of the rare occasions where I am actually looking forward to an opening act.

(and apparently this guy dated Natalie Portman? And she starred in one of his videos??)

Sunday, 17 October 2010

Saturday, 16 October 2010

Hey there.

Long time no nothing. My bad.

Here's a few treats:

To hip or not to hip; a very interesting article regarding the re-rise of the hipsters, especially in the London scene. Highly entertaining but also insightful.

And another one, this time about a different way of making music.

This blog is back.


Tuesday, 24 August 2010

Light and Dark

Some yin, some yang, and you have Da Vinci's technique of painting shadow and light. Well, not exactly, but that was the aim. The method involved smoothly blending shadows and lights in a manner that resembled the motion of smoke. Some even claimed that Da Vinci used his fingers to achieve this effect. And this is how he did it to create one of the biggest 'mysteries' of the art world, Mona Lisa's smile.

Read more about it here.

Thursday, 5 August 2010

When it's 40 degrees outside...

You need something to stay in and cool down.



Try it with some rum, campari and orange.

Wednesday, 9 June 2010

Warm Sunsets 4.0



I can't decide if I prefer this or the original.

True Dat

100 unanswered questions about Lost. Watching this leaves me thinking two things:

'My memory has failed me'

and

'What the hell?'

[spoilers]



Guess we'll have to buy the DVD now.

Tuesday, 8 June 2010

Everything's nothing, and nothing is ours



Wonder if they held a casting session for 'creepy bald guy'.

Hot Chip - I Feel Better

Battleship Island

Hashima is an island which alludes both to traditional ghost stories and nihilistic visions of the future, where the remains of buildings stand in the silent absence of humanity. The Battleship Island, which received its name from its shape (since, from an angle, it looks like a battleship), was populated during the industrialization of Japan and hosted various coal mines. As petroleum replaced coal in the 60's, the island was slowly abandoned, and its population density went from 83,500 people/km2 to zero.











An in-depth account of the island's story.

Procrastinating (3)

Ugly site, pretty good fun:

http://www.sporcle.com/

Sunday, 6 June 2010

Amazing music video

I'll be gone from KORB on Vimeo.



By Rimantas Lukavicius. The music's not that exciting, unfortunately.

Namaste

The Bible according to Google Earth


Moses parting the Red Sea



Noah's Ark


Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden (lying on a patch of grass next to the lake)



The Crucifixion







Very refreshing. These guys rocked my world.

Eye Candy

The internet is very large.

That is a good thing.

http://butdoesitfloat.com/

http://www.nachoalegre.com/diaries.html

http://zero1blog.com/

The new Tamagotchi

I can't imagine anyone who is even mildly sexually active bothering with this app, but I can see how it would make a cool (and annoying) prank. Quite clever, really.

Durex Baby from Peter Ammentorp on Vimeo.

Sunday, 16 May 2010

Red Card

Money makes the world go round, it seems. The integrity of the World Cup and the FA has suffered a serious blow following the resignation of the FA Chairman after a scandalous revelation by the Mail on Sunday. And as the England 2018 World Cup bid lies in uncertainty, it will be interesting to see what happens in the upcoming matches of the current Euro holders next month. Spanish football is notorious not only for the show it can put on display regarding football skills, but also for the foul play of players when it comes to dives, 'cramps' and general theatrical skills.

Referees were never to be trusted, but this takes things on a whole new level.

Procrastinating (2)

Because sharing is caring:

http://www.trendhunter.com/

(thanks Felix)

Blinding light illuminates the scene



Lying somewhere in the space between a grower and an addiction.

I see a lyrical pattern emerging.

This definitely carries some NIN elements, but I disagree with some hater comments found online that claim this is an old NIN b-side. The lyrics, apart from subtle references to light (both here and in A Drowning) also make some allusions to pleasing others, transitions and endings: the crowd, from NIN to HTDA, and the end of things as they were for Reznor?

Wednesday, 12 May 2010

Why I might, eventually, get an iPad

Because the iPhone has some pretty decent music making apps. And I wouldn't mind playing with them on something bigger.


Monday, 10 May 2010

Friday, 7 May 2010

well hung

While England remains in a 'hung' situation, and is trying to sort its parliament out, life for average people goes on. Especially average foreign people.

The solution to boredom, grey skies and England's problems (heck, the world's problems) is the following.

http://www.liqurious.com/

COCKTAILS!


and some good old rock/pop in anticipation of the summer:

Wednesday, 5 May 2010

It's the glare from the reflection

The summer seems promising. Good music coming up, including new material by Trent Reznor and his wifey. Their project is called How To Destroy Angels, and their first released song is 'A Drowning'. NIN with female vocals? Yes please.

Not bad, not bad at all.

Booked.

Back to the land of utter greyness. Which means, it's time to hit the venues:

13/05 - Booka Shade - KOKO
25/05 - UNKLE - KOKO
27/05 - Sia - Roundhouse
19/06 - Sven Vath - Matter (cancelled)
25/06 - Pearl Jam - Hyde Park

You win some, you lose some.

Update:

08/09 - Fever Ray - Brixton

Wednesday, 28 April 2010

These guys have balls


The new Diesel campaign, innovatively entitled 'Be Stupid', is a well-crafted example of how a good creative execution can make a stupid idea seem smart. If an advertiser essentially told the potential buyers of a good that they would be, well, stupid if they associated themselves with it, disaster would be more than certain. But, in Diesel's case, their agency of choice, Anomaly, delivered excellent results that carry with it a carefree idea that not only appeals to the target market but also represents the brand itself, since it first had the 'stupid' idea of selling new jeans that looked old.

http://www.diesel.com/be-stupid

Tuesday, 27 April 2010

Warm Sunsets 3.0



Some things never get old. Summer 2010 is only a month away, and the heat is already rising.

Friday, 23 April 2010

Soundtrack for the weekend 6.0



Kind of makes you feel like you want to rob a bank and drive away in a 70's Cadillac convertible.

Tuesday, 20 April 2010

What's Up Your Ash?

The chaos theory states that something as small as the flutter of a butterfly's wings can cause a tornado halfway around the world. I don't know what kind of a butterfly caused the volcano to erupt in Iceland (this is a manner of speech, I am not that horrible at Science), but the Eyjafjallajokull volcano seems to have become a butterfly of its own, spreading a very modern species of chaos around the world. The flutter of a butterfly's wings 'cut off' thousands of metallic wings which have remained grounded in various airports around Europe, patiently awaiting further instructions. The crisis seems to have slowly hit Asia, and other continents that are linked to Europe by air:

In a sign of the crisis' impact on Asia's export-driven economies, the Japanese car giant, Nissan, says it is suspending several production lines due to the shortage of parts from Ireland. Honda will also partly halt production. (BBC Website)

Until today, I was only familiar with Iceland due to some of its excellent music exports, but from now on I shall forever remember it as the little country that screwed up the whole world and the vast majority of European airlines. Not that it's really Iceland's fault, but still.

There is still a question that stubbornly refuses to leave my mind, and it is about whether this chaos has not been caused by its source, the 'butterfly' itself, but by the intermediary - humans. Exaggeration, as everyone haply discovered last summer with the oh so morbid (not) spread of swine flu, seems to be embedded in human DNA, as is risk aversion (or else the world would be a mental place). Is Europe exaggerating in insisting that planes are unable to fly? Weren't the test flights enough? Aren't the clear blue skies enough? Aren't the airlines' complaints enough? I am confident they wouldn't be begging to fly if a big bad cloud of ash and debris was up there waiting to swallow their entire fleet and overall existence. I am no expert, but pure logic is telling me that it is not the airport the planes depart from that determines whether they are actually able to fly once they are up in the air. Are those who took the 'lockdown' decision afraid to admit they were not quite right, especially with the impending lawsuits they would be bombarded with by the airlines?

And while the EU remains mainly unresponsive, thousands of travelers remain stranded in foreign countries, or worse, airports, looking for ways to get home. Including my dad.

Has everyone overreacted to a mere flutter of some wings?

Very short and semi-nostalgic morning playlist







Let's go somewhere.

Monday, 19 April 2010

Nice way to start your week 2.0



Funky tune.

Charity case Arsenal

I didn't watch the game yesterday, and am I glad I didn't. I checked the score when it was 0-2 and thought it was all over. That's probably what Wenger's boys thought as well. After one of United's (unfortunately) many wins against us in recent years, Patrice Evra had stated "We are men, they are boys", and his words are resonating loudly in my ears game after game as all our title hopes fade away once again two short steps till the end. Mistakes, in life but also in football in particular, are repeated until learned. If you refuse to learn from your mistakes, they will come back to haunt you. Wenger's biggest mistake has been his stubborn denial of the team's gagging need for transfers. Turning our reserves into starting line-up material has become a tiring and fruitless process. When it does turn fruitful, we sell off the fat of our land to our Champions League competitors in exchange for cash that is stored safely amongst spiderwebs under the title 'Funds', never to see the light of day again.

I am not doubting Arsene Wenger's managerial skills. The man, with the right material, can create wonder teams, like the Invincibles who gave us Arsenal fans so many joys in the past. But, his current behaviour is depriving himself of the needed material to recreate a set of Invincibles, and the team of any titles. What is currently happening is the creation of a vicious circle. If you develop talent into world class players, like Cesc, but you don't provide them with the support they need in the field to play at the top of their game and actually win some silverware at the end of each season, they will leave the team. They will go somewhere else where they can actually win titles, or at least derbies, for that matter, and abandon you with the hope that you will rediscover some raw talent amidst the youngsters that have joined your club to get their best prospects, only to be developed, not win something, and move on to something better. What I'm trying to say, shortly, is that we're not good enough. Sad but true.

Arsenal has become a charity case of many sorts. We have probably, this far, provided Tottenham with a Champions League ticket, Wigan with a Premier League lifeline, and I don't even want to think what will happen when the transfer window opens and all those European vultures start heading towards our few good players.

Mr Wenger needs to splash some cash this summer if we are to compete the way we should be next year. Enough last minute wins, enough sloppy goals, enough embarrassing defeats. Yes, we have been badly struck by injuries, but some positions are still screaming for suitable replacements. Starting with the goalie. Our best season in recent years was, coincidentally, Lehmann's best. Almunia is not good enough. Fabianski? I won't even go there. Who has Flamini been replaced by? Who is good enough to support a fit Robin Van Persie in the box? If we are to keep Vermaelen, Fabregas, Nasri, Arshavin and RVP, more players of their class need to join the squad. Only then will we contend strongly for the title, and attempt an honorable return to the days of Thierry and his gang, when we weren't praying for other teams to drop points to keep the chase alive but only had to focus on winning our own games to stay at the top.

Friday, 16 April 2010

Soundtrack for the weekend 5.0

'Cause he never gets boring.

Cultural dose of the day #1

YouTube does it again. I am a big fan of technology's ability to break down boundaries and eradicate distances, and this is a great example why. A YouTube user took photographs of every single piece of art in MoMA (The Museum of Modern Art) and assembled them into a neat slide show. Spotted in there are the works of Dali, Bacon, Pollock, Van Gogh and Lichtenstein, to name a few.

Wonder what John Berger and people who read him would have to say about this. The Internet has provided the viewers with new ways of seeing, more distanced, less spatially reliant and much less time-consuming. Perspective changes, and so does the spectator. Has the spectator really witnessed and seen the object, if they were separated by a laptop screen? 'Digital Spectators: The LCD Canvas'. I could write an essay on this. Some day.

Thursday, 15 April 2010

Wednesday, 14 April 2010

I'm With Stupid

A marketing professor at NYU Business School accidentally created a viral message. By telling a student to "get his sh*t together", he led to an inspirational t-shirt movement. Read the whole story here. Slogan t-shirts will never die.

Wednesday, 7 April 2010

Never underestimate the power of 'want'

The first ever thing I was taught about economics is that humans have wants and needs. Needs, you can't live without them. Wants? If you created a product that does not serve any new purpose apart from giving you the chance to, well, do stuff you could already do but on a pretty, touchable tablet, your main aim would be to make people want it, not need it.

And with the iPad, it worked.

300,000 items were sold on day 1, 1 million apps were downloaded, and 250,000 iBooks were downloaded. People want this thing? I will not be too judgmental, because, one day, I might end up wanting one as well. The power of want cannot be underestimated. Combined with impulsive buying, it's something sellers and producers should really focus on. Show people the light (or the shiny, sleek surface of a brand new Apple product) and rub your hands together in greedy satisfaction.

Thursday, 1 April 2010

Late Nights 1.0

The day of the crucifixion. Another night of procrastination, the night after the night before (//this morning) and I'm in a massive (uni imposed) typing mood. Feeling strangely at peace. Rediscovering music is one of the biggest blessings of forgetfulness.

Thursday, 25 March 2010

Warm Sunsets 1.0

Soon.

Pure rock at its best, being kept alive by the best:



"All the thoughts you never see
You are always thinking"

Tuesday, 23 March 2010

Ouch.

((Wisdom teeth extraction.))

Pain is a strange sensation, almost as strange as empathy. I usually find it hard to feel others' pain, but mine seems to be currently overtaking me. Typical Leo, always exaggerating and being self-centered. I read an essay by Helene Foley during my third year in Cambridge. I can't remember its exact title, but it was regarding the pain of others and the difficulty of describing your own pain to someone else, and understanding someone else's pain. She listed a number of adjectives commonly used to identify the causes of pain in medical contexts - piercing, throbbing, burning. The problem with these is subjectivity. If we are all individual beings that experience the world differently, surely we will experience emotions and sensations of the same thing differently as well? Even if that means tasting the same dish in a different manner from our partner at the dinner table. Of course, taste comes into play here as well, but what I am trying to say is the fact that things are relative and emotions are not tangible entities that we can easily pinpoint and share with others.

At the end of the day, no one can describe or feel your own pain but yourself. And this is not just physical pain I'm talking about. Emotional pain can be the hardest to heal and the one that lasts the longest. There are no chemicals to heal it, no specific timespan it should take place in, no particular point in time where it should simply stop and disappear. It could linger there, it could come and go, it could be with you forever and overshadow other less powerful emotions. How do you describe that to someone else? Doesn't everyone's pain feel much stronger to their own selves than to others? Is this feeling of unique isolation and sense of individuality an ironic reminder that deep inside we are all the same and think the same?

The good thing about pain is that it reminds you you're human, and it tells you to be grateful you have someone to look after you. The day you wake up and you don't feel pain is the day your life feels a little bit better. Nonetheless, this still doesn't mean that you shouldn't try to deal with it and just let it fade on its own.

Take me, for example. I've taken about 2 grams of painkillers since midday.


Saturday, 13 March 2010

Sexcellent


'Cause a picture is worth a thousand words. I've seen quite a few critics on the internet ditching this, but I personally think it's witty, not too pornographic, and it delivers the message it has to.










Tuesday, 9 March 2010

And the Oscar goes to


...the people and movies that didn't necessarily deserve one for the specific performance or contribution in the specific year, but because the Academy decided it was time. On Monday morning, I yawned my way through the most predictable ceremony in recent years, as one award after the other predictably went to the same people that had, in a way, already won in their categories before they even took their seats in the Kodak theatre. While regretting not gambling on what seemed to be a surer bet than Roger Federer beating Andy Murray at the Australian Open final, I sadly realized that the Oscars have lost their glamour and the audience its interest. Yes, it's hard to be surprised by anything anymore, but a couple of shockers in any of the categories (the only shocking thing about Bigelow winning Best Director was James Cameron's sincere demonstration of joy at the moment of revelation) would have definitely made the night more interesting, and would have given us something else to talk about apart from dresses and awkward moments (yes, Mariah Carey, I'm talking to you).

Sunday, 7 March 2010

Mi Theory

There are some things that come under your possession that you never use. A toy from the time you were five. A book you never really wanted to read. A DVD you watched once and left on your shelf. Furby.

Some other things can be really useful, like the smartphone, keyrings, external hard drives. Things you don't really need but that nonetheless make life just a little bit better.

And then there are the things that make life what it is. One of the things I always loved when going to Disneyland was the fact that, finally, someone found out what was missing from life and added it to the recipe. A soundtrack. Everywhere you walked in Disneyland, you'd hear happy instrumental music playing discreetly in the background. It's still like this, I think. People watch movies and dream about being in them. Not just about acting, but about actually living the life of the characters. I guess Freud would call it wish-fulfillment. Everytime I walk down the long corridor of a tube station and I hear a musician play, I smile. They are the providers of short daily doses of the soundtrack of people's lives. Then a product came along that gave people the right to transform their reality into a cinematic one, just for the price tag of approximately £200. The mp3 player. Of course, what changed everything was the iPod. But I have to take this opportunity to show off my clairvoyant skills here, by saying that about 10 years ago, before the iPod even came into existence, I bought something called the Creative Jukebox. It was fantastic. I couldn't (still can't) live without music, and this little gimmick, about the size of a normal discman, could fit my entire music collection and allowed me to take it anywhere with me. If I felt happy, I could play a happy song to go with my mood. If I was sad, I'd play a sad one. Anything I wanted to play to accompany my life, I could, just as long as I had it.

Fast forward to 2010. People everywhere have white earphones hanging from the sides of their head. Walking down the street, on the bus, the tube, the airplane... anywhere that is outside, you see people listening to their own customised soundtrack. Something to give us a sense of escape from reality, both in forming our private soundtracks but also our private world in which to live in, be it just for a few minutes.

Wednesday, 3 March 2010

Wednesday, 24 February 2010

Rules For Writing

Since my days in Cambridge, I have linked the Guardian to my English degree (spending breaks between lectures solving the G2 crossword and complaining about the ridiculous shortness of the Sports section, mostly). I think this article can provide additional evidence for the above association:


Ten Rules for Writing Fiction


Good stuff.

A couple of quotes that stood out:

  • "Laugh at your own jokes." - Neil Gaiman
  • "Have regrets. They are fuel. On the page they flare into desire." - Geoff Dyer
  • "Write only when you have something to say." - David Hare
  • "Open your mind to new experiences, particularly to the study of other ­people. Nothing that happens to a writer – however happy, however tragic – is ever wasted." - PD James
  • "Be without fear. This is impossible, but let the small fears drive your rewriting and set aside the large ones ­until they behave – then use them, maybe even write them. Too much fear and all you'll get is silence." - AL Kenendy


Sir Ian McKellen spat on me last night. I had front row tickets for Waiting for Godot.

Wednesday, 17 February 2010

Why A Music Strategy Matters To Brands

Why A Music Strategy Matters To Brands

In a nutshell:

"Music is both content and media [... It] offers the largest array of consumer-facing touch points (reach) than any other category and is by far, the most consumed entertainment content today [...] If attention is the biggest cost in marketing, then all of these are potential attention silos. If done collectively over time, it can help create the emotional equity to build trust with consumers, which is still the most valuable connection a brand can make."

Couldn't agree more. Brands + Bands = Love

Sunday, 14 February 2010

P.S.

Post-Secret has been one of my favourite creative projects in recent years. It's based on a combination of honesty, human creativity, bravery and a little bit of love or pain (or both). The project, created by Frank Warren, invites people to design their own postcard which should reveal a deeply hidden secret of theirs and post it anonymously. The anonymity of the project was a key factor in its startling success. Ranging from happy to sad, from sweet to bitter, from funny to overly serious, the postcards are invaluable little gems of humanity. Each and every one of them deserves a careful look, and a few moments of thought.




http://postsecret.blogspot.com/


and something similar I found a few minutes ago.

Saturday, 13 February 2010

Cute



A cute ad. Even though, personally, I would probably go in for some puppy petting.

Wednesday, 10 February 2010

Gnothi Seauton

Finally, a bit of self-reflection in the MTV headquarters. The new logo was announced today, and, not surprisingly, the words 'Music Television' were nowhere to be found. The channel's general manager Stephen Friedman acknowledged that a new logo and rebranding process might probably come in handy in communicating to viewers that what's in a name (especially the letter 'M', in this case) doesn't really have to mean anything. On the contrary, it could be anything! Which means... time for fun speculation! M could stand for More? Manic? Modest? Mature? Maybe? Did anyone even actually pay attention to the words underneath the logo? Were they ever part of the logo? Could you read them on anything smaller than a 25" tv? Does it even matter? The UKTV Channel Dave actually got its name because, allegedly, "Everybody knows a bloke called Dave". Doesn't necessarily establish it as 'the home of witty banter', but it still works.

Maybe they finally realised that they haven't actually played any music since Britney Spears' debut album. Which is what everyone knew already. A bit on the slow side, these MTV fellas.

Tuesday, 9 February 2010

Can it?

When the sausage roll manages to take on Cheryl Cole, and it's not even the sausage roll, but just a sausage roll, you seriously start to wonder whether social networks are the new form of direct marketing. IMO Cheryl Cole is one of the biggest rebranding examples of the 21st Century - if a sausage roll becomes more popular than her on one of the biggest online social networks, and following RATM's Christmas triumph over Simon Cowell, perhaps it's time to go online. TV was for the 90's. Facebook is now, it's free, and everyone's on it.

Funny how...

Motorola's market share in Europe was 2.06% last December, and they managed to almost overshadow the Superbowl last Sunday with this:



P.S. Check out the thumb double.

Monday, 8 February 2010

Fucking genius.

You think everything has been done, the search for originality is a lost cause, and we have entered the age of recycled items and ideas.

And then this happens:

http://www.youtube.com/searchstories

Genius. Absolute genius. The best form of self-advertising I've seen recently. Kind of makes me want to read some Kerouac and go on a road trip.

Self-titled

I find opening titles are difficult things to write, especially if you want to sound original. I think this one says it all. Clear. Concise.

As a partial expression of my dislike of twitter, I have decided to start a blog. Start fresh. I have a couple here and there, mostly dead. Why try and raise the dead? I'm 23 years old, and I can use every day as a fresh start. Every day is a clean slate, and the way we use it depends on us. Baggage is always there, and as you get older it gets more, but as you get older you get stronger and more able to carry it. In 'Up In The Air' George Clooney says that 'moving is living'. Could be.

Just to stick to conventions though, this blog will try to:
  • inspire
  • inform
  • irritate
  • ignite
  • intoxicate
whoever stumbles upon it. If you're reading this, I hope you'll come back again. I realized that an interesting mind is a terrible thing to waste, and I also realized, belatedly, that you don't have to be a world leader or a rock star to be interesting. Additionally, and embarrassingly enough, I found that I type faster than I write and in 2010 time, like money, is little. Blogging isn't just about sharing with others. It's to help your increasingly forgetful self remember. I love how I'm using 'your' when actually referring to myself.



Guess I'm a serious lady living off a teacup full of cherries.

Now what?