Way back in March of 2005 (when we were all so much younger and more innocent), we introduced you to hellobase, a friendly, unpretentious web-based t-shirt shop. “How friendly?” you ask. So friendly that their slogan is no strangers only friends. ‘Welcoming’ doesn’t even go far enough. This website is downright neighborly.
We’re writing about hellobase again not just because they’re nice and they make nice t-shirts, but also because they’ve redesigned their website. It’s nice too. It even includes an FAQ section that includes this exchange. You: “What inspires [hellobase]?” hellobase: “Ween inspires me. They are a band. They are the best band ever.” Again, just charming. But the real stars of the new hellobase website, as you’d hope, are the t-shirts. The Abe Lincoln tee (“Abe says f*ck the stache”) can’t even really be called ironic; it’s just funny. What’s more, since their site has just been redesigned all hellobase t-shirts are currently on sale for just eight dollars — less than the plain AA tshirt they’re printed on. You can call that whatever you want. I call it a good deal.
If you’re going to be in Denver in mid October, you’ll want to take a stroll down California Street — it’s the site of this year’s Urban Forest Project, in which 24 local professional designers and 24 local design students will create banners that will hang up and down the street for two weeks. Each banner references trees (or tree-ness) in some way, and the results are sure to be eclectic.
Last year’s Urban Forest Project took over the area around Times Square in New York (you can see what those banners looked like here) and this year, the project is working to put their beliefs into practice. All the banners will be made of Ecophab, a material made from recycled plastic bottles; when the banners are taken down at the end of the event, they will be turned into messenger bags and sold by Alchemy Goods (proceeds going to charity, of course). So good work all around here. Maybe nobody’s actually planting a tree, but these designers are working to place the idea of a tree in as many heads as possible. And Denver residents and visitors will finally have something to look at besides the Rockies. Sorry, Denver.
We told you a little about artist and sneaker designer Methamphibian before, but only a little bit and in the context of last year’s Couture Assassins, Miami. Now he’s got a solo show coming up in Los Angeles "” this Saturday at Kazuo HQ, a joint production of Evil Monito, Mountain Dew and Tiger Beer "” and he deserves a post of his own.
Click on over to his website; the Gallery tab gives you a flavor for his work (including over 170 incredibly pimp sneakers that you’ll probably never get your hands on), and the Store tab is the place for you to (try to) buy some of his custom shoes. These are the kind of kicks that will get you noticed, envied and very possibly laid. Now that I think of it, Methamphibian isn’t an “artist and sneaker designer.” He’s just an artist.
With the Extravigator website, the discerning traveler finally has a website to call home; a place where he or she can talk to other discerning travelers about the kind of topics that discerning travelers need to discuss: how to tip at a five star hotel, the location of the best seafood restaurant in Venice, and the relative value of the Mandarin Oriental hotel in Miami.
The thing to understand about Extravigator, is that it’s all about exclusivity. While the most impressive feature of this internet phenomenon is the democracy of it, there’s still undeniable value in people with common interests coming together to talk about things that only they know or care about. And so Extravigator "” which is still in beta and will open to the public shortly "” is rife with forums and discussions about popular locales and how to best take advantage of them from the well-heeled connoisseur’s perspective. It’s an absolutely fantastic resource if you’re in that world, and even if you’re not it’s fun to look at.
Available to the public for the first time on Adam Frank’s website, the long-awaited fruits of his latest experiment with creative interior lighting: REVEAL. For anyone that doesn’t know yet, REVEAL looks like a simple projector, but it’s special for a few reasons: for one, the light itself is designed to resemble natural sunlight as closely as possible; for another, when the projection is fixed on your wall you’re left with the gently swaying image of a tree as seen through a double window. When REVEAL is set up in your house or apartment, it will be as if you have an outside-facing window where you actually have only wall. And furthermore, it will be as if that window is always looking out on a pleasant, breezy dawn, or a ghostly twilight hour.
The first edition of REVEAL is limited to 1000 pieces, is priced out at $380 and is available directly from Frank’s website.
Danny wrote about Oddica just a little bit ago, and basically told you everything you’ll need to know about the t-shirt selling, profit sharing outfit. What’s happening now "” the reason I’m writing about Oddica again so soon "” is that they’ve released the t-shirt equivalent of a box-set. But not one of those irrelevant compilation box-sets where any true fan already has all the material and all you’re paying for is some extended liner notes and cardboard packaging, oh no; The Boombox Trilogy consists of three new shirts (available separately, but new, nonetheless), five really nice buttons, and an “exploded boombox” messenger bag. You can be sure you’ll be the only guy/gal in the subway with the exploded boombox bag because Oddica is only selling 63 trilogies, each one with a number to authenticate it. And how much do you have to spend for three t-shirts, a messenger bag and five buttons? $59. Not bad at all.
Pharoahe Monch; now there’s a name I hadn’t heard in a long time..until a month or so ago that is, when I found out I had completely missed the release of his new album, called Desire. It had been several years since his first solo album, and I thought he had flipped out or something and would never record again, which would have been a shame because he’s a super talented guy. Now I get wind of the 2007 New York-Tokyo Music Festival, where Monch will be performing along with (he of many aliases and collaborators) MF Doom. Appearing aside the two New York legends will be Tokyo-based group Teriyaki Boyz, and an inter-city collaboration in the form of Tokyo’s DJ Uppercut and New York’s Rosco P. Coldchain. For you skeptics out there, know that the Teriyaki Boys are affiliated with A Bathing Ape somehow/someway, and Mr. Coldchain is signed to the Neptune’s Star Trak label. I could talk for a while here about how Monch and Doom’s progressive approaches make them perfect choices to headline this event, because Tokyo is known for it’s progressive cultural scene, but I think eventually it would sound silly. Instead, you are hereby advised to head over to Rumsey Playfield — that’s in Central Park, kids — on September 22 at 2pm.
Here’s a good way to get my attention: show a guy on a surfboard getting towed by a Jet Ski right into the teeth of a giant effin’ wave, then continuing to ride that wave against all odds for another thirty seconds as about a ton of water splashes on his face. Did I mention that this is a really goddamned big wave? Remember that Powerade commercial where (with the help of some special effects) LeBron makes four full-court shots in a row? This video is that ill, and I think it’s totally real.
BoardRideTv, which hosts the video I’m talking about on its homepage, is Youtube for thrill seekers. Go to the snowboarding channel and you see a bunch of kids just absolutely killing it on the mountain, furthermore I’ve actually never seen anything as fun-looking as some of the videos up in the body boarding section. Of course, if you search Youtube for snowboarding you’ll probably find more content, but BoardRideTv is a place for extreme sports denizens to impress their own, not the masses. As Alec Baldwin would say, “Go and do likewise, gents.”
Anothercompany is the pseudonym of Joachim Baan, a Dutch graphic designer and photographer. Judging by the quality and prominence of his work, though, I’m not sure why he’d want to do anything to confuse people. See Baan’s website is named after his company, but the work on display there is his own. Three things deserve your attention:
The first is Baan’s book of photography from his recent, wide-ranging travels called For As Long As I Can’t Remember. Amateur travel photography is good because it exposes you to places you’ve never seen before; Professional travel photography is better. Baan’s photography is professional. The second is the work Baan did for Evian, whe. he designed invitations — printed on Plexiglas — and “interior objects” for a traveling storefront that the company operated to publicize its spas. And third is the House of Bols, a museum of Genever (that’s Dutch for gin) that Baan worked on. Baan’s pictures of the museum and the museum’s website make me feel a teensy bit drunk, which I guess is the idea. (And this has nothing to do with the bottle of Early Times sitting at my left hand. Baan is just that good.)
There’s a good chance that “psyop” doesn’t necessarily mean anything to you, but maybe it’ll help if I write it like this: psy-op, as in psychological operations; as in some spooky government stuff that you don’t really want to know about. Their slogan is “[p]ersuade, change and influence.”
I’m telling you about this because PSYOP is also that name of an advertising agency which seeks to “win the hearts and minds of the public through creative content.” They make really pretty animations, you see, for companies like Target, Adidas, Toyota and others. In their employ is Cut & Paste-participating designer Mate Steinforth, who recently re-launched his site, and it’s quite nice. You can browse through his whole portfolio and see what he’s up to, but the most rewarding way to use mateuniverse — as it’s called — might be to look at his PSYOP slides, such as this one for Mastercard, and then to watch the full, prepared video on the PSYOP site; it’s a little like watching the entire creative process itself unfold. Also, watch this and tell me you wouldn’t give MTV another shot…I guess I have some episodes of The Hills to catch up on now. Damn.