The Blast


Grand Opening of ‘Dostoevsky Station’ Delayed Indefinitely
May 28, 2010, 11:00 pm
Filed under: art

Unsurprising. From the Times Online:

The opening of a Moscow Metro station named after Fyodor Dostoevsky has been postponed after complaints that murals decorating the platform walls are too depressing. The images, drawn from the 19th-century novelist’s works, could prompt depressed commuters to kill themselves, critics say.

One scene, right, depicts a man preparing to hit a woman with an axe while another lays dying at his feet — inspired by Rodion Raskolnikov in Crime and Punishment. Another shows a man holding a gun to his head — based on The Devils, in which Kirillov commits suicide as a declaration of freedom. A stern portrait of the author is also among the Florentine mosaics.


via MR

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The Third and The Seventh
January 12, 2010, 8:45 am
Filed under: art, video

This short film, by Alex Ronan, is absolutely jaw-dropping. That it is completely done in cgi, and that he composed the score, makes it all the more impressive.

Check it out below, or watch it in HD here.

via Phil Coffman’s excellent blog



Invading the Vintage
July 22, 2009, 6:56 am
Filed under: art

Franco Brambilia sees “cute aliens invading grandpa’s postcards.”  Here’s my favorite:

Click through for more.



Slow Motion
June 25, 2009, 5:42 am
Filed under: art, film, video

Simply Amazing.

It reminds me of some of the most intense moments in Koyaanisqatsi, which stand in sharp contrast to much of the movie. You can view that whole film here, but it has ads which ruins the experience. I highly recommend renting it and immersing yourself in Philip Glass’s masterpiece of a film score.

On an unrelated note, I’m glad I figured out how to embed vimeo in this blog finally.

Enjoy.



In B Flat
May 21, 2009, 7:12 pm
Filed under: art, music, video

inbflat.net is the brainchild of Darren Solomon, a longtime musician and composer that currently resides in nyc.

He asked for and received videos for music in Bb. Follow the link or click on the picture, follow the instructions at the top, and enjoy.

The guy has an interesting blog as well.

Courtesy of Bob Boilen at NPR Music.



Wynton Marsalis Speech: The Ballad of the American Arts
May 10, 2009, 2:24 pm
Filed under: art, jazz, music, video

On March 30, 2009, Wynton Marsalis delivered the 22nd Annual Nancy Hanks Lecture on Arts & Public Policy to a capacity crowd at the Kennedy Center on the eve of Arts Advocacy Day.

Having attended several lectures on music and music history in the past, I can easily say that this is the best speech I have ever heard on the topic of American Music. It is a not just a speech, but also a concert of the evolution of american song.

Here is the link for the video.

Also, here are some key excerpts from the transcript that can be seen here.

ON THE VALUE OF AMERICAN ARTS:

“A financial inheritance can be accurately assessed in dollars, but what is the value of an artistic heritage? Who calculates the value of ‘Amazing Grace’ or ‘Yankee Doodle’ or ‘Go Down Moses’? Those spirituals were the first body of identifiable, purely American musical art…all kinds of people from all over made one through tragedy.”

“If our political and economic systems don’t serve our cultural interests, how do we rebuild those systems when they are in distress or fail?”

ON THE NEED FOR EDUCATION THROUGH A NEW CULTURAL LENS:

“We want to embrace one another, but don’t know how. And the answer is not more education, but more substantive and more culturally-rooted education. The primary justification for the value of education is not some competition with other countries for technological jobs, or to win the so-called science race, or to beat anyone. Our arts demand and deserve that we recognize the life we have lived together.”

“Now the challenge of this generation is to find the frontier of our collective souls. And though it is a soul with a history of slavery and injustice and struggle, it is a soul with freedom and striving and triumph. And you can’t get past the truth of yourself.”

“Who will have the courage to teach the most heroic songs and stories of what we have done all over this land and demand that the best of who we are be the national story?”

ON THE IMPORTANCE OF THE AMERICAN ARTS:

“The best of the American arts and the way they’ve been sung and swung provided human meaning to the questions posed by the Founding Fathers more than 150 years earlier. It told you to be yourself and love what made you, you. It told you to listen deeply to others and find the beauty of originality in them. And through swing, the most flexible rhythm ever played, it told you how to balance your individuality with the desires of the group. It told you we have a history, a depth, a tradition that requires skill and study but demands you apply those skills to search the frontiers of your soul. It told you that innovation and creativity hold hands with the tried and true.”

If you have a lazy weekend afternoon to yourself, take the time to enjoy this.



Fight the Swine Flu in Style
May 1, 2009, 5:30 pm
Filed under: art, health, humor

Irina Blok, has made a series of “fashion surgical masks” to, I don’t know, add that much needed dose of humor at the airport while your body temp is being scanned at the airport, and the toddler next to you is coughing and sneezing and running around touching everyone and everything that he can, followed by a showing of Outbreak for the in-flight movie, wondering how in the world are you going to enjoy those tiny little pretzels and the cup of water you had to pay for.

Or, perhaps you can rock these walking around in public, nodding to your friends in the neighborhood as they watch you walk your dog from the living room of their home, which has been completely taped down and sealed, while they subsist on the cans of spam and rolls of ritz (if they were lucky) they stockpiled, wondering how long it will take to train their outdoor cat how to use the facilities instead.

Either way, good luck getting your hands on these puppies.

I am planning to produce very limited edition of these in about 4 weeks and they will cost about $10 (plus $3 S&H).Email me to get your name on the list…

Too little too late? I hope not. I quite fashion the beardface one myself.