Music

Lead Belly.

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Boston based design firm Visual Dialogue has designed the art for the new Lead Belly box set. Similar to their work for the Woody Guthrie box set “Woody at 100” the design work here captures the enigma that epitomizes Huddie Ledbetter – better known as Lead Belly. There is a wonderful blend of typography and vintage photos of the artist, along with letters written by the artist and images of the original releases. Working closely with the Smithsonian Institutes Folkways label, Visual Dialogue has created a definitive box set featuring 108 songs on five discs. While digital music has made a huge dent in the sale of records and CD’s, it is this kind of design work that keeps me coming back to buy physical products.

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“California Inspires Me”.

Here is a nice way to start your post holiday week. An animated short by  featuring Kim Gordon of Sonic Youth. The piece is called “California Inspires Me” and has some really solid animation and illustration work going on. The piece is deceptively simple with black line art over flat colored backgrounds, but the flow and rhythm is so solid. What a really nice little short.

Loopimal, Music, Animation, and Sequencing for Your Kids.

I came across this video this morning on Vimeo for Lucas Zanotto‘s game Loopimal and fell in love with the nice blend of simple animation, live action, and fun music. After watching the film, I jumped over to his website, then the appstore to check out the actual game. I know this was deigned for kids, but after getting Loopimal and spending some time with it, I’m kind of hooked. It’s actually a blast to play with and kind of addictive.

Loopimal is designed to be your child’s first entry into the world of computer sequencing. Using a series of animations which are linked to sound effects you create animation sequences for different animals. The game uses intuitive gestures, that create loops of rhythms, melodies and movements that are endless. This is so simple and so fun.

 

Predominant.ly Searching for Music.

I used to spend hours in record store sifting through stacks of new and used vinyl searching for something new and unique. Just like book stores, record stores were a place to discover old favorites and new gems. A place to find music that you could share with your friends and so much more. there was something about the experience that will never be captured by an online experience, no matter what your source is, be it iTunes, Spotify, Amazon, eMusic, etc.

Predominant.ly designed and built by Open Work wants to change that. They want to bring to the online world the spontaneity of stumbling across a new find or an old favorite while searching for music.  The concept is really pretty clever. Based on color choices Predominant.ly  serves up groups of albums where the covers match your color choices. The data is pulled from iTunes which makes the entire catalog available.  The experience definitely lends itself to the concept of exploration in the digital space.

Albums

I’ve Been Hypnotized.

Here is four minutes of fluid animation and a jaunty little soundtrack from Mirai_Mizue and Takashi Watanabe to start your week off right. It’s actully quite hypnotic and extremely fun.

1stAveMachine Animates Sonos.

1stAveMachine and director Nico Casavecchia just kill it with this series of six animated room transformations for the Sonos WiFi stereo systems. Working with 72andSunny Casavecchia and company have created some really fun spots in a variety of styles that truly memorable. I watched these three or four times trying to figure out if any of it is live action that they have blended the CG and VFX with live action footage and I don’t think they have. I think the only live action shot is the opener with the hand holding the phone. It doesn’t matter though because these are simply great, and that is what good advertising should be.

The Beatles – Rock Band is WOW.

 has created an absolutely amazing 3 minute cinematic opening of the Beatles for the game RockBand. It features a nice blend of 2D and 3D animations, killer sound design, and a montage of Beatles songs. The look is so solid on this it left me seriously wanting to see about 30 minutes more. Turn on HD and watch it full screen.