The tree you’re looking at, which is actually 126 photos impressively stitched together by photographer Michael Nichols, is 3,200 years old, 247-foot tall Giant Sequoya. Not much to say here – just marvel.
It takes a special person – a person like Jonty Hurwitz – to create sculptures in potentially the most difficult way possible. The way he builds his art looks like it’s about one step easier than making it in the pitch black dark. At any rate, it looks awesome. Enjoy his trippy art reflections and perspectives.
I don’t know how he did it, but this guy I only know as @raubrey captured one of the greatest, and biggest, photobomb moments of all time. Yes, Whale – we see you. We see you.
“There is nothing more tragic than to find an individual bogged down in the length of life,
devoid of breadth.” - Dr. King
Some of my favorite events of every year are the yearly time capsules in news & events from the Google Zeitgeist and the funny fellas at JibJab – and the year in pop from DJ Earworm and the Pop Danthology. And right before we look towards 2013, remember the year that was 2012.
Like last year, I’m posting the 10 artists who stayed in heavy rotation the most for me this year, for one reason or another. Don’t blame me, iTunes is the one keeping up with all this stuff. I’m just listening. Tracked by last.fm.
1. The Naked and Famous (217)
2. Elevation Worship (205)
3. Chiddy Bang (187)
4. Hillsong (144)
5. Yeasayer (139)
6. The xx (129)
7. Niki & The Dove (129)
8. Flagship (82)
9. Frightened Rabbit (82)
10. Lovedrug (81)
Like I say every year, not that my opinion matters any more than anyone else with ears, but these are my favorite albums of 2012. Not all critical darlings, and some off the beaten path, but hey, it’s my list so I can do what I want. So here they are, complete with mini-reviews, favorite tracks, and a few honorable mentions as well. The envelope please…
1. Niki and The Dove – Instinct
Probably not many other’s #1. But it really should be. Well-layered Swedish electro pop with depth and richness. Basically if Stevie Nicks had written pop songs for the year 2042.
Top Tracks: ’Tomorrow’, ‘The Drummer’, ‘Somebody’
2. Frank Ocean – Channel Orange
The R&B equivalent to Kanye’s Dark Twisted Fantasy opus of 2010. A pop-soul coming-of-age album that serves as his own moonlit personal confession.
Top Tracks: ‘Pyramids’, ‘Super Rich Kids’, ‘Thinkin Bout You’
4. Japandroids - Celebration Rock
The music all garage bands think they’re making. Drums. Guitar. Rock n’ roll until we die – or until we blow the breakers.
Top Tracks: ’The House That Heaven Built’, ‘Fire’s Highway’, ‘Continuous Thunder’
5. Cat Power – Sun
Five years after The Greatest, Chan Marshall has caught her second wind with a fresh spirit, youth, and confidence. Basically the best mid-life crisis ever.
Top Tracks: ‘Cherokee’, ‘Ruin’, ‘Peace and Love’
6. Daughter – Wild Youth EP
The four songs on Elena Tonra’s second EP are beautiful, melancholy songs with dark pop underpinnings. The heartbroken lovechild of Youth Lagoon and The xx.
Top Tracks: There’s only four. All of them.
7. Of Monsters & Men - My Head Is An Animal
The album Mumford & Sons wished they had made for their follow up to Sigh No More. Heart-warming, floor-stomping, lung-filling indie-folk from Iceland.
Top Tracks: ‘King and The Lionheart’, ‘Little Talks’, ‘The Mountain Sound’
8. The xx – Coexist
A late night mood piece from start to finish – an album full of sparse instrumentation, gentle vocals, and enough subtle beats to keep you awake.
Top Tracks: ‘Chained’, ‘Angels’, ‘Fiction’
9. Beach House – Bloom
The music of your dreams. Literally. Ethereal but comforting, echoing somewhere off in the far reaches of your sleeping skull. Listen to the album and that review makes total sense…
Top Tracks: ‘Myth’, ‘Other People’, ‘Wild’
10. Yeasayer – Fragrant World
Rarely do you ever find a band who experiments more musically in the midst of such hook-filled grooves. A dark chaos of catchiness.
Top Tracks: ‘Longevity’, ‘Henrietta’, ‘Fingers Never Bleed’
11. Alabama Shakes – Boys and Girls
Raw, talented, and rough around the edges. Exactly how you want your sweaty, southern soul-rock to sound. It’s the new birth of a bygone era.
Top Tracks: ‘Hold On’, ‘Hang Loose’, ‘Be Mine’
And then there’s next 10, just for the heck of it:
13. Fun. – Some Nights
14. Marina and the Diamonds – Electra Heart
15. The Killers – Battle Born
16. Macklemore - The Heist
17. Metric - Synthetica
18. Paper Route – The Peace of Wild Things
19. Passion Pit – Gossamer
20. Icona Pop – Iconic EP
21. The Shins – Port of Morrow
22. Lovedrug – Wild Blood
For the past seven years, British artist Simon Beck has traveled out to the snowy French skiing village of Les Arcs, strapped on a pair of snowshoes, and crafted some incredible, alien crop-circle level type stuff. Each design takes anywhere between six hours and two days to complete. Apparently, here’s a ‘competitive orienteer,’ which also helps his mapping process and makes him able to mark landmarks in the snow that guide his precise walking patterns. He should meet up with Jim Denevan for a vacation to the beach…
An incredible new view of our planet, this is a composite animation created using data from the Suomi NPP satellite, which was acquired over nine days in April 2012 and 13 days in October 2012. Pretty rad place we live on.
An amazing art installation at The Queensland Gallery of Modern Art in Australia from artist Yayoi Kusama. A portion of the gallery was built to look like a home – with every object, wall, and surface painted white. Then, over the course of two weeks, children who visited the gallery were given thousands and thousands of differently sized colored stickers and asked to collaborate in the transformation of the space. And the result is altogether awesome, beautiful, lively, and overwhelming. Thanks for the help kids, the place looks great.