Listen Up

A dreamy tune from Girlpool, Yoko Ono's new take on "Imagine," genre-spanning Phony Ppl and more in this week's musical round-up

Phony Ppl: somethinG about your love.

From their new album mō’zā-ik. (available to stream in its entirety on NPR today), Phony Ppl‘s “somethinG about your love.” is a sunny tune that—like all of the BK-based band’s music—bounces between several genres. The entire album spans neo-soul, hip-hop, funk, bossa nova, pop and just about everything between, in a delightfully satisfying and infectious manner. While the five-piece has gone through a few line-up changes since 2015’s Yesterday’s Tomorrow, the music remains unfettered and playful without feeling hollow.

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Link About It: This Week’s Picks

O-faces around the globe, the image of a black hole, a font to improve memory and more

Butterfly Wings Explored Through Chris Perani’s Marco Photography

Layer upon layer of  iridescent scales, running along multicolored hairs, are revealed through Chris Perani’s marco photography of butterfly wings. The photographer employs a 10x microscope objective affixed to a 200mm lens in order to get such precision. The findings are perhaps unsurprisingly exquisite and thoroughly mesmerizing, but Perani’s method is certainly notable. See more imagery at Colossal, where Perani outlines his process further.

Pierpaolo Piccioli’s Renaissance Painting-Inspired Collection for Moncler

For Italian luxury skiwear brand Moncler, Valentino’s acclaimed creative director Pierpaolo Piccioli has delivered a capsule collection that harks back to the forms of early-Renaissance paintings. The full-body, lightweight down-filled-nylon pieces—zip-up hooded capes, layered over padded skirts and paired with gloves—are out today. According to Piccioli, it’s “an uttermost expression of my taste and a very personal effort.” To exemplify the inspiration, textile designer and photographer Suzanne Jongmans released an art series that puts the pieces in classic frame. See more of the imagery at designboom.

Orgasm Faces Around the World

According to a study published this week by Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciencesit seems orgasmic facial expressions vary depending on where in the world you’re from. When asked to decide which face was mid-climax, participants from Western cultures decided an orgasm looked more excited and outward (signified by an open mouth and wide-eyes) while Eastern participants believed that an orgasm looked like closed mouth smiles and gentle release. Read more about what their answers signify culturally on Ars Technica.

Yayoi Kusama’s Work From a Different Angle

Much of Yayoi Kusama‘s work draws inspiration from her lifelong hallucinations, obsessive-compulsive behavior and fears, with her narratives oftentimes firmly based around mental health. While the brilliant artist has, more recently, been reduced to and stereotyped as a “wacky” Japanese artist who makes installations that result in selfie mania, Kusama’s works and process are so much more. For World Mental Health Day this year, Jyni Ong at It’s Nice That explores Kusama’s work through a different lens. As Ong writes, “Yayoi’s immense creative output seems deeply therapeutic and intuitive to her sense of self-expression. However, there is also something to be said in how she uses her external expression of art as a means to further understand her inner-self.” Read more at It’s Nice That.

The Only American Company Making Paper Straws

Paper straws got a bad reputation as flimsy and funky-tasting, thanks in part to versions produced in China. But Fort Wayne, Indiana-based Aardvark returned to paper straw production in 2007, when demand required that they start up again (they invented the paper straw back in 1888). Not only are the products “green,” they’re also ideal to use. Much of the process behind them is secret, and the plant is close-doored, but a few things are known. First, the straws are sustainable—produced with paper sourced from trees Aardvark grows themselves. Second, demand is skyrocketing right now, according to David Rhodes, the company’s global business director. For those looking for plastic alternatives, this is one worth trying for yourself. Read more at Bloomberg.

Assembling an Image of the Shadow of a Black Hole

In a mind-boggling excerpt from Seth Fletcher’s book Einstein’s Shadow: A Black Hole, a Band of Astronomers, and the Quest to See the Unseeable (published by Ecco), the author probes the meticulous process behind the Event Horizon Telescope (EHT). In fact, a series of collaborative data sets collected in 2017 by eight telescopes around the planet, the EHT aims to create an image of the shadow of a black hole using vast amounts of cross-referenced and corroborated information. Fletcher’s insight and prose captivates as much the scientific developments, and the excerpt—published by the New York Times Magazine—frequently stuns with unimaginable facts.

Moog’s First Polysynth in 35 Years

In a short film featuring Dev Hynes, Mark Ronson and Ryuichi Sakamoto, among others, Moog teased the release of its first polysynth in 35 years. The Moog One (available in eight-voice ($5,999) or 16-voice ($7,999) versions) features three VCOs, two independent analog filters and a revamped collection of native effects. Moog hopes the new additions will allow users to form “deeply layered, evolving soundscapes.” Read more about the release and the rest of Moog’s upcoming products at Fact.

Long-Lost Eames Radio Design Realized

Vitra is bringing a long-lost Eames design to life: a molded plywood framed radio. With holes for speakers and a few knobs for tuning, the device has been made in an edition of 999, with the first 50 available at the MoMA Design Store. The design was never realized during the ’40s, when it was initially drawn up, because the design was deemed “too modern.” Now, with the help of Vitra and the office’s current director (and the duo’s grandson), the design is for sale—with WiFi and bluetooth capabilities included. Read more at Fast Company.

This Font Might Improve Your Memory

A new typeface—the result of a collaboration between RMIT University’s design school and its behavioral business lab—may increase the amount of information we retain from reading. Called Sans Forgetica, it was conceptualized for students cramming for big exams. With lots of backward slants and gaps, the type makes use of a design principle called “desirable difficulty” which slows the reader down, resulting in more retention and employs “deeper cognitive processing.” Read more at It’s Nice That.

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Listen Up

Nu-disco, ominous psych-rock, a bilingual bop and more in our weekly musical wrap-up

Holy Ghost!: Anxious

Holy Ghost! (aka Nick Millhiser and Alex Frankel) has been making synthpop, nu-disco bops for a solid decade and after two years of no new music, the duo has just released a new tune. For their new track “Anxious,” they’ve worked with pioneering disco label West End Records. The tune is a flawlessly produced, almost-five-minute disco jam—with soaring, dramatic synths and a wildly satisfying, juicy bass line. Even better, a portion of all sales of the record (available for pre-order online) will be donated to the Gay Men’s Health Crisis and LifeBeat.

Yaeji: One More

Super-talented singer/songwriter/DJ/producer Yaeji (aka Kathy Yaeji Lee) has released yet another hypnotic track that blends classic 4×4 house with pop sensibilities. “One More” is a lush, layered song with Korean and English lyrics that are part spoken, part sung and part whispered. Yaeji keeps her listeners beguiled from beginning to end. Yaeji is currently touring the USA and Canada, and will head to Australia in December.

Sharon Van Etten: Comeback Kid

Sharon Van Etten returns with a big, uptempo track, “Comeback Kid.” The song accompanies the news of a January 2019 album, which follows in the wake of 2014’s acclaimed Are We There, various musical projects and a sublime performance on David Lynch‘s recent Twin Peaks revival. There’s something unexpected pulsing within, rattling to get out with the boldness and beauty Van Etten always delivers.

Elvyn Rhud: Orange is For Love

From their 7-inch split with label-mate Alpha Du Centaure, Elvyn Rhud‘s “Orange is For Love” could be from the soundtrack of a forthcoming Spaghetti Western if the cast were all French… and tripping on LSD. Or, that’s at least how it sounds. French duo Cassandre Arpin and Léo Puy comprise Elvyn Rhud and they’ve once again delivered something psychedelic and timeless.

Thom Yorke: Has Ended

“Has Ended” is the second single from Thom Yorke‘s soundtrack for Luca Guadagnino‘s remake of Dario Argento’s 1997 horror Suspiria. The psychedelic tune slowly and ominously creeps along, as Yorke calls out over the minimal piano, sitar and percussion. “The witches all were singing / and the water turned grey / and the mirrors and the phones / caught flame, caught flame,” he sings. “Has Ended” will appear on the soundtrack’s double LP—set for release 26 October on XL Recordings.

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Link About It: This Week’s Picks

60 years of NASA, life imitating art, food technology, data privacy and more

Judy Chicago’s Portrayal of Toxic Masculinity Appears in Real Life

Judy Chicago‘s 1985 series Three Faces of Man occurred in real-life this past week—seen in the outrage of powerful, petulant men unaccustomed to answering for their behavior. Chicago’s painting was unveiled in 1985, but it’s clearly as relevant as ever. As Jonathan D Katz writes for Artsy, “What was once allegory is now reportage, and Chicago’s art from decades past has never looked so current.” While exploring the concept of men’s behavior and actions, Chicago says she found, “The prohibitions around openly expressing feelings—particularly of vulnerability as expressed in tears—caused innumerable personality distortions.” Read more at Artsy.

Art Fairs Descend Upon London for Frieze Week

From Old Masters to contemporary African art, many prestigious fairs will temporarily open for London’s Frieze Week. Frieze London and Frieze Masters—in Regent’s Park—will once again be the anchor event, but this year sees many other pop-ups worth visiting. There’s 1-54 Contemporary African Art Fair at Somerset House, PAD London at Mayfair’s Berkeley Square, plus Moniker and Sunday art fairs kick off in the city, as well. Head over to artnet News for more information.

Neptune-Sized Moon Discovered Outside Our Solar System

Some 8,000 light-years away, a moon has been discovered—possibly the first one outside our own solar system. Dubbed an “exomoon,” the “Neptune-sized” gassy object, which orbits a “Jupiter-sized” planet, was spotted by Columbia University astronomers via the Kepler and Hubble space telescopes. It’s “unlike anything scientists have seen before, and even if this turns out to be a false find, the experience has offered valuable insight on how to find a possible moon by surveying the planet first. Learn more at the Washington Post.

New Technology Hopes to Transform the Food Industry

The food industry has garnered near universal flack for its lack of transparency, mistreatment of animals and environmental impact. Rightfully so in some instances, but technology hopes to alleviate the issues that some producers and consumers otherwise cannot avoid. Foodini, for instance, is a 3D printer that replaces typical plastic ink with edible ingredients, allowing home-cooks and chefs the ability to make an exact amount of something with repetitious likeness. Another innovation, called Apeel, will use the leftovers in a wine press to coat perishable fruits and produces with an invisible and tasteless layer that can extend shelf-life threefold. Read more about the technologies that are hoping to revolutionize food production and consumption at the Wall Street Journal.

From The Seeds Up: The Future of Fruits and Vegetables

At New York’s first-ever Variety Showcase—organized by the Culinary Breeding Network from Oregon, and GrowNYC—chefs, plant-breeders, farmers and others in the food industry joined together to discuss and present examples of the future of produce. One of the many goals of the showcase includes developing ideas—and in-turn seeds—that produce foods which taste better, reduce waste and meet the specific needs of chefs and cooks. While much of these “bespoke seeds” result in out-of-the-ordinary fruits and vegetables, each serves a specific, and arguably necessary, purpose. Read more about the futuristic developments and learn about specific farm-to-table ingredients (like Deep Purple kale) at Grub Street.

World Wide Web Inventor’s New Personal Data Project

Tim Berners-Lee, the inventor of the World Wide Web, hopes to help internet users reclaim their personal data—and ultimately their privacy. His newest project, Solid, is a place to store information. Users can take the data with them and transfer it immediately to any app, workspace or website (if they agree to). “Solid is a platform, built using the existing web. It gives every user a choice about where data is stored, which specific people and groups can access select elements, and which apps you use. It allows you, your family and colleagues, to link and share data with anyone. It allows people to look at the same data with different apps at the same time,” Berners-Lee says. Read more about the power-to-the-people project at 9to5Mac.

60 Years of NASA

In 1958, NASA (National Aeronautics and Space Administration) was formed after the Soviet Union launched their Sputnik satellite into the cosmos, and ever since the agency has explored distant worlds. In a sprawling graphic (made by a team consisting of Emily Barone, Jeffrey Kluger and Lon Tweeten) every NASA spacecraft ever launched is noted, tracked and dated. Excluding tests and failed missions, the list spans the ’50s through today—from the moon to Mars and beyond. Zooming out and viewing the USA’s obsession with space sheds light on how far we’ve gone, and concurrently, how little we’ve really seen. See more at Time.

Adobe Unveils an All-New Acrobat DC

Adobe’s all-new Acrobat DC aims to streamline the review process for creatives—thanks to new tools that make sharing PDFs with clients much easier. The program acts as a kind of hub—hosted on Adobe Document Cloud—where designers can offer access to their work to anyone via link or invite, check to see if invitees have looked yet, set deadlines and reminders, view feedback and more. Taking much of the dread out of sharing projects for review, this new system could be a game-changer. Read more about the update at Adobe.

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Evocative and Inspiring Storytelling in Our Fall Reading List

Immerse yourself in pages of poetry, fiction, essays and more

Whether reading insightful essays or fantastical fiction, there’s nothing quite like immersion in a new book that illuminates unknown worlds and broadens perspectives. As the cold weather begins descending on the northern hemisphere, and the south approaches beach reading season, there are countless opportunities to dive into pages and explore characters and ideas—real or imagined. Here are just some of our picks for fall reading—all …