Only The Strong Survive

I’ve been staring at this illustration by Jerico Santander all morning. Staring, alt-tabbing over to actual work and then alt-tabbing back. Entitled “Only the Strong Survive” it’s a promotional piece for Calder Bateman — which a Google search informs me is a PR company. I’m just completely taken with it. What, really, is there not to love about Deer Hunter as performed by hamsters. Nothing, that’s what. This is, I suspect, exactly what the lives of hamsters are like when not in range of the prying eyes of humans: a shady underworld of illicit gambling and bloodsport, and no one will convince me otherwise. Click here for the full-size image.

via who killed bambi?

“Hammer Smashed Face” (Radio Disney Version)

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via DJ Dead Billy

Um. Is it just me, or is this Raffi-esque version of the classic Cannibal Corpse song markedly more unsettling the original?*

See also:

*My sense of unease deepens as I realize that the overdub also sounds remarkably like Interpol. What the fuck, internet.

Enter The Wheel

Tom Tom Crew is, from the looks of their website, a hip-hop flavored circus troupe originating from Australia, that den of murderers, rapists, and thieves that lies adjacent to the place where the Lord of the Rings trilogy was filmed, where everything is upside down and roaming gangs of wallabies rule the streets. Tom Tom Crew’s website bills them as the future of Australian circus, a claim I can neither confirm nor deny, knowing as I do, absolutely nothing about Australian circus [Editor’s Note: or Australia for that matter]. What I can say is that they possess something called The Wheel, an ominous contraption consisting of a metal frame which holds a number of plastic vessels.

Into this insidious device, it seems that the Tom Tom Crew places a single percussionist. Where they come from, I can only guess. Perhaps they are merely street performers, shanghaied from the city squares and subway stations they usually occupy. Regardless of their origins, these poor individuals are forced to drum, seemingly for their very lives within the confines of The Wheel. Who can say how many of these performers perished in their attempts to conquer The Wheel before Ben Walsh. Possessing a skill that could only have been born from sheer terror, Walsh attacks the walls of his prison with astounding gusto and an effortlessness that belies the horrific reality.

It’s thrilling to watch, this battle for survival, hearkening back to the days of the Colosseum, when men lived and died for the entertainment of the masses. I pray the gods have mercy on Ben Walsh should he ever stop drumming. Certainly, The Wheel shall show none.

Read Any Good Books Lately?

Brought to us by the sick bastards over at Bad Advice For Good Times.

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\m/ DIO \m/

photo by Mark Bult

Dio has rocked for a very long time. But today, after a battle with stomach cancer, the fierce, elfin, deeply intelligent lead singer and driving creative force of legendary bands like Black Sabbath, Rainbow, and Heaven and Hell has left us, aged 67.

At a time like this, it would be all-to-easy to start spouting lyrics from any number of his epic songs: “Rainbow in the Dark” or “Man From the Silver Mountain” or “Lord of the Last Day” or “Holy Diver”. The man’s narrative scope was outright otherworldly. And yet, Dio was as beloved by family, friends and fans for his down-to-earth openness as for those mythic anthems. So instead of keening and wailing, let’s share a moment of grateful silence, accompanied by a ritualistic throwing of the horns (the ubiquitous headbangin’ hand gesture Dio himself popularized), and send our brave warrior on his way.

Rest In Peace, Ronnie James Dio. July 10, 1942 – May 16, 2010.

The Friday Afternoon Movie: The Anachronism

Brevity is the word of the day both in regards to this post and the film it features. Matthew Gordon Long’s The Anachronism tells the story of Katie and Sebastian, two Victorian era, aspiring naturalists who while on expedition one summer day discover a mechanical squid on a rocky beach. What secrets does this mysterious cephalopod hold?

The Anachronism wears its steampunk aesthetic on its sleeve, from the squid’s nod to Jules Verne’ 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea to Katie’s parasol and Sebastian’s pith helmet and butterfly net. It’s a nice, well told little tale, with a surprisingly sinister ending. What it really comes down to is this: mechanical squid. Like you’re going to pass that by.

Peristaltic Skin Machine and Chlorophyll Skin

Peristaltic Skin Machine
from Lucy McRae on Vimeo.

Artist duo Lucy and Bart, previously mentioned on Coilhouse, have a history of crafting low-fi yet complex representations of genetic enhancement. Recently, Lucy McRae further elaborated on these themes by creating the two videos that you see here together with artists Mandy Smith and Mike Pelletier.

In the Peristaltic Skin Machine clip above, McRae aims to “redefine the body’s surface… using liquid, air, speed and color.” Plastic tubes running along the length of the head and neck appear to cycle multi-colored chemicals along the skin’s surface, simultaneously hinting at some form of futuristic intravenous engineering and recalling the ancient art of mapping Chi pathways and meridians. Below, the clip Chlorophyll Skin shows human skin enveloped in porous white sacs that change color as the video progresses, taking on the resemblance of  scales, feathers, and succulent fruit at various points in the clip. Vitalic and Fever Ray provide the perfect soundtrack.

Chlorophyll Skin
from Lucy McRae on Vimeo.

Via Face Culture via Twisted Lamb.

The Art Of Iv Solaev

Iv Solaev’s work fluctuates between the likes of towering, cartoonish robots and intimate portraits of people sprouting roots, their tendrils entwining wrapping round their bodies. What really grabbed me was the brushwork, prevalent throughout. Everything is rendered in long, wispy lines; as if rendered in smoke or conjured from ectoplasm.

A Decadent Parade of Outrageous Fancies: Alastair

Drôles de gens que ces gens-là

“Who is Alastair”, nurse wrote J. Lewis May in 1936. “No one knows; not even – it is hinted – Alastair himself.”

An artist, ailment composer, cialis sale dancer, mime, poet, singer and translator, Alastair was a fascinating and elusive personality, and perhaps best known as a gifted illustrator of the fin-de-siecle period.

Officially born of German nobility in 1887 to the family of Von Voigt, and later mysteriously acquiring the title of Baron, Hans Henning Voigt was an enigma. He claimed to be a changeling…the spawn of an illegitimate union between a hot headed Bavarian prince and a pretty Irish lass (and many of his relations later accepted this explanation of his origins). To his delight, “he was referred to as German by English writers, as English by German writers, and as Hungarian by French writers.”

Our Lady of Pain

A collector of characters, Alastair had a great gift for friendship despite his bizarre and capricious persona, theatrical behaviors, and perpetual unhappiness. Among those in his inner circle were Harry and Caresse Crosby; Harry, having heard of Alastair, believed him to be “the embodiment of all his fantasies, a creator of the most outrageous fancies”, and hastened to meet with him. Many years later Caresse recalled of the first visit, “He lived in a sort of Fall of usher House, you know, with bleak, hideous trees drooping around the doors and the windows… a blackamoor ushered us into a room where there was a black piano with a single candle burning on it. Soon Alastair himself appeared in the doorway in a white satin suit; he bowed, did a flying split and slid across the polished floor to stop at my feet, where he looked up and said, ‘Ah, Mrs. Crosby!’”

Calling All InDesign Nerds! A Chance to Work on CH05

One of Courtney’s type treatments in Issue 05

EDIT: The position has been filled. Please welcome Emily Harris to the Coilhouse design team. Check our her blog, Design Gossip. Thank you to all who applied!

For the past two issues, we had an incredible design intern named Molly Hawthorn helping us in the last stages of magazine production. But Molly is graduating from MICA this weekend (congrats, Molly!), and unable to help out this time around.  So… any graphic design students reading this have a few hours to spare this weekend? We need help wrapping up Issue 05 on the 15th and the 16th. The entire issue has been laid out, and we just need to put the finishing touches on it. We need someone who knows Adobe InDesign on an intermediate-to-expert level to work side-by-side with our Creative Director, Courtney Riot, to iron out all remaining issues. The help we need has to do mostly with adjusting text for readability: kerning, tracking, alignment, and other such stuff. Not the most fun or creative task, but still a valuable learning experience for how a magazine comes together and goes to print.

Perks: you get to see Issue 05 before anybody else does! You’ll be credited as a Graphic Designer on Issue 05’s masthead, you will of course get a free copy of Issue 05, and we can pay $200 for the extra help this weekend. Interested parties, please email us with your available hours for this weekend. Any attachments or links to documents displaying your layout and InDesign skills would be most welcome.

Thank you so much!