Friday, July 31, 2009


One of our ongoing side projects here at TA2 is the Mammontastic admetal band Burn Back. The driving musical force behind these anthems is hard-rock outfit Peeler. Frontman and songwriter Craig Peeling has been working with us on (yet another) comeback single for Burn Back, and the demo sounds amazingly evil! Peeler just released their debut album Evils Of The Modern Pleasure Dance. Check it out on iTunes.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

David Shrigley

Two David Shrigley things came to my attention this morning. I know all good things come in three's, so please hold tight for the last to present itself.

First are these fantastic salt and pepper shakers:

Second is a David Shrigley playlist. Brought to us by our friends at

And here's a couple of Shrigley cartoons for an LOL.

Starbucks: Debranding

In an effort to go back to their original company manifesto of being a funky indie coffeeshop, Starbucks is set to open one of three unbranded stores in the chain's birthplace of Seattle. The first - to be called 15th Avenue Coffee and Tea - will serve alcohol, stock unbranded coffee and have space for running poetry evenings and open mic nights.

All is an experiment by head office to debrand and deglobalize... the question is why.

Pedestrian traffic has been down for Starbucks since the recession hit, and consumer tastes are changing to be more receptive to something that supports both the local community and the environment instead of a tie in with Chapters Indigo.

Head office's turn back to the funk is proving to be a hilarious Office Space esque quest for "flare". An excerpt from the Seattle Times:

'Sebastian Simsch, co-owner of Seattle Coffee Works near Pike Place Market, became frustrated last year after large groups of Starbucks employees kept crowding into his 300-square-foot store to look around. "I thought it was funny," he said. "We're this little store, and I thought Starbucks didn't need to learn from me."

During the third group's visit, Simsch let them know what he thought.
"I said, 'If you want to buy something that's great, but just to look, that's not cool,' " he recounted. "I called the PR department and said, 'Never again.' " They did not come back, even after he moved into a much larger store next door.

Victrola Coffee Roasters saw the Starbucks people a lot more often.
"They spent the last 12 months in our store up on 15th [Avenue] with these obnoxious folders that said, 'Observation,' " said Victrola owner Dan Ollis.

He thinks it's interesting that they spent all that time in his shop, which serves wine and beer, then applied for a liquor license to sell wine and beer at 15th Avenue Coffee and Tea.

How's about leaving the local business to the local businesses and spending the debranding money and research on improving the existing brand instead? Consumers are well aware of being marketed to. If you want to appear more environmentally friendly, Starbucks, then let's try and do it properly. Have you heard of these?

Let's get them in your stores. I assure you that the public will be much more receptive to this than a weekly poetry reading.

And on the poetry reading rant, why don't we lift up our sleeves and move some chairs and use those funky chalkboards in your existing spaces to do so? Did we really need to print up "Observation binders" to think of this?

I am fully supportive of the debranding if it leads to more environmentally friendly rebranding of all Starbucks. For that, I say debrand away. Unfortunately, I don't believe the heart in this scenerio. Debranding in order to rebrand as being quirky and independent is only a scheme to be making more money and paving the way to exactly the same corporate trap they found themselves fall into in the first place. It's the Britney Spears syndrome. They won't be able to help themselves.

To see the Seattle Times article, click here.
Also, a great article from Marketing Mag here.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Escif in Valencia and Barcelona

Via Wooster Collective

Pharrell Williams and Takashi Murakami

Twenty six thousand stones, that’s diamonds and gold, an Ice-Cream Sneaker, pink Johnson and Johnson baby lotion, a Magnolia Bakery cupcake, Heinz Ketchup, a can of Pepsi, a condom, and a bag of Doritos. All inside the mouth of the Takashi Murakami character Mr. Dob - high on mushrooms (seriously that’s part of the concept.) That’s the collaborative effort, in simple terms, between artists and entrepreneurs Virginia born Pharrell Williams and Tokyo born Takashi Murakami. This year’s Art Basel (AB #40, 2009) played host to this wild creation which just sold for more than $2 Million Dollars.

The artwork titled “Simple Things” was manufactured by Kaikai Kiki Co., Ltd in collaboration with Jacob & Co. (aka Jacob the Jeweler). It was started some time early 2007, taking two years to come to complete fruition.

via World Famous Design Junkies

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Film Contest: Crunch needs your shorts

It's worth entering just for the blurred crotch graphic. You have to see that in full action here.

Crunch Gym is looking for their Gym Shorts! The infamous no-judgments gym is holding a contest for 3 minute films all on the brief [hoo!] of - you guessed it - "No Judgments". For a $10,000 prize, I'll hug the above graphic on camera.

Of course, this contest is only open to our American friends, and...

I'm judging us not being able to enter.

Good luck, Americanos!

What to do with your wall of stank

With the City of Toronto finally reaching an agreement on the four week, 36 day garbage strike, as of next week Torontonians can kick it to the curbside once more.

Unfortunately, rumors are that part of the agreement is for households to only put out one garbage bin at a time, so additional recycling goods and garbage stores that have already become a treasured part of your Stank Family across the last month could still remain a house guest for at least another 3 weeks, yippee!

The question is what to do with your wall of stank...

Lucky for us we have Paris resident and sculpteur du papier extraordinaire JUNIOR JACQUET, who likes to transform left over toilet paper rolls into sculptures of faces:

Perhaps one could create a porch full of angry toilet paper roll faces for when the eventual collection does occur??
Just sayin'...

More on Junior Jacquet here.

Emma Kelly

Emma Kelly is a commercial Illustrator. Lives and works in London, UK.

Photos via

Monday, July 27, 2009

N.A.S.A. feat. M.I.A., Spank Rock, Santogold & Nick Zinner – Whachadoin?

I haven't been a massive fan of the whole NASA thing. But they've packed their album with guest stars, so I always come back to it and try. Either way, I'm in love with the dancing cellphones.

Snowing Ice Cream: The Cloud Project

I am still very confused by this very yummy process and will do my best in trying to explain it.

This is an icecream truck:

It likes to shoot liquid nitrogen particles out to the sky that are flavored like icecream in order to produce icecream flavored clouds, which [according to some beautiful, heavenly plan] will start to snow icecream:

My understanding stops here, but I am more than prepared to give all my tax money to support this project.
For the rest, I hand you to the scientists. I'm off to get some icecream.
For more info, click here.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Silhouette Masterpiece Theatre

I've been pretty fond of the work that Silhouette Masterpiece Theatre has been doing. Now I just found out that they are selling the works as t-shirts, framed, etc.


Thursday, July 23, 2009

Alex Turvey

Alex Turvey has been busy getting signed by agency Strange Beast as well as directing and constructing a mammoth video set for band Cheatahs' track Warrior. In a collaborative effort with band member Nathan Ernest Hewitt, Turvey recreated a childhood illustrated jungle and took Dazed behind the scenes on set with video and images...

"It was over mushrooms on toast that Nathan (Ernest Hewitt) and I decided to recreate his childhood portfolio of animal illustrations on a mammoth scale. Originally rendered in pencil under the guidance of a trailer-park drawing class in Edmonton, Canada, when Nathan was just seven years old, the repertoire of very strange-looking owls, lions, lynxes, polar bears and monkeys were painstakingly copied from wildlife photographs. In honour of such young talent, we decided to create Nathan's Place, a huge 2D landscape of his childhood animals, and an homage to Canadian children's TV host, Fred Penner (who climbed through logs into magical worlds, and had an enviable collection of woolley jumpers).

The making process took two weeks of solid graft. We rigged up a projector so that Nathan could redraw his illustrations with paint marker and charcoal. Simultaneously, hugely-talented propmakers Mark Connell and Omar Lado of MADE moved their tools and materials into my flat where they worked day and night, sawing, sanding and drilling until the set was complete—resembling a pop-up book where each animal had a hand-operated, movable function, from bobbing heads to roving eyes.

After a sweltering two-day shoot smack bang in the middle of the July heat wave, followed by a week of solid animation, I then took the footage to Paris in order to grade the final edit with the wonderful people at La Pac. All in all, the project has been a labour of love for everyone involved, the only problem now being, what to do with the eight-foot owl in my living room and the lion at the end of my bed."

See the making of, and the music video at Dazed Digital

The Blaire Reinhard Band

Have a looksy at The Blaire Reinhard Band. They've just recently released Steps On The Ceiling, and Tattoo mixed this track... enjoy!

Carsten Oliver Bieräugel


Bag Raiders "Shooting Stars"

This is one of my top tracks of the year. The video's okay. But the song is SUPERB.

Painted Glassware

Do you remember Teeny Little Super Guy? I immediately go back to that stop animation when I see these cool glasses for sale at the octopus pie store.

Order them and start to ENJOY drinking again.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Datarock - True Stories

Datarock always looks great (if you're into matching track suits) and the new music keeps getting better.

Jeff Soto

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Fredrick Stauland

Via Design You Trust

Coldplay - Strawberry Swing

I'm sure at least 3 people will for sure complain about the song. So just play it on mute because the video is the best video I have seen this year. Directed by Shynola. It's pretty mind blowing, and I hope everyone involved got free Coldplay albums. Signed copies.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Kid Sister

Kid Sister is back with a new club rap track. I love how distinct her style is. You can download the track off the RCRD LBL website. And if you're into downloading free music, you should sign up to their daily newsletter. Then I won't even need to tell you about this.

Music: StillSoul

Our very own assistant engineer Dave Clarke has spent the last year of nights and weekends in the TA2 studios on his first step to taking over the musicverse: co-producing, mixing, and playing bass on StillSoul’s debut album Guess The Way It Goes. Live dates and iTunes updates as we get them. Enjoy.

To listen to Poor Boy, click here.
For Paradise, click here.
Or for Guess The Way It Goes, click here.

L'illustration: Alice Jarry and Jason Cantoro

Happy was the girl who stumbled across Jason Cantoro's booth at the Toronto Outdoor Art Exhibition.

Cantoro houses his prints with the equally as talented Alice Jarry in the lovely Montreal. Check out their site here - the Poster section is second to none.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Jesse Draxler

Jesse Draxler works out of Minneapolis, Minnesota.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Little Boots covers Hot Chip

Ready to the Floor

Watch: Bathtub IV

Bathtub IV from Keith Loutit on Vimeo.

Amazing stop motion animation by Keith Loutit.

Installation Art

Herne,Germany 2007

Dortmund, Germany 2008

You think that I can re-create this in my new apartment? I'd only need cardboard, markers and tape. Easy peasy.

Thunderheist for Karmaloop TV

Here's a little video, kinda interview with Thunderheist on Karmaloop TV. I post this for two reasons. One being Thunderheist is rad and two that Karmaloop has some fantastic clothes that you should definitely check out.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Julian Casablancas

Julian Casablancas of The Strokes HAS apparently been doing something besides a Converse commercial with Pharell and Santigold. He's been writing music. And now he's released a small teaser video to get us excited(?). Would have been nice to hear some vocals, but the 80's imagery hasn't been overused too much these days. (sarcasm)

What do you think??

Artist: Charming Baker

London based Charming Baker is doing some interesting work and I especially enjoy the human bodies with animal. There's always somethig oddly creepy but interesting when artists do this. You'd think it wouldn't illicit such a reaction. He's exhibited at New York Art Directors Club (NYC), Pentagram, Cargo, Truman Brewery (London), Opus (Newcastle), White Walls (San Francisco), Cork St Gallery, Signal Gallery (London), Carmichael Gallery Of Contemp Art (LA).