[SIC] 149: Nation of Inge
July 15th, 2021
Another week of internet in sweaty BK, for which I count my blessings. News out of Cuba over the last week (to say nothing of the Facebook book, Britney expose etc) has been distressing; access to information should be a human right. For a small sense of what’s happening down there, my chat with old friend Jauretsi Saizarbitoria on [SIC] Talks last June is a useful starting place; she was in Cuba at the time and has been a cultural lifeline forever. Follow Jauretsi, too.
No [SIC] Talks this week, but next week I’ll be joined by Dimepiece’s Brynn Wallner, who’s exploded into watch world this summer and who seems like a great vibe. It’ll be next Thursday 4p ET / 1p PT on my IG Live @dietznutz. In the meantime, a primer: Brynn get the “Ask a Regular” treatment in The Suitest’s summer issue.
While I’m at it, also new in travel: longtime buddy and brand-creation whiz Gillian Schwartz’s Elsewhere is a new newsletter for storytelling via places and the recos are very very spot on. Disclosure: I’m contributing. So…. sign up!
As always, I’m grateful to MY contributors. Thanks Moose, Kevin, David, Lara, Isaac and Iolanda for suggestions this week. Also, today’s art is “Watching a Dumpster Fire” by Vonn Cummings Summer, sniped from Hyperallergic (whose contemporary art newsletter is another one you should subscribe to).
Oh also, I’m wrapping this week with what will be a regular section going forward: Things to Do IRL this Week. Scroll down for that. And if you’ve got ideas for future weeks, send ‘em please. I’m in NYC but I like hearing about everything happening everywhere. Hope I’ll catch you at one of these things soon, too.
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Start here: Marginal Revolution’s Tyler Cowen talks to "Alexander the Grate," who has spent 40 years — more than half of his life — living on the streets (and heating grates) of Washington, DC. He prefers the label NFA (No Fixed Address) rather than “homeless,” since in his view we’re all a little bit homeless: even millionaires are just one catastrophe away from losing their mansions. The audio, video, and transcript here. (Conversations with Tyler)
ThEM talks to Pedestrian magazine’s Alex Wolfe about a recent stroll from Brooklyn to Philly (The Early Majority)
On the flipside, Roku and Maker’s Mark are launching a talk show miniseries meant to mimic the feeling of having a cozy cocktail at home with your friend Randall Park.
Related: YouTube is bringing back its CMO series of interviews with creators (AdWeek)
If I gave you party would you come? Via Music Redef: Polyglot listener and long-lost [SIC] compadre James Murphy was on WTF with Marc Maron.
Brands & Marketers:
From Kevin Johanessen: MSCHF’s Dead Startup Toys regrettably does not include the infamous (and unsearchable) Boo.com New Balances. IYKYK.
Via After School: DTC Brands are replacing focus groups with private online clubs. Everything Geneva’s doing is *extremely* smart. (Glossy)
Meanwhile Bitcoin’s for everyone! From Isaac Dietz: “Spike [Lee]’s Bitcoin commercial”(Twitter)
TED chats are coming to Clubhouse (The Verge)
In anticipation, Clubhouse added DMs, too. (Instagram)
Can a former Myspace CTO drive the creator economy's next evolution? The App is called Koji, if so. (Simon Owens)
Via Nieman Lab: WaPo to FB: I can’t quit you, Facebook.
FB to creators: How about $1B to stick around?! (NYT)
Trending (both meanings):
Balenciaga and Kylie Cosmetics are the latest brands to build buzz by going dark on social media. (BoF)
Fearless Spyplane “C.I.R.L.O.C.” post posits copping jawns IRL-only (and if you are following this sentence so far you should read and maybe try it). (Blackbird Spyplane)
“Transcendent Retail: APAC,” Wunderman Thompson Intelligence, in partnership with Jing Daily, explores emerging trends in China— the world’s biggest commerce market
Via Marcus Bosch: Radical relatability and extreme authenticity are two trends in YouTube’s Culture & Trends Report: The future of video.
Very related: How Users Engaged With Social Media (And Social Audio) In 2021 (Jing Daily)
Elsewhere, Wunderman Thompson claims to have rounded up the top five new-fluencers making waves.
Meanwhile via After School: I pretended to be an influencer and all I got was thousands of likes. (Bustle)
Elsewhere, via Robinhood Snacks: You've heard of inflation, but have you heard of "shrinkflation"? The price stays the same, but the portions get smaller. Recent victims include Cheerios and Cocoa Puffs.
Speaking of efficiencies: Copenhagen-based Beyond Leather has combined leftovers from apple juice and cider production with natural rubber to create a plant-based leather alternative called Leap. (Dezeen)
Related, via Snaxshot: Food expiration labels are a lie (Vox)
Hence, via After School: This is cool: Over 70,000 young people in China share tips on buying near-expired food every day on an online community called “I love near-expired food.” (China Daily)
Corollary: What the ‘Lying Flat” trend means for brands. (Jing Daily)
As a reaction? Dropbox’s: offices are reopening and rebranding as Dropbox Studios, designed to encourage employees to hang out, relax and get a bunch of work done. (Techcrunch)
Via Marcus Bosch: If you missed the entire Bimbo comeback, here is an article to catch up. (The Baffler)
Via 8Ball: Could Haute Couture become “the driving force of fashion again”? Thoughts from Paris (032c)
From Iolanda: “Mathew Ball has a whole, well again - section - on the metaverse on his platform, called The Metaverse Primer.”
From Ruba Abu-Nimah: Damien Hirst’s New NFT Project Forces Buyers to Choose Between Owning a Digital Token or a Work on Paper (Artnet)
While Gary Vee and ABI are making NFTs for beers (AdAge)
Meanwhile: NFTs are coming for your wardrobe. Highsnobiety’s got exclusive interviews with 13 industry experts on what to expect from the coming decade of non-fungible fashion.
Hence, Asics is racing to lead the pack on NFTs in sportswear (The Drum)
Also, mint yr moon man: For the music biz, crypto will be as disruptive as MTV (Fastco)
From David Bloom: “A perfect collision for our times: Somehow it seems perfect that a movie about a pandemic will use #NFTs on a new platform to finance distribution.”(Deadline)
Via After School: Unpacking the appeal of Tinx, Tiktok’s big sister. Getting to know the “approachable tastemaker” behind the “rich mom starter pack” videos. (Vogue)
And TwoFiveSix’s got a Marketer’s Guide to Roblox that you oughta be checking for.
Designing and Fashioning:
Mood = Board. JJJJound, perhaps feeling the Leon Dore heat, returns to image blogging after 2+ years (at least?) and it is minimally glorious. S/o [SIC] homie Ryan Duffy for the surprise guest appearance.
Elsewhere in Pinterest candy: Nigo made a house-shaped public toilet (Dezeen)
Embracing the chaotic possibilities of calligraphy and lettering (It’s Nice That)
Related: Victory Journal’s new logo is flames
While Swiss studio Neo Neo created an Aquafresh-inspired identity for a cultural festival in Geneva (Dezeen)
“Cratemaster” is Kerby Jean Raymond’s first Reebok project, about DIY NYC hoops (Instagram)
Eyewears new innovators?! Indie Brands (Vogue Business)
Also on your face, via Vogue Business: Courtesy of Benefits: now there’s Crocs makeup (Glossy)
Never late to the party: How luxury brands are diversifying into cosmetics (FT)
S/O Trevor Silmser: Andrew W.K.’s classic I Get Wet LP - his 2001 debut w/ 'Party Hard' is back out on vinyl at Turntablelab. I’m listening to it (on my phone) RN and it is a thing of dumb, ebullient beauty).
On the more mellow side, optical all-stars Garrett Leight recruited Mathieu Schreyer for a summery Brazilianified mix to match their collab with Frescobol Carioca. Put it on in the sun. Congrats to [SIC] homie Barney Waters on taking the wheel at GLCO this week, btw. (Spotify)
Also (darkly) mellow, via Music Redef: Portishead put out a cover of ABBA’s “SOS” on Soundcloud (Variety)
Related: Olivia Rodrigo’s ‘good 4 u’ Continues a Distinct Emo Tradition of young women raging on the mic, from the blues to country to today’s #1 pop record. (Vulture)
And related to that: The Gen Z whisperer. The story of Travis Barker in 10 tracks. (The FACE)
Projecting, then: Turnstile Love Connection is really solid cathartic Sunday-Matinee-At-The-Lost-Horizon type fun. Man, I’d love to see the pop-punk-emo-revival make these guys huge. (Spotify).
Related: World’s Apart is the zine bringing the global hardcore punk scene together. (The FACE)
Tales from the Dork Web has a typically long and in-depth and fascinating history of modern listening.
From David Bloom: “A good analysis of how Spotify is trying to differentiate with podcasts, and how much work it has to still do to be more than just perceived as another music service.” (Lightshed)
Via Music Redef: How nightlife learned to thrive on digital (Dazed)
Corollary, via Franchise: Theaster Gates is engaging with Frankie Knuckles personal record collection for the Quarterly’s “Social Works” supplement, guest edited by Antwaun Sargent. (Gagosian)
[SIC] homie Nick Gazin got the Popeye Mag feature for his very excellent and very affordable album cover series (which I’d highly recommend you DM him to commission one). (Instagram)
Corollary, via Lean Luxe: NYT on how to buy a work of art. My advice: start with something you actually like, please.
Meanwhile fave graphic AND music artist Hisham Baroocha’s got a new Zanzo Musk EP with Wiki, which is another thing you should track down (Instagram)
Also there’s The Practicalities of Making Art according to [SIC] Homie Maia Ruth Lee (Granary)
Via Jing Daily: Move Over MoMA! How The Black Country Living Museum Became A TikTok Sensation (The Guardian)
Via Howard Lindzon: This is a take, for real: “What Instagram did to body image, wallstreetbets and Twitter are doing to bank account image:” (Luttig Learnings)
Alex Danco explains the creative class by analogy to Michael, Dwight and Andy from “The [American] Office.” Which is slightly tortured, but still pretty interesting. (Substack)
Via Marginal Revolution: Back to normal: the West's Cultural Revolution is over.
But maybe this is a new one? ASMR: the billion dollar feeling (New Statesman)
Corollary, from Iolanda Carvalho: The Economist’s "What If" collection, super cool
Via After School: Now that Gen-Z’s “Hyperreal individualism” is surpassing last week’s “Main Character Syndrome”, what even is cool anymore?! (Vox)
Monster Children found a Dutch kids series where hosts do all the drugs.
Corollary, via Ruby Dispatch: Val Kilmer, released the trailer for his new documentary VAL this week.
Speaking of Val - he’s on The Choe Show which I talked about last week but is pretty great. S/O [SIC] homie Andy Capper, who produced, and def check it out.
It’s “Can You Get to That” for me. Funkadelic’s “Maggot Brain” is turning 50. (NYT)
In Need of Addressing:
From Lara Redmer: “In case you haven't seen it already, I wanted to point you towards this piece that Zoe Scaman (I believe you mentioned her in a previous newsletter) wrote about misogyny in the advertising industry. Appreciate that in contrast to other content you feature this may not be a comfortable or "inspiring" read but it's an incredibly important conversation and the piece is already making waves in the industry.” (Musings of a Wandering Mind)
Also, what “Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas” Owes to Oscar Acosta (adrenochrome notwithstanding) (New Yorker)
Finally, Stuff to Do IRL:
Tonight, via Jonathan Mehring - See you at the big art show at Ace Hotel on 29th St. to benefit Teen Art Salon. (Instagram)
Tomorrow, from Moose Huerta: “It’s on a Friday when you should be upstate. But just in case.” Release party for The Yawn Patrol Book documenting the Rockaways Surf Scene is Friday at Head Hi in Brooklyn (Instagram)
Saturday: [SIC] Retail homies Anthithesis NYC have a pop up with homemade products from Bandulu, Christine Espinal, Dailola, FSP Outdoors and Yükari this Saturday the 17th. (Instagram)
Next Week: [SIC] homie Dave 1’s Chromeo is doing a “Disco on the Hudson” Boat Cruise on July 23 (wifey’s bday, hint hint) (EventBrite)
Also that day: PS1 Warmup is coming back (Instagram)
What wifey and I will NOT be doing that night (but will def revisit later: HBO’s Woodstock’99 doc, since we were there together (shivvvers) (YouTube)
Finally, on August 17th [SIC] Homie Matt Klein is hosting the inaugural Meme in the Moment festival and you can bet I will be there. (Zine)
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