Tuesday, 27 February 2007

Can we talk about Axe Body Spray ads?


I frickin' hate these things.
Way to reverse years of female achievement. Yeah, I get it. You spray this skunk-smelling dreck all over yourself, hired models find you attractive (for $1000/hour).
Evidently, women can't control themselves when they smell it. At first, I thought it was just the usual boneheaded American, Abercrombie & Fitch wearing fratboy mentality, but they've been producing these ads worldwide since 2003 or so, and they keep getting worse.
Current ad: Thousands of girls chase man spraying Axe on self at beach.

Allow me to share some current slogans for the product:
  • The current advertising tagline for Axe (Lynx) in the UK is "Spray more. Get more."
  • The current advertising tagline for Axe in South Africa is "Get a girlfriend."(From Wikipedia)
I hope one day we can market to men without being chauvinist, misogynist assholes. I just pray no female advertising employees brainstormed those.
Because they're still making less than the men.

Try spending more than a second on this site without vomiting:
http://www.theaxeeffect.com/flash.html

Naturally, there are now ads for Tag body spray that rip off the Axe ads.
Yeah, the loading screen says "Mojo loading". Good Lord.

p.s. Read this for a laugh:
http://www.thetripe.com/axe.htm

Tuesday, 20 February 2007

Bryan Lee O'Malley and I


Bryan Lee O'Malley and I, originally uploaded by Aaron_M.

Me and Bryan pulling faces. I look ready to kill.
He's the author of Scott Pilgrim and Lost At Sea.
From a reading at the North York Central Library.
Totally a nice guy. Signed my books, I'll upload the drawings as well.

He's posing with my Scott Pilgrim iPod Nano: www.flickr.com/photos/amatthews/353339426/
www.flickr.com/photos/amatthews/353339427/

Scott Pilgrim is a really excellent comic. It's about a 23-year old Canadian guy who meets a really great girl. Unfortunately, he has to defeat her 7 evil ex-boyfriends in combat.
It's inspired by manga, videogames, and general awesomeness.
Pick it up at your local comic book store.
See previews of the book here:
http://www.scottpilgrim.com/

Thursday, 15 February 2007

Fandom Cont'd...

Well, I think I figured it uot.
Fandom is just something that people use to fill up a gap in their lives.

Sorry for the gap in posts.
I'll try to keep it consistent.

Monday, 12 February 2007

Why does fandom exist?

This really makes me think.
Why do people become obsessed with certain things? Celebrities, movies, brands...
Why do we as human beings feel obligated to devote our lives to someone or something that may not even be aware of our existence?
Particularly interesting is the following in technology and videogames.
Why do things like this exist? http://www.tuaw.com/2007/02/12/blast-from-the-past-apple-ii-users-guide-and-owners-manual/

I should now also explain that I have no particular allegiance to an videogame company or computer system.
But it perplexes me.
I think one could claim that it's filling a void in an otherwise empty life and allows people to find kinship with others who share an equal devotion to (insert object of fandom here).
But does that really explain it completely?
There even exists an entire chain of "______ Fanboy" blogs under the Weblogs Inc. Network blogs banner , devoted to every piece of news that emerges for the object of obsession.
Look for more about this in the future. I'm still confused by it myself.

Friday, 9 February 2007

Psychosocial Funnies


Psychosocial Funnies, originally uploaded by Aaron_M.

I did this for a project a while ago.
I'm really happy how well it turned out.
Lettering by Shirley:
http://hs.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1667220274&hiq=shirley

Thursday, 8 February 2007

Electroplankton


I found this game at an EB Games miraculously after reading about it a lot when it came out, 2 years ago.
It's made by this Japanese mixed media artist: Toshio Iwai.

Right now, he's working on this: http://www.global.yamaha.com/design/tenori-on/

Basically, you mess with these little aquatic creatures using the stylus to make music.
There's no way to save your compositions, but you can hook up a mic to your DS to record audio.
Although I'm not totally sure how.

It's really weird and wonderful, if you can find a copy.
Pictured to the left is the beatnes electroplankton, which allows you to make music with NES noises and sound effects.



Check out some videos here:

Electroplankton

Wednesday, 7 February 2007

My Interview with musician & director Ari Zilnik

A Conversation With Ari Zilnik

Conducted by Aaron Matthews

Ari Zilnik is best known as DJ Fizix, who, at 14, was the youngest DJ ever to participate in the DMC (*Disco Mix Club) DJ competition. He won the fourth place position. He has also been a member of such local Richmond Hill bands as Other and the I Heart Randy's. You may also know him as one half of short-lived turntablism duo INF, a collaboration with Marty Rotenberg (infamous for breaking up after a single show.) He also gained notoriety for being sued by Whitby, Ontario rapper K-os after remixing one of his songs without permission.

Today, we sit down with Mr. Zilnik to learn about his latest project, The Velcro Theory, for the first part in a two-part interview series.

AM: Hello, Ari. How are you?

AZ: I'm doing good, man.

AM: So tell me about INF. I attended that show, I loved it, personally. You guys were doing something utterly different from all the other Led Zeppelin tribute bands there. What happened?

AZ: Love, man. I don't want to talk about it.

AM: Okay, can you tell me about your DJing career?

AZ: DJ Fizix? I don't have time to DJ much anymore, I wish I did. I've been kind of busy. (looks out window)

AM: But you were in that competition, weren't you?

AZ: The DMC Competition? Yeah, I was the youngest person there. I think I was actually the youngest DJ ever to enter.

AM: What about Kid Koala? Wasn't he pretty young at the time?

AZ: No, I don't think he was that young.

AM: He just looks like he's 7.

AZ: (laughs) Yeah, totally. I think you're thinking of A-Trak , actually (* Toronto-born DJ, at 15, youngest DJ to ever win a DJ-battling world championship.)

AM: How old were you, then?

AZ: 14.

AM: Wow. How did you do?

AZ: 4th place or something.

AM: That's actually very impressive.

AZ: Yeah, I guess it's kinda cool.

AM: So the new project is called the Velcro Theory. What is it, exactly?

AZ: It's just me expanding into a solo project, just like every other artist out there. I'm also doing a yet-unnamed project... A bit of a competition.

AM: Who are you competing against?

AZ: Marty Rotenberg, actually. We each have to make four tracks, and collectively decide whose is better.

AM: These are all instrumental, right?

AZ: Yeah, I'm going for kind of a MSTRKRFT feel. (* Jesse Keeler's new electronica side-project)

AM: Can you tell me about some of your other influences?

AZ: Other than MSTRKRFT, I'd have to say RJD2.

AM: You heard he's dropping out of hip-hop, right?

AZ: Yeah, but I'm still sort of denying it (laughs) I really liked Since We Last Spoke. But I don't think he should sing, he's a bad singer.

AM: So where did the name The Velcro Theory come from?

AZ: I don't know. Well, actually, I just thought it was kind of a cool name. The Velcro Theory, you know? (laughs)

AM: What are you hoping to achieve with this other unnamed project?

AZ: We're gonna do one show in some dingy club in Paris; and we'd like to get a write-up in one of those like four sentence reviews at the back of magazines.

AM: Well, you know, that's where Daft Punk got their name. They released a single as a group called Darling, and they got reviewed as being "daft punk."

AZ: Really?

AM: Yeah, I read it on allmusic. Or maybe 10 years from now you'll be featured in one of those British music magazines as being a lost classic.

AZ: (laughs) You mean like Q [magazine] Yeah, just release one single, and break up.

AM: Well, INF only played one show.

AZ: (laughs) Yeah, that's the best way to do it. Don't even release anything.

AM: Also apparently Daft Punk never appear in public without masks on or something.

AZ: Yeah, like in the video, that guy wears a dog mask.

AM: The Spike Jonze video?

AZ: Yeah, that's the one. They also dress as robots, right?

AM: For concerts, usually.

AZ: You know, I actually have a robot suit at home.

AM: You mean like in the Around the World video? (* directed by Michel Gondry. Features dancers wearing outfits representing different instruments in the song. The robots represent vocoders.)

AZ: Yeah, sometimes when I'm at home, I just do this. (imitates the robots in the video)

AM: (laughs) That's great.

AZ: Hey, I got to go. Let's pick this up later.

AM: Alright, thanks, Ari.

AZ: Later, man.

AM: Bye.

Aaron Matthews is a critic, artist, and amateur filmmaker. He is currently working on his first film, Puppy Bohemia. His work has been published in Access Magazine, and been repeatedly rejected by McSweeney's. He can be reached at aaron.shadescythe@gmail.com.

Ari Zilnik, in addition to his musical career, is also an aspiring filmmaker. Watch his music video for RJD2's Since We Last Spoke at the following address.

Since We Last Spoke: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_a-i-pEDw9I

You can also see The Velcro Theory's Myspace at this address:

http://www.myspace.com/velcrotheory

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