1. Flavorwire – “Cultural news and critique”
I like the relationship between this cultural news magazine, and Flavorpill, which is their web app to “find events in your city”.
A well thought-out experience, of learning about, finding and going to interesting things.
In fact, I would probably measure the success of a “culture news” website by the number of individual articles I feel like spontaneously opening, plus the number of outgoing links that I also open.
In that case –
Clicked external links: 4
and, from probably one of the most addictingly viral “pop culture news” magazine sites – Buzzfeed:
2. Domus I love this magazine/site. It looks just immersing and beautiful, and the features are good slices of the art and design world.
I like this. In comparison to hearty (#6 in this list), this is more like what I’m talking about.
Distinct voice, even if isn’t exactly for me.
Feels crowded, but the content seems well-written enough – fresh takes on even “normal”-seeming things.
Slick and snazzy.
Altogether glossy branding and design. With the slim category colors and clean serif title fonts.
In Italian and English, I think one of the more high-brow and intellectual among this bunch, with reviews of design books and analyses of logos.
Love their logo, and the look of their header.
Unfortunately, I don’t fully know what to make of the magazine’s “voice”.
Not as youthfully luxurious and fashionably brash as Nylon, but also not as insightful a cultural lens as Thought Catalog.
For me it’s like the “Cosmopolitan” magazine of the web: it’s a bit too full of fluff, I’d rather read a men’s magazine.
7. The DEFGRIP blog.
Bike culture and art.
I love that it has such a clean and crisp aesthetic for a BMX culture magazine.
This is Kitty Pryde.
You are going to want to, at least, know about her.
Because if you want to intellectualize about the state of music and the “blurring of boundaries”, she is a great example to name-drop.
Even the New York Times has talked about her.
She is, as Fader describes, “the internet’s preeminent coy white girl rapper”, and her video “Okay Cupid” has been making the rounds.
Now, I’m sure her music will get A LOT of flack.
Because, damn it, when I was watching the first 20 seconds, all I was thinking was “whaaaaaaaaat.”
In fact, I’m impressed that the blogs picked this up pretty quickly. Her main Okay Cupid youtube video only has 85, 475 views, which kind of suggests this topic is at its infancy. Of the 1,429 people who actually cared to click a button on what they felt about this, 38% clicked the thumbs-down one.
And, she gets comments like:
“what the fuck is this shit”
“omg please stop singing”
and “She’s 17 writing the lyrics of a fucking 14 year old girl trying too hard.”
and, one of my favorites: “its like rebecca black all over again with more.. words.. ”
along with: “i give up on life”
From HypeTrak, there’s also: “Really Hypetrak? so many trill nigggas doin they thing and this is what you post? smh….RIP HT”
So what’s there to like?
I actually don’t enjoy her Okay Cupid song as much as her Justin Bieber song. Which is actually a response to his cult of fans and the baby-daddy incident. Listen to it.
But, as usual, I love her in a “meta” way.
What do I mean?
I mean: I love what she represents.
For one, I love the whole “package”, the whole “non-marketing marketing*” approach.
(*Yes, like “no makeup makeup”).
I love that her EP is entitled “The Lizzie McGuire Experience”.
I love that her Bandcamp page has close-up, self-taken pictures of her face with black mascara trails streaming from her eyelashes and showing off her inner lip tattoo.
She is authentic.
Or, at the very least, feigns authenticity. The kind of current “real-ness” that proper adults and “good values” see as icky.
But, she does precisely what teenagers on tumblr do.
This is the best example to support how one teenage girl (who I interviewed last year) explained her liking Miley Cyrus, as a personality, over Taylor Swift.
Because, she said, Taylor Swift is “less real”.
Her songs are all about love and liking the boy who doesn’t like you back; she beams heart-shapes into the world, which might be relatable for her 12-year old fangirls.
On the other hand, you have Miley Cyrus, who is out there making mistakes, trashing her own name, trying to break out of the mold her parents brought her up in.
Which sounds much more like a 17-year old.
In my opinion, successful music is authentic.
Try to listen to popular songs about the social condition from the 70’s, and from the present decade.
Because if Kitty Pryde made music any other way, it wouldn’t have made sense.
I guess I’m just not a “hater” when it comes to people who write their own music. I may not always like the songs, but I respect the difficulty in creating them.
Lastly, I like that they actually can’t pigeonhole her.
I think that if they stopped calling her a rapper there’d be much less negativity surrounding her video.
What this means for culture is that her music can’t really be defined as…anything, which is going to be a good description for the media genres of tomorrow. Hip-hop and rock have crossed over for a while, and I’m pretty sure I recently read an article on the alternative sound of today’s R&B. Or was it the other way around.
This kid sounds like a teenager talking on the phone crossed with a Garage Band track from someone’s basement crossed with frozen yogurt.
I don’t even know what genre you’re supposed to call that. And that’s why I think she signifies the start of something interesting. Because this’ll open up doors for girls who just want to sound like they’re talking on the phone, and want to express themselves, but feel pressured by Taylor Swift and Jessica Sanchez.
Link to her tumblr account: kittydothedishes
Random “Top Links” link from Complex: 15 Sexy GIFs of Celebrities Dancing
It’s so quiet that after 45 minutes, some people have had hallucinations.
Welcome to the quietest place on earth.
“Butter is a great one start with. It always works, it’s quick, and it’s totally magical.”
4. Cooking and Science – brought to you by Harvard School of Engineering and Applied Sciences. via Open Culture
I am floored by people’s amazing brains.
She’s clever, and her illustrations are accurate, but quirkily fun.
I like how they have a special (and engaging) section on Neighborhoods and urban planning. It’s such a content- and category-rich site :O
Yes, that was an emoticon. I can’t express how amazed I am at the sections they thought of.
Why I find this cool – this week’s feature, for example, on parents in New York’s Park Slope trying to express how they want ice cream vendors to be banned from the park is a genius example of freedom of speech. Particularly, this one line from a comment stream, that just shows the interplay of different economic forces at work: “I should not have to fight with my children every warm day on the playground just so someone can make a living!”
4. Emily Badger, whose articles I found in The Atlantic Cities.
I like the way she writes, and what she writes about. She writes about cultural trends regarding architecture and urban spaces, but in a relatable and un-hoighty-toighty way, like in I Can’t Stop Looking at Photos of Absurdly Tiny Homes.
5. Citizens For Optimism, a group of designers who created posters based on words that a survey of New Yorkers associated with “optimism”.
Made of just thread, painted wood and hooks.
4. Decor 8. A group I found through an Emilie de Griottes post (she just joined their team).
Really pretty content. Watercolors, wallpaper, crafts. Excellent visual femininity orgasm.
5. Browsing through Decor8 led me to this picture:
Which was featured in Green Wedding Shoes.
Frankly, the best wedding idea blog I’ve seen. Each featured wedding is beautifully photographed and I bet brides’ll go crazy over the little detail inspirations in the posts.
The image above is of a backdrop created from rolled paper ribbons, made by the bride herself.
* my heart bleeds *
It’s that beautiful.
Note: I am a bit biased, because I have a special place in my heart just for bouncy balls. There was a time when I used to always have one with me wherever I went. I was 25, then.
Damn it, I don’t have a category for “Just Plain Beautiful”.