Skip navigation


warning: Creating default object from empty value in /var/www/vhosts/ on line 33.

Detroit’s Shawn K Knight has turned into one of my favorite poster artists, and these new ones are all insanely great. Everything here is screenprinted, limited, and very affordable. Check out his shop.

Shawn K Knight

Shawn K Knight

Shawn K Knight

Shawn K Knight

Shawn K Knight

Your rating: None


Publisher Verso writes: It is assumed that every inch of the world has been explored and charted; that there is nowhere new to go. But perhaps it is the everyday places around us--the cities we live in--that need to be rediscovered. What does it feel like to find the city's edge, to explore its forgotten tunnels and scale unfinished skyscrapers high above the metropolis? Explore Everything reclaims the city, recasting it as a place for endless adventure.

Plotting expeditions from London, Paris, Berlin, Detroit, Chicago, Las Vegas and Los Angeles, Bradley L. Garrett has evaded urban security in order to experience the city in ways beyond the boundaries of conventional life. He calls it 'place hacking': the recoding of closed, secret, hidden and forgotten urban space to make them realms of opportunity.

Explore Everything is an account of the author's escapades with the London Consolidation Crew, an urban exploration collective.

The book is also a manifesto, combining philosophy, politics and adventure, on our rights to the city and how to understand the twenty-first century metropolis.

Your rating: None
Original author: 
(author unknown)

They keep things out or enclose them within. They're symbols of power, and a means of control. They're canvases for art, backdrops for street theater, and placards for political messages. They're just waiting for when nobody's looking to receive graffiti. Walls of all kinds demarcate our lives. -- Lane Turner (41 photos total).
Note: You can now follow @bigpicture on the social network, where you own your own data. If you'd like to try it out, we've also got some free invites for our readers.
Workers clean the curtain wall of the 40-story National Bank of Economic Social Development in Rio de Janeiro on December 12, 2012. (Vanderlei Almeida/AFP/Getty Images)     

Your rating: None
Original author: 
(author unknown)

Photographing the Soul of UK Garage 

Over the last few years, it’s become increasingly clear that we didn’t appreciate UK garage to the extent that we should have. You can’t help but think that most of the DJs, producers, filmmakers, and fashion designers referencing Todd Edwards and Ben Sherman in their work today actually grew up listening to Coal Chamber and wearing JNCO jeans. 

One man who was definitely there, however, is photographer Ewen Spencer. Ewen’s done a lot of things over the years, from working with the White Stripes and documenting the halcyon days of grime (if there was ever such a thing) in his book Open Mic, to taking the liner photos for Original Pirate Material. His latest project concerns the increasingly lauded but still somewhat undocumented world of UKG, and comes in the form of a new book, Brandy & Coke.

The photos are fantastic, perfectly capturing the atmosphere of those early garage nights all my friends’ older brothers claim to have been at. The newspaper-print trousers and YSL button-downs are all there in the forefront, being splashed by open bottles of champagne and classy drinks. After a good few hours of longingly staring at the photos, wishing I was one of the satin-suited people in them, I decided to catch up with Ewen to talk garage, grime, garms and whether or not ex-Newcastle striker Andy Cole really was one of the “original 50 garage ravers.”

You can find some of these images and some words from Ewen in the latest issue of VICE Magazine.

VICE: Hi, Ewen. So, when did you first hear the term garage used in relation to dance music?
Ewen Spencer: In the early 90s, but that would have been American garage, like house music. New York vocal house music would have been called “garage.” I first heard it on the soul scene, probably. At that time, it was crossing over and me and my pals were going to soul parties, avoiding the atrocious rave scene. House music was infiltrating the soul scene and, at that time, garage was basically soulful house.

There’s this debate about who the true parents of UK garage are—what’s your opinion on that?
Yeah, I think it’s a worthwhile debate. It came from America, it didn’t come from rave culture. Rave culture was British. It came from Detroit, America, which is when we started to hear house music in the club—in Newcastle, for instance. We liked all of that stuff, but it was placed side by side with soul music: Soul II Soul, modern soul, SOS Band, all that shit. So I guess rave became overground and house music changed and became something else. And then I’d say speed garage came out of New Jersey and was popularized over here. 


Your rating: None
Original author: 
Ken Lyons

Photographer Lunae Parracho traveled to Salvador, one of Brazil’s main tourist destinations and a 2014 World Cup host city, to photograph the violence there. The area has suffered from an unprecedented wave of violence with an increase of over 250% in the murder rate, according to the Brazilian Center for Latin American Studies (CEBELA). Lunae [...]

Your rating: None
Original author: 
Chris McDonnell

Encyclopedia Pictura

Encyclopedia Pictura is the creative association of Isaiah Saxon, Sean Hellfritsch and Daren Rabinovitch that has been producing striking, playful work since its inception. One of their early shorts, “Grow,” shows off the power of a simple, clever idea executed well:

The team has produced several music videos including work for Björk and Grizzly Bear. Here are a few stills from Grizzly Bear’s “Knife” video, which features their multimedia, practical/digital effects combination approach to direction:

Encyclopedia Pictura

There is a load of interesting behind the scenes footage and photos also on their website, such as this video:

Their claim of working in “film, art, game design, community building, and agriculture” is not a bit of bombast. From their about page:

From 2008-2011, EP led an effort to build a unique hillside neighborhood and farm called Trout Gulch. They lived and worked there along with 15 others. In 2012, they co-founded DIY in San Francisco, with Vimeo co-founder Zach Klein and OmniCorp Detroit co-founder Andrew Sliwinski. Saxon also volunteers as Media Advisor to Open Source Ecology.

They are passionate about gardening, farming, construction, villages, augmented reality, science visualization, social ecology, technological empowerment, adventure, and country living.

DIY is both a feature film in development as well as more recently a new and growing online community that encourages young people to become “Makers” and share their work, gaining confidence in their creativity and earning digital badges for their profile as they go. DIY meets kids where they already are, on connected devices, and encourages their natural creativity while learning real-world, off and online skills. The DIY “anthem”:

The Do It Yourself/Maker attitude is perhaps the most valuable thing that is being nourished as young people challenge themselves to new experiences inspired by the site.

When a person grows up understanding that they can create and mold the media and environment around them, they don’t have to resign to an existence of passively consuming at the corporate trough. An individual’s confidence in their own creativity is an essential survival skill for the future.

Your rating: None


Roosevelt reminds me of chillwave without the lo-fi ala Washed Out & Toro Y Moi, but it goes beyond song writing skills, he knows his production well, he’s the perfect hybrid of how survive and what to make post Neon Indian, did you catch all my name drops?

Mirror Kisses sticks to his guns, keeps perfecting the sound he loves, HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!

Fujimoto Tetsuro fuses together that Sepalcure sound with that beauty of glitch done soo damn right, its funk its light its something refreshing.

Mark Fell’s new project for Editions Mego takes diva vocals into a future dark world being rained down on by icy thin harpoons from digital synths, has that Detroit flavor I love.

Permalink |
Comment On This Post (2) |
Tweet This Post | Add to | Stumbleupon

Post tags:

Your rating: None

A few people have asked me whether I think programming is a necessary skill for entrepreneurs (or anyone) to have in the future.

When I was 14 years old, taking guitar lessons from Tom Pecora, he gave me that this-is-important-so-listen-well look, and told me something that stuck with me for life:

“You need to learn to sing. Because if you don’t, you’re always going to be at the mercy of some asshole singer.”

His point of view was from a rock guitarist in the Chicago music scene, trying to put together a band, and all that. I really took it to heart, and learned to sing.

But ever since then I’ve applied that point to other areas.

When I first started CD Baby, I didn’t know any programming, only basic HTML, and quickly had to cry for someone to help me. Davor Cengija in Croatia was a big help, but one day he disappeared. (Turned out he broke his foot skiing.) For weeks I was helpless, as my site had problems, and I didn’t know how to fix them. That pain got me motivated to learn this stuff myself. (Necessity is the best motivator.) I’ve loved programming ever since.

Later, when I needed a new computer, my friend Tony Benjamin taught me how to build my own from parts. This was so empowering because this box that I depended on so much was no longer a mystery. As CD Baby grew, I loved building all the computers for the employees, and even the webservers that ran the site.

In the independent musician scene, the DIY ethic is strong, by necessity. When it comes to doing all those non-musical things like booking gigs, promoting, publishing, and all of the organizational things, the norm is to do it yourself until it makes more sense to get someone better to help you. (And even then, maybe choosing to do it yourself just because you want to.)

The benefit of doing this yourself at first is that you learn enough about it so when you can afford to hire someone, you’re in a much better position to know if they’re good or not. Also it gives you the confidence to know that if anyone else flakes, you can step in and do enough to keep going. The deep joy of self-reliance.

So... back to programming:

The most common thing I hear from aspiring entrepreneurs is, “I have this idea for an app or site. But I’m not technical, so I need to find someone who can make it for me.”

I point them to my advice about how to hire a programmer, but as most of the good ones are already booked solid, it’s a pretty helpless position to be in.

If you heard someone say, “I have this idea for a song. But I’m not musical, so I need to find someone who will write, perform, and record it for me.” - you’d probably advise them to just take some time to sit down with a guitar or piano and learn enough to turn their ideas into reality.

And so comes my advice:

Yes, learn some programming basics. Just some HTML, CSS, and JavaScript should be enough to start.

I recommend Head First HTML and CSS first, then Head First HTML5 Programming.

Get those basics under your belt. Make an HTML site respond to things the user is doing. Save some information in a database, and use it to generate a web page.

You could go through those books in a couple weeks of evenings, and you’d already know as much as 50% of the people out there calling themselves webdesigners or web programmers!

It’s a REALLY amazing feeling. The mystery is lifted. You’ll look at all websites in a new way. You’ll understand what’s going on behind the scenes. You’ll know how to do it yourself. It’s really empowering.

Once you’ve done that, you’ll know enough to know what you need next. Maybe you want to get deeper into web development with Ruby, JavaScript, Python, Rails, or Node.js. But don’t get overwhelmed. When you’re ready, look at the book reviews on Amazon to see which books people are raving about. Go to Stack Overflow to ask questions or recommendations.

This will give you a good foundation if you want to go on to make iPhone or Android apps, or just know enough to hire someone better.

You don’t need to become an expert, just know the basics, so you’re not helpless. You can do all of this in less hours than it takes to watch “The Wire”, and it’s much more rewarding.

(It’s definitely been the most rewarding thing I’ve ever learned.)

NOW READ: Why I Always Assume I'm Below Average

Please follow War Room on Twitter and Facebook.

Join the conversation about this story »

Your rating: None