We got back into the office this Monday to a flurry of fresh creativity, taking the form of some classic Cuban music from Spanish Harlem, some very unclassic (but still super cool) Music From Saharan Cellphones, street photography, and, ahem, a toilet dwelling Medusa. What are you waiting for?! Get into it.
Awwwww beep beep! That's the sound of Latin Boogaloo, my friends! The sound of Spanish Harlem in the '60s, of classic Cuban sounds being slammed together with rock-n-roll into what became a totally new New York sound. Know boogaloo? You'll want this doc. Don't know boogaloo? Now's the time to get acquainted. Native New Yorker and NY Times video contributor Mathew Ramirez Warren is hard at work on We Like It Like That: The Story of Latin Boogaloo, where you'll hear from originals in the genre and probably dance your pants off by midway through. — Daniella J.
Music from Saharan Cellphones has been a personal, and office, favorite for a long time. I remember coming across it through Root Strata's posts highlighting the collection. Sometime last year, our boss went to Portland and came back with a bunch of tapes. Music from Saharan Cellphones was one of them. We jammed it a lot. So much so that it's still sitting on my desk. Which makes me even happier to come in this morning, scroll through the Recently Launched projects and find this project to reissue the classic compilation of virgin vinyl. Music to my ears. — Mike M.
There's a lot to love about Jake Richmond's Modest Medusa, a web comic about a guy named Jake (named after ... Jake) who comes home one day to find a 5-year-old Medusa living in his toilet. And Medusa, in spite of her snakey hair, is kind of adorable. There's plenty of absurd humor to go around ("unicorn chainsaw massacre") and some pretty memorable rewards, including a box of fictional snacks called Chocodiles mailed to your door, or a custom-made Modest Medusa fleece hat, which may or may not turn your friends into stone. — Cindy A.
At 80 years old, and with six decades of photography behind him, Harold Feinstein has yet to have a monograph published of his work. Having contributed significantly to the American photographic history of the 20th century, it's probably about time that we take care of that! I'm a big fan of street photography — the accidental feel speaks volumes to my overly sentimental/romantic side — and Harold's work is classic. I like how unhurried it feels: frequently blurry, lots of smiles, jubilant, and not afraid of strangeness. There's a guitar-playing man surrounded by a crowd, while a hand reaches out to light his cigarette in a friendly gesture. A woman striking a defiant pose on the boardwalk with a pet boa constrictor. It just makes me really like people, I don't know how else to explain it! — Cassie M.
Since 2008, Pete Brook has spent time cataloging, analyzing, and discussing the visual culture of American prisons and covering issues of social justice. In Pete's estimate (which I would call "correct"), the many esteemed photographers who have worked intimately with prisoners over the last several decades have profoundly shaped public discourse on the subject, although their collective body of work can suffer from a sense of fracture — occupying parallel but distinctly separate niches in the overall cultural landscape. I'm excited to see Pete ushering all of this effort under one umbrella in an effort to create a true impact. I'm also excited to see art and social action colliding so eloquently — and I am hopeful for the finished piece, which will be released for free to the public under a Creative Commons license. — Cassie M.