It’s sum-sum-summertime! While we’re wipin’ the sweat from our brows, kicking back with an ice-cold glass of lemonade, and turning the fans on high, we’re deeper than ever in recently launched projects. And this week’s are a real doozy: mobile pools (just what we need, amirite?), fanatic cults, hybrid animals, a documentary on the rise and fall of popular music store Tower Records, and more. Get into it.
John Rico grew up a religious fanatic in Iowa, graduated college an athiest, went to war and found himself praying to a God he didn’t think he believed in, then ended up going to find God in every place of worship he could think of, in vain. At a certain part his spiritual journey morphed into an artistic one, becoming more detached, more analytical, and more engrossed with the mechanics of indoctrination. This video is lo-fi, strung together, long, and GRIPPING. I grew up a tongues-speaking, hands-raising Catholic in the Bible belt myself, and am … no longer that, so I was rapt. But exploring how someone can believe so fervently then not, or not believe and then suddenly be convinced, in so many different ways all over the world, in the craziest of ways — this coping with death, and life is fundamentally human and fascinating, whether or not you’ve seen your best friend pass out from the holy spirit on a summer retreat. — Meaghan O.
According to this bro-friend duo, the Mobile Pool Party brings together crazy bicycle hackery, blistery hot Brooklyn afternoons, and watery fun. Woo! Dean and Darren have done some weird things with bikes before, and now that the thermometer’s flirting with 90 °F, their bike-towed pool fits nicely into our list of whacky summer public art things-to-do. For $5 you’ll get the scoop on where this roaming pool touches down, and for $26 you can help pull it. Paying to do hard labor never sounded so good! — Daniella J.
The cynic in means says, “leave it to Hollywood royalty to lament the bygone days of a billion-dollar music corporation,” but Colin Hanks is just so darn earnest, All Things Must Pass has an incredible story to tell, and even I am nostalgic for the algebra classes best spent tearing through Tower. Hanks makes his directorial debut with this feature documentary about Russ Solomon, the Tower Theater drugstore janitor who went from selling 5-cent discarded record singles in his father’s pharmacy to pioneering a global brand. After 46 years in the business, Tower Records filed for bankruptcy in 2004 and finally closed all doors in 2006. True, “sunrise doesn’t last all morning,” but sunsets give way to new dawns, and Tower’s demise is a fascinating paradigm of the death and rebirth of what we mean when we say Music Industry. With sweet rewards like limited edition vinyl and tickets to the film’s premiere (at The Tower theater of course!), Hanks’ project should not require a pledge from dear old dad. — Elisabeth H.
Gerg Sugano, aka “Soogie,” has been asked by the distinguished Cabbit Y. Tutelary to make a documentary about his life. What exactly makes Mr. Tutelary worthy of documentation? Firstly, Cabbit is a remarkably well-dressed anthropomorphic chimera, quite possibly descended from the union of a cat and a rabbit. One would have to look under his hat to be absolutely sure. Secondly, Cabbit’s world has been beautifully illustrated and animated by Soogie using only a digital camera and a whole lot of Sharpies. I am fairly certain that Sharpie-art has have never looked this good, and that Soogie’s fingers and hands are likely covered in a layer of Sharpie-soot. What? — Cindy A.
Small, simple, personal, historical. These are all the ways I could describe Dave Ortega’s mini-comic about his grandmother and her place in the Mexican Revolution. The project is a way for Dave to honor her memory — to “fit her story in with ‘official history’” — and I like the idea of taking narrative ownership of history via comic. I’m also into Dave’s enjoyably weird, splotchy, gothic-tinged work (very Scary Stories To Tell in the Dark). — Cassie M.
I’ve never felt compelled to chart the stone-cold rhythms of the Clyde Stubblefield, but, boy am I glad Jack Stratton was inspired enough to dissect Stubblefield’s classic funk drum breaks, along with other classic breaks, and translate them into visual graphs showing just how these funk masters crafted their funkiest breaks. Be sure to peep the video to see Stratton creating beats some his visualized rhythms. Funk yeah! — Mike M.