Group of quarantined musicians do a spot-on cover of Fagen's "New Frontier"

A few months ago, I posted the video for Donald Fagen's 1982 now-classic track, "New Frontier." At the time, I said that I couldn't get this tune out of my head. It hasn't left.

Here is a group of quarantined musicians doing a wonderful cover of it.

[H/t Steve Silberman]

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Black Mirror Season 6? You're living it!

Apparently, Charlie Brooker has put Season 6 of Black Mirror on hold because he fears that reality has caught up with the dystopian series.

Picking up on that, a Madrid ad agency, called Brother, came up with a mock ad for the show. It reads:

“Black Mirror 6th Season. Live Now, everywhere.”

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Dolly Parton singing "Stairway to Heaven"

Here. Here's Dolly Parton doing a cover of Led Zeppelin's "Stairway to Heaven." You're welcome.

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The SpaceX Dragon docks with Space Station to "Blue Danube"

OK, I really need this. It's the SpaceX Dragon rendezvousing and docking with the International Space Station with "Blue Danube" as the soundtrack. Holy 2001, Batman!

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Relicblade launches campaign for new two-player starter set

It seems weird to be writing about something as frivolous as a game while the world is infected and on fire, but we do need a little distraction and joy to keep us sane, and for some of us, the gaming hobby offers just that.

Sean Sutter, the one-person game designing artistic juggernaut behind the fabulous fantasy narrative skirmish wargame, Relicblade just launched a Kickstarter for his latest product, a two-person starter set. Within 30 minutes, he had blown past his funding goal and is currently over $40,000. For those of us familiar with this game, this is no surprise at all. To know Relicblade is to love Relicblade.

While I am a huge, lifelong fan of the tabletop gaming hobby in general, I especially adore indie games that are basically the vision of one artist. Relicblade is such a wonder. Sean does nearly everything. He designs the games, writes and lays out the rulebooks, does all of the art, sculpts all of the miniatures. This would all be impressive enough, but the quality with which he does it all makes it even more impressive. His product line confidently stands next to the big dogs in the industry.

The latest campaign, called Storms of Kural, is a two-player starter set designed to provide everything needed to enter the world of Relicblade. There are two main pledge levels, one at $100 for the rulebook, minis, cards, and tokens, and one at $85 for people who already own the rulebook. Read the rest

Ancient Rome in five-minute animated fly-through

It's hard to imagine what places like ancient Babylon, Egypt, Greece, and Rome might have looked like in all of their glory. New Historia tries to shed some light on what everyday life might have looked and felt like with their series of 3D "cinematic animations."

Here is their five-minute fly-through over ancient Rome. No idea why they chose to not paint the statues. It's always been my understanding that the statuary was painted in bright, vivid colors.

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Mad genius builds robotic arm to control synth with Nintendo Power Glove

You know how in movies where there's a mad genius tech-wizard/hacker (often a precocious teen) who can make the most fantastical creations with seemingly no effort? It's such a great fantasy with little analogue in the real world. Sam Battle, he of Look Mum No Computer strikes me as a character from one of those films, except he is very real. Read the rest

David Lynch's latest 10-minute animated short "FIRE (POZAR)"

David Lynch has finally uploaded FIRE (POZAR), the experimental animated short he did in 2015, to his new David Lynch Theater on YouTube.

To create it, Lynch shared the still drawings he'd done for the piece with composer Marek Zebrowski (who did the music for Lynch's Inland Empire) and didn't share any further details. After Zebrowski had composed the music, animator Noriko Miyakawa put together the final animated short.

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Joni Mitchell's humblingly beautiful isolated vocals on "River"

Joni Mitchell's "River," from her 1971 masterpiece, Blue, has long been one of my favorites of her compositions. The sad, dreamy imagery of a wintertime love lost and the desire to skate away on an endless frozen river forever has got to be one of the most potent evocations in popular music.

In this isolated vocal from that track, we get to hear just how pure, powerful, and expressive Joni's vocals were on this recording.

[Via Far Out Magazine]

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The gory details of the whaling expedition that inspired Moby Dick

I've always been a big fan of Caitlin Doughty and her Ask a Mortician YouTube channel, but I especially liked this almost 40-minute mini-doc she did on the disastrous voyage of the Essex, the Nantucket whaling ship which served as part of the inspiration for Herman Melville's classic, Moby Dick. I knew some of this story, but Caitlin provides all of the bone-chilling, marrow-sucking details.

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Original band does wonderful isolation version of the Cowboy Bebop theme song

The SEATBELTS, the original band that recorded the theme song to the amazing Japanese anime TV series, Cowboy Bebop, have recreated the song in social isolation. "Tank," the jazzy theme song, was recorded at home by each of the ten individual players. The song has always been memorable and this performance nails the its intensity and excitement.

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Richard Kadrey's Passive-Aggressive Oblique Strategies

Our pal Richard Kadrey has been posting a series of Passive-Aggressive Oblique Strategies, a spoof on Brian Eno and Peter Schmidt's Oblique Strategies deck.

Richard's cards even caught the attention of Eno himself on Twitter (OK, maybe Eno's "people," but still...).

I just want to know when I can get a deck. I'd like them the same exact size and design as my Eno/Schmidt deck so that I can shuffle these in.

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Crowdfunding "In Search of Tomorrow," the ultimate 80s sci-fi film documentary

In Search of Tomorrow is slated to be a four-hour-long love letter to the sci-fi films of the 1980s. It is currently being crowdfunded on Kickstarter and has raised almost $470,000 dollars to date, with 32 hours left to go. It is being produced by the same folks who crowdfunded and produced the documentary on 80s horror films, In Search of Darkness.

In Search of Tomorrow will take viewers on a year-by-year deep dive into the many awe-inspiring worlds of ‘80s Sci-Fi movies, breaking down the most iconic and eccentric films you know and love (and many you may have forgotten or missed), and examining the science, technology, and artistry behind the fiction.

The completed feature will be more than four hours long and feature insights and anecdotes from an extensive collection of experts and iconic talent, including filmmakers, actors, special-effects and visual effects masters, tech advisors, authors, influencers, and visionaries. Not only will they tell their own stories, but they will share opinions about their own favorite Sci-Fi movies.

Learn more of their Kickstarter page. Image: Promotional poster Read the rest

Nearly 1000 Peel Sessions now available online

Blogger Dave Strickson has been keeping an up-to-date list of all of the BBC 1 Peel Sessions that are currently available online.

There is nearly a thousand sessions of music to date. Some of the artists include David Bowie and The Spiders from Mars, Roxy Music, Joy Division, New Order, The Cure, Siouxsie & The Banshees, The Smiths, The Fall, Echo & The Bunnymen, Nirvana, Hole, Jack White, Elvis Costello, Cocteau Twins, The Jesus & Mary Chain, Sonic Youth, The Wedding Present, The Raincoats, Nick Drake, T-Rex, Buzzcocks, Can, Billy Bragg, Fairport Convention, Pulp, The Breeders, The Fugees, The Kinks, The Specials, The Slits, and Thin Lizzy.

[Via Brooklyn Vegan]

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The shield you want -- DEVO selling Energy Dome PPE face shields

Look at you with your mouth watering; look at you with your mind spinning over the new DEVO Energy Dome face shields.

Join the Devolution with these DEVO dome face shields. We're sure the Energy Domes have special powers to combat COVID-19. People are saying. Get a memo to the President, stat!

Pair your Dome and shield with a matching DEVO face mask. Only US$70 for the lot. Sure that's money you don't have because you're out of a job and spending 3x the usual on Lysol and Wonder Bread, but who can put a price on devolving in style? The end times have never looked so fabulous.

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Honk your horns in the air and wave your glow sticks like you just don't care -- it's a German car rave

You've likely heard of neighborhood car parades, drive-in concerts, and the drive-through strip club. Now, you can add the drive-in rave to the list of creative and kind of unsettling and sad pandemic entertainment solutions.

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See-thru rockets are GO for launch!

If you're as ancient as I am, you might remember that awesome line of Revell "Visible" model kits: The Visible Man, Visible Woman, Visible V-8, Visible Mustang, etc. These see-thru models were a fun way to teach kids what lies beneath the surfaces of biological and mechanical worlds. I loved these kits!

Now, thanks to the wonders of modern desktop animation, we have this video of four transparent rockets showing engine burn and staging, from launch to orbital insertion.

Key: Red = Kerosene RP-1 Orange = Liquid Hydrogen LH2 Blue = Liquid Oxygen LOX

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