Mallwave is a microgenre of bedroom electronic music and smooth jazz meant to evoke nostalgia for the vibrant mall scenes of the 1980s and 1990s that many of the music's composers are too young to have experienced or at least remember.
Think of Mallwave as a hauntological soundtrack for an Orange Julius-fueled consumer culture where Suncoast, Merry-Go-Round, and Spencer Gifts anchored suburban reality. (Or, in the case of some of the moodier tracks, the kind of muzak that might play in your mind as you wander an abandoned mall in a Ballardian trance.)
From Hussein Kesvanio's feature in MEL:
“The nostalgia is so real you can cry and wish you went back in time,” reads one comment underneath the video “Neon Wave Mall (Vapor Mix).” “I feel a certain sense of… familiarity watching this footage. Almost like I myself have set foot in these places,” adds a viewer of “Corp Palm Mall.” Under the same video, another person opines: “Why wasn’t I born in this time? This video makes me realize how much things were not as advanced as we have now but it was better. I could be wrong, but sometimes I feel like living around the ‘90s sounds fun. Lifestyle is different, mindset is different and not as much laziness.”
According to writer Joe Koenig, this kind of feeling — a “nostalgia for a past you’ve never known” — is called anemoia. In his ongoing project, The Dictionary of Obscure Sorrows, Koenig describes it as “the desire to wade into the blurred-edge sepia haze that hangs in the air between people who leer stoically into this dusty and dangerous future.”
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2019 started off with a rather interesting tweet from Elon Musk. He was showing off the "Starship test flight rocket" from SpaceX. This thing evokes a strong bit of imagery that has been so deeply integrated into our culture through science fiction for so many years that it just feels... right. Read the rest
There was something special about the perfectly-dimensioned, shrinkwrapped new VHS tape. Overlarge yet empty, a blank canvas in a new age of copying video. And now, a decade or three later, a perfect mote of nostalgia.
Previously: VHS Camcorder app makes iPhone video look like 1980s tape Read the rest
Ok, if you're old enough, you'll remember those cute vintage Chalkware ceramics they used to make to hang in the bathroom. There were a bunch of designs like anthropomorphic seashorses and fish, and mermaids. Well, California artist Erin Tinney Halverson of Hell in a Handbag is bringing them back. Her mermaids are especially cool because she custom paints tattoos on them. They're $79 each which may seem steep, but for the right person it would make an amazing gift.
Thanks, Erik! Read the rest
You'll need to be handy with CSS to make use of it, but NES.css offers boxes, buttons, containers, forms, speech balloons, icons and more to make your web projects looks like 8-bit games. It's by @bc_rikko. Read the rest
Artisan maker Dick Whitney modifies beautiful antique phones to offer Amazon Echo functionality. His goal with the "Alexaphones" and other creations is to "combine classical design and usability with the most salient elements of your modern world." Unlike other spying smart speakers, Alexaphone only listens when you lift the handset. Absolutely stunning work.
• Secure. Alexa can only hear you when the handset is off the receiver; all of the microphones are physically disconnected otherwise, so you’re not depending on a mute button to be trustworthy.
• Speaker Compatible. Each Alexaphone comes with a 1/8" auxiliary out port, so you can connect it to your home speakers.
• The Lights Of The Future. Status LEDs are carefully made visible in a way unique to each phone, striving for minimal disruption of the original aesthetic. Know when your Alexaphone is connected, listening, and more.
• The Sounds Of The Past. On some phones we’ve been able to preserve or rebuild the antique earpiece electronics, so you’ll hear the original voice of the phone.
• Easy Setup. Just plug in the USB power cable and set up with the Alexa app.
• Uncompromised Experience. These works of art function with your Alexa app and any of Alexa’s skills.
Alexaphone (Grain Design, thanks John Park!)
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This vintage-style map of the USA puts the titles of songs that mention place names onto their corresponding geographical spot. So, for example, the Beasties Boys' "No Sleep Till Brooklyn" is placed right on top of Brooklyn.
Some of our favourite song choices are the ones which require you to think a little harder about connections, such as Space Oddity (David Bowie) which signposts Cape Canaveral, After the Gold Rush (Neil Young) which references Sutter’s Mill, and Homecoming (Kanye West) which is placed near the rapper’s home town of Chicago.
You can get the map for £30 (~$39) at UK-based studio Dorothy. They also have a world song map (also £30/~$39) and a special edition world song map (£35/~$45). Head to Spotify to see the accompanying playlist.
(The Awesomer) Read the rest
Not particularly wonderful to write with, but awesome none-the-less, I had to have a BIC 4 color pen. Read the rest
Is there anyone who isn't familiar with this pattern? I ran estate sales for a while and came across it a lot in the homes I was prepping.
Now, an updated version of CorningWare's Cornflower Blue pattern is back for a limited time.
The Daily Meal:
The dishes are white, with a neat blue floral pattern decorating the center of each container. They were available for 30 years, from the 1950s through the 1980s, and have now returned in an updated pattern that still looks a lot like the look many Americans grew up with.
“First produced in 1958, the iconic blue Cornflower pattern quickly became a staple in American households and for many, the pattern is synonymous with CorningWare and some of their fondest family food memories,” CorningWare said in a statement. “The collection features various-sized baking dishes, generously sized mugs, measuring bowls, a ramekin set, and mixing bowls — all featuring the charming blue flowers that have warmed hearts and homes for generations.”
If you're feeling nostalgic, you can buy this limited-edition retro pattern until 2019 through its parent brand Corelle.
photo by goblinbox_(queen_of_ad_hoc_bento) Read the rest
Back in the day, before Amazon and even before the internet, dash buttons took physical form in Reddilist, a handy little wall hanging for the kitchen or pantry with tabs for Instant Vi-Tone, Frostade, or Johnson's Glo-Coat. Read the rest
Lydia Ricci's From Scraps project repurposes bits of refuse into tiny sculptures of objects that have often fallen out of wide use. She also made some very short films with some of the objects: Read the rest
I's been eight years since we last checked in, and Famicase is going strong, both as an exhibition and a social media hashtag. The photo above was posted by @boheme.
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Atari's retro game console, annoyingly given the same name as the 1977 original, won't be showing up until 2019, reports Andrew Tarantola. But you'll be able to pre-order it soon anyway.
We're also finally getting a hint at the system's capabilities. Atari announced on Monday that it has partnered with AMD for the console's processor. The VCS will support 4K resolutions, HDR and 60fps gameplay. It will offer both internal and external storage, built-in WiFi, USB 3 and Bluetooth 5 capabilities.
The company is still tight-lipped as to what you'll actually be able to do with the VCS, however.
Charming as it is, the high price demands 21st century performance. Another benefit of a good video chip will be mining Ataricoin. Read the rest
Sega made nice jewel cases for its video games, providing ample space for manuals and a nice thick spine for shelf display. But they cracked easily, and Sega's departure from the console business meant fans went for many years without an easy replacement source. But then there were two – in competition.
Sega collectors can finally rest easy, knowing that they’ll now be able to get replacements for their shattered cases from multiple sources—whether that’s Limited Run, or VGC Online, or from hypothetical bootleggers in China. It still remains to be seen whether the demand for these replacement parts can sustain multiple businesses.
One of the surprises in the story is the cost of molds required to make jewel cases. The simultaneous emergence of two competitors, each making big capital investments in the same generic product for the same tiny market, puts both in trouble from the outset. But one spent $150k to make perfect molds in the U.S., whereas the other spent only $8k to crank them out in China. Mr. $150k banked, unwisely, on the assumption that he'd have the market to himself and would never have to worry about cheap competition for his high-quality replicas. Mr $8k just wanted to make cheap Sega cases available and didn't care about third shift copies – but the results are apparently pretty rough, so enthusiasts may well opt for the more expensive alternative. Read the rest
Studio Cult sells a large enamel pin in glorious effigy of MS Paint for $18.
3" x 2 5/8" metal alloy with 3 pins on reverse side
Thickness varies from 2mm - 3mm
28 soft enamel colors
Silk screen button elements
Laser engraved menu text
Large screen enamel protected by an epoxy layer
You can even use dry erase marker on it!
There's a Photoshop version too. Read the rest
Free VHS rentals are part of the planned fun at Video Vortex, a new venture by Alamo Drafthouse. The first one is under contstruction in Raleigh, North Carolina. Read the rest
Sony's Digital Mavica FD was a digital camera that saved pictures directly onto floppy disk: a wonderful convenience in an age when flash cards (and their readers) were expensive and rare. Images were saved at up to 1280x960 (1.2 megapixels!) and "not that bad", and it takes up to 6 seconds to save them to disk. Quality wasn't the point: this gadget captured 40 percent of the consumer digital camera market. Looking back, the Mavica FD was probably a key solvent in the unexpectedly fast transition from analog to digital photography.
Thrifting notes: third-party batteries won't work in some models, the FD75 and especially the FD87 are the best models, but the FD5 is simplest and easiest to just lug around. Read the rest