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Author Archives: Connie Hwong

What would happen if your favorite band showed up at your apartment in the middle of the night, and started playing some of your favorite songs with whatever was laying around? Well, your neighbors might get pissed off. But more importantly, it would be the best damned houseparty ever.

If your favorite band happens to be Yeasayer, you’re in luck (or you’ll just be incredibly jealous). After a gig in Paris, they wound up in someone’s apartment and cranked out some spine-chillingly beautiful renditions of “Tightrope” and “2080.”

Dear Yeasayer: my apartment is only on the third floor. You’re welcome anytime you’re in San Francisco.

Note: La Blogotechque’s entire collection of Take Away Shows is worth your time. They place bands in unlikely places for beautiful, impromptu concerts.

As a departure from the music videos I’ve been posting, here’s something that is awesome and from Sweden: and INVISIBLE BIKE HELMET.

I bicycle. I bicycle just about everywhere in San Francisco. Until last year, I never wore a helmet, much to the chagrin of my friends and coworkers. I’ve been lucky: despite several crashes (usually due to the dreaded Muni tracks), I’ve never been seriously injured. But last year, I gave in to my own vanity/laziness and started wearing a helmet. I understand that it’s designed to protect my noggin, but the thing is pretty ugly. I’ve tried out a few of those skateboarder-style helmets, but they just make me look like a jockey or a tiny army general – in either case, not a good look.

So this “invisible bike helmet” idea strikes me as generally brilliant. Granted, it’s not cheap (supposedly $600, and it can’t be reused). But hey, I like the way these ladies think. And if you have an extra six hundo kicking around and want to buy yourself one (or even better: buy ME one), you can do so here: http://www.hovding.com/en/hovding

In the meantime, I’ll continue riding around with my ugly-yet-functional, very visible helmet.

Spoiler: the video is only 3.5 minutes long, but if you’re as ADD as I am, the tl;dnr version is: it’s an airbag packed into a clever collar, equipped with some fancy accelerometers and gyroscopes. If you’re on a bicycle and you fall, the gadget is designed to deploy a helmet-shaped airbag to protect your noggin.

The Invisible Bicycle Helmet | Fredrik Gertten from Focus Forward Films on Vimeo.

This guest blogging spot has unintentionally become an avenue for me to share all my music video gems: guilty pleasures, old memories, and everything in between. I’m OK with this, since music videos (beautiful, ridiculous, incredible, etc.) are the bulk of what I watch online. The 3-to 5-minute format is the perfect, digestible nugget for me to handle, given my intense ADD when it comes to watching anything on a screen.

So here’s one from 2005. Back in those days, Res Magazine used to hold Res Fest, an annual travelling digital film festival. There were a bunch of screenings, but my favorite was always the music video showcase. I don’t really remember what else was shown that year, but this one totally stood out; it’s by the Belgian band Soulwax. They put on an amazing live show, and also tour as DJs (under the moniker 2manydjs), among other side projects.

Another dirty secret: I’m a former candy raver. I never went to a party as crazy as the one depicted in the video, but this certainly brings back (somewhat) find memories of long nights spent in sketchy warehouses. None of those warehouses had bathroom attendants, though.

In any case, this is a party kid’s version of a perfect alphabet song; Sesame Street ain’t got nothing on this:

After many years of espousing the great joys of French rap (Supreme NTM still kills me every time), I’ve recently discovered my second favorite type of rap: Korean rap. And even better: Korean rap videos outclass just about every other type of rap music video (Die Antwoord gets its own category).

Granted, this is based on a sample size of one, but I think you’ll agree this is pretty much a grade-A killer deal-making sample. It’s like LMFAO and Kim Jong-Il did the nasty, and produced South Korea’s greatest gift to digital media:

Notes:

  • Nope, I have no idea what “Super Gangnam Style” means. The first time I listened to this song, I was convinced he was saying “open condom style.”
  • It’s nice to know that gratuitous ass shots seem to be a cross-cultural crowd pleaser, universally accepted in the world of rap videos.
  • I don’t know if the horse-riding dance move is a Korean thing or just this dude’s thing, but strongly believe that it needs to go global. It’s could become this generation’s macarena/electric slide!
  • The guy in the elevator at 1:55 is my absolute favorite.
  • Parachute short are back. At least, in Korea.
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