Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Art online, ILoveMakkonnen, Rosalia’s sunset tea, Fleetwood Mac

Posted By on Tue, Aug 26, 2014 at 9:27 AM

click to enlarge KEVIN CORNELL
  • Kevin Cornell

Our fearless leader Will is out of town reporting on rare mushrooms in Star City and someone left me in charge of Arkansas Times Recommends. Bad idea! I kept getting waylaid by important stuff and totally unimportant stuff and now here we are, with a super-tardy Recommends. Who wants recommendations on a Tuesday??? Sheesh. Forgive me. Here we go.  

Arkansas Times Recommends is a weekly series in which Times staff members (or whoever happens to be around at the time) highlight things we've been enjoying this week.

Kevin Cornell's Last Day: Last Wednesday marked the last day of a completely unique and perfect collaboration between a website and an illustrator. For almost a decade illustrator and humorist Kevin Cornell has illustrated for the web developer/designer go-to site, A List Apart. I’ve enjoyed his simple ink and watercolor based illustrations for a good portion of those years, both on and off A List Apart.

I’ve often pondered why this relationship worked so well for the reader. Somehow his loose and jovial illustrations for A List Apart miraculously made articles with titles like ‘Dependence Day: The Power and Peril of Third Party Solutions’ and ‘Prototyping Your Workflow’ look like an actual good read. The writing and layout of the site helped, too. I think many web developers and their ilk are passionate people who choose to approach their work with the same enthusiasm they once reserved for the Sunday comics (before they grew up and realized they just weren’t that funny) or a new box of crayons. It’s the play-time side of grown-up geek culture. Where people like Few ("An agency of makers") thrive because they are adults now and have reclaimed the right to write on the walls if they want, to be weird, and to speak in secret code to one another. A big part of the web developer outward narrative is to enrich yourself with creativity in everything - in code, and in work environment. But especially in the people you surround yourself with. So it fits that Kevin Cornell found such an ideal audience in a website that is technically and conceptually inaccessible to the majority of the world.

Go to Kevin’s wonderful website and get lost in it. — Bryan Moats

click to enlarge KEVIN CORNELL
  • Kevin Cornell

This is my vote for the jam of the summer (the Drake remix is also quite good). It's by Atlanta-based singer and rapper ILoveMakkonnen, whose sound Buzzfeed nonsensically described as splitting "the difference between The Killers and Lil B." (Also hilarious and from Buzzfeed profile: " 'Who made dogs?' [Makkonnen] asks no one in particular. 'Who was designing ‘em? Bruh! How could a dog move from continent to continent?' ") It's druggy and plaintive and about going to the club on a Tuesday — not usually song of the summer qualities — but it's so delightfully weird, if you're like me and Miley, you won't be able to resist its charms. — Lindsey Millar

When I was young, my mother used to give me a cup of maraschino cherries to shut me up. Because of that, I have a Pavlovian response to the cherries: I zone out. Now that August is acting like August — hotter than the hinges of hell — zoning out, optimally with a cold drink in hand, is a survival technique. You, too, can survive , thanks to the Sunset tea at Rosalia’s Family Bakery at 2701 Kavanaugh Blvd. The sunset orange ingredients give it its name: tangerine syrup, blood orange syrup, a slice of orange, the chill-out maraschino cherry and, of course, iced tea. You won’t find it on the menu; you have to be in the know. It’s pricy at $3.22 (that’s with tax included) but delicious. What the heck, get a cheese bread bun (just like the cheese bread at Bossa Nova, but the size of a hamburger bun) to go with. Or Nutella cookies. The survival technique is available between 7 a.m. and 6 p.m. Monday through Saturday and 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Sunday. — Leslie Newell Peacock

For over a month now, my friends and I have been listening to the 1979 Fleetwood Mac double album “Tusk” almost every day. Let me qualify that by first admitting that my musical knowledge isn't exactly encyclopedic. I don’t have a complete discography of anything, I rarely know the lineups or lineages of bands, and I don’t really understand what it means to remaster something. So while I realize this may be old news to some of you, I’m still excited about discovering that “Tusk” is an unbelievably good piece of music.

Fleetwood Mac released the double LP as the follow up to 1976’s “Rumors” — still among the best-selling albums of all time — and though it's got much the same sound, "Tusk" is quite a bit weirder than its predecessor. There’s a hyperactive, carnival attitude to some songs, like Lindsey Buckingham’s “I Know I’m Not Wrong,” that reminds me of a candy-fueled ten-year-old jumping up and down on a bed. Then there are meltingly lovely Christine McVie tracks like“Honey Hi” and the absurd, wonderful drama of Stevie Nicks on songs such as “Sisters of the Moon” (can you think of a Stevie Nicksier name?) and so much in between. It all hangs together as a jumbled whole; listen to the entire thing to get the proper effect.

Wikipedia tells me that “Tusk” cost more to record than any rock album up until that point — over $1 million, for whatever reason. When first released, It was priced at the equivalent of $52.46 in 2014 dollars; the record sold four million copies worldwide, and its label, Warner Brothers, considered that to be a failure. This summer, my roommate bought the double record in perfect condition for five bucks. — Benji Hardy

I'm going to piggyback off of Benji's pick and highlight the best thing the Internet ever found, the five-minute grainy footage of Stevie Nicks getting makeup for a Rolling Stone photoshoot and working out how "Wild Heart" will go (see below). People, I have goose bumps on my goose bumps. I am alive, awash, rocked, renewed. Only 866,000 have viewed this on YouTube! That means literally billions of humans walking the earth have not seen this. Music is the stuff of angels and aliens. What I'm trying to say is that when Stevie sings, it is from another place. Like received wisdom. A reminder that physics is an insufficient explanation for our universe.

Here in this universe there are them that are suckers for Stevie Nicks and them that ain’t. Pity the latter. — David Ramsey

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