This week in "Thanks, Internet" ---Google Street Art, a short filmyou wish was longer,an uplifting song about death, a slapstick take on the "First Kiss" video, and the best bootleg DVD art you'll ever see.
Google recently introduced a nifty new feature in Street View that allows users to travel back in time. While clicking down a road, you can access Street View's archive and see what it looked like during earlier passes of the creepy Google van. People immediately began using the toolto track gentrification and development, but it's also a great way to give ephemeral murals a longer life.
Brian Foo, a web developer at the New York Public Library, focused on a wall at the corner of Bowery and Houstonin Manhattan. Using Google along with images he found online, Foo managed to create a timeline of the location's vibrant street art dating back to 2007. He also made a really fun brush tool that allows the user to erase the most recent wall and reveal what preceded it. Street artists the world over applaud him.
Although I don't know a thing about motorcycles or, erm, choppers, this meditative short about 72-year-old Tom Fugle made me appreciate the art that goes into building them. Director Scott Pommier captures the moment in which Fugle, after hand-crafting bikes for decades, finally garners some recognition. His life story unfolds in under five minutes with just enough triumph in the third act.It feels like hitting the open road and throwing caution to the wind. (Plus it looks like Fugle hasn't worn a helmet in 72 years.)
The story behind this song is a sharp punch in the gut. Joey Ramone wrote and recorded"I Got Knocked Down (But I'll Get Up)"about his battle with lymphoma shortly before dying in 2001. More than a decade later, Secret Machines and School of Seven Bells lead-songwriter Benjamin Curtis was stricken by the same cancer. From his hospital bed, Curtis recorded a synth-heavy cover of the song on his laptop and oversaw his band members' vocal tracking via FaceTime. Curtis died late last year. His last song is at once devastating and uplifting.
Remember that "First Kiss" video from last month? Wasn't that nice, watching strangers make out in black and white?Max Landis (son of John) was so inspired that he made his own version, but with slapping instead of kisisng. Landis arguesthat "if you take the destructive component out of violence, it actually ends up being kinda cute and intimate," and that "a slap mitigated by permission is a hug." The jury's out on that one, but Landis' video is unquestionablyfunnier than the original. It also features Haley Joel Osmentgetting slapped, so no one's complaining.
It's worth noting that Landis once made one of the greatest comedic shorts of all time.