Stars On 45
(ExoticaProject.com) Never give up on the lounge music of the 1960s, fellow Las Vegan. I know that many of you reading this have no concept of the ’60s aside from Jimi Hendrix, acid tabs and Vietnam (and the 1960s lounge music revival of the mid-1990s is now itself ancient history), but I assure you that some monstrously smooth and sexy jams were composed and performed back in the day—and their treacly string arrangements, rolling marimbas and do-me congas helped to build this town, or at the very least made our drinking establishments sound keen until the rise of Yacht Rock in the 1970s unwittingly destroyed their vibe. The Exotica Project is a jukebox from that bygone era: It features streaming versions of 100 lounge and exotica singles, ripped directly from the original 45s. At this point I could explain to you how these songs were recorded, or talk about the times that shaped their sound … but instead, I’ll direct you to the Saxons’ “Camel Walk (Part 2),” and all the Sin City pleasures promised therein.
(Ted.com/talks/lang/eng/stefan_sagmeister_the_power_of_time_off.html) Graphic designer Stefan Sagmeister is kind of a rock star in his field. He’s designed album covers for David Byrne and OK Go; he’s created advertising materials for HBO and Levi’s; he’s the creator of ThingsIHaveLearnedInMyLife.com, a compendium of lessons for working and living better. (My current favorite: “Obsessions are useful professionally and inane privately.”) You’d think that an artist this driven, prolific and plainly in love with his work would be averse to taking a day off, and you’d be right, in a way: Every seven years, Sagmeister takes an entire year off. He explains why a sabbatical is a good idea in this video, and if you’re feeling trapped by your work, you ought to take 18 minutes off your day to watch it. It’s genius.
(GoogleArtProject.com) Google can’t get any love these days. I know that’s a strange thing to say of a multibillion-dollar company, but look at any tech blog: You’ll read how the company is in danger of losing its ad revenue to Facebook, and how their Android smartphone OS is almost as good as the mighty iPhone OS. I can’t speak on those topics, but I can say that Google does a lot of incredible stuff that’s getting overlooked, stuff you probably don’t know about. Their latest wonderful thing, Google Art Project, is an online art gallery without peer—a collection of masterpieces from the Tate Britain, the Palace of Versailles, MoMA and 17 other great museums, all presented in dazzling high-definition scans. You can explore the museum galleries through Google Maps-style navigation, or simply look at the works in a scrolling gallery. It’s not nearly as enjoyable a way to get your fine art fix as having two Guggenheims in a nearby hotel-casino or receiving traveling exhibitions in a 30,000-square-foot gallery adjoining a city library … but alas, savage reader, alas. Besides, when was the last time you looked at Botticelli’s “The Birth of Venus” close enough to see the cracks in the paint? Google deserves mad love for this. Even Mark Zuckerberg has to admit it.
Journalist Geoff Carter is a Las Vegas native living in Seattle, land of virtual titillation.