From Inside Joke To Internet Sensation

Sausage School Title Image

Hey guys, I thought I would post this since it is relevant to my interests. It’s an interview that I did with my friend Tom for a web publication that’s kind of a big deal. They asked us a few questions about Sausage School, which Tom animates and I write. We had an absolute blast getting to the heart of what makes the show “tick” as well as giving a little history of our “genius.” With their permission I’ve included the entire article below:

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This is a Close-Up? Cartoons and Toonocracy

I’ve been a busy little bee these days. Not sure if you remember a post series of mine from awhile back where I complained about working at a web animation studio out in Chicago. The work was lousy, but it was there that I met my friend Tom Riffel and there that I developed an interest in animation. When I got let go, I immediately started thinking about what it would be like to get a bunch of people together to work on the types of cartoons that we wanted to see. There were a few ideas I tossed back and forth with Tom, but they didn’t get very far past the “idea” stage. Not only that, there just weren’t enough of us to get anything substantial off the ground.

Fast forward to the here and now in sunny California, where Tom fills me in on an interesting idea that he and a few others are working on.

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Ten Things In 2010: Music Videos

There’s a picture in a family album somewhere of me as a diaper-clad youngster dancing around the TV whilst in cowboy boots. That’s probably the earliest memory I have of MTV. Growing up, music videos were always something I would turn to whenever I had the chance. These days I turn to the internet for my music video needs and I thought I would share my top ten with you.


10. I Want The World To Stop from Belle & Sebastian on Vimeo.

Whether or not this is technically a music video is up for debate. Frankly, the song is good enough to where I don’t really care. It’s cut from a larger video which features at least two performances from Belle & Sebastian’s album Write About Love. I like seeing the visuals of the band playing and the song is way too distracting to do much in the way of nitpicking. This is just a great song!

9. She & Him In The Sun from rhivanz on Vimeo.

If you hadn’t heard, or were maybe just living under a rock, Zooey Deschanel is in a band. She sings and dances around while her cohort, M. Ward looks cool and plays his guitar. That’s essentially the plot to this music video and I’m quite fine with that. While the album itself has fallen some from my interest, this song remains a favorite and this video complements it nicely!

8. Warpaint “Undertow” from maudegone on Vimeo.

I never gave the new Warpaint album enough of a chance to give it a place in my top album list, but their music video for Undertow is top notch. Directed by Shannyn Sossamon, the video¬†elicits¬†a kind of whimsical dreamy state that’s fitting for the music. Definitely a favorite. Plan for 2011: Get acquainted with Warpaint!

7. Arcade Fire – The Suburbs from Merge Records on Vimeo.

A good video for a good song. Directed by Spike Jonze. I have a feeling you’ll like this one too.

6. Los Campesinos “Romance Is Boring” from Alanedit on Vimeo.

I’m not entirely sure if this is the “official” video for the song, but I’m going to assume it is and continue watching. You should too. It’s Los Campesinos!

5. The New Pornographers: Crash Years from Rockonlelkek Staff on Vimeo.

While this won’t go down as my favorite New Pornographers music video ever, it’s a nice complement to the Neko-fronted song and features a bunch of cool umbrella choreography! Don’t know about you, but I imagine that the entire band is down there twirling the umbrellas around. WAVE TO DAN BEJAR!!!

4. Broken Bells “The Ghost Inside” from Jacob Gentry on Vimeo.

What’s better than a Broken Bells music video? How about a Broken Bells music video featuring Christina Hendricks in a sci-fi setting, selling her body parts to make her way across the galaxy?

3. Gorillaz – Stylo from Mario Ucci on Vimeo.

This music video from Gorillaz is a rather striking departure in that it ditches the 2D animation from the band’s previous outings in favor of creepy-CGI. Bruce Willis joins the fun as an antagonist with a great car and a huge gun. The result is a really fun and engaging music video.

2. Vampire Weekend – Cousins (Official MV) by. Garth Jennings from JOOONAE LEE on Vimeo.

This is perhaps my favorite song off of Contra, and as such is my favorite music video thus far for this band. There’s a low-fi quality to the video that’s endearing and the editing is smart. I much prefer this video to “Giving Up The Gun,” which relied WAY too heavily on slow-mo and a slew of cameos.

1. Mates of State: True Love Will Find You In The End from Amplified on Vimeo.

I love love love Mates of State, which makes having their music video at the #1 spot on my music video list a bit of a given. The idea behind the video is fun and the husband and wife team can’t help but exude adorableness as they prance around the city projecting themselves onto other people, places and things.

The Best Music Videos I Saw This Year

I was going to save this post until much later in the month, but then it dawned on me that I might forget to make a top-list post and then January will hit and it will be too late. And I don’t think it would be all that timely to post a best-of ’09 list in the beginnings of ’10. So, with that in mind, I say let’s push forward with The Best Music Videos I Saw This Year. The criteria for this list wasn’t all that complicated. The band had to have a really good song, not be too insanely popular, and be more than just a band playing for an audience. It also had to keep the viewer engaged by not beating it’s gimmick to death. Might seem like vague rules, but when you see these videos, you’ll understand what I mean. Also (and this is a MINOR criteria), the videos needed to be in a high quality format (HD) and be easily embeddable on any website.

Let’s do this.

5) Do You Want To Date My Avatar – The Guild

This video makes it onto this list because the song is catchy, and the nerdy references are cranked up to eleven. It’s an ode to those of us who play MMORPG’s (pronounced: meh-mor-pe-guhs) and anyone who knows what a level 50 paladin is. Also, the costumes are rad and there really isn’t a band to speak of, so the conceit of playing to an audience doesn’t exist. If you like this, check out the show.

4) French Navy – Camera Obscura

I like Camera Obscura, a lot. Their newest album, My Maudlin Career, is simply a gem and this video captures the essence of that. It’s shot to look like old footage, and it’s cut fast enough to keep you from being too bothered by the band playing music together in a flat. Sure, the mushy lovey-dovey story within the video is a little gag-worthy, but the music keeps it from getting too obnoxious.

3) Lessons Learned – Matt and Kim

I like this band well enough, but their other music videos haven’t really caught my attention. They’re you’re typical indie music video where they just have the two band members playing an instrument in a weird environment. This video breaks that conceit and it’s all the more refreshing for it. I also like this song much better than Daylight, which you could hear for awhile on some alcoholic beverage commercial. Also, naked people who are fairly good looking make this music video a win in my opinion.

2) Sick Muse – Metric

This video makes it this far down the list in it’s simplicity. It’s a band goofing around and not really playing their instruments. They aren’t playing to an audience and they are dancing around like fools. It helps that the band is amazing and the album is perhaps the best one I’ve heard this year. I wanted to put Gimme Sympathy on this list as well, since it had an interesting gimmick, but there wasn’t an HD version on youtube. Also, I like this song just a teensy-weensy bit more.

And the winner of best music video this year?


1) Cousins – Vampire Weekend

The film student in me loves the low-tech of the video. It’s just the band playing their instruments on a dolly in a back alley somewhere. It fits the tone of the song, which differentiates itself from the previous album with a bit more energy than A-Punk and plays around with time and space editing which I love in music videos. Check out near the end of the video where they wear the other band members’ faces behind their own. It’s an editing gimmick that makes the video editor in me SQUEE with delight.

And of course, the runner up..

Dimmer – Bishop Allen

Jonathan is a VJ, Part 6

Hey there, folks. I figured it was about that time again to scour the internet for some music videos that I enjoyed. Kind of a random assortment this month around, but I figured it was a pretty decent one at that and that you might get a kick out of the selection. If you haven’t heard of any of these bands, you might want to do yourself a favor and check them out STAT!!!

The New PornographersMutiny, I Promise You

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Jonathan is a VJ, Part 5

Hey guys! What’s the haps? Yeah, I’ve been quite the busy bee this past month or so with various forms of work. It’s been so crazy that I’ve pretty much neglected most of my blogs. But hey, I’m here now and posting, so that’s got to count for something. Right? RIGHT?!

Anypoo, it’s time for another music video session from yours truly. You’ll notice a few things different about this one. Namely, I’m not using MTVMusic anymore for my source of music videos. While the service showed promise, their API continued to suck and navigating the site was an extreme chore. Now, I’m just sticking with Youtube. Already, I’m happy I switched back. So, without further ado, I present five really awesome music videos from some artists I really enjoy!

Goldfrapp Caravan Girl

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My Life As An Intern At A Failed Startup, Final Part

There’s not much more to this saga of my life as an intern at a failed startup. A lot of the usual bullshit of idea plus democracy equaling lameness. It’s hard to be more specific about scenarios at that place because a lot of it blended together for me. That, and a lot of time has passed since they let me go without any sort of warning. I don’t want you to get the idea that my intent was to bash this place. I just want you to see my frustration at an amazing opportunity gone south due to “too many cooks in the kitchen” and “no vision.”

If you want to see a lack of vision in action, start at the following youtube video and progress through the multiple episodes. You can also check out all of the videos from the site on the youtube page, which I heartily recommend over the site itself. Take from these videos what you will, and feel free to ask me about it. God knows I love to bitch about this place. See if you can’t spot me in these videos somewhere with a few buddies of mine! :)

First video in the youtube series: