Sunday, September 25, 2011

Wood Type Revival Is A Worthy, Beautiful Place

You know all those beautiful old wood types that don't exist in any digital format that you seen in old specimen books? What if you could have some of them, digitized and ready to use in your contemporary Adobe environments? What if?

That was the question that several brilliant graphic designers asked when they started a Kickstarter campaign last year to create the Wood Type Revival. Now that the generous support of backers from Kickstarter have made this idea a reality, you can visit the site to download formerly unavailable antique faces, in digital form.

Born out of Kickstarter: Wood Type Revival is printing rare historic wood type, and turning it into digital fonts for modern designers.

Go there now - support this beautiful idea made real.

What The Breakup Of REM Means, Part 1

By now you have heard I'm sure about the breakup of REM. For me I have had differing emotions about this everyday since. Sometimes these moments are totally opposite one another.

Over at the brilliant and essential The Ever Circling Skeleton Family, some of those tangled emotions have been distilled in a superb post discussing the staggering song Country Feedback:

I think it’s a song like this, like “Country Feedback,” that highlights a part of R.E.M.’s contribution to music, life, everything. I think I’ve said it before even on this page. But there that song is, mammoth, untouchable. Completely inscrutable, but also the most welcoming and understandable set of emotions put to words. Resignation, weariness in a set of words, in every note, every repetition of that chord sequence. But then that resignation and weariness is informed by what could only be love. And that’s all from a line like “you come to me with a bone in your hand.”

Michael Stipe heard characters in his band’s songs, found those characters, became them. For three minutes at a time, he was someone else, and when we listened, we knew those characters like old friends.

The way this band worked together to allow that kind of, I don’t know, magic was amazing. I’m excited, in a way, for the rest of the week, because I’ve already read some great pieces about the band, and I’m sure there’ll be a few more. I’m going to be thinking about it, certainly.

But “Country Feedback.” Just watch that video, and you’ll be devastated by it. The moment for me, in that particular version (from the “Road Movie” tour film), comes around 4:48, when Michael Stipe just sits down on the stage, letting the song flow around him. He’s done his part in that story. The shot of his profile with the projected house in the background is perfect and beautiful.

And now I’m sitting here thinking of a friend who just died, prematurely and tragically, and remembering that this song hinges on the line “it’s crazy what you could have had.” It’s a sad case of “song meaning something different to you” as there ever could be, I guess.

Well, I need this.

I need this.

This, is extremely accurate. Look for What The Breakup of REM Means, Part 2 in the next few days, and a Part 3 featuring my Top 25 REM Songs Of All Time. In the meantime, enjoy listening to their old albums. I am.