The Null Device
Posts matching tags 'css'
Some increasingly impressive things are being done with modern web browsers these days, taking advantage of new features in HTML5. A guy named Ben Joffe has developed a number of demos, including a full-featured 3D function plotter (using the canvas element) and a toroidal Tetris game. Another developer, going only by the name "Mr. doob", has developed some nifty 2D physics demos, including Ball Pool and Google Gravity. (Google, of course, entered the fray recently with their pure HTML5 implementation of Pac-Man.) Meanwhile, Apple, who are fighting their own (quite laudable, IMHO) battle against the dominance of Flash, have their own showcase of HTML5's capabilities, though it's coded to refuse to run on non-Safari browsers.
Typography is also shaping up nicely under HTML5, with a standard embeddable font format agreed upon. Google have released a web font embedding API, and made available several free font libraries through their content distribution system. They look, well, like free fonts; for those wanting more (and willing to pay for it), other groups of type foundries are jumping on the bandwagon; fonts.com has fonts from major foundries like Linotype, Monotype and ITC (at last, you can set your site in authentic Helvetica for people who aren't Mac owners), and über-cool Berlin-based outfit FontShop have joined the game as well (bringing the clean European stylings of the likes of FF DIN and FF Meta to the web). One notable omission, though, are 1990s grunge-typography hellraisers Emigre, who haven't yet made the leap.
The Graun's Alexis Petridis is unimpressed with the new CSS album, finding that the formerly chaotic Brazilian band has turned into an inoffensively generic commercial-indie-by-numbers act, its former appealing oddness—and indecorous language—ruthlessly eradicated in the pursuit of homogeneity:
Often, Donkey sounds like someone has tracked down the anonymous session musicians who spent the 1970s knocking out polite covers of chart hits for budget-priced Top of the Pops compilation albums and got them to have a stab at replicating CSS's sound. It couldn't seem less incongruous than when flashes of the old sharp CSS attitude occasionally appear on the album, marooned over their new rounded-off sound. "I'm gonna drink 'til I pass out, I'm gonna jump on the table and dance my ass off 'til I die," sings Lovefoxxx on Left Behind, sounding more like a woman who's already got her dressing gown on and is checking the Sky+ programme planner to see what time Midsomer Murders starts.
Perhaps it has something to do with the way CSS have been received, particularly in the UK. As with Björk, despite the critical plaudits and high rankings on style mag cool lists, there's a touch of Clive James chuckling affectionately at the Japanese on Endurance about people's reaction to CSS: look at the crazy foreigners with their funny clothes and pidgin English song titles. You get the sense that the band's members occasionally feel they're being patronised. Shortly before her recent departure from the band, bassist Ira Trevisan told one journalist she was sick of being asked about their "Brazilian heritage", adding: "It would be good if we were Belgian." There's a sentence you don't hear every day. Maybe the idea is to prove they have more in common with their European peers than they do with their native forebears, to make music to which no one could append the word "wacky", but it's hard not to feel that becoming as boring as your average British indie band is a pretty extreme way of avoiding the odd question about Tropicalia.
Two CDs I picked up in the past week or so and have been listening to a fair bit:
- West End Girls, West End Girls Go Petshopping. West End Girls are a Pet Shop Boys cover band consisting of two teenaged Swedish girls. And they don't only perform covers of PSB's songs, they actually pretend to be Neil and Chris, emulating their respective personalities in their public appearances and posing in videos and photos looking bored with dogs and architecture and such. Goes Petshopping is an album of their covers of various songs from PSB's career, from early ones (West End Girls and Love Comes Quickly appear) to later ones (there is a rather good version of You Only Say You Love Me When You're Drunk). The music itself is vaguely eurodancey in production, though not excessively cheesy (though the version of It's A Sin does sound slightly too reminiscent of the Crazy Frog to be entirely comfortable with; the rest, however, is better). Standout tracks: Domino Dancing, Being Boring.
- CSS, Cansei de Ser Sexy. CSS (whose name translates as "I'm tired of being sexy") are a bunch of Brazilian kids who look like American Apparel models and/or Vice Magazine "Do's" and make a sort of edgy electro-tinged fashionpunk with a touch of Peaches-style rap, and tongue firmly in cheek. In a sense, this is to the whole electrocoolsie milieu what Wolfmother is to cock-rock: it takes its glamour and shallowness and name-dropping and hypersexuality and coked-up over-it attitude, exaggerates it, takes the piss out of it, and has a damn good dance whilst doing so. (Sample song titles: "Music Is My Hot Hot Sex", "Meeting Paris Hilton" (which probably merits a discussion of its own, for the way it sends up and comments on the celebrity-obsessed media culture through the combination of sexual desire, sneering contempt and consumeristic excitement in its lyrics), and the classic "Let's Make Love And Listen To Death From Above", which is perhaps an anthem for our times.) Standout tracks: a lot of them; the ones mentioned above, for three, and This Month, Day 10.
CSS Zen Garden; a demonstration of what can be achieved visually just by tweaking CSS stylesheets. Hmmm... (via bOING bOING)