This time of the year brings us some great holiday cards. One of the better examples, is from Big Spaceship that goes all the way around, allowing personal messages and video mashup.

Big Spaceship holiday card

In the default card the boys from New York clarify they are not “nerds who don’t know what brocolli is”. Have fun: http://www.bigspaceship.com/holidaycard2006/.

And if that one is not enough, you can choose one of these:

The one i’m working on is not as slick as the ones before but I’ll post it as soon as i get permission to go public.

I’m in pure ecstasy. Finally i got a hand on a single from Neon Bible, Arcade Fire’s new album. Stereogum posted it today for download, in a better version than the one on 1-866-NEON-BIBLE. (BTW, the toll-free-number is a great idea in creating a buzz for the new album).

Neon Bible

Having read they were recording with a pipe organ, i wondered how it would sound like … and now i am awed. Brilliant track. It gave me the chills and now i understand why Will Butler cried when they first rehearsed it.

Link to Arcade Fire – Intervention (please be kind to my bandwidth)

Link to on Arcade Fire – “Intervention” (MP3) on Stereogum.

It’s no wonder that music chains like Tower Records are closing, when the Internet is changing the guts of the music industry. Take for the example a band called The Bastard Fairies, that just got a worldwide recognition thanks to a video on YouTube.

The Coolest 8 Year Old In The World Talks About O’Reilly link to YouTube: http://youtube.com/watch?v=k8x14cLGh5o

After the video was released, millions of bloggers and YouTube fans started the buzz and the hits on the band’s website were on record peak. Then it came the “Internet Generation” attitude, offering as a free download the whole album – free as in no questions asked – as a mean of promotion.

This reminds me of the new Web 2.0 motto, as stated by Eric Schmidt, the CEO of Google: “Don’t fight the Internet“. Instead of patronizing users with their RIAA endorsement, new bands are understanding the power of the web to create their own long tail.

The Bastard Fairies

The sheer amount of myspace profiles for music artists is a living proof that record labels are loosing the battle. When a new mp3.com (or a sort of MusicPedia or YouTunes) comes along and takes their place as the nr1 source of music, establishing a culture of participation and responsible sharing, maybe they get serious about rethinking their business model and start concerning a bit more about the bands and the fans.

* P.S.: it sure helps having great songs and beautiful photos of the lead singer!

Swedish interactive agency NorthKingdom has launched On Toyota’s Mind, an immersive experience with lots of cows and whistles. Literally.

Toyota mind 01

It’s fun enough to listen to the comments in sweddish (english subtitles provided), especially if you remind yourself that Toyota is Japanese. What a clash of cultures.

The great thing about this particular interactive genre is the fact that it beats the hell out of those boring slideshow presentations and dull annual  reports that you show-off to clients. I’m not sure if this was the creative briefing, but it seems that while visiting the site, you end up knowing a lot more about Toyota.

It’s that time of the year when i get into the “Best Of” lists bandwagon. As music is one of the my main sources of inspiration, here are a few of my favorite 2006 albums.

Cream of the Crop

Show Your Bones Cansei de Ser Sexy At War With The Mystics Return To Cookie Mountain The Blood, The Blood, The Machine

  1. Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Show Your Bones
  2. CSS (Cansei de Ser Sexy), Cansei de Ser Sexy
  3. The Flaming Lips, At War With The Mystics
  4. TV On The Radio, Return To Cookie Mountain
  5. The Thermals, The Blood, The Blood, The Machine

Essentials

  1. Ali Farka Toure, Savanne
  2. Bob Dylan, Modern Times
  3. Bruce Springsteen, The Seeger Sessions
  4. The Roots, Game Theory
  5. Arctic Monkeys, Whatever People Say I Am, That’s What I’m Not

Play again and again

  1. Teddy Bears, Soft Machine
  2. Beck, The Information
  3. Gnarls Barkley, St. Elsewhere
  4. I’m From Barcelona, Let me Introduce My Friends
  5. Lupe Fiasco, Food & Liquor

For Something Different

  1. Ok Go, Oh No
  2. The Pipettes, We Are The Pipettes
  3. Caetano Veloso, Cê
  4. Jóhann Jóhansson, IBM 1401
  5. Tom Zé, Estudando o Pagode

Listening Pleasure

  1. Bonnie Prince Billy, The Letting Go
  2. Xiu Xiu, The Air Force
  3. Grizzly Bear, Yellow House
  4. Cat Power, The Greatest
  5. Final Fantasy, He Poos Clouds

Indiesque

  1. M.Ward, Post-War
  2. Sonic Youth, Rather Ripped
  3. My Morning Jacket, Z
  4. Yo La Tengo, I’m Not Afraid Of You And I Will Beat Your Ass
  5. Comets On Fire, Avatar

ElectroMinimaList

  1. Thom Yorke, The Eraser
  2. Lindstrom, It’s a Feedelity Affair
  3. Ellen Allien & Apparat, Orchestra of Bubbles
  4. Fujiya & Miyagi, Transparent Things
  5. Scritti Politti, White Bread Black Beer

Next year I’m putting my bets on Arcade Fire’s new album and “A Weekend In The City” from Bloc Party.

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