It’s that time of year. I’d write “It’s That Time of Year Again,” but this is our first best-of list, so we’ll wait for next year for that post.
But here it is: our favorite items from your favorite store. Ranked in order of remembering what our favorite items are.
1. 73 Funshine by Jason Jägel. An Electric Works release. Over two years in the making, this oversized compendium compiles Jägel’s narrative paintings and works on paper into an exuberant examination of Jägel’s unique vision and visual vocabulary.
73 Funshine is proud to be accompanied by a 10″ vinyl record with 3 jazz tracks by Madlib. Essayists and contributors include Madlib; Jeff Jank of Stones Throw Records; Joseph del Pesco, independent curator; and Nate Denver, writer and musician.
First edition, 202 color pages, and includes a vinyl record by Mad Lib.
2. All Known Metal Bands by Dan Nelson. A list of thousands and thousands of metal band names, this exhaustive little tomelet is the product of years of research. We dare you to open to any page and not be amazed by at least one name on it. Beautifully designed and printed silver ink on black paper. Our most popular book on metal bands. This book will rule you!
3. The Secret Life of Syrian Lingerie. Syrian lingerie is racy attire little-known in the west. Manufactured in Syria and exported throughout the Middle East, it blinks, sings, vibrates, and flashes lights, and is adorned with everything from faux fur to artificial flowers and feathered birds to colorful plastic toy cell phones. This sort of lingerie is well known and accepted in Syrian culture, and is openly displayed in the markets and souks – it forms an important part of the longstanding folk traditions around weddings and marriage. Brides-to-be are given it as gifts by their mothers, or buy it themselves; husbands buy it for wives. The Secret Life of Syrian Lingerie gathers together text and photo essays that introduce and celebrate some of the most outrageous undergarments in the world, and challenge our perceived notions of women, sex, and humor in the Muslim world.
4. “All Over Coffee” Prints by Paul Madonna. It’s been great working with Paul Madonna over the last couple of years. Whether it’s been showing his original drawings in the gallery, making limited edition prints with him, or carrying his book in the store, we’ve been amazed with the amount of and the quality of the work he seems to tirelessly produce. For this pick, we chose his limited edition print of one of the ubiquitous “Obama, Hope” posters we’ve seen through the last few months. Printed in an edition of 100, a portion of these sales goes to Dolores Street Community Services.
5. Posters from North Korea. On our last trip to North Korea we were lucky enough to get what was left of these posters advertising the Mass Games. For those of you who don’t know, the Mass Games features over 150,000 performers executing synchronized gymnastics. It’s quite a site to be seen (and we got to see two different performances of it) and picked these posters up at the May Day stadium where the event takes place.
This is another “once they’re gone, they’re gone” offer. We don’t know when we’ll be back in Pyongyang.
6. Little Nemo Volume II. This book is big! In 2005, the publication of Little Nemo in Slumberland – So Many Splendid Sundays marked the centennial of Winsor McCay’s masterpiece. That volume astounded the world of comics and art, becoming the most highly praised book of its kind! Volume II presents 115 more digitally-restored Sunday pages in their original size and colors, including many pages that have never been reprinted before. Enjoy this magnificent popular art as it was originally experienced generations ago.
7. Perverted by Language: Fiction Inspired by the Fall. Twenty three authors each pick their favorite Fall song and take a stab at writing a short story based on it. A brisk read, in our home anyway, this is one of those odd little compendia that you hear about and think to yourself, “Why didn’t I do that?” Well, don’t dismay, just pick up a copy of this nice little companion to the the only band that really matters.
8. Ribbons of Every Color. “What would you give me for a basket of kisses?” Well, what do you get for that little Bad Seed in training? This little box of ribbons was the first Electric Works exclusive and features real velvet ribbons imported from Switzerland in a custom-made box. Features all colors of the rainbow, plus brown, white, and black.
9. I Could Tell You But Then You Would Have to Be Destroyed by Me by Trevor Paglen. Trevor Paglen’s examination of the world of secret operations world is one of the most fascinating books to come out in a long time. This chilling, bizarre catalog of patches, emblems and symbols commissioned by the Pentagon and worn by a number of miliatry operatives around the world. Patches that make the X-Files look tame illustrate aliens spouting Latin phrases like “Gustatus Similis Pullus” (“Tastes Like Chicken”). The commentary on the patches reads as an interesting history into the secret world of espionage, cold war intrigue and modern electronic surveillance.
10. Deluxe Box of Crayons. You know those people who pronounce “cray-ons” “cra-ans”? Those people are weird. They probably also say “melk” (not “milk”) and “pellow” (not “pillow”). Anyway, if you’re like me, you actually use crayons for your costume design class projects, but lugging around the giant yellow and green cardboard box around in your backpack embarrasses you. Well, no more! Now you (and I) can feel like the adults we are with this stylish crayon box.
Admittedly, fewer colors than Crayola’s packed-full boxes, but these crayons last longer, are better quality, and don’t actually smell like crayon. (Not those smelly crayons either. Those were always trying to carve out a niche in the smelly marker market and failing.) They are fun to use, and even if you aren’t doing anything fun like your costume design homework with them, they still make you look cool.
This is the De-Luxe set, which features 24 colors and a wood storage box.