There’s still time to nominate local icons for Best of D.C.
Exploration of Blue
Does social distancing have you feeling a bit blue? Maybe even … Pantone 19-4052 Classic Blue, Pantone’s 2020 color of the year? If so, ARTECHOUSE has the perfect way for you to express your quarantine emotions. Inspired by in-person New York City installation Submerge, which opened in February 2020, you can try your hand at creating digital art with Exploration of Blue. This virtual art project embraces color psychology—the idea that different colors trigger different feelings. Blue, especially a classic shade like the Pantone color, is thought to evoke peace and tranquility. And that’s exactly what the creators of Exploration of Blue hope to achieve. So, how can you start creating? Launch the Exploration of Blue web application (it won’t work on mobile) and make sure your webcam is turned on. Your camera will capture your movement, translating it into captivating ripples of soothing blue. To personalize your art project, adjust the flow speed, spawn rate, and intensity of the blue particles in the app’s menu. Here’s a pro tip: ARTECHOUSE recommends using mouse clicks to create higher-density spots of blue. While the virtual universe you create won’t exactly compare to the physical space’s ambiance, music from Mexico-based Paperworks, a.k.a. Eduardo Montero, lends gallery-worthy audio to the visual experience. Launch the web application at artechouse.com/exploration-of-blue. Free. —Sarah Smith
Beginning in the 1980s, singer/guitarist Mark Robinson of Arlington band Unrest always made his affection for the artsy album cover designs and post-punk sound of British music labels 4AD and Factory clear. In 1993, Robinson’s band released what would turn out to be their final studio album, Perfect Teeth, as a collaboration between his own TeenBeat label and 4AD. Robinson, drummer Phil Krauth, and bassist Bridget Cross, however, were into more than just the gloomy soundscapes those UK labels were known for releasing. On Perfect Teeth, the trio’s sonic spectrum includes fast-tempoed strumming and galloping percussion as well as harmonic pop choruses, dashes of motorik beats, and gentler rhythms. Recorded in five days at Minnesota’s Pachyderm Studio, where Nirvana recorded In Utero, some Teeth songs showcase idiosyncratic lyrics with obscure pop culture references and bits of humor largely penned by Robinson. The album features a photo of British music-journalist-turned-pop-singer Cath Carroll on the cover and a speedy song named for her. The album also showcases a producer credit by pop band Duran Duran singer Simon Le Bon, although it’s mostly a joke; when he did visit, he only hung out in the studio. But this is no “you had to be there” relic. The yearning melodies of “Soon It Is Going to Rain” and “Make Out Club” convey romantic desire in a timeless manner. While some critics prefer Unrest’s more minimal prior album, Imperial f.f.r.r. (number eight on Spin’s 1992 albums of the year list), Perfect Teeth arguably meshes catchy tunefulness and out there sonic inventiveness in a more distinctive way. Perfect Teeth is available to stream on Spotify, Apple Music, and YouTube Music. Free. —Steve Kiviat