Cover: Waterfalls by TLC feat. Tamlyn Tomita, Lynn Chen, & Phil Yu!

Fun DIY cover of the (now) classic TLC tune.

Conceived by musician Jane Liu, It features a bunch of her friends, rad indie Asian American creative types including Angry Asian Man Phil Yu (an old pal of mine), actors Lynn Chen and Tamlyn Tomita, musician Goh Nakamura and others.

Lui raised money for the video through a mini Kickstarter campaign (I didn’t know you could do mini Kickstarter campaigns!) basically made the thing in a day. It’s been getting some nice play from places like Huffington Post and Jezebel.

A big yeehah for delightful creative projects featuring talented people of color.

Good read: NY Times Magazine’s ‘A Game of Shark and Minnow’

The New York Times has set the bar for digital storytelling with their brilliant, award-winning Snow Fall piece. (At OPB we certainly took some inspiration from their work for our excellent THIN ICE multi-platform project.)

Screen shot: A Game of Shark and Minnow'

Now they’ve gone and ‘snow-falled’ a fascinating political drama taking place in a remote area of the South China Sea. Here’s how the story opens:

Ayungin Shoal lies 105 nautical miles from the Philippines. There’s little to commend the spot, apart from its plentiful fish and safe harbor — except that Ayungin sits at the southwestern edge of an area called Reed Bank, which is rumored to contain vast reserves of oil and natural gas. And also that it is home to a World War II-era ship called the Sierra Madre, which the Philippine government ran aground on the reef in 1999 and has since maintained as a kind of post-apocalyptic military garrison, the small detachment of Filipino troops stationed there struggling to survive extreme mental and physical desolation. Of all places, the scorched shell of the Sierra Madre has become an unlikely battleground in a geopolitical struggle that will shape the future of the South China Sea and, to some extent, the rest of the world.

The story of isolated Filipino crewmen on a dilapidated military vessel weaves in and out of the wider context of a geopolitical dance. It’s a visually rich longread – including photos, video, maps – worth taking the 20 or so minutes to dive into.

And if you haven’t checked out those other two I mentioned above, do it. Consider all this screen time a respectable media binge.

The art of the music video: OK Go

I’m generally a fan of many art disciplines from theater to visual art to film. But, as a art buff with a limited budget and never enough time, I’ve sort of placed music lower on my priority list for things I spend time on. In other words, I’ve not bought any new music in probably 10 years and I rarely go to see live music.

I’m no connoisseur of music, as I’ve already stated, but I like OK Go’s music. Even more, I do fully appreciate their music videos. For a fun behind-the-scenes, Nerdist (fun podcast for tech and comedy nerds) did a nice podcast with the OK Go guys here.

They’ve just released their newest video – freakin’ gorgeous stop motion toast animation for their song Last Leaf. Check it out:


Last Leaf

OK Go | Myspace Music Videos

Other favorites…

That awesome Rube Goldberg machine one, for This Too Shall Pass:

And then there’s that other This Too Shall Pass, the original I believe, featuring the University of Notre Dame’s marching band:

Finally, one of the earlier amazing videos, Here it Goes Again: