Kempt

world of men's style / fashion / grooming

An UrbanDaddy Publication

Headhunters

basterds_crop.jpg

If you left Inglourious Basterds with a free-floating desire for Nazi blood…you’re not alone.

Stranded without a game version—something about “cinema,” we’re not sure—a group of free-floating basterphiles has taken a vigilante approach to the problem, creating a side-scrolling scalpfest for the iPhone that allows players to shoot and slash their way to 100 Nazi pelts. Sadly, they aren’t working their way towards a theatrical finale—really the setting and scalp fixation are the only things in common with the film—but it should still be good for keeping any holiday flights interesting…and bumping Tarantino a few notches up in your yearly top 10 list.

The Augmented Road Trip

roadtrip_crop.jpg

The road trip is one of the most enduringly low-tech pastimes—all you need is gasoline and patience. But if you had an iPhone handy, it probably wouldn’t hurt.

On the Road is a website/smartphone app designed specifically for highway meandering, offering location-pegged blogging tools to map out every last memorable spot for in a 21st century travelogue. You’ll be able to upload pictures, video and whatever musings you can muster via their iPhone and Android apps, or just blog-worthy text messages for the low-tech. Fair warning: This does not mean you’re too cool for postcards.

I’m On the Phone

distillapp_crop.jpg

Print magazines have been having a pretty rough year, but by our lights, the glossy-pic-and-glossy-ad formula still has some life left in it. Especially if you’ve got an iPhone.

A high-fashion aggregator called Distill just launched their third issue and their first foray into the world of mobile magazining, currently available for a comparatively steep $5 in the iTunes shop. Inside, you’ll find a bundle of editorial wisdom drawn from magazines like Vice, Interview and Acne Paper, along with ads from Swatch, who’s footing the bill. The business side is still a little bit murky, but if it pays off, you may be getting a lot more of your style wisdom on the go.

Of course, we’ll always have a sentimental weakness for blogs…

The Newest Latest

droid_crop.jpg

The iPhone’s been ruling the gadget world for upwards of two years now, but it’s finally got a worthy competitor. As of today, it’ll be splitting the gadget-obsessed market share with the Motorola Droid, a Google-powered, open source contender for the title of Best Phone Ever.

The big additions are a Blackberry-style physical keyboard for those tired of touchscreen tapping, along with a supercharged navigation system courtesy of Google Maps, but the real pull is a chance to get a little techier. Unlike the iPhone, the Droid lets you customize just about everything about the interface, with the help of third-party apps, downloadable skins and old-fashioned tinkering. If you feel like making the gadget your own, it’s easy to do—unlike the iPhone, which will always belong to the folks at Cupertino.

If you’re looking for a more thorough blow-by-blow, we recommend this one...but at this point, you might as well just see it for yourself.

Playing Games

gti_crop.jpg

The ad world is still figuring out exactly what to do with the iPhone, but an early test case was unveiled last night. Instead of a print campaign or a TV spot, the campaign for the new Volkswagen GTI is leading off with an iPhone game.

Real Racing GTI is a standard 3D racer—remarkably similar to the unbranded Real Racing, except that winning enters you into a weekly sweepstakes and every car in the game is Volkswagen’s new 2010 GTI. That means you’ll get a firsthand, mobile look at the dashboard, and no matter how you drive, a VW always wins.

As a game, it's not much to write home about; but as marketing, it’s one of the bolder moves we’ve seen this year. VW drivers are a pretty tech-y bunch to begin with, giving away a car a week will draw a fair number of them to the app, and in the process both the GTI and the iPhone will get a whole lot of converts. Maybe the Android folks should give Vespa a call.

Lonneke Engel Seems Like an SPF 30 Kind of Girl

lonnekeengel_crop.jpg

Nice Pants: Also, a certified health counselor. The more you know… [The World’s Best Ever]

Off the Board: The National Film Board of Canada takes a break from inspiring ambient techno to produce our new favorite iPhone video app. [LifeHacker]

He Had it Coming: Dave Bry recounts being punched in the face at a Pixies show in 1991. [The Awl]

Forever: RZA makes the book tour rounds, continues to be the coolest person alive. [A.V. Club]

Walking the Cow

hihowareyou_crop.jpg

Chalk it up to the long tail if you want, but niche tastes are starting to get their due on the iPhone. It started with ambient museum pieces…but now developers have worked their way around to something a little more fun.

Outsider troubadour Daniel Johnston just released his first iPhone app, a Mario-style platform-jumping game featuring characters from his artwork, music from his recordings and the same sense of addled optimism that pervades just about everything he does. The froglike main character should look familiar from a mural or a t-shirt or two, but this is the first time we’ve actually seen him jump.

If you're looking for it in the iTunes shop, the game is titled “Hi, How Are You,” after the mural's inscription. (We’re guessing “Jeremiah the Innocent” wasn’t catchy enough.)

See the trailer»

Get Loud

pugh_crop.jpg

So far, iPhone cases tended towards the organic. We’d wager that most of the sleeves you’ve actually seen in use are either leather, woodgrain or some variation on matte black.

Which means the world of the iPhone case is ripe for a little new wave jolt.

This jagged black-and-white shell comes from Gareth Pugh, with a little help from Colette and AnOther magazine and a laptop case in tow. It manages to avoid both the usual organic patterns and the friendly-alien aesthetic you find at your friendly neighborhood Apple store, in favor of something that might be more at home on an album cover.

Let’s just hope your mp3 collection can keep up.

Wooden Affect

earpollution_crop.jpg

These EarPollution Timbres have been out for a few months, but they’re just now rising to the top of our audiophile pile, for a couple of reasons. For one, those wooden nubs aren’t just for show: They act as anchors for the mini-speakers, providing acoustic backing that allows for a thicker mid-range, bass that’s present without being overpowering and…well, better sound.

But more importantly, they’re equipped for the new generation of player/phones. If you’ve got the Timbres plugged into your iPhone and your boss happens to call in the middle of a drum solo, you can carry on talking thanks to a microphone planted on the cord at chin level.

Which leads us to the most recent addition to the gentlemanly code: As with all Bluetooth headsets, if you aren’t using it right this minute, you should probably take it out of your ears. Consider yourself warned.

Strolling

geoart_crop.jpg

iPhone art is still a pretty new game, but so far the big innovators are coming from Madison Avenue, not Silicon Valley.

This GeoArt app was cooked up for MoMa by a tech-minded ad man named Daniel Shapiro, but it’s more the kind of thing you’d expect to find in the portfolio of an up-and-coming developer. Load it up the next time you’re out for a walk and it’ll trace an etch-a-sketch line along your exact path. After a few weeks of walking, you’ll end up with a haphazard, arbitrary and intensely personal set of scribbles, printed out bearing the MoMa logo and the slogan “Art is Everywhere.” It’s a cool gadget that managed to slip through the cracks under the guise of advertising, a trend we’re hoping to see more of as the ad world limbers up. How does it help out MoMa? We’d call it the Medici business model…

One Way or Another

debbieharry_crop.jpg

Hey, Blondie: The JC Report sings the praises of Ms. Debbie Harry. [JC Report]

I Wish I Could Quit You: Michael Arrington has had enough of the iPhone. Expect some blowback from this one. [TechCrunch]

Bat Boy Lives: The Weekly World News archives go online. [Gawker]

No Bark: Creature featurer Guillermo del Toro on the enduring appeal of the vampire. Apparently Lord Byron has a lot to answer for. [NYTimes]

Get Happy

happiness_crop.jpg

It’s the human condition: We spend our lives in pursuit of happiness with no guide or direction as to what will fulfill us spiritually. We waste time on shallow pleasures, stumbling blindly towards a suggestion of joy, but lacking the means to even comprehend our own needs.

Clearly, this is a job for the iPhone.

Track Your Happiness (via PSFK) is an iPhone app that spot-checks your general well-being at random points throughout the day and after a few months, produces a fully rounded assessment of your emotional hot spots. You may discover you’re fairly reliably buzzed a few hours after a gym visit. After a six-hour Twilight Zone marathon? Not so much.

Use it right, and it might just lead you to a more balanced and fulfilling life…provided you can stop playing Tetris long enough to work it out.

Time for a Cocktail

appletablet_crop.jpg

You can usually count on Apple to be at least one gadget ahead of everyone else. So now that iPhones are rendering the average iPod obsolete, it’s a pretty safe bet they’ve got a third item up their sleeve ready to change the game yet again.

It’s all still guesses, but the smart money is on a tablet computer dropping just in time for Christmas, codenamed Cocktail and resembling either an enormous iPod touch or a hyper-intelligent dinner tray. (The above pic is an unofficial rendering, naturally.) It’s a gadget type that’s been seen at press events for years now, most notably from Microsoft, but they’ve never quite made it into stores. More importantly, it’s the ideal tool for the artsy endeavors Apple specializes in—graphic design, software editing, digital collage, and so on—provided they can convince their users to get rid of that keyboard.

Jenna Sours

jennasauers_crop.jpg

It’s Hard Out There For a Model: Jezebel’s formerly anonymous model is beautiful. Also, disillusioned. Where’s Antonioni when you need him? [Jezebel]

If You Outlaw Nudity, Only Outlaws Will Be Nude: Scantily clad women finally make it onto the iPhone, courtesy of Sports Illustrated. [TechCrunch]

Are You Ready for the Country: The turbulent genius of Mr. George Jones. [A. V. Club]

The Commitment Drug: Party people pop oxytocin, also callled the trust hormone. But who knows who you’ll wake up engaged to? [BoingBoing]

Top of the World, Pa

lmeester_crop.jpg

Say It Is So: In the wake of the apparently real Leighton Meester sex tape, Alex Balk makes sense of it all. [The Awl]

Revenge of the Fallen Critics: Surprisingly, the emerging critical consensus on Transformers 2 is less than sunny. [Movieline]

On Vibrate: The first iPhone vibrator makes it to the Apple store, and the world will never be the same. [Gizmodo]

Back in the Day: Refinery29 puts together a father’s day gallery with some of the previous generation’s best specimens. Apparently Phil Oh’s dad was a badass. [Refinery29]