Latest Articles in Music

rolling records jack white

Vinyl Sliding

Jack White believes the best way to introduce a new generation to the allure of albums is to bring the music to them—–in the Rolling Record Store, a custom converted delivery truck. He is well known for his music, but make no mistake—–the man also has the heart and soul of a designer. Last year, the onetime upholsterer decked out the eclectic Nashville headquarters for his Third Man Records. More recently, he converted a delivery van into a record-slinging mobile unit fully capable of supporting heart-thumping live performances. “We want to take it all over,” White says. “Just have little hootenannies right next to the truck.” Here's how he pimped his ride.
September 28, 2011
rolling record jack white

Jack White on Design

We got the low down on Jack White’s Rolling Record Store in our October issue, but the man had much more to say. Here, he talks about unfinished furniture designs, high school with Harry Bertoia, and why we should all be listening to Captain Beefheart.
September 28, 2011
Photo by Kelly Barrie.

Prefab Jazz

Jazz has a history of being recorded in intimate spaces. And I don't mean the small after-hours clubs or closet-cum-studios plenty of the greats suffered through. Take legendary Blue Note engineer Rudy Van Gelder, he recorded some of his masterpieces in his parents' Hackensack living room because of its particular acoustics. Leap forward a half century and trade New Jersey for the hills overlooking Pasadena and you'll find pianist Greg Reitan, whose most recent album Daybreak on Sunnyside Records was cut in the 1968 prefab house by architect J. Lamont Langworthy he's called home for 13 years. Langworthy's design is part of the Ford Motor Company-sponsored Concept Houses line, which eventually petered out after around 100 were built across California. I talked with Greg about life in a Langworthy and recording at home, and he offered us the chance to stream three tracks from Daybreak. Turns out the house sounds as groovy as it looks. Enjoy the music and the architecture.
September 23, 2011
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Record Revival

As far as we know, MP3s might be the end-all musical medium. Comforting to know, yes (no more Discmans). But it leaves us feeling a little static. Where’s the fun in MP3 files? Electronic album art? Luckily, some music junkies have turned the tables and invested in their own, well, turntables. Maybe it’s the authentic sound the cracks and pops lend to our favorite Joni Mitchell melodies, or perhaps the idea of having a hefty record collection makes us yearn for a little London Calling. Either way, we’re hungry for this reborn niche novelty. We’re giving in to the record revival and turning the volume up to 11. Here are a few of our selections for potential players to call our own (all for under $200!). Recommendations welcome, too, so let us know your favorites in the comments section below.
August 26, 2011
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Friday Finds 7.08.11

In this edition of Friday Finds, the musical stylings of Ready 4 Airplay Vol. IV, Bobby D., a quick video tribute to the glory days of airplanes, and photography by Dutch duo Scheltens Abbenes.
July 8, 2011
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Silent Disco at Sci-Arc

When talking about her new "Silent Disco" exhibition at Sci-Arc, Los Angeles—and more specifically Silver Lake—based architect Barbara Bestor has a lot to say. The exhibition draws inspiration from the situational aesthetics movement, the work of Giacometti, and the geometry of a dodecahedron. All those elements converge to "explore the space between social promiscuity and solipsistic trance." Weighty words aside, it's really about a three letter word that's often missing from architectural exhibitions: FUN. "We got the gig a year ago and tried to bring a unique approach to installations," says Bestor. "It's less 'objects in a space' and more spatial." And spatial it is. The exhibition is about creating an immersive environment that's just as much about what you see and hear as how you move through and perceive a space. Part WWII Razzle Dazzle camouflage and part 1970s disco, the exhibition is brings about the "superficial aspects of hedonism," says Bestor.
April 3, 2011
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David Byrne: Architecture in Music

This TED talk that David Byrne gave last year is such a wonderful walk through the history of music, and how the architecture in which that music was performed helped shape it, that I had to post it today. Not only does Byrne ably tease out why a Wagnerian concert hall is better suited to Wagner than say an MP3 player, or a riverboat, or your car, he takes us on a tour of why many shifts in music seem as tied to their points of performance as any larger artistic evolution.
April 2, 2011
Hero and Sound Design Studio

Hero Design Studio

For many setting out to make it on their own, a storefront is a destination. But for husband-wife team Mark Brickey and Beth Manos Brickey of Hero Design Studio, their shop in Buffalo's Allentown neighborhood has been a way to introduce future clients to their brand and a stop along their path toward full-time design.
March 5, 2011
In collaboration with many groups, Tighe created an immersive installation that is pure form. His cave-like exhibition features undulating bas reliefs milled on-site by a robotic arm. LED lights give off a soft glow and sound streams from speakers outside

Exploring Inner Space at SCI-Arc

In Out of Memory, currently on view at SCI-Arc's gallery in Los Angeles, architect Patrick Tighe transports visitors to another plane with an experiential installation that combines light, sound, material and form. Rather than create the customary art object, Tighe collaborated with Berlin and Rome Prize-winning composer Ken Ueno to produce a sound installation that first took shape from the ambient noises heard within SCI-Arc's walls. Reworking the recorded ambient sound, Ueno produced a composition that is the aural equivalent of a seeing Hokusai’s Great Wave forming and rushing toward you. The auditory groundswell is peppered by sharp clickety-clacks, as if attempting to snap you out of an enforced meditation; listen to a portion of the piece in this video. A six-axis robotic arm from Machineous programmed with a 3-D mapping of Ueno’s composition milled the structure on-site, giving the installation its unique parabolic shape. Have a look at the exhibition in the slideshow that follows.
February 26, 2011