• Sound Fashion


    Stay warm while remaining stylish this winter with this cute pair of crocheted headphones available on Etsy.

    $10 USD, standard audio in.

  • Groove is in the Heart?

    il_430xN.165175036I don’t buy much jewelry, but this adorable Treble Clef necklace for sale on Etsy grabbed my attention. You can support an artist based in Istanbul while delighting your teenage niece, all for just $4.99.

  • The Next-Generation Rubik’s Cube?


    Do you like  puzzles? Then meet the Perplexus!

    In development by a 3D designer since the 1970s, this toy is as much fun to look at as it is challenging to play.

    Your mission is to navigate a tiny metal ball through a labyrinth of colored tubes and tracks. Because the puzzle is 3D, players must carefully rotate the toy in every direction.

    We think this is a really neat update to the Rubik’s Cube, however, I’m betting this is something you’d need to wash your hands before playing–otherwise it’d turn into smudge city.

  • Surfer Blood Makes Charlotte Debut


    Muzak designer Ben Gelnett and Audio Architect Bo White rocked out at last week’s Surfer Blood show at Snug Harbor. Bo, an ordinarily laid back and reserved guy, opened the show with a stellar solo performance.

    All the rainy weather in the world couldn’t keep a capacity crowd away from Snug Harbor last Monday for Surfer Blood’s Charlotte debut. With plenty of hype including a Pitchfork’s Best New Music nod, the event managed to sell out before opening act Bo White could take the stage. Many fans were turned away at the door; some schmoozed and coerced the door guy to varying degrees of success.

    The night began with local troubadour Bo White’s set of newly penned material. Announced as being written the week before the show, most of the lyrics were posted on a music stand in front of him. This didn’t stop Bo from confidently blazing through a set of fresh tunes that retained his signature voice and guitar noodling. There was more of a rock sound than his usual solo material; White played electric guitar along with prerecorded bass and drum parts which gave full-band sound but didn’t drown out the intimacy and honest lyricism, hallmarks of his acoustic delivery.

    Up next was Turbo Fruits, a 3-piece from Nashville that’s on the road with Surfer Blood through April. Armed to the teeth with some badass equipment and fresh haircuts, these garage rockers dove into a set with enough hooks and sing-a-longs to get the crowd shaking their hips. At a breakneck pace they charged through a number of songs off their most recent LP “Echo Kid”. The first, and really only, break in the action came during a cover of Creedence Clearwater Revival’s “Bad Moon Rising”. The song fit the band’s ethos and provided a good starting point for the second half of the set filled with stoner rock riffs and cocky attitude.

    By the time Surfer Blood hit the stage, anyone who had been leisurely on the patio of Snug Harbor to this point packed themselves in. The band started off with all of the nervous energy one would expect, an initial bang, and then settled into cruising mode, pleasantly bopping through pop reminiscent of the Replacements or early Weezer. The songs from their only album “Astro Coast” were well played but without the arena-anthem flare of the recording. They took chances on new material, which turned out to be a catalyst for the most physically spirited parts of the set. In the tradition of strong endings, their single ‘Swim’ was the closer and the crowd got their pay off. A band for less than a year and already strong in many regards, Surfer Blood on the edge of blowing minds.

    Contributed by Ben Gelnett and Bo White

  • The Evolution of Charlotte


    This 3 minute clip is from Rob Carter’s full length film Metropolis, a beautiful stop motion animated film that traces the evolution of our beautiful home city: Charlotte, North Carolina.

    Metropolis by Rob Carter – Last 3 minutes from Rob Carter on Vimeo.

  • El Nino Mas Bonito


    Whenever I happen to catch a young singer/rap artist online or on TV, I can’t help but wonder if that 10 or 12 year old really wants to be on camera, or if they had to endure years of lessons and training at the hands of a zealous stage parent.

    However! Mini Daddy is a delightful little chubby breath of fresh air. This pint-sized Reggaeton rapper, who can’t be more than 7 or 8 years old, was clearly born (in the 2000s, mind you) with a serious gift. I can’t find any background information about the tike, but a quick search did uncover some hysterical headlines:

    “Rappers Everywhere Retiring Out of Fear of Mini Daddy”

    “Easily One of the Top 10 Daddies of All Time”

    “We’re Going to Need a Smaller ‘World’s Best Dad’ T-Shirt”

    Like all children do, Mini Daddy won’t stay mini forever. Let’s hope this little guy stays with his talent, he could be a serious force of nature in a few more years.

  • Animated GIF


    Fast Company’s recent blog post about the resurgence of the animated .gif as an art form is  pretty interesting and certainly timely. An early Web 1.0 staple, the animated .gif is a throwback to early video game animation.

    Every generation has a way of re-purposing things from their childhood, whether the trend comes back in fashion, art or music. But the animated .gif is unique. Video games and the web have collectively strove to become as realistic as possible, rendering the animated .gif, at least in it’s original form, completely obsolete.

    But for those of us who consider this relic of the past to be charming, there’s hope. A few innovative artists are re-pourposing the animated .gif into some pretty amazing digital art.

    In the words of Audio Architect Steven Pilker: “Some of the link appear as if an early nineties Angelfire or Geocities website exploded through a cyber-shamanistic-rave cultured-handbook. Incredible.”
    Wow! Blam!


  • Digital Meets Analog

    f_18044While there’s surly enough styles of iPod speaker docs out there on the market, how many of those are entirely acoustic and need no batteries or electricity?

    Beyond the novelty appeal of this iVictrola, I can imagine several albums and artists that would sound awesome on a system like this: Iron and Wine, Bon Iver and Fleet Foxes, just to name a few.

    The combination isn’t simply a novel head turner, either. It serves to highlight various technologies developed over the last 150 years that have all aimed to solve the same problem: allowing people to  enjoy listening to music without a live musician present to perform.

    Steampunk is an interesting aesthetic response to all the plastic modernism that’s hard to escape these days. I saw this in the window at the downtown Design Within Reach store and it’s definitely a head-turner.

    From their website:
    “The sound is carried from a hole in the base, amplified by the metal Magnavox horn to fill the room.”

  • A Spot of Tea with Your Mr. Scruff?

    Fancy a full-bodied English Breakfast tea?

    Fancy a full-bodied English Breakfast tea?

    I love Mr. Scruff for many reasons; his nonsensical song titles, Saturday morning cartoon record sleeves, his butter-fat beats and funky rhythms … and his knack for creative marketing and packaging.   (more…)

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