Brain Pickings

Posts Tagged ‘music’

24 MARCH, 2009

Meta-Vinyl Creativity


Clocks, wine, and what Frank Sinatra has to do with couch cushions.

We love vinyl. And we love people who channel their love for vinyl into something tremendously creative. Here are 3 such vinyl visionaries we just can’t get enough of.


Jami and Nicholas Worth, a.k.a. The Grateful Thread, are an American 3D animator and French architect living in London.

Their strong design background and love for all things music result in such wonderful goodies as recycled vinyl wall clocks, LP-inspired couch cushions, and recycled vinyl jewelry.

If SXSW had a gift shop, we think it would be full of The Grateful Thread‘s quirky, delightful little gems. So get your hands on some and go a-braggin’.

via Inhabitat


VINE-YL is the self-admitted bastard love-child of a wine geek and a record freak. And we think the kid is a wunderkind.

It’s simple. They pair a record and a wine that go together beautifully, film a video that tells you just why the two are such an exceptional match, and give you a review of both that’s as professionally sophisticated as it is unpretentious and relatable.

They update every Thursday, so check back often.


We’ve featured mixed media artist Daniel Edlen‘s brilliantly inspired work before. But his Vinyl Art deserves all the credit it can get — it’s a truly unique message-meets-medium portraiture technique, using the physical canvas of artists’ talent — their records — to paint portraits of them in white acrylic. The result is simply stunning.

Daniel has painted some of the most iconic performers of our time, from Armstrong to Zeppelin, but bur favorite has to be Sinatra — captured in his mischievous youthfulness, Old Blue Eyes peeks at you from behind a record label the color of his legendary nickname.

It also doesn’t hurt that Daniel is one of the brightest people we’ve met on the Interwebs — and there’s something about respecting the artist beyond the merit of their art that makes the art experience itself all the more gratifying. So do check out his phenomenal work, and follow him on Twitter for a glimpse into the mind of incredible talent.

23 MARCH, 2009

Monday Music Muse: Lisa Hannigan


Dodging SXSW mediocrity, or what a floating head has to do with the BBC.

As we’re slowly digesting the usual mix of the good, the bad and the unfortunately mediocre from this year’s SXSW, we’ll spare you the latter two by focusing on the former: One of our favorite SXSW performers was actually an old indie favorite of ours.

Lisa Hannigan‘s brand of vocal delight and instrumental perfection is part Emiliana Torrini‘s charmingly off-quilter vibe, part Ingrid Michaelson‘s soft intensity, part the haunted harmonies of Fleet Foxes. In other words, Damien Rice and Vampire Weekend rolled into one big Y chromosome.

The Damien Rice comparison isn’t at all groundless. Lisa made her name accompanying Damien — they’ve recorded a number of fantastic duets, most notably the brilliant Cold Water. They even have a surprisingly well-directed video to their credit.

Unfortunately for the rest of us, the two parted ways nearly two years ago when Lisa left the band due to creative differences. But her first post-Damien solo album, Sea Sew, is superb — so we won’t go writing her off as a has-been piggybacker just yet.

Lisa’s SXSW performance of Lille was breathtaking — luckily for you, the track is a free download on Amazon, so do take advantage. And, while you’re at it, consider the Sea Sew album in its entirety — it’s excellent from start to finish, a rarity with album releases these days.

20 MARCH, 2009

Animation Gem: Brothers Grimm Meet Röyksopp


What Grandma’s nutrition facts have to do with the aerodynamics of a retro Volkswagen van.

For a quick treat, here is a brilliant interpretation of the Brothers Grimm classic Little Red Riding Hood, reimagining the beloved tale as an animated infographic inspired by Röyksopp’s Remind Me.

Courtesy of Swedish animator Tomas Nilsson.

via Coudal

Donating = Loving

Bringing you (ad-free) Brain Pickings takes hundreds of hours each month. If you find any joy and stimulation here, please consider becoming a Supporting Member with a recurring monthly donation of your choosing, between a cup of tea and a good dinner:

You can also become a one-time patron with a single donation in any amount:

Brain Pickings has a free weekly newsletter. It comes out on Sundays and offers the week’s best articles. Here’s what to expect. Like? Sign up.

16 MARCH, 2009

Monday Music Muse: Dan Auerbach


Resurrecting rock, or what Southern porches have to do with Brooklyn hipsters.

Every once in a while, we wonder what happened to rock. Real, gritty, sung-from-the-back-of-a-smoky-bar rock. When did it stop being “in”? When did it steal candy from Brooklyn’s hipsters and get reported to the uncoolness police?

Luckily, we don’t subscribe to such regulations. Good music is good music. And Keep It Hid, the solo debut of Black Keys frontman Dan Auerbach, is pure rock indulgence, good music supreme.

You can just see him pouring himself a somber glass of whiskey, sitting out on a Southern porch with his old guitar and a half-smoked cigarette hanging from the corner of his mouth, trying to unravel the paradox of melancholic anger while thinking of your sister in ways you don’t want anyone thinking about your sister.

With sound that’s part Johnny Cash, part Gnarls Barkley, part Lenny Kravitz’ infamous guitar, Keep It Hid takes real rock by the grimy collar and drags it out of its pop culture slump.

via Very Short List