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Jun 21, 2017

7 Things I'm Totally Obsessed with This Month (June 2017 Edition)

These are thoughts, the artwork, the news stories, the tools, the food, the conversations, and whatever else we just can't get out of our heads this month.  

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May 17, 2017

8 Things I'm Totally Obsessed with This Month (May 2017 Edition)

 These are thoughts, the artwork, the news stories, the tools, the food, the conversations, and whatever else we just can't get out of our heads this month.    

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Feb 21, 2017

A Simple Woodworking Storage Project You Can Build This Weekend

I have a million e-mails. It's not actually a million, but it makes my soul feel that way. I know this feeling. It happens when I've been staring too long at a screen, clicking reply until I lose track of time and space and what name I'm supposed to sign in the sendoff. (It's Chris. My name is Chris.) The only way to fix it? Get away from the computer, turn on some music, and build something.

So let's go out to the shop and build a box that will never, ever have e-mails in it. Here's a simple woodworking project that can get you back to working with your hands, but isn't too fussy or complicated. And the cool part — it uses just a few basic tools and single board. When it's done, you'll have a stylish, versatile, stacking storage solution that will come in handy in any room in your house. 

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Nov 28, 2016

What Song Do You Want Played at Your Funeral?

Over the holiday weekend, as we were digesting our second plate of leftovers, we stumbled across the 1983 film, The Big Chill. My mom, being the definition of a baby boomer, had seen it countless times and could list every track name on the soundtrack. My wife, being the child of baby boomers who happened to own it on VHS as a child, had also seen it repeatedly, and was full of quotes and minor plot points. And then there was me, who simply hadn't gotten around to it. 

So, long story short, we put it on, and did that combo chatting, reading magazine, and movie watching thing that families do over holidays.    

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Oct 28, 2016

What's Good for October 2016: What We're Reading, Wearing, and Thinking About This Month

What's Good on ManMadeDIY - October 2016

Hey ... welcome back to What's Good. In case you're new here, What's Good is our monthly series where we (the ManMade guys) get to talk about what we're currently into. This month, it's media, clothing, and wonderment. Yeah, you read that right. Wonderment is a thing too. Read on to get your monthly dose...

 

Reading

Chris: In honor of Halloween this month, I'm immersing myself in the whole of the Hannibal Lecter world, in all formats: books, movies, and TV. I've read the first three novels, seen both the Red Dragon and Manhunter films, and am on the third season of the Hannibal TV series (which is streaming on Amazon Prime.)

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Oct 20, 2016

Creative Space on a Budget: A Music Studio Gets an IKEA Makeover

created at: 06/30/2014

Harry Love is a professional musician, DJ, and collector. Which means...he had a lot of records. Like a lot of records. Records in his studio, records in the hallway, records in the bathroom, records he had to move aside to make toast.

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Oct 12, 2016

How to: Make this Acoustic Phone Amplifier

 

Like many of our readers, I’m a huge audiobook and podcast guy. I actually have to set aside intentional space to just sit alone with my own thoughts and think, because if I’ve got any mundane tasks to do around the house and nobody else is home, I’m rocking some auditory learning…   

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Sep 11, 2016

How to: Turn a Cassette Boombox into a Guitar Amp

created at: 09/12/2016Old tape players are abundant, and cheap. Many have solid speaker sets, perfect period styling and design, and handle-equipped portability.  So, what to do with 'em? Play music through them! Oh, tossed your mixtape collection in the late 00s? Then, I guess you gotta make that music yourself.    

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Aug 29, 2016

What's Good for August 2016: What We're Reading, Watching and Listening to This Month

What's Good - August 2016

We're back with some of our favorite media for you to devour as the summer draws to a close. Here's what's good:

Reading

Chris:

I'm about two-thirds of the way through A Brief History of Seven Killings by Marlon James. It's a fictional exploration of the shooting of Bob Marley in December 1976, and the following decades of political, social, and criminal aftermath. I won't lie - it's intense. It has 50+ characters (and one of those little dramatis personae keys at the beginning, which I reference about every three pages). It feels like reading Joyce's Ulysses ... Biblical in scale, and I'm looking up some fact or reference (or rocksteady

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Aug 15, 2016

How to: Make a DIY Streaming Music Speaker from a Vintage Radio

There's no better way to say: I freaking love projects like this. Reddit user mxmln23 used the case from a stylish vintage radio, and did some clever hacking that allows it to become a wireless speaker that can stream from Spotify, Google Music, SoundCloud music player, Apple Airtunes, web radio stations, and Last.FM.  

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Aug 11, 2016

Meet One of the Few Jukebox Repairmen

Meet Perry Rosen, a jukebox repairman keeping mechanical music alive in a mostly dead industry. But as we all know, there's a big difference between mostly dead, and all dead. And that makes it all the more fascinating...   

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Jun 30, 2016

Weekend Project: Make a DIY Heavy Duty Outdoor Bluetooth Speaker

created at: 02/28/2014No, it's not the weekend yet, but this one upcoming is holiday one, so it's time to get a little head start so you can be ready to go all three-day break long. July 4th is all about getting outside, whether grilling or dining outside, camping, hosting a barbecue or picnic, even when doing yardwork or outdoor maintenance projects. And all those things, we say, deserve music. A standard Bluetooth speaker is a great way to get it from your phone, but because they're small and often made of fragile parts and cases, they can't always stand up to the rougher conditions and surfaces of outdoor use. 

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Jun 29, 2016

How to: Turn an Old Walkman Into A Musical Scratchbox

In a world where more and more things exist in the digital realm, it's always fun to take a stroll back through the analog world. The music world has already gone through a bunch of iterations from walkmans to discmans to iPods to Spotify, so I think it's safe to take apart that old walkman now and turn it into something rather fun...    

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Jun 28, 2016

What's Good for June 2016: What We're Reading Watching and Listening To This Month

Guys. The Fourth of July's just around the corner. The solstice has come and gone. You may not know it yet, but we are sliding inexorably downhill toward bleakest winter. In these moments of utmost despair, I find comfort in a good book, song, or bleary-eyed binge Netflix binge session. 

created at: 06/28/2016

Here, without further melodrama, is What's Good on ManMade this month:

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May 27, 2016

What's Good for May 2016: What We're Reading Watching and Listening To This Month

created at: 05/27/2016

Welcome to What's Good, ManMade's monthly Show and Tell day, where we let you know what we've been reading, watching, and listening to. 

Here's what's good this month ...


Reading

Chris:

I mostly recently finished Norwegian Wood: Chopping, Stacking, and Drying Wood the Scandinavian Way. If you're wondering if you really can fill two hundred pages on the subject of firewood, the answer is an absolute yes. The felling and chopping aspects are definitely interesting, but what most compelled me was the exploration of what building and stacking of these wood piles each year means for these cultures. It's a fascinating look that I suspect most

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May 24, 2016

Eight Things You Probably Didn't Know You Could Stream On Spotify

Spotify has completely revolutionized my music-listening experience. Their browsing feature and Discover Weekly playlist has made into a much hipper dude and generally increased my quality of life, no joke. However it was only recently that I discovered a whole host of new Spotify streamable options, turning the widening gyre all over again.   

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Apr 28, 2016

How to: Make a Portable Stereo from an Old Toolbox

created at: 03/25/2013

Chicago-based artist and designer Artpentry, maker of the "Gentleman's Boombox" - a stereo/speaker combo built inside a vintage suitcase - turns his outfitting skills to another type of popular case: the toolbox.   

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Apr 21, 2016

What's Good for April 2016: What We're Reading, Watching, and Listening To

What's Good April 2016

Welcome to What's Good, ManMade's monthly Show and Tell day, where we let you know what we've been reading, watching, and listening to. 

Here's what's good this month ...

 

Reading

Chris:

I recently finished "King Dork" by Frank Portman. It's a "young adult" book, meaning it's about and appropriate for teenagers, but I loved it. Portman, to me, will always be Dr. Frank, the singer/guitarist/songwriter of the Mr. T Experience, my very favorite band from the 80s/90s Bay Area/Gilman Street/Lookout Records punk rock scene.

The book is about growing up, and rock and roll, and literature, and relationships, and all the good things coming-of-age

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Apr 20, 2016

How to: Find All the Music from Your Favorite Movie and TV Shows

created at: 04/20/2016

Right now, the three TV shows that my wife and I are in the midst of - Love, Togetherness S2, and Girls S4 share one (though probably more) thing in common: they all make great use of music. Good scores, yes, but also amazing pop songs that give each show a cohesive vibe, emotional weight, and has me reaching for that Shazam button non-stop.

Of course, with the way movies and TV shows work, they play four bars of a song to set the tone, then drop the music so the actors can be heard and the story moved forward. So, by the time the phone is grabbed and the app opened, the opportunity is usually lost. Sure, you can pause and rewind, but that

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Mar 31, 2016

How to: Make a Guitar...from a Shovel

There's a good deal of crossover in the DIY and rock n roll aesthetic, and it's never been more apparent than in this guide and process video turning a shovel into an electric guitar. I first noticed this DIY level of janky guitar-making in the trailer for the 2008 documentary It Might Get Loud in which Jack White plays a homemade slide guitar that he constructed from an old board, nails, a string, and a Coke bottle.   

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