Long time ManMade readers may recall my love of these earbuds, which I have claimed (over and over again), are the best value in in-ear audio supply out there. I had three or four sets going at any given time, and use them everywhere from the workshop and exercising to travel and housecleaning marathons. They work great, sound good enough, and are both durable and affordable that you don't mind taking a few risks with them. (Nearly every pair I have are also covered in paint and wood glue.)
With all music heading to online streaming, I tend to buy my favorite albums on vinyl so I can cherish them for years to come. As my collection grows my need for space grows with it. So I had to quickly find a solution. Here's a simple project to create some stacking cubes that will hold records, books and more!
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.
The digital library and streaming services are great for checking out new stuff, singles, and the mighty, might playlist, but the only real option worth pursuing if you're interested in building a music library is one of recording's oldest formats: the vinyl record.
Part of being a good man is about continually expanding your horizons and having a sense of the things you like and the things you don't. That's why we're kicking off a new Everyman's Guide to some of the things about which we think every man ought to have a knowledge and opinion. And we're starting out with the great American genre of Jazz.
I still remember the first ManMade-ish project I ever made: a hollow book safe. I was about eight, and my buddy Nick had this awesome "how to be a secret spy"-style book to inspire us, and we snagged two big hardbacks from his parents' library and used a utility knife to carve away the pages. I remember thinking we probably shouldn't be cutting up books off the shelf, nor should we likely be using a utility knife without supervision, but - hey - we were spies, and spies don't ask permission.
Mexican-born artist Margarita Cabrera has created this compelling line of "soft sculptures," in which she replaces the parts of everyday items such as cars, appliances, and backpacks with fabric and thread. In doing so, the "threads left exposed serve as a reminder of the labor involved in the manufacturing of this subject matter. Sagging vinyl imbues the work with an anthropomorphic quality that references the harsh nature of worker’s realities."
8-Tracks never made it, cassettes are harder and harder to find, and CDs are certainly on their way out, but the vinyl record? Here. To. Stay.
If you head to any flea market, thrift store, or charity shop, you'll find plenty of functional, yet ugly and worn out, turntables and record players. What to do? Take them home, rip out the guts, and install on a nice slice of wood.
Tastebuds, a new dating site that makes suggestions for potential partners based on what kind of music you like (huh...), has assembled a collection of the "Worst Album Covers of All Time." While I can't validate if these are hands down the absolute worst covers ever printed, as I've seen plenty equally awful in the bargain bins at thrift stores and garage sales, these are certainly among the most ill-conceived. Ever.
Physical music media have gone through a curious century. The vinyl album dominated for nearly 75 years, than gave way to a ten-year success of the cassette, which was left behind by the CD, with all the 8-tracks and mini-discs and other less successful technologies mixed in. And now, at least among those who are serious about music - a mix of the two extremes: digital, either as actual files or subscribed up the in cloud somewhere, and the original vinyl LP, still reknowned for its warm fideiity and large cover art.
Of course, modern furniture isn't built to house LP collections. They don't fit in contemporary milk crates, and most of those little flatpack cube-storage units are just a half-inch too small. So, it's time to build your own.
I first discovered Sleeveface/sleevefacing/holdingupLPcoverssothesingersfacelookslikeitsyours over a holiday break a few years ago, and I basically spent the entire day after Christmas scouring through the entire archive.
Since then, the phenomenon has grown amazingly, resulting in a quite organized website, and a book! So, now, you can be like, "Oh, I wanna see a Ramones album," and...here you go.
The trend is defined as "one or more persons obscuring or augmenting any part of their body or bodies with record sleeve(s) causing an illusion." I'm pretty sure you can figure out the rest from the photos. Fun, right?
The choices range from classics:
...to the ambitious:
I have a three year old nephew, and I think he's totally awesome. Not in the "all little kids are adorable way," but in the "this kid has got crazy personality way. He knows that he's funny, and is very smart about using his presence, face, and words to be entertaining and smart.
So, I wanted to get him something special that he could continue to use once all the dumptrucks and Buzz Lightyear Jr. action figures wore out. His favorite thing to do when he comes over is to play around with all my musical instruments and noisemakers. So, I headed to the toy store, and saw this mini-drum set on clearance, I knew I had to get it.
Of course, I couldn't just wrap up the box and hand it to him - my brother-in-law would never have been able to put it together and tune it. (He's lovingly known for his lack of rhythm. He's talented in lots of other ways.)
So, I put in together in my living room, tuned it up, and then the wheels started turning. (Okay, and let's be honest. I also couldn't stop playing it for a couple of days). He loves the Beatles, and his geek dad has got him watching Star Wars, and I certainly can't ever leave stuff alone. So, I knew I has to customize the kit just for him.
Jazz instrumentalist Matt Glassmeyer needed a roof for his porch. As a musician, he knows plenty about vinyl albums, and has a history of inventing clever items: "the shuitar (an acoustic drum machine-like instrument made from an acoustic guitar body), the buzzophone (tenor saxophone played with a custom trumpet-like buzzing mouthpiece), and amplified contra-alto clarinet."
So, Matt put his creativity to work and came up with an idea for his roof.
Estonian designer Pavel Sidorenko has turned the recycled record wall clock motif upside down with this new series of laser cut LPs. Each piece creates a unique shape from vintage vinyl, making them appropriate for any room in the house, not just music or kitchsy themed spaces.
Vinyl LPs - records, albums, 12"s, whatever you want to call them - maintain a cult-like following, even in 2010. Audiophiles love to collect and actually play them, hipsters like to pretend they own them, hip-hop producers are still sampling them, and all kinds of artists are paying homage to the analog days of yesteryear.
Me? I like to listen to the good ones, and make stuff from the rest. And luckily, so do Anne and Todd. They made this DIY room divider out of used LPs, which sets two spaces apart while still allowing one to see through, maintaining the airiness the room already has.
They don't provide an exact how-to at Apartment