Joey Roth takes us behind the scenes of his new Ceramic Speakers! 4 years in the making, these beauties started as an idea in college, only to be further developed in 2008, and now they are a reality! While i have yet to hear these myself, Gizmodo and Wired are already commending their “audiophile-worthy sound” ~ and personally i’m smitten by the combination of ceramic, wood, and cork ~ yes CORK! the way the plugs go into the cork before the ceramic is my favorite detail of all. Take a peek at the feature on the next page, including a super cute stop motion video ~ and he’s also giving away a set of these lovely speakers to one lucky reader! Giveaway details are here.
Entries tagged with: music
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I love products to play with during breakfast. Perfect way to start the day? I had a chance to poke at Ultimate Ears (recently added to the Logitech family, and locally based in Irvine!) over breakfast at King's Highway with a guy who works for Logitechin Palm Springs at the Ace and he let me keep them to play with (especially after they'd been in my ears!) and just to be super clear, no, i'm not writing about them because of that! As for why i'm including them in the netbooks section ~ every netbook totally needs a good pair of headphones to go with them ~ since often when netbooking, you can be somewhere pretty public (be it at the cafe or in an airplane)!
On top of the nice sound quality ~ it's the design details of this particular set that grabbed me. I love how subtle, tiny and pill like these Ultimate Ear 700s are ~ they totally reminded me of my chill pill necklace and capsule pills in general when i saw them. So tiny! Not the kind of headphones that basically end up looking like funky earrings... Also while the packaging leaves a bit to be desired (bit too much plastic and not all too interesting box graphic design) ~ the case is perfect to protect your buds in your netbook case or bag and at the very bottom in the inside has the cutest little infographic showing you to wrap the cord around your fingers. Silly, but someone clearly spent a bit of time on the details! Also extremely subtle, the right side earbud is red, the left is black! Take a peek at the unboxing and design details on the next page!
While in Palm Springs at the Ace, i was told that i HAD to go see the Integratron. How good a word is that? I didn't even know what it meant, but was instantly intrigued. So, while on super secret brainstorm adventure in Palm Springs this weekend, we jumped in the car, took off an hour into the desert not quite sure what to expect... although we did know that it had something to do with amazingness, alien abductions, domes, a sound bath, and something about our neurons getting massaged. Dome + sunset + desert = gorgeous pics.
So while i'm still on my thing about circles lately ~ and concentric circles from directly below... the architecture of the Integratron blew my mind to wander around in... and honestly, i think there must be something wrong with me, because the Sound bath (you lay on the mats in the dome, and they "play 9 quartz crystal singing bowls live, each one keyed to the energy centers or chakras of the body, where sound is nutrition for the nervous system." and it's on Rolling Stone Magazine's 2009 Hot List) ~ i couldn't lay through the whole thing, it made me feel like i wanted to scream and dissonant sounds vibrating through my head just started to hurt. BUT that being said, it was pretty amazing the way they resonated around the space... really staring at the architecture and lighting as the sunset around us was far more fascinating to me. So take a peek at the random pics on the next page... LOVE the colors in the desert sunsets...
First you saw the Beatles Rock Band controller versus the actual Rickenbacker 325, next you got to peek into the woodshop, then you saw how they were painted and electronic components added... and now for the final installment, here's a peek at some of the incredible design details from vintage pieces, limited editions, and concepts that never made it to market...
First you saw the Beatles Rock Band controller versus the actual Rickenbacker 325, next you got to peek into the woodshop, now take a look at how the guitars get finished ~ from the priming to the sanding to how each and every little electronic component finds it way to make the Rickenbacker 325 the icon it is...
As promised in the last post showing you the Beatles Rock Band controller versus the actual Rickenbacker 325~ here's a peek into how Rickenbacker guitars are actually made! I had so many pictures because their whole process is so fascinating that instead of cutting TOO many of them, i'm making this a three parter... so first, come take a peek into the woodshop on the next page! Stunning how these beautiful pieces of wood get transformed into the guitars we know and love...
Its striking how similar in SIZE the real Rickenbacker 325 and the Beatles Rock Band Controller are. In fact, they are so similar, i couldn't resist visiting the Rickenbacker factory in Santa Ana to check them out side by side in person! Funny coincidence ~ on 09/09/09 when Beatles Rock Band launched, the factory happened to start working on a run of the Rickenbacker 325! They claim it really wasn't planned! So luckily when i visited a few days later, i not only got to take a peek at the controller and its real life counterpart in person, but also had an opportunity to see exactly how the real guitars are made! (and it is truly an amazing process, so many more steps of skilled craftsmen than i ever imagined, but more to come on that soon!)
Take a peek at the next page to see lots of pics of the Rickenbacker 325 alongside the Beatles Rock Band Controller ~ as well as peeks into the factory and renderings of the controller!
Happy 9/9/9 ~ it's been quite a day! On awesome launches that are hard to miss, The Beatles Rock Band came out today, and it was impossible not to share an unboxing of the goods with you! For starters the imagery is stunning (gorgeous intro video on the next page!) ~ and the custom guitars are adorable mini-plasticized simplified versions of their normal forms... The front of the kick-drum is like those frisbees or carshades where you can twist it up into a smaller disc when not in use (you know the type, it pops open instantly?)... and the pedal is beautifully detailed with Beatles-ness. There is also a set of postcards included... so anyhow, take a peek at it all! I picked up the full kit for PS3 and the Rickenbacker...
It's been such a fun challenge finding things to share for this Samsung sponsored post series ~ running around my life finding unexpected inspiring beautiful tech details i may not have normally noticed or thought about that are in my every day life... today i'm excited to share the Rickenbacker 350/12V63 Liverpool 12 string electric guitar with you! (Also awesome? The color is called "Jet Glow") John Lennon, The Byrds, and Tom Petty were all known to play Rickenbacker... and really what grabbed me was the way the tuning machines are attached to the head without looking too crammed, even when there are twice as many as usual! And really it's just such a stunningly gorgeous machine ~ check out the pics on the next page!
So you've seen the craziness that is Travis drumming over the audience as he's floating/rotating around... well for another peek at the Blink 182 Reunion Tour friends + family show ~ the visuals were stunning. Some really really incredible animations were going on behind them in a fascinating array of round screens and stripes of light that i couldn't possibly capture and enjoy all at once. So, you'll have to catch them on tour for the full experience, but i have a few sneak peeks to whet your appetite.
This was a really fun test of the 5D MKII ~ The roof of the LA Forum is beautiful! And it was such a trip to see it so empty, and be able to actually wander around and take pics throughout the show... HUGE thanks to, Mark for the invite. Anyhow, go see the pics on the next page ~
It's kind of surreal how everything comes around ~ loved Blink 182 as a kid ~ and it turns out Mark Hoppus is a fan of NOTCOT ~ and when he invited me to their friends and family show tonight before they kick off the big reunion tour, i couldn't say no! And it was awesome! 1) it was totally amazing to go to such an intimate show 2) i got to play with my big camera in a concert! 3) when they had travis AND his drum kit literally flying around over the stage at impossible angles while he played a hell of a drum solo... it was just stunning. So first things first, check out the pics of Travis' flying solo, and a snippet of a video of it too on the next page. Totally mind blowing...
Strange things happen when you're up at 6am and too awake to sleep but to asleep to function. Things like watching unplugged videos on MTV and getting distracted by the awesome backgrounds and obsessively refreshing the page in a new window (so your videos can still play) to see all the different random backgrounds that appear... and then refreshing until so many repeat that you can safely guess that you've seen them all. My favorite part of MTV as a kid was definitely the interstitials with awesome animations of their logo ~ well their website does it too ~ so check out a few of my favorite backgrounds from their site on the next page! SO fun!
Just got home and ended up playing way too much Rock Band tonight ~ so as tired as my body might be, my mind was inspired to show you this awesome limited edition MWM Graphics Rock Band Guitar that i've been meaning to post! Before we get into looking at how sweet this guitar is... lets get all the complicated collaborations and brands out of the way ~ this Geometric Funk XBOX 360 Rock Band Guitar was created by MWM Graphics, which is Matt W. Moore, for Pepsi Rock Band 2009 to promote the Pepsi/Yahoo/Harmonix/MTV Drink Up, Rock Out promotion! Basically, gamers can submit their own Rock Band music videos for a chance to win a MTV Video Music Award Moonman, as well as other great Rock Band prizes under the caps of Pepsi bottles everywhere! I just got distracted midway through post writing while watching a bunch of the videos, some are pretty hilarious - here, check this one out.
ANYHOW, beyond the pretty fun campaign going on (i think you have till Sept to rock out and make a fun music video!) ~ stepping back and checking it out ~ i just love that this is art + video games + music + UGC + ad campaign. It's so fun to see the graphic stylings of favorites like MWM Graphics on a Rock Band fender guitar! I must say the number of brands you can tie into this whole endeavor is hurting my head slightly ~ but that aside ~ could the rock band guitar be the new tshirt/skateboard to customize for artists? Check out more pics of this gorgeous collaboration on the next page ~ as well as some screenshots of the campaign (i'm liking the site design!).
While back in Singapore i happened across some tiny transistor radios tucked away in my dad and grandmother's various drawers... the first one was exciting enough... then it was like an easter egg hunt, i just kept finding more! Luckily he was amused enough by my fascination to let me bring them home and photograph them to share with you! The tiniest details are so cool ~ from the fonts to the patterns to the pendants dangling off some of the smaller ones. For reference, that little sony is like 2" wide! I have yet to get them working yet ~ actually while writing this, just got distracted and managed to get a few open (so pics of the insides on the next page too!) ~ and looks like i'd need some interestingly sized batteries... SO, visual research on the next page, and my question to you ~ do you know more about these? Any fun stories of having these as a kid, etc? See the gallery of close ups and insides on the next page!
I don't do conferences often, but i do get curious how marketers and advertisers view sites like this ~ and its always fun to hang out with my Federated Media friends! Anyhow, while checking out the FM Conversational Marketing Summit i felt determined to find something visually amusing/inspiring while here ~ and it ended up being in the form of the Golden Xylophone that the Millenium Broadway hotel guys walk through breaks and lunch playing as they tell you that you should basically... go away! Ok, so less go away, more go back to your talks... So i brought the camera to lunch and waited for them to chase us out, and this guy was fast! and zig zagging! But i tracked him down and got some pics of his instrument for you... really i think it should either be the gold one with a guy dressed in gold on rollerskates with wings or something... or they should let a little kid run through playing a colorful one... but none the less, it was bizarre and amusing, and i'm curious... is this a common occurrence? I suppose its far nicer than a loudspeaker... Oh! And it looks like he used a wine cork on a stick, but he moved too much for me to get a good pic of it...
Also the Hudson Theater is gorgeous! Bizarre to have tech talks amidst the lush red velvet curtains and incredibly ornate ceilings! More pics of both on the next page...
I suppose the real question is... How can you pass up seeing DJ Kreemy (Karim) spin and dance all decked out in one of his all pink outfits (down to the watch even!)? There was quite a line for the Artemide party once Karim was spinning, and it was really quite odd trying to explain to this older french couple that may have just happened to wander through Soho at the right moment what it was exactly that people were lined up for... Also hilarious to see more beefy guys in super tight tees, this time green with I <3 LED on them and serving appletinis... The Cadmo lights by Karim were quite beautiful as well, honestly i liked them far better in person than i had in photos that had been circulating. Take a peek at the grassy window display, Karim in action, the lighting, and the I <3 LED bartenders on the next page!
So, you may have heard Mark Hoppus (yes, of Blink 182) ~ loves him some Octopus... it's even his personal logo that a family friend (Sacha, screen writer by day, artist by... amusement?) made for him... and its quickly spreading to stickers, shirts, vinyl toys, and now a limited edition laser engraved USB key. Actually only 100 USB keys... and on even more amazing things, apparently Mark is a long time NOTCOT reader, and was kind enough to toss one my way to give away to one of you!!! (Also he is an avid twitterer, and those who follow me may have noticed when i found out he was a reader.)
As for this limited edition USB key ~ 100 were made by Mojo Laboratories to promote the Mark Hoppus remix of Fall Out Boy's "America's Sweethearts". On the keys are the remix mp3, music video, a special Hoppus/Octopus pic, and a behind the photoshoot video... and a special code to get a Tshirt!
THE GIVEAWAY: Here's the deal ~ to win the key ~ leave a comment with your favorite Blink 182 or Fall Out Boy lyrics and which song they are from. And Friday midnight 5/15 EST (i'll be in NY) ~ i'll pick a random winner from the comments!
Now, if you're ready, head to the next page to see the tons of pics and Octopus info and closeups of the tiny adorable drive (yes, i'm having a hard time giving it up!) and sneak peeks at some of the contents you'll find on the drive...
UPDATE!!! Congrats to our winner, Philip in Seattle!!!!
It's been a while since i asked YOU what you're up to, who you are, etc etc ~ and advertisers are curious to know more (as am i!). So 2009 NOTCOT Survey time! I know how not fun these can be, so i consider it a huge favor and really appreciate it if you can help out and take the survey here! THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU!
ALSO! To make it more fun, i'll pick one winner from the surveys to send one of my latest obsessions! The Logitech Squeezebox Boom! (Just make sure you fill in your email at the end of the survey if you want to be entered!) I will pick a winner on Monday, so get that survey in by Sunday night!
This also seemed like a fun chance to show you the Logitech Squeezebox Boom up close too! When i moved into the new NOTCOT HQ ~ it was far too quiet and too many rooms! So this Boom has been perfect! It is nice, simple, sleek and portable ~ i can use it room to room and outdoors even ~ just needs wall power (not sure why no battery option!) ~ and it can tap into my wifi or ethernet (or plug in ipod, etc) ~ play any of the music on my computer/network, internet radio (which apparently includes every local station these days too!), Last.FM, Pandora, Rhapsody, Sirius, and more! I was skeptical about the sound quality at first, but its been incredible for its size, and great for rooms/kitchen/etc. Bonus? It runs on the SqueezeCenter which is a breeze to setup, and it's all open source so you can even program games and weather and other random features to be displayed... also works great as an alarm clock! ... and it networks with all of the other Squeezebox networked players as well! [Retails at $263 at Amazon]
Take a look at more pics on the next page ~ i love the little design details like the rubberized wheel and the thumb indentation on the remote... and don't forget to take the 2009 NOTCOT Survey!
For scale... check out the size of that shuffle next to all the randomness under my monitors... its about the height of that veuve grand dame cork... So as you can see, i gave in and got one of the tiny gum stick looking new buttonless ipod shuffles. And it's so tiny, and adorably simple, and comes with mini apple stickers! So take a peek at the unboxing and the cute instructional graphics too on the next page...
Yes, it does suck that you can't use other headphones i suppose, BUT it's pretty fun to make it talk to you... my latest addiction is having RadioLover download streaming radio i miss (it even breaks it up into songs! I've been dling lots of Indie 103.1 lately)... so this is perfect! I can load up radio i missed, and when i dont know what song it is, it can tell me!
Another fun noteworthy aspect of the Natural History Museum First Fridays is the graphic motifs of animal/instrument hybrids used on the flyers and stickers distributed around the museum... there are even silk screened prints available! So far only two, but the artist was saying how he is planning on completing the set throughout the course of the First Fridays! Take a peek at some of the stickers we found, as well as the gorgeous colorful prints! Since 2009 is the year of darwin's 200th bday (next week!) and the 150th anniversary of the Origin of Species, this year of First Fridays are dedicated to him... and the Darwin sticker even has his motto "e conchis omnia" which means "everything from shells"...
Xylophone Bin, 2008, by Dominic Wilcox - Made of Oak + Steel. Created for a VIPP Charity auction in NewYork to raise money for Chernobyl Children's Project International and Foodbank NYC.
"When the pedal is pressed the lid opens, releasing a ball that travels down a 'helterskelter' set of xylophone steps around the bin. Each time the ball hits a step, a note is played. The xylophone steps are cut in increasing lengths so that the note gets deaper as the ball gets closer to the bottom.See the 2 videos below, The Xylophone Bin video and a 'Making of' video. As part of the auction event Vipp bins have been customised by artists, designers and celebrities including Bono, Michael Stipe and Helena Christensen. They are on show at the Conran shop East 59th st, 1st ave, New York from 4th - 17thSeptember 08. Auction will be held on the 18th september 08."
See the videos on the next page!
NOTCOT Note: While i'm running around france learning about champagne at hyper speed, it's hard to get much time or a good connection to work from... so good thing Anna has my back, and found this super awesome Band in My Pocket!
Yamaha has teamed up with au Design to create Band In My Pocket - a series of cellular phone prototypes that also function as musical instruments. Depending on the prototype you use, you can turn your phone into a brass instrument, drum sticks, piano, string instrument, etc. The au Design website is in Japanese, but be sure to check out the videos that showcase each design (click on the black box with the arrow beneath the diagrams). Also worth checking out are videos of Band In My Pocket in action over at Bola Sociology's blog.
Check out the individual phones and their uses on the next page!
I first met Andrio Abero back in 2001 at a party in San Francisco where we bonded over a mutual love of music and design. Andy went on to become one of the foremost graphic designers in the Pacific Northwest, particularly known for his show posters. His work is smart and graphic, and I love the way he plays with texture and typography in his illustrations. Since founding 33 RPM in 2000, Andy has produced a huge body of work (I had a hard time choosing my favorites for this post), including the Bumbershoot 2006 campaign, and a bunch of magazine illustrations for New Scientist, Business Week, and The New Republic to name a few.
Ok packaging lovers... you will definitely want some AIAIAI headphones, iphone/curve headsets (headphones + mic/button), and the new laptop sleeves (but more to come on that in a future post!)... These danish designers don't mess around, their gorgeous headphones (you have to feel these cables to realize how nice the quality is) come in these incredible thick plastic tubes (think perfect for pens/pencils/paint brushes) where the ends aren't just plugs but little containers with their own caps (they are like little pill boxes) with alternative ear pieces! As you can see, they have great attention to detail ~ and the Y-com model is named so for its signature Y shaped center piece where the L and R are labeled... some even have a playful behind the ear coil...
As for how they work ~ well i tried them hooked up to my blackberry curve for the 5.5 hour drives up and down to/from SF/LA this weekend, and it was great (driving with only one side in of course, since both sides in the sound is so good you can't hear the world around you). Also, see the fun flashy page flipping AIAIAI Catalog here! See pics on the next page to get the full experience!
Just confirmed, dan, linhchi, and i will be running around and "covering" (having some fun, and sending pics to that new crowdfire page via mobile) all three days of Outside Lands in SF this coming weekend. Things that sound interesting about it so far... first time anyone gets to play at night in Golden Gate Park, and it is going to be Radiohead friday night! There is an "Ecolands" section - green pavilion sponsored by PGE, with solar powered stage, farmers market, tech recycling station, solar and wind cell charging stations, etc... a taste of the bay area with food from places like askew grill, bombay station, sambazon, the chieftain and more... the Winehaven, a tent of artistan wines... and FM will have a tent filled computers and wifi to share the experience digitally... and lots of art as well? I suppose i'm most excited to get a mini trip in and see some of our SF folks! Anyone else going? See the full lineup on the next page...