Posts Tagged ‘Music’

Gary Numan’s “Cars” on cars

In Read, Watch on January 26, 2011 at 7:34 am has the behind the scenes on this DieHard Battery commercial featuring Gary Numan:

Over three days in the desert, a team of six engineers worked on 24 cars and removed the batteries from each. Instead, they connected them all together to a central computer and a keyboard. The horns inside the cars were removed and instead an MP3 player was used to tune it. The entire set-up was hooked to one DieHard battery.

Numan is playing his 1979 hit song “Cars.”

Brand new vintage guitars

In Read on January 19, 2011 at 7:03 am

Scott Kennerson is a luthier in Michigan who has discovered a niche in making custom aged guitars.  He builds new instruments and then distresses them in ways that naturally occur over the life of a guitar:

Proper distressing requires a deep understanding of how a guitar is played: Knowing where a sweaty palm wears the finish from the neck, a belt buckle scrapes paint from the body, a cigarette tucked into the low E string burns the headstock. It also means knowing how time changes the tone and feel of a guitar.

Scott Kenerson of SMK Music Works.  Photo: Jim Merithew/

Scott Kenerson of SMK Music Works. Photo: Jim Merithew/

Kenerson can build a new guitar that looks old and plays like butter in about 10 hours. It’ll run you about $1,500.

His instruments are available at a small music shop near his house (Motor City Guitar) or directly from his website, SMK Music Works.

Herbie Hancock on Sesame Street

In Watch on January 14, 2011 at 7:16 am

Make: Online unearthed this classic clip of legendary pianist Herbie Hancock demoing a Fairlight CMI electric synthesizer on Sesame Street in the early 1980s:

The little girl whose voice he samples at 1:30 is Tatyana Ali, who went on to play the role of Ashley Banks in Fresh Prince of Bel-Air.

Live 8-bit Synthesizer

In Watch on January 4, 2011 at 7:07 am

Linus Akesson built an 8-bit synthesizer into an old electric organ:

All the original tone-generating parts have been disconnected, and the keys, pedals, knobs and switches rerouted to a microcontroller which transforms them into MIDI signals. Those are then parsed by a second microcontroller, which acts as a synthesizer.

Here’s Linus running through some of the features of his “Chipophone”:

His presentation video above lasts over seven minutes, but he gets right to the point at 0:24, demonstrating exactly why this DIY project is so great.  (Also: Tetris at 2:22, Commando at 3:34, and MegaMan 2 at 5:30)

Via: Make:Online

Mayo Clinic piano duet

In View on September 21, 2010 at 7:24 am

This couple has been married for 62 years, and they still know the tune.

The piano is in the Gonda Atrium at the Mayo Clinic.

HT:  Diane Elizabeth

UPDATE:  Here’s the couple talking about the video.

Practice 30 minutes a day

In Read on September 10, 2010 at 7:17 am

Like many other kids, Aleah Nehue is learning to play an instrument.  Unlike many other kids learning to play an instrument, she is taking accordion lessons.  Unlike many other kids taking accordion lessons, she does her practicing outside on Main Street in downtown Los Angeles:

Aleah Nahue practices outside her mother's office in downtown L.A.  Photo by Mel Melcon/Los Angeles Times.

Aleah Nahue practices outside her mother's office in downtown L.A. Photo by Mel Melcon/Los Angeles Times.

Aleah and [her sister] Joane started playing several years ago, after they won free accordion lessons at a music school.

But two girls and two accordions was a lot of sound for [her mother] Fallis’ small storefront office, so one day three years ago, Joane pulled a chair outside and started practicing there.

“She came back inside with a smile and a dollar in her hand,” Fallis said.

Soon the girls were fighting over who could practice outside — and earn the tips people dropped into their cases.

I would have stuck with piano a lot longer if there were cash tips from strangers involved with practicing.

Rube Goldberg video

In Watch on August 27, 2010 at 7:06 am

It’s been a good month since Track suits and video speeds, so it’s time for another OK Go post.  This time the song is called “This Too Shall Pass,” but before we get to the final product, we have Adam Sadowsky giving an Ignite talk about the Rube Goldberg machine his company built for OK Go and their music video:

Now that the stage has been set, here’s the video:

Played entirely on…

In Listen, Shop, View on August 13, 2010 at 7:01 am

…vintage tech:

Via Make, Brett and Steven play “Bad Romance” entirely on two analog synthesizers (the Korg Monotron and the Korg Kaossilator):

…new tech:

Via The Presurfer, Scott, Harold, and Shea play “Eye of the Tiger” entirely on iPad apps:

Sgt. Pepper’s anniversary

In Read on July 30, 2010 at 7:51 am

Well, the 40th anniversary of Sgt. Pepper’s was actually three years ago when Daniel Levitin penned this piece for the Washington Post.  He writes:

A hundred years from now, musicologists say, Beatles songs will be so well known that every child will learn them as nursery rhymes, and most people won’t know who wrote them. They will have become sufficiently entrenched in popular culture that it will seem as if they’ve always existed, like “Oh! Susanna,” “This Land Is Your Land” and “Frère Jacques.”

<i>Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band</i>

Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band

I was in a band called Johnny Supernova in high school.  We capped our one and only performance ever (Battle of the Bands) with a cover of the Sgt. Pepper’s reprise, and walked away with the gold.

Track suits and video speeds

In Listen, Read, Watch on July 22, 2010 at 7:56 am

OK Go went boom four years ago with their treadmill video, and they’re back at it with the creative one-take music videos.  Here’s the video for “End Love” from their latest album:

Highlights include one continuous shot over two days, L.A.’s Echo Park, and one very interested goose.

UPDATE:  The band answers questions about the video:

“There were about four days to set choreography off-site, and we ran the routine twice on-site. The whole routine takes 21 hours from start to finish. I’m not sure how long exactly post-production took but my guess is about one month.”

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