March 7, 2012
This week, Herman Miller introduced the Herman Miller Collection Outdoor–which is why we found it fitting to feature the playlist of Ricki Grady, a former graphic designer and now garden writer and author of the book BeBop Garden. Listen to the mix that you may just hear playing in (or outside of) her cozy nest of a studio near Portland, Oregon. Read more
Balance, Design, Products
January 25, 2012
Ever since architect Emily Fischer founded Haptic Lab in 2009, she’s been wowing the design world with her unique “Soft-Maps” quilts (a great gift for new parents, the newly married, or dear old friends). Hear a little of what’s playing in her Brooklyn studio—also responsible for creative collaborations in architecture, art, furniture, and even kites—in our latest Playlist. Read more
Balance, Design, Products
January 18, 2012
What sounds fill the workspace shared by Stanley Wilson and Sophie Gollop of Urban Cottage Industries? Find out what these designers, manufacturers, and suppliers of vintage industrial lighting have playing on repeat in their headquarters in Mytholmroyd, England.
What do you listen to while you work? We fight between Radio 4 (Stan) and music (Sophie). Sophie is proletarian. It’s class war—all day, every day.
Balance, Design, Technology
November 16, 2011
In this week’s Playlist, I wanted to turn the spotlight on Lifework‘s fearless leader (and my editor) Cerentha Harris. We’ve been working with each other for a while now, but always from opposite coasts–and I often wonder what it would be like if we were creating this blog together in the same workspace. At least now I can get a taste of what it would sound like. Take a listen to her music mix below.
November 9, 2011
The first day of autumn may have been September 23, but for many of us, the first time you really start realizing that we’re indeed in the midst of a new season is when daylight saving time finally makes its appearance. Celebrate the fact that we’re all still adjusting to that one extra hour with this special-edition mix featuring tunes from some of our 2012 fall Playlisters.
1. Wasted Hours by Arcade Fire from The Playlist: Ben Lambers of Studio Aandacht
2. Autumn Leaves by Cannonball Adderly & Miles Davis from The Playlist: Stylist & Product/Interior Designer Sofie Brünner
3. Mambo Sun by T. Rex from The Playlist: Product Designer Jonah Takagi
Balance, Design, Technology
July 20, 2011
This week’s Playlist comes with a bonus: an extra set of songs from Matt Singer, creator of the eponymous line of shirts, bags, and assorted accessories (including a cheeky shave kit that inspired his list of additional tunes). Take a listen (or two) to this Jack Spade alum’s happy work mix.
What do you listen to while you work? I like to make playlists in iTunes; normally I put one on and let it go. I recently introduced a canvas shave kit that comes with a custom comb imprinted CUT THAT HAIR YOU HIPPIE and a book of illustrations of my favorite NYC barbershops, so I made a playlist about hair: Long Haired Child—Devendra Banhart; Cut Your Hair—Pavement; Love Plus One—Haircut 100; Hairy Trees—Goldfrapp; Hairdresser of Fire—Morrissey; Whip My Hair—Willow Smith;
Almost Cut My Hair—Crosby Stills Nash; German Haircut—Flying Lotus; Black Haired Girl—Sebadoh; Don’t Cut Your Hair—The Pretenders; Cut and Run—Electrelane; Cutting It Up—Wu Tang
How do you listen? I have speakers attached to my computer.
May 25, 2011
Hard to believe, but the beginning of the busy summertime season is just around the corner. Fire up the festivities over this Memorial Day weekend with this latest mix—a warm, sunny compilation inspired by some of our favorite Playlisters from the first half of 2011. Enjoy!
1. Hustle by Tunng from The Playlist: Web Designer & Developer Dustin Hoffman
2. I Follow Rivers by Lykke Li from The Playlist: Music critic and author Amanda Petrusich
3. Feel It All Around by Washed Out from The Playlist: Artist Carrie Strine & Graphic Designer/Illustrator Tim Lahan
Balance, Products, Technology
February 9, 2011
Not only are Carrie Strine and Tim Lahan artists with amazing taste (see Carrie’s textile and photography work here, Tim’s Trademark™ studio here, and his comic blog here), but they’re also the creators of a new Playlist containing both a tune by The Tallest Man on Earth and a song called “The World’s Strongest Man.” Does it get much better than that?
What do you listen to while you work? C: I listen to Morning Edition every morning in the studio, because I find that music is too much for me in the morning. Once I’m rolling I usually listen to the KEXP’s John in the Morning because I have serious issues DJ-ing for myself. I’d much rather trust someone else who gets my music taste to take up that job, or it might take 30 minutes from my work fiddling around with iTunes. I hate to get distracted while I’m working. When Tim’s in the studio, DJ-ing is his full responsibility. It’s something I love about sharing our workspace, and I know he’ll put on something that really improves the mood.
T: When Carrie’s not around, I go into guilty-pleasure mode and play some really loud metal stuff or old punk tunes I used to listen to in high school.
How do you listen? C: I hate headphones, and that defeats the purpose of sharing our workspace. We just use the built-in speakers on our computers.
Do you have any favorite music websites/providers? C: I listen to KEXP with their online stream in the morning every day, but other than that iTunes. T: I just borrow music.
Does music influence your work? C: The most recent Sun Kil Moon album, “Admiral Fell Promises,” made an impression on me while working on my Half to Whole Quilt. Musicians like Mark Kozelek that are reinterpreting folk music in a modern way often align with my work. Tim is the biggest influence on my musical taste, and recommends most things I listen to. I’m lucky—I’m pretty sure he seeks out new music for me sometimes. T: I think a lot of what I listen to plays a part in the way I make things. Often just the energy or intensity of a song I might be listening to may push my work in a certain direction, or enable me to sit down and finish something I’ve been working on for a while but have put on the back burner. As far as where I find music, I scour a lot of blogs to check out new stuff, and if I’m not feeling what’s new, I just go back to listening to my old stuff like Thin Lizzy or New Order.
If your work was a song or a musician, what or who would it be? C: I think I’m a little more rough around the edges and quirky than Sun Kil Moon, so I’d like to think my work is a little more like Tallest Man on Earth. T: For me, it’s a hodge-podge of different stuff depending on what I’m making. Anything from Descendents to Marvin Gaye.
CARRIE & TIM’S PLAYLIST
Love Man, Otis Redding
Castles in the Snow, Twin Shadow
Third and Seneca, Sun Kil Moon
Thousand Ways, The Tallest Man on Earth
If You Think You’re Lonely Now, Bobby Womack
The World’s Strongest Man, Scott Walker
Fight or Fall, Thin Lizzy
This Must Be the Place, Talking Heads
Feel It All Around, Washed Out
You, Gold Panda
Images: Carrie Strine and Tim Lahan
November 17, 2010
To say that music and technology have guided the career of James Lynch III is putting it mildly (read his extensive bio here). Now the Chief Technology Officer at ecoReserve.org, he’s working to help protect endangered land—all while listening to a library of music that’s almost 14,000 songs strong. Here’s a list of tunes that recently showed up after he hit “shuffle.”
What do you listen to while you work? Although I will occasionally listen to entire albums, I usually put my 13.5K song collection on random.
How do you listen? Through Bose speakers or with my headphones on.
Do you have any favorite music websites/providers? I have feeds from a ton of music blogs coming into Google Reader, and I hear about new releases from them, and from friends of mine. I used to share office space with The Rights Workshop, a music-supervision and licensing company, and discovered a lot of new music through Brooke Wentz and her team.
Does music influence your work? Before ecoReserve, I worked as software architect for Creative Allies, a startup that enables musicians to post jobs for creative content (CD covers, t-shirts, etc.) and have their fans compete to create the piece chosen by the musician. The team behind the project was made up of music business veterans as well as younger folks, and we all wound up listening to a lot of music by the artists involved in our initial launch. This is an example of the opposite of what you’re asking… for years, my work has influenced the music I’ve heard, rather than the opposite.
Where do you find music recommendations? Who influences your musical taste? I use SonicLiving.com to find out about gigs that interest me. Having spent years in and around the “music biz” such as it is, there are friends whose taste I trust implicitly (Cerentha being one of them!), and I always check out anything they send my way. I probably recommend more music to friends than they recommend to me.
If your work was a song or a musician, what or who would it be? What a question!!! Hmm. ecoReserve, my current project, allows people to create their own nature preserves for as little as $25… so it would be something connected to nature—maybe Peter Gabriel, something apocalyptic: “Here Comes the Flood.” When I had my prepress company in New York, things ran at an insane pace… perhaps “Burning Down the House” by Talking Heads.
Good Ol’ Boy (Gettin’ Tough), Steve Earle
Capital Punishment (from “Back in Town), George Carlin
Sparrow, Ken Stringfellow
I Feel Fine (Beatle’s cover), The Harvey Averne Dozen
Bottomliners, Brian Eno
I Want You Around, The Hunting Accident
My Son Cool, Guided By Voices
Eleanor Put Your Boots On, Franz Ferdinand
Tough Guy, Beastie Boys
Bummer In The Summer, Love
California Stars, Billy Bragg and Wilco
Under Your Breath, Whiskeytown
Nobody Loves You When You’re Down and Out, John Lennon
Fussing and Fighting, Bob Marley and The Wailers
See How We Are, X
Images: James Lynch III
Balance, Design, Products, Technology
October 27, 2010
With a sharp eye for design, enviable DIY skills, and a toolbox full of wit, New York University sophomore Daniel Kanter spends the time he’s not in class painstakingly adding detail to his apartment (and then documenting it) on his blog, Manhattan Nest. His NYU degree will be from Gallatin School of Individualized Study, but we’re voting that he receive at least an honorary degree in good taste (hey—check out those chairs). Here’s a look at the music that keeps him going.
What do you listen to while you work? I like to have music on almost all the time, except when I’m reading or writing for a class. I’m definitely one of those people who needs their music to match their mood, so most of the time that means some type of alternative-rock, current favorites are The Smiths and The Cold War Kids. I tend to get really into a specific band and just listen them to death—recently that’s been The Black Keys and The White Stripes. When I’m DIY-ing or working on my apartment, I like music with a lot of energy, which can range anywhere from The Cure to The Old Crow Medicine Show—the best old-timey bluegrass group out there; they’re pure fun—to, yes, Lady Gaga. I’ve even been known to submit to short but intense bouts of that grizzly Bieber Fever pandemic. When my ears need more of a rest, I like folk music (or artists with strong folk influences) like Bob Dylan, Donovan, Pete Seeger, The Dodos, Abigail Washburn, and She & Him. But let’s not forget the power ballads of the 80s. “Total Eclipse of the Heart” by Bonnie Tyler is an epic masterpiece.
How do you listen? While I’d never consider myself an audiophile, I do love my turntable. But it’s not just a hipster prop; I really use it. I’d like to say my parents gifted me all of their unused vinyl; but, in reality, I just took it upon myself to liberate a couple dozen records from their languishing post on the basement shelves. My dad’s copy of David Bowie’s Aladdin Sane and my mom’s set of The Band’s The Last Waltz get a lot of play in particular. Generally I prefer music to be played out in the open, but having a roommate makes private listening a necessity for the sake of basic decency, so my headphones are employed often. I also have one of those little iPod speaker do-hickeys, which gets used all the time.
Do you have any favorite music websites/providers? I’m sort of incompetent with computers and the Internet, so mostly I just use the iTunes Music Store. Shazam is a great iPhone app that can recognize ambient music almost anywhere, which is great for covert music discovery. I feel like a spy when I pull it out in the coffee shop to figure out what they’re playing. I also often make questionable decisions at flea markets and thrift stores with record purchases—they’re just so cheap! I recently came home with nine Joan Baez albums. Nothing against Joan Baez, but that might have been excessive.
Does music influence your work? Adding a soundtrack to your life definitely puts you in a certain frame of mind and influences the way you interact with your environment and generate ideas. I like music that does something unexpected—the kind of songs that you don’t know exactly what you’re in for after hearing the first ten seconds. I suppose I try to carry that quality through to my work on my home, blogging, academic work, etc. In my workspace, I made my desk from a traditionally-styled nightstand I found on the curb and played the beat-up wood against a crisp white desktop, white painted drawer fronts, and hairpin-inspired legs from IKEA. The shelving was made with steel plumbing pipe and plywood. I like the interplay of the exposed honey-colored tone of the plywood edge (which to me is evocative of mid-century modern furniture) and the more industrial feel of matte-black pipe. Added to that are office accessories ranging from the 40s to the present, a vintage oriental rug, needlepoints, and—still my favorite element—my vintage Eames “light sea foam green” Shell Chair. Broken down piece by piece, it sounds like a mess. But I like the way it all works together.
Where do you find music recommendations? Who influences your musical taste? Music recommendations come from everywhere. I’m lucky to have a lot of musically inclined and talented friends, so their recommendations are always the best. But I’ve also found some of my favorite music from other blogs, movies, or hearing things at the coffee shop or at a party.
If your work was a song or a musician, what or who would it be? Optimistically, I’m going with David Bowie. Not because I’m brilliant or talented or British or married to Iman, but I think that his music and style expertly toe a line between beauty and fun. I suppose I take the design of my space pretty seriously, but I try to be careful not to let that quest for a good-looking room shut out the things I love. Some people want to live in a magazine, but I’d rather keep my surroundings sort of playful and personal. In the end, I’d rather have my space be “me” than be perfect.
Time, Pink Floyd
Plainsong, The Cure
Golden Gate Jumpers, Cold War Kids
All Delighted People (Classic Rock Version), Sufjan Stevens
I’ll Keep It With Mine, Nico
Baby, Let Me Follow You Down, Bob Dylan
All I Want, Joni Mitchell, Blue
The Boy With the Thorn in His Side, The Smiths
Time, David Bowie
Next Girl, The Black Keys, Brothers
Quiet, Please!, Cold War Kids
Images: Daniel Kanter