Exciting news this morning from our friend, proprietor of the amazing Box Vox blog (and a standout contributor to As Real As It Gets) Randy Ludacer.
When he’s not busy with package design & blogging, Mr. Ludacer writes and performs music — notably his Songs About Packaging CD, and a related live performance at Freshkills a couple years back.
Now he’s got something new — Old!
This batch of songs actually predates Songs About Packaging, for reasons explained here.
I used to think that there might be time to re-record these songs better some day. Now I think they’re perfect, as is. Some audiophiles may inexplicably disagree with me, but I think that these 14 songs—played in precisely this order—are as singular a musical mark as I could hope for.
I was lucky enough to receive an advance copy, as they say, and have been enjoying it quite a bit — “Revenue Stream” and “Expiration Date” being among my favorites. Reminds me of Marshall Crenshaw. In any case, charming.
And there is something new about Old!: The supercool packaging, which includes two small ball bearings rolling in the spine of jewel box. Mr. Ludacer is offering a free copy of old to the “first person to correctly identify the specific artwork that these ball bearings allude to.”
Details here: New Package Design for Old! CD | Box Vox
Old! is available on CD Baby.
ECM Album Covers by Manfred Eicher - NYTimes.com →
“The cover is a metaphoric translation,” said Mr. Eicher, who refuses to be a mule to the literal. “Whatever it might mean, it’s a sign. It’s an envelope, the envelope of the given.” He added that he’s after “silence, poses, thoughtfulness, contemplativeness” — apt descriptions of the covers, all from 2012, cited here.
John Bertram, an architect who runs the blog Venus Febriculosa (and is also behind a project to reconsider the problematic cover of Nabokov’s Lolita), recently launched a competition to redesign the cover of Music for Films. This is not because he thinks it’s fatally flawed; indeed, he describes it as perfect. But he’s interested in visual alternatives that engage more directly with the music, filling in the blank that’s there now. (He also writes, “[W]e prefer difficult projects.”) His jury includes several Eno collaborators; the Print columnist Rick Poynor; Julia Hasting, design director of Phaidon Press; and Geeta Dayal, who recently wrote a book on Eno’s 1975 album, Another Green World. (Poynor himself wrote about the contest earlier this month on Design Observer.) Entries are due September 1, with a $500 cash prize at stake; more details can be found here [PDF]. I recently spoke to Bertram about the creation of the mysterious album art and why he started a competition to redo a cover he loves.
(via Redesigning Brian Eno’s Music for Films)
John Bertram, LA architect and imaginative organizer of cover design competitions, has come up with a great idea. Bertram wants to receive cover proposals for Eno’s 1978 album Music for Films and is offering a cash prize to the winner.
This might be the perfect cover design challenge since it requires entrants not to replace something that exists with a better alternative, but to imagine something where the album’s creator apparently wanted there to be almost nothing at all. The original 12-inch record cover — don’t be misled by the later CD versions — is a piece of card turned inside out so that the empty, uncoated gray side forms a welcoming tactile sleeve, or as one might see it, a blank screen waiting for the film and the film music to begin; inside the card is smooth, shiny and white. There’s some brown type at the top and someone (I doubt it was Eno) must have specified this, but there’s no design credit on the album, even though the back cover, with a blurred picture of Eno in a car by Ritva Saarikko, his girlfriend at the time, is more obviously designed.
(via Design a Cover for Eno’s Music for Films: Observatory: Design Observer)
"I guess I am old enough now for my music-writing “career” to have entered officially into the obituary rather than the discovery phase. It’s just more likely at this point that a musician I already love will die than it is that I will find new musicians to get that attached to."