When I first heard that Harris Tweed were teaming up with Stockholm’s Urbanears to create a pair of headphones I was intrigued to see what they’d look like. It sounded like an odd combination of brands but it was certainly a pairing that could yield some interesting results. When I finally got my hands on a pair of them last week I was not only surprised with how well the crossover works but I was also properly impressed with just how genuinely beautiful they are.
Urbanears have always made good headphones and it’s nice to see a company that’s producing something with style, a good sense of design and a passion for making things that’s just that little bit unique. Their Plattan series is really nice and I reckon that this new Harris Tweed edition is by far the finest in the range.
Harris Tweed is an important part of Scottish heritage and it’s the only fabric in the world that has its own Act of Parliament to ensure its authenticity. These headphones are wrapped up in over 150 years of tradition, and they’re made out of the finest hand-woven virgin wool. If you ask me, they may just be the most stylish headphones around.
The Plattan Tweed Edition Urbanears are also a joy to use. They offer a rich, secluded sound and are filled with lots of nice detailing – from the beautiful brown cushions and fabric cord to the little subtle use of color on the orange cables. I particularly like how they have an extra jack on the side of the ear cap which allows a friend to plug in and enjoy the music your listening to.
These Harris Tweed Urbanears are a limited edition. You can find a pair in shops or order them online here. They really are the perfect look for this time of year!
Mathis Rekowski is a Berlin based illustrator who’s work could be compared to a modern day Salvador Dali, albeit one that chooses Illustrator over oil paints. Mathis’ work is scattered and fragmented, many pieces coming together to make a cohesive whole. Cohesion in his pieces is varied. There are ones like the Jay-Z piece at top, while still a melange of pieces, definitely looks like the iconic rapper. In the bottom two I’m obsessed with the colors and how they look vaguely like faces… or is that just me? Be sure to visit his site to see his work in a much larger size!
Are you satisfied creatively?
No. Definitely not. There’s no way it’ll ever happen. I get to do stuff that I enjoy, but there are so many things I could be doing that I either don’t have the time for or don’t yet have the skills for. I am satisfied to the extent that I’m in a position where I get to decide what I want to do. Years ago, I didn’t have that luxury. In that sense, I’m happy, but there are still people who don’t know my name, companies I haven’t worked for, and things I haven’t done yet. I think that if you’re an artist and you’re satisfied, then you’re a failure—honestly. There’s more out there than you could ever imagine. If you’re satisfied, you’re done being an artist.
Morphing into folk, bluegrass, country, western, or even the blues, “Americana” takes much from it’s environment and the instruments that populate it. In that regard, the native Appalachians of Old Crow Medicine Show, one of the best live acts in the country, are as much punk as they are country and old-time music. The band are real DIY-ers: they got their start busking in Nashville over a decade ago, like the medicine shows at the turn of the 20th century. This is a 21st century take on that classic music. If anything, Old Crow Medicine Show charge their music with veiled political references, foot-stomping rhythms, and corn liquor. In other words, all the good stuff.
As a tribute to one of the hotly contested states in this years election, Carry Me Back seems like a classic from the old-time string bands, extolling the excellence of Virginia. Based off the old Virginia state song, Carry Me Back to Old Virginny, it tells the story of a young man filled with pride to fight in the Civil War and the accompanying false nationalism. But by the end it is a staunch anti-war song – dead horses, starvation in prison camps, and bayonets can’t shake the love of country and home. Carry Me Back isn’t just a faced paced hoe-down but exalts the love of country and home – that America is for you and me.
“The blood in the veins of Bangalore” is how the Berlin-based animator Xaver Xylophon likes to describe the city’s rickshaws. 450,000 of them make their way through the streets of Bangalore everyday and their drivers bravely do battle with the traffic just to take their passengers from A-B.
In 2011 Xylophon spent a month living in the city and the he produced a number of drawings while there. That work would go on to become the groundwork for this great short animation called For Hire!. The film shows a day in the life of a Bangalorean rickshaw driver and it’s an insight into both the daily life of the driver and also the life of the city. There’s a real simplicity in Xylophon’s animation and although it seems to be created digitally I love the painterly quality to his work. His story is a simple one, but it’s told so effectively and with such great restraint. I love it and I really recommended you check it out!