Pitchfork   The Dissolve   Festivals: Chicago | Paris
Britney Spears' requests: Fish and chips, McDonald’s cheeseburgers without the buns, 100 prunes and figs, a framed photo of Princess Diana.

The backstage food requests of musicians range from the practical: liquor, cough drops, and tea for Frank Sinatra, to the strange: Nine Inch Nails' two boxes of corn starch. Photographer Henry Hargreaves became fascinated with these demands, and after perusing countless concert riders in The Smoking Gun's database, he photographed the most compelling requests with a bleak Flemish baroque aesthetic. The connection between the baroque and the musicians is intentional, he tells Vice:

"I felt that there was a direct connection between the themes in these types of paintings and the riders: the idea of time passing and the ultimate mortality of a musician’s career as the limelight inevitably fades—they only have a short time in which they are able to make these demands and have them fulfilled."

See the rest of the backstage snacks over at Vice

Photo by: Public Works | Storm Thorgerson at Public Works Gallery, Chicago, IL

Storm Thorgerson, the English graphic designer responsible for Pink Floyd's iconic Dark Side of the Moon album cover, died Thursday at the age of 69. In addition to his solo work, Thorgerson was also a major part of the design team Hipgnosis, which later included Peter Christopherson from Throbbing Gristle, and produced surrealist designs for bands like Led Zeppelin, Electric Light Orchestra, The Hollies, and many more. His designs could be witty (10cc) or cryptic (Pink Floyd's Wish You Were Here), and often invited the viewer to personal interpretation, not unlike rock music itself. Thorgerson believed in producing his surrealist images through elaborately staged photography, rather than photo effects or digital techniques. More recently, you may have seen his work on covers for Muse and The Mars Volta.

We've collected a gallery of his design work (above) and his video work (below).

Watch an interview with Storm Thorgerson about the influence of Magritte on his work.  

Robert Plant - "Big Log"

Pink Floyd - "Learning to Fly"

From one of the poorest parts of Paraguay, a slum on top of a massive garbage dump, comes an inspiring story of creativity and music.

In Cateura, Paraguay, a garbage picker brought some violin-like pieces of trash to a local musician who fashioned a functional violin from the objects. They continued, creating makeshift cellos, violins, and flutes with sound qualities that resemble the traditional classic instruments. Next, they formed a band with local children. 

Now, a documentary film on the project and the band, The Recycled Orchestra, is in the works via Kickstarter and an orchestra tour may be organized provided the funding comes through. In the meantime, we're just marveling at the instruments, which defy the definition of recycling; they're works of art.

Fund the Landfill Harmonic Kickstarter now.



It used to be that every elementary school classroom had a standalone record player with its own speakers. Still, they needed to be plugged in. Not the Turntable01, which is truly portable, has its own amp and speakers, and powers up for 25 minutes of playtime after the user cranks it for a few minutes. That should be good enough to get through side one of Spiderland with only a little sweat.

Jymy Parhiala designed Turntable01 at Lund University as part of a project to embrace "cyclical living strategies," but we're hoping it becomes widely available at some point. Perhaps before our next soul 45 picnic?

Obscure Beatles imports, charming kitschy travel albums, and dozens of records about food are among the infinite categories of album covers found on the LP Cover Lover Tumblr. But the site isn't all jokes. For every cringeworthy novelty sleeve, there's another with gorgeous vintage typography, or a bold design we wouldn't mind seeing on a new release. True to Tumblr form, the site also posts iconic images from rock history involving album covers, including Bruce Springsteen admiring Born to Run in a record store window, and snapshots from the original manufacturing of Rubber Soul.

Follow LP Cover Lover on Tumblr and, like the last century of album sleeves, sometimes it's NSFW.


The black and white composition of the new "Music Project" campaign from Saint Laurent Paris shouldn't come as a surprise. The series was conceived and shot by Saint Laurent's new creative director Hedi Slimane, who shot black and white portraits of rock stars in his Rock Diaries. The clothes for the campaign were chosen in collaboration with the artists and include selections from the Saint Laurent archives, as well as this year's collections. In addition to dressing musicians, Saint Laurent has also commissioned new works from Daft Punk and San Francisco garage buddies Ty Segall and Thee Oh Sees for their runway shows. 

The documentary film format has been good to rock music's great unknowns in recent years. Witness Searching for Sugar Man's 2012 Oscar. 

The story of Detroit proto-punk band Death finally gets its due in A Band Called Death, a documentary by Mark Covino and Jeff Howlett on the '70s-era trio formed by the Hackney brothers. The band was rediscovered in recent years via rare vinyl blogs and eventually through reissues on the Chicago Drag City label. The doc takes us through this process and delves into the history of the band, which recorded high-energy Motor City-style rock on a 1974 demo table that sounds as punk and unhinged as what was later unleashed by the Sex Pistols and Bad Brains. They turned down a contract from Clive Davis, apparently, which required them to change their name and, later, Death members settled into a gig as a popular reggae band in Burlington, Vermont. They have since reunited for tours.

Presently, the film is touring small festivals—it debuted at 2012's Los Angeles Film Festival.


The collaborative short film Prada commissioned from Wes Anderson and Roman Coppola to advertise their new Candy fragrance clocks in at just about three and a half minutes, but has all the familiar details of Anderson's longer features.

The three episodes, starring Léa Seydoux, chronicle the romantic exploits of two best friends dating the same woman simultaneously with the understated dialog and raucous soundtrack (this time provided by supercool French rocker Jacques Dutronc) that works so well in the duo's earlier collaborations.

Last week we wrote about Prada's "Real Fantasies" film

With all the blood, sweat and tears bands put into making an album, it follows that they'd like to present their music in a package that will stand the test of time. But encasing your album in a block of sugar, that's a statement of a different kind.

The duo Beacon (Thomas Mullarney and Jacob Gossett) met in school at Pratt, and the former art students have teamed with sculptor buddy Fernando Mastrangelo on the case for a deluxe edition of their upcoming album, The Ways We Seperate. Mastrangelo has cast a piece of all white sugar with the acronym for the album title debossed on the front. On the back, there's an inlay where the precious vinyl will rest. You will want to keep this away from children, pots of coffee, and open flames, we think.

The Ways We Separate is out on Ghostly International on April 30th.

Signmaker and street artist Jay Shells' new project Rap Quotes annotates NYC locations with homemade traffic signs bearing site specific lyrics from rap tracks. Shells has the installation down to a science: he pops out of his car with a sign, a footstool, and his cell phone, and has each quote hung and tweeted in just a few moments. The tweets aren't just for vanity purposes, he guesses each sign probably won't last longer than a week before another fan steals it, so the quick photos are likely his only record. When asked about the theft, Shells doesn't seem to mind. "It's my gift to you," he says. [via Animal