The Voyager 1 probe lunched back in 1977, and while most often credited with taking beautiful imagery of the massive inhabitants of our solar system, it also recorded the noises of radio and plasma waves being emitted by our fellow planets.
While no transmissions of alien top 40 hits were received, what humans did get to experience for the first time were the ethereal and sweeping sounds of the energy of the very planets themselves, a beautiful and bizarre set of transmissions that rival the best of our synth masters here on earth, and have informed "the sound of space" in sci-fi and music ever since.
Generative artwork firm Thedotisblack specializes in creating artwork using only coding in computers. For their most recent project they have created a moving soundmap out of a perfectly edited and looped recording form NASA's Voyager recordings. Think of it as a 41-year art piece created with the teamwork of a Probe, human brains, and an ever-changing array 0's and 1's.
The piece we've highlighted here is based on the recordings of Jupiter, our favorite stormy, gassy, space-fellow. Check out Thedotisblack for more generative artworks and computer-derived experiments, and we highly recommend "Symphonies of the Planets", the complete NASA Voyager recordings. It's great for parties.
Our good friends at Intentionally Blank gave us a warm welcome to their California stores, and a wonderful look back at what made them fall in love with the Blackbird spirit.
Many thanks to Intentionally Blank, read the full article here:
It's a scientific secret that crops back into our minds and very cold hearts every winter: the smell of snow. But is it really a scent we're smelling?
"Cold weather, humidity, and a stimulated trigeminal nerve—combine to create something that isn’t an odor, but a sensory experience you’ve come to associate with snow. That’s why when asked to describe the scent, people often use words like “clean,” “fresh,” and “cold"— a.k.a. things that don’t have much of a scent at all.
Mental Floss has the rest of the story.
Owner and mastermind Laura Uhlir behind Olive, a rad women’s store in Austin, is a badass. Olive started from humble beginnings and gradually became the beautifully designed and curated boutique it is today thanks to Laura constantly researching the best new brands, constantly hunting down the greatest vintage treasures, regularly staying late and, above all, making it happen. You wouldn’t guess that retail is hard because shops like Olive make it look so easy, but it’s actually because people like Laura are really good at their jobs. We had the chance to gather a few words from Laura about Olive and we’re excited to share them with you!
How did Olive come about and when?
Olive came about in 2012 after helping friends launch a shop of their own. I helped them with brand sourcing and buying and after their doors opened I was left wanting my own shop. I guess I caught the bug!
How big is your store?
Olive is pretty itty bitty! It's in a small bungalow & is probably about 500 square feet. But it's packed to the gills with great stuff.
What's the neighborhood like?
Rosewood, the neighborhood Olive's in in East Austin, is dreamy! It's a really hot spot in Austin at the moment. Lots of shops, restaurants, bars & even a boutique hotel are moving into the area. Lots of families live near by too. It feels very homey. You can find just about anything you'd like from a stiff cocktail to a fantastic coffee to the best BBQ in Austin all within a stone's throw.
What types of things do you sell at Olive?
The focus at Olive is largely on independent design coupled with timeless vintage clothing. We've got loads of jewelry, apothecary and gifts as well. I like things with a clean sense of design and sense of humor doesn't hurt either. There's not a thing in the shop that I'm not in love with. I figure, if I love it, others will too.
What makes Olive special or unique?
I think it's rare that shops team up vintage with independent design, which I've never understood. It makes perfect sense to me! When you're dressing yourself you don't segregate the two. Nothing's better than a fresh new shirt mixed with your old 501s or a vintage sundress & a new slick necklace. It breaths new life into the vintage and makes the new design pieces a little more approachable.
Any big changes coming up that people should know about?
Just chugging along! Olive just celebrated it's 2nd year of business, so you can look forward to more of the goodies. I'm always hunting down up-and-coming designers from all over. Bigger. Faster. Stronger ;
What types of music do you play in the store?
Well, I'm listening to Robyn as we speak (or type as the case may be), but I play a pretty broad assortment of things. Whatever suits my mood at the moment. I'm in a get-shit-done mode, so Robyn, Sonlange, Beyonce and the gals usually hit the speakers about that time. But I love playing New Wave, Chill Wave, a little Classic Rock, a little Hip-Hop, basically anything's game. I've really been enjoying Songza lately in shop. You can select a playlist based on your mood, activity or time of day -- and wouldn't ya know, they have a "shopping at a vintage store" activity, so that get's clicked a lot.
Are pets welcome in your store?
Absolutely! I loooove animals. Nothing makes me happier than a cute pup in the shop. I have two dogs of my own and Olive's namesake is a dog! Olive was my first pet as an adult, she was my spirit animal. The chillest, chubby little Boston Terrier. She loved the beach, snoring & cheese - we had a lot in common.
1223 ROSEWOOD AVE
AUSTIN, TX 78702
THANK YOU LAURA!!
We interviewed Forest Eckley and Sean Frazier, owners of one of Seattle's newest and greatest concept shops, Glasswing, and also our buddies. A quick glance at their website reveals their multifaceted nature with features including a photo diary of the Glasswing crew's travels across the country to collect and share photos of some of America's most awesome natural wonders, regular art features from various artists through their website and in-store, and an interview section called, "Friends" where they share in-depth interviews and feature stories on interesting people they know, many from the Pacific Northwest. These guys are rad.
FE: A little bit of everything ... we've been building our own playlists since opening the shop and I think our house and reggae playlists are probably the best right now.
1525 MELROSE AVE
SEATTLE, WA 98122
Big thank you to anyone who came out to support Makerhaus at last weekend's Designer's Open Holiday Pop-Up. It was so good to see all of you!
In case you missed us, you're in luck because Blackbird has another pop-up location coming up soon.
American Express has invited their favorite local merchants including Blackbird to takeover a space in downtown Seattle for a four week holiday pop up shop. Each week the old merchants swap out for new merchants and the store completely changes to focus on a different theme. We're really excited because Blackbird will be participating for two consecutive weeks, which should give you enough time to swing by, shop exclusive products and deals not available online, and of course we can all catch up. American Express will also be providing complimentary coffee to shoppers. Here's the details:
55 UNIVERSITY ST
SEATTLE, WA 98101
(ACROSS FROM HARBOR STEPS)
11/26 - 12/2: HOME & DECOR
12/4 - 12/9: FASHION & BEAUTY (FEATURING BLACKBIRD)
12/11 - 12/16: MAN CAVE (FEATURING BLACKBIRD)
12/18 - 12/23: THAT PERFECT GIFT
10AM - 7PM SUNDAY THROUGH THURSDAY
10AM - 8PM FRIDAY AND SATURDAY
RSVP ON FACEBOOK
Note that each week the pop-up will be closed on Tuesday to allow for the merchants to swap out merchandise and recreate the store.
12/4 - 12/9: Zebraclub, Clementine, Mishu, Kimberly Baker Jewelry, Ampersand As Apostrophe, Lucky Vintage, Erika Laureano Design and April Pride
SEATTLE MAG - SHOP SMALL WITH AMEX AND DELTA
APRIL PRIDE - AMEX & DELTA AIRLINES POP-UP
Can't wait to see you guys there! And don't forget to invite your friends too.
824 VALENCIA ST
SAN FRANCISCO, CA 94110
(415) 824 - 1872
THANK YOU MICHAEL!
We do OK shooting our own stuff, but some of our accounts have gotten a little more creative to shoot our products and produced some beautiful images. Take a look and see what our friends have been up to.
Alter Brooklyn put together this awesome, minimal diorama of our products, giving a great overview of some of our most popular products.
We love the display Demimonde put together for her jewelry shop in Portland. The piles/stacks are asymmetric, the cones are out so people can tell these aren't small fashionable containers of chewing tobacco, and the beautiful display artifacts (is that a tree branch in back? crystals on the table?) really make this one top notch.
The mysterious Blackmail Boutique in Austin, TX who shares our grayscale affinity put together a really unique display that presents the incense on a platter as implements of sorts. Incense is just a different kind of tool.
Haberdash in Chicago went with a close-up highlighting the hand-written labels on all of our Blackbird Incense. Sepulchre is a cult favorite.
Ten Over Six actually went above and beyond the call of duty and produced a little instagram video (videogram? instavid? instadeo?) of our Blackbird Incense in their store. With just one tin of each scent out on a white surface with a white wall behind it, I don't know if these could look any better.
It's hard to believe how many unbelievably beautiful shots our stores have taken of our products, using Paxton Gate as a superlative example. We really like Paxton Gate, including their whole vibe and selection, and nestling our products together with a cast iron hand cigar tray and a seed pod is just perfect.
Nuestros amigos at Aloha Sunday took a beautiful shot of our incense with a cone burning. Really rich and clean. Don't stare at the light for too long.
This shot from Individual Medley is all about simple texture variance. An old wood surface on the bottom, a painted white wall with texture up top, and our modern gold/black/white incense in the middle is all you need.
Prism, located literally just down Ballard Ave from the old Blackbird space, so go see these guys if you are in Seattle, gets the burner award. In a good way. So pretty. (NOTE: Their first store was Cairo on Capitol Hill, so you'll notice the link says Temple of Cairo)
Our new friends in Vancouver BC, Nouvelle Nouvelle, have done several fantastic, clean shots of our products on this wood background. A couple shots of our soap especially capture its dimensionality, and the monotone, unwavering blackness of the bars.
Lastly, this was shot at Veer & Wander in San Francisco. Considering the objects we're displayed next to are the same tools we use when making some of our products, Veer & Wander clearly has the right idea. And it looks good, too.
THANK YOU SO MUCH TO OUR FANTASTIC STORES! WE LOVE WHAT YOU DID!
This time we interviewed Jerry Morris, owner at Asher Goods, a men's clothing and lifestyle boutique located in Kirkland, WA, just a stone's throw away from Seattle. These guys are carrying the menswear torch for the area right now.
13 CENTRAL WAY, SUITE B
KIRKLAND, WA 98033
PS: Check out this little full-page editorial shot 425 Magazine did with a gentleman fully decked-out in Asher Goods gear. That's some good heritage.
This time we interviewed Lori Parkerson, owner at Redeem, a men's/women's fashion/lifestyle boutique operating out of the heart of the nation, Washington, DC. We think you'll like their aesthetic.
1810 14TH ST NW
WASHINGTON, DC 20009
(202) 332 7447
To help illustrate how each of our partners is uniquely good at what they do, we've been talking with them to get their own take on their shops. We hope that if you find yourself in one of our cities, you'll seek out these stores to say hello and get to know their different styles and personalities.
This time we interviewed Alex Weidner, partner at The Well, a men's and women's fashion & lifestyle boutique, full-functioning salon, and event-space (we're talking huge warehouse in back) located in LA.
How did The Well come about and when?
My business partner, Jefferson, used to rent out/operate a warehouse space further south and more "out of the way" in downtown Los Angeles along with a few other folks who are still working with The Well. While there, he did hair for private clients and also coordinated editorial photo shoots and threw incredible (technically illegal) parties with world class DJs/musical talent. They were able to grow a really strong grassroots following through their efforts there. I started getting my hair cut by Jefferson at the old Well while they were running out on their lease and happened to be in between business efforts at the time. We decided to make it "official" and legitimize the concept into what you see here today.
How big is the space?
The building is 7500 square feet as a whole - divided into +/- 2000 sq. ft. in the store, 2000 sq. ft. in the salon and around 3500 sq. ft. in the event/studio space. It's a big old building, oldest building records show it being constructed in the 1920's.
What's the neighborhood like?
I'm really excited about the neighborhood. Downtown LA has experienced incredible growth in the last decade or two, and we're in a bit more of a quiet/tree-lined area just a few blocks away from the uber-urbanized center of the action - still, our direct surroundings will look entirely different in a few years...pretty much every large, empty parking lot will be either a new residential building or a hotel. Fun and scary all at once.
What types of things do you sell at The Well?
We've got a nice balance of lower price point, more "accessible" brands and more high-end/contemporary lines. We're trying not to alienate any consumers while still retaining some level of "forwardness", if I may, in what we offer. Making people feel comfortable while introducing or reinforcing things that might seem a little different to them at the time, but inevitably are worth paying attention to.
What what would you say makes The Well special or unique?
We're certainly not the traditional operation in this industry. Obviously we're a store, salon and event production/promotions company all crammed under one roof and you don't see that every day. Beyond that, personally, I easily grew bored of brands/stores/people etc. trying very hard to adhere to a particular level of "cool" or to a particular aesthetic that makes them feel accepted in the right circles, be they social or professional. I feel like people are ready more than ever to see boundaries broken down between more progressive fashion, music, art and the more approachable stuff. Rappers wearing Givenchy, attending Paris fashion week and all of that - low is meeting high and if there's any positive direct result of that I hope it involves challenging the confines of pretension. Hope I didn't get too deep into that question...I think one of our basic goals is to make people feel welcome/good about themselves while acting as a platform/hub for things worth paying attention to.
Any big changes coming up that people should know about?
We're all giddy over our forthcoming private label for sure...throwing a big Halloween party in Nicaragua too. Other big ideas in the works but I'll leave those to surprise.
What music can I expect to hear while shopping at The Well?
Are pets welcome in your store?
Pets are welcome in our store, which has its pluses and drawbacks. We discover little "surprises" from time to time but happily clean them up with haste. Whiskey, Jefferson and his wife/Well team member Shanacie's lovable little dog, runs around and yaps at/charms customers on a near daily basis. We're an overall very animal-friendly environment.
Blackbird Products Stocked: Incense Pyres, Perfumes
1006 S OLIVE ST
LOS ANGELES, CA 90015
(213) 550 4448