Just came across this great Flickr set of The Canadian Architect covers from 1964-67, designed by Laszlo Buday.
Also, sorry for the abscence of this weeks’s Weekend Inspiration post. I’ve been helping out Tycho with the first leg of this summer tour dates, so haven’t had much time to post, but next Friday it’s back to business as usual.
When will it end? Apparently never. I think it’s time I just give in and nominate the Canadians as completely owning the mid-late 70′s. The more I look at this sort of design, the more I realize how much it has influenced my own style. It’s funny because I don’t remember really being aware of design when I was younger and I certainly wasn’t fortunate enough to be alive (much less conscious) during the ’76 games. I guess these sorts of things just kind of seep in to your consciousness over the years through random, passing exposure without you completely realizing or understanding it’s impact.
At any rate, I envision my dream space as a large, concrete floored, open room with 3 story ceilings, all white, with these printed massive banner size hanging all along one side. I think the other side would be wood paneled in a light walnut with a flush installed Bang & Olufsen circa 1976 Beo system right in the center. Sprinkle in a healthy dose of vintage Hermann Miller, some Dieter Rams-designed Braun appliances here and there and things would be starting to look right. Maybe a wax figurine of Jakub in his ATMSPHR promo photo get-up and Jarvis Cocker glasses would be encased in a Perspex cylinder somewhere, perhaps animatronics would be involved, budget permitting.
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We are proud to have Porcelain Raft join our short list of Guest Music Posts. Mauro’s “Permanent Signal” LP is out August 20th on Secretly Canadian. Pitchfork Advance is streaming his new album this week. Enjoy the selections, i’m really impressed by the Violeta Parra song, I think its a very essential listen from starting to finish.
1. Factrix “Phantom Pain”
I was in Seattle and randomly ended up in a record store. They were playing a strange sounding song, driven by a drum machine and the singer was almost whispering. I liked it right away.
I stayed in Seattle for less than a week that visit, in a very old hotel in Chinatown called something exotic that I don’t remember anymore. This is the perfect soundtrack for old hotels with exotic names and broken neon lights, constantly flickering.
2. Violeta Parra “El Gavilan, Gavilan”
I’m reading this book called The Spiritual Journey of Alejandro Jodorowsky. I love his movies and wanted to know more about his life. In one of the chapter, he recalls meeting a famous songwriter and guitar player from Chile named Violeta Parra. She was also a painter, and I was so intrigued by their conversation that I went and checked out her music. I’m not into folk music usually but she is different. She improvises songs and plays long guitar interludes, all recorded with a portable device. It’s so beautiful and the sound is timeless.
3. Richard Skelton “Noon Hill Wood”
I don’t know much about this artist…I do know he’s from UK and he’s published a number of books of poetry and drawings in addition to his music. He has also been known to include artefacts, such as twigs and dried flowers, inside the packaging of his album releases. He uses strings and guitars mostly when recording his music. You should check his bandcamp page and website, which is full of poems and drawings he’s created. A stunning, minimalist world he’s building, away from any sort of spotlight.
4. Randy Newman “I Think It’s Going To Rain Today”
I really got into this on a road trip I did a few months ago, heading to perform at a festival. We played Randy Newman in the van and the experience felt like we were the Rat Pack heading to Vegas for a gig.
It was a very magical moment, as if that music existed solely in that van for us in that moment. The song I picked, “I Think It’s Going To Rain Today”, is one of my favorites. Another one I really like is “In Germany Before The War”, when he sings ‘I’m looking at the river but I’m thinking of the sea…” When I grow up, I want to be like Randy Newman.
During the holidays I stopped in at a used book store and came across a wonderful photography book by Canadian artist, Roloff Beny. ‘To Every Thing There is a Season: Roloff Beny in Canada’ is a photographic essay exploring Canada during the 1960′s. The book contains poems, landscapes, portraits, architecture, and graphic design that is visionary for the time it was printed. Like a Boards of Canada album, the book puts my mind in a cozy, nostalgic place.
A little research reveals that the book was the official Canadian gift to visiting heads of state during the country’s 1967 centennial year. He’s also authored a number of other acclaimed photography books I’m hoping to pick-up in the near future.
Beny’s work is included in the collections of The Metropolitan Museum and the Museum of Modern Art in New York, the National Gallery of Canada and the Art Gallery of Ontario. In 1971, he was made an officer of The Order of Canada. In 1984, at the age of 60, Beny passed away from a heart attack in his Roman studio overlooking the Tiber.
You can view a more complete set of photos in this FLICKR SET I put together.
Starting in 1966, Can-Am was an idealistic series conceived by the SCCA and its Canadian counterpart, CASC. Running under FIA Group 7 rules, it was as open as a series could get, essentially a formula libre format with the chassis weight and horsepower being, for all intents and purposes, unlimited. If the the tires weren’t exposed and it had 2 seats, you could race it. It was popular among drivers and enthusiasts, the likes of Keke Rosberg, Gilles Villeneuve, and even Paul Newman being regulars at the meets.
While this format led to some interesting technological developments and some truly oddball designs, it also opened the door to the inevitable: 1,000+HP engines bolted to cars that proved to be as unsafe as they were powerful. Lola & McLaren dominated the front 9 of the first era, the latter half saw the introduction and subsequent perfection of the Porsche 917, which nearly spelled the end of the series as they were unbeatable by non-works sponsored teams.
Some notable offspring of the early Can-Am years included heavy experimentation with aerodynamics and downforce, particularly Jim Hall’s Chaparral cars. The 2J, or “sucker car” [seen above in b&w bearing the number 66] used a series of skirts and a small 2 stroke engine which powered 2 fans aft of the vehicle. This combination of parts cobbled together [on what I feel is one of the ugliest race cars ever produced] created a unique type of ground effect, one which didn’t require moving air over the car, meaning that downforce in excess of 1.5g could be accomplished at any speed. When it was actually working, it qualified 2 seconds faster than the closest car, and was quickly banned.
The late 1970′s saw the waning series combined with then thriving Formula 5000 category, allowing teams to convert single-seat, open wheeled tubs into closed-wheel sports cars. While less popular in the long run, it encouraged many more teams to compete and led to a truly unique chapter of motorsport, as well as some really good looking cars. This modest resurgence continued until the dominance IMSA/Camel & CART took over as the format of choice in the 80′s.