Productivity talk can edge into dystopian territory, but at the beginning of the year, I like to think of that kind of research and the tips that follow as a necessary self-help effort. And anyway, we’ve all heard the studies about what music does to our brains while we’re trying to work.
“When the task is clearly defined and is repetitive in nature… research seems to suggest that music is definitely useful,” Fast Company notes. As Quartz points out, nine out of ten people are more efficient at work while listening to music. A landmark 1972 study proved that factory workers performed better when “upbeat, happy” songs were played overhead. But what exactly does “upbeat” and “happy” mean to the individual desk worker with access to anything and everything (thanks, Spotify)? And what if “happy” and “upbeat” isn’t really your thing?
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Since the 2013 release of Daft Punk’s Random Access Memories, 74-year-old disco pioneer Giorgio Moroder has been experiencing a late-career… Read More
If ever you thought, “Why, on Mighty Morphin Power Rangers, did no one ever break out into a poor interpretation… Read More
We’ve heard it all before: “Vinyl is BACK!” Vinyl sales in 2013 were the highest they’d been in 22 years, with 6.1 million new LPs sold last year — a 33 percent increase from 2012 alone. Jack White sold nearly as many copies — 40,000 to be exact — of his new album in vinyl form as he did on CD during Lazaretto‘s release week back in June. And yet, we can’t stop lamenting the death of the indie record store. We carry on with the well-meaning Record Store Day each April, even as the major labels have overtaken the exclusive offerings with ~*qUiRkY*~ pop novelties and reissue city. Music nerds can attribute RSD’s ubiquity and vinyl’s well-documented resurgence as “wins for the little guy,” but here’s a figure that bursts their indie-loving bubble: Urban Outfitters supposedly sells more vinyl in the world than any other single retailer.
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Although the two forms of poetry were borne of vastly different eras, sonnets and pop songs actually have a lot in common: they follow a pretty standard formula, they’re short and sweet, and often, their subject is love. One blog noticed these similarities and fused them together into “Pop Sonnets,” rewriting the lyrics of pop songs into sonnet form. The results are hilarious and brilliant — Ariana Grande and Iggy Azalea’s “Problem,” for instance, goes from “I should be wiser/ And realize that I’ve got/ One less problem without you,” to “I dream of days before our love was marred/ By infidelities and sordid lies/ — Too fanciful to learn that, should we part/ The load of problems’d lift off my heart.” Read the rest of “Problem’s” sonnet-ification below, along with updated poetic versions of “Call Me Maybe,” “We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together,” “Stacy’s Mom,” and other pop gems.
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There’s nothing cool about lung cancer, but just try telling that to the lizard brains of those of us who grew up worshiping the chimney-like rock icons of the ’60s through the ’90s — and leave it to a Parisian to remind us of smoking’s illicit appeal. In a series called Smoke Signals, French artist Léo Dorfner takes a novel approach to juxtaposing music and cigarettes, painting iconic album covers — Daft Punk, David Bowie, Sex Pistols — on the insides of empty Gitanes packs. Click through to view some highlights from the series, which we spotted via Junkculture… and if you’re feeling tempted to light up, just throw the two words emblazoned on the front of each pack into Google Translate.
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Whether you loved Daft Punk’s 2013 comeback album, Random Access Memories, or never want to hear “Get Lucky” again, you’ve got to admit the perpetually helmet-clad duo has a visual aesthetic that’s entirely unique in contemporary pop music. So it makes sense that Thomas Bangalter and Guy-Manuel de Homem-Christo have their share of fans in the art world. For a show called Daft Punk: Part Deux — a sequel to last year’s Daft Punk-themed ReDiscovery — San Francisco’s Gauntlet Gallery has enlisted over 40 artists who work in a range of media to create tributes to the band. Click through for a selection of highlights from the… Read More