I’m not the first one to say this, and won’t be the last: I’m fairly certain that we’ve lost our collective minds. We used to buy stuff and it lasted a long time. Now we consider a $600 phone to be ancient after two years, and we desperately need to replace it. This is a story of one object that predates most of my early memories. It may out-live me. I guess it would be nice if reliability and quality were a normal thing, not a luxury thing.

This is the toaster my parents bought when we moved to Canada…

It took a long time to get this right. A. Long. Time.

This is not your typical start up product launch story. I don’t have a burn rate, I don’t have to get something to market in 6 months. This is mostly because I don’t have payroll to meet, or rent on a shop to pay. I have a full time job and a family. I also love playing guitar and modern design, so this is a project that can easily hold my attention despite all the distraction that 3 years of life can throw at you. The extra time I’ve given myself to digest and reflect allowed me to learn more…

Live music is hard to shoot. 

Ash Tanasiychuk is a Vancouver based photographer, artist and founder of VANDOCUMENT, an organisation hell bent on interviewing, recording, filming and snapping as much music and art in Vancouver as possible. Here’s a Interview with Ash about getting great shots of live musicians.

MA: What’s the most important thing the band and the photographer need to do to get better live photos?

AT: Light! Cameras capture light. If there is minimal light, getting a good shot is really tough. The lower the light, the longer the shutter has to be open to capture enough light to register…

Say “no”, even if it’s the stupidest thing to do.

Over shadowed by the Nest purchase, only the most savvy VC’s have been following the biggest story not to make news. Google’s offer to Modern Amp. Most people would jump at the chance to be bought by Google, and $700 million for a company that has yet to incorporate certainly had tongues wagging in the valley and all the “experts” announcing simultaneously that this is a sure sign that the guitar amp bubble is about to burst, and that Modern Amp is crazy to turn it down.

But turning it down is what I have to do.

First, when I…

A Test for Music, and Christmas Tunes Fail.

Do you only listen to indie rock in September? Metal exclusively in January? Of course not. The music you like is what you’re into, it has no season. But Christmas music fails my new hastily constructed (and probably already thought of) test: Would you ever listen to this when it’s not Christmas? Because if you don’t, then it can’t be good music.

Do you know what I just spent about 2.5 hours doing? Standing outside, waiting, and pretending to my young son that this is awesome: We’re at the park to take a train ride through a display of Christmas…


The Future of Medium is not Networking.

Posts should say something interesting, maybe inspire, or horrify, but always inform. Medium is more interesting if it’s more than just a way of reaching a lot of readers. It’s more than a way of making connections. If all I do is practice making good ad copy, then all I’m doing is becoming better at being an ad man. Remember how the web was going to change everything? How instead of big agencies broadcasting to the little people, we’d connect to each other in meaningful ways? It’s not going to work if we decide to become little ad agencies for…

How Leo Fender inadvertently made the perfect modern object

The next time you’re in a design museum, skip past the row of chairs by Eames and Van der Rohe and try to find a Fender Telecaster instead. What you can’t find at MoMA is more influential and a bolder embodiment of the Modernist ethos than anything those design giants ever created.

The Telecaster has been in continuous production since 1950. Guitarists know what a Telecaster looks like, along with most non-musicians. All you have to do is say that it’s the guitar Bruce Springsteen plays. Or Joe Strummer, or Albert Collins, or Jonny Greenwood or Justine Frischmann.

Before modernism…

A family of 3 Living in less than 500 sq ft

My family — me, my partner of 12 years, and our 5 year old son have recently spent a whole year of living in less than 500 sq ft. This isn’t a story of sacrifice, or hard times, or living in an ocean side hut of some poor, but simple and beautiful country where it’s always warm. It’s a story of how we ended up in the basement of our little city house in rainy Vancouver, and we barely noticed that we were living in the equivalent of a two car garage.

You know how it goes, your partner/spouse gets…

Less making university more like work, more about making work like university.

My parents are British, working class, both born in 1944. Their first years were on rations. They came from large families. They did well in school, but as working class kids, university was not a likely option. They both made it into the military, and because of either their luck or smarts, were diverted to skilled positions and received more training. My father used his military electrical engineering training to gain a position at Hewlett-Packard. HP was a well regarded company with excellent internal training programmes. Like his life in the military, he was willing to move and did, many…

it’s like dating without the STDs.

I can only speak from personal experience, but playing music with other people is one of the great joys you can have. The reason is simple: Making music connects people. It connects you in a way that a conversation can’t. It’s what makes writing about it so hard. I’ll do my best for you.

Long ago, I got together and hung out a little with two other musicians. We didn't know each other, but we had come together because of an ad put out by the bass player, Carl. That’s what you did back in the day, you put an…

Modern Amplification

We build guitar amps that look good in your living room, sound great on stage. Follow us for new music, old music, or stories about music. www.modernamp.com

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