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Issue № 9 FALL 2012 $12.00 U.S.

&  H UE S THE MUSIC ISSUE


FOUNDER’S

Letter

WHEN I WAS 13, my favorite way to discover new

music was through mix tapes. My older brother would get a hold of one—often a copy of a copy of the original. (“Legendary” tapes would be cloned many times over, resulting in poor sound quality, but we didn’t care.) The bootleg wasn’t accompanied by a track list, so we didn’t know what lay within until we played the entire cassette. Sometimes it revealed a message of unrequited love, sometimes the devastation of a breakup (most likely a fleeting romance that lasted a whole two weeks), and other times it was just about partying and having a good time. After my parents bought us a boombox with a dual cassette recorder, I took a stab at being my own record producer. It was a commitment: piling up cassettes, obsessing over lyrics, ruminating over the opening and closing tracks, and then recording it all—which meant simultaneously pressing “play” on one cassette and “record” on the other just before a song began, and then hovering over the tape deck ready to press both “pause” buttons immediately after the song faded. There was an art to making a mix tape and, in some ways, it’s similar to putting together an issue of a magazine: both require careful planning, patience, and hours of effort to stitch together a quilt of songs or stories unified by a theme. In this issue of Antholog y, it’s about music’s impact on our lives—from the everyday to where we travel and how we entertain.

What’s a music issue without a couple of stories out of Austin? In the Texas capital, a hotelier and singer/songwriter invite us into their home (“Lone Star Style,” page 26), and we also visit with a young family whose story revolves around a shared appreciation of music (“Love Notes,” page 107). In Los Angeles, a violinist displays her craftiness through her home decor projects (“Well-Crafted Living,” page 90). In Water Valley, Mississippi, a couple whose music-related careers have taken them all over the world have found a place to put down roots (“Settling Down South,” page 98). In our entertaining feature, “Supper and a Soundtrack” (page 112), music is the muse of a dinner hosted by the husband and wife behind Turntable Kitchen. And in our travel dispatch, “Nashville, Hear and Now” (page 70), a local shows us around Music City. As publishers of a print magazine, it’s little wonder why we have a soft spot for an antiquated form like the mix tape. While it doesn’t have the crisp quality of an MP3 and takes far more hours to produce than its digital counterpart, it offers you the enjoyment of sharing a piece of your life on a spool of tape—and we think that’s pretty amazing.

Meg Mateo Ilasco Co-Founder & Creative Director


Contents Fall 2012

FEATURES

LONE STAR STYLE

HOMEWARD

A FINE-TUNED FEAST

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IN EVERY ISSUE 38

A Texas hotelier applies her innate design skills to her properties and the home she shares with her singer/songwriter girlfriend.

The Korean food lovingly prepared by her grandmother inspires a pianist in her work—and in the kitchen.

NASHVILLE, HEAR AND NOW 70 A local offers a slew of reasons to visit the Tennessee capital, beyond its renowned music scene.

HOME SWEET STUDIO 47 A Los Angeles residence doubles as a recording studio, where friends and colleagues alike come together.

COLLECTIVE EFFORT 80 In New York, a charming loft is filled with mementos and memories, as well as its inhabitants’ own handiwork.

AN ARTFUL ARRANGEMENT 53 A couple’s New York City apartment pays tribute to their passion for design, music, and travel.

WELL-CRAFTED LIVING

SETTLING DOWN SOUTH

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Music allowed a husband and wife to travel the globe, but happily, home is now a small town in Mississippi.

LOVE NOTES

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Moving to Austin has meant many changes for a young family, but music continues to be a constant in their lives.

CONTRIBUTORS

DIVERSIONS

THE SOUND OF THE ISLANDS 58 Visit with a longtime maker of ukuleles, an instrument that has become synonymous with Hawaiian culture. LET THE MUSIC PLAY

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5

MAKING THE MAGAZINE SHOPKEEPERS’ PICKS MARKET REPORT

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10

12

CONVERSATION Brooke White

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SCREEN PLAY 24 RESOURCES BY THE BOOK

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In Los Angeles, a violinist’s apartment bears witness to her—and her boyfriend’s— DIY talents and creativity.

FOUNDER’S LETTER

123 125

PRIZED POSSESSION Noelle Scaggs 128

63

There are plenty of jobs in the music field that don’t involve singing or instruments; we take a look at three such gigs.

MARVIN ILASCO

SUPPER AND A SOUNDTRACK 112 For the duo behind a food/music business, the professional is especially personal when it comes to entertaining.

Cover Photograph by KELLY ISHIKAWA

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Brooke White took a low-budget approach to her kitchen makeover, updating the existing white cabinets with leftover chalkboard paint.

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Conversation

Photographs by JUCO

Brooke W hite grew up in a home where music was “a family obsession,” she recalls of her Arizona childhood. “It was loud all the time, we’d make up dances in the living room, and spend our summer days jumping on the trampoline while listening to my parents’ 45-rpm records in an old jukebox we had on the back patio.” In high school, she auditioned for the musical Meet Me in St. Louis; her first experience singing in public landed her the lead role of Esther. “That was the beginning,” she says. “I haven’t stopped singing much since.” Nine years ago, Brooke relocated to Los Angeles to attend music school. In 2008—after several years spent networking on MySpace and playing the local club scene—she waited 21 hours to try out for the seventh season of American Idol. “I found my way into millions of people’s televisions,”

she says, “and landed fifth place as a finalist.” Brooke went on to start a record label, June Baby Records (her birthday is June 2); form the folk-rock duo Jack and White with Jack Matranga; and launch the online variety show The Girls with Glasses (thegirlswithglasses.com) with Summer Bellessa. Brooke, husband Dave Ray, and their daughter London, live on a quiet culde-sac in a Southern California suburb. When the couple purchased the house, it had teal stucco walls, teal popcorn ceiling, and teal stained pinewood floors; Brooke recognized its potential, though. “We lived in sawdust as we turned it into the house of our dreams,” says the thrift-store regular. “I’m certainly not a professional decorator, but I know what I like!” 5


Left and below: The mason

jars on the mantel were originally purchased for a music video shoot. Above Brooke’s desk, strips of cork contact paper are functional and add visual interest.

DECORATING APPROACH: I can’t say I

am married to any particular style. I definitely have an eclectic approach; a little bit of this and a little bit of that. If a piece of furniture, artwork, or color makes me happy, then I go with it—whether it’s modern, country, mid-century, artsy, vintage, or secondhand. It’s all instinctive, experimental, and free. When styling my home, however, I am a sucker for symmetry and balance. And you could say I have a slight obsession with stripes … and yellow. BEST RECENT ACQUISITION FOR YOUR HOME: “The Sarge”—it’s what

I call my piano. I had been on the hunt for an old piano with a certain sound and soul, and after three years I found a baby grand, a Baldwin Sargent, that was built in the 1930s. I bought it from Keyboard Concepts, a place that sells all kinds of pianos— from the fanciest Bösendorfers to old, used pianos. I saw The Sarge and it was love at 18

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first sight. The size was right. The sound was right. The price was right. NEXT ACQUISITION: I’d love this yel-

low leather couch that I saw at an Anthropologie store. I think it was a one of a kind, probably gone by now, and likely out of my price range. But I can dream. MUSIC DISCOVERY: The Silver Seas—a band out of Nashville that I discovered during a songwriting trip. Their records High Society and Chateau Revenge haven’t left the rotation in nearly a year. RECENT


The four-panel artwork with a chevron motif is one of Brooke’s many DIY efforts; it is plain plywood that has been stained and then painted.

“If a piece of furniture, artwork, or color makes me happy, then I go with it.” 25


LONE STAR

STYLE Text by ANH-MINH LE Photographs by KELLY ISHIKAWA Styling by ROD HIPSKIND

A devotion to music and design are the common themes in a laid-back Texas residence

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Opposite: Amy Cook and Liz

Lambert relax on the back porch of their Austin home with rescue pups Moses, Steven, and Major Tom. This page: The decor is laden with

meaningful objects. On a porch wall, for example, the art includes a gifted Che poster, a floral painting from a flea market, and an Andrew Wyeth print that was purchased San Francisco.

AFTER GROWING UP IN SAN JOSE and

moving to Los Angeles at the age of 18 to pursue a career in music, singer and songwriter Amy Cook settled in Austin in 2005. “I wanted a change, a new paradigm,” she explains, adding of her adopted hometown: “I like the people and how easy it is to get together with friends. I like the water and the heat and the importance the city places on music as a vital part of the culture. I like the way people just go for it, whatever it is.” She then invokes the lyrics of Gary P. Nunn’s “London Homesick Blues”: ’Cause when a Texan fancies, he’ll take his chances. Chances will be taken, that’s for sure. Amy could easily be talking about her girlfriend, Liz Lambert, a local attorney-turnedhotelier. In 1994, Liz had just returned to Austin after four years in the Manhattan district attorney’s office and was renting a one bedroom in the Travis Heights neighborhood. Within a year, her landlord offered to sell the property to Liz. She seized the opportunity and then, serendipitously perhaps, Liz learned that a local church was looking to sell or raze a


bungalow that was situated on its parcel. So she purchased the house—for $1. “They just wanted it gone,” says Liz, who subsequently had the bungalow moved on to her newly purchased land. Today, the property’s original rental unit serves as Amy’s music studio. By the time she moved in with Liz seven years ago, the bungalow had been completely fixed up; a second story, which includes a master suite, had been added as well. “This is the house’s third location,” says Liz, “and hopefully its last.” It turns out, the bungalow started out life on Austin’s South Congress—a locale that plays a significant role in another part of the Liz Lambert story. In 1996, while she was still practicing law, she got the idea to purchase a 1930s dilapidated motor court on the then-desolate 28

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street and overhaul it. “There wasn’t very much down there back then,” she recalls. “It wasn’t the scene that it is now.” During the four-year hotel renovation, Liz quit her job in the Texas attorney general’s office. “I thought it would just be interior design work—that I could just re-do it room by room,” she says. “I didn’t know what I didn’t know.” She ended up shuttering the place for over a year in order to revamp it; the Hotel San José opened in 2000. (Her documentary Last Days of the San José chronicles the project.) She followed up the San José with the Thunderbird Hotel in Marfa, a few hours from where she grew up in West Texas. After selling her stake in the establishment, she launched another in town; El Cosmico’s accommodations include vintage trailers,

This page: The bedroom is

a relaxing retreat that Liz added on to the original structure; the pendant lamps were found at the Round Top Antiques Fair.


Liz had a salvaged stained glass window incorporated into the design of the master bathroom.

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In Michele Varian and Brad Roberts’ New York abode, an old woodburning stove comes in handy during the winter; behind it is her own Thornbird wallpaper. Opposite: Another one

of Michele’s patterns, Plume, serves as a shimmery backdrop for Brad’s guitars.

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Text by AMY ROSENBERG Photographs by SETH SMOOT Styling by KENDRA SMOOT

COLLECTIVE EFFORT

Mixing found treasures with her own creations, a designer packs plenty of personality into the home she shares with her musician husband


TO WALK THROUGH the Soho loft of designer Michele Varian and her musician husband Brad Roberts is to be told stories. Every object carries personal significance, from the framed photo of a rooster near the front door, to the vintage Wurlitzer electronic piano in the den, to the colorful Indian wedding banner above the bed. The effect is of a Victorian-era curio shop, without the clutter but with the same air of deep history and layered beauty; the narratives behind the objects seem as important as the objects themselves. “Your home is about acquiring things you love,” says Michele, who owns an eponymous shop a few blocks from her apartment. “It’s about displaying the things of life that have meaning.” Take, for example, the rooster photo. It’s one of a handful of rooster-themed objects in the apartment. “We had been together for a few years and talked about getting mar82

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ried,” Michele explains. By that time, she had already moved into the loft, which had been Brad’s bachelor pad and a practice space for his band, Crash Test Dummies. “One day, when Brad had a show in Reno, we decided to do it. We found a 24-hour wedding place with a handful of rooms, each with a different motif. We chose the Southwestern one. It contained a stuffed rooster and a wagon wheel.” Since then Michele has been searching for a stuffed rooster of her own. She has yet to find one, but if she does, it will feel right at


This page: Brad’s favorite

leather recliner harmonizes with flea market finds dotting the brick wall; Neisha Crosland’s gray-and-white Clematis Flower wallpaper softens the den’s brown tones. Opposite, left to right: Near the

turquoise front door, the electric cables and fuse box are covered in the same Neisha Crosland wallpaper, Caravan, as the wall. Brad and Michele in their Soho neighborhood.

home in the den, where a taxidermied deer mounted on an exposedbrick wall wears a gold crown and garland, and stuffed birds perch on branches. The birds are interspersed with, among other things, paintings; frames that contain mélanges of artwork, antlers, and ornaments (or nothing at all); ceramic animal skulls; and vintage photos. One photo was left behind by the previous tenant. It features a sad-looking bride and a smug-looking groom. “I think she was wealthy,” Michele says. “Look at all the lace she was wearing. And he was marrying her for the money. You can tell by the style of his suit that he didn’t have much.” These items rest against three different wallpapers by Neisha Crosland, in shades of gray and blue with swirling silver patterns. The silver tones help brighten the windowless room; the other 83


Clockwise from above: Michele works

at a desk that was the first piece of furniture she ever owned. Brad’s Wurlitzer Electrolux, which toured with Crash Test Dummies, and one of many journals he keeps. Michele built the kitchen shelves, which line a wall painted in Blue Belle by Benjamin Moore.

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painted a trompe l’oeil table on it. Later, she built a desk from two items discarded by friends: the base of an antique sewing machine and a large slab of dark wood. (Today, the desk sits in her living room.) When she moved in with Brad, she wanted to increase the amount of light in the apartment—a challenge in a long, railroadstyle loft. She purchased latticed metal doormats and carved out space high up in the wall that separates the dark bedroom from the windowed living room, what she and Brad refer to as “the big room.” She set the doormats into that space, in two rows. She also painted the bedroom’s tin ceiling copper, and recently she added some of her own newly designed wallpaper, choosing it for its complementary coppery tones. The centerpiece of the room is a dramatic fourposter bed from ABC Home; collections of flea-market-purchased shoes, gloves, and handbags serve as decoration. Michele and Brad work and relax in the big room. Michele chose to keep most of the walls, trim, and ceiling white, adding an off-white couch and chair from Crate and Barrel. (“It was the only couch we could find wide enough for us to lie side-by-side on,” Michele says.) A couple of long, narrow kilims bring color and pattern to the room, as does more of Michele’s exquisite wallpaper on a row of storage cabinets and one wall. A handful of guitars adorn the wall (they’re not just for decoration), and miniature toy instruments dot the built-in shelves. “When I had my first apartment in New York, an old boyfriend told me, ‘Being in your space is like being surrounded by you,’” Michele says. That wasn’t an effect she consciously aimed for, but it’s one she’s proud of. “It’s a description that stuck with me. I want my space to be an expression of myself. If I fill it with what I love, it will be.”


A gateleg table occupies a corner of the den; occasionally, it gets gussied up as a dinner table, used with the vintage folding chairs. The pillows are Michele’s own designs.

“I WANT MY SPACE TO BE AN EXPRESSION OF MYSELF. IF I FILL IT WITH WHAT I LOVE, IT WILL BE.”


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SUPPER SOUNDTRACK A husband and wife with a passion for music and food, respectively, put their own spin on entertaining

Text and Recipes by KASEY FLEISHER HICKEY Photographs by THAYER ALLYSON GOWDY Styling by ALEXIS BIRKMEYER and MEG MATEO ILASCO 95


W MENU Crostini with Burrata, Olive Oil, Lemon, and Sea Salt Salad with Melon and Proscuitto Baked Mussels with Cilantro Butter Pear, Honey, and Rosemary Galette

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When my husband Matt and I get together with friends for dinner, two things are guaranteed: good food and good music. We meticulously curate our individual kingdoms—mine being food, and his music. I often select the menu and delegate any necessary kitchen and cooking duties, and Matt creates the playlist, which is always made special for the night. We play off of each other—he pairs the songs that will accompany us through the evening with the mood, texture, and aesthetic of the dishes. My love of cooking and entertaining at home was inspired by my post-college move to San Francisco; the city is a food enthusiasts’ nirvana. And these days, one of my favorite things to do is cook for friends. Matt, a lifelong music fan, introduced me to the concept of cooking and eating to a soundtrack. The creation of our food and music website, Turntable Kitchen (turntablekitchen.com), was a natural extension of the way we live our lives. During any dinner party, the last thing we want to do is spend the night in the kitchen, sweating over three skillets. So we prefer food that’s easy


PLAYLIST The Honest Truth Typhoon

Ruin Cat Power

Sweet Life Frank Ocean

Fineshrine Purity Ring

Try A Little Tenderness Otis Redding

Oba, La Vem Ela Jorge Ben

Stay With Me NO

Aguas de Marco Joao Gilberto

Seconds Ghost Loft

This Time Tomorrow The Kinks

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CROSTINI WITH BURRATA, OLIVE OIL, LEMON, AND SEA SALT Serves 4 1 baguette good quality extra virgin olive oil 1 ball burrata (about 8 oz) coarse sea salt ½ lemon, zested

1. Preheat your broiler. Slice the baguette into ½"-thick slices, until you have 9-12 slices. 2. Place the slices on a baking sheet and brush both sides with olive oil. Broil the bread very briefly until lightly golden; be sure to keep an eye on it so it doesn’t burn. Remove bread from oven and let cool slightly.

to prepare, serve, and eat. Low maintenance preparation is especially important if we’re working in someone else’s kitchen—as was the case for a recent gathering. We made our way from our apartment in San Francisco to our friends Kate and Alden Woodrow’s home in Berkeley. Earlier that day, Alden had participated in a particularly tough local trail race; Kate, who I met earlier this year at the Alt Summit Design Conference (she is an editor for Chronicle Books and Antholog y), had cheered him on. Eager to hear about the details of the morning’s event, we arranged a little celebratory dinner at their place. When Matt and I arrive, we’re treated to a tour of the house. Kate and Alden’s place is just as I imagined it would be: modern, yet lived-in and charming at the same time. My eyes are immediately drawn to her collection of globes, as well as

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3. Scoop a rounded tablespoon of burrata onto each slice. Top with a drizzle of olive oil and a sprinkle of both sea salt and lemon zest.

SALAD WITH MELON AND PROSCUITTO Serves 4

This recipe yields more dressing than you may need; dress your salad to taste and keep the rest in your fridge for another meal. ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil 2 tbsp good quality balsamic vinegar 3 cups arugula


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