Hooray! LAB 02 is out. LAB continues to change and evolve. This issue is being published via MagCloud, a new print-on-demand service for magazines. Which means you can now subscribe (oh how patiently you’ve waited!). Derek Powazek does a great job of explaining MagCloud in this Magazineer post.
Also new this time around: the print version and web PDF are different lengths—58 pages and 100 pages, respectively. We condensed the print version to keep the cost of the issue down. The free web PDF is the full version of the issue, with extra features and extended versions of articles.
In keeping with LAB‘s spirt of Slow Making (see intro to last issue), aka crockpot design, we handlettered all titles & displays; scanned over 200 mac & cheese box covers; invited all interviewees to participate in the editing process (via shared Google docs); made from scratch all hummus and bread consumed during the process (wait, that’s Slow Food); created three custom hand-lettered custom typefaces (Handvetica, TacoTruck, and Multitudinous); and, to slow things down to a pace between that of a banana slug and a sloth, made the page markers by hand with watercolor brushes (yep, all 100).
In other news, we’re pleased as punch that all the contributors involved with the Traveling Librarian article have agreed to release it under a Creative Commons license. This means you can print it, distribute it, and even remix it, as long as attribution is provided and its usage is not for profit.
Finally, mucho thanks to Nate Beaty for fixing a slew of last-minute technical glitches.
Ketchup on the Carpet; Blue Slushie Tongue; Unicorn Toupé; Candy Necklace Crisis; Mississippi Mud Crunk… all good names for this issue, if it were a mixtape—a nitty-gritty mix of creative culture grilled on a butter-brushed grid. Kicking off side A, we’ve got a brassy track on Indian street graphics by Meena Kadri. Horn please OK! Followed by an avalanche of color in Sudeep’s Army of Gods photo essay. Next, Kicey’s architectural constructs, stitched together with crunchy cliq-hop glitch beats. We get some authentic Memphis grit all up in our grill with Geoffrey Ellis’s photography of deep-fried Americana. Soothing our optic nerves, Joe “Saxy” Sayers lays down a silky smooth jazz groove for chill midnight relaxation. The highlight of the next track is Bingaman-Burt’s implementation of an exotic instrument: a can of compressed air! On side B, a wunderkabinet of visual oddities: pocket protectors, mac & cheese boxes, casino carpet—all make for a lush hypnotic percussion track, followed by a solo fantastico on extant design by Andrew Filer. Finishing the B side, some lovely cuts: a chat with a couch-surfing librarian, a folk artist who performs with a crochet alligator (who is interviewed by a terry-cloth monkey), and a Benedictine monk who builds paper model polyhedrons. So pick a nice summer evening, stick a mixtape in the boombox, grab some cheesecake, sit back on the porch, and let life be good to you.
Joseph Robertson, June 2008
There’s cheezy mixtape metaphors galore in the current issue of LAB (and some fantastically cheezy mac & cheese box covers), which brings potential for a bit of embarrassment at some point in the future, when mixtapes are all played out. Again. Meanwhile, we’re going to revel in the renaissance of mixtape culture and B-side nostalgia.
Cassette from my ex serves up some bitter-sweet mixtape memories. From the site description: They were into you, so they made you a tape. Today you don’t have a cassette player, but you still can’t toss that mix. We share the stories and the soundtrack to your earliest loves.
Maybe in the mood for some fresh(er) mixes? Check out muxtape, where you can create & share mp3 mixtapes, the way the kids do. Out with the old, in with the new. Or maybe: in with the old in the form of the new.