- Antique Electronic Supply
A great place to get vacuum tubes and vacuum tube accessories. Also find vintage grill cloth, knobs… electronic components, too. Fix or build your own.
- Audio Playground Synthesizer Museum
Amazing archive of synth dinosaurs… many great pictures and audio clips as well as virtual interaction with old synthesizers, drum machines, and oddball keyboards of the past. Your eBay searches will NEVER be the same!
- Booji Boy’s Basement
General Boy’s little guy is at it again! Here is a band sanctioned ‘DEVOlved archive’ where you can get and trade Devo videos, rarities, and live recordings. Booji Boy, your struggle is our gain! Duty now for the archives!
- Bossman Graphics
Tom Deja (the Bossman) is one of our favorite graphic designers/illustrators in Chicago. Go to his site and see why!
- Busy Beaver Buttons
Have you ever made a button? I mean actually working the machine and pressing it out and all? So fun! Order from Busy Beaver and they MAY let you help… if you behave.
- Carol Kaye
She played bass on ‘Pet Sounds’, with Sam Cooke, Love, Joe Cocker, the Monkees, even Buffalo Springfield…. She played on Nilsson’s “the Point”… When Motown moved to LA, she filled James Jamerson’s shoes! Read more about the First Lady of the Bass.
- Combo Organ Heaven
If you begin to salivate from hearing words like Acetone, Rheem, Elka, Vox, Cordovox, and Farfisa…. well put on your bib now….
- Devo Obsesso
Oh, well, I think there is room for ANOTHER obsessed Devo link, right? This one is chock full of photos, items for sale and trade, news, and others ways to worship Devo.
- Died Young, Stayed Pretty
Canadian filmmaker Eileen Yaghoobian’s full-length documentary film is a candid look at the underground poster culture in North America. It examines the creative spirit that drives these indie graphic artists. Soundtrack music by Mayfair’s Mark Greenberg.
- Electrical Guitar Company
This freak in Florida make these modern day Travis Bean-like all aluminum guitars. They are simply gorgeous! Saw Duane Denison play one. I got to hold Tim Midgett’s bass six on my lap. I want one.
- Electronic Music in the 20th Century
A nice simplified progression and history of electronic music… all the way up until it all came to an end in the 1990’s.
- Favilla Stringed Instruments
Here is a short pictorial history of the wonderful FAVILLA BROS, makers of high quality stringed instruments including baritone ukuleles and tenor guitars from the late 1800’s to the early 1970’s.
Need visual inspiration? Tap into this addictive site where visual artists and designers post and link and post and link (then they post and link again).
- Film Sound Daily
Great site about the world of sound designers and foley sound artists.
- Flight of the Conchords
This show that makes me laugh until I wet my pants every time. Visit their HBO page and see clips of the show and read Mel’s (played by the adorably sexy Kristen Schaal) blog.
- Folktek Instruments
Oh crap! Artists repurposing sturdy old suitcases into sputtering, filtering hand made one-of-a-kind music and sound makers….. This site will get me into BIG TROUBLE I fear..
- Forget the Film…Watch the Titles
A great collection of motion picture opening credits old and new…. certainly an art-form in itself. I do look forward to a TV show opening credits counterpart. Thanks to Coudal Partners for the link.
- Fuzzy Memories (Chicago)
For those who were raised on TV in Chicago in the 70’s, here is a way-back machine! TV IDs, bumpers, jingles, even news clips… a very odd grouping of odd moments captured on what I am sure was an old Betamax.
- Georgia & August Greenberg
Get an early glimps of two future Mayfair Workshop composers… download this free long player released in 2003 from Georgia (six years old) and her little brother August (four years old). They sing songs they made up for you and me.
- Giants System Chicago
A Chicago-centric live band video site, Giant System Chicago’s purpose is to create candid glimpses of band’s playing their music in their spaces.
Mayfair’s Ann-Marie Greenberg’s blog that collects and shares beautiful, inspirational images and artists.
- Harry Partch
Harry Partch was an American hobo/composer who not only invented and developed his own instruments for his orchestras, he invented his own musical scales, too. This site lets you ‘virtually’ interact with some of his instruments and creations.
- Helvetica, the Movie
Filmmaker Gary Hustwit (prod. “I Am Trying to Break Your Heart” movie, prod. “Moog” movie, SST guy, Salon.com guy, Plexifilms guy, etc) new documentary about the Helvetica typeface. Seems like there should be a movie about him.
- Home of DEVO
Duty now for the Future! Come and see all things relating to DEVO. The guys in the band even run the site! The merchandising never ends…Don’t you need a DEVO logo license plate holder? Well, you are in luck. Get a surprise for your baby…
- Hot Doug’s
Forget about everything you THINK you know about weiners, red hots, and dawgs. Behold Hot Doug’s! Chicago’s Encased Meat Emporium! Don’t miss the duck fat fries!
- Icelandic band Amiina
Four Icelandic women and a bus-load of small musical trinkets…. Who knew such beautiful music could be made this way?
- Idents and Break Bumpers
Here Dave Jeffery uses Flash to re-create TV logos, IDs, and break bumbers from the past. There are so many great ones!
- Inner Sleeve Art
Some people call them ‘record envelopes’ or ‘paper sleeves’… Whatever you call them, here is a great collection of their artwork throughout the ages.
- Itailian Vintage Guitars
Sure, of course 60’s Itialian guitars were all beautiful. Those guys were accordian makers! Check out the lovely and also the wacky…. guitars so beautiful to look at… and few that played well too!
- Jamaican Label Art
Here is a fantastic site that explores the many great, odd, and downright crappy takes on artwork for older Jamaican record labels. FOR REFERENCE ONLY!
- Jesse LeDoux
Very exciting illustrator, cartoonist, and artist worth getting to know.
- Jews In Rock
The Knack? 100%! Mountain’s Leslie West? Yup. The Silver Jews?!! Well sure… So many greats to brag about (Marc Bolan, Ira Kaplan, the Specials’ Terry Hall, Jonathan Richman) and a few… well, not so much (David Lee Roth, Gene Simmons, Geddy Lee).
- Jim Flora
Mostly known for his genre defining jazz record cover illustrations for Columbia and RCA in the 40’s and 50’s, this lovingly created website shows the many side of this amazing illustrator and artist.
- Ken’s HP Test Equipment Museum
I just… I literally… I have no… there are just no words to… I… I … I mean, come on… look… it’s just… I mean how can we sit by when… oh Ken! Your collection leaves me speachless. (link from our friends at Coudal)
- Kiddie Rekord King
The Kiddie Rekord King (AKA Peter Muldavin) is the (self described) world’s leading expert on vintage 78 rpm children’s records. Flip thru his collection of great soundclips and reproduced art.
- Lampo Experimental Music
Lampo is a nonprofit presenter of experimental music and intermedia events in Chicago. They promote and supports artists working in electronic and electroacoustic music, free improvisation, sound art and other new forms.
The League of Electronic Musical Urban Robots (LEMUR) is a Brooklyn-based group of artists and technologists developing robotic musical instruments. The have created a body of work consisting of robotic musical instruments that play themselves. Hot!
- Liam Hayes & Plush
Chicago’s own musical genius/hermit/freak. His music has been released in drips and drops over the past two decades but EVERY drop is worth hearing over and over again.
- Logos of Banks
Logos… we love logos… that’s why we start bands and companies, right? To make logos for them! Check out this great collection of bank logos… guess which one I am having tattooed on my butt…. (from the always inspiring Coudal Partners’ MoOM)
- Max Crook’s Website
Max Crook is most famous for playing the searing lead line on Del Shannon’s “Runaway” on his own adapted invention the Musitron. Read more about this musician and inventor.
- Mego Museum
What would the 70’s have been without Mego?! This toy maker INVENTED the eight inch action figure! From Aquaman to KISS to the Planet of the Apes… this site remembers it all.
- Micro Frets Guitars
This 60’s/70’s company made the ugliest guitars to ever come out of the state of Maryland… maybe the whole USA… still, somehow all the poor aesthetic decisions seems to work when all added together. I hear they may be making these again.
- Mini Organ
Another site that brings out our love of all things cheap, plastic, chromatic, and battery operated. This shows a very nice collection of crappy toy keyboards of the past. Sound clips too!
- Musee Mechanique
Open to the public this San Francisco collector of orchestrions, coin operated pianos, antique slot machines, and animations lets you interact with these beauties of the past. Don’t miss Neil Young’s Old Laughing Lady!
- Museum of Online Museums
Created by the clever folks at Coudal Partners, this is a never ending source of inspiration, visual and otherwise. From airline spoons to restroom hand dryers… and all things in beween.
- Musurgia Rare Instruments
Just came across this website that features an extensive searchable database of fine & rare musical instruments and collectables for sale on the internet… an ever changing collection!
- Mystery Circuits
Circuit bending mostly ends up sounding like a cross between R2D2 and a turd but here is someone that rises above the bleeping and sputtering crowd. Check out his Melloman!
- Nardwuar the Human Serviette
I once saw Nardwaur play a Goblins show opening up for his other band the Evaporators. I have never in my life seen so many people bent over in pain, wetting their pants laughing at a rock show. Doot Doota Doot Doo .. Doot Doo!
- Noon Solar Powered Bags
These great folks are creating handmade bags with solar panels so you can cleanly recharge your phone or iPod (or whatever other small battery powered item you may be carrying) as you take a sunny stroll.
- Numero Group Records
These raw fingered vinyl hunters are continually unearthing forgotten ‘eccentric soul’ dusties and creating must have comps that are chock full of music that NEEDS to be part of our lives! BUY EVERYTHING THEY SELL!
Oddmusic is home to unique, odd, ethnic, experimental and unusual musical instruments and resources. My new favorite is the Bubble Organ. Damn! I want one!
- Official Brian Wilson Site
Get the latest news about legendary writer, producer, arranger, performer, musical genius, and Beach Boys leader Brian Wilson.
- PAMS Famous Jingles
We all grew up listening to PAMS’ jingles and radio IDs whether we knew it or not. Look though their site at the great work they did from the ’50’s thru the ’70’s. “WLS Music Radio 89″ will forever be on the tip of my brain because of PAMS.
- Peluso Microphone Lab
When John and Mary Peluso aren’t tending to the sheep and lamas on their Virgina farm, they are making handmade ribbon and tube mics fashioned after the classic recording microphones of the past. Inspiring!
- Pencil Brand Archive
All pencils? All brands? Check out all the great fonts, designs, and aesthetic decisions made by these companies. Empire makes a nice “Mayfair”.
- Phil Spector’s Notes to George Harrison
Isn’t the Internet great?! Here we get to read a private letter from Phil Spector to George Harrison detailing the producer’s thoughts and concerns about the songs that would make up Harrison’s seminal “All Things Must Pass” LP set.
- Piano Soundboard Decal Art
Check this site out! Not only can you stroll thru all these great old piano logo and decal designs… you can buy them for restoration, too! This is where words like “Durophonic” and “Acrosonic” come from.
- Presspop Gallery
Come see the amazing items Japanese company Presspop has created with such artists as Dan Clowes, Chris Ware, Daniel Johnston, Jim Woodring, Julie Doucet, Peter Bagge, Archer Prewitt, Dame Darcy, Sam Prekop, and more!
- Raymond Scott Archives
This site celebrates one of the greatest American composer/inventors Raymond Scott. From his start in the 40’s and 50’s using a quintet playing decidedly novelty jazz to leading music into the realm of electronics and synthesized sounds.
- Recording the Beatles
What a year or two for Beatles fanatics! In addition to Beatles engineer Geoff Emerick’s book recounting his time behind the board, there is this book (previewed at the website) completely cataloguing the equipment used to record the Beatles. AWESOME!
- Soft Focus
Here Ian Svenonius (Nation of Ulysses, the Make-Up, Weird War) does his best ‘Dick Cavett’ as he rents out the Guggenheim to interview interesting characters in music (Will Oldham, Ian MacKaye, Henry Rollins) and the not so interesting (Andrew WK).
- Songwriter Daniel Knox
Just met and heard this very interesting guy who writes and sings songs very much in the same vein as Scott Walker, Jacques Brel, and Leonard Cohen. Great stuff!
Nick and Nadine are the dynamic duo of amazingly beautiful original art posters in Chicago (not to mention awesome people in general!). Visit their store. BUY BUY BUY!
- Souldier Straps
Awesome Chicago custom guitar strap maker. Get your unique, custom, handmade, new and vintage-ish straps for all occasions!
- Specimen Products
Check out Ian Schneller’s amazing luthiered instruments, hand-built amplifiers, spinning horns, electric tiples…. and just look at the beautiful new Luddite guitar!
- Spudnik Press, Chicago
We have a soft spot in our hearts for printmakers… especially adorable ones who open up a studio in their apartment and charge $5 an hour to anyone who wants to use it. DIY at its best! Go Spudnik!
- Starshaped Press
Jen Farrell runs a tight ship. She makes beautiful, well printed letterpress goods in her amazingly clean North Chicago studio.
This website (along with the actual monthly printed magazine) is full of great ideas and inspirations for recordists at all levels… your gateway drug into the world of recording.
- The Art of the Letterhead
A fantastic collection of the informational, the over-the-top, the minimal, the overt, the subtle, the conceptual, and the beautiful. Personal favorite… Virgil!
- The Duplex Planet
Step into the nutty yet uniquely touching world of David Greenberger’s Duplex Planet. His website is the logical extension of the home made zine he started in 1979 way before there was the word ‘zine’. Has human decline always been this entertaining?
- The Guitar-Zither Clearinghouse
You like zithers? Of course you do. Who doesn’t? Check out this site… it follows the zither as it was reformed, rethought, and remade in all shapes and sizes with bells, whistles, and other things.
- The Lonesome Organist
In addition to being a Mayfair Composer, Jeremy Jacobsen’s is a one man band.
- The Mayfair Workshop YouTube Page
Come visit the Workshop’s new YouTube page. See more demos, spots, composer projects, and all the stuff that won’t fit on the Workshop’s website.
- The Monks
Loud primal caveman beats from American GI’s in Germany in the mid sixties. They were perhaps the first to present distorted banjo to the world.
- The Trautonium
Learn all you can about Oskar Sala and the many different forms he made from Dr. Friedrich Trautwein’s 1930 electronic musical instrument, the Trautonium.
- The Troggs Swearing at Each Other
Empty your bladder before you listen to this excerpt (yes, there is much more somewhere)… Spinal Tap borrowed from this hilarious practice recording… but they sprinkled some fairy dust on it…
Chicago instrumental band Tortoise’s official site. See videos, get tour dates, find out all the details about all the details.
- Webmasters Also-Online
We love our web designers!!! Go see their site and check out their other work! Hire them! Take them out to lunch!
- WFMU “Beware of the Blog”
One of New Jersey’s best bragging rights (besides the Feelies), WFMU is community radio like no other! Fittingly, their blog has no equal.
- Wilco World
Local Chicago stalwarts done good! They play both kinds of music! Become a superfan!
- Yee-Haw Industries
Yes, our love for printmakers is obvious by now. Here is a group that do great work as well as make a ton of original content. They printed some of those nice Jim Flora reprints too!