Virtual Band

Dean Brantley Taylor is a songwriter and producer. He also has Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS), which makes it hard for him to leave his apartment, much less sing or play an instrument. It’s even hard to simply listen to music, he says. “But, I’m in a band. Hallelujah!” he exclaims with a resounding euphoria you wouldn’t expect from someone afflicted with such a condition.

House Concerts

House concerts are musical performances generally held in private homes and hosted by fans, friends, or relatives of the performing musician(s). Audiences are usually 25 to 35 people, but can sometimes be as large as 60 or more, and a donation of $15 to $25 is generally requested, but not required. Oftentimes, there is a potluck dinner involved, but wine and cheese events are most common, with guests encouraged to bring a drink to share. Hosts will even sometimes put performers up for a night.

Sneaky Instruments

Google and Converse challenged the UK company Technology Will Save Us, which specializes in supplying DIY kits, to modify a pair of Converse sneakers with its DIY Speakers Kit. Technology Will Save Us rose to the challenge creating what may be the world’s first guitar shoe, using the laces for strings, then creating a microphone, contrabass, and feedback synth, and using the kit’s box to create an amp. They then brought the challenge to a set of London workshops where participants created everything from a sneaker that “walked” when bass-heavy music played to a sneaker ukulele.