Onkyo earns ‘Works with Sonos’ certification

Onkyo is the latest partner to join the Sonos-certified integration program.  Simply put, if you own a compatible Onkyo, Integra, Pioneer or Pioneer Elite network receiver, plus a Sonos Connect, you’ll be able to have the two work together seamlessly.  When you open the Sonos app, hit ‘play’ on the zone where the Connect is, it will automatically turn on the receiver, switch the input and start playing the music you selected.

A free firmware update will go out on June 6th.  To learn more or see what receivers are compatible (shared June 6th), please check out this link.

Bone Music

Source: Ripple Music on Facebook

In post WWII Russia, Stalin banned the possession of any western music.  All records allowed in the country had to be of Russian composers.  But there was an underground hungry for Western popular music—everything from jazz and blues to rock & roll. But smuggling vinyl was dangerous, and acquiring the scarce material to make copies of those records that did make it into the country was expensive and very risky.

An ingenuous solution to this problem began to emerge in the form of “bone music," or sometimes called "bones 'n' ribs" music, or simply Ribs.  

A young 19 year-old sound engineer Ruslan Bogoslowski in Leningrad changed the game when he created a device to bootleg western albums so he could distribute them across Russia.  Problem was he couldn't find material to bootleg his pressings onto, vinyl was scare as were all petroleum products after the war. Then, one day he stumbled upon a pile of discarded X-rays.  It worked.  At the time, Russian law mandated that all X-rays had to be destroyed after 1 year of storage because they were flammable so he dug through trash bins and paid off orderlies for x-rays and for 20 years he handmade about 1,000,000 bootlegs onto X-ray film of everything from classical to the Beach Boys, eventually spending five years imprisoned in Siberia for this rebellion. 

For over 20 years, Bone Music was the only way Russian music lovers could get western music, which they played at "music and coffee parties" in their kitchens, away from the KGB ears and eyes.  

So I had to find one.  This is a 78 rpm recording of the Indian Song "Awaara" by Raj Kapoor on an exposed Chest X-ray.  Probably around 1951.  Each Rib, was handmade, and one of a kind. 

Bone Music.  A testament to the underground courage to subvert authority, rebellion, and the love of music.  The spirit of rock n roll.

Digital Signage for Your Business or Organization

Digital signage can be used in many different applications, in retail stores and restaurants. In commercial applications such as business foyers, in a factory setting to remind the workforce of special announcements and upcoming events, outdoor digital billboards and as many other options as you can think of.

We not only design the digital signage system hardware that you'll need but also the content, content designed specifically for you and your needs. Contact us at hearmoremusic@gmail.com if you'd like to inquire about digital signage for your organization.

Above, a three-screen digital signage system that we designed and installed at Thrive Cafe on Riverside Blvd. in Loves Park, IL.

Record Store Day 2018

Mark your calendar. The 2018 edition of National Record Day is April 21st. You can access the RSD website here, type in your zip code and find out which specialty music retailers in your area will be participating. As in past years, there will be many special editions, re-releases, remixes, outtakes and fun album artwork. http://www.recordstoreday.com/Home

New album release by Emily Hurd

Emily Hurd's new album, Backbone, is out now. Emily has been hard at work, completely gutting and building her new restaurant, The Norwegian. Kids, career, family and countless remodeling 'issues' have slowed progress in opening The Norwegian. However Emily has learned a lot about herself and developed an even stronger backbone. You can purchase her new album here https://emilyhurd.com/music

Emily was also recently interviewed by Jason Todd and Alex Gary at Thinker Ventures podcast studio in downtown Rockford, IL. Have a listen as Emily talks about life, family, and her music. Click on this link to stream from the Thinker website. Or listen to it on the Apple and Android podcast stores. Enjoy.  https://thinkerventures.com/podcast/seeing-finish-line-emily-hurd/

Thrive Cafe in Loves Park is now open

We're happy to announce that Thrive Cafe in Loves Park is now open. Thrive Cafe specializes in healthy food choices...wraps, bowls, salads, smoothies and much more. I'm not usually a fan of cold coffee but I had one of Thrive's cold-press versions yesterday, (they use coffee beans from Rockford Roasting Company) and it tasted fantastic. They soak the coffee beans in water for twenty hours before serving. Nice!

They are located on Perryville Road, across from Peak Fitness. They are also right across the street from Choices Natural Market who offers quality fresh food in a grocery-style setting.

We installed their robust internet network and wifi system in addition to a Sonos music system and three commercial-grade LG digital signage screens. Bisconti Computers in Rockford designed the digital signage menu content. Nice job, Team Bisconti!

Best success to Jason and the team at Thrive Cafe!

Technology is helping to drive business growth

At Thinker Ventures, in addition to helping businesses grow and prosper through marketing and visual design, we are now also offering different technologies for business 'spaces':

Managed digital signage

Voice-over-IP phone systems

Internet network hardware

Audio/visual for conference, board and meeting rooms

A little about Spaces at Thinker Ventures, 317 W. Jefferson in downtown Rockford and yours truly... https://thinkerventures.com/blog/thinker-spaces-to-improve-your-sights-and-sounds/

Thanks- Doug

p.s. Look for our special opening night celebration coming soon...

Grado headphones

I've been asked by several people lately to recommend headphones under $100 for home listening. I recommend any models from Grado Labs. They perform well, look good and their open air design allows for a much better, airier sound.

Forget, earbuds. They are crap. Get a cool set of cans from Grado Labs...another benefit- the company is based in New York and they still manufacturer their products there. Family owned for decades and some of their higher end headphones are still built by hand. 

You gotta love their retro look too. 🎧