Sights & Sounds Presents Wilco: ‘A Ghost Is Born’ by Mig Reyes

Mig Reyes

Well, we took a little break from Sights & Sounds/Desktop Wallpaper Project for the holiday but it’s definitely back. In total Wilco has 8 albums, we’re including the live album Kicking Television: Live in Chicago, so now with this wallpaper we’re passing the halfway point. Today’s album/wallpaper is one of my favorites from Wilco, A Ghost Is Born. The album marked a bit of a departure for the band. They got a little weirder, a little darker, and in my opinion, a little like the Velvet Underground. But it’s also one of their most sensitive albums, with songs like Wishful Thinking, which without fail gives me chills every time I listen to it. This album has a lot of my favorite songs on it, like the previous mentioned Wishful Thinking, as well as Theologians, Handshake Drugs, Hell Is Chrome, and of course, Hummingbird, which is where Mig took his inspiration from.

Mig Reyes is probably pretty familiar to a lot of readers. He’s a designer from Chicago who works at Threadless with our Wilco curator Joe Van Wetering. He also runs Humble Pied, a series of video interviews with designers from around the globe. He’s a talented and busy guy and I was really excited to hear he was doing a wallpaper. Here’s what he had to say about his creation:

“To me, A Ghost is Born carries a darker, more experimental sound than that of the albums that preceded it. I wanted to focus on “Hummingbird,” which captures the bleak mood I was going for. It’s funny, though. Being a web designer, I wouldn’t tout myself as an illustrator. So aesthetically, I designed it the best way I knew how: geometry, math and structure.”

I totally agree with Mig. On the song Hell is Chrome, the lyrics are:

When the devil came
He was not red
He was chrome and he said

Come with me
You must go
So I went
Where everything was clean
So precise and towering

That line, “So precise and towering”, makes me think of geometry, math and structure. But to me Mig took it to a happier place by using these properties and creating something beautiful, which is a lot like the album. Thanks so much Mig, the wallpaper looks great. Come back next week for Sky Blue Sky and another amazing artist, which I promise you will poop your pants over.


January 5, 2011