Ask any aspiring musician friend how much the local recording studio costs to rent out, and they'll tell you: An arm and a leg. It's not surprising, then, that some successful rock acts will set up their own places to record.
What might one of these places look like, that is, a large industrial space filled with the equipment of a rock band with some dough to throw around? Check out the Wilco Loft, a (mostly secret) location in Chicago loaded up with musical instruments and recording technology.
Forget bric-a-brac; Wilco's "gear" crowds every inch of the space--pianos, keyboards, sound boards, guitars, amps (new and old) fight for elbow room over a mishmash of traditional Oriental rugs. A row of communal bunk beds lines one end of the room, perfect for creative catnaps or to houseguests before and after tours....
And interestingly enough, the brick construction of the space coupled with the sheer amount of musical instruments jammed inside creates a unique acoustic effect:
Using microphones placed around the room, [musician Andrew Bird] was able to pick up the acoustics of his violin as well as the sound of the amps bouncing off the walls. The sixty-plus guitars sitting around the room all hummed along, as the vibrations from everything else shook and resonated the steel strings, adding even more texture to the sound. The Loft is, essentially, an instrument of its own.
See (and read) more about the space in the Loft Blog.