Teenagers try to guess the song and artist from popular 1990s songs. Sample dialogue: "I wasn't even born yet!" (1990s music part 2, part 3. Related: Do college kids know 1980s music?)
Alan Jabbour, who died today, was best known (to those who know of him at all) as a fiddler and a gatherer of fiddle tunes. His name and influence permeate American traditional music. If you like Old Crow Medicine Show, the Avett Brothers, Chris Thile, Carolina Chocolate Drops, SteelDrivers, etc., you are enjoying the results of Jabbour's life work. [more inside]
Soul singer Ray BLK has topped the BBC's Sound Of 2017 list, which aims to predict the most exciting new music for the year ahead. It is the first time an unsigned artist has won the honour - which has previously gone to Adele and Sam Smith. [...] Four of the top five Sound of 2017 acts are black British women, reflecting a rise of female talent in grime and R&B.
Why the future of music is black, female, and British. [more inside]
Why the future of music is black, female, and British. [more inside]
"When Words Fail in Movies," "The Elevator," "A Homeless Ghost: The Moving Camera and its Analogies," "A Theory of Film Music" (a reply to the previously posted "The Marvel Symphonic Universe"), "The Revenant by Tarkovsky," "Fritz Lang," "The Dark Knight--Creating the Ultimate Antagonist," "Honolulu Mon Amour," and "Sound Unseen: The Acousmatic Jeanne Dielman" were just a few of the videos selected multiple times as "The Best Video Essays of 2016" (see also 2014 and 2015, previously). But one response chose to honor a series of parodies of the form: Why is Cinema, e.g. "Screenwriters! Do the Best Words Now!"
for the next two hours I'm going to be playing a lot of music - a lot of electronica, techno, drone, weird, soundtracky soundscape, ambient kinda stuff. Some of it's quite scary, so I apologize in advanced. [more inside]
I remember specifically, when I created the intro to “Waiting for a Girl Like You,” I’d done it with a technique that I’d long been hoping to try out, which was basically just to sort of build yourself a Mellotron by recording a sustained note on each track of the multi-track and manipulating them in a wave to create combinations of harmonies. I’d been longing to do that for years, and I actually got to do that one night at Electric Lady and put it on the intro of “Waiting for a Girl Like You.” The band came in in the morning and I played it for them, and there was sort of a silence and then the bass player said, “It’s a bit like massage music, isn’t it?”
The upcoming transfer of power in the United States will be a time with much pomp and music, with people singing along to "The Star-Spangled Banner" and "God Bless America," but "Hail to the Chief" remains instrumental, even though there are lyrics, as sung by the Mormon Tabernacle. And if we sang those lyrics, we'd be missing its origin as a song to celebrate Roderick Dhu, or Black Roderick, a fictional medieval Scottish outlaw, which was re-written a number of times before becoming the song that Julia Tyler, wife of President John Tyler, requested for presidential entrances. [more inside]
The lovely gentlemen at Rebel FM have a (somewhat) annual tradition of recording one really big podcast at year's end covering all the wild and wonderful twelve months in video game music. Want to dive into over four hours of music with the occasional comment? Click here to choose the path of perpetual torment.(audio only, somewhat NSFW) [more inside]
Musician Evan Desautels remixed Barenaked Ladies' hit, One Week, replacing every instrument with its earworm opening lyrics,"It's been." He previously remixed the theme to Star Wars, replacing all the instruments with the first orchestral hit.
However, as I traveled and taught workshops to more and more groups of ukulele players, I began to question the conventional “C, F and G7” approach to teaching beginners. More importantly, I began to find success using what I called “Chord Twins.” Eventually, this approach became the foundation of Booster Uke. The idea was simple: one shape, two chords. Ten online lessons from James Hill are available for free through January 31st. [more inside]
The Obama's final celebration of American music, Love & Happiness, has been posted to the White House Youtube channel. The 82-minute concert features Jill Scott, Regina Hall, Terrence J., Yolanda Adams, Janelle Monae, Leslie Odom Jr., BBD, Michelle Williams, The Roots, De La Soul, Usher, and Samuel L. Jackson.
Feed the Animals, Annotated. With a Y-Axis for year of the samples' release, even!
In "Poor People," anthropologist Andrew Beatty recalls his fieldwork in Indonesia and portrays specific impacts of poverty easily obscured by generalized references to the poor. In "Return to the Field," he evokes what it's like to revisit the two scenes of his earlier research, encounter changes in individuals, families, and social/religious life, and learn the stark facts about how some things turned out. [more inside]
Graham Wiggins was a researcher in solid-state physics who contributed to the technologies in MRI scanners, though he was better-known as Dr. Didg. He passed away in September this year after leaving us a demonstration of didgeridoo playing on a vacuum cleaner tube (interview and music), the invention of the keyed didgeridoo (interview and music), and a lot of good music fronting Outback and Dr. Didg. An occasional fixture on the jam band circuit (taking breaks for the sake of his day job), he managed to both perform at Glastonbury and with the Grateful Dead. (Captioning in all videos is auto-generated; all videos are music-only unless noted) [more inside]
Here's a cool tool for trying out various chords.
From Revolutionary to Normative: A Secret History of Dada and Surrealism in American Music is an overview by composer Matthew Greenbaum of music influenced by dada and surrealism, focusing on the American context, but by no means limited to it. You can hear some dada music over at UbuWeb. If you want an overview of dada itself, Alfred Brendel wrote about The Growing Charm of Dada. [First two links via Open Culture.]
It's a Christmas F*cking Miracle: Run The Jewels Just Dropped 'RTJ 3' [Noisey] The long-awaited third album from Killer Mike [@killermike] and El-P [@therealelp] is here ahead of schedule. With Christmas Day minutes away on the East Coast, Run The Jewels [@runthejewels] have released their long-awaited third studio album, RTJ 3. It's a Christmas Fucking Miracle [YouTube].
Conan Writes Chicago Blues Songs With School Kids. (SLYT, no captions)
Want the humbugs to hum along? Amelia has been making Christmas mixes for a long time. She started sixteen years ago with cassettes. CD-Rs forced her to adopt another technology. Now she has adopted Mixcloud which loses a bit of personalization, but more of us can benefit can benefit from her good holiday music selections.
ASL Hamilton Leah Coleman (daughter of Rachel Coleman, who created Signing Time so more of the world could communicate with Leah) is intending to make videos to make Hamilton accessible to the deaf community. This is the first of hopefully many more.
Yes, 2016 has been a rough, rough year. But Slate has the cure: An incredibly arbitrary, but necessary, salute to Stevie Wonder. [more inside]
Mountain Stage gives their favorite performances from 2016 in alphabetic order, 33 songs in total. Single song listening links on the page, links to full episodes go to the iTunes podcast store. where there is a wealth of listening.
The Maritime Bhangra Group, based in Peggy's Cove, Nova Scotia, takes the drudgery out of shoveling snow. Their other routines include Mannequin challenge, M.O.P., and Bhangra at Peggy's Cove.
Legend of Funaná The funaná sound is a specific one, an important one to the islands of Cabo Verde, and one never better than coming from the fiery, masterful hands of Bitori. One origin story states that funaná developed when the Portuguese tried to spread Western music styles by introducing the accordion, an attempt to pull Cabo Verde closer, culturally, to Europe. If that is the truth, it’s a plan that backfired gloriously.
It's time once again for holiday music connoisseur Andy Cirzan to melt your (snowman's) face off with the rare and bizarre on Sound Opinions Holiday Spectacular 2016. The accompanying mix will soon be available for free download until the end of the year: watch this space for Andy Claus' visit. Or mine the archives for prior holiday weirdness. [more inside]
P-Model was amazing They were a Japanese band, formed by Susumu Hirasawa in 1979. Over the next two decades their sound spanned everything from new wave, alternative, industrial, techno, and whatever style this is .
This seems like a good start. I'm sure we can add to the list!
There’s been no shortage of pessimism about 2016—a year that was plagued with fear, hatred, and confusion.... There was plenty to mourn over within music itself, as we said farewell to David Bowiepreviously, Princeprev., Leonard Cohenprev., Phife Dawgprev., Sharon Jonesprev., and too many others. But nevertheless, we found comfort in song: Solange’s meditationsprev., twice, Chance the Rapper’s spirituality, Bruno Mars’s throwback levity. Frank Ocean resurfacedprev., and the Avalanches finally returnedprev.. For the most part, music in 2016 remained good. The 50 Best Albums of 2016 from Spin, or you can go to Album of the Yearprev., twice to see an aggregated list of top albums or browse individual lists, listed alphabetically. [more inside]
General write ups abound. The Financial Times does a nice write up of I Believe in Father Christmas (audio version here.) Original version here With Ian Anderson here . [more inside]
Since it first started getting major buzz and attention around the start of the decade, Bandcamp has become the go-to place for anyone and everyone (that is to say, artists without agents and established labels) to release their albums. Musicians point to an artist-friendly approach to business and design, allowing for direct relationships with listeners and minimal interference. And there's been a treasure trove of undersung gems ever since. But the sheer breadth and volume could be hard to navigate, to say the least, leaving many to just wander around the "aisles" aimlessly (some would argue this is a good thing). This year Bandcamp launched Bandcamp Daily (previously) as an attempt to provide some curation around this vast catalog of releases, with a crack staff of knowledgeable, respected music critics. Now they've put out their Best Albums of 2016, and it's a stunner. [more inside]
DJ Kutski is keeping the rave alive via podcast mixes, "representing 360 degrees of the harder styles of dance music," an hour at a time. He's up to 244 episodes, and if you check out a few, you'll quickly notice a pattern in the shows. They generally feature a mix of old and new tracks, a cheeky check to see "does it sound good at 170 BPM", a bit of sample mania, and a guest mini-mix from such names as Dune and Charlie Lownoise & Mental Theo from the living history of the scenes, with folks like Sound Rush and AniMe representing the new generation. PLUR! [more inside]
I Fucking Live For Haunting Covers Of Literally Any Song In Movie Trailers - the comments have some great additions too.
"So, if 2016 left you feeling crappy, you can turn to our music for solace and inspiration. We hope you find both inside this list, and we expect you will." (SL Bitter Southerner)
It is the time of year when the voice of Jona Lewie, a musician since school and a composer and performer across several genre for over half a century, becomes frequently heard in shops and on radio. Stop the Cavalry is a single from 1980 (live:   ); the arguably anti-war protest song was not originally intended to be a Christmas single, and was kept off the #1 UK chart spot by songs from the recently deceased John Lennon and the St Winifred's School Choir. The tune, often covered by brass bands, is more well-known in the USA through the cover by The Cory Band with The Gwalia Singers (also Gwalia Singers on own and background). However, Jona was successful before this... [more inside]
Hladik, who died Sunday from lung disease, would have turned 70 next Tuesday. He was considered his country’s equivalent of a Jeff Beck or Eric Clapton, but performed in relative obscurity behind the Iron Curtain. [more inside]
Noel Gallagher talks about the making of Be Here Now, and why D'You Know What I Mean? needed to be remixed.
"So you've got this huge desk the size of Bradford, you've got a tape machine which couldn't handle the amount of tracks so you had to get another tape machine. It's the only time I've ever seen it in the history of music... When we separated all a hundred guitars, all doing the same thing, and got the key elements, and then did that remix, it sounds amazing. You can actually hear the strings, the bass guitar, and you can actually hear everything."[more inside]
Wherein the soothing nostalgia of vaporwave is combined with the hallucinatory, corrupted-VHS ennui of Marge and the gang. [more inside]
Aussie Hayden James makes extra awesome house music, if you're into that kind of thing. See Permission to Love, in all of its 8-bit glory. Also listen with your ears to Something About You and (my favorite) Just a Lover.
Is it possible for those who are tone-deaf to appreciate music or become better singers? Author and journalist Tim Falconer- a self-confessed “bad singer” — is one of only 2.5 percent of the population that has been afflicted with amusia (he is scientifically tone-deaf). [more inside]
All of the clips are from my personal phone video archive taken over the last half a year or so. I trimmed each video, turned them into gifs, and processed them into various emojisaic gifs using a ruby script created by my friend Lucas Mathis (github: @lilkraftwerk), then edited them all together using Adobe Premiere, a process that took me about two months.