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Nicky Da B, Dead At 24.

NOLA bounce artist and rapper Nicky Da B is dead. Nicki was best known for his colorful, aggressively infectious music and videos, including Hot Potato Style (previously), Express Yourself with Diplo (previously), and his collaboration with photographer Clayton Cubitt Go Loko (NSFW, strobe and flashes warning)
posted by The Whelk on Sep 3, 2014 - 29 comments

Ron Jeremy, a not terribly tiny pianist and a harmonica man

If you heard about the 7" record released for Record Store Day, "Understanding and Appreciating Classical Music with Ron Jeremy," you know Ron Jeremy plays piano with some level of proficiency and flair, and you could probably guess that he throws some crass humor into his act (yes, that's his favorite classical music/pianist joke, he drops it a lot). Ron f*cknig Jeremy also blows the harmonica (NSFW words and vaguely unsafe images), and shares his love of Christian worship music with a fairly rough rendition of Amazing Grace on the harmonica. [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief on Sep 3, 2014 - 17 comments

"I once loved a girl..." - Suze and The Twerp

Tomorrow is a long time
Suze and The Twerp
Ballad In Plain D – Bob and Suze
We were both overly sensitive and needed shelter from the storm
Previously: I gave her my heart, but she wanted my soul
posted by joseph conrad is fully awesome on Aug 24, 2014 - 2 comments

Victor Gama: exploring musical terra incognita with unique instruments

Victor Gama is a self-taught composer and musician who has expanded his process of composing music for himself and others to perform into creating new or modified instruments, and is also involved with traveling to hard to access regions of Angola and recording local music, as documented on his website Tsikaya: Músicos do Interior. You can read an outstanding interview of Victor with Ned Sublette for Afropop, or read more on his creation of instruments as part of his creative process, or you can experience his performances on YouTube and his music on Soundcloud. [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief on Aug 22, 2014 - 3 comments

Jon runs the voodoo down

Pianist Jon Cleary is not a native New Orleanian (he hails from Cranbrook in Kent, England) but when it comes to the history and practice of New Orleans music, and piano music in particular, hell, you'd think he'd grown up on Basin Street or maybe next door to Tipitina's. You'll see what I mean when you watch this little clip, Jon Cleary - History of New Orleans Piano, and hear this masterful player roll through an exhaustive (and very entertaining) demonstration of the musical styles that the city is renowned and revered for.
posted by flapjax at midnite on Aug 20, 2014 - 6 comments

aaaaand... CHASER!

Sam Ulano appears to have been drumming, non-stop, since he arrived on the planet in 1920. Sam Ulano is a drumming MACHINE. He's drummed on more gigs than anybody. Anybody. He's also a celebrated educator, who, throughout his long career, has taught and inspired thousands of drummers. But those aren't the reasons Sam Ulano is appearing today at Metafilter. No, Sam is here because of this: Little Red Rhumbahood. That's right. And this: Santa And The Doodle-Li-Boop. Because you've never heard anyone tell a nutty story while accompanying himself on the drum set, and doing it this, um... well, with this kind of verve, spontaneity and deliciously crazed energy. Sam Ulano is a law unto himself, a category of one. Ah, but the pièce de résistance, friends, the crowning achievement of this mad genius, the epic masterpiece which simply must be heard to be believed, is HOW TO PLAY A SHOW. Thank you, Sam Ulano, you joyously inspired lunatic!
posted by flapjax at midnite on Aug 29, 2013 - 5 comments

Go, Eddie, go!

See string svengali Eddie Peabody drive three count 'em THREE ladies crazy with his smooth-as-silk strumming on three count 'em THREE exotic instruments: Strum Fun, for sure! And not only was ol' Eddie a suave lady's man, he was surely one of the best violinists (when it comes to bird calls, anyway) of his day! And what say we drop in and watch the wild and crazy guy strutting his stuff, doing a bit of crooning, banjo picking, toy-violin sawing and who knows what else, with His College Chums. We'll close it out with Eddie and the Beachcombers, as the irrepressible picker and grinner demonstrates some newfangled *electrified* instruments! Thanks, Eddie, and keep on plucking, baby!
posted by flapjax at midnite on Jun 15, 2013 - 13 comments

for when Watership Down isn't available at the video shop

English singer-songwriter Keaton Henson's video for Small Hands, directed by Joseph Mann. [more inside]
posted by threeants on May 27, 2013 - 8 comments

You have to find out how you can fuck up new technologies.

Tackling everything from Abba to the Velvet Underground, Brian Eno reveals his insights into popular music in this 81 minute talk at a music academy sponsored by a popular sugar-and-caffeine-infused drink. [more inside]
posted by item on May 10, 2013 - 25 comments

Lookee here woman, what's the matter now?

Let yourself be carried along, floating nice and easy down that slow, lazy river of American collective unconscious, when you hear Jack Owens singing Jack Ain't Had No Water.
posted by flapjax at midnite on Apr 29, 2013 - 10 comments

Keep it simple, keep it real.

If you're a fan of deeply grooving and righteously soulful music that's stripped down to its barest essentials, then you'll love Brushy One String's Chicken In The Corn, not to mention No Man Can Stop Me, They Are Going Down and Boom Bang Deng. A voice and a one string guitar. All you need, really.
posted by flapjax at midnite on Apr 23, 2013 - 25 comments

Pulitzer awarded for whispers, sighs, murmurs, and wordless melodies

Caroline Shaw is a 30 year old composer, violinist, and singer. Yesterday, she also became the youngest person ever, and one of the few women, to receive the Pulitzer Prize for music for her composition Partita for 8 Voices. The work features four baroque inspired movements that were influenced by the violin music of Bach, and yet despite the baroque title, Partita is still thoroughly modern. The Pulitzer jury described it as a "highly polished and inventive a cappella work uniquely embracing speech, whispers, sighs, murmurs, wordless melodies and novel vocal effects." [more inside]
posted by fremen on Apr 16, 2013 - 45 comments

Farewell to a visionary musician and musical thinker

Sadly, it's time to say farewell to a unique and visionary musician and musical thinker who developed and articulated an extraordinary method of directing large-ensemble improvisation with a method that he dubbed "conduction". Mr. Butch Morris has left us, but his ideas will surely reverberate in the hearts and minds of creative musicians and lovers of creative music everywhere.
posted by flapjax at midnite on Jan 29, 2013 - 10 comments

Ravi Shankar has died.

Ravi Shankar, sitar virtuoso, has died at 92.
posted by Rustic Etruscan on Dec 11, 2012 - 126 comments

Bluesman Tommy Johnson gets some respect

Legendary Mississippi Delta bluesman Tommy Johnson is finally getting a headstone on his grave, more than a half century after his death. Recommended celebratory listening, then, is this 9-song YouTube playlist, which starts out with "Cool Drink of Water Blues" (a shining example of Johnson's quavering falsetto - "looooooord, lordy looooord") and continuing with pre-war blues classics like his "Big Road Blues", "Big Fat Mama Blues", "Canned Heat Blues" and more.
posted by flapjax at midnite on Oct 25, 2012 - 9 comments

I'm your toy, I'm your old boy

Gram Parsons: Fallen Angel - An excellent 90 minute BBC documentary, the story of the legendary country rock pioneer as told by contemporary musicians, family, and friends. It includes rare performance footage. (Via Dangerous Minds) [more inside]
posted by madamjujujive on Aug 28, 2012 - 17 comments

Thinking of Nico

On this day in 1988, just three months shy of what would have been her 50th birthday, Christa Päffgen, better known as Nico, died. Her stark, no-frills delivery conveyed a kind of guilelessness and honesty that many listeners continue to find refreshing. These Days. I'll Keep It With Mine. Chelsea Girls. Femme Fatale. All Tomorrow's Parties. My Funny Valentine. The Fairest of the Seasons.
posted by flapjax at midnite on Jul 18, 2012 - 31 comments

"The beauty of [science fiction] is—the whole point of it is—that humans are the same."

Each morning at 9am for the next two weeks, (Mefi's Own) scifi and fantasy author John Scalzi will be chatting with musician Jonathan Coulton about one of his science fiction songs -- a different song each morning, -- in a daily podcast over at Tor.com called Journey to Planet JoCo. Series index. On May 29th, they'll be premiering a brand new, previously unheard Coulton song.
posted by zarq on May 17, 2012 - 3 comments

RIP mister bassman, Donald "Duck" Dunn

Millions may know him best from one of the only lines he delivered in the Blues Brothers movie: "We had a band powerful enough to turn goat piss into gasoline". Others who notice these things will remember him as the guy who also played the bass in the Blues Brothers band. And those for whom Stax records and the Memphis sound are important will know him as the four-string foundation of the great Booker T and the MGs, and the man who lent his solid, no-frills bass lines to many a tune by soul luminaries Otis Redding, Wilson Pickett and lots of other greats. Memphis-born bassman Donald "Duck" Dunn has died while on tour (along with fellow legend and bandmate Steve Cropper) in Tokyo. RIP, Duck Dunn, and if there's any goat piss in heaven, I know you're gonna turn it into gasoline up there, too.
posted by flapjax at midnite on May 13, 2012 - 112 comments

RIP Mr. Dupree

He's responsible for the deliciously relaxed and understated guitar work you remember from Rainy Night in Georgia and the driving chukka chukka whipsnap that propelled Aretha Franklin's Rock Steady, as well as her version of Spanish Harlem. And he's lent his masterful musical sense to many, many other tunes from artists as diverse as Ringo Starr, Archie Shepp, Joe Cocker, Miles Davis and Paul Simon. Guitarist Cornell Dupree has died at age 68. Primarily a studio musician, Dupree was more often heard than seen, but you can catch some glimpses of his Southern-fried six-string artistry on this live version of King Curtis' Memphis Soul Stew.
posted by flapjax at midnite on May 9, 2012 - 23 comments

it rocks

If you want to hear the rock solidest, rock steadiest, rock of Gibralterist rock drumming that's ever been rocked in the history of rock, then you want to hear this.
posted by flapjax at midnite on Apr 24, 2012 - 57 comments

one of the greats will be leaving the stage

The Band singer and drummer Levon Helm is in the final stages of cancer, according to a note posted on his website Tuesday by his wife, Sandy, and daughter, Amy. [more inside]
posted by flapjax at midnite on Apr 17, 2012 - 137 comments

"Everything we do is music."

John Cage Unbound, A Living Archive is a multimedia exhibition created by the New York Public Library documenting their collection of videos, original notes and manuscripts of contemporary American composer and music theorist John Cage (1912-1992). "Cage believed that, following his detailed directions, anyone could make music from any kind of instrument" so the NYPL is asking visitors how they would bring his music to life, by submitting videos of their own interpretations of Cage’s work for possible inclusion in the archive. For more extensive collections of John Cage resources, see: WNYC: A John Cage Web Reliquary and Josh Rosen's fan page. [more inside]
posted by zarq on Apr 17, 2012 - 21 comments

Let's Pretend We're Marionettes

When artist Troy Gua wanted a new project to cheer himself up with, he hit on the idea of making a tribute to his favorite musician. Le Petit Prince, a 1/6 scale doll of The Purple One, was born.
posted by BoringPostcards on Mar 22, 2012 - 19 comments

Etta Baker, American musician

Guitarist Etta Baker worked in a textile mill, raised nine children, and didn’t take her music to the stage until she was 60 years old. Fortunately for all of us, she continued to play and record right up until her death in 2006 at the age of 93.
posted by flapjax at midnite on Mar 12, 2012 - 11 comments

I shall possess within the veil, a life of joy and peace.

The legendary Dick Dale covers Amazing Grace, 12/09 in a Studio Session on NPR's KEXP. [more inside]
posted by zarq on Feb 24, 2012 - 22 comments

Stephane Grappelli

The exquisite jazz violin of Stephane Grappelli - then and later [more inside]
posted by Trurl on Jan 19, 2012 - 15 comments

RIP Johnny Otis

Chances are that sometime, somewhere, out of the corner of one ear, at least, you've heard the iconic (yet all-but-forgotten) "Willie and the Hand Jive". Set to a Bo Diddley beat, it was an infectious little number that made quite a splash back in its day. Here's a fun live version of the bouncy tune, complete with the three largest dancing girls you're ever likely to see, and here's the original 1958 recording. The composer of the tune, the son of Greek immigrants who decided that the world of black music was where he wanted to be, was one Johnny Otis, who has just died at the grand old age of 90. Shortly after its release, "Willie and the Hand Jive" was covered by early rock icons like Bo Diddley and, across the pond in England, Cliff Richard. But apart from his most famous tune, Johnny did a LOT of recording and performing throughout his lengthy career, so there's... [more inside]
posted by flapjax at midnite on Jan 19, 2012 - 42 comments

Tommy Ardolino, NRBQ drummer, RIP

If you ever caught NRBQ live, you were most likely treated to some raucous, pounding and undeniably joyful roadhouse revelry that made you wanna drink another beer (at least) and bask in the divine glory of Rock. And. Roll. But it is with a sad heart that I relay the news to you today that the hard-hitting, deeply grooving powerhouse behind the drums, the man who drove America's Best Bar Band to ever more delirious heights of cathartic oneness with the Universe, has left us. RIP, Tommy Ardolino. [more inside]
posted by flapjax at midnite on Jan 7, 2012 - 27 comments

multitasking

In 1993 in Dharamsala I met for the first time that amazing music performer, perhaps he was a Rajhastan gypsy. Usually he sat on road side from McLeod Ganch to Dhalai Lama residence. This man-orchestra created great atmosphere, sometimes he sang from eternity even didn't notice listeners. In 2004 I came to Dharamsala and people told me that he passed away. This video is dedicated to him and to people who knew him.
posted by flapjax at midnite on Dec 29, 2011 - 7 comments

Buddy Merrill, string wizard from the Lawrence Welk show

Never had a whole lotta use for the Lawrence Welk show, but man, when it came time for steel guitar wizard Buddy Merrill and his dazzlingly snazzy stringery to take center stage, the broadcast got a hella lot better, fast!
posted by flapjax at midnite on Dec 19, 2011 - 24 comments

"She's a rap artist—and she's pretty fucking dope."

Meet Wheelchair Sports Camp, a "psuedo-hip-hop trio from Denver fronted by Kalyn Heffernan, a 56-pound wheelchair-bound badass emcee with CRIP LIFE tattooed on her stomach," who sometimes cover "My Vagina Ain't Handicapped." [more inside]
posted by zarq on Dec 8, 2011 - 9 comments

Howard Tate, soul man, 1939-2011

The man who lent his wonderfully warm and soaring voice to the rolling soul ballad Get It While You Can, the limber southern funk of Eight Days on the Road, the coolly driving How Come My Bulldog Don't Bark, the mellow soul lilt (with breathtaking falsetto interjections!) of I Learned It All the Hard Way and so many other delightful soul numbers has died. Farewell Howard Tate. [more inside]
posted by flapjax at midnite on Dec 4, 2011 - 17 comments

The multi-talented Hans Reichel, 1949-2011

Hans Reichel, of Wuppertal, Germany, maker of exquisitely beautiful guitars, on which he made exquisitely beautiful and idiosyncratic music, inventor of the delightfully expressive daxophone, on which he made delightfully expressive and often humorous music, creator of elegant fonts and architect of one of the most endearingly creative flash websites you'll ever see, has died at the age of 62. [more inside]
posted by flapjax at midnite on Nov 23, 2011 - 25 comments

Lana Del Rey

Lana del Rey sings "Video Games" and "Blue Jeans" and just got signed to Interscope. But she's also known as "failed mainstream artist" Lizzy Grant, a "gangster Nancy Sinatra," and "the lie we like to tell ourselves." Here she is at the 2011 Q Awards.
posted by Avenger50 on Oct 28, 2011 - 47 comments

Happy Birthday, Mr. Hooker!

Happy birthday John Lee Hooker! Let's celebrate by listening to some of your older tunes! "Gonna take you down by the riverside, gonna tie your hands, gonna tie your feet, got the mad man blues" ... "Now the war is over, and I'm broke and I ain't got a dime" ... "You know I'm a crawling king snake, baby, and I rule my nest" ... "Gonna get up in the mornin', goin' down highway 51" ... "Well I rolled and I tumbled, babe, I cried the whole night long" ... "I feel so good, let me do the boogaloo"
posted by flapjax at midnite on Aug 22, 2011 - 19 comments

The Pianist

Yuja Wang (official site / wikipedia) is a 24-year old, Chinese virtuoso classical pianist who became an overnight sensation in 2007 when she filled in after piano legend Martha Argerich, cancelled a performance with the Boston symphony. Since then, Ms. Wang has become a superstar in her own right, hailed by critics for her precise, passionate performances and lightning-fast technique. But after a recent appearance on-stage in a short red dress and high heels led to a critic's complaint about her outfit, others are now weighing in on whether it is appropriate for a female classical musician to wear revealing clothing. [more inside]
posted by zarq on Aug 15, 2011 - 104 comments

Eugene McDaniels, RIP

Somewhere along the line, you might've heard one of the biggest hits to ever come out of the world of jazz: it was a song originally made famous by Les McCann and Eddie Harris back in 1969, called Compared To What. If you were in the right place at the right time, you might've even caught them doing it live. Or, if you were born a little too late for all that, you might've heard the song performed by John Legend and the Roots. Well, the man who wrote the song, Gene McDaniels, has just left us at age 76. RIP Gene McDaniels.
posted by flapjax at midnite on Aug 2, 2011 - 25 comments

Headless Corpses, Stolen Laptops, and Lawyer-shaped Guns.

What has Richard Buckner been up to, since 2006's Meadow? [more inside]
posted by dubold on Jul 26, 2011 - 31 comments

Better than Mick

One is never too old to rock.
posted by flapjax at midnite on Jun 26, 2011 - 49 comments

Falling Comet

"In 1955 "Rock Around the Clock" went to the top of the charts and turned Bill Haley into the king of rock and roll. Twenty-five years later, he was holed up in a pool house in Harlingen, TX, drunk, lonely, paranoid, and dying. After three decades of silence, his widow and his children tell the story of his years in Texas and his sad final days." (Via)
posted by zarq on May 25, 2011 - 34 comments

Haiti's new prez

One of his groovingest tracks was called I Don't Care, but apparently Michel Martelly, aka Sweet Micky, decided he did care enough about Haiti to run for president of the country. And now he's president of the country. Unlike Bill Clinton, however, Sweet Micky definitely inhaled, and, hey... he's on a horse. [more inside]
posted by flapjax at midnite on Apr 4, 2011 - 17 comments

you've heard him a million times, but he ain't no millionaire

Give the drummer some? Nuh-uh. PAY the drummer some! Living Legend Tries to Make a Living. I'm talking about the man who gave us the drum solo (at 5:35) that launched a thousand hip hop ships, James Brown's funky heartbeat, Clyde Stubblefield. [previously].
posted by flapjax at midnite on Mar 29, 2011 - 36 comments

Uke Virtuoso

Taimane's Toccata. Via [more inside]
posted by zarq on Mar 15, 2011 - 22 comments

RIP, Candy Licker

"The "chitlin' circuit" sounds like something that's gone, and with good reason. After all, the name itself derives from the "soul food" of chitterlings (fried pig intestines) that was a staple at early performances. But from CC Blues Club on Thomas Street to the Cannon Center downtown, thousands of Memphis music fans flock to hear stars like Marvin Sease and Bobby Rush sing what's too risqué for radio play, and to watch dancers shake what's too big for TV. That's both the beauty of the chitlin' circuit and the reason for its survival. While its roots run back to racial segregation, it thrives today because performers give audiences what they can't get through mainstream media. It's called "grown folks music," and it's all in the name of the blues."
Soul-blues singer Marvin Sease has died at age 64. Here's a comprehensive playlist of his (sexually-explicit/NSFW) songs on YouTube, including the one that never received any radio airplay but whose title the former gospel singer took as his professional nickname: Candy Licker [more inside]
posted by zarq on Feb 9, 2011 - 15 comments

farewell, Totico

Eugenio Arango, better known as Totico, a Cuban-born percussionist and singer who was one of the most celebrated figures in the drumming, dancing and singing culture of New York rumba, died on Jan. 21 in the Bronx, where he lived. He was 76.
posted by flapjax at midnite on Feb 8, 2011 - 4 comments

Sol K. Bright, Hawaiian musician

Let's head down to the sunny Hawaii of the 1930s and pay Sol K. Bright a visit, shall we? His charming vocal work and masterfully playful guitar wizardry are sure to please! Hawaiian Cowboy - Honolulu How Do You Do? - Tomi Tomi - La Rosita. Aloha!
posted by flapjax at midnite on Feb 4, 2011 - 11 comments

"You can't move mountains by whispering at them."

Pink releases music video for the song Fuckin' Perfect: Explicit Version (Youtube, possibly NSFW) / Radio Edit: Youtube / MTVMusic. Background: Pink's Website / Wikipedia. Note: Both versions of the video depict anorexia, cutting and suicide.
posted by zarq on Jan 22, 2011 - 61 comments

a towering, glittering icon from an era now past mumbles a barely heard farewell as he slips out the back door...

Perhaps it's best my grandmother didn't live to see this day: the Liberace Museum, located in the besequined showman's old stomping grounds of Las Vegas, is closing, and that would have saddened her. Maybe it's time for all of us to brush up on our early Liberace history. And let's hear the sparkling man, resplendent in gold, take Mack the Knife through some changes. Farewell, Liberace.
posted by flapjax at midnite on Sep 18, 2010 - 66 comments

Thanks for the music, Mr. Starkey

One of the most rhythmically solid, tastefully understated and (all too often) criminally underrated drummers in the history of rock music turned 70 today, and you'll forgive me if I couldn't let the day pass without a nod in his direction. You've probably heard of him. [more inside]
posted by flapjax at midnite on Jul 7, 2010 - 98 comments

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