Some Friday afternoon inspiration and reminder that everything will be okay: Time to Level Up. Here are the lyrics. Here's more info on Tommy Guns, one of the dancers in the video. [more inside]
Richard Shindell is an American folk songwriter. He currently lives in Buenos Aires, Argentina, with his wife and their children. A few selected highlights from an amazing songbook are inside. [more inside]
Ben Bullington was a small-town doctor in Livingston, Montana, who wrote and recorded country/Americana music in his spare time. In November of 2012 he was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer, and decided to start crossing things off his bucket list. One of those things was doing a songwriting workshop in Nashville, and that brought him into the orbit of the great Darrell Scott. [more inside]
"ICP's intense work ethic and preparation have been essential to their ascension from a second-tier Detroit rap group into the leaders of their own subculture—a feat accomplished by virtually no other group in popular American music, save for maybe the Grateful Dead." Tears of a clown [more inside]
Mr. Krugman’s musical reawakening came sometime in early 2011 when Arcade Fire won the Grammy for Album of the Year. Up until that point, as is true with many baby-boomers, he believed that “the great age of modern music ended sometime in the 70s.” Arcade Fire convinced him “that the wonder goes on.” Indeed. [more inside]
"A song, a poem, a scene from a film triggers memories. You’re startled, moved, shaken. And you’re faced with two options: 1) engage with the work and the memories it calls up, or 2) retreat, postpone, avoid. Option 2 is very attractive." Matt Zoller Seitz remembers his wife Jennifer, who would have turned 44 today. [more inside]
Volbeat are a "rockabilly metal band" from Copenhagen. Formed in 2001, they list among their influences Elvis Presley and Johnny Cash, along with many metal and punk bands. Some particularly rocking cuts inside, to help you get through Monday afternoon. [more inside]
Deep Elm Records, which turns 20 years old next year, today announced that all 200+ of its albums are available on a "name your price, no minimum" basis: "If you have means please show them love by naming your price. If you do not have any means, in exchange for each download we kindly request that you post, share, tag and tweet to tell your friends about each album as our bands depend on your word of mouth." [more inside]
"Nude is a concept album released by English progressive rock band Camel (wiki) in 1981. It was their eighth studio album. The album (lyrics) is based on a true story of a Japanese soldier (Hiroo Onoda) marooned on an island in World War II who doesn't know that the war is over. 'Nude' derives from his family name 'Onoda.'" [more inside]
Bebo Valdes has passed away. A giant of Cuban music, he was a "big man whose music revealed a huge heart." He famously worked with Nat King Cole, and also handed down his musical chops to son Chucho, who would become one of the founding members of the band Irakere. There are some videos inside the fold to allow us to celebrate Bebo and his music. [more inside]
The video for Frightened Rabbit's new song "State Hospital" is a powerful meditation on rape, domestic violence, suicide and what it means to be strong in the face of all of them. [more inside]
"I ran the phonetics of east, west, and north, but nothing sounded as good or emotionally true to me as South Detroit," he says. "The syntax just sounded right. I fell in love with the line. It’s only been in the last few years that I’ve learned that there is no South Detroit. But it doesn’t matter." One of rock's greatest mysteries, finally solved.
Jack White has worked with everyone from Alicia Keys to Loretta Lynn to Brendan Benson to Alison Mossheart. His new single, "Leck Mich Im Arsch," utilizes a 230-year-old Mozart melody. Oh yeah, his co-conspirators on this one? MeFi favorites Insane Clown Posse.
I Feel Better: A brief rotoscoped video for the song by the Scottish band Frightened Rabbit, in which a real-life HUD and an infinite number of parallel universes conspire to help our hero get motivated. [SLYT]
For only the second time since their breakup in 1985, the three surviving members of Pink Floyd shared a stage last night in London. Video, with the amazing reveal around 0:52. [more inside]
Too much bad news and worry lately? Maybe a quick dose of the jubilant new song "Sydney (I'll Come Running)" by Brett Dennen will help. [more inside]
Natasha Shneider was a Russian musician and actress, best known for her work in the band Eleven and with Queens of the Stone Age. She lost her battle with cancer in July of 2008, at the age of 52. Now, her husband of 25 years and bandmate Alain Johannes has released his solo debut album "Spark," a tribute to her. [more inside]
It's time to smile. (SLYT)
The new documentary about their career won a Tribeca audience award, and now, the little power trio from the Great White North has a star on the Hollywood walk of fame. [more inside]
"Open your minds, earthlings, and prepare to be launched headfirst into an alternate universe. A place where robots fall in love with humans. Where your tour guide into this alternate realm is a demure lil thang with a bold set of pipes. 'I'm an alien from outer space,' declares Janelle Monáe on the first song of her debut album, Metropolis: The Chase Suite (Special Edition). Yes, Toto, we are no longer in Kansas anymore. Or even planet Earth." [more inside]
Remember how OK Go had to explain why they couldn't let fans embed their music videos? Well, they evidently got their record label to change their tune, because the off-the-charts amazing new video for "This Too Shall Pass" is embeddable. "Picture that old board game Mouse Trap and multiply it by several thousand," says Rolling Stone.
Mindaugas Piečaitis has performed his "CATcerto," an original score written to accompany Nora The Piano Cat's piano improvisation. Here's the video of kitty with orchestra. [more inside]
Lady Dottie's a "sixty-something blues queen with body pillows for boobs and more swagger than Space Ghost." Her band, The Diamonds, is a bunch of young hard-rockers. (Think Kings of Leon or the MC5 backing up Etta James.) Their new record kicks all kinds of ass - as do their live shows.
Arguably the most addictive song on the formidable 214-song GTA IV soundtrack is "Schweine" by Russian singer/actress Glukoza ("selling music without sex since 2003"). [more inside]
"With each passing year records have gotten louder and less dynamic...This all comes down to the moment a consumer hears a record, and the fear that if the record is more dynamic, the consumer won't know to just turn up the volume."
"The sort of artist who survives at the long tail is the sort who would be happy doing nothing else, who willingly sacrifices security and comfort for the chance to communicate something meaningful, hoping to catch the attention of those few in the world who seek what they also find meaningful." Musician Robert Rich on the new realities of making a living at art. [more inside]
It hasn't been updated in a few months, but the Cocteau Twins Podcast is a treasure trove of rare and never-before-heard recordings. [more inside]
Think you've had clumsy moments? Ten bucks says you've never had one quite this bad.
Name your own Paste price. Paste Magazine, arguably one of the best music magazines available today, is taking a page from the Radiohead playbook by letting subscribers pay whatever they want for a 12-issue/12-CD subscription (minimum $1).
What happens when you play two separate copies of Radiohead's "Kid A" exactly 17 seconds apart? According to some, it produces some amazing synchronization effects. Although some fans claim to have heard Thom Yorke say it was intentional, "Whether or not it was intentional to me seems beyond the point. Fact of the matter is that it actually 'kind of' works." If that doesn't float your boat, you can always just sync it up with The Matrix.
Good Copy Bad Copy is "a documentary about the current state of copyright and culture," featuring Danger Mouse, Lawrence Lessig, Dan Glickman of the MPAA and others. The film's creators are releasing it free of charge, via Bittorrent.
"REwind: A Cantata for Voice, Tape and Testimony" debuts tomorrow night in New York. South African composer Philip Miller listened to hundreds of hours of audio cassettes from the Truth and Reconciliation Commission hearings - the testimonies of torture victims, as well as their torturers who were given pardon in exchange for their testimony - and composed music around the samples he selected. It premiered in Capetown in late 2006; utterly haunting excerpts available here and here.
"His dream is to produce a full-length gay, disco tribute to Canadian Rock legends, Rush." It certainly wouldn't be the first question-mark-in-the-air-above-the-head-inducing tribute album - that's a pretty long list, and includes the hip-hop tribute to Phil Collins, the bluegrass take on Metallica (so good they had to make two of them), the lounge tribute to Eminem, the hillbilly tribute to AC/DC, a hairmetal tribute to the Beatles, a goth tribute to David Bowie, um, a string quartet tribute to Clay Aiken, and more Dylan cover albums than you can shake a rolling stone at.
This Tuesday will mark the 10th anniversary of the tragic passing of Jeff Buckley, the supernaturally talented singer/songwriter whose name, alongside Nick Drake and Elliott Smith, has become a favorite comparison point for rock critics everywhere. Columbia is remembering the day with the release of "So Real," a compilation of 14 tracks, three of which are live, and one previously unreleased cut, his cover of The Smiths' "I Know It's Over." ("Jeff was a huge Smiths fan," said his mother Mary Guibert in an interview. "He thought Morrissey was a living legend, so this song was a very meaningful choice.") BBC did an excellent documentary on him a few years ago called "Everybody Here Wants You," the full vid of which is available here. Another doc, "Goodbye and Hello," ran on Netherland TV in 2000, and there's a multi-award winning doc about Jeff soon out on DVD called "Amazing Grace." It's probably too much to hope that there are many more unreleased songs that were complete (or nearly so), but there was this gem ("Forget Her") from the deluxe edition of "Grace" from a few years ago. And on top of it all, the man was one of the finest interpreters of Leonard Cohen ever, which is saying quite a lot.
Tori Amos changes "MILF" to "MILX" for her recent Letterman appearance. Her new song "Big Wheel" ends with a refrain of "I am an M-I-L-F," but careful listening to the performance suggests that she changed the "F" to an "X" - and perhaps slurred it a little to conceal the fact that the change had been made. Was this a quiet example of giving in to the television morality police, or an artistic statement of another sort?
Zelda and the Golden Ratio. A fascinating examination of the music from Nintendo's Zelda games, and the recurring appearances of 0.618, the bisection point on a line at which the relationship of the shorter segment to the longer one is the same as that of the longer section to the whole line.