Hans Reichel (previously) is a man of many talents. His own site (flash/sound) is fun (often funny) and chock full of agreeably wacky sounds, but can take some time to navigate. Reichel hasn't made it easy for you if you happen to be in a hurry. You may well get stuck somewhere and just give up. That'd be a shame, though, cause you'd miss getting acquainted with the guitars he makes and plays. Or how he designs fonts. The mixing board shenanigans are not to be missed (once you get past those curious little fellows in the brown hats), plus you can sorta kinda play his daxophone yourself. And of course conduct your own little ensemble of meercats when one of them finally comes out of hiding and says "Hallo! Play with me".
Sonic Postcards - winner of the New Statesman New Media Award. Explore sound. Via the Sonic Arts Network, UK exponents of Electroacoustic music.
Awesome J-Pop Videos. For a genre few in the U.S. are familiar with, it certainly garners some very heated opinions (likely because of Morning Musume and the like.) Still, there are some who go above and beyond the fold. (largely youtube filter.)
The Neon Philharmonic consisted of members of the Nashville Symphony Orchestra, a producer of country & western records named Don Gant (who produced Jimmy Buffett's first hit), and a jazz pianist named Tupper Saussy. Strangely enough, this odd combination produced an unexpected Top 20 hit, Morning Girl. The group was briefly mentioned as an obscure music hipster reference in a devastating indie-rock takedown of current critical darling Sufjan Stevens, but such a throwaway reference to the Neon Philharmonic does not do justice to the bizarre life of its founder, Tupper Saussy.(more inside)
MTV turns 25 today. Music Television, otherwise known as MTV, was launched with its first broadcast on 1 August 1981, 25 years ago today. Famously, the first video broadcast was the Buggles' "Video Killed the Radio Star." Ironically, MTV evidently isn't going to acknowledge its anniversary on-air in any way, with a spokeswoman saying that "We made the decision when MTV was founded to always stay young and evolve with our audience. To do that, it has been important to serve our audience at that moment, not our audience of yesterday." This is about par for the course, though, since when was the last time that MTV actually broadcast music videos? A broader question: does anybody who wasn't weaned on MTV (or anybody who was, for that matter) care anymore?
What's playing? What songs are playing on the radio right now and where, an interactive map. Less fun, but much more useful is the site's ability to look up a station and tell you what songs they recently played. (via J-Walk)
James Patten creates interactive works in diverse media with themes including performance and social commentary. Projects include Tactile Photography and, most impressive to me, The Audio Pad.
Maim That Tune "Are you plagued by Stuck Tune Syndrome? Do you have a song stuck in your head you just can't get out? Take heart friend, for your suffering is over. The Maimograph Machine, through complex analysis and calculation, will find an even catchier tune to counter-act the one you already have."
Nerds travel to the infamous Atari 2600 E.T. video game landfill, dig up hundreds of carts, play them and make a music video of it. (Quicktime video.)
Henry Lim composes sonatas and film scores. He also has a serious thing for Lego. The Hepburn portrait, Natalie Portman portrait, Beethoven and Fab Four portraits are impressive enough, but it is the full size, fully playable Harpsichord that demonstrates some kind of heroism. (mp3 included- to be listened to only once, really, or not even that.)
The Format. Indie pop and flying dogs.
After nearly 70 years, blues legend Robert Johnson's guitar has recently surfaced. It's up for sale, but you may need to sell your soul to afford it. Maybe Legba will lend you the purchse price. [more]
Top 100 Music Videos, according to Stylus. Last month Pitchfork made their pitch for a hundred awesome music videos. This month it's Stylus's turn.
Lustfaust, an expiremental noise band from West Berlin has been steadily building an online retrospective archive of band photos, memorabilia from past gigs, and collected submissions of artwork that fans created for their own mix tapes. They can also be found (of course) on MySpace. For those of you in the NYC area, tomorrow is the final day of a show at The Volume Gallery that features artwork created by fans of the underground group . What they've pieced together is a pretty loyal and diverse following for a band that doesn't really exist.
Inner City Youth, London "In 2002, Simon Wheatley began photographing London's publich housing developments...and was able to obtain a level of intimacy with his subjects that provides a true picture of the daunting project of growing up in the intimate confines of drug use, societal neglect, and poverty." This (Flash-based) narrated slideshow features Wheatley's work, and is a look at the culture...and also the music (grime) "as an artistic response to the place and circumstance, an expression of the violence, bleakness, and neglect..." (via Future Feeder)
50 Albums that changed music. Fifty years old this month, the album chart has tracked the history of pop. But only a select few records have actually altered the course of music.
Eyes Of The World A 14-minute Google video of the Grateful Dead playing a mid-70s classic in New Jersey in 1991.
No, I'm not sure how they get it to not devolve into a wall of feedback... though that'd be pretty rad too.
A Piano In A Gallery. David Cunningham (the guy behind The Flying Lizards! Wikipedia because the main at-least-quasi-official site's down, but while you wait 16 days for that, why not read this interview with Deborah Lizard for your FL Fix) and his new project... A Piano In A Gallery. No, he's not actually PLAYING the piano -- the visitors are. It's a sort of similar thing to both Brian Eno's gallery work with ambient tape loops on different time cycles, creating an ever-shifting collage of sound and David Byrne's recent Playing The Building. The room is mic'd, and the sound is run through a piano, and amplified, both bringing background noises to the foreground AND creating feedback-style loops, as those sounds are also run into the mics and so forth. So... if you happen to be in London.... [via WFMU]
Rock n' Roll Summer Camps for Girls, including this one in Brooklyn which has some clips and tunes posted (via).
Turtle sex, chiropractic death, and peyote under the pillow: a year-by-year account of American primitive guitar
...Record collectors are typically thought of as irascible loners, but in the Washington of the ’50s and early ’60s, there existed a group of scruffy young blues and folk fans who could’ve given the Illuminati a run for their all-seeing eyes. They thought of themselves as the guardians of a tradition the rest of the world had either forgotten or misinterpreted. They adopted fake names. They invented strange mythologies. They hatched plans to bring their favorite historical figures back from the dead--or at least back from the commercial oblivion to which the music biz had consigned them. But most of all, they inspired admiration and awe. Though they never used the term themselves, this bunch of vintage-78 obsessives was known by others as the East Coast Blues Mafia.The Thong Club
So these guys built a crazy y-shaped guitar that can produce sounds that sound like a regular guitar or a steal drum[wav]. There are more sound examples on that page. Meanwhile Mari Kimura has figured out a way to produce sub harmonics on a regular violin, extending the range down an octave, producing some [intresting[mp3] results. via]
Every Brian Jonestown Massacre album for free. Druggy, poppy, woozy, Rolling-Stonesy music. Want more free music? Butthole Surfers- Double Live Jad Fair- Sunshiney Sunshine Complete Dolly Mixture discography Animal- Sawn Creator and Deaf Ox and John Vanderslice. (some via)
Honey, where you been so long? A music blog featuring almost daily links to mp3s of pre-war blues musicians. Previously mentioned in-thread here and here.
Among Springsteen fans, the song "Meeting Across The River," has become something of a point of contention and parlor game in terms of what happens to the protagonists afterwards. Many speculated that "Jungleland," was a continuation of the story. Several authors have taken the enterprise a step further in a new anthology.
Steven Thomas Erlewine prosecutes Sufjan Stevens A solid indictment of both Stevens and Indie Pop, from AMG's Whole Note series. Hopefully, the Arcade Fire get theirs next.
MusicLens enables users to find pieces of music using very vaguely described criteria, such as loudness (perceived volume), mood or purpose. The search or recommendations query can be enhanced or limited by adjusting the ten control sliders. Example : All slow titles by Madonna from the 90s that also sound sexy. (Note: FLASH)
The Fillmore St. Jazz Festival and the Mitch Marcus Quintet Live. via BayTaper.com
Syd Barrett passes on. Pink Floyd founder (paid tribute to by his former bandmates in "Shine On You Crazy Diamond) who had succumbed to mental illness passes away due to complications of diabetes. RIP.
8=8 is a group of four programmers = four performers = four artists. We each built our own program for my Hypertable platform, then created a program that would group them together for a public performance. More videos &c.
Then, as he escorted me to the elevator, he said, “New Yorker? How many people see that shits?” He reflected a moment. “Damn. Who needs Hot 97? I got New Yorker and MySpace.”
Richard Hell & the Voidoids play CBGB's, 1977 (youtubefilter). Check out the crowd interviews between the two songs. Also, Richard Hell tries to learn a Television song from Tom Verlaine parts One and Two.
Dutch broadcast station VPRO's website is Holland’s biggest platform for alternative music. Here's a link to a shitload of streaming live concerts and tracks. You'll have to do a bit of cut and paste once there, but it's the easiest way for me to link to the list. For the cut-and-paste-inept, there's a standard interface, but the site's not in english.
The kantele is the national instrument of Finland, strongly associated with traditional Finnish folk music. A psaltery-like string instrument of somewhat obscure origin, it prominently figures in the Kalevala. Despite this association with the past, the kantele is very much a living instrument- it was used in the soundtrack to "The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe" for its "pure, chilly sound", and electric kanteles have been made. [more inside, with sound samples]
Have you ever seen a synth and said "Man, what this needs is cartoon eyes?" A bit similar to the Buchla Box or theremin in that they don't have a keyboard to control the sounds -- it's probably closest to the Booper, invented by The Weatherman from Negativland (or, well, Circuit Bending), the Thingamagoop is a photosynthesizer... which means it basically uses light sensors to generate sounds. The signal's run through a couple oscillators and, well, it comes out as somethin' that's pretty dang awesome. I'm on the fence on pickin' this one up. On one hand, it's a really neat toy that makes noise... on the other hand, um.... um.... I dunno. It's not made of candy?
Stevie Ray Vaughn, Part 1 - a great little video documentary made by two Norwegian students as an English project. Part 2, Part 3. (YouTube alert)
Harlem's in the house. More specifically, 5-10 year old rappers from Harlem are in the house. Unbridled innocence, spacey '80s electro-scifi production and candy as a metaphor for candy. Brought to you by the fine folks at WFMU.
Sound Team didn't think much of the review that Pitchfork gave them and replied via YouTube. [via] (which also reports on the winner of the Moo & Oink contest).
David Webber makes awesome sound art things from christmas trees, pot plants, household stuff, food blenders and hard drives. His good friend Ray Wilson builds awesome modular synths. Ray will also show you how to make your own Weird Sound Generator.
free downtempo music Try this or this if you like Thievery Corporation or maybe Brian Eno. Or Boards of Canada.
Tourfilter: Track your favorite bands. See who else is tracking them. Never miss another show! [Boston, Chicago, New York for now - other cities on the way.]
Spirit was an American jazz/hard rock/psychedelic band founded in 1967, based in Los Angeles, California. Their 1970 album Twelve Dreams of Dr. Sardonicus is highly regarded for originality and uniqueness and is considered by many to be one of the best albums made by a Los Angeles group [source]. Among the many bits of fascinating rock trivia surrounding the group: founder and frontman Randy California jammed with a pre-fame Jimi Hendrix. Curious fans can also peruse unofficial sites for original members and founders Randy California and Jay Ferguson.
A video broadcast of György Ligeti's Poème Symphonique for 100 metronomes (AVI, French), with helpful background on the controversial piece located here. For those who know French, you may also be interested in 1993's György Ligeti: Portrait, A Documentary by Michel Follin, showing Ligeti as "the displaced cosmopolitan", through the metaphor of train ride through the European countryside. These and many other avant-garde films can be found at Ubuweb, including features with William Burroughs, a recent "performance" of Cage's 4'33", and Varése and Le Corbusier's 1958 World Fair collaboration Poême électronique, a 400-speaker soundspace installation predating later, more experimental feedback pieces.