Witness the Whiteness as borderline-albino Canadian nerdcore MCs kick it Konami-school [Windows Media/Quicktime; more]
The legendary John Loder, owner of the fiercely independent Southern Records and Southern Studios, has died. In addition to championing many of the past couple of decade's best independent bands (Shellac, The Jesus Lizard, Jesus and Mary Chain, Fugazi, Minor Threat, Crass), he was a brilliant recording engineer and mastering specialist, responsible for overseeing some underground classics (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6). Mourners are requested to wear T-shirts and jeans. Rest in peace, John. You'll be missed.
Vassar Clements, dead at 77.
fleep.com is a wonderful repository of deep house electronic dance music mixes from Tokyo. The fleep.com mix archives is where you can find my favorite mixes such as "7am Sessions," "Situation Satellite," and the newest one, "4th Floor." Enjoy!
The Unseen Video, a "weather controlled, dynamic music video". Fancy, interactive flash version for fast PCs here. Quicktime demos available too.
Rockin' Country Style You usually hear the music termed "rockabilly," but the creator of this site prefers the term "country and western rock 'n' roll," a term he feels reflects what observers of the music's prime era (the mid-to-late 1950s) thought was going on, and is more inclusive besides (racially and also in regard to artificial genre boundaries). Whatever you think about his "theoretical scope," there is so much here to explore. And so much deeply, deeply odd music. The usual suspects are here, among them Elvis and the usual Sun heroes, as well Gene Vincent and Buddy Holly, etc. What is really interesting about this site, however, is how one can explore the evolution of a performer's sound (see: Link Wray) or the sounds of a geographical area or city. Then there are just so many great song samples, like Hep Cat Baby from Eddy Arnold and Fickle Chicken by the Atmospheres - and that's only from the A's! The site also features compilations by label, photographs of singles, and likes to sites dedicated to labels and performers. Terry Gordon, who oversaw the creation of this impossibly thorough database, is now working on a second database site dedicated to southern soul.
Video Games Live, a game-music-with-orchestra concert tour, has gotten lots of press; videogame music's gettting new attention.
SMW - The complete soundtrack to Super Mario World, covered by one man using dozens of instruments. Roughly in game order, faithful to the originals, with some bizarre artistic license thrown around. A private hobby made public. Dedicated to Koji Kondo.
OK go's video for their song "A Million Ways" looks as low budget and as simple as it could be. Four members in a backyard, one camera on a tripod, and they simply dance. But I have to say it's one of my favorite music videos of the last few years. Direct link to high quality 16Mb quicktime, lower quality versions on their site [via 37s]
What do you call two thereminists in a room together? A convention. Well, about 50 thereminists gathered for the Ether Music 2005 Convention last week in Asheville, NC. But what’s a theremin, you ask? You can meet a theremin, marvel at it’s award-winning beauty (scroll down), hear one live, enjoy some theremin humor, buy a vintage theremin, or if that’s too pricey, build one or even enter to win your very own. (previously discussed here, here and here)
Need to fill out a mix for the next Mefi-Swap? Here is a handy A-Z list of Largehearted Boy's favourite free music download sites.
Today is the 10th anniversary of the death of famed guitarist Jerry Garcia. He remains one of the top earning dead celebrities through his name branded sales of ties, wine and action figures. To commemorate his passing, fans put on Jerry Day in San Francisco on Sunday. Love him or hate him, his legacy lives on through his music. What's your favorite Jerry memory?
The Confabulators. They Are Confabulators!! They Write About Music!! They Have Come From The Decemberists Board!! Ahhhh! It began on a message board (reg. required). All the latest news about The Decemberists, Sufjan Stevens, and now, more! Their latest entry: A review of Pitchfork's review of Sufjan's Illinois. That'll teach 'em.
Making music entirely from non-musical things: McDonalds Happy Meals, Henry Kissinger, Bread, Salad Tosser, Fluorescent Lamps, the Bible, Hearts, Dot Matrix Printers, Photocopiers, Volkswagen [possibly nsfw], The Postal Service, Blank Tapes, Eiffel Tower, Deportation Orders [scroll down], Cakes, Cucumbers, Furniture [scroll down to #12], Skin, Roads, Underpasses, Frogs, Vinyl Run-Out Grooves, Radios, Natural Geophysical Phenomena, Carly Simon and other stuff.
Ibrahim Ferrer has passed. The 78 year old vaulted from relative obscurity - outside of Cuba, at least - to the forefront of the badly and over-generally named "International" or "World Music" scenes when he came out of retirement to perform with a number of past colleagues (including Compay Segundo and Ruben Gonzales) as Buena Vista Social Club. A film, directed by Wim Wenders, and an album made with the help of guitarist Ry Cooder cemented his position as one of the sweetest voices in Cuba's rich musical history in the west and elsewhere. He was generally considered one of the greatest masters of the traditional son and bolero styles.
"Anyway, the idea behind this site is similar to stumble: provide links and representations to (of) artists that I love. To that end I've already started populating the music, photography, visual arts and motion arts sections with some art I hope you really enjoy (and real links to the amazing artists responsible)."[And check: via via via]
Sometimes You Can't Fix You On Your Own. (Quicktime and Windows Media.) If there has ever been doubt about Coldplay's burning ambition to be U2, let it be put to rest.
FHM rips off Music Thing blog. Compare and contrast. Fair use or a plain old fashioned rip-off? You make the call. Seriously, how common is this kind of thing and is the net producing content to be repackaged and sold commercially without proper permission?
Jackie Brenston, Ike Turner, Joe Hill Louis, Carl Perkins, Johnny Cash and of course Elvis all passed thur Sun Records in the 1950's. PBS American Masters Good Rockin' Tonight The Legacy of Sun Records has good music and history of the blues and rock and roll. Paul McCarty, Live and other preform the old tunes.
The Streets of Laredo: The Cowboy's Lament was originally written as the Irish drover balled Bard of Armaugh (or Armagh), which later mutated into A Handful of Laurel, about a young man dying of syphilis in a London hospital, musing back on his days in the alehouses and whorehouses. Immigrants settling in the Appalachians brought their own version, The Unfortunate Rake, sung as early as 1790, about a young soldier dying of mercury poisoning, a result of treatment for venereal disease, who requests a military funeral - a slight but important evolution from the previous version. The current lyrics are most popularly attributed to cowboy Frances Henry "Frank" Maynard, who copyrighted them in 1879. While various versions of the song were popular in the US before Maynard took pen to paper and needle to wax cylinder (under such titles as Locke Hospital, St. James Infirmary Blues, Tom Sherman's Bar and Way Down in Lodorra), his version is the one with which we are most familiar today. beat the drum slowly, play the fife lowly / sound the death march as you carry me along / cover my body in sweet-smelling posies / for I'm the young (rake, soldier, man, girl, lass, etc) cut down in (his/her) prime (or and I know I've done wrong) The song has been recorded by pretty much every country, western and folk-identified musical artist since recording music became practical, although the most popular versions must be those by Arlo Guthrie (who once said it was "the saddest song I know," and who sings it on his album Son of the Wind) and Johnny Cash (who added a few verses to his 1965 version, improving the song a bit and making it more emotionally complex). Roger McGuinn's creative commons-licensed version is one of my personal favorites, as is Bobby Sutliff's version.
Cliptrip is a music video blog that has some great, mostly non-mainstream video's. Favourite videos include (Warning! Direct quicktime linkage!) Brother by the Organ (hooray for bands that sound like the Smiths!), Only from Nine Inch Nails, Tito's Way by The Juan Mclean and Tropical Ice-Land from the Fiery Furnaces. (via Chromewaves)
Ry Cooder's Ry Cooder's new album Chávez Ravine captures the world of the vibrant Chicano community that was bulldozed in the 1950's to build Dodger Stadium. Don Normark's book Chavez Ravine: 1949 provides more background on the place that was once a "poor man’s Shangri-la." of "wild roses, tin roofs, and wandering goats" where life "was lived fully, openly, and joyfully" before it was destroyed.
Below Code. Comatonse Records has been around for a little over 10 years, and to celebrate, the owner, Terre Thaemlitz, put out a free best-of CD. The physical copies are all long-gone, but it's available for download (along with a bonus track that didn't fit on the original disc). Most of the stuff is relatively noisy (and some found sound stuff), but there's some cool electronic type pieces, rock and pop songs and solo piano pieces as well. Also of note is his own personal site, which has links to a lot of cool essays, typically about gender issues and music. (There's also links to images of graphical scores to some of his music.) [Poking around these sites are pretty much NSFW -- the only explicitly NSFW links are on "his own personal site" and "music", but there's quite a few naked people and suchlike around, including on one of the postcards that make up the main link, so, yeah -- take care!]
Australian scientist Cameron Jones puts nanocrystals on the bottom of his CDs. And prints fractals on them. And grows bacteria, yeasts, and fungi on them. What's perhaps the most surprising about this is that when these CDs are actually played, they sound pretty cool. More details can be found here and here. [Last four links are MP3, MP3, PDF, and PDF, respectively.]
Mingering Mike is the soul superstar you've never heard of.
Several dozen folk, popular and art songs from Hungary (in Real Audio and MP3).
Coke. Guns. Booty. Beats. In the slums of Rio De Janeiro, drug lords armed with submachine guns have joined forces with DJs armed with massive sound systems and rude, raunchy singles. Welcome to the most exciting—and dangerous—underground club scene in the world.
Mysterious Skin. After years of offending the mainstream, director Gregg Araki's controversial new film (trailer) is getting a surprising degree of critical acclaim, with an 8.3 rating on IMDB, and a 90% rating amongst Rotten Tomatoes "Cream of the Crop" reviewers. It also features a soundtrack that will delight Cocteau Twins fans, as it features a shimmering score by Robin Guthrie (who apparently has a blog) and Harold Budd, reminiscent of their work on The Moon and The Melodies.
BBC Radio 2 -- Sold On Song The website for this show on BBC Radio 2 is pretty awesome; it's got a list of pages on various classic songs in their library (also sortable by artist), which includes song clips and (where available) clips from covers of the songs, taken from the same place -- check out the various It Must Be Loves (originally by
Madness Labi Siffre) -- my favorite will always be the Madness one, but the Lyn Paul version is actually pretty cool. There's also some weird and awful covers available for the picking. I've just been spending about an hour or two picking through random songs and noting on which ones are as good as the original or ones that just fall so very short. (They've also got lots of other content, like the songwriting guide, but the real fun is in the song pages, reading about these great songs and listening to other people do their own cuts on them. [All links go to text; all sound files are in RealAudio.]
Big Star, named after a Memphis grocery chain and arguably the most influential cult band in the pop pantheon (not to mention composers of "That '70s Show" theme song, as rendered by Cheap Trick), releases a new studio album on Rykodisc on Sept. 27. Fronted by the legendary Alex Chilton (yes, the same one) and Chris Bell (Jody Stephens and Andy Hummell rounded out the original lineup), Big Star reformed in 1993 with the Posies' Jon Auer and Ken Stringfellow, and have played live off and on since -- but this is the band's first release of new material since the dark, brooding Third/Sister Lovers in 1978. O my soul! Power pop fans rejoice!
Music Hurts is a new online music magazine that looks to examine the impact of music on society and culture. The articles cover topics such as band logos, female drummers, baile funk, Old Dirty Bastard (RIP!), Heavy Metal and Rap around the globe, and Iggy Pop. Lots of great stuff here, that is if you can get past the arty flash layout. Via OneLouder.
Does concert music have a place in our digital future? These musicians are making a strong case in the affirmative-- Aphex Twin at Lincoln Center? Listen to samples here (I particularly like this one), and a whole track here. Concert music (live music, composed mostly in advance, played mainly on acoustic instruments) has had a hard time this past century, adjusting to all of the paradigm shifts that technology has brought, from player pianos all the way to iPods. Classically trained musicians are branching out in some divergent, clever ways….A few interesting examples can be heard here, and here (from this album), and here (I especially like this one).
Stones of the World. Photographed by Yoshida Tatsuya.
While My Ukulele Gently Weeps Kick off the weekend with some crazy uke playing from Jake Shimabukuro.
You like-a da mashups? Here, I give you mashups (about 40 of them to be exact).
The personal instrument collection of John and Rudy Dopyera is for sale. John and Rudy are the inventor-craftsmen behind the resonator guitars that made the National and Dobro (DOpyera BROthers) guitar companies famous. No, you can't afford the collection, but it is pretty to look at (my personal favorite).
Bonus string link: Chordie (previously discussed) has added chord diagrams for ukulele, banjo, mandolin and lefty guitar!
Bonus string link: Chordie (previously discussed) has added chord diagrams for ukulele, banjo, mandolin and lefty guitar!
Bassline Bassline. Rock has its electric guitar, hip-hop has its turntable/mic, and electronic music has its Roland TB-303. One of the few single instruments that can claim to define the entire genre, its history is an interesting one: "Bassline Baseline is a video essay that investigates the invention, failure and subsequent resurrection of the mythic Roland TB-303 Bass Line music machine in the last two decades of the 20th century."
Ninjam lets you play music (not MIDI) collaboratively with random people in real-time offset by one measure. Samples.
The Shins Will Change Your Life A collection of fawning music "criticism" updated a few times a week. No commentary from the author, just excerpts from reviews.
Is New York Rock: A Critical History hilarious band-busting sarcasm or so cloyingly ironic and juvenile as to be puke-inducing? (via ILX)
The Unheard Beethoven - This website endeavors to make all of Beethoven's unrecorded music readily accessible to the public. These never-before-heard works are now available to anyone with a computer, a modem and a soundcard, in the form of MIDI files. At present, over twelve hours of Beethoven's music is available on this website and in no other listenable format.
Dannybot is a short musical film about a lonely man whose robot goes off to war. It shouldn't be confused with What's Your Name, a music video about a lonely robot office worker, which itself shouldn't be confused with the previously-MeFi'd one about a worker who doesn't know he's a robot, or the one about the worker who is haunted by robots, or the much lower-tech Kraftwerk video "The Robots (mpg video), or the video about a robot scavenger in a third-world nation (mp4 video) (which itself shouldn't be confused with that previously-MeFi'd non-musical short about a robot cop in a third-world nation), none of which should be confused with any of the various shorts (Windows Media) and commercials(MPG) about breakdancing robots(streaming video). However, any of the previous videos about robots could have been made by the robots in this music video about robots making a music video(quicktime). If any of this is unclear, please contact your local League of Electronic Musical Urban Robots. (links mainly via Memepool and Antville.)
Chet Helms has been dead for a few days. He was not mentioned here and I somehow missed all this. He was a player in the music biz in his day and kinda looks like me if I stopped trimming my beard for a week or two. RIP.
This is what a party sounds like. If you grew in Washington DC in the 80's anyway. Invention of go-go music, DC's home-grown version of funk, is often attributed to Chuck Brown, but it probably came closest to breaking through to the mainstream when "Doin' Da Butt" was featured in Spike Lee's "School Daze" and E.U.'s beats were subsequently sampled by Salt-N-Pepa. [mi]
Together at last! Joy Division and Mongolian throat singing.
Following up on this post, the Barbershop Harmony Society (SPEBSQSA) will be holding its annual International Convention this week in Salt Lake City. The contest sessions and several other non-competition concerts will be broadcast live on the internet. There's a fee for the video feeds, but the audio feed is free!