Sony's 2011 contract with Spotify has leaked. The Verge's calculations have Sony making a pretty sizable sum off the deal, without much of it trickling down to artists. Meanwhile, Sony has begun pulling all of its artists' music from Soundcloud. [more inside]
So, how do you increase interest in your compact hybrid cars? Well, if you're Toyota, and you're selling to a Japanese market, you run an ad themed around the iconic music for one of the most famous JRPG transportation options. [more inside]
A recent study served to confirm the patently obvious: song lyrics for the most popular genres of music are ridiculously obtuse — and getting worse over time. Though this might not be a revelation, the figures are distressing indicators of both an intellectually vapid societal and cultural future as well as its apparent inevitability. [more inside]
The 2015 Eurovision Song Contest winner has now been crowned (previously), but the real stars of the contest were the fabulous and entertaining International Sign interpreters. [more inside]
Friends, once again, here is yet more proof that one string is all you need.
The 2015 Eurovision Song Contest concluded today, with Sweden's Måns Zelmerlöw performing the winning song. A brief recap of the live performances provides glimpses of the costumes, stage effects, and choreography peculiar to Eurovision grand final performances. [more inside]
It's almost summer, so here's the story behind one of the best ever pop songs about spending time outside. The Young Rascals, Groovin'.
“All of those things play a part in who I am as a person. It all has equal weight. I want sexual abuse to sit happily alongside other topics like music and creativity, without this gut shudder, ‘Oh no, we can’t talk about that.’” The book is accompanied by a playlist that Rhodes put on Spotify – Mozart’s Jupiter Symphony, Bach’s Goldberg Variations, Chopin’s Etude in C Minor – a wonderfully simple, powerful idea, which at times makes it heartbreakingly difficult to read.For The Guardian Zoe Williams interviews pianist James Rhodes about his just released autobiography, finally available after the UK Supreme Court ruled in his favour in the lawsuit taken out against him by his ex-wife. Trigger warning: child abuse. [more inside]
Free music Friday! Organic Audio - Back to my Roots As part of their ongoing 20th anniversary celebration Tummy Touch are offering 'dubbed out disco beats and dirty global grooves WAY before they were fashionable'. [more inside]
Eddie Van Halen describes early experiments with guitars, electronics, and home wiring in the quest for his famous tone. "I'm poking around, and all of a sudden I touch this huge blue thing and my God, it was like being punched in the chest by Mike Tyson."
Just how many Sci-Fi / Action movie references are in Taylor Swift's new video "Bad Blood"? IO9 attempts to make a tally of them all.
It started with Scopitones in bars, then people Wanted Their MTV or watched Friday Night Videos or let their videos Pop Up. The common thread? All that production and distribution took giant piles of money that generally could only come from Big Labels. Then came the march of technology: mp3, mpg, h.264, iTunes, Garage Band, Final Cut, dSLR, and all the rest. Now, not content to just share self-made mp3 audio, the current batch of YouTube musicians are making ever more elaborate music videos, and growing a big audience, without a major label in sight.
The Stonehill Jewish Song Collection is a website by the Center for Traditional Music and Dance containing songs sung by Jewish refugees in Hotel Marseilles in New York in 1948. All songs include the original lyrics and translations into English. Not all the songs have been digitized and translated already, but there is a variety of themes already, with more on the way soon. The songs were collected and recorded by Ben Stonehill who went to the refugees and asked them to sing anything they like.
Two unique, evocative Japanese mixtapes to assure you that spring is really here at last: Spencer Doran's Fairlights, Mallets and Bamboo and Ventla's Astrocast 45. [more inside]
"With jukeboxes now Internet-enabled and app-accessible to vast song libraries, it’s possible to create a visual map of the tunes New Yorkers seek out, by location."
"If you look at the history of rock and roll and punk, they came from a black style of music, and that’s the history of popular music in general. It was created by blacks, then re-recorded to play for a white audience. Some of the first punk bands to ever create the 1977 sound were all-black bands." - Monica Estrella Negra, in an interview about the Black & Brown Punk Collective [more inside]
What is an octobass?, you may have wondered. The answer: It is a ridiculously huge bass.
"Hardcore Architecture explores the relationship between the architecture of living spaces and the history of underground American hardcore bands in the 1980s."
Utterly mad live version of a classic. Get your ears around this. Billy Stewart killing a classic.
In the early sixties, jazz pianist Bill Evans (previously) got his hands on a European EP that featured a cover of his signature piece Waltz for Debby, with Swedish lyrics, and vocals by young jazz vocalist Monica Zetterlund. Evans was floored. “I don't usually throw superlatives around, but let me tell you I am really exited about Monica's Waltz for Debby” he wrote in a letter to her record company. “I used to think that my waltz wasn't suited for vocal but look how wrong I was! Suddenly I feel like going to Sweden.” So he did: Monica Zetterlund with Bill Evans Trio: Waltz for Debby/Monicas vals (live rehearsal from 1966). [more inside]
Watch French singer Patrick Bruel realize just how big his song J' te 'L'Dis Quand Meme had become, in a concert from the 90s. [more inside]
Holly Herndon "takes technology, including the Internet, as a starting point rather than a stumbling block. Where some would discount online culture as a distraction—or, worse, false consciousness—for Herndon, it's just a place we all call home. As such, it works its way directly into her music, both as subject and content. Featured on her forthcoming album Platform, the uneasy single "Home", which she calls "a love song for prying eyes," is dedicated to the NSA; "Chorus", meanwhile, utilizes a software program that eavesdrops on her browser and folds its audio into a shuddering percussive thrum." The whole album is available to stream here. [more inside]
Miley Cyrus, Laura Jane Grace (of Against Me!), and Joan Jett perform "Androgynous" by The Replacements. (SLFB)
In 2001, two unlikely friends created a music festival in Mali that drew the likes of Bono and Robert Plant.
Then radical Islam tore them apart.
Then radical Islam tore them apart.
If there's a band more simultaneously inventive, unusual, lush, intricate, or lovely than Stars in Battledress, I've yet to find them! James and Richard Larcombe, known for their collaborations with British legends William Drake and Craig Fortnam, among others, combine guitar, keyboard, and harmonies in spectacularly unusual tandem. They can be majestic and enchanting; they can be jagged and noisy; they can be warm and witty. I'm quite taken with them!
Self-described "butch queen" and gleeful gender-nonconformist AB SOTO brings the sparkly with his new song and video Cha Cha Bitch. It's got a beat; you can dance to it.
In 1976 Elton John was one of the biggest superstars in pop music. His album from the previous year, Captain Fantastic and the Brown Dirt Cowboy was the first album to enter the Billboard charts at #1. The follow-up album, Rock of the Westies, was the second album in history to enter the charts at #1. But behind the outrageous costumes and garish glasses was a lonely man whose fame had grown to the point where he and songwriting partner Bernie Taupin started referring to it as "The Beast". Thousands of adoring fans all over the world wasn't enough; as Elton confided to interviewer Cliff Jahr, "I crave to be loved".
ICHI's song GO GAGAMBO opens with a universally recognisable mosquito hum, then proceeds with a catchy, familiar-sounding bass line, strummed out on a long, thin insect-like home-made instrument, while the vocals are punk-like, small and high-pitched, in the language of the insect itself. It’s a song about mistaken identity - (gagambo is an insect unfortunate enough to be mistaken as a big mosquito, resulting in probable death by angry clapping hands), and it is a clever blend of the familiar and the bizarre. [more inside]
"Alfonso Muskedunder", an animated video by Bendik Kaltenborn and Espen Friberg for the song by Norwegian DJ, songwriter, and record producer Todd Terje. A '60s jazz influenced (yes that's 7/8 time) hodge-podge with 4 additional remixes (soundcloud) and a 'shortreel' of animated outtakes, it's the latest addition to a series of oddball-character-themed singles: "Inspector Norse", "Delorean Dynamite" and "Leisure Suit Preben".
In keeping with sweet music videos evening here on Metafilter, please take a moment to appreciate the sheer number of hours and sore thumbs it must have taken to make Son Lux's new video for Change is Everything.
Chemical Brothers "Go." They still sound like the 90s. Music video by Michel Gondry.
Calexico - "Falling From The Sky" [YouTube] Directed by Mikel Cee Karlsson. Featuring José González.
Ben E. King has died at 76. He was the original singer of "Stand by Me" (later covered by John Lennon, Otis Redding, Bono/Springsteen, and many others), which he cowrote with the famous songwriting team of Leiber and Stoller. [more inside]
In which the crowd at Dangerous Minds get serious about the question that's been on everyone's mind.
If you took a calculus course in college, the name James Stewart may ring a bell. The money you spent on those textbooks went to build "one of the most important private houses built in North America in a long time", a curving concert hall of wood and glass. Stewart died in December, and the house is now on sale.
"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]
Lucero Tena (Spanish) has amazing rhythm and control, as seen and heard in her dancing, tapping, clapping and snapping, but she is best known for her mastery of the castanets, used in accompaniment to a solo guitar along with her dancing, and perhaps more impressively, as a solo instrument in front of an orchestra there in a piece specifically written for her and her castanets. She may not dance any more, but her skill with the castanets is still astonishing. If you're lucky, you can catch her in a live performance.
Alabama Shakes - Don't Wanna Fight [YouTube] From the new album "Sound & Color", live on Saturday Night Live. Previously.
If there is Guilty Pleasure, this is Guilty Pain. Dylan admits he’s very self-conscious to find emotional refuge in music that “isn’t even good.” It’s embarrassing to admit that during messy, adult heartbreak we often regress back to adolescence, to the same exact tools (even down to the 9-minute Something Corporate song) that helped us get through it the first time.--When we are heartbroken, why do we turn to the music we loved as teens?
Jensen Karp: “I was stumbling through my garage, searching through old storage bins, when I came across some old beat CDs from my days as a signed Interscope rapper. I was shocked to find that two of them, both given to me in ‘01, had the name Kanye West on them.” (via)
As a music fan, what I find even more worrying is that these “festival fashion” features only perpetuate the myth that women are incapable of enjoying music for music’s sake. More than that: these features are flat-out telling us we’re not allowed to. The subtext appears to be, “Girls: the boys have generously granted you access to their sphere; the least you can do is look pretty.”