Bassist Steve Wallace reflects on the "good old days" of New Year's Eve gigs for working musicians on the Toronto scene and shares a few stories. [more inside]
Aretha Franklin wows at the Kennedy Center Honors (SLYT) If you think the Queen of Soul has lost a step or two, let this two-minute video from the recent Kennedy Center Honors prove you wrong. The best part? As one Facebook poster declared, 'Mother was like "lemme slide through, put my purse down, keep my fur on and slay this real quick.' [more inside]
Please enjoy a cover of Nirvana's Heart-Shaped Box by Icelandic phenom Ásgeir. Then try a deep house remix of Ásgeir's cover by Romanian producer Kataa, and another one by Danish producer Notize. Heck, throw in a deep house remix of the Nirvana original by Argentine producer Ubbah.
The idea and goal of “The Seasons” was a simple one: 12 original pieces dedicated to 12 musicians I deeply admire, released over 12 months. Though this ended up being one of the most challenging and complex projects I’ve ever attempted, it also turned out to be one of the most rewarding.Ben Wendel, inspired by Tchaikovsky's work from 139 years ago, has finished his year of duets: The Seasons Project (YouTube playlist)
Yes, that Jerry Springer: Host of the world’s least classy TV show, former mayor of Cincinnati and one-time newscaster. He tapes The Jerry Springer TV show every Monday and Tuesday in Connecticut, then on alternate Tuesdays takes his Gulfstream jet to Cincinnati, where his old friend Jene Galvin picks him up. They go over to Ludlow to record a podcast called "Tales, Tunes and Tomfoolery." [more inside]
Folk musician Pete Seeger was under investigation by the FBI for decades from his time as a soldier during World War II until the 1970s. David Corn of Mother Jones magazine got over 1700 pages of surveillance reports, which have been released online. Seeger first came to the attention of the FBI because he wrote a letter protesting calls to strip all Japanese-Americans of citizenship and deport them. [via RÚV]
It was strangely sad, for some reason. Like two strangers met for a short distance of path in their lives because they had a common goal, and then one of them suddenly vanished, leaving the entirety of the task's weight and responsibility to the person that remained.Kavinsky — Nightcall (Samsung Cover Cover) by D___N builds on Kavinsky — Nightcall (Samsung Cover) by Arsen Sayadyan. [Via.] [more inside]
@thomyorke: Last year we were asked to write a tune for Bond movie Spectre. Yes we were ...... It didn't work out ... but became something of our own which we love very much .... As the year closes we thought you might like to hear it. Merry Christmas. May the force be with you ...
Since he started Akkord (s/t album playlist) with Synkro, Liam Blackburn has been in search of a sound. His last few solo releases skirted past drum & bass through to techno, ambient, IDM and, with 2013's excellent Storm, some sort of ultra-hi-tech jungle.... [H]e's re-emerging as Ancestral Voices on the increasingly out-there label Samurai Horo....The debut album for Blackburn's new alias is "yawning chords, complex drum patterns and existential dread," directly inspired by his mind-expanding, life-altering experiences on Machu Picchu and in the Amazon, and you can hear all of Night Of Visions on Bandcamp.
Was it surprising that your music became popular again?Sam Chatmon - Make Me A Pallet On the Floor [more inside]
Well, no. Because everywhere I went, even when I was five and six years old, when I’d go to these clubs to play, the first thing they would say when I walked in the door, folks started to pattin’ and hollerin’, ''Let Sam have it! Let Sam have it!'' And I’d get that, man, and people - whoo! I’d put life all in there! And it’s the same thing right now. Anywhere I go, I just haves a zeal. I have a good zeal to play.
Friends, as we go through the hustle and bustle of the holidays, let us not forget the reason for the season ... happy 70th birthday Lemmy! [more inside]
Chrindie '95: A collection of essays about a seminal year in Christian indie rock. [via mefi projects].
1995 was also an incredibly important year for the scene we've come to call “Chrindie,” for Christian indie rock. Much has been written about the weird world of contemporary Christian music, but whatever you think it is , you’d be surprised by how many genuinely great Chrindie records were released twenty years ago. During the course of the year, we’ve been writing about brilliant, beautiful, challenging, difficult, weird albums that went mostly unnoticed by mainstream radio and the music press and MTV, in part because they were released on tiny labels with no budgets and marketed primarily to evangelical teenagers in the suburbs.[more inside]
🎶the singularity won't save you, there's not a thing that you can do, and you and me and us we're all gonna dieeeeeeeeeeeeee! 🎶(SLYT)
"Palestinian culture — notably the writings of Mahmoud Darwish — have inspired non-Palestinian artists, such as the elegant, sparse album The Astounding Eyes of Rita by Tunisian jazz master Anouar Brahem. But all of these belong to very “grown-up” genres, appealing to audiences used to classical, jazz and “world” music. Checkpoint 303's "The Iqrit Files" offers something very different. Palestinian songs, poetry, history and landscapes provide the starting point for an album which combines them with the much more youthful sounds of drum and bass, minimal techno and ambient electronic." (The Electronic Intifada) [more inside]
Sheila Heti (previously) profiles Raffi: The wondrous — and occasionally weird — relationship between the children’s-music superstar, his fans, and the man he used to be.
"2015 just may be the year that grime goes global. The MC-driven genre is in the middle of a strong, fertile second coming that’s reaching listeners farther flung than ever before. Though grime has had global aspirations for over a decade now, launching several UK superstars like Dizzee Rascal, Wiley and Skepta, the music never managed to become an international export on the scale of American hip-hop. Now things are starting to change."
Vice's Noisey compiled the most important list of the year: 2015's Biggest Albums Rated By 1-Star Amazon Reviewers. [more inside]
Billboard and other sources are reporting The Beatles will be available on streaming services, starting Christmas Eve (Dec 24th). [more inside]
Over the past 15 years drum & bass has become a sort of black sheep in the dance music family — too hard for the uninitiated while converts seem content with the smug satisfaction of ‘getting it.’
“Outsiders to drum & bass need something interesting to make them have a look and dig,” he explains. “I’m not sure what that could be these days."
“Outsiders to drum & bass need something interesting to make them have a look and dig,” he explains. “I’m not sure what that could be these days."
Have you played Mega Man 11? Yoshi's Island 2? The SNES Earthbound sequel? No? Well, while you wait to get your hands on them, you can listen to the soundtracks online. [more inside]
In support of his most recent album, Racine Carrée (YT playlist with official videos), Stromae played 209 concerts in 25 countries. From these, he captured performances at the Bell Center in Montreal on September 28 and 29 to present two hours of the singing, dancing, acting spectacle that was his show (YT). Bonus: it's subtitled in English, if you want to understand those French lyrics. [more inside]
Lizzo has a new album out - Big GRRRL Small World. Among a roster of tracks that specialises in audacious beats, hilarious lyrics, unexpected diversions and freakishly catchy hooks, sits My Skin, a sweet but weary ode to empowerment, body-positivity, and being a person of colour. [more inside]
Norwegian legends and fairy tales are full of references to subterranean or supernatural beings, many of which have the fiddle as a symbolic attribute.... Even today, some people believe that anyone hoping to become a real fiddler must be apprenticed to Fossegrimen.... The Hardanger fiddle is inextricably linked to such legends, and it is the folk tunes which have kept them alive.And Targjei Augundsson is at the crossroads of legends and folk tunes, whose skill with the fiddle is said to have come at the price of his soul from a deal with Fossegrimen, making him something of the Norwegian predecessor to Robert Johnson. [more inside]
"i put 'All I Want for Christmas is You' through a MIDI converter, and then back through an mp3 converter. the result is this garbage" (SLaudio)
I already knew OutKast; I loved their first album, Southernplayalisticadillacmuzik, in part because of the clever way they interpolated funk and soul into rap. ATLiens, however, sounded unlike anything I’d ever heard or imagined. The vocal tones were familiar, but the rhyme patterns, the composition, the production were equal parts red clay, thick buttery grits, and Mars. Nothing sounded like ATLiens. The album instantly changed not just my expectations of music, but my expectations of myself as a young black Southern artist.
Gabephex Twin. A YouTube user known as APBradley has created a cover version of Aphex Twin’s ‘Windowlicker’ from the barks and howls of his small pet dog. (SLYT via FACT)
After ten years, six albums, and widespread critical acclaim, Screaming Females are still as hard working and viciously independent as when they began in New Brunswick’s basements in 2006. Such staying power is no small feat in a music industry where independent artists make less and less each year as the stars on the top absorb more and more of the entertainment dollar. Yet here’s a band that has found a way to make a small living, consistently create meaningful music, and all the while never sacrifice their ethical grounding. It hasn’t been easy. As with most jobs, achieving sustainability has meant constant struggles for health care, decent wages, and respect. We talked with the band about how they’ve taken on these obstacles, and what needs to happen to improve conditions for artist-workers across the industry.
Listen to the "Loon Garden" sample from one of the E-mu Emulator II's stock library of sounds, and it may sound familiar in an unusual way. Instead of invoking a feeling of being near the Great Lakes, you might get taken to dance floors or mixes of the past and present, from 808 State's "Pacific State" and Sueño Latino's "Sueño Latino (Paradise Mix)" (both vaguely tropical numbers from 1989), to the more recent Rustie's "Up Down (feat. D Double E)" and Nicki Minaj's "Anaconda" (NSFW). Philip Sherburne tracked down the story of a sample that keeps coming back, collecting more examples and getting some great insight into a number of notable tracks.
SLYT: Pstereo by Emilie Nicolas, the music video.
"I went over to Germany, and I saw one millionth of a performance of a piece of music." John Darnielle (The Mountain Goats, Wolf In White Van) travels to Halberstadt to report on a John Cage concert that will last 639 years.
John Roderick of the Long Winters sets down the criteria for a good Christmas song.
In order to let Billy Bragg know what his songs mean to us fans, we created this site with our own stories and annotations to his songs. It’s meant as a token of our appreciation for everything the Bard of Barking is and does.
Indie auteur Richard Linklater pleasantly surprised audiences with his charming 2003 comedy School of Rock, in which a struggling musician (High Fidelity co-star and Tenacious D frontman Jack Black) hijacks a 4th grade prep school class and inspires them to become a killer rock band. Buoyed by likeable characters, a great soundtrack, remarkably talented kid musicians, and Black's lengthy, irrepressible, almost improvisational classroom scenes, the film earned rave reviews and inspired scads of copycat programs around the world (as featured in the '05 documentary and reality series Rock School). But while the cast kicked ass at their ten-year reunion concert in 2013, plans for a sequel fell through. Everyone loves an encore, though. And so this weekend saw the Broadway debut of the Andrew Lloyd Webber stage musical starring Alex Brightman, with a TV adaptation to air on Nickelodeon next year. Because there's no way you can stop... the School of Rock. [more inside]
The Canadian Pacific Christmas Train is a rolling holiday party for a cause. Two beautifully lit trains - on a US Route and a Canada route - cruise through the Midwest, stopping in 150 towns along the way to present live music and light shows while bringing donations of cash and food to local food banks.
You might not have guessed that the spiritual ancestors of talk box talkers Pete Drake and Roger Troutman are musicians from faraway Thừa Thiên-Huế Province in Vietnam. Don't believe me? Just check it. [more inside]
The Casiotone MT-40, an electronic musical keyboard, was launched on the consumer market in 1981 and discontinued roughly a year later. It was not a particularly powerful piece of gear; it came with 23 fixed timbres and six drum patterns, played on tinny electronic sounds. However, in 1985, one MT-40 ended up in Jamaica, in the hands of a young musician named Noel Davy, where its bass pads and one of its drum patterns ended up instrumental in spawning the new electronic style of reggae and dancehall. [more inside]
It's time to engage in the Annual Album Arguments! And so far, Kendrick Lamar is winning the internet with To Pimp a Butterfly. Rolling Stone, Noisey (from Vice), and Spin all give it #1. Stereogum puts it at #2, behind Grimes' Art Angels
Cult favorite punk cabaret duo Kiki & Herb released a Christmas album full of spiteful brio years ago that's been nearly imposssible to find since ...That is until Kenny Mellman (Herb) put the entire thing on soundcloud.
Mona Shores Singing Christmas Tree. As explained by the AP: "It's not that an oversized tree adorned with ornaments is uncommon as a student choir sings carols in the days leading up to Christmas. It's more that the towering steel tree is decorated with garland, twinkling lights ... and hundreds of teenagers. [...] The Mona Shores Singing Christmas Tree combines the usual elements into an unusual show that will draw thousands of spectators this weekend. The 67-foot-tall tree features 25,000 lights, 5,000 linear feet of greenery, and 15 tiers on which about 220 choir members stand. About 50 other students sing from positions near the base of the tree."
Scott Weiland, Ex-Singer of Stone Temple Pilots, Dies at 48. The troubled singer died in his sleep on a tour stop in Minnesota. Weiland, who had been fired from STP, was in his third act, comparing himself to Keith Richards, and had lost a bandmate earlier in the year. Weiland rose to stardom 23 years ago with STP's debut Core. [more inside]
It's safe to say that Peaches' new video for her song Rub is really not safe for viewing at work* [more inside]
I told myself:-- you mustn't write! But stubborn hands will not comply Vladimir Vysotsky was a Russian Actor, Poet, and Musician. He wrote over 600 songs before his death in 1980.
DJ Earworm's United State of Pop 2015 (50 Shades of Pop) is now available!
The Art of Punk (previously) is a documentary series from MOCAtv, the L.A. Museum of Contemporary Arts’ YoutTube channel. The series looks at the visual language of the punk rock movement by focussing on three legendary punk rock bands and the seminal artists behind their iconic logos. [more inside]