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“Hands to the sky”

Frank Ocean Releases Visual Album Endless: Frank Ocean has released a 45-minute long video titled “Endless.” A representative from Apple Music calls it his new “visual album.” The rep also told Pitchfork to “keep an eye out this weekend for more from Frank.” It features new Frank songs and takes place in the same warehouse where Ocean has been hosting a web stream. The new songs feature contributions from Jonny Greenwood, James Blake, and more; two songs were recorded at Abbey Road. The status of Ocean’s Boys Don’t Cry and its long-reported accompanying print publication are currently unclear. Find the tracklist below, and watch “Endless” here (iTunes). [via: Pitchfork Media] [more inside]
posted by Fizz on Aug 19, 2016 - 33 comments

SMPTE Fanfic

Fantasy Test Cards is a YouTube channel that features dozens of fake television test patterns, each accompanied by an hour of relaxing music. [via] [more inside]
posted by schmod on Aug 19, 2016 - 20 comments

From Jingoism to Feelings - the aesthetic response to collective trauma

Lindsay Ellis' (previously) new video series 'Loose Canon' (Previously) takes a look at the different media takes on the same cultural character or property. She takes on the longest and most detailed one yet with the media reaction to and portrayal of the 2001 9/11 attacks. Part 1 (21:21) Part 2 (27:37) (Warning for photos and video of attacks)
posted by The Whelk on Aug 18, 2016 - 2 comments

Our show is 100 percent African

“An African City” features music from Ghanaian hip-hop artists like Jayso, chic home décor from Ghanaian interior designers highlighted in detail on the show’s Instagram page, and clothing from fashion designers like Christie Brown, Archel Bernard, Kiki Clothing, Osei-Duro and Afrodesiac. The vibrant colors and pop patterns have been the toast of the series, especially as members of the African diaspora have begun to incorporate kente cloth crop tops into their wardrobes and wear traditional patterns to big events like prom. Vogue cannot get enough of them. Previously
posted by infini on Aug 18, 2016 - 2 comments

Simon and Garfunkel: two voices, one guitar, live on stage 50 years ago

Fifty years ago, a few months before they released their third studio album, Paul Simon and Art Garfunkel took to the stage in Holland on a TV Show called 'Twien' with just their two voices and one guitar. Here's 23 minutes of music and some interludes with information about selected songs. Playlist: 'Richard Cory,' 'Homeward Bound,' 'Leaves That Are Green,' 'I Am A Rock,' 'A Most Peculiar Man,' 'A Poem On The Underground Wall,' 'He Was My Brother,' and 'The Sound Of Silence.' [Alternative link - slightly longer, but watermarked video.] [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief on Aug 16, 2016 - 21 comments

The sound of one hand saxing

Neill Duncan is a jazz saxophone player who lost an arm in 2012. He now plays a saxophone designed for one-handed players by Maarten Visser. Two of Visser's designs for tenor and soprano saxophones won this year's One Handed Musical Instrument Trust instrument competition. But Duncan isn't the only player using one, Visser isn't the only one designing them, and saxophones aren't the only instruments adapted for one-handed players. [more inside]
posted by mandolin conspiracy on Aug 15, 2016 - 5 comments

Sailing the seven seas of Microhouse

MusicMap is an interactive music infographic developed by Kwinten Crauwels that traces the evolution and influences of several genres/sub-genres in contemporary popular music, ranging from Gospel from the 1870s to the electronic music of the late 70s. Very much like the classic Ishkur's Guide to Electronic Music (previously), zoom in from the super-genres and clicking on a genre gives you its' genealogy, as well as a brief history, historical context, and samples (here, full videoclips).
posted by lmfsilva on Aug 15, 2016 - 7 comments

Disco's Last Party with Nicky Siano

Nicky Siano is an iconic disco DJ credited with being the first person to beat match successive songs. He was a founder of seminal disco club, The Gallery. Here is 4+ hours of his Last Party playlist, from his 60th birthday bash.
posted by OmieWise on Aug 14, 2016 - 3 comments

"Does Dolly Parton win?" Hogan asks. "Always," I answer.

My Virtual Brunch With Dolly Parton is an autobiographical essay by Heather Hogan of Autostraddle about growing up as a gay, southern Dolly Parton obsessive. [more inside]
posted by Kattullus on Aug 13, 2016 - 24 comments

All Adele covers can go home now

A Chinese Opera cover of 'Rolling in the Deep', by Chinese actor Jia Nai Liang
posted by cendawanita on Aug 12, 2016 - 7 comments

"Revisiting America’s master musical miniaturist, Scott Joplin."

"The Rag Man," a review of Edward Berlin's King of Ragtime: Scott Joplin and His Era (2nd edition): "As such, to Mr. and Mrs. America circa 1908, ragtime was not “The Entertainer,” but peppy little songs with peppery little lyrics, that you could get up and dance to. Only through these could one make a living, and Joplin had other ideas...." [more inside]
posted by mandolin conspiracy on Aug 10, 2016 - 24 comments

The best drum solo you've seen today

Just a kid playing makeshift drums in the subway. Oh, and he's bloody amazing.
posted by billiebee on Aug 9, 2016 - 26 comments

O Sister, Where Art Thou?

This past May on Metafilter, we looked at “Thirty Minutes Behind the Walls”, a wildly popular variety show that was broadcast every Wednesday night in the 1930's and 1940's from the state prison in Huntsville, TX. It featured performances by male and female prisoners. No recordings of the show have ever been found. In the early forties, eight inmates of the Goree State Farm prison unit formed one of the first all-female country and western acts in the country and their performances were broadcast on Thirty Minutes. The Goree All Girl String Band captured the hearts of millions of radio listeners but never cut a record or went on tour and have thus been ignored by music historians. When they were paroled, they nearly all vanished forever. [more inside]
posted by zarq on Aug 9, 2016 - 2 comments

Po co ci kapusta

How to beatbox by speaking Polish.
posted by acb on Aug 9, 2016 - 8 comments

“Revolver” by way of funk and soul

To celebrate the 50th birthday of The Beatles’ Revolver, Larry at the Funky 16 Corners blog has assembled a track-for-track mix of funk, soul and jazz covers: Revolving in Soul. He also calls out Amd Whah over at the Any Major Dude With Half A Heart blog for pulling off a similar trick: Beatles Recovered: Revolver.
(Larry has actually done the funk-soul-jazz-Beatles-covers stunt six times before. Back in 2010, for John Lennon’s 70th birthday, he reposted all of the old mixes, and the links still work fine. Previously)
posted by Going To Maine on Aug 8, 2016 - 11 comments

1996 in music

It's 1996 week over at the AV Club, and they're taking a look at the year alternative rock died. In non-AV Club news @bestalbum95 has rolled over a year and has started polling for Best Album of 1996 - the first face-off being Belle and Sebastian verus John Parish and Polly Jean Harvey.
posted by Artw on Aug 8, 2016 - 114 comments

“the format still represents only 12 percent of physical album sales”

What It Takes for an Independent Record Store to Survive Now [Pitchfork Media] Even as legacy music shops continue to shutter across the country, Midwestern institution Used Kids has managed to stay afloat for the last 30 years and counting. How do they do it?
posted by Fizz on Aug 7, 2016 - 64 comments

If you stretch out your hand, I think you can reach mine

Marianne Ihlen, 81, died in Oslo on 29 July. She was an old friend and sometime lover of Leonard Cohen, whom she met in the 1960s on the Greek island of Hydra, and was the inspiration for his songs So Long, Marianne and Bird On A Wire. Before she passed away, Cohen wrote her a letter.
posted by acb on Aug 7, 2016 - 12 comments

Underground music, echoes of war

To forestall a German blockade, at the beginning of World War II the Royal Navy built huge, multimegalitre subterranean oil storage tanks across the country. In 2009, the facility at Inchindown in the Scottish Highlands opened for visitors - and something remarkable came to light. [more inside]
posted by Devonian on Aug 6, 2016 - 39 comments

EMI: the inside story of Britain's biggest music company

Electric & Musical Industries was formed in 1931, initially releasing classical music, but went on to launch the Beatles, who changed the record label's operations and funded the company for years and years. The label's recording rules were further broadened by Queen and Pink Floyd. EMI ushered punk into the mainstream with Sex Pistols, and then embraced the New Romanticism and the polished excesses of Duran Duran. They made music videos big with Pet Shop Boys and made Brit Pop a thing with Blur, and were home to Radiohead. This is the inside story of EMI, one of the greatest British brands in recording history, as told by people involved with the record label's storied history, augmented by company and performance footage. [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief on Aug 5, 2016 - 14 comments

at once distant, unknowable, and somehow feverishly intimate

Listening to a Jai Paul song sounds like a tuning into a pirate radio station being broadcast directly from someone’s brain. [more inside]
posted by holmesian on Aug 3, 2016 - 13 comments

Fluxblog 1980s Survey Mixes

Matthew Perpetua​​ ​of the mp3 blog Fluxblog has curated a "series of survey mixes designed to give more context to the music of the 1980s. The frustrating thing about [how] we typically deal with cultural history is to focus on specific niches and canons, but in doing that, we lose track of parallel and overlapping cultural trends. I hope to create a set of collections that will give you – and me! – a better understanding of chronology for the music of this era, and to highlight a lot of music that for whatever reason usually gets cut out of retrospectives today." [more inside]
posted by danabanana on Aug 2, 2016 - 15 comments

"All I want is blackness. Blackness and silence.”

Death metal band Dead Territory performs John Cage’s seminal avant-garde work 4’33”. A significantly different version, performed by EntertainmentMIG, demonstrates the range of expression and emotion that the work makes possible. Finally, drummer Edo Animus offers notes and outtakes on his solo performance. [more inside]
posted by Johnny Wallflower on Aug 2, 2016 - 22 comments

Back to the future mixes / Radio DT64 / Paul Kalkbrenner

Musician Paul Kalkbrenner, perhaps best known for the (hard-to-get in region 1 but fantastic) movie Berlin Calling (trailer, Sky and Sand video, Revolte scene) grew up in East Berlin listening to electronic music on East-German Youth Radio DT64 (German wiki info, soundcloud archives). While reconnecting with memories of this time he has spent 18 months compiling a free 3-part mix series with 2 released so far, constructed from online recordings of DT64 broadcasts from the late 80s and early 90s, mostly from the years immediately after the wall fell until the station closed in 1993. [more inside]
posted by advil on Aug 2, 2016 - 7 comments

Nate Wooley's guide to American Weirdos

[Nate Wooley, T]he New York trumpeter and composer celebrates the USA’s lesser known maverick composers. "So here I attempt to give positive form and definition to this term while presenting some music that exemplifies the work of those American weirdos that have inspired me in the past 15 years. I define the artists below as having committed themselves to working outside of an established musical dialectic. Instead, they hurl themselves into the void of an idea with only their personal context and history as aesthetic anchor points. The starting point of their work is self-contained. Tradition, history, theory be damned. "
posted by OmieWise on Aug 2, 2016 - 11 comments

Telefone, the vision and voice of Noname that is singularly her own

A few months back, Chance the Rapper released Coloring Book mixtape (Soundcloud), "one of the strongest rap albums released this year, an uplifting mix of spiritual and grounded that even an atheist can catch the Spirit to." (Pitchfork) That mixtape features a ton of guests, including Kanye West, Lil Wayne, Future, Justin Bieber ... and Noname. Who? She's a Chicago rapper, formerly known as Noname Gypsy, and with her own mixtape, Telefone (Soundcloud), she "has only further solidified her reputation as a deft and hyper-intelligent young rapper, at first a one woman Digable Planets for the melodic Chicago contemporary, but quickly something wholly unique." (Noisey/Vice)
posted by filthy light thief on Aug 2, 2016 - 11 comments

Singing in the Masjid-e Shah in Isfahan

An Iranian student visiting Isfahan's Masjid-e Shah, or Shah Mosque, also known as the Imam Mosque, takes advantage of the mosque's excellent acoustics to sing a brief and lovely song. [more inside]
posted by yasaman on Aug 1, 2016 - 12 comments

Listen over cocktails in your garden

As the sun begins its downward descent on summer, we pause to take a deep breath of humid air with Pablo Grossi, Argentinian grandmaster-level vinyl digger and selector. 50 miles out from Buenos Aires, Pablo has discovered and traded in thousands of records around the region so that "people from here can know them and have them". Comprised mostly of his vinyl recordings, this exemplary showcase of Exotica is warm to the touch. Best served with ice and lime garnish.
posted by rebent on Aug 1, 2016 - 8 comments

Daddy can you multiply triples?

A group of Science YouTubers got together to perform a tribute to a scientist Hamilton, in the style of his political musical namesake.
posted by divabat on Aug 1, 2016 - 14 comments

Twinkle, Twinkle, Vogel Staar: On Mozart's Feathered Collaborator

If you whistle a tune often enough to a starling, the bird will not only sing it back to you, it will improvise its response and create something new. On May 27, 1784, Mozart whistled a 17 note phrase to a starling in a Viennese shop and to his delight it spat the tune right back — but not without taking some liberties first. So he bought it and brought it home. That bird lived with him for the three most productive years of his life, during which he completed more than 60 compositions, including Eine Kleine Nachtmusik. The piano concerto as we still understand it was built in those rooms. The “Jupiter” Symphony began and Figaro ended. Melodies that two centuries of humans have since whistled could have first been volleyed between a genius and his pet bird.
posted by zarq on Jul 29, 2016 - 21 comments

Einojuhani Rautavaara (1928-2016)

The Finnish composer Einojuhani Rautavaara died on Wednesday at the age of 87. He wrote eight symphonies, nine operas, 12 instrumental concertos, plus a wide variety of orchestral, chamber, instrumental, choral and vocal works. [more inside]
posted by misteraitch on Jul 29, 2016 - 7 comments

Sharp's Appalachian Harvest

On July 28, 1916, Cecil Sharp and Maude Karpeles collected their first folk songs from residents of the southern Appalachians, along the border between Tennessee and North Carolina. These songs, along with songs collected by Olive Dame Campbell (who had given Sharp the idea the previous year), were published in 1917 in English Folk Songs from the Southern Appalachians, now one of the major reference works of American folk music. [more inside]
posted by hades on Jul 28, 2016 - 4 comments

*takes it to the streets*

In the midst of today's choas and confusion, I bring you an uniting cultural landmark - What's Happening Season Two Episode 16 featuring the Doobie Brothers. For the uninitianted- What's Happening, a TV show inspired by Cooley High. And the Doobie Brothers a band from California, that staretd out playing biker country rock who via personell changes morphed into a blue eyed soul outfit, whose lead vocalist had a solo hit that provided the basis for a hip-hop classic. In any event, the episode is a great late 70's period piece.
posted by jonmc on Jul 28, 2016 - 21 comments

16 bit air horns

Can the origin of grime actually be found in a SNES game?
posted by selfnoise on Jul 27, 2016 - 16 comments

Inside the Playlist Factory

As streaming has gone mainstream, these curators, many of whom began their professional lives as bloggers and DJs, have amassed unusual influence. Their work, as a rule, is uncredited — the better for services designed to feel like magic — but their reach is increasingly unavoidable. Spotify says 50% of its more than 100 million users globally are listening to its human-curated playlists (not counting those in the popular, algorithmically personalized “Discover Weekly”), which cumulatively generate more than a billion plays per week. According to an industry estimate, 1 out of every 5 plays across all streaming services today happens inside of a playlist. And that number, fueled by prolific experts, is growing steadily. [slBuzzfeed]
posted by ellieBOA on Jul 26, 2016 - 43 comments

The Ghostess with the Mostest

Marni Nixon, the Singing Voice Behind the Screen, Dies at 86. [more inside]
posted by Hermione Granger on Jul 25, 2016 - 36 comments

Everything you see is sound. Everything you hear is photography.

An interview with Jeff Louviere and Vanessa Brown, otherwise known as Louviere + Vanessa who created the album Resonantia which includes unique visualizations made by photographing water vibrating at the frequencies of musical notes. There is a twelve frame animation that can be viewed by placing the included praxinoscope mirror on the album to reflect images etched in the vinyl. [more inside]
posted by Clinging to the Wreckage on Jul 25, 2016 - 3 comments

Noise Patterns

"Tristan Perich’s Noise Patterns comes in a clear jewel case, but it isn’t a CD. It’s a small, matte-black circuit board. Powered by a watch battery, it produces a series of musical compositions built from the on/off operations on the minuscule chip at the center of the device, the same sort of chip you might find in a microwave oven." It's a 1-bit noise-techno album, painstakingly constructed from assembly language instructions that work directly with the binary data of the processor itself. Oh, and every single byte is used. Marc Weidenbaum sits down for a lengthy, detailed interview with Tristan to discuss what Noise Patterns is, and how it was made. (You can order through Physical Editions or Bleep, where there are a few clips to listen to.)
posted by naju on Jul 25, 2016 - 26 comments

More than just a jumbuck in a tucker sack

Waltzing Matilda is the bush ballad that introduced elements of Australian slang to generations of Americans. Instantly recognizable but less familiar is Waltjim Bat Matilda a version by Darwin-based Indigenous singer Ali Mills. She’s singing in Kriol, which is spoken by more people than any other language exclusive to Australia and is based on the highly endangered Gurindji. Waltjim Bad Matilda is also the name of Mills’ first solo album after performing many years with the Mills Sisters.
posted by layceepee on Jul 24, 2016 - 9 comments

In Celebration Of The 80s 12" Remix

Not a modern remix of an 80s song. Remixes from the early days of extended mixes, back in the 80s. Like Phil Collins - Take Me Home (Extended 12" Mix). When remixes were made up of elements from the original song, not a DJ remix. Like Yes - Owner Of A Lonely Heart (12" Extended Version). Back when remixes were a bit clunky but imaginative, like Madonna - Lucky Star (US Remix). [more inside]
posted by hippybear on Jul 22, 2016 - 175 comments

Kate Bush Gifs

A Kate Bush Gif a day keeps the sanity away!
posted by josher71 on Jul 22, 2016 - 28 comments

Do we talk about golf or birds?

I'm Afraid to Talk to Men (slyt music video)
posted by stoneweaver on Jul 21, 2016 - 17 comments

Remember it's your life. Live it any way you like.

First Lady Michelle Obama joins James Corden for a drive around the White House grounds. [more inside]
posted by zarq on Jul 21, 2016 - 56 comments

Ready, Unsteady

In June of 1979, a song called "Ready 'N Steady" appeared on Billboard's "Bubbling Under" chart and persisted there for three weeks, struggling up to number 102 before vanishing into a legendary obscurity. For the next 37 years, music historians were unable to find any other evidence of the song's existence—no recordings, no memories of airplay, no band or label information. This month, the mystery of the "phantom record" was finally solved: "Ready 'N Steady" exists, and you can listen to it here. [more inside]
posted by Iridic on Jul 20, 2016 - 49 comments

Presidential Campaigns Are Like Wildfires/State of the Union Songbook

Michael Friedman is engaged in an unusual form of journalism. The composer, who has worked on shows including “Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson” and “Mr. Burns, a Post-Electric Play,” is travelling the country talking to voters about what’s on their minds in this election, and then turning his interview transcripts into original songs. “The New Yorker Radio Hour” has been documenting his work. In California, Friedman spoke with a network-news producer whose jaded feelings about political coverage was shocked by Donald Trump’s hijacking of politics for entertainment
Presidential Campaigns Are Like Wildfires...

from The State of The Union Songbook
posted by y2karl on Jul 17, 2016 - 4 comments

America, America is Killing Its Youth

Henry Rollins reports that Alan Vega, vocalist for legendary proto-punk band Suicide, has died.
With profound sadness and a stillness that only news like this can bring, we regret to inform you that the great artist and creative force, Alan Vega has passed away. Alan passed peacefully in his sleep last night, July 16. He was 78 years of age
[more inside] posted by SansPoint on Jul 17, 2016 - 50 comments

Hey Blondie! You know what you are?

A condensed history of white rappers
posted by Artw on Jul 15, 2016 - 124 comments

Maybe you are that somebody

"We live in the Genius age, where every line of text and every bit of information is now annotated, searchable and definable. The digitization of music has served as a mass cataloging project for anyone interested in dissecting a track down to its molecular makeup. Supernumerary sounds on records, no matter how seemingly insignificant, can usually be traced to its source." - Who Was the Baby on Aaliyah’s “Are You That Somebody?”
posted by nadawi on Jul 15, 2016 - 22 comments

Music is Just Organized Noise

Culture, not biology, decides the difference between music and noise. “Consonance seems like such a simple phenomenon, and in Western music there’s strong supposition that it’s biological... But this study suggests culture is more important than many people acknowledge.” Study originally published in Nature.
posted by Joey Michaels on Jul 15, 2016 - 74 comments

Mount the air

I'll mount the air on swallow's wings, to find my dearest dear. And if I lose my labour and cannot find him there, I quickly will become a fish to search the roaring sea; I love my love because I know my lover he loves me.
posted by dng on Jul 14, 2016 - 3 comments

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