"Meet Daymé Arocena, the Afro-Latina singer taking cues from Selena and jazz greats alike" -- "Sin Empezar" ... "Madres" ... "Don't Unplug My Body". [more inside]
Aesop Rock's "The Impossible Kid" is streaming now for free, under a 50-minute recreation of The Shining with miniatures by Rob Shaw. (SLYT)
Portishead's first release in eight years is "SOS", an ABBA cover recorded for the film adaptation of J.G. Ballard's High-Rise.
"Random" Jon Poole, formerly guitarist for the unsurmountable Cardiacs, is a delightful loud guy with a penchant for killer pop hooks, thundering drums, and saying "GUITAR SOLO, LISTEN" every goddamn time he solos. If you like music that's loud and fast, his project The God Damn Whores condenses "loud and fast" down to a mathematical formula (sample Poolius Caesar and Cynical Haze if you want to know what you're getting into, or Macho Sapiens if you, like me, love the notion of "heavy rock feminism". With Willie Dowling, he becomes The Dowling Poole, whose debut album Bleak Strategies is sunshine with the right amount of psychedelic darkness and political revolution lurking around the edges. (The Dowling Poole's newest album, One Hyde Park, is out this month, and highly recommended if you're into hyperarticulate bubblegum prog-funk.) Good music! Listen!
Jazz and soul singer Billy Paul, best known for the No. 1 hit ballad and Philadelphia Soul classic Me And Mrs. Jones, has died. [more inside]
In addition to being a talented saxophonist, the late Art Pepper was many things -- among them, a drug addict, a thief, an alcoholic and a writer. This personal film portrait (from 1981) reveals the fascinating life of a remarkable jazz musician in his own words, as he describes his dreams, his criminal past, his upbringing and the meaning of his tattoos. He died the next year. [more inside]
Lonnie Mack, one of rock & roll's earliest guitar heroes, role model to Stevie Ray and a fine singer to boot, passed yesterday at 74.
Richard Lyons, Negativland Founder, Dead at 57 A founding member of audio collage band Negativland, passed away from nodular melanoma today, on his 57th birthday. According to the band's Facebook posting, he died "peacefully and pain free." [more inside]
Music Mappr will take any uploaded mp3 or soundcloud link, chop the linked piece of music into short fragments, reorder the fragments based on sonic similarity and let you play back clusters of these fragments independently.
The man who composed the soundtracks to cult video games Mother and Earthbound, Keiichi Suzuki, has a crazy-ass pop duo. It's more wonderful than you would ever expect. [more inside]
Tushar Lall arranges Indian classical music versions of well-known pop culture soundtracks. The latest release is Star Wars; there's also Harry Potter, Interstellar, Game of Thrones, Pirates of the Caribbean and BBC Sherlock.
Colin Stetson has released "Sorrow - a reimagining of Górecki's 3rd Symphony". Pitchfork writes that the avant-garde saxophonist's reimagining of the famous symphony by the Polish composer comes close to something by Explosions in the Sky or Godspeed You! Black Emperor. Stetson himself is hoping that "the sound world and the genre implications are really irrelevant, that they’re second to the musical content and to the overall theme and feeling of the piece." You can listen and decide for yourself here (YT).
The term "one-man band" generally brings to mind someone surrounded by instruments, like this Croatian street performer, but the earliest examples are a simple combination of pipe and tambor, which traces back to the 1300s. There were records of some creative, enterprising individuals in the centuries since, with more in the early to mid 20th century, including seated set-ups by Fate Norris, Jesse Fuller, and Joe Barrick, with Vic Ellis representing the traveling one-man band. Add in a MIDI controller, and you can expand your sound with less gear. The footprint can shrink more with the new ACPAD, with demos focusing on bringing electronic sounds to an acoustic guitar. [more inside]
Shoes - ten years ago Liam Kyle Sullivan created "Shoes", one of the first viral hits of the YouTube era featuring his Midwestern teen girl character Kelly. Now he sits down with Vice to talk about YouTube fame, touring, how it came about, and what came after.
Márta and György Kurtág play Bach-transcriptions by Kurtág - The two play transcriptions made by the composer of Bach's choral prelude Das alte Jahr vergangen ist BWV 614, his Duet BWV 804 and a (devastating) movement from the Baroque composer's cantata Actus tragicus. [more inside]
Sean Archibald makes electronic music using microtonal scales, rather than the typical 12-tone temperament, as both Sevish and himself . Droplet is a neat starting point. If you're a sucker for strange harmonics, also check out his blog, in which he gets geeky about xenharmonic music and his favorite microtonal bands. Happy listening.
What is it to know your time is up when nothing in your body has betrayed you? "Wasn't Born Hustlers: The Aging of Jay-Z", by Hanif Willis-Abdurraqib for MTV. [more inside]
The Djinn of Aiman "IT WAS A DIM JANUARY AFTERNOON IN LAHORE, there was a power outage on Zahoor Elahi Road, and Farida Khanum had finally woken up. We were sitting among shadows on the floor of her living room: I on the carpet and she on a cushion that was at once a mark of her prestige (she is “The Queen of Ghazal,” the last of her generation’s iconic classically trained singers) and advanced age (she can no longer sit as she used to, like a mermaid, with her legs folded beguilingly beneath her). I had come to prepare Khanum for a concert she was to give in a week’s time in Calcutta, and was trying to engage her, in this fragile early phase of her day, with innocuous-sounding questions: which ghazals was she planning on singing there, and in what order?
Brian Eno's favorite records in a longish interview with William Doyle of the Quietus.
Music journalist Bill Wyman (not the Rolling Stones member) on Liz Phair, Steve Albini & Me: The True Story of 1993, the Greatest Goddamn Year in Chicago Rock History.
Pigeons and Planes: With both Spotify and Tidal yet to launch in the East Asian market, a lot of listeners have been left in the dark when it comes to Kanye West’s latest album, 'The Life of Pablo', which remained exclusive to Tidal from February 14 until April 1. Kyoto-based producer TOYOMU (Bandcamp, Soundcloud) has been creating his own lo-fi music for some time now, and as a fan of Kanye he was upset when he learned he could not listen to the album without illegally downloading it. So he decided to make the whole album himself without listening to it, using sample credits he found on WhoSampled and lyrics he grabbed from Genius. You can listen to TOYOMU's Imagining 'The Life of Pablo' on Bandcamp.
Listen to this 1929 Louis Armstrong recording cleaner than you have ever heard, thanks to Nick Dellow's audio transfer from a mother record shipped by Okeh to Germany for their Odeon pressings. (slyt)
On April Seriousness Day, Vinny from Vinesauce streamed himself playing and watching four instalments of an obscure but beloved video game franchise. What, you've never heard of Scrimmy Bingus "and the" Crungy Spingus? [more inside]
Felix Manuel, better known as Djrum (pronounced as "drum," evolved from his initial DJ Rum handle) blends hip hop, house, jungle and bass seamlessly in his mixes, plus splices the DNA of techno, dubstep, garage and grime in an attempt to make them, in his words, “live inside each other” in his own productions. This blending is not frenetic, but slow and methodical, often including extended clips from movies, such as heard in The Miracle. With a relatively scant 9 EPs and singles, including two splits, and one album to his name, you can get hear more of the scope of Felix Manuel's musical tastes from his mixes... [more inside]
Librarian Rhapsody: A parody of Bohemian Rhapsody, created by the Shoalhaven Library Staff to celebrate the end of the the school year. (Lyrics)
A trombone player loves - LOVES - Queen, and does the band proud by playing it all. It makes sense to do this, once you've heard it.
Spirit Phone is the latest album by Lemon Demon, aka Niel Cicierega (previously on Metafilter). [more inside]
Capsule’s Pride (Bikes) is a new mixtape of Akira-themed remixes from Toronto, CANADAAAAA!-based producer Bwana that has just been released by Glasgow-based LuckyMe Records. If you don’t want to stream it on Youtube while watching minimal music videos derived from the manga’s art, why not download it here (scroll down) and listen while browsing through the Otomblr.
"I talked to a woman who asked for anonymity because she’s still associated professionally with the University of Iowa. 'When I got to Iowa,' she told me, 'I was like, who the fuck are these people? And where are the adults?'" Jia Tolentino on Thomas Sayers Ellis, VIDA, and the "tradition" of bad behavior from powerful men in the creative fields.
"For the first time in 16 years, guitarist James Iha joined his former Smashing Pumpkins bandmates Billy Corgan and drummer Jimmy Chamberlin onstage" last night in Los Angeles. [more inside]
In Search of Johns' Kingdom A short documentary commissioned by The Calvert Journal, about a shadowy Russian music collective. For fans of Grimes, Aphex Twin, Dirty Beaches, Prince Rama. [more inside]
UK Garage Horse Racing (SLYT)
After a series of national selection processes, all 43 contestants for the 2016 Eurovision Song Contest are set. Two familiar faces (last year's winner, Måns Zelmerlöw, and 2013 host Petra Mede) will guide us through two semis and a Grand Final while hopefully also making sense of a new vote-counting system. Come for the camp, stay for the geopolitical intrigue. [more inside]
Love the music from the Star Wars: The Clone Wars and Star Wars: Rebels? No? What about from Hell on Wheels or Making A Murderer? Perhaps Jane the Virgin? The composer behind these shows is Kevin Kiner and on his website, he's uploaded selections from his work on the above shows and a few more to listen to for free.
Francis Wayne "Frank" Sinatra, better known as Frank Sinatra Jr, died March 16th 2016 aged 72 of a heart attack while on tour in Florida. [more inside]
The Violin Thief by Geoff Edgers Philip Johnson was a promising musical prodigy. Then he stole a teacher’s prized Stradivarius. [more inside]
"March 12th marks the 25th anniversary of Out of Time’s release, which will be celebrated this fall in the form of a deluxe reissue from the band and Concord Music Group. Pitchfork decided to celebrate in our own way, speaking with R.E.M.’s Mike Mills — as well as friends and collaborators on the album and beyond — to recount Out of Time’s creation and the band’s central shift in the early ‘90s." An Oral History of R.E.M.’s Out of Time
One of the great composers of our time, Peter Maxwell Davies, has died. Some of his best known works include 8 Songs for a Mad King, Kommilitonen!, and 10 fantastic symphonies. The great anti-establishment composer was perhaps most well known, however, for a 2005 incident regarding eating swans that fell on his island home. Rest in peace, Max! [more inside]