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You're the National Gallery/ You're Garbo's salary /You're cellophane

Happy Birthday Cole Porter! In 1990, Red Hot + Blue, an AIDS benefit album was released featuring covers of Cole Porter's music by an electric array of performers accompanied by a TV special with music videos from the likes of Jim Jarmusch and Wim Wenders. Notable tracks include "Miss Otis Regets" by the Pogues and Kristy MacColl (video Neil Jordon) "Don't Fench Me In" by David Byrne "You Do Something To Me" by Sinéad O'Connor (video John Maybury) "Have You Evah" by Debbie Harry and Iggy Pop (video by Alex Cox) "From This Moment On" by Jimmy Somerville (video Steve mcclean) and "Ev'ry We Say Goodbye" by Annie Lennox (video by Ed Lachman)
posted by The Whelk on Jun 9, 2016 - 37 comments

elseq et al

So one of the great musical surprises of the year was Autechre dropping elseq 1-5, an... album, I think? - comprising five parts, FOUR HOURS in total, of uncompromising, intricately programmed algorithmic music. Not to editorialize, but it's really something. A challenge of an album by any measure, but also deeply rewarding and unutterably gorgeous. While they are usually pretty hermetic, Rob and Sean of Autechre have occasionally proven surprisingly open and willing to explain themselves. In 2013 there was an enormous, 1,500 question AMA on the music site WATMM, and on the heels of the new album, there's a long, wide-ranging interview on Resident Advisor covering their entire history, philosophy, method of working, and much more (spoiler: they'd probably work with Kanye if he called). It's fascinating. Dive in! [more inside]
posted by naju on Jun 8, 2016 - 19 comments

She don't give up

Blk Girl Soldier - Jamila Woods [more inside]
posted by stoneweaver on Jun 8, 2016 - 7 comments

there was just one guy who was better than him

The Djangobot. (Skip to the end if you just want to hear a computer improvising like Django Reinhardt (and Gonzalo Bergara, Stochelo Rosenberg, and some other gypsy jazz players)).
posted by Potomac Avenue on Jun 8, 2016 - 18 comments

We are gonna have a cat party!

Koo Koo Kangaroo is one of the strangest bands I've seen in some time. I have no idea how these people got their cats wedged into their music video, or why. [more inside]
posted by Gymnopedist on Jun 7, 2016 - 22 comments

Make America Rage Again

What do you get when you combine the lead vocalists for Public Enemy, Cypress Hill and Rage Against the Machine? Why, you get the brand new supergroup Prophets of Rage. And now with their inaugural show at Whisky A Go Go last week behind them, they've now announced a touring schedule. First stop? Cleveland, July 19th.
posted by AlonzoMosleyFBI on Jun 6, 2016 - 121 comments

We were a blues rock band from Texas...better than the original Zombies

The True Story Of The Fake Zombies. In 1969, the English psychedelic pop band The Zombies had a surprise hit in the States with "Time of the Season". Since they'd broken up two years earlier, the obvious thing for a promoter to do would be to recruit a bunch of young Texan blues-rock musicians in cowboy hats (including 2/3 of the future ZZ Top), call them the Zombies, and send them on tour. And that wasn't the only fake Zombies band out there.
posted by hydrophonic on Jun 3, 2016 - 33 comments

songs so full of wonder that they make your heart ache

Whyte Horses are a fantastically jangly, spacey psych-pop group from Manchester, headed up by cratedigging 'B-music crusader' Dom Thomas. They've just (re)released their debut album called Pop or Not and it sounds like nothing else, shapeshifting 'from Turkish psyche to Brazilian trip music, from acid house to electronica to punk rock to guitar classic in a heartbeat'. It stars underground 'no-fi' musician Lispector, who left the band between recording and release. Try out choice cuts The Snowfalls, La Couleur Originelle and Natures Mistakes and if you like what you hear, there's another fourteen great tracks on the album.
posted by Panthalassa on Jun 3, 2016 - 9 comments

Wildflower, 16 years in the blooming.

After a couple of teasers, the Avalanches have announced a new album on Twitter, entitled Wildflower. The first single is called "Frankie Sinatra" and has Danny Brown and MF Doom on it. [more inside]
posted by solarion on Jun 1, 2016 - 54 comments

An extraordinary madeleine

A few months ago, I opened an email that changed my life. I vaguely remembered an urban myth about a man who throws his wedding ring into the ocean. Ten years later, he sits down to eat fish at a local restaurant, cuts open the fish and there it is. That’s how I felt when I clicked on an email from someone I didn’t know called Keith Rushton. What he said to me was this: “I’ve got your electric guitar.”
The Guardian's film critic Peter Bradshaw got rid of the guitar he’d loved as a teenager during a clearout and regretted it instantly. He thought he’d never see it again—then an email arrived ...
posted by Sonny Jim on Jun 1, 2016 - 20 comments

Typhoons! Hurricanes! Earthquakes! SMOG!

"Many of the people involved in the Washington National Opera’s production of Richard Wagner's Ring Cycle say their first exposure to opera came from the same source—Bugs Bunny and Elmer Fudd cartoons." [SLWSJ]
posted by moonmilk on May 31, 2016 - 17 comments

Official Wendy Carlos Online Information Source

Wendy Carlos is one of the most important composers living today. While primarily connected to the fields of electronic music, sound design, and alternate tunings, her compositions transcend these genres. It is certain that her music will be included among the major milestones of 20th century music.
posted by Sokka shot first on May 31, 2016 - 25 comments

"I'll have what she's having" - Music-induced "skin orgasms"

Frisson (Wikipedia), dubbed "skin orgasms" by some researchers, is the sensation of shivers, often accompanied by the physical manifestation of goosebumps, which some listeners experience in response to particularly emotional or unexpected passages in music. Writing in The Conversation, Ph.D. candidate Mitchell Colver explores "Why do only some people get 'skin orgasms' from listening to music?" [more inside]
posted by rekrap on May 30, 2016 - 108 comments

Leyla McCalla: from classical cello to Langston Hughes and Haitian folk

Leyla McCalla is a classically trained cellist who grew up in New York with her Haitian parents. She moved to New Orleans where she performed on Royal Street and learned about the Haitian history of the community. McCalla also joined the Carolina Chocolate Drops and diversified her style and sound. With the combined influence of place and company, she started performing Haitian folk music, which she paired that music with poetry of Langston Hughes for her first solo album, Vari-Colored Songs: A Tribute to Langston Hughes (Soundcloud album stream). That was two years ago, and now she has her second album, A Day for the Hunter, A Day for the Prey (YT, official video for the title track; YT playlist), where she sings in Haitian Creole, French, and English. [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief on May 29, 2016 - 7 comments

Stradivarius also made guitars

Five of them still exist, albeit chiefly as artifacts and inspiration for luthiers. In 2011, luthiers Daniel Sinier & Françoise de Ridder got the job of restoring one of them, a process they describe in some detail. End result, the Sabionari can go back on stage. Here's Rolf Lislevand (and others) making it work. [more inside]
posted by BWA on May 29, 2016 - 21 comments

Sanctuary

"Sanctuary is the world I imagine when I play the piano–a fantasy forest that grows around me and my music. In this virtual world, I can create an intimate and secluded stage where I can overcome my anxiety by minimizing my awareness of the audience." Yurika Mulase is a pianist and an Interactive Telecommunications student at NYU.
posted by there's no crying in espionage on May 28, 2016 - 2 comments

The kind of music that makes you say, "Holy Fuck!"

After a six-year absence, Toronto DIY-electro-rockers Holy Fuck return with a new album, Congrats. The video for the lead single, "Tom Tom," directed by Michael Leblanc, was filmed and cast on location in the Romanian village of Zarnesti. Congrats (released yesterday) can be streamed in its entirety on the band's Bandcamp page. [more inside]
posted by Sonny Jim on May 28, 2016 - 4 comments

“Its been the same ol’ thang, I swear the game don’t change”

“Safe”- MC Dumbfounded [NSFW Lyrics] [YouTube] Rapper Dumbfoundead Tackles Hollywood Racism in Amazing New Video [via: New York Magazine]
posted by Fizz on May 27, 2016 - 9 comments

Seeing the Music

How the Toronto Symphony Orchestra uses graphic design to guide its audiences though its music [more inside]
posted by damayanti on May 26, 2016 - 9 comments

Rhymes with Hug

Take a breath, make a sound, keep going | The wandering haunting music of Doug Koyama
posted by Potomac Avenue on May 26, 2016 - 1 comment

(Oh yeah!) I heard there was a secret chord

Did you ever realize that the word "Hallelujah" has the same syllable count and stress pattern as "Waluigi?"
SO!: It's a Cold and a Broken Waluigi - And here, with adjusted lyrics (but without the voice) [more inside]
posted by JHarris on May 25, 2016 - 28 comments

Cholo Goth

Rafael Reyes is a former gang member, author, restauranteur, and founder of Diamond Dogs, an art and music collective for retired gangsters. Together with Tijuana electronic artist Dave Parley, he is also San Diego's Prayers, a self-described Cholo Goth (or killwave or occultwave) project combining 80s synths and electronic loops with autobiographical accounts of street life in Sherman Heights and occult themes. They've toured with The Cult and collaborated with the Pet Shop Boys (h/t to hippybear's recent post) on the strength of songs like Young Gods and their cover of Pet Shop Boys' West End Girls. [more inside]
posted by Existential Dread on May 23, 2016 - 11 comments

The symbolic value of rock is conflict-based:

Which Rock Star Will Historians of the Future Remember? by Chuck Klosterman [The New York Times] The most important musical form of the 20th century will be nearly forgotten one day. People will probably learn about the genre through one figure — so who might that be? [more inside]
posted by Fizz on May 23, 2016 - 173 comments

Do your parents know you're Ramones??

"Bloodlines make bonds irrefutable. You might hate your brother for what he's done, but you can't undo the blood; he's still your brother, you're his. A makeshift family, the kind many bands construct, may seem easier to leave behind. It's a musical partnership, a fraternity at best. But the bonds can be just as indelible, as sublime, as painful." -- The Curse of the Ramones by Mikal Gilmore, Rolling Stone
posted by Room 641-A on May 21, 2016 - 6 comments

The inside story of when Run‑DMC met Aerosmith...

And Changed Music Forever! It’s 1986. Rap music is explosive and on the rise but still misunderstood and barely represented in the mainstream. [more inside]
posted by Cookiebastard on May 20, 2016 - 33 comments

Take on Me, one half-step out of key. Hungry Like the Wolf, one half-step out of key. Never Gonna Give You Up, one half-step out of key. Bohemian Rhapsody, one-half step out of key. [more inside]
posted by Johnny Assay on May 20, 2016 - 125 comments

They feel music left them behind, and Nickelback is all they have left

Nickelback won the 90s culture war
posted by acb on May 20, 2016 - 86 comments

love, death, spirituality, baseball

"Serotonin is the drug that puts you in the situation where you feel safe and comfortable. The drug that gives you the awe is the dopamine. And the adrenaline is the thing that keeps you going." Paul Simon’s Ambition, and Inspiration, Never Gets Old [SLNYT, Jon Pareles]
posted by joseph conrad is fully awesome on May 18, 2016 - 20 comments

Blonde on Blonde turned 50 on Monday...

...the ghost of electricity howls in the bones of her face
Blonde on Blonde turned 50 on Monday... [more inside]
posted by y2karl on May 18, 2016 - 39 comments

They're all honestly way better than me

Birds demonstrate how to dance to different types of electronic music, and part 2, featuring more of the same.
posted by DoctorFedora on May 17, 2016 - 30 comments

Guy Clark, 1941-2016

Guy Clark, 1941-2016. (Houston Chronicle Obituary). One of the most admired songwriters of his generation, a giant of Texas music, a master luthier, a beloved friend to and deep influence on many other musicians, and the loving husband of the gifted Susanna Clark. (See them interviewed together in 2004.) [more inside]
posted by spitbull on May 17, 2016 - 44 comments

Eskimeaux

Eskimeaux is a music project started in 2009, led by Gabriel Smith, co-founder of The Epoch, a brooklyn-based community of creators. [more inside]
posted by Annika Cicada on May 17, 2016 - 10 comments

WELCOME TO THE NEW AGE

When he first started working with Imagine Dragons, music producer Alex da Kid was looking for some inspiration for the Broadway musical, "Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark."

"I thought they would be great to help me come up with ideas for U2," the Grammy-nominated English producer said.

There was just one problem: The demos they recorded were too good.
--The songs that became Imagine Dragons' Night Visions are probably about Spider-Man.
posted by almostmanda on May 17, 2016 - 30 comments

Yass – The Jazz, the Filth and the Fury – Poland's musical rebels

"Polish jazz, which was celebrating its triumphs in the 1950s and 60s, gradually became bogged down under the power of omnipresent and omnipotent institutions" ... "The 1990s saw the birth of a musical trend that wanted nothing less than to turn the established order of things to ash by the most drastic of means. This new trend was called yass." Though the headiest and most experimental days are behind them, "yass" is still used to indicate Polish jazz that's more than traditional jazz, and has been used to describe Skalpel, Jazzpospolita, and Pink Freud, who have performed Autechre live for Boiler Room and RBMA.
posted by filthy light thief on May 16, 2016 - 7 comments

K.K. Slider plays the hits

There are plenty of cover acts, but it's a rare talent that carries a crowd-pleasing repertoire, yet can still make each song their own. K.K. Slider pulls it off with simple acoustic stylings and howling vocals. He's covered them all: Adele. DJ Snake and Lil Jon. Lady Gaga. Outkast. Michael Jackson. Survivor. Bobby McFerrin. Celine Dion. Darude (yes, that song, and a vocal mix, natch). [more inside]
posted by brett on May 16, 2016 - 17 comments

"There was no support system for this shit."

"The obscurity of this music, that someone had found, catalogued and championed it pre-Internet, boggled my mind. It was an esoteric document in the sense that it was full of obscure knowledge intended for a small number of people. But it was also esoteric in the sense that there seemed to be something mystical about it. A sort of musical Nag Hammadi Library of hidden music, rare artifacts, treasures reverently compiled, to be listened to in a ritual way." The story of the Nurse With Wound List.
posted by Len on May 16, 2016 - 35 comments

a celebration of heterogeneity and imperfection

In 2015, Ian Parton released his fourth album of hook-filled, hyper-melodic, genre-defying revivalist upbeat pop under the band name The Go! Team. It was called The Scene Between and it featured a whole host of excellent yet low-profile female vocalists who collaborated with Parton over the net. You could probably listen to the album over your favourite streaming service, but cool music videos were released for basically all the songs – let's check them, and their guest vocalists, out! [more inside]
posted by Panthalassa on May 14, 2016 - 8 comments

o'er the land of the free (that is, the unconstrained by *pitch*)

Shoot the piano player? Hell no! The poor fellow is just doing his level best to follow the, um... creative modulations that the singer is exploring as she delivers her breathtakingly adventurous rendition of the Star Spangled Banner at a recent rich asshole rally in Oregon. Matter of fact, buy that piano player a beer! [more inside]
posted by flapjax at midnite on May 13, 2016 - 44 comments

Making peace with missing out

For music fans, 2016 has quickly become the year of the insta-release. Are you overwhelmed? Excited? Numb and jaded? Checked out entirely? Have you tweeted out your hastily-formed opinion about the latest Big Event album before everyone moves on? Beyoncé, Radiohead and FOMO: How sustainable is the era of the “insta-release?” From March: The Music Critic in the Age of the Insta-Release
posted by naju on May 12, 2016 - 19 comments

Moderat + Blond:ish = 4 essential hours of electronic and weird music

For your listening pleasure, double-dose of other/worldly Essential Mixes from the recent past: the German trio known as Moderat (Mixcloud/Soundcloud), and the globe-trotting psychedelic Canadian duo known as Blond:ish (YouTube/ Mixcloud/ Soundcloud). Blond:ish started releasing music together in 2010, while Moderat have a more than a decade of work together and more musical history as the separate parts of Modeselektor and Apparat. Which is to say, more music inside. [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief on May 11, 2016 - 4 comments

I'll rise up, and I'll do it a thousand times again

"Rise Up" (Inspiration Version): The emotional new music video from Grammy-nominated soul singer Andra Day was directed by M. Night Shyamalan. No ghosts or twist endings, just a love story. [more inside]
posted by nicebookrack on May 11, 2016 - 11 comments

How did the Neutral Milk Hotel legend get so out of hand?

There’s this attitude that In The Aeroplane Over The Sea is still holding something back. A belief that Neutral Milk Hotel is keeping secrets, and our grand unified theory about the twins, the potato, the singing saw, the piano full of flames, and the marching band, is missing a few crucial teeth. A cult needs something to work toward, a communal faith that someday, somehow, it’ll all come together... The AVClub tries to understand how Neutral Milk Hotel's legend has gotten so out of hand.
posted by DirtyOldTown on May 11, 2016 - 109 comments

Isao Tomita

Isao Tomita, early pioneer of electronic music, has died. In the 1970s, he made several albums of classical pieces played on Moog synthesizers, including Debussy's "Clair de Lune", and "Arabesque no. 1" (which for many years was used as the theme music for the PBS "Stargazer" program). He also recorded a full version of Holst's "The Planets." [more inside]
posted by dnash on May 9, 2016 - 57 comments

A Playlist From Another Dimension (Or Is That Demention?)

io9's Katharine Trendacosta has succeeded in creative crowdsourcing again (previously), by asking "What's Your Favorite Science Fiction Novelty Song?", and she got enough suggestions to assemble a 30-song Spotify playlist*
(Actually she got a couple hundred. There are more that didn't make the spotify list in the follow-up post; just scroll down** for things like The Doctor Who Time Warp, Captain Picard's Let It Snow/Make It So and the highlight of the Buffy Musical Episode [BUNNIES!]) [more inside]
posted by oneswellfoop on May 9, 2016 - 61 comments

Radiohead's new album hits the web

Five years after Radiohead's last album, myriad hints from the band marked May 1st -- Dawn Chorus Day -- as the date something big was gonna happen. The band ateased the web with rumours_of songs new and old, cryptic artwork, ominous mailers. But after years of waiting, nothing came... literally. Optimistic fans trying to pick up every last crumb_were left climbing up the walls_as they were shown how to disappear completely, with the band's official site and social media fading out again, slowly dissolving little by little, one by one, before their very eyes. It all came back Tuesday, as mysterious chirps and inkblots ushered in the sinister claymation music video for long-awaited track "Burn the Witch" [prev.], followed days later by an arresting P.T. Anderson-directed film for the somber elegy "Daydreaming." While Radiohead's ninth album is not here now physically till June, it's available for download come 8th May_(today!) at 2 PM EDT on Radiohead.com. It's gonna be a glorious day. [more inside]
posted by Rhaomi on May 8, 2016 - 78 comments

50 Garage Rock Tracks - A Youtube Playlist

Do you like garage bands? Then you might enjoy this Youtube playlist. Artists include The troggs, The Kinks, The Kingsmen, 13th Floor Elevators, The Stooges, MC5, The Sonics, Electric Prunes, King Khan, The Strokes, The Brian Jonestown Massacre, Paul Revere and The Raiders, and many more. If you like any of these artists, this might be the Sunday afternoon playlist for you. [Warning - one or two of the videos contain sexual imagery, and one contains violence, and one contains the word mother******]
posted by marienbad on May 8, 2016 - 26 comments

He likes toast and jam

When Larry Henley starts singing in The Newbeats' "Bread and Butter," it is one of the most arresting entrances in all of popular music. [more inside]
posted by ocherdraco on May 7, 2016 - 22 comments

Lay my purple on the grass

Anohni's new album, Hopelessness , has a lot to say. She grapples with the surveillance state, ecocide, drone warfare, gender, and more in a more electronic setting than her previous work with Antony and the Johnsons. "A big part of [the album] is an examination of my own complicity and my own inability to truly extricate myself from the brokenness of the system that I'm a part of. It's that chasm, that denial that I wanted to model, an inquiry into and within myself." [more inside]
posted by hollyholly on May 6, 2016 - 12 comments

Oh, weep no more today! We will sing one song, for the old Kentucky Home

The Kentucky Derby, "America's Greatest Race," will take place at Churchill Downs this weekend. CNN international has answers to 11 general questions to get you started in the festivities, and NBC New York has a short history of the spectacle around the race, which is largely about fashion through the decades. And then there's the opening ceremony and song - My Old Kentucky Home (official "sing along" video). It sounds pretty somber, and it is, especially if you sing all of the original 1831 lyrics. The Forgotten Racial History Of Kentucky's State Song (NPR Codeswitch). [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief on May 6, 2016 - 22 comments

“The software is functioning as intended,” said Amber.

"What Amber explained was exactly what I’d feared: through the Apple Music subscription, which I had, Apple now deletes files from its users’ computers. When I signed up for Apple Music, iTunes evaluated my massive collection of Mp3s and WAV files, scanned Apple’s database for what it considered matches, then removed the original files from my internal hard drive. REMOVED them. Deleted. If Apple Music saw a file it didn’t recognize—which came up often, since I’m a freelance composer and have many music files that I created myself—it would then download it to Apple’s database, delete it from my hard drive, and serve it back to me when I wanted to listen, just like it would with my other music files it had deleted."
posted by Sebmojo on May 5, 2016 - 142 comments

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