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The Gold Sparrow

In a black-and-white world, artists fight to defend their color from THE GOLD SPARROW. [more inside]
posted by ob1quixote on May 16, 2014 - 18 comments

Thriller wasn't lying...

Michael Jackson has a new album out: Xscape [more inside]
posted by jammy on May 15, 2014 - 29 comments

Notes From the New Wave Queer Underground

Southern Belles, Latchkey Kids, and Thrift-Store Crossdressers. Worth a click if only for the photos of a teenage RuPaul. [more inside]
posted by Juliet Banana on May 15, 2014 - 12 comments

A keen noise for ambience

myNoise.net uses audio synthesis cleverness and the HTML 5 Web Audio API to give you a vast array of ambient soundscapes and background noises right in your (recent) browser. Each generator is highly customisable and users can share customisations with each other.
posted by vanar sena on May 15, 2014 - 21 comments

And the Waltz Goes On

50 years ago Anthony Hopkins wrote a piece of music titled 'And the waltz goes on'. Watch him hear it played for the first time. [SLYT].
posted by pjern on May 15, 2014 - 24 comments

You scream, I scream, we all scream...

The song "Turkey In The Straw" is one known to millions of Americans as well as many, many others around the world. Here's a National Public Radio article that shines some light on the virulently racist lyrics that attended that familiar old melody in its earlier incarnation. WARNING: Do not go to the link if you wish to avoid racist imagery and slurs.
posted by flapjax at midnite on May 14, 2014 - 117 comments

The goal is ecstasy.

Swans have a new album out. Called To Be Kind. Financing for the album was supplied by sales of the live album/collection of demos entitled Not Here/Not Now, which, for a price, Michael Gira himself would write and original song and send you a video of him singing it, just for you. Oh and, reviews are in for the new album, and they are very favorable. Links inside. [more inside]
posted by MisantropicPainforest on May 13, 2014 - 25 comments

What shall I do without Euridice?

In a new production of Christoph Willibald Gluck's opera Orfeo ed Euridice (Orpheus and Eurydice) in Vienna, the part of Euridice is shared between the soprano Christiane Karg, who sings from the stage, and Karin Anna Giselbrecht, a young woman in a persistent vegetative state, who lies in a nearby hospital. "The music is played to her and video cameras relay her image to the stage." [From the opera blog Intermezzo.] [more inside]
posted by Orinda on May 13, 2014 - 9 comments

I do want to swing from a chandelier.

Already being hailed by some as maybe one of the best music videos of the year, Sia's Chandelier, featuring 11-year old Maddie Ziegler, is by turns haunting, beautiful, strange and frisson inducing. [more inside]
posted by Lutoslawski on May 12, 2014 - 93 comments

Hear them now, before they feature in Wes Anderson's next movie

Each year for the past seven years, Billboard Magazine's Rich Appel has surveyed a group of classic pop aficianados to create his IRS chart--It Really Should have been a Top 10 hit. This list of more than a thousand records largely from the 60s and 70s runs the gamut from classics that somehow never cracked the Top 10 during their heyday to the unjustly overlooked and obscure. Via the best radio show in America, Crap From the Past.
1. NOTHING BUT A HEARTACHE The Flirtations
2. CAN'T FIND THE TIME (to Tell You) Orpheus
3. WILL YOU BE STAYING AFTER SUNDAY The Peppermint Rainbow
4. SHAME, SHAME The Magic Lanterns
5. MORNING GIRL The Neon Philharmonic
6. MR. DIEINGLY SAD The Critters
7. GOD ONLY KNOWS The Beach Boys
8. THINGS I'D LIKE TO SAY The New Colony Six
9. PRETTY LADY Lighthouse
10. YELLOW RIVER Christie
And so much more!
posted by Horace Rumpole on May 11, 2014 - 69 comments

We dare to be ourselves

This Is What Happens When An All-Female Band Tries To Sing While Orgasming (NSFW) [more inside]
posted by jammy on May 11, 2014 - 78 comments

Really Blue

In 1981, the South Bank Show followed Elvis Costello to Nashville for the making of his latest album. The result: "The Making Of Almost Blue" [more inside]
posted by chavenet on May 11, 2014 - 10 comments

Long Player

Long Player is a fortnightly show presented by [British music journalist] Pete Paphides. Conducted in a relaxed setting, these interviews see some of Petes favourite artists revisiting the highs and lows of their careers. Interviewees include Allen Toussaint, Linda Thompson, Neil Finn and Jimmy Webb. [more inside]
posted by jack_mo on May 11, 2014 - 7 comments

Cultural Dealbreaker

The A.V. Club asks readers What’s your cultural dealbreaker? which they define as "cultural products that someone can profess to enjoy only while losing all of your respect."
posted by arcolz on May 10, 2014 - 211 comments

You Made Your Big Mistake When I was Cc'd on the Message

Captain Ahab's Motorcycle Club is a project overseen by the perversely multitalented Cory McAbee (previously, previously) It's a band/fan club/film production group, which has been working for the last two years on music written by McAbee and orchestrated/performed by anybody interested in uploading a mix. Its ultimate project will be a feature film chronicling the funeral procession of Abraham Lincoln.
posted by contraption on May 10, 2014 - 1 comment

How many times can we win and lose?

It's under 24 hours until the Grand Final of the 2014 Eurovision Song Contest, airing at 2100 CEST (2000 UTC, 3 pm EDT). Are you ready for the most wonderful musical event of the year? [more inside]
posted by asperity on May 9, 2014 - 142 comments

Why don't you take a picture, it'll last longer!

Photobooth Innards: the inner workings of a vintage black and white photobooth in real time. Via photobooth.net, the most comprehensive photobooth resource on the internet (previously)
posted by Blazecock Pileon on May 8, 2014 - 7 comments

Nation of Ulysses/The Make Up/Chain and the Gang

How the “Sassiest Boy in America” became the most interesting man in rock-and-roll.
posted by josher71 on May 8, 2014 - 35 comments

Screen Gems

Slightly unheralded prince of television themes, Steve Barri. Plus, a look at his early songwriting career with P.F. Sloan. [more inside]
posted by saintjoe on May 8, 2014 - 0 comments

Valentina Lisitsa: the Bieber of Classical music goes minimal

Valentina Lisitsa is a classical pianist who credits her current fame to YouTube, where she has uploaded more than 200 videos of her performances. Were it not for the popularity of these videos (Beethoven "Moonlight" Sonata op 27 # 2 Mov 3 - 7 million views; Beethoven "Für Elise" - 4 million; Liszt "La Campanella" - 3 million), she would be, in her own words, "totally dead" in "the age of child prodigies". Her newest work is not a thousand notes a minute as featured in some of her popular videos, but more minimal, as heard in "The Heart Asks Pleasure First," the first track from her album (Soundcloud snippet preview of all tracks) of music by minimalist composer Michael Nyman. [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief on May 8, 2014 - 12 comments

"There's no reason to complain about anything. Ever again."

Jack White unveils The Ultra LP.
posted by roll truck roll on May 6, 2014 - 58 comments

Christian Zander's abstract generative art

Christian Zander may have a commercial design background, he has a significant amount of work in a more abstract, generative style, as seen in his House and Bike blog posts, and strewn among his work portfolio. He has also worked with animations, both live (Kiss Kiss Kiss - "Ponte 25") and recorded (Kenton Slash Demon - "Ore" / I Got You On Tape - "Run From The Rain").
posted by filthy light thief on May 6, 2014 - 2 comments

KMFDM, Ministry, Thrill Kill Cult, Underworld, Front 242, Frontline A...

Not only is Wax Trax! Records being reborn as a label, but the famed Chicago record store will return next month, too — for one day only.
posted by quin on May 6, 2014 - 47 comments

The Kids Are Alright

Kids Interview Bands is a video interview series hosted by 7th graders Olivia and Connie. [more inside]
posted by Rangeboy on May 6, 2014 - 5 comments

Yann Tiersen Secret Concert

57-minutes of a live-stream concert from French composer/musician Yann Tiersen playing from a secret location today. [more inside]
posted by foxhat10 on May 5, 2014 - 15 comments

Stuff Bach People Like

All of Bach: Every week, you will find a new recording here of one Johann Sebastian Bach’s 1080 works, performed by The Netherlands Bach Society and many guest musicians.
posted by Cash4Lead on May 5, 2014 - 12 comments

The Ballad of Lost KMEL

Flying Robot Rockstars (SLYT)
posted by Joe in Australia on May 4, 2014 - 9 comments

We come down from Cabbagetown

90's Southern Gothic rockers The Rock*a*Teens have reunited and are going on tour. Their unique mixture of dark, swampy rock influences have been praised by Dan Bejar as "the most underrated American rock ’n roll band of the ’90s," and Will Sheff of Okkervil River as, "masterpieces buried in muck." The band features Chris Lopez, who you may know from aughties band Tenement Halls, and Kelly Hogan, who's worked with Neko Case. Playlist after the jump. [more inside]
posted by gorbweaver on May 4, 2014 - 18 comments

The Fascinating Life of a Music Copyist

It’s called “part extraction,” and you don’t even need a local anesthetic to perform it.
posted by fix on May 4, 2014 - 4 comments

The Largest Vocabulary in Hip Hop

Literary elites love to rep Shakespeare’s vocabulary: across his entire corpus, he uses 28,829 words, suggesting he knew over 100,000 words and arguably had the largest vocabulary, ever (average people have a vocab of 5,000 words). I decided to compare this data point against the most famous artists in hip hop. I used each artist’s first 35,000 lyrics. That way, prolific artists, such as Jay-Z, could be compared to newer artists, such as Drake.

posted by cthuljew on May 3, 2014 - 79 comments

Britpop: A British Disaster

This essay by music journalist Taylor Parkes does an extraordinarily good job of explaining why Britpop was so deeply and unremittingly horrible. [more inside]
posted by motty on May 3, 2014 - 87 comments

Every Cheap Trick Song. Ranked.

Exactly what the title says. The author is Colin Gawel, from the legendary (in Columbus, OH anyway) rock band Watershed.
posted by COD on May 1, 2014 - 32 comments

Anthem of Dystopian America

Following in the footsteps of other songs switching up minor keys and major keys, Chase Holfelder's Star-Spangled Banner in minor key is particularly haunting.
posted by divabat on Apr 30, 2014 - 75 comments

The Prodigy, still raving after 20 years

Twenty years after originally forming, the English electronic/ rave/ big beat group The Prodigy were back on tour for their fifth studio album, Invaders Must Die. On July 24, 2010, the "40-somethings bounce around a stage like men half their age, owning festival-sized audiences" like rising dance stars wish they could. The performance was recorded and released the next year, and you can see the hour plus of World's On Fire in full on Vimeo. (NOTE: NSFW lyrics) [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief on Apr 29, 2014 - 67 comments

The devourer and the devoured

"Nobody would believe how difficult it is to be the mother of a Wunderkind. Everything I do is wrong; everything the child does is “for effect”; everything we say is utterly untrue. If Vivien runs up to me and kisses me, I hear it murmured that she is trained to do so. (“Whipped to be affectionate in public!”) So I tell her never to do it again. Immediately people remark how cold I am to the child; how the poor little creature evidently fears me and prefers Fräulein Muller. We take her with her hoop and skipping-rope to play in the park? It is said we make her pretend to be infantine, force her to act the “happy child” when people are looking on! So we take her toys from her and conduct her for prim walks between us. “Poor little unnatural creature!” say our friends: “she has no child-life at all.” The Devourer and the Devoured is a long essay by Emily Hogstad about the intertwined lives of the novelist Annie Vivanti and her daughter Vivien Chartres, a world-famous violin prodigy, at the beginning of the twentieth century.
posted by escabeche on Apr 29, 2014 - 16 comments

Genius

Walter Kitundu is an artist and MacArthur Fellow (previously). In this video, he gives a lecture at the San Francisco Exploratorium about his bespoke instruments and lighting experiments. At around 16 minutes in, he plays his digital revision of a kora.
posted by Blazecock Pileon on Apr 28, 2014 - 1 comment

All these moments will be lost in time, like -

Internet personality Neil Cicierega (previously) has released a new mashup album based on Smash Mouth, "Smooth," "The Power of Love," Daft Punk, and other stuff: Mouth Sounds.
posted by Rustic Etruscan on Apr 27, 2014 - 36 comments

Gigantic, gigantic! A big, big -- um, wait a second... (possibly NSFW)

Apple's new iPhone commercial uses that ultra-catchy Pixies classic, "Gigantic". But... Do you think the producers of the commercial knew what the song is about? A calculated gamble that 98% of viewers would not? Clever marketing designed to create a stir? Or just plain cluelessness?
posted by mikeand1 on Apr 26, 2014 - 118 comments

Let's get smashed!

"Smashing...Live! was a live, orchestrated performance by the New Japan Philharmonic of many of the songs from the game Super Smash Bros. Melee. Unlike most other video game soundtracks, which are essentially recordings of game music, all of the pieces for Smashing...Live! are completely re-arranged and fully orchestrated." [SLYPlaylist] [more inside]
posted by Servo5678 on Apr 26, 2014 - 4 comments

Happy Sad Songs and Sad Happy Songs, by The Gregory Brothers

Happy Sad Songs and Sad Happy Songs, by the Gregory Brothers [SLYT] [more inside]
posted by Doleful Creature on Apr 24, 2014 - 12 comments

Anyone can see the road that they walk on is paved in gold

The 1998 hit "The Way" by Fastball was based on the real-life disappearance of an elderly couple in Texas: The song’s lyrics -- about an elderly couple who disappears from their home, finding immortality on the road -- seem sweet. That is, until "shadows" on the highway are referenced. The promises that the unnamed couple will never go home, grow old, or be hungry again seem a great deal less reassuring. Perhaps, the listener thinks, the "immortality" they found on the open road is purely allegorical.
posted by Cash4Lead on Apr 24, 2014 - 33 comments

How Hip-Hop Failed Black America

The Root's ?uestlove on the invisibilizing of Black culture... "...you can point to this as proof of hip-hop’s success. The concept travels. But where has it traveled? The danger is that it has drifted into oblivion. The music originally evolved to paint portraits of real people and handle real problems at close range — social contract, anyone? — but these days, hip-hop mainly rearranges symbolic freight on the black starliner. Containers on the container ship are taken from here to there — and never mind the fact that they may be empty containers. Keep on pushin’ and all that, but what are you pushing against?" [more inside]
posted by artof.mulata on Apr 23, 2014 - 32 comments

sudo mknod /dev/netcat c 245 0; cat /dev/netcat | ogg123 -

netcat are a Seattle based free improvisation group that have released their album, Cycles Per Instruction as a Linux kernel module. [more inside]
posted by Poldo on Apr 22, 2014 - 19 comments

George & Jonathan are done explaining.

George & Jonathan are an electronic music duo. They make nice songs with many bleeps and bloops. Here is the website where you can listen to and watch their new album, III. [WebGL required, i.e., use Chrome. It's worth it, honest.]
posted by Sokka shot first on Apr 22, 2014 - 19 comments

Vinum et musica laetificant cor

YouTube user Frank Huang posts full live sets of metal/grindcore, many from Brooklyn's St. Vitus bar, including: Pig Destroyer, Kylesa (@ Santos), Whores., KEN MODE, Sleep (@ Hellfest), Pelican, Deafheaven, Cobalt, and naturally Saint Vitus.
posted by gwint on Apr 22, 2014 - 12 comments

American Football reunites; emo revival over!

American Football, the quintessential emo/math-rock band of the 90's, has announced their first two shows in 15 years. [more inside]
posted by gucci mane on Apr 21, 2014 - 18 comments

Beats Unraveled

In Boiler Room's Beats Unraveled video series, Binkbeats (previously) performs live versions of electronic music songs that he loves. [more inside]
posted by Going To Maine on Apr 21, 2014 - 8 comments

Graeme Downes on Lorde

Graeme Downes of the Verlaines explains why "Royals" is such a great song.
posted by escabeche on Apr 20, 2014 - 252 comments

A Northern California Love Song

♫ ♫ Well, you came out of nowhere like a Berkeley pedestrian
You stole my heart just like a San Francisco crackhead stole my bike
You drive me crazy like those West Marin hippies
But you're the kind of Northern Californian that I like ♫ ♫
[more inside]
posted by Lexica on Apr 20, 2014 - 20 comments

Forró, Baião, Rojão & sons do nordeste do Brasil

Bafo da Onça mix by Pepe Sol for Sabrosa

Sabrosa Son Sistema: purveyors of sound system cultures originating from the cities and islands of the Caribbean, Africa & Latin America.
posted by Tom-B on Apr 18, 2014 - 1 comment

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