Five years ago, Alfred Weisberg-Roberts, aka Alfred Darlington (more widely known as Daedelus) finally released an album with his wife, Laura Darlington, under the group name The Long Lost. And it's beautiful, light and airy orchestral pop that owes a greater debt to Caetano Veloso than Coldcut, the style of music that might not out of place being played live in a knitting shop, which could seem a bit strange for a group releasing their music on Ninja Tune. For further fond words, The Gaslamp Killer considered their album one of his top picks for 2009, and here's a nice interview with Alfred and Laura. But we're really here for the music, so here's their self-titled album, streaming on Grooveshark. [more inside]
My favorite new tumblr: Experimental Music On Children's TV.
"Gentlemen: I have a story that may be of interest to you. It is not widely known who invented the circuitry concept for the automatic sequential performance of musical pitches - now well known as a sequencer. I, however, do know who the inventor was - for it was I who first conceived and built the sequencer." This is the opening to an undated, unaddressed letter, found in Raymond Scott's personal papers (yes, the same fellow whose kooky soundtracks scored everything from Looney Tunes and Merrie Melodies to Ren & Stimpy, The Simpson, and Animaniacs). You can read the rest of Scott's letter, along with Bob Moog's recollections of visiting Raymond's electronics laboratory in the mid-1950s. Or you could jump ahead to the mid-1960s, when Jim Henson was in his late 20s to early 30s, and he was working on a variety of odd projects after a successful run with Sam and Friends, but before he it it big with Sesame Street. It was at this point that he teamed up with Scott on a few short, experimental films. [more inside]
- It was written by Raymond Scott in 1937, and first heard by the world played by the Raymond Scott Quintette on CBS Radio's Saturday Night Swing Club.
- It was first recorded in 1937 and released by Master Records. It was later re-released by Brunswick and then Columbia.
- It contains a middle section that has a greatly different tempo and style from the rest of the song, to the degree that it is sometimes considered to be two different songs.
- It was a popular tune of its time. Among Raymond Scott's admirers was Carl Stalling, music director for Warner Bros. cartoons. Stalling's appreciation for Scott lead to his music being featured frequently in Warner cartoons. Itself, it has been used in dozens of classic cartoons, especially in places depicting rapid motion or heavy machinery. Despite this, no Warner cartoon contains a complete version of the work.
- It's now so recognized from its use in cartoons that most people can probably hum portions of its middle potion, and recognize the rest, even if they don't know it's name. It's so connected with cartoons that Cartoon Network used it as a distinctive bumper tune from 1997 to 2003.
- Regardless of its iconic nature, it's still in copyright and is controlled in the US by Music Sales Corporation, and elsewhere by Warner/Chappell Music.
- That song is called "Powerhouse."
Hey daddy-o, when you hear that big brash horn section pump out that oddly familiar riff, only to stop cold and make way for that that prescient single note from an electric guitar, followed straightaway by a twangy voice in perfect rockabilly delivery proclaiming "well, she's got a dress that looks like a sack!", then brother, you're listening to the hoppin' boppin' sound of Wally Deane's Drag On. Once you hear it, you'll wonder why Quentin Tarrantino never put it in a movie. Wally Deane: one of the greatest rockabilly acts you never heard of.
Raymond Scott dot com — you might not have heard of the man, this cartoon composer, inventor of electronic musical instruments and leader of the world's largest quintet, but his impact on modern music is hard to overstate [Realplayer, NPR]