The origins of Lynyrd Skynyrd's 'Free Bird' are pretty brief. In this 1970 demo (source), you can hear a short version, with the opening question but no piano intro and extended jam at the end. Though they recorded a long version for their debut album, they also cut a short version for the single. But people want "guitar sagas", such as "Whipping Post," by the Allman Brothers Band,and "Smoke on the Water," by Deep Purple, or maybe it was a silly thing to heckle Florence Henderson and other uncool cats. Decades later, people are still yelling "Freebird!" Sometimes people snap back, like Bill Hicks (NSFW), and sometimes people oblige, like Bob Dylan recently. In case that's not enough, there's (always) more! [more inside]
Celebrate the (admittedly still in-progress) first millennium of American awesomeness on July 4, with the release of a new comedy-music benefit compilation titled 2776: A Millennium of American Asskickery. Proceeds go to OneKid OneWorld. The album tells the story of America's past, present and apocalyptic future. Put together by Daily Show writer Rob Kutner, Tonight Show writer Joel Moss Levinson, and Steven Levinson, the album features a stacked roster of indie musicians and comedians, including Will Forte, Aubrey Plaza, Patton Oswalt, Aimee Mann, The Sklar Brothers, Reggie Watts, Right Said Fred with Reggie Watts and Mayim Bialik, Triumph the Insult Comic Dog with The Rebirth Brass Band, Maria Bamford & Jonathan Katz, Andrew WK, Bobcat Goldthwait & Sally Timms, Paul F. Tompkins, Yo La Tengo with Ira Glass and Eugene Mirman, Neko Case & Kelly Hogan and more... [more inside]
Jon Brion gets around. As a composer, he scored some of the best movies of last decade and change – Punch-Drunk Love, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, Synecdoche, New York, and I ♥ Huckabees. As a producer, he's worked with Fiona Apple, Kanye West, Aimee Mann, and the excellent bluegrass outfit Punch Brothers. He writes pop music like the best of them – witness Meaningless, Knock Yourself Out, Here We Go, or Didn't Think It Would Turn Out Bad for a nice sampler of his style and range. His live shows are notoriously whimsical and eccentric – he's apt to perform Radiohead's "Creep" in the style of Tom Waits, or cover Stairway to Heaven as a one-man band, recreating all the parts to its climax on the fly.
When it came time to make Aimee Mann's new video for the song Labrador, director Tom Scharpling dragged a reluctant Aimee Mann into making a shot-for-shot remake of the 1985 video for 'til tuesday's Voices Carry. The results are even funnier if you watch the original video immediately afterwards.
Aimee Mann's [previously, previously] highly anticipated eighth studio album CHARMERS is due out in September, and the songstress is about to go on tour to support it. But she's worried about the toll that touring will take on her. The solution (courtesy of sporadic mefite John Hodgman and a dead-panning Laura Linney)? A robot double. [more inside]
Evan Mather's animated Quicktime video for Aimee Mann's "Red Vines." I love the song, not sure about this video... Can anyone figure out what's going on? (I mean I get that Aimee owns a gas station, but what's with the sperm...and the baby...and...well...just watch it...)