Here's the Beatles' Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band: Instrumental Complete and Vocal Complete. Nice, eh? Well, there's more: Abbey Road Instrumental Complete and Vocal Complete.
If you like electric bass or musicians who can do more than one thing, you might like this video of Tom "Squarepusher" Jenkinson giving a solo electric bass recital in 2007. (From his album Solo Electric Bass 1.)
The Roots of Orchis (Facebook page) don't seem to be active much these days, but sometimes it's nice to look back. Their peak was probably their 2002 album, Some Things Plural (Bandcamp), which blends the mellow post-rock styles of Tortoise with the downtempo, instrumental hip-hop grooves of early era DJ Shadow. For example, the first track "develops into a smooth post-rocking instrumental with a dusty groove that never imagines itself any more pimped out than it is." For another fantastic blend of relaxed instruments and subtle turntablism, check out their take on Björk's Possibly Maybe, from the Read: Interpreting Björk compilation. [more inside]
Collective Cadenza (CDZA) has been releasing musical histories of the guitar solo, the drums, the accordion, and the bass. [more inside]
This mix was made using only my dad's records. Every one of them an original pressing, stuff he bought when he was about as old as I am now--give or take a decade. My dad never played an instrument really, and my mom always joked that he was actually tone-deaf. But man, what a taste in music--and in his own way, what an ear too. "Plays Pretty Just For You" is a new mix by Dave Harrington of the band Darkside, which has just released its debut album Psychic. Previously
"A composer's dream : a fail-safe orchestra at one's fingertips obeying ever so gently to his every command : a timeless sounding orchestra, both futuristic and slightly dada, conjuring ancient traditions in its surprisingly sensuous music. This is, in a nutshell what Pierre Bastien's "Mecanium" is all about" -Michel F. Côté. Watch him in action Live at Faster than Sound or enjoy a track from his album Mecanoid - Avid Diva. [more inside]
great short video: Marley Marl, the producer of LL Cool J's 'Mama Said Knock You Out', recreates the beat, explaining its component elements and releasing a never-heard-before snippet of alternate LL vocals: "he says, 'hey, I got a sample that is so dope.' He pulls out Sly and the Family Stone..."
This Toon Ain't Big Enough For The Both Of Us SLYToon) officially authorized by the original artists, those wacky guys.
Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year from Jimi Hendrix: Little Drummer Boy / Silent Night / Auld Lang Syne.
So you want to try and remix someone else's songs, but all you have are a random collection of instrumentals and acapellas to work with. Fret not! First, you can find inspiration from the folks who share their reworkings at Tea's Björk Remixes, as there aren't many Björk acappelas to start with, but they still find a way. Then check out the Acapella Archives blog, for a lot of indie hip-hop acapellas and more vocal tracks. If you've browsed those archives, you might notice a link to Beastie Remixes, a community for remixers of Beastie Boys. They have an acapellas page which has more than just vocal tracks: there are also copies of show vinyl, with the tracks that the Boys have used to back up their live shows.
In their 25 year career San Fransisco-based Kronos Quartet might be most famous for creating the go-to dramatic movie trailer music but they've recently courted controversy with their latest album, 9/11, with Steve Reich (NPR First Listen). The album is another in a long line of collaborations with composers such as Phillip Glass, Terry Riley, and Pēteris Vasks. And like any good instrumental ensemble, they've covered Hendrix, Sigur Ros, and Tom Waits. Oh, and they've been on Sesame Street. [more inside]
Detektivbyrån (The Detective Agency) was a little-known Swedish band that made delightful music often inspired by Yann Tiersen's soundtrack to Amelié. E 18 - Om Du Möter Varg - Generation celebration - Nattoppet - Partyland - Monster - Laka kaffa - Vänerhavet. (Warning: aggressively cute and happy music containing accordion and bells.) [more inside]
Tommy Gauthier and Antoine Dufour are a very talented guitar/fiddle duo (usually) who draw influence from nuevo tango, folky bluegrass, metal, and some other harder to classify places.
The Heavy performing on Late Night, with "an unprecedented encore by request from Dave." (second video courtesy CBS, including off-air encore) [more inside]
Over the past few years, Eric Whitacre has been taking the composition world by storm. And now he's all over the web. (Most links silent, personal website has an autoplay rainstorm going on.) His choral works range from the mysterious and brooding Water Night to the rambunctious modern madrigal, With a Lily In Your Hand, to the wonderfully lush Sleep (formerly a setting of Robert Frost's "Stopping By Woods on a Snowy Evening" - tragically halted by copyright infringement, but still available thanks to the magic of YouTube). While his instrumental compositions run the spectrum from silly musical parody (Godzilla Eats Las Vegas) to poignant melancholy (October) with some delicate crossover between vocal and instrumental (Lux Aurumque - first choral, then instrumental!). If you are or think you may be even remotely interested in contemporary classical music, you owe it to yourself to become familiar with the work of Eric Whitacre.
Mr. Frank J. Stola (flash): a self-described professional musician who mangles any and all genres he attempts. Don't miss his take on instrumental fusion rock classical jazz, revolutionary country n western traditional, or heavy metal instrumental on CD Baby. Equally marvelous are his strange, minimal videos. And don't forget to pick up Mr. Stola's myriad products at his Cafepress store. Is he serious?
Freddie's Home Page features streams of some classic hard-to-find instrumental surf albums from The Ventures, The Shadows, The Spotnicks and more, including my personal all-time favourite surf record. In other surf music news the previously mentioned Surf Guitar 101 has recently relaunched as a community site dedicated to surf music. Not familiar with instrumental surf music? Check out Delvar Surf Sessions Online Radio for a taste of some of the finest instrumental surf around.