From the rather common "skate punk into alternative music" origins to a bedroom producer who signed with Ninja Tune, Bonobo, the stage name for Simon Green, has continued to change musically. From the lone musician who made sample-based music, he has expanded into working with field recordings, studio musicians, and live shows where the band took a four bar drum break transformed it into a seven minute epic drum-sax solo battle, to which the crowd tried to clap along. You can see him live tomorrow at the Alexandra Palace in London in a special Boiler Room session, but until then, there's plenty more to see, hear and read. [more inside]
Father John Misty performs "Bored In the USA" on Letterman with laugh track accompaniment. [more inside]
Top hat at the cleaners? Opera glasses broke? Lost your box? Watch The Metropolitan Opera, the Bavarian State Opera (Deutsch, English) Vienna State Opera, or concerts from the Berlin Philharmonic and a variety of options from medici.tv and The Young Vic, The Globe, The Royal Opera House, The Royal Shakespeare Company, and more. [more inside]
Haiku Salut are an English instrumental band who make Yann Tiersen-esque pop. Their current touring show utilises "20 or so vintage lamps which are programmed to flash, flicker and fade in time to the music".
NPR's Bob Boilen (host of All Songs Considered): "People ask me all the time to name my favorite Tiny Desk Concert. It's my desk and I've seen almost all of the nearly 400 concerts up close. So you'd think this would be easy. Moon Hooch have made it a lot easier." (video) [more inside]
There are numerous ways that bands reach out to potential and current fans, and you can add a few more to the list with Noisetrade, Stageit and Concert Window. Noisetrade allows artists and bands to give away music, like a few tracks and covers from Dr. Dog and Saint Rich, to the whole First Album Live from They Might Be Giants, and now e/audio books, too, in trade for an email address and zip code. If you prefer live music, Stageit and Concert Window allow fans to watch unrecorded, streaming shows from bands anywhere in the world, for whatever price fans see fit. [more inside]
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]
Antony and the Johnsons (Wikipedia) - live at Carre with the Metropole Orchestra (2009); live at St. Luke's with London Symphony Orchestra (2005) [more inside]
Billy Joel loses his place in 'We Didn't Start The Fire', stops the band, then tells the audience why there's no point finishing the song. "An authentic rock 'n' roll fuck up."
It's an experience any performer will recognise: providing music that is, however reluctantly so, incidental. What is peculiar to our age is that it is now the lot not only of those who play at parties, in pubs or bars and so on, but of almost any artist at every level of performance, when they play anything too soft to blot out the human voice. The gig-talkers have won. It holds out in pockets here and there, but for the most part, quiet music, as a live affair, is done for.
The Rockpalast archive. Some 670 concerts.
Why Would Anyone Buy a Cassette Tape? "I went back to the merch table to see what was on offer and saw - among other things - a cassette tape. I figured that participating in a weird economic trend would be worth the $5, so I bought it. Needless to say, I don't own anything that could play a cassette tape."
So does any of this matter to the most important people in the equation, the audience? Live shows sound great these days, that's for sure. How could they not, with bands of our era being able to play along to studio-quality backing tracks through more powerful and more accurate PA systems than ever before? To me it boils down to what audiences really expect from a live performance. What is the point of seeing a band, or act, live? [more inside]
Billy Joel was recently doing a Q&A at Vanderbilt University when a student named Michael Pollack asked if he could play “New York State of Mind” with him. Something really cool then happened. [more inside]
House concerts are becoming more popular across the country. In Cleveland, Mechanic Street House Concerts has been hosting six shows per year since 2009, most recently opening their doors to the Shivering Timbers with Tom Evanchuck.
Telerama Concerts Privé, recorded live in Paris: Wilco - Bonnie Prince Billy - The Shins - Jonathan Wilson
Network Awesome mines the resources of YouTube to bring you treasures vast and plentiful, packaged and gift-wrapped in an easier-to-watch format. Since it launched in January 2011, it's expanded a bit with a corollary animated GIF site and an online magazine. (previously; 2) [more inside]
"Nothing compares to you, except maybe a banana, peeled or unpeeled, I don't care, though when they're unpeeled they can get awful messy"
Sinead O'Connor plays a concert in a church in Reykjavík at Iceland Airwaves last October. Icelandic state broadcaster, RÚV, recorded the concert and you can listen to it in full. There is some talking in Icelandic in the beginning, but the concert starts up at around three and a half minutes in. This concert was not long after her online jokes about her lack of companionship making her resort to bananas. She cracks many jokes about that and the fact that she's playing in a church. And she's in brilliant form as a performer and plays for almost two hours. As a bonus, here's not-very-high-quality video of that night's rendition of Nothing Compares to You, which includes a bit about bananas.
Live from Zilker park - the Austin City Limits Music Festival! Now playing: Alison Krauss & Union Station, and on the other channel Young the Giant. Live on YouTube.
Spin's 25th Annivesary: 5 nights of live music. I am a day late with this as the Smashing Pumpkins played last night, but you can see the rest of the free live streaming concerts this week, in order, one per night, The Flaming Lips, The Black Keys, The National, and Spiritualized. [more inside]
Public Image Live in Concert - Streaming Audio from NPR Worth a listen! This was one of the best concerts I have ever attended - and I have been to a lot of shows in my life. "Public Image Ltd. was frequently overlooked when it originally formed and released a string of records in the 1980s and early '90s, or maybe it was looked at for the wrong reasons. The band is the creative vision of John Lydon, not the angry punk he called "Johnny Rotten" in The Sex Pistols. When The Sex Pistols broke up, it was expected that any new band Lydon fronted would be a punk group. In fact, the first single from Public Image Ltd. pretty much was. It was called "Public Image," and was straight out of The Sex Pistols' bag of tricks. Lydon, in fact, wrote the song back in the day, but everything that came after that cut was so different: The music was slower, more open and groove-based. The poetry and the subject matter was all different, while the singing — though distinctly Lydon — was more spacious. It was still in your face, but it wasn't ugly. "
French website Le Cargo has a long-running series of live performance videos by alternative musicians, all of which can be watched on their YouTube channel. Here are a few that I liked: Erin McKeown - Put the Fun Back in the Funeral, Kings of Convenience - Mrs. Cold, Soltero - I'll Be a Writer, The Concretes - Military Madness, My Brightest Diamond - Be My Husband, Jose Gonzalez - The Nest, Jaymay - Lonely Men Build Lonely Cities, Vic Chestnutt - Supernatural, Metric - Gimme Sympathy, Françoiz Breut - Les jeunes pousses, Bowerbirds - Moonshiner, Joseph Arthur - A Smile That Explodes, Lambchop - You're a Big Girl Now, Alela Diane - The Rifle, Ane Brun - The Puzzle, Matt Elliott - Broken Bones and Fredo Viola - Sad Song. There are roughly 600 more videos.
“So toss away stuff you don't need in the end; but keep what's important, and know who's your friend...” Phish, live at the Rockpalast, Wartesaal, Cologne, February 16th, 1997: Set One Beauty of my Dreams, Split Open and Melt, Bouncing Around the Room, Crosseyed and Painless, Guelah Papyrus, Ginseng Sullivan, Tweezer, part 1 / part 2, Waste, Cavern, Chalkdust Torture Set Two Sample in a Jar, Cars Trucks Buses, Free, Sparkle, Simple -> When the Circus Comes to Town, Swept Away -> Steep -> David Bowie, part 1 / part 2, Loving Cup, Tweezer Reprise Encore Theme from the Bottom, Johnny B Goode One of the greatest shows Phish have ever played, captured live on video. [Mouseover for notes.] [more inside]
From the Borough of Brooklyn comes Dollar Van Demos: a showcase of talented musicians, rappers and comedians performing inside a dollar van with real passengers. [more inside]
Tom Waits has a new live album coming out. You can get 8 full length tracks--just under 40 minutes--from the forthcoming release for free on his site. Requires you surrender a valid email address, however.
I don't know how these people got their fairly decent recording devices into a bunch of gigs... but I can guess why. [more inside]
Here’s a cool concept. Top breakthrough bands of the day playing LIVE on TV late every Friday night. Such was The Midnight Special - from 1972 - 1981 (though the glory days were the early to mid 70s, that lost decade somewhere between the meltdown of the hippie dream and the coincident eruptions of PUNK + DISCO upon planet rock). [more inside]
Ben Walker, author of the Twitter song, webcast a gig in Oxford last night. Lo-fi posters were printed up and a Twitter stream was running on the back wall. You can also download some of the guitar tabs, see photos of rehearsals or download the songs.
Metafilter is certainly no stranger to music mashups, or even live music mashups, but a few artists are taking things a step further with live music and video mashups. Not prerecorded mashups of live music and video, but live performances of DJs (often calling themselves "VJs") mashing up music and video together on the fly. [more inside]
Feel like listening to a concert tonight? Something classical? Or maybe folk is a bit more your style? World? Jazz? Nearly every day, two or three more live concert recordings are added to CBC Radio2's 'Concerts on Demand' library, with nearly 900 concerts now in the list. Each concert is given just as presented live, and you can either stream the whole thing, or choose track by track. Timings are given for all the music, and photo galleries and full descriptions and credits round it all off. All in all, it's a fabulous presentation, and there is more music here than you will ever be able to keep up with!
Punkcast is a long running series of videos of live underground music in NYC shot by Joly MacFie. Each video is usually one song. The Internet Archive hosts its videos and offers downloads in a variety of formats. MacFie also has a YouTube channel with 480 videos and a video podcast [iTunes link, feedburner link]. Here are a few bands that caught my fancy: The Icicles and The Besties, The Slits (1, 2 ), Andrew W. K., Oneida (1, 2), The Long Blondes, The Gossip, Acid Mothers Temple & Cosmic Inferno, Art Brut, Be Your Own Pet, Cansei de Ser Sexy, Lesbians on Ecstasy, The Fall, Fred Frith, Rose Melberg and Jennifer O'Connor, The Horrors, The Homosexuals, Bat for Lashes, Radio 4 and Teddybears, Kimya Dawson and Tiny Masters of Today, Yeah Yeah Yeahs and Nikki Sudden.
AOL Sessions has live videos from more than 150 different artists specially recorded for the series. Here are just a few of the artists on offer: Paul McCartney, Mary J. Blige, Modest Mouse, Tori Amos, Robyn, Tom Petty, Rhymefest, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Natasha Bedingfield, Cat Power, Toby Keith, Lil' Wayne, Robert Plant, Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Kelly Rowland, Weezer and Brian Wilson. To the left of the videos there's a Q&A link that has short interview videos with the artists as well as behind the scenes footage and longer interviews.
The Ultimate Bootleg Experience is an ecclectic mp3 blog dedicated to live boots with a good number of posts up, and the links in the archives seem to stay live for quite a while.
The World's Greatest Live Music Show is back on the air [warning: YT-heavy first sentence]. Friday's season premiere featured inspired performances by Arctic Monkeys, CSS and The Hold Steady. Next week: Joanna Newsom, Grinderman, Travis, and more.
Drugs at music festivals are nothing new. Sometimes this results in comically bad journalism and sometimes the results are not so funny. At the Wakarusa Music Festival this past year police used new, creepy tools pursue drug dealers on the Festival grounds in an attempt to seperate the drugs from the music.
Dutch broadcast station VPRO's website is Holland’s biggest platform for alternative music. Here's a link to a shitload of streaming live concerts and tracks. You'll have to do a bit of cut and paste once there, but it's the easiest way for me to link to the list. For the cut-and-paste-inept, there's a standard interface, but the site's not in english.
Thomas Dolby, 80's Pop Icon, '90s Tech Mogul, Alton Brown lookalike, Somnificationist and NOT the inventor of Dolby noise reduction is returning to live touring after a few hundred internet years away. He's performing solo with lots of cool gadgets (and blogging). And, perfectly timed for promotional purposes, he's joined the K-Fed Haters.
NPR’s Live Concert Series site offers recordings of recent live performances by James Brown, Sinead O’Connor, Iron & Wine and Calexico, Son Volt, My Morning Jacket, The White Stripes, M. Ward, Sigur Ros, Bloc Party, The Decemberists, and live tomorrow at 7:30 p.m. ET, Colin Meloy.
KVRX, University of Texas' radio station, has an archive of tracks recorded live in their studio. Artists include The Magnetic Fields, Brian Jonestown Massacre, Broken Social Scene, Devendra Banhart, Explosions in the Sky, Sebadoh, Mojave 3, Okkervil River, Japancakes, Call and Response, Super Furry Animals, Cat Power, I Am The World Trade Center and the sublime Paul Burch, among others.
Clear Channel Limits Live CDs. A company called DiscLive has been working with a handful of artists to sell concert-goers a live CD -- of the show they've just seen -- after the concert. However, "Clear Channel Entertainment has bought the patent from the technology's inventors and now claims to own the exclusive right to sell concert CDs after shows." More inside...
Live CDs, immediately after the concert. Many times after I've seen a great show, I've wished I could have a recording of the evening. Now, using CD Burners hooked up to the sound boards, ClearChannel is beta testing a program that would make soundboard quality concert CD's available to audience members immediately after a show ended. I'm torn; it's a great idea, but it's ClearChannel... I want to like it... but I want to hate it, too...
Tonight, I saw (for the 4th time) one of the greatest live bands on the planet: Sweep The Leg Johnny. They played to a half-empty room in Toronto. Recently, the band put out their fourth CD. Sadly, they're calling it quits after this tour. What are some of the bands you've told folks to Go see now!, but no one seems to listen?
I just came from a terrific set by the local (Pittsburgh) band Boxstep and was curious, do you have a favorite "local band" or two (i.e. probably unheard of outside your city/area) you would recommend? What makes them worth checking out? [more inside]