Depending on one's point of view,
Orgasm (later reissued as Cave Rock) is either a ridiculously self-indulgent artifact of the '60s counterculture or an underground gem that was way ahead of its time -- and it's probably a little bit of both. The basic idea behind Cromagnon, an obscure East Coast group led by vocalists Austin Grasmere and Brian Elliot, was psychedelic rock combined with the sticks and stones of prehistoric cavemen, as well as with traces of folk-rock; it's a bizarre concept, certainly, but at times, it works.
You can hear the whole crazy album on YouTube
, or stick with the most song-like track (featuring bagpipes, tribal beats and some sort of scream-singing), Caledonia, seen here with an unofficial video
. [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief
on Jul 26, 2014 -
Unlike most murder ballads, The Long Black Veil
doesn't retell the story of an actual murder. Danny Dill and Marijohn Wilkin borrowed bits of stories about Valentino and a murdered priest and a Red Foley chorus and crafted their own story in 1959 to create what he hoped would be a folk song for the ages. [more inside]
posted by julen
on Jul 24, 2014 -
What makes folk even heavier, however, is how much harder it has to work. Volume can be a crutch, and the back-to-basics ethic of folk isn’t anti-technology so much as it’s a reconnection to an older source of power. Without amplifiers cranked to 11, bands like Barren Harvest, Blood And Sun, and Musk Ox carry a different kind of weight: a heaviness of subject, a heaviness of scope, and a heaviness of intensity. More than that, they break free of the pseudo-hillbilly preciousness that folk has been reduced to in this post-O Brother, Where Art Thou? century. That contrast alone is both crushing and liberating
posted by MartinWisse
on Jul 20, 2014 -
Lana Del Rey: Why a Death-Obsessed Pop Siren Is Perfect for Late-Stage Capitalist America
(mirrored at Salon.com
Lana Del Rey is pushing the envelope, and here's her message, delivered with a languid pout: 21st-century America is a rotting corpse, deadlocked culturally, economically, and politically. Since there's nothing we can do about it, let's enjoy ourselves as the body-politic disintegrates, perhaps by savoring some toothsome bites of the past: candy-colored Super 8 films, juicy jazz tunes and clips of sultry screen sirens. The future is a retrospective.
posted by joseph conrad is fully awesome
on Jul 11, 2014 -
All of this echoes the ancient danse macabre, the dance of death, the motif that sprang out of the medieval horrors of war and the plague. It's a plea for fevered amusement while you've still got time.
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]
posted by flex
on Jul 10, 2014 -
A Piece of Monologue is a treasure trove of modern, contemporary, and avant-garde expression in literature, philosophy, art, design, painting, music, theater, and more.
A smattering of insides:
Flannery O'Connor on Ayn Rand.
An online guide to the life and work of Samuel Beckett.
Twin Peaks Behind the Scenes Photographs.
Rare photographs of John Coltrane.
posted by whimsicalnymph
on Jul 10, 2014 -
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
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]
posted by filthy light thief
on Jul 9, 2014 -
Bob Abrahamian was a Chicago DJ, record collector, and chronicler of Chicago's soul history whose death in June at age 35 shocked soul music lovers around the world. The Chicago Sun-Times' Mark Guarino says
: "He left behind tens of thousands of 45-rpm records, but to those who knew him, it was the generous spirit in evangelizing the music that made the greatest impact." His work lives on on the site for his radio show, Sitting in the Park
, which features exclusive music
from and extensive interviews
with 60s and 70s Chicago soul musicians. [more inside]
posted by carrienation
on Jul 7, 2014 -
[SLYT] is a 1973 documentary film about the 1972 Wattstax music festival, held at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum to commemorate the seventh anniversary of the Watts riots. Featuring performances by Isaac Hayes, Albert King, Rufus and Carla Thomas, The Staple Singers, The Emotions, The Bar-Kays, and other greats of soul, R&B, and gospel, Wattstax
also incorporates relatively unknown comic Richard Pryor's musings on life for black Americans in 1972, "man-and-woman-on-the-street" interviews, and audience footage. [NSFW] [more inside]
posted by Room 641-A
on Jul 3, 2014 -
Do you miss the music fanzine culture of the 1980s and 1990s, when publications like Forced Exposure
cataloged the under-the-counter culture? Fuckin' Record Reviews
brings you highlights from all of these zines and more!
Check out the early writings of musicians like Steve Albini
, Bill Callahan
, Alan Licht
and David Grubbs
, as well as veteran rockcrits like Byron Coley
, Gerard Cosloy
, Tom Lax
posted by porn in the woods
on Jul 2, 2014 -
The Latvian Song and Dance Festival
has existed in some form or another since 1873, held roughly every five years. Along with similar festivals in Estonia and Lithuania, it has been recognized by UNESCO as one of the world's Masterpieces of the Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity
. The approximately 35,000 amateur singers and dancers who travel from all around Latvia to perform the weeklong festival
comprise 1.5% of the country's entire population. The centerpiece of the festival is always the final night, when the full complement of roughly 20,000 singers perform the most iconic Latvian folk songs a cappella
. In 2013, a song performed on the final night was "Līgo
" (a word meaning both "sway" and "summer solstice festival"). But for sheer spine-tingling pleasure, 2008's "Gaismas pils
" ("Castle of Light") can't be beat.
posted by ocherdraco
on Jul 1, 2014 -