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Towards the weed fields tonight we show the world

Last week, American doom/stoner metal band Sleep released a single entitled 'The Clarity', their first new recording in over sixteen years, via the 2014 Adult Swim Singles series. [more inside]
posted by item on Jul 28, 2014 - 8 comments

Carla Bozulich

"So, my life was not too bad. It was during the period where I was still panhandling daily and doin' good at that due to looking much younger than my eighteen years. It was weeks before I went to jail again and became straight up regular homeless and got all the way sunk into street prostitution and then severe mental illness. It was before the years when I was utterly severed from even one note of music I liked. So, in other words, at that moment, I was somewhat holding it together." (link goes to a magazine article scan). Carla Bozulich (of Evangelista, The Geraldine Fibbers and others) has a heart-rending epiphany in the wire magazine. (via | previously)
posted by dng on Jul 28, 2014 - 14 comments

"Shiny Happy Voters"

Why R.E.M.’s Out of Time Is the Most Politically Significant Album in U.S. History (Hint: It's not the music).
posted by AlonzoMosleyFBI on Jul 28, 2014 - 98 comments

Cromagnon’s only album: a jumble of sounds, shouts, and one actual song

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 - 6 comments

Korean fashion and design that is Having a Moment

Korean fashion and design is having a moment, but what is fueling it? It's complicated. Let's explore the K-wave. [more inside]
posted by joseph conrad is fully awesome on Jul 26, 2014 - 23 comments

The cycle continues

The Elephant's Garden
posted by boo_radley on Jul 26, 2014 - 9 comments

Prove your music nerd cred

Slate wants to know if you can name those 70s, 80s, 90s or more recent hits from hearing just the first second of them.
posted by MartinWisse on Jul 24, 2014 - 57 comments

I had been in the arms of my best friend's wife

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 - 46 comments

Lasciarti non è possibile

"Ancora Tu" is an Italian phrase roughly translating to "You Again". It's also the name of a classic 1976 pop song by Lucio Battisti and Mogol. [more inside]
posted by rollick on Jul 23, 2014 - 0 comments

U Remind Me of a Year That I Once Knew...

Throwing a theme party? Need some background music whilst checking out your ex's facebook pics? Do you pine for times gone by? Step into the Nostalgia Machine!
posted by stinkfoot on Jul 23, 2014 - 104 comments

Basement shows, kittens, pink hair, zines, flowers and pizza.

Ellen Rumel plays in the band The Nunnery and takes 35mm photographs of the underground music scene in Boise, Idaho.

Alexander Miranda plays in the band Underpass and takes 35mm photographs of the DIY punk scene in Vancouver, British Columbia.
posted by Juliet Banana on Jul 22, 2014 - 21 comments

Come for the Cap'n Jazz, stay for Desaparecidos

Thirty Essential Songs from the Golden Age of Emo Including, of course, and with all sincerity, a late-era Jawbreaker song that opens with a clip of Christopher Walken's monologue from Annie Hall.
posted by MisantropicPainforest on Jul 22, 2014 - 34 comments

REQUIEM FOR A FRONT PAGE POST - A Quinn Martin Production (In Color)

15 Main Title Sequences From Quinn Martin TV Shows. [more inside]
posted by Room 641-A on Jul 21, 2014 - 14 comments

I have no Smash Mouth, and I must mash.

Hot on the heels of his mindblowing mashup extravaganza Mouth Sounds (prev. on MeFi), resident internet demiurge Neil Cicierega (also prev.) has released a "prequel" album: MOUTH SILENCE. [more inside]
posted by Strange Interlude on Jul 21, 2014 - 33 comments

What in the hell is country funk? Here are 33 tracks for reference

Here's a song I didn't know existed until summer 2007, when Lemon Jelly's Fred Deakin released an impeccably curated three-CD mix (full 4 hours on Mixcloud). Halfway through the first disc, the music slipped into an easy, loping groove, sunburned and hungover, and a regretful voice offered Otis Blackwell's lonesome lyric: "You know I can be found/ Sitting home all alone …" [Billy Swan's version of "Don't Be Cruel" is] a beautiful record, though, and utterly different from Elvis's 1956 recording. And it opens a fantastic collection of country funk songs, collected and remastered by Zach Cowie of Light in the Attic Records. More sounds below the break. [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief on Jul 20, 2014 - 26 comments

The benevolent alien invasion/hyperdriven arcade sounds of Oorutaichi.

Oorutaichi, an electronic musician from Osaka, “makes drifter music, strung through with expert percussion and electric rays, flowing on a river of magical chants, inspired loops and choruses written in an invented language, undiscovered country left and right.” Oorutaichi has several really, really good animated music videos. [more inside]
posted by vathek on Jul 20, 2014 - 5 comments

Folk is 2014's heaviest music

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 - 38 comments

The CD Case: like discovering that Hollywood is financed by VHS hoarders

The Case for CDs -- as CD sales continue to plummet, Grantland's Steven Hyden takes a "glass-half-full perspective" on those numbers, discusses format nostalgia, and the five types of albums that justify the continued existence of CDs. [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief on Jul 17, 2014 - 98 comments

who hoard the air & hunt the hare with the ox & swim against the torrent

Troubadors! [more inside]
posted by Iridic on Jul 16, 2014 - 9 comments

Haiku Salut

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".
posted by dng on Jul 15, 2014 - 4 comments

"Tacky"

"Weird Al" Yankovic is back with his new album "Mandatory Fun". To help with the launch, he's releasing a video a day for eight straight days starting today with "Tacky", which captures the infectious fun of of Pharrell's "Happy" with a suitably Weird Al twist.
posted by AlonzoMosleyFBI on Jul 14, 2014 - 259 comments

Where Have You Gone, Easily Recognized References?

"The Joe DiMaggio line was written right away in the beginning. And I don't know why or where it came from. It seems so strange, like it didn't belong in that song and then, I don't know, it was so interesting to us that we just kept it. So it's one of the most well-known lines that I've ever written." An analysis of Simon and Garfunkel's 1968 hit, "Mrs. Robinson". [more inside]
posted by joseph conrad is fully awesome on Jul 12, 2014 - 69 comments

while my guitar not-so-gently weeps

Weeping, wailing Japanese politician inspires copycat guitarist to dizzying heights of emotional expression.
posted by flapjax at midnite on Jul 12, 2014 - 27 comments

The Singh Thing

Jason Singh is a "beatboxer and vocal sculptor" who creates music using only multi-layered recordings of his voice. Watch him perform Tiberian Sun live at Music TechFest, using software to loop and mix samples of breath, beatboxing and vocal techniques. [more inside]
posted by billiebee on Jul 12, 2014 - 2 comments

Well-honed weltschmerz and mesmerizing monotony

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.

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.

posted by joseph conrad is fully awesome on Jul 11, 2014 - 59 comments

Silly time with Johnny Carson and Weird Al

Travel back in TV time to 1985 when Weird Al Yankovic appeared as a musical guest for the first and, tragically, only time on Johnny Carson's Tonight Show. [more inside]
posted by Smells of Detroit on Jul 11, 2014 - 34 comments

Left to Our Own Devices

After dropping sweet synthwave tunes for two years, Le Cassette have released their first album "Left to Our Own Devices," available on (of course) cassette tape
posted by rebent on Jul 11, 2014 - 4 comments

Oops, you got your music in my katamari!

Team Teamwork has released Katamari Da-Emcee, a mashup album of the wonderful soundtrack from the 2004 Playstation 2 cult hit Katamari Damacy with various hip-hop songs from artists including Kanye West, 50 Cent, and Big Freedia, the New Orleanian queen of bounce music. [more inside]
posted by Corinth on Jul 11, 2014 - 36 comments

BALLS BALLS BALLS

In "These Aren't the Droids" Neko Case (previously) and Kelly Hogan (previously) imagine a future designed by teenaged fanboys, and Ellie Kemper plays the unlucky wife of a Stromtrooper. [SLYT] [more inside]
posted by Room 641-A on Jul 11, 2014 - 23 comments

Treasure Trove of Archived Concert Footage

Music Vault - The world's greatest collection of live music. [billboard]
posted by unliteral on Jul 10, 2014 - 16 comments

Moon Hooch

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 - 41 comments

Heavy metal...with a traditional touch!

Fans of history, mythology, language, and music: allow Metsatöll's Lauri Õunapuu to present his arsenal of traditional Estonian instruments. Then continue below the fold for an introduction to the world of folk metal. [more inside]
posted by gueneverey on Jul 10, 2014 - 15 comments

TREASURES!

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. And wow.
posted by whimsicalnymph on Jul 10, 2014 - 2 comments

If Amy Winehouse was Ghanaian ... and flanked by a bike gang

Ghanaian R&B singer Y'akoto bemoans her lack of Perfect Timing - and the same bikers support Ghanaian/Brookylnese rapper Blitz the Ambassador reminiscing about his Ghanaian childhood in Make You No Forget (via).
posted by ChuraChura on Jul 10, 2014 - 20 comments

One more time

Why do we love repetition in music? Elizabeth Hellmuth Margulis explains how repetition and musicality work in our minds.
posted by gladly on Jul 9, 2014 - 31 comments

Virtual tip jars and tours: digital-age music outreach and fan support

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]
posted by filthy light thief on Jul 9, 2014 - 4 comments

Whaaaaat's thhhhe deeeeeal wiiiiiith aiiiirliiiiine peeeanuuuutttss?

The theme from Seinfeld, slowed down 1200%. [SLYT]
posted by Room 641-A on Jul 8, 2014 - 21 comments

"a thousand libraries were lost"

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 - 10 comments

Soothing Sounds of Jazz... with rain

Jazz and Rain Feeling stressed? Listen to some cool jazz and the relaxing sound of rain.
posted by maggiemaggie on Jul 7, 2014 - 19 comments

THUS SPOKE CARLY RAE: a song of friedrich nietzsche

My name is Nietzsche, hello,
A sort-of-nihilist bro,
Hey, God is dead, did you know?
What is morality?

posted by one teak forest on Jul 7, 2014 - 14 comments

Your voice still echoes in my heart

Not quite 11 years old at the time, Jackie Evancho performs the song "Lovers" on her Dream With Me concert tour. Revel not only in Evancho's rapturous vocals, but also in the sublime accompaniments on zither, 2-string fiddle, bamboo flute and taiko drums.
posted by paleyellowwithorange on Jul 7, 2014 - 27 comments

This video achieves “Shepard Smith watching True Blood” gayness levels.

Dave Holmes (yes that Dave Holmes) re-vists the hit songs and music videos of July 1983
posted by The Whelk on Jul 5, 2014 - 40 comments

Birth of the International Touring Organ

Cameron Carpenter is a classical organist who takes his instrument very seriously. If you want to hear him play, check out his versions of Schubert's Erlkönig, Chopin's Revolutionary Étude, and his mostly Bach program at the 2012 BBC Proms (Toccata and Fugue in D minor excerpted here). For more background, see this NYT interview. But please watch that first video at least once -- you won't regret it.
posted by rollick on Jul 5, 2014 - 13 comments

"Can you deal with the fact that I'm not in love with you?"

Without You I'm Nothing: The Believer looks at the memoirs of the wives and girlfriends of rock stars.
posted by The Whelk on Jul 4, 2014 - 20 comments

"There are specific instructions when Isaac Hayes comes on."

Wattstax [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 - 23 comments

Rely on SSRI and say 'hi-ho' in the coffee shop

Susumu Hirasawa is a Japanese musician who has been doing electronic composition since 1972. [more inside]
posted by Librarypt on Jul 3, 2014 - 11 comments

What Happens When 350 Musicians Meet For The First Time In Brooklyn?

What Happens When 350 Musicians Meet For The First Time In Brooklyn?
posted by chunking express on Jul 2, 2014 - 20 comments

Daily affirmations from a time before this: a fanzine trawl

Do you miss the music fanzine culture of the 1980s and 1990s, when publications like Forced Exposure, Bananafish, Conflict, Superdope, Crank, Siltbreeze, Matter and Lowlife 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, etc.
posted by porn in the woods on Jul 2, 2014 - 8 comments

They Might Be Giants

TMBG: First Album Live
posted by roll truck roll on Jul 1, 2014 - 19 comments

20,000 voices, singing as one

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 - 18 comments

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