Artists make art for themselves. Art is an honest expression. Artists who pander to their fans by trying to make music “for” their fans make empty, transparent art. The true fan does not want you to make music for them, they want you to make music for you, because that’s the whole reason they fell in love with you in the first place.
Hip hop artist Talib Kweli pens a response
to an article criticizing
R&B legend Lauryn Hill for being tardy to shows, arguably treating fans with contempt
, and a lack of meaningful artistic output since 2002. Others have argued
that Lauryn Hill's ouevre should be viewed with a critical eye and raised concerns about potentially homophobic and transphobic lyrics in her recent work.
Ms. Hill previously
This solo performance of "New Moon" on a Spacedrum by Yuki Koshimoto
is mesmerizing, but without much context. Who is she, and what is her instrument? This blog post has a bit more on Yuki
, and here is some information on Metalsounds' Spacedrum
and other similar metal instruments. If you want more background on the instrument, here's a documentary on the PANArt Hang
, something of the predecessor to the Spacedrum, both of which have evolved from the steelpan or steel drum
. Going back further, here's Toshi and Pete Seeger, documenting the making of a steel drum
, in 1956.
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
Where is the Drama
takes any song input recognized by Spotify and analyses it to find the 30 seconds or so of highest drama, defined as the portion of the song with the largest increase in loudness. [more inside]
OneRepublic just released their latest music video, I Lived
, which tells the story of Bryan Warnecke
. He's a fifteen year old boy who cycled over a thousand miles in 43 days over 8 mountain passes
, raising $260,000 for Cystic Fibrosis research. He also suffers from Cystic Fibrosis
. [more inside]
"That's my 'favourite' thing about music: encountering in the moment each artwork, however humble, already dignified by the sheer distinction of being incomparably human and thus, irreducibly, itself." 13 Reasons Why I Can't Pick My 13 Favourite Records, By Drew Daniel
Born to Nashville music royalty
. Grew up next to George Jones and Tammy Wynette. Had a #2 record on the country charts at age eight
. Had a minor alt-rock hit
for the same major label as Korn and Incubus in his 30's. His mentor was Shel Silverstein
. One of his bands, The Young Criminals Starvation League has featured members of My Morning Jacket, Lambchop, ...And You Will Know Us By the Trail of Dead, Clem Snide, and myriad others. His other band Is She Weird? Is She White? plays Pixies and Breeders covers
on weekends in Nashville. Unless he's opening for Guided by Voices
or playing someone's living room
. Or delivering lost luggage to pay the bills.
It's a hell of a life singer-songwriter Bobby Bare, Jr. has had. It's only makes sense that someone went and made a movie about him
: Don't Follow Me (I'm Lost)
. Sample the trailer
. [more inside]
If you've got 20,000 to 30,000 bucks burning a hole in your pocket, you might consider purchasing the world's first electronic music synthesizer: the Helmholtz
, which is up for auction
From the ever-fertile brain of Ben Cooper (aka Radical Face
, half of Electric President
) and pals comes Clone
, a musical-visual story in six acts, posted weekly starting today. Act I: The Laboratory.
(Jamal Moss), head of Mathematics Records
, is an old school Chicago House DJ who jams together a messy clump of styles to try to keep things "giddy, impatient and unpredictable."
Sun Ra, Peter Gabriel, Native American chants, Brian Eno, and Mr. Fingers all bump up comfortably next to each other. To get you through your Monday afternoon...
What's that you say? You like to read movie and
music related lists on the Internet? Well here you go: The Movies' 50 Greatest Pop Music Moments
from the folks at The Dissolve
Ten years ago today saw the English launch of a quirky Japanese puzzler, a sleeper hit
that would go down as one of the most endearing, original, and gleefully weird
gaming stories of the 2000s: Katamari Damacy
Its fever-dream plot has the record-scratching, Freddie Mercury-esque King of All Cosmos
destroy the stars in a drunken fugue, and you, the diminutive Prince, must restore them with the Katamari -- a magical sticky ball that snowballs through cluttered environments
, rolling up paperclips, flowerpots, cows, buses, houses, skyscrapers, and continents into new constellations.
It also boasts one of the most infectiously joyous soundtracks of all time
-- an eccentric, richly produced
, and incredibly catchy blend of funk
, bossa nova
, experimental electronica
, bamboo flute
, hair metal
, buoyant parade music
, soaring children's choirs
, Macintalk fanfares
, and the finest theme song this side of Super Mario Bros
Called a consumerist critique
by sculptor-turned-developer Keita Takahashi
(who after one sequel
moved on to Glitch
, the supremely odd Noby Noby Boy
, and playground design
), the series has inspired much celebration
] on its way from budget bin to MoMA exhibit
. Look inside for essays, artwork, comics, lyrics, more music, hopes, dreams... my, the internet really is full of things. [more inside]
Indian classical music mourns the untimely death of a child prodigy who grew into a graceful maestro.
Srinivas -- who introduced the mandolin to Indian classical music -- was one of the giants. Shockingly dead at 45, gone just far too young.
in. [more inside]
What do you do with a vintage synth keyboard collection but not enough ways to make use of them all? Well, if you're Graham Massey, and you stumbled across the forgotten history of Women's Organ Quartets who might have overwhelmed the senses of audiences with their weird electronic music, you put together a four-woman keyboard band, and you take up the drums. Read on, for the story of the Sisters of Transistors
, "a tale which wanders between truth, history and myth, and involves panic in America, army issue organs, a Derbyshire pub and a member of 808 State!
" [more inside]
For those of you that haven't discovered her yet, I present Jessica Hernandez
(and the Deltas).
Sorry I Stole Your Man
No Place Left to Hide
and Cry, Cry, Cry.
(here's a handy Spotify playlist
Women are called upon every day to prove our right to participate in music on the basis of our authenticity—or perceived lack thereof. Our credentials are constantly being checked—you say you like a band you've only heard a couple of times? Prepare to answer which guitarist played on a specific record and what year he left the band. But don't admit you haven't heard them, either, because they'll accuse you of only saying you like that genre to look cool. Then they'll ask you if you've ever heard of about five more bands, just to prove that you really know nothing. This happens so often that it feels like dudes meet in secret to work on a regimented series of tests they can use to determine whether or not we deserve to be here. The "fake geek girl" test is one, door guys stopping female musicians carrying gear to make sure they're actually in the band and not just somebody's girlfriend is another. Big rock magazines that interview male musicians about gear and female musicians about sexual harassment—that's up there too.
—Meredith Graves talks about musical authenticity and gender
, taking Andrew WK and Lana Del Rey as her examples. Graves is in the noise rock band Perfect Pussy
. Here's a video for their song "I"
, a live performance
and a short segment where Graves and bandmate Ray McAndrew buy books
is no frills, command line music streaming. For the geek music lover in all of us. [more inside]
Those of you here who are jazz fans may have heard a little about Kathleen Annie Pannonica Rothschild. Her nickname "Nica" is enshrined in many a jazz composition's title, for example Nica's Tempo
, Nica's Dream
, Blues for Nica
and, simpy, Nica
. She was, as you'd imagine, a devoted lover of jazz, and an inestimably important benefactor, patron and enabler of many of the jazz legends of her time, especially the great Thelonius Monk. Learn more about her in this Guardian article: The jazz baroness and the bebop king
Hear "Give It Up"
, a beautiful new track from Kutiman's followup to "Thru You". Five years after the original Thru You
project, Israeli producer Kutiman is teasing the release of a new collection of original tracks
, painstakingly stitched together from unrelated YouTube videos. [more inside]
performs 3 covers:
feat. Postmodern Jukebox - Meghan Trainor's All About That Bass
at New York Humane Society - Katy Perry's Roar
and three years ago on the Lennon Bus - Imagine [more inside]
is a 12th century Jewish hymn traditionally sung at the end of Sabbath services in both Ashkenazic
congregations. Maybe you’ve heard Uzi Hitman’s disco version
, which electrified the 1970’s. But what may be most inspiring about the prayer is that it can fit to pretty much any melody
. Here it is to Pharrell’s Happy
. Here it is to Gilbert and Sullivan's Modern Major General
. Here’s the Cups
song. Even Amazing Grace
. [more inside]
Here are many videos of songs from the Rise Up Singing songbook
, a song reference book described as a large collection of chords and lyrics to folk songs, topical songs, children's songs and rounds as well as some showtunes and country, rock and blues songs all meant to be sung aloud in groups. It's a pretty invaluable resource to songleaders, and useful for anyone who likes to sing with friends or strangers.
Rise Up Singing is most useful when you already know the tune, which is where ALL THESE VIDEOS come in:
You may know Neill Jameson as the frontman/honcho for black metal favorites Krieg, who have a new LP Transient for Candlelight Records, or via his involvement in Twilight, the supergroup headed up by Blake Judd of Nachtmystium and featuring members like Thurston Moore, Aaron Turner, Jef Whitehead (Leviathan), Stavros Giannopoulos (The Atlas Moth), and more.
But Neill's involvement with Blake Judd goes much deeper than that: Theirs is a friendship that was initally forged based on a mutually shared interest in music many years ago. In the following firsthand account, Neill recalls the history of some of the darker moments of his friendship with Blake Judd, ones that eventually lead to him severing his ties with the celebrated black metal musician, and the stark reality of drug addiction.
or Young Maiden
is a Bulgarian folk song, here sung by Neli Andreeva with the Philip Koutev choir. (SLYT) [more inside]
The Perfect Beat
is an article by The New Yorker's music critic Sasha Frere Jones where he lays out the reasoning behind his "Perfect Recordings" project, essentially a list of 200 songs that fit his personal criteria for perfection. The lists are available as Twitter timelines (volumes 1
), Spotify playlists (volumes 1
) or as one 200 song Rdio playlist
. Frere-Jones answered some questions about the project
and spoke about a few individual songs in The Guardian.
Many of you Americans will be familiar with that certain kind of pop/country song that looks back on the good old days of yesteryear, those carefree, reckless days of mythical youth: driving Camaros, drinking Boone's Farm wine, singing the hit songs of the day, and, yeah, all that. Well, here's a song that springs from that same place in the heart, but in an Afghani version, and a wee bit more political in its message, here and there, than the American versions: it's Farhad Darya's Oo Ghaitaa
, translated as "Those Were the Days".
is the name of the project that composer/engineer Larry Fast
gave to his series of space rock albums, based on his groundbreaking synthesizer work, and beginning with 1975's Electronic Realizations for Rock Orchestra
. [more inside]
Here's a look back at sounds of summers past, with a review of EMI's series of Balearic compilations
, and for a bit more mystery and diversity, mixes that focus and include Balearic styles from Test Pressing
. If the whole "Balearic" thing is confusing, Boiler Room TV has a nice write-up
with photos from the period to set the mood, where the music was a mix of mixture of soul, reggae, rock, pop, and Latin, mixed with chill out, lounge and dance music. [more inside]
Diggin' in the Carts:
A documentary series about Japanese video game music, and it's effect on global music.
Minutemen jam econo
on a public access TV show called Acoustic Blowout in 1985. You can find more Minutemen videos and concert recordings on corndogs.org
Looking for some instrumental, funky, downtempo and slightly sinister soundtrack music? Klint, who as worked on soundtracks before, including Snatch
, has released his own soundtrack album, Nothing Left Of Us
(stream and download for a limited time from Soundcloud). News of this new album comes from Cheap Thrills Music
, a label run by Joshua 'Hervé' Harvey. Both Cheap Thrills
have more tracks and mixes up on Soundcloud, including plenty of streaming sounds a few free downloads from each, though that's more of deep and dirty house, as heard in Hervé's Hate On Me mixtape
(stream/dl), and from the "Tear The House Up" from Hervé x Zebra Katz
(Official Music Video, NSFW lyrics).
“These are young people who refuse to be put in a box, but are still trying to make sense of themselves. Over the years, the concept of Black rock has been rejected by both Blacks and whites. Afropunk shows that there are other types of Black experiences. It’s exciting to see Blacks who are unafraid to go a different way.” Afropunk Before Afropunk [more inside]
NOLA bounce artist and rapper Nicky Da B is dead
. Nicki was best known for his colorful, aggressively infectious music and videos, including Hot Potato Style
), Express Yourself with Diplo
), and his collaboration with photographer Clayton Cubitt Go Loko
(NSFW, strobe and flashes warning)
Chase Holfelder covers Cyndi Lauper's Girls Just Want to Have Fun in a minor key
(previously, previouslier, previousliest)
In honour of Labour day, enjoy a documentary
on Jewish anarchism at the turn of the 20th century, and the story of The Free Voice of Labour
, their Yiddish newspaper that ran from 1890-1977. [more inside]