In the summer of 2001, Tim Smith threw himself a 40th birthday party. If you know Tim Smith—and you should know Tim Smith (previously)——it won't surprise you that this silly, square little event was attended by some of the most brilliant musicians on the planet. The psychedelic, proto–math rock Monsoon Bassoon—the lead singer/songwriter of whom went on to form Knifeworld—opened the show. Sidi Bou Said, sometimes called the all–woman Pixies, followed. Next up was a shockingly young Stars in Battledress, who you should probably also know, and then William D Drake took the stage, playing rough drafts of songs that in fourteen years' time would form the core of 2015's best musical release. Finally, and this might be the best treat of all, Drake and North Sea Radio Orchestra's Sharron Fortnam took the stage as Lake of Puppies, who never released an album and whose bootlegs are exceedingly difficult to find. (Some of LoP's songs wound up on the Shrubbies album Memphis in Texas, which incidentally is stunning.) The performances are rough and lighthearted, and the recording is mediocre, but this recording is a marvelous treasure trove of musical talents, many of which are still now coming into fruition.
For two days in 1975, rock band KISS took over the town of Cadillac, Michigan, and played at the Cadillac High School Homecoming. [SLYT] What started as a football coach looking for a way to inspire his players ended up bringing the entire town together in the name of rock and roll. [via]
Indie auteur Richard Linklater pleasantly surprised audiences with his charming 2003 comedy School of Rock, in which a struggling musician (High Fidelity co-star and Tenacious D frontman Jack Black) hijacks a 4th grade prep school class and inspires them to become a killer rock band. Buoyed by likeable characters, a great soundtrack, remarkably talented kid musicians, and Black's lengthy, irrepressible, almost improvisational classroom scenes, the film earned rave reviews and inspired scads of copycat programs around the world (as featured in the '05 documentary and reality series Rock School). But while the cast kicked ass at their ten-year reunion concert in 2013, plans for a sequel fell through. Everyone loves an encore, though. And so this weekend saw the Broadway debut of the Andrew Lloyd Webber stage musical starring Alex Brightman, with a TV adaptation to air on Nickelodeon next year. Because there's no way you can stop... the School of Rock. [more inside]
The Canadian Pacific Christmas Train is a rolling holiday party for a cause. Two beautifully lit trains - on a US Route and a Canada route - cruise through the Midwest, stopping in 150 towns along the way to present live music and light shows while bringing donations of cash and food to local food banks.
The Paris-based magazine Télérama have published a conversation between Thom Yorke and author/activist George Monbiot. Yorke is a professed fan of Monbiot's writing, and throughout the interview, the two men discussed climate change.Throughout the conversation, Yorke and Monbiot discuss how they've responded to climate change in their day-to-day lives—becoming vegetarian, Radiohead's carbon neutral touring initiative, and so on. Yorke said that for a time, figuring out how to reduce his carbon footprint became an obsession.
"Imagine creating the best work of your life, some of the best music of its day, and no one cares. Now imagine playing those songs 47 years later to a screaming and loving bunch of fans and getting what seems like a hero's welcome. That's part of the story of The Zombies, who played the classic 1968 album Odessey and Oracle, along with a set of other hits and brand new songs, live in Washington, D.C. last month." Listen to the full concert here.
After the triumph of OK Computer, Radiohead fell into a creative tailspin -- and frontman Thom Yorke into a nervous breakdown. Exhausted from touring, hounded by press, and jaded by copycats, he escaped into the electronica scene pioneered by Kraftwerk and Warp Records -- fertile ground, the band discovered. Trading spacey rock for apocalyptic brooding, they teased their new sound not with singles or music videos but with innovative web streaming and cryptic, dreamlike "blips" -- winterlands, flocks of cubes, eyeballs, bears. After nearly breaking up over tracklist angst, they cut the kid in half. Thus fifteen years ago today, Kid A and (later) Amnesiac debuted, a confounding mix of electronic fugue, whalesong, pulsing IDM, drunken piano, and epic jazz funeral whose insights into anxiety, political dysfunction, and climate crisis would make it one of the most revered albums of the twenty-first century. See the documentary Reflections on Kid A for interviews and live cuts, or look inside for much more. [more inside]
Watch French singer Patrick Bruel realize just how big his song J' te 'L'Dis Quand Meme had become, in a concert from the 90s. [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]
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]
George Harrison passed away on the 29th of November, 2001. Though a simple private ceremony was held shortly after where his ashes were scattered over the Ganges river, a more public memorial occurred at Royal Albert Hall exactly one year after his death. [more inside]
Thanks to some insider information, you now know how much it costs to hire your favorite band or performer. Bon Jovi, Bruce Springsteen, Dave Matthews, James Taylor, Justin Timberlake, Madonna, Taylor Swift and the aforementioned Bieber are in the rare one million dollar club. Others can be had for much, much less. [more inside]
Wielding bagpipes, the largest hurdy-gurdy in the world, and a huge array of other medieval instruments, neo-medievalists Corvus Corax (official site) join with taiko drummers Wadokyo for an incredible sunset performance at 2013's Wacken Open Air festival. [more inside]
Pink Floyd's The Division Bell tour in 1994 was the highest-grossing tour in rock music history to that date, and featured spectacular special effects. For the first time since 1975, the band played the entirety of The Dark Side of the Moon in many of the tour's shows. On October 20, 1994 the concert at the Earls Court Exhibition Centre in London was filmed, and the subsequent documentary P•U•L•S•E: Live at Earls Court was released in 1995. Fullscreen. Widescreen. [more inside]
Leonard Bernstein's Young People's Concerts: From 1958-1973, composer and conductor Leonard Bernstein (Previously on MeFi) played live, educational concerts with the New York Philharmonic that were televised nationwide on CBS. Tapes of the broadcasts were eventually syndicated to 40 countries, introducing an entire generation of children to a wide range musical concepts, styles and composers. The first concert to air was "What Does Music Mean." [more inside]
The Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain - Anarchy In The Ukulele [1:07:05 slyt] [many previouslies]
Justin Timberlake likely made his new album to fulfill a contract he signed with Live Nation in 2009.
Burma Shave and Big Time, all there in their entirety, for your Waitsian viewing and listening pleasure.
For the 2012 iTunes Music Festival, 65 acts (including P!nk, One Direction, David Guetta , Jessie J, OneRepublic, Ellie Goulding, Andrea Bocelli, Matchbox Twenty, Muse and many others) performed at the Roundhouse in London throughout the month of September. 40 performances are available in full online. [more inside]
Four days after her 21st birthday, Amy Winehouse sang at the SWR3 New Pop Festival in Baden-Baden. [more inside]
With their brutal, simple riffs and aggressive, fast tempos, Accept were one of the top metal bands of the early '80s, and a major influence on the development of thrash. Led by the unique vocal stylings of screeching banshee Udo Dirkschneider, the band forged an instantly recognizable sound and was notorious as one of the decade's fiercest live acts. - AllMusic
The first Sex Pistols show in the USA. (audio only) Atlanta, GA, January 5, 1978.
"She's known as the hardest working young lady in show business today. Ladies and gentlemen, Miss Tina Turner." [more inside]
Here's a full Tears For Fears concert from 1990, filmed in Santa Barbara, California. Tracks inside. [more inside]
Talking Heads, Live in Rome, 1980 The Talking Heads concert film you haven't seen: the show that would eventually be recorded in the (awesome) concert film Stop Making Sense 3 years later, recorded while it was still a bit weird and uncertain. And therefore, wonderful. [more inside]
Wendy Melvoin is fresh from high school. She is a wearing a V-necked sleeveless top, and patterned shorts. She is playing the first chords of a new song on her purple guitar, opening chords that she wrote, a circular motif with a chorus effect. Wendy is nineteen and she has the high cheekbones and diffident confidence of a Hollywood upbringing. She half-smiles at the faces that crowd close to the low club stage. This is Wendy’s first gig with the new band, and the song she is playing is “Purple Rain,” and nobody in the audience has ever heard “Purple Rain” before because this is the night that Prince and the Revolution record the song.
A girl upon the shore did ask a favour of the sea;For nearly 20 years, Newfoundland group Great Big Sea have been creating acoustic Celtic folk-rock covers and interpretations of traditional Newfoundland and Labrador sea shanties, folk, fishing and party songs, which draw from the island's rich 500-year-old multicultural (Irish, English, Scottish and French) heritage. [more inside]
"Return my blue eyed sailor boy safely back to me.
Forgive me if I ask too much, I will not ask for more,
but I shall weep until he sleeps safe upon the shore."
On Halloween night 1992, a skinny, gravel-voiced man in a blue dress and horn-rim glasses took the stage at a tiny Atlanta dive bar/strip club along with his band, The Opal Foxx Quartet (which was not a four-piece; around a dozen people crowded the dark, low-ceilinged space). This would be their final show, and it's a barn-burner. [more inside]
On May 15, 1981, at The Ritz in New York City, Public Image Ltd. performed as a last-minute replacement for Bow Wow Wow. It didn't end well. (previously) [more inside]
A remarkably diverse group of legendary musicians have graced the stage of Tulsa's Cain's Ballroom over the years: Jerry Lee Lewis, Little Richard, the Sex Pistols (one of seven stops on their one and only 1978 U.S. tour…the hole in the drywall left by Sid Vicious’ fist is still backstage), the Ramones, Bob Dylan, Willie Nelson, Blondie, The Talking Heads, U2, Ani DiFranco, Elvis Costello, Snoop Dogg, Morrissey, Beck, Wilco, to name a few. A documentary featuring Costello and several other artists who’ve played there is in the works, with proceeds supporting music education in Oklahoma and the upcoming Cain’s Ballroom Museum. Cain’s was recently named one of the top 10 live music venues in the U.S. From 1935 to 1942, Cain’s was home to Bob Wills and The Texas Playboys, who popularized western swing music with weekly dances and a national radio show.
NPR: "Folklorist Alan Lomax spent his career documenting folk music traditions from around the world." Now, nearly ten years after his death, thousands of the songs and interviews he recorded are available for free online, many for the first time. "It's part of what Lomax envisioned for [his] collection — long before the age of the Internet." (Mr. Lomax, Previously on MeFi) [more inside]
On June 3, 1995, Courtney Love played "Doll Parts" and "Softer, Softest" in what may be the only true solo performance of her career.
A decade on, the Coen brothers' woefully underrated O Brother, Where Art Thou? [alt] is remembered for a lot of things: its sun-drenched, sepia-rich cinematography (a pioneer of digital color grading), its whimsical humor, fluid vernacular, and many subtle references to Homer's Odyssey. But one part of its legacy truly stands out: the music. Assembled by T-Bone Burnett, the soundtrack is a cornucopia of American folk music, exhibiting everything from cheery ballads and angelic hymns to wistful blues and chain-gang anthems. Woven into the plot of the film through radio and live performances, the songs lent the story a heartfelt, homespun feel that echoed its cultural heritage, a paean and uchronia of the Old South. Though the multiplatinum album was recently reissued, the movie's medley is best heard via famed documentarian D. A. Pennebaker's Down from the Mountain, an extraordinary yet intimate concert film focused on a night of live music by the soundtrack's stars (among them Gillian Welch, Emmylou Harris, Chris Thomas King, bluegrass legend Dr. Ralph Stanley) and wryly hosted by John Hartford, an accomplished fiddler, riverboat captain, and raconteur whose struggle with terminal cancer made this his last major performance. The film is free in its entirety on Hulu and YouTube -- click inside for individual clips, song links, and breakdowns of the set list's fascinating history. [more inside]
On July 26, 1965, at the Antibes Jazz Festival, the John Coltrane Quartet made its only public performance of A Love Supreme. (previously) [more inside]
I Feel Love, Kids in America, Pinball Wizard, Let me Go, Maid of Orleans, Girls Just Wanna Have Fun, I Need you Tonight, Big In Japan... The Benelux based Night of the Proms concerts have spend the last couple of decades or so pairing pop singers - often the ones we might remember best from dance floors - with large choirs and orchestras. This is now one of Europe's largest music events. [more inside]
Since 2008, NPR's All Songs Considered has been doing the Tiny Desk Concert series in which they invite a musician or band or very large group to come and play a song behind the desk of the show's host, Bob Bollen, with the video camera running. The result can be intimate, absurd, raucous and just plain enjoyable. A browseable archive of all 150+ shows is here. [more inside]
For the second year in a row, DJ Earworm has created a mashup video, "Party on the Floor" of all fifteen artists who performed at Capital FM’s 2011 Summertime Ball at London's Wembley Stadium on June 12th. The video premiered during the concert. His official website has more videos and free, downloadable MP3's. Last year's remix: Like, OMG Baby. (His year-end pop-mashups: previously on Metafilter.) [more inside]
People, Let Me Get This Off My Chest is a 65 minute compilation of stage banter by Paul Stanley of KISS. Paul repeatedly reminds the Army that they’re getting their money’s worth... , that the next tune is the first time they’ve played it on tour, that he was talking backstage to someone... about what kind of alcohol that people in the area like to drink, that they’re just getting started, and that he’s got an “uzi of ooze” in his pants.
For only the second time since their breakup in 1985, the three surviving members of Pink Floyd shared a stage last night in London. Video, with the amazing reveal around 0:52. [more inside]
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