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Down with autocracy in Russia

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]
posted by Lemurrhea on Sep 1, 2014 - 3 comments

relative Pitch

Pitchfork recently released a list of what they consider the 200 best tracks of the decade so far (2010-14). [more inside]
posted by threeants on Aug 20, 2014 - 158 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

The Songs of Summer

To kick off (in the U.S.) the long Memorial Day weekend (traditionally the unofficial start of summer!) the Boston Globe presents an interactive chart of iconic songs of summer from each of the last 100 years! No word yet on the 2014 earworm to be.
posted by Curious Artificer on May 24, 2014 - 60 comments

Jacco Gardner's Cabinet of Curiosities: psych-baroque-pop

Here's a little something old to bring in the new year: Jacco Gardner and his debut solo album, Cabinet of Curiosities (Grooveshark streaming tracks; full album on YouTube). Why? Because it's a delicious platter of ornate, lushly orchestrated, psych-inflected "soft rock" or "baroque pop" and if you didn't know better, you might guess it was made in the 1960s, not in 2012. The album was created almost solely by Gardner, who played all the instruments except the drums. For live shows, the 25 year old multi-instrumentalist had to enlist more help, as you can see in this live set from Lowlands, and two more, from Ancienne Belgique and at International Film Festival Rotterdam (IFFR). [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief on Dec 31, 2013 - 14 comments

I shiver when I see the falling snow

It's gonna be a blue Christmas: Merle Haggard - If We Make it Through December [more inside]
posted by byanyothername on Dec 25, 2013 - 22 comments

Celebrating Johnny Mercer on his Birthday

Today is the 104th birthday of Johnny Mercer, the great American lyricist, songwriter, and singer. We have him to thank for: [more inside]
posted by still_wears_a_hat on Nov 18, 2013 - 15 comments

Don't be Sad; Two out of Three Ain't Bad

Why do we feel happy when we listen to sad music? A study from the Tokyo University of the Arts and RIKEN says that while we expect sad feelings to result from sad music, often the emotions are more neutral or even positive. [more inside]
posted by soelo on Oct 20, 2013 - 14 comments

A splendid, minimal jukebox

Hoot.ch is a cool, beautifully curated music gizmo with new songs almost every day. Dazed electronica, sunny pop, arty rock, stained-glass hip-hop - from John Hopkins to Belle & Sebastian to Pusha T, and lots of unknown gems. Sometimes you just want to sit back and let good songs play. [more inside]
posted by Marquis on Sep 13, 2013 - 23 comments

Crankies

“We did our first show in a bar...all of a sudden, the whole room was quiet. And then we got everyone to sit on the floor cross-legged to watch our crankies.” [more inside]
posted by Miko on May 24, 2013 - 10 comments

20 Original Hits by 20 Unoriginal Artists

The Echo Nest examines the problem of music spam.
posted by Horace Rumpole on Apr 26, 2013 - 34 comments

Laura Marling

Singer-songwriter Laura Marling will release her latest album, Once I Was an Eagle, this May. She's shared a first song off of it, "Where Can I Go?" [more inside]
posted by threeants on Mar 20, 2013 - 11 comments

The 100 Most Influential Singles of the 1960s

The 100 Most Influential Singles of the 1960s. [via mefi projects] [more inside]
posted by item on Mar 18, 2013 - 66 comments

Whips, whiskey, women, work, weapons, cars and cadence. But no hockey.

Jump steady, Black Betty! Bam-A-Lam!
Yeah, Black Betty! Bam-A-Lam!
Looky yonder Black Betty! Bam-A-Lam!
Whoa Black Betty! Bam-A-Lam!
Yeah, Black Betty! Bam-A-Lam!
She's so rock steady! Bam-A-Lam!
She's always ready! Bam-A-Lam!
Whoa, Black Betty! Bam-A-Lam! [more inside]
posted by Pirate-Bartender-Zombie-Monkey on Jan 16, 2013 - 52 comments

I've drowned and dreamt this moment

You may love Paul F. Tompkins (previously) for his stand up comedy, or his character acting, or his internet hilarity across many media or his startlingly good style, but did you know you can love him in a different way? Namely for his ability to cover Adeles "Skyfall"? (previously) Now you do.
posted by Potomac Avenue on Jan 3, 2013 - 39 comments

"Shine Brighter"

DJ Earworm has released his annual "United State of Pop" mashup of the year's 25 most popular songs according to Billboard's charts: Shine Brighter. [more inside]
posted by zarq on Dec 20, 2012 - 39 comments

End-of-year lists are fingerprints

Year-End Lists: 2012 Albums | 2012 Songs | 2012 Movies | 2012 Books [more inside]
posted by carsonb on Dec 19, 2012 - 63 comments

Songs for the Apocalypse

Rock Cellar Magazine has come up with a list of eleven songs to listen to in case the world comes to an end on December 21 2010. [more inside]
posted by Sailormom on Dec 19, 2012 - 44 comments

♪ Believe it or not! ♪

History Of [US] TV Theme Songs (slyt / Jimmy Fallon & "Guys With Kids" Cast)
posted by zarq on Sep 26, 2012 - 30 comments

This Will End in Tears

Do sad songs make us feel better? 100 saddest songs in list form. Listen on spotify.
posted by morganannie on Aug 24, 2012 - 226 comments

Hurry Hurry

Hurry Hurry (YouTube) is the single on Boston band Air Traffic Controller's (Official Site) new album NORDO (SoundCloud). It's an insistent, catchy, exuberant anthem to all those who feel like no matter how fast they run, life runs faster. It absolutely nails the sensation of pushing oneself to the point of destruction while simultaneously feeling as though one is falling farther and farther behind. It will also lodge itself deep inside your brain and refuse to stop playing, so be warned. [more inside]
posted by Scientist on Aug 17, 2012 - 20 comments

They all have the same beat, and you can do the same dance to them!

"It is a familiar complaint from those of a certain age: today’s pop music is louder and all the songs sound the same. It turns out they are right. Research shows that modern recordings are louder than those of those of the 1950s and 60s. They are also blander, with less variety in terms of chords and melodies." [more inside]
posted by TheSecretDecoderRing on Jul 27, 2012 - 152 comments

Any fool can think of words that rhyme, many others do, why can't you?

30 beautiful song lyrics
posted by Hartster on May 24, 2012 - 121 comments

personal computing challenging the recording business

"Dingus is dedicated to the search [for new music on Bandcamp]. It's here, on this humble blog that we shed light on bedroom artists in their most defining moments. If you want what's popular today, Dingus is not the blog for you. But, if you want what's fringe, pure and passionate then you've somehow landed on the right URL." [more inside]
posted by Potomac Avenue on Apr 28, 2012 - 18 comments

The Lomax Collection -- a 'renewal of the forgotten springs of human creativity.'

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]
posted by zarq on Mar 28, 2012 - 27 comments

Richard Strauss' "Four Last Songs" sung by Jessye Norman

In the sixty-odd years since their composition, the Four Last Songs have acquired in many people’s minds an unassailable status as simply the most beautiful music known to them, to be listened to in a dimly lit room and a state of rapt meditation, surrendering to the extraordinary spell of profound, other-worldly calm that they cast. This is not surprising. They were, indeed, the last things of any significance that Strauss wrote, between May and September 1948, at the age of eighty-four. (previously) [more inside]
posted by Trurl on Mar 24, 2012 - 11 comments

Kist o Riches Indeed

Tobar an Dualchais will keep you busy for awhile. It's a collection of over 26,000 oral recordings made in Scotland, from the 1930s onward. Folklore, songs, music, history, poetry, oh my. Includes some fascinating material from Belle Stewart, the McPake Sisters of Peebles and John the Bard.
posted by RedEmma on Jan 14, 2012 - 5 comments

Until I find myself again, agaaain, o-o-o-o-ooh.

Various Neutral Milk Hotel Covers. They'll probably make you want to listen to "Aeroplane" again. Some with better sound quality than others. Not all are all that great but there are some neat gems in there. Enjoy!
posted by fantodstic on Jul 9, 2011 - 41 comments

Diane Warren

"Blame it on the Rain" by Milli Vanilli. "Unbreak My Heart" by Toni Braxton. "Don't Wanna Miss a Thing" by Aerosmith. "How Do I Live" by LeAnn Rimes. "If I Could Turn Back Time" by Cher. "Because You Loved Me" by Celine Dion. "If You Asked Me To" by Patti LaBelle. What do all of these songs have in common? They were all written by Diane Warren, a member of the Songwriter's Hall of Fame whose songs have awards such as a a Grammy, a Golden Globe award, and several ASCAP awards for Songwriter of the Year.
posted by MattMangels on Jun 18, 2011 - 85 comments

"The Book of Mormon" on Broadway

From Trey Parker and Matt Stone, the creators of South Park, and Robert Lopez, of Avenue Q, comes the new Broadway show "The Book of Mormon." The show "tells the story of two young Mormon missionaries sent off to spread the word in a dangerous part of Uganda" while gently (and no so gently) lampooning organized religion and traditional musical theatre. The entire show is now streaming on NPR. Songs are extremely Not Safe For Work.
posted by ColdChef on May 9, 2011 - 84 comments

How I Wrote

How I Wrote is a series of videos from The Guardian where musicians perform a song after talking about it a little bit. Among the artists who've taken part are Rufus Wainwright, Kristin Hersh, Corinne Bailey Rae, Laura Marling, Keren Ann, Patrick Wolf, Elbow, Gruff Rhys, Warpaint, Cee Lo Green, Antony and the Johnsons, P. J. Harvey and Emmy the Great, who sings a song about the Royal Wedding, appropriately enough for today (though I suppose the Cee Lo Green song is appropriate too).
posted by Kattullus on Apr 28, 2011 - 27 comments

Song of Songs

Tablet Magazine has published a list of The 100 Greatest Jewish Songs [more inside]
posted by beisny on Apr 15, 2011 - 64 comments

Five seconds of every No. 1 song from about 1956 to 1993

Five seconds of every No. 1 song from about 1956 to 1993.
posted by Cool Papa Bell on Feb 22, 2011 - 42 comments

RIP, Candy Licker

"The "chitlin' circuit" sounds like something that's gone, and with good reason. After all, the name itself derives from the "soul food" of chitterlings (fried pig intestines) that was a staple at early performances. But from CC Blues Club on Thomas Street to the Cannon Center downtown, thousands of Memphis music fans flock to hear stars like Marvin Sease and Bobby Rush sing what's too risqué for radio play, and to watch dancers shake what's too big for TV. That's both the beauty of the chitlin' circuit and the reason for its survival. While its roots run back to racial segregation, it thrives today because performers give audiences what they can't get through mainstream media. It's called "grown folks music," and it's all in the name of the blues."
Soul-blues singer Marvin Sease has died at age 64. Here's a comprehensive playlist of his (sexually-explicit/NSFW) songs on YouTube, including the one that never received any radio airplay but whose title the former gospel singer took as his professional nickname: Candy Licker [more inside]
posted by zarq on Feb 9, 2011 - 15 comments

Your lipstick stains / On the front lobe of my left side brains

And just think: When your shitty kid marries someone you violently disapprove of 20 years from now, this song -- with its references to blowjobs and songs that were ground into the ground before the kid was a twinkle in your eye -- will serve as the couple's first dance. As you watch your offspring and new in-law twirl around the dance floor, you will reach for a glass of Champagne Loko (President Kid Rock won't try to ban the stuff until he's up for re-election in 2032) and wonder how everything went so, so wrong.

The Village Voice presents the 20 Worst Songs of 2010. [more inside]
posted by Lutoslawski on Dec 22, 2010 - 169 comments

An overload of Mystery Science Theater musical moments

During the show's history Mystery Science Theater did many musical bits. Topless Robot recently linked to the "13 best" Mystery Science Theater 3000 songs. It's not a bad list, although there are some notable exclusions. About those, click through.... [more inside]
posted by JHarris on Dec 6, 2010 - 62 comments

Rock's First Song?

Rock historian Joseph Burns makes a case for why Arthur Big Boy Crudup's "That's All Right Mama" should be regarded as rock & roll's first song. Not everyone agrees - clips to some of the other contenders inside. Or explore Google's Rock & Roll Timeline. [more inside]
posted by madamjujujive on Nov 23, 2010 - 45 comments

The Music of Jacques Brel

The Music of Jacques Brel is an article by music journalist Amy Hanson about the career of pop music legend Jacques Brel and his effect on popular music in the English language. A lot of songs and covers are mentioned in the article, below the cut are links to the songs that I could find videos of online. [more inside]
posted by Kattullus on Aug 6, 2010 - 49 comments

"I've heard all the songs about the endless highway"

"I'm headin' down the Atlanta highway, lookin' for the love getaway." These lyrics to the B-52s' "Love Shack" inspired a lengthy list modestly titled "Some Road Songs." Planning to make a road song mix tape? This is the motherlode. Surprisingly (or not?), the list is hosted on the Federal Highway Administration website. Browsing around the site, you'll also find information on the history of the Interstate System, articles from Public Roads magazine, and a selection of "Back in Time" articles about highway history by Rickie Longfellow. [more inside]
posted by litlnemo on Jul 6, 2010 - 43 comments

Don't Worry. I Will Survive. I'm Just Singin' In The Rain.

What do Singing in the Rain, Live Is Life, Don't Worry, Be Happy, I Will Survive and Ça fait rire les oiseaux have in common? In a study, French-speaking Internet users identified these five pop songs out of 100, as the most pernicious earworms. Here are their top 25 picks from BRAMS, including audio clips. [more inside]
posted by zarq on May 27, 2010 - 58 comments

Caught in a landslide, No escape from reality

The Story of Bohemian Rhapsody: Parts: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6. (From BBC Three.) Oh, and... [more inside]
posted by zarq on Apr 22, 2010 - 69 comments

London Calling

'A site dedicated to songs about London. The only rules are that the songs must be brilliant and that the blindingly obvious numbers are excluded.' The London Nobody Sings takes you on a musical tour of the capital, by bus, train and tube, via Camden Town, Parliament Hill, Portobello Road, Shepherd's Bush, Southall, Tottenham and Tooting Broadway. And if it's too late to take the Underground? Don't worry, the trams may have gone, but you can always catch the Nightbus home.
posted by verstegan on Feb 14, 2010 - 14 comments

Tear It Apart and Put It Back Together

Pain Pack — Ze Frank posted a phone number and asked that anyone experiencing emotional pain leave him a message. He received a number of very distraught messages. From those, DJs and musicians created 138 samples for him—and those samples have since been made into songs—and the collaborative process continues.
posted by netbros on Feb 1, 2010 - 26 comments

Songs your grandmother danced to...

Mult-link Youtube: victrolaman
posted by grumblebee on Jan 8, 2010 - 7 comments

Sci Fi Songs

John Anealio records songs inspired by science fiction and fantasy. Sing along about Cylons, Summer Glau (Firefly/Serenity), Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep, and about how "George R.R. Martin is not your bitch" (previously).
posted by gemmy on Aug 12, 2009 - 20 comments

GEST Songs of Newfoundland and Labrador

Over 2,500 songs from Newfoundland (and also from away) [more inside]
posted by goingonit on Jun 15, 2009 - 14 comments

A real cut-up

You've probably seen (and heard) his version of Alice in Wonderland, but have you seen The King and I, Harry Potter, The Sword in the Stone, or Mary Poppins?
posted by flatluigi on May 26, 2009 - 32 comments

On-the-fly harmonizing

Looping, live: David Ford, Imogen Heap, KT Tunstall x2, Dub FX, Ed Alleyne-Johnson
posted by flatluigi on Apr 7, 2009 - 50 comments

The Belfer collection of old cylinder records

The Belfer Cylinders Digital Connection is a collection of old cylinder records at Syracuse University. The library has started to digitize them, both in mp3 and wav format. They have only 293 online yet but aim to have 6000 cylinders digitized by the end of next year. It can be searched either by genre, keyword or Here are a few that I really like: Bedtime at the Zoo, That Syncopated Boogie-boo, Mary, You're a Little Bit Old Fashioned, Fifty Million Frenchmen Can't Be Wrong, Phoebe Brown, Was zu Gott ist zu Gott und was zu leute ist zu leute, Aberystwyth, Glada na lusch, I Love a Lassie and Pussy's in the Well.
posted by Kattullus on Apr 1, 2009 - 22 comments

1,000 Songs Your Must Hear

Those of Love(+), those of Sex(+), those of Hearbreak(+), those of People and Places (+), those of Politics and Protest (+). The Guardian's journalists purloin you with "1,000 Songs You Must Hear". The plus links lead to people's outraged suggestions of those that are missing from each category. Perfect for when 10, 100, 500 or 3,000 are just the wrong numbers.
posted by rongorongo on Mar 18, 2009 - 20 comments

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