396 posts tagged with music by flapjax at midnite.
Displaying 1 through 50 of 396.
The Banjo Bands of Malawi is a video clip featuring three different performances of a certain strain of folk music from the small African nation. Totally raw and homemade instruments are employed in the service of urgent, percussive music (some of it a bit reminiscent of bluegrass) topped off by tight harmony vocals. What's not to like?
If you like unusual musical instruments along the lines of those designed and built by microtonalist Harry Partch, or sound sculpture artist Jean Tinguely, for example, you might want to check out the Anarchestra.
Friends, once again, here is yet more proof that one string is all you need.
Stevenson J. Palfi’s 1982 documentary Piano Players Rarely Ever Play Together (58:19) is a remarkable look at three generations of New Orleans keyboard masters, Isidore “Tuts” Washington, Henry “Professor Longhair” Byrd, and Allen Toussaint.
Today we bid a sad farewell to the last of the old-school Mississippi Hill Country bluesmen: Mr. Robert Belfour was a purveyor or that gritty, driving, riff-based, often one-chord Hill Country style pioneered by people like Mississippi Fred McDowell, and in more recent years popularized by artists like RL Burnside, Junior Kimbrough and Jessie Mae Hemphill. Let's take a listen, then, as we pay our respects to the "Wolfman", to some of his rocking, soulful blues. Here's Black Mattie, I Got My Eyes On You, Hill Stomp, Go Ahead On, My Baby's Gone, Done Got Old and You Got Me Crying. And here's an hour-long recording from February 2013, via NPR: Robert Belfour: Live In Concert.
You say you don't t like jazz? Too much harmonic complexity just winds up making everything sound like scrambled eggs? Well, I've got something gonna make you change your mind. Right here.
Have you heard Noura Mint Seymali? She's a singer from Mauritania, and neither she nor her band pull any punches. Just fire up "Eguetmar", the first track on her album Tzenni, and dig that gritty, undulating electric guitar: Mauritanian through and through, but reminiscent of the blues and/or psychedelic stylings of the 60s, in just the right way. Then there's the beats: drumming so funky and syncopated, but in such a languidly relaxed way, that it harkens back to the way Ziggy Modeliste worked his drum magic with New Orleans funk legends the Meters. And, of course, Noura's voice: a bold, soaring and self-assured force of nature: stunning. Not to mention her masterful playing of the ardine, a 9-string Mauritanian harp providing delicate, spindly showers of notes that shimmer like droplets on a spider web. Please enjoy: Tzenni.
In the early 60s, the Beatles' signature haircuts rapidly became de rigueur for any and all rock bands seeking a crack at the big time. Conformity to the new look became, almost overnight, the norm. One band, though, said later for all that, and went for a truly radical look. That band, of course, was The Eggheads. [more inside]
It's time to say so long to legendary Mardi Gras Indian Big Chief Bo Dollis, who, for many years, led his Wild Magnolias through the streets of the Crescent City. Handa Wanda, Big Chief, Ho Na Nae and Jockomo Jockomo. Oops Upside Your Head [more inside]
LAST OF THE MISSISSIPPI JUKES is Robert Mugge's 86-minute film from 2002, focussing on the juke joint tradition in Mississippi, with special emphasis on Jackson's Subway Lounge and Clarksdale's Ground Zero Blues Club.
The Üçtelli is a small Turkish string instrument that produces a lovely, delicate, chiming sound. Here is an utterly captivating duo performance by Osman Kirca and Ali Ulutaş. Here is another one. Here is a solo by Ali Ulutaş, and a solo by Osman Kirca. Here is a double neck version, played splendidly by Necati Arslan. And finally, one more solo performance from Ali Ulutaş featuring some very closeup camera work on his fingers as he plays his Üçtelli. Enjoy!
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.
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.
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".
Pianist Jon Cleary is not a native New Orleanian (he hails from Cranbrook in Kent, England) but when it comes to the history and practice of New Orleans music, and piano music in particular, hell, you'd think he'd grown up on Basin Street or maybe next door to Tipitina's. You'll see what I mean when you watch this little clip, Jon Cleary - History of New Orleans Piano, and hear this masterful player roll through an exhaustive (and very entertaining) demonstration of the musical styles that the city is renowned and revered for.
Weeping, wailing Japanese politician inspires copycat guitarist to dizzying heights of emotional expression.
You remember how Jimi Hendrix played the guitar behind his back, and with his teeth, and all that, right? And it was some cool stuff, for sure. But he ain't got nothing on the komuz players of Kyrgyzstan. Nuh-uh. They turn that instrument every which way but loose.
It's hard to imagine a cover of Michael Jackson's hit song Billie Jean that could any be more satisfying than this one by the Bottle Boys, who do it on, guess what? Bottles.
The song "Turkey In The Straw" is one known to millions of Americans as well as many, many others around the world. Here's a National Public Radio article that shines some light on the virulently racist lyrics that attended that familiar old melody in its earlier incarnation. WARNING: Do not go to the link if you wish to avoid racist imagery and slurs.
My head just exploded because the the two epic spiraling vortexes of iconic American pop have met and merged and made my head explode and it's exploded. Like a Rolling Sex Machine.
As Michael Jackson couldn’t fluently play any instruments, he would sing and beatbox out how he wanted his songs to sound by himself on tape, layering the vocals, harmonies and rhythm before having instrumentalists come in to complete the songs.
Sometimes nothing satisfies quite like the funky bass lines you hear played on the ghimbri in Moroccan Gnawa music, not to mention the ecstatic singing. And Hamid Kasri is one of the greatest exponents of the music. Check him out here and here . [more inside]
Reggae: The Story Of Jamaican Music, is an excellent BBC Documentary in three parts: 1 - Forward March, 2 - Rebel Music and 3 - As Raw As Ever.
Forty eight, uh-huh, count 'em, FORTY EIGHT Fela records are now available for streaming. Make you hear this one!
Got 57 minutes to spare? Then sit back and let David Garland, host of WNYC's "Spinning On Air" take you on a whirlwind tour (with insightful commentary) of over 50 excerpts from pieces of music that all use a common musical DNA: the Diatonic Phrygian Tetrachord, aka the The Andalusian Cadence, aka the world's most used musical sequence. Check it out.
Fans of classic southern R&B and soul, and I'm talking the Stax variety, should get down on their knee and genuflect toward Norway, and then sing the praises of the BBC down every corner and alleyway of the city of Memphis. Why? Well, for hosting and for documenting a sweaty, burning, solidly funky evening back in 1967: Otis Redding & Friends Stax Volt Revue
The Hausa people of the north of Nigeria like Bollywood films so much that around 20 years ago they started making their own local productions. The films of Kannywood (for Kano, the capital city) feature song and dance - and the incredible music that defines Northern Nigeria: autotuned robotic vocals combined with frenetic drum machine rhythms and intricate, interwoven synths in a hybrid of local styles and Indian influence. Hear a generous sampling of it here.
December 4th, 1928, in a New Orleans park: two boys dance while another plays a homemade drum kit.
Today is Iris DeMent's birthday, and I've been listening to some tunes by this delightfully idiosyncratic singer and songwriter, whose sound harkens back to an earlier era of American music. I thought some of you might enjoy hearing them today as well. Here's Out of the Fire, God May Forgive You (But I Won't), He's Not You, Easy's Gettin' Harder Every Day, Sweet is the Melody, Let the Mystery Be, Our Town (featuring harmony vocal from the wonderful Emmylou Harris), He Reached Down (with Joan Osborne and Bruce Molsky), and finally, here's Iris dueting with John Prine on his hilarious number In Spite of Ourselves.
Phil Everly, one half of the iconic and deeply influential vocal duo the Everly Brothers, has died at age 74. Marked by their sweet, tight harmonies and chopping acoustic guitars, tunes like All I Have To Do Is Dream, Bye Bye Love, Wake Up Little Susie, Cathy's Clown and When Will I Be Loved made an indelible mark on the musical consciousness of America.
Here's forty four minutes and forty four seconds of James Brown: said to be the total of all his appearances on Soul Train.
If you're going to listen to a brass band play a waltz, it might as well be a joyously exuberant one, with a unabashed sense of humor and a firm conviction that notes were made to be bent. Right? Oh, and it might as well be played, by, say, a Texas Czech (yes, a Texas Czech) band. Right? OK then, here's Circling Pigeons Waltz by the Joe Patek Band of Shiner, Texas. [more inside]
You or someone you know, at one time or another, might have taken a blade of grass, positioned it between thumbs or fingers, and made some sound, a note or two, by blowing over it. You can actually do the same with certain other things, like, say, fish scales. But chances are that neither you nor anyone you know can make music like the music Marin Toma of Romania, back in the 1930s, made with a fish scale. I mean, hey, just listen to this.
Let's celebrate the 80th birthday of Afrofunk pioneer Manu DiBango with a few of his groovy tunes, shall we? He made a splash way back in 1972 with a catchy (and rather influential) little number called Soul Makossa. A few years later, in 1982, another DiBango tune, also catchy as hell, might've made it onto a turntable or a dance floor near you: it was called Echos Beti. Aside from these two tunes, there's been lots, lots more from this very prolific Cameroon-born saxophonist, vocalist and bandleader, so I've included... [more inside]
The much-renowned and very influential singer, songwriter and bandleader Tabu Ley Rochereau, the legendary pioneer of soukous, has died. His music was characterized by his sweet, mellow voice, smoothly beautiful and quintessentially African vocal harmonies, and chiming, smooth-as-silk interwoven guitar melodies. Not to mention a steady, infectious beat that kept people moving on dance floors all across Africa for the past five decades. Here is but a small sampling, spanning from his very fruitful, prolific musical career: Mokolo Nakokufa, Muzina, Kaful Mayay, Bania Irene, Mongali... and since the man is said to have written as many as 3000 songs, there's plenty more out there to discover. RIP Tabu Ley Rochereau.
All you Americans know what day it is today, right? Of course you do! It's Hendrix's birthday! Duh. And I'd like to suggest you celebrate by listening to this excellent compilation of various soul and R&B singles that featured Jimi's guitar artistry before the man became the most celebrated guitarist in American music history. JIMI HENDRIX : THE SOUL SESSIONS
The Yellow Dogs was a NYC-based group of young expatriates who fled their native Iran for Williamsburg, Brooklyn in order to freely pursue their dream of playing rock music, saying what they wanted to say, and, well, having fun, which were three things they couldn't do back home. Three members of the band were found murdered today. A sad farewell to The Yellow Dogs. [more inside]
Whether or not all cultural historians agree with the premise that Rom people came to Europe originally from India, or whether or not the portrayals of Rom musicians in the film are always *accurate* or *authentic* ones (some have indicated they're not, or are too heavily draped in over-stylized Exotica), there is surely no denying that the film is a treasure trove of fantastic musical performances. You've probably guessed by now that we're talking about Latcho Drom, which you can see it in its entirety here.
First, you might want to listen to the Beach Boys song Sloop John B, just to refresh your memory. Then a look and listen to the video Behind The Sounds: Sloop John B will give you some nice insight into the recording and arranging process and open a window onto the keen production expertise of a young Brian Wilson, directing a roomful of seasoned session pros (none other than the Wrecking Crew). It's how they used to make records, kids!
Further proof that Pygmy music is some of the most awesome on earth.
Have you heard the music of Tiny Parham? Though not as celebrated a name as some of his early jazz contemporaries like Duke Ellington, Louis Armstrong or King Oliver, Tiny's arrangements were inventive, lively and big fun to listen to, and his bands were full of fine players. Here are three slow to medium tempo numbers selected by The Mainspring Press Record Collectors blog that are a good starting point. Then, if you want to get things jumping a little hotter, try Nervous Tension and Sud Buster's Dream. We'll round it out with Tiny's Stomp. Thanks for the music, big man!