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How does Shazam recognize music? Christophe Kalenzaga sifts through an old research paper (pdf) by Shazam's founder and conducts a short (written) course in signal processing, acoustics, Fourier transformations, and fingerprinting music. [more inside]
posted by jquinby on Jul 17, 2015 - 13 comments

Star Wars: Wilco Edition

Wilco have released a new album called "Star Wars", featuring 11 new original songs, free for a limited time on their website.
posted by anazgnos on Jul 16, 2015 - 37 comments

Crank That

The Influencer: A Decade of Soulja Boy
posted by edeezy on Jul 16, 2015 - 13 comments

“Ordered lists of songs are as old as radio itself.”

At Pitchfork, Marc Hogan has put together a long read on “how playlists are curating the future of music.”. He speaks to various folks in positions of power at the different services, including former Pitchfork editor-in-chief Scott Plagenhoef (now running music programming and editorial across Apple Music) and former Pitchfork associate editor Jessica Suarez (now lead streaming editor at Google).
posted by Going To Maine on Jul 16, 2015 - 24 comments

Funky Israeli (sampled) hip-hop from Socalled, Alchemist, and friends

Not since (Socalled's) The Socalled Seder has Hebrew and hip-hop been so thrillingly merged. In his signature funky collage style, Alchemist layers drum brakes, with various warped and looped vintage Israeli records. On “Shalom Alechem,” a pitched up vocal recording of the Sabbath song refrains over a hard, 90s style boom-bap beat, spiced up with intermittent “check it out”s from the voice of an unidentified hype-man. It's awesome.
From Shalom Life's review of The Alchemist's new instrumental album, Israeli Salad. The review also notes that this is similar to Alchemist’s 2012 album Russian Roulette, which uses 1970's Soviet music as its main source material.
posted by filthy light thief on Jul 16, 2015 - 10 comments

Auriculis midae non musica gratior ulla est

Cat Pianos, Sound-Houses, and Other Imaginary Musical Instruments "One might suppose that imaginary musical instruments, deprived of physical reality, have no place in the cultural histories and heritages that a museum of musical instruments aims to illuminate and preserve. Yet in their own strange ways, imaginary musical instruments exist. What’s more, they have not merely shadowed or paralleled musical life; they have formed a vital part of it, participating in ways that show the fragility of the distinction between imaginary and real."
posted by frimble on Jul 16, 2015 - 8 comments

One true religion. All we need is one worldwide vision.

Slovenian band Laibach, known for their ambiguous martial pop reworkings of Europe's The Final Countdown, Queen's One Vision, and Edwin Starr's War, to name but three (along with the many original tracks you hear over the course of their live set), are due to be the the first foreign band to play North Korea. [more inside]
posted by iivix on Jul 16, 2015 - 43 comments

The Thunder From Down Under

Starting in the late 70s and throughout the 80s, Australian Rock strode the earth like a tiny, screaming colossus. Whether Hard Rock (drummer convicted of death threats), Pop Rock (lead singer dead from autoerotic aspyxiation), Pub Rock (lead singer's kids no longer forced to play), or what we'd now call Indie (they broke up, get over it) the 80s was the high water mark in Aus/NZ music history.Then the nineties and naughties ushered in an ero of reality-TV driven drivel... [more inside]
posted by Neale on Jul 15, 2015 - 80 comments

Left and Leaving

The Weakerthans were a perfect Sunday afternoon in a particularly difficult year that made you feel like everything might be better soon. And now they’re gone. [more inside]
posted by lownote on Jul 15, 2015 - 79 comments

Beethoven's Seventh Symphony

Carlos Kleiber conducts the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra in Beethoven's Seventh Symphony. Second movement. Third movement. Fourth movement. Christopher H. Gibbs of the Philadelphia Orchestra writes about the piece for NPR. Classical Notes discusses the piece in detail. [more inside]
posted by Rustic Etruscan on Jul 15, 2015 - 19 comments

This site was inspired by the opening of Contact

Radio broadcasts leave Earth at the speed of light. Scroll away from Earth and hear how far the biggest hits of the past have travelled. The farther away you get, the longer the waves take to travel there—and the older the music you’ll hear.
posted by frimble on Jul 15, 2015 - 36 comments

It’s the anti-‘I Kissed a Girl,’ which is a good thing.

"Lovato's song, on the other hand, is all about desire. She wants the girl because she wants the girl. Her perspective is that of a newbie, but that doesn’t make her a tourist; when she says 'Even if they judge / Fuck it,' she's going through the same process most every queer person has had to go through. Mostly, though, the song is about pop music's favorite topic: being attracted to someone hot." Demi Lovato's 'Cool for the Summer': The Next Great Gay Anthem?, Spencer Kornhaber for The Atlantic [more inside]
posted by joseph conrad is fully awesome on Jul 14, 2015 - 36 comments

"The morning Jeff Goldblum came over and we sang at my piano."

Sarah Silverman and Jeff Goldblum sing "Me & My Shadow" (Note: Quite adorable, but also shot vertically. You've been warned).
posted by AlonzoMosleyFBI on Jul 14, 2015 - 42 comments

“What was thrown off the bridge really isn’t that important.”

It was the third of June, another sleepy, dusty Delta day
I was out choppin’ cotton, and my brother was balin’ hay
And at dinner time we stopped and walked back to the house to eat
And mama hollered out the back door, “Y’all, remember to wipe your feet!”
And then she said, “I got some news this mornin’ from Choctaw Ridge
Today, Billy Joe MacAllister jumped off the Tallahatchie Bridge.”
(Movie trailer, previously, previouslier) [more inside]
posted by Going To Maine on Jul 14, 2015 - 90 comments

I Could Hear the Hearts Beating Us Down

Yo La Tengo covers The Cure's "Friday I'm in Love" to apocalyptic results.
posted by item on Jul 14, 2015 - 81 comments

"He was a medical doctor, but he wrote songs."

Ben Bullington was a small-town doctor in Livingston, Montana, who wrote and recorded country/Americana music in his spare time. In November of 2012 he was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer, and decided to start crossing things off his bucket list. One of those things was doing a songwriting workshop in Nashville, and that brought him into the orbit of the great Darrell Scott. [more inside]
posted by jbickers on Jul 12, 2015 - 6 comments


Megasoid started in the winter of 2006/2007 as a Montreal-based mobile soundsystem making aggressive street-bass and remix music. For the following 3 years Vaughn Robert Squire and Hadji Bakara spent their time playing their music out of vans, throwing amps in basements for live sets, lugging modular synths to rooftops of hotels, and setting up big PAs under bridges and at after-hours spots [more inside]
posted by Going To Maine on Jul 10, 2015 - 6 comments

"Solar winds were my starting point"

Pluto, the Renewer is a short orchestral piece by English composer Colin Matthews, commissioned by the Hallé Orchestra as an addition to Gustav Holst's suite, The Planets. Program notes by the composer. Matthews commented on the piece, and Pluto's place, in an NPR interview a few years ago. The BBC's Discovering Music gives a good discussion of Holst's original suite (which you can listen to here).
posted by Wolfdog on Jul 9, 2015 - 11 comments

Jackie Fox, Kim Fowley, and the Runaways' Secret

In The Lost Girls , the Runaways' Jackie Fox tells for the first time of being raped by their Svengali-like manager Kim Fowley. The lengthy article also goes into the extreme power dynamics at play in the band's inner circle. [more inside]
posted by item on Jul 9, 2015 - 49 comments

My friends all drive Porsches, I must make amends...

The Story Behind Janis Joplin’s ‘Mercedes Benz’
posted by flapjax at midnite on Jul 8, 2015 - 36 comments

Moisture-wicking, four-way stretch, and anti-odor

Violinist Kevin Yu has invented a high-tech tux shirt. The Coregami Gershwin incorporates athletic wear principles and technology to bring symphonic musicians' formal wear into the 21st century.
posted by Faint of Butt on Jul 8, 2015 - 37 comments

The Kids Are Alright

Contrary to the fears of our parents, teachers, and pastors, 80s metalheads did not grow up to be drug and booze addled Satan worshipers.
posted by COD on Jul 8, 2015 - 28 comments

Mozart's 40th Symphony

Nikolaus Harnoncourt conducts the Chamber Orchestra of Europe in Mozart's 40th Symphony. Second movement. Third movement. Fourth movement. The famous chromatic bit at the start of the development of the fourth movement. Program notes written for a performance of the piece by Redwood Symphony. [more inside]
posted by Rustic Etruscan on Jul 7, 2015 - 6 comments

"People in 2015 shouldn't be able to get away with things like this ..."

There was a thought that there weren’t enough bands with guitars that were exciting in the same way as the bands we cared about so we had the thought let’s try and do it better ourselves ... What I wanted that was something post-punk or whatever you want to call it but with songs. There was a while there where I wasn’t hearing any songs.
Formed in 2013, North London band Desperate Journalist take their name from an obscure 1979 beef between The Cure and the NME's Paul Morley. Together, they make jangly, intense indie pop, redolent of faded seaside resorts, cramped book-filled bedsits, and English winter chill. Their debut album, Desperate Journalist [Spotify], appeared earlier this year. [Youtube.] [more inside]
posted by Sonny Jim on Jul 7, 2015 - 21 comments

Double time swing

Comparison between a scene in the film Whiplash and the short film it was based on(MLYT) (NSFW) [more inside]
posted by fearfulsymmetry on Jul 7, 2015 - 3 comments

Best album ever. 8/10.

The editor of the 63-year old weekly music magazine announces a new direction for Britain's flagship music publication. Following the trend of shrinking sales across all printed media (from a peak of over 300'000 issues sold weekly to barely staying above 15'000 last year), the NME will continue as a free "music and lifestyle" magazine and a new, revamped web presence. [more inside]
posted by lmfsilva on Jul 7, 2015 - 39 comments

Brahms's First Symphony

Leonard Bernstein conducts the Vienna Philharmonic in Johannes Brahms's First Symphony. Second movement. Third movement. Fourth movement. Listening guide to a Bernstein performance with the Vienna Philharmonic from 1983, two years after this one. Tom Service writes about the piece in The Guardian. [more inside]
posted by Rustic Etruscan on Jul 6, 2015 - 16 comments

INXS' Kick covered in day-long session by Beck and friends. [SLYT]

The purpose of the project is to cover an entire album by another artist in one day, using an informal and fluid collective of musicians. "Joining in this time we had three of my favorite bands— Liars, Annie Clark and Daniel Hart from St. Vincent, Sergio Dias from the legendary Brazilian band Os Mutantes, as well as RC veteran Brian Lebarton, just back from the Charlotte Gainsbourg tour. The record covered this time was 1987 blockbuster 'Kick' by INXS. The record was chosen by fellow Aussie, Angus from the Liars. It was recorded in a little over 12 hours on March 3rd, 2010. It was an intense, hilarious, daunting and completely fun undertaking. Thanks to everybody for being there and putting so much into it. Many classic moments, inspired performances and occasional anarchy." -Beck Hansen
posted by slacy on Jul 6, 2015 - 27 comments

Flippin' the Bird

Sure, musical fundamentals are important, but there's also a place for techniques that look cool. Peter Forrest explains Three Tricks for Ukulele Showboating. [more inside]
posted by Shmuel510 on Jul 5, 2015 - 9 comments

Dvorak's Ninth Symphony ("From the New World")

Leonard Bernstein conducts the New York Philharmonic in Antonin Dvorak's Ninth Symphony ("From the New World"). Second movement. Third movement. Fourth movement. Bernstein talks about the piece for a Book of the Month Club "appreciation record." Tom Service writes about it in the Guardian. [more inside]
posted by Rustic Etruscan on Jul 5, 2015 - 8 comments

Mahler's 5th Symphony

Leonard Bernstein conducts the Vienna Philharmonic in Mahler's Fifth Symphony. Starting from the second, third, fourth, and fifth movements. [more inside]
posted by Rustic Etruscan on Jul 4, 2015 - 19 comments

Freedom Hawk keeping 1970 alive and rockin'

Emanating from the barrier dunes of Virginia, Freedom Hawk’s heavy riffs, rolling groove, and soulful guitar melodies to produce a sound that is distinctly their own. The trio’s brand of heavy rock capitalizes on the best of the heavy ‘70s, but presents a fuzzy take that’s modern and based around quality songwriting rather than style-over-substance retro posturing. for me... Sabbath meets early KISS another track here
posted by bobdow on Jul 3, 2015 - 12 comments

The Children Came Back

BriggsGE, aka Adam Briggs, from a town called Shepparton, just dropped his latest track The Children Came Back featuring occasional collaborator Gurrumul, and Dewayne Everettsmith. It's not just a track though, it's an homage to Archie Roach's They Took the Children Away, in and of itself about The Stolen Generation. It features, amongst others, Samara Muir . It namedrops some of the best and brightest, and makes it clear - always was, always will be, Aboriginal land and this struggle is not over.
posted by geek anachronism on Jul 2, 2015 - 5 comments

Nicole catches a body beatboxing

Nicole battles her dad in beatboxing. He disputes the outcome of the first battle, so Nicole leaves no doubt in his mind after the second one. [more inside]
posted by cashman on Jul 2, 2015 - 38 comments

I Guess My Corpse Is a Swan Now: Weird Folk Education

Annotated for your pleasure, these Weird Folk Song Premises are very educational. Some plots are wonderfully bizarre, sung in lost languages - others have familiar echoes that you’ll pick up later in your favorite stories. Eight female trad/folk singers explain how to address life’s great challenges, such as getting your fairy boyfriend to commit, the best ways to make harps out of body parts, and under what contexts it’s cool to eat a dead dude.
posted by sciatrix on Jul 2, 2015 - 14 comments

Motherfucking warrior that likes to eat cake

That's right, celebrate that "Muffintop" [more inside]
posted by Brandon Blatcher on Jul 1, 2015 - 23 comments

"I am convinced now that 1954 is not just a year - it is an army"

I mean, sure, she’s got a major label record deal, is one of only a handful of black women to run her own record label, is one of the most critically acclaimed artists working, and is making a good living while making art according to her own vision and nobody else’s, but her best-performing album only hit #5 in the charts, so obviously she’s doing something wrong. And looking at her work and her career, I think I know what her problem is: she’s never had a white male science fiction fan whose only credentials for writing about music are having co-authored a book about They Might Be Giants write a detailed guide to her work.
Philip Sandifer writes A Short Guide to Janelle Monáe and the Metropolis Saga.
posted by MartinWisse on Jul 1, 2015 - 15 comments

Smooth Music Jesus made me do this

An oral history of Yacht Rock. [more inside]
posted by Iridic on Jul 1, 2015 - 26 comments

Powerful And Triumphant And Lonely All At The Same Time

“Happy people don’t need you to say you understand. As an artist I don’t have much to say to happy people. And that works out great because they’re busy being content. For the rest of us, coming to terms with rejection, failure, death, and the fragility of love is very important. Some people are self-conscious about these things and maybe they don’t want to talk about them, but sometimes it just feels good to know you’re not alone. Books and music do this better than possibly anything else."
Author Joe Bonomo explores the sadness, yearning, and warmth of the music of Greg Cartwright. [more inside]
posted by Turkey Glue on Jun 30, 2015 - 5 comments

The Millennial Depeche Mode?

The New Division has a new album... Gemini. It's very New Wave 3.0 you can stream it here John Kunkel began writing new wave/synth pop songs in 2005 while attending California Baptist University in Riverside, California, heavily inspired by bands such as New Order and Depeche Mode. Over the next few years, the New Division began to develop into a full band, with Michael Janz and Mark Michalski joining Kunkel on synthesizer, and Brock Woolsey contributing guitar. The group gigged heavily around Riverside, developing its modern take on '80s-inspired sounds, and began digitally self-releasing singles and EPs in 2010. start here: Introspection a little darker here: Alive
posted by bobdow on Jun 30, 2015 - 11 comments

He's My Guy

Mighty Mouth Records has just released Volume 2 of The Best of Laurice. Vol. 1 was described as "70's rock meets mainstream British pop in an explosive style fusion of pre-punk, glam, psychedelic and gay themed musical gems." Featuring such catchy titles as "I'm Gonna Smash Your Face In" (as Grudge) and "Flying Saucers Have Landed." From MMR: "Recorded in the early to mid-70's at various studios in London, UK, these tracks, many previously unreleased, demonstrate the versatility and originality of a singer-songwriter who challenged society's rules ..." Vol 2 still available on vinyl. Both also on achem Spotify. Enjoy.
posted by zbsachs on Jun 30, 2015 - 2 comments

"Why did I write so much about this shit. Who cares. Enjoy!"

Giant 800-track alt/indie-focused 90's playlist in chronological order "This is a behemoth of a playlist I put together, focusing primarily (but not exclusively) on the alt/indie/college side of the 90's experience. It's 800+ tracks, about 55 hours, and features plenty of songs that tend to get overlooked in the "remember these 90's hits?" pieces that pop up from time to time. Not definitive by any means, and extremely subjective, but it's a decent chunk of curated history in one convenient place. Also it's a fully chronological playlist, on a week-by-week level. So a track released on May 7, 1994 will come before a track released on May 14, 1994. Time and research went into this. Think of it as the Boyhood of 90's playlists!" (From Mefi's own naju, via MetaFilter Projects.)
posted by joseph conrad is fully awesome on Jun 28, 2015 - 96 comments

A T O M I C !

Top Of The Pops - The Story 0f 1980 [SLYT]
posted by joseph conrad is fully awesome on Jun 27, 2015 - 30 comments

Weird weekend music: Björk x TRI▼ANGLE Records; Nicolas Jaar variations

Björk has been getting involved with TRI▼ANGLE Records a good bit, after The Haxan Cloak, a notable inclusion on the Tri Angle roster, was involved making Vulnicura, as well as producing a new remix. Back in February, Björk represented Tri Angle on Rinse FM with Holy Other and Celestial Trax, and then in May, she dropped in on Tri Angle's 5th Anniversary/Birthday Party to mix for an hour, and uploaded that set to Soundcloud (if you prefer YouTube, someone uploaded the set in four parts: 1, 2, 3, 4 - set to repeating video recorded from the show). If you'd like some more weirdness for your weekend, Nicolas Jaar recently shared a new, non-syncing version of Pomegranates (previously) as a free download linked through Facebook and Twitter, reposted by Factmag, where you can read some of the extensive liner notes before downloading the file.
posted by filthy light thief on Jun 26, 2015 - 8 comments

"This is free. I want the poorest children to take part in this."

In Paraguay, there is a special place named Catuera. It is remarkable for several reason, first is that it is the main trash dumping area for the country. The second is that there are about 10,000 people living there, making a living scavenging and reselling parts that they find. Third, they have an amazing orchestra. [more inside]
posted by quin on Jun 25, 2015 - 12 comments

"I have one, yes. Does it go 185? Duh!"

"One of the most terrifying things that ever happened to me is that Keith Moon decided he liked me." Life's Been Good, the Spoken Word Version, by Joe Walsh (SLYT)
posted by bondcliff on Jun 25, 2015 - 29 comments

Prince Charming in Germany, Hamlet in Denmark, & DJ Chancellor in Heaven

Traumprinz, Prince of Denmark, and DJ Metatron are three pseudonyms used by the most prolific artist on the esteemed, niche record label Giegling, which specializes in vinyl-only releases of melancholic deep house, tech house, and dub techno. In addition to singles, Traumprinz has released a number of free mixes of mostly original compositions that epitomize the Giegling sound and are a perfect accompaniment to your day if you things downtempo, melodic, and chill-outable: [more inside]
posted by Going To Maine on Jun 24, 2015 - 6 comments

“I miss home before I even leave.”

EL-P of Run The Jewels Interview With Mark Kozelek [Interview took place March 14, 2015]
posted by Fizz on Jun 24, 2015 - 10 comments

“It is an artist's duty to reflect the times.”

What Happened, Miss Simone? [YouTube] [Trailer] Helmed by Oscar-nominated director Liz Garbus (Bobby Fischer Against the World, Killing in the Name), the fully authorized doc incorporates concert footage, archival material, and interviews taking place over three decades. The movie will be available on Netflix June 26. [more inside]
posted by Fizz on Jun 23, 2015 - 15 comments

A note from our future President

About seven months after pulling her music from Spotify due to low royalties (previously), Taylor Swift posted a note to her Tumblr asking Apple to pay royalties for songs streamed during the free trial of its upcoming Apple Music service. Within 24 hours, Apple agreed.
posted by almostmanda on Jun 23, 2015 - 198 comments

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