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]
"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)
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:
- This is not… DJ Metatron (2015)
- Traumprinz Live at Sender Geibel (2014), Resident Advisor Podcast #387 (“I like the idea of sehnsuchtsorte, a desirable place that only exists in our fantasy,” 2013), This is not… Traumprinz (2012)
- Prince of Denmark Live at Planet Uterus (2014), Little White Earbuds Podcast #152 (2014), Smoke Machine Podcast #90 (2013), and This is not… Prince of Denmark (2012).
EL-P of Run The Jewels Interview With Mark Kozelek [Interview took place March 14, 2015]
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]
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.
Academy Award-winning composer James Horner died in a plane crash Monday. He was known for the scores to Titanic (the soundtrack for which sold 27 million copies), Braveheart, Apollo 13, and A Beautiful Mind among many others. [more inside]
After reading about the DJ-Kicks series earlier tonight I thought it would be appropriate to talk about a related series: Late Night Tales and its predecessor Another Late Night. [more inside]
The DJ-Kicks series was born in Berlin in 1995, and lays claim to the title of the first officially licensed DJ mix series available commercially. In the 20 years since it started, the series has covered house and techno, drum'n'bass and downtempo, and genres without convenient names, put together by musical monuments like Carl Craig, Thievery Corporation, and Four Tet to relative newcomers like Gold Panda and Maya Jane Coles. Besides the expected DJs and producers, the series also includes Daddy G (of Massive Attack) in a rare solo effort, pulling out unreleased dubplates for his mix, and Erlend Øye (of Kings of Convenience and The Whitest Boy Alive) providing his own a capella additions to the mix. For the 50th release, the series comes back to Germany with DJ Koze, bringing you his version of a "modern party mix." That's a lot of words about music, so let's hear it already! [more inside]
"I found this song I started working on last year before I started hormones, and I decided to sing a duet with my Pre T self." [more inside]
SNUB-TV was an alternative music TV show that began life in 1987 as part of Night Flight on the USA Network. It was subsequently picked up by the BBC, and ran for three seasons (1989-91) as part of Janet Street-Porter’s DEF II ‘Youth TV’ strand. A diligent YouTube user has compiled a playlist of 64 SNUB-TV clips, featuring artists such as The Cure, The Sugarcubes, Fugazi, The Cramps, The Stone Roses, Ride, Sonic Youth, The Breeders, Primal Scream, The Butthole Surfers among many others. Marvel at the strange haircuts and peculiar music from this faraway time… [more inside]
Taking on the dreamy, compelling sound of the lost soul decades is a damn high bar to set for yourself. Soul revivalists usually don’t get very far in my book, because what’s the point of competing with the likes of Sam Cooke and Otis Redding? Listening to Leon Bridges made me do a 180 on that stance. See, if you actually can hold a candle to legends like Cooke and Redding — and Bridges can — then there’s no reason not to indulge in some nostalgia.NPR has a first listen of Coming Home, Bridges' debut album, and you can see and hear plenty more of him on YouTube, from a live cover of Cooke's "Nothing Can Change This Love" to a solo performance of "Lisa Sawyer," a reflective song about his mother. [more inside]
All of these stories referred to VNYL in some capacity as “Netflix for vinyl.” Consequence Of Sound did a video interview with VNYL’s founder, Nick Alt, who referred to his service as being like “old-school Netflix.” The idea was that VNYL’s staff would hand-curate a selection of three records for each subscriber (for a fee of $24 per month), and mail out those records to those subscribers, who would have no idea what musical selections they might receive. Then, subscribers would be allowed to keep those records as long as they wanted and return them at any time, at which point, VNYL’s staff would send out a new batch of hand-curated records to that subscriber (...) None of these stories, however, mentioned an element of U.S. copyright law called the first-sale doctrine — specifically section §109(b), popularly known as the Record Rental Amendment Of 1984, which makes it illegal to rent records.--The comic failings of a Kickstarter project that promised a “Netflix for vinyl.”
The LiederNet Archive is the world's largest reference archive of texts and translations of art songs and choral works, currently cataloguing 135,129 vocal pieces and 25,078 translations. [more inside]
Ottawa, June 1990. Alanis, 16, licence in hand, car on the brain, has signed her first record deal. She is now using her MCA money to buy a white Volkswagen Cabriolet. There’s a catch, though. She can’t get the vanity plate she wants, her manager won’t let her. “Why not?” she whines. “First of all, you’re 16,” Klovan says, “and you’re Canada’s pop princess.” So when Alanis drives to the studio, her virgin-coloured “Barbie” car displays a generic mix of numbers and letters instead of singing out the one word she wants it to: RAUNCH.--Alanis Morissette, before the making of Jagged Little Pill.
Ornette Coleman has died at 85. Free Jazz. Lonely Woman, from "The Shape of Jazz to Come". What Reason Could I Give?. Skies of America, with the London Symphony Orchestra. Gunther Schuller interviews Coleman; Ethan Iverson on Coleman.
As part of their "1995 Week", AV Club has published a special edition of their Expert Witness series focused on the late Columbia House (previously) and their inner workings: Four Columbia House insiders explain the shady math behind “8 CDs for a penny”.
In 2011 they made Patti Smith cry with their rendition of “Dancing Barefoot”, in 2012 they got a standing ovation from Paul Simon for their version of “America”. Yesterday sisters Klara and Johanna Söderberg, aka First Aid Kit (previously), was back at the Polar Music Prize ceremony, performing "Red Dirt Girl" by this year’s laureate Emmylou Harris. [more inside]
"So last week, when country radio promoter Keith Hill controversially suggested that stations should stop playing songs by female artists, it’s easy to label his actions another example of misogynistic, conservative politics.The Conversation's Clifford Murphy, on why [country radio promoter] Keith Hill’s comments about women in country music cut far deeper than misogyny [more inside]
However, Hill’s comments are actually indicative of something much bigger and far more troubling: the consolidation of an entire genre of music, and the type of environment this can create. In the case of country, it’s allowed for the repurposing of the genre’s history, and the exclusion of certain individuals."
Weird Copcept Album is, as the title clearly indicates, a concept album concerning two Chicago cops who quit the force to realize their dreams of being rappers, using beats that sample the music of "Weird" Al Yankovic. It also comes in a SFW version. [more inside]
The Dø - Despair, Hangover & Ecstasy is a fun video from this Finnish-French outfit that evokes angsty 80s movie mandancing around a passenger jet. Here's some more of the The Dø
"Gosh" - music by Jamie xx, something of an homage to early 1990s UK club culture, with visuals of a slowly terraformed Mars by Erik Wernquist, who was seen on MetaFilter before for "Wanderers," a similarly gorgeous, realistic film of space exploration.
Deavid Soul ("The Avid Soul") aka "Rich & Famous" are a Japanese duo who make house/disco/funk and, more recently, world music. You may remember them from such Dreamcast darlings as Jet Set Radio and Jet "Grind" Radio. Their style is an instantly recognizable mix of 90s house and classic disco with copious samples from hip hop, disco, R&B, reggae and 80s/70s film. For their latest album, they've collaborated with Exotic Light Orchestra to add a Latin American fusion sound to their already eclectic aural soup. They're real good. [more inside]
Too many films are blighted by lacklustre music - Ennio Morricone Ennio Morricone, 88, asserts that contemporary soundtracks are ruined by "amateur" composers and "synthesized" sounds. Is this just attention-grabbing comments for his upcoming tour, old-school vs. new wave, grumpy curmudgeon on the porch ranting? Or does the OST for Mad Max: Fury Road suck? [more inside]
Now that Tidal has given us a CD quality streaming service, NPR Music Editor Jacob Ganz and some co-workers have put together a quiz to help figure out if it's worth paying for: How Well Can You Hear Audio Quality? (Tidal has its own test, if you want something different.) "Danceable cables" come from an old Gizmodo review.
This weekend, the seminal Beijing band Chui Wan will launch their (self-titled) second album after an extensive U.S tour. Their new single, The Sound of Wilderness, debuted on NPR last week - quite possibly a milestone for the Chinese indie scene. The album's highlights include the seven-minute closer "Beijing is Sinking", a swirling, chaotic song about staying afloat in a torrent of change. An apt metaphor, perhaps, for all the musicians in Beijing's fiercely iconoclastic indie underground. Initial reviews for the album are buoyant. It's seen as a coming-of-age moment for the band, for its influential record label Maybe Mars, and perhaps even for the small, vibrant Beijing indie community. So let's turn back the clock to the early 2000s, to post-SARS Beijing, and see how we got here. [more inside]
Jean Ritchie, largely responsible for the revival/survival of traditional ballads and mountain dulcimer as living folk arts in the United States, tradition-bearer of Appalachian culture, national treasure, has passed away at the age of 92. [more inside]
"As principal oboe, your lack of musicality is shocking and destructive to our orchestra" The Buffalo Philharmonic fired principle oboist Pierre Roy in 2012. He filed a petition with the State Supreme Court, and the case has moved on to federal court. The Buffalo News covers the suit, and the fights within the woodwinds section. [more inside]
Funky town - Lipps Inc 1980 [SLYT]
Most people are aware of the (troublesome) official and unofficial drink sponsorship for alcoholic drinks in pop music of all sorts (see also: St. Ides ads by early 1990s rappers), but there are also (un)official cross marketing efforts in sodas. Coca-Cola is probably the most prominent on and prolific on the official side, who have even sponsored a series of "Coke DJ-Culture" singles and mixes a decade back from some significantly large names in electronic/dance and hip-hop circles. Now add to the mix "Doctor Pepper," a song by Diplo with South Korean superstar CL, Mad Decent’s own RiFF RAFF and Atlanta’s OG Maco. It was a quick song thrown together by CL and built from there, not (yet) the official summer anthem for Dr. Pepper.
‘Tired of pre-conceptions around African music, Mbongwana Star are creating their own identity, fusing traditional Congolese rhythms with post punk and electronics inspired by life in the townships around them, “making magic out garbage”’—some tracks on YouTube: Malukayi (ft. Konono No. 1); Shégué; Nganshe; Kala. You can listen to their debut album From Kinshasa in full on Soundcloud (some reviews 1, 2, 3). [more inside]
Tell Me Do You Miss Me - A Film About Luna is a strangely fascinating 2006 documentary about the indie band's 2005 farewell tour. It often seems more like a vacation souvenir home video than a documentary, surprisingly intimate and personal, with obvious affection, tension and rehashing of old arguments between band founder Dean Wareham and guitar player Sean Eden. Surprisingly open and honest, it's a slice of life we rarely get to see, we're so used to tour films being about really famous bands, not smaller bands who may be able to make a living from their music, but who are only going to make money on tour if they sell enough merchandise (that gets lost by the airline). Really worth a watch, and available in its entirety on YouTube. [more inside]
Men Who Rock II: Not Only Are These Six Up-and-Coming Male Seattle Musicians Hot, They Also Know How to Play Their Instruments! [more inside]
Thirty years ago this month, Dire Straits released their fifth album, Brothers in Arms... For the first time, an album sold more on compact disc than on vinyl and passed the 1m mark. How the compact disc lost its shine - the rise and fall of the CD
Something about this country – the divisions, the class system, the general sense of distrust and dissatisfaction – seems to breed youth subcultures like no other place on Earth. The strange, stylish clans that this island incubates have been exported across the world, influencing everything from high street fashion to high art. From teddy boys to 2 Tone rudeboys, soulboys to Slipknot fans, grunge bands to grime crews, mods to mod revivalists, the history of these groups shows us a version of modern Britain that goes way beyond Diana and Blair.[more inside]
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.
Space Weird Thing Space Oddity redone, Up Goer Five style
Hayao Miyazaki's - On Your Mark "In 1994, Hayao Miyazaki took a break from writing the script for Princess Mononoke to work on this music video from Japnese pop duo Chage & Aska" [via]
"The record store, the guitar shop, and now social media: when it comes to popular music, these places become stages for the display of male prowess. Female expertise, when it appears, is repeatedly dismissed as fraudulent. Every woman who has ever ventured an opinion on popular music could give you some variation (or a hundred) on my school corridor run-in, and becoming a recognized 'expert' (a musician, a critic) will not save you from accusations of fakery." The World Needs Female Rock Critics, by Anwen Crawford for the New Yorker. Discussed in the piece is Jessica Hopper's new collection of essays, The First Collection of Criticism by a Living Female Rock Critic, which has been greeted with glowing praise. Here's an interview she did with Hazlitt: 'Am I Womansplaining To You?' And here she speaks to Meredith Graves of Perfect Pussy: "Being a fangirl is all the qualification you need. And don't wait for anyone to give you permission. They won't. And you should do it anyways." [more inside]
Bob Dylan sang The Night We Called It a Day on David Letterman's next-to-last Late Show episode. This was the third time he appeared on Letterman show. He played at the 10th Anniversary show in 1992 backed by an all-star band assembled by Dylan fan Paul Shaffer. But perhaps the most significant was in 1984, when Dylan's star was at a low ebb. He played three songs accompanied by LA Latino punk band The Plugz, Don't Stop Talking (Sonny Boy Williamson cover), and two tracks off Dylan's album Infidels, License to Kill and Jokerman. Two videos from the rehearsal also exist, featuring songs Treat Her Right (Roy Head cover) and I Once Knew a Man, which is probably a Dylan original, but nobody knows for sure. New York Magazine's Vulture blog interviewed The Plugz and told the story of the performance.
Sony's 2011 contract with Spotify has leaked. The Verge's calculations have Sony making a pretty sizable sum off the deal, without much of it trickling down to artists. Meanwhile, Sony has begun pulling all of its artists' music from Soundcloud. [more inside]