808 State is an English electronic group that formed in 1987, and take their name from the Roland TR-808 drum machine and their shared state of mind. As a trio, they produced their iconic track, Pacific, which fused influences of house music, jazz fusion and exotica. The group changed membership a bit over the years, but one way or another 808 State have released six albums* to date, and a number of singles, EPs, and promotional discs. 808state.com has a ton of information, including an extensive visual discography, a list of other productions and remixes, and over a gig of demos, live tracks, and other non-album audio to download. Given the group's 27 year-long history, there's a lot more to see and hear. [more inside]
Spooky Black is (probably) a white 15-year-old from St. Paul, Minnesota conspicuously rocking a variety of gold chains, du-rags and FUBU and who on first sight may come off as a joke (or worse). Listen to his music, however, and you'll see why he's been referred to as "a motherfucking Internet monster with the voice of an angel." You can listen to his first album (released as "Lil Spook") Black Silk and a second release, Leaving, is dropping on 8.11.14.
YuMex - Yugoslav Mexico is a 45-minute documentary by Miho Mazzini about Yu-Mex, the genre of music comprising Yugoslav interpretations of Mexican music.
[LuckyMe's Claude Speeed] may have labeled this his Summer mix, but it isn’t all sunshine and good times – instead, it’s somewhere between Kanye’s Cruel Summer and Fennesz’s Endless one. 90+ minutes in length, it hypnotizes you with a succession of beatless music by CFCF, Sevendeaths,
Richard Skelton Tim Hecker and Speeed himself… then, at the mix’s climax, the world comes crashing in on you.
Six and a half years ago, the duo of Pocketknife (Skooby Laposky) and Cousin Cole (aka Cousin Culo) released handful of remixes, edits and re-works, compiled under the name Tambourine Dream (Discogs) on their joint Flagrant Fowl label. The label only lasted a few years, and it seems the duo are now operating alone. Cole/Culo is still solidly in remix/rework territory, with self-selected highlights including the moombahton "So Emotional" & volume 2 mixtape/EPs he made with Phi Unit, while Laposky has ventured into a few tributes to Arthur Russell (Russell, previously), in the form of a mix of Russell's tracks, and releasing a recently discovered track (which he remixed as Pocketknife) on his label, Wilde Calm Records, where he also released an album of "piano not piano" house music created solely with a prepared piano and raw drum programming, under the name Boonlorm.
In 1983 a man who called himself Lewis recorded and self-released an album called L'amour. No one much noticed at the time but his album was rediscovered in 2007 and slowly became a cult classic. It was rereleased by Light in the Attic Records earlier this year and has been received very well by the music press. When the record label and other people went looking for the artist, a former stockbroker from Calgary whose real name is Randall Aldon Wulff, they drew a blank. Some think he is deceased but others are looking for him all over Canada. And now another Lewis album from 1985 has been found and rereleased, and apparently he recorded many more. The ethereal quality of the music and the attendant mystery compels people to search within the music for some kind of answer to this riddle of a man. [more inside]
Musician Charles Cohen (previously) hosts a workshop at Berlin's Schneidersladen, demonstrating the use of the rare and recently re-released Buchla Music Easel
[bump worthy] - A vast repository of Adult Swim bumps dating back to 2001, including audio and video downloads, live streaming, and musical artist information for each bump.
Thesis is the latest Long Player by R&B singer and songwriter King avriel. Linked is an interview with her and a soundcloud stream of her new album.
Three-year-old can-can drum. And then some.
What are Bill Clinton's favorite records? The actual answer is immaterial, since you can generate your own with the Bill Clinton Swag Generator.
Nicki Minaj (autoplaying video) is a singer, rapper, songwriter and actress who is known for her outlandish outfits, makeup, and wigs, and gutsy, lyrically skilled rapping. She creates personas or "masks" in her music and videos to communicate her message. Recently, she released an album cover online to promote her new release, Anaconda, and to create buzz. Boy did it. (All links NSFW.) [more inside]
Her Noise - The Making Of (2007) - running time ~60 minutes. The video documents the development of Her Noise between 2001 and 2005 and features interviews with artists including Diamanda Galas, Lydia Lunch, Kim Gordon, Jutta Koether, Peaches, Marina Rosenfeld, Kembra Pfhaler, Chicks On Speed, Else Marie Pade, Kaffe Matthews, Emma Hedditch, Christina Kubisch and the show's curators, Lina Dzuverovic and Anne Hilde Neset. The documentary also features excerpts from live performances held during Her Noise by Kim Gordon, Jutta Koether and Jenny Hoyston (Erase Errata), Christina Carter, Heather Leigh Murray, Ana Da Silva (The Raincoats), Spider And The Webs, Partyline, Marina Rosenfeld's 'Emotional Orchestra' at Tate Modern, and footage compiled for the 'Men in Experimental Music' video made during the development of the Her Noise project by the curators and Kim Gordon, featuring Thurston Moore and Jim O'Rourke. [more inside]
Last week, American doom/stoner metal band Sleep released a single entitled 'The Clarity', their first new recording in over sixteen years, via the 2014 Adult Swim Singles series. [more inside]
"So, my life was not too bad. It was during the period where I was still panhandling daily and doin' good at that due to looking much younger than my eighteen years. It was weeks before I went to jail again and became straight up regular homeless and got all the way sunk into street prostitution and then severe mental illness. It was before the years when I was utterly severed from even one note of music I liked. So, in other words, at that moment, I was somewhat holding it together." (link goes to a magazine article scan). Carla Bozulich (of Evangelista, The Geraldine Fibbers and others) has a heart-rending epiphany in the wire magazine. (via | previously)
Why R.E.M.’s Out of Time Is the Most Politically Significant Album in U.S. History (Hint: It's not the music).
Depending on one's point of view, Orgasm (later reissued as Cave Rock) is either a ridiculously self-indulgent artifact of the '60s counterculture or an underground gem that was way ahead of its time -- and it's probably a little bit of both. The basic idea behind Cromagnon, an obscure East Coast group led by vocalists Austin Grasmere and Brian Elliot, was psychedelic rock combined with the sticks and stones of prehistoric cavemen, as well as with traces of folk-rock; it's a bizarre concept, certainly, but at times, it works. You can hear the whole crazy album on YouTube, or stick with the most song-like track (featuring bagpipes, tribal beats and some sort of scream-singing), Caledonia, seen here with an unofficial video. [more inside]
Korean fashion and design is having a moment, but what is fueling it? It's complicated. Let's explore the K-wave. [more inside]
Slate wants to know if you can name those 70s, 80s, 90s or more recent hits from hearing just the first second of them.
Unlike most murder ballads, The Long Black Veil doesn't retell the story of an actual murder. Danny Dill and Marijohn Wilkin borrowed bits of stories about Valentino and a murdered priest and a Red Foley chorus and crafted their own story in 1959 to create what he hoped would be a folk song for the ages. [more inside]
"Ancora Tu" is an Italian phrase roughly translating to "You Again". It's also the name of a classic 1976 pop song by Lucio Battisti and Mogol. [more inside]
Throwing a theme party? Need some background music whilst checking out your ex's facebook pics? Do you pine for times gone by? Step into the Nostalgia Machine!
Ellen Rumel plays in the band The Nunnery and takes 35mm photographs of the underground music scene in Boise, Idaho.
Alexander Miranda plays in the band Underpass and takes 35mm photographs of the DIY punk scene in Vancouver, British Columbia.
Alexander Miranda plays in the band Underpass and takes 35mm photographs of the DIY punk scene in Vancouver, British Columbia.
Thirty Essential Songs from the Golden Age of Emo Including, of course, and with all sincerity, a late-era Jawbreaker song that opens with a clip of Christopher Walken's monologue from Annie Hall.
Hot on the heels of his mindblowing mashup extravaganza Mouth Sounds (prev. on MeFi), resident internet demiurge Neil Cicierega (also prev.) has released a "prequel" album: MOUTH SILENCE. [more inside]
Here's a song I didn't know existed until summer 2007, when Lemon Jelly's Fred Deakin released an impeccably curated three-CD mix (full 4 hours on Mixcloud). Halfway through the first disc, the music slipped into an easy, loping groove, sunburned and hungover, and a regretful voice offered Otis Blackwell's lonesome lyric: "You know I can be found/ Sitting home all alone …" [Billy Swan's version of "Don't Be Cruel" is] a beautiful record, though, and utterly different from Elvis's 1956 recording. And it opens a fantastic collection of country funk songs, collected and remastered by Zach Cowie of Light in the Attic Records. More sounds below the break. [more inside]
Oorutaichi, an electronic musician from Osaka, “makes drifter music, strung through with expert percussion and electric rays, flowing on a river of magical chants, inspired loops and choruses written in an invented language, undiscovered country left and right.” Oorutaichi has several really, really good animated music videos. [more inside]
What makes folk even heavier, however, is how much harder it has to work. Volume can be a crutch, and the back-to-basics ethic of folk isn’t anti-technology so much as it’s a reconnection to an older source of power. Without amplifiers cranked to 11, bands like Barren Harvest, Blood And Sun, and Musk Ox carry a different kind of weight: a heaviness of subject, a heaviness of scope, and a heaviness of intensity. More than that, they break free of the pseudo-hillbilly preciousness that folk has been reduced to in this post-O Brother, Where Art Thou? century. That contrast alone is both crushing and liberating.
The Case for CDs -- as CD sales continue to plummet, Grantland's Steven Hyden takes a "glass-half-full perspective" on those numbers, discusses format nostalgia, and the five types of albums that justify the continued existence of CDs. [more inside]
Haiku Salut are an English instrumental band who make Yann Tiersen-esque pop. Their current touring show utilises "20 or so vintage lamps which are programmed to flash, flicker and fade in time to the music".
"Weird Al" Yankovic is back with his new album "Mandatory Fun". To help with the launch, he's releasing a video a day for eight straight days starting today with "Tacky", which captures the infectious fun of of Pharrell's "Happy" with a suitably Weird Al twist.
"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]
Weeping, wailing Japanese politician inspires copycat guitarist to dizzying heights of emotional expression.
Jason Singh is a "beatboxer and vocal sculptor" who creates music using only multi-layered recordings of his voice. Watch him perform Tiberian Sun live at Music TechFest, using software to loop and mix samples of breath, beatboxing and vocal techniques. [more inside]
Lana Del Rey: Why a Death-Obsessed Pop Siren Is Perfect for Late-Stage Capitalist America (mirrored at Salon.com)
Lana Del Rey is pushing the envelope, and here's her message, delivered with a languid pout: 21st-century America is a rotting corpse, deadlocked culturally, economically, and politically. Since there's nothing we can do about it, let's enjoy ourselves as the body-politic disintegrates, perhaps by savoring some toothsome bites of the past: candy-colored Super 8 films, juicy jazz tunes and clips of sultry screen sirens. The future is a retrospective.
All of this echoes the ancient danse macabre, the dance of death, the motif that sprang out of the medieval horrors of war and the plague. It's a plea for fevered amusement while you've still got time.
Travel back in TV time to 1985 when Weird Al Yankovic appeared as a musical guest for the first and, tragically, only time on Johnny Carson's Tonight Show. [more inside]
After dropping sweet synthwave tunes for two years, Le Cassette have released their first album "Left to Our Own Devices," available on (of course) cassette tape
Team Teamwork has released Katamari Da-Emcee, a mashup album of the wonderful soundtrack from the 2004 Playstation 2 cult hit Katamari Damacy with various hip-hop songs from artists including Kanye West, 50 Cent, and Big Freedia, the New Orleanian queen of bounce music. [more inside]
In "These Aren't the Droids" Neko Case (previously) and Kelly Hogan (previously) imagine a future designed by teenaged fanboys, and Ellie Kemper plays the unlucky wife of a Stromtrooper. [SLYT] [more inside]
NPR's Bob Boilen (host of All Songs Considered): "People ask me all the time to name my favorite Tiny Desk Concert. It's my desk and I've seen almost all of the nearly 400 concerts up close. So you'd think this would be easy. Moon Hooch have made it a lot easier." (video) [more inside]
Fans of history, mythology, language, and music: allow Metsatöll's Lauri Õunapuu to present his arsenal of traditional Estonian instruments. Then continue below the fold for an introduction to the world of folk metal. [more inside]
A Piece of Monologue is a treasure trove of modern, contemporary, and avant-garde expression in literature, philosophy, art, design, painting, music, theater, and more. A smattering of insides: Flannery O'Connor on Ayn Rand. An online guide to the life and work of Samuel Beckett. Twin Peaks Behind the Scenes Photographs. Rare photographs of John Coltrane. And wow.