First Disclosure & Sam Smith covered Drake's latest hit Hotline Bling. Now we may have the definitive interpretation by Erykah Badu [more inside]
After the triumph of OK Computer, Radiohead fell into a creative tailspin -- and frontman Thom Yorke into a nervous breakdown. Exhausted from touring, hounded by press, and jaded by copycats, he escaped into the electronica scene pioneered by Kraftwerk and Warp Records -- fertile ground, the band discovered. Trading spacey rock for apocalyptic brooding, they teased their new sound not with singles or music videos but with innovative web streaming and cryptic, dreamlike "blips" -- winterlands, flocks of cubes, eyeballs, bears. After nearly breaking up over tracklist angst, they cut the kid in half. Thus fifteen years ago today, Kid A and (later) Amnesiac debuted, a confounding mix of electronic fugue, whalesong, pulsing IDM, drunken piano, and epic jazz funeral whose insights into anxiety, political dysfunction, and climate crisis would make it one of the most revered albums of the twenty-first century. See the documentary Reflections on Kid A for interviews and live cuts, or look inside for much more. [more inside]
It's Sandstorm all the way down: accordion quintet, toy trumpet, Minecraft, floppy drives, kazoo, Mario paint, slowed down, tin whistle, marimba.
Aby Ngana Diop was a practitioner of taasu (alternately spelled "tassou"), a form of performance poetry practiced by female griots in Senegal. In the 90s, she was "a sought-after performer at the weddings and funerals of the rich and powerful" (according to a tangentially related article from The Verge). In 1994, she released her only widely distributed album, Liital, which fuses traditional taasu with the more modern mbalax, a popular style of Senegalese dance music. It's worth it for the title track alone. [more inside]
On February 19, 1987, it was just another night at the Palomino, with Taj Mahal and The Graffiti Band playing some folk, soul, blues and maybe a bit of jazz. It wasn't unusual for some more major musicians to be in the crowd, but this night George Harrison, Bob Dylan, John Fogerty, and Jesse Ed Davis joined Taj and jammed, with Fogerty playing "Proud Mary" at the prompting of Dylan. But if you want to visit this iconic club today, you'll find yourself in front of Le Monge banquet hall. The Palomino is no more, but you can visit the Valley's legendary honky-tonk with an oral history of The Palomino, and a fan-made VH1 "Behind the Music" style documentary that includes some vintage clips and photos. [more inside]
Discograph generates an interactive visualization of relationships between nearly 5 million artists, bands and labels, based on data from the Discogs.com database.
Examples: The Beatles | The Fall | Neil Young
Examples: The Beatles | The Fall | Neil Young
[R]ising star Shamir recently gave NME a playlist of his favorite recent musical discoveries, and his most lavish praise was for… Michete and his mixtape Cool Tricks, described as “a gift from the ratchet gods.” It’s a description as compelling as most any Shamir song. … If nothing else, [opening track “Rap Game Kimmy Gibbler”] will cause some outrage when Michete—who identifies as transfeminine (she/her/he/his) —concludes the song by boasting that she is “burning all these bitches like my last name Hitler.”… Cool Tricks offers up the new genre of qrap: the versed ribaldry of poor taste—a crassly mouthed “fuck you” to the gay male archetype of the connoisseur.
Andy Emitt writes about “The Worst Queer Rapper You Need To Listen To” for Pitchfork. [more inside]
Andy Emitt writes about “The Worst Queer Rapper You Need To Listen To” for Pitchfork. [more inside]
In this acoustic version of Permanent Holiday by Hawaii-based reggae musician Mike Love, a seemingly random assortment of syllables slowly grows into a song over a period of three minutes. [more inside]
lyre-of-ur.com is a somewhat rustic website dedicated to a playable reproduction of the world's oldest string instrument. You can hear it accompanying a set of silver pipes and a short recitation from the Epic of Gilgamesh. Don't miss the fan poetry on the informative history page. [more inside]
El-P has recruited an all-star cast of producers* to help him deliver the album in its full feline glory. But first, we needed cats... Run the Jewels don't take themselves too seriously, because Meow the Jewels (playlist, NSFW lyrics) is really happening. You can download the remix album for free, or buy it in various formats, with all proceeds of the album will go to charities that benefit victims of police violence. [more inside]
Lush announce their return on May 6th in London. Following some speculation over the last few weeks, the band finally confirmed (via Facebook) their return, following in the footsteps of contemporary shoegaze bands My Bloody Valentine, Slowdive and Ride. [more inside]
Here's a full Spike Jones special from 1952. Here's another one. Here is a short series of clips with his costars talking about Spike Jones and Live TV. Also from the Spike Jones Show: Tchaikovsky - Poet and Peasant Overture - I'm Going To Sit Right Down And Write Myself A Letter - 12th Street Rag (featuring the bottom half of Elvis) - Flight of the Bumblebee - That Old Black Magic - The Black And Blue Danube - The Shiek of Araby (warning: a bit culturally insensitive) - Clink! Clink! Another Drink - the "All Girl Band" Medley - Hits Medley (with Jim Backus at the start!) - and their famous version of Cocktails For Two. There's plenty more among the uploads from YouTube user SpikeJonesEstate. A documentary, The Spike Jones Story - Part 2. The best of Spike Jones. [more inside]
These people, one of them about to have a kid are having more fun than us Walk off the Earth are from Canada, you know... america's attic. They are playing a Harpejji. It's played by tapping the strings.
Some Friday afternoon inspiration and reminder that everything will be okay: Time to Level Up. Here are the lyrics. Here's more info on Tommy Guns, one of the dancers in the video. [more inside]
I Sing for You an Apple is an account by writer and translator Eric Wilson of "escorting a Faroese poet-hero around the USA" in 1978. The poet-hero from the Faroe Islands was Steinbjørn Berghamar Jacobsen, who wrote fiction, poetry, plays and children's books in the language of his North-Atlantic archipelago. His works have not been translated into English, but they have been set to music. On Tinna og Tám he reads his own poems, accompanied by Kristian Blak and Heðin Ziska Davidsen (YouTube: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18 ). And after his passing in 2012, two of his children, Kári and Eyð Jacobsen, made an album, Tungl, where they turned his poems into indie songs (YouTube: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10).
SLYTP: two hundred and twenty three pre-1925 'music hall records' YT user Robert Godridge has made a long playlist of digital captures taken from 'some of the british music hall records in my collection, 78rpm gramophone records and cylinders.' This is one of a number of playlists centered on very old popular music recordings by various users. Most of the recordings are quite innocuous by today's standards, but it is far from uncommon to encounter double entendres, racism and stereotypes, and well, I'm not sure what to call this genre.
1989 as covered by Ryan Adams (except "Clean", for some reason). Blank Space is my favorite. It's available on iTunes (including "Clean"). You can read an interview with him or read about the backstory in USA Today.
I heard the debut record from this band when it came out a little while ago and thought it was cool, but it didn't make a lasting impression. However, this video featuring the band performing a house concert in France really blew me away! Skip ahead in the video to about 1:10 in to get to the actual concert: St. Paul & The Broken Bones live at some house in France!
"The biggest pop star in America today is a man named Karl Martin Sandberg. The lead singer of an obscure ’80s glam-metal band, Sandberg grew up in a remote suburb of Stockholm and is now 44. Sandberg is the George Lucas, the LeBron James, the Serena Williams of American pop. He is responsible for more hits than Phil Spector, Michael Jackson, or the Beatles." [more inside]
The Spooky Men's Chorale, an Australian male vocal group, have a song, Ba'hari Ghibb, which is described as a 13th century Sufi prophecy.
In 1824's Musical Biography, John R. Parker systematically describes the "complexions" and personalities of the major and minor keys. (For example, C major is well suited to the expression of war and enterprize,while C minor is complaining, having something of the whining cant of B. minor. A-flat major is the most lovely of the tribe, and B flat's the least interesting of any...too dull for song.) [more inside]
Famed Shakespearean actor Sir Patrick Stewart recently appeared on NPR to perform a dramatic rendition of T. A. Swift's classic work, Blank Space.
California has long been home to immigrants from around the world (and from within the U.S.). What is less known, however, is that such longstanding histories of immigration and internal domestic migration have made California a fertile ground for extremely diverse and vibrant accordion musical cultures. With that, here is background on four immigrant populations —Italians, Creoles, Lebanese/Middle Eastern, and Mixtec/Mexican — to give more background the Squeezebox Stories, about an hour of history and tales of the accordion, filtered through customs and cultures found in California. [more inside]
The Tracks Go Off In This Direction - a 30 minute Star Wars audio visual mix by DJ Food/Strictly Kev.
According this latest numbers from IFPI, while the music-buying audience in the USA is still the biggest in the world, the most valuable music fans are actually the proud people of Norway. This may be due, in large part, to the fact that since 2009 piracy in Norway has plunged by 76%.
Do you want to go on a karaoke adventure? One that you know you have never been on? Then, go to KARAOKE_EBOOKS! [more inside]
Time indeed does not exist on Prince albums. Perhaps that’s why he’s kept releasing one or two every few years even long after his hit-making days ended. At age 24, on “1999,” he established a dichotomy—“I don't wanna die / I’d rather dance”—and at age 57, he seems to be taking that idea of dance-or-die more literally than ever. Who cares if fewer and fewer people are listening? Who cares if releasing exclusively to Tidal will limit his audience further? What matters is that Prince is working, and that the holy devoted will follow him.Spencer Kornhaber reviews HITNRUN Phase One on The Atlantic, warning that both Prince and "the gnarly funk-rock and R&B that made Prince famous" are in short supply on the album, which is produced by Joshua Welton, who said the album is "an experimental Prince record for fans who just don’t care about him sounding like a certain thing." [more inside]
Banbarra’s entire discography can be summed up in exactly one 7-inch, 1975’s two-parter “Shack Up,” released on United Artists under the auspices of one “Coyote Productions Inc.” But no matter what trail you follow, any further info on this group gets cold pretty fast.Nate Patrin explains why despite its inauspicious beginnings, "shack Up" became one of the most influential breaks in sampling history.
On what would have been Freddie Mercury's 69th birthday, John Paul Jones and Roger Taylor join the Foo Fighters onstage to play "Under Pressure."
The Night Terrors present Megafauna, a composition for organ, theremin, drum set, and synthesized bass. [more inside]
The music video for Imitation of Life by R.E.M. is a 20-odd second locked off shot, which they repeat forwards and backwards for the duration of the song. I wanted to see if they showed the whole wide 20 second shot throughout the music video. They don't. So I filled the gaps as best I could. I also then scaled and moved the whole video in order to watch how the video plays out. [The original video.]
In a world where marketing for films can cost hundreds of millions of dollars, movie studios count on one musical genre to make its trailers stand out: TRAILER MUSIC. [more inside]
It’s an all-girl supergroup like no other: Pretenders leader Chrissie Hynde, Jamaican-born singer Grace Jones, Sleater-Kinney guitarist and “Portlandia” star Carrie Brownstein, folkie Jewel, punk poet Patti Smith and 1970s icon Carly Simon. Only these women aren’t reviving Lilith Fair. They’re part of the latest trend in book publishing. In a genre once wholly dominated by male rockers, female musicians are now finding their voices — and their book deals.
Richard Shindell is an American folk songwriter. He currently lives in Buenos Aires, Argentina, with his wife and their children. A few selected highlights from an amazing songbook are inside. [more inside]
RIP Rico Rodriguez, most commonly know simply as 'Rico', the reggae and ska trombonist. He worked as a solo artist as well as with many other bands and musicians including Prince Buster and Jools Holland's Rhythm and Blues Orchestra but was probably best known as a member of The Specials. [more inside]
Have you seen and heard Beyoncé's new musical direction? It's totally effin AWESOME.
Mention Vocaloid, and most people think of this. But this is also a Vocaloid. As is this, and this. (warning: Youtube-heavy) [more inside]
If you enjoy laid back/ hazy/ chilled/ lo-fi hip-hop type beats, you may well enjoy the sounds of the Saikei Collective, which is based in the Philippines but includes a fluid roster of like-minded cats* from around the world, making original beats and remixing some tracks you may recognize. Since April 2015, the collective has posted nine releases on Bandcamp, consisting of five compilations, one collection of "two-player" collaborations, and three solo releases. [more inside]
Help Solve the Mystery! Who is the woman on the cover of the Otis Redding album Otis Blue/Otis Redding Sings Soul? On the 50th anniversary of the album, the Estate of Otis Redding asks for assistance in identification. [more inside]
“Before the trip, Nigeria was a dim set of associations in my mind: my parent’s stories of their childhood, highlife cassette tapes, dated images from Google searches, negative news headlines, the taste of rice and stew. Going back gave me vivid experiences to call part of my life, to draw from when I talk about the country, my identity, what kinds of people I come from, and the roots of why I do what I do.”
Here's a collection of Sesame Street "30 Dots" shorts, from the show's classic days. They build in an entertaining way, but whatever they're supposed to teach beats the heck out of me.
Miley Cyrus and Her Dead Petz is a new album by Miley Cyrus, released yesterday for free. 14 of the 23 tracks are cowritten and produced by Wayne Coyne and other members of The Flaming Lips, the rest either solo work, or made with her regular producers Mike Will Made It and Oren Yoel. Joe Coscarelli wrote about the making of the album for The New York Times. This is not the first time Miley Cyrus and the Flaming Lips have worked together, as she sang two Beatles with them last year, Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds (live version) and A Day in the Life (live version).
In the summer of 2000 Heather Lynn and Kirsten Nordine started playing synthpop together in Grayslake, IL as The Capricorns. Only one song exists online from their first cassette, The Capricorns Are Gonna Get You. In 2001 Paroxysm Records released In the Zone, which gave birth to mixdisc classic The New Sound (live version). In 2003 there followed Go the Distance! Their last album, Pure Magical Love came in 2006. Lynn made a further single and album under the moniker Pure Magical Love, which evolved into a Chicago-based performance troupe. In 2013 Lynn staged her first rock opera, Templehead (parts 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7). A second rock opera, Genesis and Nemesis, is coming later this year. Morgan Claire Sirene wrote an appreciation of Lynn for Slutist, and she was interviewed about her life and career by Zachary Hutchinson. Nordine is a sometime member of Prince Rupert's Drops and releases music as Jantar.
Createdigitalmusic collects together 11+ documentaries on the history of electronic music. Ranging from 2 on Delia Derbyshire of the BBC Radiophonic Workshop (1 previously), to EMS (previously), to detroit, acid house, rave (previously), tresor, and more. Plus one news report an the early days of Chicago house that's a documentary in and of itself.