365 posts tagged with pop.
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Talking Heads: Live in Rome 1980 full concert

Talking Heads, Live in Rome, 1980 The Talking Heads concert film you haven't seen: the show that would eventually be recorded in the (awesome) concert film Stop Making Sense 3 years later, recorded while it was still a bit weird and uncertain. And therefore, wonderful. [more inside]
posted by BoringPostcards on Sep 15, 2012 - 67 comments

Pining for the moon

In March of 2009, an R.E.M. tribute and benefit concert was held at Carnegie Hall. One of the most interesting covers of that evening was Ingrid Michaelson's take on "Nightswimming." Michaelson used a looping pedal to slowly build the harmonies, so that by the end of the song she was accompanied by a whole choir of her own voice. While the Carnegie performance isn't available online, you can see a pared-down but still extraordinary performance from her appearance at the Sirius XM studios. (YT)
posted by shiu mai baby on Sep 11, 2012 - 25 comments

The group has fully realized a record of astounding ambition and scope.

In 1995, The Mommyheads released the now out-of-print Bingham's Hole. Far and away the Mommyheads' best album, Bingham's Hole also may win the title for "least heard best record of the mid-'90s." [more inside]
posted by Devils Rancher on Sep 3, 2012 - 13 comments

I'll Say A Little Prayer

Legendary lyricist Hal David, most famously partnered with composer Burt Bacharach, and countless pop performers ranging from Dionne Warwick to Tom Jones to The Carpenters and beyond, has died at age 91.
posted by 2N2222 on Sep 1, 2012 - 36 comments

Manic Pixie Dream Dudes

Dave and Duncan off the inspirational (and cancelled) MTV reality show 'The Buried Life' star in a parody of Rihanna's We Found Love video along side a bunch of spray paint and candy.
posted by The Whelk on Aug 14, 2012 - 3 comments

Pop music is never just pop music

The 'About' page of UK music website Popjustice also doubles as a pop fan manifesto.
posted by rollick on Aug 2, 2012 - 26 comments

A Most Tubular Guy

You might have heard Mike Oldfield playing during the Olympic opening and wondered, "What! Why the heck would Danny Boyle want the Exorcist theme playing at the start of such a grand event!" Oldfield's kept a low profile for years, so you may not remember him as the man who literally launched Virgin Records, one of only three artists to ever knock his #1 record off the charts with another #1 record (the other two being Bob Dylan and the Beatles). But those teenage successes were merely the start of an astonishing career, one full of pop music and prog rock, sci-fi and New Age, film scores and classical orchestrations — not to mention a spot at the start of Kanye West's recent album. His magnum opus, Amarok, is an hour of astonishing sounds and shifting genres which must be heard to be believed. Too overwhelming? Well, there're [more inside]
posted by Rory Marinich on Jul 27, 2012 - 62 comments

the hard part is performing the dance moves this slowly

Now That's What I Call Drone: Vol. 1 - Drone ambient versions of top 40 pop songs. [via mefi projects] [more inside]
posted by Theta States on Jul 27, 2012 - 42 comments

Canadian politely turns himself in for speeding

Randy George Scott turns himself in for riding through British Columbia at speeds in excess of 180 mph (300 km/h). [more inside]
posted by Blazecock Pileon on Jul 26, 2012 - 66 comments

It doesn't even matter what I'm trying to say, 'cause by this point in the song you're just dancing anyway

Sh*tty Pop Song
posted by Hypnotic Chick on Jul 5, 2012 - 49 comments

International pop

"Euphoria", which won the 2012 Eurovision Song Contest (previously), is a #1 in several countries, including Ireland, Austria, and Switzerland Of course, it's not the only song charting internationally that you might never hear on US radio. It should come as no surprise that one can readily find international hits online. For instance - Sweden, #4: Panetoz - Dansa Pausa Sweden, #9: Mange Makers - Drick Den This doesn't purport to be an exhaustive list, but rather a jumping-off point. [more inside]
posted by LSK on Jun 13, 2012 - 25 comments

Call Me Maybe

Jimmy Fallon, Carly Rae Jepsen, and The Roots Sing Call Me Maybe with toy/classroom instruments. previously
posted by nadawi on Jun 8, 2012 - 64 comments

and the moon and stars were the gifts you gave

The long and rather surprising history of The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face, penned in 1957 by British singer/songwriter Ewan MacColl, has just taken another bold and dramatic turn with Erykah Badu and the Flaming Lips' starkly powerful cover of the song. Oh, and in the accompanying video, they've most certainly upped the ante as far as edgy eroticism in pop music goes, with Badu's sister Nayrok pushing the envelope into the stratosphere. Nota bene: explicit nudity. [NSFW]
posted by flapjax at midnite on Jun 4, 2012 - 82 comments

But it has some nudes/ So if that does it for you

The art house review/criticism series Brows Held High decided to tackle Nicolas Roeg/David Bowie's 1976 The Man Who Fell To Earth by reviewing it as a karaoke medley of Bowie's greatest hits.
posted by The Whelk on May 21, 2012 - 12 comments

#Popleveson: the Twitter meme from Court 73

#Popleveson: the Twitter meme from Court 73 Robert Jay QC, the lawyer at the heart of the UK's Leveson Enquiry into press standards has a particular way in which he asks questions which was yesterday applied on-line to top pop hits. The Guardian collects some of the best. [more inside]
posted by feelinglistless on May 12, 2012 - 43 comments

Dialing Back

Hear how popular music has changed from 1940 to today with the Radio Time Machine. Choose a year and hear samples of songs from the top of the Billboard 100 (or full songs if you're logged in to Rdio).
posted by jocelmeow on May 7, 2012 - 19 comments

Call Me Maybe: Viral? Totally

4 (to 6) easy steps to viral fame through pop music: 1) write and record a catchy pop song, 2) get radio play for your song, and 3) get Justin Bieber and Selena Gomez to hear your song, so 4) they tweet about enjoying your song. Bonus steps to further fame: 5) make a video that has a twist ending, which 6) people (including Bieber and Gomez) cover and remake and share online for further fame and fortune. Thanks to all this, Carly Rae Jepsen's pop dance song has moved beyond Canada, and is charting all over the world. If that's not enough, NPR's Ann Powers has further thoughts on the pop hit and its video. [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief on May 7, 2012 - 48 comments

Russian Soft Drinks

"Hi. Russia may well be associated with hard liquor like Водка, but in this video I will be talking about our traditional soft drinks and non-alcoholic beverages." Part 1 [mostly juices] and Part 2 [fizzy drinks]. [more inside]
posted by Deathalicious on May 6, 2012 - 32 comments

Response Records: Answers to Hit Songs

Before hip-hop beefs, there were response records, also known as answer songs, usually replies to well-known songs. There are a few key eras: blues and R&B recorded music in the 1930s through 1950s, including a number of responses to "Work With Me, Annie" (1954), recorded by Hank Ballard & the Midnighters, with answers including "Annie had a Baby," and "The Wallflower" by Etta James; and Big Mama Thornton's "Hound Dog" (1953), with a quick response by Louis Innis and Charlie Gore, made a mere week after the original was released, and Rufus Thomas' "Bear Cat" (1953), Sun Records' first hit. Country, rock & roll, doo-wop and pop music picked up where the blues left off, with most activity in the 1950s to 60s. Two examples from this era are "Are You Lonesome To-night" and "Who Put The Bomp," and responses to both. The most well known from the next decade was Lynyrd Skynyrd's "Sweet Home Alabama" (1974), a response to Neil Young's "Southern Man" (1970) and "Alabama" (1972). Until the 2000s, no answer songs had charted as high as the original hits. That changed with Frankee's "F.U.R.B. (Fuck You Right Back)" (2004), a response to Eamon's "Fuck It (I Don't Want You Back)" (2003), which was the first answer song to reach number 1 in the UK. Six years later and across the pond, Katy Perry's "California Gurls" was a response to "Empire State of Mind" by Jay-Z. It was the first answer song to reach No. 1 in the Billboard Hot 100. More Responses inside. [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief on Mar 31, 2012 - 53 comments

Rock and roll is here to stay

Alex Chilton (of the band Big Star) died two years ago today. Here's a choir singing Big Star's song "Thirteen."
posted by BoringPostcards on Mar 18, 2012 - 26 comments

Ring Ring

The story of the ABBA sound. 8 minute Swedish documentary. Click the "CC" button for subtitles.
posted by rollick on Mar 16, 2012 - 59 comments

My girlfriend, after listening: "It was worth meeting you just so I could hear that."

Tally Hall is the best new band I've heard in years, hands-down. They're an American rock band best known for the excellent Good Day video and the cult Albino Blacksheep hit Banana Man. They've released two albums, each masterpieces; the first one is exuberant and youthful and, sometimes, utterly cryptic, while the second is stripped down but astonishingly contemplative and even spiritual, easily one of the best-written pop albums I've ever heard. If you're in the mood for something smart and warm and wonderful, there're... [more inside]
posted by Rory Marinich on Mar 11, 2012 - 26 comments

U2's POP

Fifteen years and three weeks ago, four lads from Dublin wandered into a K-Mart in NYC and attracted a crowd as they played a song they've never played live since. They then took some questions from the audience about their intentions over the next year or so. The proceedings were carried live on music television stations around the world. (Part 1 2 3 4) The day was February 12, 1997; the song was Holy Joe; the men performing were U2. They were announcing the release of their new album, POP, released 15 years ago, on March 3, 1997. Loved by many critics, adored by many fans, met with an indifferent shrug by the general public, and repeatedly scorned by the band themselves, perhaps it's time to look back again at this controversial groundbreaking album and landmark tour. [more inside]
posted by hippybear on Mar 2, 2012 - 84 comments

New Musical Express

The NME - 60 years of rock history ... and four front covers that define their eras
posted by Artw on Feb 25, 2012 - 18 comments

"If I Could Fly, You Know That I'd Try"

The Cranberries: NPR Tiny Desk Concert [more inside]
posted by zarq on Feb 23, 2012 - 30 comments

The Misunderstood Power of Michael Jackson's Music

The Atlantic explores whether Michael Jackson's contributions, like those of other black artists, are minimized because of his skin color.
posted by reenum on Feb 13, 2012 - 216 comments

Israeli New Wave

Israeli New Wave? Yes! May I introduce The Clique. Here is their song Incubator. Here is another song called Don't Light A Candle For Me. Here are the lyrics to the second song in Hebrew and English. [more inside]
posted by wittgenstein on Feb 6, 2012 - 7 comments

Party Rock (Anthem)

Problem: There haven't been enough electronica genres clumsily co-opted by pop! Also, we need more modern interpretations of awkward '80s fashions. Solution: Party Rock Anthem. [more inside]
posted by Slap*Happy on Jan 27, 2012 - 110 comments

loading up dream-catchers with wild and beautiful dreams for a lucky trucker

Dengue Fever is an L.A. band that fuses Cambodian pop music with psychedelic rock. They have a youtube channel where you can find highlights such as a live acoustic version of their song Uku as well as a clip from the 2007 documentary Sleepwalking Through The Mekong. NPR has an interview with them in 2008 and a review of their second album Escape From Dragon House. Peter Gabriel is a fan.
posted by mannequito on Jan 26, 2012 - 29 comments

The Annotated Jagger/Bowie "Dancing in the Street"

...there’s some desperation to this junk version of “Dancing in the Street,” with both parties trying to affirm their A-1 celebrity status. One of the more pernicious effects of the whole Live Aid/Farm Aid/Band Aid spectacle was to cement the hierarchy of the “legend” rock acts and a smaller tier of anointed successors from the slightly-younger generation (Tom Petty, Sting, Dire Straits, U2). It was the height of the Boomer Counter-Reformation. The late Eighties would see the over-publicized returns of everyone from Steve Winwood to the Monkees to Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young, to a revamped George Harrison to a MOR version of Pink Floyd to Robbie Robertson pretending that he was Peter Gabriel (a version of Gabriel who couldn’t sing) to an all-star Yes and a Zeppelin-sampling Robert Plant, culminating in the return of the “revitalized” Stones in 1989, the touring company now reincorporated into a gleaming multinational. As Marcello Carlin said back when Popular covered this single: “Suddenly we were once again reminded who in pop and rock mattered and who didn’t…With their massacre of “Dancing In The Street,” Bowie and Jagger seemed to relish rubbing it in.“
-The Annotated Jagger/Bowie "Dancing in the Street"
posted by anazgnos on Jan 17, 2012 - 180 comments

Or just ten reasons why Donna Summer is awesome in general

10 Reasons Why Donna Summer Belongs in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame
posted by rollick on Dec 14, 2011 - 54 comments

Forever Analytical

Pop song analysis, English teacher style (SLYT)
posted by litnerd on Dec 13, 2011 - 39 comments

Sunnier Than Sonny And Cher!

What is Pink Lady? In Japan they are remembered for a string of pop hits in the 70s, but Americans might remember them either from their disco single "Kiss In The Dark" or from an attempt to sell them to the US market in 1980 via a short-lived NBC variety show Pink Lady & Jeff (TVParty summary) with comedian Jeff Altman. (Opening). The show featured their Japanese hits, UFO, MONSTER (a bit more rock and roll), and SOS along with US hits like Boogie Wonderland, McArthur Park and the occasional guest star. (with encore) Also, Roy Orbison. Sadly, the show failed to break out and the two returned to Japan for a series of farewell concerts and retrospectives. Much, much more available at this charmingly retro, utterly exhaustive fan site devoted to them. Or just read the recaps. [more inside]
posted by The Whelk on Dec 11, 2011 - 33 comments

American Sabor

American Sabor: Latinos in US Popular Music is a currently traveling Smithsonian exhibition exploring the wide range of Latino artists and influences which have shaped American pop music genres since WWII, from Alice Bag to Flaco Jimenez to Herb Alpert and the Tijuana Brass to Joan Baez. The website is rich with maps, interviews, videos, and music samples.
posted by Miko on Sep 28, 2011 - 11 comments

Word Gets Around

The Hummingbirds were one of Sydney's greatest indie pop bands. They debuted with the single Alimony and in 1989 released LoveBuzz, featuring 14 tracks of sparkling jangle pop. It spawned the single Blush, which was a minor success, but the failed and the band broke up in 1993. They were vindicated by history when LoveBUZZ made #65 on the 100 Best Australian Albums Of All Time. This year the band reunited for a set at the iconic Big Day Out Festival and a show in Sydney. They were also immortalized in the Modern Giant song The Band's Broken Up (members of the Hummingbirds later joined members of Modern Giant to form The Aerial Maps). [more inside]
posted by Lovecraft In Brooklyn on Sep 22, 2011 - 54 comments

Ladies And Gentlemen, The Kronos Quartet

In their 25 year career San Fransisco-based Kronos Quartet might be most famous for creating the go-to dramatic movie trailer music but they've recently courted controversy with their latest album, 9/11, with Steve Reich (NPR First Listen). The album is another in a long line of collaborations with composers such as Phillip Glass, Terry Riley, and Pēteris Vasks. And like any good instrumental ensemble, they've covered Hendrix, Sigur Ros, and Tom Waits. Oh, and they've been on Sesame Street. [more inside]
posted by The Whelk on Sep 17, 2011 - 34 comments

You Don't Own Me

Quincy Jones sat in the Tenafly, New Jersey den of 16-year-old vocal student Lesley Gore, playing demo after demo, looking for the right song to cut for her first record. Out of over 200 tapes, Jones and Gore had moved only one to the "maybe" pile, and so that song, It's My Party, was recorded on March 30, 1963 in a Manhattan studio. After the session Mercury president Irving Green warned Gore not to get her hopes up, but Gore gratefully told him that it had been a great experience anyway, and it was okay if he didn't want to release it. However, later that evening Jones learned that Phil Spector had just recorded "It's My Party" for The Crystals, so Jones rushed back to the studio to press 100 test copies of the single and immediately mailed them to key radio stations across the country. [more inside]
posted by swift on Sep 13, 2011 - 69 comments

Pssst: MNDR fpp

Singer, knob twiddler and bass player MNDR has had a great year, especially considering that she hasn’t even finished her first full-length solo recording yet. MNDR is best known in the pop world so far for her collaboration with Mark Ronson and Q-tip on Bang Bang Bang, a song that plays with the french children’s song alouette with a double entendre squeezed out of the consonants in “plucking feathers.” [more inside]
posted by umbú on Aug 16, 2011 - 12 comments

This is what you get / This is what you get / This is what you get / When you mess with jazz

Jazz group The Bad Plus play an appropriately discordant Karma Police, a slow-burn We Are The Champions, an tearfulfeariffic Everybody Wants To Rule The World, and also sort of smell like teen spirit.
posted by cortex on Aug 2, 2011 - 42 comments

Surreal J-pop video

PonPonPon (earworm alert) from Kyary Pamyu Pamyu. [via]
posted by unliteral on Jul 26, 2011 - 58 comments

Insert Tim Cappello Joke/GIF Here

Is the epic saxophone solo returning to pop music? With recent good time summer radio hits by ubiquitous hit makers Katy Perry and Lady Gaga featuring an unexpected saxophone solo, is this a hint towards a return of the woodwind as a staple in rock/pop music or just ironic posturing from vapid "tastemakers"?
posted by mediocre on Jul 21, 2011 - 135 comments

Funny Money

Pop-Cultured Currency - Technically, defacing US currency is a crime – but artist James Charles doesn’t seem to be in any legal trouble for his awesome series of Pop Culture Cash. His portraits, created on real money using ink, turn dead presidents into colorfully amusing pop culture icons. Alternate site with larger pics.
posted by KevinSkomsvold on Jul 21, 2011 - 22 comments

"The critically acclaimed, best-selling documentary series that lays the axe to the root of the idol of popular culture"

In 1989, Eric Holmberg and The Apologetics Group/Reel to Real Ministries released "Hell's Bells: The Dangers of Rock and Roll" [more inside]
posted by dubold on Jul 11, 2011 - 58 comments

On the Road to Damascus

Bill Drummond, best known as co-founder of the KLF, writes about his slow infatuation with damsons.
posted by rollick on Jul 8, 2011 - 32 comments

Die, Danger, Die, Die, Kill!

Die, Danger, Die, Die, Kill! is a blog dedicated to 'world pop cinema', and covers everything from Russian science fiction to Italian superhero films.
posted by Lovecraft In Brooklyn on Jul 3, 2011 - 9 comments

Cos I like you so much better when you're naked! I like ME so much better when you're naked!

Ida Maria is a 26-year-old Norwegian pop-punk-rock musician whose music is both catchy as shit and surprisingly vulnerable. Her lyrics are simple but sometimes uncomfortably honest. Her first album had two big hits with excellent music videos: I Like You So Much Better When You're Naked and Oh My God. Other songs off the album that I'm fond of: Queen of the World (my personal favorite); Louie; Keep Me Warm. Her second album, Katla, has a more eclectic sound, ranging from the vintage pop-inspired Quite Nice People to the horn-driven I Eat Boys Like You For Breakfast to the dirty Bad Karma to the sillier Cherry Red.
posted by Rory Marinich on Jul 1, 2011 - 38 comments

and they even included Robyn!

Using album & digital song sales, Hot 100 rankings, radio airplay, YouTube views, social media, concert grosses, industry awards and critics' ratings, Rolling Stone compares sixteen female artists to name the Queen of Pop. [more inside]
posted by troika on Jun 30, 2011 - 40 comments

The 80s Almost Killed Me. Let's Not Recall Them Quite So Fondly

Legendary English music critic Simon Reynolds asks why modern music keeps plundering the past.
posted by Lovecraft In Brooklyn on Jun 23, 2011 - 49 comments

There Is A Light That Never Goes Out

The Queen Is Dead. [more inside]
posted by veedubya on Jun 22, 2011 - 101 comments

Diane Warren

"Blame it on the Rain" by Milli Vanilli. "Unbreak My Heart" by Toni Braxton. "Don't Wanna Miss a Thing" by Aerosmith. "How Do I Live" by LeAnn Rimes. "If I Could Turn Back Time" by Cher. "Because You Loved Me" by Celine Dion. "If You Asked Me To" by Patti LaBelle. What do all of these songs have in common? They were all written by Diane Warren, a member of the Songwriter's Hall of Fame whose songs have awards such as a a Grammy, a Golden Globe award, and several ASCAP awards for Songwriter of the Year.
posted by MattMangels on Jun 18, 2011 - 85 comments

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