It’s maybe a little early yet for year’s end retrospectives, but who cares: we’ve got 157 songs, 10.5 hours, 1.12 GB of “some of the best and most notable music from 2010... covering indie, pop, rock, punk, folk, rap, R&B, soul, dance, country, modern classical, ambient and electronic music, and in many cases, hard-to-classify genre hybrids.” —Curated by FluxBlog’s own Matthew Perpetua.
Renaissance Man (SLYT) Being One in a Series of Musical Videos wherein Man's History is Elucidated.
YouTube user Pallomember loves scary European death metal. But sometimes he wonders, wouldn't scary European death metal be improved with a dash of Lady Gaga?
Yes. Yes it would.
vs Meshuggah: Bleed-A-Razzi | vs Behemoth: Ov Fire and Bad Romance | vs Soilwork: Bricklover [more inside]
Yes. Yes it would.
vs Meshuggah: Bleed-A-Razzi | vs Behemoth: Ov Fire and Bad Romance | vs Soilwork: Bricklover [more inside]
What is working for the music industry and why the top buyers of pop music albums are now those over 60.
When pop goes bad: novelty records The excruciatingly catchy novelty song was a hallmark of the 1980s. Is it back? And how do you write one? Dave Simpson talks to the experts [more inside]
When Gillian Hills was discovered in 1958 by Roger Vadim, she was touted as being the next Bridgett Bardot. She went on to star in such films as Antonioni's Blow Up and the British rock and roll film Beat Girl, and even had a small part as Sonietta, the girl with the lollypop in A Clockwork Orange. But it is her early '60s French pop records which fascinate me. Here with Qui a su, Rien n'est changé, Rentre Sans Moi, Look at Them and Tomorrow Is Another Day .
Justin Bieber's 'U Smile', played 800 time slower. Sounds like Sigur Ros doing Vangelis covers in a cathedral being washed away by the sea. The original song.
The original version of "My Way" ("Comme d'Habitude", Frank Sinatra's version was a cover) was written by Claude Francois, AKA "CloClo". Somewhere between a French Wayne Newton and Elvis, he died when he was taking a bath, saw a lightbulb had gone out, and tried to replace it while standing in water, completing the circuit. Some of his hit songs include: Belinda, Belles Belles Belles (cover of "Girls Girls Girls"), Si J'avais un Marteau (if I had a Hammer), Sale Bonhomme (French country, cover of Johnny Cash's "Dirty Dan"), Le Disco est Francais His scantily clad female backup dancers, called the "Claudettes" or Clodettes, were the inspiration for the Solid Gold dancers and had their own short-lived solo spinoff career where they tried to cash in on the kung-fu + disco craze.
Are libraries the new cupcakes? They may be the next pop culture phenomenon however.
So it's the middle of July and you say you haven't found your perfect summer jam yet? Does Ga Ga make you gag? Are you maxed-out on MIA? Then what you need is the petite princess of Swedish electra-pop, Robyn, doing Fembot. So hot. Still need convincing? Then would you believe Robyn with Staygold, and a live version of Backseat.
San Francisco-based DJ Earworm is best known for his end-of-year "United State of Pop" Billboard top 25 mashups: 2007, 2008, 2009. But in the "off season" he continues to mash popular songs into fun concotions. His latest, "Like, OMG Baby" is a reinvention of Justin Bieber's "Baby," and was shown at Wembley Stadium in London for Capital FM’s 2010 Summertime Ball , where all fifteen of the artists featured on the track performed on June 6th. His official website has videos and free, downloadable MP3's. [more inside]
The people of 4chan are at it again. They are now trying to hijack the voting for Justin Bieber's next touring destination. Their goal: to send him to North Korea. There are now almost half a million votes to send Bieber to the secretive communist nation.
Taylor Swift's hit video for "You Belong With Me" is not well loved, but the changing of a single detail turns it into the heartwarming teen romance it was meant to be.
The Thriller Diaries: Michael Jackson’s 1983 “Thriller” remains the most popular music video of all time: a 14-minute horror spoof that changed the business. Behind the scenes it gave its star a temporary home with director John Landis, sparked a near romance with actress Ola Ray, and revealed how damaged the young pop idol already was.
An XTC Fan named Todd Bernhardt has somehow managed to gain access to the band and associates, and has been conducting lengthy interviews for the past few years and posting them to his fan page on myspace. (via) Session Drummer Pat Mastelotto on recording Oranges and Lemons. Andy looks at guitar playing and players: Part I Part II Part III Part IV. Colin Moulding Discusses King for a Day. Prairie Prince on recording Skylarking.
Vanessa Mae Nicholson is one of Britain’s most successful young musicians. A classical violinist and former child prodigy who self-describes her crossover style as "violin techno-acoustic fusion," her fans praise her modern creativity and frenetic, lightning-fast riffs. But is her talent learned or genetic? Documentary from BBC1 in 2008: Vanessa Mae - The Making of Me: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6. [more inside]
She's been called "the greatest posthumous success story in music history." But when she died of melanoma at age 33, few people outside of the Washington DC-area had heard of Eva Marie Cassidy. [more inside]
Amanda Walther and Sheila Carabine became friends in Canadian high school band. They now make up Dala, an accoustic folk pop duo who sing songs like the cutesy pop song Levi Blues, Alive about a hellish New Years Eve in an old cabin, Marilyn Monroe about coming of age, and the more serious Horses, a song dedicated to a paraplegic teenager. They have opened for Neko Case, Tom Cochrane, and Matthew Good and covered Neil Young.
Joe Pop-O-Pie led his San Francisco punk band Pop-O-Pies through countless performances of the band's "hit", an idiosyncratic cover of the Grateful Dead's Truckin'. As the 1980's closed, Joe fell off the map while his other projects went mainstream, but last month the Pop-O-Pies reunited for one more Truckin' performance.
"What happened was that Abner Spector was an electronics nut. He took the girls in the studio on a Friday, and they didn't get out of there until everybody was on the track. Anybody that came in the studio that week, he would put them on. Originally, I think he had about 20 voices on 'Sally.'" The cost of the project alone, Richardson figured was over $60,000..." - Sally, Go Round The Roses (alt) was the first (and only) hit for the Jaynettes in 1963 and a unique and hypnotic studio creation. It's been called "a subtle and transcendental epic in 45rpm form" and there is much speculation on its mysterious lyrics. It has been covered by Donna Summer. Great Society (with Grace Slick) . Fanny. Pentangle. ? And The Mysterians and others.
Given the seeming homogeneity of many hit songs, it might come as a surprise that some very strange and unconventional songs have found their way to the top of the pop charts in the past. Some are novelty songs, some are just weird... [more inside]
Songs From the Black Hole is a sci-fi rock opera written by weezer frontman Rivers Cuomo and originally intended to be the followup to their self-titled debut. Never officially released, the album has become known as a one of rock's "mythical lost masterpieces," akin to the Beach Boys' SMiLE. [more inside]
"If you like orchestral music and have a heart in your fucking chest, you will like this record." Mike Patton, former front man of Faith No More, frequent John Zorn collaborator, founding member of Mr. Bungle, is releasing an album covering old Italian pop songs in May, called Mondo Cane. A live performance can be streamed from Youtube. [more inside]
You might dismiss Little Honda by the Hondells as an infectious by-product of Grey Advertising's legendary 1962 "You Meet the Nicest People on a Honda" ad campaign. It's actually a Brian Wilson original, later recorded by The Beach Boys, and shares an eerie connection with the Jan & Dean classic Dead Man's Curve. Perhaps its the essence of youth and innocence captured by this corny little composition that inspires Yo La Tengo's contemporary covers.
Lady GaGa covers: Pomplamoose covers Telephone, Molly Lewis covers Poker Face, We the Kings cover Paparazzi, and another cover of Poker Face from Amanda Palmer and the Boston Pops. (The second Poker Face link is probably NSFW.)
Two live performances by Robyn, 2008 in LA (54 minutes) and 2005 in Lund, Sweden (27 minutes). The 2008 concert can also be viewed song by song. For a bitesize introduction to the Swedish pop singer, check out the quite extensive video section on her site. Also, Robyn on BBC quiz show Nevermind the Buzzcocks. [Robyn previously on MetaFilter]
Music! - A 1968 documentary by the National Music Council of Great Britain, featuring folk singing, The Beatles, and even early electronic music produced by tape splicing. Part 1, part 2, part 3, part 4, part 5.
A dynamic mix of rock, funk, hip hop and comedy, a cappella sextet Duwende has been winning nearly every award the industry has to offer with original songs that challenge traditional conceptions of what contemporary a cappella music can be. Duwende's latest album, Collective, can be downloaded for free or previewed on YouTube. [more inside]
A Survey of Western Painting with Song Attached (SLYT)
In 1989, Hollywood heavy metal band Rock Sugar was stranded on a desert island. For the last twenty years, the only music they had to listen to was the 80's pop CD collection of a 13 year old girl. And now, Rock Sugar has come home. [more inside]
Popular: Every UK #1 single since 1952, reviewed in chronological order by Tom Ewing. He's up to 1987.
"I don’t want my unborn grandchildren to listen to the story of how Taylor Swift won a Grammy she hadn’t earned. I want them to set pianos on fire." [more inside]
"I put every dollar I have into this. I’ve spent over $1 million, almost $2 million, on this album [...] I think within the first week we will definitely make our money back. The songs will make an impact in pop history." Reality television star Heidi Montag released her debut album, entitled Superficial, this month, to record-breaking lows: The LP sold just 658 copies in the first week of its release. [more inside]
The Kleptones, mashup artists behind previously-posted albums such as A Night At The Hip-Hopera and 24 Hours, have just released their newest entitled Uptime/Downtime. In a word, it rocks.
November 13, 2001: Musical unknown Andrew W.K. (Previously 1, 2) releases his debut album "I Get Wet." It is a simple rock record of power chords and unabashed, un-ironic party music -- exemplified perfectly both by its first song, "It's Time To Party," or its lead single, "Party Hard" -- released during a month of American depression, paranoia, and insincerity that borders on nihilism. The album finds mainstream success, selling over 30K copies in its first three weeks, with songs from the record appearing in commercials, movies, and television shows, not to mention heavy rotation on MTV and awesome appearances on Conan and Saturday Night Live. [more inside]
DJ Earworm releases for download his mashup of the year's top hits, according to Billboard. [more inside]
Tomokazu Matsuyama was born in Japan. He moved to the US when he was around ten years old, not speaking any English, and being overwhelmed by the culture shock of 1980s Los Angeles. His artistic work is a reflection of this upbringing. Matsuyama’s paintings envision traditional Japanese imagery through the lens of American pop art, creating a unique and beautiful hybrid. He strives to portray this global melee through a conscious “appropriation” of all of his influences: cultural, artistic, and personal. Matsuyama’s unconflicted and positively ebullient works do not ask, “What am I?,” but assert, “I am everybody.” (via) [more inside]
How to make a baby. (SFW)
Boys dared to grow their hair and girls dared to wear mini skirts and in Korea indecency officers patroled the street with scissors and rulers, publicly cutting hair too long and checking if skirts were too short. Shin Joong-hyung, was there with his 70s hit, Beauty, as were other musicians and artists like Sanullim and the Key Boys. [more inside]
This is to teach you how to dance.
Here’s a cool concept. Top breakthrough bands of the day playing LIVE on TV late every Friday night. Such was The Midnight Special - from 1972 - 1981 (though the glory days were the early to mid 70s, that lost decade somewhere between the meltdown of the hippie dream and the coincident eruptions of PUNK + DISCO upon planet rock). [more inside]
A short documentary on John Nese: Soda pop obsessive. His store Galco's in Los Angeles sells more than two-hundred kinds of soda pop, particularly favoring small-label, glass-bottled and cane-sweetened fare. Yay. [more inside]
"...A Fourth of July picnic, a Sunday Best church revival, an urban rock concert and a rural civil rights rally"
There was a historic music festival in the summer of 1969. But it's not the one that took place in Bethel, NY. The Harlem Cultural Festival ran from June 29 to August 24 that summer, presenting a concert every Sunday afternoon in Mount Morris Park (known today as Marcus Garvey Park). Three hundred thousand people turned out for the six free concerts, hearing acts like Nina Simone , Sly & the Family Stone (the only act to play both Woodstock and the "black Woodstock"), Stevie Wonder, Mahalia Jackson, The 5th Dimension, Moms Mabley and. Speakers included Jesse Jackson and "blue-eyed soul brother" Mayor John Lindsay. Security was courtesy of the Black Panthers, since the NYC police refused to provide it. Filmmaker Hal Tulchin recorded over 50 hours of concert footage, which has remained unreleased. Historic Films seems to hold the footage; it was supposed to be made into a movie to premiere at Sundance 2007, but its release seems to be continually delayed for reasons unclear. [more inside]