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]
Poet and poetry/film/music/culture critic Joshua Clover has been posting excerpts from his upcoming book 1989: Bob Dylan Didn't Have This to Sing About over at his blog. [more inside]
Before Fleetwood Mac, there was Buckingham Nicks. Their seminal s/t album (1973) has never been released on CD. [more inside]
60s Pop Friday! Ladies and Gentlemen, from Queens, NY, it's the Shangri-Las! Mostly known for their grandly melodramatic songs about teen love gone awry, they aren't all downers. They've been covered by bands from France to Japan.
In 1997, reclusive Neutral Milk Hotel mastermind Jeff Mangum performed a now-legendary set at Athens, Ga. coffee shop Jittery Joe's. One week only on Pitchfork.tv Previously 1 2 3 [more inside]
We Are Smug is the side project of former Savage Garden frontman turned electropop showman Darren Hayes and collaborator and fellow electronic musician Robert Conley. Hayes and Conley had been working on this project secretly for about two years before releasing it online for free on Hayes's birthday. There are no current plans to tour or sell this album, aside from the free download, but there are already official music videos. (Warning: last link potentially triggering.)
100 Best Icelandic Pop & Rock Albums all streamable in full for free. Icelandic state broadcaster RÚV and Icelandic subscription music website tónlist.is have published what they, their team of experts and the Icelandic public consider to be the 100 best Icelandic rock and pop albums of all time. Björk, Sigur Rós, Múm and The Sugarcubes don't need much introduction but below the cut there are short description of the other artists. [via RÚV] [more inside]
Pop up shops have been popping up, well, pretty much everywhere. And pop up restaurants. And pop up art galleries. While the trend started long before the current retail downturn, and looks set to continue as companies strive to create interest in their products and services, will creative spontaneity start to look a little bit too planned and evolve into a mainstream retail channel?
Of all the pretenders to the throne of "British Elvis" in the pre-Beatles UK music scene, none had the swagger or moves quite like Vince Taylor. [more inside]
What's a soda lover to do when Passover Coke has, well, passed over? Find other cane sugar sodas, of course! [more inside]
The Belfer Cylinders Digital Connection is a collection of old cylinder records at Syracuse University. The library has started to digitize them, both in mp3 and wav format. They have only 293 online yet but aim to have 6000 cylinders digitized by the end of next year. It can be searched either by genre, keyword or Here are a few that I really like: Bedtime at the Zoo, That Syncopated Boogie-boo, Mary, You're a Little Bit Old Fashioned, Fifty Million Frenchmen Can't Be Wrong, Phoebe Brown, Was zu Gott ist zu Gott und was zu leute ist zu leute, Aberystwyth, Glada na lusch, I Love a Lassie and Pussy's in the Well.
"There's sickly pop, there's cheesy pop and then there's the Lightning Seeds brand of pure shiny pop." The Lightning Seeds mixed slick production with equally compelling melodies and lyrics, and produced a number of critically acclaimed albums in the 1990s. Now there's a new album coming out - their first since 1999's Tilt. [more inside]
A car insurer admitted it refuses to cover musicians despite featuring Iggy Pop in its advertisements. (via The Morning News)
Nardwuar the Human Serviette is an interesting, abrasive and knowledgeable music journalist. Many of his interviews are on film and posted to youtube. Previously on metafilter. Warning: single link to a youtube user. [more inside]
In April, an extraordinary auction will provide an unprecedented look into the private world of Michael Jackson. More than 2,000 items, ranging from personal effects and costumes to pieces from Jackson's private art collection as well as fittings and furnishings from his Neverland ranch, will be up for sale. The auction is so extensive, a six-volume book was printed just to detail every lot. [more inside]
Cruella de Ville, the band, were formed by fraternal twins (with identical voices) Philomena and Colum Muinzer. They were probably best known for their single, "Those Two Dreadful Children", which appeared on Dr. Demento's show a number of times. CdV were only around for a short time (1982-1984) before dropping off the map
, but thanks to the internets and youtubeses, we can revisit their tiny catalogue: pop nuggets in a manic, cheeky, theatrical punk vein. But just when you thought you'd pegged their sound...