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]
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
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.)
10cc's I'm Not In Love
and the story
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
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
, 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]
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
to pieces from Jackson's private art
collection as well as fittings
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...
What if Akon
) was from the Middle East? How about 50 Cent
? Maybe Britney
, The Pussycat Dolls or Shakira
is possibly the least "likely" Swedish pop song. And now, it's been covered by another Swede
. [more inside]
does it again - Like last year, he's made a year-end mashup and accompanying video
featuring the top 25 hits of the year (as calculated by Billboard
). Can you name most of the songs included? Are you more or less hip than last year? [more inside]
What is important to me?
Short video interviews with mostly alternative rock/pop folk, in which they answer the question 'What is really important to me'. For Elbow it's hope
, Lambchop breakfast
, Bob Mould turning life upside
, New Model Army a sense of proportion
, Nada Surf respect and caring
, Sterolab hedonism
, Calexico space
...the rest are here..
a three-girl Japanese technopop sensation
formed in 2001 now consisting of Nocchi
, is about to release their ninth single, "Dream Fighter"
Perfume's July 2008 single "Love the World
" was the first technopop song ever to debut at #1
on the Oricon sales chart. The previous highest debut for techno was Yellow Magic Orchestra's "Kimi ni, Munekyun
" 25 years ago in 1983.
(original article citing #1 record translated
via Google translator) [more inside]
All Kinds of 70's awesomeness!! Plaid Stallions!!
Concert promoter LiveDaily has an acoustic live sessions program
(video starts playing). It's been running since March of this year and so far 33 artists have performed: Priscilla Ahn
, The Raveonettes
, Black Lips
, Paddy Casey
, Dawn Landes
, Lykke Li
, The Duke Spirit
, Frightened Rabbit
, Foreign Born
, The Dodos
, The Virgins
, Radar Bros.
, Langhorne Slim
, Joseph Arthur
, Missy Higgins
, Wild Sweet Orange
, Le Switch
, Deadly Syndrome
, Steve Poltz
, Weather Underground
, Imaad Wasif
, Rogue Wave
, David Ford
, Takka Takka
, Black Ghosts
, The Airborne Toxic Event
, Tally Hall
, Lionel Loueke
, Calico Horse
, Judith Owen
and Carrie Rodriguez
“In the condition I was in, it assumed at the time the quality of a beacon, a light on the far shores of the murk; what's more, it was proof that there was something left to express artistically besides nihilism and destruction.”
Lester Bangs on the topic of Van Morrison's Astral Weeks
which began recording exactly 40 years ago today in Century Sound Studios NYC. [more inside]
The Guardian has compiled a list of their top fifty arts videos
, the majority being from either rare or obscure sources and uploaded onto YouTube.
Classic tracks: Can't seem to face up to the facts?
Searching for the heart of Heart of Gold
? Mix Online delves deep into your favorite jams
, to find out what was in the air
when they were conceived. Know what I mean
is devoted to the evolution of popular music from Africa, the Middle East, India and Asia and the proliferation of Western influences on these non-Western cultures. The focus is primarily the music from the mid 60's to the mid 70's." (Description from the front page of the site.)
Slightly differently formatted version of the website here
. Nice set of links
, too (scroll down to the Words and Pictures section)
Chief Justice Roberts (mis)quotes Bob Dylan
* in his dissent on Sprint Communications Co. v. APCC Services, Inc.
, making this the first known time that a Supreme Court Opinion has used a "rock song to buttress legal opinion,"
according to Alex B. Long
of the University of Tennessee. Mr. Long knows a thing or two about this**, having authored [Insert Song Lyrics Here]
***, a Washington & Lee Law review Article on the subject of Pop Music in legal writing. The article is funny†, insightful, comprehensive in its musical background††, and surprisingly knowledgeable about good taste in writing.††† [more inside]
It's the story that has Britain in uproar*: Cliff Richard and General Franco: the 1968 Eurovision mystery
. Did General Franco scupper the judging? Exhibit A: Cliff's UK entry, Congratulations
. Exhibit 2: Spain's winning entry by Massiel, La la la
. For added measure, exhibit iv: here's Cliff's 1973 entry, which believe it or not also did not win, Power to all our Friends
(though Cliff's spectacular moves should not sway your opinion on the controversy* in any way
In the Aeroplane Over the Sea
was released 10 years ago today. Happy Neutral Milk Hotel day. [more inside]
While the Spice Girls are currently inflicting their 4th division nightclub appearance act on their poor fans
I was rather surprised to see a tiny
little ad in the newspaper announcing a UK tour by the Backstreet Boys
. While on the surface it seems that this reflects the popularity of one over the other, I can't help thinking that this is pretty much the way they want it (hee!) having observed how completely insane their fans used to be. [more inside]
The best music of 2007 according to Stereogum, Pitchfork, All Music, NME, PopMatters, The A.V. Club, Rolling Stone, TIME, MTV, the Guardian, eMusic, Amazon, Spin Magazine, Q, Largehearted Boy,
Among the most frequently listed are Radiohead, Spoon, Arcade Fire, Of Montreal, Feist,
and The National.
"I edited this short film
set to the tune of The Zombies' "This Will Be Our Year" featuring Super 8 footage shot by my parents between 1965-1979."
Think the Osmond Brothers
didn't rock? Think again
. "In spite of their squeaky clean image, the Osmonds had a soulful, sometimes raucous sound which was a precursor of the power pop of later years."
Color my preconceived notions shattered.
is an excellent way to keep tabs on what's fresh in the British popular music scene without having to live in a rainsoaked armpit. There are four podcasts for you to download, the flagship Best of Unsigned Podcast
, Homegrown Mix with Ras Kwame
, Scotland Introducing
and BBC Radio Northampton's Weekender
. All feature bands that are either unsigned or just recently signed and the music ranges from hip hop to punk rock to what sounds awfully like the soundtrack for a NES game with half-hearted chanting over it. This is an excellent resource whether you're casual searcher for new songs or the kind of anorak who knows which British indie band was first to use an 808.
Stylus Magazine is closed
Home to some of the best writing about rockism
, and Rasputin
and The Stranger
Greatest hits/bluffer's guide here
Pop Songs 07
is a blog by Matthew Perpetua, founder of Fluxblog
, in which he is attempting to write about every R.E.M. song eventually. With the recent release of Stereogum
’s tribute to Automatic For The People, Drive XV
, (free mp3s of covers of every track on the record by a range of indie rock acts) he was asked to write an essay about the album: Sweetness Followed: 15 Years After Automatic.
[SeinfeldPlotSingleLinkVideoFilter]: Michigan wants its $50 million
The South Bank Show is the longest running arts show on television. Melvyn Bragg
has presented an eclectic mix of televisual joy since 1978.
SBS has presented in-depth portraits of many different types of artists during this time, covering a huge range of topics. From high art to low art, classical music to pop music, canonical literature to airport blockbusters it has offered some of the most insightful and enjoyable arts programming around.
Much youtubery awaits inside [more inside]
The New Pornographers of the '90s, the Sardinas released two fantastic albums full of mixtape fodder. Now everything they've got, including some live gems, is up online.
on classical and pop music, and two related older articles
on the Pulitzer nomination process from Greg Sandow.