"The next time you hear a bird chirping outside your window, you might think twice about what’s going on inside his little birdbrain."
Are birds’ tweets grammatical? [Scientific American] But are the rules of grammar unique to human language? Perhaps not, according to a recent study, which showed that songbirds may also communicate using a sophisticated grammar—a feature absent in even our closest relatives, the nonhuman primates. Kentaro Abe and Dai Watanabe of Kyoto University performed a series of experiments to determine whether Bengalese finches expect the notes of their tunes to follow a certain order.
Folks, tunes like Scotch Tape (by Lana Johnidas with the Swinging Strings) and Portland Rose Song (by Bert Lowry with Orchestra and Chorus) could only have come from a "vanity" record label like Film City, who provided us and future generations with a plethora of endearingly awful little masterpieces.
Red Solo Cup! I lift you up! Let's have a party! Toby Keith's new music video has to be seen to be believed. Including a guest appearance by mefi favorite, Craig Ferguson!
I'm so sorry, Metafilter, really I am. I don't know what's come over me, but I am posting one of the dopiest, most embarrassing celebrity novelty tunes ever recorded. It's by the fellow who played Batman in the 60s TV series, Adam West, in a breathtakingly stupid recording of an utterly ridiculous song called Miranda. I pray that you'll forgive me for my indiscretion, and I promise I will post some inspiring and worthwhile music next time around.
A unique (to say the least) musical voice from the past emerges, with a timely tune to those along the Eastern Seaboard of the United States. Yes, friends, it's Nervous Norvus, with Evil Hurricane. [more inside]
The performance collective This Is It has created a video singing the praises of creativity: Don't Hug Me I'm Scared. (via)
One day in 1984 character actor Stephen Tobolowsky (Groundhog Day, the original, unaired pilot of Buffy The Vampire Slayer) was walking down the street when Jonathan Demme pulled up and asked if he wanted to see a movie he was finishing. Tobolowsky accepted: taking his girlfriend Beth Henley, they went to the Academy Linwood Dunn Theatre to watch the rough cut of the movie, Stop Making Sense. The audience in the otherwise empty theatre consisted of Tobolowsky, Henley, and Demme, along with members of Talking Heads, including David Byrne and Tina Weymouth. Later, Byrne passed Tobolowsky on his bike and asked if he wanted to work on a new movie. Interest sparked again, and during the ensuing collaboration Tobolowsky shared his past experience of psychic phenomena. Inspired, Byrne went on to write Radio Head. The song was heard by Thom Yorke and became the name of his band. All of this is a true story, based on puzzling evidence. [more inside]
What would a pro sports playoff drive be without a fan-written tribute song? For those anticipating Game 7 of the Stanley Cup playoffs tonight, here for your enjoyment is Canucks Waleyan Ne, a Bhangra song written by members of Vancouver's large South Asian community. English lyrics available here (pdf), pasted below the fold for your convenience. [more inside]
The Eurovision Song Contest 2011's first semi-final begins at 2 PM CST. Watch it online.
Happy Mother's Day from Buck Owens, Randy Newman, John Lennon, Merle Haggard, Elvis Presley and LL Cool J
I always loved the Quincy Jones-composed theme song to 70s sitcom Sanford and Son, but up until a few minutes ago I'd never heard the entire piece: three minutes and six seconds of delightfully infectious, playfully bright instrumental pop-funk. It's called The Streetbeater, and its creative and ever-changing arrangement includes snippets of the rarely heard bass harmonica. The piece is just a hella lotta fun. [more inside]
ChatRoulette Love Song; SLYT (3.44). Cool moment at 1.33.
Yes I like playing Dungeons and Dragons with you... "This Fantasy World" by the Doubleclicks, with animation by Brad Jonas. [SLYT]
Songwriters on Process interviews songwriters in depth about their writing process. They've talked to everyone from Brian Fallon (The Gaslight Anthem) to J.D. Cronise from The Sword. Where else can you find both Patrick Stickles from Titus Andronicus talking about Faulkner and Eric from Foxy Shazam admitting he's never read a book in his life?
Pink releases music video for the song Fuckin' Perfect: Explicit Version (Youtube, possibly NSFW) / Radio Edit: Youtube / MTVMusic. Background: Pink's Website / Wikipedia. Note: Both versions of the video depict anorexia, cutting and suicide.
Basically, Kant was right by Carrie Jenkins, aka Conceptual Truth. Philosophy should always be this much fun! Also check out her philosophy band, The 21st Century Monads.
This is surely, without question, the best interpretation of "Santa Claus Is Coming To Town" ever recorded. The best. Merry Christmas!
This song is called Alice's Restaurant, and it's about Alice, and the restaurant, but Alice's Restaurant is not the name of the restaurant; that's just the name of the song, and that's why I call the song Alice's Restaurant. [more inside]
The Complaints Choir phenomenon, started by the Finnish artists Tellervo Kalleinen and Oliver Kochta-Kalleinen, has spread all over the world since last we paid it any attention, from Birmingham to Helsinki, Hamburg, St. Petersburg, Poikkilaakso, Bodø, Penn State, Canada, Juneau, Gabriola Island, Sointula, Jerusalem, Melbourne, Budapest, Malmö, Chicago, Florence, Copenhagen, Vancouver (2), Philadelphia, Sundbyberg, Milano, Åland, Hong Kong, Tokyo, Rotterdam, Basel, Umeå, Ljubljana, Gdansk, Arizona State University, Washington, DC, Horace Mann School, Durham-Chapel Hill, Auckland, Toronto theatre students, Kortrijk, Cairo (2), St. Pölten, Maribor, Port Coquitlam, Ústí nad Labem, Columbus & Kauhajoki (2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8). For more information, including a 9 step guide to forming your own complaints choir, go to the Complaints Choir website. Finally, here's the Singapore Complaints Choir, whose performance was banned by the Singapore government.
Pulp's Common People - the great class-based song of the 90s?
WE ALL GOOD PEOPLE pt. 1 (ISRAEL/PALESTINE) (vimeo)
WE ALL GOOD PEOPLE pt. 2 (ISRAEL/PALESTINE) (vimeo)
More videos by Grant Slater.
WE ALL GOOD PEOPLE pt. 2 (ISRAEL/PALESTINE) (vimeo)
More videos by Grant Slater.
If there is ever one song that you should not listen under the influence of hallucinogens or other mind-altering substances, it would be "Pizza Song," quite possibly one of the creepiest-sounding tracks in existence.
It's time to smile. (SLYT)
You know which song the very first singing computer sang, right? Yup, just like you saw in the movies, only this one didn't slow down when he offered up his electronic rendition of the tune that was toppermost of the poppermost on both sides of the Atlantic back in 1892.
brentalfloss is a comedian, musician, and gamer. He first gained notoriety when he added lyrics to the title theme from Mega Man 3 and created the "With Lyrics" series on his Youtube channel, though his most recent hit is Dr. Mario With Lyrics. [more inside]
WAFF-TV reported the story of how Antoine Dodson saved his sister Kelly from a rapist intruder in her bed. Antoine's passionate sound-bite becomes an internet sensation as the "Bed Intruder" meme. Things go to the next level when the Gregory Brothers auto-tune it and turn it into a surprisingly good hit song. [more inside]
Take Me Out to the Ballgame is an American classic, the "national anthem of baseball." Written by Jack Norworth, with notable versions by Harry Caray and friends. Norworth recently got a new gravemarker, but cemetery rules says no changes could be made without approval from his family. When no family could be found, an empty grave was purchased and set aside for some future "unfortunate soul," who will get a teeny, tiny place in baseball history.
io9 decided that Firefly needed a "tight-ass killer 1980s intro." So they cut one together: the article, or just the intro itself. A fan's end-credits, even with a nice slight soupçon of MTM at the end. Firefly fans might find it more interesting, though, that io9 noted a little later in the day that Nathan Fillion had tweeted on Wednesday night a picture of Joss Whedon, Alan Tudyk, Nathan Fillion, and Adam Baldwin all looking upward into a bright light, with the text "Together. Again." But ... no, it doesn't mean that, unfortunately. [Still, if you need your Simon or Kaylee fix, look to Warehouse 13 next Tuesday, as Maher and Staite are guest-starring together in "Mild-Mannered" (trailer).]
"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.
The Internationale, the anthem of international socialism, has been sung in many different ways. The original French. In Irish - Gaelic. In Russian. Hungarian. Romanian. By Billy Bragg. By Alistair Hulett and Jimmy Gregory. As Disco. As Chinese rock karaoke. As Gypsy guitar.
Tim Minchin is not keen on the Pope. Quite rude. No, actually very rude. And yes, it's a single link to a YouTube video. NSFW.
Im a fan of Songs You Already Know. If you make another, could you please make a song for "Song for when you're overwhelmed"? A nice sweet calmdown song. An audio-hug. A song that huddles around you and whispers "shhhhhhh, calm the fuck down. s'okay".
That's My Uncle Kim "A song about everyone's favourite kooky, incorrigible uncle: Kim Jong-Il" (SLYT) (Previous)
"Broadside was a small underground magazine smuggled out of a New York City housing project in a baby carriage, filled with new songs by artists who were too creative for the folkies and too radical for the establishment." The entire back catalog of this influential magazine - which helped set the visual standard for underground zines until desktop publishing - is now avalable online, in PDF.
"Ian Huntley gets his own jacuzzi and a gym in jail" - SLYT song about everyone's favourite middle-market British tabloid. (via lmg)
For the past 21 years, across the limitless expanse of the North Pacific, a lonely whale has been singing, calling for a response. There has been none, and there never will. [more inside]
We're mostly pretty familiar, I guess, with the ol' rum pa pum pum of the Little Drummer Boy. He shows up every Christmas, marching drum slung round his waist, rat-a-tat-tatting for the Son of God, thanks to that familiar song about him. A catchy little tune it is, too... heck, David Bowie and Bing Crosby think so! Let's keep in mind, though, that back when a certain Holy Infant made his first grand appearance at a stable back in Bethlehem, any little drummer boy that might've serenaded him wouldn't have been playing any paradiddles or ratamacues. Nah, he'd have been laying down beats more like this, or this, or (from actual boys), this. I think the baby Jesus would've dug the groove, too. Merry Christmas, y'all!
cementing the link between beer and creativity cementing the link between beer and creativity, a group of actual grown-ups manage to make music together utilizing only their breath and beer bottles.
Sung in incoherent pseudo-English, Adriano Celentano's Prisencolinensinainciusol (1973) could be thought of as an early example of rap.
Fiddle, accordion, and a singing drummer. Seven minutes and fifty seven seconds of Gypsy music from Ukraine, live in Budapest. The real thing. Totally wailing. Kickass. Técső Banda at Kertem.