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Music to Make You Move: Syncopation, Body-Movement and Pleasure

What is it about "Happy" by Pharrell Williams that makes you want to move? Why can't we sit still when we hear Ray Charles perform "I've Got a Woman"? Michael Jackson had it, and so did Stevie Wonder. "It," in this case, is syncopation, the gaps in the rhythm that your brain wants to fill in, as reported in the article Syncopation, Body-Movement and Pleasure in Groove Music (full article online).
posted by filthy light thief on May 30, 2014 - 70 comments

Luckily most of these songs aren't dreck

The Music Scene is a television series aired by ABC as part of its Fall 1969 lineup. The show featured performances from the top musicians of the week as compiled by “Billboard Magazine” and had a number of hosts, including David Steinberg and Lily Tomlin. Many huge names of the era, including The Beatles, James Brown, Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young, Three Dog Night, Tom Jones on the initial program and Janis Joplin, Bobby Sherman, The Miracles, Sly & the Family Stone, Isaac Hayes, Stevie Wonder, Bo Diddley and Mama Cass Elliot, (who co-hosted as well as performed) among many others, appearing on subsequent shows. [more inside]
posted by Room 641-A on Feb 9, 2014 - 18 comments

Low-end melodicism at its most sublime

You're perhaps familiar with the Stevie Wonder classic, For Once in My Life. It's a great little tune, catchy, pleasing, just makes you feel good. What you may never have really thought about, though, is how much James Jamerson's bass line has to do with the tune's infectious brilliance. So, check out James Jamerson’s Bass Line Visualized. I mean, just... damn! Right?
posted by flapjax at midnite on Aug 30, 2013 - 73 comments

"Til you reach that..."

Stevie Wonder, in his prime. Jesus.
posted by timsteil on Mar 26, 2013 - 45 comments

Wonderful.

Here's an amazing multitrack a capella cover of Stevie Wonder's I Wish by Yeo Inhyeok. [slyt | previously | via]
posted by quin on Mar 6, 2013 - 16 comments

Classic Albums, covering 3 decades of popular music

Classic Albums is a rock and pop documentary series, broadcast and on DVD, starting with The Making of Sgt. Pepper. There were 38 more albums covered, plus five more in the Netherlands... [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief on Mar 1, 2013 - 33 comments

Too much talent for one man.

Here's Stevie Wonder playing some drums.
posted by empath on Jun 21, 2012 - 25 comments

Do I Do Visions?

The SF Jazz Collective just began their month-long Spring 2012 tour. Each year since 2004 the eight musicians have selected a composer to honor — including many of the usual suspects: Coltrane, Hancock, Monk, Shorter, Tyner. (In 2013 it will be Chick Corea) This year, changing things up a bit, they've decided to showcase the music of Stevland Hardaway Morris. [more inside]
posted by LeLiLo on Mar 4, 2012 - 3 comments

"The author ran out of time, leaving plenty of stories untold."

How Gil Scott-Heron and Stevie Wonder set up Martin Luther King Day, with audio slideshow. [more inside]
posted by jessamyn on Jan 16, 2012 - 15 comments

Snap, Crackle, Rattle and Hum.

40 Noises That Built Pop [parts 234]
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane on Sep 7, 2011 - 79 comments

A Booth, a Mic, and a Tower

It’s increasingly rare for musicians to come into a radio station for anything more than a concert or album promo, but you can still find live performances from the booth if you know where to tune in: WNRN, an independent radio station in Virginia, has regular live acoustic performances of touring musicians, and records them in HD: The Punch Brothers covering Reptilia and Rye Whiskey; Locust in the Willow and Sometimes in This Country from Crooked Still. (much more)

Stevie Wonder and Eric Benet improvising on “You and I” at Stevie’s own radio station, KJLH.

Eminem freestyling on BBC Radio 1. BBC Live Lounge.

Howard Stern has supported live acoustic acts for a long time: Elton John, “Why Isn’t Howard Stern On TV?”; Dave Grohl, Everlong, My Hero; Counting Crows. A few public radio stations have dedicated performance spaces used for live shows : WNYC’s Greene Space and the BBC’s Maida Vale. [more inside]
posted by Bora Horza Gobuchul on Feb 27, 2011 - 37 comments

The Cleverlys

Bluegrass covers of popular songs, by The Cleverlys: The Bangles' Walk Like an Egyptian, Beyoncé's Single Ladies (Put a Ring on It), Shaggy's Angel, The Black Eyed Peas' I Gotta Feeling, Yes' Owner of a Lonely Heart, Fergie's Clumsy, Stevie Wonder's Superstition, Katy Perry's I Kissed a Girl
posted by finite on Feb 20, 2011 - 33 comments

Three outside children and another wife.

Got a 90210 Day hangover? Chill.It is the 3rd of September.
posted by timsteil on Sep 3, 2010 - 9 comments

Music for everyone

We've had a post on bassist and vocalist Esperanza Spalding previously, but perhaps we could do with an update. Last year she played at the White House for Stevie Wonder's Gershwin Prize concert and again for the Evening of Poetry, Music, and the Spoken Word (previously). In December she performed at the Nobel Peace Prize ceremony, and, according to wikipedia, her February 6 performance on Austin Cty Limits (PBS [US only?], with Madeleine Peyroux) made her the most-searched person, and the second-most-searched item on Google the next day. [more inside]
posted by Someday Bum on Apr 16, 2010 - 7 comments

"...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]
posted by Miko on Aug 20, 2009 - 19 comments

Ahmet Ertegun profiled by George W. S. Trow in 1978

Ahmet Ertegun was profiled by George W. S. Trow in The New Yorker in a classic piece back in 1978. Ertegun was the son of the Turkish ambassador to the US and he remained behind in D.C. studying medieval philosophy at Georgetown. Instead of devoting himself to his studies he founded Atlantic Records with his friend Herb Abramson. Trow charted how Ertegun moved from tramping through muddy, Louisiana fields in search of hot new sounds to the whirl of Studio 54. Below the cut are links to the songs mentioned in the article, as best as I could find, in the order in which they appear. [more inside]
posted by Kattullus on Aug 17, 2009 - 25 comments

Fingerstyle guitar to put a smile on your face

Fun, funky fingerstyle arrangements from Adam Rafferty: Superstition, I Wish, Billie Jean, The Chameleon. He's clearly having a great time and I think you will too.
posted by tomcooke on Dec 9, 2008 - 19 comments

Nashville Singer's Career Immortalized by Blind Man's Penis

Ramsey Kearney was a teenage country music prodigy nicknamed the Dixie Farmboy, a rockabilly singer with the Jimmie Martin Combo, a songwriter for Brenda Lee, and a producer of the most cloying Elvis tribute single ever recorded. Kearney would have almost no connection to alternative music whatsoever until John Trubee, a notorious crank phone caller and sideman for Zoogz Rift, found an ad in the back of the Midnight Globe tabloid from Kearney's Nashco Records label, a song-poem company offering to put his words to music for a small fee. Trubee sent his own disturbing LSD-fueled lyrics to Nashco, but to his surprise, Nashco accepted the lyrics after taking a $79.95 fee from Trubee. Kearney tweaked the lyrics slightly in order to avoid a lawsuit from Stevie Wonder, but the end product was the cult classic novelty song, Blind Man's Penis. (more inside)
posted by jonp72 on Aug 3, 2006 - 12 comments

Stevie Wonder

Stevie Wonder performs his classic hit "Superstition" on Sesame Street in 1973, and turns it into an extended funk workout. He sticks around to perform his own killer theme for the show. [via YouTube]
posted by New Frontier on Jun 24, 2006 - 102 comments

Come on, monsters! You don't have to cry! We can be happy! Yeah!

Johnny Cash implores Big Bird, "Don't Take Your Ones To Town." R.E.M. explore the spectrum of muppet emotion with Furry Happy Monsters. All the way back in 1972, Stevie Wonder offers the superlatively funky 1-2-3. The Pointer Sisters teach an entire generation about surreal terror with the classic Pinball Number Count. Ray Charles sings The Alphabet Song, with an inexplicable assist from Patrick Stewart, David Robinson and Lambchop. And, of course, who could forget the time The Beetles came to Sesame Street?
posted by Simon! on Apr 18, 2006 - 86 comments

Dokaka

Dokaka Insane Japanese a cappella that makes Jud Jud or Anton Maiden seem sober. Check out his 3 albums: One of heavy metal covers (including an incredible version of Metallica's Creeping Death), one that includes classics like Ramblin' Man, and another that's just a wonderful hodgepodge (Stevie Wonder Triple, oh my....). He's got a fairly useless homepage, but it's worth keeping an eye on because he posts new songs there.
posted by ubueditor on Jul 22, 2003 - 6 comments

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