Witch-burning doesn't turn out as planned in amazing animated music video

jezabels animation

The amazing animated video to The Jezabels' "Come Alive" features a swirly, timeless impasto style. All smoke and fire and light, every frame's literally a stark, beautiful painting.

It was directed by Darcy Prendergast & Xin Li from Oh Yeah Wow, using oil paint on glass. It might seem grim for a monday morning, but stick with it! The Jezebels are on tour in early 2016 and their second album, The Brink, is out now.

Update: their new album, "Synthia", is out Feb. 12. Read the rest

Kamasi Washington and The Mountain Goats to play 2016 Noise Pop Music Festival in SF


Kamasi Washington, 34, is a saxophonist and composer who is carrying the spiritual jazz torch pioneered by the likes of John Coltrane, Pharaoh Sanders, Albert Ayler, and Stanley Cowell. But his sound is not a retro trip. Washington, who has also played with Flying Lotus, Snoop Dogg, Herbie Hancock, and Kendrick Lamar, recently released his three hour album, aptly titled Epic. It's an immersive, post-post-bop modal groove that is utterly and entirely contemporary. Dig the performance above, recorded this summer for NPR's Jazz Night in America.

I was thrilled when our friends at San Francisco's Noise Pop Music Festival announced that Washington will be part of this year's killer lineup for the musical extravaganza taking place February 19-28 at clubs around the city. So far, the schedule also includes performances by The Mountain Goats, Parquet Courts, Vince Staples, The Cave Singers, Caucus, The Thermals, Film School, Diane Coffee, Wild Ones, Beacon, Astronauts, Etc., Palehound, and Heartwatch.

More details: Noise Pop Music Festival

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Bizarre mechanical techno music machine driven by a DJ turntable


Graham Dunning made this fantastic techno music-making contraption in which a DJ turntable triggers a variety of mechanical percussive sounds that are fed through effects boxes. Incredible!

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Win a guitar from Loog


This post is a heartfelt “thank you” from Loog Guitars CEO Rafael Atijas. Loog is a company that we at Boing Boing are proud to have helped grow. We are thrilled to see them join us as a sponsor. To enter for a chance to win one of their guitars, email gadgets@boingboing.net by November 26, 2015.

Four years ago I had an idea: what if a children’s guitar wasn't just small but also had other features that made it fun and easy to learn how to play?

That’s how I came up with Loog Guitars: a line of 3-string kits that kids can build with their parents and, in that way, connect with their instrument at a deeper level. The 3 strings still let kids and beginners play chords and, therefore, any song. But, with fewer things to learn, it's easier to play and to make sense of what they are playing.

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Listen to the soldiers' musical soundtrack of the Vietnam War


We Gotta Get Out of This Place: The Soundtrack of the Vietnam War is a new book by veteran Doug Bradley and Craig Werner, professor of Afro-American studies at the University of Wisconsin–Madison, about soldiers' musical memories and the impact of James Brown, Eric Burdon, Country Joe McDonald, and other popular artists on the Vietnam experience and our understanding of it.

At KQED's Next Avenue, Bradley shared the "Top 10 Songs of Vietnam" mentioned by the hundreds soldiers they interviewed for the book. Here are the top three with Bradley's comments on them:

1. We Gotta Get Out of This Place by The Animals

No one saw this coming. Not the writers of the song — the dynamic Brill Building duo of Barry Mann and Cynthia Weil; not the group who recorded it — The Animals and their iconic lead singer, Eric Burdon; not the 3 million soldiers who fought in Vietnam who placed extra importance on the lyrics. But the fact is that We Gotta Get Out of This Place is regarded by most Vietnam vets as our We Shall Overcome, says Bobbie Keith, an Armed Forces Radio DJ in Vietnam from 1967-69. Or as Leroy Tecube, an Apache infantryman stationed south of Chu Lai in 1968, recalls: “When the chorus began, singing ability didn’t matter; drunk or sober, everyone joined in as loud as he could.” No wonder it became the title of our book!

2. I Feel Like I’m Fixin to Die Rag by Country Joe & The Fish

Misunderstood and misinterpreted by most Americans, Country Joe’s iconic song became a flashpoint for disagreements about the war and its politics.

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The Fat Boys do what they love


I'ma stuff my face to a funky beat! Read the rest

Meet the 9-year-old "King of the $1 Record Bins"


My son Lux, age 9, is an avid record collector. Unlike me, Lux has the patience to dig through the $1 bins wherever there is cheap vinyl to be had: thrift shops, garage sales, flea markets, record swaps, and of course record stores. (His favorite record shops in the San Francisco Bay Area are Mill Valley Music and Amoeba.) Veteran audio journalist and record collector Michael Fremer interviewed Lux for his site, Analog Planet. (Thanks, David Hyman!)

Below, Lux and I after Record Store Day 2015!

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Listen to all the strange music on the internet, randomly


Metaratr serves up the unlistened-to work of amateur and prospective musicians on Soundcloud. Who knows—maybe you'll be the one to discover the next Justin Bieber!

M E T A R A T R is a site where you find songs you've probably never listened or wanted to listen to. pick a name and password and click one of the five buttons below over and over again! there's even a leaderboard, maybe.

You can ask it to give you only terrible music, if you like. You may also assign favor, as the name suggests. The first item served up for me was Stop Bringing Me Waffles by caj formal, which seems exactly the sort of thing the internet was invented for.

Top o' the Metaratr chart, though, is a lovely bloopy synth track, SC009 Maxo - Eddy Vancouver by Activia Benz.

Metaratr doesn't seem to work in Chrome, but maybe it's just having some trouble today with all the hits. Firefox worked fine for me.

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Violin performance accompanied by moaning plumbing


Behold the Triple concerto for faucet, water pipes and fiddle, by the Altra Volta String Quartet.

Jacek Dzwonowski performs both the traditional instrument and its postmodern counterpart.

Here is another example, apparently shot in a Russian dormitory.

May the plumbing of the former Eastern Bloc never be repaired. Read the rest

Friday Freak-Out: Shocking Blue's "Love Buzz" (1969)


Dutch psych-rockers Shocking Blue's "Love Buzz," from their 1969 LP At Home. Far fucking out. Nirvana famously covered the song as their first single in 1988 and it later appeared on Bleach. Below, Shocking Blue play their hit "Venus" that topped the Billboard charts in February 1970.

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Ol' Dirty Bastard's FBI files

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Michael from Muckrock writes, "Mr. Russell Jones. Maybe the name doesn't ring any bells for you. On February 3, 1999, when the Federal Bureau of Investigation first ran their records on him, there were over a thousand people that made that match. In New York, there were 196. Another 164 of them turned up as living nearby in New Jersey. Perhaps you'd recognize him by another name. After all, there was only one Ol' Dirty Bastard. Today, on the 12th anniversary of his death, MuckRock takes a look at his voluminous files with the FBI. Read the rest

Watch David Bowie get down on Soul Train (1975)

On November 4, 1975, David Bowie performed "Golden Years" on Soul Train. Sure, he was lip-syncing, but who cares. The Thin White Duke's got soul.

The Bowie Golden Years site has more background on the appearance.

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Notorious B.I.G. calms down crying baby: “Don't worry, Biggie's coming back.”


An internet classic from 2011. “Don't worry honey, Biggie's coming back.”

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Black Midi: compositions so complex humans can't perform them


Rhizome takes a look at the world of Black Midi, compositions with so many notes that to print them as musical notation would result simply in a giant blob of ink on the page.

We've previously written about Circus Galop, an inhumanly-polyphonic test suite for automatic pianos. This stuff makes it look rather minimalist. [via] Read the rest

New Orleans R&B legend Allen Touissaint, RIP


Allen Touissant, a deeply influential New Orleans rhythm and blues musician and producer, has died. He was 77. Touissant suffered a heart attack shortly after a performance in Madrid, Spain. Touissant's work influenced generations of artists, from the Rolling Stones and The Who, who covered his songs, to collaborators like The Meters, Harry Connick, Jr., and Elvis Costello, with whom he recorded a post-Katrina album. From the New York Times:

Mr. Toussaint was born in 1938 in Gert Town, a humble, working-class neighborhood of New Orleans, where he taught himself piano. He began his career as a teenager in the 1950s, releasing his first album in 1958 under the name Tousan. In 1960, he became the house producer, arranger and songwriter for the Minit label, working on songs like Ernie K-Doe’s “Mother in Law,” Lee Dorsey’s “Ya Ya” and Jessie Hill’s “Ooh Poo Pah Doo.”

Throughout his career, Mr. Toussaint embodied the traditions of the New Orleans R&B scene, working as one of the city’s most prolific and influential songwriters and producers during the 1960s and 70s. Even in that fertile period of New Orleans music, Mr. Toussaint’s work stood out for its humor, jaunty style and arrangements with piano flourishes that showed the influence of Professor Longhair.

After a brief stint in the United States Army, Mr. Toussaint returned to music in 1965 and continued to work with a range of New Orleans musicians, including the early funk group the Meters. He co-founded Sea-Saint Studios in 1972, which attracted Paul Simon, Paul McCartney and others.

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Korean band performs Michael Jackson's "Beat It" acapella


The eight-member band is named Lovelyz and formed in 2014, according to Wikipedia. Read the rest

10,000 wax cylinders digitized and free to download


The University of California at Santa Barbara library has undertaken an heroic digitization effort for its world-class archive of 19th and early 20th century wax cylinder recordings, and has placed over 10,000 songs online for anyone to download, stream and re-use.

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