When Prince passed on "We Are The World"

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“He’d buy ice cream cones and wore sneakers,” says The Revolution keyboard player Wendy Coleman of Prince's Purple Rain days, “but the next minute, he’d be like ‘Hey, muthafuckas — ’ ” “He’d be fucking George Jefferson. And you’d be like, ‘Oh, God.’”

Over at Cuepoint, a great excerpt from Alan Light's forthcoming book, "Let's Go Crazy: Prince and the Making of Purple Rain."

Fabian Oefner's ferrofluidic cover for Guster's new album

Watch artist Fabian Oefner manipulating ferrofluid (magnetized liquid) and watercolors into a stunning psychedelic pattern that appears on the cover of alt.pop trio Guster's forthcoming album Evermotion.

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Star-Spangled Banner played by gun sounds like freedom

He'll need an automatic to get the syncopation right, but this gun enthusiast didn't miss a note when playing the US national anthem on Musical Targets.

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Noisy cover of Sgt Pepper's from Flaming Lips and friends


The Flaming Lips's With A Little Help From My Fwends drops next week, but NPR has a first listen to the noisy, funny, irreverent full-album cover produced as a charity benefit for a group that provides veterinary care for needy pet owners.

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Black Dynamite, the instrumental versions

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Black Dynamite is Scott Sanders' 2009 action comedy that parodies 1970s blaxploitation films. Adrian Younge composed the psychedelic soul score that's as good as almost anything from the era it attempts to mimic, and now he's released a vinyl LP containing the instrumental versions of those killer cuts. Above, a documentary about the making of the score.

Rick Rubin looks back at the birth of hip hop

In this Rolling Stone interview, Def Jam founder and legendary producer Rick Rubin returns to the New York University dorm room where his career began in the early 1980s and reminisces about the birth of hip hop. For more on this history, might I suggest...

Music by Al Cisneros (OM, Sleep) in David V. D'Andrea's stunning 7" packaging

Artist David V. D'Andrea is releasing a limited number of these absolutely gorgeous handmade art pieces in the form of 7" records containing entrancing dub music by Al Cisneros of Sleep and OM fame, available on Samaritan Press. (via OMGVinyl)

LISTEN: Run DMC meets Danny Elfman (spooky!)

DJ BC sends us his latest mashup -- Run DMC's "I'm the King of Rock" crossed with "This is Hallowe'en Town" -- BOO! (MP3)

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Jordan Kurland: San Francisco's music impresario talks business

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Jordan Kurland and Public Enemy's Chuck D at the Treasure Island Music Festival, 2012.

My friend Jordan Kurland lives at the intersection of music and art, straddling the crossroads of culture and business. He's the co-founder, with music-tech veteran Kevin Arnold and promoter Another Planet Entertainment, of the Treasure Island Music Festival, the annual two-day extravaganza that returns to the middle of the San Francisco Bay this weekend with performances by the likes of Outkast, Alt-J, Massive Attack, and The New Pornographers. Jordan and Kevin are also the forces behind the Noise Pop Festival, a pioneering indie music festival in San Francisco that has hosted hundreds of emerging and cult bands, from The Magnetic Fields to the Gutter Twins, the Flaming Lips to Death Cab for Cutie. In fact, it was Death Cab's experience at the 1999 Noise Pop Festival that ultimately led to the group signing up with Jordan as a cornerstone client of his boutique Zeitgeist Artist Management firm. These days, Zeitgeist's roster includes Best Coast, Bob Mould, The New Pornographers, Rogue Wave, She & Him, and Thao & The Get Down Stay Down.

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DIY audiotape "scratching" device

Jeremy Bell demos his excellent prototype "ScrubBoard" that enables a scratch-like effect with magnetic audiotape. Here's his Kickstarter to further develop the musical instrument!

FOUND: new musical based on the 'zine

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Davy Rothbart's fantastic zine FOUND is now a musical playing at the Atlantic Theater Company, and BB pal Larry Smith gives it a rave review. Larry writes:

FOUND is the story of a shy Jewish kid named Davy Rothbart who accidentally creates FOUND Magazine, and the unexpected inspiration, humor and love the project brings people across the world. Like so many of the best projects out there, it's amazing it even got made and it's strange and totally wonderful.

At last night's show, no less a figure then Ira Glass (you know him as Maury Kind) gushed after the show in the most erudite, Glass-ian way about how inspired this unexpected magazine-to-musical adaptation is. I too was floored, but could only come up with, "That was awesome, dude," and that was not just the Jolly Rancher talking.

So go remember why you love weirdos like Davy and cities like New York and see FOUND: The Musical before its run closes on Nov. 9.

Chocolate records

Peter Lardong makes playable (and edible) records from chocolate, a century-old tradition we've posted about previously. (via Laughing Squid)

Frozen, the chip tune

Frozen, 16-bit.

Haim and Stevie Nicks play "Rhiannon"

Fleetwood Mac's Stevie Nicks invites Haim over to hang out as the New York Times listens in on the conversation and we're all treated to a pretty great stripped-down version of Rhiannon by the foursome. From the New York Times:

Danielle (Haim), who tends to have little to say to the press and often appears bored on camera, had the most questions for Nicks, leaning forward intently and nodding. She was eager to talk about music, and wondered when Nicks knew it was going to “happen” for her.

A slight frown grazed Nicks’s mouth. “There is a song by Buffalo Springfield called ‘Rock ‘n’ Roll Woman,’ and the first time I heard it, I was like, That’s me. That’s who I’m going to be. I remember walking through a room, going, ‘Do you know who I am?’ It’s like, the Red Sea is definitely going to part here. My mom used to always say, ‘You paint the picture and it will happen.’ I believe that if you close your eyes and see yourself up on that stage, being bigger than life, you become that person with that big, really good attitude. You’re gonna be that rock ‘n’ roll woman that’s gonna make people happy and take them out of their miserable lives for two hours . . . and they’re going to want your music. And then, girls . . . at 66 years old, you can be starting a year-and-a-half tour that sold out its U.S. dates — in the first week.”

Kickstarting a new double album from the wonderful Marseille Figs

I've written here before about the marvellous, versatile, eclectic London indie band -- and now I'm delighted to support the Kickstarter for their new double-album.

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