Meet the composer of the Seinfeld theme

Vintage interview with Jonathan Wolff, composer of the iconic Seinfeld theme (and music for Caroline in the City, Full House, Saved by the Bell, and many other shows).

"I started with (Seinfeld's) voice... and took a meter from his delivery, and made that the tempo of the Seinfeld Theme," Wolff says.

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"Here Comes The Sun" played verrrrry slowly, then sped up to the right tempo

Samuraigutarist recorded his cover of The Beatles' "Here Comes The Sun" at a very slow tempo that lengthened the song to around 30 minutes. Then he sped up the video and audio 20x. The result sounds like a lovely violin version of the song.

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Fantastic psychedelic video for Kraftwerk's Autobahn (1979)

In 1979, Roger Mainwood, just out of the Royal College of Art, created this wonderfully trippy animation for Kraftwerk's "Autobahn." It was a commission from the band's record company but Kraftwerk had no input on the film, and Mainwood says he's unsure if they even saw it. The fan site KraftwerkOnline tracked down Mainwood and interviewed him about the film:

I've never actually had to explain in words exactly what it was all about. There was a lot of what you might call "psychedelic pop" imagery around at the time that to be honest never had a great deal of actual "meaning" to it at all, and I guess I was tapping into that. Thinking back to my thought processes at that time, I remember wanting to specifically not have conventional cars in the film. I wanted a sense of a repetitive journey, and alienation, which I took to be what the music was about,............hence the solitary futuristic figure, protected by large goggles, moving through and trying to connect with the journey he is taking. The automobile "monsters" are deliberately threatening ( I have never been a big fan of cars or motorways ! ) and when our "hero" tries to make human contact (with different coloured clones of himself) he can never do it. In the end he realises he is making the repetitive and circular journey alone but strides forward purposefully at the end as he did in the beginning . All of which sounds rather pretentious..........but I was a young thing in those days !

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Pixelsynth: fun Web instrument translates images into electronic music

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Pixelsynth is a lovely and compelling Web app by Olivia Jack that enables you to easily turn your own images into weird electronic music and tweak the tones (and graphics) in real time. PIXELSYNTH (via Waxy)

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Today in 1934: the death of Bonnie and Clyde, chronicled in song by Serge Gainsbourg

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On this day, May 23, in 1934, police killed infamous outlaw couple Bonnie Parker and Clyde Barrow outside of Sailes, Louisiana. Several weeks before they were killed, Parker penned a poem titled "The Trail's End" that became the basis for "Bonnie and Clyde," a beautiful French-language song that Serge Gainsbourg wrote and performed with Brigitte Bardot in 1968. Here's Bonnie's original poem:

The Trail's End

You've read the story of Jesse James of how he lived and died. If you're still in need; of something to read, here's the story of Bonnie and Clyde.

Now Bonnie and Clyde are the Barrow gang I'm sure you all have read. how they rob and steal; and those who squeal, are usually found dying or dead.

There's lots of untruths to these write-ups; they're not as ruthless as that. their nature is raw; they hate all the law, the stool pidgeons, spotters and rats.

They call them cold-blooded killers they say they are heartless and mean. But I say this with pride that I once knew Clyde, when he was honest and upright and clean.

But the law fooled around; kept taking him down, and locking him up in a cell. Till he said to me; "I'll never be free, so I'll meet a few of them in hell"

The road was so dimly lighted there were no highway signs to guide. But they made up their minds; if all roads were blind, they wouldn't give up till they died.

The road gets dimmer and dimmer sometimes you can hardly see.

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Ramones 40th anniversary box-set coming in July: rarities, demos, live shows

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The $80 Ramones 40th Anniversary Deluxe Edition collects 3 CDs, one LP and a hardcover book, in a limited, numbered box (the edition is limited to 19,760, which is a number you can interpret as either symbolic of the year 1976, or "this edition limited to the number we anticipate selling"). Read the rest

American Youtube musician breaks silence over 100-day detention in Jakarta

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Ewan writes, "In Septempber of last year, American YouTube musician Kina Grannis embarked on a tour of Asia. As usual, her social media presences detailed the process beautifully (I've interviewed Kina myself and have called her the gold standard among YouTube musicians on more than one occasion). Read the rest

Understand the rhyming style of great rappers

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If you don't know, now you know.

(Thanks, Gabe Adiv!)

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Nintendo claims ownership over fans' Minecraft/Mario mashups

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Nintendo continues its long-running campaign of legal harassment against its biggest fans: this time, they're targeting fan-videos showing gameplay from the official, licensed Mario/Minecraft mashup pack for the Wii U. Read the rest

Nerdcore rapper Sammus's amazing OSCON keynote

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Sammus -- AKA Enongo Lumumba-Kasongo -- gave an opening keynote at the O'Reilly Open Source Conference in Austin, Texas this week. It opened with an amazing musical performance but moved swiftly on to an inspiring, tearjerking talk about what happened to turn her into a woman who is so interested in technology. Read the rest

Oral history of Aerosmith and Run-DMC's "Walk This Way"

In 1986, Aerosmith and Run-DMC collaborated on a remake of the former's 1970s song "Walk This Way." Masterminded by producer Rick Rubin, then 22, the resulting jam was a gamechanger for both hip hop and rock. Over at the Washington Post, Geoff Edgers put together a fascinating oral history of the instant classic:

Steven Tyler: I loved rap. I used to go looking for drugs on Ninth Avenue and I would go over to midtown or downtown and there would be guys on the corner selling cassettes of their music. I’d give them a buck, two bucks, and that was the beginning of me noticing what was going on in New York at the time....

DMC: Rick gives us this yellow notebook pad. He tells us, “Go down to D’s basement, put the needle on the record.” We go down to my basement and put on the record and then you hear “Backstroke lover always hidin’ ’neath the covers” and immediately me and Joe get on the phone and say: “Hell no, this ain’t going to happen. This is hillbilly gibberish, country-bumpkin bulls---.”

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The Pink Panther Theme is very odd in a major key

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Henry Mancini's "Pink Panther Theme" (1963) reworked into a major key would make a good soundtrack for a bad 1960s sitcom. (Major vs Minor, via Digg) Read the rest

Watch The National's beautiful cover of The Grateful Dead's "Morning Dew"

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Stunning! The National's cover of "Morning Dew," a song penned in 1961 by Bonnie Dobson and later popularized by the Dead, is one of 59 (!) tracks on the Day of the Dead box set they helped produce, featuring Sharon Van Etten, the Flaming Lips, Real Estate, War on Drugs, Jenny Lewis, and many more covering Dead songs. Day of the Dead will be out May 20, with all profits benefiting the HIV/AIDS organization Red Hot.

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Iconic NYC record store Other Music to shut its doors

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Other Music, my favorite New York City record store, is closing down after more than two decades in the East Village. Other Music was a hub of avant-garde culture both locally and via their phenomenal weekly newsletter reviewing new releases, from experimental electronica to post-punk indie to freaky psych reissues, and everywhere in between. Whenever I visited Manhattan, I made a beeline to Other Music, and loved hearing staff recommendations (and peeking at what other customers were buying).

“We still do a ton of business — probably more than most stores in the country,” co-owner Josh Madell told the New York Times. “It’s just the economics of it actually supporting us — we don’t see a future in it. We’re trying to step back before it becomes a nightmare.”

Business has dropped by half since the store’s peak in 2000, when it did about $3.1 million in sales, said Chris Vanderloo, who founded the shop with Mr. Madell and Jeff Gibson after the three met as employees at the music spinoff of Kim’s Video in the early ’90s. (Mr. Gibson left Other Music’s day-to-day operations in 2001.)

Rent, on the other hand, has more than doubled from the $6,000 a month the store paid in 1995, while its annual share of the building’s property tax bill has also increased with the local real estate market.

Other Music, I will miss you.

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British punks then and now

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The Guardian featured essays by UK punks who made the scene when it first emerged in the late 1970s. Above, Terry Chimes, 59, original drummer for The Clash, now a chiropractor.

"I just wanted to be in a band, and this was the most exciting band I could find," he writes. "Everyone else in The Clash was angry at the world and the establishment. I wasn’t. That’s why I left, actually. I felt like the odd one out.

Below, Jordan, 60, Sex Pistols stylist, Adam and the Ants, manager, now a nurse.

"A lot of the major music moguls were extremely sexist," she writes. "An A&R guy once said to my face, 'This is not a woman’s job. You should be cooking and laying on your back.' I didn’t want to be there any more, so I came home to Seaford."

"Never mind the bus pass: punks look back at their wildest days" (The Guardian) Read the rest

Music: 'Time Fi Legalize' Reid Speed remix, We Chief ft. Ragga Twins & Gosteffects

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Listen: "Time Fi Legalize" extra-elevated remix of We Chief feat. Ragga Twins & Gosteffects by Reid Speed.

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Who is the Lord of Synth?

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Three legendary synth musicians -- Morgio Zoroger, Xangelix and Carla Wendos -- competed in 1986 for the right to be anointed Lord of Synth. Read the rest

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