Is this a Midicorn or a Unichord?

Andrew Huang created a MIDI unicorn: a short musical piece that appears as a unicorn when represented in linear musical notation. You can download the MIDI file itself. Read the rest

Put A Little Love In Your Heart

Jackie DeShannon's 1969 hit. Read the rest

Pensive film revisits dead music venues

Quartier Latin in Berlin. Rose Bonbon in Paris. Hammersmith Palais in London. Some of the most iconic punk and rock clubs of the 80s and 90s are remembered by patrons and musicians, juxtaposed with shots of what they became after closing.

Bonus video: an edit of Last Man in Hammersmith Palais, outlining the venue's storied history.

Loud Places (Vimeo / Mathy & Fran) Read the rest

Alex Trebek raps

Remixers start your engines: "Who knew Alex Trebek could flow?" Read the rest

Comfortably Numb on acoustic guitar

The Acoustician performs excellent acoustic, instrumental guitar covers of classic rock songs. See the solo training videos too.

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Listen to a ten hour playlist of killer Moog music

In 1948, Robert Moog, age 14, was inspired by classical Theremin performer Clara Rockmore to build his own Theremin. Then in 1964 Moog designed a brand new kind of electronic instrument, a modular voltage-controlled synthesizer. That instrument and Moog's work since transformed the sound of modern music forever. To hear how, dive into this fantastic 10-hour Moog playlist:

(The Guardian via Open Culture) Read the rest

Rogue Wave's new video for cover of Pete Townshend's "Let My Love Open the Door"

Today my friends in Rogue Wave released the video for their lovely cover of Pete Townshend's "Let My Love Open the Door." The track is from their latest release "Cover Me," a quite wonderful covers album that consists entirely of Rogue Wave going back to their 1980s musical roots, influences, and mix tape favorites. Songs include The Cure's "In Between Days," The Cult's "She Sells Sanctuary," The Church's "Under the Milky Way," The Romantics' 'Talking In Your Sleep," and many more 80s MTV classics. "Cover Me" is available for digital download or colored vinyl -- pink or splatter paint, natch.

The video for "Let My Love Open the Door" was directed and edited by Jim Granato with color effects by Truckee Lynch.

"The idea for this video has been circling around my brain since we finished tracking it," Zach Rogue says. "A fantasy about what I could tell my younger self if I had the chance."

Check out Rogue Wave tour dates here.

Read the rest

Mark Twain's 1900 rewrite of the Battle Hymn of the Republic, strangely apropos today

Mine eyes have seen the orgy of the launching of the Sword; He is searching out the hoardings where the stranger's wealth is stored; He hath loosed his fateful lightnings, and with woe and death has scored; His lust is marching on.

I have seen him in the watch-fires of a hundred circling camps; They have builded him an altar in the Eastern dews and damps; I have read his doomful mission by the dim and flaring lamps— His night is marching on.

I have read his bandit gospel writ in burnished rows of steel: "As ye deal with my pretensions, so with you my wrath shall deal; Let the faithless son of Freedom crush the patriot with his heel; Lo, Greed is marching on!"

We have legalized the strumpet and are guarding her retreat;* Greed is seeking out commercial souls before his judgement seat; O, be swift, ye clods, to answer him! be jubilant my feet! Our god is marching on!

In a sordid slime harmonious Greed was born in yonder ditch, With a longing in his bosom—and for others' goods an itch. As Christ died to make men holy, let men die to make us rich— Our god is marching on.

The Battle Hymn of the Republic, Updated [Wikipedia]

(Image: Trumpshair.com) Read the rest

Assault Trombone

"Say hello to my little friend!" [via @codinghorror.]

Previously: Flamethrower trombone Read the rest

Rhymes from a high-schooler's machine learning system trained on Kanye lyrics

Robbie Barrat is president and founder of their high school computer science club; they created Rapper-Neural-Network, a free software project that uses machine learning trained on a corpus of 6,000 Kanye West lines to autogenerate new rap songs. Read the rest

Newly digitized mixtapes from 80s and 90s club DJs

What is a preservationist to do when someone drops off a plastic grocery bag full of 30-year-old cassettes created by some of San Francisco's most influential DJs? Digitize them, of course. Read the rest

Things I miss: when the William Tell Overture was cool

I remember when I could hear the opening to the William Tell Overture and feel the adventure.

I'm not sure if I just got older, the constant comedic uses of The Lone Ranger theme, or I just can't tolerate the racism inherent in most old Western themed tv and movies, but every time I hear this music, I get a brief taste of that old feeling and then it is washed away.

For some reason Jonny Quest's theme still works. Hadji deserved better treatment. Read the rest

Watch the Kraftwerk sitcom that never aired

Shame that this never made it to prime time. Ralf And Florian sure beats Bosom Buddies. (Paul Thorpe)

(Yes, it's a parody.)

Read the rest

"The Devil Went Down To Georgia" on guitar and unbalanced washing machine

Aaron McAvoy and his unbalanced washer perform a rousing rendition of The Charlie Daniels Band's "The Devil Went Down To Georgia." That driving mechanical rhythm delivers an industrial dance feel, as if it was a 1980s cover by the Revolting Cocks. (via Laughing Squid)

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10 hours of ambient noise from an "icebreaker in the frozen arctic"

Imagine the horror of being trapped in a hostile landscape surrounded by snowflakes that were once objects of amusement but now form a blizzard of menacing proportions. Then smile because you're not a fascist, and are merely stuck on a polar icebreaking vessel for 10 hours.

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Mad Max Trilogy soundtrack on vinyl

With track titles such as "Max Decides On Vengeance" and "Max Enters the Compound," the first two Mad Max soundtracks embody the movies' stark and ironic dystopia. Disc 3, of course, has "We Don't Need Another Hero." I have embedded the instrumental version here as a taster of the forthcoming vinyl set, with Brian May, Maurice Jarre and Tina together at last.

For the first time ever, the original Mad Max trilogy of soundtracks have been combined into a stellar deluxe package designed by Marvel comic artist Tim Bradstreet (The Punisher, Blade). The outside three panels consist of all new original artwork while the inner panels display minis of the original jackets and the tracklisting. The color of the vinyl is Gray, Sand and Black respectively in keeping with the central colors of the new art panels. No more than 2000 units will be made and the trilogy will not be duplicated in another package.

It's up for preorders at $70 and will ship in April. I wonder: why doesn't it include Mad Max 4?

Mad Max Trilogy [3 LP] Soundtrack [Amazon] Read the rest

David Axelrod, incredibly influential soul/jazz/rock composer and producer, RIP

David Axelrod, whose 1960s and 1970s production and compositions melding jazz, soul, and rock had an indelible impact on contemporary hip-hop and R&B, has died at age 83. From Billboard:

Born in Los Angeles in 1933, Axelrod produced his first album in 1959 and went on to become a pioneer in combining jazz, rock and R&B in recorded music. He spent several years working for Capitol Records in production and A&R in the 1960s and went on to release more than a dozen of his own albums.

While a contemporary of, and somewhat analogous to, idiosyncratic composer/arrangers like Van Dyke Parks, Axelrod was much more influenced by jazz, as reflected in his orchestrations and his own compositions. He produced David McCallum's Music: A Bit More of Me, the 1967 release featuring "The Edge," a song that famously turned into the predominant sample in Dr. Dre's 2000 hit "The Next Episode." He also collaborated with the Electric Prunes on their bizarre 1968 album Mass in F# Minor, and when the group splintered in the middle of recording, he finished it with session musicians.

So sad to hear about the passing of musician/composer #DavidAxelrod. He was so immersed in creativity and so pure with his arrangements he WAS hip hop. And understood and appreciated hip hop culture (most cats would get guarded about time moving on & easily take the "NO!!!!!!!!" disposition if they aren't informed. David embraced and often reached out to producers and beatmakers for cool collabos) he appreciation for music and his ability to recognize musicianship is what I'll take from him.

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