Massive Attack's "Teardrop" on acoustic guitar

Gregory Johnson of Acoustic Labs plays a beautiful acoustic cover of Massive Attack's downtempo classic "Teardrop." Original version below.

Beatles "Across the Universe" covered using sampled audio from Rosetta mission

Essa writes, "Andrew Huang has taken fragments of the audio from the Rosetta mission and arranged them into haunting rendition of The Beatles' 'Across the Universe'. Apart from his singing, no other sounds were used in the song."

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Phish's concept concert based on Disney's "Chilling, Thrilling Sounds of the Haunted House"

For Halloween, rock group Phish traditionally creates a 'musical costume' by covering a classic album from music history. This year, the band created a new set of music based around the 1964 Disneyland album Chilling, Thrilling Sounds of the Haunted House. Interesting set of music with a cool stage design, the band uses the original narration and inspiration for the songs."

It makes for quite a concept album, to rival Kilroy Was Here and 2112.

Songs for fearful flyers

Michael Hearst, composer of Songs For Unusual Creatures, has a new album out, called Songs For Fearful Flyers. Whoopi Goldberg pitched in to the worthy project by lending her voice.

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Band releases unplayable glass-master disc with entire catalog


Claire from the band Yacht sends us their newest project, Where Does This Disco?: "Among other things, it's a clear unplayable CD (without foil) containing our entire musical catalogue. It's also a microsite built to explain what it's like to be a band trying to design and sell physical media in an age where compact discs are both obsolete and still somehow ubiquitous."

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New psychedelic sounds/visuals from Mark McGuire (ex-Emeralds)

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From guitarist/synthesist Mark McGuire -- formerly of Kosmische revivalists Emeralds -- comes this beautiful, experimental video journey (and it is a trip) for McGuire's composition Noctilucence, available on his new EP of the same name.

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Flaming Lips' Wayne Coyne on "Living With Death"

The Flaming Lips' Wayne Coyne talks about the time he faced death at Long John Silvers, and how it changed him. From a 2002 interview, animated by Blank on Blank.

Incredibly-designed record players of yore

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Above, Hartmut Esslinger's incredible Wega Stereo Concept 51 (1978), from the Museum of Modern Art's exhibition "Making Music Modern: Design for Ear and Eye" opening this weekend.

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Gil Scott-Heron, before "The Revolution Will Not Be Televised"

Over at Cuepoint, the incredible backstory of poet/musician/activist Gil Scott-Heron's incredible 1971 black power anthem, "The Revolution Will Not Be Televised." The context is the content.

"Why Gil Scott-Heron Wrote 'The Revolution Will Not Be Televised'" (Cuepoint)

Sugar Hill Gang's Henry "Big Bank Hank" Jackson, RIP

Henry "Big Bank Hank" Jackson of The Sugarhill Gang, composers of the pioneering "Rapper's Delight" (1979), died today at age 57 from cancer. (CNN)

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Check it out, I'm the C-A-S-A, the N-O-V-A,
And the rest is F-L-Y,
You see I go by the code of the doctor of the mix,
And these reasons I'll tell you why.
You see, I'm six foot one, and I'm tons of fun
When I dress to a T,
You see, I got more clothes than Muhammad Ali
and I dress so viciously.
I got bodyguards, I got two big cars
That definitely ain't the wack,
I got a Lincoln Continental and a sunfoofed Cadillac.
So after school I take a dip in the pool,
Which is really on the wall,
I got a colour TV, so I can see
The Knicks play basketball. Hear me talk about
Checkbooks, credit cards, mo' money
Than a sucker could ever spend,
But I wouldn't give a sucker or a bum form the Rucker
Not a dime 'til I made it again. Everybody go
Ho-tel, Mo-tel, Whatcha gonna do today? (Say what?)
'Cos I'm a get a fly girl,
Gonna get some spank n' drive off in a def OJ. Everybody go
Ho-tel, Mo-tel, Holiday Inn,
Say if your girl starts actin' up, then you take her friend.

Amanda Palmer's Art of Asking: art for the crowdfunding age


Amanda Palmer's new book Art of Asking is a moving and insightful memoir of her life performing music while making personal connections with her fans; I wrote a long, in-depth review of it for The New Statesman.

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The Postal Service: "Nothing Better" live video

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Above, a spectacular live performance of "Nothing Better" by The Postal Service -- BB pal Ben Gibbard (Death Cab for Cutie) and Jimmy Tamborello (Dntel) with Jenny Lewis (Rilo Kiley) -- who released one phenomenal album in 2003, Give Up, and reunited for a tour last year.

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Photos of Studio 54 (1978-1980)

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Photographer Tod Papageorge's new book Studio 54 documents the infamous 1970s New York City disco during its coke and boogie-fueled heyday. See a sampling of the photos over at Paper and buy a copy from publisher Stanley/Barker here.

Papageorge writes:

“The 66 photographs in this book were made between 1978-80 in Studio 54, a New York discothèque that, for a handful of years, was the place where celebrities, partygoers, and those crazy for dancing most wanted to be and be seen. Because of this, it was difficult to get into: the imperturbable doormen who doled out access according to rules that only they seemed to know made sure of it. The most evident way of winning them over was to be beautiful, but only the famous or socially connected could assume that they’d be shooed around the flock of hopefuls milling on the street side of the entrance rope and through the door. Once inside, though, everyone there seemed thrilled by the fact, no matter how they managed to accomplish it, a feeling fed by the throbbing music and the brilliantly designed interior, which, from night to night, could suggest anything from Caliban’s cave to a harem.”

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History of pop music ads

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Over at Cuepoint, a fascinating study of vintage print ads for popular music like this one from the late 1960s, pitching far out avant-classical recordings by Terry Riley, Charles Ives, Edgar Varese, Karlheinz Stockhausen, and Walter (now Wendy) Carlos.

“The Establishment’s against adventure,” read the by-then international record company’s accompanying ad copy. “And the arousing experience that comes with today’s music. So What? Let them slam doors. And keep it out of the concert halls.”

"A History of Selling Out"

We listen to sad music to feel nostalgic

If sadness is an unpleasant emotion, then why are we at times so drawn to sad music? By Dan Ruderman

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