La Düsseldorf was a German experimental band formed in 1976 by the late Klaus Dinger, formerly of Kraftwerk and Neu! Their hypnotic, trancy new wave sound influenced everyone from Brian Eno and David Bowie to Stereolab and Sonic Youth. Bowie once described La Düsseldorf as "the soundtrack of the eighties." Above is a video (unofficial) for their stunning track "Time," from their first and self-titled album La Düsseldorf. (via Ben Gibbard)
Amazingly talented and frequently quirky alt.folk act Thao & The Get Down Stay Down orchestrated the first video production on the new East Span of the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge. They were shut down by The Man but not before capturing enough footage to make this vid for "Feeling Kind" from their excellent LP "We The Common."
The National’s Bryce Dessner has just released his recording debut as a composer of contemporary classical music. Titled Aheym, it’s an exquisite collaboration with the famed Kronos Quartet. We asked Bryce to share with us his favorite contemporary classical works from the likes of Steve Reich, John Cage, and John Zorn.
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Starcadian's album is available on Bandcamp, with plenty more cuts on Soundcloud. Video Link [YouTube]
In keeping with the idea that 1983 was a good year for music, here's a track from one of my favorite albums of the era, "Tomorrow," which appeared on The Three O'Clock's Sixteen Tambourines (I embedded the entire album here because I like all the songs on it). I know this lightweight music is not everyone's cup of tea, but I have a soft spot for The Three O'Clock, The Knack, Paul Collins Beat, The Dream Syndicate, The Records, the Bangles, and so on.
See also: "Mexican Radio" by Wall of Voodoo, and "Gone Daddy Gone" by The Violent Femmes.
DJ Steve Porter's "Rob Crack Remix" gives us some rare, autotuned insight into old Laughable Bumblefuck's state of mind and the philosophy that has dictated his mayoral term in Toronto.
DJ Steve Porter - Rob Ford Crack Remix
Yesterday I posted the Violent Femmes' "Gone Daddy Gone." Here's another great song from 1983: Wall of Voodoo's "Mexican Radio."
Here's what frontman Stan Ridgway had to say about the song in a recent interview:
In this world and this universe there is such a thing as timing. Wall of Voodoo was a band that came up in the late ‘70s and we were from the underground fooling around with electronics and all that sort of stuff. Out of the blue we got signed to a smaller label and as the trajectory went further so did the industry. The video for ‘Mexican Radio’ pretty much made it happen at that point. The song was a good calling card for the record. Anyone who bought ‘Mexican Radio’ and then listened to Call Of The Wild [I assume he meant "Call of the West" - Mark] found that there really wasn’t another ‘Mexican Radio’ on that record. That record was pretty dark so it was satisfying to actually get them into our wheelhouse with a piece of candy only to find there was a mousetrap waiting.
Thanks to the World's Best Ever for posting this video of The Violent Femmes performing "Gone Daddy Gone" from 1983.
In 1983, fine art photographer Laura Levine shot a Super-8 film in Athens, Georgia with a group of creative friends. It includes a clip of Michael Stipe singing Lou Reed's "Pale Blue Eyes." The film, titled "Just Like A Movie," is unreleased, but after Reed's tragic death last week, Levine decided to post that scene on YouTube. Levine says, "The song itself was recorded earlier that day on a Walkman, with Matthew Sweet on guitar."
Michael Hearst launched his Songs For Unusual Creatures series on PBS Digital with an episode about the Jesus Christ Lizard. To accompany the story of this unusual creature, Michael wrote a tune for toy piano virtuoso Margaret Leng Tan! Michael says upcoming episodes will feature giant anteaters, magnapinna squids, tardigrades, glass frogs and sea pigs. For more of Michael's quirky brand of animal education, check out his book Unusual Creatures!
Lisa Rein writes, "I recorded this dubstep track
with a producer/musician friend of mine
(who would like to remain anonymous for now) in honor of today’s Million
Mask March going on in Washington D.C. and all over the world. This brand
new remix, based on a song I first wrote in September 2011, when the Anons
joined in solidarity with Occupy, is a thank you to Anonymous for
reminding me that there is strength in numbers, and that we can all look
out for each other and still do what’s right."
PBS Digital Studios’ Blank on Blank web series is a great idea - they animate old audio interviews with notable people. Here's one with the Grateful Dead's Jerry Garcia on the "Acid Tests" - concerts where LSD was handed out to attendees.
We’d set up the equipment, everybody got high, and stuff would happen,” Jerry Garcia tells veteran record executive Joe Smith in an interview from 1988. November 27 marks the anniversary of the The Grateful Dead’s first-ever performance at the infamous Acid Test parties in Santa Cruz, when they still went by the name The Warlocks. The music legend talks about the Acid Tests and explains: “That was the most important six months as far as directionality [for the band].”
(My favorite Blank on Blank is with Farrah Fawcett)
Jerry Garcia on The Acid Tests - PBS Blank on Blank series
"As I mourned by the sea, two images came to mind, watermarking the paper- colored sky. The first was the face of his wife, Laurie. She was his mirror; in her eyes you can see his kindness, sincerity, and empathy. The second was the 'great big clipper ship' that he longed to board, from the lyrics of his masterpiece, 'Heroin.' I envisioned it waiting for him beneath the constellation formed by the souls of the poets he so wished to join."—Patti Smith: Mourning Lou Reed
. [The New Yorker] — Xeni
Souris writes, "Scriptura Vitae is the directorial debut of New York-based artist, designer and filmmaker Aerosyn-lex Mestrovic. Having collaborated with the likes of Kanye West and KENZO, Mestrovic's latest venture is an ambitious three-part journey into the unknown that showcases Lex's haunting ritualistic calligraphy, alongside stunningly choreographed Japanese Butoh performances set to a score which features original music by the Grammy Nominated DIPLO. The film stars famed Japanese actress Miho Nikaido, best known for her role in the cult-classic and previously banned film Tokyo Decadence which was written and directed by lauded novelist Ryu Murakami. The effects in the film are visually striking, combining modern compositing with in-camera painting to devise something wholly unique."
◢ SCRIPTURA VITAE † A FILM BY AEROSYN-LEX MESTROVIC ◣