Listen to Michael Stipe (REM) sing David Bowie

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A heavily-bearded Michael Stipe sings a beautifully baroque cover of David Bowie's "The Man Who Sold the World" as a teaser for tomorrow night's Music of David Bowie tribute concert at Radio City Music Hall, and streaming. (The Tonight Show)

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Finger Ease is guitar string lubricant that smells nice

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I really like Finger Ease guitar string lubricant. While I doubt the spray does a thing for the sound of my strings, I find it allows me to play for quite a bit longer.

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Playable records laser-etched in cheese, eggplant and ham

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Artist Matthew Herbert has successfully created edible record albums that he laser-etched into a variety of foodstuffs, then played and displayed at London's Science Gallery.

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Today is the anniversary of John Lennon and Yoko Ono's Bed-In For Peace

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Forty-seven years ago today, John Lennon and Yoko Ono celebrated their honeymoon with a weeklong Bed-In For Peace at the Amsterdam Hilton Hotel. Was it a prank or a protest? Yes.

"It's part of our policy not to be taken seriously," Lennon said. "Our opposition, whoever they may be, in all manifest forms, don't know how to handle humour. And we are humorous."

Above is the short documentary of the events, titled Bed Peace.

War is over! (If you want it).

More at Imagine Peace.

Below, the song "Give Peace A Chance," recorded June 1, 1969 during the second Bed-In, at Montreal's Queen Elizabeth Hotel. (Bonus appearance by bOING bOING patron saint Dr. Timothy Leary!)

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Hear The National, War on Drugs, Jenny Lewis, and others play the Grateful Dead

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For several years, The National's Bryce and Aaron Dessner have been collecting musical tributes to the Grateful Dead by a variety of their fave artists, from Sharon Van Etten to the Flaming Lips to Real Estate. Finally, the long-anticipated set, Day of the Dead, will be out May 20.

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Listen to Bob Mould (Husker Du, Sugar) hang out with Ryan Adams

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Legendary punk Bob Mould (Hüsker Dü, Sugar) has a killer new album out today, Patch the Sky! One of Bob's pals is singer-songwriter Ryan Adams who was a fan before becoming a friend. Earlier this week, Ryan invited Bob over to his studio to hang out, shoot the shit, and play some songs. NPR has the audio evidence.

...For the next hour you'll hear Bob and Ryan play music and hear a sprawling, geeky and fun conversation. Sometimes it's about Bob's record, other times it's about Metallica bootlegs, caveman sounding lyrics, favorite cereals, fasted band, how the revival of vinyl helps make better, more focused records, praying, the quietness of church, zombies, Einstürzende Neubauten, noise rock and recording/mixing/soundboards.

"Hear Ryan Adams and Bob Mould Play Music And Talk About Everything Under The Sun" (NPR's All Songs Considered)

Bob Mould "Patch The Sky" (Amazon)

Bob Mould's "Voices In My Head":

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Crazed heavy-metal drummer accompanies "I'm a Little Teapot" and many, many others

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Joey Muha is a heavy metal drummer of enormous skill and verve and long, beautiful flowing locks who has filled his Youtube channel with dozens and dozens of videos of him drumming along to songs that don't, at first blush, lend themselves to heavy metal percussion. But he proves conclusively that heavy metal drumming makes all music better. Read the rest

Cornell University gets a grant to catalog and preserve Afrika Bambaataa's hiphop archive

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Afrika Bambaataa concluded his inaugural three year term as the visiting scholar at Cornell's Hip Hop Collection by donating his personal library of 450 containers of 20,000 hand-annotated vinyl records, as well as other archival materials. Read the rest

Pioneering hip-hop artist Phife Dawg of A Tribe Called Quest has died

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Malik Taylor, aka Phife Dawg, of pioneering hip-hop trio A Tribe Called Quest has died at age 45 from complications arising from diabetes.

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Hear rock music's secret satanic messages in this 1981 radio show

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When I was ten, my friend and I got excited by the rumor that if you play Queen's "Another One Bites the Dust" backwards, it says "Smoke marijuana." We tried it and it sounded clear as day! Then we played it for my dad who laughed and said that to him, it sounded like "Go to California." Of course, this was during the heyday of fantastic urban legends about the occult and backmasking in rock music. Evangelist Michael Mills fueled the insanity with this 1981 radio broadcast, featuring bits by Black Sabbath, The Beatles, Led Zeppelin, Judas Priest who famously went to trial (and won) over bullshit accusations of backmasking.

!nataS liaH

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The Marxophone, spooky carnival instrument

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The Marxophone is a 1912 toy instrument that combines a zither with a keyboard linked to flexible hammers that repeatedly strike the strings. The resulting sound, over the years, has earned a strange place in folk music. It's often used to evoke a mysterious carnie atmosphere, but Katherine Rhoda shows here how beautiful it can be.

Named for its inventor, Henry Charles Marx, they were sold new until the 1950s and can be found on eBay for about $300. You've heard it in many popular songs, such as The Doors' cover of Alabama Song (Whiskey Bar) and Portishead's Sour Times.

Marx also created the Celestaphone, a similar instrument with a more refined sound. Read the rest

Beatles "holy grail" record sells for $110k

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An exceedingly rare and historically important Beatles record sold at auction today for $110,000. The 78 RPM 10" acetate includes "Hello Little Girl," apparently the first song John Lennon ever wrote (or at least recorded). The flip side is a song Meredith Wilson wrote for the 1957 play The Music Man, titled "Til There Was You." Take a listen below. The Beatles manager Brian Epstein handwrote the label on this particular record that now belongs to an anonymous collector.

From Omega Auctions:

This unique 10" 78RPM acetate record featuring 'Hello Little Girl' on one side and 'Til There Was You' on the other was cut in the Personal Recording Department of the HMV record store on Oxford St, London. Brian Epstein had the disc cut from the Decca audition tapes before presenting it to George Martin (EMI) on 13th February 1962 in his desperate attempt to get them a recording contract. This meeting, despite Martin's initial reticence, was to eventually lead to the breakthrough they were looking for. The disc was later given to The Fourmost to record their own version of Hello Little Girl (recorded 3 July 1963) and then to Les Maguire of Gerry & The Pacemakers (recorded Hello Little Girl 17th July 1963). This is the first time it has come to the marketplace, having been tucked away in Maguire's loft until now. Epstein's handwriting on the labels reads as follows: side 1 Hullo Little Girl, John Lennon & The Beatles, Lennon,McCartney' and side 2 'Til' There Was You Paul McCartney & The Beatles'.

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Living synth legend Giorgio Moroder: from Donna Summer to Bowie to Blondie to Daft Punk

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Cuepoint looks back at the storied career of Giorgio Moroder, the pioneering producer who paved the way for nearly all electronic dance music since the 1970s and is still pushing new beats. Below, my favorite Moroder track, "Chase," heard in the film Midnight Express. From Cuepoint:

“The range of my audience is incredible,” he said. “I see young kids and older people, sometimes people in their forties, fifties, and even sixties! It’s fantastic to see people around the world dancing to my songs.” He’s now seventy-five and frequently tours—this time with a laptop loaded with hits from his opulent catalogue. On being called the oldest touring DJ, his response: “I don’t know if being the oldest is a good or bad thing [laughs]. But I really think it’s wonderful, if anything.”

"From Disco to Daft Punk: Giorgio Moroder’s Neverending Story" (Cuepoint)

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Dig this incredible Italian disco TV show from 1979

Get your groove on with the incredible opening sequence to Tilt, a 1979 Italian disco TV show hosted by Stefania Rotolo. Can you dig it? I knew that you could.

(via r/ObscureMedia, thanks UPSO!)

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Beautiful new Massive Attack music video with Kate Moss

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Medium/Robert Del Naja created this lovely video, starring Kate Moss, for Massive Attack's "Ritual Spirit" (a collaboration with Azekel) from their killer EP of the same name.

"Me and Kate have been friends for years, but had never collaborated, so last year we booked a studio with Medium and set up a shoot," says Massive Attack's Robert "3D" Del Naja. "During the session Kate was dancing in the dark, lighting herself with a naked bulb. She perfectly captured the essence of this track… intimate and ritualistic. We edited it back in Bristol to keep it raw with no re-touching, I didn't want to lose the spirit of that moment.

Massive Attack's Ritual Spirit (Amazon)

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Cops in small MA town warn about roving rap-battle challengers

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The police in Charlton, Massachusetts (one of the fifty safest towns in America) have issued a warning to the citizenry that they've heard tell of young men in a black SUV who are driving around town, challenging teenagers to rap battles. Read the rest

Faceswapped Scully and Mulder = synthpop band

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Daniel Holland made the striking observation that if you faceswap The X-Files' Scully and Mulder, you get a synthpop duo. Read the rest

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