Watch Kachi Chan's spare, trippy, otherworldly visuals

Modern Jazz musician Olivier Cong's two-part song "Delusion" inspire designer Kachi Chan to create a black and white space-themed series of visuals. Prepare to leave your body! Read the rest

Using data to define the official canon of 90s music

I'm a big fan of the Pudding's clever approach to infographics, and this latest piece examining 90s music does not disappoint. They surveyed thousands of people, collecting millions of data points to find out how well they recognized charting songs from the 1990s, and analyzed the results according to birth year. Pretty cool!

Sinatra, Elvis, and Chuck Berry are emblematic of ’50s music, but what’s the ’90s equivalent? Using the recognition data we collected, we can begin to define the canon. These will be the artists and songs that Gen Z and beyond seem to recognize (and value) among all the musical output from the decade.

First, it’s important to understand the general trends in the data. “No Diggity” knowledge peaks among people born in 1983, who were 13 years old when the track debuted in 1996. We also see a slow drop off among people who were not fully sentient when “No Diggity” was in its prime, individuals who were 5 years old or younger (or not born yet) in 1996.

That drop-off rate between generations—in this case, Millennials to Gen Z—is one indicator for whether “No Diggity” is surviving the test of time

The Instagram post below is only a small piece of the results; check out the Pudding's website for the full analysis, with all your favorite (and/or totally forgotten) 90s pop gems.

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Part 1 of 2—New project: 1) Gen Z is far more likely to recognize "Wannabe" than "No Scrubs." 2) Will Smith is falling into obscurity.

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Mystery cassette from thrift store - who is this 70s prog rock band

A request from r/ObscureMedia: "Mysterious cassette tape of probably (1970)s rock band album. No results from Shazam or online lyric searches. Found in charity shop without correct case or labels." Read the rest

Listen to one hour of very familiar and relaxing hold music

"Just put it in the background and chill, or try to hypnotize yourself with the Cisco logo," says uploader ricksslickpicks.

Once you're suitably relaxed, you might listen to the classic episode from This American Life about one man's obsession with this song, titled "Opus No. 1," and its origins.

Tim Carleton and Darrick Deel composed the piece in 1989 when they were around 16 years old. It is the quintessential example of holdwave music. And yes, that is apparently an actual vaporwave-adjacent genre. From an archived Cisco blog post:

Darrick and Tim’s story actually begins back in 1989, when as teenagers and friends they recorded a song in their garage. Unfortunately, they didn’t go on to rockstar fame and fortune, but years later Darrick would go on to take a job with Cisco. In his role building Cisco’s first version of IP phones, he was aware of Cisco’s need for a piece of music to use as the default hold music for the new system. Cut to several years later, and their high school composition has become the hold music for the world’s most popular phone systems with over 65 million IP phones sold. With that, Opus No. 1 has left the safety of Darrick and Tim’s childhood recording studio and entered earworm status.

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Watch: Rubber chicken one-man-band Zeroelectrodrum [VIDEO]

Sound up.

Go, chickens, go! Read the rest

Nirvana's "Come As You Are," the swing version

"I turned Nirvana's "Come As You Are" into an old-fashioned swing tune and now I hate myself," writes the creator. Don't beat yourself up too much; old-timey Nirvana is kinda catchy! Read the rest

Vanilla Ice to get his own biopic starring Dave Franco

Word to your mother. Vanilla Ice, the oft-mocked 1990s rapper best known for "Ice Ice Baby" (above), is getting his own biopic starring Dave Franco (Scrubs, The Disaster Artist) playing Ice, real name Rob Van Winkle. Franco spoke about the film for the first time in Insider:

"We have been in development for a while but we are inching closer and closer to preproduction," Franco said.

The news was quietly released in early 2019 through trade publication Production Weekly and included the longline: "From a high school dropout selling cars in Dallas to having the first hip-hop single to top the Billboard charts with 'Ice Ice Baby,' a young Vanilla Ice struggles with stardom, extortion attempts, and selling out as he makes music history."Franco said if the project is done right, it will very much be like "The Disaster Artist."

"With that movie, people expected us to make a broad comedy where we make fun of Tommy Wiseau, but the more real we played it, the funnier and heartfelt it was — that's the tone we want for this one as well," Franco said.[...]

"Rob is such a sweet and intelligent guy and he's been super helpful in the process of getting all the details correct and making us privy to information the public doesn't know," Franco said. "Just talking to him I can't help but think about the rabbit holes I'm going to go down to get ready for the role."

Bonus below, Vanilla Ice on MTV explaining that "Ice Ice Baby" does not use the same bassline as Queen/David Bowie's "Under Pressure." Read the rest

Billie Joe from Green Day covers "Police On My Back" by the Equals

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This was originally written and performed by The Equals, Eddy Grant’s beat group from the 60. And of course The Clash slay it. #theequals #theequalsband #dervgordon #eddygrant #theclash

A post shared by Billie Joe Armstrong (@billiejoearmstrong) on Jul 17, 2020 at 8:21pm PDT

Green Day frontman Billie Joe Armstrong has been posting different cover songs from quarantine every week. This week's offering is the topically-relevant "Police On My Back" by the Guyanese-British pop band, The Equals (famously covered by The Clash)

Image: Sven-Sebastian Sajak (Sven0705) / Wikimedia Commons (CC 3.0) Read the rest

Incredible handmade marionettes of early rock-and-rollers

George Miller is an artist, musician (The Kaisers and The New Piccadillys), and production designer. While on lockdown in Glasgow, Miller created a series of spectacular marionettes of early rock and roll, country, and R&B greats like Johnny Cash, Link Wray, Jerry Lee Lewis, Wanda Jackson, Sister Rosetta, and Bo Diddley. The detail and personality of the marionettes is quite astonishing. Miller loves them too much to sell any. From an interview at Dangerous Minds:

I’d been working on a BBC children’s drama for a few weeks (I’m a freelance Production Designer, gawd help me) and as lockdown was approaching, production stopped so I went from super busy to completely idle pretty much overnight.

I’d made some marionettes for a video a few years earlier and since then had been toying with the idea of making one of Link Wray but never seemed to have the time, so lockdown seemed the ideal opportunity. I liked the notion of spending time making something that had no ultimate purpose other than self amusement and no deadline for completion. With his outfit made by my partner Ursula, Link turned out pretty satisfactorily but after a few days I got the itch again, so I got to work on Bo Diddley, another guitar favorite of mine. Bo gave me a bit of trouble and the first attempt went in the bin. Realizing I’d tried to rush it, I reverted to lockdown pace, which I’ve employed ever since[...]

When the “cast” of puppets grows to 20 or so, I’m planning on making a video showcasing their individual musical styles plus a series of short clips based on the photographs of Gene Vincent and Eddie Cochran passing time in the dressing room of the Glasgow Empire theater.

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Rolling Stones release "lost" song recorded with Jimmy Page in 1974

In October 1974, the Rolling Stones recorded "Scarlet" with their friends Jimmy Page of Led Zeppelin on guitar and Traffic's Ric Grech playing bass. The band finally gave the track an official release today as a teaser for their forthcoming Goat’s Head Soup box set that contains a slew of bonus material including two other unreleased songs, demos, alternate versions, and a live gig.

Of "Scarlet," Keith Richards says, "My recollection is we walked in at the end of a Zeppelin session. They were just leaving, and we were booked in next and I believe that Jimmy decided to stay. We weren’t actually cutting it as a track, it was basically for a demo, a demonstration, you know, just to get the feel of it, but it came out well, with a line up like that, you know, we better use it.‘’

And from Rolling Stone:

In 1975, Page told Rolling Stone‘s Cameron Crowe that he thought the track was supposed to be a Stones B-side. “It sounded very similar in style and mood to those Blonde on Blonde tracks,” Page said. “It was great; really good. We stayed up all night and went down to Island Studios where Keith put some reggae guitars over one section. I just put some solos on it, but it was eight in the morning of the next day before I did that. He took the tapes to Switzerland and someone found out about them. Keith told people that it was a track from my album.”

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DJ Joey Negro, who is white, decides to change his stage name

A white musician in the UK who performs as "DJ Joey Negro" has decided to drop the name, reports the BBC.

In truth I’ve not felt comfortable with the name Joey Negro for a while, especially as I’ve got older. I’ve stopped using it a few times but establishing a new name as an artist isn’t easy and I’ve ended up going back to it. I understand now though that it’s not appropriate for me to carry on using the name. I’ve recently received emails, tweets etc saying that it is unacceptable and people find it out of place in 2020 - and I agree. From now on I’m dropping Joey Negro as a pseudonym, and all those future releases that weren’t already in production will carry the name Dave Lee. I’m sorry to have caused any offence. My whole life has been about music but particularly black music, I love soul, funk, disco, jazz in a way that’s impossible for me to articulate in words and I have tried to champion it with the best intentions. Please be aware the changes are not instant everywhere, Best Dave Lee

Game over for blackface and the like, as put out there by clued-in but boneheaded white entertainers who thought they were being ironic, respectful or clever.

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Watch Ziggy Marley play his dad's songs in honor of Bob Marley's 75th birthday

This year marked the 75th birthday of the great Bob Marley (1945-1981). As part of the celebration, Bob Marley and Rita Marley's son Ziggy Marley, 51, just recorded a full concert of his father's music. Watch above! (The performance was recorded at a studio in Los Angeles with clear partitioners between the band members.)

According to Rolling Stone, Marley's platinum birthday year will be commemorated by numerous events and releases including "the 12-part documentary series Bob Marley: Righteousness as well as soccer doc Rhythm of the Game, new videos for “No Women, No Cry” and “Three Little Birds,” the unearthing of live performances and a SiriusXM station dedicated to the reggae legend." Read the rest

Watch Leonard Cohen do stand-up comedy

Enjoy the unique comedy stylings of Leonard Cohen! He's quite funny although I keep waiting for him to break into song or, at the very least, do an impression of Dustin Hoffman. The clip is included in the 1965 documentary Ladies and Gentlemen... Mr. Leonard Cohen, which also included his reading of "The only tourist in Havana turns his thoughts homeward" that I posted about previously. You can watch the full documentary here:

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Watch the music video that's making karens and qanon hysterical about Adult Swim today

Adult Swim is Cartoon Network's late-night counterpart, showing adult-oriented shows, animations, art and so forth. It's been doing so since 2001, with Cowboy Bebop, Aqua Teen Hunger Force and Rick and Morty among the popular faves. Last night, however, an angry lady found out about it and all hell broke loose on Twitter.

Celebs waded in. Internet "Free Thinker" Robbie Starbuck has reached the limit of his free-speech principles: "What redeeming value or non-evil value does this bring to adults? This is a celebration of death, evil, rot & darkness."

The video that they're freaking out about is PreBirth by Mike Diva, embedded at the top of this post. It features pyramid-headed figures drumming with baby dolls, which giggle along no matter how extreme the treatment. To anyone with a passing familiarity with pop culture, Satanic Panic and the edgy surrealism of music videos, it's a darkly-humorous joke about how consumerism breaks, molds and manipulates us into becoming the gleeful demonic spawn of capital—or something like that, anyway.

It's presented in the most comically offensive way possible using the capirote symbology of Christian cultism and the retro occultism of The Omen, Rosemary's Baby and all that followed. Read the rest

Gorgeous new music video from Matt Berninger of The National

On October 2, Matt Berninger of The National will release his first solo album, Serpentine Prison, produced by Booker T. Jones of famed Memphis soul group Booker T. & the M.Gs. Above is the brand new music video for "Distant Axis," a stunningly beautiful track that Berninger co-wrote with Walter Martin, formerly of The Walkmen.

Berninger's brother Tom directed the video with Chris Sgroi.

Of "Distant Axis," Berninger says, "I think it’s about falling out of touch with someone or something you once thought would be there forever.” Read the rest

The most adorable cover of Rage Against the Machine ever recorded

Audrey Di Niambil belts out the anti-police brutality anthem "Killing in the Name" with aplomb in this delightful acoustic cover of the RATM classic. Read the rest

Disco vs Macho

Please express your preference in the comments.

To be used as a measuring stick:

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