Join me to watch Talking Heads perform in my living room

Well, they're performing at the Capitol Theater in Passaic, New Jersey in 1980, but I'm watching it in my living room right now.

This killer lineup includes the great avant-garde axman Adrien Belew of King Crimson and The Bears and the late Parliament-Funkadelic legend Bernie Worrell on keyboards!

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The 'Super Bad Transmittable Contagious Awful Virus' song, a parody of 'Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious!'

You need this. So do I. Read the rest

Start your Sunday: The Beastie Boys 'So What'cha Want' (1992)

Well I think I'm losing my mind, this time This time I'm losing my mind, that's right Said I think I'm losing my mind, this time This time, I'm losing my mind Read the rest

Shut in sounds: Devotchka—Done With Those Days

This little ditty from Devotchka's 2018 album This Night Falls Forever, is both beautiful AND timely. The masks. The coming storm. the promise to be there for one another.

Love it.

Image: YouTube Read the rest

'Informer' by Snow still cracks me up every single time

I am sure this guy squealed. Read the rest

Bob Dylan just released a 17 minute song about JFK's assassination

Bob Dylan just released his first new song in eight years. It's a 17-minute murder ballad about the assassination of John F. Kennedy. From the lyrics to Murder Most Foul:

“It was a dark day in Dallas, November ’63. The day that will live on in infamy. President Kennedy was a-riding high, good day to be living and good day to die.”

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Bob Dylan releases his first original song in eight years

Yesterday Bob Dylan released his first original song in 8 years. "Murder Most Foul" is a 17-minute murder ballad about the assassination of President John Kennedy. Read the rest

Kubrick/Kraftwerk t-shirt

Years ago, Philip Anderson, founder of the great Cinefile Video store in Los Angeles, and designer Bob Bianchini created a genius line of t-shirts that combined the names of auteur directors with the iconic logos of excellent bands: Herzog/Danzig, Bunuel/Bahaus, etc. Today I just noticed this fantastic Stanley Kubrick shirt that references Kraftwerk's Radio-Activity album!

See them all at Cinemetal T-Shirts. Read the rest

John Lennon called this song "one of the greatest strange records"

Rosie and the Originals' "Angel Baby" (1960) is a classic doo wop ballad, beloved (and covered) by John Lennon. Lennon was a fan of the flipside of that record too, "Give Me Love," but only because it's wonderfully awful. From Jonathan Cott's book Days That I Remember: Spending Time with John Lennon & Yoko Ono:

"This is really one of the greatest strange records,” [Lennon] remarked. “It's all just out of beat, and everyone misses it. The A side was the hit, 'Angel Baby'— which is one of my favorite songs — and they knocked off the B side in ten minutes. I'm always talking Yoko's ear off, telling her about these songs, saying, 'Look, this is this! This is this... and this... and this!'"

(via r/ObscureMedia) Read the rest

Nine Inch Nails releases surprise new records

Nine Inch Nails released two new albums today, Ghosts V: Together and Ghosts VI: Locusts. They are follow-ups to 2008 Ghosts I-IV. [via Christian Eede at The Quietus]

TWO DIFFERENT RECORDS FOR TWO DIFFERENT MINDSETS. DOWNLOAD NOW FOR FREE. STAY SAFE!

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Harsh but funny way to get your neighbors to turn down their music

Love thy neighbor! To a point, anyway. Matt O'Brien suggests that if your neighbors are playing their music too loud for you to handle, you might be able to hijack their Bluetooth speaker with the below song he recorded just for that occasion. It's pretty catchy!

(Thanks, Jeff Cross!) Read the rest

Check out Money Mark's fantastic daily musical experiments!

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You don’t wanna miss *tomorrow’s post* it’ll be good. But for now this experimental piece inspired by John Cage. Been washing my hands so much in the basin—made me think of Water Music. My classic CR-78 and metal meets water. Our world, our habitat is a giant experiment! In geological time—-we’ve been here for the tiniest fraction. C’mon, let’s make it good. Everybody In. March 17,2020 #isolationjams

A post shared by Money Mark (@moneymarkofficial) on Mar 17, 2020 at 3:45pm PDT

My pal Money Mark, longtime key(board) collaborator with the Beastie Boys, is one of the most creative and inspiring music makers I've ever met. Since California's shelter-in-place order began, he's been sharing daily "Isolation Jams" on Instagram! The truly "experimental" music brings me great joy. See more below and @MoneyMarkOfficial. Here's what Mark told me:

Making Isolation jams is a daily meditation. I call them 'Song Poems’ or ‘Sound Poems,' an exercise I’ve kept for years. Only now, I realize, documenting them and posting the audio/video is helping others. Routine is power like the sun rising and setting.

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Isolation jams number 9. Feedback studies I did in the 90’s spawned over a dozen pieces inspired by #johncage ...@realkidkoala Kid Koala and I toured the world together and I would open the show by walking thru the crowd with a boom box and microphone; taped on the back, a small drum machine and an echo pedal. Jimi Hendrix made it popular and I thought I’d take it to the next level.

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Shut in sounds: Ryan McNally—Cold to You

With the spooky times that we're living in, chances are pretty good that you're staying at home as often as your responsibilities and level of health allow.

14 days ago, I had to head into the hospital: blood was coming outta places where blood's supposed to stay put. The only thing that's kept me from going insane wondering whether or not I may have been infected with COVID-19 while my bits were being inspected, has been good music. One of the new-to-me-acts I stumbled upon while I was losing sleep over the past two weeks is Ryan McNally. Raised in rural Quebec and, from what I gather, now based out of northwestern Canada, McNally's sound is a delightful mishmash of influences that I could listen to for hours at a time.

If you dig what you hear, you can show McNally some love by plunking down a few bucks for one of his two albums, over at Bandcamp. Read the rest

Watch Kenny Rogers perform "The Gambler" on The Muppet Show

On October 18, 1979, Kenny Rogers, who died on Friday, performed "The Gambler" on The Muppet Show. See the human hands on those muppets? This was one of the rare instances in which "the puppeteer lends his/her body parts," according to the Muppet Wiki.

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Enjoy the pandemic by building an electric guitar at home

I have always wanted to do this.

My good friend Dan Olson shares this video he made while building his Warmoth Telecaster. Read the rest

"Metropolis Kid" will make you dance like Superboy

Metropolis Kid by Model Decoy

I've known Doron Monk Flake and Ari Sadowitz since high school, and it's been an honor to watch their musical prowess grow and grow and grow. Their current project, Model Decoy, pumps out Prince-like post-punk jams, full of sick rock riffs and soaring jazzy vocals that bring gravitas to clever lyrics that are mostly about their favorite nerdy comic books and movies.

Their newest single, "Metropolis Kid," is a perfect example of this. It makes you want to tap your feet as you croon along with Superboy (being young Kon-El, the misfit clone of Superman and Lex Luthor, not that cranky bastard Superboy-Prime

You can find the band's back catalog on Spotify, but they just released "Metropolis Kid" and two other new songs exclusively on Bandcamp, which is waiving their fee today (March 20) so that struggling bands can get 100% of the proceeds of their music during this quarantine.

(If you're feeling generous, you can buy some tunes from my own band, the Roland High Life, too — we're not as funky as Model Decoy, but we do have some good banger about Spider-Man and, uhh, conspiracy theorists.)

Model Decoy on Bandcamp

Image: Pat Loika / Flickr (CC 2.0) Read the rest

This robot plays the marimba and writes and sings its own songs

Shimon, the robotic maestro from Georgia Tech’s Center for Music Technology, is releasing an album and going on tour. To write lyrics, the robot employs deep learning combined with semantic knowledge and rhyme and rhythm. Shimon has also had a complete facelift giving it a much more expressive mug for singing. In IEEE Spectrum, Evan Ackerman interviewed Shimon's creators, professor Gil Weinberg and PhD student Richard Savery:

IEEE Spectrum: What makes Shimon’s music fundamentally different from music that could have been written by a human?

Richard Savery: Shimon’s musical knowledge is drawn from training on huge datasets of lyrics, around 20,000 prog rock songs and another 20,000 jazz songs. With this level of data Shimon is able to draw on far more sources of inspiration than than a human would ever be able to. At a fundamental level Shimon is able to take in huge amounts of new material very rapidly, so within a day it can change from focusing on jazz lyrics, to hip hop to prog rock, or a hybrid combination of them all.

How much human adjustment is involved in developing coherent melodies and lyrics with Shimon?

Savery: Just like working with a human collaborator, there’s many different ways Shimon can interact. Shimon can perform a range of musical tasks from composing a full song by itself or just playing a part composed by a human. For the new album we focused on human-robot collaboration so every song has some elements that were created by a human and some by Shimon.

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