Gil Scott-Heron explains "The Revolution Will Not Be Televised"

From an interview with Gil-Scott Heron:

"The first change that takes place is in your mind. You have to change your mind before you change the way you live and the way you move...It will just be something you see and you’ll think, "Oh I’m on the wrong page."

"The Revolution Will Not Be Televised" (1971):

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Fellow brushes his teeth during Japanese noise music concert by Merzbow

As Japanese musician Masami Akita (aka Merzbow) performs live in Taipei in 2013, one concertgoer demonstrates that enjoying noise music does not preclude you from practicing good dental hygiene. Full clip below.

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Impressive four minute mash-up of 50 music videos from 1988

The Hood Internet cut up bits of 50+ music videos from 1988 and mashed them into a four minute video. It would make the perfect soundtrack to a montage of 80s movie montages.

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Members of Flaming Lips and Los Lobos score Cecil B. DeMille's The Ten Commandments (1923)

During Passover last month, I posted about The Ten Commandments, Cecil B. DeMille's 1923 epic silent film version of the biblical Exodus story (plus a related modern story that I never bothered to watch.) As part of tomorrow night's DAWN online celebration of the Jewish holiday of Shavuot, Steven Drozd of the Flaming Lips, Steve Berlin of Los Lobos, and drummer Scott Amendola are premiering a far out new score for the film! Watch the excerpt above. Organized by the Jewish arts and culture organization Reboot, DAWN is sure to be a wild program of music, conversations, comedy, and performances. My pal and Boing Boing contributor David Katznelson, the head of Reboot, orchestrated the new Ten Commandments musical collaboration. From Rolling Stone:

Reboot CEO David Katznelson — who signed the Flaming Lips to Warner Bros. years ago — said of the project: “Watching this film score come together, with three amazing artists forced to work remotely and yet completely in flow with each other as they composed such an incredible piece of music was inspirational. Using the greatest artists of the day to bring something like The Ten Commandments to life for new generations to connect with… that is exactly what Reboot was created to do.”

Along with Drozd, Berlin and Amendola, the DAWN lineup will feature appearances from Carl Reiner, Norman Lear, Michaela Watkins, Gaby Moskowitz, Tiffany Shlain and Kasher vs. Kasher, a new podcast from comedian Moshe Kasher and his brother Rabbi David Kasher. The event kicks off May 28th at 10 p.m.

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Knight Rider theme performed on eight cellos

Samara Ginsberg (previously at BB) performs Stu Philips' Knight Rider theme tune on eight cellos.

PREVIOUSLY: Alternate version of the Knight Rider theme tune

BONUS: Australian beer ad ☟ Read the rest

Delightful cover of A-ha's "Take On Me" performed on a washing machine

I hereby dub this genre: "Appliancewave." Read the rest

There's actually an interesting (and obsessive) story behind Wheatus's "Teenage Dirtbag"

I have a soft spot for Wheatus's "Teenage Dirtbag," mostly as a fun karaoke song that namedrops Iron Maiden and a boyfriend who's a dick. But I've always been surprised by its lasting endure — it's even by covered by One Direction, and the band re-recorded a translation in Irish Gaelic. Not bad for a song that never even charted in the US.

But apparently — as I learned after reading this Rolling Stone article — there's a lot more going on in that tune than realized. Singer/writer Brendan B. Brown genuinely considers it to be his sort of magnum opus, loosely inspired by a horrific murder in his hometown, and he himself has never grown tired of it. In fact, he's been in the process of meticulously re-recording the band's entire first album — including "Teenage Dirtbag," with (ideally) all of the exact little cellphone trills — to make-up for the fact that the master tracks went missing. This isn't just about revisiting a 20-year-old album to make it sound better; it's about recreating it to exacting perfection (which is perhaps even more impressive when you realize that the album was recorded in Brown's mother's basement).

Brown’s re-recording project has cost him countless thousands of dollars, and hundreds of hours spent obsessing over bass lines and synth sounds fans almost certainly never noticed in the first place. His quest has sent him scouring the internet for gear that most closely resembles what the band originally used to record the album.

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Watch "Mondo Elvis," a short and unsettling 1984 documentary about extreme Elvis Presley fans

Tom Corboy's "Mondo Elvis" (1984) is a short, award-winning, and oddly unsettling documentary about extreme Elvis Presley fanatics after The King's demise. From the description at Mondo A-Go Go Video's channel:

"This award-winning film takes a searing look at Elvis Presley's most fanatic followers. Meet such devoted disciples as the twin sisters who believe Elvis was their father, a woman whose husband divorced her for excessive devotion to Elvis, and an impersonator who claims The King came to him in a dream.

Disturbing yet entertaining, haunting yet hysterical, this program is a must for anyone interested in comprehending the significance of America's greatest cultural hero."

(via r/ObscureMedia) Read the rest

Kraftwerk's connection to R&B and black DJs in America

Pioneering hip hop musician Afrika Bambaataa's love for Kraftwerk is evidenced by his groundbreaking 1982 electro track "Planet Rock" (above). Indeed, Bambataaa's underground DJ sets in black nightclubs were a key point-of-entry into the United States for many international electronic musicians in the early 1980s, from Yellow Magic Orchestra to Gary Numan. I hadn't realized though that Kraftwerk readily acknowledged that it was a two-way musical conversation: Black American music, particularly R&B, was a massive influence on Kraftwerk's music. In The Wire, John Morrison writes:

In an interview with Dan Sicko, the late author of Techno Rebels: The Renegades Of Electronic Funk, former Kraftwerk percussionist Karl Bartos gives an essential statement on the influence of black R&B on the band's work: “We were all fans of American music: soul, the Tamla/Motown thing, and of course, James Brown. We always tried to make an American rhythm feel, with a European approach to harmony and melody.” When exploring the band’s early work, this rhythmic influence does occasionally peek its head up through their abstract sound. On “Tone Float” (the title track from founder members Ralf Hütter and Florian Schneider-Esleben’s pre-Kraftwerk 1970 debut album as members of Organisation), the band can be heard experimenting with a rhythmic framework similar to the “Bo Diddley'' beat, the heavily accented drum pattern that dominated rock ’n’ roll in the 50s and early 60s. For their first release as Kraftwerk, the “Bo Diddley” beat remerges, albeit with an aggressive Jazz flair courtesy of drummer Charly Weiss providing the driving pulse for the the album’s ten minute closer “Vom Himmel Hoch”.

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This Phoebe Bridgers profile is a fascinating look at journalism in the time of coronavius

The New Yorker has a great new profile on singer-songwriter / human treasure Phoebe Bridgers, whose new album, Punisher, will be released on June 19. Any interview with Bridgers is a delight, even if you're not a fan of her work. But what really makes this article stick out is its relationship to coronavirus quarantine.

Author Amanda Petrusich initially follows the standard form for one of these type of marquee-musician magazine profiles — embedding herself in the subject's life over the course of a few months, getting them to open up about personal stuff as the journalist explores their home and discusses the creative process, et cetera. I don't mean that to sound flippant; Petrusich is an absolute master of that form. Except the form itself is threatened when Petrusich and Bridgers both end up quarantined (separately) shorter after the initial embedding begins. But Petrusich endures, and finds a way to make it work, using FaceTime to tour through Bridgers' life in Los Angeles and even speak with the singer's mother in her childhood bedroom. This is almost certainly made easier by the fact that Bridgers is already a candid and confessional artist, but it still makes for a very unique profile that illuminates both the artist at the center of it, and the unprecedented time at which the journalism was happening.

It's also available to listen to on Audm.

Phoebe Bridgers’s Frank, Anxious Music [Amanda Petrusich / The New Yorker]

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Watch Ryuichi Sakamoto "Playing the Piano for the Isolated"

The great Japanese composer Ryuichi Sakamoto—whose work has spanned the electronic pop of Yellow Magic Orchestra and numerous film scores to experimental ambient and contemporary classical—has released this magnificent live performance: "Playing the Piano for the Isolated." His special guest is Shamisen master Hidejiro Honjoh.

“Music, work, and life all have a beginning and an ending,” Sakamoto has said. “What I want to make now is music freed from the constraints of time.”

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Half-Life with all sounds replaced with rave music samples

Graham Dunning replaced all of the Half-Life in-game sounds with clips of 90s EDM tracks and rave music sample CDs. He basically turned the entire game into a Launchpad so he can play Half-Life like it's a techno orchestra.

(via Waxy) Read the rest

Nearly 1000 Peel Sessions now available online

Blogger Dave Strickson has been keeping an up-to-date list of all of the BBC 1 Peel Sessions that are currently available online.

There is nearly a thousand sessions of music to date. Some of the artists include David Bowie and The Spiders from Mars, Roxy Music, Joy Division, New Order, The Cure, Siouxsie & The Banshees, The Smiths, The Fall, Echo & The Bunnymen, Nirvana, Hole, Jack White, Elvis Costello, Cocteau Twins, The Jesus & Mary Chain, Sonic Youth, The Wedding Present, The Raincoats, Nick Drake, T-Rex, Buzzcocks, Can, Billy Bragg, Fairport Convention, Pulp, The Breeders, The Fugees, The Kinks, The Specials, The Slits, and Thin Lizzy.

[Via Brooklyn Vegan]

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The real musicians behind the Animal Crossing theme performed it in a virtual concert

Tom Nook himself made a special announcement on Twitter Friday. The real-life musicians who play the in-game theme music for Animal Crossings: New Horizons had come together for a virtual performance of it!

Best comment: "What do you mean 'The musicians behind the main theme', where is that dog with the guitar?"

My reaction to the concert?

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Monday: New Order's Bernard Sumner and Stephen Morris's streaming tribute to Joy Division's Ian Curtis

Monday, May 18, is the 40th anniversary Joy Division singer Ian Curtis's death by suicide. Former Joy Division (and current New Order) members Bernard Sumner and Stephen Morris will pay tribute on that day with "Moving Through the Silence," a livestream of performances and conversations organized by Headstock, the UK musical festival organization that raises awareness about mental health issues. From the event description:

The Killers frontman, Brandon Flowers, will be talking about the influence of Joy Division on the band. Other interviewees include Ian Curtis's friend Mark Reeder, and there will be a special appearance from Maxine Peake. Headstock’s broader mission to ‘use music to change the conversation on mental health’ will be further supported with performances from Elbow, LoneLady, and the Lottery Winners, as well as acclaimed Irish rock band Kodaline. Also performing; Jennifer Hardy, poet Oliver Lomax, and the Royal Northern College of Music’s Northern Session Choir.

The event will be streamed via https://unitedwestream.co.uk/ - and can also be accessed via https://www.facebook.com/UnitedWeStreamGM/

The event is free to view, but donations are strongly requested, with 70% of the donations going to the mental health charity Manchester Mind. The remainder will be divided between Nordoff Robins and the Mayor Of Greater Manchester’s Charity. More about our chosen charity, Manchester Mind: https://www.manchestermind.org/.

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Watch this Prince & The Revolution smoking live concert from 1985

Electric word, life. The Prince estate is streaming this killer Prince & The Revolution set recorded in Syracuse, NY during the legendary 1985 Purple Rain tour. While this footage has been available other ways, it's a killer show and wonderful to see it again in high quality. Only available on Prince's official YouTube channel until Sunday night, it's a fundraiser for the COVID-19 Solidarity Response Fund for the World Health Organization.

Meanwhile, the audio recording of the show, circulating as a bootleg for ages, has also been officially released for legit streaming. (Pitchfork)

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Empty postcard display spinner is a superior nightmare noise maker

The Apprehension Engine is a custom musical instrument that generates the unsettling and scary noises often heard in horror movies. But it has nothing on this old postcard spinner. It can even make that metal-scraping noise that's used constantly as a "feel tension please" sign in reality TV shows. Read the rest

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