Watch Jack Black listen to K-pop songs, try to sing them, Korean contestants try to guess song

In South Korea, there is a popular TV (and completely wacky) variety show called Infinite Challenge. From what I've been able to gather, contestants go through a series of challenges with celebrity guests.

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Deeply moving cello cover of Bob Marley's "No Woman, No Cry"

Sheku Kanneh-Mason, 18, was the first black musician to win the BBC Young Musician of the Year award. A rising star in classical music, Kanneh-Mason is a member of the UK's exceptional Chineke! Orchestra consisting mostly of black and minority ethnic musicians.

Below, his stunning cover last year of Leonard Cohen's Hallelujah:

(via Laughing Squid) Read the rest

Shithole Playlist: David Byrne's favorite music from Donald Trump's least-favorite countries

The Beautiful Shitholes is David Byrne's Spotify playlist of music from the countries Donald Trump infamously condemned as "shitholes." Read the rest

Three national corporations control nearly all of San Francisco's live music

Jamie Zawinski (previously), who owns San Francisco's amazing DNA Lounge venue, does a postmortem on the announcements from Slim's and the Great American Music Hall that they have "partnered" with Golden Voice, a division of Anschutz Entertainment Group, a $8 billion company that is the world's largest owner of sports teams and events; owns Coachella and ten other large festivals, and is in turned owned by a Fundamentalist, homophobic, climate change denier. Read the rest

The story behind Toto's 'Africa'

Love it or hate it, Toto's 1982 soft rock mega-hit "Africa" is here to stay. But how did a band from Los Angeles get famous for a song about Africa?

Dave Simpson of The Guardian recently interviewed the song's writer (and vocalist) David Paich and found out:

One of the reasons I was in a rock band was to see the world. As a kid, I’d always been fascinated by Africa. I loved movies about Dr Livingstone and missionaries. I went to an all-boys Catholic school and a lot of the teachers had done missionary work in Africa. They told me how they would bless the villagers, their Bibles, their books, their crops and, when it rained, they’d bless the rain. That’s where the hook line – “I bless the rains down in Africa” – came from.

They said loneliness and celibacy were the hardest things about life out there. Some of them never made it into the priesthood because they needed companionship. So I wrote about a person flying in to meet a lonely missionary. It’s a romanticised love story about Africa, based on how I’d always imagined it. The descriptions of its beautiful landscape came from what I’d read in National Geographic.

Paich told Musicradar in 2013:

"Its first inception came when there used to be UNICEF commercials on TV, showing children and families living in poverty. The first time I saw that it affected me deeply…

"I sat down and started playing and the chorus just came out like magic.

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Watch this Beatles-themed vinyl jukebox get designed and built

Vinyl jukeboxes are making a comeback, and Sound Leisure built this incredible Sgt. Peppers Lonely Hearts Club Band vinyl jukebox to celebrate the album's 50th anniversary. Read the rest

Animation: Pop culture typography

Izac Moores: "This reference riddled project has been in the works for almost a year. If you can't quite figure out where something is from, a labelled version of the video is available here:" The track is Pop Culture by Madeon [Amazon].

Previously: Justice - DVNO

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David Pescovitz, Tim Daly and Lawrence Azerrad win Grammy Award

David Pescovitz, co-founding editor of this very blog, won the Grammy Award for best boxed or special limited-edition package for his work on The Voyager Golden Record: 40th Anniversary Edition, along with Tim Daly and Lawrence Azerrad.

The Walnut Hills High School and University of Cincinnati graduate (and a longtime friend of this writer) called the award a capstone to a lifetime spent gazing at the stars, obsessively collecting books about the cosmos and listening to albums made by artists from every corner of the globe.

Pescovitz and Daly cooked up the project nearly three years ago as an homage to the 1977 NASA probe that launched into space with a carefully curated golden record featuring a message for any extraterrestrial intelligence who happened upon it. The disc included some of Earth's greatest music, from Bach to Chuck Berry to Solomon Islands panpipes, as well as sounds of birds, a train, a kiss and more than 100 images to give our space friends a sense of who we are.

Our Voyager Golden Record: 40th Anniversary Edition won a Grammy! So thankful to @lad_design and Tim Daly for taking this trip with me, and for the support and inspiration of my family and friends. This is a testament to the vision of the original Voyager Record Committee in 1977. “To the makers of music — all worlds, all times.” 📀🚀👽 #voyagergoldenrecord @ozmarecords

A post shared by David Pescovitz (@pesco) on Jan 28, 2018 at 1:43pm PST

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Watch a half hour of fingerstyle guitar from inside the guitar

Alan Gogoll put a camera inside his guitar to record Stringscapes, a lovely set of short songs with a beautiful sunset vista visible outside the sound hole. Read the rest

New 'mind-blowing' Prince music is 'coming soon'

Variety is reporting that previously unreleased music by Prince will soon be available:

‘Previously unreleased Prince music is “coming soon,” estate adviser Troy Carter tells Variety, although he declined to specify any further details about the recordings.

“He was a guy who practically lived in a recording studio, and once we started going through [the unreleased material] we really started finding some gems,” Carter, who is also Spotify’s global head of creative services, said earlier this month. “I heard some music the other night that was pretty mind-blowing and we’re getting some stuff mixed right now. We’ve got great projects in the works that I’m excited to talk about.

“So the answer is yes, there will be unreleased Prince music coming soon,” he said, although he declined to say which label might release the recordings.

image via the Prince website Read the rest

Mii Channel background music performed by saxophone quartet

Bari S:
My arrangement of the Mii Channel Music for a saxophone quartet. Uses one soprano, one alto, one tenor, and one bari. Video was compiled in Premiere Pro and audio was compiled in Audition. If you like it, make sure to hit that like button and share with friends, family, and strangers alike!
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Watch this complex marble run synchronized with Tchaikovsky

DoodleChaos combines wood blocks, dominoes, marbles made of metal and other materials, and magnets to create a delightful marble run set to Tchaikovsky's Waltz of the Flowers. Read the rest

Recording metal on an Edison wax cylinder phonograph

Musician Rob Scallon thought it would be cool to one-up the vinyl hipsters and record some metal on century-old Edison wax cylinder recording equipment. And he was right! Read the rest

Trippy geometric animation for intense, layered electronic music

Thunder Tillman is a Swedish musician whose work lends itself to trippy animation, like this piece for Alignments by Mario Hugo and Johnny Lee. Read the rest

What is the slowest music humanly possible?

While the typical answer is 33 beats per minute, musician Adam Neely's answer morphs into a great primer on the "perceptual present," a concept widely discussed in both the philosophy of music and of consciousness. Read the rest

The Fall singer Mark E. Smith has died, at the age of 60

Mark E. Smith, the inscrutable and inimitable poet frontman of UK post-punk band The Fall has died. He was 60.

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Spice World, postmodern masterpiecce

The mid-nineties roughly mark the point where Britain's late-20th century TV-entertainment monoculture ran out of steam: its stars too old, its programming too staid, its secrets too widely-known, new competition in the form of the internet and cheap cable/satellite channels, and a new generation of British artists conquering the world without Jimmy Savile's introduction. Spice World, the official Spice Girls movie, is an interesting artifact of the times: the new paying their respects to the old, who were given a staggering parade of cameos. It is, Sirin Kale writes, a deranged postmodern masterpiece.

this revolving door of period-piece cameos arguably does the already-shaky script a disservice. By the time Bob Hoskins appears as Ginger Spice in disguise mid-way through the film, Spice World has devolved into a hodgepodge doner-kebab of celebrity cameos, glued together with the meat and gristle of ham-fisted exposition.

Still, it’s a lot of fun, especially Roger Moore’s gloriously campy cameo as the "Chief," the enigmatic head of the girls’ record label. One scene, where Moore recites a pseudo-Confucian philosophy while stroking a pet rabbit, Bond-villain style, almost didn’t make the cut.

"I’d written this ridiculous philosophy for him [When the rabbit of chaos is pursued by the ferret of disorder through the fields of anarchy, it is time to hang your pants on the hook of darkness. Whether they're clean or not]," Kim recalls. "But then I thought, O h, this is a bit stupid, so I cut the lines.” Arriving on set, Moore had memorized the scene Kim cut.

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