Weird, Michael Jackson really did talk to the man in the mirror

"I'm not a narcissist... just trying this mirror thing... testing the camera... seeing how well it works... doooooo... applehead."

(via r/ObscureMedia)

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Merry Mixmas! It's time again for DJ Riko's badass Christmas mashup

Every year, DJ Riko drops a longform "mixmas" of Christmas mashups; this year's mix is out (MP3 link), featuring everyone from Run DMC to Harry Belafonte to Eels (here's how to get all 16 installments in the series!). Read the rest

Devo's open letter on "Drowning in a Devolved World"

Robbo writes, "Gerald Casale, founder of DEVO, has written an open letter in response to the band being inducted into the Rock 'N' Roll Hall Of Fame." Read the rest

Toto on a koto: Africa performed with traditional Japanese instrument

And played in Kyoto. Read the rest

Fleetwood Mac's Lindsey Buckingham dissects "You Can Go Your Own Way"

I'm a lifelong fan of Fleetwood Mac's California cocaine trilogy of Fleetwood Mac, Rumours, and Tusk. In the new 150th episode of Hrishikesh Hirway's excellent Song Exploder podcast, Fleetwood Mac guitarist Lindsey Buckingham (who the band recently booted out after 44 years) deconstructs the emotional mindset-- it's about his tumultuous relationship with Stevie Nicks -- and brilliant musicianship behind the 1977 classic "You Can Go Your Own Way" from Rumors. Listen below.

Also announced in this episode, the wonderful Thao Nguyen of Thao & The Get Down Stay Down will take over as Song Exploder's host in 2019! Congrats Thao!

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Gorgeous free mix of contemporary and archival "world music" and avant-garde soundscapes

Composer and producer Josiah Steinbrick -- who has worked with the likes of Devendra Banhart and Danger Mouse along with releasing his own music -- is also a rigorous record collector and curator of all varieties of outernational music -- ancient and contemporary -- and experimental/avant-garde sounds from around the globe. Through his Instagram feed, Josiah has turned me on to countless new artists, musical cultures, and sonic experiences. This week, ARP's Cult Cargo program on NTS Radio presented Josiah's mix of "pan-global contempo/archival selections from the past 12 months of vari-functional sculptural laments, hypno-pulses, and abstractions in HD." Far fucking out. Listen below.

Playlist:

TOMOKO SAUVAGE Clepsydra

REX ILLUSIVII Dream

KӢR Az Esam Loza

DISCO VUMBI Jo-Docuroma

APICHATPONG WEERASETHAKUL Morse Beat Roar

FRANÇOIS BAYLE Toupie Dans Le Ciel

PALTA, SPORTS Forårets Skørhed

CHAM-PANG Tant Pis Pour Les Heures De Sommeil

PANAQUIRE / OSWALDO LARES QuitipláS

STINE JANVIN Zen Garden

MADANG / RAGNAR JOHNSON Boma, Kaean

SUBA Wayang 04

WRONG WATER Cotton

KONRAD KRAFT Arc 12

PHEW Sonic Morning = 音の朝

RAMZI Evora

UWALMASSA Untitled 07

NSRD Kādā Rītā (One Morning)

NAM DI VILLAGE / LAURENT JEANNEAU Lantene (Moon) Women

ARTURO RUIZ DEL POZO Tarka En Brukas

NOZOMU MATSUMOTO Climatotherapy

NIAGARA Damasco

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THE BUREAU: Part Six, The History of Telepathic Infant-Based Mind Control of U.S. Presidents

From the weekly series The Bureau. Brought to you this week by the U.S. House of Representatives and InjectoCortex, Proud provider of INF-based Brain Transistors for Elected Officials (IBTEOs) since public disclosure of their existence in 1952.

Music made from industrial noises

Gourski & Appel reduce an idea to phenomena, and a genre to its fundamentals:

Against our fast-moving world, in which media content is often reduced, Jonas and I let inspiration guide us to create a seven and a half minutes long sample project in a docks setting surrounded by abandoned industry. We’re glad about each viewer who appreciates our creation!

● Everything you're about to hear is visualized in this video. ● No additional sounds were used to produce this track. ● Best experienced with stereo headphones or hifi speakers. ● This project was made for the purpose of making art. ● No objects were damaged while recording.

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Musician demonstrates 10 difficulty levels of playing jazz guitar

Lucas Brar plays Gershwin's "Summertime" on a guitar, starting with a simple bass line, them adding increasing complexity as he continues.

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Can an AI determine if a song is danceable?

BB pal Lissa Soep of YR Media (formerly Youth Radio) writes:

Our Interactive team delved into Spotify's algorithm to discover how songs on the platform are scored for their "danceability." We were intrigued by this use of Artificial Intelligence to quantify something as personal and cultural as what makes us want to move our bodies. So we built a tool that invites users to rate a curated playlist for each song’s “danceability” and compare that rating against the one Spotify produced algorithmically. Our writer Deborah Raji uses the project to raise fascinating questions about what it means for AI to be making its way into so many corners of our lives.

"Can You Teach AI to Dance?" (YR Media)

(Image: detail of illustration by Symone Woodruff-Hardy) Read the rest

David Byrne's "Eclectic Music for the Holidays" playlist

Talking Heads frontman and all-round musical/art-theory/bicycle genius David Byrne has published a playlist of "Eclectic Music For the Holidays," recommended by the musicians in his orbit: a fine way to start Christmas month! (stream it here) Read the rest

A list of real songs about fictional songs (e.g. "Jailhouse Rock")

On Making Light, Avram Grumer is compiling a list of real songs about fictional songs, like "The Time Warp," "Jailhouse Rock," "The Monster Mash," "Crocodile Rock," "Waltzing Matilda," "The Tennessee Waltz," and "The Masochism Tango" (not to be confused with songs that are about themselves, like "Let's Do The Twist"). Can you think of more? Read the rest

Reggae is now on UNESCO's list of protected cultural heritage

UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization) has just added reggae music to its list of more than 300 practices and expressions of "Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity" for safeguarding. From UNESCO:

Having originated within a cultural space that was home to marginalized groups, mainly in Western Kingston, the Reggae music of Jamaica is an amalgam of numerous musical influences, including earlier Jamaican forms as well as Caribbean, North American and Latin strains. In time, Neo-African styles, soul and rhythm and blues from North America were incorporated into the element, gradually transforming Ska into Rock Steady and then into Reggae. While in its embryonic state Reggae music was the voice of the marginalized, the music is now played and embraced by a wide cross-section of society, including various genders, ethnic and religious groups. Its contribution to international discourse on issues of injustice, resistance, love and humanity underscores the dynamics of the element as being at once cerebral, socio-political, sensual and spiritual. The basic social functions of the music – as a vehicle for social commentary, a cathartic practice, and a means of praising God – have not changed, and the music continues to act as a voice for all. Students are taught how to play the music in schools from early childhood to the tertiary level, and Reggae festivals and concerts such as Reggae Sumfest and Reggae Salute provide annual outlets, as well as an opportunity for understudy and transmission for upcoming artists, musicians and other practitioners.

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THE BUREAU: Part Five, "The President Has Been Shot!" — with an RF Nomad Shortwave Radio Receiver

From the weekly series The Bureau.

Prince's entire catalog of obscure, hard-to-find music videos, collected and annotated

Prince's music videos are a lot more obscure than his catalog of 40 albums; he was ambivalent about the form and many of the videos he created were only released on VHS or interactive CD or as pop-up streams on his site; but recently Prince's estate released his whole video catalog in high-rez, prompting Prince superfan Anil Dash to write an appreciation that embeds the entire Prince video catalog. Read the rest

Listen to Jäh Division's dub covers of Joy Division

Back in 2005, I posted about Jäh Division, a Brooklyn dub consortium that covers Joy Division songs. They produced a very limited edition 12" titled "Dub Will Tear Us Apart" that they mostly sold at their live shows. Now, Jäh Division returns with a new LP that combines that original record along with five unreleased tracks. "Dub Will Tear Us Apart​.​.​.​Again" comes out January 25 in digital and vinyl formats. Listen to a selection of the tracks:

Dub Will Tear Us Apart...Again by Jäh Division

From their Bandcamp page:

A supergroup born of Brooklyn’s early 21st century DIY scene, Jäh Division’s sole 2004 12-inch Dub Will Tear Us Apart earned them an instant infamy for their psychedelic dub interpretations of Joy Division classics. Featuring members of Home and Oneida and recorded in the literal shadow of the Williamsburg Bridge, Jäh Division grew from a joke between roommates Brad Truax and Barry London into a rolling improv collective that included members of Animal Collective and Oneida, among others.

Expanded with 5 extra songs--3 from the original session, 2 from a scrapped album--Dub Will Tear Us Apart… Again is the sound of Manchester beamed into Brooklyn by way of the Black Ark, all linked by some intercosmic hook-up in the depths of Barry London's Space Echo tape loop. Recorded by the core Jäh Division quartet, the original release--part of Social Registry’s 12-inch series-- featured London on vintage keyboards, Truax on bass, Home’s Chris Millstein on drums, and Oneida’s Kid Millions on Barry’s collection of synth percussion, including trash-salvaged electronic drum pads, run through dubby delays and effects and a Farfisa reverb tank.

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Prince's 1979 TV debut

He loathed interviews from the outset of his career. If you're a fan of Prince loathing interviews, be sure to watch the classic BBC one embedded below.

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