In conversation: Cardi B and Bernie Sanders

She's called Cardi B because her family nickname, Bacardi, couldn't get past the trademark defensebots on Instagram! Read the rest

Listen: Laurie Anderson explores the Tibetan Book of the Dead

The forthcoming album "Songs from the Bardo" is an exploration of the Tibetan Book of the Dead by beloved composer Laurie Anderson, Tibetan multi-instrumentalist Tenzin Choegyal, and composer/climate activist Jesse Paris Smith, daughter of Patti and Fred "Sonic" Smith. "Songs from the Bardo" will be released September 27 on Smithsonian Folkways Recordings:

Like a guided meditation, this album suspends time, allowing listeners to fully lose themselves in the piece, as well as bringing to a new light the ideas expressed in the text, connecting the past and the present by illuminating death, the one constant in the impermanent human experience.

The origins of the project lie in shared activist work. Smith and Choegyal met in 2008 at a benefit concert that raised money to preserve Tibetan culture and traditions. They began conceptualizing this album back in 2014, first performing a shortened version of it as a duo in 2015.

...Songs from the Bardo perfectly combines Anderson’s storytelling genius with Choegyal’s expression of traditional Tibetan music and Smith’s background in composition to create a piece that transcends genre and form, emblematic of the text, which speaks of the experience of beings as they transform from one life into the next.

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Gideon Irving's trippy music video was made in one take without CGI or greenscreen

Gideon Irving's fantastic video, "Woke Up Looking" was made without computer graphics in just one take. The video below shows how he did it.

Here's another wonderful one-take video of Gideon's. It only has 135 views!

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Charles Manson's deeply dark and twisted interpretation of The Beatles' "White Album"

Fifty years ago today, the Manson Family carried out the grisly Tate-Labianca murders that essentially crushed the hippie dream with a tragic nightmare starring failed songwriter and psychopath Charles Manson. At Manson's trial, prosecutor Vincent Bugliosi argued that the cult leader was inspired by his misreading of The Beatles' White Album. Indeed, "Healter Skelter” [sic] had been smeared in blood on the LaBiancas’ refrigerator. Over at Rolling Stone, Kory Grow does a track-by-track analysis of Manson's bizarre misinterpretation of The White Album. From Rolling Stone:

Although he would deny being into the Beatles years later (“I am a Bing Crosby fan,” he declared in 1985 – despite inmates at a prison Manson stayed at in the early Sixties claiming he was obsessed with the Beatles), Manson discussed the group enough with his followers that his warped reading of the Fab Four’s most adventurous album resounded throughout the trial. Bugliosi interviewed several Manson Family members, including those who were not facing criminal charges, and found consistency in their descriptions of his mythology surrounding the White Album and the garbled connections he made between it and the Book of Revelations, which depict end-times.

“This music is bringing on the revolution, the unorganized overthrow of the establishment,” Manson told Rolling Stone in 1970. “The Beatles know [what’s happening] in the sense that the subconscious knows.”

“From the beginning, Charlie believed the Beatles’ music carried an important message – to us,” Manson Family member Paul Watkins wrote in his book, My Life With Charles Manson.

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"Old Oak Tree" by Crystal and the Wolves

A million years ago, I bought a Crystal and the Wolves CD on impulse from a rack on the counter at Amoeba Records; I ripped it and tossed it into my shuffle. Now, about once a month, I am treated to "Old Oak Tree," the standout track on the disc, which makes me happy as a happy thing. It just happened. Thought you might wanna hear it, too. Read the rest

Rubber Chicken 'Für Elise' [with SOUND]

For this, the internet was created. Read the rest

Some favorite punk-ish covers of pop tunes

MxPx plays Aha's classic

The Downbeat 5 singing 'Dum Dum Ditty' is one of my favorites.

Me First and the Gimmie Gimmie's cover 'Wild World'

Riverboat Gamblers play 'Let's Go Crazy'

The Laundrettes sing 'Nobody but Me'

NoFX's 'Go Your Own Way'

MORE! Add more in the comments...

Photo by Robert Anasch on Unsplash

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Tiktok is valued at $75b, is spending $3m/day on US advertising, and in China, it has been turned into a state propaganda vehicle

It's been a year since Chinese social media giant Bytedance relaunched its super-popular app Musica.ly as Tiktok; the company is now valued at $75b, and in the USA it has become a serious challenge to US-based social media companies, courting a young audience (so young that it's getting into legal hot water over it). Read the rest

James Fearnley of The Pogues has a new band and it's magic

The Pogues gave rise to an entirely new genre of music: Paddy Punk. For better or worse (during an interview with Spider Stacey, I was told it was the latter), thousands of bands have attempted, with varying degrees of success, to ape the Pogues' sound. In my opinion, these pretenders to the throne may sound great but they can never hope to measure up, due to two factors: They lack Shane MacGowan's dark, poetic view of the world and James Fearnley's percussive accordion playing.

Here's the thing, though: unless he's singing or I've heard it before, I might not know that MacGowan wrote a particular pile of lyrics. But the moment I hear a tune being played I've no doubt that it's Fearnley minding the box. His sound rang in my ears throughout my teen years and continues to do so, today. Recently, Fearnley and a number of other notable musicians came together to form a new outfit, The Walker Roaders. From what I've heard so far, a whole LP from them should be a very fine thing.

From the band's Facebook page:

In the course of a widely celebrated thirty-year career, the sound of seminal London-Irish band The Pogues launched a generation of rowdy and explosive Celtic-Punk bands. James Fearnley, co-founder and long-time accordion player in that legendary group, has now teamed with two of its most notable devotees, Flogging Molly co-founder and Grammy Award-winning producer Ted Hutt and Dropkick Murphys’ multi-instrumentalist Marc Orrell, forming The Walker Roaders whose music splices anthems of Celtic-punk with the poetry of The Pogues.

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A MIDI harmonica

Lekholm's DM48 is a full-featured MIDI harmonica, with twelve pressure-sensors, one-button presets, and "adjustable breathing resistance." (Thanks, Gnat) Read the rest

Cookie Monster performs Tom Waits's "Hell Broke Luce"

7 years ago, I posted Cookiewaits's video mashup of Cookie Monster performing Tom Waits's "God's Away on Business," but I somehow missed that Cookiewaits followed it up the next year with this brilliant mashup for "Hell Broke Luce," which is something of a favorite around these parts. If that's your bag, don't miss the Sesame Street gang performing the Beasties' "Sabotage." (Thanks, Richard Callaghan!) Read the rest

Jury: Katy Perry's Dark Horse's infringes copyright of earlier song

Jurors found that Katy Perry's Dark Horse "improperly copied" an earlier song titled Joyful Noise by Flame, a Christian rap artist.

The case focused on the notes and beats of the song, not its lyrics or recording, and the questions suggested that Perry might be off the hook.

But in a decision that left many in the courtroom surprised, jurors found all six songwriters and all four corporations that released and distributed the songs were liable, including Perry and Sarah Hudson, who wrote only the song’s words, and Juicy J, who only wrote the rap he provided for the song. ...

Gray’s attorneys argued that the beat and instrumental line featured through nearly half of “Dark Horse” are substantially similar to those of “Joyful Noise.” Gray wrote the song with his co-plaintiffs Emanuel Lambert and Chike Ojukwu.

Here's Joyful Noise:

Here's Dark Horse. The infringement begins 18 seconds in.

Though the distinctive, whining 8-note loop was the matter at hand, jurors found all involved in the song to be infringers, irrespective of their role in its production. You might say they did the RICO.

It surely can't have helped Perry that both songs start with a guy shouting "y'all know what this is". Even if it didn't factor into the legal analysis, her song is showing up to court unshaven, without a necktie, and smirking at the judge.

It's nonetheless a a disturbing outcome, writes Vox.

But Charlie Harding of the Vox podcast Switched on Pop explains that the striking similarities should be free to use by both artists, despite their similarities.

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Mozart performed on squeeze-ball bottle organ

Bellowphone made a unique organ and now demonstrates it in action: "the sound of my most recent skweeze-ball instrument, with a song from Mozart's Magic Flute." Read the rest

How long will it take my baby son to review The Velvet Underground & Nico (1967)?

Have a nice weekend, y'all.

Previously: How long will it take my baby son to defeat the Strong Suction Silicone Plate? Read the rest

Enter Sandman in the style of Let's Dance-era Bowie

Ten Second Songs is one of those amazing YouTube channels that doom you to a morning lost in someone's incredible and decidedly unique talent. In this case, performing songs in the style of other musicians, including excellent vocal impersonations. [via Metafilter]

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End.Game: a synth album from 19A0

End.Game is a dark, dreamy synthpop album, all swooping pads, punchy beats and mysterious retro auras. It's the work of Luscious-235, a joint-venture between Sid Luscious (of 80s fame fronting The Pants) and "the artificial entity known as Unit 235".

This album immediately seizes a special place in my heart because it was inspired by my short story Mixtape of Lost Decade and its mythology of the 19A0s: a forgotten era between the 1970s and 1980s so culturally traumatic that it erased itself from our collective memory. Artifacts from the 19A0s, the story goes, now leak out through the internet and other liminal spaces—and here we are.

You can't expect an unbiased review from me, then, but obviously you should go and buy this album right away.

It is, after all, an act of archaeology.

End.Game. by Luscious-235 Read the rest

Quentin Tarantino talks about the sounds in Once Upon a Time in Hollywood

One of the things that really stood out for me in Quentin Tarantino's Once Upon a Time in Hollywood is how he captured the sounds of the late 1960s. Everything from AM car radio speakers, to the way people talked, to KHJ Boss Radio disc jockey airchecks, to TV interstitials, to the rumble of gas-guzzling car engines, added to the perfect visuals of 1969 Los Angeles. In this podcast, Tarantino talks about how he got the sounds for the movie. One of his main sources of information was fan recordings of KHJ radio from the late 1960s.

Here is a great "rapid-fire salute to 93/KHJ Boss Radio in Los Angeles utilizing jingles and other production elements."

And ere's Alison Martino's article for Los Angeles Magazine, "KHJ, L.A.’s Coolest AM Radio Station, Is Basically a Background Actor in 'Once Upon a Time in Hollywood'” Read the rest

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