This neural net generates bizarre music with vocals of famous singers

OpenAI · Rock, in the style of Elvis Presley - OpenAI Jukebox

Open AI, the same organization that created the GPT-2 language model (try it here) which generates coherent stories from a text prompt, just released a new application called Jukebox, "a neural net that generates music, including rudimentary singing, as raw audio in a variety of genres and artist styles."

Some of the songs are pretty good, and very strange as only neural nets are.

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Watch Queen's unreleased promotional video for the Flash Gordon theme (1980)

Flash Gordon (1985) is a fantastic and camptastic film thanks in no small part to Queen's wonderful soundtrack. Above is Queen's unreleased promotional video for "Flash." Stick around 'til the end for a Klytus cameo.

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Inspector Gadget theme performed on 8 cellos

Here's Shuki Levy's theme from Inspector Gadget performed on an 8-pack of cellos by Samara Ginsberg. The gadget theme is a variation of the melody from Edvard Grieg's In the Hall of the Mountain King and a widely-sampled and borrowed motif in pop music. Read the rest

Listen to Muzak for airplanes (1960s)

Last century, the Muzak company created custom mixes of soft music for locations ranging from doctor's office waiting rooms and restaurants to barber shops and, yes, elevators. Muzak were self-proclaimed "specialists in the physiological and psychological applications of music." Two decades before Brian Eno riffed on this environmental music concept with his phenomenal "Music for Airports" (below), Muzak provided music for airplanes in the form of reel-to-reel mix tapes played on United Airlines flights. Above is one such collection. Fly the friendly skies.

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Kermit the Frog sings "Rainbow Connection" from quarantine

This is just too adorable for words. Kermit T. Frog, self-isolating in the swamp, sings his big hit, "The Rainbow Connection," while accompanying himself on banjo. Complete with him turning the camera on and off, a few sketchy chord and vocals moments. In other words: Star quarantine perfection.

As one commenter put it: "Kermit isn't the hero we deserve, but he's the hero we need." Read the rest

Shut in sounds: Donald Fagen's "New Frontier"

Soon after the sheltering-in-place orders started being issued, this wonderful song (and video) from Donald Fagen's 1982 Grammy-nominated solo album Nightfly began popping into my head. All these weeks later, it hasn't left.

"We've got provisions and lots of beer The key word is survival on the new frontier"

Indeed, except we don't have lots of beer and we're having a hard time laying in the provisions. Where's the 50s fallout shelter when we need it?

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Watch Sade's stunning TV performance of "Is It A Crime" (1985)

Almost every night for the last week, I've been listening to my vinyl copy of Sade's 1985 masterpiece "Promise." Sade's deeply sexy, jazzy soul stands the test of time. This morning, I was surprised and delighted to see this stunning 1985 TV performance of "Is It A Crime" on The Old Grey Whistle Test that Reddit user castigamat posted to r/LiveIsBetter. Read the rest

What everybody knows

In this NSFW performance, everyone knows something. It was 2014, but quite timely. Below, a more complete rendition. Cued by the YouTube title, I thought the song was "everyone knows shit fuck", a statement of epistemological skepticism, but it's clear it's "everyone knows shit's fucked", a catechism of faith in epistemic completion. Contemplate this on the tree of woe.

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Music: 'Trying Times,' Roberta Flack

'Tryin' Times,' Roberta Flack.

Producer: Joel Dorn Guitar: John Pizzarelli Drums: Ray Lucas Piano: Robert Flack Vocals: Roberta Flack Bass Guitar: Ron Carter Composer: Donny Hathaway Composer: Leroy Hutson

Lyrics:

Tryin' times, what the world is talkin' about You got confusion all over the land, yeah You got mother against daughter, you got father against son You know the whole thing is getting out of hand Then maybe folks wouldn't have to suffer If there was more love for your brother But these are tryin' times, yeah, yeah You got the riots in the ghetto, it's all around A whole lot of things that's wrong is going down, yes, it is I can't understand it from my point of view 'Cause I think you should do unto others As you'd have them do unto you Then maybe folks wouldn't have to suffer If there was more love for your brother But these are tryin' times, yes, it is I said man is always talking 'bout it's inhumanity to man But what is he tryin' to do to make it a better man? Oh, just read the paper, turn on your TV You see folks demonstrating about equality But maybe folks wouldn't have to suffer If there was more love for your brother But these are tryin' times Tryin' times, yeah, that's what the world is talkin' about You got confusion all over the land

Source: LyricFind Songwriters: Donny Hathaway / Leroy Hutson Tryin' Times lyrics © Warner Chappell Music, Inc Read the rest

Watch this far-out Bootsy Collins cartoon pilot from 1996

"The Name is Bootsy, Baby" is the fantastic 1996 pilot for a cartoon about the interplanetary adventures of Bootsy Collins, otherworldly bass player for Parliament-Funkadelic. Made for MTV but never aired on the channel, the cartoon was executive produced by Abby Terkuhle (Daria, Beavis and Butt-head) and also featured the voice of Mike Judge (Beavis and Butt-head, King of the Hill)!

Bonus below, Bootsy's appearance on the animated documentary series "Mike Judge Presents: Tales from the Tour Bus":

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Listen to Weird Al Yankovic's unreleased parody of The Who

Here's Weird Al's highlarious "Won't Eat Prunes Again," a parody of The Who's "Wont Get Fooled Again."

According to the "Unreleased 'Weird Al' Yankovic recordings" page, it was "written circa May, 1980; recorded in San Luis Obispo early July, 1980; also features Joel Miller (bongos), Joe Earley (jews harp); first aired on KMET July 13, 1980." Read the rest

Airwolf theme covered

KOSMusic performs Sylvester Levay's theme from 1980s's TV hit Airwolf on a 1990s Yamaha synth. His HD recreations of the show's animated video titles are a nice touch, too. KOS specializes in detailed, accurate yet evolutionary recreations of synthy classics, complete with perfect homages to titles, graphics and type.

To recreate this version, I took inspiration from the original and the extended version of this fantastic track. I wanted to give a more "synthesized" impression compared to the original by replacing the "French Horn" with classic 80s synth brass and other typical sounds of those years.

In the future, I will try to recreate the original version of the opening theme and maybe even the extended version of this MASTERPIECE.

Here's his Terminator theme:

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1920s typewriter reborn as drum machine

William Sun Petrus hacked an old Remington Portable typewriter to become a EDM dance box.

For real though, whenever a hammer contacts with the "live plate", it will send a signal to the arduino. The arduino recognises which hammer has been pressed and fires a signal into my PC via the cable, and into Ableton. Ableton sees some MIDI information and understands that it needs to trigger that specific sound. This song is composed of 17 difference sounds, played live for you, right here, right now. This typewriter is actually just a small part of a much bigger project, so there's still a lot more to come!

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Listen to X's Alphabetland right now

Nothing more punk than releasing your first album in 35 years — during a global pandemic — by surprise. You can stream X's Alphabetland now in this very post:

“When your heart is broken you think every song is about that. These songs were written in the last 18 months & it blows my mind how timely they are,” explained John Doe. “We all want our family, friends & fans to hear our records as soon as it’s finished. This time we could do that. Thanks to Fat Possum & our audience.”

Stereogum:

Today happens to be the 40th anniversary of Los Angeles, the classic debut album from the great California punk band X. And with absolutely no advance warning, X’s reunited original lineup have chosen today to release Alphabetland, their first studio album in 35 years.

This cover art sure does look like the work of Wayne White

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Marianne Faithfull survives COVID-19 hospitalization, returns home

After 22 days of being hospitalized with symptoms of COVID-19, and developing pneumonia, singer and counter-cultural icon, Marianne Faithfull, has been released from the hospital. Her official Facebook page writes:

We are really happy to say that Marianne has been discharged from hospital today, 22 days after being admitted suffering from the symptoms of Covid-19. She will continue to recuperate in London. Marianne thanks you all for your kind messages of concern which have meant a great deal through what is a such a difficult time for so many. She is also very grateful to all the NHS staff who cared for her at the hospital and, without doubt, saved her life.

In celebration, enjoy this tribute song that Marianne wrote upon the passing of her lifelong friend, Anita Richards (Keith's ex).

"Forever loving you," Marianne.

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Here is the real (fake) story of Kiss's "Beth"

"Beth" is Kiss's biggest hit ever and, interestingly, was co-written and sung by the band's drummer Peter Criss. It's arguably one of the most iconic power ballads of the 1970s. (Full song below.) But what was the song really about? Director Brian Billow shows that there's always two sides to every story. And if there isn't, you can just make one up. "Beth" the film stars Lilli Birdsell as Beth and Steven Olson as Peter.

(via Dangerous Minds)

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"Seinwave," a vaporfunk rework of the Seinfeld theme

SeinWave by Abelard

In recent weeks, I've shared the joy of Seinfeld with my teenage son. To reciprocate, he's been turning me on to the myriad incarnations of vaporwave, vaporfunk, chillwave, and other desktop electronica microgenres of the last decade. Finally, today, he decided the time was right to reveal an unholy hauntological overlap of our interests: "Seinwave" (2015) by Abelard. Listen above. From Abelard:

Seinwave is a rework of the iconic slap bass infused pop-click theme of the classic Seinfeld sitcom TV show. Created on a whim, Seinwave holds its own as a funky, danceable track, exploring new melodies, sounds and hooks, whilst retaining the faded sitcom hues and tones that we all remember.

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