Music

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The Rumpus Interview with Tyler Gartzman

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Rapper Tyler Gartzman talks about getting high, hypothetically making out with George Bush, not getting laid since high school, and how a white, Jewish kid in Atlanta became a talented hip-hop wordsmith. ...more

Song of the Day: “Mickey Mouse Boarding House”

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Mardi Gras may have been last week, but the good times keep on rolling. New Orleans-based soul artist Walter “Wolfman” Washington knows a thing or two about good times—in his good-humored single “Mickey Mouse Boarding House,” the silky R&B crooner complains about his lodgings in the funkiest way possible.

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Song of the Day: “Fall On Me”

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The pioneering alternative rock band R.E.M. officially disbanded in 2011, after more than 30 years making music that defied description. Allegedly, singer Michael Stipe chose the band’s name in 1980 by picking it at random from a dictionary. The reference to “rapid eye movement”—a stage of deep sleep—is particularly apropos to the beautiful and sprightly song “Fall On Me,” which fuses catchy harmonies with figurative and allusive lyrics.

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The Rumpus Interview with Elisa Ambrogio and Naomi Yang

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Renaissance women Elisa Ambrogio and Naomi Yang discuss stop motion music videos, the female mythology of rock-n-roll, and giving ourselves permission to be creative, make music, and explore art in an intuitive way. ...more

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Sound & Vision #12: Shannon Conley

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Hard-rocking artist Shannon Conley talks to Allyson McCabe about the exceptional more-than-a-tribute band Lez Zeppelin, her unconventional upbringing by Hindu Baptists, and her role as Yitzhak in Hedwig and the Angry Inch. ...more

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Swinging Modern Sounds #62: Stillness as Metaphor

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I am after a music that renders life as it is, and which invites in the intermittent pulsations of life. ...more

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Songs of Our Lives: Look Blue Go Purple’s “Circumspect Penelope”

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Distance always seduced me—distance from whatever was most familiar, especially myself—but the difficulties in achieving such remove vexed me. ...more

Song of the Day: “Zombie”

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The genre known as “afrobeat” has a long history, thanks mostly to the visionary multi-instrumentalist Fela Kuti. When the Nigerian composer first came up with the name for his unique sound in the early ’70s, his music was moving thematically from the topic of love to more socially-conscious issues.

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Sound & Vision #11: Nathan East

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Legendary bassist Nathan East talks about playing with the pros, from Barry White to Daft Punk, about his new solo album and documentary, and about teaching musicians to play the instrument he loves. ...more

Song of the Day: “Colours”

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Producer/songwriter duos depend on so many factors for their success, so when a great one comes along, we seize it and refuse to let go. Grab hold of “Colours,” by the San Francisco-based electronic music group Colour Theory. “You make it special,” sings talented vocalist and songwriter, Lizzie Karr—but it’s the futuristic finishing touches by instrumentalist Ben Wiley that make this track stand out.

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Swinging Modern Sounds #61: Songs for the Alliterative at Heart

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Michael Hearst has come a long way from the guy who played plastic wind instruments on Seventh Avenue, to an admirably creative and original adulthood. ...more

Serial goes Biggie

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How much overlap between Serial and Notorious B.I.G. fans? A biggie amount. And how awesome if the next Serial tried to find Biggie’s killer?

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The Saturday Rumpus Essay: Falling For The Femme Fatale

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If power is going to shift toward equality, men have to see power less as an inherent right and more as something we can be incentivized to relinquish. ...more

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Sound & Vision #10: Scott Crawford

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Director and punk rock enthusiast Scott Crawford talks with Allyson McCabe about his film Salad Days, his punk fanzine Metrozine, Kickstarter, and DIY music culture. ...more

Song of the Day: “PDA”

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“Post-punk revivalists” Interpol have been likened to predecessors Joy Division and Echo and the Bunnymen, though the stamp of Jim Morrison and The Doors is also audible in their unapologetic, forceful brand of indie rock. Interpol released Turn On The Bright Lights in 2002, and the album gradually attracted a formidable audience and the approval of critics.

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Swinging Modern Sounds #59: Not a Folk Singer

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There is a lot to learn from Vashti Bunyan, therefore, about how to live a self-designed life, and how to be unapologetic and decisive about the habit of songwriting. ...more

Song of the Day: “Micheline”

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A standout record in Mark Kozelek’s long career is the critically-lauded 2014 release, Benji. The presence of everyday tragedies permeates the record and propels the keening voice of Kozelek, aka Sun Kil Moon. On “Micheline,” he offers us three stories whose sad endings are complicated by a rich, guitar-driven melody in a major key.

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Song of the Day: “The Singing Tree”

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According to the experimental folk artist Mike Cooper, there is a tree in Almuñécar, in Southern Spain, that used to attract hundreds of birds. It inspired him to write the “avante folk” song “The Singing Tree,” off his recently reissued double album Places I Know/The Machine Gun Co. The funky organ that permeates the song alludes to a melange of influences—including the free jazz of Ornette Coleman and Pharaoh Sanders—that drove Cooper’s music in a new direction in the early ’70s, when the track first came out.

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