Music

India Arie’s “Breathe”

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India Arie has released her first single since 2013, a hymn titled “Breathe.” As one writer put it, the track “serves as a guiding mantra, a means of dialing back the hurt and frustration that flooded the collective consciousness of the world in these trying weeks and shows us how to process, how to simply ‘Breathe.’” Watch the song’s video after the jump.

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Song of the Day: “Luv N’ Haight”

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Sly and the Family Stone’s anarchic album There’s a Riot Goin’ On, released in 1971 following several tumultuous years in America, has been called “blunt and unflinching” and “very much informed by drugs” and “paranoia.” While the funk group’s creative dynamo, Sly Stone, had indeed been sidelined by drug abuse for months, his disillusionment with the failed promise of the 60s permeates the album.

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This Week in Posivibes: Mild High Club

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Mild High Club’s sophomore release, Skiptracing, is out on Stones Throw and gathering some pretty enviably wild descriptions from reviewers. Alex Brettin’s sound is described in psych-loungey terms like, “smooth, psychedelic jazz/funk infusions with spacey tinges that sound like warped AM radio hits from another galaxy.” Intergalactic metaphors abound, with another reviewer claiming one track, “Homage,” “opens a door onto a colorful, dreamy outer-space place, arpeggios gliding across the page like comets.” Another argues that through the album’s noir conceit, this alien vibe is satisfyingly recast over a remembered past: “…in investigating the spirit of American music, Mild High Club re-imagine AM radio hits as blasting in from a parallel universe, the sound of early ’70s LA in a smog of sativa.”

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Vinyl Only, Please

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That vinyl has experienced a resurgence is a much exhausted topic, with LPs selling at large lifestyle stores and cutesy budget turntables available from any number of the same. But most labels who release albums on vinyl also release them electronically, through some combination of free-download-with-purchase promos, SoundCloud accounts, iTunes sales, etc.

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Official Marvin Gaye Documentary Announced

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An official documentary about Marvin Gaye is finally in the works, and has been approved by the late singer’s family. The film will be titled What’s Going On, Marvin? and will center around the making of the seminal album. The artist’s children released a joint statement about their excitement for the film, saying:

Our father was complex, but we are confident that with Noah Media Group’s attention to detail and their dedication to the truth, the positive, inspirational and aspirational aspects of his life will be handled and shared with the world in a way never seen before.

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This Week in Posivibes: Songs for Survival

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In addition to his song “Spiritual,” which deals with the issue of police brutality, Jay Z has released a playlist of songs to get us through the crushing violence lately exposed by social media. “Songs for Survival” includes music by Beyoncé, Curtis Mayfield, James Brown, Common, Outkast, Gil Scott-Heron, Fela Kuti, Kendrick Lamar, Nina Simone, Marvin GayeKanye West, and others.

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The Rumpus Interview With Jeremy Earl

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Jeremy Earl discusses his latest album, City Sun Eater in the River of Light, the fruitful tension of city vs. country, finding beauty in the darkness of today’s world, and the enduring good vibes of the Grateful Dead. ...more

Natasha Moni drums | Rumpus Music

A Ringing in Your Ears That Would Disappear by Morning

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Soon, you would discover the local isle of misfits. Every town has at least one if you do some digging. Yours was The Boathouse. ...more

This Week in Posivibes: Blood Orange

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Freetown Sound, Dev Hynes’s third album under the moniker Blood Orange, is garnering praise for both its sound and its substantial examination of racial identity. Pitchfork writes, “Freetown resonates with everyone sagging under the weight of systemic oppression.” Consequence of Sound’s review celebrated Hynes’s achievement in the marriage of sound and subject matter:

Hynes has built a career of combining seemingly divergent and outdated musical genres to find emotional resonance, and in that sense Freetown Sound is the culmination of what he’s been building towards.

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Rest in Peace, Scotty Moore

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Elvis Presley’s lead guitarist passed away this week in Nashville at the age of 84, and in tribute the Guardian has published a piece discussing how the musician shaped Elvis’s country-blues rockabilly sound so evident in songs like “Heartbreak Hotel,” “Hound Dog,” “Blue Suede Shoes,” “Mystery Train,” and “Jailhouse Rock.”

Scotty Moore’s legacy can possibly best be mapped through how he paved the way for other lead guitarists.

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Mythic Betty Davis Sessions Released

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For years, people have been referring to lost sessions featuring Betty Davis and her former husband Miles Davis playing with bending genres, with Betty Davis introducing the jazz giant to Jimi Hendrix and the sounds of psychedelic rock. Recorded from 1968-1969 at Columbia’s 52nd Street studios, the mythic sessions laid the groundwork for the mix of jazz and psychedelia that later coalesced in Miles Davis’s radically innovative Bitches Brew.

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Song of the Day: “Everything In Its Right Place”

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“Yesterday I woke up sucking on lemon,” sings Thom Yorke in the enthralling first song from Radiohead’s groundbreaking 2000 album, Kid A, which Rolling Stone called the “weirdest Number One album of the year.” Take what you will from Yorke’s reference to lemons—their bitterness, the possibility of making lemonade out of them—but the message in the title of this thrumming, synth-centered single is like an uplifting koan.

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Guns N' Roses -Paradise City | Rumpus Music

Songs of Our Lives: Guns N’ Roses’s “Paradise City”

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When people asked what I was going to do after high school, I said, “Leave town.” I wasn’t kidding. I hadn’t applied to a single college. ...more

Living Performance Art

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The Internet’s been freaking out about Kanye West’s latest bid to be the center of all things surreal about our culture: his video for the track “Famous” features breathing sculptures of celebrities who may or may not have given permission for their likenesses to be represented naked, as if asleep, and in bed together.

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Sound & Vision #22: Alice Bag

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Allyson McCabe talks with Alice Bag, one of LA punk’s first frontwomen in the mid-70s as the lead singer and co-founder of the Bags, and who has just released her self-titled debut solo album. ...more

This Week in Posivibes: Omni

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The Atlanta-based post-punk band is releasing their first album, Deluxe, on July 8th and have been garnering anticipatory kudos around the Internet. Raven Sings the Blues wrote, “All the songs on their debut, Deluxe are bent and battered into metal shapes, though it’s their vocals that betray their new wave nods under the veneer of true grit punk spirit,” and Pitchfork noted that the group has “caught that essential combination of steely rigor and fiery energy, ripping out quick gems that exude control without sacrificing guts.” The trio includes Frankie Broyles (formerly of Deerhunter), Billy Mitchell, and Philip Frobos (of Carnivores).

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Musicians Reflect on Brexit

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There has much apprehension following last week’s vote in favor of a British withdrawal from the EU. Some are predicting what the change will mean for the region’s music industry. PJ Harvey reacted to the vote by stopping mid-performance to read John Donne’s “No Man Is an Island.” Liam and Noel Gallagher, Bat for Lashes, Blood Orange, Lilly Allen, Disclosure, and plenty other British artists went to social media to express their own frustration, with more than a few also referencing the Donne poem.

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Artists Petition Against Streaming Enablers

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A long list of known and respected musicians from a wide variety of genres have signed a petition against the systemic enabling of illegal streaming provided by entities such as YouTube and Google.

The petition urges Congress to reform the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, which protects companies that host user sharing from being held accountable for copyright infringement if they take down offending videos or songs when requested by the artist.

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