Music

Song of the Day: “Let Me See That Ponytail Run”

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The Defibulators are the rootsiest bluegrass outfit to come stomping out of Brooklyn, New York, in a long time—perhaps ever. Named by VICE Music as “Brooklyn’s kings of alt-country, minus the ‘alt,'” The Defibulators’ sound has been described as truckerpunk, Americana, citibillie… the list goes on.

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Swinging Modern Sounds #77: People Give Me Things, Part One

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[T]he thing about receiving music from other people is this: there is always some grace associated with the transaction. ...more

This Week in Posivibes: Fire Walk With Me

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In celebration of the prequel film’s 25th anniversary, Death Waltz is re-releasing the soundtrack to Fire Walk With Me. The score is much lesser known, and hard to come by, than the soundtrack to the Twin Peaks series that Death Waltz re-released last year.

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Song of the Day: “Have Some Love”

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The diversely talented Donald Glover has gained a following in almost every artistic arena, from stand-up comedy, to sitcoms, to film and music. First making a name for himself as a writer for the smart and funny NBC program 30 Rock, Glover went on to star in Community and the FX series Atlanta.

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Song of the Day: “Paul”

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As 2016 draws to a close, it is a time for both endings and beginnings. The electric folk of Big Thief is well-suited to such introspective moments—tinged with sepia-toned nostalgia and a shy sweetness that suggests hope for the future. Their gentle, unhurried song “Paul”—off their critically welcomed record Masterpiece—perfects the dual flavors of sweetness and bitterness while letting in flashes of self-deprecating humor.

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Sound & Vision #27: Arthur Fournier

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Allyson McCabe talks with Arthur Fournier, an independent dealer of books, serials, manuscripts, and archives, about how he developed his niche, and how digital access has both enriched and complicated the work of archiving and collecting. ...more

Song of the Day: “Back Door Santa”

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Soul—that mysterious orientation towards the world that seems to be frequently accompanied by a larger-than-life personality—is probably the first word that comes to mind when one thinks of Clarence Carter, that bombastic and passionate artist whose timeless music still echoes across the airwaves and our collective memory.

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Vince Guaraldi Trio - A Charlie Brown Christmas | Rumpus Music

Sound Takes: A Charlie Brown Christmas

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But what distinguishes Guaraldi from his superiors is his respect for the tried and true. If “O Tannenbaum” has worked for a few hundred years, maybe it’s worth kicking around the block a time or two. ...more

Album of the Week: Christine Ott’s Tabu

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tabuAfter many years of touring it as a ciné-concert performance, Christine Ott finally found a home for her Tabu, releasing it on Gizeh Records for its Dark Peak Series.

In it, the French musician, who worked with Yann Tiersen and Radiohead, among others, reworks the score and soundtrack for F.

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Song of the Day: “The Frim Fram Sauce”

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One of the most entertaining things about the early days of recorded jazz music is the clever way musicians worked around the conservative mores of the time. The well-loved etymologist William Safire, in a 2002 article, diligently attempts to decode the playful gibberish sung so beautifully by Nat King Cole in his suggestive tune, “The Frim Fram Sauce,” only to shrug, in the end, and concede that it’s probably “about sex.” You can almost hear the smirk in Cole’s silky smooth voice as he sings:

I don’t want French fried potatoes, red ripe tomatoes
I’m never satisfied.

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Wanted/Needed/Loved #15: Ian Svenonius’s “Principles of Modernism”

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[T]he most essential thing is actually a kind of worldview, a mindset—or maybe it’s an ideology. ...more

This Week in Posivibes: Tis the Season

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It’s getting to be year-in-review season, the time when everyone sits back and catalogs the songs that blew their minds, the album art that inspired the most memes, the top five tracks that clearly violated copyright, the ten best songs for driving down the highway in a little rain, but not a lot, like maybe it’s just misty?

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Song of the Day: “Louder Than A Bomb”

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“Rhythm is the rebel,” Chuck D raps on “Louder Than A Bomb,” one of many outstanding tracks from Public Enemy’s touchstone 1988 record, It Takes a Nation of Millions to Hold Us Back. Of all the controversial and heartfelt statements made on this widely acclaimed and influential album, this is perhaps the most telling, as DJ Terminator X’s raw backbeat—a sound now associated immediately with hip-hop music—and dissonant horn samples signal right away to the listener that the genre’s longtime association with party music was evolving rapidly into a musical protest against systemic racism, poverty, state surveillance, and the militarization of police. 

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Jimmy Eat World - Clarity | Rumpus Music

Albums of Our Lives: Jimmy Eat World’s Clarity

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Regardless of where or how I listen to the CD, I can still imagine myself in the car’s passenger seat, smell Tim’s cologne, or see the sun setting in a mix of fiery colors beyond us. ...more

Album of the Week: Childish Gambino’s Awaken, My Love!

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cgAmidst writing, producing, and starring in the FX series Atlanta and being cast to portray a young Lando Calrissian in an upcoming Star Wars installment, Donald Glover took some time to return to his Childish Gambino persona and has released one of the most interesting album of 2016.

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Song of the Day: “We the People”

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If A Tribe Called Quest had to make one final statement, a boisterous, politically conscious, and funky record would be the most fitting way to do so. We Got It from Here… Thank You 4 Your Service was released on November 11, 2016, eighteen years after Tribe’s last album and only a few months after the death of founding member, Malik “Phife Dawg” Taylor.

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Sound & Vision #26: Mark Alan Stamaty

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Allyson McCabe talks with Mark Alan Stamaty, a Society of Illustrators four-time medalist, and the author-illustrator of ten books. ...more

This Week in Posivibes: Embers

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Embers, directed by Claire Carré, has received a long list of awards for the ingenious way in which it employs a sci-fi landscape to explore memory and what we would be—as humans, as partners, as higher thinking beings—without it. The film’s score was created by Kim Henning and Shawn Parke, multi-genre composers living in Portland who have found the beautiful place inside eeriness.

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Album of the Week: Jay Daniel’s Broken Knowz

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broken-knowzWhen it comes to musical legacies, Detroit’s is singular: talking about “Detroit sound” can refer to a jump into Motown’s soul vibes or a dive into the roots of techno’s hammering basses, two apparently distant and antipodal hearts that have more in common than we might think.

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Song of the Day: “Lord, Help the Poor and Needy”

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Maybe growing up with a father who was a Jehovah’s Witness caused Charlyn Marie “Chan” Marshall to develop a sensitivity to the plight of the unlucky and underprivileged. Then again, Marshall, who is widely known by her stage name Cat Power, might also have an artist’s innate empathy and receptiveness to others’ pain—something that we, as a nation, could stand to develop ourselves.

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Album of the Week: Alex Izenberg’s Harlequin

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If you were asked to name a Los Angeles solo musician who published his notable, kaleidoscopic debut album—made of orchestral arrangements, train noises, great melodies, and experimental cut-ups—in his mid twenties, after years and years of writing, chances are high you’d properly answer “Van Dyke Parks.” But now, there’s another artist who fit this description: Alex Izenberg.

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Song of the Day: “Secret Life”

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The passing of songwriter Leonard Cohen last Thursday added another mournful chapter to an already difficult week. The prolific and underrated artist—most famous, perhaps, for his aching ballad “Hallelujah,” popularized by John Cale, Rufus Wainwright, and Jeff Buckley—had a long career of ups and downs.

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This Week in Posivibes: The Features

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This week, Flying Nun is reissuing work by the Features, particularly 1980’s X-Features. Besides the fact that the record is some great post-punk, Raven Sings the Blues did a fine job of highlighting their importance in terms of time and place:

The band acted as an angular and jagged counterpoint to the majority of Kiwipop’s more jangled stable of players and in some ways ushered in a focus on post-punk in the [New Zealand] scene.

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Wanted/Needed/Loved#14: Kurt Wagner’s One-of-a-Kind Hat

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I try not to think about fashion. It’s more that I want to settle on something to wear so I don’t have to think about it. ...more

Hip-Hop for Clinton

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Jay Z, Beyoncé, Chance the Rapper, J. Cole, and Big Sean performed at a Get Out the Vote rally in support of Hillary Clinton this weekend. Trump’s response: a critique of Jay Z’s use of “bad language.” Because he’s the best person to demand all people follow the rules of “proper conduct.” Watch clips from the performance after the jump.

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A Necessary Evil

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Hope Sandoval (Mazzy Star) and Colm Ó Cíosóig (My Bloody Valentine) spoke to Consequence of Sound about their third album together as Hope Sandoval & The Warm Inventions, detailing how they found one of the album’s key collaborators walking through the Berkeley BART station and noting that music is a thing they just can’t quit.

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