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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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The Honesty of Kathleen Hanna

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Kathleen Hanna sat down with VICE’s Kim Taylor Bennett and immediately began a very honest and powerful discussion of her experience with tokenism, how we won’t live in a post-sexist world until the rape crisis hotline stops ringing off the hook and women’s shelter rooms aren’t packed, and the incredibly difficult work of unpacking the damage perpetrated by abuse.

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Song of the Day: “Helpless”

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Neil Young’s name has become synonymous with a special brand of rock music that came of age in the 60s, matured in the 70s, and burned on well past its contemporaries. From the laid back Buffalo Springfield, to the soaring harmonies of Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young, to his solo career, his songs and his voice have managed to stand out from some of the most noteworthy moments in music history.

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The Front Bottoms - The Front Bottoms | Rumpus Music

Albums of Our Lives: The Front Bottoms’ The Front Bottoms

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When I first heard Brian Sella’s sweet, pathetic voice sing these words, they seared a sense of guilt into me. ...more

This Week in Posivibes: Hidden Ritual

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Austin-based Hidden Ritual’s second album Always is receiving some great attention from those who respect well executed takes on sounds from music’s past. Still Single describes the band’s sound on this album by piecing together a massive collage:

They take minimal, strummy, percussive post-punk (think the Feelies ca. 

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Forty Years of Independent Music

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Dazed Digital celebrated Rough Trade’s fortieth anniversary by conducting an interview with its founder, Geoff Travis, and co-director, Jeanette Lee. Responding to a question about the relevance of independent labels today, Travis cited the importance of a kind of collaborative and trustworthy editor:

David Byrne said famously that ‘everybody needs an editor.’ Talking Heads were one of the best bands ever, so if he’s saying that, it goes to prove that people like to work in an environment where there’s a dialogue with people you can trust and who artistically understand what you do and can give you honest feedback.

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The Copyright Saga Continues

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A new copyright lawsuit has been initiated against Bruno Mars and Mark Ronson for their single “Uptown Funk.” Collage, a funk band out of Minneapolis, alleges that the hit rips the instrumentals of their 1983 song “Young Girls”:

Upon information and belief, many of the main instrumental attributes and themes of “Uptown Funk” are deliberately and clearly copied from “Young Girls,” including, but not limited to, the distinct funky specifically noted and timed consistent guitar riffs present throughout the compositions, virtually if not identical bass notes and sequence, rhythm, structure, crescendo of horns and synthesizers rendering the compositions almost indistinguishable if played over each other and strikingly similar if played in consecutively.

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The Perfect Eerie Piano Scale

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In honor of Halloween, Consequence of Sound has collected what they deem the “10 Essential Horror Movie Scores.” Following Scorsese’s argument that music and film are intrinsically tied, “[b]ecause there’s a kind of intrinsic musicality to the way moving images work when they’re put together,” the piece celebrates how horror perhaps above all genres uses music to generate the cringing effect of its best scenes.

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Song of the Day: “8 (circle)”

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It takes courage and artistic vision to take risks with music that has already won you commercial success, but lasting artists persist in doing just that. Bon Iver’s third album, 22, A Million, supports this view. The familiarly warm and affecting melodies of song writer Justin Vernon’s earlier work are reinvented here, nested in a cocoon of distortion and digital noise that holds listeners at arm’s length, rather than drawing them in close.

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