Music

Swinging Modern Sounds #76: American Songbag

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In the broadest sense, I think of this work as being about the stuff of life: excitement, love, disappointment, pride, nature, cities, war, loneliness, work, class distinction, communication. ...more

This Week in Posivibes: Jerry Goldsmith’s Chinatown

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Light in the Attic Records is reissuing Jerry Goldsmith’s 1974 soundtrack to the movie Chinatown in a limited release of 2500 copies. The reissue comes on gold vinyl, with album art by Sterling Hundley and layout by Jay Shaw. The soundtrack was an incredible feat—Goldsmith wrote the score in a mere ten days, creating a surprising, hard-to-place, and unforgettable piece that:

It wasn’t quite straight jazz, it wasn’t quite classical.

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Jay Z Nominated for Hall of Fame

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Jay Z became the first rapper to be nominated to the Songwriters Hall of Fame this weekend, when he was named as a potential 2017 candidate alongside Madonna, Bryan Adams, George Michael, Gloria Estefan, Cat Stevens, Sylvester “Sly Stone” Stewart, Kenneth “Babyface” Edmonds, and Max Martin, Nigel Smith reports for the Guardian.

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President Obama’s Block Party

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The President and First Lady hosted BET’s Love And Happiness: A Musical Experience on the White House’s South Lawn this weekend, adding to the long list of musical moments rounding out Obama’s final term. At one point the President spotted in the audience and joked, “Dave, you have your own block party!

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Oasis Hijinks

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The latest news in Oasis ridiculousness is a throwback: apparently, according to Danny Boyle, Noel Gallagher confessed he turned down the opportunity to get on the Trainspotting soundtrack because he mistakenly assumed the movie was about “train spotters.” Bummer to miss out on being a part of an iconic 90s film alongside Brian Eno, Iggy Pop, Pulp, and Primal Scream because you can’t bother to find out if it’s really just about railroad nerds, huh?

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Le Tigre Reunites to Say “I’m With Her”

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Le Tigre released what they announced would be a one-song reunion: a pro-Hillary track aptly titled “I’m With Her.” Although there is some mentioning of the need to get Trump out of our political reality stat, Kathleen Hanna’s lyrics focus on Clinton’s qualifications and how “she’s always got to work twice as hard as any man.” Watch the video, directed by Laura Parnes, after the jump.

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America Again

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I felt urgently that it was the moment to tell the story of what I’ve learned about American music—or maybe about being an American. ...more

This Week in Posivibes: Songs for the New Lost Generation

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Scott & Charlene’s Wedding have released a video for “Distracted” off of their recent album Mid Thirties Singles Scene that speaks for a whole mess of people we can really understand. As Raven Sings the Blues writes, “The band’s pop hides a wealth of insight to the kind of restless energy that crops up in a generation lost to debt, dead-end jobs and armed only with guitars and some jangles to dig them out.” Watch the video after the jump and buy the record here.

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Awful Trump Story #983674

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Surprise, surprise, another horrible Trump story has surfaced: Lil Jon has spoken out about the time that the presidential candidate kept calling him “Uncle Tom” on Celebrity Apprentice.

Apparently, even after a series of people explained why the term “Uncle Tom” is entirely offensive, the Donald Trump decided he was correct in using the term, persevered in using it, and generally made everyone feel really insulted and perplexed.

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Song of the Day: “When the Tequila Runs Out”

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Dawes is one of a handful of groups, including peers like Wilco and Broken Social Scene, who have undergone personnel changes without losing the essential heart and soul that make them who they are. Their first manifestation in 2006 as the post-punk group Simon Dawes included the multi-talented guitarist and producer Blake Mills.

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Another Cease and Desist for Trump

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Despite the number of artists who have explicitly requested their songs never again be used by the Republican candidate, who apparently does not believe in obtaining permission to use artistic work, Trump keeps upping the ante. Most recently, a campaign ad used “Seven Nation Army,” much to the chagrin of The White Stripes.

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Song of the Day: “Black and Blue”

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Given the anarchic, traumatic, and deeply worrying events of recent months, some might begin to lose hope. However, music—and especially jazz, the most particularly American music—never seems to lose its power to soothe and calm us. Louis Armstrong, in a special song that might sound deceptively typical to the hasty listener, made a groundbreaking statement on race relations in his recording of the 1929 Fats Waller tune, “Black and Blue.” Rather than making a misguided apology for his own racial identity, as some have interpreted it, Armstrong’s incomparable dignity transforms the bluesy song into an ageless lament that rivals monumental recordings like Nina Simone’s “Strange Fruit.” Maybe we are all feeling a little black and blue today.

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Swinging Modern Sounds #75: The Petra Haden Story

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At every turn, Haden’s decisions, while labor-intensive and rigorous, feel fresh, passionate, funny, and new. ...more

This Week in Posivibes: Drugdealer

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Michael Collins’s latest project has an enviable list of collaborators, including Weyes Blood, Ariel PinkMild High Club, Sheer Agony, and members of Mac DeMarco’s band. While some reviews seem preoccupied with the tongue-in-cheek names Collins gives to each of his projects, it seems to us that the more important thing to notice is that these songs are pleasingly jammy, with modulating trippy pacing at times and exactly the kind of throwback pop sound we’d expect from its collaborators.

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Howard Stern’s Tribute to Revolver

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The radio personality has put together a tribute to his favorite Beatles album, featuring a wide array of artists covering Revolver’s track list. According to Rolling Stone, the episode features:

Cheap Trick tackling “She Said She Said,” James Taylor performing “Here, There and Everywhere” and Nathaniel Rateliff & The Night Sweats covering “Got to Get You Into My Life”….[also performing are] Dinosaur Jr.’s J.

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A Chance the Rapper Christmas

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The White House has really been stepping up its music game these days, organizing festivals and now inviting Chance the Rapper to perform at the National Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony. Because if you’re on your way out and can’t do much, you might as well use holidays you’re forced to celebrate as opportunities to invite your favorite artists to perform at your house.

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Song of the Day: “The Heat Is On (Part 1 & 2)”

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Everyone knows funk music reached its heyday in the 1970s, but even legends like James Brown and George Clinton were hard pressed to compete with funk powerhouse The Isley Brothers in 1975. The title track “The Heat Is On (Part 1 & 2),” from their record of the same name, is a hard-driving, wall-shaking revelation that takes this oft-underestimated genre to new heights.

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Rosanne Cash - Black Cadillac | Rumpus Music

Albums of Our Lives: Rosanne Cash’s Black Cadillac

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In her voice, I am held, cradled even. I am equal parts longing and hope. I am home. ...more

This Week in Posivibes: Interrogating Dementia

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The Caretaker’s Leyland Kirby will be chronicling through music the changes wrought by dementia on his own newly diagnosed mind. Kirby released a statement outlining the project:

The series aims to enlighten our understanding of dementia by breaking it down into a series of stages that provide a haunting guide to its progression, deterioration, and disintegration and the way that people experience it according to a range of impending factors.

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