Following the series of reports of clowns terrorizing America, TIME thought it prudent to open the discussion to the clowns who are blamed for a whole range of things, from spreading ignorance about magnets to just plain inspiring millions of people to dress like masses of terrifying, drunk clowns: the Insane Clown Posse....more
A new jazz documentary is making its way around the festival circuit. Directed by Kasper Collin, I Called Him Morgan traces the career of trumpet player Lee Morgan, who worked with greats like Art Blakey and Dizzy Gillespie before being murdered—shot dead on stage mid-performance—by his wife....more
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....more
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....more
Michael Collins’s latest project has an enviable list of collaborators, including Weyes Blood, Ariel Pink, Mild 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....more
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.
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....more
It’s either a testament to the general belief held in director Grant Singer or a confirmation that buzz determines award nominations above all else, depending on how you look at it: The Weeknd and Daft Punk collaboration “Starboy” has received an MTV VMA nomination before its formal release....more
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....more
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.
In an appearance on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert promoting his new book, Born to Run, the Boss listed his favorite songs by the Boss. Also, he explained why he puts the E Street Band through four-hour long marathon shows, and the chafing that comes with them, saying: “I’m here to take you out of time… I’m here to alter time and space and play with it myself and help you move in and out of things on any given evening.” Watch the Boss open up to Stephen Colbert after the jump....more
Yo La Tengo is releasing another series of totally destroyed versions of covers from their annual performances at WFMU’s fundraiser. The compilation, Murder in the Second Degree, is a follow-up to the band’s 2006 release Yo La Tengo Is Murdering the Classics, and like its predecessor the liner notes are vague, replaced by a promise that “there are endless ways to ruin a song”:
For the last 20 years (and counting), Yo La Tengo, accompanied by cub reporter Bruce Bennett, have performed live on WFMU during their fundraising Marathon, and in return for listeners’ pledges of support, we have attempted to play their requests, with no prior knowledge of what those requests will be, and without utilizing any of the many web sites that provide lyrics and chords.
Michel’le’s upcoming biopic Surviving Compton creates a dialogue with the story told by Straight Outta Compton, which notably failed to portray the roles of the women who helped grow N.W.A. and Ruthless Records. When asked why she believes her story was omitted from the Straight Outta Compton narrative, Michel’le indicated she felt no surprise: “Why would Dre put me in it… If they start from where they start from, I was just a quiet girlfriend who got beat up and told to sit down and shut up.”
Surviving Compton deals heavily with the abusive relationship between Dr....more
Radiohead is no stranger to anxiety. A tense tone—like a taut cord reverberating—runs through the high-energy opener “Burn the Witch,” from their latest record, A Moon Shaped Pool. Thom Yorke’s delicate wail floats over the brazen guitar and strings as the tempo speeds up and the anxiety mounts....more
Mangy Love, Cass McCombs’s latest, is one of those records where an artist makes the most compelling argument for their sound and content possible. During his career, McCombs has eschewed interviews and the kind of lifestyle-sensationalizing journalism that usually surrounds music coverage....more
Jimmy Fallon might not have challenged Trump much during the presidential nominee’s recent appearance on The Tonight Show, but the Roots got in a pretty great dig of their own as the man in the famous toupé crossed the stage....more
Otis Redding’s 1966 performances at the Whisky A Go Go marked the first soul act on the famous LA stage and a purposeful attempt to widen his audience. They also produced some incredible live recordings that are finally being released this October via Stax Records, on the six-volume Live at the Whisky A Go Go: The Complete Recordings....more
S U R V I V E, the group behind the perfectly creepy electronic score to Stranger Thing’s nostalgic horror trip, has often credited their work with a heavy influence from synth greats Tangerine Dream: “a lot of times I’ll just get stuff if it’s got a Goblin or a Tangerine Dream score and just see what it sounds like,” the band has said....more
On the 20th anniversary of Tupac Shakur’s recorded death, the music community is still asking the question: did that really happen? At Consequence of Sound, Alex Young makes the case for Shakur’s survival (and second life in Cuba).
Whatever you believe, Morgan Creek Productions commemorated the day by releasing a new trailer for the long-awaited biopic on the rapper’s life, All Eyez on Me, directed by Benny Bloom—watch the clip after the jump....more
The Reverend Al Green’s fifth album, I’m Still In Love With You, appears at the top of many critics’ rankings, including that of the Village Voice‘s longtime writer, Robert Christgau. And for good reason. The second track of this mesmerizing record is the silky smooth, organ-punctuated “I’m Glad You’re Mine.” Green’s drummer, Al Jackson, Jr.—who built his reputation for rhythm as a session musician at Stax Records—holds down a beautifully laconic, almost lazy backbeat, and a rolling Hammond organ helps to show why the song deserves to be known as a staple in the soul canon....more