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....more
When 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....more
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....more
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....more
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....more
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.
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....more
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....more
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....more
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....more
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.
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.
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.
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....more
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....more
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.
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....more
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!...more
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?...more
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....more
Allegedly covered and sampled by musicians as diverse as Madonna and Diana Ross to Mary J. Blige and Robert Palmer, the innovative single “I Want You,” off Marvin Gaye’s 1976 album of the same name, branches out from the Motown sound that typified his earlier work and delves into uncharted territory....more
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....more