After being inspired by some friends, for the past few years I’ve been really into documenting my musical exploration with year-end mixes. I realize this is not a particularly novel thing to do, but hey, who has original ideas any more? — more
Analyzing James Bond theme music is kind of like a study in the law of diminishing returns. It’s so fascinating, in this film franchise with now 50 years of history, to see the way each film’s producers decide to present their music. It wouldn’t exactly be fair to say Bond themes have “evolved” since 1962, at least not in any organic way–there’ve been lots of stops, starts, and looks to the past for inspiration. In fact, every time the Bond franchise seems to want to push forward musically, something pulls it back a bit. That’s part of what makes this analysis so interesting. — more
A few weeks ago Amnesty International released the massive 4-disc tribute album Chimes of Freedom: Songs of Bob Dylan Honoring 50 Years of Amnesty International. This record, which contains new or new-ish recordings of Dylan classics by artists as diverse as Adele, Ke$ha, Johnny Cash and My Chemical Romance, certainly does not skimp on talent. It also doesn’t skimp on time; this whole thing clocks in at over five hours long! And even though the artists represented here are varied enough to sustain your interest, it’s tough to slog through five hours straight of any one thing. — more
2011. Aren’t we supposed to be colonizing space and flying around in hover cars? But instead we’re still down here on lowly Earth making top 5 lists. I know, I know, less chin-wag more tunes: here are each of the staff’s top 5 tunes of the year. Let us know what we missed in the comments below. If you’re a Spotify lover like us, here is a handy dandy playlist (minus a few that aren’t up there) here. — more
I must confess that before I sat down to read Gig Posters: Volume 2, that particular art form confounded me a bit. I didn’t really understand the idea behind most gig posters I saw, which seemed to be total non-sequiturs when compared with the band being promoted by the work (“what does this picture of a drunk man in a canoe have to do with Okkervil River?”). I was hoping Gig Posters would elucidate the creativity behind these pieces and give me a window into this ever-growing niche at the intersection of art, design and music. — more
Last week, Beirut played a track off their album ‘The Rip Tide‘ on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon. If you haven’t heard the new album yet, you must. It’s just as amalgamated and eccentric as the previous 2 albums. If you have a hankering for some eastern euro stylings with an electronic flair, you will not be disappointed. Hit the jump to watch them play ‘Santa Fe’. — more
Remember these guys? I used to rip my buddy John for being into them so much, then I actually listened to them, and turns out they’re pretty damn good. Shirley and Butch have reformed and their first delivery is a cover of U2′s “Who’s Gonna Ride Your Wild Horses.” It’s a damn good cover. Hit the jump to have a listen. — more
When the end of the world arrives on 11-11-11, I’ll at least have a great soundtrack to the destruction. I’ll be watching favorite metal-meisters Mastodon bring down the stage at The Riviera in Chiccy-G. To tide me over, this clip of them performing ‘Black Tongue’ on Jools Holland does the trick. I particularly like the ode to Rhandy Rhoads on the bass drum.