The right soundtrack can transform a so-so sexual encounter into something memorable (just ask Hollywood producers). And the wrong soundtrack? Well, that can really screw things up, as it were. Imagine: You’re feeling all lovey-dovey and want to hold your lover’s face while you make sweet missionary love… and then your partner puts on some hardcore punk. And what about when your partner wants to do it to Bob Dylan and you just plain don’t?
Singer/pianist/lyricist/composer/performance artist Amanda Palmer, a.k.a. Amanda Fucking Palmer or AFP, is the epitome of an American indie artist. She’s bold, unapologetic, bisexual, with awesomely hairy armpits and actual pubic hair. She organized an unbinding flash mob wedding between her and writer Neil Gaiman in 2010, then made it legal in 2011 in a private ceremony hosted by literary power couple Ayelet Waldman and Michael Chabon. Unafraid of addressing provocative issues, she’s fought against Prop 8 and blogged about her own abortion and date rape.
Article: A musical history of wooing women
CDZA (short for Collective Cadenza) is a group of mostly Juilliard-trained music geeks (and we use that term in the most loving and respectful way) that “creates musical video experiments” — in other words, fun viral vids that play upon all sorts of musical themes and genres (think “Evolution of Dance” but with live musicians and no dancing). Ten months ago they created their inaugural “History of Lyrics That Aren’t Lyrics” (i.e. Sha na na na, doobie doobie doo, etc). Then a few months ago they started producing these videos regularly, one every other Tuesday. Some recent examples: “Mark Zuckerberg: The Musical” (“This is the dawning of the page that you share with us”) and “Aces of Basses” (a literal tribute to the Swedish pop sensation using five acoustic upright basses).
Article: Your SUNfiltered summer mixtape
With summer off and running and temperatures through the roof, it’s time we round out all the blockbuster activity and over-hyped, industry-funded forms of entertainment with what the season is really built for: semi-inappropriate decisions made with old and “new” friends during long weekends on the shore — all set to hip music. It’s as close to a consequence-free environment as any post-college adult trying to make art out of their life can get. So re-up your catalog with these music suggestions that will keep your days and nights hotter than the weather.
Or maybe we should say “great music to make love to” (though we’re loathe to use that terminology). It definitely works for making out to. Not frantic rip-off-each-others’-clothes sessions, but more deliberate, sensual interludes that last longer than an hour, the kind earnest teenagers in love engage in. Patrick Watson, the Montreal-based band (fronted by singer-songwriter Patrick Watson, natch), create songs that are ethereal, haunting, and heady — with upright pianos, weepy violins and saws, quirky percussion, guitars occasionally strummed with toothbrushes…
The latest gem from the people at Barack Dubs is President Obama “singing” Carly Rae Jepsen’s saccharine song “Call Me Maybe.” A more fitting title of this song for Obama who is on the fundraising circuit for the upcoming election against Mitt Romney should be “Donate Maybe.” Stitched together from his various public appearances and speeches, the Internets wildly approved of their previous video of Obama singing “Sexy and I Know It” by LMFAO. Based on his previous performance singing a bar of Al Green, I think Obama could nail both of these songs at karaoke. Mitt Romney however should stick to just his stump speeches and avoid singing in public.
Given Brian Eno stature in the music world, it would’ve been easy enough for him to simply play the producer role for his Rolex Arts Initiative protégé Ben Frost . It would’ve been a huge deal for the young, Australian composer and musician to get the same treatment as bands such as Talking Heads, U2, Robert Fripp and Coldplay, but the father of ambient music wanted to do something entirely new.
There probably isn’t any contemporary pop act as intrinsically tied to the cinema and the French electronic duo Air. From their collaboration with Sophia Coppola on THE VIRGIN SUICIDES to their recent reimagining of the 1902 Georges Méliès classic LE VOYAGES DANS LE LUNE , they’ve challenged the constraints of the movie soundtrack. Now they’ve teamed up with Cartier and the NYC-based directors collective Waverly for the short film PAINTED LOVE.
A new installation by Italian art collective Quiet Ensemble will have you looking at your goldfish bowl in a whole new way. Called “Quintetto,” the collective took five enormous water tanks, each harboring a cheery little fishy, and videotaped their movements. A custom software program then interpreted their (generally pretty erratic) motion to produce subtle electronic sounds that change depending on the position, orientation or direction of the fish. The resulting songs are surprisingly beautiful, even kind of soothing. The sort of thing you would listen to in the bathtub, contemplating buying a goldfish.
Article: A Surge In Serge Gainsbourg’s legend
Except for the time Meryl Streep played a rabbi, the coolest man with an accent on screen, as of next week, will be Serge Gainsbourg. The French composer of hypnotic jazz-pop in the 1960s is the subject of GAINSBOURG: A HEROIC LIFE, in which Eric Elmosnino plays the guy complete with all his quirks and multitalents.
Artist Ben Venom makes these huge quilts stitched together from t-shirts of various heavy metal bands. Titled “See you on the other side,” the 13′ x 15′ quilt pictured above is currently on display at San Francisco’s Yerba Buena Center for the Arts. Over 125 t-shirts sacrificed themselves in order for the artist to make that quilt. Although my ears are not the biggest fan of this musical genre, I have a huge fascination with its culture: the style, the fans, the hair, and obviously the devil worship (calm down people, joking here…sort of). Some of my favorite documentaries (as well as the mockumentary SPINAL TAP) focused on heavy metal music such as ANVIL, which I thought was rather brilliant. And our very own editor here Perrin recommended the short doc HEAVY METAL JUNIOR to me (watch in its entirety on YouTube) which I found quite hilarious.
Sesame Street breaks it down from Wonderful Creative on Vimeo. Branding agency Wonderful Creative put together this “wonderful” mash-up of clips from Sesame Street so it appears as if the puppets are performing the funkadelic song, “Sure Shot,” by the Beastie Boys. My favorite part is the flute at the beginning. G is for Gangsta!…
The amazing writer Edie Meidav (who also happens to be our friend and neighbor) is out today with a new novel: “Lola, California”, called “brilliant” and “awesome” by Publisher’s Weekly. Meidav is such a force of inspiration that art practically gets spontaneously generated in her wake: above is a beautifully haunting short film created by Snapdragon that’s inspired by “Lola” along with Meidav’s narration; and here is music inspired by the book from Kevin Salem, who calls it “part soundtrack for the reader, part songs inspired by the text … and part music inspired by the cultural identity of the novel.” Below is one of two excerpts from “Lola, California” that Meidav is generously allowing us to publish here — this one about a rape on a Greek island. Stay tuned next week for the second excerpt about two friends go-go dancing. Both are compelling creepy and deeply moving, even without the context of the full novel:
Inspired by the previous New York version (mentioned here), here’s the London edition of random pedestrians being asked what they are listening to on their headphones.
The Los Angeles Times Magazine asked 15 music critics and writers from around the world to nominate one track by one homegrown artist from that person’s country and “the result is a true rhythmic patchwork of intercontinental sounds, proving that though we all dance to different drummers, they always have a great beat.” Broaden your…
Beyonce’s latest hit “Run the World” is a girl-power anthem, sort of: “Who run the world? Girls” over and over. Maybe it’s aspirational. Eh, probably not
Article: Robyn Documentary
Robyn, the prolific and innovative Swedish pop singer, is the subject of a new hour-long documentary. It’s a fascinating glimpse into the life and professional evolution of a child star to an iconic force. It is in four parts – click through to the next part after each part ends.
Article: On traveling to Bjork's homeland
Angie Grant was a friend of mine in 9th grade. She had a blunt-cut died black bob and wore black and white striped tights with black Creepers. She stained her lip cherry red and idolized The Cure’s Robert Smith.
At 15 Angie had found a look. She’d created a strong visual that invited ridicule and attention. I admired her greatly. And when i found out a few years back she’d died a little piece of me too also left this world.
I was thinking of Angie Grant this past weekend as I traveled to Iceland for the first time. Angie gave me Bjork’s album Debut when we were high school kids. And it changed my world. It was one of those crystal-clear moments when you easily look back and remember finding a new world.
Article: OMD Live at Terminal 5
Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark, the iconic electronic band that sadly most in the US only know from “If You Leave,” played their first US shows this week in over 20 years. At NYC’s Terminal 5 the energy was palpable and nostalgia flooded the room.
OMD’s latest album, History of Modern, is a welcome return to form. Unlike many other past-their-prime pop stars’ recent efforts, this album is quite good. It’s so good in fact it trumps much of OMD’s back catalog, which has always been a bit uneven.
Article: Hoer Board's DJ table
Hoer Board’s DJ table is simply delicious. If Apple was a DJ equipment this is what their DJ console would look like. Missing are screws, wires, and general messiness of DJ set ups are replaced with this piece of furniture from the future. It makes me want to learn how to Dj, simply to have a reason to buy it. Which with a price tag of around $2,000 it better be a very good reason.
An artifact from the annals of punk rock history and the tragic relationship between then 20-year-old punk rocker Sid Vicious and his girlfriend Nancy Spungen where Sid pens 12 things that makes Nancy so great. Note: number 9 on the list is NSFW.
Article: Music in the shadow of Sundance
The Sundance Film Festival has long had a secondary focus on music. This year’s official, Sundance-sanctioned performers will include Lou Reed, who has a documentary short, RED SHIRLEY, premiering in the festival. And there are also afternoon showcases at the Sundance ASCAP Music Café. The festival provides “an especially welcoming environment for musicians; the Sundance…
Article: Loving hating Gwyneth
We always knew Gwyneth Paltrow was kind of annoying, but we didn’t realize it was “official” until we read the recent Time magazine review of her new movie “Country Strong,” which wasn’t so much a movie review as it was an account of how much people love to hate this privileged daughter of Hollywood elite…
Our L.A. writer friend Charlie Amter recently launched a labor-of-love blog called EUROPOPPED, what he describes as “a little epic sideblog” to “turn on more people to the crazy Euro music vids” he finds every day. And they ARE crazy. Or just foreign. Or maybe something is just getting lost in translation. Whatever the reason,…
Article: Keith Richards apologetic signature
The New York Public Library shared this amusing anecdote from Keith Richards’ visit in October. While Keef was waiting ‘backstage’ in the center before the talk, he unexpectedly lit up a cigarette in Marie’s office, and grabbed the clay saucer underneath the orchid for a makeshift ash tray. He then asked for the window to…