One lucky fan in England received the star treatment last week as my heroes the Pet Shop Boys played a surprise set in her living room. Lorraine Sands of Twickenham, south west London, oh how I hate you! Ms. Sands won a competition put on by the BRIT Awards, the UK’s version of the Grammys. The BRITS turned 30 this year and hosted a competition with the Pet Shop Boys. The winner would receive an in-home show by the iconic techno-poppers.
These must-watch “kinetic sound installations” by David Ellis and Roberto Carlos Lange are something kind of wonderful. Watch and listen as the innocuous pile of trash comes alive to beat. I kept expecting to see Oscar the Grouch make an appearance. View more here.
Still from ODDSAC.
Music is surely a strong theme at this year’s Sundance Film Festival: In Sam Taylor Wood’s NOWHERE BOY, a teenage, pre-Beatles John Lennon finds an escape from his dysfunctional family through music (watch a clip here). The band Animal Collective will debut the film it has spent years collaborating on with Danny Perez, ODDSAC, a psychedelic mix of abstract music and visuals. TWILIGHT’s Kristen Stewart stars as rocker Joan Jett and Dakota Fanning plays Jett’s bandmate Cherie Currie in Floria Sigismondi’s rock-and-roll biopic THE RUNAWAYS. And that’s just for example.
Here’s your today’s bit of procrastinating fun: Click on over to Lullatone, a “raindrop melody maker” and create your own soothing ambient music by selecting different rain drops, each which produces its own sound that loops every six seconds.
photo by Patty Keigan
Say what you will about John Mayer’s music — here marks the spot where Lo censored Em’s compliments about “Your Body Is a Wonderland” as a matter of principle — his Tweets are some of the funniest in the biz. (Okay, so he doesn’t have a lot of competition. Britney Spears: “How’s everyone’s 2010 going so far?”) Anyway, love him or hate him — or, most likely, a combination of the two — we thought you’d appreciate some of his Tweet-wisdom (twisdom?) on the topics of love, sex, bodily functions, and other important stuff. Here are a dozen of our favorites from the last month or so — you can follow him yourself at Twitter.com/JohnCMayer:
What 1 area of your body gets touched the least? I’m going to guess sub-scrotal flange, but it could also be knee cleavage.
If you call a girl 62 times and she’s sleeping, does it read in the morning as one missed call or 62? Asking for a friend.
Pulled this one from the time capsule: an informal business letter dated appropriately in 1969 from Mick Jagger to Andy Warhol thanking Andy for agreeing to do the “art-work” for their new album. Mick, signing off with love, gives Andy pretty much carte-blanche do whatever he wants as well as naming his price.
During the last 12 years, Rufus Wainwright has established himself as one of music’s most mercurial talents, fearlessly challenging convention and famed for soaring melodies and haunting lyrics. While preparing his most ambitious project, a full-fledged opera entitled PRIMA DONNA, Wainwright and his famous family — father Loudon Wainwright III, mother Kate McGarrigle and sister…
Last year we threw a holiday party and wanted to avoid the season’s musical dead horses. Don’t get us wrong: we’re suckers for anything Burl Ives or Andy Williams around this time of year, but for a festive get-together of friends we wanted something slightly more unexpected: a mix of both new and old but not too traditional. We spent a loooooong time searching the internet and our music files for the best ear tinsel, weeding out the downer or jarring numbers from each album, to create the perfect 50-song, 2-and-a-half hour holiday party mix (well, perfect for us). So consider this our gift to you — let us know what we forgot…and what you’d like return. (FYI: Songs are ordered by album, but you’d just hit “shuffle”):
The Hotel Café Presents Winter Songs (entire compilation):
Winter Song by Sara Bareilles & Ingrid Michaelson
Frosty the Snowman by Fiona Apple
The Heartache Can Wait by Brandi Carlile
All My Bells Are Ringing by Lenka
Silent Night by Priscilla Ahn
The Christmas Song by Catherine Feeny
Maybe Next Year (X-Mas Song) by Meiko
White Christmas by Katy Perry
Blue Christmas by Nicole Atkins
Winter Wonderland by Kate Havnevik
I’ll Be Home for Christmas by Holly Conlan
Silver Bells by Alice Smith
Mistletoe by Colbie Caillat
Auld Lang Syne by Jesca Hoop, Butch Walker, Buddy, Anya Marina, Cary Brothers, Greg Laswell Lenka, Holly Conlan, Ingrid Michaelson, Jim Bianco, Jonah Matranga, Joshua Radin, Laura Jansen, Meiko, Sara Bareilles & Tim Jones
“Let the famous voices express your innermost thoughts or your frivolous humour” with this award winning interactive online project, “Let them sing it for you” which repurposes various pop songs and unpredictably sings back any phrase or sentence a user enters. Of course, this program might also be another means for computers to collect data…
Elvis Costello spoke with WNYC’s Leonard Lopate about his music and the upcoming season 2 of SPECTACLE: ELVIS COSTELLO WITH… Listen Here:
I wrote an essay a few weeks back about Lady GaGa’s taking over from Madonna and becoming the numero uno gay pop icon. And any gay with a Facebook account can attest to this with a simple look at their status update bar from this week. The gays are going gaga over Bad Romance, the new…
Some people have been questioning Rihanna’s choice to wait to talk about her domestic abuse right until the release of her new album. But that’s just the way the magazine-TV-PR-celebrity-promotional circle jerk works: celebrities don’t tend to chat to magazine writers or TV presenters just because they feel like it, they do it because they are contractually required to promote something. And magazines, TV shows, et al are more than happy to comply, because celebrity cover stories sell like hotcakes.
Those same talented dancers/inmates at the Cebu Provincial Detention and Rehabilitation Center in the Philippines are at it again. This time, however, the tribute is not for Michael Jackson. Another effeminate and over-the-top singer gets their start treatment. Mr. Freddie Mercury would no doubt be proud that these prisoners, who learn to dance during their rehabilitation…
It was only a matter of time before hip-hop made its way to Broadway. Many a musical act, from the Pet Shop Boys to ABBA, have translated their records from radio to stage. Run-DMC seem poised to follow with some big name Hollywood types getting behind the concept. They have all the makings for a…
Love him or hate him, one thing is for certain: you’ve talked about Kanye West this year. He’s the arrogant buffoon who bullied a teen girl in front of millions. He’s the rap star who at the top of his game turned his back on hip-hop’s school of thought and made a techno-pop album where he sings. He’s remarkably annoying.
Chita Rivera onstage at New York City’s Birdland Jazz Club – October 13, 2009.
Saxophone giant Charlie “Bird” Parker called it the “crossroads of the world.” New York City’s famed jazz club, Birdland, was just that on Tuesday for the launch of beloved Broadway star Chita Rivera’s new album, And Now I Swing.
Norman Brannon is an author who wrote the book The Anti-Matter Anthology: A 1990s Post-Punk & Hardcore Reader. He’s also a musician and blogger. His personal site, Nervous Acid, showcases his thoughts on culture, design, and often times, you guessed it, music. I am a sucker for a list. Don’t get me started. And while Norman…
Culture Now is a newish blog I have been reading for about a year now. It is wonderfully designed and easy to read. The subject matter focuses on art, culture, design, and media. And though music definitely fits snugly under the culture umbrella I was a bit surprised to find an essay on Kraftwerk on Culture Now the other day.
It is no secret that I adore Swedish electro-pop. I have since I first discovered ABBA. Then Roxette. Neneh Cherry. Robyn. And of course Röyksopp. Last month I posted a link to a free download for “This Must Be It,” their new single featuring the vocals of Karin Dreijer Andersson. The video for that song…
Major Lazer “Pon De Floor” from Eric Wareheim on Vimeo. I was brought on board SUNfiltered to bring a gay voice to the blog, so I hope the above video for the song “Pon De Floor,” by Major Lazer, doesn’t seem out of place with my other posts. After all it is a riotous video depicting…
The Wizard of Oz turned seventy this year. The film continues to cast its spell on both children and adults. It has staying power that’s unheard of in Hollywood. And rightfully, in celebration of this big birthday, Netflix will on October 3rd stream the film for free for 24 hours.
If you have tons of old useless vinyl records lying around and aren’t sure what to do with them, then look at this find by Wooster Collective for inspiration. It’s a fish whose body is made of vinyl albums.
Gays across the globe are anxiously awaiting (yet another) Madonna greatest hits package. The album, Celebration, also features two new songs, one of which, the title track, finds Madge back in the 90s amid a pulsing electro beat created by Paul Oakenfold. Madonna’s an artist who usually collaborates with cutting edge producers so it seems a little odd she’s embracing this sound now. But I guess the 90s are back and I just don’t know about it.
Bernard Sumner has been a prolific musician the last few decades. He was a member of the iconic Joy Division which became the even more iconic New Order after the suicide of JD’s Ian Curtis. Word of New Order’s demise left a foul taste in the mouth of techno-pop fans across the world. Now, there…
If you lived through the pre-CD epoch, you probably have somewhere a cluttered pile of ignored cassette tapes (kids, google it if you don’t know what I’m referring to). If you don’t want to throw them away, but not sure what else to do with them, then get inspired like artist Brian Dettmer. He converts…