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…
Article: Beatles, Stones, and Robots?
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…
Article: Major Lazer's major video
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…
Article: The Wizard of Oz at 70
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.
Article: Vinyl fish street art
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.
Article: New band from a New Order
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…
Article: Cassette tape sculptures
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…
Article: Modeling the Humanthesizer
Featuring 15 bikini wearing models, Calvin Harris and his bevy of girls are painted with conductive ink on the palm of their hands and soles of their feet to become the “humanthesizer” and recreate Harris’ weekend anthem “Ready for the Weekend.” It gets going around the 1:43 mark. [Via]
Article: Rediscovering Neneh Cherry
Andreas Kleerup’s just released eponymous album is remarkable. He out-Röyksopps Röyksopp on the release, which features haunting and bubbling synths and those emotional, yet detached, Swedish ingénue voices: Robyn, Titiyo, and, surprisingly, Neneh Cherry.
What’s the environmental footprint of the average music festival? Add up the following factors:
Transportation energy: all of those fans, bands and vendors have to get there.
On-site energy: from stage lights to refrigeration, many elements of a festival require electricity… sometimes a lot of it.
Trash: just feeding hundreds, or thousands, of people can send literally tons of waste to the landfill
Water: Lots of people generally means lots of toilets flushing… and hands being washed… and thirsts being quenched.
OK, we don’t have exact numbers, but you can see that 2-4 days of music and fun can create quite an impact. A number of festivals around the world have decided to address that impact; others have built their events around ecological awareness. In both cases, organizers are addressing resource use and efficiency, and trying lighten the load of these events on the planet.
Spin recently tracked down the Top 10 Rock’n'Roll Landmarks and I was shocked to find out that places like Tom’s Diner and Fountains of Wayne actually exist. Each of the ten locations listed feature the musical reference (there really is a Sound Garden) and also interesting facts (Springsteen’s Cadillac Ranch cars are planted at 52 degree angles –the same as Egypt’s Great Pyramid of Giza).
Article: Kurt Cobain's F bomb
The Los Angeles Times reported Saturday on the 15th anniversary of Nirvana front man Kurt Cobain’s suicide. His hometown of Aberdeen, Washington has seen some controversy lately concerning a makeshift park situated under a bridge in which the rocker hung out and once wrote songs. Recently, granite plaques have appeared around the area featuring Cobain…
Article: Beef on the internet
The New York Times today ran an interesting story on an old topic: beef between rappers in the hip-hop community. The article focuses on Joe Budden, a new school rapper, and Raekwon, a 90s rap relic, famous for being a member of Wu-Tang Clan. Budden has built a following, and a means of attack, via the…
Five years ago, activist, writer and professor Bill McKibben published an essay at Grist calling for artists to step up and address one of the most pressing issues facing humanity: climate change (The Day After Tomorrow and State of Fear just weren’t doing it for him). We don’t know if artists responded directly to McKibben’s call; we do know that we’ve seen much more creative work on global warming since then. Visual artists, musicians, and filmmakers have all engaged the subject, creating some compelling, thoughtful work.
Last week, Grist commemorated McKibben’s essay by launching a series on artistic creation that addresses climate change.
The World Science Festival has just begun to release some clips from this year’s festival which was held in June 2009. One of the most notable is from “Notes & Neurons: In Search of the Common Chorus” where Bobby McFerrin demonstrates the power of the pentatonic scale, using audience participation. World Science Festival 2009: Bobby…
Article: Madonna as a Warholian prototype
Madonna was friends with Andy Warhol. He and Keith Haring gave her a collaborative painting for her wedding to Sean Penn in 1985. But, due most likely to Warhol’s untimely death, the pop princess was never one of his portrait subjects. Until now. In an homage to Warhol, Marilyn Monroe, and her own iconic status…
Article: Grace Jones – a mad hatter
Gay icon and scary woman Grace Jones is on tour. Relics of the 1980s continue to tour – look at Depeche Mode and the Pet Shop Boys – but I am especially excited about Ms. Jones coming to town. The onetime fashion model turned Warhol muse turned chanteuse has remained remarkably youthful in appearance over…
Comprised of Scott Kirkland and Ken Jordan, THE CRYSTAL METHOD is one of the best-selling electronica bands in the United States. They’ve come a long way since their debut album, Vegas (’97), which went platinum…a feat that most electronic bands can only dream of. Having earned their reputation for creating explosive live sets throughout the 90′s, the duo has gone beyond studio mixing and DJ-ing to scoring film, television, and video games. During a hiatus following the release of Community Service II (’05), Kirkland and Jordan took a break from live performance and focused on other projects like their first original motion picture soundtrack for LONDON, Nike’s Drive: Nike + Original Run, and the deluxe edition of Vegas which contained various remixes.
Divided By Night is their latest album and is their “re-introduction” into performing live sets once again. Recently seeing them in concert, Lara Marsman of BILLBOARD.COM said that they “still perform as they did fifteen years ago, even after a five-year hiatus, demonstrating why they are the original gangsters of electronic music.”
Read more about The Crystal Method and view the exclusive behind-the-scenes video!
Article: Moby and David Lynch – Dynamic Duo
While listening to filmmaker David Lynch speak at the BAFTA Awards in February 2008, Moby had an epiphany. Lynch’s message – creativity for its own sake is a beautiful, wonderful thing – was a simple one, but it hit Moby with the force of the Zen master’s cane. “At that moment, I decided to just…
Article: SUNfiltered music videos
For this weekly entry, be sure to plug in your headphones or turn up your speakers. Here are five buzzy music videos circulating around the Internet that I found catchy and visually stimulating. Enjoy.
1. Popular mashup artist DJ Earworm’s latest includes Kanye’s “Heartless” and The Police, “Message in a Bottle,” as well as some others.
Known for his offbeat humor, absurdist lyrics and stream-of-consciousness riffs, singer-songwriter Robyn Hitchcock returns to Sundance Channel in this original concert film shot in New York in late 2008. Here the cult favorite — dressed in a polka-dotted shirt and matching guitar — is joined by Terry Edwards on keyboards, horns, bass and piano and Captain Tim Keegan on guitar to perform songs from his 1984 album I OFTEN DREAM OF TRAINS, including “Cathedral” and “I Used to Say I Love You.” John Edginton directs.
Read more about Robyn Hitchcock…
Article: Suckers they are not
The half-filled room at Brooklyn’s Bell House Tuesday night was good testing ground for Suckers (no The, just Suckers) who will soon go from playing to a handful of their friend’s friends to hundreds of people this summer. With their pop/rock/electronic sound and a propinquity for the keyboard (they play with four), Suckers are an appropriate pairing for MGMT who they’ll open for at an already sold out show at the Prospect Park Bandshell July 1st, followed by a month long residency at Piano’s where you can see them every Thursday night.
Article: White conservatives can't rap
A couple of young conservatives put together this rap video to “promote constructive debate and tolerance”: [via Talking Points Memo.]