Tag Archive: Music


Lana Del Rey - "Summer Wine" Video

Lana Del Rey has never downplayed her affection for Nancy Sinatra — you might remember she called herself a “self-styled gangsta Nancy Sinatra” back in the “Video Games” days. Now, out of nowhere, she’s covering a song Nancy made famous with Lee Hazelwood in 1967. LDR’s “Summer Wine” clip comes only weeks after her version of Leonard Cohen’s “Chelsea Hotel No. 2,” and like that cover, this one is pretty damn faithful to the original. Also like that song, this one has no compelling reason to exist, but doesn’t make the world a more horrible place, either. The vid itself is filmed on a Super 8 (or some equivalent vintage equipment), and like everything else in the visual world today, looks like an Instagram product. Check it out.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=1OEron4rXfk

 

 

http://bit.ly/176St4X

MOJO magazine, delve into the prehistory of electronic music’s greatest group, to deliver the story of Kraftwerk that the curator of their official legend, the genius that is Ralf Hütter, would rather you didn’t read. With input from early collaborators, including Eberhard Krahnemann and Michael Rother, it starts in the ruins of post-war Germany, takes in “the best Beatles covers band in the whole of Westphalia” and ends with the revelation of Autobahn. The following video playlist tracks their rise – with five tracks representing their kosmische-krautrock infancy – and beyond, to their early-’80s pop regency and enduring status as icons of aheadness.

1. Ruckzuck, 1970

Live on German TV, with Kraftwerk modelling their groovy, pre-canonical sound – as hymned in the latest MOJO – as Ralf rocks a less-pervy-Irmin-Schmidt “look”. Some of Der Kinder look pretty spooked, while others appear to suspect some kind of art-scam is being perpetrated. Great free jazz apocalypse ending.

2. Truckstop Gondolero, 1971

With Neu!‘s Michael Rother (guitar) and Klaus Dinger (drums) providing motorik undercarriage and Florian looking a bit Village People in a pair of dungarees. And Ralf on sabbatical.

3. Koln II, 1971

As above, but more cosmic. An idea of what a free-er, more Krautrocky Kraftwerk might have sounded like.

4. Kakteen, Wüste, Sonne, 1971

As above, but lumpier – in a good way. Dinger has the dungarees this time, and he’s going bananas.

5. French documentary, 1973

A special on Kosmische Music featuring Kraftwerk and Tangerine Dream, bizarrely introduced from a building site soundtracked by Little Walter. Nice footage between 1.50 and 6.00.

6. Tanzmusic, 1973

Dig the Werk’s Open University lecturer chic, Wolfgang’s moustache and the earliest evidence we can find of the neon signs.

7. Autobahn, 1975

Tomorrow’s World’s Raymond Baxter introduces the future of music. Kraftwerk promise jackets with electronic lapels that can be played by touch. But here’s another, excellent live version of Autobahn, with a starring role for the home-made drums.

8. Radioactivity

Kraftwerk’s techno chic grows in sophistication, although the silver-gloved robot hands are a tad more Cyberman than Deep Blue. Still, what a heartbreaking tune.

9. The Robots

WATCH VIDEO

Delightfully camp promo, which sparked LED tie envy in my Middle School. Karl Bartos says he never really loved this look, the madman.

10. Neon Lights, 1978

A song of such melodic perfection that covers by Simple Minds, U2 and, er… Love Tractor cannot besmirch it.

11. Showroom Dummies

Hilariously literal promo for the Trans Europe Express tune. Best bit: “We look around… and change our pose”, but is that Florian flicking us the vees?

12. Pocket Calculator, Live in Utrecht 1981

Groinal thrusting from the quartet, mocking the edge-of-stage posturing of guitar rock groups.

13. And lest we forget, from the movie, Breakin’

“Turbo” does his broom dance to Francois Kevorkian‘s mix of Tour De France. Launched a thousand provincial shopping centre breaking “crews” of dubious skill.

14. The Telephone Call

See, Electric Café wasn’t so bad at all. Although some kind of post-apocalyptic techno-meltdown had clearly occurred since Computer Love. Bakelite phones? Circular dialing? Manual typewriters?

15. Kraftwerk documentary, 2001

Flür, Bartos and Stockhausen expound on the weird world of ‘Werk. No Ralf or Florian, obviously.

16. Duran Duran – Showroom Dummies, 2007

Possibly the worst thing you’ve ever, EVER seen.

17. Numbers/Computer World, 2012

And here they are, bang up to date at their MOMO, New York residency in June this year, with the song that predicted everything. Eins, zwei, drei, vier, fünf, sechs, sieben, acht!

 

Selected and annotated by Danny Eccleston

PSY_2012_1200x900

http://www.youtube.com/officialpsy?feature=inp-tw-psy

new video from you know who.. reached 10 million viewers on first day. what a man.

The Academy Award winning director talks about his nod to heist films and classic noir

Director Danny Boyle used electronic and retro jazz sounds in the new art-heist film 'Trance.'Director Danny Boyle used electronic and retro jazz sounds in the new art-heist film “Trance.” (Fox Searchlight)

In the films of English director Danny Boyle, music frequently emerges as an important (if unseen) character. The drug-addict drama Trainspotting was fueled by a jam-packed, manic soundtrack of songs by Iggy Pop, Brian Eno and the electronic duo Underworld. He teamed up with Indian composer A.R. Rahman for 127 Hours and the highly successful Slumdog Millionaire, for which Boyle won a Best Director Oscar.

His new movie Trance, starring James McAvoy and Rosario Dawson, pays homage to two beloved genres: the high-tech heist movie and shadowy film noir.

Boyle enlisted a frequent collaborator, Rick Smith of Underworld, to craft dance beats for action sequences, while using pre-existing jazz and French chanson for sequences involving hypnosis and dreams.

Known for using pre-existing songs, Boyle doesn’t use a music supervisor and selects tracks himself. “It’s one of the deepest pleasures for me. It helps shape the film in so many ways, [beyond] just the music. It informs the film completely for me,” he told Soundcheck‘s John Schaefer. “I’m very proud to be able to associate myself with these artists via film.”

He talked with John Schaefer about choosing music for Trainspotting, 28 Days Later and the opening ceremonies for the 2012 Olympic Games in London. Read more the conversation here: http://wny.cc/ZpoOi0

JS: On using “Deep Blue Day” from Brian Eno and Daniel Lanois’ album Apollo: Atmospheres and Soundtracks, for the notorious Trainspotting scene involving “the worst toilet in Scotland”:

DB: That album is, to me, one of the greatest atmospheric albums ever. It is just an extraordinary piece of work. I’ve used it multiple times. I used it in a TV series before I moved into films. And I used it so many times, in so many different ways, that eventually Brian Eno wrote to me and said, “I’ve done other things, you know.”

JS: Tell us about a song that you thought would be perfect for a scene, but couldn’t get permission to use.

DB: We tried to get Laurie Anderson’s “O Superman” for 28 Days Later. There’s an amazing sequence where [Cillian Murphy’s character, Jim] walks home. London is deserted, apparently apart from this threat, and he finds his way back to his old home where his parents lived. And he finds them in bed, passed away. They passed away peacefully and left a message for him. It’s very moving within this apocalyptic horror.

And her amazing song was [initially] on the soundtrack. And we approached her about it, and she said she didn’t want it to be associated with anything else because she wanted to do something else with it in the near future. So she declined, and I was really sad. [TheatricallyReally sad.

But her decision was a good one – and good things come out of it. And we used a hymn instead which actually had an even greater significance instead, especially for a British audience. You’re trying to suggest the past of the city, and hymns sonically do that. Something that we’re all familiar with through schooling, and so we used “Abide With Me.”

JS: Will there be a third film in the 28 Days Later zombie franchise?

DB: I wish we’d had shares in The Walking Dead, the TV show! There had been a whole zombie movement, and then I think we helped refresh it with 28 Days Later. […] I was very keen for it not to be known as a zombie movie. I had this idea that the threat is much more rage-filled. But it’s become absorbed in the zombie landscape and is referred to constantly as a zombie movie. I have to accept that. [laughs] I’m lucky to be there. There is an idea for a third part, cause we did a 28 Weeks Later, and so the 28 Months Later or whatever it would be called — the third one — there is a plan for that. How realistic it is given the success of something like Walking Dead, I have no idea. Who knows? Fingers crossed.

Not a Downer: Tool's Adam Jones Talks 'Opiate' Reissue, New Material

Tool’s Adam Jones / Photo by Tim Cadiente

The alt-metal guitarist looks back on the band’s first release, and drops some hints about upcoming efforts

“I grew up with double-gatefold vinyl, and I didn’t use the cover for cleaning my pot,” deadpansTool guitarist Adam Jones — who incidentally doesn’t smoke weed — about why album art still matters to him. “The visual element is something we’re losing. I think our society is going into a forced minimalist period and people don’t care.”

The more pressing subject, though, is the limited-edition, art-jacked 21st-anniversary reissue ofOpiate, his band’s swelling, heavy debut release. For an outfit that has gone to painstaking lengths to impress its fans with eye-popping visuals, including the lenticular jewel case for their 1996 album Ænima and stereoscopic goggles for 2006’s 10,000 Days, the group’s guitarist-art director isn’t holding back this time. The reissue will feature new illustrations by Iron Man artist Adi Granov and innovative packaging designed by Mackie Osborne, Jones’s friend (and the wife of Melvins frontman King Buzzo). Tool have prepared five different versions of the artwork for the reissue (out March 26), limited to 5,000 copies total, and each will contain new artwork to view with the 10,000 Days goggles.

When the EP came out in 1992, those genre-defying sounds fit right in with L.A.’s nascent alt-metal scene, which at the time included Jane’s Addiction, Rage Against the Machine, Rollins Band and comedy rockers Green JellöOpiate‘s “Hush” addressed issues of the time like censorship, while the masturbation-themed “Part of Me” foreshadowed future Tool gross-outs like “Stinkfist.” The raw live recording of “Jerk-Off,” which the band recorded at the loft where Green Jellö lived, and the seductively hypnotic title cut revealed the band’s taste for early Swans and hardcore punk. The six-song collection was an extreme sampling of what the band would offer in the coming two decades. Read more here: http://go.spin.com/16Gkgcj

The salt-and-pepper-haired six-stringer, 48, spoke to Kory Grow for spin.com from his home, where he was spending a day “being a bum,” as he recovers from a marathon music-writing session for Tool’s new album.

This is the 21st anniversary edition of Opiate. Why did you skip the 20th?
We talked about doing it when it was the 20-year anniversary, but we were sort of un-serious. Then when the 21st anniversary came up, we considered it. Lately, we’ve been trying to write music and not doing any other projects that distract us.

Why did you decide to update the original release’s artwork?
When we did the art for the original, we did it so fast. The record company was giving us input about what sells and what doesn’t, and we tried to ignore it. It’s nice to update it. It still features the image of the priest from the original. There are more ideas developed around it instead of just this one guy. I feel like Spielberg or Lucas updating their movies. It’s me thanking the fans, giving them something special.

The new artwork features illustrations by Iron Man artist Adi Granov. How did you hook with him?
He sent me a Facebook request, and I accepted it. He’s a huge Tool fan and I’m a huge fan of his artwork. He does this very uncanny perspective that looks like it’s done with a computer but it’s not. Originally we talked about doing comics projects together. I’ve been developing comics ideas, and we’ll get to that when I finish the Tool record and he gets through his big workload. But when the Opiate thing came up, he said he would absolutely do it. I sent him some really quick, crappy sketches, because that’s all you need to push someone like him in the right direction. And he did an amazing job. He’s just the bomb. I can’t wait for our fans to see it and hope everyone appreciates it.

What went through your mind when you listened to Opiate again?
A lot of things. I’m proud of what we did. We worked hard, and it’s this little photograph or postcard from that time. It’s like a time machine.

What songs stood out to you most?
The live tracks, “Cold and Ugly” and “Jerk-Off,” which we don’t play anymore. I kind of miss them. Something else that stood out were the themes of Opiate and the way all the songs lead to [the title track]. It’s more the feeling of the record that hit me. It’s hard to describe.

You recorded the live songs at Green Jellö’s loft. What was that show like?
It was so strange. We wanted to record some live songs, so we rented a mobile truck, which is so funny these days because you can set up a laptop and do a better job. The mobile truck had all these spidering, webby cables stretching into a two-story loft. It was kind of chaotic. And there were just lots of problems with people who came. They were too drunk. You can hear this total idiot who climbed up into the rafters, and nobody could get to him, and he was heckling us with a bullhorn. So you hear Maynard make the comment about a dreadlocked idiot. [Sighs] Overall, the performances were really good. In the press, I’ve read that it was the first time we ever played, but it wasn’t. We were signed. We were recording Opiate. I think we were hungry and we really wanted to bleed and chew glass to get a good performance captured. I was very happy when I heard what we did.

In past interviews, you’ve said the songs on Opiate were your hardest-hitting tracks at the time. You also seemed a little ambivalent about how that cast Tool as a “metal band.” 
I feel then and now that we are metal. But we’re not traditional cookie-cutter metal, so we’ve always had trouble with people on the marketing side of the fence trying to push our band in different ways. Every time we did interviews back then, journalists wanted to compare us to Biohazard or some other band. And we’d just go, “Well, I think it’s kind of different.” So it’s hard.

The title track has popped up often in your live sets. You’ve collaborated with a lot of people over the years on that song in concert. Do any particular performances stand out?
We’ve always had songs we could pull someone into. We wrote “Bottom” [for Undertow] and asked Henry Rollins to do a little spoken word in the middle. It would have been nice to have someone during the “Opiate” thing. Instead, we’ve had everybody that we’ve possibly run into play drums during the middle of it, or do spoken word, play a solo. Zach De La Rocha did a cool spoken-word section one time. And Heitham Al-Sayed from Senser did a really cool, little Arabic thing one time. We’ve been very fortunate to have our peers and people we really respect come up and contribute.

On that note, what did you think of Limp Bizkit’s “Opiate” cover?
It’s great being appreciated by anybody; be it some band that has much different tastes than yours or a band with a different approach. I heard it once. I thought it was cool.

Since you just finished this Opiate reissue, how does it compare to the Tool record you’re working on now?
We’re older guys now. The band has changed drastically. We’re very distant people now and have our own lives. It’s always been like that. It’s been a collective perspective even from the start, but now it’s much more diverse. And I’m not saying that’s bad. It’s just different. So writing is a different perspective now. It’s taken a little longer. And besides that, we’ve had a couple major setbacks that we’re recovering from. I’m calling March “March Madness” because I’ve been really trying to kick ass and focus on this thing and get it to a point where we’re all happy. I really love those guys. And people grow and they change; it’s just like a relationship. You just have to compromise and respect each other. It’s just like life. It’s like anything else. That’s where it’s at.

 

justin timberlake 20 20 experience

Justin Timberlake’s comeback album, The 20/20 Experience, just shattered all sorts of sales records. According to Billboard, the album moved 968,000 copies in its first week, making for the biggest opening week of 2013. Taylor Swift’s 2012 album Red was the last record to sell as many copies in its opening week.

Not since Lil Wayne’s Tha Carter III in June 2008 has a male artist debuted with such numbers. In fact, The 20/20 Experience had the third-biggest debut for a solo male singer ever (!), behind only Usher’s Confessions (2004) and Garth Brooks’ Double Live(1998).

The 20/20 Experience also set an iTunes record for the fattest-selling album worldwide. Read more here: http://bit.ly/Zpi7v2

Yet for all the accolades, Timberlake’s sales number still fell well short of *NSYNC’s album No Strings Attached, which sold nearly 2.5 million copies during its opening week in April 2000.

(Chris McGrath/Getty Images) and (Danny Martindale/Getty Images)

(Chris McGrath/Getty Images) and (Danny Martindale/Getty Images)

On Saturday, March 23, 2013 at London’s Royal Albert Hall, the Britpop wars were finally put to rest when Noel Gallagher, Damon Albarn and Graham Coxon (with modfather Paul Weller on drums) performed Blur’s “Tender” together at the fourth night of the Teenage Cancer Trust benefit concerts, as curated by Gallagher. The event has generated a much-shared photo that is making the Facebook rounds on the pages of people of a certain age, who are reacting with what could only be called glee that is tempered with at least a dash of disbelief. For those not initiated into or too young to remember the halcyon days of Britpop, here’s why it matters just like reported by Courtney E. Smith for radio.com wrote:

To put it in context, Oasis singer/songwriter Noel Gallagher asking Albarn and Coxon to join him on stage for a song is the musical-world’s equivalent of signing a Middle East peace accord. Theirs was the last great feud in the history of British music — unless One Direction and The Wanted agree to really have a go at it, like proper rock stars, for their next promotional cycle. Things went to such extremes in the darkest days of their ‘90s press-driven rivalry that Noel Gallagher told a reporter he hoped Damon Albarn and Blur guitarist Alex James would “catch AIDS and die.” Retracting that comment in 2006 didn’t quite settle the Blur vs. Oasis feud for the media but this single song, or more accurately a single happy face photo during a charity gig, seems to have finally done the trick, a mere 20 years later.

While America in the ‘90s was in the throes of grunge adoration, with the media pitting Nirvana against Pearl Jam in a grudge match that didn’t actually exist (Nirvana vs. Guns N Roses was the real hatefest), across the pond they were celebrating Oasis vs. Blur. The outspoken Gallagaher brothers formed Oasis, which was more of the working man’s band who were devotees to the sound of the Beatles and the hedonistic swagger of the Rolling Stones. They were music industry outsiders, hailing from Manchester in the North of England. In a country where class and caste still matter, the Gallagher brothers are from a family of plumbers with a mother who worked as a lunchlady in the school cafeteria. Noel started in music as a roadie for Inspiral Carpets. Not long after Oasis formed they signed to the indie label Creation, backed by Alan McGee. He was the A&R man behind beloved bands like the Jesus and Mary ChainPrimal Scream and My Bloody Valentine. But the Gallaghers had, and constantly stated, bigger ambitions that were immediately realized when their first album,Definitely Maybe, entered the UK charts at No. 1.

Speaking to MTV in an undated (but clearly shot in the ‘90s) red carpet interview, Gallagher said, “Are you asking me if I’m happy? Listen, I’ve got 87 million pounds in the bank. I’ve got a Rolls Royce. I’ve got three stalkers. I’m about to go on the board at Manchester City [Football Club]. I’m part of the greatest band in the world. Am I happy with that?” Gallagher pauses to creep closer to the lens and begins screaming, “No I’m not! I want more!”

It’s the kind of bloviating the Gallagher brothers were known for the the ‘90s. An interview with Oasis would always generate an off-the-cuff comment about something – be it another band, ill-advised weigh-ins on politics, the Gallagher brother’s mutual hatred, or the Gallagher brothers mutual agreement that they are geniuses and Oasis are the greatest band ever. Their quotes make up dozens of web slide shows. They’re so numerous and free-floating that Wikipedia has a page made up entirely of unattributed things Noel Gallagher is reported to have said, including the underrated gem: “We are the biggest band in Britain of all time, ever. The funny thing is, that f****** mouthing off three years ago about how we were gonna be the biggest band in the world, we actually went and done it.”

But before Oasis, there was Blur. Read more here: Don’t Look Back In Anger: Why The Oasis/Blur Feud Mattered « Radio.com News.

Blur were the polar opposite to Oasis: they were art school students from the University of London who  had been childhood friends, they were all from middle class families and concocted a clever sort of music and lyricism that was more in line with the pretty boy faces of the Kinks but appropriated mod imagery from the Who and they were very, very proud of being clever. They’re the band who refused to recut their second record with Nirvana and Sonic Youth producer Butch Vig to make it appeal more to American audiences in 1993. Their breakthrough 1994 album, Parklife, is widely credited with opening the door to alternative rock radio and press in America for a generation of British indie bands. Albarn himself was never one to shy away from giving a wry media quote, which came in handy when the press-fueled rivalry between Oasis and Blur kicked off.

There was plenty of room on the UK charts for both Blur and Oasis, along with a boatload of other guitar bands, in the ‘90s as the public’s appetite was whetted by their sounds. But the mercurial, mercenary British press couldn’t help setting the two top-selling groups in opposition to each other. But unlike the days of Beatles vs. Stones, these weren’t two groups who socialized together and could make a joke of the black & white roles the press cast them in. If they were on good terms from the start, the so-called “Battle of Britpop” might never have happened.

While most of the NME buying public had already proclaimed themselves to be a fan of either Oasis or Blur, Blur’s camp decided  (in a move that the 2010 documentary No Distance Left To Run would make clear was entirely Albarn’s idea) to take advantage of the media circus, moving the band’s release date for “Country House” to August 14, 1995 – the same day as Oasis’s “Roll With It” was scheduled for stores. With music magazines urging young fans to go out and support the band of their choice in this head-to-head sales competition, the marketing ploy became overhyped and far eclipsed the newsworthiness of the singles themselves – both b to c level moments in the catalogs of the bands. In the end, Blur outsold Oasis by about 50K singles, amid strong objections from the Oasis camp disputing the sportsmanship, unfair advantage of a lower price point and actual barcode fraud in relation to the final tally. Oasis had their feelings further injured when Blur started touring at the same time they did and using a light projection of the number 1 to mark their status.


The sniping continued, with Gallagher making and then apologizing for his infamous AIDS comment. In the 2003 Live Forever Britpop documentary, Albarn summarized the wars in a surly quote, saying, “How did I feel [about it]? I felt stupid and I felt, I just felt very confused. Basically I didn’t really realize that my kind of flippancy was going to have such profound resonance in my life. I changed quite dramatically after that period.”

But that flippancy and the hard-hearted pot shots both bands took at each other in the press were exactly what supremely confident, successful and rich rock stars should do. It is the stuff that rock ‘n roll legends are made of and the emerging American rock bands at the top of the charts in the mid-’90s (think Foo FightersGin Blossoms,Collective SoulStone Temple Pilots) were either faceless or guileless. Coming out of the excess of the Sunset Strip hair metal scene of the ’80s, the rockers of the ’90s were the dullest bunch of drips possible. Nirvana and Pearl Jam fashioned themselves as anti-rock stars, taking the polar opposite pose of the self-indulgent excess of the L.A. scene that dominated before them. With the lone exceptions of the Smashing Pumpkins and Hole, whose singers Billy Corrigan and Courtney Love rarely met a microphone they couldn’t say something petty into, rock music in the ’90s was marked by a parade of dull rock stars with derivative hits. At least Blur and Oasis were willing to go balls to the wall about it.

If anything, Blur and Oasis could be compared to the hip hop wars happening in America. They were not Tupac and the Notorious B.I.G., as no one quite took it to the lengths of having a shoot out, but they were ostensibly the Jay-Z and Nas of the rock universe. The posturing and rock star behaviors that had marked stars of the ’60s and ’70s were being taken over by hip hop stars in the ’90s. Blur and Oasis were the last men standing on the “bad behaviors allowed only by rock stars” mountain — to epic proportions we have not seen since.

1996 would bring Oasis their greatest success in the form of their enduring single “Wonderwall” and turning their album (What’s The Story) Morning Glory into the biggest selling British album of the ‘90s. The band who had not considered themselves part of the Britpop movement had cut the definitive, best selling and most critically lauded Britpop album of all time. Both are regarded as the pinnacle of Noel Gallagher’s career.

Blur would see a major overhaul when “Song 2” from their 1997 self-titled album became a world-wide hit and the noose with which the band almost hung itself. While the album was a step away from the British-centric songs that defined their early career, it was also a reinvention.

The song Albarn, Coxon and Gallagher played together is from Blur’s 1999 album, 13 – an ode to Albarn’s failed relationship with Frischmann and one of the best in their catalog. “Tender” is a ballad with the same enduring sing-along quality of “Song 2” for very dour people. That this particular group of people would collaborate on any song is a miracle, but naturally the choice would have to be a song released well beyond the days of their Britpop rivalry.

At this point in their lives, the men of Oasis have gone their separate ways. Noel Gallagher left the group in 2009 and Liam rechristened them Beady Eye. Blur took a well-documented break after their 2003 album Think Tank, with Albarn leaving to create two supergroups: Gorillaz and the Good, the Bad & the Queen. Blur reunited in 2008 and have focused on festival performances, releasing only a few new singles and killing off a recording session for a new album for the time being.

Time heals all wounds. Noel Gallagher has undoubtedly become more tolerant, possibly owing to the removal of Liam the instigator from his life and his arrogance certainly took a backseat after critical and sales reception to Oasis albums tapered off in the 2000′s. Albarn has spiraled off from Britpop into more obscure musical endeavors, with forays into African, world and electronic music under his belt. Neither seem keen to hold on to that Mick Jagger swagger “rock star for life” pose. But for a decade, they were the picture perfect examples of a rock star feud. http://bit.ly/14k8fdQ

 

Fifty-one years ago today (19 March 1962), Bob Dylan’s debut album ‘Bob Dylan’ was unveiled to a largely disinterested United States. They’d soon change their tune as Dylan spread his artistic wings, but this album stands up as a snapshot of where he was at the time – mainly in a Greenwich Village café, cribbing Woody Guthrie’s notes. Here are some red-hot facts compiled by Matthew Horton for NME.com you might not know.

Bob Dylan

1. The album’s producer, John H. Hammond, was instrumental in Dylan signing to Columbia Records in 1961 after he heard his harmonica work on folk-revivalist Carolyn Hester’s third album.

2. In a pleasing piece of symmetry, Hammond also signed Bruce Springsteen – Dylan’s natural successor – to Columbia in 1972.

3. Check out any 60s Dylan cover that features the Columbia logo and you’ll see that it’s on left. The photo on the cover of ‘Bob Dylan’ has been flipped so the neck of the guitar doesn’t obscure it.

Bob Dylan

4. The cap Dylan’s wearing on the sleeve was a regular element of his walking, talking homage to hero Woody Guthrie.

5. ‘Song For Woody’ makes full use of its tribute status, basing itself on Guthrie’s own 1941 ballad ‘1913 Massacre’. David Bowie would make a Russian doll of it, aping Dylan’s “Hey hey, Woody Guthrie, I wrote you a song” with “Oh hear this, Robert Zimmerman, I wrote a song for you” on Hunky Dory’s ‘Song For Bob Dylan‘. As for songs about David Bowie, Bowie’s got that covered.

6. The album reputedly cost $402 to record.

7. Dylan had another go at ‘See That My Grave Is Kept Clean’ – originally recorded by Texan bluesman “Blind” Lemon Jefferson in 1927 – with The Band in 1967. It didn’t make the official release of ‘The Basement Tapes’ but was familiar to Dylan bootleggers.

8. Leading up to the recording of the album, Dylan immersed himself in listening to the Folkways label’s ‘Anthology Of American Folk Music’, an exhaustive collection of cuts that had been recorded between 1926 and 1932 but forgotten in the intervening years.

Bob Dylan

9. The liner notes on the original inner sleeve were written by a “Stacey Williams”. This turned out to be New York Times critic Robert Shelton – whose favourable live review had brought Dylan to label attention – moonlighting under a pseudonym.

10. ‘Gospel Plow’ is a traditional tune based on Luke 9:62 – “Jesus replied, ‘No one who puts a hand to the plow and looks back is fit for service in the kingdom of God.'” So there you go.

11. UK blues band The Animals claimed Dylan stopped playing his version of ‘House Of The Risin’ Sun‘ when The Animals hit big with theirs, because he was accused of ripping them off.

12. The line in ‘Talkin’ New York’ – one of only two Dylan originals on the album, alongside ‘Song For Woody’ – that goes “Now, a very great man once said/That some people rob you with a fountain pen,” is yet another fanboy reference to Guthrie. Specifically ‘Pretty Boy Floyd’, Guthrie’s 1939 ballad to the 1930s gangster.

13. The cover image was shot by Columbia in-house photographer Don Hunstein, later responsible for the iconic sleeve photos for ‘The Freewheelin’ Bob Dylan‘ and Simon & Garfunkel’s ‘Sounds Of Silence’.

14. ‘Fixin’ To Die’ is a cover of a track by delta blues dude Booker T. Washington “Bukka” White, but Dylan messed about with the melody and lyrics. When asked on a radio show in 1962 exactly how much of the recorded version was his, he replied, “I don’t know. I can’t remember.” That’s that cleared up then.

15. After the album shifted just 5,000 copies in its first year, reaching No.13 in the UK and absolutely nowhere in the States, Dylan was nicknamed “Hammond’s Folly” by waggish Columbia execs. They’d soon be eating their leopard-skin pill-box hats.

16. John H. Hammond himself was investigated by FBI Director J Edgar Hoover for alleged communist activities. In reality he was a determined campaigner against race discrimination in the music industry, cutting his teeth with the launch of Billie Holiday’s career.

Bob Dylan

17. “I first heard this from Rick Von Schmidt/He lives in Cambridge/Rick’s a blues guitar player/I met him one day in the green pastures of Harvard University,” goes the spoken opening of ‘Baby, Let Me Follow You Down’. That’s folkie Eric Von Schmidt, who was mistakenly credited as the writer of the song but had adapted it from a Blind Boy Fuller number.

18. Opening track ‘You’re No Good’ was incorrectly listed as ‘She’s No Good’ on the original record label.

19. ‘A Man Of Constant Sorrow’ is of course most famous for its appearance in the Coen Brothers’ movie O Brother, Where Art Thou? where it’s performed by the fictitious Soggy Bottom Boys, named in tribute to the Foggy Mountain Boys, the bluegrass duo who were know to perform several Dylan songs in the 60s. No, there’s nothing tenuous about that.

20. ‘Pretty Peggy-O’ is adapted from the Scottish folk song ‘The Bonnie Lass o’ Fyvie‘ and would later be tackled in various shape-shifting forms by Joan Baez, Simon & Garfunkel and former hairspray-rockers Jefferson Starship.

 

Pixies Surfer Rosa

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Today marks the 25th anniversary of the Pixies‘ second album, “Surfer Rosa,” a seminal LP that has gone down in Rolling Stone history as one of the 500 greatest records of all time. Read more here: http://huff.to/14d0oi8

Every indie rock band of the past two and half decades owes a great deal to the Pixies, the Boston-bred quartet that seamlessly merged psychedelia, noise rock and alternative grunge to create one of the 1980’s most memorable music projects. Formed in the collegiate environment of University of Massachusetts, the band — comprised of Black Francis, Joey Santiago, Kim Deal and David Lovering — predates Nirvana as a catalyst for the immeasurable rock boom of the 1990s.

Like most indie rock bands, the Pixies were not a chart topping force, but their second album, the lyrically named “Surfer Rosa,” earned accolades on its own after its 1988 release. Robert Christgau of The Village Voice dubbed the Steven Albini-produced record “the Amerindie find of the year,” while Kurt Cobain proclaimed it the inspiration for his band’s masterpiece, “Nevermind.”In celebration of the 25th anniversary of “Surfer Rosa,” we’ve put together a slideshow of 10 things you might not have known about the Pixies. Scroll through the slides below and let us know how you are celebrating this holy indie holiday in the comments.

sigur ros 2013

Just 14 months after the release of ValtariSigur Rós will return with a new studio albumKveikur will arrive June 18th through the band’s new label, XL Recordings. Described as “more aggressive” than their previous work, the latest entry marks the band’s seventh to date and first since the departure of multi-instrumentalist Kjartan Sveinsson.

In anticipation of the album’s release, the band has shared a video for the album track “Brennisteinn”, which you can watch below. Meanwhile, fan footage of the band performing three other album tracks, “Kveikur”, “Yfirborð”, and “Hrafntinna”, is streaming here.

Tonight, Sigur Rós will appear on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon, before heading to Washington, D.C. for the start of their latest U.S. tour. All ticketholders will receive a free digital EP containing “Brennisteinn” and two bonus tracks.

Update: Check out the album’s artwork and tracklist below.

Kveikur Tracklist:
01. Brennisteinn
02. Hrafntinna
03. Isjaki
04. Yfirbord
05. Stormur
06. Kveikur
07. Rafstraumur
08. Bláprádur
09. Var

Sigur Rós 2013 Tour Dates: http://bit.ly/14cWExo

sigur ros kveikur

 

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