Forest Swords – Crow

“Every flight begins with a fall,” the crow said.”

― George R.R. Martin, A Game of Thrones

Mesmerizing cyberpunk video from British electronica producer Forest Swords. Can you imagine a world that's entirely urban? 

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The gift of Elton John, the piano man 🎹

When advertising is done right, it doesn't feel like advertising. Take a look back at the life of Elton John in this beautiful life montage. The video reminds me of Nike's nostalgic commercial showcasing the home video archives of Serena Williams.   

Watch Little Dragon’s video for “Lover Chanting”

The Swedish electronic band Little Dragon is back from a two-year hiatus to release its new music video for single “Lover Chanting.”

What's a catchy song is an even better music video, combining elements of first-person video gameplay in which the main character winds up at a concert that looks like something out of Star Wars Cantina.

Watch Little Dragon’s video for “Lover Chanting”
Preorder Lover Chanting EP

If you're new to hearing Little Dragon, be sure to dig into their old stuff as well. I'd start with a song entitled “Twice” (also an excellent video) and “Constant Surprises”, both from their eponymous 2007 debut album. And then peep “Klapp Klapp” and “Paris” from their 2014 album Nabuma Rubberband.

The single “Lover Chanting” appears on the new EP dropping November 15. Preorder here.

Discover more new music in the tag: MUSIC.

“Hey Jude” turns 50

“BETTER, BETTER, BETTER, BETTER, AY!” 

This Sunday celebrates the Beatles longest-running single “Hey Jude.”

Back in June, you may recall that the song's writer and Beatles icon Paul McCartney appeared on Carpool Karaoke to sing the track at the band's hometown Liverpool pub.

In this piece, the Smithsonian recounts the epic history of the song, including the fact that the song was originally entitled “Hey Jules.” McCartney's lyrics were intended to soothe John Lennon's son, Julian, who was distraught after his father's affair with Yoko Ono.

Below are some of the other interesting tidbits about the historic tune.

Hey Jude” skyrocketed to the top of the singles charts in the United States and Great Britain in 1968. After an August 26 U.S. release, it immediately arrived in the Top Ten and sat atop Billboard’s Hot 100 for nine consecutive weeks, making it the most successful single recorded by the most prosperous band in history. The single sold more than 5 million copies worldwide in six months and 7.5 million over four years. It performed more spectacularly on the charts than any other single between 1959 and 1977. It was also the first release on the Beatles’ own record label—Apple.

Shunning public appearances, the Beatles introduced the song to the world via film and video. The film version premiered in Britain on September 8 on David Frost’s show “Frost on Sunday,” and a month later the video version premiered October 6 in the U.S. on the “Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour.”

At more than seven minutes long, “Hey Jude” remains one of the longest No. 1 singles ever. The extended coda—a repetition of “nah, nah nah nahnahnah nah, nahnahnah nah, Hey Jude”—fills the second half of the record. In all, the lyrics use the sound “nah” 240 times.

‘Nah nah nah….’

Adventures in record collecting

The Dust & Grooves Book

Photographer

The Dust & Grooves Book3

The Dust & Grooves Book 4

Photographer and blogger Eilon Paz has put together a book Dust & Grooves: Adventures in Record Collecting, which features more than 130 vinyl collectors across the world.

The images are amazing and diverse, ranging from the Italian man who owns the world's largest collection of colored vinyl records to an owner who collects only Beatles’ White Album records.

Says Paz in an interview with Slate Magazine on capturing the vinyl enthusiasts:

It's just me and the camera and that's it. It's like two friends hanging out listening to records and then I shoot some photos. It builds a very intimate moment between me and my subjects. When they talk about music they lose all their inhibitions. They just really enjoy it.

Vinyl has been having a resurgence the last few years as a reaction to the digitization of everything. As the most famous rock DJ John Peel promptly noted: “Somebody was trying to tell me that CDs are better than vinyl because they don’t have any surface noise. I said, ‘Listen, mate, life has surface noise.”

You can buy the 436-page book on the Dust & Grooves website or Amazon.

McCartney drives us through his life in Liverpool on Carpool Karaoke

That’s right, in this clip Paul McCartney looks old. Nearly frail. It’s still him, but he’s a grandpa. Hip, but a bit crotchety when it comes to movement. And you’re not turned off in the least, you want to will him to go on, to never die, to be here forever, because once he’s gone, we’re next.

Lefsetz: McCartney On Carpool Karaoke

Maribou State – Feel Good (feat. Khruangbin)

The duo from Maribou State is back with a new single entitled ‘Feel Good' from the forthcoming album Kingdoms In Colour. Here's an excerpt from the track's review from Pop Bollocks:

There’s a sense of darkness that shimmers around the edges of melodic phrases. “Feel Good” arrives more as a note from a well-wisher, addressing a troubled friend. This isn’t a saccharine celebration. There’s a definite sense of issues that require negotiation There’s something to overcome before good times can be had.

The hookier elements of the track alternate between chopped-vocals, a guitar line, and a bass that doesn’t know where to quit. All aspects sound like a spotlight searching in darkness – shapes are found, discarded, and move ever-onwards. It’s great. At the centre of “Feel Good” lies a beat that breaks and undulates across the tune. The result is a groove that’s hard to deny.

Bonus for the gorgeous cover art.

Birds that make beats

The European Starlings Dennis & Ernie sing in what sounds like some beatboxing collaboration infusing drum n bass, Aphex Twin, and some Miles Davis at the 00:34 mark.

Says one of the owners, Rose Buck:

Over the years they have built up their own personal collection of sounds, words and bird calls, they all have their own preferences and repertoire, it can be anything from ringtones, to all our other birds, our creaky lounge door, lots of things that Rose says to them, laughing, coughing, electronic noises they hear of things working etc, anything basically that takes their fancy, I would guess that each one has a personal repertoire of around 30 to 50 sounds.

Check out the Lloyd & Rose Buck website for more.

Leon Vynehall – ‘Movements (Chapter III)’

‘Movements (Chapter III)' is another hazy, monumental track from electronic artist Leon Vynehall. Full of shadows and beautiful stillshots, the video is also a gem on its own.

The album Nothing Is Still drops June 15.

The illusion of a sole genius

midsection of man holding hands over white background

Upon winning the MacArthur Fellow award for creating unconvential, immersive opera experiences, Yuval Sharon didn't feel like he was a ‘genius' in any sense of the word.

The fellowship is also known as “the genius grant” although the organization steers clear of using the term in its to describe MacArthur Fellows ““because it connotes a singular characteristic of intellectual prowess.” Yuval Sharon felt the same way.

In his LA Review op-ed, he elaborates:

The Foundation probably takes pains to say this because so many people find something deeply uncomfortable about the concept of “genius” — its exclusionary implications and air of elitism; a Romanticism that seems out of step with contemporary (let alone everyday) life; the affirmation of canonical standards set by … who exactly? Any person mature enough to strive for self-awareness finds the moniker embarrassing, and only an unstable narcissist could ever self-apply the title without shame.

Perhaps there are only a few true geniuses: Leonardo Da Vinci, Einstein, and most recently, Steve Jobs. The author Walter Isaacson has written biographies on all three.

But no genius is truly original, as Brian Eno alludes to. A genius is merely part of what he calls a ‘scenius,' a community of fellow artists who share similiar interests and collaborate, helping prop up the most notable. Says Yuval:

Moments, ideas, a single poem in a collection — a work of genius, no matter how individually wrought — is never the product of a single individual. We should stop thinking of genius as an attribute and instead start to think of it as a condition, a circumstance.

Genius is social and participatory

This notion of a sole genius reduces the collective nature of people. The world participates in the process of creation no matter how one artist tries to individuate their craft. Yuval sums it up nicely:

I spent part of the day reading about the other Fellows in my class and found myself feeling so inspired by their dedication and accomplishments in fields far removed from my own. The world seemed bigger. This may be where the “genius” moniker is still useful: by calling out examples of how and where the endlessly searching attendant spirit still visits the world. Because anyone, anywhere, can participate in it.

The Record Play app identifies songs based on album artwork

We're all familiar with Shazam identifying songs by audio. But what about Shazaming cover art?

App experimenter Patrick Weaver created the Record Player app to help match up cover art with music on Spotify. He posted the beta on Glitch.

This is a Rube Goldberg Machine of the Google Cloud Vision API and the Spotify API. After logging into Spotify, upload an image. The image will be sent to the Google Vision API, which will guess what it is. The app will then search Spotify using Google's guess, and give you the first result to play.combined the Google

Watch how it works below:

‘We never appreciate the music as a whole because we only hear a series of individual notes’

colin wilson, quotes, records, vinyl
via giphy

“We live too close to the present, like a gramophone needle travelling over a record. We never appreciate the music as a whole because we only hear a series of individual notes.”

— Colin Wilson, [easyazon_link identifier=”1939140161″ locale=”US” tag=”wells01-20″]The Philosopher's Stone[/easyazon_link]