Recent FMA Blog Posts
This is a feed of featured blog posts from FMA users. Blog on, bloggers!
lavenders on 01/21/2010 at 11:00PM
Golden Hits is a newly minted sound family formed by dublab drone dreamers Ben Knight (the Tyde), frosty (Adventure Time), Jimmy Tamborello (Dntel), Katie Byron (LA Building Club) and Nanny Cantaloupe (Brainsucking Peanunanners). Together they create spontaneous soundscapes to elevate ears in unique environments.
Please enjoy this ethereal mix of washed-out drones and glistening tinkles from Golden Hits' upcoming release Cassedits. You can hear more Golden Hits on their blog: http://goldenhits.tumblr.com
JoeMc on 01/21/2010 at 02:15PM
Not too many people would argue with the contention that jazz transformed American music. Before it, there was parlor music, the brass band, and sentimental balladry; afterwards, its brash energy and rawness spawned R&B, swing, rock 'n' roll, and so on. Key to this transformation was the jazz band's stripped-down approach to the blues, led by an instrument that has become so closely identified with the music that its very image can represent it: the saxophone. In a relatively short period of time, the sax became the quintessential jazz instrument, raised to prominence by such skilled practitioners as Ben Webster, Coleman Hawkins, Charlie Parker, and Lester Young.
But there was a time, before jazz, when the saxophone was considered little more than a honking novelty horn useful for circuses and comedy acts. It took the work of an unusual little group of saxophone afficionados called the Six Brown Brothers to raise the saxophone up from its comedic origins to a place of respect in the musical community. Listen below to hear one of their records, and read on for their story.
lizb on 01/21/2010 at 09:43AM
"Marry me for money!" a man in the crowd yelled as Teenage Jesus and the Jerks approached the stage at the Music Hall of Williamsburg for the final night of WFMU Fest last October. Frontwoman Lydia Lunch invited the fan closer to the stage, calmly instructing him, "Open your mouth." The man did as he was told, and in return got a mouthful of Lydia's spit. The crowd reeled with delight and disgust; the performance had begun.
These no wave legends assaulted New York for 30 minutes, 30 years after their first run, with the same harsh, guttural vocals, piercing guitar murder, and thumping minimal drums. Teenage Jesus and the Jerks' lineup this time featured original members Lydia Lunch (vox, guitar) and Jim Sclavunos (now on drums), plus ex-Swans bassist Algis Kizys.
We're lucky to have a few songs from TJJ's incredible WFMU Fest set to offer you, check out "The Closet" below. And after the jump, a mix of ugly music dedicated to Lydia Lunch.
marc on 01/20/2010 at 07:21PM
With the launch of the Free Music Archive, we here at KBOO were very excited to see what performances and new albums 2009 would bring to us to sharewith you. Portland, Oregon - once referred to as "Little Beirut" by a former president - is such a "hot bed" of emerging music that we're forming a new Axis of Music. We've even got secrect training camps where musicians are weened into artistic brilliance before wreaking havoc on the rest of the world.
Don't tell anyone but one of these camps is right inside our studio, where we've been able to record The Taxpayers, Nick Jaina, The Quadraphonnes, The Mint Chicks, Doug and Judy Smith, and Golden Retriever.
Aside from our rouge station, a popular breeding ground for these extremists has been the PDX Pop Now! music festival. Entirely volunteer-run, the festival entered its sixth year with performances by Dirty Mittens and Guidance Counselor. Jared Mees & the Grown Children played a befefit show for the festival and Thavious Beck headlined a Black Electro benefit for KBOO.
New albums from The Underscore Orchestra, MEGACHURCH, Finn Riggins, World's Greatest Ghosts, and Leviethan round out our mix. There's way too much for us to highlight here, and even more we're still hoping to upload, but it's a good taste of what's brewing...
TAGGED AS:year-end lists
katya-oddio on 01/20/2010 at 01:00PM
In Switzerland there lives a very busy composer, director, performer whose talent seems boundless. That man is Lee Maddeford and he is as at home with composing orchestral works as with children's music. Mr. Maddeford is a marvel with gypsy jazz, chamber music, cabaret and choral works, brass and woodwind ensembles, piano duets, soundtracks, and theatre music. One additional remarkable thing about the man: he is kind enough to share his work with you with Creative Commons licensing.
As of this posting, there are several of his releases at the Free Music Archive, including INSTRUMENTALS 1 Les Gauchers Orchestra and Les Gauchers Quintet, AN ASTRAL FABLE and THE JUGGLERS SUITE with l'Ensemble de Cuivres Valaisan, and EROS ET PSYCHE with the Choeur Calliope.
This playlist offers selections from each of those releases.
jason on 01/19/2010 at 11:30PM
I had the opportunity to preview Copyright Criminals this past October at the Future of Music Coalition Policy Summit. During the Q&A and the ensuing Remix panel, filmmakers Benjamin Franzen and Kembrew McLeod talked about the difficulties in producing a documentary about illegal sampling. The film would not have been possible if they actually cleared every sample, so they tried to determine which music samples they'd need to clear, and which could be defensible under fair use. Fortunately, documentary filmmakers have a Fair Use Best Practices. We need something like this in music!
The filmmakers also found cool ways to compensate some of the key people in sample-based music who haven't gotten their fair share. One of the major plots of the film follows Clyde Stubblefield, James Brown's drummer who played the infamous "funky drummer" sample, but didn't own the rights to that recording. Rather than license the sample from James Brown's estate, the filmmakers throw down for some studio time, and Subblefield makes a new recording that he owns.
The film focuses on sampling's rise to prominence and in the "golden age" of hip-hop -- on artists like Biz Markie, De La Soul, and Public Enemy. I don't remember if it was in the film or just during the Q&A, but at some point the directors stated that if a sample-heavy album like Paul's Boutique had cleared all samples, they would have lost $20 million on the album to date.
On the other end of the debate, Steve Albini plays the role of the producer, studio-owner, and musician who uses strictly analog equipment and doesn't care much for sampling and "remix culture". His point is basically that it's easier to copy and build upon what somebody else has done, than to go and do it from scratch like he does with his own music. I agree, but I think that's kind of the whole point, right? Some people are able to build on pre-existing musical ideas to create something that stands on its own.
We need to find a way to decriminalize sample-based music, beacuse the sample-clearing process alone -- let alone the cost -- is enough to force the majority of sample-based musicians to operate on the other side of the law. Maybe it's by bringing all sides of the debate together and defining Fair Use Best Practices, just as documentary filmmakers have done. Or maybe it's a statutory license -- imagine if you could pay in advance to remix/sample based on how many copies you're making, just like the law grants anyone the right to cover a song. And/or maybe it's a profit-sharing agreement (just like sampled composers often get co-songwriting credits) under which non-profit sampling is deemed fair use. That's the dream...
If you don't own a TV, Copyright Criminals is also available for free online if you know where to look (along with everything else our culture has ever produced).
doncbruital on 01/19/2010 at 02:30PM
Salut, folks, what say we get to celebrating, for the era of the Time Machine is evidently upon us. Sick, finally. History--having heretofore been little more than this pesky nightmare from which music and art proffer momentary awakening or at least distraction--might affect us in a healthier way, now we've got this time travel jam in our back pockets for the loosing.
We ought to consider, I suppose, what this development'll mean for our human archiving impulse, that primordial directive that's had us scrambling to save our Progress at every turn of civilization: you know, monks copied manuscripts, the National Film Registry inexplicably chose to retain a copy of Halloween, and oh yeah, Facebook copies all yer data. Obviously the Free Music Archive itself is a manifestation of this desire, one whose mission is, thankfully, to vouchsafe what's good and worthwhile and not just anything at all. But still, if we're gonna be rocketing up and down the slipstream at will at the controls of some sweet Time Vehickle, what'll happen to our collective desire to safeguard our great works? My best guess here is that we'll move away from the overkill, the obvious, and focus on the nuance. Another way of saying this is that in our era of unprecedented and rampant reproducibility, we won't need to take any special pains to protect some bigtime movie or seminal literary work from the maw of time, and will thus be freed up to really groove on that distant sidereal matter, the ephemera, the jumbled-textural-hisses and cassettedeck clicks, the pieces of sound that, whether by hap or design, only happened once.
TAGGED AS:free matter for the blind
herr_professor on 01/19/2010 at 10:00AM
The result of months of planning and 3 wintery days in NYC, the first tracks from the 2009 Blip Festival are now online.
The collection launches this week with tracks from Nullsleep, glomag, minusbaby, tRasH cAn maN, Je deviens dj en 3 jours, The Hunters and with many more to come. For hard core fans and neophytes alike, these tracks are an amazing cross section of the international chip music scene, and a great taste of what you can expect from live shows like Pulsewave, 8static, Dutycycle, and Soundbytes, and countless others. Check out Nullsleep's track "Decade", and there's much more on the way, so keep an eye on the Blip09 collection or subscribe to its RSS feed to keep up! See you next week!
TAGGED AS:chip music
andrewcsmith on 01/18/2010 at 04:30PM
There's a certain impulse among many improvisors to cease playing when it feels right. We (the audience, the performer) are waiting for that dénouement so that when it comes we can say it was good, it's over now, we know it's over, we can clap.
Cellist/vocalist Audrey Chen and trumpeter Nate Wooley had this dénouement which, as any free-improvisation junkie can guess, consisted of some trumpet howls and bow scratching followed by some long tones and softer swells. Except this came about two thirds of the way through the set. For the next few minutes, Chen just closed her eyes and waited, while the rest of us waited to start clapping. She wasn't about to allow it; she picked up the bow again and began bowing the side of her cello, as if to say that ending felt too right to be permissible.
Many improvisors will go ahead with an impulse; it seems that Chen and Wooley's impulse is to question their own impulses. The actual ending, marching off like some military parade, eventually came against all odds and logic.
Check out their performance below:
wmmberger on 01/18/2010 at 11:49AM
Every time I stare into the maw of black metal I find something new. That mainstream media can't seem to get past the genre's origins of sensational murders and church burnings in Norway is I guess no surprise, but such tunnelvision neither accounts for, nor does justice to, the evolution of powerfully inventive, genre-bending artists such as Malkuth.
This was quite a monumental session; Malkuth played ultra-hard, and tight as a hangman's noose, their epic songs filled with wild time-signature shifts and snaky, melodic riffage. A good brain cleansing with steel strings, drums, and screaming.
Much credit must go to our own Jason Sigal who made sure that Malkuth's mighty set turned out a mighty audio document. Thanks also to Daniel Blumin and Gabriel for popping up to the Castle and helping me out.
As several songs were rendered in continuum mode, Malkuth's six-part live opus is presented here in three distinct chunks, and labeled accordingly: