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cheyenne_h on 11/10/2016 at 05:48PM

FMA Q&A: Monkey Warhol

Image courtesy of Monkey Warhol

Here are the FMA, there are few ways to measure the popularity or success of a new artist - downloads, streams/listens, and, probably most importantly, distribution. By sharing songs under Creative Commons licenses that allow for reuse in video, many artists get to reach an audience that they would have never touched before. This has been the case with recent addition Monkey Warhol. His music has shown up in skateboarding vids, reverse cooking tutorials, video game play-throughs, drawing demonstrations, and even a creepy Dada-esque fan video!

You can lisen to Monkey Warhol's first FMA release, the Darwin LP, here - or watch the official music video for "Lovely Lady":

 

 

FMA: Where are you from?

MW: Minnesota.  The land of Bob Dylan, Prince, The Replacements, Hüsker Dü, Soul Asylum, Owl City, and Steven Greenberg (he's the guy behind the disco hit "Funkytown")!  Amazing place, isn't it?

FMA: Yeah, not bad! How long have you been interested in music?

MW: Forever (or at least as long as I can remember)...  As a young padawan my parents would prop me up against the family piano, and I would annoy them with my insistent pounding.  Now that I have a family of my own, I continue to annoy them with my insistent pounding; but since I'm the dad, they can't tell me to stop!  (Actually, they can…  I just don't have to listen.)  I guess some things never change.
 
FMA: How would you describe your music to someone who hasn't heard it?

MW: In general… electronic, poppy, hyper, energetic, and fun!  Of course in my mind, my music sounds like a super hip amalgamation of Andrew WK, Daft Punk, and the Flaming Lips.  However, in reality, it probably sounds closer to Moby moonlighting at a "Weird Al" Yankovic concert.

FMA: Where does your name, "Monkey Warhol," come from - and do you consider Andy Warhol to be an influence on your creative process?

MW: "Monkey" is what Mama and Papa Warhol called me when I was a little baboon pounding on the piano, and I guess it just kinda stuck!

However, digging a bit deeper and to geek out, I remember hearing about the "Infinite Monkey Theorem" which states that given enough time any monkey could type Shakespeare and Andy Warhol was quoted as saying "In the future everybody will be world-famous for 15 minutes."  So I guess that sums up my musical aspirations and "Internet Culture" in general... Mama Warhol knew best!

FMA: There are many layers to your songs. Where do you usually begin?

MW: The majority of my songs start with silence, and then I build them from there with a chord progression, hook, or pattern.  Through years and years of experience, I've learned that it's best to have an idea for the various parts of a song complete before I hit "record" or else I end up with a hard drive full of half-finished tracks.

As for the layers, I think it's largely due to being self-produced where on playback I'm constantly tweaking, refining, and adding a little "spice" to the mix in order to keep the energy up and keep myself interested.  Actually, it's funny that you mention the layers as I've been consciously trying to refine my production skills and scale back the layers thinking that sometimes less is more... I've actually gone from about 100 tracks a song to 50, so I'm gradually scaling back, but I realize it's still a bit excessive.

FMA: It sounds (and looks) like there are some kids involved in your music (judging from Lovely Lady, in particular). Would you consider your music to be "for kids"?

MW: While I don't set out to write music specifically for children, I'm not surprised that my "sound" combined with my willingness to follow through on stupid/silly ideas (i.e. the "Lovely Lady" video or playing live in a monkey mask) might catch the attention and enthusiasm of some kids.  That said, I still make music for myself, but am honored and flattered by anyone who is willing to take the time and give my music a listen! 


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turnmeondeadman on 11/07/2016 at 07:02PM

Without Borders: On Behalf of Refugees

I teach a course on population geography and I'm developing a course on the geography of armed conflict. One area of overlap between these two courses is refugees, a topic that has been in the news frequently in recent months--most often tragic in tone. After hearing the ugly political rhetoric regarding refugees in the Brexit and U.S. presidential campaigns, as well as European countries debating erecting barriers to refugees, I began to ask bands if they'd be willing to contribute a track to a compilation to raise awareness about the plight of refugees. I got an overwhelmingly positive response. Without Borders: On Behalf of Refugees is primarily garage/psychedelic compilation not only because these are some of my favorite bands, but also because this music expresses so well an undercurrent of discontent while offering a vision of a better world. I use this platform then to provide links to organizations providing assistance to forcibly displaced populations. I encourage those who would like to offer their support to do so.


DOWNLOAD THE ENTIRE ALBUM


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theradius on 11/07/2016 at 01:12PM

Radius PATCH 15: Time

Radius PATCH is a series of curated playlists selected from the Radius episode archive. Each playlist is organized around a specific topic or theme that engages the tonal and public spaces of the electromagnetic spectrum. PATCH serves as a platform to illuminate the questions, concerns, and complexities of and within radio-based art practices.

Episode 39: Jesse Eric Schmidt

Scan, the default tool, which is available on most vehicle radios, is used in Scanning not as a temporary method of searching, but as an experience in itself. If this mode is no longer used as only a practical means for biased programming, but is acknowledged as an end in itself, then a rhythmic modular inventory is generated that presents living chunks of broadcasted zeitgeist. Scanning consists of continuous replays of Chicago FM station scans from the very immediate past.


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cheyenne_h on 10/24/2016 at 02:16PM

FMA Q&A: Birthday Songs Find New Life On YouTube

"Greg's Birthday" by Fred Karklin on flickr. CC BY-NC-SA.

AppleBerry Blues (May) is a Youtuber in Toronto who runs the Youtube channel "Birthday Songs" which has been running since July 2016 and already boasts around 100 videos. She is currently a student and spends most of her time attending classes, writing and studying. She's also on Facebook. FMA Director Cheyenne tracked her down and asked her some questions about her channel and how it's bringing fresh eyes (and ears!) to many of our Free Birthday Songs. We at FMA HQ are especially pleased that the charmingly-NSFW "Foul Mouthed Birthday Robot" got a video and does a little dance:

FMA: Why did you decide to start making birthday song videos and posting them online?

ABB: I wanted to have a Youtube channel with videos that could be watched forever and never become dated.  Since birthdays are celebrated by people everyday I thought birthdays would be a good topic.  I also wanted to have a Youtube channel with a positive focus and I generally feel that birthdays have a lot of positive energy associated with them.

FMA: What's your favorite part about making birthday song videos?

ABB: I have the freedom to be creative and do anything I want because I work alone on the channel. I enjoy that I can wake up with an idea on a Saturday morning, and have a video using that idea posted for the world to see by Saturday afternoon. One day I might be working on secret birthday codes, the next day I might do a collage, the following day I might sketch something, the next day I might collect some birthday themed pictures from flickr and assemble them.  I don’t really have a plan, I just do whatever feels inspiring that day with the channel.

FMA: Had you known about the Free Music Archive for long before you started making videos with birthday songs from our public domain collection?

ABB: I had never heard of the FMA before working on my birthday channel.  After deciding to make Birthday Song videos, I stumbled upon the FMA while searching for free birthday songs online. As of October 14, I’ve used 46 songs from the FMA. Some I've used more than once. 1 song  I've used 7 times! In total I have made 84 videos from birthday songs from the FMA. The songs I used the most are:

1. Happy Birthday To You Alternative by Armin Rüdiger Vieweg (7 times)
2. Simple New Happy Birthday Melody by Sascha Ende (5 times)
3. Swine Flu Birthday by The Mostly Bad Virus (4 times)
4. The PD Happy Birthday Song by Iron Curtain (4 times)
5. Happy Birthday by Technetium (4 times)

FMA: What do you use to make the videos (software, equipment, etc)?

ABB: I use a pocket size spiral notebook that I take everywhere where; I jot down ideas whenever they come to mind. My computer, a Dell Pentium 4 running Windows XP. The software I use includes PowerPoint 2003 and Windows Movie Maker 5.1. I also use a FujiFilm FinePixL30 that I use for photography.

FMA: Do you post anywhere besides YouTube? Why or why not?

ABB: Youtube is the main place that I post videos.  I log into youtube everyday to upload a video and respond to any comments. At the end of September, I posted some videos on Dailymotion.  I haven’t decided if I will keep posting videos on Dailymotion and have honestly only logged in a few times since initially posting some videos.I also started a new facebook page at the end of September and directly share my birthday videos from youtube to facebook. I have only posted 6 videos directly onto Facebook.  After seeing the Danish documentary, Facebookistan, I purposely spend as little time on Facebook as possible. I was never really a major facebook fan anyway but seeing that documentary solidified my reasons for using it as little as possible.

Lots more after the jump!


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katya-oddio on 10/18/2016 at 04:00AM

Caligari: An Exquisite Corpse

The Cabinet Of Dr. Caligari (Das Cabinet des Dr. Caligari) is a 1920 silent horror film considered the quintessential work of German Expressionist cinema. It tells the story of an insane hypnotist who uses a somnambulist to commit murders. The film style is creepy and features bizarre leaning, twisted, angular landscapes and sets.

To accompany the classic film, eleven composers from the Chain Tape Collective collaborated via exquisite corpse method to produce two entirely new soundtracks.

Those soundtracks are now housed at the Free Music Archive in time for Halloween. Artwork, liner notes, and more information are available from the Chain Tape Collective. The complete film with the new soundtracks is available for free download from the Internet Achive under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike license.

Some of these Creative Commons licensed tracks may sync beautifully with the soundtrack for your Halloween festivities. Just try not to get creeped out of your skin.

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netwaves on 10/17/2016 at 02:01PM

10 years netwaves!

Hello, on oct. 2nd 2006 netwaves did its first broadcast on Belgium's longest existing free independent Radio Scorpio. After ten years we're still skimming the internet for the most enthralling netlabel releases.

This resulted in following list:

We do celebrate our tenth anniversary with this compilation of oldies from about ten years ago: episode 376 Relisten to our first episode, a special about legendary 8bit netlabel Monotonik: https://archive.org/download/nws001/nws001.mp3

And now, up to the next ten years!

greetings netwaves team: Michel, Jan, Erwin, Jasper, Yannick

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cheyenne_h on 10/13/2016 at 02:40PM

FINAL DAY!!

THIS IS IT!! Your final chance to show your love & support for FMA during our fundraiser!

Until 11:59 pm TONIGHT (Eastern U.S. Time Zone), you can contribute to our fundraiser! Help us push towards our goal and keep the FMA free and accessible. There's only one website that contains curated, Creative Commons licensed music for free download, streaming, and in some cases, remixing and reuse. If you haven't seized the opportunity to show us some love, there's no time like the present!

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cheyenne_h on 10/13/2016 at 12:54PM

2 DAYS LEFT! 2 FREE APPS!

Our fundraiser ends tomorrow at 11:59 PM! By supporting FMA, you support things like: FREE APPS! We offer free FMA apps for iOS and Android platforms which allow users to browse and listen to our entire collection of music - which is, at the time of this blog entry, almost 103,000 songs deep!

1. Our iOS App! Get it here, for free!

2. Our Android App! Get it here, for free!

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cheyenne_h on 10/13/2016 at 12:29PM

3 DAYS LEFT! 3 THINGS TO BRING HOME!

The sands in our hourglass are running thin... time to show your support for FMA!

Here are three things you can get* for supporting us:

1. A kick-ass t-shirt. With a donation of $50 or more, you can get a limited-edition FMA T-shirt! Only available through October 15th, so make sure you get one now if you want it! They will not be available again.

2. A fabulous sticker. With a donation of $20 or more, we'll send you a sticker with a cassette tape designed by our artist-friend Greg Harrison.

3. A one-of-a-kind audio creation: the Inverse Stress Toy. A friend of the FMA created this unique instrument that drones, squeals, and buzzes - and was described as "like playing audio Jenga" by FMA developer Erik Schoster. Here it is in action! There's only one of these, so you have to check the box to enter the drawing. We'll be drawing for it the same day the fundraiser ends - Oct 15th!

 

*If you donate at the appropriate levels, you are guaranteed the shirt and/or sticker. The Inverse Stress Toy will be awarded to whomever is drawn as the winner on October 15th.

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cheyenne_h on 10/12/2016 at 01:15PM

FOUR DAYS LEFT! 4 COOL THINGS WE DID!

Here are four FMA success stories! Show your support so we can keep doing things like:

1. The Freeharmonic Orchestra. This group of musicians wouldn't exist without the FMA, plain and simple. They came to know about one another through each other's artist profiles on FMA. It's not a coincidence that you don't see this sort of collaboration happening on sites like Soundcloud or Bandcamp. The FMA fosters communities of collaboration, and this is a great example. Oh, also, they're asking for remixes of their album! How many other Supergroups can you name that do THAT?

 

2. The Daily Dose. A South African filmmaker and a rockabilly band from California found each other through the FMA and ended up collaborating on a film. When someone finds the right song for a film, it's evident to the filmmaker. With some dedication from both parties, and the connectivity provided by modern technology, this little song found its way all the way across the globe!

 

3. 100,000 songs and counting. On July 19th, 2016 we hit a major milestone! Our collection surpassed the 100,000 song mark. We knew it was coming, and have seen steady growth since (wowzers - ), so maybe 150,000 isn't so far away!

 

4. Happy Birthday To Everyone. That time we put hundreds of alternative birthday songs into the Public Domain. Some of them have been included in children's magazines, YouTube birthday song repositories, and more. Now that the actual song "Happy Birthday To You" is considered to be in the Public Domain, these songs are ahead of their time!

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