Recent FMA Blog Posts
This is a feed of featured blog posts from FMA users. Blog on, bloggers!
idiotprogrammer on 03/14/2016 at 02:37AM
Monk Turner is a talented and prolific songwriter who has glommed onto the “concept album” genre (producing about 25 concept albums so far). (Note: He won the grand prize for his birthday song in the FMA birthday song contest). I wrote a long profile of Monk Turner a few years ago and have followed his recent releases over the years. A few years ago the concept was “Emergency” (imagining disaster in Los Angeles). More recently the concept was colors; each song was about a different color — and that includes a lot of obscure colors like fuchsia, cerulean, Zymenchlora (yes, it’s a color — I checked). (Check out my 6 word review of it). A central aspect to the concept album is that it lets the artist explore a variety of moods and styles within a certain theme. Turner mashes a lot of retro pop styles with contemporary instruments and idioms. All the albums have elements of 50s rock and 60s folk and funk, but they still feel “new.”
For this concept album, each song is sung by a different Greek god or goddess (but transplanted into an era of modern suburban angst).
My questions when approaching a Monk Turner concept is to ask: will individual songs stand out more than the concept itself? Is the melody decorating the lyrics or vice versa? Also, how much do the songs abide by traditional pop song formats (in terms of catchiness and production values)?
For this album, I feel that the overall concept stands out more than individual songs, that the lyrics drive the melodies (PS, they’re also hilarious!) and that the songs are quintessentially anti-pop; I don’t even think it would fall into the category of alternative (though there are certainly rock elements on the edges). In fact, the songs strike me as very theatrical — something which belongs onstage or (heaven forbid!) a Disney animation movie. To invent a category for this album, the first thing which comes to mind is offbeat suburban rock opera.
Turner wants to make the Greek gods recognizable to modern audiences, so he depicts them with modern personalities. We are supposed to sympathize with their perspectives and see a little bit of ourselves in them.
cheyenne_h on 03/02/2016 at 03:27PM
Black Planet Records is a Serbian independent alternative DIY (do it yourself) label and FMA curator whose aim is to promote diverse music and forward-thinking artists from Serbia and the Balkans, especially their hometown Niš. The label was formed by Serbian industrial pioneers Figurative Theatre and Crocodile Tears. In their own words:
”We had plenty of our own music, and a lot of interesting people around us who have made interesting music, so we wanted to archive it all in one place. FMA seemed like a great place because it skipped all the mediators. We also have all the releases in higher quality on our bandcamp page (https://blackplanetrecords.bandcamp.com/). We decided that music we release music should be free (under CC licence) as a karmic debt payoff. :)
Our releases gained praises from underground music critics from regional music sites, webzines and Black Planet attracted some of the most eminent alternative artists from the area (Borghesia, Nikola Vranjković, Mizar, Goribor etc.) – even though it is a non-profit organization. We also record video and radio shows, organize concerts, book DJ nights, and produce other cultural events in our hometown.
Each of us has done a lot of research in music and always encountered something really good that was from our area. After a few of our own releases, we came up with the idea that it was time for a compilation that would be a cross section of the music and vibe that we represent and that represents the environment that we live in - and so it was.
TAGGED AS:black planet records, netlabels, figurative theatre, serbia, crocodile tears, See More...
cheyenne_h on 02/25/2016 at 11:33AM
[Guest blog entry from Wiliam Hellfire]
From controversial filmmaker William Hellfire (Duck! The Carbine High Massacre, Devil’s Bloody Playthings and Curator of Severed Lips Recordings on FMA) comes a shocking new film starring David Yow (The Jesus Lizard), Erin Russ (Porkchop), Tina Krause (Bad Biology) and adult film star Rick Savage - UPSIDEDOWN CROSS. Abandoned, abused by the police and in the throes of withdrawal, Nadine, a drug addicted young prostitute, returns to her childhood home and the mother she ran away from. Nadine's mother, Delilah; a fanatical Christian who believes demons have possessed her daughter, searches for a cure for Nadine's erratic behavior. When she finds a rogue preacher willing to exorcise her daughter for a fee, neither realizes they have invited the devil into their home. While her mother turns a blind eye to the bizarre practices unfolding in her own home, Nadine, wracked with mental and physical pain, has no choice but to put up with the preacher's increasingly violent charade. This collector's edition of Upsidedown Cross contains an illustrated Chick Tract by successful notorious underground comic artist Mike Diana, Print run is limited to 1,000 copies!
The soundtrack is only available on the Free Music Archive, and includes music by:
Mike Hunchback (Hunchback, Screeching Weasel)
Miranda Taylor (Hunchback, Black Wine)
Jeff Schroeck (Erggs)
Craig Mileski (Hunchback, Blank Dogs)
David Yow (Jesus Lizard, Scratch Acid)
T.S. McBride (Smokestack, Starless, Saturday Man)
William Hellfire (Currator Severed lips Recordings, Ghidorah!, Tyrannosaurs Dracula)
And Tyrannosaurus Dracula
Download or listen here: Upsidedown Cross Soundtrack
DVD release party with cast and crew at Forbidden Planet, 832 Broadway, NYC. Feb 26, 2016. 7pm-9pm.
Click through for trailer (adult themes):
TAGGED AS:severed lips recordings, upsidedown cross soundtrack, ts mcbride, david yow, miranda taylor and mike hunchback, See More...
cheyenne_h on 02/17/2016 at 11:01AM
Though fresh to the Free Music Archive, Vulpiano records has been around the netlabel and Creative Commons music scene since 2009. Launched by synth artist Marilyn Roxie, the label was originally intended to promote and gather unsigned artists who wanted to share their music online in the music blogosphere.
In their own words, "Vulpiano Records isn’t an ordinary label. Vulpiano is a collective and a community. The concept behind Vulpiano is simple: to offer quality free music. Genres we specialize in are ambient, electronic, and acoustic. All artists are linked by their spirit of independence and experimentation. We hope you enjoy and share the music."
The full back catalogue is available on the Internet Archive, but you can find current selections on Vulpiano's curator portal on the FMA, including Natural Snow Buildings, Aseptic Void, Fire Island Pines, and Lately Kind of Yeah, among others.
The releases on Vulpiano fall on various points in the spectrum from electronic to acoustic, and could all be described to some degree as experimental. The music on Vulpiano is all licensed CC BY NC ND, which means it's free to stream, download, and include in a noncommercial podcast or broadcast - as long as you credit the artist. More is coming, if you like what you hear, including a special release for Netlabel Day 2016!
Cruise over to their page and give 'em a warm welcome, or listen to this sampler of what Vulpiano has to offer!
davidmumfordmusic on 02/16/2016 at 02:35AM
[note: this is a guest blog entry, a fictional op-ed of sorts, by David Mumford.]
Once upon a time, a big fat man all dressed in red roved the land in search of blood.
Fresh, musical blood.
He knew who had been naughty and who had been nice, and only he had the power to pick you, to pluck you from obscurity and turn you into a rock star. His name… was Magic Santa.
He was a cheery fellow, and he held all the keys to the Kingdom of Made-It, which was where all young, aspiring musicians wanted to get to.
But Magic Santa was no philanthropist, no charity-worker. He was a balls-of-steel businessman, and his business was retail. Magic Santa would say that he worked for you, but really, you worked for Magic Santa. And that suited him just fine, yes siree...
TAGGED AS:free music
cheyenne_h on 02/12/2016 at 10:51AM
Bringing more than 60 musical groups to multiple stages (and dance floors), the Zlatne Uste Golden Festival has become a longstanding tradition! For more than 30 years, the Golden Festival has brought folk singers and dancers, brass bands, acoustic and electric bands together for two raucous nights a year.
This playlist is to give you a taste of the Fest's offerings -- and in fact we haven't even uploaded all of our recorded sessions yet -- but it's too good to keep under wraps!
If this can't sate your need for Balkan, Roma and eastern European sounds, feel free to explore our collections from previous years, dating back to 2009, or just watch the highlight reel from the event below!
Previous Golden Fest collections:
cheyenne_h on 02/09/2016 at 05:03PM
We wanted to share the love with y'all this week, since it's close to THAT holiday... some call it "Singles Awareness Day," but we like to think that everyone has some kind of love in their lives (even if it's the undying devotion that most of us feel toward our favorite kind of pizza).
Our setlist is comprised of songs that are all free to download, share, and make derivatives of! So you can use these in videos, remixes, podcasts, etc - just be sure you follow the terms of each license!
Ayla Nereo, "Oh Love" CC BY NC SA
cheyenne_h on 02/04/2016 at 04:28PM
A student at Pratt, Eugene Rutigliano, used EchoNest and FMA to create this mind-blowing map of connections between FMA artists! You can explore by clicking and zooming, or by looking up specific artists and seeing how they connect to fellow artists. It looks like a splat from the most zoomed-out view, but it gets really interesting once you zoom in or look up an artist. Our screenshot above depicts the chiptune neighborhood, but there are thousands of connections to explore.
cheyenne_h on 01/21/2016 at 12:34PM
Hooray! Our shirts and stickers have arrived, and are being packed up for shipment! Our official spokesdog and handsome model, Ted, is showing off his super cool FMA shirt (and we all hope to look half as dapper in our own). If you requested a shirt or sticker to accompany your generous donation to the Free Music Archive, it'll be on its way to you soon. Thanks again to everyone who helped us with this campaign, either by sharing it via social media, blogging or writing a weird song about us, or by making a donation.
TAGGED AS:fma fundraiser
netlabelday on 01/19/2016 at 06:01PM
M.I.S.T. Records organizes the new version of this musical event, which in its first edition united 80 labels from all around the world, releasing more than 120 albums for free in digital format.