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ange on 07/10/2013 at 12:49PM

Music for Video: Welcome Wizard Featured in Vimeo Staff Pick

When filmmaker Jesse Brass first stumbled upon the Faux Fetus artist Welcome Wizard, he discovered three seperate tracks that helped him profile a painter and her work. The first song "MLU" had an energy, demonstrating how passion can spark interest. To show the seriousness of the artwork, he was drawn to a dark and contemplative track called "Sheep Asleep." For the closing track, "Twelve Diseases," he found the motion and movement, "helped emphasize that her career is ahead of her and helps inspire people in the closing of her story."

His profile of how painter Melanie Norris sees beauty was recently selected as a Vimeo Staff Pick, and his next project about Toronto artists is currently up on Kickstarter. To find more Creative Commons Attribution tracks from Welcome Wizard, you can find their artist page here.

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CJSW_Music on 07/08/2013 at 10:30PM

Bonjay's Best Blend Live on CJSW's Mind Grapes

Photo by May Truong

The voice of Alana Stuart glides around and through beats by Pho as Bonjay takes you on a ride through dancehall, R&B, and electronica. As you listen, you can hear influences from all over the globe, picking out rhythms from Africa and the Caribbean with the pop and rock influences of North America and Europe. They’re a high-octane experience, and they’re not quite like anything else. Other bands have tried to sound like what’s happening in New York, London or Los Angeles, but Bonjay’s put Ottawa on the map.

Download their live set from CJSW's Mind Grapes from April 20th, 2010 here.

Bonjay - "Stumble" (03:40)
Bonjay - "Stumble" (03:40)
Bonjay - "Creepin" (04:04)
Bonjay - "Creepin" (04:04)
Bonjay - "Jamelia" (03:47)
Bonjay - "Jamelia" (03:47)
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TAGGED AS:
live, indie-rock, canada, rb, dancehall
ange on 07/04/2013 at 04:39PM

Free Music for the Fourth of July

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burdt on 07/03/2013 at 08:36AM

The Star Spangled Banner

The Star Spangled Banner

The Star Spangled Banner became the official national anthem of the United States in 1931. It was written in 1814 by Francis Scott Key about his experiences in the Battle of Fort McHenry during the War of 1812. The lyrics are sung to the tune of a British drinking song called "To Anacreon in Heaven" composed by John Stafford Smith for the Anacreontic Society, an amateur musician's group from London. 

The song's four stanzas and one and a half octave range make it a challenge to perform for amateurs and professionals alike. Nevertheless, The Star Spangled Banner has been a staple of military and public events since the 19th century.

The earliest recording of The Star Spangled Banner the CPDP has processed is a Columbia Phonograph Co. brown wax cylinder performed by George J. Gaskin sometime between 1896 and 1900. He was born in Belfast Ireland and was known as "The Silver Voiced Irish Tenor." This rendition of the national anthem has many of the familiar nuances we have become accustomed to hearing, in addition to some familiar gaffes. For example, listen to his rushed phrasing after "the rocket's red glare" and his continuous struggle to hit every high note. In spite of these flaws, this recording is an excellent representation of the single-take-warts-and-all spirit of the brown wax cylinder era.

The most common performances of The Star Spangled Banner captured on cylinder are instrumental and vocal renditions by various military bands. Edison and Indestructible records had their house military bands perform renditions of this and other patriotic songs; the New York Military Band and the United States Marine Band also recorded their own versions of the song as part of patriotic medleys or on its own. One of the most popular medley versions was an Edison Blue Amberol titled "Patriotic Songs of America" performed by the New York Military Band and The Premier Quartet in 1910. The CPDP has five different takes (two of the original and three of the reissue) of this medley alone! In terms of standalone instrumental performances of the national anthem, the United States Marine Band's 1910 version for Edison Standard Records is phenomenal in its regal spirit and subdued grandiosity.

Perhaps the most interesting recording of The Star Spangled Banner the CPDP has is Harry E. Humphrey and the choir boys of St. Ignatius Loyola's "Our National Song" on Edison Blue Amberol from 1916. This version is a didactic recitation about the history of the Star Spangled Banner followed by the St. Ignatius Loyola's choir boys' wide-eyed rendering of the anthem's first stanza. Humphrey posessed a spellbinding oratorial skill and the children choir's provides a compelling coda to his poetic eloquence.

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bronwynbishop on 06/27/2013 at 02:29PM

Heatsick: Live at WFMU on Scones Radio

Heatsick is the solo experimental dance music project of Steven Warwick, a British musician living in Berlin. He creates his signature sound by layering simple, repetitive patterns together using only his worn-out old Casio synthesizer. Rather than conforming to any particular subset of today's EDM, Heatsick's sound brings a modern sensibility to the synth styles of the '80s and '90s.

Much of Heatsick's discography, including his most recent album, Intersex (2011), only contain sounds generated by Warwick's Casio. However, on occasion Warwick includes remixes of his tracks by other artists. This was the case with one of Heatsick's most recent releases, the Dream Tennis EP (2011), which features the title track along with remixes by Prins Thomas and Diegor. In 2013, four more remixes of the track were released on another EP .

Heatsick's influences include early synthesizer music, funk, and disco. He is also informed by his experience as a gay artist, telling Resident Advisor's Darius Sabbaghzadeh, "I want to make visible music/muzak, as it's invisible a lot of the time, just like a lot of gay culture is in general."

Heatsick will perform at Moma PS1's Warm Up 2013 this Saturday, June 29th. The event runs from 3:00 PM to 9:00 PM and also features Juan AtkinsLee GambleNHK'Koyxen, and Bill Kouligas.

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ange on 06/27/2013 at 02:45AM

Bottlesmoker: Electronic Music Made with Custom Toy Instruments in Bandung, Indonesia

Bottlesmoker is Anggung Kuy Kay and Ryan Nobie Adzanian, an electronic pop duo from Bandung, Indonesia. When their local record labels didn't know how to charecterize their sound, they turned to the web and Creative Commons to share their music under the belief that "if there are 10 people who hate your music, there will be 100 people or more out there who love your music elsewhere." They were right.

Their unique indietronic instrumental sound is created with self-made instruments and circut bending. Their favorite sounds come from toy musical instruments such as glockenspiel, hand bell, melodica, and pretty much any toy that reminds you of toy phones, radio or Nintendo DS. Inspired by musicians such as Lullatone, Dan Deacon, and Tidy Kid, they describe their music as "a happy place where you do your daily activities" such as sleeping, riding, reading and making art.

Their music first came to us as part of an incredible Indonesian CC Music Compilation brought to us by our curator XEROXED. You can download their full album Hypnagogic here on the Free Music Archive, and check out their website and Soundcloud page for more catchy tunes you'll want to take with you everywhere.

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ange on 06/25/2013 at 01:45AM

Nult: Instrumental Soundscapes

Nult came together in late 2011 in Osona, in central Catalonia, Spain. Their music is highly narrative with postrock influences, and each of their tracks takes on the charecteristics of a landscape, or a film. Their debut album asil liseli was put together over the course of a year, and reflect the thoughts, reflections, and voices of this time for the band.

It's just another great summertime upload from the La Gramola Netlabel. La Gramola (in English, jukebox) curates some incredible pop, rock, indie, and experimental albums for the FMA. In fact, one of our twitter followers shared that this was one of his favorite albums ever. Dive in.

nult - "post verbal" (07:40)
nult - "post verbal" (07:40)
nult - "guda bahia" (05:59)
nult - "guda bahia" (05:59)
nult - "bin" (06:03)
nult - "bin" (06:03)
nult - "dan" (04:41)
nult - "dan" (04:41)
nult - "lint" (04:15)
nult - "lint" (04:15)
nult - "aire" (03:44)
nult - "aire" (03:44)
nult - "beauty" (04:01)
nult - "beauty" (04:01)
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blxl on 06/21/2013 at 04:15PM

Necroscopix (1970-1981): Analog Music from a Lost World

King Ring Torch with Stymie the Hermit (left); Mike Sizer (right); Single Bullet Theory (bottom)

The newly released Artifacts/yclept 2-disc compilation Necroscopix (1970-1981) is a simple documentary survey of a very particular time and place; a sliver of a local culture — made in imitation of, or perhaps as a salute to the work of musicologist, Dick Spottswood, one of our heroes. The best stories can’t be told in this amount of space, but here’s an outline.

“...in Richmond, or in any Southern city for that matter, you do see types now and then which depart from the norm. The South is full of eccentric characters; it still fosters individuality. And the most individualistic are of course from the land, from the out of the way places.” 

 — Henry Miller,
“The Air-Conditioned Nightmare” (1945)

The oddest of us were, to be sure, not from the Big City, but while many here came from places like Boones Mill, Roanoke, Martinsville, Clarksville and Culpeper in Virginia, and Winston-Salem and Greensboro in North Carolina, nearly half came from the D.C. suburbs, all converging on the urban scene around the art school at Virginia Commonwealth University in the late 1960’s.

And, if the South is indeed full of “eccentric characters,” what is art school, if not a universally potent magnet for creative misfits? There isn’t a person on these two discs who ever intended to be what the Japanese call a “salary man,” and though most succeeded in that intention, some inevitably succumbed, while more than a few died resisting in their own way (see the list, please) — and others just disappeared.

Richmond is less than 100 miles from Our Nation’s Capital, which in pre-digital days was still worlds away from the major centers of the Counter Culture on the West Coast and in NYC, and that remove forced us to interpret and synthesize a take on the zeitgeist that was uniquely our own.


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bronwynbishop on 06/20/2013 at 01:49PM

Bryan Lewis Saunders- 87 Dreams of a Sociopath

Psilocybin Mushrooms (2 caps onset). From Bryan's series of self-portraits on different drugs.

On the front page of performance artist Bryan Lewis Saunders' website, the main image, right under his name, features Saunders with a plastic bag over his head. This sets the tone for the majority of his career.

Saunders describes his work as stand-up tragedy. He is the opposite of a stand-up comic- he stands in front of an audience and attempts to make them cry. Starting in 1995, Saunders has drawn at least one self-portrait every single day; the ones which have received the most attention are the portraits he produced while under the influence of a different drug every day. He is generally considered an outsider artist, and lives in an institution-like home for unemployed and disabled people.

In 2003, Saunders began sleeping with a tape recorder and, upon waking, recording descriptions of his dreams. 87 Dreams of a Sociopath, a book of these descriptions transcribed as poems, is the result of this experiment. Along with the book, Saunders released the audio recordings themselves. In a groggy monotone punctuated by yawns, Saunders presents us with his dreams, many of which are gruesome. "The Amputator," in which Saunders is hired by God to amputate people's limbs, is a highlight. Possibly the most disturbing track is "I Killed My Cousin," in which said act is described in meticulous detail: "I stuck a razorblade four inches deep into the side of her neck, and then just pulled down, straight down on it, and cut her throat."

Despite their sometimes shocking content, Saunders' depictions of the peculiar logic of dreams are instantly familiar. Saunders is an avant-garde, troubled oddball, but his dreams could be anyone's. This collection, while difficult to listen to for an extended period of time, is a great find for anyone fascinated by dreams.

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katya-oddio on 06/17/2013 at 12:30AM

Happy Anniversary, Stealing Orchestra

Stealing Orchestra have been amazingly generous contributors to the free music world for a decade. The orchestra has provided a prolific free netlabel (also at Free Music Archive) featuring their work and the works of fellow Portuguese bands.

In 2011, Stealing Orchestra released their concept album DELIVERANCE, containing nine new tracks and celebrating the 10th anniversary of the band's netlabel You Are Not Stealing Records and 13 years of making albums together. [press release]

Now Stealing Orchestra is celebrating their 15th birthday and are giving digital versions of all of their albums as gifts to the world, including DELIVERANCE.

Happy birthday, Stealing Orchestra, and thank you so much!


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