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dvd on 08/06/2012 at 01:45PM

MP3 of the Day: Ourself Beside Me, "Sunday Girl"

Like many others who wanted to be astronatus when they grew up, I stayed up late last night to watch NASA's livestream of the Mars landing. As a former Space Camp cadet, I wanted to make today's MP3 topical, so I searched the FMA for "mars" and found a lot of interesting stuff, including this track off a sampler from Chinese label Maybe Mars.

According to the label, Ourself Beside Me is "one of the most exciting and innovative bands to emerge from the Beijing scene[...] these three hard-charging ladies have swept everything before to become among the most admired and inspiring bands in China." Dig these pop sounds and check out the rest of the sampler, with bits of experimental, pop, hardcore, and more.

Maybe Mars at:             Free Music Archive | WWW | Bandcamp 

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lizziedavis on 08/04/2012 at 03:00PM

The Lost Devilcore Hits of Severed Lips Recordings


Severed Lips Recordings was a cassette label which operated out of a basement in Ringwood, NJ from 1992-2000. Somehow, their catalog of horror garage gems from an incestuous roster of artists has managed to stay under the radar, a rare feat in the "information age."

The fascinating story of Severed Lips Recordings is inspiring to anyone who's been involved in a fringe DIY community. I had the pleasure of hearing it straight from William Hellfire, the mastermind behind SLR's operations, via email.

First off, how did the label get started?

I started Severed Lips Recordings with Scott Beattie, aka Agent 78, in 1992 when we were 19 years old. Scott and I had just started playing music together and called our band Gerbil Church. The music we played was just our two Vantage guitars blasted through crappy, failing vintage amplifiers, no drummer or bassist.

I was also reworking a small set of Big Black-inspired noise rock songs and through an old band mate met Eddie Blade, whose solo agro/industrial recordings were amazing by any 4 track demo standard. I invited Todd and Eddie to learn the songs and record with me over at my basement HQ. When they got to my place, they popped a hit of LSD in my mouth. The session didn't go as planned-- instead, it was hijacked by a brand new creation, "DISCO MISSILE." Scott and I decided to take all the boom box and live recordings from these bands as well as the new Disco Missile cassette and start releasing them. We made our first release with personalized covers consisting of retro wrapping paper, string, ink, oregano, cinnamon all kinds of bits and bobs, Xerox, pen, crayon. I think we may have sold and given away about 20 or so in total.

December 1992 was the initial release party. I had also created releases out of recordings of an acid trip I took in my room with my cat and my friend Ruby Honeycat’s childhood audio tapes with her friends, which consisted of a bunch of 5 year olds talking about dinosaurs and singing kid songs that made no sense. Anything I could find with original audio on it, I just made up a band name and cover for and tried to sell it.

My friends and I were very small-town and naive, and in that naive thinking had come a lovely purity. The sensibilities were childish and devilish, sweet and sadistic; we were naive anarchists not just rebelling against the political establishments but the whole ideal of reality and the homogenized art world, the corporatized social structure. Around 1989, everything started to go bad. There was very little happening and the stream of consciousness was getting thinner and thinner.

It was "mall culture" and MTV, and the minute something good would squeak its way in, there were corporate clones of it. Punk rock, the last stand of decency in the world, was being homogenized for the mall market. It was getting hard to breathe. We had to entertain ourselves--create our own music, our own culture and our own fun.

Severed Lips Recordings cassettes were $4 each. Basement shows were $2-3 bux donation, and we rented out a legion hall in butler for--get this--$65 bux! $3 dollar admission. Can't beat that. We baked cookies and made Jell-O, served coffee with cassettes and played noisy and fuzzy caricatures of psychedelic punk rock. Then in 1996, SLR started going outside the legion hall and basement and began to frequent Connections in Clifton NJ, Continental, Coney Island High and CB’s NYC.

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lizziedavis on 08/03/2012 at 12:00PM

MP3 of the Day: Hank Penny, "Alabama Jubilee"

photoHank Penny should be a household name. But the reason he isn't is the same reason that this release cooks: attitude. Seems Hank wouldn't take shit from anybody. As a result, he burned a lot of bridges and missed more than a few opportunities to further his career.

He started his first band, the Radio Cowboys, in 1935 and later became a regular on the Boone County Jamboree out of Cincinnati. He acted in a couple of Westerns, yukked it up on Spade Cooley's TV show in the 40's, DJ'd here and there across California and Kansas, and tore up clubs across the country from the 30's to the 70's. (via.)

A couple years ago, Bloodshot Records put together 30 of Hank's best as part of its Bloodshot Revival country reissue series. Sample what you've been missing with "Alabama Jubilee" below.

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dvd on 08/02/2012 at 12:30PM

MP3 of the Day: Fhernando, "(I Need Ya) L.O.V.E"

Intent on recreating an aesthetic pioneered by the 80s, Mexico-based musician Fhernando brings back the funk in Last Days of Disco.

The young DJ is not a stranger to the music scene. Since his teenage years, Fhernando or Fernando Ramires Rios has been composing music and has already released several EPs and singles. His most recent album, Sweet Addiction produced a lot of buzz on music websites.

Featuring 12 tracks of musical bliss, Last Days of Disco will transport you into an era of upbeat yet soothing melodies (via Curator Frostclick).

Fhernando at:

Free Music Archive | WWW | Facebook

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dvd on 08/01/2012 at 11:45AM

MP3 of the Day: Diamond Terrifier, "Adamantine"

Diamond Terrifier is the solo sax & electronics project of Sam Hillmer (of Brooklyn experimental troupe ZS). Named after the indo-tibetan god Vajrabairahva, the philosophy of the project concerns a kind of positive destruction through the reconciliation of noise and drone. If you like the cut of that jib, check out this in-depth interview with Sam we featured a little while ago. 

After a couple shorter releases and tapes, Sam's project is getting a proper full-length release in September on Northern Spy -- Kill The Self That Wants to Kill Yourself. They've been kind enough to share a track from the album, along with some other previously released singles on the FMA.

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badpandarecords on 07/31/2012 at 03:00PM

MP3 of the Day: Isle, "Bayview"

Coming from Pensacola (Florida), Isle are Michael Maleki (also well known as Kodak To Graph), Tobi Echevarria, Brandon Warren, Dave Doelker and Brendan Peppler.

Their debut single, Bayview, is a compendium of ethereal and dreamy moments likely to be influenced by sounds from artists as Radiohead, Yo La Tengo, Fleet Foxes and Washed Out. Definitely not to be missed. (via + interview)

Isle - "Bayview" (03:54)
Isle - "Bayview" (03:54)
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lizziedavis on 07/27/2012 at 11:15AM

FM Funk Maddness!!

photoThis is the best chiptune-funk comp ever! To anyone who's ever made disparaging remarks about the soullessness of FM synthesis, I present this album as irrefutable evidence of the contrary. On FM FUNK MADNESS!!, synths come alive. Tracks like Blitz Lunar's "Cascade Masquerade" immediately conjure comparisons to the hits of the great Wild Cherry. The following track,"Fashion Queen" by Kulor is a natural thematic and musical successor to Madonna's "Vogue." Later in the album, the thumping bassline of Tsuyoshi Shimokura's aptly-titled "FunkOsaka" brings to mind not waveform crests and nodes, but the pulsating lights of Studio 54!

FM FUNK MADNESS!! was compiled and released by Ubiktune, a chiptune and video game music-related netlabel based out of Russia.

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chiptune, russia, fmamp3, 8-bit, funk
dvd on 07/25/2012 at 11:30AM

MP3 of the Day: The Womb, "Home Planet"

Alan Driscoll has been releasing music as The Womb online since 1998. After 17 Albums, 78 Singles, and 10 Compilations, suffice it to say he has covered a lot of musical ground. His entire output is released under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike license, and we've recently made a home for him here at the FMA. Getting started with his massive collection can be a bit daunting... so he's put together three Best Of albums to help you get acquainted. Volume Three was just released today, so we've picked one of our favorite tracks below to share from the new collection. Dig in!

The Womb at:

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fmamp3, best of, the womb
dvd on 07/25/2012 at 07:45AM

MP3 - A Crash Course by Jonathan Sterne

Today, there are more mp3s in circulation than all other recording formats combined. This alone would be cause to write a book about them, but I became fascinated with mp3s because of how they are made. An mp3 encoder uses a mathematical model of the gaps and absences in human hearing to remove some of the data in an audio file, in order to make it smaller. If the encoder “thinks” you won’t hear part of a sound recording, it yanks it out on the encoding end, so that the resulting mp3 file is smaller, and therefore easier to transmit over data lines or to stockpile on hard drives and flash memories.

I wanted to know where this model of human hearing came from and what it could tell us about our contemporary sonic culture. The result is my new book, MP3:The Meaning of a Format

The technology behind the mp3 is called “perceptual coding,” and I quickly discovered it has deep connections to the development of hearing science and telecommunications over the last hundred years. Everything we think we know about hearing in the state of nature is a result of the interactions between ears and media in the 20th century.

MP3s also point to the importance of compression in the development of communication technologies. Each generation of new media is usually sold to consumers as being of higher definition and greater verisimilitude than its predecessor (think of how DVDs and Blu-Ray have been marketed, for instance). But developments in compression and lower-definition transmission are equally important for everything from telegraphs, to telephones, to color television, to satellite transmission to the internet. This other history is less apparent because it is manifest inside our hard drives, and inside the massive infrastructures that allow us to move data around. It is not as shiny or sexy as the latest consumer gadget, but it could well be more important for everything from aesthetics to policy.

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badpandarecords on 07/24/2012 at 11:00AM

MP3 of the Day: Origamibiro, "Flicker"

Origamibiro are a multi-practice audiovisual artist collective, comprised of producer  Tom Hill, video artist The Joy of Box and musician, Andy Tytherleigh. The trio employ multiple instruments, hi and lo-fi technologies and an array of unorthodox objects and mixed media, including guitars, typewriters, infra red cameras, double bass, ukulele and bowed electric guitar.  It started originally out as a solo project by Hill and become a collective who’s work combines film soundtracks, performance, gallery art installations and a variety of mixed media works.

Flicker is  journey through subtle, delicate and introspective post-electronica classical combo featuring remixes by Warp Records electronic duo Plaid, ISAN from Morr Music, K-Conjog, Set In Sand and Leafcutter John (with the help of Abandon Building). via Bad Panda Records

Origamibiro at:

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