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modsant on 05/02/2013 at 08:45AM
It was as great week for international punk with three awesome bands coming through to play WFMU.
France's Youth Avoiders have put out some amazingly catchy Scandinavian-influenced punk anthems. Their fast-paced, frenetic and honest music leans towards a more thrashy and visceral punk sound than a melodic one.
Puerto Rico's Los Vigilantes bring a juvenile delinquent garage-punk that'll make you headbob. Their sound is heavy on the '60s side, with a healthy dose of droopy '50s doo-wop back-up vocals, rocked with additional organs, tape loops and swagger. (Slovenly Recordings) You also may wanna check out the playlist from their 2012 visit.
San Juan's Las Ardillas are a garage punk band sharing members with Davila 666. Their in-your-face style has been compared to late-'70s and early '80s punk. Their latest release also out on Slovenly Recordings.
ange on 04/30/2013 at 03:53PM
For this month's Revitalize Music Contest, artists from Lisbon to Austin dug through public domain songs, got inspired, and submitted their creations to our contest repository. Our talented judges from the music, radio, and public domain worlds loved hearing the wide range of incredible entries, but eventually had to select a winning song.
OUR WINNER IS CROWN THE INVISIBLE
Crown the Invisible created an incredible power pop rendition of the 1911 revenge anthem "The Spaniard That Blighted My Life" by Billy Merson. The song tells the story of a man whose girl is charmed away by a Spanish bullfighter.
'Twas at the bull fight where we met him
We'd been watching his daring display
And while I went out for some nuts and a programme
The dirty dog stole her away
The band's been around for about a year, and are a blend between a studio compositional project and a raucous psychedelic band. They are all grizzled rock dudes who live and work in East Williamsburg warehouses, where they've been cultivating their space/stoner rock sound. They describe their band as "if Rick Wakeman played with Ride, but the songs were written by The Pretty Things while they watched Planet of the Apes and listened to Hawkwind." That is to say, they all grew up on early '90s and '60s British stuff.
TAKING A SONG FROM 1911 AND MAKING IT SOUND 2013
When the band began working on their arrangement they describe the process as "vibe hunting." There was a lot of stomping and clapping involved, which is how they ended up deciding to keep the waltzy 3/4 time signature without over-emphasizing it. This also how they found the song's distinctive sound, a swirling whistle made by playing a hammond organ sample on a keyboard through a guitar amp.
During this process, singer CG Foisy says he kept waking up in the middle of the night with the lyrics stuck in his head. He says it's a terrible song to have in your head because, "it's cheeky, evil and weird. It's a portal into male territoriality. How men are these vindictive monkeys."
Overall, the challenge was good practice for the band. This summer CG is traveling to Beijing, where he'll play a few shows, and then spend a week traveling the silk road looking for music along the way. What he finds will eventually be adapted into song challenges for the band. Whenever he travels, CG loves to pick up a new instrument. You can even hear (kinda) one of these instruments in the winning song. It's an Indian instrument he bought in Singapore called the gopichand. It sounds part sitar, part mouth harp.
Participating in the contest speaks to the bands' interests in being part of a community through their music. Some bands get really into making an album, then going on tour, then making another album, then going on another tour, and hoping to be signed by a label. CG says, "That works well for some bands, but other bands like to take on weekly assignments, making videos and vignettes, and to have different kinds of conversations with their fans."
Crown the Invisible includes Jared Barron, CG Foisy, Steve Schwadron, with a guest appearance in this recording by Gabriel Berezin on bass. Check out their summer series Fantastic Planet, which installs different bands in different warehouses, merging live noise rock with visuals. You can also see them play live on May 9th at Don Pedro (90 Manhattan Avenue), where they might be performing their winning song.
ange on 04/23/2013 at 08:44AM
Bring the public domain into the future! This April, WFMU and the Free Music Archive are challenging artists everywhere to create new recordings and contemporary arrangements of historic compositions available in the public domain. We’re calling this our Revitalize Music Contest.
Every song (except for perhaps "Happy Birthday") will someday fall out of copyright. Archives such as the IMSLP/Petrucci Music Library, Musopen and the Public Domain Information Project chart the vast and ever-expanding troves of public domain music. Participants in our Revitalize Music Contest will help bring these works to life by creating new recordings, and feeding them back into the public domain.
To inspire entries, we’ve handpicked a selection of out-of-copyright songs with compelling lyrics, beautiful melodies, and unusual stories. Keep in mind that unless materials are listed in our contest repository, the recordings of performances we link to are still within the scope of copyright. After learning about the songs and contest rules here below, you can browse our pool of entries.
TAGGED AS:free music contest, public domain, petrucci music library, contest, revitalize music contest, See More...
jason on 04/05/2013 at 10:30AM
Here's a classic from Olneyville Sound System. Like their namesake System—the inspirational former workplace of David Byrne that churns out hot weiners covered in a legendary meat sauce—OSS also specialize in a flavor that is distinct to the Olneyville neighborhood of Providence RI.
OSS make bass and drum music. Not to be confused with "drum 'n' bass." This is real raw bass sludge from Dan St. Jacques (Landed, Six Finger Satellite) and Adam Autry (Boredoms' Boadrum, Plate Techtonics). Their sound is akin to Lightning Bolt doing ESG, concise noise-funk with the experimental humor of Men's Recovery Project. "These Guys Don't Take Requests, They Don't Play Showtunes" comes from their '97 Load Records debut Because We're All In This Together, which featured "anti-blues" harmonica by Roma and maniacal vocals by Jon Von Ryan.
"Olneyville Sound System was very influential on Usaisamonster," Colin Langenus wrote in a post describing a recent collaboration Adam Autry. The Colin L Orchestra joins in on a rare OSS Brooklyn performance this Saturday at the Silent Barn. Providence's Russian Tsarlag, recent WFMU guests Source of Yellow, DJ Greg Fox, and a ventriloquist who goes by the name of Bernard Herman are also on the bill.
Feel free to request "These Guys Don't Take Requests" at an upcoming OSS show, but they'll be playing new material. Word is they have a new album tracked at Machines With Magnets. I got to see some of it live about a year ago and it is going to rule. We'll hear some when they swing by Talk's Cheap / WFMU on April 18th. For a deeper voyage into the history of OSS, check out On Safari, recorded live at Providence's defunct Safari Lounge.
ange on 03/30/2013 at 02:48PM
For the fifth year, WFMU's Transpacific Sound Paradise brought us a live broadcast from the massive annual Balkan and Eastern European music and dance bacchanal, the Zlatne Uste Golden Festival. We present here 14 different artists who performed this year, who are performing everything from Bulgarian dance staples, to music from the Golden Age of Egyptian Cinema, to traditional polyphonic acappella folk from Georgia.
Black Sea Hotel is the Brooklyn-based vocal quartet of Corinna, Joy, Sarah and Willa. Their set from last year included traditional songs learned under a plum tree in Bulgaria, but with their own distinct twists and arrangements, since many of the songs were originally sung by larger choirs.
Brazda is a New York-based Balkan band that plays fresh arrangements of traditional repertoire from Bulgaria, Macedonia, Greece, and beyond.
Yale Women's Slavic Chorus performs songs from Macedonia, Russia, Georgia, and Bulgaria.
Zikrayat, who specialize in Egyptian film music's golden era, accompanied by live dancing on stage at the Golden Festival for this rendition of the song "Tahey" by an unknown composer whose song now lives on.
from the Golden Age of Egyptian Cinema
Black Sea Hotel
Punk, Jazz, Folk,
Tango & Klezmer
Traditional Village Songs from All Over the Balkans and Eastern Europe
Yale Women's Slavic Chorus
Romani Music Performed by NYU Students & Community Members
Balkans, Heavily FYR Macedonia. Clarinet, Accordion Drum & Vocals
Bulgarian Solo Improvisations on Gadulka (aka. Bowed Rebec)
at Golden Festival
Danceable Gypsy Tunes from Eastern Europe.
Plus Klezmer & Hungarian
from Caucasus Georgia
Young People's Band Performing Traditional Music in a Modern Way
None of this would have been possible without Rob Weisberg, host of Transpacific Sound Paradise. He'd also like to thank the Golden Festival founders and organizers, the Zlatne Uste Balkan Brass Band and the festival committee; co-host and tech guru Irene Trudel; and to the rest of our our illustrious crew: Mark Koch, Juan Aboites, Chuck Dean, Dan Barker, Jason Sigal, Matthew Cherchio, Bryan Koniarz, Ariana Hellerman, Katie Gentile & Nick the Bard.
TAGGED AS:zlatne uste balkan brass band, transpacific sound paradise, balkan, golden festival, balkans, See More...
ange on 03/22/2013 at 08:15AM
If you love punk music, it's an incredible time to live in NYC. In celebration of the current surfeit, New York's Alright will be kicking off 4/20 weekend with a slection of comtemporary punk and hardcore bands from around the world. In anticipation, you can download this free mix of bands who will be playing the fest including the Altered Boys, Bad Noids, CREEM, Hounds of Hate, No Class & Nomad. These are all live performances expertly recorded on WFMU's Distort Jersey City with Deed Runlea.
ange on 03/14/2013 at 10:30AM
Even in the biggest pile of horse crap, there's gotta be pony somewhere. When Hurricane Sandy turned the freeform radio station WFMU into an island, damaging valuable equipment and sinking their annual record fair fundraiser, one of the bright post-storm rainbows was an incredible night of music at the The Bell House in Brooklyn.
The Hurricane Sandy Relief benefit featured outstanding performances from Arrington De Dionyso of Old Time Relijun, followed by the Dot Wiggin Band, Jon Spencer Blues Explosion, and Texas psych/gospel legends-rediscovered The Relatives. At the show, WFMU's comeback story paralleled the journeys of many of the evenings performers.
If you're not following the growing popularity of The Relatives, you should be. Their music and resurrection story were recently featured in the New York Times and on NPR, which means your mom might be calling to ask you about them soon. The long story short is that after 30 years, they are just now releasing their first full album of original work (available for streaming here), and it seems the world is finally ready to embrace a sound I've seen best described as "Jesus on LSD."
Also performing that night was another comeback kid, Dot Semprini aka. Dot Wiggin, the lead singer of '60s all-female group The Shaggs. Depending on whom you ask, they were either the best band of all time or the worst. One of their classically controversial songs "My Pal Foot Foot" closed off their set that night. It's an ode to Dot's lost cat that will either make your brain hurt or remind you why Dot holds the place she does in Rock and Roll history.
As you enjoy these live sets, take a moment to send dry thoughts and financial support in the direction of the station these bands came out to celebrate. The WFMU 2013 Marathon is underway, and it's a chance to say thank you to the station that helps you discover incredible music throughout the year and who parents this very archive.
TAGGED AS:live concert, wfmu, the jon spencer blues explosion, gospel, arrington de dionyso, See More...
modsant on 01/25/2013 at 10:15AM
These little piggies skipped the market, and headed straight to WFMU to deliver their own brand of straight-up catchy rock and roll! Punk in spirit, riffing through roots-dirty, Stones-esque style hooks, The Piggies exemplify the good-time, vinyl-hugging rock-n-roll and straight-to-tape aesthetic most bands can only hope for. This could be why their releathus far have been live rehearsal room recordings on a Zoom H2.
To hear the full performance and interview with host Joe Belock, visit the WFMU playlist. The Piggies will also be playing a Hurricane Sandy benefit for Norton Records on March 22nd at the Bell House.
lizb on 12/26/2012 at 08:00AM
I've been a silent lurker on the FMA this year, but did want to pipe up to share my top picks of 2012 with you all. Like an addict, I hit the new release stack on the site with frightening regularity, the spoils of which I share on my weekly radio show on WFMU and its corresponding podcast.
I skimmed the tastiest bits from the top of my FMA pile, resulting in what is still kind of a huge pile. Therefore, yet again, this year I've got two year-end mixes to share: a short attention span mix (below), and a more complete mix (53 tracks) after the jump. Enjoy!
ange on 12/19/2012 at 11:00AM
Photos by Jeff Moore
For this live session, Wilco's Mikael Jorgensen and tech genius Travis Thatcher filled WFMU with an ungodly array of vintage, modern and homemade synths, sequencers, filters, triggers, drum machines, and patchbays, and they did it with style, sensitivity and major know-how. From EMS-synths to iPad apps, it's 1971 meets 2012 and a thrilling master class in electronic music history in between.
All songs performed on Scott Williams' show are from their forthcoming release "Songs For Sexting," due out on Asthmatic Kittys' Library Catalog Music Series. All titles are indeed ACTUAL SEXTS. See if you can decipher them yourself.