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MeghanM on 11/13/2013 at 03:45PM
Yesterday I receive a message from one of WFMU's engineers alerting me to the news that two members of The Yellow Dogs were among three Iranian musicians shot to death in East Williamsburg. I had no idea at this point that my heart was going to break in two. I spent the entire morning trolling every news source hoping the story wasn't true. I was holding my breath and praying that my friends The Yellow Dogs were safe.
I will never forget the first time meeting the band. I met up with Ali Salehezadeh at one of their concerts at Union Pool. Ali introduced me and my friends to the band. We saw them play and was blown away with the energy. The only song I knew of theirs was from the movie No One Knows About Persian Cats, so to finally hear something new to my ears blew me away. They were the perfect mix of old and new. The scene at the show was young and energetic. We stood around the fire pit in the courtyard with everyone, and you could sense the community that was part of this band.
When I had the Yellow Dogs come to do a live session for me June 2012, they were so excited to be coming to WFMU and were so thankful for the opportunity. Little did they know that I was more excited that they were going to do a live session on my show. You could feel the band's energy. They were so happy to be playing music and that other people were equally excited about it. At this point, they had a different drummer.
Ali and I were trying to put together a possible session with Ali Eskandarian and the Free Keys who had just moved over from Iran. I knew of the Free Keys from the movie as well, so I was curious as to what they were doing now. Sadly, we never did get the dates to work for Ali Eskandarian.
The next time in the studio we recorded the Free Keys, who had Arash Farazmand as their drummer, Looloosh's (Soroush Farazmand) brother. I got to sit down with the Yellow Dogs and do an interview during this session and it was wonderful. It was the easiest most relaxed interview I had ever conducted. So easy going. I knew at this point that these guys were going to be in my life always. It was such an easy connection.
Throughout the months after, I had run into Obash, the singer, at his job bartending and saw the band play at an art opening for their friends who are stencil artists named Icy and Sot. I wish I could have bottled up the energy and excitement from that night. So much fun, so much laughter and yet again, I saw the amazing people they surrounded themselves with. Youthful, carefree and happy.
Looloosh and Arash always had smiles on their faces. You could tell they were living the life. They gave off the impression that they were so happy to be where they were doing what they were doing. They had risked so much to get to this point and to finally be able to play their music without fear. This is what I will remember about them and I am glad to have known them. My heart goes out to their family back in Iran. My heart also goes out to Obash, Koory and Ali. I am relieved to know they are safe and have already let them know that I am there for them. Thank you for your amazing memories. I am so glad to have been a part of your world.
DaveBombay on 08/27/2013 at 05:37AM
Hailing from Brooklyn, Born Loose brings the intensity of a car crash and the catchy energy of Fucked Up or GBH while delivering real and raging rock 'n' roll. These live tracks from Three Chord Monty with Joe Belock leave you pumped up and ready to start a fight or lift a car. Singer Larry May’s vocals tie this energetic four-piece together with some solid guitar work from Suke. Keep an eye out for Born Loose's S/T full length alubum out on Drug Front Records.
BTurner on 07/16/2013 at 02:30PM
When WFMU broadcast Mudhoney live from ATP a few years ago, it was fully obvious that their instrumental power and Mark Arm's inimitable yowl were still very much in full force. Even more so at last year's Primavera broadcast (where they followed up after their set by bumrushing and taking over the WFMU fairway tent!). Twenty-five years down the line Mudhoney still have the bottles and bodies flying, soaking up a past and continuing to deliver the one-two riffage even as bands they influenced have vanished and reunited at half mast.
In celebration of both Sub Pop and Mudhoney's respective 25th anniversaries, they stop by WFMU's Brian Turner's show to rock faces off with a few live songs from their brand new full-length (their ninth!) "Vanishing Point."
bronwynbishop on 06/27/2013 at 02:29PM
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."
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.