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ange on 04/23/2013 at 08:44AM

The Revitalize Music Contest

Carrier Belleuse Pierre La Maison De Musique (Public Domain)

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.

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jason on 04/05/2013 at 10:30AM

Olneyville Sound System: These Guys Don't Take Requests, They Don't Play Showtunes

Dan St. Jacques (left) and Adam Autry of Olneyville Sound System. Photo via facebook

Here's a classic from Olneyville Sound SystemLike 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.

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ange on 03/30/2013 at 02:48PM

Balkan Brass & Beyond: 14 Live Performances from the 2013 Golden Festival

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.

Supruli is a Georgian choir directed by Carl Linich (also of Tenores de Aterúe). Its members have studied in Georgia -- listen and hear why polyphonic singing is so captivating to music scholars.

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.

If this trove doesn't satisfy your Balkan and Eastern European jams fix until the festival returns in next January, be sure to explore our collections from 201220112010 & 2009.

Arabic/Egyptian Music
from the Golden Age of Egyptian Cinema

Vocal Arrangements of Bulgarian and FYR Macedonian Folk Songs
Black Sea Hotel

Punk, Jazz, Folk,
Tango & Klezmer
Guignol Band

Traditional Bulgarian Music on Kaval, Gaida, Gadulka, Tambura & Tupanve
Lyuti Chushki

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)
Nikolay Kolev

Bulgarian Dance
Staples Live
at Golden Festival
Balkan Fields

Danceable Gypsy Tunes from Eastern Europe.
Plus Klezmer & Hungarian


8-Piece Balkan Band with Fresh Arrangements of Traditional Repertoire

Traditional Polyphonic
Acappella Folk
from Caucasus Georgia

Young People's Band Performing Traditional Music in a Modern Way
Zlatni Makedoncinja

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.

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ange on 03/22/2013 at 08:15AM

New York's Alright: Contemporary Punk & Hardcore Festival

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.

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ange on 03/14/2013 at 10:30AM

Comebacks Celebrated Live at the Bell House with The Relatives & Dot Wiggin Band

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 BandJon 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.









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modsant on 01/25/2013 at 10:15AM

The Piggies: Live on WFMU

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.

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lizb on 12/26/2012 at 08:00AM

Liz B's Top FMA Picks of 2012

WFMU fans at the Primavera Sound Festival in Barcelona, 2012

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!

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ange on 12/19/2012 at 11:00AM

1971 Meets 2012: Balboa Live on WFMU

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.

Balboa - "PIR" (14:10)
Balboa - "PIR" (14:10)
Balboa - "LMIRL" (15:53)
Balboa - "LMIRL" (15:53)
Balboa - "IW2LYB" (21:16)
Balboa - "IW2LYB" (21:16)
Balboa - "NIFOC" (28:07)
Balboa - "NIFOC" (28:07)
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paulsmith on 10/25/2012 at 08:45AM

Frank Bango Live on WFMU

Bango's song "Bunny In A Bunnysuit" was featured in a watch commercial starring Nicole Kidman.

Call him a D.I.Y. Man: Frank Bango is an independent artist. The New York singer-songwriter, whose music has been compared to Elvis Costello, Nick Lowe and Ray Davis, set up his own imprint, Sincere Recordings, in 1994. Since then he’s been self-releasing his warm, guitar-driven pop songs.

Along the way he’s found novel ways to pay the bills, soundtracking an Omega watch commercial by lending his song "Bunny In A Bunnysuit" to the Nicole Kidman-fronted campaign. And last year he successfully kickstarted his most recent LP Touchy Feely. Fans who pledged $250 were rewarded with soup at the B&H Dairy on 2nd Avenue while Bango and Ricky Vesecky "recounted some of their most colorful adventures culled from years of being outsiders on the inside." That's what you call D.I.Y at its tastiest.

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pop, frank bango
ange on 10/03/2012 at 01:30PM

MI-GU Live On WFMU, Playing NYC

As heard yesterday on WFMU's This Is The Modern World with DJ Trouble, MI-GU is in town from Tokyo with their new album Choose The Light. The band is is Yuko Araki (drum/vocals) with Hirotaka "Shimmy" Shimizu (guitar/producer). Araki and Shimizu are also members of Cornelius group, Yoko Ono Plastic Ono Band, If By Yes, and Brother's Sister's Daughter.

In this infomercial, Mike Watt says he just can't reccomend their new album enough, because MI-GU puts everything upfront. Upfront feelings. Upfront drums. Upfront guitars. Watt says, "It not Marlon Brando."

Folks in the NYC area can see their show on Thursday, October 4 at Union Pool with Nels Cline's Eye Bone. Tickets are $10 at the door only.

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rock, mi-gu, tokyo, exparimental, wfmu
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