ange on 05/15/2013 at 03:00PM
In TV prom, there's always an incredible live band up on the gymnasium stage with tuxedos and torn tulle skirts. The entire room is dancing. Most of us are not so lucky, with more Celine Dion slow dances filtered thourgh a bored laptop DJ, and half the room sitting around at tables looking awkward.
In this songs about prom playlist, get drunk and wasted at prom '98 with the Modest Mousey Undynamic Pop Expariment. Hear Grooms sweetly sing "I want to be friends with you." In the last track, enjoy some Twin Peaks-inspired New Wave in "Laura Palmer's Prom" from British Columbia's You Say Party! We Say Die! live at KEXP. All three songs have a feeling of looking back in time, when you looked like a child in those grown up clothes. Prom never had it so good.
ange on 05/10/2013 at 10:15AM
A mix of songs that are inspired, euphoric, and a little flirty. Tracks that remind you that it's getting warmer outside every day, and things are starting to grow.
As a follow up to our moody April Showers Mix, a collection of instrumentals for new loves, new creative challenges, and that feeling when the air outside perfectly matches your body temperature. A mix for noticing flowers on trees. For when all the girls start wearing skirts without tights again, and you leave your jacket at home. Let's go outside and enjoy every minute together.
1. Springtide (website, CC BY-NC-SA) - You just got home from high school, and your favorite show is on TV. What it sounds like to think about moving to California. For more permissions contact the artist.
2. Small Colin (website, CC BY-SA) - This song adds the right amount of significance to anything you pair with it. Try playing this while you tell a boring story. See? Contact the artist for more permissions.
5. Mermonte (website, CC BY-NC-SA) - Indie instrumental with joyful bells and shakers. The Mermonte album art shows a girl in a blue dress, walking on a beach alone and barefoot. Vocals enter about a minute into the song.
ange on 05/07/2013 at 09:30PM
As part of the 2013 Megapolis Audio Festival, the Free Music Archive taught workshop on finding music for projects legally, including podsafe music, instrumental tracks, and music you can modify, adapt or build-upon. Then participants dug up music tracks and audio elements from Creative Commons and Public Domain resources with which to construct an original 1-3 minute sound art composition.
ange on 05/06/2013 at 09:00PM
Have you spotted Free Music Archive tracks out in the wild? Send us your links.
ange on 05/06/2013 at 08:29PM
The TV Show Glee is about a cute group of high school underdogs, who sing sparkly cover songs while dancing through the cafeteria.
But there's another Glee club forming, whose members have no say in joining. They're a ragtag group of underdog musicians who've found their arrangements of cover songs appearing in the hit show without their permission or credit of any kind. One member of this club is independent musician Jonathan Coulton. He's is the Internet's take on a rock star. He was also a recent judge of our Birthday Song contest, and he's currently hosting a highly successful Code Monkey comic book Kickstarter campaign.
For this May's edition of The Organist podcast from Believer Magazine & KCRW, I've produced a story about what's become known as #backgate. It begins about 8 minutes into the program, wedged between James Franco (!) and Tao Lin (!).
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 04/29/2013 at 06:30AM
On this month's edition of WFMU's Radio Free Culture, multi award-winning producer and sound artist Francesca Panetta joins the Free Music Archive to discuss Hackney Hear, the winner of this year's Prix Europa Radio Production Award. It's a smartphone app that asks you to put it in your pocket as you explore London Fields and Broacway Market in London. As you travel, the app scores your journey with a blend of location-specific interviews, archived audio, music, and poetry.
We'll discuss the future of app-based storytelling, the challenges of GPS accuracy, and learn how Francesca pins two lapel mics to her left and right ears to capture a wide stereo sound.
Then, later in the show, listen back to this past year's Radiovision Festival, where Francesca spoke on a panel with Pejk Malinovski (East Village Poetry Walk) and Ellen Horne (RadioLab). The three super-producers will discuss how they're pushing the boundaries of audio with walking tours, immersive apps, and live events. Plus, the significance of taking risks and experimenting with new methods of storytelling. Jim Colgan (Soundcloud) moderates.
Here's our interview as heard on WFMU's Radio Free Culture:
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:revitalize music contest, public domain review, cc0, free music contest, public domain, See More...
ange on 04/09/2013 at 03:00AM
With winter and the hiccup of daylight savings time behind us, our taxes filed, our yearly vacation time used up already and our New Year's resolutions long forgotten, we set to the tasks of re-populating the Earth and making beautiful music.
For this Spring Compilation from Peppermill Records, enjoy a lovely string of more acoustic-based artists to brighten your weeks. Some of my favorite gems here include the bouncy French indie pop opening track from Montag, and the intimate and textured vocal duos in "Pony Rides" by Candy Claws.
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.