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cheyenne_h on 05/29/2018 at 02:13PM

FMA Q&A: Monkey Warhol

Monkey Warhol is an artist from Minneapolis who collaborates with kids and has dropped two CC BY albums on FMA. He was recently approached by a big company to do a jingle for a commercial. Below, we talk about what that was like, what he's working on now, and his advice for anyone who gets commissioned by a large company to make music. Here's our interview! 

FMA: When you uploaded your music to FMA, what were your goals?

Monkey Warhol: I didn't really have any goals or expectations other than (hopefully) getting my music heard!!! From my experience, it seems that whenever you upload tracks to any sort of music site, you usually get a couple curiosity listens and then crickets. Not saying you should expect anything more from a music-hosting site (heck, they're already hosting my music for free so I have no right to complain), but what's been wonderful about Free Music Archive is that it feels like an "Online Community" in that my tracks have been picked up and incorporated into other people's projects. It’s flattering and amazing to see how my music has become part of someone else's vision! Blows my mind! KA-BOOM!

FMA: Was it surprising to be solicited by a big company for music licensing?

MW: Definitely! As an independent artist, the biggest surprise was that my music could somehow catch the ear and attention of a "big company". Not necessarily due to the music itself, but more that it actually managed to find its way through the loopholes and reach various "decision makers" within an organization. It's super encouraging and gives me (and hopefully others) a nice bit of confidence to know that it can be done.

FMA: What would you tell a musician who was going through this process for the first time?

MW: There's a fine line between business and art. Obviously, have fun and be creative, but at the end of the day you're supporting THEIR vision (not vice versa) so have a great attitude, excellent work ethic, and a quick turnaround! Also if the company you're dealing with is big enough, find an entertainment attorney. I think contracts and all the legal mumble-jumble is designed specifically to confuse the average person.

FMA: Do you plan to pursue more music options like this in the future?

MW: I'd love to if they'd have me. I don't watch much TV, but Mama Warhol will call me from time to time and say, "I heard your song on TV!" It's funny; I've been making music for 25+ years, yet all of a sudden, I'm "legit" because my song appeared on TV. The "90s Alternative Rocker" in me shakes his head at what I've become.

FMA: Your latest Free Music Archive release is Hannah Banana. How is it different from your last release The Darwin LP?

MW: It's basically more of the same... I've got some pop songs, some electronic instrumentals, and a few experimental ideas. The Darwin LP was a compilation of tracks from the first 3 Monkey Warhol EPs with a couple random tunes thrown in and Hannah Banana is basically a collection of tracks from EP4 through EP6 with a couple random tracks thrown in. I tried to make it flow like an album and I'm really proud of everything on there. I still like it when I give it a listen, which either means the album is decent, or I have poor taste in music. Probably a little bit of both, eh? Please download it and give it a listen... if anything, it's the right price.

FMA: Finally, what's the story behind "Bongo Booty"? That video is ridiculous!

MW: Thanks! "Bongo Booty" is the sonic sensation of what happens when you collaborate with a 6-year old! Basically, I wrote a little tune called "Lovely Lady" a few years ago with my daughter and my son wanted his own anthem. So, we sat down and came up with "Bongo Booty."

As for the video, I thought it would be funny to make a video where the running joke would be that you can't tell if someone is playing butts or bongos. (Yes, nothing but highbrow deep philosophical analysis here.) I ran the idea by my video collaborated-artist-buddy Gigi Ranchero, he loved it, and here we are! To be honest, all the credit for the video really goes to him. I just showed up and hung out around a green screen. Our kids (aka "Unicorn Festival") are in there, and I'm the mangy old rocker in a do-rag!

Click below for music videos!


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cheyenne_h on 05/24/2018 at 01:09PM

Tropical Pop from Hollie Cook

Image from holliecook.com

On a recent episode of WFMU's Sophisticated Boom Boom, Hollie Cook brought her distinctive style of 'tropical pop' to the airwaves! Hollie Cook was part of the last lineup of The Slits, a legendary all-female punk/reggae group from the UK. With heavy dub-reggae influences and strong melodic vocals that accent the music rather than dominate it, this is a live session that you don't want to miss! Listen below. 

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cheyenne_h on 05/16/2018 at 06:15PM

Powerful & Introspective Music from the Gunn-Truscinski Duo

Guitarist Steve Gunn and percussionist John Truscinski recently visited WFMU's live studio and performed tracks off and on their new album, Bay Head. Their sound is impressively layered and nuanced for a two-man band. Host of WFMU's weekly radio program Surface Noise, Joe McGasko, says of the performance: "their latest album mixes Eastern modalities, a touch of psychedelia, and a grounding in roots music to produce a highly individual instrumental sound that's equal parts fiery and meditative. They supported the album with only a handful of live appearances – fortunately including this exclusive live session for Surface Noise recorded on 4/4/18 and broadcast on 4/16/18."

Please listen below! 

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cheyenne_h on 05/08/2018 at 04:04PM

State Of The Commons Report

Image from the State of the Commons report official site.

Creative Commons, the organization that works tirelessly to enable and enrich a diverse and thriving commons through legal tools and advocacy, puts together a report every year called "The State Of The Commons." As a platform that is built on sharing and CC content, we are proud to be one of the participants of this important effort! Want to know more? 

Here are some fun, quick facts (but we think you should go and see the report for yourself): 

*Today, there are approximately 1.4 BILLION works shared with Creative Commons licenses! 

*FMA is one of two music-only platforms recognized in the report

*CC has more than 100 chapters worldwide, mostly in Europe

*The USA, UK, and Canada are the most frequent users of CC search in the past year

Read more at the report itself: https://stateof.creativecommons.org/

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cheyenne_h on 03/26/2018 at 09:41AM

FMA Q&A: Lobo Loco

Lobo Loco. Courtesy of the artist.

Lobo Loco, a musician from Germany whose name means "Crazy Wolf" in Spanish, joined the Free Music Archive roughly two years ago, but has added nearly 500 songs to our collection since! As an active member of the FMA community and a prolific contributor to our archive, we wanted to know more about him. This interview was conducted over email and posted, with light edits for clarity, below:

 

FMA: Tell us a little about yourself. 

Lobo Loco: Hi, my name is Lobo Loco. I was born in 1968, in a small village in southern Germany, Mittelstadt. I live with my family in the town Göppingen near the Swabian Alb. Making music is my passion.

FMA: How would you describe the music you make?

Lobo Loco: Mostly instrumental, with much improvisation … easy playing straight on … on a journey.
Diving deeply into the music ... I love it ... for me the most beautiful moments come from music.
My music styles I like to play are manifold … from classics, blues, jazz, folk, international over to electro, vintage, space up to rock.
My favorites are Delta blues, folk with my guitars … and boogie woogie, improv jazz and vintage electro with my keys.
Even just a mixture and a changing of acoustic and Roland sound-module generated instruments. I like to experiment with sounds.

FMA: How did you start off making music?

Lobo Loco: I started at the age of 8 with piano lessons, but I had a terrible teacher. He had the opinion that I was not talented and very lazy. Yes, I was very lazy, and before each lesson I even prayed that he or I would be ill. After two years I happily ended lessons with him … At sixteen, I started playing piano again without a teacher, then at 18 I started to learn e-guitar and acoustic guitar for myself. Making music became more and more fun, playing in different bands and often with friends.

One song, called, "Sofa" is about how I met my wife. She was singing this song at the Christmas market and her daughter was very embarrassed. A good friend of mine told me about it and I become curious and wanted to meet her. One year later, we got married!

FMA: How did you find the Free Music Archive, and why did you want to put your music on our platform?

Lobo Loco: I was searching the internet for a platform with free music content, where I can publish my music productions with the intentions:

  • … to be heard by many people
  • … to give my music away, for free, for projects with private and common interest. I have been contacted over FMA by fans asking for usage.
  • … to help me to get commissions from commercial interests, they purchase licenses and certificates on my platform musikbrause.de

On more great thing is that FMA for itself is not a commercial platform, so all users arround the world can hear and download everything without registration or payment. And finally I want to remark that I felt welcomed on FMA since the day I'd asked you if I can be an artist here. I like the personal contact FMA gives to artists.

FMA: Why do your songs have an ID number after the titles?

Lobo Loco: Oh, yes I know it’s very crazy. It’s an idea to prevent me or the persons who use my music for trouble with collecting companies.

One of my favorite Bands "Schwoissfuass" had to pay a lots of money for life playing their music afterwards. This band than died from the costs. I want to prevent this from happening to me.

I registered all my songs on safecreative.org, so I can easy ensure collecting companies (AKM, SUISA, SACEM or GEMA) Creative Commons registration.

Another reason for me is, that music titles are sometimes similar or the same, and the musician name Lobo Loco too (I've seen this name twice for other musicians). With the registered ID no one can easy assert that my music is his music.


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cheyenne_h on 03/19/2018 at 05:04PM

2018 Golden Festival Recordings Added to Free Music Archive

Photo by Margaret Loomis

Friends, we are pleased to announce that the 2018 Golden Festival recordings collected by WFMU have been added to the archive! Nearly 45 recordings were collected at the event, and they are now available for free streaming and download to our users. 

If you've never heard of the Golden Festival, you're not alone - but you're missing out! It's a fabulous, three-day-long affair in Brooklyn's Grand Prospect Hall, a celebration of Balkan traditional music and dance. Featuring musicians from many corners of the world, instruments that have been used since antiquity, and unique vocal techniques, this is truly a special event. Fortunately, every year since the Free Music Archive began in 2009, there have been recordings from the Golden Festival added to the collection. 

After a few years, the Golden Festival was granted its own Curator page, since the contributions associated with it are nearing the 1,000 mark! Listen to this teaser playlist we've curated, or dive into the whole collection and explore for yourself!

 
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cheyenne_h on 03/05/2018 at 04:04PM

Support FMA Listening Party During the 2018 WFMU Marathon

If you are a fan of the FMA Listening Party, you can win COOL FMA STUFF! Join us on Tuesday, March 6th from 3-4pm Eastern Time! If you pledge to support WFMU (who makes the FMA and our Listening Parties possible), you'll not only get your name announced on the program, but you'll also be eligible to win cool prizes -- physical copies of real LPs and CDs, and limited-edition FMA apparel! You'll have to tune in to find out more. Join us from 3-4 pm on wfmu.org, or pledge to support the show by clicking this link

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cheyenne_h on 02/20/2018 at 03:08PM

Relax For An Hour

Photo by Dmitri Popov on Unsplash

This week's Listening Party was calm and collected, and we wanted to share some of that peace with you!

Listen to the playlist below:  

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cheyenne_h on 02/14/2018 at 01:31PM

Happy (belated) Galentine's Day!

A vintage valentine for y'all. Pretty corny.

If you're not joining us each week for the FMA Listening Party, you can still reap the benefits of our weekly curatorial efforts!

This week's episode was a special featuring music performed by women (and some of their friends of various other persuasions) - a Galentine's Day special (a pop culture 'holiday' celebrating one's gal pals the day before Feb 14). The episode (with commentary) is available on the Give The Drummer Radio stream, or as a podcast via iTunes, but you can also listen to the songs featured on this week's episode below. 

For your listening enjoyment, here's the playlist -- and you can download it, too! 

 

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cheyenne_h on 02/05/2018 at 08:51AM

Not All Music on FMA is Licensed for Video

Some of our music is just for listening. Sorry video-making friends! (image via flickr commons)

Just a friendly reminder.

We know, the FMA is a great resource for all sorts of people - filmmakers, remix artists, people who wanna hear strange new sounds - but we've been getting a LOT of messages lately from confused people about whether or not they can use X song in Y video.

It depends on the license, and how you intend to use the music, my friend! And best of all, you can find out all the information you need on your own. There are tons of resources out there to help.

We have a robust FAQ (complete with webinar!) about which licenses are suitable for video here. But here are some basics:

1. ND or No Derivatives: If you want to use a track from FMA for a video, you are not allowed to use anything with an "ND" or "No Derivatives" clause in the license. You must get further permission from the artist in order to use it for a video.

2. NC or Non Commercial: If you want to use a track for commercial purposes (including a monetized YouTube video, a real estate listing, or a video telling people about a product or service that costs money), anything with a "NC" or "Non Commercial" clause is not pre-cleared for this type of use. If you want to use it for a commercial purpose, you must get further written permission from the artist, and possibly pay for a license to use the song.

3. SA or Share Alike: If you want to use a track that is licensed CC BY-SA "Share Alike" or CC BY-NC-SA, you are required by that license to share your own work under the identical license. If you can't, or don't want to, do this, you must get further written permission from the artist. (Noticing a pattern yet?)

4. BY or Attribution: Anything with a CC license with "BY" or "Attribution" in it means you must give credit to the artist, but that's it. You can use it for whatever you want, even derivative works like videos and remixes. If you don't want to, or can't give attribution in your derivative work (such as a video)... guess what? You have to get further permission from the artist! (Now you're getting it!)

We have pre-screened a lot of stuff and it's tucked neatly in the Music For Video curator page (though this includes NC and SA tracks - so make sure to look for the license you need). You can also use stuff from our Public Domain collection without attributing or getting permission from the artist.

If you need guidance, please consult our FAQs, License Guide or read up on the Creative Commons website before asking - you may find the answer right in front of you!

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