Son of When Gadgets Mate

October 13, 2009
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As the era of the music CD draws to a close, artists attempting to sell physical products have been forced to become more creative. Those that succeed have figured out how to add value to the package, usually though the inclusion of “bonus material” like a live DVD, or an illustrated book, but that “value” […]

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September 22, 2009
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Today’s post is about music and science. In this video, a lecture from the World Science Festival, singer Bobby McFerrin demonstrates how humans seem to be hardwired to generate a pentatonic scale. The great thing about the presentation is that it’s not passive. I’m sure you found yourself anticipating the next interval just as the […]

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Hello, Baby

September 21, 2009
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Before mix tapes became fraught with emotional baggage (as chronicled in High Fidelity), they were the best way for friends to share musical discoveries and favorites. At one point I was juggling six active tape exchanges, each with its own playlist parameters. But the one thing all the mixes had in common was the use […]

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With the Beatles

September 11, 2009
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That’s how I’ve spent the last three days, with the Beatles. (I didn’t Meet the Beatles, that was a Capitol records construct.) I mentioned back in July that I had pre-ordered The Beatles Rock Band; it finally arrived on Wednesday. Needless to say, I spent five hours playing through all of the songs in solo […]

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Kind of Bloop

August 20, 2009
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Lots of musicians pay with 8-bit music composition programs, reworking pop favorites to sound like they were generated by old video game systems. But few have tried their hand at chiptune jazz, a deficiency that Andy Baio of sought to address with Kind of Bloop, released today: … an 8-bit tribute to Miles Davis’s […]

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Kind of Blue

August 17, 2009
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Today marks the fiftieth anniversary of the release of what is widely considered the greatest jazz album ever recorded: Kind of Blue by Miles Davis. Although the record didn’t spring Athena-like out of Miles’ head, there was precious little warning that preceded it. In 1953, composer/arranger George Russell (who passed away just a few weeks […]

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Smells Like Rickrolling

July 31, 2009
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A perfect mashup and Rickrolling in one clip? How could I not re-post this: Only one of the musicians shown in this video still has a career. Who would have figured it to be the drummer?

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Bollywood Swinging

July 3, 2009
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Let’s close out the week of mourning with an unwitting tribute to he whose music infected the entire world: It’s “Don’t Stop Till You Get to Bollywood” by Bollywood Freaks, from their 2003 “Bombay Gangstarr” single. Remarkably, this track is the B side. I don’t know about you, but to me the lyrics sound better […]

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Once you’re gone, you can’t come back

July 2, 2009
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When I heard last week that bassist Hugh Hopper had died, I did what I always do when I musician I admired passes away: I spent the day listening to his music. Eventually I wound up listening to tracks from Soft Heap, the band Hopper formed with fellow Soft Machine alum Elton Dean, along with […]

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Most faithful mirror

June 28, 2009

You may remember the Cocteau Twins, the second best band1 on the 4AD label. What I loved about them — apart from their moody, evocative music — was the voice of their singer, Elizabeth Fraser. She made what were essentially nonsense lyrics sound like outpourings from the depths of her soul. Despite her contributions to […]

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