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MUSIC

8 Aug

P.P. Arnold’s Album w/ Barry Gibb & Eric Clapton Cleared for Release

by Paul Sexton | Billboard American soul singer P.P. Arnold's "lost" album The Turning Tide, with songs produced in the late 1960s and early '70s by Barry Gibb and Eric Clapton, will be released for the first time by independent Kundalini Music on Oct. 6.

 The unheard album showcases the authentic R&B credentials of the vastly experienced Los Angeles-born vocalist, who went on to work with everyone from Nick Drake to Peter Gabriel. Arnold made the recordings in London, where she arrived in...
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7 Aug

Dorothy Ashby: Fierce Pioneer of Jazz Harp

by Nick Millevoi | Flypaper A few years ago, I had one of the most powerful live music experiences of my life when I went to see Stevie Wonder on his Songs in the Key of Life Tour. He delivered one of the greatest collections of musical material ever composed and performed at the highest level with the emotion, energy, and musicality of a true master. The band was massive: two drummers, three guitarists, bass, two or three other keyboardists behind him, a full string section with...
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30 Jul

150 Records by African Women You Should Listen To

Muthoni the Drummer Queen. Image courtesy of the artist. by OKAYAFRICA Just like NPR and The Fader, the OkayAfrica team took a stab at listing 150 records made by amazing African for you to discover and rediscover. We hope you enjoy listening through as much as we enjoyed putting together this list of African women who’ve shaped African music from the continent and around the world. 1. Alsarah & The Nubatones (Sudan) – Manara 2. Angelique Kidjo (Benin) – Logozo 3. Asa (Nigeria) – Beautiful Imperfection 4....
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26 Jul

Esperanza Spalding is Writing & Recording ‘Exposure’ Over 3 Day FB Livestream

by Winston Cook-Wilson | SPIN Esperanza Spalding, Grammy-award-winning singer-songwriter and jazz bassist extraordinaire (and now Harvard Professor!), has announced her new album, though she hasn’t written any songs. On September 12 at 12 p.m. Eastern, Spalding will begin writing and recording her next album, aptly titled Exposure–move over, Robert Fripp–limiting herself to a 77-hour timeframe and live-streaming the entire thing. (Yes, that includes the sleep breaks). The audience will be able to chat comments to Spalding during the process. There will be other...
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22 Jul

How Playing an Instrument Benefits Your Brain

Lesson Anita Collins, Animation Sharon Colman Graham | Ted-Ed When you listen to music, multiple areas of your brain become engaged and active. But when you actually play an instrument, that activity becomes more like a full-body brain workout. What’s going on? Anita Collins explains the fireworks that go off in musicians’ brains when they play, and examines some of the long-term positive effects of this mental workout. ...
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20 Jul

Dub Music: A History of Jamaica’s Musical Artform

by Patricia Meschino | Billboard   On a balmy late May evening under the stars at Chris Blackwell’s stunning cliffside hotel The Caves in Negril, Jamaica, legendary producer Lee “Scratch” Perry strolls up to the DJ booth and takes the microphone. For the next 45 minutes Scratch, now 81, his hair and beard dyed cherry-red, freestyles lyrics as DJ (or selector, in Jamaican parlance). Kingston Dub Club owner Gabre Selassie tweaks his mixing console’s controls, manipulating the riddim track, transforming the bass line into a...
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12 Jul

The B-52s’ Lost Recipe For Sweet Potato Cornbread

by Dangerous Minds Some principles are non-negotiable. I like talking to people whose views on religion, politics, food, the environment, hairdos and footwear differ from my own. But I stand firmly behind Dangerous Minds’ “zero tolerance” policy for anyone who doesn’t like the B-52s. Those jerks can wash down a plate of boiled shoe leather with a cold glass of splinters. The rest of us will be borne aloft on the angelic sounds of Ricky Wilson’s guitar and the subtle flavors...
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8 Jul

Honda Scooter Commercials w/ Devo, Lou Reed, Miles Davis, Grace Jones & Adam Ant

by Dangerous Minds In the mid-1980s Honda had a series of quite dauntingly cool musicians hawking their scooters. They had particularly playful, sexy commercial in which Adam Ant and Grace Jones flirt with each other and then presumably fuck because they are so preposterously vital and attractive. Others featured DEVO, Berlin, Lou Reed, and Miles fucking Davis. The Adam Ant/Grace Jones ad was “racy” enough that there was an edited version. In the full version Jones bites Ant’s ear, an act that...
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8 Jul

NASA Sent Salutations & Music Into Space to Communicate w/Aliens

by Chris Coplan Consequence of Sound We already know that space generates its own deeply beautiful music. But back in 1977, as mankind thought about its place amongst the stars and the possibility of extraterrestrial life, NASA decided to add to the cosmic symphony with the launch of the Voyager I probe. There among all the radio gear and high-end cameras is The Golden Record, a disc containing a ginormous auditory archive representing our planet’s menagerie of sounds (via Death and Taxes). From music to greetings in every language and even sorted animal grunts,...
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8 Jul

Nina Simone in Liberia

Nina Simone, left, at Wilhelmina "Coo Coo" Tubman's birthday party in Monrovia, 1974. Courtesy of the Parker family collection, Monrovia, Liberia  by Katherina Grace Thomas Guernica Someone who knew Nina Simone well—a Liberian friend of hers, I suppose a mutual friend now—told me a story. Liberia’s past is in pieces, he said, and here’s one of them. Maybe it’s the one you’re looking for. On a September night in 1974, the wet season was closing down and an encore of rain washed the streets...
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8 Jul

‘Punk London’ Festival: 40 Years of Art, Design, Fashion & Music

by Neil Bennett Digital Arts In 2016, the year-long punk festival saw events across London's museums. 2016 marked the 40th anniversary of when punk reached the British public consciousness – prompting a year-long series of events across the capital in celebration of the many forms of punk culture. Punk London sees exhibitions and events at the Barbican, BFI Southbank, British Library, Design Museum and Museum of London – and there's as much a focus on the visual culture of punk as the music that's best remembered by your...
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6 Jul

SKA, SKA, SKA! 2-Tone Bands & Their Fans 1979-80

THE SPECIALS, SELECTER & BAD MANNERS by Paul Gallagher | Dangerous Minds Jerry Dammers basically ran 2 Tone Records out of his bedroom. It was a do-it-yourself label started in 1979 to record his band The Specials and promote a bunch of other ska groups—mainly friends and colleagues in and around Coventry, England. 2 Tone was the start of a ska revival. At one point nearly every new British ska band was on Dammers’ label—The Specials, Madness, Selecter, The (English) Beat, Bad Manners,...
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4 Jul

Prince Nico’s ‘Sweet Mother’ Sold More Than Any Beatles’ Record

by Sami Kent | Narratively In a life bookended by tragedy, Prince Nico Mbarga poured joy into his music, including the most popular song in African history. But his own story has never been told — until now. Twenty years ago the man who recorded one of the most successful songs of all time was thrown off a motorbike by a car in Calabar, Nigeria. He hit his head on the road and was rushed to the hospital, where he lay for two...
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3 Jul

D’Angelo & Bobby Seale on Past & Future of Political Protest

D’Angelo, right, with Mr. Seale in Berkeley, Calif. Credit Zackary Canepari |The New York Times  Professor Panther by Zackary Canepari and Ora DeKornfeld | New York Times Bobby Seale co-founded the Black Panther Party. The R&B star D’Angelo speaks out on racial injustice in his new album. The two met in Oakland, California. OAKLAND, CALIF. — In early June, before the shootings in Charleston, S.C., the R&B singer D’Angelo stood beneath the blood-red awning of the It’s All Good Bakery here, peering into the window of...
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1 Jul

Acrush: Chinese Boy Band Made Up of 5 Girls

Jiayang Fan | The New Yorker The forces underlying Acrush’s gender fluidity are more complicated than they might appear from outside China. Just when you thought the boy-band phenomenon had finally run its course (in how many more directions can One Direction go?), a Chinese iteration goes and renovates the form. At first blush, the five members of Acrush (the “A” stands for Adonis, the Greek god of male beauty) resemble the prototypical Simon Cowell-culled group: boyishly handsome, impeccably groomed, freakishly flawless...
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1 Jul

Rocking the Stasi

Image copyright, GETTY IMAGES   Image copyright, ALAMYDie Toten Hosen in 1989 When music captures the spirit of freedom it can cross any border. In 1961, Communist East Germany built a wall across Berlin, and tried to seal itself off from the West. But new research shows how concrete, barbed wire and a huge effort by the secret police, the Stasi, failed to silence the seductive beat of rock and roll and punk. The rise of Beatlemania in the 1960s brought a scathing response from Walter...
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25 Jun

Unreleased Thelonious Monk From 1959 French Film ‘Les Liaisons Dangereuses’

Courtesy of Arnaud Boubet - Private Collection Tom Moon All Things Considered | NPR The music Thelonious Monk contributed to the 1959 French film Les Liaisons Dangereuses had never been released until the master tapes were discovered last year. In 1959, the peak of his playing years, Thelonious Monk did something he'd never done before: record music for a film. Released in the U.S. as Dangerous Liaisons, the French film Les Liaisons Dangereuses featured nearly 30 minutes of Monk's music, none of which ever...
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24 Jun

Drummer Profile: Jola of Adam Ant

Photo | Greg Ramar Photo | Michael Sanderson by Lisa Vinciguerra Tom Tom Magazine The background music begins and the crowd cheers as New Wave icon Adam Ant emerges from the mist and takes the stage. Best known for his theatrical style and innovative work in the 80’s that bridged punk and post-punk, Adam Ant’s resurgence is booming. A captivating front man, he is backed by an exceptionally talented and tight band that elevate his songs. Infused with pounding Burundian beats, classics such as...
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