Music

A Most Awesome Video: the History of Rap with Jimmy Fallon and Justin Timberlake

There are no words! Dieter Bohn (@backlon) just tweeted this, and I thought it was so awesome that I had to share. See if you can name all the songs and artists Jimmy Fallon and Justin Timberlake go through; the imitations are spot on, fun to watch and the whole experience is hysterical! Unfortunately this video is Flash, but if you can’t watch it on your mobile device it is…


Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross Score ‘The Social Network’; You Get a Five Song Sampler for Free

Here’s a heads-up that you can download a FREE five-track sampler of music from the upcoming movie The Social Network, scored by Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross, by clicking this link. You can also pre-order the full 19 song soundtrack as a CD ($8.00), in HD Blu-ray Audio ($20.00), or on vinyl ($25.00). The Social Network soundtrack will be released digitally on Tuesday September 28th with physical formats to follow in October….


Music Diary Reviews: Dogs & Cats Living Together Edition

Over the last few months I have done dozens of short CD reviews articles here, here and here. I continue to get great feedback about this ‘Quick Review’ format, so I plan to keep using it as a way to give a brief overview of a number of new releases all at once. Last time I changed things up a bit by looking at a couple of not-so-good releases. Fortunately…


Vijay Iyer – Solo (2010) Jazz CD Review

I can hardly believe it has been nearly a year since I reviewed Vijay Iyer’s Historicity. I marked that recording high on my list of ‘best music of 2009’, so I was hotly anticipating his next release. I wasn’t alone in my praise – at his official site, the description calls it “one of the most acclaimed albums of the decade, Vijay Iyer’s debut on ACT Music is a trio…


CD Retrospective: 40 Years Later, Miles Davis Bitches Brew STILL Polarizes Jazz Fans

In every medium, every genre, there are transitions from one period to the next, silent to ‘talkies’ to color films, baroque to classical to romantic in classical music, and so on. But seldom is there a singular musical even that forms such a clear demarcation in a genre as Miles Davis 1970 Bitches Brew does for Jazz music. As stated on the Miles-Beyond blog, everything in Jazz comes down to…


Music Industry Says Sales Still Lousy, Still Blaming Piracy, Still Trying to Raise Prices and Force Album-Only Sales Model

There is a great Veggie Tales song The Pirates Who Don’t Do Anything, where they are supposed to be singing about ‘piratey stuff’ but Larry is singing about … nonsense. At the end they conclude ‘you just don’t get it’. And THAT is exactly what I was thinking when I read the news about the sorry state of album sales at NPR. Here is the video, just in case you…


Celebrating Bird – Charlie Parker’s 90th Birthday, and 55 Years Since His Death

When most people think about creative musical geniuses who shone bright, lived fast, and died young, they most often think of rock music icons like Jimi Hendrix or Kurt Cobain or Keith Moon. But the trend began LONG before the rock era. The classic film Amadeus highlighted the fast life and early death of Mozart, and there were many other influential composers and musicians of the pre-recorded music era such…



The Coolest New CD Release of the Year: Tristan Perich 1-Bit Symphony

I honestly can’t recall the last time I specifically ordered a new release CD, and was excited about the arrival of the physical product. Sure I’ve been sent a few and won some others and have grabbed a couple of special releases over the past several years. In those cases either someone else made the choice or there were pack-ins that made getting the music in physical form necessary. But…


Getting Married in Seattle? Contact This Guy!

By now it is pretty clear that I am quite fond of the Jason Parker Quartet, their music is wonderful, their business model exemplary, and Jason’s insights on his website and approach to music really shine a path for all other struggling artists to follow in this modern era. Way back in high school my rock and fusion groups had some paying gigs at clubs and colleges and events, and…


Music Diary Reviews: Corporate Boardroom Edition

Over the last few months I have done short reviews on more than 30 CD’s in two articles here and here. As I mentioned before, the response has been amazing! I continue to get emails and more unsolicited (but always welcome) invites to listen to music. But I also have been called out as an elitist. Because I love jazz and modern classical music and tend to prefer rather esoteric…


My Family Now Has a Scientific Reason to Hate My Music: Their Brains!

If you have read any of my music reviews here, you know I am strongly drawn to arrhythmic and atonal music in the jazz and classical genres. Needless to say this sort of music isn’t very popular. There are certain artists that I love that most people I know, even those who like some amount of modern jazz, just cannot fathom. Here is a great example, with a very young…


Experience the Newport Jazz Festival Live Via Webcast

The Newport Jazz Festival at gorgeous Fort Adams state park in Newport, RI is the granddaddy of music festivals – the one that kicked off the trend of having jazz music in festivals, which of course can then be linked to the development of festivals such as Woodstock and Lollapalooza and so on. On Saturday you’ll be able to access all of the music live as it plays at NPR’s…



Wolfgang’s Vault and Sonos Get Close…

Although I don’t own a Sonos system, it’s something that I’ve considered purchasing several times in the past. Sonos’ wireless, multi-room music system keeps getting more tempting, too, by adding new features, including streaming services and an iPhone app. Wolfgang’s Vault, on the other hand, I’ve been using for a while.  (In fact, you can find a couple of Gear Diary posts about it here and here.)  Drawing from the…


The Democratization of Music in an iTunes Era

Say what you will about iTunes and the electronic age’s impact on music and the music industry but one thing is clear — they have been great about is giving talented people exposure long before they might come to the attention of agents, scouts and record labels. That’s the case with Applegirl, who caught the world’s attention with her rendition of Lady Gaga’s Poker Face performed with nothing more than a…


180 Gram Records Unveils Everly Brothers Collector’s Edition LP Box Set!

I remember reading a report early this year from the UK showing that in an age of declining physical music media sales, the only positive note was that sales of LP’s, those classic 12″ 33-1/3 RPM vinyl records, had doubled in 2009! Of course, the numbers are still small but they show there is an audience for classic vinyl records. Personally I have moved more and more to digital music….


What a Recording Artist Needs to Sell to Make Minimum Wage

Image Courtesy Kevin Dayhoff’s Blog I had seen this image a month or so ago, but had lost the link – but it remains stunning to think of what is required for a musician to simply make minimum wage, let alone scrape by a reasonable living! The graph below shows how many of their recordings an artist would need to sell to make a mere $1,160 per month. Of course,…


Prince Sez No Digital Tunes 4 U!

For many people, digital music stopped being a revolution – or even something to debate – a long time ago. Apple’s iTunes is the largest music retailer, and more and more sites seek a piece of the ever-growing digital music pie. But not THIS guy: Prince, in an interview with the UK paper the Daily Mirror said: “The internet’s completely over,” Prince told the paper. “I don’t see why I…


More Quickie Jazz Reviews: A Few New, and a Few That Slipped Through

Image Courtesy TheLastMiles.com Recently I wrote a rather large article full of ‘quickie reviews’ for recent Jazz music releases – and the response I have gotten has been amazing! I have heard from musicians, jazz lovers, general music fans and folks who simply wanted to express appreciation that I was supporting the ‘indie’ movement even thought they had no interest in the music. Even as that article was published, I…


What the HECK Happened to Herbie Hancock?!?

Herbie Hancock learned a lot from his time with Miles Davis, musically and also about being restlessly creative. After leaving Miles band before the earth-shaking Bitches Brew era, he headed off to release his own series of classics. He had already carved a great space in modal music with his Blue Note recordings Maiden Voyage and Speak Like a Child, but then went on to record Fat Albert Rotunda and…