The Blast

Atomic Tom iPhone Concert on the B Train
October 16, 2010, 4:52 pm
Filed under: music, video

Brooklyn-based band Atomic Tom had their instruments stolen, but carried on, performing their single “Take Me Out” on their iPhones while on the B train.

Easily the best iPhone performance I’ve seen.

via The Loop


Varese on Charlie Parker
July 20, 2010, 9:11 pm
Filed under: classical, jazz, music

In the 1920s, french composer Edgar Varese held a certain contempt for jazz music. However, the advent of bebop changed this attitude, and Varese went on to hold workshops such notable jazz artists as Charles Mingus, and at one point almost had Charlie Parker as a pupil. Quoting Varese in an interview reprinted in Composers’ Voices from Ives to Ellington:

With jazz, the ones who could have been good become very conventional. I heard the man who was playing—what was his name? He died. He was a god of music in that field. He played a kind of saxophone—Charlie Parker. At that time he lived in New York. He followed me on the street, and he said he wanted to be with us. The day I left I said, “We’ll get together. I’ll take you for my pupil.” Then I had to catch my boat. It’s when I went to Europe for Déserts. And Charlie Parker died in ’55, in March. Oh, he was so nice, and so modest, and he had such a tone. You could not know if it was an angelic double bass, a saxophone, or a bass clarinet. Then one day I was in that big hall there on 14th Street, the Cooper Union. Somebody said, “I want to meet you.” She was the widow of Charlie Parker. She said, “He was always talking about you, so I know all about you.” And that man was a great star. He wanted to study music and thought I had something for him.

Recordings of Varese’s workshops with Charles Mingus and others made in 1957 can be found here.

via the always excellent Alex Ross

Edgar Varese

The Greatest Staring Contest Ever Held
July 1, 2010, 9:49 pm
Filed under: humor, video

= Ok Go + Ira Glass + Zach Galifianakis + … well, you’ll have to watch to find out.

“Just look at his mouth, man… it’s freaky!”

via This American Life

Grand Opening of ‘Dostoevsky Station’ Delayed Indefinitely
May 28, 2010, 11:00 pm
Filed under: art

Unsurprising. From the Times Online:

The opening of a Moscow Metro station named after Fyodor Dostoevsky has been postponed after complaints that murals decorating the platform walls are too depressing. The images, drawn from the 19th-century novelist’s works, could prompt depressed commuters to kill themselves, critics say.

One scene, right, depicts a man preparing to hit a woman with an axe while another lays dying at his feet — inspired by Rodion Raskolnikov in Crime and Punishment. Another shows a man holding a gun to his head — based on The Devils, in which Kirillov commits suicide as a declaration of freedom. A stern portrait of the author is also among the Florentine mosaics.

via MR

Despite All My Rage…
March 11, 2010, 6:04 pm
Filed under: music

Fantastic. I’d like to see more of these. Time for a 90s alt-rock binge.

via Curved White

Victor Wooten: Amazing Grace
January 22, 2010, 7:30 pm
Filed under: electric bass, music, video

Despite hearing and knowing about Bela Fleck and the Flecktones for years now, it has been only recently that I’ve been taking the time to explore their music.

Normally, I would have been inspired by the excellent work of Bela Fleck that I’ve already encountered, such as his multiple collaborations with Edgar Meyer and Mike Marshall (I was even lucky enough to catch a couple of their live shows).

However, it was Flecktones bass player Victor Wooten that caught my attention. Here he is, performing a solo electric bass version of Amazing Grace during their Live at the Quick performance back in 2002.

Inspiring stuff. Enjoy.

Charting the Beatles
January 20, 2010, 7:58 pm
Filed under: design, infographics, music, uncategorized

Michael Deal designed a series of visualizations based on the Beatles and their work. Here is part of one showing the Beatles work schedule (click to enlarge):

There are several others, including composition credits over time, song keys, and self references. Click here for all of them.

What a great idea… I’d like to see this done with all sorts of other kinds of music, such as hip-hop, classical and jazz.

via Kottke