- Grammy award-winning gospel artist Israel Houghton (via newshour)
Standing behind the orchestrations of MARVIN GAYE’s (1939-84) music is one of the 20th century’s great conductors of contradiction. Electric and organic, concept and instinct, proficiency and abandon, male and female and cultures without chasms — it’s all there in the several lifespans of the Satie of Soul. Gaye’s course from aspiring crooner to R&B superstar to political prophet and experimental soundscaper was a path of transformation that prefigured the metafashion of Bowie and Costello; the compositional loops of the What’s Going On album’s percussive structures stood on the peaks of Africa and saw clear to the hip-hop century.
(via Marvin Gaye | HiLobrow)
Definitely Rancid — I’ve always wanted to remake “Time Bomb. ” Green Day. Bad Brains. I really like the Deftones too, but they’re more of a rock band. - Murs on his favorite punk rock bands.
Yet there does seem to be something universal about music. All cultures make music, though no one knows why; it’s not obviously useful in the way cooking or language are. A number of musicians, including some notable composers, claim that music is a universal form of human communication which transcends barriers of culture and language. Now psychologists are putting this universality back on the agenda, and are investigating whether certain elements of music are hard-wired into the brain.
Janelle Monáe’s rock star bona fides are all intact. She’s got vocals for days, wielding a voice that can be as gentle as a ballad in a Disney movie or so big and thunderous her five foot (1.524 meter) frame hardly seems fit to contain it. A rock star needs an iconic look, and her outfit of choice is timeless and appropriate: a tuxedo, black and perfectly pressed. Her hairstyle includes a gravity-defying pompadour. She makes songs like “Neon Gumbo”, composed with backwards lyrics and a reversed sample of her older tune “Many Moons”, like the stuff Prince added to the end of Darling Nikki. Like any self-respecting rock star, she’s fabulous and glam and entertainingly weird, traits you could easily pick up from her interviews. When it comes to music, though, she’s focused, message-oriented, and dedicated to uplifting her listeners.
Better still, she absolutely brings the hotness to her live show. Hyperactive, to the point of appearing possessed, Janelle Monáe is a firecracker, a combination of James Brown and David Bowie, among others. She’s undulating, twisting, gyrating, the embodiment of constant motion. There’s no lip synching here, folks, and did I mention that she moonwalks like nobody’s business? The sista can dance.
The point here is that The Chaos is the sound of a band without any preconceived notion of how to make an album, and it’s a fascinating product from a band that’s been doing it for as long as this lot. They don’t seem to have any fear of being compared to bands that have come before, and they don’t seem to have any fear of repercussions from a fanbase that’s been following them since 2004. They’re playing like they have nothing to lose, which makes them a dangerous band indeed.
The famous cover of De La Soul Is Dead, a picture of a planter of dying daises tipped over, is one of the best album covers of all time because it perfectly sums up the album in a simple image. The band celebrated the dying of the daisy and took a verbal swipe at Arsenio Hall (someone who provided a huge boost to hip-hop artists on his late night talk show) on “Pass the Plugs”. It’s the stuff that makes record label execs lose hair and take stock in Maalox. In the short-run, De La Soul Is Dead seemed a huge misfire for De La Soul. But nearly 20 years after its release, it’s a testament of a band who always knew it was in for the long haul. All career suicide albums should sound this great.