As work continues behind the scenes on the new Epic Fu blog network, I wanted to show you a blog that will be part of the network: Audioesque.
Created by Michael (Giannii) Calvert, Audioesque reviews an album each day of the week, uncovering the artistry of musicians and their creative process for each digital wax masterpiece they produce. With each review they reward one viewer for "filling in the blank" on one unanswered question within the show.
Here's a draft of the intro for the videos that Giannii's been putting together -- he's got a lot more up his sleeve.
We're still a few weeks away from launching the network, but we'll keep dropping tidbits to preview things as they become available.
Come party with us this Sunday night as EPIC FU continues its Living Room Series with a Live performance by Paul Dateh & Ken Belcher. They'll be performing songs from their brand new EP, The Good Life, as well as giving away signed copies to a lucky few! I'll be hosting and taking questions from the live virtual audience - so make sure to drop by. Anything can (and will) happen!
Date: Sunday, November 8th, 2009
Time: 7pm PST
Place: YOUR living room! Meet us virtually at live.epicfu.com
Since first appearing on the music scene two years ago, singer and violinist Paul Dateh has gone on to garner millions of views on the web as well as national exposure on television and in print. Now, Dateh has teamed up with guitarist Ken Belcher to create "The Good Life" - a concept record that offers a fresh and original take on acoustic urban folk music.
"The Good Life" is a seven-song EP that follows the life of a man living out his adulthood. Classic, well-known stories of finding happiness in each moment and the search for love are presented in new ways with Dateh's pure voice and lush string harmonies while Belcher punctuates each sentence with the soulful strumming of his guitar.
In preparation for this release, Paul Dateh and Ken Belcher have been touring throughout the United States performing to sold-out crowds while also continuing to build a solid following online. The duo will also be making their first one-month tour in Japan starting in November.
A fun collaboration by students at the University of Quebec at Montreal!
[ Via: Ricky Van Veen on Tumblr ]
Aesop Rock, Rob Sonic, and DJ Big Wiz make up the team known as Hail Mary Mallon. Their new music video for the song "D-Up" is pretty wild in concept. The single is available now on the Definitve Jux Presents IV compilation.
Directed by Alexander Tarrant and Justin Metros
Mark your calendars! This Sunday, June 21st at 7pm PST, EPIC FU is kicking off its Live Livingroom Series event with Jarrod Gorbel of The Honorary Title. Jarrod will be giving us a sneak-peak of his highly anticipated upcoming album (still being produced as we speak!). We'll also have a Q&A session and autographed giveaways too! Definitely a must-see for fans old and new.
Jarrod has appeared on Carson Daly, Steven's Untitled Rock Show, One Tree Hill, MTV Subterranean. His songs have been featured in Greek, Real World, Good Luck Chuck, and The Haunting of Molly Hartley. And he's been written up by Rolling Stone, Alternative Press, and others. We're really happy to have Jarrod play the inaugural event since he was the very first musician to appear on EPIC FU (back then called JETSET) - seems fitting.
This is a great series of videos from Current of Mos Def busting some acapella verses from songs on his new album. Embedded above is a verse from "Casa Bey" and after the jump are two more. He's promoting his new album The Ecstatic, which comes out today. From what I've heard so far, it's a great album.
[ Via: NewTeeVee ]
YouTube user avoidantconsumer recently posted a mashup video that combines scenes from 80s brat pack movies with Phoenix's "Lisztomania". In the video's description section, she simply says, "this song just struck me as 80's movie-ish. so i made it happen."
[ Via: boingboing ]
A sad story about a clearly intelligent and thoughtful human being who has suffered a great deal and made many mistakes. D-Nice, yes, that D-Nice, is a talented videographer and editor who has over a dozen videos posted on Vimeo as part of his "True Hip-Hop Stories series." For any fan of hip-hop, it's a nice journey. Also, I'd like to know what camera/lens he is using, because I absolutely love it.
Update: Just noticed that the camera is indicated on the Vimeo video page. It's a Canon EOS 5D Mark II, same camera we just used to shoot a tv commercial (yes, it's an SLR!).
Dub FX, the brilliant performer using beatbox and loops on the street in Bristol, UK.
Filmed by Ben Dowden
The Beatbox Battle World Championship recently held an open-submission contest for the competition's "wildcard" category via YouTube. One of the people that answered the call was 18-year-old Daichi from Japan. With 687,000+ views in less than a month, this guy is sure to build a strong name for himself within the hip hop community. Check the video for proof.
[ Via: @judy12345 ]
We are big fans of the twisted mind that is encased within Eric Wareheim's rainbow sprinkle-dipped skull.
Yeah... that didn't come out right.
We love Eric's work (We interviewed him and Tim Heidecker previously on EPIC FU) and this particular music video, She's Got Me Dancing by Tommy Sparks showcases the amount of craziness and creativity three minutes can contain. It makes you fall in love with the song even more.
On this week's show we talked at some length about the firestorm of coverage and conjecture surrounding the conviction of the Pirate Bay founders on charges of aiding copyright infringement in a Swedish court. Warners, Fox, Sony, and EMI led the fight and hailed it as a great victory.
They couldn't be more wrong.
The Reeling is a bit more polished than their breakout song Sleepyhead, but it keeps the style and emotion that makes the band unique. The video is pretty amazing as well. The raw rip and tear effect definitely held my attention as it took me from scene to scene.
Jaydiohead - Dirt Off Your Android from Andrew French on Vimeo.
In 2004, Danger Mouse coupled an a-cappella version of Jay-Z's "The Black Album" with tracks made from samples off an album by The Beatles' (commonly referred to as the "White Album") to create the mashup entitled "The Grey Album". Now, five years later, New-York-based producer Max Tannone (a.k.a. Minty Fresh Beats) has mixed Jay-Z vocals with Radiohead tracks to create "Jaydiohead".
You can get the album over BitTorrent, or preview all ten tracks at the Jaydiohead promotional site. I've also included a video of one of my favorites, "Dirt Off your Android", at the top of this post for your listening and viewing pleasure.
[ Via: boingboing ]
When N.A.S.A.'s Gifted with Kanye West, Santigold, and Lykke Li came out in Feburary, we had just started our ten week break for the show and I was so disappointed we couldn't get this in front of people earlier. Even a couple of months later, it was so good we had to make it the spotlight video. This is the second time we've spotlighted a N.A.S.A. video. This one was created by Three Legged Legs.
A while back, a man named James Houston combined old gadgets, computer peripherals, and an array of failed hard drives to create a motorized ensemble that performed a version of Radiohead's "Nude." Now, a guy named Jed from HackLab has written code that controls the motors of a laser cutter, allowing the machine to resonate specific pitches and carry a tune of its own. In the above video, you can see the machine performing everyone's favorite Super Mario theme.
James and Jed both show that music can truly be found everywhere and in everything. I can't wait to see what other cool musical things the d.i.y. tech world will build next!
[ Via: boingboing ]
Royksopp is known for their experimental music videos, and Happy Up Here fits that perfectly. To be honest I've probably watched it way too many times. The song is awesome and the video fits it to a tee. The electronic duo is from Norway, and if their music sounds familiar, according to their Wikipedia entry a bunch of it has been used in commercials.
I am a hardcore believer that if a band/singer is going to cover someone else's track, especially an iconic track, you better have a new spin on it and make it your own. The Flaming Lips do exactly that with this positively EPIC cover of Madonna's song, "Borderline."
The original video is embedded after the jump (note that there is a pre-roll ad before the video).
[ Via: Eric Mortenson ]
If you play music, you know the importance of practicing with a metronome. You might have even paid close to $200 for one of those extra-fancy Boss "Dr. Beat" metronomes. But, if you have an iPhone or iPod touch, you can now practice all those quirky time signatures and subdivisions to your heart's content without having to break the bank.
video by ladimcbeth on flickr
EPIC FU friend (not to mention a blogger right here on the EPIC FU blog!) Paul Dateh released his eponymous album last Tuesday, and last night at the Dakota Lounge here in Los Angeles he and his band tore it up to celebrate!
MSTRKRFT (pronounced Master Craft) is made up of Toronto musician Jesse F. Keeler (Death From Above 1979) and Al-P (Girlsareshort). The two have been collaborating on projects together since 1998, mixing sounds to make up a great blend of hip-hop, house, punk and electronic experimentation that will most certainly get you up and dancing.
Bodies of Water is a Los Angeles-based band led by husband-and-wife team David and Meredith Metcalf. In a review from last summer, Slant Magazine said, "Bodies of Water take their sweet time setting up their songs, building them in dense layers, bending and peeling those layers back, and then folding them onto each other."
ELK, an electro-trip hop duo from Helsinki, describe their music as electronic beats and sounds with a twist of northern twilight. Their debut album, Elktronic, was released this past August and their music video for Spanish Eyes is quite powerful. It tells the rather dark story of human trafficking and how one particular woman's destiny falls into the wrong hands.
Long, long, long before William Hung ever graced our television and computer screens, America had its own singing superstar train wreck in a woman named Florence Foster Jenkins. Often called the "first lady of the sliding scale", Jenkins was mainly famous for just one thing: having one of the most terrible voices ever heard.
[ Via: Alex Nazaryan ]
Metronomy is a group that sounds to me like an interesting cross of their influences, which include David Bowie, Kraftwerk, and Devo. They hail from London, and their newest video, A Thing For Me, (embedded above) has a catchy melody and really fun and imaginative visuals. Metronomy is Joseph Mount, Oscar Cash, and Gabriel Stebbing.
N.A.S.A., which stands for North America/South America, is an ongoing creative collaboration between two lifelong music aficionados, Sam Spiegel (Squeak E. Clean) and Ze Gonzales (DJ Zegon), and their friends, friends of friends and musical heroes.
Their recent release, Money, uses Shepard Fairey's art and was directed by Syd Garon and Paul Griswold.
We've featured Thunderheist previously, but we think they're made of so much awesome that we had to feature them again. Made up of super-duo Isis and Grahm Zilla, Thunderheist has us head boppin' this week to LBG (Little Booty Girl). Yes, it came out a while back, but whatever -- it's freakin' good.
Invaders Must Die, from electronic gods The Prodigy, is freaking kick-ASS! They are already releasing their fifth album (time flies), and Invaders Must Die is the first track.
[ Via: Daniel Merlot via Twitter ]
Check out the video to their current single, "My Only Offer". If you like what you see and hear, check out their previous Pitchfork-Media-approved album, "Bring It Back", for more good times. I've included a video off that album for your enjoyment, after the jump.
From The Mighty Underdogs debut full length album, Droppin' Science, we're featuring the video for "Gunfight" this week! It's a pretty awesome video by Ben Stokes they have going on, and I just love the opening verse that contains the lines, "I stepped out the saloon / About a quarter to noon / Might as well have been a quarter to doom!"
As a current "La Coka Nostra" member and former member of "Non Phixion", Ill Bill is known for being intense. The recently released music video for "My Uncle" - from his current album entitled "The Hour of Reprise" - is no exception.
"My Uncle" speaks of Ill Bill's childhood in which he grew up in a family where drugs were seen as commonplace. His voice angrily cuts through the intensity of the track as he spits out the frustrations of watching his uncle deteriorate from being his childhood hero to a hopeless addict. But, even in all the anger and frustration, there is a hint of hope in Ill Bill's voice. Ill Bill even says it himself in regards to his uncle: "we got love for you."
[ Via: Adam Wallenta ]
The 88, a three-piece rock/pop band from Los Angeles, has been appearing all over your television set in shows like How I Met Your Mother, The OC, Grey's Anatomy, Weeds, Gossip Girl and many others.
Explanation behind the band name, from their website:
88 keys on the piano....88 constellations in the sky....the infinity sign....the most auspicious number in China....88 mph to get Back To The Future...88 cities in Los Angeles...a great French Kicks song. Welcome to the world of The 88.
Say what you will about Asher Roth, but one thing is undeniable: the buzz surrounding this guy is insane.
A rather charmingly bizarre adventure that makes me simultaneously, a) wish that the world was like this, and, b) wonder why they are vomiting rainbows into each others mouths. You'll see what I mean.
Director/Animator/Characterdesign: Kristofer Strom
AE/Filmmaestro/Cutting: Erik Buchholtz
Producers: Bart Yates, Nicholas Wakeham
Studio: varelsen.com / ljudbilden.com
[ Via: via: Bre Pettis on Twitter ]
Apparently I'm super-late to this video, but file it under Incredibly-Awesome or If-It-Doesn't-Make-You-Feel-Good-You-Have-No-Soul, if only for the woman toward the end singing along. Awesome marketing for the group Naturally 7. Bravo, fellas. You make me miss NYC.
[ Via: via: soupsoup ]
Let me count the ways I love the song Sleepyhead (embedded above) by Passion Pit. They have a really rich, layered sound with an awesome buildup to the electronic parts of the jam. Awesome. And the video was made with absolutely no computers, purely lo-fi stop-motion, cranked-down goodness.
[ Via: via: militantangeleno ]
TZU is hip-hop with a rock aesthetic. Straight out of Melbourne, these guys don't shy away from using instruments like guitars, drums and keyboards in their live performances. Their most recent album, Computer Love, takes their sound to the next level as they experiment with funk, soul and electronica.
Atmosphere is known to many as one of the most commercially successful and long-lived indie hip-hop acts. Originally from Minnesota, rapper Slug and DJ/producer Ant have been musically active in one way or another since the early nineties.
I discovered the video for Feast of the Dead by the Connecticut death metal band Autumn's Eyes through MTV's Headbanger's blog. I'm not much of a headbanger, but how can you not love a low-budget, fun, slasher video with an insane death metal track?
[ Via: Via: MTV's Headbanger's Blog ]
I don't know what's happening to my eardrums lately, but every time I hear a song I really like, the band ends up being from Australia. The Temper Trap is no exception, and their recent single, Sweet Disposition, is my current favorite tune. Dougie, the lead singer, has a brilliant voice.
We actually featured this song as this week's credits video because we wanted the song to stay with you... I hope it did. This song has definite legs and is only a taste of their forthcoming album in 2009. I hope to see these guys making it big soon.
This week's spotlight music video is ID Engager by Of Montreal.
Straight out of Athens, Georgia (no, not Montreal), Of Montreal dropped on the scene over a decade ago with their debut album Cherry Peel.
Fronted by the eclectic Kevin Barnes, Of Montreal's sound has been described as a transformation from lo-fi, psychedelic indie-rock to a fuller multi-layered sound with funk, reggae and afro-beat influences.
Have a listen to Australian musician, actor, and comedian Tim Minchin's song Not Perfect. It's the first time I've ever heard of Mr. Michin, but now I'm completely hooked. If you like what you hear here, visit his site -- he has a bunch of free songs you can download onto your MP3 player. Great stuff.
[ Via: via: information nation ]
This week we featured the catchy dance groove "The Disco Song" by the Torpedo Boyz. As their MySpace profile states, the Torpedo Boyz are Kentastic & Rollin Hand and The Torpedo Boyz live band features Returner (vocals), ODD Daisuke (Japanese vocals), Borat (drums), Kurtis Bo (bass) and Kentastic (vocals & guitars).
[ Via: (cross-posted to OMGRICK) ]
I first found out about this video from Jay Smooth's twitter and fell in love with the smooth sound contrasted with the raw, honest video.
According to her website, Mishal Moore is based in South Florida (UPDATE: as per Mishal's comment, she's living in the tri-state area in the Northeast now, that's NY-NJ-CT for anyone who doesn't know). This indie singer has butter-smooth vocals that remind me of something between Erykah Badu and Ella Fitzgerald.
I found this via Amber MacArthur's blog while perusing my feeds. Not sure how I missed this one by a fellow named Ben Walker from the U.K., but now I can't stop singing the chorus of this song! For all the good humor on the Internet, I'm still waiting for a huge backlash against the insiderishness of videos like these. For now, though, enjoy this gem!
[ Via: via: AmberMac ]
Liars make some freakin' trippy ass videos and I think that's why I'm falling in love with them. I admit, I'm a bit ashamed that I hadn't heard of their music before I saw their most recent video for Plaster Casts of Everything, which actually came out last year. Shame on me.
Although Liars -- now made up of vocalist Angus Andrew, guitarist/percussionist Aaron Hemphill and drummer Julian Gross -- emerged during the post-punk revival scene in New York City, they made sure they wouldn't be pigeonholed... and that they did pretty well.
It's a bit funny that we would feature a band which no longer exists, but music knows no boundaries.
Such is Himsa, which means violence in Sanskrit. Himsa, a death metal band, formed in Seattle in 1998, signed with an independent label three years later, toured the world, released four albums and had their last show in August of this year. A pretty intense ten year run.
San Francisco held a huge three day concert event in Golden Gate park called Outside Lands. Over 60 artists performed with headliners including Radiohead, Tom Petty and Jack Johnson. I was lucky enough to be there and although I froze the whole weekend (I'm not used to SF weather), it rocked! My favorite part was watching Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers. His songs take me back to all sorts of times in my life. And he still knows how to put on a show!
A new element to this concert was Crowdfire.net. Its a new site that wants to give you somewhere fun and cool to upload your concert pix and vids.
A few months ago, I posted an interview Zadi did with two of the people behind the chiptunes documentary Reformat the Planet. This week Pitchfork.tv is streaming the full length version of the film. Definitely check it out!
Reformat the Planet is a documentary about the "chiptunes" music scene and its premiere event -- the annual Blip Festival in New York. Chiptunes music is inspired by video game and computer soundtracks of the 80's and 90's -- when music was synthesized in real-time by a sound chip capable of only a limited number of sounds.
From the vault of music videos we never get a chance to spotlight on the show, here's the latest from French electropop singer/songwriter Yelle. It's off her debut album POP-UP. I like the sexy retro-euro feel of the video and the song itself is fun, catchy, and a nice hump day pick-me-up. A definite win from France.
Sometimes you get a song with lyrics like, "the surgery went bad." That's when you know you've got a gem. Thursday's spotlight is Son of Robot, a self-proclaimed "5 piece mock-hop-rock outfit from Brighton." The band consists of Scott Coello (keyboard), Matt Coello (drums), Olly Simmons (vocals), Luke Holmes (guitar and keyboard), and Sam Roberts (Bass).
"Drive A isn't just entering the rock scene, they're kicking in the door." That's what it says on their website, and who's to argue? With rock legends like like Cheap Trick, Tommy Lee of Motley Crue and Don Henley of The Eagles singing their praises, it's difficult not to do a double take.
This is what happens when you break up with the one you love... well, hopefully not. It's the third single from Gnarls Barkley's album The Odd Couple. Great blues sound. Also love that Jorma Taccone is in it. Directed my Chris Milk.
Thanks to Adam for the heads up. :)
So, if you watch EPIC FU, you know that we regularly feature music artists in the "Sh!t We Like" portion of the show. We love highlighting indie and up and coming musicians and exposing them to a wider audience.
Recently, we featured Peter Fox, who is a kick-ass German musician. He has his own web site and a MySpace page from which he streams some of his songs. Now, we reaaally love his most recent single Alles Neu, but the problem is that YOU CAN'T BUY IT ANYWHERE ONLINE. His record label Downbeat/Warner doesn't get it. What is the point of releasing a new music video on the web if you don't make the song readily available for everyone to buy?!?
Check out this music video for North of Ping Pong. It's a Cockney rap narrative, directed by Adam Smith, following the passengers of a taxi cab as they spit out some pretty fresh rhymes to the cab driver's beat.
I'm not a huge Moby fan but the video for I Love To Move In Here by director Toben Seymour is a lot of fun. Lots of creativity here, and the octo strip/dance sequence at the end is a great pay off. The video also features hip-hop legend Grandmaster Caz (AKA Grandmaster Casanova). Seymour also directed a recent video for EPIC FU alums Honorary Title.
Oh. My. God. All I have to say is that Doug Bresler is awesome. If you haven't seen Doug's work on Doogtoons, you should. And his latest work just proves that there is more creative genius in store for all of us.
The "new" music video is called Indiana Jones and is performed by L.B. Rayne. It's apparently a lost classic from 1984. It hits all the right 80s notes, and our friend Paul Dateh is in it as well. Read more about it on the Doogtoons blog. So glad that it was "found." ;-)
There is some great music coming out of Berlin and Peter Fox is no exception. His latest song, Alles Neu -- or "All New" -- is getting some serious head bopping from some of us here at EPIC FU HQ. The music video is pretty crazy too, with Peter leading his own personal band of monkeys. Some of the monkeys are played by a very talented Cold Steel Drumline, who Mr. Fox paired up with on the single.
Hardcore Nine Inch Nails fans got a special treat last week when Trent Reznor and company hid tickets to a private concert all over Los Angeles. More than twenty question marks appeared on a Google Earth map that NIN put out on their tour page. The question marks were labeled with phrases like "Men's room. Behind the mirror. Be discreet," and "Incredibly ugly hat. Last pair of tickets." Quick-thinking fans noted the GPS coordinates of question marks and set off on a treasure hunt, much like geocachers.
With The Dark Knight opening this weekend...which you all are going to LUV...I've got superheroes on the brain. So, I checked out some superhuman entertainment that you might want to check out too!
Those Dancing Days is 5 young women: Linnea Jonsson (vocals), Rebecka Roifart (guitar), Cissi Edraimsson (drums), Lisa Pyk (keyboards), and Mimmi Evrell (bass guitar), who got together in 2005 to play music while they were still in high school. The band, which hails from Stockholm, Sweden, was just recently signed to Wichita Recordings, home also to bands like Bloc Party, the Yeah Yeah Yeahs, and Peter Bjork & John. The singer's voice (and hair) is amazing, and its plain to see that the girls have a great time making music. Their video for "Run, Run" is super cute and fun to watch as well.
Thursday's credits music comes from Disasteradio, also known as Luke Rowell. Hailing from New Zealand, Disasteradio is a one man band with just his computer and the internet. His track, "Awesome Feelings", proves that you can never go wrong with the cowbell and synthesizer combination. The music video was created by Simon Ward and Don Brooker. Simon posted a bunch of behind the scenes photos from the video shoot.
You can buy Disasteradio's CD, Visions, from A Low Hum for $12.
Radiohead's new music video, directed by James Frost, for "House of Cards" was created using all kinds of neat technology instead of cameras. Lasers were used to scan Thom Yorke, a party scene, and a cul de sac to gather three-dimensional data about these objects. The data was then rendered and manipulated to produce this amazing video.
This is not the first time Radiohead has done something outside the box. Last October, Radiohead initially released their album "In Rainbows", online through a pay-what-you-want system. This was after they finished out their record contract with EMI... so essentially, Radiohead served their own FU to the record industry. Word.
Look for a "Making-of" video and more after the jump.
Can I count the number of ways I love this song and video? Lyrics Born is our Epic Spotlight for this Thursday's show, and if you like hip-hop with a party flavor this jam could be your summer anthem. Another great jam submitted to us by Adam Wallenta, aka Illusemcee, who's rapidly becoming a regular resource for the latest in indie hip-hop.
Lyrics' most recent album, "Everywhere at Once," features live band members and other Cali-based hip-hop producers like Jake One and Trackademicks. The awesome video for "I Like It, I Love It" was directed by Neon.
This past Tuesday we shined the spotlight on Time Machine and their jam The Unfortunate Twist featuring Greg Nice off of their new album Life is Expensive. Our friend Adam Wallenta pointed out this one to us, so hat tip to you, sir.
Time Machine is part of the indie hip-hop scene with emcees Biscuit and Jet Set Jay, and DJ / Producer Mekalek. They also recently did remixes of MIA and Kid Sister/Janet Jackson that have been getting a lot of play.
On the show this week, we did a short segment highlighting a few web radio broadcasting tools. There are a lot of choices out there, but I like to focus on reliability and easy of use. There have been so many times that I've set up complicated applications designed for specific purposes that were potentially awesome and powerful, but turned out to the be a royal pain in the ass.
I don't know about you guys, but I attended many-a-birthday party at Showbiz Pizza Place in my pre-teen years. Remember the animatronic robot band The Rock-afire Explosion that used to rock the house with somewhat dated pop songs and revivals of the Happy Birthday song every few minutes?
Apparently there's a small community of people who are buying up the old machines on eBay and reprogramming the band with new songs. Aaron Fechter and his partner Chris have a YouTube channel with a bunch of examples. They also take requests via bids. The whole thing is mildly unsettling, strangely hypnotic, and somewhat creepy in an after-school special kinda way.
(via Kent Nichols)
The Black Ghosts is comprised of British duo Simon Lord and Theo Keating. The two actually met on the internet and wrote the first half of their album before meeting face to face. They sent music and lyrics back and forth in emails... in an interview last year they said it was "a bit like a musical version of chinese whispers."
The Grouch, an independent hip-hop artist and member of the Living Legends rap crew just released a new solo album, "Show You the World," in April. "I worked on this record for almost three years," writes the Grouch. "More, this record was an idea that sprang to mind after the birth of my daughter, Rio, in 2006. As soon as she arrived all I could do is think about wanting to show her everything that I love. I was quickly humbled when I realized I was learning as much from her as she was from me."
I love this video for "Artsy", one of the songs off his album, because so much is going on at once, and the irony of the lyrics is classic. It's like an early "Pork and Beans" of the hip-hop world, borrowing imagery from Eminem's iPod ad, Gnarls Barkley's ink blots, and hand gestures from an HP commercial. According to the Grouch himself, he says the concept "was that we were stealing from other people's artsy campaigns that they had already put out." I think my favorite line is: "'You ain't artsier than me / cause you live in Los Feliz / bitch you ain't Jesus." (sent in by Paul Dateh, thanks!)
Each week, we here at EPIC FU highlight someone or something who is giving the ultimate FU to the status-quo. This week, the FU of the Week is being served by Jonathan Coulton, the former computer programmer turned Geek Rockstar.
In 2005, Jonathan stopped writing software and started writing song lyrics. He immediately tapped into his online roots and decided to release a song a week for an entire year as free downloads on his site. The combination of the web's love of free things and Jonathan's readiness to take creative risks turned the experiment into a crazy success. The project, called Thing a Week, garnered a legion of loyal fans, who are now the core of his online community and continue to fuel his music career.
I just discovered a series of videos by NME called Track by Track where they ask artists to talk about each track on their recent album -- the inspiration for it, how it came together, etc. In this video, The Ting Tings talk about their debut album We Started Nothing. I really enjoy hearing about the creative process of talented people, so I think NME is onto something here.
After the break I embedded the first track on The Ting Tings' album -- Great DJ, which BTW is an awesome track, if you're curious how the final product turned out.
Pivot's new video for Sea of Blood is being called the "world's goriest puppet shark attack." It's not that I enjoy seeing puppets mutilated, it's just... well... OK I do. And just yesterday Steve and I were talking about burning puppets in the desert.
If you like the music, check out Pivot's website for a free MP3 of Didn't I Furious.
French director, Romain Gavras, directs Justice's newest music video for the song Stress. If you could epitomize what stress would look and sound like in a music video, I think this would be it. Romain and Justice take you to that place that gets the heart pumping with frustration and anxiety. I love how this video really grabs hold of the beat and just doesn't let go. A great marriage of video and sound.
How it works
Muxtape and Seeqpod offer a non-Flash, non-streaming version of their websites for iPhone users. So if we trick them into thinking our Firefox browser is an iPhone, we can access the downloadable MP3's they serve to iPhone users.
Reformat the Planet is a documentary about the "chiptunes" music scene and its premiere event -- the annual Blip Festival in New York. Chiptunes music is inspired by video game and computer soundtracks of the 80's and 90's -- when music was synthesized in real-time by a sound chip capable of only a limited number of sounds.
In this interview, Zadi speaks to Paul Owens, the director of the film, and Chris Burke, one of the most recognized chiptunes artists in the scene. Chris also gave us a private live performance, which you can watch in its entirety.
Just before we spoke with Chris Burke and Paul Owens about the Blip Festival documentary, Chris (AKA Glomag) gave us the pleasure of an impromptu live performance in an atrium of a hotel. Aside from being a pioneer in the chiptune scene, Chris is also the creator and host of the Halo machinima talk show This Spartan Life.
Brooklyn's Santi White (AKA Santo Gold) is often compared to fellow proghopper M.I.A. The video is an homage to the 1973 cult film The Holy Mountain. I expect to see more dancehall/reggae influenced hip-hop artists rise up over the next few years.
M83's forthcoming album Saturday = Youth is supposed to capture the essence of teenager angst in the 1980's. The band's sole member, Anthony Gonzalez, has specifically referenced John Hughes movies like The Breakfast Club and Sixteen Candles. Watch the video for Graveyard Girl and tell me you don't see a Molly Ringwald resemblance.
Whether or not you're a fan of singer/songwriter Ryan Adams' music, I'm sure you can appreciate the honest, provocative, and insightful nature of his Tumblr posts. His video Shopping is Genius is an inspired narrative on how a newly sober rock star spends a day enjoying life's more mundane pleasures.
WARNING: Not appropriate for younger viewers!
So there's not much backstory that I can find about this DJ, so if anyone has any additional info let me know and I'll add it to the post. It's pretty impressive how this guy uses his feet as good as anyone would use their hands.
If you are amongst the legion of coding noobs, you better listen up to The Poetic Prophet's (AKA The SEO Rapper) Design Code rap. :)
When you use CSS, your page will load quicker
Client satisfied like they eating on a snicker...
The new video for "In The Night" by Basia Bulat is an instant pick-me-up. It features an interesting cast of characters, including furries and dancing skeletons, and that instrument she's playing is apparently called an "autoharp." Also the whole thing is shot in one long take -- no cuts. This track has "Apple ad" written all over it.
It's always cool to see music labels moving towards the digital era. Matador Records just released their yearly "Intended Play" sampler album as a free download for the first time. There's some cool stuff on here -- including a few not-yet-released tracks and a live track from The New Pornographers (who I recently mentioned in a different article). Definitely worth the download.
Track list after the break.
On this week's show, Zadi talked about free music from SXSW. Paul Ford from The Morning News went a step further (or many steps, rather) and reviewed all the free tracks available on the SXSW music page. Yes, all 763 of them. He kept the reviews to 6 words each and rated them on a 5-point scale. Not a lot of meat there, but still you gotta give the guy some credit.
Trent Reznor of NIN posted a video to YouTube asking fans to create visuals to accompany the 36 instrumental tracks from Ghosts (we featured Ghosts on EPIC-FU a couple weeks back). The project is billed as a film festival rather than a contest and entries are being submitted via a YouTube group. As of right now, there are 99 videos posted to the group. Very cool idea, and definitely a great way to spread your music and let others participate in it creatively.
This is a few months old but I just stumbled on it. And boy oh boy I feel like I just struck gold! One of my favorite indie rock bands The New Pornographers asked fans to cover one of their songs in the style of Michael McDonald (a Yacht Rock legend) -- and post the results on YouTube. What a brilliant idea for a contest! The winning video by dancebuffet almost, almost brought me to tears.
First listen to the original:
Then watch dancebuffet's cover:
Here's an interesting project called Sound of Color. Five musicians, including Swizz Beatz, The Ravonettes, and YouTube star Marie Digby, were assigned colors and asked to write original songs. The tracks were then given to 5 directors who made music videos, also inspired by the colors.
All the songs are downloadable and I like the diversity of music genres represented. On the downside the project was sponsored by GAP, which makes me wonder about the clothes they're wearing and how it plays into GAP's marketing campaign. But still worth checking out.
A dog with fresh beats? What more can you ask for?
This made me laugh pretty hard. Play around and record your own mix.
Last December, Oakland DJ Amplive announced he would release a free remix album of Radiohead's In Rainbows. But he made the mistake of not getting permission from the Radiohead camp, which apparently was a no-no because he received a cease and desist from Radiohead's management and the whole project was nixed.
Sometimes not having a loved-one on Valentine's day isn't the worst thing in the world, especially if the person you're dating hails from Psychoville. So for your listening (and viewing) pleasure, here are our top 10 songs to remind you that sometimes being alone and a little sad is far better than being together and totally creeped out... or dead.
I mean, what would you think if someone dedicated one of these songs to you after a few first dates?
Our friend Brian Lerner had introduced us to the guys in The Honorary Title some time back. We listened to their album Anything Else but the Truth and knew we had to interview them for the show. That was a year ago. Since then, they've been rising to the top, releasing a new album (Scream and Light Up the Sky), playing to sold out audiences, and now making appearances on television shows like One Tree Hill. The lead singer, Jarrod Gorbel, also made a guest appearance on our most recent New Year's episode.
What a crazy ride. Congrats guys! Can't wait to see and hear what comes next!
Remember that inspirational "Yes We Can" music video we posted a few days ago? Well, now John McCain has his own.
The Teenagers video for Starlett Johansson was a runner-up for this week's spotlight video. For me its equally amusing as it is catchy. This YouTube comment pretty much sums it up:
"It's a wet dream translated into music with a creepy deep voice." -Wheelsgr
On EPIC-FU the other week we spotlighted Aesop Rock's awesome jam, "None Shall Pass." In this "making of" video, Aesop talks about the meaning of the imagery in the video. The artist who created the pieces in the video is Jeremy Fish, a really talented San Francisco-based artist who created the artwork for the album. For fans of the song and the video this is great stuff.
Explore the music video for Arcade Fire's Black Mirror at rorrimkcalb.com while deconstructing its tracks while you listen. Press the numbers shown underneath the video to enable/disable the tracks. A very haunting experience.
...they recorded their first (and only) single in their bedroom back in 1980 and it got played by John Peel and made it to number 5 in the indie charts & they had to stamp all 5000 copies of the single by hand using a rubber stamp.
Another Robot Sunset is Postal Service meets Commodore 64. They are pretty much your typical 2-white-dudes-and-a-robot hip-hop group. Here's a snippet from their bio:
cadence used to be a rapper. then he died. but he died while jacked in to the matrix, and an imprint of his personality and rap skills was preserved on his deck. this deck was purchased by a delightfully nerdy scientist named paul padgett, along with a poster of 2Pac that said "Only God Can Judge Me" and a previously unused Roomba. [Read more]
Check out this music video inspired by Barack Obama's Yes We Can speech. It's one of others starting to pop up and features a star cast including John Legend, Scarlett Johansson, Herbie Hancock, Amber Valetta and others.
Thanks to Steve Garfield for pointing it out to us.
We've been laughing at this all day and we figured we'd post it here for those of you who may not have seen it yet. It has to be one of Sarah Silverman's funniest bits. Enjoy. :)
Umm yeah I think the title pretty much says it all. These guys are eco-friendly in their own way.
They express that making a copy and sharing does not equal stealing. They also believe sharing expands culture and supports the artist.
It goes something like this: James Brown invites Michael Jackson on stage, Michael performs for about 30 seconds then asks James to invite his friend Prince on stage (James has never heard of him). Prince finally emerges through the crowd on a large man's back. On stage, he plucks a few awkward strings on an electric guitar, strips down, rubs his body in a very "emotional" way and attempts to crawl up a fake lamp post... but falls off stage.
It's one of those things you just have to see.
DJ Earworm has done it again. I have to say, mashing up 25 pop songs and making them sound harmonious is a pretty crazy feat to pull off, but yeah, I think he pulls it off. I was definitely bopping in my chair.
Have a listen. What do you think?
This past week on the show we spotlighted Bat for Lashes, the UK band headed by Natasha Khan, a Brighton based singer/songwriter. The group (whose female counterparts have included Ginger Lee, Abi Fry, Caroline Weeks and Lizzy Carey) mixes the sound of drums, guitar, piano, harpsichord, and occasional hand claps to create a sound that is dark, haunting and consistently intriguing.
This amazing and compelling musician was originally blogged by Göran Wallin on MIX. He writes in response to a comment:
...the instrument is called "hang," and was developed from steel drums around the year 2000, so it's a completely new instrument. You can read more about hang drums on Wikipedia.
Göran's profile is here. Awesome find by him!
I just finished watching this really cool six-part documentary series called Eternal Children about the freak folk music scene. It features two of my favorite musical artists, CocoRosie and Devendra Banhart, among others.
It's a pretty interesting look into the thoughts and lives of these artists as they navigate their own very unique creative waters. Definitely worth checking out. The complete series after the break.
"The pre-recorded performance will include all of the tracks from "In Rainbows" plus some "other bits" as Thom says."
I'm sure this thing will be archived all over the web -- so no worries if you're going out to celebrate. Have fun!
Check out the Holiday Sweater Song music video our friends at Indy Mogul made - a whole bunch of our friends are in it. It was written, directed and edited by Justin Johnson and the music and half of the lyrics were written by Steve Nelson. We TOTALLY missed the deadline in sending in our holiday sweater portion - but the video turned out great. Happy Holidays! :)
If you haven't checked it out yet, makes sure to download the free 8bitpeoples 8 Bits of Christmas album. 8 songs, composed by 8 chiptune artists, on 8 different videogame consoles. It was made in 2003, but is still one of the only holiday chiptune albums out there.
Cross-genre covers are popping up a lot lately. Here's 30 Seconds to Mars cover of Kanye West's Stronger. Much different feel than the original.
"Sleigh bells and neighbours wishing well Singing christmas carols makes me feel unwell. I'd like to eat the mistletoe, bury me out in the snow, 'cause Christmas makes me blue"
I just discovered Simone White's new song "Christmas Makes Me Blue." Simone is a Hawaii native now living in Venice, California. Her voice is melancholy and fragile. Her videos are nostalgic with a touch of the strange. You can download the holiday MP3 along with some of her other songs from her MySpace page.
I just started using imeem for music and it's actually very cool. After signing a deal with Universal last week, they now have agreements with all 4 major labels, so they have a huge library of full-length songs you can stream and embed on your blog, Myspace, Facebook, etc. The nice thing about this vs. Seeqpod is you don't have to worry about the song disappearing off a random sever.
It also gives me a great platform to showcase cool music on the blog. Here's a bunch of stuff I'm listening to right now. The Nada Surf song is from their unreleased album Lucky due in February.
I absolutely love when old and new collide to make "awesome."
This is the Symphonic Orchestra of Liepaja and Melo-M. The headbanging is classic. :)