Saturday, July 31, 2010

So Many Stories Of Where I've Been

The Lost Chord, a musical parody of Dan Brown's "The Lost Symbol" by Dick Strawser.

And it doesn't end there.

The Schoenberg Code: a serial novel in 12 chapters, and a parody of Dan Brown’s novel, “The Da Vinci Code".
Beethoven's Christmas Carol: a parody of Dickens' "A Christmas Carol."
Stravinsky's Tavern: A collection of short stories.

I love musical fiction. (All of this and more from Strawser's "Thoughts On A Train".)

(via metafilter)

Friday, July 30, 2010

Big Little Horn

The Giant Tuba is 122 pounds, 8 feet tall, and has 34 feet of tubing. Originally it served as a sort of landmark for the London Boosey & Hawkes store; now, it hangs out in the Horniman Museum.

(via oddmusic)

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Carve Away The Stone

These really are gorgeous: hand-carved records by Scott Marr. See the whole series.

(via boingboing)

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

All I Wanna Do / Is Have Some Fun

No explanation, no blurb: today is just a series of videos. Youtube can tell you more.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

I Love You Baby / But Not Like I Love My Guitar

American Air Guitar Championships 2010. Romeo Dance Cheetah is the winner (the video is one of last year's performances).
Flickr pictures. News article.

I like this one.

The World Championship will be held in Finland this August.

(via nerdcore)

Monday, July 26, 2010

Around The World / Around The World

World Music on BBC Radio 3

Organized by country, these radio programmes (I mean, they are English after all) are a little bit explanation, a little bit music, and entirely recorded on location by the BBC. Zanzibar, Cuba, Turkmenistan, the first ever radio broadcast in North Korea - more than 40 countries are represented.

(via openculture)

Saturday, July 24, 2010

There's No Point To This Profession / Without The Occaional Obsession

Here I am on a Saturday morning: sitting on my couch, drinking Lady Grey tea with heavy cream (because I'm out of milk, but not heavy cream. Turns out that's not so unusual.), and giggling like a five year old girl. WHY?

John Moe's Pop Song Correspondences

A Retort to Carly Simon Regarding Her Charges of Vanity ("First of all, that party took place on a yacht. So the way I walked in was perfectly appropriate.")
A Letter to Elvis Presley From His Hound Dog ("I admit it: I do cry all the time. I think a doctor would call it severe clinical depression, if you ever took me to a doctor, like a responsible owner would.")
Marvin Gaye Explains What He Heard Through the Grapevine ("It all started about six months ago when I bought a sack of grapes from an old man on La Cienega.")

The complete series is comprised of twenty episodes.

(I also giggle when people fall down in movies.)

Friday, July 23, 2010

You're A Shining Star

The thing is: it's not as though opera STAR Renée Fleming is in want of an audience. And yet her newest cd is a collection of indie covers (Arcade Fire, The Mars Volta, Tears for Fears) - songs she had never heard before the producers handed her a mixtape. Adventurous, okay!, but the problem I have with this album is the pretty clear "this-is-slumming-it" attitude in the interviews - maybe a touch more condescension than would be ideal ("I was heartened by the social involvement of these young artists and I was really thrilled to know there's a generation of young people coming up who care" - well, yes, non-classical musicians can care too). I would be so curious to know who exactly is listening to this album...

Honestly? There are some just-fine covers on this cd (and the novelty of Renée Fleming singing Death Cab for Cutie is going to take a few more listens to wear off), but there's a reason every critic panned this one. Crossover albums are funny things.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

You And Me Baby We Ain't Nothing' But Mammals

Where was I last night?
Funny you should ask. I was at Millenium Park, listening to the Grant Park Orchestra accompany segments of Planet Earth projected onto a huge screen. It's part of a six-concert tour (Chicago, Dallas, Atlanta, Baltimore, LA, Philadelphia), and it was - breathtaking. This is the best of sweeping movie music, guys.

Click here for a short interview with composer/conductor George Fulton. You know the BBC flew him to the Arctic to prep for the third installment of the documentary trilogy? Not a bad gig for a composer, am I right?

I'll leave you with this giant shark. (Imagine the music LIVE.)

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Summer Lovin' has a new summer playlist every week. This is the equivalent of eating cheesecake for breakfast.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

This Is My United States Of Whatever

I practically inhaled Susan McClary's Feminine Endings on the plane ride home last week. And if I had a dollar for every time McClary mentioned Laurie Anderson, I would have - a chapter's worth of dollars.

The point is: I was pretty excited when metafilter pointed out this great Introduction to Laurie Anderson on the Awl's Difficult Listening Hour. Great selection of videos, great performance art, great intro.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Here We Go Loop-De-Loo

In which: Zoe Keating compares her live-looped cello music to information architecture.

ZK has played with Rasputina / Amanda Palmer / Imogen Heap, but I like her solo stuff best. Most of her music is her own; also check out her looped Beethoven.

Friday, July 16, 2010

I Am Chicken / Hear Me Squawk

I was cleaning out my inbox and rediscovered THIS:

Happy Friday!

(special thanks to Kevin)

Thursday, July 15, 2010

In Your Eyes (In Your Eyes) / Forbidden Love

The Impossible Music Sessions.
Tagline: you are not supposed to hear this.
Why not?
Because these performances feature the work of musicians who are not allowed to play or promote their music in the countries they call home. Instead, IMS gets American cover bands to do it FOR them.

Along with the concert, every IMS session includes conversation with the original artists about music, about musical conditions - about all sorts of things. So far there have been two, both of which have pictures and video posted on the website: The Plastic Wave (Tehran), and Baloberos Crew (Guinea Bissau).

The Center for Inquiry gives you a feeling for the New York-based performances:

(via metafilter)

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

I Write Mostly On Hotel Paper

Typewriter Music tickatackatickaboom. Composed by Leroy Anderson in the 1950; played here by the Strauss Festival Orchestra in 2008.

(via neatorama)

Hey! Next you hear from me I'll be back on the States-side of the Atlantic, and then I'll have the time and internet access to get you some real doozies I've stored up for just this occasion...get excited please.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Do It Alone, Leo

Jason Robert Brown and a US teenager have an e-mail exchange about trading sheet music and copyright laws. Sure it sounds a little dull, but in the end: FASCINATING.

Sunday, July 11, 2010


The 2010 World Chamionship Old-Time Piano Playing Contest

It was held in Peoria May 28-30, 2010. Meaning: we just missed it. On the upside, that means we get to watch a trailer (soon to be made into a documentary) featuring performances from the weekend!

(via metafilter)

Saturday, July 10, 2010

All These Buildings and Mountains

What major work of Alban Berg are you?!?!?

*Please note: that is the actual title of the quiz.

*Please further note: I am the Chamber Concerto.

(I was pointed in this direction by therestisnoise)

Thursday, July 8, 2010

And They Say That A Hero Will Save Us

Michael Tilson Thomas talks re: Mahler.

UE Mahler Interviews: Michael Tilson Thomas from Universal Edition on Vimeo.

Michael Tilson Thomas: sometimes I call him MTT, but only when I know he's not listening.

(via openculture)

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Flip, Flop, Fly

Who doesn't need a spatula shaped like a guitar? I'll take two, please.

(at the Neatoshop)

Monday, July 5, 2010

Joy To The Fishes In The Deep Blue Sea

Quiet Ensemble (founded by Fabio Di Salvo and Bernardo Vercelli in 2009) seeks to "compose sounds out of the most casual movements of the "invisible concerts" of everyday life." Practically, that means their installation "Quintetto" is a five-aquarium affair complete with video cameras that first capture the fishy movements (also the not-suspicious movements - ha! okay.) and then send the information to computers that translate movement into sound.

Quintetto by Quiet Ensemble from yatzer on Vimeo.

(via notcot)

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Singin' In The Rain

In Which: Marlena Ernman SINGS Flight of the Bumblebee. She SINGS it.

(via arbroath)

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Rock Me Mama Like A Wagon Wheel

The Gravikord is an electric kora - and I believe it was invented by this man right here: Bob Grawi.

Variation on a theme:

Friday, July 2, 2010

I've Been Cooking You A Nice Hot Supper / And You Can't Even Eat It On Time

"My food ain't pretty, but it's good," says Dolly Parton.

Dolly's Dixie Fixin's: What. A. Cookbook.

Please preview this free recipe from the website (I'm curious as to how that much lard might effect the vocal cords?):

Hush puppies are to fried fish what pickin’ is to grinnin’. You just can’t have one without the other. The story goes that hush puppies is what camp cooks shouted to the yelping hounds when they tossed them the fried scraps form their skillets. Whatever the origin, they are easy as pie to make, just whip up the batter and drop it by the spoonful into piping hot fat.

Serves 6, makes 2 dozen

1 ½ cups cup self-rising white cornmeal
3/4 cup self-rising flour
½ teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon sugar
1 egg
1 cup buttermilk
Lard or shortening for frying

Combine the cornmeal, flour, salt and sugar in a medium bowl. Add the egg and stir until combined. Gradually stir in the buttermilk, adding enough to make a thick batter that will easily drop from a spoon.

Meanwhile, heat enough lard in a deep skillet to reach 2 ½ to 3 inches. When the fat is hot enough (about 375°F), drop the batter by the teaspoonful into the skillet. Fry, turning occasionally, until the hush puppies are golden brown. Transfer to a paper-towel lined plate with a slotted spoon. Serve warm.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Relax / Don't Do It / When You Want To Go To It

The Associated Press would like you to know that a new study "found playing classic music with specific ambiance sound such as dog barking, human conversation and crow's crow inserted over the music is the most effective combination to relax dogs."

Crows over Beethoven? I mean, okay.

(via io9) (thanks to dad!)