Entries Tagged 'Music' ↓

Getting Out the Book That’s In You.


The do-it-yourself movement in arts and crafts—accelerated by the wide availability of sophisticated digital technology, as well as access to information, and people, through the internet— is creating a boon in one very key area: Self-publishing. “Once referred to derisively as ‘vanity publishing,’ self-published books are finally taking their place alongside more accepted indie categories such as music, film, and theater.”

So says Ellen Lupton, director of the Graphic Design MFA program at Maryland Institute College of Art (MICA) in Baltimore, and author of the new book, Indie Publishing: How to Design and Produce Your Own Book, a step-by-step guide to being your own publisher.

Ellen Lupton is a guest today on my WBAI-NY / 99.5 FM radio show, NONFICTION, this afternoon, Friday, April 24, at 2 pm ET.

As well, composer Jeff Snyder’s band, Scattershot, has remix credits with Public Enemy, among others, and they created and performed the opening and closing themes for NONFICTION. Today, he’s stopping by to discuss his latest passion: Inventing his own musical instruments. He’ll be showing and playing two of them, the Manta and the Countervielles.

You can hear Ellen Lupton and Jeff Snyder’s ideas—and Jeff’s music!—by tuning in at 2 pm. If you’re outside of the New York tri-state, check out our stream on the web. If you miss the live show, dig into our archives for up to 90 days after broadcast.

That Peculiar Noise Art Makes.

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Perhaps lecturing at the University of Iowa last night, about pics I took a quarter-century ago of Public Enemy’s founding members, has put me in a reflective state of mind. (That presentation went grrreat, by the way, and I’m expecting to do it at other schools. E- me if you can help make this happen.)

Right now, though, check out this clip of The Art of Noise, shot at Wembley Arena for the “Produced by Trevor Horn” Prince’s Trust fundraiser, November 11, 2004, as the band performs a live version of their ill, 1984 masterwork, “Close (to the Edit).”

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Damn: That D.J. Paved My Way.


Why did hip-hop succeed?

That’s probably the first question I’m going to be asking tonight at the free Future of Music 4: The Rise of Hip Hop and its Influence on Other Media panel, 8:30 pm, at Tekserve (119 W. 23rd St., bet. 6th & 7th Aves.; 212-929-3645), New York City’s premier Apple retail and repair store. My job is moderating a discussion between DMC, aka Darryl McDaniels of Run-DMC fame; the pugilistic Freddie Foxxx, aka Bumpy Knuckles; and Troy Hightower, of Hightower Productions, the renowned audio engineering firm. I’m expecting a rich convo from this power-packed trio.

storefront_angledSome background about “Future of Music”: We’ve been hosting these events at Tekserve, right, more or less bimonthly, as of this year. The turnout’s been consistently excellent, and I’ve been having a fantastic time with the folks there. Tekserve’s a great shop to roll through, ask questions, or just see the latest toys. It’s a friendly, helpful kind of establishment, of the sort that you don’t see a lot anymore, especially around anything having to do with computers. Hey: I’m not just president of the panels we do: I’m a client. In fact, every post I’ve ever written for MEDIA ASSASSIN, including this one, was created with a PowerBook G4 12″ that I bought at Tekserve four years ago, and it’s still clicking along. Consider me one of the faithful, as I expect we’re gonna meet, and make, more tonight.

So, first I’ll talk with the panel: What is the source of hip-hop’s influence? How has it affected the media we consume? Where do we see the greatest resistance to its clout, and what is at risk where it is denied? Then we’ll take questions from you, our always-curious audience. The issues are serious, the talent is legendary, and you rarely get to just ask these guys questions, so represent.

Bad As She Wanna Be.

Corey Parks, Die Hunns, Nashville Pussy

In this attitude-drenched shot by photog Noel Vasquez (Getty Images North America), Corey Parks, the defiant, 6-foot-3-inch bassist/vocalist of Die Hunns—formerly of notorious Nashville Pussy (Let Them Eat Pussy, 1998)—lets a low note ring at the Roxy, Los Angeles, May 15, 2008.

Eartha Kitt, 1927-2008

Eartha Kitt

Does everyone have a favorite Eartha Kitt moment or performance? One’s probably bound to, given that, when she died of colon cancer yesterday, in Connecticut, at the age of 81, she’d spent over 60 years in show business, making indelible, absolutely unique and unforgettable impressions.

Boomerang DVDMine was a four-scene turn as cosmetics legend Lady Eloise, in director Reginald Hudlin’s 1992 movie, Boomerang, right, but especially the dinner sequence with advertising executive Marcus Graham, played by Eddie Murphy.

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None Sweeter Music.

“Venus Verticordia” by Rossetti
Venus Verticordia by Dante Gabriel Rossetti, 1864-68

John RutterAs a composer and arranger of Christmas carols, London-born John Rutter, right works within what is arguably one of the most beloved, and oldest, forms of Western music, with a template laid down during the European Middle Ages.

It’s to his credit, then, that, whether re-interpreting long-cherished classics, or creating new ones, his works all shine with a lively and audacious sparkle. As sung by his much-beloved Cambridge Singers, favorites such as “We Wish You a Merry Christmas” or “Deck the Halls” unfold as though they were spirited, new, open-sea sailing anthems. Meanwhile, his own signature works are burnished with the passionate soulfulness of deeply reflected Christian faith and tradition.

I discovered Rutter’s portfolio when I came upon his own masterpiece, “What Sweeter Music,” wafting from a Volvo commercial, of all places. It is, without question, one of the most profoundly gorgeous pieces of hymnody I have ever heard.

John Rutter is the guest on the last edition, this year, of my WBAI-NY / 99.5 FM radio show, NONFICTION, this afternoon, Friday, December 26, at 2 pm ET. This is a special Christmas edition of the broadcast that we’ve aired once a year for about six years now.

On this show, John will talk about, among other topics, his upbringing; on spirituality in music; why he started his own label, Collegium; and the reasons that writing a carol is harder than writing a symphony, all between selections from his 2002 release, The John Rutter Christmas Album.

You can hear this thoughtful artist’s ideas by tuning in at 2 pm. If you’re outside of the New York tri-state, check out our stream on the web. If you miss the live show, dig into our archives for up to 90 days after broadcast.

Pleasure Palace.

Are you gonna go my way?

Artist Steven Shearer’s 1997 sculpture, Activity Cell with Warlock Bass Guitar, above, from this past spring’s Double Album: Daniel Guzmán and Steven Shearer at New York City’s The New Museum makes me think of Lenny Kravitz whenever I look at it, for some reason.

Funkiest. White Boys. Ever.

Kraftwerk, “Numbers,” from their Minimum-Maximum DVD

Reclusive wunderkinds Kraftwerk (“power plant,” in German) have been making ill, steely beats since 1970, when Ralf Hütter and Florian Schneider, above, founded the concept group in Düsseldorf. (They’d met as students in the conservatory there, during the late ’60s.)

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Let It Rip.

“Rock this town…”

I don’t play Guitar Hero, the massive hit video game (yet). But I can still tell that McFarlane Toys’ Guitar Hero Rockers—2-inch figurines of characters from the game packed deux to a box—are completely ill. If the actual pieces in February 2009 end up looking as good as these final painted sculpts, I’m grabbing all four: Spike-haired Johnny Napalm, bad-to-the-basics Axel Steel, KISS-whore Lars Ümlaut, and, my personal favorite, above, rockabilly renegade Eddie Knox. Total ‘tude, dude.

[via tomopop.com]

Drooled On by an Autotroph.

“HEY!! Gimme some privacy! I’m evolving!”

I’m not really a true fan of CBS’s The Big Bang Theory (Mondays, 8 pm ET), and haven’t even watched a full episode yet. But every time I see it come on, I blast its uber-cool intro.

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