Academy Award winning filmmaker Liz Garbus has directed a long overdue documentary on Nina Simone using unseen archival music, photos, and film footage tell the story of a fiercely creative, complex, and socially conscious artist.
Nina Simone is personally inspiring because of her singular commitment to her craft, her art, and her message. During the height of the civil rights struggle, she put it all on the line—her fame, her reputation, and her career—to reflect the times in which she lived.
I, for one, am excited to see this film and not the fictional movie on Ms. Simone, as portrayed by Zoe Saldana(!).
Ahmir “Questlove” Thompson is best known as drummer, writer, and producer for the hip-hop supergroup The Roots, but just as important he is a globe-trotting DJ and avid record collector.
Quest For Cubais a thirteen-minute documentary by Okay Player Films chronicling Questlove’s funky, street-level cultural exchange tour of Cuba: spinning tracks, crate digging for classic vinyl (I spotted a classic Los Zafiros album in the stack!), and visiting the legendary EGREM Studios in Old Havana.
Ten years ago, The Roots played in Cuba and Questlove vows to return again soon. I can’t speak for the American or Cuban governments, but I trust that “Questo” speaks the truth and we will all be the richer for the effort!
Thump’s Trino Trevino hilarious, yet accurate assessment of the state of today’s aspiring DJs has a lesson for us all. Social marketing is an important component in your quest for fame and glory, but don’t overlook doing the work. Also, don’t be like THIS guy!
“Here’s the bad news: fame and glory will never come if you never make music.”
Motivation. How to get yourself up to do what needs to be done?! I find music to be a great motivator (deadlines, fear, and insecurity are others…) and Oddisee’s single, “That’s Love” more than fits the bill.
The Maryland native, Brooklyn-based artist’s new album The Good Fight “acknowledges the stacked odds, but refuses to submit”.
Stream and purchase the new album on Bandcamp, support a great artist, put your cape on, and create your own!
The term game changer tends to be overused, but De La Soul’s Kickstarter campaign may inspire more artists to work through unconventional channels to finance and distribute their work.
In less than a month, more than 9,000 backers have contributed over 500,000.00 USD—obliterating the band’s crowdfunding goal of $110,000.00 in ONE DAY!
This method of crowdsourcing and unconventional financing sends a powerful message to established and emerging artists as well as media companies and distributors that technology is a great tool for creatives to send their art directly to market.
First person accounts by underground music luminaries (such as DJ Marley Marl, Kool DJ Red Alert, Tony Humphries, and Stretch Armstrong) interspersed with vintage audio, photos, and video drops you in the moment when the underground broke above ground via New York radio and germinated throughout the world by cassette tape (I fondly have college recollections of students collecting,trading, and dubbing tapes from New York to Baltimore to Philly to Detroit to Chicago to Oakland to LA).
Artists draw their inspiration from a variety of sources and the link between design and music is a strong one. It isn’t a coincidence that many Graphic and Web Designers are record collectors, DJs, and musicians (present company included). I am constantly on the search for new and classic music to fuel my creative fire and Tame Impala’s ” Let it Happen” may well be my song of the season.
Kevin Parker’s psychedelic recording project since 2007, Tame Impala is on the verge of its third album, Currents and this opening single finds Parker at the height of his powers. Signaled by the opening keyboard swell and martial drumbeat, Tame Impala’s “Let it Happen” gallops with an energy, insistence, and purpose of creative possibility that seemingly cannot be contained in its sprawling 7 minutes and 30 seconds:
It’s always around me, all this noise But not really as loud as the voice saying Let it happen, let it happen (It’s gonna feel so good) Just let it happen, let it happen
Alternating between moments of brashness and solitude, analog and digital, old school rock musicianship and postmodern electronic studio manipulation, “Let it Happen” redefines the parameters of the modern rock song (Doubtful? Fast forward to 3:49 mark of the song to hear the track deconstruct and reconstitute itself to epic heights).
As Kevin croons to the song’s fade out:
Maybe I was ready all along Maybe I was ready all along
The more appropriate question is, “Are you ready?”.
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