A cultural institution and champion of independent music has closed. For 20 years, New York City’s Other Music has served as an invaluable resource for obscure, alternative, and forgotten music.
As a music collector, DJ, and former indie record store manager, I remember when every major city had an Other Music—small, indie stores that doubled as communal spaces serving poseurs, affectionados, students, and fanatics alike. Nowadays, places like Other Music are a rare exception—a reminder of an era long past and another lost opportunity for us as human beings to connect on an interpersonal level.
I still remember ordering by mail or friends making trips to New York to secure the latest electronic and club music imports from Other Music. These strange and obscure pieces opened our minds, formed the foundation of our DJ sets, and helped us spread the electronic gospel to the uninitiated and unconverted.
The New York Times’ Manjula Varghese’s touching video tribute to Other Music reminds us that places for self expression and artistic pursuit still matter.
90 years since his birth on this day and almost 25 years since his passing into immortality; the shadow of Miles Dewey Davis still looms large on the cultural horizon.
Polygraph’s The Universe of Miles Davis quantifies the jazz avatar’s wide ranging influence through his 2,452 Wikipedia mentions (English).
Through this visually striking interactive site we descend down a digital rabbit hole of recordings, people, and places that traces a through line of Miles’ relevance from the early twentieth-century to today.
“Knowledge is freedom and ignorance is slavery”
If Mr. Davis were alive today we are certain he would approve. Happy Birthday Miles!
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(!).
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.”
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.
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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