The next level
May 14, 2021

Adam Neely: How to get good at music

The awesome YouTube musicologist Adam Neely listened to songs of nine artists, offering advice on how to make the music better, through changes in mix, places of emphasys, and even how musicians should treat their bodies while playing. And a general advice he gave - it's just music, don't take it to seriously.

Looking for the present
May 12, 2021

Is trap metal the future?

Mimi Barks

The Punk Rock MBA YouTuber this week presents trap metal, a new genre combining trap-rap and metal, especially the industrial segment of it. The video-blogger goes from early pioneers like Suicideboys, Bones, Scarlxrd, Ghostemane, and XXXtentacion, and suggests newer trap metal artists like Mugxtsu, Mimi Barks, Sinizster, Gizmo and Sematary.

Marvin Gaye

If there was a year when music was the agent of change it was 1971, the new Apple TV+ docuseries '1971: The Year That Music Changed Everything' argues, Rolling Stone reports. The documentary was inspired by the book 'Never a Dull Moment: 1971 the Year That Rock Exploded' by David Hepworth, and it features footage of artists, many of whom have albums turning 50 this year, including George Harrison, Marvin Gaye, Joni Mitchell, Aretha Franklin, the Rolling Stones, John Lennon, Bill Withers, Elton John, Graham Nash, Bob Marley, Alice Cooper, and more. The eight-part docuseries also touches on the post-counterculture era and political and social upheaval.

Metal band from California, Dig The Grave bought time of members of Mastodon, Anthrax, Lamb Of God, Alexisonfire, Sepultura, Shadows Fall and some others to be in their latest video 'ISO'. Dig The Grave lacked funds, so they used CAMEO to buy just seconds of metal master's time for a simple yet memorable video.

Drum-playing, motorcycle-riding grandmother Dorothea Taylor has gone viral on TikTok with her simple video of “How to Play Doubles”, Consequence reports. Quick lesson on “doubles” by the affectionately named "The Godmother of Drumming” has surpassed 20 million views in less than a week. The nice lady has previously earned 13 million views on YouTube for a drum cover of Disturbed’s 'Down with the Sickness' last year.

Minor Threat's Ian MacKaye

'Punk the Capital: Building a Sound Movement' is the first documentary to tell the story of Washington D.C.’s influential punk and DIY movement from the turn of the 1970s to the 1980s. The 88-minute documentary features some of the biggest names from the D.C. scene, such as H.R. from the Bad Brains, Ian MacKaye from Minor Threat and Fugazi, Henry Rollins from the Black Flag, Jello Biafra from the Dead Kennedys, and others, Consequence reports. It comes out May 14.

Nudity

An informative yet fun documentary 'Why Am I Doing This? (A Film ABout Touring)', about underground bands playing small clubs. Steve Albini and members of Bottomless Pit, Helms Alee, Wimps, the Bismarck, Nudity, Conan Neutron, Sun 0))), and Melvins talk about what really is there on tour, beyond the 1-hour pleasure they do get every day.

Power to - everybody
April 30, 2021

Billie Eilish releases a new song

Billie Eilish has announced her new album with her new song 'Your Power', with a video she self-directed. On the intimate and delicate track, Eilish sings above acoustic guitar riff about power dynamics in relationships, giving a warning to “try not to abuse your power”. The video sees her alone on a mountain. Her new album 'Happier Than Ever', out July 30, was written by Eilish and her brother Finneas.

Everything's better than silence
April 27, 2021

A small music theory video: Lo-fi hip-hop

YouTuber Sabrina explores why lo-fi hip-hop has become the poster child for study music and if it even works. She also tries to teach a machine to generate lo-fi music.

The first trailer for Questlove’s documentary 'Summer of Soul (…Or, When the Revolution Could Not Be Televised)', premiered at the Oscars last night (watch it below). 'Summer of Soul' focuses on the little-known history of the Harlem Cultural Festival, dubbed “the Black Woodstock,” which took place the same summer as Woodstock in 1969 over the course of six weeks in New York's Harlem. The lineup included Sly and the Family Stone, Stevie Wonder, Nina Simone, B.B. King, Gladys Knight and the Pips, and more. The clip juxtaposes many of these performances with the cultural and sociopolitical upheaval happening at the time. 'Summer of Soul' is Questlove’s directorial debut, and it was already awarded both the U.S. Grand Jury Prize and the Audience Award in the U.S. Documentary category at the Sundance Film Festival.

Hold your breath!
April 23, 2021

Great new Little Simz song and video

Little Simz announces her new album 'Sometimes I Might Be Introvert' with a great single 'Introvert', a symphonic hip-hop banger with a pounding drumline. The lyrics are top-notch too, with the finishing line accentuating the message - "I’m a black woman and I’m proud one / We walk in blind faith not knowing the outcome / But as long as we unified then we’ve already won".

Rockfield is known as the world’s first residential studio - a former farm remade to a studio, where Black Sabbath, Queen, Robert Plant, Oasis, Coldplay, Simple Minds, and more made their albums. Directed by Hannah Berryman, documentary 'Rockfield: The Studio on the Farm', is out next month featuring interviews with Ozzy Osbourne, Tony Iommi, Liam Gallagher, Robert Plant, Chris Martin, and the Ward family (made the studio and still, after 50 years, own both the farm and the studio, in their 80s).

The No. 1 YouTube musicologist delivers yet another fun music class, this time about "the most elegant key change in all of pop music", written by Eric Carmen and made famous by Celine Dion. Neely says it's "modal mixture, common tone, enharmonic, double chromatic, mediant modulation".

Dirty Blonde

Financial Times has shared a video about a struggling hip-hop artist Dirty Blonde trying to make it in the time of coronavirus and the domination of streaming. FT also talked to some of the world's biggest music companies, record labels, and producers, how they are adapting to this fast-changing industry.

'Xeno' examines a brief yet intimate encounter between two strangers, against the backdrop of a barren hillside in Montreal (watch it below). It is a part of Films.Dance series, which also features original music by Berlin-based artists Alice Phoebe Lou and Thor Rixon. 'Xeno' is a part of a series of 15 free films shot during the COVID-19 pandemic, which have involved the participation of more than 150 artists from 25 countries. All of the Films.Dance programme so far can be seen at the project’s website.

Foo Fighters' Dave Grohl directed a new movie about touring vans and life on the road called 'What Drives Us', featuring interviews with Lars Ulrich, Slash, the Edge, Flea, Steven Tyler, St. Vincent, and many others. “This film is my love letter to every musician that has ever jumped in an old van with their friends and left it all behind for the simple reward of playing music” - Grohl said.

The John Lennon Estate has released a never-before-seen video of John Lennon and Yoko Ono rehearsing 'Give Peace a Chance', just days before they premiered the song in May of 1969, Spin reports. The restored video shows the artists side-by-side in another bed, at the Sheraton Oceanus Hotel in the Bahamas. Lennon mumbles most of the song unintelligibly - "Everybody’s talking about revolution, masturbation, hasturbation, constipation … uh … rasturbation, cake, chocolate cake … uh… fake, cake, glasses, passes”, apart from the chorus. The release is part of a massive new box set 'John Lennon/Plastic Ono Band – The Ultimate Collection' commemorating the 50th anniversary of the famous Bed-In for Peace, due April 23.

Kid Cudi quietly paid homage to Kurt Cobain with his wardrobe choices on the last Saturday Night Live. During his performance of 'Sad People', Cudi sported a long, floral dress, a nod to the dress Cobain wore during a 1993 photo shoot with UK music magazine The Face (watch the video below). Cudi also performed 'Tequila Shots' sporting a green cardigan reminiscent of Cobain’s famous MTV Unplugged sweater. Cudi has long-admired Cobain and last year got a photorealistic black and white tattoo of the grunge icon wearing a Daniel Johnston t-shirt. April 5 marked the 27th anniversary of the Nirvana frontman’s death.

10-year-old multi-instrumentalist Nandi Bushell had earned kudos from the Pixies for her loop version of the band’s classic song 'Where Is My Mind?'. YouTube sensation, who’s a skilled guitarist, bassist, and drummer, plays various guitar portions, and shifts over to drums, combining them all together into one cohesive version of the Pixies tune. The pre-teen also sings the song and listens to the finished song at the video's end, although she seems much more comfortable playing. Pixies tweeted "great work".

Sia has released a new music video 'Floating Through Space' which was made in collaboration with NASA to celebrate the upcoming Ingenuity test flight on Mars. The song is her latest collaboration with David Guetta, and the video arrives as NASA prepares to test Ingenuity helicopter, which would mark the first attempt at powered, controlled flight on another planet.

Piano-shaped Nirvana
April 06, 2021

Lovely: Piano cover of 'Heart-Shaped Box'

“I remember listening to this song in the car while riding to middle school with my Mom. I think it has one of the strongest melodies ever written" - Jeremiah Fraites of the Lumineers wrote as he released his cover of Nirvana's 'Heart-Shaped Box' on the 27th anniversary of Kurt Cobain’s death, Spin reports.

H.E.R. has released a new video for her song 'Fight for You' from the 'Judas and the Black Messiah' soundtrack. The short clip offers a condensed history of the Black Panther Party and the events that led to the assassination of Fred Hampton, the subject of the new movie.

"People are afraid of me because I'm different. But really, I'm just your typical gay black country rap sneaker entrepreneur. I put my pants on like everyone else: one ass-less chap at a time" - guest "Lil Nas X" told "Britney Spears" on Saturday Night Live. About his satan video, he said  - "you know that wasn't the real satan, right? It was a dude in a Halloween devil costume, because the real satan doesn't do like music videos, so, maybe chill!". Then to even things out, he also gave god a lapdance.

A great and fun story about creativity, putting yourself in somebody else's shoes, and having fun on the way. Son, John Mayer first released a snippet of his new song 'Use Me'. British musician Mary Spender just couldn't wait to the finished song, so she just finished it herself in John Mayer style. YouTube musicologist and jazz music bassist Adam Neely wanted to add his touch to it, so he reharmonized the version Spender wrote, explaining, of course, on the way, the whys and the hows. Great fun!

John Mayer posted a snippet of his new song to TikTok, and young British singer/songwriter and Mayer-lover Mary Spender couldn't wait so she composed the rest of the song. It took her three days to come up with the rest of the song, to record and mix it. She even made a video of the whole process and her version of the song.

Pete Davidson, Chris Redd and musical guest Jack Harlow delivered an Eminem-inspired rap about NFT on the latest episode of Saturday Night Live. Rapping on Eminem’s 'Without Me' video Davidson acts as a superhero, he is then joined by Redd’s Morpheus from The Matrix, and Harlow as a janitor.

BBC is showing a new documentary 'Black Power: A British Story of Resistance' about the UK's Black Power movement in the late 1960s which aimed to bring a revolution to the status of black people in the UK. It features interviews with past activists, some of which have told about the music that epitomises their journey.

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