Strange numbers
January 20, 2022

Adam Neely ranks polyrhythms

YouTube music theorist Adam Neely ranks polyrhythms people have sent him. His Sungazer bandmate, drummer Shawn Crowder plays those strange polyrhythms and then they rank them together. Very nerdy stuff, but still plenty of fun.

Music theorist and bass player Adam Neely went on a tour with his jazz band and played - improvised sets. They didn't play any structured songs, it was band practice every night of the tour. People seemed to appreciate it. Neely recorded it, of course.

Chance the Rapper made a great cover of Nelly's 'Hot in Herre' in - country rock style. CTR was performing as a guest in Jimmy Fallon’s new music and comedy variety game show series 'That’s My Jam' where the participant gets a song and completely different genre that they have to sing it in. Chance the Rapper remixed the song with an extra twang, and fake Southern accent. Great fun. Watch it below!

YouTube music theorist 12tone analyses the rhythm and emphasis in James Brown's 'I Feel Good'. It's actually a reaction to another YouTube music theorist's video, Adam Neely's video on the same song. 12tone points out how analysis gets in the way of imagination.

The first trailer for Robert Eggers' epic Viking revenge saga 'The Northman', has been released, and it features Björk making her first on-screen appearance since 2000’s 'Dancer in the Dark', playing a seeress. Alexander Skarsgård, plays Amieth, a Viking prince seeking revenge for his murdered father. The story is based on the medieval Scandinavian legend, which served as the inspiration for Shakespeare’s 'Hamlet'. Ethan Hawke plays Ameith’s father, King Horvendill, who is married to Queen Gudrun, portrayed by Nicole Kidman.

Yet another amazing video by the music theorist Adam Neely with answers to several questions, including the one on the Stromae's new song 'Santé'. Neely explains what Stromae did with this song's rhythm to make it special. Educational and fun, as always.

Mos Def and Kanye West in New York, 2002

Created by Clarence “Coodie” Simmons and Chike Ozah (aka Coodie & Chike), the three-part documentary 'Jeen-Yuhs: A Kanye Trilogy' will premiere at the 2022 Sundance Film Festival in January, Pitchfork reports. The project includes previously unreleased archival footage of the young Kanye West at work. The project, which reportedly sold for $30 million, has been in the making for 21 years. In addition to 'Jeen-Yuhs', a documentary based on Lizzie Goodman’s 2017 book 'Meet Me in the Bathroom' will ačlso premiere at Sundance next year, as well as Kathryn Ferguson’s documentary 'Nothing Compares', which examines the life and career of Sinéad O’Connor between 1987 and 1993.

"'Live From Blackalachia' is a wild imagining of what can happen when we seek not just to reclaim nature, but to re-integrate with it" - Moses Sumney says introducing his new live album recorded in the Appalachian mountains over the course of two days of summer. 'Blackalachia' covers songs from across Sumney's discography backed by a full band.

I feel theoretic
November 24, 2021

Adam Neely: Solving James Brown's rhythmic puzzle

What is the proper scansion for James Brown's 'I Feel Good'? - it is the question that nobody asked and the one Adam Neely in answering in his latest video 'Solving James Brown's rhythmic puzzle'. Neely points out that the meaning changes depending on where in the sentence we put the emphasis on.

Fred Strummer
November 05, 2021

Funny video: Guitar-strumming styles

Actor and musician Fred Armisen showed off his musical impersonations of alternative music from bands from the beginning of the 1970s to the 2000s on Jimmy Fallon. Funny stuff...

"Many instruments have defined many musical movements over the years, but there's one that's played a pivotal role in almost every one: The human voice" - 12tone introduces his latest video. "The way a singer uses their voice is one of the clearest ways of shaping a musical identity. Despite its clear significance, though, or perhaps because of it, the voice is notoriously hard to analyze" - the music theorist tries anyway.

Radiohead have shared 'Follow Me Around', one of the more anticipated tracks featured on their new archival collection, 'KID A MNESIA'. The 'OK Computer'-era song has popped up in various forms since its initial composition in 1997, but today marks the first time a proper studio version has been released. Radiohead have also premiered a video for the song starring actor Guy Pearce.

Going easy on theory
October 31, 2021

Adam Neely: Is Adele's latest single microtonal?

A few interesting questions answered by the music theorist Adam Neely in his latest video post:

Is Adele’s Easy on me microtonal?

Who is the better bass player, Homer Simpson or Adam Neely?

How to prioritize creativity over theory?

What’s a spread triad?

Great Bill Maher on words-redefining: "The words 'victim' and 'survivor' have traveled a long way from their original usage. The baby from the Nirvana album says he's a victim. He's suing Nirvana for lifelong damages. I never thought I'd have to say this to a baby, but stop being such a fucking baby. You're not a victim. There's no reason you can't have a normal, happy life just because people look at you and think, 'baby penis'".

The music theorist talks about working on music that explores human perception of time through irregular grooves in his latest video. Neely explains that "because they're grooves you're meant to feel them, to embody them, to move to them. With everything groove-related, when you overthink them, ever regular grooves you're kind of missing the point". It all started two decades ago with the song 'Soil' by System of a Down.

A beautiful and insightful TED talk by Hrishikesh Hirway, creator of Song Exploder, a podcast about the creative process of songwriting. He talks about how important it is to be fully engaged when listening to a song, and compares it to listening to people, giving them full attention and effort. He also plays one of his songs and goes into the construction of it. Great stuff!

Disney+ has shared a great new trailer for 'Get Back', Peter Jackson’s new three-part documentary chronicling the making of The Beatles’ penultimate album, 1970’s 'Let It Be'. Jackson said it is a “story of friends and of individuals. It is the story of human frailties and of a divine partnership. It is a detailed account of the creative process, with the crafting of iconic songs under pressure, set amid the social climate of early 1969. But it’s not nostalgia – it’s raw, honest, and human". The documentary features – for the first time in its entirety – The Beatles’ last live performance as a group, the rooftop concert on London’s Savile Row on January 30th, 1969. It is set to premiere over Thanksgiving weekend (November 25th, 26th, and 27th).

Madonna held a secret ‘Madame X’ gig in New York on Friday night and ended it by taking the show to the streets of Harlem. Madonna told W Magazine that she “wanted to pay homage to Harlem with an intimate performance. Harlem is the birthplace of James Baldwin, my eternal muse and a great source of inspiration for my film ['Madame X']” she added. Madonna performed at the club with a band led by Jon Batiste and a quartet of backing vocalists, before leading the group and audience out onto the street and down one block of 126th Street while singing ‘Like A Prayer’ through a megaphone. The parade ended in front of St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church.

Rage against climate ignorance
October 09, 2021

Nandi Bushell and Tom Morello's son share a climate song

The 11-year-old music sensation Nandi Bushell has teamed up with Tom Morello’s 10-year-old guitar-playing son Roman for the new song 'The Children Will Rise Up'. The two deliver an ecological message, with Jack Black, activist Greta Thunberg, and Roman’s dad making cameos in the music video.

Kacey Musgraves performed 'Justified' on 'Saturday Night Live' with her guitar and boots on - and nothing else. “She was nude” - Musgraves’ publicist confirms to Variety - “precautions were taken, and this was the first time it’s happened on the show”.

'Working For the Knife' "arrives with the kind of energy that tosses you back in your scarlet theater seat and keeps you nervously eating popcorn, licking the salt the same way Mitski licks the staircase at 2:08 in the video" - Rolling Stone presents new song by the singer-songwriter. The video is "a strangely compelling short film starring a reluctant performer returning to the spotlight".

Twerk the world around
October 01, 2021

Lizzo on TED: Twerking is good for humanity

An amusing and amazing TED talk by Lizzo who goes into twerking as a pop-cultural phenomenon. She traces booty shaking to a traditional West African dance and tells how Black women across generations kept the rhythm alive, from blues and jazz singers to modern rap and hip-hop performers. With her characteristic energy, she shares how twerking empowered her to love her own body — and explains why understanding its origins helps protect Black culture from erasure and misappropriation.

Great in school
September 29, 2021

Adam Neely: Patterns do matter!

The great music theorist is in a great mood in his latest video, where he answers several questions, including his thoughts on the phrase “music isn’t like how it used to be?”, do certain keys have “better” bass?, details on the new album by his band Sungazer, thoughts on Bach vs Mozart and similar great trivia.

Adam reethmy
September 26, 2021

Adam Neely: The psychology of extreme rhythms

YouTube music theorist talks about rhythmic thresholds in his latest video - the slowest and fastest music we're capable of processing. The slowest music we can process, Neely argues, is 33 bpm, with the fastest being at 100 milliseconds. The rhythm that feels the most natural, or "the indifference interval" is at 100 bpm. Neely also tried this borderline rhythms with the audience of his band Sungazer.

Music theory YouTuber Adam Neely and recorder player Sarah Jeffery go back centuries to explore medieval music in her latest video. They try and prove that the early classical music wasn't really that simple, dealing with "rhythmic math FUN with polyrhythms, polypulses, and medieval music!".

Lil Nas X covered Dolly Parton's signature song 'Jolene' during a recent performance for BBC Radio One’s Live Lounge. Celebrating the release of his debut album 'Montero', Nas sang in a deep baritone over a sparse rock arrangement, delivering an intense, gender-flipping rendition of Parton’s 1973 hit about a woman with “flaming locks of auburn hair” who can steal men with ease.

180 seconds of fame
September 21, 2021

Ted Gioia: Are three-minute songs bad for music?

In the latest installment in a series of unscripted videos in which Ted Gioia addresses key matters related to music and society, the music writer discusses the record industry's longstanding preference for three-minute songs, and explores the impact of this on our experiences of music.

Afrique docu
September 16, 2021

Mdou Moctar releases new documentary

Mdou Moctar has released a documentary on the days surrounding the release of the new album 'Afrique Victime'. The 10-minute short film shows Moctar and the band working on the album, and meeting after a months-long break. It also illustrates the geopolitical circumstances behind the record.

Jefferson Airplane guitarist Jorma Kaukanen has reacted to the first trailer for The Matrix Resurrections, which features their hit single, ‘White Rabbit’. “We started in the Matrix” - Kaukanen told the Rolling Stone - “glad to be there again!”. 'The Matrix Resurrections', which sees leads Keanu Reeves and Carrie-Anne Moss returning, is due for release in December.

Geeez!!! - music theorist Adam Neely goes sooo far with fixing some well-known songs with autotune, you can't even call it sarcasm, the word just isn't strong enough. So, the songs fixed are Led Zeppelin's 'Whole Lotta Love', Frank Sinatra's 'Fly Me To The Moon', Aretha Franklin's 'Respect', Pink Floyd's 'Wish You Were Here', and Bill Withers' 'Ain’t No Sunshine'. The point: perfection destroys expression. A monster of a video!

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