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!

The YouTube music theorist delivers yet another funny and clever educational video, this time about bass, the instrument he himself plays (and believes it to be the superior one). Neely tries to explain why you can't really play melodies on bass. He also translates "hmmm" into notes. Funny stuff!

The tone of the beast
August 03, 2021

Adam Neely: The great myth of the Medieval tritone ban

A great new video by the music theorist about the myth of the Medieval tritone being banned by the Catholic church. Adam Neely explains the tritone, how the myth was born, and why it is so damn persistent.

Snoop Dogg and comedian Kevin Hart are providing some fun commentary from the 2021 Tokyo Olympics interviewing athletes, recapping events and doing play-by-play for sports they don’t understand. In a segment called “Cold Call” gave their insight into the equestrian event. “The horse crip-walking! You see that? That’s sick. This horse is off the chain! I gotta get this motherfucker in a video” - Snoop Dogg joyfully announced as a horse pranced during the event. He also asked “do the horses get medals when they win too?”. They do not!

Magazine chose the video star
July 31, 2021

Rolling Stones' 100 best music videos of all time

MTV as a music television exists no more, but music videos still complement songs, create mythologies, and cause chatter and controversy - Rolling Stone says introducing their selection of the 100 best music videos of all time. Starting with The Buggles' 'Video Killed the Radio Star' and finishing with Beyonce's 'Formation' "all of these picks are perfect examples of how pairing sound and vision created an entire artistic vocabulary, gave us a handful of miniature-movie masterpieces, and changed how we heard (and saw) music".

Longer than 15 seconds
July 30, 2021

The best of the first MTV videos

MTV celebrates its 40th birthday this weekend, with Billboard and Stereogum looking back with a selection of the 40 best videos played on the very first day on the network. There were 116 videos played in the first 24 hours, with Stereogum and Billboard agreeing Talking Heads' 'Once in a Lifetime' and Blondie's 'Rapture' being the best.

Noise is from Venus, silence is form Mars
July 27, 2021

Great video: How would a piano sound on Mars?

"Even space itself was once brimming with sound"- US filmmaker John D Boswell explores, where sound is possible. 'The Sounds of Space: A sonic adventure to other worlds' - takes you "on a journey back in time and to the edge of our solar system and beyond, to discover what other worlds of sound are lurking beyond Earth's atmosphere".

A great video by music theorist 12tone where he analyses a month-old video by another music theorist, Rick Beato who did a livestream called 'Why Today's Music Is So BORING. The Regression of Musical Innovation'. Beato attempted to argue that modern music was no longer doing interesting things. 12tone argues Beato's wrong. 12Tones' argument is also beautifully illustrated.

Revolver asked a number of musicians "which scream stands alone as the greatest out there". The Black Dahlia Murder's Trevor Strnad, Coheed and Cambria's Travis Stever, Testament's Alex Skolnick, Incendiary's Brian Audley, and more select Tom Araya, Bruce Dickinson, Chino Moreno, and others.

Paul McCartney becomes decades younger via deepfake technology in the music video for 'Find My Way', his collaborative song with Beck from the McCartney remix album 'McCartney III Imagined'. The video shows the de-aged McCartney emerging from a hotel room, dancing in the hallway, and being whisked away to different dream-like environments. The clip was directed by Andrew Donoho, choreographed by Phil Tayag, and co-produced by Hyperreal Digital, a company that “specializes in the creation of hyper-realistic digital avatars”.

'Mr. Soul!' is the award-winning documentary about the public television variety show 'Soul!' and its host Ellis Haizlip, coming to HBO Max August 1st. Produced and directed by Melissa Haizlip, the documentary chronicles how her uncle, enigmatic producer and host Ellis Haizlip, created the influential show which was ahead of its time. 'Soul!' was a celebration of black music, politics, literature, dance, and poetry during a tumultuous time for black Americans (1968-1973), featuring countless performances by and interviews with the era’s luminaries like James Baldwin, Stevie Wonder, Gladys Knight, Patti LaBelle, Al Green, Mavis Staples, Harry Belafonte, Roberta Flack, Kool and the Gang, Max Roach, and many more. Watch the trailer below.

Facing each other in a garage over a small plastic table, rappers Uriya & SAZ hurl ethnic insults and clichés at each other, tearing away the veneer of civility overlaying the seething resentments between the Jewish state and its Palestinian minority in a rap video that has gone viral in Israel. Sincere, passionate, touching! The New York Times reports, via Washington Mail.

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