For the third year in a row, Red Bull Music Academy will host a month-long series of shows, parties, lectures,… Read More
“Planet Earth: sound of guns, anger, frustration. There was no one to talk to up on planet Earth who’d understand, so we set up a colony for black people here. See what they can do on a planet all on their own, without any white people there… Another place in the universe, up under distant stars.”
So muses Sun Ra as he wanders through the imagined landscape of a distant planet in his 1974 film Space Is the Place. The film is perhaps the first thing that might come to mind when you think of Afrofuturism, representing a sort of quintessence of the ideas of a man who essentially created that movement (even if it didn’t get named as such until decades later). It unites the main ideas of Afrofuturism: interrogating the nature of racial oppression and imagining a version of the future where black people and culture are free of such oppression, in Ra’s case by decamping to another planet entirely. Afrofuturist ideals are interesting in that they’re both expressions of utopian futurism and principles deeply grounded in history — the parallels with emancipation are obvious, and the vision of the real world as a place of incessant oppression remains as depressingly true as it was 40 years ago. … Read More
Many awesome Stooges-related things have come out of the last week or so, not least the band’s new album (which is actually quite good) and their killer performance at New York’s Le Poisson Rouge. But perhaps most awesome of all is the photo that’s been making the rounds of Iggy clutching two kids in junior versions of his trademark sequined jeans. They look terrified, he looks delighted, and the whole thing is many kinds of awesome. So, in a similar spirit, here’s a selection of other debauched rock stars with cute kids. You’re… Read More
As we’ve written here in the past, the duet is an inexact science — some of the collaborations that you’d think should have been roaring successes proved to be disastrous, and vice versa. We’re still on the fence as to which group the new St. Vincent/David Byrne collaboration Love This Giant, which is out today, falls into — but either way, the fact that two of our favorite artists have made a whole record together got us thinking about other dream duets we’d love to see. We’ve started the discussion with a bunch of suggestions. Who would you like to see in the studio together? … Read More
Remember that time Johnny Depp came to your elementary school dressed as a pirate? Or when Larry David made fun of that annoying dude who sits behind you in lecture? Yeah, we don’t either, but sometimes these things actually happen. Recently, Matt Stone and Trey Parker shocked some NYU freshmen with a guest lecture on South Park‘s storytelling strategies — on the first day of class, no less. Watch videos of these celebrities, and many more, crashing classes (and football practice) after the jump. … Read More
Our post earlier this month about songs that should never be covered again got us thinking about the other great source of musical clichédom — overused samples. Unlike some old-school curmudgeonly types, we have nothing against sampling per se; indeed, the rise of sample-based music has arguably been the most important musical development of the past three decades or so. But here’s the thing — the inherently creative thing about using a sample is how you use it. If you’d been the first person to spot the potential of the Amen break or the synth melody from “Trans-Europe Express,” and the first to use it in an interesting and creative manner, then you’d have deserved all the acclaim that came your way. If, however, you’re the 57835532th producer to use the same “idea,” then there’s a problem. With that in mind, ten samples we’re sick of hearing are after the jump. … Read More
We read with interest this morning that Prince had pronounced – via Fox news, no less – that in his opinion, cover songs should be banned. Specifically, he railed at the fact that “there’s this thing called compulsory licensing law that allows artists through the record companies to take your music at will without your permission.” This is true, from what we can gather – provided that by “the record companies” he means the companies who hold publishing rights, which isn’t always the same thing – although the law does also specify that licensing fees must be paid to the songwriter. It’s an interesting point, as very few musicians own their own publishing rights. But equally, it’d be a shame if he’d had his way all along, because there have been some cracking Prince covers recorded over the years. Check out our favorites, and suggest yours, after the jump. … Read More
1. The 2011 Golden Globes nominations have been announced, and Black Swan, Glee, The Social Network, and The Kids Are All Right all scored multiple nods, while The King’s Speech leads the pack with seven. View the full list here.
2. Michael C. Hall and Jennifer Carpenter — who play a brother… Read More
Three years in the making, Sir Lucious Leftfoot: The Son of Chico Dusty is a debut solo album that makes Outkast’s less flamboyant half the one worth watching.
Label issues prevented Big Boi’s partner in rhyme, André 3000, from making any vocal appearances on the album, but they didn’t keep away other A-listers like T.I., B.o.B, George Clinton, and Janelle Monáe. Even with all that talent on board, though, Big Boi lives up to the moniker of album track “General Patton,” leading the pack and commanding every beat with authority, finesse, and charm. … Read More