Yesterday marked the 25th anniversary of the release of Strangeways, Here We Come, the fourth and final studio album by The Smiths, which brought us gems like “Girlfriend in a Coma,” “I Started Something I Couldn’t Finish,” “Last Night I Dreamt That Somebody Loved Me” and “Stop Me If You Think You’ve Heard This One Before.” It’s also, in case you haven’t listened to The Smiths lately, irrepressibly sad, in the best of ways. To celebrate the anniversary of this great album’s release, and to mourn the fact that it marked the end of such a short and wonderful career, we’ve collected a few of of the saddest final albums in rock history. Have a listen after the jump, and let us know which we’ve missed in the comments. … Read More
Experimental digital media, music, architecture, and sound art lab Realität — founded by Juan Manuel de J. Escalante — has created 3D-printed visualizations of different albums. The unique sculptural works include: Jewels by Einstürzende Neubauten, Another World by Antony and the Johnsons, Pink Moon by Nick Drake, Third by Portishead, and the composition “Für Alina” by Arvo Pärt. As works of art, the objects are compelling, but the process is equally fascinating.
Realität describes their Microsonic Landscapes as “an algorithmic exploration of the music [they] love. Each album’s soundwave proposes a new spatial and unique journey by transforming sound into matter/space: the hidden into something visible.” Each piece was created with the open-source, three-dimensional data visualization programming language known as Processing, and then printed via a programmable machine that can print in plastic called MakerBot. The results look almost exactly as you’d expect. Albums dominated by sweeping sounds maintain a concentric shape, while layered, complex noises take on the form of spikes and towers. The smaller, grooved details are exquisite. Head past the break for a closer look. … Read More
We were rather chuffed to note the presence of a new record by Ry Cooder in the release schedule for this week. We’ve long been fans of Cooder’s work, both because he’s a great songwriter and because he’s a fantastic guitarist — we’re constantly disappointed to find him missing from the Greatest Guitarist Ever lists that crop up from time to time.… Read More
A couple of weeks back, we had a look at a selection of indie rock summer anthems, and earlier in the month our Pop for Skeptics maven Rohin Guha nominated a selection of more poptastic summer jams. But the thing is, summer doesn’t conjure up images of pool parties and general sun-drenched revelry for everyone — for some (and you can count us among their number, especially in the insufferable humidity of NYC), it’s a pretty melancholy time of the year. And yet, luxuriating in that melancholy can be somehow just as satisfying in its own way as splashing around at the beach — so here’s a selection of 10 albums to soundtrack doing just that. Suggestions are welcome, of course. … Read More
Spotted by PetaPixel, Celebrity Camera Club is a highly-entertaining new Tumblr that collects photos taken of famous people taking photos. While we were impressed to find images of everyone from Barack Obama to Stanley Kubrick snapping pics, we couldn’t help but notice what a large portion of the collection was dominated by famous musicians. Whether it’s just another creative outlet or the thrill of being on the other side of the lens for a change, we can’t really say, but we’ve posted some of our favorite photos of these cultural icons and their cameras after the jump; click through to check them out, and be sure to head over to Celebrity Camera Club to view the full archive. … Read More
If you’re in any way interested in the Olympics, you might remember reading a while back that there’d been a mild controversy on the other side of the Atlantic about the use of The Clash’s classic song “London Calling” in some of the promotional videos for the games in London next year. (Since then, it’s turned out that The Clash are the least of London’s PR problems, but still.) Anyway, the whole thing has been playing on our mind for the last couple of weeks, until we realized what bugged us so much about it — the fact that “London Calling” is being used to promote anything. This isn’t unprecedented, of course — the song has been used in commercials before — but even so, it hasn’t joined the ranks of songs forever ruined by advertisements. As advertisers know only too well, once an image associates itself to music and lodges in your head, it’s damn near impossible to get rid of. And unfortunately, it’s too late for the songs we’ve collected after the jump — are there any that spring to mind for you? … Read More
Why is it that when times are tough, things like movie and concert tickets only seem to get more expensive? Well, don’t worry: We feel your financial pain. As cities across the country gear up for summers packed with free shows and screenings, we want to make sure you know that you don’t have to live in a major metropolis (or risk bug bites and butt numbness) to get your gratis film and music fix. The internet abounds with excellent music documentaries you can watch right on your computer. Check out ten of our favorites, from the Pixies to the Flaming Lips, after the jump. … Read More