When was the last time someone made a mixtape for you? I just did ! Enjoy.
1. Moriarty, Candyman
2. Leftover Cuties, If Only it Could Be
3. Haim, The Wire
4. Bruce Springsteen, High Hopes
5. Paul Simon, Biko
6. Songhoy Blues, Soubour
7. Ivan & Alyosha, Be Your Man
8. Oscar Isaac, Fare Thee Well (Dink’s Song)
9. Arcade Fire, Afterlife
10. Prince, Da Bourgeoise
11. Unwoman, Kids
12. Etienne Daho & Dominique A, En Surface
I decided to celebrate Houdini’s 137th birthday with an epic magic trick: Free music! Fine, It’s not really magic or epic since Spin magazine has been doing it every month but still, it’s free music so what are you waiting for?
Besides featuring Starfucker which explain the Lichtenstein-esque image above, it also has French Band Yelle’s addictive song “Safari Disco Club”. A music video well worth checking.
A first recording of this Concerto with the Boston Symphony Orchestra was released 10 years ago on the Treesong album. This welcome new recording is the second of three exclusives with the Detroit Symphony Orchestra directed by Leonard Slatkin. The first release back in October was a Horn Concerto requiring some comparison shopping. Currently the best option is on iTunes at $4.99 with an exclusive phone interview of John Williams and Leonard Slatkin.
For this Concerto for Violin & Orchestra however, Amazon is the way to go at $5.99 in MP3 format, encoded at an average variable bitrate of 224 kbps. iTunes is at $9.99 with no exclusive or bonus content.
“On a more controversial side, Williams has been believed by some to be too “influenced” – they’ll cite Holst’s “Mars, The Bringer Of War” as a direct relative of “The Imperial March.” Now, quotation has always played a part in film composition, so is it fair to level that charge against Williams?
Musicians use existing music the way painters use existing colors; they just look for interesting ways to blend them. I don’t think it’s fair to criticize the Star Wars scores for their musical influences since the whole point was to bring a mythical, archetypal quality to the proceedings while recapturing a feeling of an earlier era of the movies. Williams reached into the collective unconscious, probably by seeing what pieces of music came up in his own mind, and then evoked them in what he was writing in his usual deft manner. In this way, the package sort of becomes clearly marked and when the audience is (perhaps unconsciously) reminded of Holst then he or she looks at the movie differently… Star Wars becomes something no longer about the Empire and the Rebellion but about every war between good and evil ever fought or that ever will be fought. Williams really hit the ball out of the park with Superman in this way… he didn’t just score the movie, he score the myth itself. You can’t do that without reaching back into past expressions of this idea.”
The album has been available to listen for free on NPR since December 26 but will not be released until January 11 on amazon and iTunes. I’m not what you would call a bluegrass or even a country music fan but Abigail Washburn‘s Janis Joplin voice and the Chinese influences in her music makes it a totally enjoyable listening experience.