Archive for the ‘Music News’ Category

The only English-language pop song in Wes Anderson’s new movie, Isle of Dogs, is 144 seconds of whispery psych-folk detritus called “I Won’t Hurt You.” Released in 1967 by Los Angeles act the West Coast Pop Art Experimental Band, the song may be the drowsiest expression of passion ever preserved on vinyl. The chorus simply repeats the title over and over again. Gentle strumming provides a pedestal for lyrics like, “The stars are in your eyes/I’ll take a spaceship and try and go and find you.” Instead of drums, there’s an amplified heartbeat. The singer sounds as though he’s murmuring in his sleep; he may also be suffering from a touch of nasal congestion. It’s not the kind of dramatic song movies normally use to heighten the emotions onscreen—and it’s an especially unexpected choice for a stop-motion epic set in a near-future Japan.

The story takes place in the fictional metropolis of Megasaki, where the city’s disease-stricken canine population has been exiled to a desolate Island of Trash. Though Isle of Dogs’ score favors traditional Japanese instruments like recorder and taiko drum melded with music from movies by legendary Tokyo director Akira Kurosawa, “I Won’t Hurt You” is the sonic centerpiece of its trailer. It’s the perfect sweet yet haunting song to add a bilingual element to the soundtrack of this sweet yet haunting bilingual movie.

In his 2003 book Vinyl Junkies: Adventures in Record Collecting, Brett Milano explains that West Coast Pop Art Experimental Band are “beloved by a majority of diehard collectors, and by hardly anybody else.” Despite the subsequent widespread availability of their music on digital platforms and a recent vinyl reissue, the description still fits. At least, it did until Isle of Dogs. Now, whether they know it or not, the legion of Anderson fans who’ve viewed the trailer almost 13 million times have all heard about 40 seconds of the song. In the film itself, they’ll hear it twice more. It’s a quintessential Wes Anderson sync—an obscure mid-century pop cut whose emotional impact is so immediate you can’t believe it isn’t a classic.

This is the power of what we might call the crate-digger soundtrack, a style of music supervision that heightens the movie-watching experience with the thrill of pawing through boxes of dusty LPs at a flea market. Instead of commissioning new singles, recycling B-sides, or finding era-appropriate hits to set the scene of a period piece, these soundtracks champion unheard, forgotten, or otherwise apt vintage gems. Sometimes, they even thrust those songs back into the cultural spotlight, on hit soundtrack albums that feel like hand-labeled mixtapes.

Despite Anderson’s insistence that he’s “not really a vinyl guy,” he and his longtime music supervisor, Randall Poster, are easily the most popular team to have perfected this eclectic approach. Their quest to find the perfect syncs for 2007’s Indian travelogue The Darjeeling Limited took Poster to India, where he begged the foundation that manages the legacy of celebrated director Satyajit Ray to let him copy master tapes of scores from his films. Beach Boys fans can thank Poster for tracking down the band’s archivist to secure their “Ol’ Man River” cover for Anderson’s first stop-motion feature, the Roald Dahl adaptation Fantastic Mr. Fox. Anderson and Poster are so famous for having impeccable musical taste that the Talkhouse made a funny video that replaces the Rushmore soundtrack with goofy ’90s hits by Smash Mouth, Spin Doctors, and Blink-182. The substitutions transform an artful coming-of-age classic into a corny teen comedy, demonstrating just how dramatically music can shape a film’s mood.

Every crate digger has a specialty. Anderson’s is the British Invasion, from the Rolling Stones to one-hit wonder Peter Sarstedt, whose darkly funny 1969 single “Where Do You Go To (My Lovely)?” is a recurring theme in Darjeeling and its prequel short, Hotel Chevalier. Rushmore, from 1998, is Anderson’s Anglophilic opus, featuring the Stones, the Who, the Faces and garage-rock quartet the Creation, who were virtually unknown in the U.S. before their propulsive single “Making Time” scored a montage of teen antihero Max Fischer’s many extracurricular activities. Like those acts and the disgruntled schoolboys of British auteur Lindsay Anderson’s 1968 film If…, which Rushmore references, Max is a rebel clothed in the signifiers of tradition. Reflecting on the film’s use of the Rolling Stones’ “I Am Waiting,” Poster has noted, “The Stones were these brattish-looking guys in these crisp suits, and I think [Anderson] found a correspondence [between Rushmore and] the sound and the image of the band.” That strange mix of iconoclasm, respect for institutions, and love of tradition is Anderson’s trademark as a writer and director, so it’s no wonder that his default soundtrack matches those aesthetic themes.

Not that he confines himself to ’60s England. In a 2005 review of The Life Aquatic With Steve Zissou soundtrack, Pitchfork’s Chris Dahlen defined “Wes Anderson music” as “light but not MOR, the kind of song that has a strong kick but soft edges.” By then, that canon included onetime New York transplants Nico and Bob Dylan, whose songs permeate the Manhattan-set The Royal Tenenbaums, and the samba-fied David Bowie covers Brazilian musician Seu Jorge performs throughout The Life Aquatic. More recently, for period dramedies Moonrise Kingdom and The Grand Budapest Hotel, Anderson and Poster have added classical music and leaned heavily on Oscar-winning composer Alexandre Desplat’s instrumental scores. Even as they’ve branched out to explore new genres and traditions, crate-digging has continued to define their curatorial style.


Amazon today announced that Amazon Music listeners can now build playlists using voice commands via Alexa. For example, if they’re streaming music from an app or listening to the radio on an Alexa-enabled device, they can use voice commands to add the current song to a playlist, or start a new playlist from scratch.

It’s a small but useful addition that’s only available to the online giant’s music service. It’s also a natural next step on voice commands for listening to music on a smart speaker. Currently, voice control for competing services like Spotify and Apple Music only go as far as requesting a song, artist, album, or radio station, or skipping and repeating a song.

The new playlist feature rolls out today to Prime Music and Amazon Music Unlimited users, and works on any device with Alexa built in.

Members of the National are writing music and lyrics for a new adaptation of Edmond Rostand’s 1897 play Cyrano de Bergerac. It’s set to run August 3 to September 2 through Connecticut’s Goodspeed Musicals. Adapted by Erica Schmidt, Cyrano will feature music by the National’s Aaron and Bryce Dessner with lyrics by Matt Berninger and his wife, Carin Besser. Schmidt will direct. The National recently won their first Grammy for their latest album, Sleep Well Beast. Read Pitchfork’s interview with the band about their victory.

A life of music for Sidney Drew

Posted: November 20, 2016 in Music News

ASHLEY MAIKA/ Northumberland Today Sidney Drew will be retiring from piano after 35 years of playing local churches and choir following her last concert on December 4.

Sidney Drew, 83-year-old accompanist for Choral Legacy Women’s Choir and Rural Faith United Church, will be retiring after more than eight years with Choral Women’s Choir, and 35 with the local churches.

Since moving to the area, Drew had been playing for both Bethesda United Church and Baltimore Church.

Her last concert with Choral Legacy Women’s Choir will be on Dec. 4 and is called Getting in the Mood for Christmas.

Drew said she decided to retire in June, and would stay until Christmas so there would be time to find someone else to play the piano.

She said her reasoning for retiring was for her deterioration of hearing and arthritis in her hands, and the goodbye is bittersweet.

“It’s retiring from 75 years of music really,” said Drew who started practising when she was seven years old.

Before the amalgamation of Baltimore United Church and Bethesda South United Church, Drew would play at both services on Sunday, and practice with the Choral Legacy Women’s Choir on Thursdays.

Now, with her spare time, she wishes to spend it with family, specifically her grandchildren. She hasn’t had as much time with them as she’d like because her schedule really only gave her free time when they were in school.

Drew said that a week ago, after her last time playing at the service for Rural Faith United Church, the congregation had a little surprise for her to say goodbye, complete with food and two of her grandchildren playing the piano for her.

Drew expressed a lot of pride that three of her grandchildren are interested in music, specifically piano.

Although Drew will not be playing anymore for the choir or church, she says she will still be attending the choirs concerts and going to church.

Getting in the Mood for Christmas will be held at Baltimore United Church, 9288 Burwash St. at 2:30 p.m. where tickets are $10 at the door.

Gary Kang’s agency, Leessang Company, issued a strongly worded statement denying that the singer and reality show star appears in a currently circulating sex tape.

(Photo : Wikipedia)

(Photo : Wikipedia)

Leessang Company not only denies that Gary Kang (Kang Hee Gun) is in the tape being circulated but says they will take decisive legal action against anyone spreading rumors that he is.

The agency told the Korean media outlet Naver TV that when they first heard the rumors, they did not even think they were worth responding to. But as the rumors spread and more people began to discuss them, the agency decided that it was time to release a statement and take action.

On August 31, the agency released an official statement denying that Gary Kang is the person in the sex tape. The agency pointed out that the person in the sex tape has a tattoo on his left arm while Gary Kang’s is on his right arm. The tattoos are similar but not exactly the same.

The agency said that the man who acknowledges being in the sex tape contacted them and expressed his concern about any problems his tape might have caused the popular celebrity.

Leessang Company will request a formal police investigation to discover who first spread the tape and the rumor. They will also pursue charges against anyone who continues to spread it. The agency asked the public to help stop the spread of such rumors because they hurt Kang and the actual people in the video.

The agency’s statement comes only days after an arrest warrant was issued against the man allegedly spreading false rumors about the existence of a sex tape that supposedly featured actress Lee Si Young. Her agency not only denied that she was in such a tape but is planning to sue the person who spread it. If convicted the person could spend years in jail and have to pay a $50,000 fine.

Gary Kang is the rapper and lyricist of the hip-hop duo Leessang. He has had several cameo appearances on dramas, including “Emergency Couple” and “The Girl Who Sees Smells.” But he is also well known because of his appearances on variety shows. He has been a regular guest on “Running Man” since 2010. Together with actress Song Ji Hyo, they are known as the Monday Couple because of their affectionate onscreen relationship/

Compton, the new album from hip-hop mogul and Apple employee Dr. Dre, was streamed 25 million times in its first week on Apple Music. In addition to the streams, Apple says the album also sold half a million downloads through iTunes — a solid performance that was not quite enough to push it to number one in the US charts. Apple executives reported the figures in a statement to The New York Times, but the publication did not specify whether the figure was made up from complete listens to the whole album, or includes people who listened to individual songs.

Dr. Dre

Dr. Dre

“Drake got 48 million streams in a week”

The album, which came at the same time as, and loosely ties into NWA biopic Straight Outta Compton, was an all-Apple affair. Dre announced the album on his own Beats 1 radio show, The Pharmacy, and it premiered a day early on Apple’s streaming service, before full release on iTunes on July 7th. For now at least, it remains an Apple exclusive, only available for stream on Apple Music and digitally through iTunes. Beats co-founder Jimmy Iovine was positive about the results, saying that it constituted a good start for Apple Music. “We’re beginning to show what we can do in terms of communicating music to a worldwide audience and helping artists at the same time,” he told The New York Times.

But where Iovine says Apple is just getting started getting music to the world, hip-hop’s current kings are already old hands at disseminating their music to a huge and internet-literate fanbase. Even with Dre’s incomparable legacy and a heavy marketing push from Apple, Compton’s numbers still lag behind hip-hop’s current kings: Kendrick Lamar’s To Pimp A Butterfly got 39 million streams in its first week online back in March, while If You’re Reading This It’s Too Late, the surprise album released by Drake earlier this year, notched up 48 million streams. Both artists used Twitter, Instagram, and other social networks to build suspense for their newest records, and released them on multiple streaming services, securing more listeners than Compton could with its Apple-first approach.

Fresh from winning their case against Pharrell Williams, Robin Thicke and TI for copyright infringement – and being awarded $7.4m in the process – the family of Marvin Gaye appear to have decided to take a look at the rest of Williams’s catalogue.

The next song in their sights is another huge global hit, one that will likely have generated enormous amounts of revenue after more than 10m salesMeanwhile. . “I’m not going to lie. I do think they sound alike,” Gaye’s daughter Nona told CBS News of the similarities between Williams’s worldwide smash Happy and Gaye’s 1966 song Ain’t That Peculiar.

“I heard the mash-ups – but I didn’t really need to hear them,” said Gaye’s ex-wife Janis. “I know Ain’t That Peculiar and I’ve heard Happy.”

However, they are not yet contemplating further legal action. “We’re not in that that space,” Janis said. “We’re just in the moment today and we’re satisfied.”

Howard King, the lawyer who acted for Williams, Thicke and TI, issued a statement to Billboard about his clients’ reaction to their loss in the Blurred Lines case.

“My clients and I are understandably disappointed in the jury’s verdict, especially given their absolute conviction that Blurred Lines came from the hearts and souls of Pharrell Williams, Robin Thicke and TI, and no other place,” he said. “Should the verdict be allowed to stand, a terrible precedent will have been established that will deter the record labels that fund new music from getting involved with creations built on the shoulders of other composers. No longer will it be safe to create music in the same style or genre of a prior song.”

He continued: “There was no properly‑admissible evidence upon which the jury could have found copying. A comparison of the two songs readily reveals that there isn’t one note in the melody that’s the same, there isn’t one chord in the entire song that’s the same, and there are no more than three notes in the bass lines, out of twenty six notes, that are the same.”

He added that “this matter is not finished by any stretch of the imagination.”