Some people can dig up great music like magic, or have friends inside the industry who keep them updated. Some people are contented with their weekly Spotify Discover playlist. But if you need more ways to find music, here are 50 ideas, taken from Twitter users, my colleagues at Lifehacker’s publisher Gizmodo Media Group, and some of my own habits. Some are obvious, some bizarre, some embarrassing, but they’ve all helped people find their new favorite song, or even their favorite band.
In November 2005, Kate Bush broke a 12 year silence with the release of her double album 'Aerial', In this programme she gives a very rare interview to John Wilson in a special edition of Front Row, where she talks about why the album took so long to appear and tells some of the stories behind the songs.
Kate Bush reflects on music, the influence of technology and way in which she crafts her work.
I think that it would be a shame that, amoungst all this technology, for us to lose our sense of humanity. Music is suffering greatly from the overuse of computers and taking away the human element, which art is about human expression. I think machines and technologies should be used by people, you should not be a slave to them.
This reminded me of the discussion of Nigel Godrich’s use of tape in the production of music as a part of episode two of the Soundbreaking documentary.
via Austin Kleon
It was in Oct. 2016, in Berlin, during Michelberger Music. Between each show of the festival, we were kidnapping a person in the audience, which we were taking to a secret room where an artist was waiting. Between the two of them, a unique experience : a One To One concert.
There were seven performances recorded, featuring artists such as Bon Iver:
And Damien Rice:
There is something about the space of these performances that is really captivating. I imagine that watching these performances would be hard.
This weekend we happened to stumble upon a performance from Cheeky Chalk.
Cheeky Chalk are a two piece, with Mark Chapman on vocals and Mitch Hudson on guitar. Their sound is a cross between folk, reggae and rock. Their EP Little Man in my Head is a mixture of stripped back tunes and full band treatments. What stood out was the sameness to it all. Even with the variance in instrumentation, the songs seemed the same. A good ‘same’, but same none the less.
I was left wonder whether this ‘sameness’ was in fact a product of the space? Even when Chapman sings about lose it is still optimistic. In contrast, when I think of lose and breaking up, I think of The Cure’s “Apart”. This is a song whose lyrics and music drives a harrowing message. The thing is, maybe such messages don’t have a place on Bourke Street? The audience, the space, the dancing, the instruments.
It was ironic that when we stumbled upon the duo they were pumping out a cover of OutKast’s “Hey Yeah”, a song with all its subtle messages still always leaves you tapping your feet.
I would file Little Man in My Head somewhere between Jack Johnson and Pete Murray.
Antonoff condenses months of creativity into eight minutes. It left me think about how much learning is assumed to get to a point of understanding the technology to get to a point of control. I remember when I was young, I had a Roland G707. I would use a cassette player to record tape after tape of tweeking with the various sounds. There was something about the physicality of it that was never matched when I moved onto Fruity Loops.
Tiny Desk Concert
Bleachers performed on NPR Tiny Desk Concert. This stripped back concert includes a number of reimaginings, such as including Don’t Take the Money with Radio Gaga.
Making of Don’t Take the Money
Jack Antonoff reflects on the making of “Don’t Take the Money”. He provides an insight into the challenge of getting out the sound inside your head with the tools and skills at your disposal. Condensed into eight minutes, this overlooks the reality that such creations can take a considerable amount of time to develop.
Bleachers & PS22
A performance of “I Wanna Get Better” featuring Antonoff and the PS22 choir.
PK in the Morning Interview
Jack Antonoff reflects on the making of “Look What You Made Me Do”. Hearing the song on the radio for the first time, he provides a commentary sharing the thinking to some of the sounds and choices. He also reflects on the life of an artist, including the following:
“You know a song is done when you run to back it up with the hard drive”
“Music is meant to be a mini-documentary of that moment”
“Start young, because then you have longer before you have that conversation”
“You can’t learn it so just get out there and do it”
Jack Antonoff and Zane Lowe on Beats 1 discuss the Bleachers album Gone Now. Interesting quotes:
“No one hates anyone enough to go out there and buy a ticket to heckle them at the show, therefore when I am on tour I feel like I am with my people” (3:00)
“Writing is the most powerless process … you wait, you sit and you pray” (5:00)
“I want to work with people because they think that they are geniuses, not because I want make the albums that they have already made” (8:00)
“It took my whole career to find out that it is all an accident … Fun was a big accident” (9:00)
“The success you get, the more people are listening, the more you need to take care of them” (25:00)
“It’s sad and sounds like a party at the same time”
Jack Antonoff talks with Bill Nye about rollercoastering. Nye explains the dopamine rush associated with going on a rollercoaster. They also talk about what is means to exist.
Larry King Now
“I was born in 84′, I became conscious in the early 90’s” (9:00)
“1+1 = 1 Million” Antonoff on writing with others
A conversation between Jack Antonoff and Marc Maron on the WTF Podcast
“If I got a TV the first thing that I would do is throw away the manual and then spend seven years working out how to turn it on” (127)
“I don’t want to get to involved in the computer stuff … I don’t want to get away from what the song is” (127)
In an interview on WRBU, Jack Antonoff deconstructs the confusing logic of The Little Mermaid and why when you are playing in an arena you want to create an intimate experience, as well as vice versa.
When you play in a small venue you want to give people the arena experience and when you play an arena you want to give people the small venue experience
Drugs spin certain wheels in your head that are already spinning
Double Allergic was Powderfinger's second full-length album, released in 1996. It featured the singles Pick You Up, D.A.F. Living Type, & Take Me In.
I remember when I purchased Double Allergic. My step sister, who was visiting from Perth, was looking at purchasing a mobile phone (a rare commodity back then), so we went to JB Hi-Fi before seeing baz Luhrmann’s Romeo and Juliet at the cinemas. She looked at my oddly with no idea who the band was. It stands out now because of where they went after this album.
I remember seeing the band live during this period too. Daniel Pilkington and I went to Storey Hall for an underage concert. It was nearly cancelled as Bernard Fanning could barely sing due to a throat infection. This led to Darren Middleton taking the mic and singing quite a few of the songs.
The album was interesting as it had a mixture of genres. Although the pop-sensibilities were there in the singles, Pick You Up and DAF:
There was a real edge to some of the other tracks, like Boing Boing and Take Me In. I am not sure if this was a certain phase or something that Tim Whitten brought out in his production. Although there are times when the later work breaks out, it never seems to return to the same intensity of this early sound. Although the same could be said about many artists, including Radiohead.
I would file this album between Soundgarden’s Superunknown and Something For Kate’s Elsewhere for 8 Minutes.
Australian indie-pop band continues to move away from the precocious and cute toward a more streamlined, highly polished sound.
I think that Architecture in Helsinki are one of those bands divides people. Similar in a way to Sparkadia, people either gel to the sugary synth-pop or are put off. Personally, Moments Bend is one of those albums that feels like a bodily album, in that I often catch myself tapping away to the beat.
For a different take on their music, they also demonstrate the ability to re-imagine things more acoustically:
I would file this album somewhere between Talking Heads and Hot Chips.
I remember when I first came upon Sarah Blasko. It was a cover of Crowded House’s Don’t Dream It’s Over for the compilation She Will Have Her Way:
One of the things that struck me was the way that she cut things back to basics. Although her work often includes rich arrangements, this never seems over done. Her latest album is no different.
Although her use of synth bass and programmed beats leads to comparisons with artists like Goldfrapp, it never seems to reach the same dancefloor intensity. This mix often creates a feeling of fragility throughout the album. I was reminded in part of my experience listening to LCD Soundsystem’s album american dreams. The more I listened, the more the choice to hold back on elements made sense. I found that it is one of those albums that never seems settled and subsequently hooks you in because of it.
Read Gregory Alekseenko for a track by track breakdown.