Liked Björk on Creativity as an Ongoing Experiment (thecreativeindependent.com)
I think the best connections or collaborations are when you don’t assume anything and there’s no projection and there’s no pressure and people are not forced up against the wall and like, “This is what we’re doing.” The few moments where we’ve found each other in that sort of situation, something was not right. I think where collaboration works best is when you drop all that and you just really start from scratch and you really try to make something that’s different than what you’ve done before, and you try to find a coordinate, which you wouldn’t have found on your own or with somebody different. That’s when it’s fertile.
via Oliver Quinlan
Bookmarked Quincy Jones on the Secret Michael Jackson and the Problem With Modern Pop (Vulture)
Music legend Quincy Jones on who he thinks killed JFK, the secret Michael Jackson, his relationship with the Trumps, and the problem with modern pop.
In this interview, Quincy Jones touches on a number of points, including Michael Jackson the Beatles and Marlon Brando. However, what stood out to my was his take on modern pop:

Do you hear the spirit of jazz in pop today?
No. People gave it up to chase money. When you go after Cîroc vodka and Phat Farm and all that shit, God walks out of the room. I have never in my life made music for money or fame. Not even Thriller. No way. God walks out of the room when you’re thinking about money. You could spend a million dollars on a piano part and it won’t make you a million dollars back. That’s just not how it works.

Is there innovation happening in modern pop music?
Hell no. It’s just loops, beats, rhymes and hooks. What is there for me to learn from that? There ain’t no fucking songs. The song is the power; the singer is the messenger. The greatest singer in the world cannot save a bad song. I learned that 50 years ago, and it’s the single greatest lesson I ever learned as a producer. If you don’t have a great song, it doesn’t matter what else you put around it.

Listened Beautiful People Will Ruin Your Life by The Wombats from thewombats.lnk.to
Although the catchy synth hooks may have gone, the infectious tunes still remain. Beautiful People Will Ruin Your Life reminded me of early Blur, but maybe The Strokes is a better comparison.

Frontman Matthew Murphy told triple j Breakfast that his grand vision:

was to keep it organic and not use too many synths or whatever, like we had done on the last couple of albums… In terms of songwriting, I think it’s a bit of a bangin’ album to be honest.

In his review for NME, Thomas Smith suggests:

There’s nothing groundbreaking here, but little to be ashamed of either.

I think though that Mac McNaughton captures it best in The Music when wonders:

Was that it.

There are some albums that are instantly irresistible, then there are those that are unexpected, taking a bit more time to make sense of. This has been my experience with some of the latter Radiohead albums. Maybe Beautiful People Will Ruin Your Life will be the same, but right now. It is not standing up against past albums.

Listened Steel Train, by Steel Train from Steel Train
Steel Train is the third full-length studio album by Steel Train, released on June 29, 2010.[5] The album features an all-female companion album entitled Terrible Thrills Vol. 1, which consists of covers, remixes, and re-imaginings of every song on the album by female artists.

Before Jack Antonoff produced tracks for Pink, Lorde and Taylor Swift, he was a member of Steel Train. I am always interested to listen to how artists evolve. This reminds me of the contrast of the early Powderfinger albums to their latter pop productions. I am also interested where the particular interest in 80’s synthpop came in as it is not really present in these guitar laden tracks.
Listened
This YouTube video is a curation of tracks performed by Thom Yorke at the piano (with the aide of various electronics):

  • 00:00 Bloom @ Pathway To Paris
  • 05:04 Cymbal Rush @ The Henry Rollins Show
  • 10:03 Ingenue @ The Johnathan Ross Show
  • 13:21 Videotape @ The Basement
  • 18:02 Analyse @ The Basement
  • 23:00 Last Flowers @ The Basement
  • 27:30 Down Is The New Up @ The Basement
  • 32:51 Eraser @ The Latitude Festival
  • 37:33 Fog(Again) @ Paris Acoustic Session
  • 40:15 Like Spinning Plates @ Oakland Fox Theater
  • 43:30 Everything In Its Right Place @ Oakland Fox Theater

Although there is a lot of live videos out there, including DJ sets, however I am always interested in hear songs striped back.

Listened All Melody by Nils Frahm - Releases - Erased Tapes from Erased Tapes
For the past two years, Nils Frahm has been building a brand new studio in Berlin to make his 7th studio album titled All Melody, which will be released on January 26th, 2018 via Erased Tapes, before Nils embarks on his first world tour since 2015.
I can’t remember when I first came across Nils Frahm, it was probably during my dive into Minimalism – Glass, Nyman, Part – but might have been when I stumbled upon a reworking of the Presets track Promises. His latest album is different from the solo work that I had grown akin to. I think that Philip Sherburne In Pitchfork captures it best:

Across 12 songs and 74 minutes, All Melody functions as a single, cohesive piece of music, with recurring themes interwoven throughout. It’s easy to get lost in the album and then, hearing a familiar motif, come up short, as if turning a corner in a long hallway and wondering if you hadn’t passed the same spot just a moment ago. It’s a pleasantly disorienting sensation.

What stands out is the blend of acoustic and synthetic sounds. This in part reminds me of Nicolas Jaar.

Watched

The Webby Award-winning PS22 Chorus was formed in the year 2000. We are an ever-changing group of 5th graders from a public elementary school in Staten Island, New York. PS22 is NOT a “school for the arts,” and the chorus is not a magnet program. PS22 Chorus just features ordinary children achieving extraordinary accomplishments — musically and otherwise.