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Pop Music Blogs

19 February 2020

Pop Music Blogs
  • FRESH: ‘Not The Girl’ – Natalie Shay
    Natalie Shay is “Not The Girl” Natalie Shay – who we have featured before – is a 21 year old indie pop/rock artist hailing from North London. The multi award-winning musician has established an ever-growing presence, media acclaim and a loyal fanbase through her explosive live performances and viral-worthy anthems, recognising her as one of […]
  • EVERY UK NUMBER ONE SONG: ‘You’ve Lost That Lovin’ Feelin’ – The Righteous Brothers
    What was the number one song in the UK on 4th February 1965? American duo, The Righteous Brothers hit the top spot for 2 weeks with You’ve Lost That Lovin’ Feelin’. Many music critics have named this song the ultimate pop record or one of the best records ever made. The problem with songs like […]
  • FRESH: ‘The Channel’ EP – Kaine Francesco
    Kaine Francesco is back in 2020 with a brand new EP Born in England but raised in France, Kaine Francesco was immersed in a multicultural world at a young age, which exposed him to a wide variety of musical influences. Teaching himself to play piano and guitar, his songwriting skills began to flourish, allowing him […]
  • FRESH: ‘Not The Girl’ – Natalie Shay
    Natalie Shay is “Not The Girl” Natalie Shay – who we have featured before – is a 21 year old indie pop/rock artist hailing from North London. The multi award-winning musician has established an ever-growing presence, media acclaim and a loyal fanbase through her explosive live performances and viral-worthy anthems, recognising her as one of […]
  • EVERY UK NUMBER ONE SONG: ‘You’ve Lost That Lovin’ Feelin’ – The Righteous Brothers
    What was the number one song in the UK on 4th February 1965? American duo, The Righteous Brothers hit the top spot for 2 weeks with You’ve Lost That Lovin’ Feelin’. Many music critics have named this song the ultimate pop record or one of the best records ever made. The problem with songs like […]
  • Yoon Shi Yoon In Talks For OCN Sci-Fi Drama

    Yoon Shi Yoon is considering the lead role in an upcoming sci-fi drama! On February 19, Xportsnews reported that Yoon Shi Yoon will most likely act in the OCN drama “Train” (working title), which is planned to air in the first half of this year. It’s reported that Yoon Shi Yoon’s role would be Seo Do […]

    The post Yoon Shi Yoon In Talks For OCN Sci-Fi Drama appeared first on Soompi

  • Watch: GFRIEND Scores 6th Win For “Crossroads” On “Show Champion”; Performances By Moonbyul, PENTAGON, And More

    GFRIEND grabbed another trophy for “Crossroads”! On the February 19 episode of “Show Champion,” the nominees for first place were The Boyz’s “Reveal,” Red Velvet’s “Psycho,” MAMAMOO member Moonbyul’s “Eclipse,” GFRIEND’s “Crossroads,” and PENTAGON’s “Dr. BeBe.” GFRIEND took the win! Watch GFRIEND’s performances and win below! Performers in this week’s episode also included MAMAMOO’s Moonbyul, […]

    The post Watch: GFRIEND Scores 6th Win For “Crossroads” On “Show Champion”; Performances By Moonbyul, PENTAGON, And More appeared first on Soompi

  • Stop Me If You’ve Heard This Number One Before

    The 80s didn’t stop in 1989, oh no. In the world of music, the last three decades have leaned heavily on that classic decade. Jon O’Brien looks at the best chart-topping singles that owed a debt to the 1980s…

    As LadBaby’s sausage roll-themed retooling of Starship’s We Built This City proved last Christmas, the act of reviving a Top 40 hit from the 1980s can still lead to chart-topping success. In fact, over the past 30 years, more than 30 UK No.1 singles have borrowed heavily from the decade, whether via a subtle or, more likely, a blatant sample, a straightforward or radical cover version, or simply a re-release of the original.

    Ignoring the tracks whose inspirations reached pole position first time around (eg Puff Daddy’s interpolation of The Police’s Every Breath You Take on I’ll Be Missing You, or Gabrielle Aplin’s rendition of Frankie Goes to Hollywood’s The Power Of Love), here’s our countdown of the 90s, 00s and 10s No.1s which owe it all to the 80s.

    20

    The Black Eyed Peas

    The Time (Dirty Bit) (interpolation of Bill Medley & Jennifer Warnes’ (I’ve Had) The Time of My Life, No.6, 1987)

    It’s easy to forget that will.i.am and co. were once regarded as an alt-hip-hop outfit in the vein of A Tribe Called Quest. The Time (Dirty Bit) sticks rigidly to The Black Eyed Peas’ super-commercial formula – bleepy synths, clubby beats and enough AutoTune to make Daft Punk sound organic, all topped off with a lazy sample of the Dirty Dancing number. Unlike Jennifer Grey’s Baby, this definitely deserved to be put in the corner.

     

     

    19

    Dizzee Rascal and James Corden

    Shout (interpolation of Tears for Fears’ Shout, No.4, 1984)

    Dizzee Rascal was hailed as the voice of his generation with Mercury Prize-winning 2003 debut album Boy In Da Corner. And yet within seven years the grime pioneer was fronting a Simon Cowell-backed Tears For Fears cover with one half of Horne & Corden. Shout, of course, was England’s unofficial 2010 World Cup song. But neither Dizzee’s dodgy rhymes nor Corden’s bellowing could inspire the Three Lions to anything more than a humiliating early exit.

    18

    KWS

    Please Don’t Go (originally recorded by KC & the Sunshine Band, No.3, 1979)

    KWS’s house-pop reworking of KC & The Sunshine Band’s lovelorn ballad just about qualifies here – the original reached its peak position in only the second chart week of 1980. The group were hastily assembled to cover Please Don’t Go following a UK rights issue with German act Double You’s similar idea. And then there’s the rumour that it was recorded with an ulterior motive – to persuade Des Walker to stay at the trio’s beloved Nottingham Forest.

    17

    A1

    Take On Me (originally recorded by A-ha, No.2, 1985)

    Contrary to what the casual music-buying public would probably believe, A-ha’s sole UK No.1 appeared courtesy of The Sun Always Shines On TV, not one of the 1980s’ quintessential hits. Originally reaching No.2, Take On Me did eventually go one better at the turn of the millennium thanks to an altogether more traditional boyband renowned more for their curtains than their cheekbones. A1’s cover version was accompanied by a Matrix-meets-Tron video, which at the time was deemed cutting-edge.

    16

    Geri Halliwell

    It’s Raining Men (originally recorded by The Weather Girls, No.2, 1983)

    It seems fair to say that Geri Halliwell doesn’t possess the powerhouse tones of Martha Wash and Izora-Rhodes Armstead. But what she lacks in vocal ability, she makes up for in sheer enthusiasm on this spirited take on The Weather Girls’ classic. Recorded for the Bridget Jones’s Diary soundtrack in 2001, Halliwell gives it her all on her fourth successive and final UK No.1, with its Flashdance-inspired promo only adding to the sense of pure unadulterated camp.

    15

    DJ Sammy and Yanou featuring Do

    Heaven (originally recorded by Bryan Adams, No.38, 1985)

    DJ Sammy would later give Don Henley’s Boys Of Summer a similar trance-lite reworking but it was another AOR veteran that inspired his only UK chart-topper. A No.1 hit in the States, Bryan Adams’ Heaven was all but ignored across the pond. However, the diminutive Spaniard’s cover was practically unavoidable in the autumn of 2002, with a stripped-back Candlelight Mix also catering for those who preferred Magic FM to the Ministry Of Sound.

    14

    LL Cool J

    Ain’t Nobody (interpolation of Rufus & Chaka Khan’s Ain’t Nobody, No.8, 1984)

    There have been no less than six hit covers of Rufus & Chaka Khan’s funk classic, ranging from Liberty X’s clever mash-up with The Human League’s Being Boiled to Felix Jaehn’s insipid tropical house makeover. This unexpected chart-topper from one of hip-hop’s elder statesmen sits somewhere in-between. The coquettish call and response is a neat addition, but even LL himself sounds slightly bored with its pedestrian pop-rap production.

    13

    Eminem

    Like Toy Soldiers (sample of Martika’s Toy Soldiers, No.5, 1989)

    From Labi Siffre (My Name Is) to Dido (Stan), Marshall Mathers’ sampling habits have always been a little more diverse, and indeed a little more unfashionable, than your average motormouthed rapper. Once again sitting at odds with his enfant terrible reputation, the third single from 2005’s Encore gave the anthemic power balladry of Martika’s US No.1 Toy Soldiers an unlikely new lease of life. The pitch-shifted sample sure isn’t subtle, but then Eminem is always at his most palatable when he plays it straight. 

    12

    The Bluebells

    Young at Heart (originally reached No.8, 1984)

    Almost unrecognisable from the Motown-tinged original that appeared on Bananarama’s 1983 debut album, The Bluebells’ Young At Heart has more in common with Dexys Midnight Runners than the brilliantly nonchalant girl group. The fiddle-driven folk reworking gave the Scottish outfit their first UK Top 10 hit in 1984. But it went on to occupy pole position for the whole of April nine years later when it soundtracked that memorable ‘Just Divorced’ ad for the Volkswagen Golf.

    11

    Room 5

    Make Luv (sample of Oliver Cheatham’s Get Down Saturday Night, No.38, 1983)

    A geeky guy throwing some shapes in a deodorant commercial was the unlikely catalyst for Oliver Cheatham’s rise to noughties chart-topper. Italian DJ Room 5’s chic reworking of the Detroiter’s sole UK hit, Get Down Saturday Night, got a captive audience pretty much every other ad break in 2003 thanks to its use in a Lynx promo. And Cheatham certainly appreciated the career boost. Not only did he re-record his vocals, he collaborated with Room 5 on his follow-up, too.

    10

    LMC vs. U2

    Take Me To The Clouds Above (mash-up of Whitney Houston’s How Will I Know, No.5, 1986 and U2’s With or Without You, No.4, 1987)

    You get two bona fide 80s gems for the price of one with this floor-filling mash-up from 2004. Well, parts of them anyway. Firstly, there’s the utterly joyous opening two lines from Whitney Houston’s How Will I Know, and secondly, there’s the shimmering guitar hook from arguably U2’s career-best single With Or Without You. The whole thing hangs together surprisingly well.

    09

    Jennifer Lopez feat. Pitbull

    On The Floor (sample of Kaoma’s Lambada, No.4, 1989)

    Jenny from the Block had briefly tiptoed onto the dancefloor with second single Waiting For Tonight. But she stomped all over it with both Louboutins in 2011 when she revived the brief Brazilian phenomenon known as the Lambada. The first and best of three party-starting collaborations with rent-a-rapper Pitbull, On The Floor borrowed the melody from Kaoma’s one-hit wonder, which itself cribbed from an early 80s Bolivian ballad.

    08

    Eric Prydz

    Call On Me (sample of Steve Winwood’s Valerie, No.19, 1987)

    Transforming Steve Winwood’s Valerie into an unlikely club anthem, Eric Prydz paved the way for a whole wave of faceless one-hit wonders in 2004. Indeed, pretty soon everyone from Hall & Oates to Boy Meets Girl were getting a similar treatment by opportunist hitmakers who quickly realised that slapping a four-to-the-floor beat on an 80s soft rock hit was a surefire bet. Call On Me enjoyed a briefly-interrupted five-week run atop the UK charts but is perhaps still best known for that gyrating FHM-friendly video.

    07

    The Tamperer feat. Maya

    Feel It (sample of The Jacksons’ Can You Feel It, No.6, 1981)

    The Tamperer were one of the few acts to climb to No.1 in the late 1990s, taking six weeks to reach the summit. You have to wonder what took the British public so long. From The Wizard Of Oz-inspired poser (“What’s she gonna look like with a chimney on her?”) to the triumphant sampling of The Jacksons to Maya’s vampish vocals, everything about Feel It screams instant earworm. The Material Girl-sampling, brilliantly-titled If You Buy This Record (Your Life Will Be Better) nearly repeated the trick, too.

  • Rina Sawayama on Instagram: “COMME DES GARÇONS (LIKE THE BOYS) BRABO REMIX FEAT. PABLLO VITTAR ‼️ OUT FRIDAY
  • Dave - Black (Live at The BRITs 2020)

Rock Music Blogs

19 February 2020

Rock Music Blogs
  • The Used Prepping New Album, ‘Heartwork,’ Featuring Mark Hoppus, Travis Barker and More
    The Used will release the band's eighth studio album, "Heartwork," in April, and the set features some big names.
  • Fufu Banana - Fields Of Nowhere
  • Between The Trees - “She Is...” (2006)
  • EX DEO - Death Metal Historians Team Up With FLESHGOD APOCALYPSE’s Francesco Ferrini On New Track “The Philosopher King”
    Ex Deo tells the tale of Marcus Aurelius, The Philosopher King - with an orchestral death metal stage set by Fleshgod Apocalypse’s Francesco Ferrini. "What doesn’t transmit light, creates its own darkness. I am Marcus Aurelius, the Philosopher King!" After three years since the release of their latest acclaimed full-length...
  • PAPA ROACH Subject Of British Comedy Special 'Finding Emo'
    California rockers PAPA ROACH have a special place in Joel Dommett's heart, so much so that the British comedian and TV presenter wrote a comedy special on his favorite band, "Finding Emo", which airs on ITV2 this Saturday, February 22 at 10 p.m., and repeated on Thursday, February 27. In "Finding Emo", Joel Dommett attempts to reunite the members of his teenage emo band that only played one gig to play "Last Resort" by PAPA ROACH. Dommett says: "I've been waiting a long time to announce this - My stand up special 'Finding Emo' will be on @itv2 at 10pm Feb 22nd. I'm super proud to be the first comedian to have a special on their channel and It's going to be EPIC." Is Joel faking it, hell no, Joel had a PAPA ROACH tattoo inked to commemorate the end of his tour. He talks further about meeting PAPA ROACH on this "Teenage Mix" tape podcast. Hearing about how much Joel loved PAPA ROACH, Dan Waite, MD Europe for Allen Kovac's Better Noise Music, invited Joel and his comedian pal Iain Stirling, Laura Whitmore's boyfriend, to meet Jacoby Shaddix and PAPA ROACH backstage at Islington Forum venue in April 2019, where Jacoby and Joel hit it off and have been keeping in touch ever since. PAPA ROACH is currently on a European tour promoting its "Who Do You Trust?" album, with ICE NINE KILLS and HOLLYWOOD UNDEAD supporting.
    My best friends and the person I want to be my best friend so so bad. After writing a stupid tour show show about them... Posted by Joel Dommett on Thursday, April 18, 2019
  • EPICA And APOCALYPTICA To Team Up For Fall 2020 'Epic Apocalypse' European Tour
    This fall, Dutch symphonic titans EPICA and Finnish cello masters APOCALYPTICA will join forces for the "Epic Apocalypse Tour". The tour comes in support of EPICA's upcoming album, which will be released later this year. Support on all dates will be provided by Helsinki prog metallers WHEEL. EPICA's Simone Simons comments: "To celebrate the upcoming release of our long-awaited eighth album, we are going to bring the 'Epic Apocalypse Tour' to Europe together with our friends from the mighty APOCALYPTICA. It's a great new step as we'll be playing some bigger venues which allows us to add some new exciting production to the show as well. We couldn't be more excited to present our new songs and to finally tour with APOCALYPTICA. See you there!" APOCALYPTICA's Eicca Toppinen adds: "This is all about adventure, exploration and bringing the dynamic excitement of symphonic metal to yet more fans both old and new. 'Cell-0' is, for us, a return to our roots while exploring new artistic universes within that realm, and this tour will help our horizons expand even further. So come one, come all, because we are going to present a great night of entertainment." "Epic Apocalypse Tour" dates: Oct. 21 - CH - Zurich - Komplex Oct. 22 - CH - Lausanne - Komplex Oct. 23 - IT - Milan - Fabrique Oct. 25 - HU - Budapest - Barba Negra Oct. 26 - CZ - Brno - Hala vodova Oct. 27 - D - Munich - Tonhalle Oct. 29 - S - Stockholm - Berns Oct. 30 - N - Oslo - Sentrum Oct. 31 - DK - Copenhagen - Amager bio Nov. 02 - D - Hannover - Capitol Nov. 03 - D - Hamburg - Docks Nov. 04 - D - Berlin - Columbiahalle Nov. 06 - PL - Warsaw - Progresja Nov. 08 - D - Leipzig - Haus Auensee Nov. 09 - AT - Vienna - Gasometer Nov. 26 - P - Lisbon - Coliseum Nov. 28 - E - Murcia - Gamma Nov. 29 - E - Madrid - La Riviera Nov. 30 - E - Barcelona - Razzmatazz Dec. 03 - F - Paris - Zenith Dec. 04 - BE - Brussels - AB Dec. 05 - UK - London - Roundhouse Dec. 07 - UK - Bristol - O2 Academy Dec. 08 - UK - Glasgow - O2 Academy Dec. 09 - UK - Manchester - Academy Dec. 11 - NL - Amsterdam - AFAS Live Dec. 12 - LUX - Luxembourg - Den atelier Dec. 15 - DE - Cologne - Carlswerk Victoria Dec. 16 - DE - Wiesbaden - Schlachthof Dec. 17 - DE - Ludwigsburg - MHP Arena Tickets for all shows and VIP upgrades will be on sale from 10:00 a.m. CET on Friday, February 21.
  • Doc McGhee Told Kiss: 'Call Me When You Put the Makeup Back On'

    Manager recalls how he finally took the job, and repeats hopes that all surviving members will take part in final show.

  • Billy Joel's Neighbors Fear He's Going to Build a 'Stinkpot'

    Island village residents object to his plans to create stables for 12 horses.

  • Ronnie James Dio feature-length documentary is coming
    Late heavy metal legend Ronnie James Dio is set to be the subject of a feature-length documentary from BMG.
  • Keep on rocking with our essential band merch and collectibles
    Looking for a birthday present or just after a treat for yourself? Well, you’re in luck as we've hand-picked our favourite band merch and collectables that are available right now

Classical Music Blogs

19 February 2020

Classical Music Blogs
  • The Riot Ensemble Presents “Extinction Events” at Kings Place, London
    19 February 2020

    Loss, degradation, toxic masculinity: these were the themes of The Riot Ensemble’s ‘Extinction Events’ concert at London’s Kings Place on..

    The post The Riot Ensemble Presents “Extinction Events” at Kings Place, London appeared first on I CARE IF YOU LISTEN.

  • How to make a sustainable opera
    19 February 2020

    England’s Opera North announced its new season today.

    Among the fine offerings is a new Alcina directed by Tim Albery which will also be our first sustainable production, using only recycled, re-used and second hand materials in its set, props and costumes.

    Isn’t that what car delaers call ‘pre-loved’?

  • Beethoven’s Second Symphony: Unleashing a Force of Nature
    19 February 2020

    1802 was not a good year for Ludwig van Beethoven.

    It was around this time that the 31-year-old Beethoven disclosed the persistent deterioration of his hearing to a childhood friend. In a letter to Franz Wegeler, a physician, he wrote of his fear and humiliation:

    For almost two years I have ceased to attend any social functions, just because I find it impossible to say to people: I am deaf.

    In October of 1802, Beethoven drafted the famous “Heiligenstadt Testament,” an unsent, private letter in which he reflected on his despair, admitted to thoughts of suicide, and then arrived at a life-affirming conclusion—that he would move forward and find meaning and solace in the creation of art. “From today on, I will take a new path,” Beethoven told his piano student, Carl Czerny. This “new path” ushered in Beethoven’s “heroic” middle period, opening the door to Romanticism with ferocious and revolutionary new sounds, and dramatic, expanded forms which had never before been imagined.

    Heiligenstadt, now a suburb of Vienna, was a small, pastoral town where Beethoven spent six months at the recommendation of his otologist. This is where most of the Second Symphony was written. Set in the triumphant, celebratory key of D major, the Symphony occupies a world far removed from Beethoven’s personal darkness. It erupts as a force of nature, filled with spirited vitality, humor, and even frivolity. Hector Berlioz once remarked, “this Symphony is smiling throughout.”

    While the Second Symphony is still set within the framework of Haydn’s classical orchestra, we can hear Beethoven’s “new path” taking shape, with intimations of the earth-shattering “Eroica” (Symphony No. 3). The expansive introduction (Adagio molto) which opens the first movement gives us a sense of the symphonic form stretching in powerful and dramatic new ways. The introduction’s thirty-three measures begin with a musical “call to order.” Then, amid an array of conversing voices, the music seems to search, as if unsure of the way forward. As tension mounts, disparate elements gradually come together, and a majestic and momentous structure emerges. In the final bars of this introduction, you may be reminded of the massive sonic “pillars” which open Beethoven’s Seventh Symphony. There is also an uncanny foreshadowing of the falling fourth motif we hear in the first climax of the Ninth Symphony’s introduction.

    The first movement’s Allegro con brio erupts as a spirited, irrepressible force. It knocks us off our feet with an overwhelming energy unique to Beethoven. As this wild musical rollercoaster ride unfolds, listen to all of those swirling lines, sudden ferocious jabs, and defiant statements which seem to overturn the elegant, well-balanced table of classicism. This is music which rumbles and growls, pulling us through a series of modulations in the development section, and then arriving at a coda which amazingly pushes the limit even further (Listen to the passage beginning at 10:40). The final bars seem to place Bach counterpoint in the middle of a boisterous celebration.

    The second movement (Larghetto) begins with a beautiful, flowing melody, unfolding as a quietly passionate dialogue between the strings and woodwinds. Listen to the way this initial statement develops into an increasingly complex conversation between instrumental voices. A series of far-flung adventures take this melody in unexpected directions. Throughout the Second Symphony, there are moments of sudden volatility where the classical orchestra seems to be pushing beyond its limits. One example comes at the moment’s climax, beginning around 16:08, where a motivic fragment takes on a life of its own, repeating persistently and rising as a defiant statement.

    The third movement discards the minuet-trio model of Haydn. Instead, we get a full-fledged Scherzo, filled with wild frivolity. Here, the orchestral voices are engaged in boisterous play. The jokes continue in the exuberant final movement (Allegro molto), which begins with a musical “hiccup.” In the final moments, listen carefully for the most extreme practical joke of all. The strings draw us into a mysterious, shivering, hushed tremolo, and then the other voices jump out, as if to yell, “boo!”

    “Two worlds at once they view, Who stand upon the confines of the new,” wrote the musicologist George Grove in a couplet describing Beethoven’s Second Symphony. Indeed, this is music which glances backwards while looking forwards. Although soon eclipsed by the “Eroica,” the Second Symphony was considered a long and bewildering work when it was premiered at the Theater an der Wien in Vienna on 5 April 1803. The program included Beethoven’s Third Piano Concerto and the oratorio, Christ on the Mount of Olives, along with a repeat performance of the First Symphony.

    Excerpts from two reviews give us a sense of how shocking this music was for the first audiences. One reviewer wrote,

    It is a noteworthy, colossal work, of a depth, power, and artistic knowledge like very few. It has a level of difficulty, both from the point of view of the composer and in regard to its performance by a large orchestra (which it certainly demands), quite certainly unlike any symphony that has ever been made known. It demands to be played again and yet again by even the most accomplished orchestra, until the astonishing number of original and sometimes very strangely arranged ideas becomes closely enough connected, rounded out, and emerges like a great unity, just as the composer had in mind.

    Following a second performance in 1804, a Viennese critic for the Zeitung fuer die elegante Welt (Newspaper for the Elegant World) famously called the piece

    a crass monster, a hideously writhing, wounded dragon that refuses to die and, though bleeding in the finale, furiously thrashes about with its stiffened tail.

    Five Great Recordings
  • Opera star pays heartfelt tribute to Jonathan Miller
    19 February 2020

    Asmik Grigorian has learned belatedly of the death, 3 months ago, of the English polymath:

    I did not know. ..
    He was the one who influenced my last choice to become an opera soloist at a crucial time.
    He was the one,who took my hand and told me that i will manage to fight all my fears.

    He was the one who brought me to the LNOBT. it was my debut in my country.

    He was the one I carried in my heart all 16 years of my career with biggest gratefulness.
    He is the one,i will carry in my heart and memory till the end.
    He is my first director.
    Jonathan Miller
    Thank you for everything Jonathan!
    Rest in peace.
    I will never forget.

     

  • Hi everyone, I wrote a waltz. This one makes me think of cruising down a river on a paddle steamer. Any feedback welcome, hope you enjoy.
    19 February 2020
  • One of the most moving 30 minutes of musical expression
    19 February 2020
  • I tried improvising something similar to a raga on acoustic guitar. I'd love to hear some feedback!
    19 February 2020

    https://soundcloud.com/ahahaha-ahahahah/long-ass-improv-in-c-minor

    I obviously don't expect anyone to listen to the whole thing, I got lost and it went on way too long :D

    submitted by /u/three_cheers
    [visit reddit] [comments]
  • Premiere of Jasdeep Singh Degun's sitar concerto with the Orchestra of Opera North
    19 February 2020
    Jasdeep Singh Degun (Photo Kabilan Raviraj)
    The composer and sitar player Jasdeep Singh Degun will be premiering his new sitar concerto, Arya, with the Orchestra of Opera North, conductor Harish Shankar, at a concert at Huddersfield Town Hall on 23 February 2020. They will then be touring the concerto to Durham Cathedral (5 March), Royal Northern College of Music, Manchester (11 March) and the CBSO Centre, Birmingham (19 March). In Huddersfield, the concerto will be performed with music by Sibelius and by the Turkish composer Ulvi Cemal Erkin, whilst on tour the chorus of Opera North will perform a selection of operatic music.

    British born composer and sitar player Jasdeep Singh Degun spans the worlds of Indian classical and Western music, ranging from his work with the cutting-edge band, 'Project 12’ to appearing at the BBC Proms playing his own compositions. Jasdeep was recently awarded a Sky Academy Scholarship to work on a debut album of contemporary and classical music. As part of the scholarship, Jasdeep is currently mentored by the illustrious multi-instrumentalist and producer, Nitin Sawhney.

    His new sitar concerto came about as a result of his participation in a residency at Resonance, Opera North's programme for BAME artists.

    Full details from the Opera North website.
  • Ductus est Jesus: music from the Portuguese Golden Age from Gramophone Award winning Portuguese ensemble Cupertinos
    19 February 2020
    Cupertinos, musical director Luis Toscano
    Ductus est Jesus,: Manuel Mendes, Pedro de Cristo, Manuel Cardoso, Fernando de Almeida, Estêvão de Brito, Estêvão Lopes Morago, Bartolomeu Trosylho, Filipe de Magalhães; Cupertinos; Cadogan Hall
    Reviewed by Robert Hugill on 18 February 2020 Star rating: 4.5 (★★★★½)
    The Gramophone Award-winning Portuguese ensemble makes its UK debut with a programme of Portuguese polyphony from the Golden Age

    The Portuguese vocal ensemble, Cupertinos, won a 2019 Gramophone Award (in the Early Music category) for its disc of Cardoso's Requiem and Lamentations on Hyperion. Directed by Luis Toscano, Cupertinos made its UK debut on Tuesday 18 February 2020 at Cadogan Hall as part of the Choral at Cadogan series. The programme, Ductus est Jesus, concentrated on music for Lent and centred on the Missa de Quadragesima by Manuel Mendes, along with Lamentations by Pedro de Cristo, Manuel Cardoso, and Fernando de Almeida, plus motets by Estêvão de Brito, Estêvão Lopes Morago, Bartolomeu Trosylho and Filipe de Magalhães, all Portuguese composers from the late 16th century and early 17th, the so-called 'Golden Age'.

    The composers in the programme were all associated with the various religious centres in Portugal, and much of the music survives in manuscript. Many of the works performed, including the mass and the Lamentations by Pedro de Cristo and Fernando de Almeida, were transcribed and edited by Luis Toscano (music director of Cupertinos and Professor Jose Abreu (from the University of Coimbra). And one of the ensemble's aims is to present this unexplored legacy of Portuguese polyphony.

    The fascinating thing about this period of Portuguese polyphony is that it took place against the background of the loss of sovereignty. In 1580, King Henry I of Portugal died, he was known as Henry the chaste and was a cardinal in the Roman Catholic Church who only came to the throne because his nephew King Sebastian I died in battle in 1578. As Sebastian had been the only heir to his grandfather, these deaths left a succession crisis which led to 80 years of Spanish rule, initially under King Philip II of Spain. It was against this backdrop, with many of the composers working for Philip, the Portuguese polyphony flowered. Inspired by music such as that of Palestrina (1525-1594) and perhaps ignoring contemporary Baroque developments in music in Italy, the composers of the Portuguese Golden Age seemed to create a distinctive Portuguese style which can be seen as some sort of reaction against the Spanish domination of the country.


    The movements from Mendes' Missa de Quadragesima (Kyrie, Credo, Sanctus & Benedictus, Agnus Dei, Benedicamus Domino) were spread out throughout the programme, surrounded by motets and the various settings of Lamentations. Cupertinos was a 10 person group (3.2.2.3, with female altos) with Luis Toscano, who sings tenor, providing a discreet pulse from his position at the end of the arc of singers. The result had the sort of flexibility and sense of individuals contributing to communal purpose that comes from unconducted groups (you could see the way individual singers were communicating throughout the performance), yet with a sense of overall structure and architecture which comes from a conducted ensemble.

    As performers, the singers demonstrated a quiet confidence and understated sense of technique, but this was combined with a clear love of the music they were singing, and a strongly individual vocal sound. Much of the music was sober, even penitential, and there was no scope for riotous enjoyment but it was clear that the singers were fully involved in the music. This was a fully engaged and engaging account of often unfamiliar music, one which rather than dazzling was profoundly satisfying. It was a style which was willing to sacrifice surface perfection in the pursuit of expressiveness, and all the singers gave us a sense that this music really meant something to them. This was allied to fine diction, so that even without the printed words (there had been a problem with the printed programmes), we could ascertain the text and its meaning.

    In terms of vocal style, the group owes a lot to what I think of as the Mediterranean sound of choral singing, individual voices were clearly present and the overall tone was very vibrant, but allied to a sophisticated understanding of the music and a sense of overall ensemble. Lines were often strong and very sculptural, which set off the rich polyphony admirably.

    It was fascinating to hear the three sets of Lamentations side by side, each set a different section of the Biblical text and each was, I assume, a fragment of a larger whole. We started with that of Pedro de Cristo, slowly unfolding with a great sense of architecture, quite sober with a concentrated gravity to the performance. Manuel Cardoso's six-part Lamentations were full of rich textures, quite vigorous at times and really gorgeous. Fernando de Almeida's eight-part Lamentations came at the end of the programme (followed just by the 'Benedicamus Domino' from Mendes' mass); a surprising piece, full of lovely textures and vivid effects which brought out the drama of the words.

    Manuel Mendes' Missa de Quadragesime also had some strong lines, with moments like the final 'Kyrie' and passages from the 'Credo' being surprisingly full-blooded and, at times, positively gutsy, yet alternating with more intimate moments with plainchant from a solo voice. The 'Sanctus & Benedictus' were sung with a real sense of engagement, whilst the 'Agnus Dei' was surprisingly fast. The final movement of the mass, 'Benedicamus Domino', proved to be quite small but perfectly lovely.

    Surrounding these were a series of motets, mostly unfamiliar such as the robust polyphony of Estêvão Lopez Morago's surprisingly vigorous and upbeat De Profundis or the gently unfolding lines enlivened by lively detail of Bartolomeu Trosylho's Circumdederunt me. Pedro de Cristo's eight-part Parce mihi Domine used antiphonal effects between different sized groups to striking effect. Manuel Cardoso's six-part Sitivt anima mea proved to be sober yet rich textured.

    The programme was quite compact (30 minutes each half) and played without applause between the items, which meant that it flowed beautifully, thus added to the sense of concentration and intensity in the performance. At the end, the applause was rightly enthusiastic, and we were treated to an encore.

    Pedro de Cristo: Lamentationes Jheremie prophetæ 1:1-5
    Manuel Mendes: Missa de Quadragesima – Kyrie
    Estêvão de Brito: Assumpsit Jesus
    Manuel Cardoso: Lamentationes 1:6–7
    Manuel Mendes: Missa de Quadragesima – Credo
    Estêvão Lopes Morago: De profundis
    Bartolomeu Trosylho: Circumdederunt me
    Pedro de Cristo: Parce mihi Domine
    Manuel Mendes: Missa de Quadragesima – Sanctus & Benedictus
    Filipe de Magalhães: Commissa mea
    Manuel Cardoso: Sitivit anima mea
    Manuel Mendes: Missa de Quadragesima – Agnus Dei
    Fernando de Almeida: Lamentationes 2:8-11
    Manuel Mendes: Missa de Quadragesima – Benedicamus Domino
    Elsewhere on this blog
    • Welcome rarity: Verdi's Luisa Miller receives a strong musical performance in Barbora Horáková's new production at ENO (★★★★½) - opera review
    • Extinction, Nature overwhelmed and toxic masculinity: music by Aaron Holloway-Nahum, Laurence Osborn, Liza Lim from the Riot Ensemble at Kings Place (★★★½) - concert review
    • Teamwork, resilience, self-discipline: teaching life-skills through music, I chat to Truda White of MiSST (Music in Secondary Schools Trust)  - interview
    • Vividly engaged: Schubert's Death and the Maiden from the conductorless string orchestra, 12 Ensemble (★★★★) - CD review
    • Kokoschka's Doll: a new melodrama inspired by the tempestuous affair between Alma Mahler and Oscar Kokoschka is the starting point for this new disc  (★★★½) - CD review
    • Whither Must I Wander? A young American duo bring poetry & imagination to a voyage around RVW's Songs of Travel (★★★½) - CD review
    • Riveting & magnificent: Yan Pascal Tortelier & Iceland Symphony Orchestra's 70th birthday tour reaches London with Yeol Eun Son in Ravel and Anna Thorvaldsdottir's Aeriality (★★★½) - concert review
    • Bringing the music to vibrant life: Owen Rees & Contrapunctus explore the enthusiasm for Josquin's music in 16th century Spain  - (★★★★) CD review
    • Les vêpres Siciliennes: Verdi's French Grand Opera makes a rare appearance in Welsh National Opera's striking new production  - opera review
    • For a piece to suit the requirements of a particular occasion is the ultimate praise: composer Bernard Hughes chats about his approach to composing & his new disc of music for narrator & orchestra, Not Now, Bernard!  - interview
    • Opera to Die For: the National Opera Studio in opera scenes from Mozart to Britten through Gounod, Puccini, Janacek & Ullmann at Sadler's Wells - opera review
    • Monteverdi to Italian contemporary music by way of Cage, Berio & Glass: Highlands and Sea from Laura Catrani and Claudio Astronio (★★★½) - CD review
    • Home
  • Vienna private bank gives award to Yusif Eyvazov
    19 February 2020

    The media in Azerbaijan and the tenor himself are reporting with delight and gratitude the award of the Grand Prix de la Culture to national hero Yusif Eyvazov.

    The Grand Prix is endowed by Wiener Privatbank SE and the artists agency Hollaender-Calix.

     

    View this post on Instagram

     

    So happy and honored to receive this amazing price GRAND PRIX DE LA CULTURE 2020 . Would love to thank Mag. Adrian Hollaender for such a honor!! This is so important and so precious for me . Also thanks my dear colleague Margarita Gritskova mezzosoprano, who sang beautiful at the event and amazing pianist Petra Pogady Hollaender for such a gift ! Love you guys !! 🙏🙏🤗🤗💓💓💓💓 Очень счастлив получить премию GRAND PRIX DE LA CULTURE 2020 в Вене . Хочу выразить огромную благодарность основателю премии Адриану Холлендеру за высокую оценку и доверие , а также моих замечательных коллег Меццо-сопрано Маргариту Грицкову и виртуозную пианистку Петра Погади Холлендер за выступление в честь сегодняшнего вечера ! Спасибо большое за такой подарок и за доверие 🤗🤗🙏💓💓💓 #yusifeyvazov #wien #austria #grandprixdelaculture #adrianhollaender #petrapogady #margaritagritskova #friends

    A post shared by Yusif Eyvazov Tenor Official (@yusif_eyvazov_official) on Feb 17, 2020 at 11:45am PST

    pic: Facebook

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19 February 2020

Indie Music Blogs
  • The Pale White return with new single 'Polaroid'
    19 February 2020




    Words: Sam Geary 

    Newcastle three-piece The Pale White - brothers Adam (lead vocals, guitar) and Jack Hope (drums), and long time friend Tom Booth (bass) - are back with their big first single of the year, 'Polaroid'.

    The powering three-minute track of resplendent guitars and instant vocal addiction, is the first taster from the band's debut album sessions, although no release date has yet been set for that.

    "It’s the start of a new decade, but ‘Polaroid’ talks about the past," explain the band. "It’s a melancholy blast about freezing a specific moment in time and living in it forever. Ironically, Its quite the opposite of how we’re feeling as a band. We’re feeling stronger than ever and ready to take on the 20s."

    Listen to 'Polaroid' here.


    ©2012 – All rights reserved

    Little Indie Blogs
  • Listen :: The Liar's Club - Street's A Madhouse
    19 February 2020



    Words: Sam Geary 

    The Barrow in Furness answer to Idles, teen foursome The Liars Club, had this new single, 'Street's A Madhouse', premiered by Huw Stephens on BBC Radio One - which isn't a bad way to start.

    Produced by Gavin Monaghan (Editors, Goldblade, The Blinders), who also worked on their 2018 debut EP 'Dormant', the track is lifted from their follow up EP - again produced by Monaghan - due for release in May.

    Noah Johnson (vocals), Daniel Milmine (guitar), Matt Southwell (drums) and Frank Kendall (bass) unleash torrents of brutally honest, new age punk in a short, sharp two and a half minute blast.

    Tune in below, and catch the band in action at the Aatma & Peer Hat All-Dayer on March 28 at Aatma in
    Manchester.

    ©2012 – All rights reserved

    Little Indie Blogs
  • The Blinders go round in a 'Circle Song'
    19 February 2020




    Words: Ellie Ward 

    Coming two years after their acclaimed debut album 'Columbia', The Blinders have announced their second full-length.

    Recorded at Manchester’s Eve Studios alongside producer Rob Ellis (PJ Harvey, Anna Calvi), 'Fantasies Of A Stay At Home Psychopath' is set for release on May 8 via Modern Sky UK. Preceding it they have shared its first track, 'Circle Song', a dark blues-waltz underpinned by propulsive bass and evocatively prosaic lyricism.

    The band have a series of live dates lined up in May, along with festival appearances at Live At Leeds, Sound City, Hit The North and Sonic Wave.



    Live dates


    MAY
    01 Live At Leeds Festival, Leeds
    02 Sound City, Liverpool
    03 Hit The North Festival, Newcastle
    19 Caves, Edinburgh
    20 Welly Club, Hull
    21 100 Club, London
    22 Joiners, Southampton
    23 O2 Academy 2, Leicester
    24 Sonic Wave Festival, Birmingham

    ©2012 – All rights reserved

    Little Indie Blogs
  • Defalva – “Energy – On the Voyage Through Life” demonstrates a gorgeously sophisticated sound and a powerful concept
    19 February 2020

    Per Defalva, simply known as Defalva started up as an artist in Sweden with several exhibitions. Per later turned towards music to expand his artist expressions. During the last 20 years he has released several records of original music. Most of them featuring the collaboration of producer Andreas Hedberg. In 2019 he released the 10 song concept album, entitled “Energy” – the sixth album in the series “On the Voyage Through Life”. “The theme is about the good or bad that fills people with energy,” explains Defalva. “This time the sound style is influenced by synth, electronic dance music, techno and house.”

    Defalva and Andreas Hedberg

    On this album Defalva creates body music that circumvents the head to reach the spirit. He thoroughly examines sociological and psychological behavior that are unequivocally influenced by our energy – be that positive or negative energy. “Energy is life, regardless if it is destructive or not”, explains the artist, continuing: “It is the abstract fuel that states the power of our actions; that differs success from good efforts, manic from apathy, turns engagement to surveillance. It is energy that takes hate to levels of horrors that we never can forgive, but also boost the joy to dimensions where life feels blissful.”

    Defalva matches the music’s expansive chords, driving beats and imposing aural textures with a vocal performance that radiates dramatic turns with sweetly captivating melodies. The true genius of this album lies in how timeless it sounds like. It feels utterly classic and contemporary at the same time, an achievement few artists can claim.

    Defalva and Producer Andreas Hedberg have carved out a very unique sound, hitting sonic, lyrical and thematic heights at a time when modern music is rife with cloned shallowness. “EnergyOn the Voyage Through Life” is certainly a ground shifting album for the electronic music industry.

    The album cover

    From the moment “Leave This Room” comes rumbling in, you are aware that something different is on the musical horizon. Notwithstanding the fact that this is electronic music, its structures are built on complex progressive rock foundations, while its narrative – both musically and lyrically – derives from a cinematic and soundtrack logic.

    In that same breath it’s also fair to say that Defalva is not only an intellectually-inclined composer, but he also knows how to turn out a really catchy tune, which he fully demonstrates on “Just Do It”. As you run through these tracks, depending on your musical mindset, you will recall a whole brilliant bunch of disparate influences that somehow manage to infiltrate the sounds here.

    “On My Own” throbs and pulses with a minimal lyric sheet, while “The Race” builds steadily from an aching whisper to a beating soar. Defalva’s seemingly innate knowledge of what sort of tone to aspire to with his voice makes each song all the more remarkable.

    Though graceful and understated, Defalva’s vocals somehow always manage to dominate the music. It is most evident on the crunchy and abrasive backdrops of “The Game” and “Eternal Pulse”, where the vocal arrangements reach their apex. The distinct, hopeful and airy croon of Defalva’s tone, cascades in over the heavy percussion and dark basslines on “No Limit”.

    Per Defalva

    The atmospheric, bass-driven and horn-infused “Trapped in a Circle”, is one of my favorite tracks on the album, and has an accessible melody that could easily charm mainstream radio. “The Trip” is upbeat and bouncy, wrapped in luscious mellifluous harmonies, before the album closes on a toned-down note with the carefully pondering “Morning Prayer”.

    Whilst there is no such thing a perfect album, Defalva comes incredibly close to achieving it on “EnergyOn the Voyage Through Life”, demonstrating a gorgeously sophisticated sound, whilst his unrestrained behavioral commentary resonates rather loudly.

    Lyrically each song is fully fleshed out as, Defalva investigates the energies within, but I’ll leave you to unravel them for yourself. In conclusion, just when you thought electronic music was dominated by dancefloor bombast, Defalva comes along and blows stereotyped concepts for the genre out the water with an incredible piece of deep-thinking art that you owe it to yourself to listen to, at least once, and all the way through.

    Connect with Defalva on FACEBOOK and find his music on CDBABY, SPOTIFY and all other major digital stores.

     

    The post Defalva – “Energy – On the Voyage Through Life” demonstrates a gorgeously sophisticated sound and a powerful concept appeared first on JamSphere.

  • UR FUN
    19 February 2020
    Kevin Barnes has been doing this a while. As the brain behind of Montreal, he has been creating colorful psychedelic pop for over two decades. Yet the band's latest release, UR FUN, instantly conjures a different image from its previous work.
  • Introducing: Georgia VanNewkirk – Hot Pink Heartbreak
    19 February 2020

    Georgia VanNewkirk is an American singer and songwriter born in Los Angeles, California, and raised in the Lowcountry of South Carolina.

    She recently released third single Hot Pink Heartbreak and it an awesome pop song. I like the expressive vocals. Besides, hooks are powerful. Furthermore, I am also a fan of the deep bass and bright atmosphere.

    Lyrically, the song is very impressive. Georgia’s lyrics are clever and are filled with metaphors hidden in between the lines. She always strives to put all of her emotions into her songs by opening up and being vulnerable to her fans.

    Georgia’s music sounds so innovative. Hot Pink Heartbreak deserves all the attention. Start streaming it now!

    You can stream Hot Pink Heartbreak below on Spotify!

     

    The post Introducing: Georgia VanNewkirk – Hot Pink Heartbreak appeared first on Lefuturewave.

  • Introducing: E^ST – Fresh Out Of Love
    19 February 2020

    E^ST, whose name was inspired by her mother’s maiden name Oosthuysen (oost means east in Dutch), has supported the likes of Panic! At The Disco and Twenty One Pilots on tour. The dynamic tunesmith has also become an in-demand writer for other artists, from global concerns like Noah Cyrus to rising domestic talent such as Nicole Millar.

    Fresh Out Of Love is E^ST’s new single and it sounds magical. I like the catchy melodies. Besides, the vocals are stunning. Furthermore, I am also a fan of the soulful elements and well-written lyrics.

    The track is accompanied by an official music video which depicts a poignant ‘80s dreamscape and showcases E^ST’s enigmatic performance.

    E^ST always make good songs, she’s so talented. Fresh Out Of Love has all the facets of a hit. Start streaming it now!

    You can stream Fresh Out Of Love below on Spotify or YouTube!

    The post Introducing: E^ST – Fresh Out Of Love appeared first on Lefuturewave.

  • Introducing: Cubs – hope(less)
    19 February 2020

    Cubs is LA based independent songwriter.

    She recently released her new single hope(less) and it sounds so good. I like the crystal clear vocals. Besides, the melodies are unique. Furthermore, I am also a fan of the solid hooks and uplifting vibes.

    On the single, Cubs says: ”This song is about trying to make a relationship work, but feeling taken for granted, under-appreciated, so you stop hoping the person will change and try to move on.”

    Cubs is a talented artist, she’s so creative and artistic. hope(less) is a brilliant piece of music. Start streaming it now!

    You can stream hope(less) below on SoundCloud or Spotify!

    The post Introducing: Cubs – hope(less) appeared first on Lefuturewave.

  • Introducing: LAGIOIA – True Love
    19 February 2020

    LAGIOIA is an Indie Soul/R&B artist from Zurich.

    She recently released her new single True Love and it sounds so good. I like the smooth  melodies. Besides, the vocals are out of this world. Furthermore, I am also a fan of the wonderful harmonies and solid hooks.

    On the single, LAGIOIA says: ”When I wrote this song, I was kind of sadly inspired by the love stories of my friends. Nowadays it’s so hard to find true love because no one wants so commit anymore because they’re maybe scared, it is all about meeting and leaving somebody very fast. The song is a story about a beautiful and true story about a young couple. While the narrator is telling this lovely story, it realises that nowadays, it can be a myth or fantasy, because the problem nowadays (in my opinion) it’s very difficult to find that true love.”

    LAGIOIA’s music is something else. True Love has all the elements of a true masterpiece. Start streaming it as soon as possible!

    You can stream True Love below on SoundCloud or Spotify!

    The post Introducing: LAGIOIA – True Love appeared first on Lefuturewave.

  • M.I.L.K. Drops Music Video for Genre-Fusing Song “Need A Witness”
    19 February 2020

    M.I.L.K. releases his beautiful music video for “Need A Witness”

    M.I.L.K. is an outstanding act that fuses several genres together to create a vibrant sound that feels both nostalgic and fresh at the same time. His latest song “Need a Witness” has moments that seem to be inspired by Psychedelic Rock, 90’s Rock, Hip-Hop, and Pop. This track features a laid back folky-sounding acoustic guitar with a hip hop sounding beat. The vocals are soft and soulful feeling a bit like spoken word or rap at times. The chorus is impressively catchy and unforgettable, showing off his brilliant songwriting skills. It’s a tune that will definitely get stuck in your head. Quite the ear worm! The lyrics are standout as well and there are many of them. The music video feels vintage in shooting style and outfit choice. It was directed by Tue Blichfeldt & Emil Wilk.

    On the topic of the music video M.I.L.K. says: this was “filmed with just the two of us in the most southern part of Denmark on a hunt for migrating birds – one the most beautiful nature phenomenons I’ve ever witnessed.”
    When asked about the songwriting process and inspiration M.I.L.K. says: “It’s my favorite song I ever did. The vibe is inspired by good old badass country smashes and the lyrics are about the brighter sides of life and wanting someone to share it” – Emil Wilk
    2020 Capitol Music France, a label of Universal Music France

    Written by Ryan Cassata

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