J Dilla passed away in 2006, and Michael Jackson passed away three years later. Today, the veteran turntable master J.Rocc has found a fascinating way of paying tribute to the two of them. On the new Bandcamp release, J.Rocc puts the vocals of old Michael Jackson vocals over old Dilla beats, a surprisingly seamless combination … More »
Macaulay Culkin is the latest guest to grace Marc Maron’s long-running interview podcast WTF. During their conversation, Culkin reveals that the Pizza Underground, his pizza-themed Velvet Underground cover band, has come to an end. “I was a little tired of it, to be completely honest,” he explains. “I’m very casual about everything I … More »
R.E.M. recently released an expansive reissue for Automatic For The People‘s 25th anniversary, and the band has been reflecting extensively because of it. They just released a 24-minute documentary about the album, which you can watch here, and Michael Stipe and Mike Mills recently sat down for an interview with Vice News. More »
Throughout the years, the entertainment industry has lost too many musicians, actors, and celebrities at such a young age. Michael Jackson was only 50 years old, Elvis Presley was only 42, and the list continues. Forbes recently released the annual list of the estimated annual earnings of dead celebrities. Like years prior, musicians continue to
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Thanks to Thriller, Michael Jackson’s legacy will always be a little bit Halloween-y, and now the late King Of Pop is joining Charlie Brown among the ranks of those with their very own seasonal special. In Michael Jackson’s Halloween, the voices of Jim Parsons, Christine Baranski, Alan Cumming, Lucy Liu, and other CBS stars … More »
Award-winning Manchester band Everything Everything is currently on a mini-tour to follow up the release of their album A Fever Dream. We asked them which songs meant the most to them, and here is what they gave us.
“This playlist represents songs we’ve gravitated towards recently during the making and release of our new album, A Fever Dream. Songs we listened to at the end of a day of recording to refresh our ears and brains; songs we heard while driving around the country promoting the album in record stores, and songs we play in dressing rooms through our little speaker to get us excited to play shows.”
Deerhoof – I Will Spite Survive
One of our favourite bands. This song kind of sounds like Paramore but badly recorded (in a good way) with some Bach counterpoint organ on top getting it wrong (in a good way).
Joe Jackson – Steppin’ Out
Recently rediscovered this song. My mum used to have it on a compilation cassette in the car when I was a child. Obviously I thought it was awful at the time.
Mica Levi – Children
It’s been amazing and quite surreal to see Mica go from making strange little pop songs with The Shapes to being on red carpets in Hollywood for her mesmerising film scores. This piece is from the Jackie soundrack and we listened to it through the very large and expensive speakers of the studio when we were recording our album, A Fever Dream.
Sigrid – Don’t Kill My Vibe
This song is about Sigrid co-writing with some male songwriters and feeling talked down to and disrespected by them. It feels timely and honest and, above all else, is a brilliant song.
Weezer – No Other One
We’ve been listening to this song in our dressing room recently. I went back and listened to Pinkerton a few months ago, having missed it the first time round, and was surprised how good it was as an album. No Other One is probably my favourite track on it from a band that seem to always change yet never change.
Solange – Cranes In The Sky
Solange was the best artist I saw at Glastonbury. Her highly-choreographed show felt old-school like James Brown while also feeling like the most future-thinking and focussed production of the Glastonbury weekend. This song is particularly special.
The Yardbirds – For Your Love
I don’t really know The Yardbirds but enjoyed hearing For Your Love on the radio recently. It’s got a surprisingly otherworldly sound and feel to it, a bit like the Odyssey and Oracle album by The Zombies, which we love.
Public Image Ltd. – Rise
Such a strange tone to this song. It’s angry and downtrodden yet euphoric and uplifting. PIL itself are a strange beast and under-appreaciated.
Mr Jukes – When Your Light Goes Out
This is Jack from Bombay Bicycle Club’s new band and features our friend Lianne La Havas on vocals. It has a kind of lilting effortlessness and subtle hooks that made it immediately stand out to me.
Lorde – Green Light
Just a banging pop song by a special artist.
Grizzly Bear – Wasted Acres
This album came out on the same day that ours did in the UK, which annoyed me a bit at the time. It’s music for a band written like it’s for an orchestra and beautifully executed.
The Brothers Johnson – Strawberry Letter 23
Heard this in a record shop in Nottingham while touring round the UK doing in-store shows on release week of our album and remembered how good it is. Such a weird and wonderful way to start the song too…
Thundercat – Bus In These Streets
This song reminds me of watching American TV Shows when I was a kid. Sounds like something from Sesame Street but with lyrics about very 2017 concerns such as social media and over-sharing.
Blur – On My Way To The Club
One of the highlights from the only Blur album that was almost entirely bereft of guitarist Graham Coxon, this could have been at the darker end of Gorrillaz output. Damon’s best work all contains the sense of melancholy on show here, and the lyrics seem to be about the loss of his friend, and the phrasing owes much to David Bowie.
Michael Jackson – Leave Me Alone
Through a series of events that I still don’t quite understand, I saw this video on a cinema screen last week. Despite the fairly serious message of the lyrics the video is witty, irreverent and deftly crafted.
Be sure to check out Everything Everything on the final few dates of their tour:
Steve Aoki was asked to remix Michael Jackson’s hit single “Thriller” as part of the release of the pop icon’s compilation titled ‘Scream.’ The 13-track ‘Scream’ compilation features classic songs such as “Dirty Diana,” “Thriller,” “Ghosts,” and “Torture” and was released today (September 29th) via Epic/Legacy Recordings in ties with The Estate of Michael Jackson.
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Mercer serves up his latest “Human Nature”, a summer-friendly track that samples some groovy and classic Michael Jackson. Coining it “Nothing but a summer jam,” the track is airy and not too far of a step from tropical. Though a departure from many of his other releases, “Human Nature” still has many key qualities that are present in Mercer’s musical style. A thumping bass line, popping synths, and a BPM closer to the 124-130 house music mark make this a must for speakers this summer.
Dent May’s catchy orchestral pop has enraptured us for some time. Their newest effort, Across the Multiverse, sounds exactly like its title suggests – a sweeping, sparkling swirl. We asked Dent May to make us a playlist of tracks that he listened to while recording and the playlist he came back with was full of discoveries and sonic wonders. Check out the playlist below as well as the new lyric video for their stand out track, “Picture on a Screen.”
1. Pages – Let It Go
Here’s a track I consistently pulled up while recording the album for sonic inspiration. My friend Pat Jones recorded Anton Hochheim’s drums, and we listened to this repeatedly between takes searching for this kind of dry, very open sounding hi-fi 70s drum sound.
2. Aged In Harmony – You’re A Melody
I’m really thankful this got re-issued last year, because the original record is like $500. Everything about this recording is perfect, and I want to live in this world.
3. Greg Phillanganes – Lazy Nina
This one seems to be a hit among my friend group in Los Angeles. Maybe it’s one of those things where people discover something at the same time due to YouTube recommendation algorithms. Greg Phillanganes is mostly known for his work with Michael Jackson, and this song was written by Donald Fagen. Gotta love the lyrics about being home from tour and easing back into the daily routine.
4. Donna Summer – State Of Independence
I read an excellent book called Recording Michael Jackson by Quincy Jones’s engineer Bruce Swedien. This is from an underrated self-titled Donna Summer album Quincy produced right before he did Thriller in 1982. Still haven’t figured out how to work in the gospel choir yet, but definitely expect that on a future album.
5. Con Funk Shun – Love’s Train
James Ferraro turned me onto this song. I’ve probably listened to it thousands of times and you should too.
6. Byrne & Barnes – Love You Out Of Your Mind
This is a cult classic that was hard to find at one time. It was recorded in Muscle Shoals, AL and originally released in Japan. Robert Byrne recorded another one of my favorites “Blame It On The Night,” and these guys went on to work with Earth, Wind & Fire, Pointer Sisters, Boyz II Men and many more.
7. Alessi Brothers – Seabird
I probably shouldn’t even be revealing my secrets like this, but this recording directly influenced one of the album new tracks. Listen for yourself and decide.
8. Brian Protheroe – Changing My Tune
Alex from Mild High Club showed me this one. I love the self-referential lyrics about songwriting as metaphor for love, and the string arrangements are by Del Newman, who worked with Harry Nilsson, Cat Stevens and many others.
9. The 5th Dimension – Requiem 8:20 Latham
This was written by Jimmy Webb, a fellow Mississippian who wrote the greatest songwriting book of all time, Songsmith. It’s required reading for all my songwriting heads. When Billy Davis, Jr. sings, “Why could I not die then? / warm behind the curtains of your hair” is about when I start sobbing.
10. Sally Oldfield – Woman Of The Night
Here’s one of many songs I learned about through Jimi Hey, who’s played in a bunch of great bands and is my favorite DJ in Los Angeles. All of his Dublab radio shows are on Soundcloud, and everyone needs to check that out.
11. Dolly Parton & Kenny Rogers – Islands In The Stream
I’ve been wanting to write a duet forever, and this is my favorite of all time. When I asked Greta to sing on “Across The Multiverse,” I sent this over and was like, “I want to achieve this level of greatness.”