Brooklyn Philharmonic launches Beethoven remix project, performs with Mos Def, distributes mix tape

Brooklyn Philharmonic launches Beethoven remix project, performs with Mos Def, distributes mix tape http://www.tinymixtapes.com/sites/default/files/news-11-08-beethoven.jpg

Dust off your samplers and stop footworkin’ for one minute, aspiring DJs! The Brooklyn Philharmonic is seeking Brooklyn-based “DJs, producers, or anyone else who works with musical samples” to apply for its Beethoven Remix Project. All you have to do is send them an application by September 15 and cross your fingers that you’ll be one of the lucky five chosen (or two of the five, if you’re a conjoined twin) to remix the finale of Beethoven’s romantically classical/classically romantic Third Symphony, the “Eroica.” Not only will you get $200 for your services, but you will also be featured on a tiny mix tape that will be passed out to an audience consisting of… Mos Def fans?

Yes, believe it or not, the Brooklyn Philharmonic, not particularly known for the down beat, is collaborating with Mos Def for a special performance in which he’ll rap over the orchestra’s reinterpretations of his songs. Not since Coolio’s “Gangsta’s Paradise” has the classical world (specifically, the opening moments of J.S. Bach’s Prelude No. 2 in C minor) blended so seamlessly with the hip-hop world! And even better: one winning finalist will not only have their remix arranged for orchestra by composer Andrew Norman, but also have it performed live alongside Mos Def on June 9 at the Bedford-Stuyvesant Restoration Plaza.

This cultural juxtaposition isn’t completely unprecedented. The Brooklyn Philharmonic, which was in such a poor financial state a couple years back that it canceled its entire 2009-2010 season, is now led by artistic director Alan Pierson, and shit’s changing quickly. If there are any vestigial distinctions leftover between “high” and “low,” the orchestra is making valiant attempts to crush them. Aside from the Mos Def performance, which will be preceded by a couple other Mos Def/chamber-orchestra shows in October, Pierson has put together a season that will feature performances of music by the usual suspects (Tchaikovsky, Brahms, Dvořák) alongside those by Otis Redding, Sam Cooke, Duke Ellington, and even a little white artist named Sufjan T. Stevens.

Pierson is certainly no stranger to juxtaposition: he’s the conductor/director of new music ensemble Alarm Will Sound, who collaborated with Dirty Projectors last year to transform the sample-heavy The Getty Address into a live performance. The group also released an album called Acoustica, which consisted of acoustic arrangements of Aphex Twin songs.

Anyway, read more about the application and remix schedule here, then get your classiest digs ready for June 9: you and your conjoined twin have a date with juxtaposition!

• Brooklyn Philharmonic: http://www.bphil.org

Thao with The Get Down Stay Down tour with The Head and The Heart, ditch Mirah because her name is too short

Earlier this year NPR and a few other trusted sources went gaga-googoo over Thao and Mirah’s collaborative effort of the same name (TMT Review), and it wasn’t just because tUnE-yArDs’ Merrill Garbus produced it (though that certainly helped win tepid fans over). Well, this news has nothing to do with Mirah or Garbus or anything like that. Sorry.

Today we cater, instead, to those who like their Thao the old-fashioned way, with a little bit of The Get Down Stay Down to keep ya warm on those annoyingly breezy Bay Area summer nights. And Thao, who’s called SF home for long enough now, knows better than most how to dress for such occasions. In fact, it basically feels like fall year-round there, so no wonder their tour kicks off as the autumnal weather hits the rest of the country.

On September 20, Thao and The Get Down Stay Down embark on a 23-date tour, most of which find them supporting the folky Seattleites The Head and The Heart.

Dates:

09.20.11 - New Orleans, LA - One Eyed Jacks
09.21.11 - Atlanta, GA - Variety Playhouse
09.22.11 - Raleigh, NC - Lincoln Theater
09.23.11 - Washington, DC - 9:30 Club
09.24.11 - Charlottesville, VA - Jefferson Theater
09.25.11 - Philadelphia, PA @ The Ukie Club
09.26.11 - Brooklyn, NY - Music Hall of Williamsburg
09.27.11 - New York, NY - Bowery Ballroom
09.28.11 - New York, NY - Mercury Lounge *
09.30.11 - Boston, MA - Royale
10.01.11 - Buffalo, NY - Town Ballroom
10.02.11 - Cleveland, OH - Beachland Ballroom
10.03.11 - Grand Rapids, MI - Calvin College Fine Arts Center
10.06.11 - Milwaukee, WI - Turner Hall
10.07.11 - Madison, WI - Majestic Theater
10.08.11 - Minneapolis, MN - The Cedar Cultural Center
10.09.11 - Omaha, NE - The Waiting Room
10.10.11 - Denver, CO - Gothic Theater
10.14.11 - San Diego, CA - House of Blues
10.18.11 - Eugene, OR - WOW Hall
10.19.11 - Portland, OR - Crystal Ballroom
10.20.11 - Vancouver, BC - The Commodore Ballroom
10.22.11 - Seattle, WA - The Crocodile *

* not opening for The Head and the Heart

• Thao with The Get Down Stay Down: http://thaomusic.com
• The Head and The Heart: http://www.theheadandtheheart.com
• Kill Rock Stars: http://www.killrockstars.com

RIP: Jerry Leiber, “Jailhouse Rock” and “Stand By Me” songwriter

From Rolling Stone:

Jerry Leiber, one of the most important songwriters in the history of rock & roll — whose 60-year partnership with Mike Stoller produced “Stand By Me,” “Hound Dog,” “Jailhouse Rock,” “Young Blood,” “On Broadway,” “Yakety-Yak” and countless other classics – has died of cardiopulmonary failure. He was 78.

“When Jerry and I started to write, we were writing to amuse ourselves,” Stoller told Rolling Stone in 1990. “It was done out of a love of doing it. We got very lucky in the sense that at some point what we wrote also amused a lot of other people.”

• Leiber & Stoller: http://www.leiberstoller.com

Steve Reich changes controversial album cover; artists still tiptoeing around 9/11 sentimentality

Remember September 11? No? Well, a lot happened that day, such as the release of Slayer’s God Hates Us All and an unprecedented act of terrorism on the World Trade Center. Many Americans responded with a great deal of misdirected anger, and thus the music industry came under (almost) as much fire as Islam (I may be exaggerating). For example, the album cover for Dream Theater’s Live Scenes from New York, featuring a burning New York skyline, was pressured to be changed. Political hip-hop group The Coup’s Party Music, which depicted group members in front of the towers detonating an explosion, delayed its initial release date due to the uncanny similarity to the true event that took place just days prior. On a side note, MTV also started playing music videos again for a few days, like U2’s “One,” and the whole thing was just a mess.

Ten years later, patriots are still preoccupied with sniffing out musical controversies, those both accidental and intentional. Recently, everyone’s favorite Mogwai derivatives Explosions in the Sky stirred up some star-spangled angst in Boise, Idaho with a concert marquee stating “Explosions in the Sky […] September 11th.” And now even American minimalist pioneer Steve Reich is receiving criticism for the cover art of his upcoming release of WTC 9/11 on Nonesuch, featuring Reich’s 15-minute composition for string quartet and tape in honor of the 10th anniversary of the attacks on the World Trade Center. The album cover (pictured above) was the object of intense debate for several weeks, and in an official statement, Reich finally succumbed to critical pressure, explaining, “I want to thank Nonesuch for backing up my original decision about the cover and for backing up my decision now to change it so we can put the focus back where it belongs, on the music.”

Unlike the previous offenders, Reich’s album art had no intentions of controversy nor political statement. Having lived only four blocks away from the tragedy in 2001, the composer has stated, “For us, 9/11 was not a media event.” Such can explain the concept of this tribute and its gloomy cover art: sincerely affected. Plus, it’s not like many Tea Party members would have been so disappointed that they’d sell all their copies of Drumming to pawn shops and vow to only support true patriots like John Adams and Phillip Glass. But alas.

WTC 9/11 will be released via Nonesuch on September 20. Cover art TBA.

• Steve Reich: http://www.stevereich.com
• Nonesuch: http://www.nonesuch.com

Lil Wayne to digitally dunk Tha Carter IV on your head this Sunday after his performance on the VMAs

Lil Wayne will be performing at the MTV Video Music Awards next Sunday, August 28, but it’s only after his performance, when the clock strikes midnight, that the real magic happens. No, his whip won’t turn back into a pumpkin, but his new album Tha Carter IV will be released exclusively on iTunes and other online outlets. The August 29 release date means that the physical album will be out in stores later the same day.

The much-anticipated follow-up to 2008’s Tha Carter III (TMT Review) will feature collaborations with Drake, Rick Ross, Busta Rhymes, T-Pain, and John Legend, and Weezy hopes that the hype generated by his live performance that night will help jump-start sales. “I am extremely excited to be the first artist to utilize such an amazing idea,” Lil Wayne said in a statement. “I hope that I can open the door for others.”

Though he is the first artist to release an album so soon after a televised performance, Lil Wayne is not the first to experiment with online sales. Jay-Z and Kanye West’s Watch the Throne (TMT Review), which reached #1 on the Billboard charts last week, was released exclusively on iTunes several days before it was stocked on shelves, primarily to avoid the album leaking. Lil Wayne’s variation on this sales tactic could prove a direct indicator of whether or not fans like his new material, and at the same time will finally reveal to the world who the hell is still watching the VMAs.

• Lil Wayne: http://www.lilwayne-online.com
• Young Money: http://www.weareyoungmoney.com

Talkdemonic releasing new album Ruins, still don’t need any other band members

Don’t let the superficially simplistic sound of their previous two albums fool you; the Portland-based duo Talkdemonic have presumably been spending the last three years pondering ideas and gearing up (literally, gathering their numerous instruments) for Ruins, which, despite the curious absence of Tatsuya Yoshida, promises to be a noticeable departure in sound.

Whereas Beat Romantic (TMT Review) and Eyes at Half Mast (TMT Review) both demonstrated a relatively straightforward amalgam of alternating drums, banjo, guitar, viola, piano, and miscellaneous electronics, Kevin O’Connor remarked in an interview with Willamette Week that he “…wanted to make a concerted effort to really change things up. This time around, that started to happen. There’s a lot more synths. A lot less of the folk aspect in the music. It’s abrasive at times. Intense.” Talkdemonic… abrasive and intense? Consider my curiosity piqued.

The change in style might have something to do with the fact that this is their first album as amicable signatories to Isaac Brock’s Glacial Pace Recordings. Likewise, they recently toured with Modest Mouse, and as Willamette Week reports, Brock even took on some of the mixing duties on their upcoming record, which comes out October 4. Certainly, as O’Connor seems apt to recognize, a change was all but necessary given the (at times) indistinguishable musical similarities of their last two LPs. “We’re really happy with it,” says O’Connor. “We really don’t know if people are going to like it or not but that’s really exciting too.”

Ruins tracklisting:

01. Slumber Verses
02. Ruins
03. Revival
04. Midcentury Motion
05. City Sleep
06. Violet
07. Summer Glass
08. Cascading
09. Time Draws On
10. Midnight Pass
11. Chimera
12. Palace Walk

Tourdates:

08.28.11 - Salt Lake City, UT - Urban Lounge
08.29.11 - Denver, CO - Moe’s
08.31.11 - Tucson, AZ - Club Congress *
09.01.11 - San Diego, CA - The Casbah *
09.02.11 - Los Angeles, CA - Echo Plex *
09.03.11 - San Francisco, CA - Slim’s *
09.04.11 - Sacramento, CA - Town House Lounge *
09.07.11 - Boise, ID - Neurolux *
09.08.11 - Portland, OR - Branx (Musicfest NW show) *
09.09.11 - Victoria, BC - Club 9one9 *
09.10.11 - Seattle, WA - Neumo’s *

* Handsome Furs and Sunns

• Talkdemonic: http://www.talkdemonic.com
• Glacial Pace: http://www.glacialpace.com

  

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