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Thursday, Feb 26, 2009

There are very few taboos in the work of American composer Dave Soldier. In the mid-1980s, he founded and played violin in the punk chamber group the Soldier String Quartet, an outfit that attempted to bring together the raw, amplified energy of rock with the polyphonies of Haydn and Beethoven. 


Soldier has collaborated everyone from Russian conceptual artists, Komar & Melamid to Kurt Vonnegut to Mo Tucker on classical compositions, operas, chamber music, blues rock and amplified Andalusian folk, but he is, perhaps, most notorious for his work with children and animals. The Thai Elephant Orchestra, for example, was just what it sounded like, a herd of elephant playing enormous musical instruments, and he has also composed for zebra finches and pygmy chimpanzees. In the early ‘00s, he founded Da Hiphop Raskalz, a group in which five-ten-year-olds in East Harlem wrote and played their own music. Lately, he has travelled to Guatemala to create music with Mayan Indian children at the Seeds of Knowledge School in San Mateo Ixtatan. The children use giant marimbas, built especially for them, and it sounds pretty damned good. 


Dave Soldier
“Casamiento de los Apaches” [MP3]
     



And just for fun, here’s a video of those elephants in the Thai Elephant Orchestra



Tagged as: dave soldier
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Thursday, Feb 26, 2009

Czech Romani hip-hop group Gipsy.cz is representing the Czech Republic at this year’s Eurovision Song Contest to be held in Moscow. Last year’s Reprezent is a superb booty-shaking melange of hip-hop beats and Gypsy instrumentation and melodies. Here is the group performing “Benga Beating” from Reprezent at Eurosong 2008.


And here’s an older treat, “Romano Hip Hop”...



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Thursday, Feb 26, 2009

Kid Cudi (AKA The Man on the Moon) brings it with a semi-artsy, fairly interesting video to accompany his semi-artsy, fairly interesting first single, Day N Nite. It reminds me of a more advanced and less uplifting version of Junior’s “Mama Used to Say” video from 1982. Overall I would say it’s up there for rap video of 2009. I like the use of animation and feel it adds something; it’s not superfluous psych out CGI. Cudi seems like he could really do something this year, and though the term “lonely stoner” makes me feel a bit embarrassed/weird/old, this song really stands out in the commercial radio realm.


 



Tagged as: day n nite, kid cudi
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Thursday, Feb 26, 2009

A recent trip to New York City’s Lower East Side revealed a band that has the neighborhood buzzing. I couldn’t help but notice buildings tagged with the words “Tall Black Girls” in spray painted scrawl. I asked a friend who lives down there what it was all about, he said, “Oh, they ROCK!” I went and checked out their MySpace page and they do in fact, “ROCK!”


The all female punk band from the L.E.S. formed in 2007. They have been barnstorming the city playing clubs all over their neighborhood, as well as some national and international gigs. Intuition tells me they won’t be a secret for much longer. The women in the band are easy on the eyes, full of swagger, and write well-crafted two-three-minute punk rock songs. They all go by the last name Black and are indeed quite tall. They toured last year with the Misfits, Fear, and Dwarves. Their sound harkens back to to ‘80s punk rock . I found very little press on them, so get in on the ground floor. Should be worth watching in the coming year.



Tagged as: tall black girls
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Wednesday, Feb 25, 2009

This is from a new Videos Remixes Rarities DVD set the legendary Ninja Tune A/V duo is coming out with.  They have a habit of making videos for most of the songs on their albums, so of course this little taste is positively tweaking.


Hexstatic vs Kris Menace - “Invader”


For further proof of their skills, here’s one of my favorite videos from 2004’s Master-View.


Hexstatic - “Distorted Minds” feat. Juice Aleem


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