In Listen, Read on August 26, 2010 at 7:30 am
On the NPR show “Fresh Air” Dave Davies interviews voice actor Billy West. West’s voice credits include Bugs Bunny, Elmer Fudd, Ren, Stimpy, Doug, and Popeye. The interview runs around 30 minutes, and covers ground ranging from the genesis of certain voices to the challenge of doing multiple characters on Futurama:
It happens mostly in real time. Like if there’s a run within an act and there is, say, three characters involved that I do, and then there are some others that other people do, I’ll just keep reading through the script — one character, and then if another one pops up, I’ll do that in real time. We try to get a whole scene done, so I shift gears a lot.
West also shares the secret of nailing the Popeye voice, which has to do with emulating dual-toned Tuvan singers (skip to 17:00 on the audio, found by clicking “Listen to the story” at the top of the article page).
In Listen, Shop, View on August 13, 2010 at 7:01 am
Via Make, Brett and Steven play “Bad Romance” entirely on two analog synthesizers (the Korg Monotron and the Korg Kaossilator):
Via The Presurfer, Scott, Harold, and Shea play “Eye of the Tiger” entirely on iPad apps:
In Listen, Read, Watch on July 22, 2010 at 7:56 am
OK Go went boom four years ago with their treadmill video, and they’re back at it with the creative one-take music videos. Here’s the video for “End Love” from their latest album:
Highlights include one continuous shot over two days, L.A.’s Echo Park, and one very interested goose.
UPDATE: The band answers questions about the video:
“There were about four days to set choreography off-site, and we ran the routine twice on-site. The whole routine takes 21 hours from start to finish. I’m not sure how long exactly post-production took but my guess is about one month.”
In Listen, Watch on July 15, 2010 at 7:41 am
The Funny or Die team convinced Jewel to dress up in disguise and sing some of her own songs at a Los Angeles karaoke bar. They were at the Gas Lite in Santa Monica.
Jewel undercover. Click for video.
I’m definitely doing this when I’m a famous rock star.
In Listen, Read, Shop, Watch on July 12, 2010 at 7:19 am
Nancy Griffin has a great article in Vanity Fair this month on the making of the “Thriller” music video. I was too young (the video debuted on MTV in December of 1983), but many remember the impact, and how over the subsequent year, this thing was huge:
“There was a month when you couldn’t turn the television on and not see ‘Thriller'” says [Director John] Landis.
The video sent the album’s sales back into the stratosphere, with Epic shipping a million copies a week; by the end of 1984, the album had sold 33 million copies in the U.S. Since then, Thriller has remained unchallenged as the No. 1 album of all time (current sales worldwide: an estimated 110 million).
Griffin talks about the already-fragile state of MJ’s psyche at the time and how Thriller‘s success would tragically become a source of great pressure for him over the years to come.
“There ain’t no second chance against the thing with forty eyes, girl.”
Amazon MP3 download
In Listen, Watch on July 5, 2010 at 7:53 am
The Symphony of Science project is “designed to deliver scientific knowledge and philosophy in musical form.” Here’s Carl Sagan feat. Stephen Hawking with “A Glorious Dawn”:
So far there are five other videos that you can find via YouTube or at the Symphony of Science website linked above.
In Listen, Read, Shop, Watch on June 30, 2010 at 7:04 am
Gene Weingarten wrote this story for the Washington Post three years ago. Violinist Joshua Bell spent almost an hour playing in the Washington D.C. subway:
A onetime child prodigy, at 39 Joshua Bell has arrived as an internationally acclaimed virtuoso. Three days before he appeared at the Metro station, Bell had filled the house at Boston’s stately Symphony Hall, where merely pretty good seats went for $100. Two weeks later, at the Music Center at Strathmore, in North Bethesda, he would play to a standing-room-only audience so respectful of his artistry that they stifled their coughs until the silence between movements. But on that Friday in January, Joshua Bell was just another mendicant, competing for the attention of busy people on their way to work.
Click through for the read, and videos of the Metro performance.
I haven’t found a separate Bell recording of Bach’s “Chaconne” but here’s Itzhak Perlman (in two parts):
“On one stave, for a small instrument, the man writes a whole world of the deepest thoughts and most powerful feelings. If I imagined that I could have created, even conceived the piece, I am quite certain that the excess of excitement and earth-shattering experience would have driven me out of my mind.” – Johannes Brahms, writing to Clara Schumann about the Chaconne
Here’s Gidon Kremer performing Bach’s entire Partita for Violin Solo No. 2 in D Minor (including “Chaconne”):
Amazon album download
In Listen, Shop, Watch on June 25, 2010 at 7:24 am
Eminem’s new album Recovery came out last week. This is the first single that is all over town right now:
“I guess I had to go to that place to get to this one.”
The video is great and all (click through for the HD version), but think back 10 years ago and try to imagine Eminem going sober.
“Not Afraid” Amazon MP3 download
Not Afraid – Recovery (Deluxe Edition)
Recovery Amazon album download
Recovery (Deluxe Edition) – Eminem
In Listen, Shop, Watch on June 14, 2010 at 2:25 pm
Fyfe Dangerfield covers Billy Joel’s classic “She’s Always a Woman”:
Music Ramen tells you where to get the album stateside, and has the UK commercial that put this version of the song on the map.
Billy Joel original:
In Listen, Shop, Watch on June 10, 2010 at 11:40 pm
Drummer Steve Moore of Rick K. & The Allnighters goes to town on this ZZ Top cover. Chris Farley at 1:26, the robot at 2:24.
“Sharp Dressed Man” original:
Amazon.com MP3 Download