One look at (and listen to) the cross-dressing, Asian rock band SsingSsing and you would hardly think they’re singing music inspired by traditional Korean folk. But SsingSsing isn’t like any other band I’ve ever seen or heard.
The group sings a regional folk style called minyo and the gender bending look has to do with shamans not glamour. As singer Hee-moon Lee describes it, “In Korean traditional art, male shamans, called baksu, have the body of a male. But as mediums, they need more than a single sexual identity, because they’re channeling both male and female spirits. When I act a female character and sing, I have to overcome the fact of my being a male sorikkun (singer), and try my utmost to bring a more neutral, unisex feeling to the performance. It sounds silly, but I feel like going back to the sensibilities of my youth, when I liked Madonna, helps.”
The understated music, the small dramatic gestures and the costumes all combine for one of my most memorable Tiny Desk Concerts of all time.
“Nanbongga (Song of Beloveds)”
“Saseol Nanbongga (Narrative Song of Beloveds)”
Hee-moon Lee (vocal), Da-hye Choo (vocal), Seung-tae Shin (vocal), Young-gyu Jang (bass guitar), Tae-won Lee (electric guitar), and Chul-hee Lee (drums)
Sinkane opened its Tiny Desk Concert with a song that has been a bit of an anthem for me lately. “U’Huh” contains the Arabic phrase “kulu shi tamaam,” which translates to “everything’s great — it’s all going to be all right.”
Sinkane is the music of Ahmed Gallab — and such hopeful music it is. He grew up in London and has lived in Sudan and in Ohio and, these days, New York City. His band reflects his own love for music from around the world; you can hear a great New York jazz band in the rhythms of Sinkane, but you can also hear the influence of Bob Marley and the hypnotic repetition of Sudanese desert sounds.
Imagine Ricky Nelson performing at the central bus station, with a couple of foreign workers playing Calypso behind him, all under the local masseuse parlor. Charlie Megira originates 50’s music with Rockabilly guitars and Calypso/ Mambo/ oriental tempos that make you lean back with satisfaction. So pour yourself a tall glass of gasoline and let Charlie’s magic fingers massage your temples. The Abtomatic Misterzinger Mambo Chic (sic) is Charlie Megira’s (ex Shneck) debut album.
Post Pop Depression is the seventeenth studio album by Iggy Pop, released on March 18, 2016, by Loma Vista Recordings. Produced by Josh Homme of Queens of the Stone Age, the album was recorded in secrecy and features contributions from Queens of the Stone Age’s Dean Fertita and Arctic Monkeys drummer Matt Helders.
Pop and Homme began working on the album in January 2015. Pop contacted Homme by text message to ask if he was interested in writing music together. After they spoke by phone, Pop sent Homme some lyrics by mail, along with notes about Pop’s time working with David Bowie. Three months later, Homme sent lyrics to Pop, and they agreed to work together on recording songs in a studio. They brought incomplete ideas as opposed to finished songs, so that they could work on them together. Pop described the album as discussing issues of what happens when your utility is at an end, and dealing with your legacy.
Consisting of nine songs, the album was recorded between January 12 and March 9, 2015 at Rancho De La Luna in Joshua Tree, California, over the course of two weeks, and another week at Pink Duck Studios in Burbank, California. Pop and Homme self-financed the album. Dean Fertita recorded guitar and keyboards, while Matt Helders recorded drum tracks. Homme stated that preparing Post Pop Depression was one thing that helped him cope with the aftermath of the November 2015 attack at the Bataclan.
The album was released on March 18, 2016. Pop and Homme had already embarked on March 9, 2016 in Los Angeles, CA on a US tour to support the album due to be followed in May 2016 by a European tour. In addition to Pop and Homme, the tour includes Fertita, Helders, Matt Sweeney playing bass guitar and Troy Van Leeuwen playing guitar.
They debuted their first song, “Gardenia”, on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert on January 21, 2016. The song peaked at number 26 on Adult Alternative Songs. The album debuted at number 17 on the Billboard 200 making the album Iggy Pop’s highest charting in the US. It also charted highly in other parts of the world as well.
David Candy is a pseudonym of Ian Svenonius (formerly of Nation of Ulysses, The Make-Up, and currently Weird War). Only one album was released under the name David Candy, Play Power. The character of David Candy was part of a series of “Magazine-Style Records” conceived by Mike Alway (produced by Jez Butler and John Austin), which included other imaginary acts such as Death by Chocolate, Maria Napoleon, Mild Euphoria and Lollipop Train.
The David Candy persona is that of a pretentious, over-opinionated, egotistical, self-absorbed, pseudo-intellectual hipster who has perhaps spent too long alone, absorbed in The Doors’ American Prayer. This choice of character traits may have been a form of self-mockery by Svenonius, or perhaps a commentary on the personalities of the indie rock scene in general. Much like the assumed personas and personalities of all of Svenonius’ bands and projects, a make-believe mythos surrounds the character of David Candy.
Khruangbin is a three-piece band from Texas, formed of Laura Lee on bass, Mark Speer on guitar, and Donald Johnson on drums. Taking influence from 1960’s Thai funk – their name literally translates to “Engine Fly” in Thai – Khruangbin is steeped in the bass heavy, psychedelic sound of their inspiration, Tarantino soundtracks and surf-rock cool.
Remember that time when you were little and one of your imaginary friends took your hand and led you into a world that looked like yours only brighter? No? Me neither. That’s what Blue Man Group is like.
Blue Man Group grew out of a collaboration between three close friends, Chris Wink, Matt Goldman and Phil Stanton, on Manhattan’s Lower East Side. The Blue Man character emerged from small “disturbances” on the streets of the city, growing into small shows at downtown clubs, eventually becoming a full performance at the Astor Place Theatre. The award-winning show caught the attention of US media.
Blue Man Group combines music, technology and comedy to create a form of entertainment that defies categorization and appeals to people of all ages. Blue Man Group’s shows have been described by critics as “innovative”, “energetic”, and “wildly entertaining”. But the only way to truly understand Blue Man Group’s global popularity is to see the show for yourself.
Daniel Lanois (born September 19, 1951 in Hull, Québec is a Canadian record producer and singer-songwriter. He has produced albums for a wide variety of artists and released a number of albums of his own work. Artists he has worked with include Bob Dylan, U2, Brian Eno, Peter Gabriel, Robbie Robertson, Chris Whitley, Ron Sexsmith and Nash the Slash.
He started his production career working in his own studio, Grant Avenue Studios in Hamilton, Ontario. He worked with a number of local bands, most notably Martha and the Muffins, for whom his sister Jocelyne played bass, Ray Materick, as well as the Canadian children’s singer Raffi.
After being discovered by Brian Eno and working collaboratively with him on some of Eno’s own projects, his career was given a huge boost when Eno invited him to co-produce U2’s album The Unforgettable Fire. Along with Eno, he went on to produce U2’s The Joshua Tree, the 1987 Grammy Winner for Album of the Year. Bono of U2 recommended Lanois to Bob Dylan in the late 1980s; in 1989 Lanois produced Dylan’s Oh Mercy, widely considered one of Dylan’s greatest later albums. Eight years later Dylan and Lanois worked together on Time Out of Mind, Dylan’s first studio album of original material since 1990, which won a Grammy Award for Album of the Year in 1997.