One of the best funk records ever recorded didn't come from Motown, King, Chess, or Stax. Edge of Daybreak's Eyes of Love was recorded in Powhatan Correctional Center in State Farm, Virginia, in less than five hours and one take for each song. Jamal Jahal Nubi, Harry Coleman, James Carrington, Cornelius Cade, McEvoy Robinson, and Willie Williamske made up the group and created an album that has stood the test of time for almost 40 years.
In the space of just over six months, hip-hop lost two of its biggest stars to murder. Neither of the cases has ever been solved, and the LAPD has outright stonewalled the investigation at times. City of Lies stars Johnny Depp as LAPD detective Russel Poole, who spent two decades trying to solve the murder of Biggie, and Forrest Whitaker as Jack Jackson, a reporter trying to figure out why the murder was never solved. The film comes to theaters September 7, 2018.
In 1910, Russian composer Igor Stravinsky invented what would become known as the orchestra hit. Fast-forward to 1979, and Peter Vogel and partner Kim Ryrie would introduce the Fairlight CMI to the music world — and launch the orchestra hit into the pop music lexicon. The Fairlight was a synth with a built-in sampler, allowing musicians to record a sample and play it back at any pitch. The sampler would go on to become a mainstay of pop, from Peter Gabriel to Michael Jackson to Bruno Mars.
The violins made by Antonio Stradivari are considered to be among the best instruments ever made. The 300-year-old violins can fetch prices of up to $16 million and the best violinists in the world swear by them. But all that money might be the result of history and hype more than substance. Vox looks at Stradivarius violins and what really makes them so special.
Donald Glover uses his latest music video to make a powerful statement. Under his musical pseudonym Childish Gambino, the actor, writer, and rapper dances around an empty warehouse. As he moves around the space, horrific acts of violence unfold around him. The Hiro Murai collaboration dropped during Glover's SNL appearance and has been garnering a lot of attention — 40 million views and counting — ever since.
You've probably never heard of R. Stevie Moore. But based on the sheer amount of his recordings, you probably should have. Moore has made over 400 records and was a pioneer of the lo-fi recording aesthetic. With a 4,000 song catalog, it would be hard to listen to everything Moore has done.
The result of three years of research and millions of data points, the Casper Wave is a breakthrough in mattress design. Underneath its handsome exterior, you'll find the new, proprietary Natural Geometry System. It uses five layers of foam to mimic the natural contours of your body at 36 specific points, adjusting naturally to your shoulders and hips without sacrificing support, and keeping your spine properly aligned. Like the original, it uses open-cell foams to keep you cool at night. Designed and assembled in the USA.
Presented by Casper.
Combining vintage design and modern materials, Hamilton celebrates 100 years of aviation timepieces with the Khaki Pilot Watch. The dial is modeled after the flight instruments inside classic aircrafts, featuring a day display at the 12 o'clock and sand-colored Super-LumiNova numerals. It's housed in a 42 mm stainless steel case which has been coated in dark brown PVD. The watch is finished with a rugged leather strap. Inspired by U.S. military jackets, it sports a signature hot stamp and an authentic cockpit patina.
Presented by Hamilton.
In 1984, Prince and the Revolution were rehearsing at the Flying Cloud Drive Warehouse in Eden Prairie, Minnesota for an upcoming tour. During practice, Prince launched into what would become a massive hit for Sinead O'Connor six years later — Nothing Compares 2 U. The amazing composition has just been released for the first time, a reminder of how amazing a songwriter Prince was, even when he wasn't in front of an audience.
There comes a time of existential crisis in every guitarist's life where you look down at the pile of steel boxes and writhing mass of cables at your feet and think, "What am I doing?" Fuzz, compressor, delay, distortion, overdrive, modulation — there's a pedal for every occasion and eventually you wonder how it could have gotten to this point. Steve Onotera recently had this problem and set out to solve the only way he knows how — by playing all 37 of his pedals at once.
Lauryn Hill's recording career lasted less than a decade, from The Fugee's Blunted on Reality to 2002's MTV Unplugged No. 2.0. Yet that in that short time span, she managed to inspire generations of artists with a mix of vintage soul and thoughtful lyrics. Nerdwriter lets the artist and her music speak for itself in this short documentary covering how her music still resonates two decades later.
Tame Impala's "Let It Happen" is a psychedelic masterpiece — and YouTube video artist broccoliboys has made the perfect video for the song. Taking Stanley Kubrick's 2001: A Space Odyssey, broccoliboys cut out about 153 minutes, streamlining the film to fit the song length without sacrificing the narrative. The video is an excellent edit that changes both the film and the song in an interesting way.
Dan Auerbach didn't bring the mariachi band to NPR's Tiny Desk this time. Instead, he brought the Easy Eye Sound Revue, which includes some of Nashville's best — and relatively unknown — musicians. With a few tracks from his 2017 album Waiting on a Song, Aurebach showcases his musical range behind the Tiny Desk.
The first season of Westworld had many memorable characters but one of their most notorious was the player piano. Composed by Ramin Djawadi, the park's saloon produced hauntingly beautiful covers of modern songs from Radiohead, Amy Winehouse, and Nine Inch Nails. Thankfully, the old friend is making a return for the follow-up season and is giving us a sample of what's to come with this version of Nirvana's classic "Heart-Shaped Box".
The Danish National Symphony Orchestra does more than traditional classical arrangements. Collaborating with Danish television, the symphony has done several arrangements of famous movie soundtracks. Watch them perform original music from The Godfather, Blade Runner, and more.
A good acoustic guitar has always been the province of handcraftsmanship and wood — spruce, rosewood, mahogany, ebony, and the like. But trees take a long time to grow, and environmental awareness and scarcity have led to the adoption of modern materials in the extremely traditional guitar industry. McPherson's Carbon Series acoustics use carbon fiber and modern manufacturing techniques in place of wood, but there's still a lot of specialized handwork that goes into each one.
When Casper entered the mattress market a few years ago, they changed the mattress industry. And now, after 30 engineering improvements and nearly half a million happy customers, the Casper mattress is more breathable and comfortable than ever. Each mattress is made of multiple layers of foam, including one for support and pressure relief, and one to make sure you sleep cool and comfortable. It's all wrapped up in a durable woven cover, and shipped right to your door in a box that's easy to maneuver into even the smallest homes or apartments. You get 100 nights to try it out and can return it for free if you're not satisfied.
Presented by Casper.
All of Leica's cameras are somewhat rugged, but only the Leica X-U was built to thrive in the elements — including underwater. This is evidenced by the dedicated "UW" mode that adjusts the white balance and activates distortion correction for the conditions, and the flash that's placed as close as possible to the subject. Overall, the body is waterproof to 50 feet, in part thanks to a fixed lens, sealed aluminum top plate, and grippy TPE coating. Otherwise, the camera is still recognizable as a Leica, with all the manual controls you'd expect, a reassuring heft, and a slight influence from Audi Design, who collaborated on the project.
Sensor: 16.5-megapixel APS-C / Lens: Summilux 23mm f/1.7 (35mm equivalent) / Focus: Contrast-based AF / Burst: 5fps / Monitor: 3" LCD with 920,000 pixels / Video: 1080p / ISO: 100-12,500 / Body: Aluminum and Plastic with TPE reinforcement
Width: 5.51" / Height: 3.11" / Depth: 3.46" / Weight: 1.4 lbs.
Made up of 30 DJs, The Philharmonic Turntable Orchestra is putting a new spin on classical music. Their debut performance is a tribute to the first LP ever sold in Japan 67 years ago. The record was composer Felix Mendelssohn's Concerto in E minor and the group honors it with this vinyl remix.
Arcade Fire has sold out. In the short film Money + Love, the band finds itself totally bankrupt — and a corporate savior has a generous offer to keep them afloat. Starring Toni Collette, Money + Love comes right after the announcement for their world tour, starting in July 2018.
The Lonely Island were asked to write a song for the 90th Academy Awards ceremony. If you actually watched the Oscars, you're probably scratching your head wondering how you missed it. Well at the last minute it was scrapped from the show. Luckily for everyone, the guys released the song anyway, along with the storyboards for how the bit would've gone down.
At the end of every record is the lock groove. It keeps the needle from skittering off the record and being damaged on the sticker. Usually, there isn't any audio, but that changed with the Beatles' Sgt. Pepper and its rather creepy loop. Steve Mould shows how being a little creative with something that only serves a very utilitarian function makes vinyl special.
Kendrick Lamar and Dave Meyers & the little homies team up again for another video. Just like their previous collaborations, the visuals are just as impressive as the audio it accompanies. The track features SZA and is the lead single from the upcoming Black Panther soundtrack, available February 9, 2019.
Daveed Goldman and Nobu Adilman started the weekly popup singing event Choir! Choir! Choir! in 2011. The premise is simple: Come in, get a lyric sheet, and sing your heart out. During the 2018 Under the Radar Festival, a special guest dropped by to sing with the group — Talking Heads frontman David Byrne. In honor of David Bowie, they did a magical cover of his hit "Heroes" from 1977.
Silence of the Lambs meets Parks and Rec with a voodoo twist. They Might Be Giants take a dark turn for their creepy new video where Nick Offerman falls prey to a sinister stalker. The project is part of their Dial-A-Song service that releases a new track every other week, guaranteeing at least 26 new songs in 2018.
Featuring some of the biggest names in rap music, Rapture is a documentary in eight parts. Going behind the scenes to look at the lives of rappers like Nas, Rhapsody, Logic, and 2Chainz. Rapture premieres March 20, 2018 on Netflix.
St. Vincent is known for her loud and electric arrangments so when she showed up at the NPR offices with just an acoustic guitar, it was a surprise to just about everyone. The singer performed stripped down versions of three singles off her latest album Masseduction for her Tiny Desk Concert.
The Star Wars theme song is the most recognizable in movie history. Composed by legendary film conductor John Williams, the big orchestra sound has been giving fans chills of excitement as the read through the opening crawk since 1977. In this behind-the-scenes clip, he leads the Hollywood Freelance Studio Symphony as they perform the iconic score for The Last Jedi.
Nothing is sacred anymore. The gunge anthem of your youth is now the upbeat pop song you never wanted. You can thank Sleep Good for that. The Austin-based musician remixed Nirvana's "Smells Like Teen Spirit" in a major key, turning them into merely a pop-punk band from La Jolla, CA.
Fleetwood Mac's self-titled album put them on the map but it was 1977's Rumours that catapulted the band to rock legends. The record produced four Top 10 singles and has sold over 40 million copies. Many of the songs have stood the test of time and still sound just as good as they did 40 years ago. Using the single "Dreams," Nerdwriter compares the demo to the final version to breakdown the process behind creating one of their many masterpieces.
This just in — New York City is in the midst of an alien spider invasion. In other news, the Run the Jewels concert at Madison Square Garden will be going ahead as planned. As the duo walk back on stage for an encore, the Garden is empty — and the group soon find out why.
MGMT's second video for their upcoming album Little Dark Age cranks the pop-psychedelia up a notch. Alex Karpovsky stars an amateur magician stuck in a time warp — with a tragic accident waiting at the end.