INSTRUMENT 1 by Antiphon is the latest project taking Kickstarter by storm. The revolutionary musical instrument uses a patented technology that turns basic musical gestures into any sound you want to create, strum a guitar, bow a violin, tap a piano, loop a beat, all this on a single instrument! The innovative device can connect to hundreds of apps on mobile devices and computers, and can literally make any sound imaginable. watch the video below
I hadn’t picked up a Santana album since his 1999’s multi-award winning Supernatural. Guitar Heaven is a covers collection featuring guitar champion Carlos Santana joining forces with an assortment of guest vocalists, with tunes selected from the catalogues of The Rolling Stones, Cream, Deep Purple and AC/DC among others.
There is no doubt that Santana is among the all-time greats. He plays the guitar is if it was an extension of himself: Hendrix could, Clapton can, and Carlos does. However, covers albums are risky projects for distinguished musicians to undertake, as their abilities are likely to be limited by the constraints of the source material. On Guitar Heaven, Santana’s talent is restrained by the compulsion to play these tracks too authentically to the originals. Sure, there is flair where space permits, and everything is performed meticulously, but sadly very little becomes Santana’s own.
On George Harrison’s While My Guitar Gently Weeps, Santana gives the Beatles’ classic a unique perspective, and India.Arie soulful vocal is genuinely moving. My favorite element is the cello playing of Yo-Yo Ma, though it is way too far back in the mix for my taste. This tune is why I picked up the CD.
Chris Cornell from Seattle’s own Soundgarden does a stunning Robert Plant impersonation on Whole Lotta Love, though the tempo seems a slight bit hurried compared to how Page plays on the backside of the beat in the Zeppelin version. Chester Bennington, of Linkin Park, presents a subdued performance on The Doors’ Riders on the Storm equally parts alluring and unsettling. But Santana’s embellishments usually consist of just a few seconds of lead lines.
There is an interesting reinterpretation of AC/DC’s Back in Black Nas fronting with female back-up vocals changes the song to a rap-rock-anthem modern vibe that I actually really appreciated.
Another winner is Little Wing. Not only is Santana’s guitar playing heavenly (pun very much intended), Joe Cocker would make Jimi proud with his emotionally charged rendition. In my opinion, it ranks up there with the original. Can’t Hear me Knocking was an interesting choice from the Rolling Stones catalogue. Of all the notorious charts brought to us from the Grandfathers of Rock, this was it. The harshness of the Stones was polished to an almost pop-sound radio play.
Dance the Night Away, Bang a Gong & Photograph are basically copies that sound updated singularly by their modern production values.
Smoke on the Water with its all too familiar riff (if you ever picked up a guitar, you played it) surprised me as a choice for the album. I didn’t find anything all that compelling in the new adaptation.
If you truly love these songs, you’ll remain loyal to the originals. But if it’s to Carlos that your heart belongs, enjoyment aplenty can be expected from a well-realized set that could well follow its predecessors’ commercial success.
I’ve spent most of my life listening to music. I am also an audiophile, with an obsession for great speakers. You may be wondering how the speakers are reproduce sound. Well the science is quite amazing and graphic designer Jacob O’Neal has created the perfect in depth “ANIMAGRAFF” to help you catch a glimpse into the science behind the speaker. Check it out here.
Loud noises can be unpleasant. But how loud is too loud? The World’s Loudest Noises is an interactive infographic from Air Conditioning Company that explains the loudest noises in the world and how much damage they could do to your ears. So next time your air conditioning kicks on and you feel like complaining… Just remember, there is always something louder.
Turn your volume down before you start clicking!
Surprise! Music helps productivity. I can attest to that right this moment. I may not be using today’s infographic’s recommended pop genre, but Vulfpeck just lets my productivity flow.
Trying out different genres has helped greatly when it comes to finding what helps me be productive, in correspondence with the task at hand. Classical or post-modern rock does an awesome job at getting my mind flowing for puzzles and math problems. Upbeat rap, punk, and EDM makes any physical work I have do just fly by. Finally when I’m writing, it’s all about that funk and soul. Groovy stuff. Like anything in life, we all differ when it comes to preferences. I’m sure some of you couldn’t fathom listening to anything when at work. The co-worker even tapping their foot too much may make you livid.
PBS NewsHour anchor Judy Woodruff and Atlantic editor Derek Thompson explore how data shapes the music industry. Read more in Thompson’s recent Atlantic story, “The Shazam Effect.”
My first introduction to Annie Lennox was as one half of 1980′s power duo Eurythmics on MTV, when the channel actually played music videos. I discovered her profound vocal ability with her solo album, Diva, back in 1992, and I just picked up her fifth solo effort, Nostalgia. The new album is a covers compilation of Lennox’s childhood favorites, from the soul, jazz and blues genres. Watch the YouTube interview of the album.
In my experience, a young voice singing the great American songbook falls flat. It’s more than the gravel in a voice that communicates the blues; it’s life experience, the beautiful and the painful, that bring truth to the lyrics. I’ve always said; “it’s impossible to lie while you sing, everyone listening knows it”. Annie has lived a life with varied experiences that bring truth to the lyrics of these classic songs. As this music shows: Lennox brings the poignant power of her distinctive voice to offer fresh perspectives to these mostly familiar songs.
Annie takes on Hoagy Carmichael’s Memphis In June with an emotive tone. Considering she turns 60, on Christmas Day, Annie’s voice shows no sign of faltering. Lennox’s take on the vintage hit, Georgia On My Mind, is also a Carmichael song made famous by Ray Charles, has an ethereal blues groove on the chorus, followed by soothing strings to lighten up the mood on the verses. The B3 organ adds an almost gospel vibe, possibly a homage to Mr. Charles. Lennox then performs a super-sassy version of Screamin’ Jay Hawkins’ 1956 hit I Put A Spell On You as the lead single, playing with chord changes altering the placement of its shifts from major to minor and thus bringing new emphasis to the song’s expression of romantic desperation. George Gershwin’s Summertime was also beautified by Lennox’s talent. She sustains for an impossibly long time single notes rather than injecting as many melismatic flourishes as humanly possible (the technique of so many present-day female singers), and consequently extracting every ounce of emotion from it.
The jazz standard, I Cover The Waterfront, (I was unfamiliar with this tune prior to this album) is an amazing story of existential loneliness and vulnerability. Annie’s flair for jazz music is impeccably divine and you can hear her passion for the genre in her voice.
The most sobering song on the album is Strange Fruit written in 1937 as a poem, made famous by Billie Holiday in 1939. Lennox revives the track into the modern era and she manages to preserve the emotion of the piece, phrasing like a jazz trumpeter, with that distinct voice of hers. She covers Billie Holiday again on God Bless The Child; I melted as I listened to the melody that introduced me to Billie’s music. Jo Stafford’s version of the 1952 track You Belong To Me made it commercially successful, Annie’s cover is just as beautifully delivered. James Melton’s September In The Rain has been covered endlessly, but it certainly didn’t sound like an exhausted standard when Annie took the reigns, its gracefulness resonates throughout from the initial note. In, I Can Dream, Can’t I?, originally written by Sammy Fain and Irving Kahal, Lennox nails the track’s optimism with her smooth rendition. The Nearness Of You was made famous in the 1938 film “Romance In The Dark”, Lennox revives the song’s enchanting vibe and delivers a cover worthy of gracing even today’s theatrical works; her take on Mood Indigo is pure magic amongst the rest of these gems.
Nostalgia gave Annie Lennox the chance to open up one of the many windows into her influential life to give fans and admirers alike a glimpse of what inspired her musically. The compilation was delivered beautifully and masterfully; though the tracks have aged, Lennox breathed some life into them once more with her powerhouse of a voice, another quality that is seemingly ageless. It’s a wonderful notion for an artist of this or a previous era to release a collection of classics such as what is featured on Nostalgia, it opens up today’s generation to the origins of music from the jazz/blue/soul genres with class. Yet another desirable hit from the legend that is Annie Lennox.