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Meditating in Times Square

Friday, June 22, 2012

Last night, passersby at Times Square were treated to the sight of close to 200 people standing in the middle of the plaza singing classical choral music. (Soundcheck’s technical director Irene Trudel was one of the sopranos.) Our friends at NPR Music had asked Philip Glass to turn his song "New Rule," originally for soprano solo and instrumental ensemble, into a choral piece. That version had its premiere, right there in Times Square.

But it’s what happened after the Glass premiere that made this event so memorable.

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Band Names, Again

Friday, June 22, 2012

Last week we whined about bad band names.  Now SPIN is offering a list of the Best Band Names – and John Schaefer is not impressed. Read on for more in today's blog.

Gig Alert: Xenia Rubinos

Friday, June 22, 2012

The Brooklyn singer-songwriter Xenia Rubinos brings her funky art-pop to Littlefield on Friday night. Download "Hair Receding" from Rubinos' debut album, Magic Trix.

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My Band Loves Piracy

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Before joining Soundcheck, I played in a band called Secret Cities. Actually, I still play in a band called Secret Cities. It’s complicated, since we all live in different towns, but that’s also our normal arrangement, and it’s also not really the point of this post. Piracy is.

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Gig Alert: Ibrahim Maalouf

Thursday, June 21, 2012

The Lebanese jazz trumpeter Ibrahim Maalouf performs at Drom on Thursday night. Download his song, "Will Soon Be A Woman."

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Make Music New York

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Today is Make Music New York - when public space becomes performance space. From 10 in the morning to 10 at night, the streets of the city (all five boroughs) will be a stage. Earlier this week, we talked about how you can join in a Philip Glass world premiere in Times Square. There's lots more. You can see the whole schedule here. Tell us what you find!

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Songs of our Summers

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

It seems like every summer has one song that takes over the airwaves.  But that’s not always the song you remember later on.  The Soundcheck crew offers songs that recall past summers.

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Gig Alert: Philip Glass Ensemble

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

The Philip Glass Ensemble gives a free retrospective performance at the River To River Festival in Rockefeller Park on Wednesday night. Download the renowned composer's "Dance IX from In The Upper Room." 

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Songs of My Summers

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Every summer has its song. This year, it’s looking like Carly Rae Jepsen’s "Call Me Maybe" is going to rule the airwaves. But while you may not be able to avoid the summer’s pop hit, you'll probably end up with your own, very personal song of the summer. John shares some of his summer song memories, from Jamie T to the Hold Steady. And, we tell more of our stories in today's Soundcheck Blog. What songs remind you of summer?

Gig Alert: Destroyer

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Canadian indie-rock act Destroyer performs with Sophia Knapp at Le Poisson Rouge on Tuesday night. Download "Chinatown." 

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Sing a Soundcheck Jingle

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

We need YOU to send us a jingle! Soundcheck is crowdsourcing 10-second a cappella jingles from listeners and musicians alike. Read the rules, find out how to send us yours, and listen to the submissions here

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Song of the Summer 2012?

Monday, June 18, 2012

Summer’s coming, and the battle for Song of the Summer isn’t far behind. In fact, this year, it may already be over.

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Gig Alert: Blues Control

Monday, June 18, 2012

The experimental post-rock duo Blues Control plays Other Music on Monday night. Download the band's new single "Iron Pigs."

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Sing in a Philip Glass World Premiere!

Monday, June 18, 2012

It’s becoming a summer solstice tradition – a huge series of free musical events across New York city under the name Make Music New York. And this year, to celebrate composer Philip Glass’s 75th birthday, one of the events will be a performance of a brand new choral arrangement of Glass' "The New Rule." That's going to be right smack in the middle of Times Square on Thursday, June 21st -- and you can join in! We talk with conductor Kent Tritle to find out more.

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New Track from David Byrne + St Vincent!

Friday, June 15, 2012

A preview of a big, brassy, surprising project. 

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Gig Alert: Balkan Beat Box

Friday, June 15, 2012

The Israeli-American global pop trio Balkan Beat Box performs at Celebrate Brooklyn! with Chico Trujillo and Nation Beat on Saturday night. Download the group's new tune "Part of the Glory."

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Bad Band Names, Redux

Thursday, June 14, 2012

It’s hard enough to come up with a good band name. It’s even harder to come up with one that’s memorable – for the right reasons, anyway. But sometimes, a band name just stinks. We want to hear the worst of 'em!

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Soundcheck Jingles

Thursday, June 14, 2012

We’ve already challenged you to make a summer music resolution (how’s that going, by the way?). Now, we’ve got a slightly less daunting task that we’d like your help with.

In short, we need a jingle.

 


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How GZA Went Eclectic on "Liquid Swords"

Thursday, June 14, 2012

In 1995, rapper GZA released “Liquid Swords,” a dark, hard-hitting collection of songs now considered a hip-hop masterpiece. The album's stature is as much a function of GZA’s lyrical prowess as it is of the atmospheric beats of producer RZA, GZA’s cousin and Wu-Tang Clan cohort.

However, for tonight’s Northside Festival show at Music Hall of Williamsburg celebrating the seminal album, GZA will ditch the DJ. Instead, Austin, Texas Latin funk ensemble Grupo Fantasma will provide the musical backing for GZA’s twisting rhymes. In doing so, the band won't just have to keep up with GZA  – they’ll also have to impersonate the myriad samples that make up RZA’s beats. These samples include some surprising names and sounds you might not associate with hip-hop OR Latin funk. Here are my top five: 

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Stipe Seeks Space To Sculpt

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Michael Stipe of R.E.M. has put his Canal Street loft on the market for $10.95 million. He's searching for a downtown place better suited to his new passion: sculpting. "I wake up in the morning thinking of sculpture, not lyrics," Stipe tells WSJ. "Lyrics are too hard." Here's what you'll get for your 109,500 benjamins:

The listing by Carter Wilcox and Chris Poore of Corcoran Group, said the co-op at 533 Canal St. has three bedrooms, including a master bedroom with an oversize soaking tub, a study and a home office. Ceiling heights range between 10 feet and 13 feet high.

Though Canal Street often rumbles with trucks heading for the Holland Tunnel, upstairs sounds are muted.

 

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