BAMM.TV

Archive for April, 2014

Tea Leaf Green: Their Favorites From The BAMM.tv Vault

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We asked our Featured Artist Tea Leaf Green to pick their personal highlights from the billion videos (okay, that might be a slight exaggeration, but lots and lots) featured in the BAMM.tv archives. Their playlist – featuring The Ferocious Few, Ha Ha Tonka, Thao and the Get Down Stay Down, The Soft White Sixties and The Blank Tapes – can be seen below.

Why I Love Music: BAMM.tv’s Madeleine Buzbee

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In a special edition of BAMM.tv’s ‘Why I Love Music’ season, we handed over the reigns to the youngest member of the BAMM.tv crew, our teenage intern Madeleine Buzbee …

I love music because it is the fence that my vines grow on, and always has been. It is, essentially, the bones of who I am. I came into this world as “Here Comes The Sun” played in the delivery room on that foggy, May morning in 1998.

My father sung “Beat On The Brat,” by The Ramones as a lullaby when I was small enough to hold, and one of my earliest memories includes dancing with my family to Barry White, the day he died.

As soon as I could walk, I would pick and chose albums, grabbing them and running down the corridor with determination towards the stereo.

When middle school came around, things got weird, so I turned to MGMT’s Congratulations; everyday after school would consist of closing the door to my room, and pressing play. At 13, I began collecting vinyl. Laying on the floor in a sea of blankets, the grooves of the albums gave me the opportunity to forget about everything, but simultaneously analyze my problems and address my own questions.

The Velvet Underground’s After Hours led me to meet my first love and the surge of the crowd at the start of The Vaccines concert pushed me into the people who would later become my closest friends.

I have outfits inspired by songs; a special dress just for “Nancy From Now On,” by Father John Misty and a specific jean jacket/pin combination to channel “20th Century Boy,” by T-Rex.

Even when everything around me is completely silent, a song is always playing in my mind- it’s been that way since Day One. Music is cheering for me on from the sidelines during these years of teenage turmoil, confusion, and self-discovery.

OTHER BAMM.TV STORIES YOU MIGHT LIKE:

Why I Love Music: BAMM.tv’s Jerad Fox

Why I Love Music – BAMM.tv’s Phil Lang

Why I Love Music – BAMM.tv’s Jeff LaPenna

Why I Love Music – BAMM.tv’s Sophie DeWitt

Why I Love Music – BAMM.tv’s Christopher Davies

Why I Love Music: BAMM.tv’s Sarah Levitt

Tea Leaf Green: Their Personal Playlist

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We asked our Featured Artist – the phenomenal Tea Leaf Green – to compile a playlist of five songs that totally rock their … erm … teacup (listen, you try to think of a tea pun). Their choices make for eclectic listening, featuring Van Halen’s ‘Hot For Teacher’, Rush’s ‘Time Stands Still’, The Coup’s ‘Guillotine’, The Beatles’ ‘Hard Days Night’ and the
Beastie Boys’ ‘Sabotage’
. Enjoy!

Why I Love Music: BAMM.tv’s Peter Hackmann

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Music has played a major role in my life ever since my older brother decided he wanted to learn how to play drums. Naturally, as the little brother I had a juvenile obsession with his decision and followed closely, admiring his shiny black and chrome kit and the seemingly random things he would play on it after a drum class. What I didn’t realize is how greatly his decision to study music would affect the trajectory of my own life. When I decided to try out for band as a 13 year-old, I was told by the teacher that I would make a fine addition to the horn section. But, taking my brother’s lead, I opted for the ‘things you bang on’ section instead.

Down the rabbit hole I went. Playing percussion soon became an obsession. Anything I could get my hands on became a snare drum, marimba, triangle, or bass drum. I would find myself listening to fluorescent light bulbs for their pitch and tuning the timpani to the sound of light in the band hall. Competition after competition, performance after performance, playing music became a highly-addictive and ‘can’t-do-without‘ feature of my life. This is one reason that I love music. It has the delightfully infectious ability to give life meaning and substance, and teach people to focus, listen, reflect, and ultimately better themselves – and share these things with an audience.

But an even greater reason that I love music, besides its individual benefits, is because it functions as a truly global language. During college, I had the opportunity to travel abroad and interact with very different cultures which, as my aunt put it, was like “traveling to the moon” for her generation. When translation failed, and it often did, I turned to music. I found that simply pulling out a guitar and strumming chords could turn foreigners into friends, after the wine was consumed, of course. A playlist on my iPod once turned a benign roommates’ dinner into a night on the town. Just knowing and appreciating music from other cultures has ignited conversations and friendships, whether at a bar in Mexico, a birthday party in Italy, or a seminar in New York.

I can remember one occasion where I performed with a girl from South Korea, who was a talented, if timid, musician. She spoke almost no English, and I speak no Korean, but when we played together no words were needed. Our language became phrasing, tempo, dynamics, and the movement of sticks. We could play a sonata without even speaking to each other. I’m also reminded of the times at a folk festival in Texas when donning my washboard allowed me to jam with “the Nashville camps” simply because it was something we all recognized and understood (Even Tennessee is somewhat foreign to Texans). No language can even come close to these types of communication, only music.

In essence, what I love about music is that all people, regardless of age, origin, or language, are hard-wired to understand it. Even in today’s hyper-active, hyper-connected world, music remains a testament to the oldest and simplest of human instincts: the desire to come together and share, learn, and simply enjoy sound itself. I never considered any of this when my brother first practiced his drum kit, but now I understand just how crucial those experiences with music were to me. And that’s why I love it.

OTHER BAMM.TV STORIES YOU MIGHT LIKE:

Why I Love Music: BAMM.tv’s Jerad Fox


Why I Love Music – BAMM.tv’s Phil Lang

Why I Love Music – BAMM.tv’s Jeff LaPenna

Why I Love Music – BAMM.tv’s Sophie DeWitt

Why I Love Music – BAMM.tv’s Christopher Davies

Why I Love Music: BAMM.tv’s Sarah Levitt

Comment Box – Is Miley Cyrus a feminist?

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In The Independent, Sarah Morrison, asserts that Miley Cyrus has “prompted a modern feminist manifesto.” Cyrus has all but blown up the Internet in the last few months (the Twerk heard round the world, the foam finger, and a certain music video prominently featuring a wrecking ball, to name a few).

She’s also been the recipient of an open letter from Sinead O’Connor warning her against prostituting herself to the music industry.

Miley’s response to Sinead’s criticism was, in addition to twitter feuds, to say, “I am one of the biggest feminists in the world because I tell women not to be scared of anything.”

As we all know, feminism in pop culture is an incredibly nuanced and complex concept. It’s also a very important concept to discuss, and so  our goal at Comment Box is to discuss this particular story – is Miley Cyrus and feminism in pop music? – by taking a closer look at online comments, in studio discussion, and hear from everyday people on the street. Let’s start with the online comment.”

Featuring Sonia Pina (BAMM.tv Latino Producer) and Sophie DeWitt (BAMM.tv A&R)

Credits:

Host: Ian McPherson

Executive Producers: Chris and Nick Hansen

Producer: Phil Lang, Chris Davies, Ian McPherson

Sound and Recording Engineer: Jerad Paul Fox

Music provided by Niteppl – https://soundcloud.com/niteppl

Why I Love Music: BAMM.tv’s Jerad Fox

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I love music because so much of it can be explained, practiced, experienced, invented, and reinvented…and yet no one can ever understand all of it.

I love how Little Richard was my first favorite artist, and how he’s like catching up with a old friend still, everytime I listen to him.

I love minimalist bands like The Strokes and The Libertines, and bands with complex arrangements like The Mars Volta and The Blood Brothers.

I love classical elements in metal music, especially in Cacophony (Jason Becker, Marty Friedman, you’re both such bad-asses!)

I love how confusing it is Patsy Cline’s music always cheers me up, even though it has some of the most depressing subject matter. I also think she has probably my favorite voice from a female vocalist.

It’s fucking stupid how much I love Wu-Tang. How they can talk about the projects in Staten Island, something I can never truly never understand, then talk about spiderman, and green eggs and ham. I love how they have huge egos, with none of the bad parts that come with having huge egos.

I love how Bernie Taupin wrote most of Elton John’s lyric’s. The idea of an artist not writing their own lyric’s and expressing their own emotions in their songs has always bothered me, but the fact that they created, together, the amazing music that exist now is so awesome. A producer can find an attractive artist, and find or pay for songs that fit the bill of a mainstream successful persona; but they found each other, and did it for a collective idea, and annihilated that idea.

I love how The Sonics wanted every channel to clip on their recordings, how the dirt, grit, and grime was a part of their sound, and how the guitarist poked holes in his amp speakers with a screwdriver so it sounded like the right kind of garbage.

I love how latin musicians can always tune their drums, I love how jazz drummers can always play to a metronome, and I love when a rock drummer can actually hit hard enough for the best recordings.

I love how auto-tuning vocals takes away the soul.

I love musicals, because I love imagining the real world as a musical.

I love the artists people feel embarrassed emitting they like, until they realize they were dumb enough to keep that joy from anyone. E.L.O. fucking rock!

I love being an audio engineer, and knowing the “take”, is just the take, and has nothing to do with the quality of the recording.

I love when bands sound can’t be explained by comparing them to another band, or a certain genre.

I love when a legend can be broken down to a normal person after meeting them.

I love when I finally understand lyric’s that were too simply and cheesy, and then feel they’re the only explanation.

I love how punk rock could scare parents into thinking that it isn’t the most lovely, caring fan-base in the world.

I love electronic music more every time someone doesn’t understand it, because it’s this generations noise, and the next generations history.

I love the standard ways to make music, because it underlines the reasons it isn’t art.

I love how knowing more technicalities of the creation and recording of music, can make you appreciate it more, and feel more involved; but sometimes I miss how much easier it was to enjoy everything before that.

I love music because, well, I love music. If I could explain it, then I probably should be an accountant. I understand a feeling of logic, I can prove theories, disprove theories, and yet, never have the same answer for the same question. Explaining music is like explaining love…it’s almost pointless, because I don’t live and love for the explanation.

OTHER BAMM.TV STORIES YOU MIGHT LIKE:

Why I Love Music – BAMM.tv’s Phil Lang

Why I Love Music – BAMM.tv’s Jeff LaPenna

Why I Love Music – BAMM.tv’s Sophie DeWitt

Why I Love Music – BAMM.tv’s Christopher Davies

Why I Love Music: BAMM.tv’s Sarah Levitt

BAMM.tv Featured Artist: Tea Leaf Green

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San Francisco’s Tea Leaf Green describe themselves as “newfangled Lost Boys, a traveling gang dedicated to seeking wisdom and experience in places both glorious and seedy”. This may sound opaque, but once you wrap your ears around their sound – playful, radio-ready yet adventurous pop-rock – you’ll get it. Don’t worry. It’s simply just “ultimately Rock and Roll”, they reflect, “improvisation with respect for the songs.”

(more…)

Why I Love Music: BAMM.tv’s Sarah Levitt

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Here’s the latest in our BAMM.tv season ‘Why I Love Music’. This time, BAMM.tv’s Sarah Levitt has a few very personal musical choices …

When contemplating the question ‘Why I Love Music’, I was struck by how one word can produce so many stories, memories & feelings that have help define me as a person, throughout my life. Lenny Kravitz, Tracy Chapman, Louis Armstrong & Ella Fitzgerald…. The list of musicians whose music will trigger a memory or a feeling (whether it be good or bad) is endless…

Last year, I gave birth to my first child, a baby boy. I knew that music would be a big part of my baby boy’s life and like most pregnant women I listened to music all the time (no… no Beethoven, like my mother wanted…) Anything from Broken Bells to my childhood favourites, Louis Armstrong & Ella Fitzgerald. The first few months after Benn was born were joyous, challenging, emotional, inspiring, teaching and so much more and again music was there. One very interesting discovery we made, was that contrary to my thought; that babies would fall asleep listening to classical music (see Satie’s Gymnopédie No.1 or Faure’s Requiem, OP 48 IV Pie Jesu)… Ha! More like Frankie Knuckles hour-long session at the Boiler room or Green Velvet’s Electro, minimal sounds… Something about their beating little hearts having the same bpm…

Music has the power to surprise you, keep you on your toes, nod your head with disapproval or ecstatically jump up and down like a crazy person. This polarity, this randomness is what I love about music and how it feels when I discover a new song or artist that make my hips move and my heart beat a little bit faster – that makes my day.

Why I Love Music – BAMM.tv’s Christopher Davies

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Here’s the latest in our series of articles in which we ask the BAMM.tv crew one simple question: why do you love music? Walking up to bat this time around is BAMM.tv Editorial Director Christopher Davies …

What does ‘love’ actually mean, anyway? That old stalwart The Oxford English Dictionary simply refers to it as “a strong feeling of affection”, which frankly seems like the kind of vagueness a modern politician would peddle. If we take that meaning literally, then to say ‘I love music’ would mean ‘I really am quite fond of music.’

‘Quite fond’ … yeah, that’s not going to cover it. ‘Quite fond’ doesn’t describe the sensation I had when I first cranked up The Avalanches’ Since I Left You or My Bloody Valentine’s Loveless or Pulp’s This Is Hardcore or any of the million albums that have soundtracked my life, emotions, memories and even moulded my general worldview. ‘Quite fond’ doesn’t cover the tingles I get when Johnny Marr begins that guitar fiddling in Talking Head’s Nothing But Flowers. It doesn’t cover the serene dopamine rush of chillng out to Stars Of The Lid’s That Finger on Your Temple Is the Barrel of My Raygun. It doesn’t cover the laugh-out-loud wonderment of hearing R.A The Rugged Man spit his rhymes (“If i ain’t the best then I’m the closest / I’m like Richard Pryor before multiple sclerosis”).

Buuuut then again … ‘love’ might not cover that feeling either. Because – and you’ll forgive me if I indulge the sentiments of Foreigner for a moment – no-one quite knows what love is in the first place. Why do I ‘love’ music? Not to be a cop-out but I honestly couldn’t say. I just know that it makes me feel something … and that’s good enough for me.

OTHER BAMM.TV STORIES YOU MIGHT LIKE:

Why I Love Music – BAMM.tv’s Sophie DeWitt

Why I Love Music – BAMM.tv’s Jeff LaPenna

Why I Love Music – BAMM.tv’s Phil Lang

Why I Love Music – BAMM.tv’s Sophie DeWitt

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Here’s the latest in our season of articles from the BAMM.tv crew about why music is the love of our lives: Sophie DeWitt reminisces on a very special experience which was soundtracked by Vampire Weekend …

It was early afternoon on a cool Sunday in August, the third and final day of Outside Lands 2013. Not only had the previous two days in Golden Gate Park brought me one of the most wonderful, serendipitous weekends of my life (holy crap, I’d seen Paul McCartney live), but that day was shaping up to be one incredibly epic finale.

My friends and I had spent the better part of the morning hopping around to Foals then Hall & Oats (a set which had inspired a spontaneous dance circle with the wonderfully happy, drunken strangers nearby our blanket). For about forty minutes all that mattered were the people I tapped toes with, laughing and smiling as we whirled around each other. We had the audacity to hold eye contact for more than a second, unwilling or unable to break the spell the festival had cast upon us. It wasn’t the drugs or alcohol though, it was the music.

We were fast friends. When the set was over, some departed with a gleeful look, a wave, fully exhilarated. My ragtag group stuck out like a sore thumb in the notoriously still San Francisco crowd. It was my amigo Amit’s first live concert (don’t ask me how that happened, I was as confused as you). He couldn’t have been more enthusiastic, moving one way then another, pulling us out onto the grass, stomping along to “Everlasting Arms”. (You know you’ve had a great festival experience when you can lose your collective shit dancing to downtempo Vampire Weekend).

We noticed a slender woman, early 50’s, swaying quietly next to a tall teenage boy who couldn’t have been older than 17. She glanced at me and our bubbling, bouncing mass and smiled. The boy couldn’t be bothered, too preoccupied, too uncomfortable, he stood stoically. As Amit extended his hand out to the woman, her face lit up, incredulous. To both our joy and surprise she stepped over to our circle, laughing, jumping, and clapping along with us. We went on like that for another song or two until the set ended and applause erupted from the field around us. Breathless, she nodded ‘thank you’, smiling wide, and retook her place next to the young boy. If I had to guess, I’d say she enjoyed the Red Hot Chili Peppers’ manic closing set almost as much as our crazy group did.

On any other day, in any other setting this woman and I would’ve passed one another without notice. Our age difference was almost too vast to share much commonality. Her willingness to engage with the music, with us in the moment, is a singularly unique experience I haven’t encountered again this year. That is what I love about music. The intimacy and spontaneity that grows from a shared musical moment is incredibly special and can’t be recreated. It’s not the sweating-in-a-bar-on-Polk-street-with-a-questionable-guy-groping-you kind of intimate, but the unspoken, just looking, just feeling, just dancing-in-a-field-of-strangers-and-seeing-their-true-happiness kind of intimate.

It was the music, that woman will remember. Music allowed her to leave her daughter’s distant boyfriend behind to join our crazy group of twenty-somethings in pure bliss.

That’s where music can take you, how it can connect us. And that’s what I love.

Okay