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Posts Tagged ‘2014’

BAMM.tv Featured Artist – Ash – ‘Shining Light’

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We’ve got a very special Featured Artist season this time around – we’re celebrating the 20-plus year career of Britrock legends Ash, whose glorious power-pop continues to thrill fans around the world. Oh, and did we mention that we snared a TOTALLY EXCLUSIVE BAMM.TV PERFORMANCE from them? Because, y’know, we did.

There’s more to come next week: more exclusive live video, a sprawling Ash retrospective, a look at their greatest musical moments and some great musical recommendation to take you down the indie rabbit hole if you’re looking for further Ash-like sounds.

In the meantime, check out this exclusive performance of all-time classic ‘Shining Light’ …

Why I Love Music: Wirjo Hardjono

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A return to our occasional ‘Why I Love Music’ series – this time featuring thoughts from BAMM.tv’s Wirjo Hardjono …

Sound made to make you ‘feel’? Just the idea of it sounds absurd to me. I don’t know why but I’ve always wondered why music makes you feel and never understood. Sure if it brings back memories, if used is specific contexts or when it’s used in other media. But even if your not paying any attention it sets a mood or better a tone.

Our brain just starts triggering neurons and creating hormones when the air moves our eardrums. Signals that make you aware of your surroundings, did we make sounds to warn the world of our existence? Or did we make sounds to drown out the paranoia of the things we didn’t see? Probably both, we probably still use music for those reasons today, as art form and for an escape.

We just got really good at it. We made sound a form of expression, I imagine that we developed instruments together with our voices. Interacting with your surroundings to create a sensation in others. Of course we do this all the time in many ways but somehow music has always been special to me.

Growing up seeing thousands of people gathering in stadiums to experience it together, yet it feels so personal. It’s a thing we share. Its how we explain to the world how we feel, it gives us identity, both through creating and listening to it. It also gives us the ability to change our state or at least influence how we feel.

We communicate feel best through music, in my experience anyways. I don’t express myself musically, but I like the consumption. I like being influenced by it, giving in to it. I’ll never understand how and I’ll never have to, it just is. It just takes you on a journey.

OTHER BAMM.TV STORIES YOU MIGHT LIKE:

Why I Love Music: BAMM.tv’s Chris Hansen

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

Why I Love Music: BAMM.tv’s Diana Gamboa

The F-Word: Homophobia in Hip-Hop

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A BAMM.tv Exclusive Report by Joseph Bien-Kahn

Warning: Strong and derogatory language is present throughout this article. BAMM.tv in no way condones discrimination of any kind. We felt it necessary to present the raw language used in the form of lyrics, comments, and quotes in order present an honest story addressing homophobia and sexism in hip-hop.

A rapper recently told me, “When you say, fuckin’ faggot, that’s like the worst possible thing you can say about someone, besides like, dirty cunt. Those are terrible words and when they’re coming out of your mouth, you have this feeling of, almost, hyper-masculinity, this feeling of like extreme power. When you’re saying those words, you feel badass, you feel like you’re dominating somebody.”

The rapper who said that, Sam “Oh Blimey” McDonald, explains herself as “exactly the opposite of what I know the face of hip-hop looks like.” She’s white, she’s female, she’s homosexual.

I squirmed in my seat when I heard that opening quote; your stomach might have turned reading it. But that’s where hip-hop’s at today. It struggles with mainstream success and its all-too-present misogyny and homophobia. Rap is big enough now that the headliner acts say all the right things about homosexuality and hip-hop. But the truth is, homophobia is still a living, breathing force in the rap game.

(more…)

Why I Love Music: BAMM.tv’s Nick Hansen

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To my alarm, the assignment from our VP of Programming, Phil, read: “Write an essay on what music means to you, and do up a playlist to accompany your thoughts if you have time.”

Oh? Really? Has he lost his mind?? Music! — of all topics, music — boil it down to “my life in a nutshell”, then? How?!

“What does music mean to me” is like “what does water mean for a fish” or “what does fuel mean to an engine”. It’s the sine qua non of life!

Even if you’re imprisoned and held solitary confinement, you still can hum a tune out loud. I read recently about a “locked-in syndrome”, sadly someone prominent drew attention to it through his eventual death last year in England. Google it — you can’t move, you can’t talk, but you can think clearly. Probably, even if you’re so completely unfortunate, you can still dream up a song, one that you’re not hearing with your ears.

The world around us is full of sound, and you know that everyone is seeking your attention, and combinations of sounds can form melodies and harmonies can form stanzas and compositions and songs and albums and compendiums and all that. We are human, we are alive, we make music.

From birth, our first outpouring of expression is in tonal mono-syllables. Over time, some of us are better than others in stringing those together to form song and to vocally express their compositions. Singing for others. It helps if people love the output, but either way, if you’re into it, you’ll probably sing it. Nothing wrong with that.

The public seeks a performer as the performer seeks an audience. They get together. The intense feeling of heavy, deep drum and bass in the middle of a crowded dance floor with its tactile sensibilities, including perhaps unwelcome olfactory experiences and unexpected visual references. The fleeting thoughts. For those willing to put in the effort, when it reaches this stage, the experience isn’t just “brought to you” by music, it is music in its complete intensity, a memory maker.

That sort of intensity regarding music is there to lullaby you as a newborn and to see you off from planet Earth. And every point in between. The tense times, the times you need energy, the times you need to relax, the times you’re running, moving, pushing yourself, fun sexy time, the time you’re tired and lethargic, down in the dumps, that time you cried.

Music is the facilitator that helps everyone smooth over the rough patches in life, both big and small. It’s there for you, it keeps you going, it sets memory points, it reaffirms your existence and defines, a bit, your camaraderie.

OK. Well. Where are we now? Oh. I’m happy that I did my homework in the end. Music means I’m going to wake up tomorrow and get on with it, and hopefully the next day will be at least as good as the day before.

OTHER BAMM.TV STORIES YOU MIGHT LIKE:

Why I Love Music: BAMM.tv’s Chris Hansen

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

Why I Love Music: BAMM.tv’s Diana Gamboa

Why I Love Music: BAMM.tv’s Diana Gamboa

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There is no definitive answer to such broad question, and certainly not one that skips clichés, although they do point out core elements that help identify why individuals love music; so why not embrace them and move on, shall we?

Most music is universal, and doesn’t require a common language to understand and enjoy it; at its most basic form, is a combination of melody, harmony and rhythm, and even if we don’t recognize these elements separately, we can feel them, there is an instant reaction, and that in itself is pretty lovable. I would say lyrics are secondary. Listeners don’t instantly love a song because of words, otherwise we would really be into poetry.

Spanish is my first language, and although I’ve been exposed to music sung in English pretty much since I was born, I never really knew what most of the songs meant, until maybe a few years ago. Certainly, what made me love a song wasn’t the subject matter, it was all about the sonic experience, and how those sounds made me feel and where they could take me, which leads me to another clichéd reason of my love of music: otherworldly.

Music is a trip. It takes us places we wouldn’t otherwise be able to go, and yes, cinema and photography do an excellent good job at it, but music does it different, better. It’s the most affordable getaway; we can escape our reality whenever we want. It enables a bubble that protects us from the outside world. “I Listen, Therefore I Exist”.

Walking down memory lane is another aspect I love about music. It’s a sonic look at the past in such a vivid way. Often times I find it even more powerful than the memories evoked by a photograph, and trust me, I document a LOT.

Lastly, music is a reflection of our state of mind. It adapts our mood, our thoughts, it’s the invisible companion that gets us through the day.

OTHER BAMM.TV STORIES YOU MIGHT LIKE:

Why I Love Music: BAMM.tv’s Chris Hansen

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

Why I Love Music: BAMM.tv’s Chris Hansen

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The first truly co-ed parties I remember started the summer after 6th grade. With the exception of pool parties, these events always seemed to involve poodle skirts and white t-shirts rolled up at the sleeve as we danced awkwardly to the music of another era. Our parent-chaperones relived their youth to the sounds of The Big Bopper and Jerry Lee Lewis as they sipped on spiked punch in the kitchen.

I liked the music well enough, but it dawned on me that there must be something more. It wasn’t long before discovering CCR’s Chronicle vol. 1 & 2 on cassette, and I ran the ribbon raw with “I Heard It Through The Grapevine,” “Walk On The Water” and “Run Through The Jungle.” Sure, I also liked “Suzie Q,” “Proud Mary” and “Looking Out My Backdoor,” but I was craving something a little more disorderly.

About that time, I invaded my brother’s collection of records, tapes and new-fangled CDs and was awakened to all things British. I listened to everything I could find from The Beatles, The Smiths, The Cure, Depeche Mode, Echo and the Bunnymen. I most loved singing along with Morrissey’s depressed choirboy vocals beginning with “Reel Around the Fountain” and going straight through to “Paint A Vulgar Picture.” I was shocked and ashamed to discover that the band had already broken up by the time I heard The Queen Is Dead.

Then I went to a Phish show at Red Rocks. All I can say is: epic.

I was forever changed. After buying the entire catalog on CD I learned that you could go into certain record stores and ask for the “Italian imports,” whereupon the clerk would reveal a hidden stash of live bootlegs from under the counter. I saw Widespread Panic at the HORDE tour and indeed my horizons of rock developed further.

On my first date with my wife, she introduced me to The Black Keys with a compilation CD from The Big Come Up and Rubber Factory. Even though I was hearing it for the first time, it was like I had always known each song. A year later when Attack and Release came out, “All You Ever Wanted” became our song.

Back in college, I would set my alarm clock every day to a random track from Mozart’s Requiem.

Today, I begin my jogging routine the same way every time with “The Divided Sky” off Phish’s debut album.

I can recite the entirety of Vivaldi’s aria “Nulla In Mundo Pax Sincera” in my head even though I don’t understand most of the words.

I’ve played in several bands with my friends, and now I stumble along on a melodica playing Stan Getz tunes to my daughter.

So why do I love music? Because I can barely remember what clothes I was wearing two days ago, but all of these memories are lodged permanently and warmly in my brain. They are as much a part of me as my skin.

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 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.

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