“Estampie Real - La Quarte” by an anonymous French composer [ca. 1290], performed by The Dufay Collective 
Very little is known with certainty about the late medieval dance called estampie, even whether it was a true dance. Most scholars agree that it served as a courtly dance in the late 13th and 14th centuries. One of the earliest examples of estampie (and of Western instrumental music in general) is a manuscript compiled in France around the year 1300. Called “manuscript du roi” the instrumental dances it contained were likely performed at the court of the King of France.
On a related note, September is the season of many Renaissance fairs (in the U.S. at least). Don’t forget to plan a trip to the one nearest you to check out not only music history, but other fun courtly and peasant-ly things.
Image: Chateau Fontainebleau, home to many French kings including Philip IV (source).
In a news post on their website dubbed “homage or fromage?,” Iceland’s Sigur Rós have pointed out a handful of television ads featuring music that’s “eerily similar” to their own. Reminding fans that they’ve only given permission to films, charity, and other creative projects over the past decade, the band adds:
Despite rumours to the contrary [Sigur Rós] have never allowed their music to be used to sell anything. And they get asked A Lot. Sometimes they get asked, say ‘no’ and then a few months later an ad will suddenly appear that sounds strangely familiar.
Otis Redding’s “I’ve Been Loving You Too Long (to Stop Now”) is an open wound of a song, delivered in a voice far too pained to convey the defiance suggested by its title. Cat Power, who covered the song on 2008’s Dark End of the Street EP, swaps that pain for a kind of boozy disorientation — she stumbles all over the track like a girl refusing to leave the bar after last call. It’s a shambling 3 a.m. torch song that ends with a minor riot of percussion, as if the drummer were trying to knock some sense into poor Chan. But she goes right on crooning till the lights come on.
New track off Seattle grungegaze band’s upcoming HoZac full-length release. I just made up the microgenre name, but I certainly didn’t invent the genre. Sonic Youth fuckin’ did, 20 years ago. The feedback gods win again.
one of my favourite posts in the illustrious history of songmeanings.net -
I had first picked up the MMM FOOD album, and consequently heard this song, this chick I had started hoeing for some pimp she ran off with. I guess I should have “made her feel cuter nad lay down the G like Lutha”. ANd everything would have been “Supa” . Its bugged out how the time this song came to me all of this was going on. Must of been a sign from the Most High Allah (ZWT)! (lol) - SteelyDanforever
CC music from mainstream artists. Awesome. Heard some of this on yesterday’s Rathole Radio live show. No direct download link that I can find, but you can right-click on each mp3 file and download it to your computer.
Marnie’s voice has never sounded like this before. Reviewers often talk about the place in between singing and talking that Marnie’s voice fits, how it has this youthful quality to it, but on “Building A Body” it’s very much rough and crackling and aggressive. I love it, love listening to how it really aligns with the pulse of the lyrics, and how it gets even rougher and more aggressive as the song pushes forward.
“Close (To the Edit)” – Art of Noise (Words/music: Anne Dudley/Trevor Horn/Johnathon J. Jeczalik/Gary Langan/Paul Morley, available on (Who’s Afraid Of?) The Art of Noise!, ZTT/Island 1984)
Art of Noise made plenty of jarring, engaging sound collages (including a one-off collaboration with Tom Jones on Prince’s “Kiss.” Let that sink in for a minute), and “Close (To the Edit)” ranks with their best. Their samples come from many different sources – a Volkswagon, a male vocalist repeating a single syllable, and a Yes song just to name a few. The result is something that feels startiling cohesive despite moving in different directions. The part where the synthesizer glides on top of the rest of the track in particular feels like a moment where these disparate sounds create the most unlikely harmony.
The track is only part of the story. The video is the rest of it. When I used to get VH-1 Classic, I kept an eye out specifically for this video. There isn’t too much to add to it (seriously, if you haven’t seen it, go watch it right now), except that the editing of the footage in a sort of semi-stop motion feels appropriate for a track that doesn’t try to hide its editing marks. Even after countless plays on TV and YouTube, I’m still fascinated, amused, and slightly disturbed by the video – enough that I’m going to be quiet and let it speak for itself.
(If you’re interested in reading more about the samples used, or about how the Prodigy used the “hey” vocal sample in their “Firestarter,” the Allmusic entry and Wikipedia entry are good places to start).
Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross - The Social Network
Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross teamed up to score The Social Network - a movie about that other Social Network people are using these days. They’ve just released a sampler EP for free on their website.
Trent Reznor’s no stranger to movie scores (Lost Highway), instrumentals (Every NIN album) or production (Niggy Tardust). I’m a die-hard Trent Reznor fan, so I’m pretty excited for this.
Not surprisingly, these sound very similar to Nine Inch Nails’ four-part Ghosts collection of instrumental tracks. Of which, both Trent and Atticus were the main producers of. It also reminds me of the minimalist soundtrack to Fight Club by the Dust Brothers. This will probably go head-to-head with the much anticipated scoring to Tron2 by Daft Punk.
What the hell? Why am I talking about movie soundtracks?
They’ll be offering the soundtrack in four formats: Digital (on sale for $3 on Amazon when released), CD, BluRay (?) and Vinyl. The Digital copy will be released Sept 28, with the physical copies released on Oct.