NPR Song Of The Day: The War On Drugs, ‘Taking The Farm’

The War On Drugs' Wagonwheel Blues is out now.
The War On Drugs’ Wagonwheel Blues is out now.

In my latest review for NPR’s Song of the Day, I tackle the War On Drugs. In a mere three paragraphs. Well, the band, not the futile efforts to curb the drug problem in America — that would certainly take a bit longer to fully dissect. To read the full review and hear “Taking the Farm” from Wagonwheel Blues click right here!

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Playing the Building

A few weeks ago, I wrote an article for NPR Music based on an interview from WNYC’s Soundcheck with David Byrne. Byrne’s latest project, called Playing the Building, transforms an antique pump organ and the old Battery Maritime Building in New York into an actual musical instrument.

The keyboard triggers mechanical devices that rattle, pound, clank, vibrate various motors, rafters and pipes and allows the public to literally play the building. Not only are the sounds stunning, but the building space itself is also visually amazing.

I’m so fascinated by this project since it finds music in unexpected places, finds beauty in such a great architectural and artistic space and because it’s very nature lets anyone — not just learned musicians — play and experiment with the sounds. I think I might have to take a weekend jaunt up to NYC to experience it for myself.

Go to NPR Music to read the article, listen to the piece and see a photo gallery I curated.

New York Times also wrote a good article about it here and have a little video as well.

Pitchfork also went down to the installation and shot this great short video feature below.

Bo Diddley RIP

Blues-rock legend Bo Diddley died today at age 79. As great of a guitarist and early rock and roll icon as he was, the first thing I thought of when I heard the news this morning was this:

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Ironically, this was my first introduction to Bo Diddley when I was a kid. This commercial, if I recall first aired during the 1989 All-Star Game, at the height of Bo Jackson-mania. Obviously as a huge Royals fan growing up, Bo Jackson was THE guy. So if this Bo Diddley character was cool enough to appear in a commercial with Jackson, he was certainly worth checking out. Luckily my father had a few of this records that he was more than happy to share.

Perhaps not the most logical introduction to an artist, but definitely a memorable one for a young, impressionable soon-to-be music lover.

If you haven’t checked out a far more eloquent write up of Mr. Diddley and his fantastic music, go to NPR Music, Greg Kot’s music blog at Chicago Tribune, All Music Blog, and New York Times.