music

If We Can’t Laugh at Jazz Satire, Jazz is More Fragile Than We Thought

If We Can’t Laugh at Jazz Satire, Jazz is More Fragile Than We Thought

Update: I appeared on WNYC’s Soundcheck to debate this topic with 30-year jazz critic Howard Mandel. It’s on the August 7th episode. Go listen! This past weekend, the internet exploded (as it is wont to do). The New Yorker published an article in its Shouts and Murmurs column, which is reserved for humor and satire, entitled “Sonny Rollins: In His Own Words.” From the ficti... »

Five Great Novelty Education Songs for When You’re Done With Word Crimes

Five Great Novelty Education Songs for When You’re Done With Word Crimes

As Ryan posted today, thanks to Weird Al, it’s been a great week for nerds lying at the intersection of music and education.  To commemorate, here are five of my favorite all time educational songs of a humorous bent:   5. Tom Lehrer: New Math.  Lehrer’s song mocking the difficulty of New Math’s approach towards subtraction in different base systems is itself actually a real... »

Lab Track: Take Me to Church

Lab Track: Take Me to Church

While at first glance the title of this week’s Lab Track might suggest that our readership is the wrong audience for this song, trust me when I say that we’re exactly right. “Take Me To Church” is a soulful, moving track by Irish singer-songwriter Hozier about sex, religion, and defying the confines the latter places on the former. Mother Jones interviewed Hozier about the ... »

Album of the (last) Week – Open Mike Eagle’s “Dark Comedy”

Album of the (last) Week – Open Mike Eagle’s “Dark Comedy”

Hello there, Lab Rats. Apologies for the late post, but I’m back to let you in on one of Hip-Hops best kept secrets: Open Mike Eagle. As a member of the Hellfyre Club collective (who has an impressive roster including personal favorites Busdriver and Milo), Mike has found his own track making heady rap over some of the more interesting, less cookie-cutter beats unlike those that permeate muc... »

Album of the Week – tUnE-yArDs’ “W H O K I L L”

Album of the Week – tUnE-yArDs’ “W H O K I L L”

Hello there, Lab Rats. If you’re anything like me, there’s nothing quite like a great bit of art to light that fire under your social activist ass. In my case, nothing burns hotter than a great album, so I’ve decided to share a favorite of mine every week with you lucky so and sos. For our first venture into the wonderful world of carefully collected sounds, I thought we’d ... »

Watch Isaac Newton in a Rap Battle with Bill Nye

Watch Isaac Newton in a Rap Battle with Bill Nye

We’ve featured Epic Rap Battles of History here at the Lab before — the YouTube series dresses two rappers up as historic figures and pits them against each other to debate their respective achievements in rhyme. It’s the best. There are plenty of battles between sci-fi characters (Doc Brown vs. Dr. Who) artists (try Bob Ross vs. Pablo Picasso, or perhaps Stephen King vs. Edgar A... »

Silhouette of Byzantine-style domes in Venice

SoD Cross-Post: Infamy, Hagiography, and Resistance

The following was originally posted on School of Doubt. Read the whole thing there or catch the beginning below. Last week I went with a friend to see Hayao Miyazaki’s latest–and supposedly final–offering, “The Wind Rises” (review here for those interested). For those of you not familiar, the movie is a highly fictionalised account of the life of Jiro Horikoshi, the d... »

Band Riders and the Legend of the Brown M&Ms

Band Riders and the Legend of the Brown M&Ms

New York-based photographer Henry Hargreaves and food artist Caitlin Levin have done something amazing. No, I don’t mean their gingerbread recreations of famous art galleries and museums or photographs of deep-fried tech gadgets, though both are equally cool. I mean Band Riders, a photography project depicting the catering requests of various musicians’ riders in the style of a Flemish... »

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