Leon Theremin Plays the Theremin
The Theremin is a unique instrument. You don’t touch it to play it. Invented by Profesor Lev Sergeyvich Termen, later known as Leon Theremin, in 1919, it is one of the first electronic instruments.
It works by capacitance and heterodyning. Most have two antennas, waving your hand in front of one controls the amplitude (volume) and the other the pitch. The closer you move the volume hand, the quieter it gets and the closer your pitch hand is, the higher the pitch. It is also fairly difficult to play. You need much practice and a good ear for pitch.
Due to its ethereal-spacey sound, it has been used in many science fiction works including Dr. Who. It has a sound that lends itself well to the genre. It also gained recognition when Jimmy Page used it in some of Led Zeppelin’s music.
Check out the inventor performing on his instrument in the video below.
Leon Theremin and His Wonderful Theremin
If you wish to watch more Theremin videos, you can check some out at Open Culture which is where I found the above video. If you would really like to find more about the instrument itself, I would suggest Theremin World. Also of note, the professor did not stop with just the Theremin, he also created a Theremin Cello.
Radiohead – Spectre
While I am not a fanatical James Bond fan, I confess I have most of the 007 films except for a few of recent ones. I am also certain, I will get around to the more recent releases when I happen on them this winter at my local library. (A quick stop at Wikipedia list 24 titles, of which I have seen 21.)
One can not deny that the character is timeless. Mr. Bond has entertained at least four generations of fans. One could also say the same about the soundtracks. I don’t own any James Bond movies, but I still have a few cassette tapes of James Bond movie soundtracks. Seriously, what musician wouldn’t want to do music for a Bond film?
Furthermore, I am not a huge fan of Radiohead. I respect their work and it is obvious they have much talent, but I rarely listen to works such as Magic Beans except when I am occasionally in the mood for such. I am more of a blues, jazz or hard rock listener. However, after hearing Spectre work by Radiohead, I am amazed that it was not actually included in the film. They put it up as a Christmas gift to their fans at their SoundCloud Page. They had the following to say:
Last year we were asked to write a theme tune for the Bond movie Spectre. Yes we were. It didn’t work out, but became something of our own, which we love very much. As the year closes we thought you might like to hear it. Merry Christmas. May the force be with you.
In my humble opinion, they nailed it. It is perfect music for a Bond film. Especially since I went and listened to some of the material from the soundtrack. It is a shame that “It didn’t work out”. The track below is many times better than many of the tracks that are in the soundtrack.
Here Are a Few Places to Find Christmas Music
Merry Christmas All,
While many of my fellow Americans are enjoying our usually warm December weather, it is not for me. I want the ground white, especially on Christmas. I am doing what I can to get myself in the spirit. I already pulled out my CD of Bing’s White Christmas and am now listening to The Celtic Music Podcast. It is working and I thought I would share some of the places I find Christmas music. The links I am about to share should give you more than enough music to get you though both the eve and the day.
- If you like Marc Gunn’s Irish and Celtic Podcast, he has all his Celtic Christmas Music.
- For you podsafe buff, Uwe Herman has a great list of podsafe Christmas music.
- Openculture.com alos has a great list of Christmas music, 22 hours of it in total.
I also found this Scott Weiland Winter Wonderland video over at Open Culture and thought I would share it here.
We hope you have a safe and happy holiday season and new year.
Thanks for listening and reading. Feel free to comment and please remember to support the indie artists by buying their merchandise, seeing them live and/or simply spreading the word.
One of His Best Performances – BB King at Sing Sing
I am a BB King fan. I actually got to meet him once. I feel blessed. If I recall correctly, I saw him perform three times. Despite growing up in the 70s, I am certain I could not forget seeing this legend.
I happened on the video below at Open Culture. As mentioned in the article, link after the video, he thought it one of his best performances. I have seen this and many other of his videos before and I agree.
If you liked the video above, check out the additional ones at Open Culture.
Thanks for reading, feel free to comment and remember to support the indie artist.
Kick Ass Rock n’ Roll – Reserved For Rondee – Back In Velvet
I always dig through all submissions to find the gems. Reserved For Rondee contact me a long time ago asking that I review Back in Velvet. While it took me way too long to get to it, excellent music is timeless. Rock n’ Roll, kick ass and awesome were my first thoughts on the LP. In my opinion, this ten track LP belongs in the library of anyone who likes superb rock music.
I will share my thoughts on the album in one moment, first let us hear what the band has to say about themselves:
“A melting pot of the NYC indy rock scene, Reserved For Rondee draws inspiration from classic artists like Led Zeppelin, the Beatles, U2 and contemporaries like the White Stripes, the Black Keys and Arcade Fire, blending imagination and style into a mystic rock journey. On the strength of their live performances and their debut EP RFR, released in February, 2012, the band launched a Kickstarter campaign to raise the funds necessary for the recording of their debut album Back In Velvet. Receiving support from an international audience, the band quickly met and exceeded its targeted goal. Recorded in Brooklyn, NY and released in August 2013, Back In Velvet captures the vibrant sound of a band reflecting the energy that can only be found in New York, the greatest city in the world.”
The Band Members are:
- Trevor Vaughn – vocals
- Billy Magnussen – guitar
- Nick Fokas – guitars
- Tom Degnan – bass
- Warren Hemmenway – drums
Bronx Cheerleader – Psychedelic Rock from Saint Catharine’s, Ontario
If you like creative jammin’ psychedelic rock and roll, safe bet you are going to love Bronx Cheerleader. From Saint Catharine’s, Ontario, this band has a great psychedelic sound. These Canadians use dreamy vocals, great effect guitar, some steel pedal guitar, and lots of simply great music. While they heavily use guitars and vocals, they do eclecticism well mixing in other musical events in a pleasingly unexpected way.
In my opinion, one of the hurdles an artist can be confronted with is sticking largely with one genre. It is too easy for the music to start sounding “all the same”. In order to leap the obstacle, the musician must do the genre superbly well. Bronx Cheerleader is as good an example of perfectly making such a jump.
They have a good number of releases, both singles and LPs, dating back to 2005, many great tunes. They are also hip enough to offer Real Punks Don’t Sing About Girls on 12″ vinyl. They offer Tough Guy Cliches as a free download.
Victory Kicks – The Young Flood and More!
A long time ago, in an inbox overstuffed, I was contacted by Victory Kicks. Originally, I was asked to review two tracks which were released back in February. While I enjoyed Smoke and Last Night, it merely served as an enticement to listen to more of their excellent alternative music.
First let us hear what the band says about themselves:
Victory Kicks are an alternative rock band from the Isle of Wight and now based in London. Formed originally as a home recording project by singer/songwriter John Sibley, the band continues to produce and release all its records independently on its own label, Unmanned Aerial Vinyl.
This band has been around for a while and, hopefully, they stay around even longer. Originally a solo project, their Facebook bio states they are now a quartet. A really, really good quartet. Once I listened to the two tracks they requested me to review, I was simply thirsty for more and spent hours doubling back and listening to everything they have released. I don’t often binge listen to a band but this talent is a worthy exception. It was time well spent and I am certain I will be looking for more from them in the future. They now have 7 releases. They also offer their entire discography at 50% off at bandcamp.
The Black Satellites – Don’t Forget My Name
If you like driving get-jam-on rock and roll, you will love the four track release, Don’t Forget My Name, from the New York City-based group, Black Satellite. It is driving, hard-hitting, fantastically energetic, and leaves one wanting more.
As I almost always do, let me have the band speak for themselves. According to their bio:
“Delivering a fusion of hearty blues, hard rock with a pop undercurrent that doesn’t undermine its complexity and originality. Melodic, fragile, authentic, built with emotion and groove before giving way to powerhouse vocals and screaming guitars. In a nutshell a sound with every song to make your heart beat a little bit harder”
Warning – The material reviewed below has explicit language and subject material most would consider not safe for work. If this type of material offends you please respect the artist’s right to freedom of expression and exercise your right to freedom of choice and read another review at Indie Nation.
As usual, I have far more material in my inbox than time to review it all. However, I shall get to it all, in order, as rapidly as possible. I shall keep my pledge to “listen to the bad music so you don’t have to”. If you are a musician awaiting a response either I didn’t like your material or I just haven’t gotten to you yet. Be patient, sooner or later you will know.
I shall also continue to write positive-only reviews for the material that I happen on and like. Today, I would like to thank Undefined 901 or “U901” for giving me something to rave about. I don’t know much about the band other than they are from Memphis Tennesee.
Louise Aubrie Late44
This artist splits her time between London and New York. Louise Aubrie pumps out powerful pop with a healthy dose of rock and punk. Her latest release, Late 44 is an excellent ten-track release. Every song entertains from start to finish. Produced at Abbey Road Studio, the producers and the musicians totally clicked to create an amazing sounding work… Superbly done! I honestly can find nothing bad to say about this release. I love it!
The music is packed with powerful guitar and vocals. While all the musicians performed awesome on this album, moving perfectly as one, I was drawn to the guitar work and vocals. They are superb. Check out how well she uses her dynamic and powerful voice, like an extra instrument at times, on Next to Nothing. The punkish guitar riffs on Winter Dolour. The nice crunchy guitar on Tearjerker. Seriously folks, every track on this release is a treat.
Bitter’s Kiss – A Young and Rising Talent
Bitter’s Kiss is an indie pop artist from Weehawken, New Jersey. It is the work of Chloe Baker. She has a pleasing voice, writes great lyrics, uses her voice to deliver them beautifully, backs it with music with a nice touch of variety and is something worth listening to.
I will elaborate further on why I like this young talent soon but, for now, let us hear what she has to say about her work, from the artist’s About Page:
bitter’s kiss, current project of New Jersey-based singer/songwriter Chloe Baker, invites the listener into a world of joy, pain, sorrow and redemption that reflects the humanity in all of us. With a voice that is melodic, delicate and at times haunting, Chloe explores a range of styles as she describes her own observations and experience through music and words.”