Promoting quality music in Knoxville … by any means necessary.
Knoxville music fans, of course you know all about supergroups. When certain stars of the music world get together with other stars of the music world to create what Time magazine termed a ”potent but short-lived rock phenomenon”, or rather, an “amalgam formed by the talented malcontents of other bands.” Hmmmm. Well, this week we sample a few ‘malcontents’ who formed the recent supergroup, Atoms For Peace - Radiohead lead singer Thom Yorke, Red Hot Chili Peppers bassist Flea, Radiohead producer Nigel Godrich (keyboards, synths),Beck and R.E.M. drummer Joey Waronker, and Brazilian instrumentalist Mauro Refosco. Enjoy!
And if this week’s groups are ‘super’ enough, perhaps you should detour to our Free Music Friday Archives for plenty of fun!
The Black Swan, Thom Yorke
In an interview with Mojo magazine February 2008, Thom Yorke confessed that one of the things from doing a solo album that he’d learned was that all the stuff he does on a laptop gets him excited because he can hear what he is going do vocally. However unless he has an actual vocal in place, it’s a bit unfair to expect anybody else to understand what is going on. When asked to give an example Yorke replied: “I was playing bits of ‘Black Swan,’ 6 minutes of, er, mostly drivel, and Nigel’s (Godrich the producer) like, ‘Bloody hell! I’m not interested in any of this.’ I said, I’ve been working on this for ages. It’s great. ‘No it’s not,’ he says. But as soon as I put the vocal on, he was like, ‘OK, now it makes sense.’ It reminded me just how important the voice is.”
Forro In The Dark and one unhappy goat
Silence Is Golden by Forro In The Dark – First of all, loyal knoxmusictoday.com followers, it’s pronounced ‘fo-ho’. Second of all, it’s a form of dance music native to Brazil that features elements of rock, jazz, country and folk music. So there, now you know a few facts. Forro In The Dark is a bit of a supergroup in and of itself. The band was formed in Manhattan by Brazilian percussionist Mauro Refosco. So just what is forro? Mr. Refosco described it as -
“a happy, danceable music based on four elements: simple melodies, basic harmonies, driving rhythms and funny lyrics. Those elements are traditionally performed by three instruments: a triangle, an accordion, and a zabumba, a drum pitched somewhere between a low snare and a small bass”.
So there you go.
Joey Waronker IS the loop guru!
Chemtrails by Beck – The drummer for Atoms For Peace, Joey Waronker, is a busy man. In 2012, he provided skins for Little Broken Hearts by Norah Jones, 3 Pears by Dwight Yoakam, Old Ideas by Leonard Cohen, and Hurry Up, We’re Dreaming by M83. So far this year, he has played drums on Tegan and Sara’s Heartthrob, in addition to the Atoms For Peace album Amok. In his spare time, he likes rainy afternoons and walks on the beach. This song is from perhaps his most steady job – banging on things for Beck.
Atoms For Peace lay down on the job
Default and Judge Jury and Executioner by Atoms For Peace – The supergroup that is the center of our Free Music Friday this week, Atoms For Peace, was originally formed in 2009 as a backing band to perform songs live from Thom Yorke’s solo album, The Eraser. The band performed a few live shows, either under the assumed name of ?????? or Thom Yorke???. So why Atoms For Peace? The band previously featured the phrase, “Nerth Nuclerek? Na Vynnav” on their website, which when translated from Cornish to English can be interpreted roughly as, “Nuclear Power? No Thanks.” Next, one must consider the frame of reference to the origin of the term ‘Atoms for Peace’, which was the title of President Dwight D. Eisenhower’s speech in 1953 to the United Nations that attempted to justify the terrifying introduction of nuclear weapons to the world with the justification of using that power as a benefit for all. With obviously healthy optimism -
“To the making of these fateful decisions, the United States pledges before you–and therefore before the world–its determination to help solve the fearful atomic dilemma–to devote its entire heart and mind to find the way by which the miraculous inventiveness of man shall not be dedicated to his death, but consecrated to his life.”
The rest of the story is that part of the Atoms for Peace doctrine and practice, as promoted by the United States, was the introduction of nuclear power (but not weapons) to countries that might not otherwise have the opportunity to develop those capabilities. Countries such as Iran, which have now developed nuclear weapons on their own. See, just when you thought knoxmusictoday.com was only music! We have a bit of knowledge to pass on now and again, too!
Flea is a bit intense
Slow Cheetah AND Road Trippin’ by the Red Hot Chili Peppers – IT’S FLEA!!! IT’S FLEA!!! Ladies and Gentlemen, we give you a pair of favorites from Flea and his band of note, the Red Hot Chili Peppers. As you may know, we have been working our ass off lately… or more appropriately – given the amount of fast food that has been consumed – working our ass ON! So we will leave you this week, with perhaps a road trip in order. And perhaps a nice drive like a slow cheetah. Don’t forget your hoop, babybaby!