The Vulture Nest: Latest Music News
It’s gold, gold, gold for director Danny Boyle as his highly anticipated London 2012 Olympics Opening Ceremony extravaganza went off without a hitch early in the morning Australia time on Saturday. Appearances from David Beckham, Mr Bean and even James Bond parachuting in with the Queen in tow were highlights of a widely praised opening celebration of the Games of the 30th Olympiad, but it was Boyle’s choice of music, both live and as part of the recorded soundtrack, that really set this year’s ceremony apart. Indie rockers the Arctic Monkeys appeared towards the end of the ceremony and played their breakout hit ‘I Bet You Look Good On The Dancefloor’ to what we can assume will be their largest audience ever – an estimated one billion people tuned in to watch the ceremony worldwide.
Alex Turner and co. also covered The Beatles classic ‘Come Together’, which was an appropriate segue for Paul McCartney to take the stage, closing the ceremony with a huge singalong of ‘Hey Jude’. Other performers featured throughout the ceremony included Dizzee Rascal, Mike Oldfield, Emeli Sandé and Alex Trimble of Two Door Cinema Club, singing a song written especially for the ceremony by Underworld’s Rick Smith. The rest of the music for the ceremony comprised of a pretty comprehensive history of British artistry, with MIA, The Chemical Brothers, The Kinks, Pink Floyd, Handel and Franz Ferdinand just some of the contributors to the 80+ strong tracklist.
Australian rock icons Men at Work have re-released their hit ‘Down Under’ just in time for the London Games, with one notable omission. As a result of their long winded and highly publicised legal battle with Larrakin Music, they have re-recorded the song without the iconic flute riff which was ruled in the Federal Court in 2009 to reproduce “a substantial part” of the well known children’s choral tune ‘Kookaburra’. Men at Work frontman Colin Hay said in a written statement “The song is ultimately about celebration, what you feel inside, what has a ring of truth to it. I am proud to have co-written this song, happy that people still like singing along to it, and that they will continue to, long after I’m gone.” The Down Under 2012 EP, which also features an acoustic and a live version of the track, is available now exclusively through iTunes.
In news that will vindicate the complaints of parents around the world, a scientific study has found that pop music is indeed getting both louder and blander. Reuters recently reported that Spanish researchers used a huge archive known as the Million Song Dataset, which breaks down audio and lyrical content into data that can be scientifically analysed, to study pop songs recorded from 1955 to 2010. Joan Serra, the artificial intelligence specialist who ran the study said that her team “found evidence of a progressive homogenization of the musical discourse, in particular, we obtained numerical indicators that the diversity of transitions between note combinations – roughly speaking chords plus melodies – has consistently diminished in the last 50 years.” The level at which pop songs are recorded – their “intrinsic loudness” – has also steadily increased over the course of the last half century. So the result is that Lady Gaga and LMFAO sound more like each other than The Beatles and the Rolling Stones, and next time your parents tell you to “Turn that shit down!” unfortunately you might just have to listen to them.
PNAU and Elton John’s unique collaboration album Good Morning To The Night debuted at number one in the UK last week, bringing Sir Elton his first chart topper since the release of his greatest hits collection in 1990. The album, which sees PNAU’s Nick Littlemore and Peter Mayes remix several of John’s 70’s hits into almost unrecognisable disco-house dance anthems, came about after John heard PNAU’s self titled 2008 album and declared it the best record he’d heard in 10 years. In an interview on his own website, John said of Good Morning To The Night: “It’s never been done before. What they’ve done with this record is create a new genre of music… It’s a unique piece of art, and what it’s done is transform old songs into new songs”. PNAU joined Elton John on stage at the Ibiza 123 Rocktronic festival earlier this month to play some of the new material, and fingers crossed Littlemore and Mayes make an appearance when Elton John tours Australia in November. Check out the video for Elton John vs PNAU track ‘Sad’ below
Snoop Dogg, you’ve done it again. The man known to his mum as Calvin Broadus Jr has been banned from entering Norway for two years, after he was caught at Kjevic airport last month carrying eight grams of marijuana and more cash than was legally allowed. At the time, the smooth-voiced gangster rap superstar paid a 52,000 kroner (AUD $8,200) fine after admitting the two offences, and went on to perform at Norway’s Hove Festival. The BBC reports that Snoop Dogg’s legal counsel in Norway said that the rapper had no plans to appeal the ban, saying his client could “live with the decision”.
The ban adds another notch to Mr Dogg’s already extensive “Legal Issues” section of his Wikipedia page, which was last updated after he was arrested, and later released with a warning, when Texas border officials found cannabis on his tour bus in January of this year.