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New tribute LP illuminates Arthur Russell's unappreciated greatness


Covers are stubborn. For every magical Jimi Hendrix-“All Along the Watchtower” combination, hundreds of reinterpretations crash and burn. When Arcade Fire performed a new cover at every show on their Reflektor tour, for instance, they often fell short, because, well, even the Greatest Freakin’ Indie Band will struggle to nail iconic recordings by R.E.M. and Sam Cooke. Sometimes brilliance strikes, like on Cat Power’s The Covers Record, but tribute albums are frequently dull and all too often smack of washed-up stars trying to channel legends.

Considering these challenges, Master Mix: Red Hot + Arthur Russell, the new tribute dedicated to one of New York City’s most seminal (and unappreciated) musicians, is remarkable. Arthur Russell isn’t a household name, but this star-studded album could make listeners wonder why.


David Bowie to release hits collection and new single in November


To celebrate 50 years of recording, David Bowie will release a three-disc hits collection on November 17 via Columbia/Legacy. Nothing Has Changed follows 2013’s The Next Day, which was Bowie’s first album of new material since 2003’s Reality.

The collection kicks off with a new track named “Sue (or In A Season Of Crime),” then works its way backwards. This means listeners have to wait until the third disc—or just skip ahead—to hear classics like “Rebel Rebel,” “Ziggy Stardust,” and “Changes.”

Nothing Has Changed also comes loaded with some cool Bowie deep cuts. The singer famously penned “All the Young Dudes” for Mott the Hoople, but his own studio version will see release on the new record. Nothing Has Changed will also include a remix of Next Day track “Love Is Lost” by Bowie-influenced LCD Soundsystem frontman James Murphy.

James Murphy wants to make subway stations musical

First James Murphy wanted to make jogging more pleasant when his now-defunct LCD Soundsystem (RIP) released 45:33, a musical composition made to listen to while working out, and now he wants to make New York’s subway stations more pleasant. Is that even possible? Well, he thinks so.

Murphy told The Wall Street Journal that he doesn’t like the sounds the subway turnstiles make when you slide your Metro card through them — an admittedly flat “beep” — and so he took it upon himself to create a set of notes for the turnstiles at each station, which would result in what he calls a “subway symphony.”

Murphy even created a website for the initiative, and on it, he addresses that yes, there are “way bigger problems in New York.” He counters that by saying, “But this one is so infuriating because, quite simply, it would be really cheap and easy to change. And I think it would be really lovely, honestly.” The musician makes a solid case for having separate tones in each individual station, imagining a city where “people who grew up with these sounds will hear a piece of music at an opera, or on an ad, or in the background of a film and feel a nostalgia for their first apartment, or their basketball practices, as thy think ‘this song reminds me of Borough Hall’ or ‘This song reminds me of my school [at] East Broadway.'”

Murphy has been working on this “subway symphony” for 15 years, but it’s just now making headlines because the MTA is beginning a project to improve the city’s stations and Murphy sees this as the perfect opportunity to accomplish his own project. Adam Lisberg, a spokesman for the MTA, spoke to The Wall Street Journal and didn’t seem too on-board with Murphy’s idea because of logistical and monetary reasons, but Murphy’s motivated: His website even features a petition supporters of his idea can digitally sign. And really, all he wants to do “is make our city a little more kind.” Maybe the MTA should let him.

David Bowie drops creepy 'Love Is Lost' video for Halloween: Watch it here

David Bowie knows a thing or two about being spooky—he did, after all, title one of his albums Scary Monsters (And Super Creeps) – and he’s also responsible for this deeply unsettling video for “The Heart’s Filthy Lesson.”

Now he’s back with a Lynchian new clip for “Love Is Lost (Hello Steve Reich Mix),” a reimagining of one of the best tracks on his 2013 comeback album The Next Day. The remix is care of former LCD Soundsystem mastermind James Murphy, who is having a pretty good week all things considered (he also co-produced Arcade Fire’s just-released new album Reflektor).

According to the press release, the entire thing was constructed last weekend in Bowie’s Manhattan apartment, and cost $12.99 total—the price of the thumb drive Bowie had to pick up to transfer the finished video.

“Love Is Lost (Hello Steve Reich Mix)” is one of several new tracks that will appear on The Next Day Extra, a deluxe edition of Bowie’s latest album. The three-disc set features the original record along with a second disc of bonus tracks and remixes and a DVD of the videos from The Next Day. It’ll be available November 5.

Check out the clip below. It’s a nice bit of mid-morning creepiness to kick off your Halloween. And seriously, watch “The Heart’s Filthy Lesson” too.


James Murphy visits Jimmy Fallon, reminds us he could've been a 'Seinfeld' writer: Watch it here

The upcoming documentary Shut Up and Play the Hits focuses on LCD Soundsystem’s last days, but DFA ringleader James Murphy has an equally compelling origin story that includes a job offer in one of comedy’s finest writers rooms. (Hint: it rhymes if Feinseld. Also, it’s in the headline.) Watch the video below to see him discuss that and other tribulations on Late Night With Jimmy Fallon:


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