Unplugging: Musical attempts at success

Posted by Lily Angelle, MXDWN

This week, success has not been scarce in the music world, as musicians strive to break records, collaborate and dominate the Tony’s.

This year’s Tony awards proved to be a mighty success for The Swell Season, as they won 8 out of 11 awards for the musical based on the popular 2006 indie romance movie they starred in, Once. The Swell Season is comprised of Marketa Irglova and Glen Hansard, originally acting and making their music a part of the film.

As a result, the duo won an Oscar for Best Original Song for "Falling Slowly," as well as 2 Grammy
nominations. After this week’s Tony Awards, Irglova and Hansard can add another 8 awards to their repertoire. Once the musical won awards for Best Musical, Best Book of a Musical, Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role in a Musical, Scene, Lighting and Sound Designs of a Musical, Best Orchestrations, and Best Direction of a Musical.

Thomas Bangalter of Daft Punk is no stranger to movie scoring, as his Tron: Legacy score was a major success. Now he’s trying his hand at a short film titled First Point. Starring Lindsay Lohan as a surfer, the five-minute short features somber seascapes and settings that director Richard Philips described as "not mainstream film."

First Point premiered at Switzerland’s Art Basel fair recently, and this creative effort by Bangalter is surely something to anticipate.

Several years of waiting in anticipation has led us to David Byrne and St. Vincent releasing a collaborative album. This week, details were released regarding their upcoming effort Love This Giant, set for release on September 11 via 4AD/Todo Mundo. Until then, their first single is available to download.

The 12-track album consistently flaunts the talents of St. Vincent and David Byrne evenly, with 2 tracks written by each musician individually and the rest a collaborative effort with vocal duties halved evenly between them. Byrne and St. Vincent will hit the road September 15 on a fall tour, and can be expected to play songs from their latest collaboration as well as their own repertoires.

Buzz began around Memorial Day about The Flaming Lips’ potential attempt to break Jay-Z’s Guiness World Record for performing in the most cities in 24 hours. In 2006, Jay-Z put on live shows in 7 different cities in just 24 hours. Now, 6 years later, The Flaming Lips plan to take Jay-Z’s record a step further by attempting to perform shows in 8 cities in a 24-hour span of time. This record-breaking attempt will commenceon June 27 in Memphis and end in New Orleans the next day.

To add to the challenge, The Flaming Lips will be traveling to each venue aboard the "Endeavour," an old tour bus. MTV will have a crew follow the band as they hop from venue to venue, as their "mini-set" performances will be combined with MTV’s O Music Awards.

A blogger and archivist by the name of Analog Loyalist has found a way to restore a free cassette tape he received from R.E.M. years before, only the label that owns R.E.M. has stepped in to halt the production that commenced in October 2011.

Songs from the original cassette tape, including "Radio Free Europe" and "Sitting Still," had already been posted online when the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry went through Universal to issue a takedown notice, bringing up the Digital Millennium Copyright Act. The conflict over this takedown notice comes with the fact that there is no existent contract for the songs on the cassette with the label. At this point, Analog Loyalist is contemplating whether to continue the process so as to not see his efforts go to waste. For now, the original blog with the R.E.M. restorations can still be accessed.

Unplugging in Brief:

Musical Based on The Swell Season-Scored Once Wins 8 Tony Awards – The musical based on the 2006 indie film Once racked up 8 awards at this year’s Tony’s.

Daft Punk’s Thomas Bangalter Score New Lindsay Lohan Short Film First Point – Quite different than Tron: Legacy, Daft Punk member Thomas Bangalter is lending a musical hand to the score for a short film starring Lindsay Lohan.

David Byrne and St. Vincent Announce Collaborative Album Love This Giant and Fall 2012 Tour Dates – A long-awaited collaboration between St. Vincent and David Byrne is now in effect.

The Flaming Lips Announce Locations and Openers Grimes, Neon Indian and More For 24-Hour Record Attempt – The Flaming Lips are setting out to shatter Jay-Z’s 2006 Guiness World Record for the most cities performed in within a 24-hour time frame.

R.E.M. Restoration Blog Threatened With Takedown Notice From Universal Music – The label that owns R.E.M. is not happy about a blogger/archivist’s attempt to restore original R.E.M. demos from a cassette tape the band handed out personally years ago.

Lily Angelle, MXDWN