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'We Are Modeselektor' Documentary Now Free To Stream
75-minute documentary charts the fascinating rise of the influential German DJ/producer duo
Groundbreaking German electronic duo Modeselektor gave their fans a special gift this week, releasing the fascinating feature-length documentary We Are Modeselektor in its entirety for free to Electronic Beats TV's (EB.tv) YouTube channel.
Originally shot in 2013 in collaboration with EB.tv, the 75-minute film chronicles Gernot Bronsert and Sebastian Szary's early years as outlaw DJs in the 1990s East Berlin underground electronic scene. Speaking to now-defunct indie music blog The Red Alert in 2007, Szary explained, "After the Wall came down, everywhere in Germany and especially East Germany there was a lot of chaos, anarchy, … So [the authorities] didn't interfere when someone put up a pair of speakers in an abandoned building …and threw a party."
Equal parts dark, inviting, abrasive, melodic, and absurd, Modeselektor's signature sound has always paid equal respect to the pair's underground heritage and iconoclastic obsession with defying genre classification.
This resistance to categorization is undoubtedly informed by the social upheaval that permeated East Germany during Szary's and Bronsert's formative years.
"You wanted to be different, to have your own style," the pair explained to The Red Alert's Adam McKibbin. "Sometimes you had the feeling that you could build your own society. Everywhere was a feeling of breakup and a feeling of depression at the same time. Mixed feelings, insecurity and big hopes everywhere."
We Are Modeselektor traces these formative years against a backdrop of found footage and personal stories Szary and Bronsert share as they tour their childhood neighborhoods and adolescent stomping grounds, cracking jokes with family and friends all along the way in their characteristic absurdist humor.
In more recent years, Szary and Bronsert have partnered with longtime friend and collaborator Sascha Ring, aka Apparat, touring as the avant-garde electronic supergroup Moderat, which readers of respected underground blog and club calendar aggregator Resident Advisor voted the "No. 1 Live Act Of The Year" in 2009. (Modeselektor themselves also made that list, at No. 7.)
Following an extensive world tour in support of their third studio album, 2016's III, Moderat announced in September that they would be taking a hiatus and return to separately performing as Modeselektor and Apparat for the foreseeable future.
We Are Modeslektor is also available on DVD & Blu-Ray via Szary and Bronsert's independent label Monkeytown Records.
Universal language: Why humans need music
Learn why music is truly a common language that is key to human development and evolution
There's no doubt music finds a way into nearly every moment of our daily lives, whether it's marking milestones such as a first dance at a wedding, the soundtrack to our favorite movie or singing in the shower for fun. In fact, it's hard to imagine times when we are more than an ear-length away from hearing another song.
But why does music mean so much to us? A powerful form of communication that transcends all barriers — music is our common language, but why?
A composer and educator with a lifelong fascination for music, Adam Ockelford has traced our connection with music back to infants and caregivers. Infants are unable to follow words, but they are developmentally primed to trace patterns in sound, such as through the songs a caretaker sings to them. Therefore, understanding music is intuitive for humans, even at a very young age, and it encourages healthy development.
In addition, there may be another evolutionary purpose for music. Music provides a sense of sameness between humans — if you can copy the sounds someone else makes, you must be an ally. This synergy plays a role in human survival because it evokes empathy and understanding, a lesson we still learn from music in today's culture.
"Music is central to the notion of what it is to be human, and spans cultures, continents and centuries," writes Ockelford. "My music, your music, our music can bind us together as families, as tribes and as societies in a way that nothing else can."
Photo: Kevin Mazur/WireImage.com
Pearl Jam Named Record Store Day 2019 Ambassadors
Pearl Jam's Mike McCready says "if you love music," record stores are the place to find it
Record Store Day 2019 will arrive on April 13 and this year's RSD Ambassadors are Pearl Jam. Past ambassadors include Dave Grohl, Metallica, Run The Jewels (Killer Mike and El-P), and 61st GRAMMY Awards winner for Best Rock Song St. Vincent.
McCready was also the 2018 recipient of MusiCares' Stevie Ray Vaughan Award.
The band was formed in 1990 by McCready, Jeff Ament, Stone Gossard, and Eddie Vedder, and they have played with drummer Matt Cameron since 2002. They have had five albums reach No. 1 on the Billboard 200 and four albums reach No. 2.
"Pearl Jam is honored to be Record Store Day's Ambassador for 2019. Independent record stores are hugely important to me," Pearl Jam's Mike McCready said in a statement publicizing the peak-vinyl event. "Support every independent record store that you can. They're really a good part of society. Know if you love music, this is the place to find it."
With a dozen GRAMMY nominations to date, Pearl Jam's sole win so far was at the 38th GRAMMY Awards for "Spin The Black Circle" for Best Hard Rock Performance.
Pearl Jam will be performing on March 3 in Tempe, Ariz. at the Innings festival, on June 15 in Florence, Italy at the Firenze Rocks Festival and at another festival in Barolo, Italy on June 17. On July 6 Pearl Jam will headline London's Wembley Stadium.
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Original Misfits Unleash One Night Only L.A. Reunion Show
Dark punk legends to play first show with Glenn Danzig and Jerry Only since last year's Riot Fest reunion
There's big news today for punk-rock fans aware that the Misfits made much more than just T-shirts.
The massively influential punk band announced a special show touted as the "only 2017 performance in this world… or any world" and billed as "The Original Misfits" in Los Angeles at the Forum on Dec. 30.
This will be the first Misfits show featuring original singer Glenn Danzig and original bassist Jerry Only with long-time guitarist Doyle Wolfgang von Frankenstein since the band reunited for a pair of Riot Fest appearances in Chicago and Denver in 2016. Last year's Riot Fest gigs, which featured drummer Dave Lombardo, marked the first time in 33 years the original Misfits members played together.
"OK Los Angeles, you've waited almost 35 years for this, here's your chance to see the "Original Misfits" in this Exclusive L.A. only performance." said Glenn Danzig. "No Tour, No BS, just one night of dark metal-punk hardcore brutality that will go down in the history books. See you there."
Tickets for this "one night only" show go on sale Friday, August 25.
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Lady Gaga Steps In To Support Youth Impacted By Hurricanes
GRAMMY winner pledges support for those impacted by hurricanes this year through Save the Children’s Journey of Hope program
On Oct. 10 Lady Gaga announced she is devoting her $1 million donation in support of those impacted by the recent hurricanes in Texas, Florida and Puerto Rico and the earthquakes in Mexico, to a specific cause — the mental and emotional well being of children and youth.
Gaga announced on her Born This Way Foundation website she will support Save the Children’s Journey of Hope program, which uses a variety of tools to help young people deal with trauma in the wake of natural disasters.
"Through a curriculum that includes cooperative play, discussion, art, meditation, and mindfulness practices, young people learn to recognize and understand their emotions and develop healthy coping skills," Gaga wrote. "Tens of thousands of youth have benefited from the program since it’s development in the wake of Hurricane Katrina and Save the Children is working to bring it to hundreds of thousands more in Texas, Florida and Puerto Rico."
The announcement came on World Mental Health Day, and the Fame Monster has invited all of us to step up and consider making a contribution to the Journey of Hope program to support to mental and emotional needs of children.
"Mental health is just as vital to our wellbeing as physical health. That’s true for each of us, everyday, but it’s especially important for those coping with disaster and recovering from trauma," wrote Lady Gaga. "We must do everything within our power to support the full, vibrant recovery of these communities, from meeting their immediate needs to helping them to rebuild sustainably."