SOME STUFFS: A noisy Beatles remix project has been released

The Harsh Noise Movement have just released a new project that has to do with their love for The Beatles but not in the way you would expect. HNM are about the experimental/avant-garde side of life, musically and otherwise and this one features different artists manipulating Beatles songs in a number of different ways, from being semi-straightforward to mashing it up beyond recognition. The title is exactly what it is: The Beatles Remix Project but don’t expect simple country or jazzy renditions of your favorites. As it states on the Bandcamp page, this consists of various experimental noise artists take The Beatles songs and turn them into glorious sonic blasts that will give a new dimension to the familiar sounds of the fab four.

The entire project is free to download but definitely use the “Name Your Price” option to show support.

SOME STUFFS: Out of the box: The Beatles head to the world of streaming

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As it has been customary since they were a group 50 years ago, The Beatles are throwing out another set of music this holiday season but instead, it’s nothing brand new in any way. The Beatles had resisted getting their music into the digital realm but considering a wealth of today’s music sales comes from MP3 sales, it was only a matter of time before they and Universal were able to offer the band’s music for sale digitally. There are a few Beatles compilations that are iTunes-only, as there isn’t a vinyl companion for it (not officially at least). Starting tomorrow, December 24th, the music of The Beatles will be heading to various streaming websites, including Spotify, Tidal, Rhapsody, Amazon Prime Music, Google Play and a few others, inclduing, oddly enough, Apple Music. If you know the history between The Beatles/Apple Records and Apple Computer, you’ll know why I said “oddly enough” but let’s move forward.

One website had said the band’s FULL discography will be made available for streaming in each time zone on Thursday, 12:01am. While the time may be correct, what’s being available for streaming is not correct. What Universal will be offering are the band’s 13 remastered albums, which means this is what they released themselves. These are the original British editions so if you’re looking for Something New, Yesterday & Today, or Beatles VI, you’re not going to get it that way but you’re able to make your own playlists to create your own versions. Outside of the remastered albums, The Beatles/Universal will be offering four compilations, including 1962-1966, 1967-1970, Past Masters, and 1.

Considering we’re very close to Christmas, I had hoped The Beatles would finally give The Beatles Christmas Album an official release. However, if they were going to release it digitally, they would also have to release it on vinyl and CD to please fans of hard copy. The Beatles Christmas Album put together all of the records the group gave to members of their fan club, so there was one record each between 1963-1969. When the band announced their split in 1970, it meant no more Christmas messages so they ended the year by putting together all of the messages and releasing it in one place. Like the flexi-discs, The Beatles Christmas Album was made available only for fan club members but due to it being Beatles-related, it was counterfeited and has been circulating for the last 45 years. You can now find the album as bootlegs, which now feature outtakes from the Christmas message recording sessions. To me, The Beatles Christmas Album is a perfect example of being able to hear the group’s slow demise, as each message was a way for all four to gather and be festive while giving fan club members a happy message. By 1968 and the release of The Beatles (a/k/a “The White Album”), they were more than happy to record messages separately from one another. When they released their last Christmas record in 1969, you could sense the tension as no one intermingled with one another. They were ready to move on and would with an incredible amount of music they made throughout the 1970’s. Unless there will be an additional surprise tomorrow, The Beatles Christmas Album will not be officially released, if it ever will. Considering there are only two surviving members left, one hopes it will be soon.

One question that was brought up is “who exactly is the audience for the streaming music by The Beatles?” One website claims those who heavily stream as their primary means of listening to music are between 15 and 20: teenagers and young people preparing for college or heading there. Can The Beatles crack that audience, and are younger audiences really into The Beatles? It’s one thing to say their music is timeless but when I was a kid, I certainly didn’t want to listen to music from the 1920’s or 1930’s. I do now but the point is, The Beatles were a phenomenon 50 years ago. There are older audiences in Spotify and Google Play but are they active? Are these websites and apps going to welcome older audiences who may want to hear The Beatles and other artists they prefer? I don’t think grandma wants to hear Demi Lovato or Meek Mill. We’ll find out to see how the streaming realm accepts The Beatles and if a huge amount of Beatles streams will change things. The music industry is more than happy to be the biggest listening booth in the world because it makes them money. Not that The Beatles need any more money due to low sales, people still buy vinyl, CD’s, cassettes, and MP3’s on a regular basis but if it leads to heavy streaming, I’m certain a lot of artists who have held back their catalogs will be the next ones to cash in on the new means of income.

FREE MP3 DL: “An Adventure To Pepperland Through Rhyme & Space”

If you read the title and know what Pepperland refers to, then you know it most likely has to do with The Beatles, and it does. Now you look at the graphic and are saying “but wait, I see Ol’ Dirty Bastard here. What’s going on?” In this case, it’s a remix project where Beatles samples were used to create new instrumentals for hip-hop songs. Look at all of the people who are on it, it’s insane. Here’s the track listing:
Part 1
Hello Hello – Edan
Mr Mustard – Big Daddy Kane
Second To None – Rakim
Taxman – The Notorius B.I.G.
Gentle Thief – Nas
Where I’m From – Large Professor
Country Grammar – Talib Kweli & Bun B
Parlay – J-Live
Twist – Salt-N-Pepper
Birthday Dedication – Busta Rhymes
Open Mic Session pt. 1 – Masta Ace, Percee P, Lord Finesse, Frankie Cutlass, Easy Mo Bee & KRS-One
Number Nine – YZ
Self Titled – Heltah Skeltah
Bang Bang – MOP
Pepper – Kool G Rap
Bring Your Friends – Public Enemy
Interlude / Bridge – MC Shan
Last Forever – Artifacts
For The Children – Freddie Foxxx
Ringo’s Big Beat Theme – Spoonie Gee
Hold Poppa’s Large Hand – Ultramagnetic MC’s
Open Mic Session pt. 2 – Kool G Rap, Big Daddy Kane & Rakim
The End – Run DMC & Afrika Bambaataa
Circles – Wu-Tang Clan
Brooklyn Walrus – Ol’ Dirty Bastard, Buckshot , Masta Ace & Special Ed
Part 2
Secrets – Slick Rick
Beneath The Diamond Sky – The Genius/GZA
Within Tomorrow – Busta Rhymes
The Beginning – Sunz Of Man
Gentle Drama – The RZA & Rugged Monk
Becausizm – KRS-One & Channel Live
Mary Jane – Tha Alkaholiks
Bong Water – Viktor Vaughn
Hold On
Love In Summertime – Ghostface Killah & Beyonce
And I Lover Her Crazy – Jay-Z & Beyonce
Ruffneck Soldier – MC Lyte
Hey! – Beastie Boys
Get Back To The City – Large Professor
Hard To Leave Home – Nas
The Flyest – AZ
And Who? – Heiroglyphics
Lonely Thoughts – The Notorious B.I.G.
Can You Dig It? – Gravediggaz
How To Smile – 2Pac & Scarface
A Day In New York – AZ, Raekwon & Ghostface Killah

Stream it in full above or if you just want to download it and carry it with you on your travels, head to

AUDIO: Kanye West, Paul McCartney & Rihanna’s “FourFiveSeconds (Christian Rich Rework)” (excerpt)

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You may have already heard Kanye West’s new song, or perhaps you may have read too much news about the song’s co-producer, Paul McCartney, or the fact that it also features Rihanna. If you stayed away from the song due to personal morals, I would suggest listening to this remix of the song, or at least an excerpt of the remix. It was done by a duoo named Christian Rich and I am nicely surprised at how this is presented. You may click here (2.2mb) to download the song.

(Audio file courtesy of Kathryn Frazier. Used with permission.)

BOOK REVIEW: Glyn Johns’ “Sound Man”

 photo GlynJohns_cover_zpsdf6c2566.jpg If you have bought any rock albums in the last 50 years, you will have come across Glyn Johns’ name a number of times, as he was responsible for producing and/or engineering some of the music that has become a part of your life. He has been mythologized due to the work he did with The Rolling Stones and The Beatles but Sound Man (Blue Rider Press) tells the stories direct from the man himself, from his childhood tales to joining a choir that would lead him to become not only part of the recording studio, but part of the record industry.

As someone who is known as a producer and engineer, I had wondered (and perhaps hoped) that he would get technical about some of the projects that has made him someone to work with. It doesn’t get too technical or “over the head” at all but instead, he touches on meeting and working with the artists, his interaction with everyone involved and the experiences he may have had during a recording session or live shows. One is able to read about certain equipment from time to time but Sound Man isn’t a gear essay. Instead, Johns speaks from the perspective of someone who was there, yet at times he also writes as he was just a fly on the wall, observing what’s going on while putting together the process of what was and still remains his work.

The bulk of the book focuses on what he did in the 60’s and 70’s, which means extensive work with Led Zeppelin, the Stones, The Beatles, Eric Clapton, and so many others. It’s a chance to find out about the negotiations for artists, doing a lot of traveling from England to Los Angeles or New York and back, and seeing everyone pass him by as if it he was just taking a stroll through a school building and saying hello to old friends. Johns does reveal a few facts that may have been overlooked, such as certain musicians that played in well known songs and why, so if you loved Charlie Watts’ drumming in “It’s Only Rock ‘N Roll (But I Like It)”, you’re actually listening to Kenney Jones behind the kit.

The tales from the Sound Man are that from an employee and a fan, which makes it a pleasant read. By the last third of the book, we get to the 80’s and 90’s and the changes of the music industry as a whole and despite the setbacks, he moves forward and sticks with his job, occasionally having a bit of self-doubt but realizing his ears and expertise still hold a lot of value, as it has since the early 1960’s.


COVERED: The Beatles vs. Keith “Wild Child” Middleton

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We all know about Abbey Road, the 1969 album by The Beatles that has been honored, homaged, parodied many times over in the 45 years since its release. Now there’s a new album that pays tribute to the cover in its own way. This time it’s a new release by Keith “Wild Child” Middleton called Transitions, released last month but I only became aware of the release a month later. Middleton portrays each member of his “group” in the photo, while the Ringo spot seems to be energetic and jumping up proud. Middleton raps but also explores some spoken word into his music too so if you’d like to have a listen, the Bandcamp page for the album is below.


BOOK’S JOOK: The Beatles’ “Hey Jude”/”Revolution”

  • Book’s Jook is a column dedicated to placing a record within my dream jukebox, if I were to have one. The Seeburg jukebox shown below is similar to the one I have wanted since I was a kid. To read more on why I started this column, click here.

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    August 26, 1968 marks the 46th anniversary of the release of the first Beatles record on their own Apple Records label, “Hey Jude” b/w “Revolution”. When I discovered this record, I was getting into the music of the group for the first time, which meant I was still in the single digits, which meant it was the late 1970’s. Paul McCartney’s and George Harrison’s music were all over the radio back then, same for The Beatles, and what I found interesting was that Beatles songs were played along with what was considered new. Pop music was just pop music, the wide divisions of music genres didn’t exist back then. If you wanted country music, hard rock/heavy metal, or jazz, you did have distinct stations but for the most part, you could hear a bit of everything on the right radio stations. I got into hearing The Beatles that way, enjoyed what I was hearing but once I got into who they were, what they were about, I wanted to know why this music moved me.

    When I got my 45 for “Hey Jude”, it would be a catalog number that I remember to this day: 2276. I loved the fact that the A-side was a full album while the B-side was a slice. I loved how the A-side had a song that was 7 minutes and 11 seconds, perhaps the longest song I had ever seen on a “little record” up until that point. However, my copy of “Hey Jude” was the purple variation on Capitol, so it would be a few years before I had my own copy on Capitol, but no matter.
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    What I loved about the song was how it started off calm and mellow, and when it made its way about three minutes through, it had a four minute fade out. Yes, it would take four minutes for them to fade the song out, with McCartney sounding the closest to gospel he has ever been, bluesy yet happy at the same time with wild screams as if he was letting loose and didn’t want to stop. With each listen, I found myself wanting to remember every scream, every ad lib, it was incredible to hear and feel a song that felt as if it would never end. I loved the string section, the background vocals of the other Beatles, and how Ringo Starr would change up his drumming every few bars. What I also loved was how the band change into a slightly funky groove in its last 15 seconds, but by the time it reaches that point into the song, you have to turn it up very loudly because it’s close to the end.

    If “Hey Jude” was McCartney’s song, “Revolution” is of course a true flip side in that it is John Lennon’s song. I had heard my share of hard rock and heavy metal before, it was and is one of my favorite types of music, but to hear this guitar crunch right off the top felt explosive, as if the stereo was going to go on fire, then followed up by a mean scream from Lennon himself. The song was mid-tempo and while I didn’t know about the song’s meaning at first, it seemed that they were all about wanting to feel good and to “be…alright”. Once I started learning about the song, I realized Lennon was touching on everything from war to personal struggles. It was vocally, musically, and aurally loud, and it remained that way all the way until the end. The bluesy piano, played by Nicky Hopkins, sounded like it was meant to be there, not something foreign or weird, and not only did Hopkins have a solo during the moans and grunts Lennon provided, but he was able to play until the end as Lennon screamed “alright”. Once the song reached its conclusion, it felt as if you were exhausted and just worked up a sweat.

    As a kid, who didn’t want to experience more? “Hey Jude” is my favorite Beatles song of all time, and this record stands out as a solid masterpiece from start to finish. It is glorious, no one can tell me otherwise.


  • COVERED: The Beatles vs. Cat Rapes Dog

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    The last album released by The Beatles was actually the second to the last album they recorded, but when Let It Be was released in May 1970, it was indeed the end of the group.

    Cat Rapes Dog released a new album a few weeks ago called Life Was Sweet (Artoffact). The Swedish electropunk band have existed since the early 1980’s, but this is their first album in 14 years. By honoring The Beatles with their album cover and giving it the Life Was Sweet title, one wonders if this will become the group’s last recording. Only time will tell.

    FREE MP3 DL: Kanye West & The Beatles’ “What’s A Black Beatle”

    It is not the first time there has been discussion of a fifth Beatle. Eddie Murphy once created the the character of Clarence Walker for Saturday Night Live, whose claim was that he added the word “man” in songs such as “I Want To Hold Your Hand, Man”.
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    In reality, one of the true “fifth Beatles” was the late Billy Preston, who jammed with the group in early 1969 which lead to him not only sitting in with the group, but being the only “extra” Beatle to receive a credit on their records for “Get Back” and “Don’t Bring Me Down”.
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    As for Kanye West, what business isn’t he getting himself into as of late? This is also not the first time West has come close to being within the Beatles circle, as he put together the Late Orchestration: Live At Abbey Road project.
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    Now, with the help of the Tutankhamun Brothers (Mr. Troublesome & UveBrother), The Beatles and West have united again, at least in spirit.
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    The Brothers have put together What’s A Black Beatle, a new mash-up project putting together Beatles instrumental portions with Kanye West’s verbal portions, and what you get is something quite nice. Even though The Beatles multi-tracks have been made available since the release of their Rock Band video game, where the possibilities of remixing and edits have been endless, this is brand new and quite nice. Stream and listen, or download it for free before the man takes it away, man.

    For other Tutankhamun Brothers projects, click here.