WHAT SHOULD I BE DOING INSTEAD OF THIS?
 
 
by Mike Breen 05.21.2012
Posted In: Music History, Music Video at 10:59 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)
 
 
dancer_in_the_dark_movie_poster

This Date in Music History: May 21

Björk wins Cannes honor, then retires from acting and Biggie Smalls would have been 40

On this day in 2000, brilliant Icelandic musician/singer/composer Björk won the Best Actress prize at the Cannes Film Festival for her starring role in Lars von Trier's gloomy "musical" Dancer in the Dark. The film also won the festival's highest honor, the Palme d'Or. The movie is amazing but also difficult to watch because of its emotional weight. Björk played an impoverished Czech immigrant who moves to the U.S. with her son and gets a job at a factory. Her character, Selma, is going blind and she's sure her son will also inherit the disease that caused it, so she saves all her money to pay for an operation for him. Through a series of unfortunate events, she gets the money, but at a high price — she ends up being sentenced to death. The genius of the film is in Björk's character's daydreams, where she imagines her life is like the Hollywood musicals she so adores. The singer wrote and recorded the soundtrack, which was released as Selmasongs: Music from the Motion Picture Soundtrack Dancer in the Dark. Reportedly drained from her physically and emotionally demanding performance, Björk announced that she'd always wanted to do a musical and that was the one — she said she was retiring from acting forever. So far, she's kept the promise.Here is a clip of the film featuring the song "I've Seen It All." On the album, Thom Yorke of Radiohead sings the male lead. Here it's sung by co-star Peter Stormare.Born This Day: Musical movers and shakers sharing a May 21 birthday include pioneering Jazz/Blues pianist Fats Waller (1904); Jazz tuba player (who appeared on Miles Davis classics Birth of Cool and Sketches of Spain) Bill Barber (1920); Jump Blues singer (and huge influence on Little Richard) Billy Wright (1932); influential British Folk singer and guitarist Martin Carthy (1941); Cincinnati native and hugely influential singer and songwriter with The Isley Brothers (and beyond), Ronald Isley (1941); successful ’70s Pop singer/songwriter ("You Make Me Feel Like Dancing," "When I Need You") Leo Sayer (1948); dynamic guitar wizard Marc Ribot (1954); singer/guitarist for noisy, influential Shoegaze outfit My Bloody Valentine, Kevin Shields (1963); singer and guitarist for cult faves Jawbreaker and Jets to Brazil, Blake Schwarzenbach (1967); half of Hip Hop twosome Mobb Deep, Havoc (1974); current hitmaker ("Somebody That I Used to Know") and satirist target Wally De Backer, better known as Gotye (1980); and slain Rap superstar Christopher Wallace, aka The Notorious B.I.G. (1972). Biggie would have been 40 today had he not been murdered in 1997 when he was just 24. Here's a rare live clip recently discovered featuring B.I.G. and Jay-Z performing together. And here's an interview with the Rap legend discovered last month.What's your favorite Biggie jam? Pop Crush is running a poll; vote for your fave here. And here's a short interview with the late MC's mother reflecting on her son's legacy (from The Source). R.I.P. B.I.G.
 
 
by Mike Breen 03.09.2012
Posted In: Music Video, Music History at 10:27 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)
 
 
biggie

This Date in Music History: March 9

Notorious B.I.G. dies and Ornette Coleman's Free Jazz lives

Today is the 15th anniversary of the murder of celebrated rapper Christopher Wallace, aka the Notorious B.I.G. (aka Biggie Smalls, aka Big Poppa, etc., etc.). Since his death, Wallace's status has risen considerably and he's widely considered one of the best MCs to ever hold a mic, for both his smooth, laid-back flow and lyrical prowess. Caught in the middle of the East Coast/West Coast feuding of the time, Wallace (a NYC native) was killed while in California promoting his soon to be released sophomore album, eerily titled (in hindsight, as was his debut's title, Ready to Die) Life After Death. On March 9, Smalls attended the Soul Train awards show in L.A., where he presented Toni Braxton with one of two awards she would win that night (and was booed by the West-leaning coastal feuders in the audience). Wallace left an afterparty at 12:30 a.m. later that night and, about 50 yards from the party entrance, a black Chevy Impala reportedly pulled up next to the vehicle the MC was in and someone in the Impala shot Wallace four times in the chest. He was rushed to the hospital and pronounced dead March 9 at 1:15 a.m. Despite various theories, confessions and extensive investigations, the case, like that of West Coast star rapper Tupac Shakur (killed about six months prior in similar fashion), remains unsolved. Life After Death came out 15 days after Wallace's murder. It went to No. 1 on Billboard's album chart instantly. Two more posthumous B.I.G. records were cobbled together — 1999's Born Again, featuring tracks culled from unfinished ones on which Wallace had been working, and the similar Duets: The Final Chapter from 2005, which was widely criticized due to the posthumous pairings with artists many felt Wallace would never have worked with in his lifetime. The album's guests included Eminem, Twista, The Game, Nas, Nelly, Scarface, Missy Elliott, R. Kelly, Bob Marley (?!), Korn (?!?!) and West Coast MCs Snoop Dogg and 2Pac. Amazingly, unlike the posthumously prolific 2Pac, the album really was "The Final Chapter"; the only other Biggie releases to come out after that were a 2007 greatest hits collection and the 2009 soundtrack to the film Notorious, based on Wallace's life and death.Time magazine's website posted a music video playlist tribute today here. And below is "Living In Pain" from the Duets release, which featured Big and Pac, plus still-alive performers Nas and singer Mary J. Blige:Click on for Born This Day, featuring Bow Wow, John Cale and Ornette Coleman.

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Notorious (Review)

Notorious B.I.G. gets the big-screen biopic treatment

0 Comments · Wednesday, January 14, 2009
Soul Food director George Tillman Jr. helms this Hip Hop biopic based on the rise and untimely demise of Christopher Wallace (aka Biggie Smalls, aka The Notorious B.I.G.), tracing his early days as a corner dealer to his relationship with Sean "Puffy" Combs and Tupac Shakur. Watching newcomer Jamal Woolard valiantly attempt to fill the big man's shoes inspires sadness (at the loss) and a sense of being underwhelmed by the proceedings. Grade: C.  

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