Biko and Manna Nhlangothi are a sister and brother duo raised by musician parents that perform as Biko Manna. They’ve been dazzling crowds with their street performances in their home county of South Africa for several years but have recently hit it big by covering Japanese pop songs on YouTube.
Apparently the story is the father visited Japan and fell in love with Japanese pop music and brought back some music with him. His kids picked up the lyrics by ear and they’ve made their own cover versions.
I’d love to learn more about them, there’s very little written in English but I could see them touring Japan someday. Biko’s voice will knock your socks off but her brother and younger (friend?) that joins in to ham it up are a kick too.
Here’s a documentary I found that talks a little about their background.
Alex Wise is a professional musician (alexwise.com) and longtime Deadhead. As an accomplished guitarist, he listens to the music of the Grateful Dead with a careful ear for detail and can speak to the evolution of their style in a much more nuanced way than your average Deadhead.
Listening to Alex’s interview with Brokedown Podcast’s JM Hart is like listening to two baseball stat nerds get into the weeds on the specifics of the game. I love it. The cracks about Weir’s attempts at slide guitar are something that would make any member of this particular tribe smile.
If you have a passing interest in the the music of the Grateful Dead and wondered what all the fuss was about and how people can listen to so many different versions of Morning Dew, this podcast episode will unveil some of layers of that fan-hood.
Anybody who thinks that the Russians have no sense of humor has not seen Little Big, Russia’s entry in this year’s Eurovision contest.
With over 125M views, Little Big’s Uno video is the most watched video on the Eurovision channel. The annual contest was unfortunately cancelled this year due to the pandemic but there’s plenty more to see on the Eurovision YouTube channel.
When Deadheads try to explain their appreciation for the Grateful Dead, they will probably point you to a concert at Cornell University in 1977, in particular the sequence from Scarlet Begonias to Fire on the Mountain.
YouTuber Michael Palmisano has built up his channel, Guitar Teacher REACTS around the deconstruction of live music jams. To celebrate his 100,000th subscriber, Michael deconstructed Scarlet > Fire from 5/8/77.
I’ve listened to this version many times but following the Guitar Teacher through his hour-long analysis revealed flourishes that I knew all along were there but never fully appreciated or had the vocabulary to explain. From Scarlet’s “mixolidian lick” to Keith’s arpeggiating progressions – he calls out all the shiny bits and holds each one up to the light like its own little gem.
At the transition into Fire at around 21 minutes, Michael breaks down how each musician transitions over “step-by-step” until the band collectively agree it’s time to jump over. Watching him walk you thru the magic, painted in real-time as only a band that plays together, night after night, can do is infectious.
Brian Eno once said, “The problem with computers is that there is not enough Africa in them.” The interfaces we use to interact with computers are too digital, not fuzzy enough to sense analog inputs. We’re stuck with mouse and keyboard.
Kagura is a game that runs on a laptop and uses the camera to detect movement of the players as they interact with musical instruments projected on the screen in front of them to play along or riff on a musical track.
Part Dance Dance Revolution and part Guitar Hero, the UI is intuitive and easy and fun to pick up. All that’s required is a Windows laptop (Mac coming later) and they launched a Kickstarter today to fund the final development and release in August.
Shunsuke Nakamura, the inventor of the game, stopped by the SmartNews offices on Friday to show us how the game works. He’s been working on the concept of using your body to make music for 14 years but only now has technology reached a point where his dream could be realized.