It's only now we're a little down the line from the death of the original man in black that it's becoming clear quite how significant Johnny Cash was as an influence on popular music.
Now the Johnny Cash Project, a collective art project with global ambition, has set out to harness the country star's enduring popularity by asking fans to contribute to a music video for 'Ain't No Grave', Cash's final studio recording. With images and footage of the singer as a guide, users of the site are asked to draw their own frame for the video, with the end result a dark and mesmeric portrait of the star compiled from these individual frames. There are still some gaps however, as the project is a work in progress, but according to the organisers the piece won't end even when all the frames have been drawn; the plan is for the video to become an "ever evolving homage to this beloved musical icon". Have a look at my slightly unfortunate attempt to contribute my own frame at twitpic.com/1f4qnp and try your hand at drawing one yourself at www.thejohnnycashproject.com .
The waiting's over
With a vast online following and a career spanning 28 years, it's perhaps the perfect time for Moby to let others start having their way with his work; it's in this spirit that the famously vegetarian songwriter (and former punk) has called on some of the dance music world's biggest names for his forthcoming album of remixes of last year's "Wait for Me". Released on 12 May, the LP features such veteran DJs as Tiesto and Carl Cox. Moby enthusiasts have been encouraged to direct their own accompanying videos, screened at www.mobygratis.com .
To download 'Wait for me' (Villa remix) right click here and click "Save target/link as...".
More than a cover story
Spotify might say that their most popular song is their version of the title song from 'The OC', "California", but listen to Mates of State a little longer and you'll find there's more to the band than sun-kissed covers. They do handle covers pretty well though, so it's perhaps no surprise that their latest effort, a self-recorded album called "Crushes..." involves more of just that, with The Mars Volta and Belle & Sebastien providing inspiration. Download a track at http://bit.ly/bS5NgC.
A howl new ball game for Shakira
The video for Hot Chip's last single "I feel better", directed by comedian Peter Serafinowicz and released last month, was enough to put the electropop band back on the radar. This week though, it's a cover of lycanthropic Latino pop princess Shakira's dancefloor filler "She Wolf" which the band performed on Jo Whiley's Live Lounge that's captured the public's imagination. Download it at http://bit.ly/dyUdZu, if only to hear Alexis Taylor's wolf howl halfway through.
Digital twist again
Sadly, few record labels describe themselves as "queer-positive, feminist and artist-friendly", but those are exactly the words chosen to sum up their output by Kill Rock Stars, home to veteran indie stars Decemberists and Gossip. They've put out a free sampler online aimed at introducing one of America's most highly-respected independent record labels, featuring classics such as Elliott Smith's "Angeles" and "Bikini Kill" alongside more contemporary offerings from Thao with The Get Down Stay Down, Panther and an especially nice slice of guitar pop from The Thermals from last year. Available to download at http://bit.ly/aqXNhv, it's a welcome return to the tradition of record label samplers with a digital twist.Reuse content