Artists Space is an interesting gallery and performance space in downtown Manhattan.
Helpfully, they have set up a second home for their work on YouTube, at http://uk.youtube.com/user/ArtistsSpace. Featured here is the Commentary Project, in which an artist provides a commentary for a video that has previously been posted somewhere on YouTube, several of which have been music-based.
In the latest project, artist Steve Lambert takes things a bit more literally by reading aloud comments posted on a video of Leonard Bernstein conducting a performance of Shostakovich's Symphony No 5 – http://tinyurl.com/9lfefu.
It highlights what a varied place the comments section of YouTube (and other sites for that matter) can be. Various users post detailed critiques of Bernstein's conducting, while arguments break out over the relative merits of Bernstein over Shostakovich, and others discuss the latter's relationship to Stalin and his reputation as a ladies' man. Some, though, prefer simple expressions of joy at the conductor's baton-wielding: "Bernstein: what a wonderful talent and expressive character! How many other conductors do the full-on Pete Townshend 'windmill'?"
Away from the classical sphere, it seems that Santogold is becoming the latest genre-bending female solo artist to beguile rappers. Late last year, Jay-Z and Kanye West sampled the singer on "Brooklyn We Go Hard", which reworked elements from "Shove It", a song off her highly praised debut album, Santogold.
Now, Three 6 Mafia and Project Pat have tackled the same sample for a new track called "Shuvit" (see what they did there?), available on the Mad Decent blog. Typically, the effort has elicited a mixed response on the comments section: "Nice, so much better than Santogold original," said one: "What a terrible afterthought throwing in Project Pat in the mix" countered another. Download it and make up your own mind at http://tinyurl.com/9cjgjt.
Meanwhile, a new band worth looking out for is the London-via-Essex drum and guitar two-piece Swanton Bombs (bonus points for their prodigious early output). The duo, Dominic McGuinness and Brendan Heaney, met in school in 2000 and have been playing music together ever since, officially starting the band last year. While their neatly crafted yet ramshackle rock'n'roll sound covers terrain long crossed by their UK pop punk forebears, they do possess several fine tunes.
On Monday, their Mammoth Skull EP is released on iTunes and Amazon and on limited-edition 7in. The vinyl version comes with a supplementary free CD album. Called Smoke Over Swanton, it can also be downloaded for free from the band's MySpace page – www.myspace.com/swantonbombs. The latter release sees them in suitably ragged rock form, while the former adds a more expansive, tightly produced pop gloss. There's good stuff on both, with the occasional dextrous piano tinkling through the two offerings.
In what could be considered something of a surprise, Radiohead have contributed music to a television advert. Normally, such an act would have fans furiously posting screeds denouncing a sell-out on sites all across the web, but before anyone gets ahead of themselves, this is for a good cause: it's an advertisement on behalf of America's National Coalition for the Homeless ( http://nationalhomeless.org/). The brief spot, billed "It Can Happen to Anyone", features an attractive, well-dressed woman who happens to sleep in a cardboard box. It's all soundtracked by an atmospheric reworking of elements from the band's song "Videotape". Mercifully, none of the comments on the YouTube posting of the ad ( http://tinyurl.com/8sxvbq) cried foul, while one even made an offer – "She can stay in my place." Which is nice.
Pick of the week
fever Ray'Silent Shout', the third album by the Swedish electronic duo The Knife, was one of the best albums of 2006 – though they are perhaps best known for the José Gonzalez cover of their song "Heartbeats" (in Sony's ad with the coloured bouncing balls). Now, the singer Karin Dreijer Andersson has a new side-project, Fever Ray. An album of that name hits UK shops on 18 March, but on Tuesday the record was released early as a download on iTunes – http://tinyurl.com/7vy5ee.Reuse content