Music is one massive web of inspiration. Welcome to the first thread of Six Degrees of Sound, a new Buzznet series that maps out the musical connections between your favorite bands with awesome facts, playlists and videos.
Let's talk Coachella.
If you so desire, start jammin' to the playlist for this post here.
:: Started in lead singer Thomas Mars' garage in Versailles in the early 90's. They eventually began touring French bars playing Hank Williams and Prince covers-- shortly after the band signed to Sound Records and began touring with fellow Versailles natives, Air.
:: Phoenix guitarist Laurent Brancowitz* was originally in a band with Thomas Bangalter and Guy-Manuel de Homem-Christo-- when Mazzala permanently joined Phoenix, the remaining duo became Daft Punk.
:: The band got their first taste of mainstream critical success with the release of their third album, It's Never Been Like That. Rolling Stone compared their sound to The Strokes and gave the album 4/5 stars. Pitchfork ranked the album #13 on their Top 50 Albums of 2006 and #38 on their Top 200 Albums of the 00's.
:: Also in 2006, Mars had his first child with partner Sofia Coppola. The two met in 1999 while Mars was recording a track with Air for The Virgin Suicides, written and directed by Coppola.
:: In 2009, Phoenix released their fourth album, Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix. Phillippe Zdar, member of the French house duo Cassius, mixed and co-produced the album. The band spent 7 months recording in Zdar's studio in France.
:: The album won a Grammy for Best Alternative Album and the single "1901" became the fourth song from an independent label to ever hit #1 on the Billboard Alternative chart.
*Thanks to Armistice for the correction.
:: Legend. Single-handedly wrote, produced and played instruments for the vast majority of his music. 10 platinum albums, 7 Grammys, 1 Academy Award, and over 1,000 songs written.
:: Major influences include Sly & The Family Stone, The Beatles, Miles Davis, Jimi Hendrix and Stevie Wonder.
:: Prince formed a band while attending Minneapolis High School with Morris Day and Andre Cymone-- Day famously went on the become the frontman for Prince's 1981 "side project" The Time, and Cymone later became Jody Watley's producer. At 17, Prince landed a management contract after releasing his own demo and quickly became a buzz artist among all the major studios. He signed with Warner Brothers and was given complete creative control over his first three albums in addition to all publishing rights.
:: Prince's double album 1999 (1982) sold over 3 millions copies and launched him into superstardom. Singles included "Little Red Corvette", "Delirious", and of course, "1999". The album is #163 on Rolling Stone's 500 Greatest Albums of all Time.
:: Purple Rain (1984) sold over 13 million copies, and the consequent movie of the same name won Prince an Academy Award for Best Original Score. In 1984, he became the first artist in history to have a #1 album, single, and film at the same time. Parental advisory labels were invented because of the album-- specifically, after Tipper Gore heard her daughter listening to the song "Darling Nikki".
:: Prince is considered one of the most influential artists of all time. Artists across genres-- from Joss Stone to Jay-Z to Guns & Roses-- have cited him as inspiration. Jay-Z sampled his lyrics in the single "'03 Bonnie and Clyde" with Beyonce.
Video: Chappelle does Prince. Game, blouses.
:: Brooklyn rapper turned mogul who has sold over 40 million albums worldwide, won 10 Grammys, and has a net worth of over $500 million. Arguably the most influential rapper of all time-- his personal taste, collaborations, and influences span across every genre.
:: The name Jay-Z originates from a combination of sources including the rapper's neighborhood nickname "Jazzy" (given for his free-styling), the J/Z subway line that stops near the housing project where Jay-Z grew up, and MC Jaz-O, who is widely credited with discovering Jay-Z. The two have been at odds ever since Jaz-O refused to sign with Roc-A-Fella records after Jay-Z offered him the opportunity in the mid-90's. Since then, Jaz-O has provided Nas with information for diss lyrics (Nas and Jay-Z no longer feuding) and was recently featured on The Game's Jay-Z diss track "Gangstas Ride". On his track "What We Talkin' About" from The Blueprint 3, Jay-Z mentions Jaz-O and his missed opportunity to make it big with Roc-A-Fella.
:: Jay-Z's debut album Reasonable Doubt is #248 on Rolling Stone's 500 Greatest Albums of all Time. Despite being his lowest charting album, it is now largely considered his hallmark and one of the most important hip-hop albums of all time.
:: 11 of Jay-Z's albums have debuted at #1 on Billboard, more than any other artist in history. Vol. 2 won a Grammy for Best Rap Album in 1999 and made Jay-Z a star. Pitchfork named The Blueprint the 2nd best album of 2000-2004 behind Radiohead's Kid A. Kanye West's production on the album put him in the mainstream spotlight for the first time.
:: In 2004, Jay-Z released Collision Course, a mashup album with Linkin Park. It went to #1 on the Billboard 200 and the single "Numb/Encore" won Best Rap/Sung Collaboration at the 2006 Grammy's. Paul McCartney made a surprise appearance during the song's performance at the show replacing "Numb" with The Beatles' "Yesterday" after the first verse.
:: When Blueprint 3 was released in 2009, Jay-Z surpassed his tie with Elvis as artists with the most albums to debut at #1. Kanye West produced most of the album. Kid Cudi, Alicia Keys, Rihanna, Beyonce, and Empire of the Sun lead singer Luke Steele contributed vocals. The single "On to the Next One" sampled French electronic duo Justice.
:: Justice rose to stardom in 2003 when they created a remix to Simian's "Never Be Alone" for a Paris radio station remix contest. The remix resulted in a record deal and was later re-released in the UK as "We Are Your Friends". The video for the single won Best Video at the Europe MTV Music Awards in 2006.
:: After making "We Are Your Friends", Justice received praise from Europe's most respected DJ's and made remixes for several artists including Daft Punk, N.E.R.D., Franz Ferdinand, Soulwax, Metallica, The Klaxons, Britney Spears, and Fatboy Slim.
:: The duo released their first album Cross in 2007 with "D.A.N.C.E." as its major single. Justice dedicated the track to Michael Jackson, and several of his songs are used in the single. It landed at #4 on Rolling Stone's 100 Best Songs of 2007. MSTRKRFT and D.C. rapper Wale both remixed the single to critical praise. The video for "D.A.N.C.E." was nominated for for Best Video at the 2007 MTV VMA's.
:: The band's fifth single "Tthhee Ppaarrttyy" samples Three Six Mafia's "Stay Fly". Paris-based female rapper/vocalist Uffie provided vocals and also released "Tthhee Ppaarrttyy" as her fifth single. Many critics claim that Ke$ha's single "TiK ToK" bares more than a coincidental resemblance to the song.
:: Cross came in at #15 on Pitchfork's Top 50 Albums of 2007 and received a Grammy nomination for Best Electronic Album in addition to Best Dance Recording and Best Video for "D.A.N.C.E.".
:: Justice signed with Elektra Records in 2009 as part of its 60th Anniversary revival. The iconic label that has been home to artists like The Doors, The Eagles, Nina Simone, Television, and Queen signed Justice along with Little Boots and Cee-lo of Gnarls Barkley as part of its relaunch.
[Coachella 2007 + 2008]
((5)) The Klaxons
:: London-based rave-rock trio that formed in 2004-- orignially called themselves Klaxons (Not Centaurs) after a line in Marinetti's Futurist Manifesto, the work that launched the futurist art movement in Western Europe.
:: Several artists have remixed the band including Crystal Castles, Justice, Digitalism, Muse, Soulwax, Van She, and Simian.
:: Two weeks before the release of their album Myths of The Near Future, the band's single "Golden Skans" reached #16 on the UK Singles Chart in 2007 based on download sales alone. NME put the song at #40 for their 50 Greatest Indie Anthems Ever and gave it Single of the Year in 2007. Mark Ronson and The Kaiser Chiefs have both covered the song.
:: NME also named Myths of the Near Future its Album of the Year in 2007. It hit the UK Album Chart at #2 behind Norah Jones' Not Too Late.
:: "It's Not Over Yet", a single from Myths of the Near Future, is a remix of a single by 90's trance duo State of Grace. The single was released with an exclusive B-side including covers of the Four Seasons and Justin Timberlake's "My Love".
:: The Klaxons appear on Steve Aoki's debut album Pillowface and His Airplane Chronicles along with Justice, Datarock, Bloc Party, MSTRKRFT, Spank Rock, Uffie, and Santogold.
:: Formed in England in the early 90's. After winning a local Battle of the Bands contest under the name Rocket Baby Dolls, the trio dropped out of college, moved to London, and changed the band's name to Muse. Thank God.
:: The band's second album Origin of Symmetry reached #3 on the UK Charts and went platinum. David Bottrill and John Leckie produced the album with the band. Bottrill has produced albums for Silverchair, Placebo, and multiple albums for Tool. John Leckie produced The Stone Roses' classic self-titled debut in addition to Radiohead's The Bends.
:: The band's third album Absolution brought them their first American hits with "Time is Running Out" and "Hysteria". It hit #1 on Billboard's Top Heatseekers Chart and #1 on the UK Album Charts.
:: Muse has had two songs featured on Twilight soundtracks. "Supermassive Black Hole" from the album Black Hoes and Revelations appears in the first film, and a remix of "I Belong To You" off the Resistance album is featured on the New Moon soundtrack. Rage Against the Machine riffs can be heard underneath the beat in "Supermassive Black Hole". The band also used RATM riffs in their song "New Born" off Origins of Symmetry.
:: Muse's 2009 album Resistance debuted at #3 on the Billboard 200 in the US and at #1 in 19 different countries. This was the band first self-produced album with mixing by legendary audio engineer Mark Stent who has also worked with Depeche Mode, Massive Attack, Pet Shop Boys, Oasis, Madonna, and U2.
:: Tiesto recently remixed the single "Resistance", and the album's lead single "Uprising" spent 17 weeks at #1 on the Billboard Alternative Songs Chart, making it the second longest running #1 on the chart behind The Foo Fighters 2007 single "The Pretenders". The single "Resistance" is currently #1 on the chart with "1901" at #2 and "Uprising" at #3.
[Coachella 2004 + 2010]
My video picks for this post (including Chappelle, natch): go!
Finally, don't forget to enter to win a trip to Coachella 2010 from Buzznet and MGMT. Epic.
Morocco. A seat by the window, please.