Launched last month but I’m just learning about it now, from the Washington City Paper: Documenting D.C.’s Doo-Wop Histories. “Working with a team of music scholars, [Beverly] Lindsay-Johnson has designed a detailed online platform that tells the story of Black D.C. rhythm and blues acts from the 1940s and ’50s, while documenting the local venues, radio stations, DJs, record stores, and history of that segregated time.”
New-to-me, from KCRW: SF disco is the sound of gay liberation. Historic reels go digital. “The SF Disco Preservation Society touts more than 2,000 records from when disco was the soundtrack of gay liberation, with queer men flocking to San Francisco, LA, and New York to dance, sing, and mingle. The archive is run singlehandedly by Jim Hopkins, who became a DJ at age 16 in 1981. He notes that many DJs in SF died of AIDS, and he wanted to preserve their legacies.” The archive is a Soundcloud collection of over 275 DJ sets of disco music. Most is from the 1970s or early 1980s, but there are few from the mid-90s.
Boing Boing: A guy accidentaly made a gigantic repository of niche music. “A decade ago, when Spotify was two years old in the UK and had just become available in the US, Chris Johnson started a musical discovery project called TAPEFEAR. He ‘created a script to find new music on niche music sites, cross reference Spotify to see if it was available to stream,’ according to a Reddit post, and besides a bit of occasional tinkering, he largely forgot about it. In total, Johnson says the script ran for a decade amassing 42,000 songs.”
Milwaukee Record: MKE Punk saved from extinction, updated with new features and more releases. “Much like the shuttered bars and restaurants we mourn, the bands that break up after years of struggling for support, critically acclaimed TV shows that are done in by poor ratings, or discontinued Taco Bell menu items (we miss you so much, 7-Layer Burrito!), MKE Punk almost became one of those things we didn’t realize how lucky we were to have until it suddenly vanished. ‘Almost’ is the operative term.”
Google Blog: Music, Makers & Machines. “Music, Makers & Machines, the new exhibit from Google Arts & Culture and YouTube, celebrates the history of electronic music: its inventors, artists, sounds and technology. More than 50 international institutions, record labels, festivals and industry experts have come together to capture the crucial role electronic music plays within wider culture, from the WDR Studio for Electronic Music to Blacktronika to the ‘Diva of the Diodes’ Suzanne Ciani. There are more than 250 online exhibitions, an extensive archive of photos, videos, 360° tours and 3D-scanned objects, including synthesizers and the door of Berlin’s legendary Tresor techno club.”
Jazzwise: Exclusive: Jazzwise Launches Dedicated Reviews Database. “…to help you track down the best new music or discover hidden gems you’ve never heard before, we have launched a dedicated, fully searchable database of our reviews. With over 9,500 for you to explore, this new resource is a wonderful new tool subscribers can access to help them explore and discover all the music we have reviewed since 2010.” It’s not free, but a monthly sub is £6.25 (a little over $8 USD.) An annual sub is £60 (a little less than $78 USD.)
DJ Magazine: A new archive to capture the memories of the ’80s and ‘90s rave scene is going online. “A new online archive will celebrate Blackburn’s acid house rave scene of the late ’80s / early ’90s. FLASHBACK is a new online archive comprising images and audio interviews, reflecting on the infamous acid house parties that took place in Blackburn, Lancashire between 1988 and 1991.”
Billboard: LDH Japan Streaming Concerts Free for Fans Affected by Coronavirus Measures: Watch. “LDH JAPAN — home of popular J-pop vocal and dance groups EXILE, Sandaime J SOUL BROTHERS, GENERATIONS, E-girls and more — has announced it will make approximately 40 of its artists’ live concert footage available for streaming on its official YouTube channel free of charge for a limited lime until the end of the month.”
Syncopated Times: San Francisco Traditional Jazz Foundation’s West Coast Revival Collection Digitized
This is from last year, but I missed it, and it’s too good not to share. Syncopated Times: San Francisco Traditional Jazz Foundation’s West Coast Revival Collection Digitized. “Realizing that they had amassed a huge collection of important artifacts of the jazz revival, and hoping to ensure their preservation, The San Francisco Traditional Jazz Foundation (SFTJF) transferred 750 linear feet of materials to Stanford’s music library in 2009. Fundraising to digitize the SFTJF’s most historically significant recordings, photographs and documents began in 2014, and digitization was begun in 2016. The process of organizing and digitizing them is finally complete and we are delighted to share with you the result of their efforts.”
Open Culture: The Opera Database: Find Scores, Libretti & Synopses for Thousands of Operas Free Online
New-to-me, from Open Culture: The Opera Database: Find Scores, Libretti & Synopses for Thousands of Operas Free Online. “If you don’t live in a major city or can’t get to the opera often, you can watch full-length performances online at projects like The Opera Platform, which not only includes filmed popular operas like Verdi’s La Traviata, but also, as Colin Marshall noted in an earlier Open Culture post, ‘provides a host of supplementary materials, including documentary and historical materials that put the month’s featured opera in context.’ If you’re ready to dig deeper, however, or are already a scholar of the form, or if you, yourself, happen to be an opera singer, then you will absolutely want to visit the Opera Database.”
Happy Mag: You can now download 900 hours of Andrew Weatherall’s mixes. “Fans have paid tribute to the career of acid house legend Andrew Weatherall with an enormous library of his music mixes. The online resource, called Weatherdrive, is a Google Drive folder that spans Weatherall’s career since age 25. It features live recordings, radio shows and studio mixes, amongst unreleased tracks, fan art, and old gig posters.”
Remezcla: Hasta ‘Bajo Is the First Digital & Physical Archive of Puerto Rican Reggaetón. “Patricia Velázquez once tried to search any records of the word ‘reggaetón’ on the Instituto de Cultura Puertorriqueño’s official website. She came up emptyhanded, so she plotted a way to change this.” I knew what reggae was, obviously, but not reggaetón. Fact Magazine has an extensive overview. I think the next hour or so of RB will be accompanied by this soundtrack.