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Creator and Artist Stories

Music Tuesday: Mystery bands, Buddy Holly and more

By Sarah Bardeen

Music Community Manager

Things have been popping on over the last week. Afrobeat pioneer Fela Kuti’s son Seun just released a new album, and in honor of the potent genre his dad created, we put together a playlist of Afrobeat essentials. We also joined the world in celebrating pride week last weekend with a clutch of anthemic songs new and old. And we turned our attention to England, where the Glastonbury music festival raged. We remembered Glastos past and heard from a young band named Viva Brother, who played the festival for the first time and guided us through the experience. Oh yeah, and pop star/actress Selena Gomez debuted her new album (with commentary) on Sunday. On to this week!

Mystery bands
With the release of Shabazz Palaces’s full-length debut Black Up this week (which you can listen to in its entirety here), we found ourselves thinking about disguises, and all the bands over the years who’ve used them. Shabazz Palaces offers an avant-garde take on hip-hop; the group is helmed by Ishmael Butler of Digable Planets, but he hid behind the moniker Palaceer Lazaro for several years and still refuses to name his collaborators. Butler isn’t the first to cloak his musical experiments in a veil of mystery. This week, we present some artists who have used anonymity to fuel their boundary-pushing work, starting with San Francisco provocateurs The Residents and moving through the leftfield R&B of The Weeknd (who seem to be linked with Drake), the pop culture pastiche act Nike7UP, British oddities Hype Williams and more.

Buddy Holly raves on
Buddy Holly forever altered the course of rock’n’roll with his astonishing 25 hit songs—all of which he penned and recorded before he died in a plane crash at the age of 22. Don McLean famously sang that the day the plane crashed was “the day the music died,” and it was hard not to agree with him. But nothing proves Holly’s music lives on like Rave On Buddy Holly, a tribute album that features everybody from CeeLo Green to Patti Smith covering his songs. We check out a few tracks from the album as well as other tributes to the rock’n’roll pioneer.

Breakbot “Fantasy Jacques Renault Remix”

With “Fantasy,” the French producer Breakbot turned out a song that could have come off of Michael Jackson’s “Off The Wall” circa 1979. But really it’s the video that had us at hello: a mash-up of roller-skating videos from the 1970s and ‘80s that practically screams “summer.”