Posts Tagged ‘music’
… at YouAreListeningTo.
* Tennessee Williams
As we tune in, we might send forcefully-metered birthday greetings to Kenneth Patchen; he was born on this date in 1911. A poet and novelist who experimented with form (most notably, with incorporating jazz into his readings), Patchen was widely ignored by the cultural establishment in his lifetime; but (with his close friend Kenneth Rexroth) became an inspiration for the young poets– Allen Ginsberg, Lawrence Ferlinghetti, Gary Snyder, Michael McClure, and others– who became known as the Beat Generation. In 1968, near the end of his life, The Collected Poems of Kenneth Patchen was published– and Patchen was embraced by the Establishment. The New York TImes called the book “a remarkable volume,” comparing Patchen’s work to that of Blake, Whitman, Crane, Lawrence, and even to the Bible. In another review, the poet David Meltzer called Patchen “one of America’s great poet-prophets” and called his body of work “visionary art for our time and for Eternity.”
The lions of fire
Shall have their hunting in this black land
Their teeth shall tear at your soft throats
Their claws kill
O the lions of fire shall awake
And the valleys steam with their fury
Because you have turned your faces from God
Because you have spread your filth everywhere.
- from “The Lions of Fire Shall Have Their Hunting” The Teeth of the Lion (1942)
This is a serious subject, not a joke, and this site is here to expose the actions of those who exploited these young men and defrauded us their fans. It is to defend the honor of everyone involved who did not take part in it willingly. It has become apparent to us in this extensive and painstaking research that there were never just four individual people known as “John”, “Paul”, “George”, and “Ringo” who comprised one Rock & Roll band known as “The Beatles”, and rose to fame as the world’s first supergroup. For all intents and purposes as far as we can tell, no one such group ever existed.
The Paul-Is-Dead meme has been kicking around for decades now, based on discrepancies in certain photos and fueled by the free-floating paranoia of the White Album; Paul looks a bit taller in the later photos, it turns out, and maybe the Abbey Road cover looks a bit like a funeral procession. The only reasonable explanation, the theory goes, is that Paul was killed in 1966 and replaced by a double, canonically known as William Campbell.
But recently, a site has suggested taking the theory one step further. If there was no Paul—that is, no singular person responsible for the musical output of “Paul McCartney” between 1942 and the present—then there couldn’t really be a Beatles either. Everyone had to be in on it, which suggests they were either doubles themselves or sufficiently threatened by the threat of double-replacement that they kept quiet about it all. The Beatles as we know them, the four smiling lads having a great time playing music and being famous, never existed. It was all just a parade of doubles, orchestrated by a sinister British music establishment.
It’s a bizarre thing to think, but it’s basically right: The idea of The Beatles has been a tissue of lies for a while now, and if we have to go through a bunch of Paul Is Dead shenanigans to finally acknowledge that, then so be it…
Decide for yourself whether the Fab Four is in fact the Faux Four at “The Beatles Never Existed.”
* John Lennon
As we wonder if this is what John was hinting at when he compared the Beatles to Jesus, we might recall that the Beatles (whoever they were) entered the UK pop charts for the first time on this date in 1962, with their first single, “Love Me Do” (B side: “P.S. I Love You”).
Manchester-based design firm Dorothy commissioned illustrator Tracy Worrall to create “Rock ‘N Roll Zoo.” It’s a collection of prints featuring 77 fantastical animals inspired by song titles. Included are playfully literal depictions of The Doors’ Peace Frog, Meatloaf’s Bat Out of Hell, and other strange beasts rock stars have used as lyrical metaphors… animals are grouped by species, so the Pixies’ “Monkey Gone to Heaven” gets to hang out with the Beastie Boys’ “Brass Monkey,” the Kink’s “Apeman,” and the Goodies’ Funky Gibbon; while the various pigs of rock–the Beatles’ “Piggies,” Black Sabbath’s “War Pigs,” and Pink Floyd’s “Pigs on the Wing”–are lumped into the same sty…
In addition to the full print, [there are] boxed set collections, including the Indie Kid collection (featuring “Elephant Stone” by The Stone Roses, “Monkey Gone to Heaven” by Pixies and “Beetlebum” by Blur) and [as below] the ’80s collection (featuring “Bat Out of Hell” by Meatloaf, “Eye of the Tiger” by Survivor, and “Hungry Like a Wolf” by Duran Duran)…
Just as our ancient ancestors drew animals on cave walls and carved animals from wood and bone, we decorate our homes with animal prints and motifs, give our children stuffed animals to clutch, cartoon animals to watch, animal stories to read.
- Diane Ackerman
* George Orwell, Animal Farm
As we walk the dog, we might recall that it was on this date in 1998 that a federal judge in St. Louis ruled that the Fort Zumwalt High School marching band would not be allowed to play Jefferson Airplane’s “White Rabbit” in its ’60s medley. The song had been banned by the high school superintendent on the grounds it promoted drug use…. even as one waxes nostalgic, one notes that “White Rabbit” was the nickname of Owsley Stanley, the Bay Area’s preferred purveyor of LSD.
Led Zeppelin is classic rock. So are Mötley Crüe and Ozzy Osbourne. But what about U2 or Nirvana? As a child of the 1990s, I never doubted that any of these bands were classic rock, even though it may be shocking for many to hear. And then I heard Green Day’s “American Idiot” on a classic rock station a few weeks ago, and I was shocked.
It was my first time hearing a band I grew up with referred to as “classic rock.” Almost anyone who listens to music over a long enough period of time probably experiences this moment — my colleagues related some of their own, like hearing R.E.M. or Guns N’ Roses on a classic rock station — but it made me wonder, what precisely is classic rock?…
Follow FiveThirtyEight’s deep– and diverting– dive into the data at “Why Classic Rock Isn’t What It Used To Be.”
* Chuck D
As we roll around in our roots, we might spare a thought for another variety of classic: it was on this date in 1930 that Edward Kennedy “Duke” Ellington recorded his first big hit, “Mood Indigo.” Ellington was fond of saying, “Well, I wrote that in 15 minutes while I was waiting for my mother to finish cooking dinner.” With lyrics added by Mitchell Parish in 1931 (but credited to Ellington’s manager Irving Mills), “Mood Indigo” became a vocal as well as an instrumental standard, recorded by Ella Fitzgerald, Frank Sinatra and Nina Simone among many, many others.
“If it weren’t for Philo T. Farnsworth, inventor of television, we’d still be eating frozen radio dinners”*…
There’s no denying that newspapers are in jeopardy; emerging electronic media have eaten away at both their audiences and their advertising revenue. But lest we count them altogether out, we might remind ourselves that folks have been predicting their demise for decades.
From the March 1922 issue of Radio News magazine:
Seated comfortably in the club car of the Twenty-first Century Flyer — fast airplane service between London and New York — the president of the Ultra National Bank removes a small rubber disk from his vest pocket and places it over his ear. A moment hence, he will receive by radiophone the financial news of the world. Simultaneously, millions of other people all over the globe will receive the message. At designated hours, news of a general character will also be received.
The broadcasting of news by radiophone had long displaced the daily newspaper, and…
Don’t scoff! The day may be nearer than you suspect. In Hungary, a wire “telephone newspaper” has been successfully conducted for more than 25 years. For nearly a year, financial news direct from the Amsterdam Bourse has been broadcasted by radiophone to 200 banks and brokerage firms in Holland. And within a few months the German Government has installed near Berlin a wireless telephone station for the broadcasting of general news on a regular daily schedule throughout the entire country.
More on the premature reports of the death of the newspaper at “1922: Radio Will Kill the Newspaper Star.” (See also “The Newspaper of Tomorrow: 11 Predictions from Yesteryear.”
* Johnny Carson
As we strap on our jet-packs, we might recall that it was on this date two years earlier, in 1920, that Scientific American got a forecast powerfully right; in an issue cover-dated the following day, it made then-bold prediction that radio would be come an important medium for delivering music.
It has been well known for some years that by placing a form of telephone transmitter in a concert hall or at any point where music is being played the sound may be carried over telephone wires to an ordinary telephone receiver at a distant point, thus enabling those several miles away to listen to the music. Such systems have been in use in London between a number of the theaters and hotels for many years, but it is only recently that a method of transmitting music by radio has been found possible.
It has now been discovered that music can be transmitted by wireless in the same manner as speech or code signals and as a result of research work on radio telephony at the Bureau of Standards it has been proven that music sent by this means does not lose its quality. It is, therefore, obvious that music can be performed at any place, radiated into the air through an ordinary radio transmitting set and received at any other place, even though hundreds of miles away. The music received can be made as loud as desired by suitable operation of the receiving apparatus. The result is perhaps not so very different from that secured by means of the ordinary telephone apparatus above mentioned, but the system is far simpler and does not require the use of any intermediate circuit. The entire feasibility of centralized concerts has been demonstrated and in fact such concerts are now being sent out by a number of persons and institutions. Experimental concerts are at present being conducted every Friday evening from 8:30 to 11:00 by the Radio Laboratory of the Bureau of Standards. The wave length used is 500 meters. This music can be heard by any one in the territory near the District of Columbia having a simple amateur receiving outfit. The possibilities of such centralized radio concerts are great and extremely interesting. One simple means of producing music for radio transmission is to play a phonograph into the radio transmitter. An interesting improvement upon this method is being utilized in the experiments at the Bureau. The carbon microphone, which is the mouthpiece of an ordinary telephone, is mounted on the phonograph in place of the usual vibrating diaphragm. As a result the phonograph record produces direct variations of electric current in the telephone apparatus instead of producing sound; thus while the music is not audible at the place where the phonograph record is being played, it is distinctly heard at the different receiving stations.
Colon, Michigan (the name comes from a pair of nearby lakes shaped like the punctuation mark), a sleepy, one-streetlight town somewhere between Detroit and Chicago proudly bills itself as “The Magic Capital of the World.” It’s home to around 1,000 residents and holds at least 30 dead magicians [including native son Harry Blackstone, Sr. –The Great Blackstone] in its single small graveyard. The Colon High School mascot is a giant bunny rabbit. Though it lacks the soaring Gothic cathedrals of Hogwarts, it just might be the most magical place in the United States.
For the past 80 years, Colon has hosted Abbott’s Magic Get Together, an annual gathering of several hundred magicians from all over the world who convene for a week of shows, lectures, and trick-jamming. At night, tipsy magicians mingle in bars and restaurants along Colon’s single block of downtown, practicing their craft on passersby. The Get Together is less a conference and more a “family reunion”…
But like any good family reunion, the Get Together has its share of drama. Infighting over the town’s magical heritage has made it harder for aging magicians to cooperate in attracting new members to their community. And modern, everyday technology — not to mention the proliferation of the internet — has made it harder for magic to seem… well, magical.
Still, when you throw hundreds of born-and-bred entertainers into this mecca of illusions, you’re bound to get a party…
Prepare to be amazed by the story at “Welcome to Colon, Magic Capital of the World.”
* “And above all, watch with glittering eyes the whole world around you because the greatest secrets are always hidden in the most unlikely places. Those who don’t believe in magic will never find it.” – Roald Dahl, The Minpins
As we take one card from the deck, remember it, then slip it back in, we might recall that it was on this date in 1791 that Mozart’s last– and arguably most glorious– opera, The Magic Flute (Die Zauberflöte, K. 620), premiered in Vienna. Mozart conducted the opening, though he’d fallen ill only weeks before in Prague; he died 10 weeks later.
Hear the overture here.
From the annals of the $20 billion phenomenon that is Electronic Dance Music (EDM)…
The latest craze, known as miss-mixing, is proving very popular amongst digital DJs as a way of highlighting that they are actually manually mixing tracks rather than using the sync button.
Michael Briscoe, also know as DJ Whopper, spoke about miss-mixing with Wunderground, “Flawless mixing is now a thing of the past, especially for any up and coming digital DJs. You just can’t afford to mix without mistakes these days or you’ll be labelled as a ‘sync button DJ.’”
“I learned how to mix on vinyl years ago so naturally I’m pretty tight when it comes to matching beats,” continued the resident DJ. “I swapped to digital format a couple of years ago because it’s convenient, now I spend more time practicing making mistakes than I do practicing actual mixing.”
“I like to drop in on the second or third beat, leave it play for a couple of bars and then quickly correct myself,” explained Mr. Briscoe. “It’s subtle yet affective, I call it The Perplexer. People who don’t know what they’re listening to won’t even notice it while other DJs will be thinking ‘that’s a great mistake, who is this DJ Whopper lad anyway?’ d’ya know what I mean?”…
Ponder the price of authenticity at “DJs Now Deliberately Making Mistakes To Prove They Are Real DJs.”
As ask ourselves if it’s real or if it’s Memorex, we might recall that it was on this date in 1985 that the first Farm Aid concert was held, in Champaign, Illinois.
It started with an offhand remark made by Bob Dylan during his performance at Live Aid, the massive fundraising concert held at Wembley Stadium, London, and JFK Stadium, Philadelphia, in the early summer of 1985. As television viewers around the world phoned in donations in support of African famine relief, Dylan said from the stage, “I hope that some of the money…maybe they can just take a little bit of it, maybe…one or two million, maybe…and use it, say, to pay the mortgages on some of the farms and, the farmers here, owe to the banks.” Dylan would come under harsh criticism from Live Aid organizer Bob Geldof for his remarks (“It was a crass, stupid and nationalistic thing to say,” Geldof would later write), but he planted a seed with several fellow musicians who shared his concern over the state of the American family farm. Less than one month later, Willie Nelson, Neil Young and John Mellencamp announced plans for “Farm Aid,” a benefit concert for America’s farmers.
As one might have expected of a concert staged to “raise awareness about the loss of family farms and to raise funds to keep farm families on their land,” Farm Aid featured a number of performers from the worlds of country, folk and rootsy rock music. There were the three main organizers and the instigator Bob Dylan, for instance, along with Hoyt Axton, Johnny Cash, Merle Haggard, Emmylou Harris, Waylon Jennings, Loretta Lynn, Joni Mitchell and Charley Pride. But the first Farm Aid, more than any of the annual Farm Aid concerts since, was a bit of a stylistic free-for-all, featuring artists united only by their interest in supporting a good cause.
“As soon as I read in the paper that there was gonna be such a thing,” Sammy Hagar told MTV’s cameras on the day of the show, “I called my manager and said, ‘I wanna do it.’ And he said, ‘It’s all country.’ I said, ‘I don’t care. It’s America. I wanna do it.’ If there was anything more surprising than hearing Hagar perform his hard-rock anthem “I Can’t Drive 55″ on the same stage that had earlier featured the quiet folk of Arlo Guthrie, it was hearing Lou Reed perform “Walk On The Wild Side” on a stage that had featured John Denver.
Over the years since its first charity concert on this day in 1985, the Farm Aid organization has raised upwards of $33 million to support small farmers, promote sustainable farming practices and encourage consumption of “good food from family farms.”
Coincidentally, it was on this date in 1962 that Dylan played his first gig at Carnegie Hall…