Posts Tagged ‘music’
Brazilian designer Niege Borges is collecting, diagramming, and sharing the most famous (and infamous) dances from film and television. She explains:
In 1518, a bunch of people from a french town called Stransbourg were affected by something called dancing mania. It began with one lady named Frau Troffea dancing in the street and end up with, more or less, 400 people dancing on for days without rest, resulting in some deaths of heart attack, stroke and exhaustion. This project is, in some sort of way, a memorial for Frau Toffea. From the silliest little dance to the most elaborate dance sequence of the history of cinema, there were a lot of dancing in the last decades (not enough to kill anyone, I hope). Here are some of these dances.
From Tom Cruise’s BVD’ed turn in Risky Business, through Monty Python’s “Fish Slapping Dance,” to Monica’s and Ross’ “TV dance” (above), readers will find a growing set of instructive pictographs at “Dancing Plague of 1518” (and more of Borges work, here).
[TotH to CoDesign]
* George Bernard Shaw
As we measure off our rugs for cutting, we might send wondrous birthday greetings to Stevland Hardaway Judkins**; he was born on this date in 1950– prematurely. The incubator into which he was placed had an incorrectly-regulated flow of oxygen; too much flowed in, aggravating the retinopathy that was a function of his early arrival, and leaving him blind. As a young child, he turned to music, picking up the piano, harmonica, drums and bass, and singing in his church choir. At 11 he was discovered by Motown Records, where producer Clarence Paul bestowed what became the youngster’s trademark name after stating “we can’t keep calling him the eighth wonder of the world”: Little Stevie Wonder. Little Stevie released a single in 1961, two albums in 1962, but broke big in 1963 with “Fingertips (Part 2).” In the mid-60s he dropped “Little” from his name, and began to agitate for more creative control over his recordings.
In 1971, as he came of legal age, Wonder got that artistic freedom (and an unprecedented royalty rate) in a new Motown contract… and the hits began to roll. Over the next five years he released five albums– Music of My Mind (1972), Talking Book (1972), Innervisions (1973), Fulfillingness’ First Finale (1974), and Songs in the Key of Life (1976)– from which come the vast majority of what most would consider to be his greatest hits, including “Superstition” (1971), “You Are The Sunshine Of My Life” (1973), “Higher Ground” (1973), “Livin’ For The City” (1973), “You Haven’t Done Nothin’” (1974), “I Wish” (1977), and “Sir Duke” (1977).
He’s sold over 100 million recordings, won 22 Grammys (plus a Lifetime Achievement Grammy), earned an Oscar, and been inducted into the Songwriters and Rock and Roll Halls of Fame… among many, many other honors.
** Stevie was born in Saganaw, Michigan; his mother moved the family to Detroit when he was four, and changed the family name to Hardaway (her maiden name); later she changed Stevie’s last name to Morris– his legal surname ever since.
Photographer Henry Hargreaves explains:
A rider is a contractual proviso that outlines a series of stipulations or requests between at least two parties. While they can be attached to leases and other legal documents, they’re most famously used by musicians or bands to outline how they need their equipment to be set up and arranged, how they like their dressing room organized, and what types of food and beverages they require. Anyone who’s seen Spinal Tap knows these requests can be extremely outrageous and unreasonable. (And, in the case of Iggy Pop’s, unexpectedly hilarious.)
I was inspired to create this series after reviewing a few riders from some of the biggest acts in the world, all of which were ridiculous. But what I found most interesting about them is that they offered a glimpse into their larger-than-life personalities.
I initially thought I would try and shoot all of the items listed on the catering riders but quickly realized that this would become an exercise in wasting money. So I decided to focus on the quirkiest requests and shoot them in a Flemish Baroque still-life style because I felt that there was a direct connection between the themes in these types of paintings and the riders: the idea of time passing and the ultimate mortality of a musician’s career as the limelight inevitably fades—they only have a short time in which they are able to make these demands and have them fulfilled.
As we order every meal as though it’s our last, we might recall that it was on this date in 1965, in the wee hours, in a motel room in Clearwater, Florida, that Keith Richards awoke, grabbed his guitar, turned on a small portable tape recorded, laid down the signature riff of ”(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction”… then dropped back into the arms of Morpheus.
“When I woke up in the morning, the tape had run out,” Richards recalled many years later. “I put it back on, and there’s this, maybe, 30 seconds of ‘Satisfaction,’ in a very drowsy sort of rendition. And then suddenly—the guitar goes ‘CLANG,” and then there’s like 45 minutes of snoring.”
Canadian/French/Moroccan photographer and performer 2Fik considers himself a stateless person; his work is a self-described “soap opera” of mashed-up cultures, in which he plays all the roles, darting and weaving through questions of identity.
His newest exhibition, “2Fik’s Museum” (through May 18 at The Invisible Dog in Brooklyn), is a collection of photos that feature the artist in re-creations of some of European art history’s best-known works.
[TotH to CH, from whence the photos above]
As we imagine that we were there, we might send melodious birthday greetings to Edward Kennedy “Duke” Ellington; he was born on this date in 1899. A composer, pianist, and bandleader, Ellington composed over 1,000 works. And while he created and performed in genres that ranged from blues and gospel to film scores and classical, he is best remembered a titan of jazz (though Ellington himself much preferred the label “American music”). Ellington was recommended by the judges panel for the Pulitzer Prize in Music in 1965, but was denied it by the Board. In 1999, after his death, the Pulitzer Board awarded him a special posthumous prize.
In the century since his birth, there has been no greater composer, American or otherwise, than Edward Kennedy Ellington.
- Bob Blumenthal, Boston Globe, April 25, 1999
As we allow for idiosyncrasy, we might send melodious birthday greeting to Henry Purcell; he was born on this date in 1959 (or on September 10 of that year; scholars are divided). An accomplished organist, Purcell is best remembered as one of the leading Baroque composers of his time (e.g., Dido and Aeneas, The Fairy-Queen [an adaptation of Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream]). Indeed, he was the most famous native-born English composer until Edward Elgar.
Hear Purcell’s “Toccata in A Major” here.
If you’ve never been inside a “real” arcade, it could be hard to distinguish one from say, oh, a Dave & Buster’s. Authenticity is a hard nut to crack, but there are a few hallmarks of the video game arcade of days gone by: first, they have video games. Lots and lots of video games, and (usually) pinball machines. They’re dark (so that you can see the screens better), and they don’t sell food or booze. You can make an exception for a lonely vending machine, sure, but full meals? No thanks. There’s no sign outside that says you “must be 21 to enter.” These are rarely family-friendly institutions, either. Your mom wouldn’t want to be there, and nobody would want her there, anyway. This is a place for kids to be with other kids, teens to be with other teens, and early-stage adults to serve as the ambassador badasses in residence for the younger generation. It’s noisy, with all the kids yelling and the video games on permanent demo mode, beckoning you to waste just one more quarter. In earlier days (though well into the ‘90s), it’s sometimes smoky inside, and the cabinets bear the scars of many a forgotten cig left hanging off the edge while its owner tries one last time for a high score, inevitably ending in his or her death. The defining feature of a “real” arcade, however, is that there aren’t really any left…
The Verge, on the late, lamented video arcade: ”For Amusement Only: the life and death of the American arcade.”
[TotH to Rob Salkowitz]
As we flex our flipper fingers, we might recall that it was on this date in 1974 that Barry Manilow scored his first #1 pop hit with “Mandy.” Manilow had gotten into the business as a jingle writer/performer, but met Bette Midler (in her days in the Baths) and scored a place as piano player in her back-up group. His influence grew– he became her musical director, and began to perform as her opening act (and as opener for Dionne Warwick when Midler was on break). Clive Davis spotted Manilow, signed him to the new Arista label, and prepped “Mandy”– which, as “Brandy,” had already charted in England and New Zealand– as Manilow’s and Arista’s debut. And an auspicious debut it was: while Manilow’s syrupy pop isn’t for everyone, he has so far sold over 75 million recordings, and Arista became a force in the recording industry.