(Roughly) Daily

Posts Tagged ‘Grammy

“We got the beat”*…

 

The drum machine is one of the most effective musical inventions of our time. It’s affordable, easy to use, and ruthless in its precision, able to do exactly what it’s been told for as long as required (so long as you’ve got an AC adaptor). Of course, not everybody warms to the drum machine’s big plastic buttons and bright LED screen…

Starting from the Italian Futurists, “A Brief History of the Drum Machine in Rock Music.”

* The Go-Gos

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As we lay in the loop, we might recall that it was on this date in 1990 that NARAS stripped Milli Vanilli of the Grammy that they had won earlier that year.  One of the most popular pop acts in the late 1980s, their album debut album Girl You Know It’s True achieved international success and earned them the Grammy for Best New Artist.  But when it was revealed that neither of the duo (Fab Morvan and Rob Pilatus) had actually sung lead vocals on the albums songs, the award was withdrawn.  The group recorded a comeback album, Back and in Attack, in 1998, but Rob Pilatus died before the album was released.

Milli Vanilli at the 1990 Grammys

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Written by LW

November 19, 2015 at 1:01 am

A rose by any other name…

 

 click here for full size

From Geotastic, “Vaguely Rude Place Names of the World.”

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As book our next vacations, we might recall that it was on this date in 1980 that Gloria Gaynor’s “I Will Survive” beat out Earth, Wind & Fire’s “Boogie Wonderland,” Michael Jackson’s “Don’t Stop Till You Get Enough,” Rod Stewart’s “Do Ya Think I’m Sexy?,” and Donna Summer’s “Bad Girls” to win the first– and only– “Best Disco Recording” Grammy ever awarded.

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Written by LW

February 27, 2013 at 1:01 am

Tripping the Light Fantastic…

 Click here to watch full-screen (at least some of) the history of Western dance music unfold

Music tourism (visiting a city or town to see a gig or festival) is on the rise. But why stop at gigs and festivals? Why not visit the birthplace of your favourite genre and follow the actual journey various music genres have taken as one style developed into another.

To make it easier to trace the threads of music history, we’ve created an interactive map detailing the evolution of western dance music over the last 100 years. [It’s actually from the late 18th Century to the present…] The map shows the time and place where each of the music styles were born and which blend of genres influenced the next…

One can (and surely should) quibble with the map-makers’ bias to Afro-Carribean-based dance music (what about the Virginia reel, and its antecedents?  Or Latin dance music?)  But then, that’s fun of artifacts like this– the challenge to make them “better,” to make them one’s own…

Watch the interactive history unfold and read the full background at Thomson Travel’s “Evolution of Western Dance Music.”

And lest one doubt that music is in fact contagious, consider this evidence from the PRC:

 

As we tap our toes, we might recall that it was on this date in 1990 that producer Frank Farian publicly admitted that the voices heard on the recordings of Milli Vanilli were not the actual voices of the duo (Fab Morvan and Rob Pilatus).  Shortly thereafter, the “Best New Artist” Grammy that the group had won earlier that year was recalled…  In this age of wide-spread lip-syncing and Auto-Tune, it all seems so quaint…

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Written by LW

November 15, 2011 at 1:01 am

… so you don’t have to…

Every week, I scour Netflix for a movie rated at one star and put it in my queue, suffering through it for your entertainment so that you don’t have to. In the past, I’ve taken on anime cancer demons, softcore Iraq War porn and racist ventriloquism, and this week, it’s the most unnecessary sequel since Caddyshack IV: Oblivion.

ACE VENTURA :  PET DETECTIVE JR. (2009)

Starring:  Existential dread.

If you’re anywhere near my age, then you probably remember when Ace Ventura: Pet Detective hit theaters, and how it led to 7th graders across the nation upgrading their playground Fire Marshall Bill impressions into full-fledged Ace Ventura riffs that were only slightly less funny than the end of Old Yeller by fall.  Looking back, I can pinpoint the class (third period Social Studies) where I came to the conclusion that if I never heard another pre-teen drop an “alllllllll righty then,” it’d be too soon.

And then someone had to go and spend more money than I’ve ever seen to make that very thing happen.

Read the entire review here, then check out the Worst of Netflix Archive.  It’s the handiwork of Chris Sims, one of whose other endeavors, Chris’ Invincible Super Blog is a treasure of sufficient worth to have become an “easter egg” in Glen David Gold’s Sunnyside.

As we cull our queues, we might bid a profane farewell to wise and witty George Carlin, the Grammy-winning comedian who is probably best remembered for his routine (originated on his third album) “Seven Words You Can Never Say on Television.”  When it was first broadcast on New York radio, a complaint led the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to ban the broadcast as “indecent,” an order that was upheld by the Supreme Court and remains in effect today.  Not coincidentally, Carlin was selected to host the first Saturday Night Live.

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Pages through the ages…

(Roughly) Daily often visits the British Library (as does your correspondent, every time he’s in London: pound for pound, the best museum experience in the world).

Now, as part of that august institution’s on-going efforts to make its extraordinary collection more widely available, the BL has created an online English Language and Literature Timeline.

From the very early (c. 1000)…

Beowulf is the longest epic poem in Old English, the language spoken in Anglo-Saxon England before the Norman Conquest. It tells the breathtaking story of a struggle between the hero, Beowulf, and a bloodthirsty monster called Grendel. Poems of this kind would often have been recited from memory by a court minstrel, or scop, to the accompaniment of a harp.

This fire-damaged manuscript is the only surviving copy of the story. It was written down in about 1000, but the poem may have been created by storytellers as early as the 700s.

…to the very recent (1970’s)…

Sniffin Glue, the first punk fanzine, was produced by Mark Perry in July 1976 a few days after seeing US punk band The Ramones for the first time at the Roundhouse in London. He took the title from a Ramones song ‘Now I Wanna Sniff Some Glue’. Perry’s fanzine was the perfect punk form. It reported the moment immediately as it happened, from an insider’s point of view. Because Perry used everyday tools that were immediately to hand, Sniffin’ Glue fitted with the do-it-yourself ethos which was already an important part of punk culture. A flood of punk zines followed, with identifiable cut and paste graphics, typewritten or felt tip text, misspellings and crossings out. Photocopying also contributed to the punk zine look by limiting graphic experimentation to black and white tones and imagery based on collage, enlargement and reduction. Sniffin’ Glue demonstrated that anyone could easily, cheaply and quickly produce a fanzine.

…and with fascinating contextual call-outs, e.g.

Language in the 11th Century

The Normans transform England, both culturally and linguistically. For over 300 years French is the language spoken by the most powerful people – royalty, aristocrats and high-powered officials – some of whom can’t speak English at all. French is used in political documents, in administration, and in literature. Latin is still the language of the church and of scholars, but most of the general population speak English in their everday lives.

Thousands of French words become embedded in the English vocabulary, most of which are words of power, such as crown, castle, court, parliament, army, mansion, gown, beauty, banquet, art, poet, romance, chess, colour, duke, servant, peasant, traitor  and governor.

…it’s all there– the extraordinary pageant that is our language.

As we re-visit Dr.Johnson, we might recall that it was on this date in 1990 that National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences awarded the Best New Artist Grammy to Milli Vanilli.  NARAS probably wishes that it could take back any number of Grammys awarded over the years; this is the only one they ever did.  Later that year German producer Frank Farian revealed that he had put the names and faces of the beauteous but voice-less Rob Pilatus and Fab Morvan on the dance records he had created in his studio using actual (but less sightly) musicians. Four days later, Milli Vanilli’s Grammy honor was withdrawn.

Rob and Fab (source)

(Probably NSFW) Oh, my God, Becky, look…

18 years ago last summer, a rap artist named Sir Mix-a-Lot hit the top of the pop charts with “Baby Got Back.”  The single finished the year at #2 on the annual chart, won a Grammy for Best Rap Solo Performance, and has been ranked by VH-1 as the sixth-greatest song of the 1990s and one of the 20 best hip hop songs of all time…

It should come as no surprise that a tune so impactful has spawned any number of covers.  Now, thanks to the good folks at 10 Zen Monkeys, readers can take a quick tour of the mash-ups, re-mixes, and “alternative treatments” that have kept the dream alive.  Your correspondent’s personal favorite: this rendition by Richard Cheese and Lounge Against the Machine

See the others at 10 Zen Monkeys…  Baby Got Legs.

As we gently tap our tuning forks, we might recall that it was on this date in 1972 that the Temptations scored their fourth and final #1 hit when “Papa Was A Rollin’ Stone” reached the top of the Billboard Hot 100.  In the course of their storied career, the Temptations had 38 Top 40 hits (not just more than any other Motown Records artist/act, but more than any American pop group ever), won three Grammys, and sold tens of millions of records.

The Temptations during their psychedelic period of the late 1960s/early 1970s. Left to right: Eddie Kendricks, Otis Williams, Melvin Franklin, Paul Williams, and Dennis Edwards

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