(Roughly) Daily

Posts Tagged ‘songs

“Pop music has been exhausted”*…



… and so it becomes the subject of art.

A year ago, local artist Elle Luna challenged artists from around the world with her “100-Day Project,” an idea with a simple premise: do the same thing every day for a hundred days — draw a doodle, write a poem, whatever — and document the results.

San Francisco–based designer Katrina McHugh responded by making infographics based on popular song lyrics that reference the natural world, mirroring the style of vintage encyclopedias she inherited from her grandfather. The project, titled “100 Days of Lyrical Natural Sciences,” is a gorgeous and hilarious exercise in taking metaphor too literally…

Try your hand at identifying the songs in question at “Classic Pop Songs, Reimagined as Infographics.”

* Brian Wilson


As we tap our toes, we might spare a thought for Cabell “Cab” Calloway III; he died on this date in 1994.  A master of scat singing and led one of the United States’ most popular big bands from the start of the 1930s to the late 1940s, regularly performing at the Cotton Club in Harlem.  His band featured performers including trumpeters Dizzy Gillespie and Adolphus “Doc” Cheatham, saxophonists Ben Webster and Leon “Chu” Berry, New Orleans guitar ace Danny Barker, and bassist Milt Hinton.  His “Minnie the Moocher” was the first jazz record to sell 1 million copies.

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Written by (Roughly) Daily

November 18, 2016 at 1:01 am

“I’m always flattered and honored when people cover my music or sing my songs, no matter where it is”*…


Our most beloved songs have a longer history than we might think. They might exist in hundreds of alternative versions created by other artists in distant decades. Those versions can differ in character and style and reach completely different audiences.

We looked closely at the 50 most popular cover songs as well as the original works. Galaxy of Covers is the result of this analysis and allows you to explore the evolution from idea to recording.

The panorama view shows the 50 top songs as individual planetary systems with the original work as the sun. Each planet represents a version of the song and it’s appearance indicates characteristics including genre, popularity, tempo, valence, energy, and speechiness. The radius of its orbit around the sun shows the years between the publication dates. This view allows you to compare the structure and density of the constellation of different songs from a high-level perspective.

The detail view [as above] lists the versions of one song in cross section. The characteristics and positioning of the planets is consistent with the panorama. This view allows you to compare different versions of the same song individually…

From Interactive Things, a music lover’s delight: “Galaxy of Covers.”

* Amos Lee


As we remark on the sincerest from of flattery, we might recall that it was on this date in 1958 that a new group released it’s first single, “Got a Job”– a answer to to the hit “Get A Job” by the Silhouettes– and so it was that The Miracles (AKA Smokey Robinson and the Miracles) were introduced to the world.  Berry Gordy had produced the tune, which netted the group and their producer $3.19.  At Robinson’s urging, Gordy formed his own label, Tamla (the forerunner to Motown)… and the rest is history.



Written by (Roughly) Daily

February 19, 2016 at 1:01 am

Merry Melodies…


For Proust, it was a sugary cookie; but for many, music is the gateway to memories deep and rich…  a song from years ago can catapult one directly back to the time and place– and into the feelings– of those by-gone days.

Lest one forget, Songs You Used to Love… a “time machine” that can transport one back into moods and memories past.

As we look for those old yearbooks, we might note that this was a big date for broadcast music:  on this date in 1948, CBS telecast a concert by the Philadelphia Philharmonic;  *and on the same day, the NBC Orchestra also performed on the televsion airwaves– the first symphony telecasts in the U.S.  Indeed, the NBC concert was also carried on a several AM and FM radio stations, making it also the first ever simulcast.

Written by (Roughly) Daily

March 20, 2009 at 1:01 am

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